Whether you’re looking for a traditional Christmas experience or something a little more unique, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to spend this holiday season.
Christmas is a time for celebration around the world. From the snowy landscapes of Europe to the sunny beaches of Australia, people come together to enjoy food, family, and festivities. These are the 25 best Christmas destinations around the world!
What Are The Best Christmas Destinations Around The World?
1. Palawan, Philippines
Palawan is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and it’s home to some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. From its pristine beaches to its lush jungles, Palawan has something for everyone. And with average temperatures around 28 Celcius, you can forget all about a winter jacket and scarf.
When you’re not exploring the island, you can spend your time relaxing in one of the many cafes or bars. Many of the island’s resorts have holiday festivities scheduled for their guests, which will add an extra layer of fun to your vacation.
I highly recommend staying at El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island which offers garden cottages, beachside rooms and overwater bungalows.
So if you’re looking for a tropical getaway this Christmas, Palawan should be at the top of your list.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to El Nido, Philippines
2. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is another beautiful tropical destination to spend Christmas. The island is full of white sandy beaches, palm trees, and clear blue waters. Aside from holiday parties organized by the resorts, there are also plenty of local activities to enjoy, such as surfing, snorkeling, and diving.
In December, the average temperatures are around 26 Celsius, so you can expect to have a warm and sunny Christmas in paradise. I highly recommend a stay at the Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu. You won’t regret it!
Read more: Bali Travel Tips – Where to Eat, Stay, & Play
3. Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is the perfect place to spend Christmas. The weather is warm and sunny, the beaches are beautiful, and there’s plenty to do.
One of the highlights of the holiday season is the Maskanoo Parade, a colorful procession of costumed dancers that winds its way through the streets. It’s a great opportunity to experience the local culture and get into the festive spirit.
I recommend staying at The Sands at Grace Bay and booking a glow worm tour.
If you’re looking for a festive and relaxing beach-side destination to spend Christmas, Turks and Caicos is definitely worth considering.
Read more: The BEST Things To Do In Turks And Caicos
4. North Island, New Zealand
Looking for a Christmas destination that’s a little bit off the beaten path? North Island in New Zealand is the perfect place for you.
This island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as a variety of activities to keep you busy. There are a range of campsites, beachside accommodations, and hotels that offer the perfect stay for your Christmas holidays.
Some of the tourist highlights include Christmas BBQs on the beach, gigantic swim holes, Hot Water Beach, and a forest train at Driving Creek Railway. And that’s just scratching the surface of all the island has to offer!
In December, the average temperature on the North Island is 22 degrees Celsius, so you can expect to have a warm and sunny Christmas.
Read more: North Island New Zealand Road Trip: The Perfect 6 Day Itinerary
5. Sunshine Coast, Australia
There are many benefits to spending Christmas on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. For one, the weather is absolutely beautiful this time of year. December falls during the summer months Down Under, so you can expect long days and warm temperatures.
The Sunshine Coast is also home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. So whether you’re looking to sunbathe, surf, or simply take in the stunning coastline views, you’ll be sure to find your perfect spot here.
Additionally, there are plenty of great shopping and dining options available on the Sunshine Coast. So if you’re looking for a festive Christmas atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed.
And last but not least, the people of the Sunshine Coast are incredibly friendly and welcoming, which is a wonderful feeling around the holiday season. So if you’re looking for a place to relax and feel at home away from home, the Sunshine Coast is definitely the place for you.
Read more: How To Take A Road Trip In Australia
6. Cape Town, South Africa
Christmas in Cape Town is a truly magical experience. The city comes alive with twinkling lights and festive decor, and the warm weather is perfect for enjoying time outdoors.
Every year in December, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden hosts its annual caroling event by candlelight. This event is a Christmas highlight and something you won’t want to miss!
With views of the harbor, Table Mountain and The Atlantic Ocean, The Table Bay Hotel is a stunning option for a Christmastime stay.
Of course, no Christmas in Cape Town would be complete without a visit to one of the city’s many beaches. Whether you’re watching the sunset over the magnificent Table Mountain or taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll be sure to have a memorable holiday.
Christmas is a time for family, friends, and feasting, and this is no different in Fiji. However, the island nation has its own unique spin on the holiday season.
In traditional village celebrations, which last for two weeks leading up to Christmas Day, everyone gathers at the community’s largest house. There, they sing and perform traditional dances and decorate the neighborhood by adding colorful ribbons to trees.
Most Fiji resorts carry on these traditions and organize fantastic Christmas celebrations for guests to enjoy. Even Santa makes a much-anticipated appearance arriving on his tropical island sleigh (i.e. speed boat).
I highly recommend staying in the Yasawa Islands at Paradise Cove Resort. This resort features over 650 feet of private beach and is surrounded by a beautiful garden landscape.
So if you’re looking for a festive getaway with a different twist, be sure to head to Fiji this Christmas!
8. Hawaii, U.S.A.
In Hawaii, Santa may trade in his sleigh for a surfboard, but that doesn’t mean he gets a break from delivering presents! In fact, he has to be extra careful not to wipe out on the waves.
Instead of seeing snow-covered trees and houses, you’re more likely to see palm trees and flip-flops in Hawaii.
But despite all of these differences, there’s still a festive and joyful atmosphere on the islands during Christmas time. You’ll see decorative lights everywhere, and people are in festive holiday spirits.
My favorite islands include Maui, Kauai and The Big Island. Christmas in Hawaii is a magical time of year that everyone should experience at least once.
Read more: How to Choose the Best Hawaiian Island for Your Vacation
9. Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is a beautiful town on the coast of Mexico that comes alive during Christmas time. The streets are lined with festive lights and decorations, and there’s a lively atmosphere throughout the town.
One of the best things about Christmas in Tulum is the food. You’ll find traditional Mexican dishes as well as international cuisine. And of course, no meal is complete without a refreshing margarita! So if you’re looking for a fun and spicy Christmas on the beach, Tulum is the place for you.
10. The Keys, Florida
The Florida Keys are a beautiful string of islands off the southern coast of Florida. And during Christmas time, they are truly a paradise.
The weather is warm and sunny, the beaches are beautiful, and the atmosphere is festive. You’ll find decorations and lights everywhere you go. There’s also plenty of great food and drink to be enjoyed.
If you’re planning to spend the holidays in the sunny Florida Keys, you’re sure to have a truly wonderful and memorable Christmas.
Read more: Florida Keys Trip Itinerary & Travel Guide
11. The Bahamas
The Bahamas is a popular Christmas destination for many reasons. The weather is warm and sunny, the beaches are beautiful, and there’s plenty to do!
There are Christmas concerts, tree lighting, and parades to enjoy. The Junkanoo parade is a must-see event with its colorful costumes and pulsating music. And of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to shop for last-minute Christmas gifts.
I highly recommend staying on Staniel Cay and taking a Swimming Pigs Tour while you’re here!
Plus, the Bahamian people are some of the friendliest people in the world. They love to celebrate and they make sure that everyone has a good time during the holiday season.
Read more: How To Swim With Pigs In The Bahamas At Pig Beach
12. London, UK
London is a magical place to be during Christmas time. The city is decorated with lights and festive decorations, and there’s a real sense of excitement in the air.
You can go ice skating at one of the many outdoor rinks, or take a stroll through Hyde Park to see the beautiful Christmas lights. There’s also plenty of great food and drink to be enjoyed, like a traditional Christmas roast and stuffing.
If you’re looking for a proper festive Christmas, London is the perfect place to be.
13. Paris, France
Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world, and it’s even more magical during Christmas time. The streets are lined with beautiful lights and decorations, and there’s a festive atmosphere throughout the city.
You can go ice skating at the Eiffel Tower (unforgettable!), or take a stroll down the Champs Elysees to see some of the most beautiful Christmas lights in the world. Be prepared for temperatures to be chilly though!
14. Edinburgh, Scotland
Christmas in Edinburgh is a magical time of year. The city is buzzing with the holiday spirit, and the Christmas markets are filled with festive shoppers.
Browsing through the Christmas markets, looking at the handmade crafts, and sampling the delicious food are some of the top activities you won’t want to miss.
Also, be sure to check out the Christmas tree maze and one of the many Christmas concerts happening throughout the city! With so many festivities, you’re sure to have a wonderful holiday season!
15. Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth is a small town in Washington state that goes all out for Christmas. The whole town is decorated with lights and festive decorations, and there’s a wide range of Christmas events to enjoy.
There’s an outdoor ice skating rink, a sledding hill, and even a Santa Claus visit! You can also find plenty of great food and drink at the traditional German Christmas markets.
The Village of Lights runs from November 25 through December 24 and will transport you to a magical winter wonderland.
16. Vermont, USA
If you’ve ever watched the classing movie White Christmas, you know Vermont is a special place to visit during the holiday season.
The towns are decorated with lights and festive decorations, and there are plenty of Christmas activities to enjoy. The Hartford Polar Express, for example, is a popular activity for children of all ages to enjoy some holiday sing-alongs while sipping hot cocoa and munching on yummy homemade cookies.
The Vermont Holiday Festival held at the Killington Resort is another annual event that the whole family can enjoy!
17. Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is a small town located in the Swiss Alps, and it’s a popular destination for skiers. The town is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s even more beautiful during Christmas time. The streets are lined with lights and festive decorations, and the air is filled with the smell of fresh snow.
If you’re looking for an active holiday getaway, Zermatt is the perfect ski destination for you. There’s also plenty of great food and drink to be enjoyed, like traditional Swiss fondue.
Read more: 10 Experiences You Can’t Miss In Zermatt, Switzerland
18. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a small, medieval town located in Belgium. Its main attraction is its well-preserved old city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old city is filled with picturesque buildings, canals, and cobbled streets. There are also many museums and art galleries to visit.
During Christmas time, the town is decorated with lights and there is a large Christmas market in the center of the city. In Bruges, you’ll feel like you’re living in a fairytale or storybook that came to life!
19. Alberta, Canada
If you’re looking for a winter wonderland, look no further than Alberta, Canada. This province is home to the stunning Rocky Mountains, which offer breathtaking views and plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventure.
During the Christmas season, many of the towns and villages in Alberta host their own festive markets. You can also go ice skating in Banff and Lake Louise, which are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the province you won’t want to miss!
You really can’t go wrong with a stay at the Fairmont Château Lake Louise. It truly feels like a fairytale!
Read more: Alberta, Canada: The 12 Most Beautiful Places to Visit
20. New York, USA
No list of Christmas destinations would be complete without New York City. This bustling metropolis is transformed into a magical Christmas movie set during the holidays.
You can go ice skating in Central Park, visit the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, or do some holiday shopping on Fifth Avenue. There are also plenty of festive shows and events to enjoy, and even carolers all around the city.
Like with everything else, New York City goes big for the Christmas holidays and it’s well worth a visit.
21. Vancouver, Canada
This west coast city is known for its mild weather, which makes it a great choice if you’re looking to escape the cold. Vancouver is also home to some of the best Christmas markets in Canada!
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to check out Stanley Park’s Bright Nights. The attraction boasts three million twinkly lights that completely transform the forest. Plus, there’s a famous miniature train that will take you deep into a winter wonderland.
Although Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, the country has its own unique way of celebrating the season.
In Japanese cities, you’ll find festive lights and decorations, as well as special Christmas displays at stores. If you’re looking for an extra special atmosphere, consider spending the day at Tokyo’s Disneyland, where you can catch an extra special Christmas parade.
Fun fact: one of the most popular Christmas traditions in Japan is eating KFC fried chicken. It’s a bizarre but delicious tradition that you have to try at least once!
Read more: How To Visit Japan On A Budget
23. Rome, Italy
Rome is a beautiful city to visit at any time of year, but it’s especially magical during Christmas.
The city is filled with stunning Baroque architecture, as well as countless historical landmarks and museums. At Christmas time, the city is decorated with lights and festive decorations. You can also find several Christmas markets selling traditional Italian goods.
If you’re looking for something truly unique, consider attending Pope Francis’ Christmas eve mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. It’s an experience you’ll never forget!
Read more: Where To Stay In Rome (The Best Neighborhoods & Hotels)
24. Dresden, Germany
Dresden is a city located in eastern Germany. It is known for its unique architecture and world-class art collections. But most notably during the holidays, the city hosts a large Christmas market, which is considered the oldest in Germany (close to 600 years running!)
The Christmas market features stalls selling traditional German baked goods, sweets, handmade gifts and so much more. You can spend hours exploring and still not see everything. One of the most special things about the market is the daily programming provided in addition to the shopping.
Keep your eyes peeled for the world’s largest walk-in candle arch, and musicians. There’s never a dull moment at the market!
25. New Orleans, USA
New Orleans is a city located in the southern United States. It is known for its French and Spanish colonial history, as well as its vibrant music and culture scene.
During Christmas, the city comes alive with festive decorations and holiday cheer. You can visit Santa at his workshop, go ice skating in front of City Hall, or take a carriage ride through the French Quarter.
There are also plenty of Christmas markets and shops selling traditional Louisiana goods. Be sure to try some of the city’s famous king cake while you’re there!
For a grandiose stay in the Big Easy, book a room at Le Pavillon Hotel.
Whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland or a festive escape from the cold, there are plenty of great Christmas destinations around the world to choose from.
For a sunny beach vacation, consider heading to the Bahamas or Bali. If you’re looking for a traditional European Christmas experience, Dresden or Rome are both great choices. And if you want to try something truly unique, Japan or Palawan are definitely worth a visit.
No matter where you decide to spend the holidays, I wish you a very Merry Christmas! And happy travels!
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