Looking to combine a holiday vacation with a healthy dose of Christmas cheer? You can’t go wrong with these destinations where the holidays genuinely shine.
From spectacular light displays and storybook streets dusted with snow to Christmas markets, these festive towns and cities deliver like no other!
This city lights up at Christmas! Themed window displays at iconic department stores like Bergdorf’s, Macy’s, Saks, and Bloomingdales take at least a year to design. They are all worth exploring, whether you are looking for your own miracle on 34th street or taking in the Empire State Building’s holiday musical light show.
Not-to-miss: Ice skating at Rockefeller Center, home to one of the city’s largest Christmas trees.
Whether or not you’ve got Love, Actually on a continuous loop at home during the holidays, you’ll find joyful merriment in spending your Christmas in London. Who wouldn’t want to take in the displays on Oxford and Carnaby Streets, celebrate the holidays in a lively pub in the city, or find the perfect holiday-themed souvenirs at Covent Garden?
Not-to-miss: Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland Market.
Germany’s most popular holiday market can be found directly in front of the iconic Cologne Cathedral. Snack on gingerbread, candy apples, traditional German stollen, and hot chestnuts while sipping Glühwein (mulled wine). This unique winter experience includes bright, colorful lights, delectable cuisine, lively music, and local shopping!
The charming city of Vienna oozes with holiday charm. Be sure to visit one of its many Christmas markets and enjoy delectable chocolate-covered fruit, roasted & caramelized nuts, and a local treat: lebkuchen. Washing it all down with Weihnachtspunsch (Christmas punch), which is offered in various flavors and alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, and you have the perfect holiday indulgence!
For some added fun, why not enjoy the Christmas in Vienna musical gala in the Konzerthaus or one of the Mozart and Strauss performed especially for visitors in historical venues.
Not-to-miss: The Viennese Christmas Market at City Hall and the holiday tree at Rathausplatz.
Often described as “the Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg is home to France’s oldest Christmas markets, dating back some 450 years. Over two million visitors travel to this quaint French town on the German border over the holidays, frequenting its twelve markets and reveling in grand light displays.
Not-to-miss: The renowned Christkindelsmärik market near the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral.
Step back in time a mere 135 miles east of Seattle, with a visit to Leavenworth, Washington, one of the best Christmas towns in the United States. This enchanting Bavarian-inspired village boasts displays featuring over half a million lights, evoking the feeling of being inside a snow globe or strolling the set of a Hallmark movie.
To top it off, you can meet real, live reindeer (and maybe feed them, too!) at the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm. You can also dash through the snow courtesy of a horse and sleigh, visit the Nutcracker Museum, or sample some suds at the Icicle Brewery.
Not-to-miss: Sledding at Front Street Park under the glow of holiday lights.
Let’s plan your perfect Christmas escape! Get in touch with me here.
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