20 best Christmas destinations worldwide 2021

updated 12/17/2021
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Looking for inspiration on Christmas destinations? We can help, with our list of the 20 top Christmas places in 2021. Some have snow, almost all have glitter and Christmas spirit is guaranteed. Take a look.

1. Copenhagen is one of the easiest Christmas destinations

Pick Copenhagen for Christmas. The affordable and friendly capital of Denmark has a glittering city centre and it's easy to get around. If you want full festive fantasy, book tickets in advance for Tivoli Gardens. It's one of the world's oldest amusement parks and magical at Christmas.

Tivoli Gardens is one of Denmark's top Christmas destinations © Vlad Andrei Nica/Shutterstock

2. Dublin, Ireland

Find Christmas craic in Dublin during December. The streets feel festive, there are ice rinks and carol singers at St. Patrick's Cathedral. And when you want to get cosy, Temple Bar pubs have you covered. If that sounds like fun, stay at Castle Hotel near Temple Bar.

Dublin is especially Christmassy in December © David Soanes/Shutterstock

3. Salzburg, Austria

Experience the festive and very Austrian city of Salzburg. Its famous Baroque architecture looks even lovelier with a snowy mountain backdrop. And it's the birthplace of Mozart so expect a lot of music wherever you go.

It's also home to the oldest Christmas market in Europe which is awash with charming traditions and smells like warm gingerbread. If you want to put that to the test, take a Tour of Salzburg Christmas markets with local guides.

Christmas Market in the old town of Salzburg © Izabela23/Shutterstock

4. Nuremberg, Germany

Go Christmas shopping at the famous Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg. You'll find over 180 market stalls set on Hauptmarkt selling everything from toys to gingerbread. It looks enchanting after dark, so if you want to hang around, stay at the Steichele Hotel.

Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg as night falls © Sean Nel/Shutterstock

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5. New York, USA

New York City rules Christmas from the outrageously famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to its dazzling store windows and awesome ice rinks. If you want to immerse in festive New York City, book Arlo Midtown in Manhattan.

Decorations in New York City one of the world's best Christmas destinations © Anastasios71/Shutterstock

6. Berlin, Germany

Berlin has over 50 neighbourhood Christmas markets, so it's a bit of a festive legend. It's also worth visiting for iconic museums, great nightlife and festive experiences. But if you want to shop most of all, stay at Hotel Neuer Fritz off Friedrichstrasse.

Christmas market, French church and konzerthaus in Berlin, Germany © S.Borisov/Shutterstock

7. Rome, Italy

Rome mixes up its festive traditions across the entire city. So you have art collections, museums and monuments combined with Christmassy Italian food and culture. Plus, there's the Vatican Midnight Mass. So why not have a look around on a private Christmas tour with local guides?

Colosseum decorated for Christmas in Rome, Italy © Bucchi Francesco/Shutterstock

8. Lapland, Finland

Visit Santa in Finnish Lapland at the legendary Santa Claus Village just outside festive Rovaniemi. It's a kid's Christmas fantasy, and children do love it. But it's also designed to enchant adults. Plus, there's a chance of Northern Lights in December.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Italy expert.

Snowman in Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland © Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

9. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh does festive atmosphere from its atmospheric Old Town to the Georgian New Town. Edinburgh Castle looks magical, there are colourful Christmas markets and the New Year street party is one of the biggest in Europe. Book in for the season at Grassmarket Hotel.

Edinburgh Christmas markets in Princes Gardens © Ulmus Media/Shutterstock

10. Montreal, Canada

Christmas is magical in Montreal. It's the second largest city in Canada and has everything from skiing on Mont Tremblant to the Vieux Port ice rink. Enjoy Christmas festivals and explore Old Montreal. Then meet ghosts of Christmas past on a haunted walking tour.

Place d'Armes at Christmas, Montreal, Quebec, Canada © Pinkcandy/Shutterstock

11. Hong Kong celebrates Christmas

Hong Kong is the most extraordinary city and it dazzles at Christmas. Look forward to illuminated skyscrapers, bedecked shop fronts and Christmas music everywhere. If you want even more glitter, try Happy Hour with a light show at Sky100 Observatory.

Glittering Hong Kong lights up for Christmas © Shutterstock

12. Washington DC, USA

Washington DC is a Christmas capital packed with heart warming traditions. Don't miss the illuminated Pathway of Peace with its 56 Christmas trees. Wrap up warm against the freezing weather to go exploring. And stay central at CitizenM Washington DC Capitol.

White House at Christmas in Washington DC, United States © Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

13. Boston for an old fashioned US Christmas

Boston is an Old World US Christmas from gas lamplit streets on historic Beacon Hill to huge Christmas trees and enchanting Quincy Market. To stick with tradition, stay at Revere Hotel Boston Common over Christmas.

Enjoy old and new Christmas traditions in Boston Massachusetts, USA © Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

14. Cologne, Germany

Experience Cologne for eight Christmas markets and the Rhine riverbank markets. Quaint Glühwein stalls contrast with impressive urban architecture here and you'll find lovely festive traditions. Spread some cheer on a Christmas market and Kolsch Beer tour.

Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market , Germany © picturetom/Shutterstock

15. Prague, Czech Republic

Festive Prague looks spectacular at Christmas. How could it not with architecture spanning over 600 years, medieval streets, wooded hills and the lovely River Vitava with its many romantic bridges? Immerse in the atmosphere at Old Prague Hotel.

Christmas in Oldtown square (czech: Staromestske namesti) Prague, Czech Republic © Jiri Foltyn/Shutterstock

16. Reykjavík, Iceland

Warm to Iceland at Christmas. It's where to discover 13 Icelandic Santas known as Yule Lads. The weather's snowy and there's a good chance of Northern Lights. Plus charming Reykjavik is great fun, so stay there at Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel.

Snowy Christmas in Reykjavik, Iceland © John Speargod/Shutterstock

17. Dresden, Germany

Visit Dresden for sweet traditions like the Stollen cake parade. The enchanting River Elbe setting enhances Christmas markets. And if you want to see historic Frauenkirche at its finest, take a night tour of Dresden with friendly local guides.

Christmas market in Dresden, Germany © LianeM/Shutterstock

18. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges medieval town centre was made for Christmas. It's awash with chocolatiers and charming Christmas markets. The canals are wintery and atmospheric and you can hear the traditional carillon in Bruges Belfry. Soak it all up at Hotel Ter Brughe.

Christmas decorations light up Bruges' Old Market Square © kavalenkau/Shutterstock

19. New Orleans, USA

New Orleans does full-on Christmas with riverboat carol cruises, festive street cars and dazzling decorations. The city's historic quarters are at their most atmospheric and it's the perfect time of year to take a haunted cemetery tour.

Christmas lights in the French Quarter of New Orleans © Colin D. Young/Shutterstock

20. Aspen Colorado, USA

Spend white Christmas in the Colorado mountain town of Aspen. One of the world's most famous ski resort it's all about alpine lodges, cosy restaurants and festive atmosphere. Indulge yourself with a stay at The Gant.

White Christmas in Aspen, Colorado © The World in HDR/Shutterstock

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experience.

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updated 12/17/2021
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