6 Unique Destinations to go to for Christmas
It’s no secret that the month of December is a prime time for travelling – and if you are running from winter or avoiding non-December-friendly destinations isn’t what inspires you for your year-end holiday, then why not witness how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas? Generally, these cities are already popular on their own and many are great year-round destinations, but they are extra magical during the holiday season. Of course, there’s the ever-popular New York and London, but our team brings you 6 unusual cities worth a visit during Christmas!
1. Goa, India
India’s most liberal state, Goa is perhaps one of the most unlikely but is worth visiting during Christmas. Celebrated widely, more so than other cities in the country, every palm tree is decorated with tassels and fairy lights and every bar and restaurants will be brimming with laughter, dancing and bright smiles.
Decorated with Christmas trees and accompanied with fireworks, Goa’s grand celebration also extends to New Year’s celebration and its crazy-lively parties and raves. Visit the beaches of Goa and ready yourselves with blankets to catch these fireworks lighting up the midnight sky on Christmas. If you are in North Goa, you can watch these fireworks at the popular Baga or Calangute beach or if you are in South Goa, then Colva or Bogmalo beach. Head to the Sunburn Music Festival, touted as Asia’s biggest music festival, that will happen between December 27 and December 30 on Vagator beach. Celebrate the holiday season with this three-day festival of music, dancing and entertainment by Indian and international talents.
Known for their own colourful and grandly-celebrated Diwali festival, you can imagine the same kind of energy for Christmas.
Feel this energy and plan your own trip to India!
Said to be among the best in the world, Prague’s Christmas markets have made a name for itself. While no one can deny that Prague gets really chilly on the final month of the year, many would brave the cold for several reasons like its pristinely preserved ancient streets, a historically beautiful actual castle and its cinnamon-scented famous Christmas markets that run for the full month.
In fact, the cold Christmas season adds more coziness into its beautifully decorated restaurants that are of course accompanied by delicious cuisines and services. Prague’s attractions like the Art Nouveau and its main markets at Old Town and Wenceslas squares are worth visiting too! These two markets in Prague that are set to the backdrop of among the most intricate Gothic architecture are only five minutes apart and yes, just by foot. The yearly performance of The Nutcracker at the National Theater is also set to make you have an enjoyable Christmas in Prague.
3. Strasbourg, France
Like its relatively more popular French counterpart, Milan, Strasbourg offers an on-point Christmas market that is set to get you into the festive spirit! From tarte flambée, a crêpe or a bretzel (a unique pretzel, but layered with Emmental cheese and lardons) to mulled Alsatian white wine and various French pastries, you are up for some tasty delights in light of the festive day. In fact, this market is France’s oldest!
Decorated with massive Christmas trees, illuminated with golden lights and over 300 wooden huts selling handmade gifts, souvenirs and local produce, Strasbourg doesn’t hold back during this festive season. Wander this french beauty and visit the incredibly romantic Petite France quarter furnished with half-timbered houses and glimmering canals.
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If movies and dramas have not already shown you, the exotic Rio de Janeiro is known for its parties and general festivities, and the Christmas season is no exception! You get the whole deal at Rio: white-sand beaches like the popular Copacabana, palm trees with twinkling fairy lights and tinsel, markets filled with affordable trinkets and gifts, and even surfers clad in Santa costumes!
Their department store, Lojas Americanas and local market, Saara market, is perfect to do some Christmas shopping. The latter spans over 11 blocks in the city center where you can find anything from Christmas decorations to souvenirs and clothes. Head to the Hippie market in Ipanema for those who seek unique and quirky handmade presents. Ride a bike around Rodrigo Freitas Lagoon and bask in the spectacular views of the world’s largest floating Christmas tree.
5. Zermatt, Swiss Alps
When you think of Christmas, you tend to think of snow. And one of the most beautiful destinations for real-life snowy dreamy Christmases would be Swiss Alps’ Zermatt. Sitting at an altitude of over 5300 feet, Zermatt is best-known for its iconic symbol, the Matterhorn.
Its main road, Bahnhofstrasse, will be lit up with Christmas lights and the radiant gleam from many shops and restaurants. You will smile from their twinkling big Christmas trees, the stunning views everywhere, glühwein stalls even horse-drawn sleighs! In time for Christmas, you also get 200 kilometres of snow slopes which adds on to the dream snowy Christmas. Zermatt has an amazing apres ski scene to boot too! Stop by one of the piste-side mountain restaurants or bar and enjoy beautiful views, wonderful company and a great environment. Take the Gornergrat Cog Railway and light up your Christmas on a viewing platform more than 10,000 feet into the alps.
6. Sydney, Australia
While there’s only 12 days of Christmas, some countries go the extra mile and celebrate it the whole month. One of these Christmas-loving countries is Sydney. Attested by many, Sydney’s Christmas lights is out-of-this-world! Sydney Christmas, an apt name for the country’s festival will take place from November 24 to December 25. Starting with the tree lighting in Martin Place, singing carols and beautiful Christmas lights in the Domain, Sydney is set to bring the festive Christmas to you with wonderful traditions, festivals and markets.
Catch the canopy of lights – 90,000 twinkling LED lights – in Pitt Street Mall and enjoy beautiful carols with Choirs in the City. Go for Australia’s largest free Christmas concert at Royal Botanic Garden, Carols by the Sea at iconic Bondi Beach or shopping at a range of festive markets that includes The Rocks Markets, Carriageworks Farmers Market and Paddington Markets. Even on Christmas itself, transportation is available to its attractions – Taronga Zoo, Manly or Watsons Bay, Bondi Beach, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo to name a few.
Not had enough? Want more? Check out exclusive packages by Fayyaz Travels to get you in your Christmas spirits!