From glittering street decor to festive winter markets, Christmas celebration happens all around the world so why not pack your bags this December and head to some of the dreamiest places for this festive season which is almost upon us.
With 2018 coming to an end, what better way to celebrate it than going on a holiday and exploring some of the magical cities known for putting on a show during the festive season. Here is my breakdown of the top 5 places to visit this Christmas.
London – December lights on Oxford Street will illuminate and shops will have their Christmas decor up, making it a dazzling affair. Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park is the must visit, the food stalls and pop-up shops, the thrilling rides, all add up to make your experience a special one. Don’t miss out on the Carnaby street celebration as every year neon lights light up this alley.
London takes its festive season seriously and the best street to experience this is on Regent Street. With life-size angel lights twinkling your way makes this a great spot for pictures. If you are into your shopping, your experience will get brighter as the buildings on Bond Street are usually garlanded with fancy lights, and not forgetting the Cartier store which transforms into a gift box. Lastly, enjoy some delicacies at either Convent Garden or the South Bank as they have some wonderful treats to surprise you.
INFO – Flights to London takes around 8hours and cost around 2299dhs via British Airways.
New York – It’s a mystical time in New York when Christmas descends especially at the Rockefeller centre where one of the biggest trees is put on display right alongside their famous ice rink. Since we’re talking about ice rinks, how can we not mention the ice rink at Bryant Park where more than 100 shops come together for Christmas sales.
Visit the ten-story Sak Avenue store on Fifth Avenue; they have a LED projector which showcases Christmas story snippets every few minutes on the massive building. The neighbourhood of Dyker Heights is another place not to miss especially if you want to see the houses competing against each other for the best decor. Central Park too is a delightful place to spend the evenings especially since it’s buzzing with people and the frozen lakes add to the effect of Christmas.
INFO – Flights to New York takes around 14hours and cost around 4138dhs via Emirates.
Denmark – Immerse yourself in Danish culture as Christmas in this city is different from the rest, maintaining its traditional roots, you will see how differently people celebrate this festival here. The 175-year-old Tivoli park comes to life where kids can take pictures with Santa and his sleigh. The picture postcard area Nyhavn transforms into a paradise with restaurants, shops and markets lined up to make your evening glorious.
If you want to witness the festive spirit gather up at the Kronprinsensgade where the entire street is shimmering with lights and finally head to the City Hall where the humongous Christmas tree is lit with 800 LED lights and 100 Christmas hearts, isn’t that fabulous?
INFO – Flights to Denmark takes around 7hours and cost around 3023dhs via Emirates
Zagreb – Their winter market was voted the best in a poll by European Best Destinations so with that said you need to visit this dazzling city. Ben Jelacic Square is a vibrant place to be, from concert lineups to activities, giveaways, food and Christmas trees, this place has it all. Zrinjevac park is one of the most picturesque places to spectate over the twinkling lights and if you want to have a joyous time head to the Tomislav Square to take part in the ice rink competitions.
To make your trip even more worthwhile, public transport is completely free from the 1st of December until the 7th of January on the weekends in zone one which is the heart of the city.
INFO – Flights to Zagreb takes around 6hours and cost around 2789dhs via Emirates
Helsinki – Christmas is a year-round celebration here as this city is very close to Lapland which is home to Santa Claus, a must visit. Aleksanterinkatu is known as the Christmas street of the city, with spectacular lights on display, it’s a place not to be missed.
When it comes to Christmas markets, there is not one but several and the highly recommended one would be at the Senate Square. A fun fact, the Finnish people usually start the Christmas eve with a soak in the hot sauna and later taking a splash in the freezing Baltic Sea. Don’t miss out on the Winter Circus which showcases talented artists performing dance and acrobatics. Lastly, you can make the most of this city by even going skiing or dog sledging which is a common activity during the winter season.
INFO – Flights to Helsinki takes around 7hours and cost around 994dhs via Norwegian Airlines.
These cities transform into a wonderland during Christmas time and there is no denying that these are some of the highly attractive cities to visit during the festive season.