Any excellent city can string up a few lights downtown and call it a weekend celebration. From Mexico to Malta, northern lights to sunny skies, these are the Top 10 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas better than the rest this year.
List Top 10 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas 2016 Rankings
10. Santa Claus, Indiana
Christmas is a year-round occasion in this town of fewer than 3,000 residents. Santa Claus, Indiana, gets thousands of letters a year from children trying to reach St. Nick himself. A group of volunteers named Santa’s Elves was set up in the mid-1930s to reply to each letter. The Land of Lights launch is a 1.2-mile drive around the Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort. Among many Christmas-themed events, Santa hosts a buffet dinner at the Christmas Lodge every Friday starting up to Christmas.
9. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Piñatas, posadas, and once sum up the celebrations in this colorful Mexican city, where Christmas is among a solemn and celebratory affair. Leading up to December 24, you’re expected to stumble upon Mary and Joseph strolling the streets, as locals get pilgrimages from home to home, singing to “ask for posada” or “beg for shelter” as they re-enact the journey to Bethlehem. Pinatas and poncho cap a long evening of peregrinations around this cobblestoned city appointed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its wealth of grand churches, well-preserved architecture, and great zocalos.
8. Reykjavik, Iceland
When it comes to best countries to celebrate Christmas, Iceland has a few peculiarities. With these, 13 “Yuletide Lads” are said to bring gifts to nice kids for the 13 nights leading to Christmas. Rows of small, beautiful huts get up the Yule Town Christmas market on Ingolfstorg. Here, visitors can choose up colorful Christmas gifts, decorations, and treats. The shopping differs day to day as some craftsmen and designers set up stalls for only one day. Beaming down onto a city blanketed in snow and Christmas lights, northern lights images add to Reykjavik’s festival feel.
7. Quebec City, Canada
If you’re the kind who are looking for the best countries to celebrate Christmas around a tree made from recycled sheet metal, with lights powered by the pedaling of nearby cyclists, Quebec is your destination. A haven for environmentally friendly, outdoor enthusiasts, the city hurries with activity, giving holiday shows for all tastes. Modern-day Victorians can hold a candlelit evening of tales from Charles Dickens, describing the Christmas traditions of yore.
Sausage and roast chestnut lovers can survey the wares at the German Christmas market. The more religiously bent can wander an exposition of nativity scenes from around the world. The nearby Sentier des Caps de Charlevoix offers family-friendly hiking, snowshoeing and skiing as speed devils can zoom around in a snowmobile from Nord Expe.
6. Nuremberg, Germany
The Nuremberg is located in one of the best countries to celebrate Christmas. The market is a German institution, pulling in more than 2 million visitors every year. Highlights add a giant carved wooden Ferris wheel, old-fashioned carousel and steam train. Unlike all those “fake” Christmas shops that have been popping up in the region, Nuremberg’s Christmas Market Council is dangerous about making sure only traditional handmade toys and holiday goods are sold.
No mass-produced plastic garlands here. The store’s 200 select vendors also put up fantastic performances as they compete for the Most Beautiful Stall Design award. The top three walk away with a gold, silver or bronze “Plum People” awards. Adults can enjoy Nuremberg spicy gingerbread and mugs of thought wine. For kids, there’s the Toy Museum, while the German Railway Museum is a hit with everyone.
5. Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
As legends dating as far back as the 1820s cite the North Pole as the official home of Santa Claus and his jolly missus, the Finns would have us believe otherwise. For them, Rovaniemi, Lapland, found just north of the Arctic Circle, is Christmas HQ. Here, children make gingerbread cookies with Mrs. Claus, enroll in Elf School or take a calligraphy class and make their Christmas wish-lists with a traditional quill.
Other area attractions add the Ranua Zoo, home to baby polar bears, wolverines and moose; Sirmakko reindeer farm, where guests can take a sled-led reindeer safari; and the Arktikum, a science center where the mystery of the northern lights is revealed. Those in search of a truly frosty action can stay in the Arctic Snow Hotel, made entirely of snow and ice, but equipped with saunas and hot tubs in which to thaw.
4. Barcelona, Spain
If you can manage to reach your Christmas holiday until Three King’s Day, there’s no better place to catch up with Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar than Barcelona. On the evening of January 4, they arrive at the city’s port on the Santa Eulalia they’re very own ship in bearded and velvet-robed glory. Canons are fired; fireworks are locked off, and as the administrator hands them the keys to the city, the charm of the Magi officially commences. They march through the streets in a magnificent cavalcade of floats that involves camels, elephants, giraffes and dazzling costumes.
Display of Christmas stops on Republic Street. The Manoel House is well known for its yearly Christmas pantomime this year Pinocchio themed. A visit to the privately owned Museum of Toys featuring dolls, soldiers, train sets, and clockwork tin trinkets dating as far back as the 1790’s, is a heartwarming homage to childhood.
2. New York
Rockefeller Square lies at the core of the New York Christmas. Its famed ice rink has been around for 78 years; the painted tree is an 81-year-old tradition. Across the street, Radio City hosts the annual Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes. On the southwest corner of Central Park, Columbus Circle hosts more than 100 vendors selling fabrics, gifts, snacks and drinks at the Holiday Market.
Central Plaza has two ponds for skating and horse-drawn carriage rides. Fashion’s biggest celebrities join in the festivities, setting up impressive Christmas window displays. The most glamorous cases, at the Fifth Avenue flagships and specialty stores like Saks and Bergdorf, are impressive enough to melt the heart of Anna Wintour.
1. Bath, England
There are amazing cities in the world where you can observe the birth of Jesus and the birth of Jane Austen with the same amount of fanfare, but Bath appears to be one of them. The Theatre Royal that Austen mentions in “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion,” is home to a sweet celebration accompanied by decrease pies and mulled wine in honor of the literary doyenne.
There’s also a separate program of holiday drama, musicals, opera, and concerts, covering Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin. A seasonal favorite, the 18-day Bath Christmas Market has over 170 wooden chalets selling British handmade crafts distinctively in quaint Georgian surroundings. Straddled among the imposing Bath Abbey and the venerable Roman Baths, the market gives a festive way to discover the character of Bath, which is the only undivided city in the UK to have been nominated as a UNESCO World Culture Site.
Spa on Ice is a great excuse to package up and lace up your skates while the Thermae Spa is the perfect reason to strip down and savor the steam arising from the thermal mineral-rich waters of an open-air rooftop pool with spectacular views over the city.
- Top 10 Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas in the world
- What Countries Celebrate Christmas the Best
- What Countries Celebrate Halloween
- What Countries Celebrate Thanksgiving Day
- Top 5 Largest Religions in the world
- Top 10 Most Religious Countries around the globe
- Top 10 Countries with largest Hindu population
- Top 10 Countries with largest Muslim population