As the holiday season approaches, it's time to plan your ultimate Christmas adventure! Whether you're captivated by twinkling lights, fascinated by festive traditions, or simply craving a cosy winter escape, there are enchanting destinations around the world that will fill your heart with holiday cheer. Let's embark on a virtual tour.
1. United Kingdom - London: London, the heart of the United Kingdom, is a dazzling
spectacle during Christmas. The city comes alive with a host of festivities, including the iconic
Christmas lights on Oxford Street, the charming Christmas markets in Southbank and Leicester
Square, and the majestic Christmas trees in Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. Don't forget to go ice skating at the famous rinks set up at Somerset House and the Natural History Museum. And for a taste of tradition, visit the Christmas Market at the historic Greenwich.
2. Germany - The Enchanting Christmas Markets: A short hop across the English
Channel takes us to Germany, the undisputed champion of Christmas markets. German cities such as Nuremberg, Dresden, and Munich transform into winter wonderlands. With wooden stalls, gingerbread cookies, mulled wine, and handcrafted ornaments, these markets evoke the essence of a classic European Christmas. Be sure to visit the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, where the Christmas Angel opens the market, and the Striezelmarkt in Dresden, one of the oldest in Germany
3. Belgium - Bruges: Hop over to the charming city of Bruges in Belgium, often referred to as
the "Venice of the North" During the Christmas season, Bruges transforms into a fairy tale setting with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings adorned with sparkling lights. The Bruges Christmas Market, located in the heart of the city, is a treasure trove of holiday delights, offering delicious Belgian chocolates, waffles, and mulled wine. Don't miss the ice skating rink in the Market Square and the festive boat rides along the canals.
4. France - Strasbourg: Just a short train ride away from the UK, Strasbourg in France hosts
one of the oldest and most enchanting Christmas markets in Europe. With its half-timbered houses and medieval architecture, Strasbourg provides a picturesque backdrop for the holiday season. The Strasbourg Christmas Market features hundreds of stalls, showcasing handmade crafts, festive foods, and regional wines. Explore the city's charming neighbourhoods, such as La Petite France, and be sure to visit the majestic Strasbourg Cathedral, which hosts a magnificent Christmas tree.
5. Ireland - Dublin: Ireland's capital, Dublin, comes alive during Christmas with a festive
atmosphere that's hard to resist. The city centre is adorned with twinkling lights and decorations, and the streets are lined with charming shops and boutiques, perfect for holiday shopping. You can also experience the holiday magic at the Dublin Christmas Flea Market, where local artisans display their crafts. Visit the iconic Grafton Street for street performances and carollers, and don't miss the vibrant Christmas lights at the Dublin Docklands.
6. Netherlands - Amsterdam: Amsterdam, just a short flight or train ride from the UK, offers a
unique and lively Christmas experience. The city is beautifully illuminated with lights, and its canals are adorned with festive decorations. The Amsterdam Light Festival, featuring captivating light installations, is a must-see. Stroll through the Christmas markets in the Museumplein and
Rembrandtplein, and enjoy Dutch specialties like oliebollen (deep-fried dough balls) and erwtensoep (split pea soup). For an unforgettable experience, take a canal cruise to see the city's enchanting lights from the water.
7. African Safari - A Unique Christmas: Swap the snowflakes for sunshine and embark on
an unforgettable South African safari during the holiday season. Imagine celebrating Christmas
under the African sky, surrounded by the mesmerizing landscapes and awe-inspiring wildlife of the continent. South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Botswana are excellent destinations for safari
adventures. Witness the "Big Five" – lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos – in their natural habitats and savour delicious bush dinners.
Picture yourself waking up on Christmas morning to the distant roars of lions, joining a guided game drive, and then enjoying a special Christmas feast in the heart of the wild. While it may be
unconventional, an African safari offers an opportunity to create cherished holiday memories in a truly unique way.
So, whether you're strolling through London's twinkling streets, savouring gingerbread in a German Christmas market, or exploring the wilds of Africa, Christmas is a magical time to experience the world's diverse cultures and landscapes. Each destination offers a distinct, once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you with cherished memories of the holiday season.
Where will you spend your next unforgettable Christmas?
Written by Karen Anthony