Get the festive feeling with these 9 winter wonderlands
Quebec City, Canada
The olde-worlde charms that make up Quebec City are exacerbated during the Christmas period. It’s one of the oldest cities in North America, and its architecture and neighbourly attitudes reflect that.
Nestled within the quaint, early European-inspired building and flurry of snow is a Christmas market inspired by those of Germany – with a distinctly Canadian twist. The Charles Dickenseque streets are all decorated with lights, the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread fills the air…
There really isn’t a better place to spend Christmas.
Be prepared to wrap up for this one. The -5 temperatures that Norway has to offer at this time of year may be chilly, but this trip will sure to be one to remember.
During the winter months, Tromso is completely dark. The only light in the sky that can be seen is the blue-green glow of the aurora borealis.
The lack of sunlight creates a wonderfully surreal and pretty romantic, dusky atmosphere to enjoy Christmas in. Throughout the dark period, there is a host of Christmas markets, craft stalls and choir singers to keep you entertained.
So this season, grab yourself a traditional lefse and a coffee that has been brewed over an open fire, and snuggle up to someone you care about.
Renowned for their seasonal markets, Germany is a must-visit for anyone planning a Christmas break. For its love of the holidays, Nuremberg has been dubbed Germany’s Christmas City.
You can’t escape the smell of gingerbread and mulled wine as you travel through the cities many streets, as the pride of this season in their Christkindlesmarkt.
The grand architecture of this enchanting city is usually topped with snow during the month of December.
An archipelago filled with adventure, the Bahamas is a great place to spend Christmas. While it may not be covered in snow, there is a lot to be said about the average 27° temperature.
The Santa’s grotto at your local shopping center has got nothing on the carnivals and festivals that The Bahamians put on for the holidays.
Boxing Day also holds a special meaning in the history of the islands, which today are celebrated with Junkanoo parades.
And after all of this Christmas celebration, take to the sands and relax on the beach.
Taos, New Mexico
The amalgamation of cultures you’ll find in Taos is what makes this place a really special area to visit over the holidays.
As well as the traditional Christian and Jewish holidays, Native American, Hispanic, and Winter Solstice traditions are also embraced to create a unique experience.
Businesses across the city join in the community atmosphere by offering drinks, snacks and even bonfires along the faralito lit streets.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Not a fan of the Christmas chill? Then head off to Puerto Rico for the same amount of holiday cheer and an average December temperature of 19°.
The 500-year-old city is draped in lights and decorations that would put a few British cities to shame! The remarkable decorations added to the delicious and varied local dishes.
Three Kings Day (a Latin holiday) extends the festivities there for another month!
New York City, New York
Take yourself to The City That Never Sleeps for a Christmas you’ll never forget. This bustling metropolis takes on a completely different one after the lights on the Rockefeller tree are lit. The decadence of the decorations can be seen on every street, in every window and in the face of the many tourists that flock there.
Experience Christmas like they do in the movies: ice skate in the park, stare into an extravagant holiday store window or just bask in the reflection of the Swarovski crystal star on top of the tree.
People ice-skating in Rockefeller center
Valkenburg, The Netherlands
Just aboard the Christmas Express Train from Simpelveld to the cute, traditional town of Valkenburg turns into a Christmas village during December. Even the caves below are decorated with the season’s garb.
As well as the usual Christmas markets, Valkenburg has a Magic Sand event, where sand sculptures fitting this year’s theme of “A Christmas Story” will guide you around the Wilhelmina quarry.
Or, if you’re more into the seasons food, you should try taking the Route D’Amuse; a walking culinary tour of the town.
We couldn’t miss Santa’s homeland off the place of winter wonderlands.
High up in the Arctic Circle (known as Napapiiri to the native Finnish), is the “official” Santa Claus Village. Built around the Arctic Circle marker, the village consists of the Santa Claus Post office, a grotto, gift shops, bars and restaurants.
Sleep in an igloo (other accommodation is available), take a sleigh ride or ski in around the mountains that Santa calls his home.