Brace yourself! Christmas is coming! The cold outside fits perfectly with a cup of mulled wine and a good story. They say children are the happiest during winter holidays, but let`s face it: deep down our soul a child is always playing hide and seek.
The magic of Christmas lies in small things: candies, toys and other gifts for all your loved ones, frozen noses, warm thoughts and a piece of happiness. If you want to spice up the atmosphere, here are 9 vibrant Christmas holiday destinations to consider:
#1. Prague, the Czech Republic
Time stands still in Prague during winter holidays. Tourists all over the world choose to have a magic Christmas enjoying all the wonders of this beautiful city.
A winter wonderland is unleashed within the street of Prague starting December. If you want to enjoy a memorable Christmas with your partner, try a romantic boat tour. You won’t be disappointed!
#2. Lapland, Finland
There is no Christmas without Santa, everybody knows that. And where can you find Santa if not in his own house? The official hometown of Santa is Rovaniemi.
This destination is simply wonderful, and not just for children. If you want something new, you can sleep in an igloo hotel, or you can try fly fishing. You can also experience a husky safari, if you have enough money in your pocket.
For 2 hours you may spend almost 150 euro per adult.(100-110 euro for kids). Oh, and if you are lucky enough you may have the opportunity to see the northern lights!
#3. Leipzig, Germany
Considering that Germany is one of the most well known countries, especially when we talk about Christmas markets, it would be a pity not to be on your travel list. An option for spending Christmas in Germany could be Leipzig.
Why Leipzig? Because beside the fact that it`s a city with an important cultural load, it has a stunning architecture and it is also great for kids. Nearly 250 stalls will offer you the best Christmas gifts for your loved ones and the tastiest traditional Christmas food will pick your nose (Pulsnitz gingerbread, reindeer sausage, fresh salmon, oven-fresh pretzels). Children will be fascinated by fairytale forest while you can indulge yourself with a mulled wine or a coffee in Europe’s oldest coffee house, Coffe Baum.
#4. Krakow, Poland
If you want to make a white Christmas and be surrounded by cultural treasures, you can draw an X on the map near Krakow. Beside the old customs we all know that when it comes to spending Christmas, Poland has a specific tradition, unique and maybe a little bizarre.
Christmas cribs (locally known szopki) are a combination between a dollhouse, a gingerbread house and the nativity scene. Most of these miniatures look almost like Saint Mary`s Basilica. Starting with 1937, the city has decided to support this unique tradition by sponsoring a szopka competition. Every year the most interesting szopki will be sent to the Krakow History Museum.
#5. Copenhagen, Denmark
A cup of rich Danish hot chocolate and so many treats to choose from! Copenhagen could be a great choice for you and your family.
Let your kids wonder trough Tivoli’s ‘Land of Elves’ while you enjoy an Aebleskiver( traditional Danish pancakes balls filled with applesauce that are served usually during Advent).
#6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The best part about spending Christmas holiday in Amsterdam is that museums and other tourist attractions are open and ready to share Dutch culture and history with you.
Here are some ideas on what you can do if you plan your Christmas in Amsterdam. The list includes witnessing the Amsterdam Light Festival, Classical music performances and ice skating throughout the city.
#7. Rome, Italy
Remember the old saying that “all roads lead to Rome” ? Leaving behind the real meaning of this statement, Rome would be an interesting destination to spend your winter holidays.
You can`t miss Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori. Here you will find lots of Christmas stalls where you can buy souvenirs for your loved ones and candy.
#8. Salzburg, Austria
When we think about winter sports, Austria is considered to be one of the most suitable location. It turned out that winter sports are not the only attractions of this country.
According to Visit Salzburg, people always minded their ancient customs and good old traditions. Especially in the countless mountain villages spread all over Salzburg, which are difficult to access, some of these quite old customs and traditions survived through the centuries until today. One of them is the originally heathenish customs of the Perchten“(demonic creature that supposedly brings the New Year).
#9. Moscow, Russia
Despite the local torment, Moscow is a great opportunity for you to spend Christmas two times a year. You might consider attending the Russian Winter Festival that takes place in Izmailovo Park right before Christmas (celebrated on 6 and 7 January, after the Julian calendar). Then you can literally break the ice with a boat cruise down the Moscow River. The 2-hour cruise offers you the opportunity to enjoy lunch or dinner while admiring the beauty of Moscow under the winter cloak.
You can also set your eyes on the ice sculptures that are part of the Winter Festival. You can be amazed with 350 ruble (entry fee). The ice sculpture museum is opened every day from 11am to 8pm. Dress properly if you don`t want to tremble. The sculptures are kept at -10 degrees Celsius.