Top 10 Christmas Places to Celebrate in 2019

It's Christmas time! When during each December people around the world celebrate one of the biggest Christian holiday. Time for Christmas markets, trees, decorations and presents which Santa brings on December the 25th - the birth of Jesus Christ.

A trip during Christmas Holidays - it's a good time to discover countries and join celebrations. Every country has one thing in common - great holiday atmosphere, because it is well known that at Xmas every city looks especially festively and attractive, like in a fairy tale!

Christmas places prague Prague, one of the best places to spend Christmas. Image by © Senai Senna

Btw, what Christmas would you prefer - 'traditional' white one with snow or the one where the 25th is summer? Good question, eh :) Let's go! Here are my list of Top 10 best places of where to go to spend Christmas:

1 Vienna, Austria

best for: traditions

Vienna Christmas market Rathaus Christkindlmarkt Christmas Market in Vienna - Rathaus Christkindlmarkt. Image by © vienna_austria Follow

The cultural capital of Europe, which is the second name of Vienna, cozy and comfortable, this city is just perfect for these days. It saves the traditions, full of folk and events.

Vienna has all must-have attributes, including Christmas Tree in front of a town hall, as the main of them.

Another required part of holiday is Christmas Markets, which are very popular in Austria and Germany. The biggest one is Christkindlmarkt, open on Rathausplatz, between Rathaus (city hall) and Burgtheater.

A place with the aroma of freshly baked biscuits and pine tree needles. Here you can buy any present, handmade jobs, sweets and toys. Also, visit the Christmas Market in front of beautiful Schonbrunn Palace.

Don't forget about Gluhwein or mulled wine in English - another famous Viennese attribute for winter.

Vienna Christmas Vienna Rathausplatz. Image by © vienna_austria Follow

And to follow all local traditions, skate in front of the City Hall (Rathaus) on Rathausplatz and visit St. Stephen's Cathedral at the heart of Vienna on Stephansplatz.

2 Lapland, Finland

best for: winter wonderland

christmas in lapland finland Rovaniemi Winter wonderland in Lapland (Finland). Image by © Timo Newton-Syms / CC BY-SA 2.0

There is one place in the world, where people go at Christmas not for markets, trees or skating. But for more. A place where nature's magic meets a fairy tale. It's name Lapland, in Finland.

The land of the Northern lights, snow and the offocial North Pole residence, where Santa lives.

To be exact in directions, I'm saying about Rovaniemi, a city in Finland's northern province Lapland. It lies just about 6 km south of the Arctic Circle.

Here you can ride on dog or even deer teams. See the spectacular Northern lights. And visit Santa's residence, which is 8 km away from town to meet with your childhood and him in person.

Thus go to Rovaniemi for real white winter, where skies will shine better than any decorations. Btw, Lapland is also a perfect place in sense of Valentine Day Ideas.

northern lights lapland christmas in finland Spectacular northern lights in Lapland. Image by © Joonas Linkola

3 Prague, Czechia

best for: decorations

christmas tree in prague Christmas Tree in Prague. Image by © biedniakov

Prague is one of those cities, where architecture beauty itself so pleasant for eyes that all they have to do for Christmas is add some lights. That's it. Prague is ready.

The Czech capital under snow more than beautiful. Necessarily visit their Christmas tree and markets on Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (Dec 1 2018 - Jan 6 2019). And make photos for memory - decorations amazingly nice.

Give a try for Prague street food. Like Trdelnik - made of rolled dough which grilled and topped with sugar and almond / walnut mix. Mmm! Believe me, those Trdelniks worth to break your tounge before remember the name of Czech sweet pastries. Goes well with Gluhwein (Svarak) or Hot Griotte (Horka Griotka).

4 Zurich, Switzerland

best for: winter skiing and mountains

christmas in zurich switzerland Holiday mood in Zurich. Image by © Steven Epprecht

If you are a ski fun, then there isn't better place for that than mountain Switzerland. And Christmas is a good reason to combine a holiday and your passion into one.

Head to Zurich to enjoy holiday mood. The largest Swiss city is well decorated and offers all needed festive attributes.

Zurich simply perfect for walks or a tram ride. It's expensive city, yes. But it looks like a postcard - almost ideal. In fact all Switzerland seems to be an ideal place. For one with money :)

And when you've done with city's strolls, get an advantage of Swiss compactness. The distances between cities here isn't big. Thus move to any of Swiss mountain resorts for skiing.

Where Zermatt is kinda Meссa for skiers. The famous ski resort with long and wide ski roads. Even train trips among the Swiss Alps is like movie watching - the unreal views through panoramic windows. A ride from Zurich to Zermatt is about 3 hours by train.

christmas in switzerland zermatt Zermatt ski mountain resort in Switzerland. Image by © Senai Senna

5 New York, United States

best for: little bit of everything

Rockefeller Center christmas tree the Rockefeller Center Plaza Christmas Tree. Image by © Stephen Wilkes

In New York you can find nearly everything you are looking for Christmas. Well, maybe except mountains in snow :) Big Apple is good for holiday dinner, holiday events and shopping.

Surely you have seen the main decoration of winter New York, it's Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Center Plaza, also known as the Capital of NYC Christmas.

And if you've seen it in a movie, then you should visit it in real at first. Fantastic ice skating, which is right under the Tree, is available for around $30.

Also go to Central Park, when white it looks stunning. Here you'll find another site for skating.

Add for your stay in New York some classic winter activities - Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden which is about 150 miniatures of NY landmarks; and The Nutcracker NYC ballet performance at Lincoln Center (Nov 23 - Dec 30 2018).

6 Paris, France

best for: romance mood

Christmas in Paris, Eiffel tower in snow Snowy Paris. Image by © Romain Paris

The city of Romance especially beautiful during these holidays. Just imagine, the Elysian fields covered with a thousand lights, Triumphal Arch shining with special illumination, and of course the Eiffel Tower, wearing its twinkle of lights. Perfecto! Or should I say Magnifique?!

And to be satisfied enough of all this beauty visit traditional Christmas activities, where Paris will be more than a good decoration.

Like ice rinks, open for free around all Paris with 5-10 euro charge for skates (free for kids). Or Disneyland Paris, offers holiday programmes. And Christmas Markets for sure. In 2018, the biggest one in Paris will be by the Louvre (the Jardin des Tuileries) where it mooved from the Champs-Elysees, open November 18 - January 9. A great winter stroll, gifts and handmade food - memorable indeed!

Snow in paris Eiffel Tower and snow. Image by © Hannah

7 London, United Kingdom

best for: skating

christmas london London decorated for Christmas. Image by © JIAYI

Famous British traditions have reflected on Christmas atmosphere around London. The capital simply great in December. Decorated streets and shining trees captivate for a walk, especially after 5 o'clock.

Trafalgar Square is a place for a Norway gift, the main UK Christmas Tree.

Take into account skating in front of Somerset House, the most glamorous in the city, set in the spectacular 18th century courtyard. Or the one by the London Eye, open daily in December from 10am to 9pm. And Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink on the banks of the River Thames.

Finally, don't miss London's 50 years Christmas tradition - the Nutcracker in the English National Ballet based at Markova House in South Kensington.

Somerset House skate in london Somerset House Ice skating. Image by © Somerset House

8 Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine

best for: eastern European celebrations

kiev kyiv christmas tree on sophia square Kiev (Kyiv) Xmas tree in front of St Sophia Cathedral. Image by © obozrevatel/fb

Colorful, loud and 2 times - that is Christmas in Ukraine. If you wanna take part in eastern European style celebrations, go to Kyiv (Kiev) - the oldest capital of them.

It's my hometown and here we celebrate Christmas twice, on 25th December and 7th January (the old Julian Calendar still in power for religious dates).

Winter in Kyiv is cold (-10C average), usually with lots of snow. The city centre reminds a fairy tale - everything shine in decorations. And the centre of holiday by Kyiv main New Year's tree on Sofia square.

Here, in Christmas Village, with magnificent, millenial st Sophia Cathedral in the background, you will enjoy the atmosphere of happiness to the full.

Ukrainian traditions are dancing and folk music. I have no doubt that you familiar with our main Christmas song - Shchedryk - written by the Ukranian author and famous in the world by its English name - Carol of the Bells.

Security note: Kyiv is more or less safe. Regarding of russian military aggression in two parts of Ukraine's eastern regions (since 2014), Kyiv lies 600 km away. So you should more be bothered of its ice sidewalks, that local authorities doesn't clean from snow in time. However a criminal situation in the city isn't good. For more on this, read the mentioned above article.

9 Montreal, Canada

best for: train journey

This Canadian city, the winner of title one of the most comfortable cities for living, has its own unique offers foe celebration.

The lighting of the main Christmas tree, on Place Ville-Marie, means the beginning of the Holiday season in Montreal. Which is a tradition as well as Nativity Scenes at St. Joseph's Oratory.

But the most interesting here are other events. The first of them is an annual Christmas parades - Parade de Noel Anjou and Santa Claus Parade (Defile du Pere Noel). And the Canadian Pacific Railways, the second one, offer guests to be passangers on the special Train aka Holiday Train. Sounds promising!

10 Sydney, Australia/ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

best for: summer and beaches

christmas in Sydney Holiday season in Sydney. Image by © hide_seek_wander

Christmas and summer sounds unusual for me, and many, but it can happen :) Well, also many people live in such areas where December is actually a warm season. Like Australia or Brazil.

I don't know how you answered on my question from the beginning of the article, my choice is white though :)

Anyhow, let's see how it is - "winter celebration" among palms. I put two cities on this place, cause they both, Sydney and Rio have summer during December.

Even with such exotic variant you'll feel the holiday spirit. Differently (if you used to snow :) Well, for those from cold winters Santa on a beach, people in light clothes - an interesting experience indeed.

The weather itself in Sydney and Rio is kinda attraction. Then, the cities well decorated with traditional Christmas trees. The big one in the centre of Sydney among artificial snow. In Rio there is a floating tree at Rodrigo de Freitas Lake. They say it's the world biggest floating Christmas tree. And a statue of Jesus (Cristo Redentor) atop Corcovado mountain in holiday illumination. Nice picture.

However, let's be fair, the main advantage here is a warm climate though. Thus enjoy an extra summer in full - sea, the sun and sand!

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