Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Amazing Destinations To Celebrate Christmas


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Joann Welty



Christmas is a time of joy, celebration, and creating lasting memories with loved ones. While many people celebrate Christmas in the comfort of their homes, there are those who seek adventure and excitement by traveling to breathtaking destinations around the world. If you’re looking to make your Christmas extra special this year, why not consider visiting one of these amazing destinations?


From the twinkling lights of bustling cities to the peaceful charm of snowy landscapes, there are countless places that offer unique and unforgettable experiences during the holiday season. Whether you prefer the traditional festivities of Europe or the vibrant energy of exotic locations, there’s a destination that caters to every traveler’s preferences.


Join us as we embark on a journey to explore some of the most enchanting destinations to celebrate Christmas. From iconic cities to hidden gems, these locations are guaranteed to make your holiday season truly magical.


But before we dive into the specifics, it’s worth noting that Christmas is a popular time to travel, so it’s essential to plan ahead and make any necessary reservations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Now, without further ado, let’s delve into the first captivating destination: New York City.


New York City, United States

When it comes to celebrating Christmas, few places can match the magic and grandeur of New York City. Known for its iconic landmarks and dazzling holiday decorations, the city transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season.


A trip to New York City is incomplete without a visit to the Rockefeller Center, where you can admire the towering Christmas tree adorned with thousands of twinkling lights. Ice-skating at the famous rink in front of the tree is a quintessential holiday experience that shouldn’t be missed.


Stroll along Fifth Avenue to soak in the festive atmosphere and marvel at the elaborately decorated shop windows. Department stores like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue go all out with their holiday displays, making it a visual treat for visitors.


For a taste of classic Christmas entertainment, catch a performance of the world-renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Featuring the high-kicking Rockettes and an array of festive performances, it’s a show that will leave you filled with holiday cheer.


In addition to the iconic attractions, New York City also hosts numerous festive markets where you can find unique gifts and delicious treats. The Union Square Holiday Market and the Winter Village at Bryant Park are popular destinations for shopping and indulging in seasonal delights.


And, of course, we can’t forget about the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. Every year, millions of people gather to watch the famous ball drop at the stroke of midnight, marking the start of a new year. It’s an electrifying experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.


With its bustling streets, breathtaking decorations, and joyful atmosphere, New York City truly shines during the Christmas season. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the city offers endless opportunities to create cherished holiday memories that will last a lifetime.


Lapland, Finland

If you dream of a white Christmas straight out of a fairy tale, then look no further than Lapland, Finland. Located in the Arctic Circle, this enchanting destination offers a winter wonderland experience like no other.


Lapland is known as the official home of Santa Claus, making it a magical place for children and adults alike. Visit Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, where you can meet Santa himself, send letters from the official Santa Claus Post Office, and even go on a sleigh ride pulled by reindeer. It’s an experience that captures the spirit of Christmas and creates lasting memories.


For those seeking adventure, take a husky or a reindeer safari through the snowy forests of Lapland. Feel the thrill as you glide through the pristine landscapes, marveling at the untouched beauty of nature. You might even catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing Northern Lights dancing across the sky, adding an extra touch of magic to your Christmas experience.


In addition to the outdoor adventures, Lapland offers cozy accommodations in traditional log cabins, where you can snuggle up by the fireplace and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the snowy surroundings. Indulge in traditional Finnish cuisine, like smoked salmon and hearty reindeer stew, and warm up with a cup of hot berry juice.


Immerse yourself in the local culture by joining a traditional Christmas celebration with the Sami people, the indigenous inhabitants of the region. Learn about their way of life, listen to traditional stories, and participate in age-old customs and rituals. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with the local community and experience the true essence of Christmas.


Lapland offers a truly magical Christmas experience that is sure to ignite your spirit of wonder and awe. With its picturesque snowy landscapes, festive activities, and opportunities for adventure and relaxation, it’s no wonder that Lapland is considered one of the most enchanting destinations to celebrate the holiday season.


Paris, France

Paris, the City of Lights, becomes even more magical during the Christmas season. With its charming streets, stunning architecture, and world-class cuisine, it’s no wonder that Paris is a beloved destination for travelers looking to celebrate the holidays in style.


One of the highlights of Christmas in Paris is the dazzling display of lights and decorations. The Champs-Élysées, with its beautifully illuminated trees and storefronts, is a sight to behold. Take a leisurely stroll down this iconic avenue, enjoying the festive ambiance and perhaps stopping for a cup of hot chocolate at one of the charming cafés along the way.


For a truly enchanting experience, visit the Christmas markets scattered throughout the city. The market at the foot of the Eiffel Tower is particularly popular, offering an array of wooden chalets selling crafts, gifts, and delicious food. Warm up with a cup of mulled wine and savor the flavors of France during the holiday season.


Paris is also home to some of the most iconic landmarks, and during Christmas, they take on an even more magical aura. The Notre-Dame Cathedral, with its stunning Gothic architecture, hosts beautiful concerts and midnight masses, adding a spiritual touch to the holiday celebrations. And of course, a visit to the Eiffel Tower is a must, especially when it shimmers and sparkles with festive lights after sunset.


Art lovers will appreciate the numerous art exhibitions and performances taking place throughout the city during the Christmas season. From ballets at the Opéra Garnier to classical concerts at prestigious venues like the Philharmonie de Paris, there are plenty of cultural delights to indulge in.


And let’s not forget about the culinary delights of Paris. Indulge in traditional Christmas pastries like bûche de Noël (Yule log cake) and galette des rois (king cake). Explore the city’s renowned patisseries and chocolatiers, stocking up on exquisite treats to enjoy back home or as gifts for loved ones.


With its romantic charm, cultural richness, and festive spirit, Paris is an ideal destination for a magical Christmas getaway. Whether you’re exploring the famous landmarks, savoring the delectable cuisine, or simply strolling along the quaint streets, Paris will enchant and captivate you during the holiday season.


Tokyo, Japan

When it comes to celebrating Christmas in a unique and vibrant way, Tokyo, Japan, offers an experience like no other. While Christmas is not traditionally a religious holiday in Japan, the city has embraced the festive season with its own twist, creating a delightful fusion of Japanese culture and Christmas cheer.


One of the most iconic symbols of Christmas in Tokyo is the stunning light displays. The entire city comes alive with a kaleidoscope of colors and intricate illuminations. Areas like Roppongi Hills, Ginza, and Omotesando are known for their dazzling displays, with streets and buildings adorned with millions of twinkling lights.


Shopping malls in Tokyo go all out with their decorations, creating a festive atmosphere that is both stunning and unique. Take a stroll through the extravagant displays at places like Tokyo Midtown and Tokyo Skytree, where you’ll find elaborate Christmas trees, themed installations, and even artificial snow.


One of the highlights of Christmas in Tokyo is visiting winter-themed parks and events. Yomiuri Land Amusement Park, for example, transforms into a magical wonderland with sparkling lights, ice-skating rinks, and thrilling rides. And at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, you can experience the magic of Christmas with special parades, shows, and seasonal decorations.


For a more traditional Japanese Christmas experience, head to one of Tokyo’s luxury hotels, which host exquisite Christmas dinners. Indulge in a multi-course meal of delectable Japanese and international cuisine, and bask in the elegance and festive ambiance of these renowned establishments.


Christmas markets are also gaining popularity in Tokyo, offering a taste of European holiday traditions. Browse through stalls selling handmade crafts, delicious food, and hot drinks, and immerse yourself in the cozy atmosphere reminiscent of a winter village.


And let’s not forget about the unique Christmas traditions in Tokyo, such as Christmas cake. It is customary to enjoy a beautifully decorated sponge cake topped with fresh cream and strawberries on Christmas Eve. This tradition adds a sweet and delicious touch to the festive celebrations.


Tokyo offers a captivating blend of Japanese hospitality and Christmas spirit, creating a truly unforgettable holiday experience. Whether you’re admiring the dazzling lights, enjoying the festive events, or savoring exquisite cuisine, Tokyo will immerse you in a world of joy and wonder during the Christmas season.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

While the Christmas season falls during the summer in the southern hemisphere, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, knows how to celebrate the holiday with its own unique flair. Known for its lively culture, stunning beaches, and vibrant festivities, Rio de Janeiro offers a Christmas experience like no other.


One of the iconic symbols of Christmas in Rio de Janeiro is the gigantic floating Christmas tree in Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. Towering at over 80 meters tall, it is one of the largest floating Christmas trees in the world. The lighting ceremony, accompanied by music and fireworks, is a sight to behold and marks the beginning of the festive season in the city.


The beaches of Rio de Janeiro are an integral part of the Christmas celebrations. Locals and visitors alike flock to the sandy shores to enjoy the warm weather and the lively atmosphere. Many choose to celebrate with beachside barbecues, sipping refreshing drinks and indulging in traditional Brazilian dishes.


Rio de Janeiro is also known for its vibrant street parties, and Christmas is no exception. Lapa, the bohemian neighborhood, comes alive with music, dancing, and joyful revelry. Join in the fun with the locals as you dance the night away to Samba and other Brazilian rhythms.


A visit to Rio de Janeiro during Christmas would not be complete without experiencing the world-famous Carnival spirit. Many samba schools hold special Christmas-themed rehearsals, known as “Ensaio de Natal.” These rehearsals showcase the spectacular costumes, energetic dances, and infectious music that make Carnival a global phenomenon.


The churches of Rio de Janeiro play a significant role in the Christmas celebrations, hosting beautiful midnight masses and performances. The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue at the top of Corcovado Mountain is also lit up for the occasion, adding a touch of magic and spirituality to the festive season.


For a taste of the local cuisine, be sure to try traditional Brazilian Christmas dishes such as bacalhau (salted codfish), tender pernil (roasted pork), and rabanada (Brazilian-style French toast). These flavorful dishes are often enjoyed with family and friends, creating a warm and festive ambiance.


Rio de Janeiro offers a vibrant and joyful Christmas celebration, where traditions blend with the city’s vibrant culture. From stunning light displays to lively street parties, the city embraces the holiday with its unique energy and enthusiasm. If you’re seeking a festive and unforgettable Christmas experience, Rio de Janeiro is the place to be.


Sydney, Australia

While Christmas is traditionally associated with winter and snow, Sydney, Australia, offers a delightful twist on the holiday season. With its sunny weather, stunning beaches, and iconic landmarks, Sydney provides a unique and unforgettable Christmas experience.


One of the highlights of the Sydney Christmas celebrations is the lighting of the famous Sydney Opera House. The sails of this architectural marvel are illuminated in a mesmerizing display of colors, creating a picturesque backdrop for festive events and performances.


Another must-see attraction is the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Martin Place. Towering at over 20 meters tall, this majestic tree becomes the centerpiece of the city’s celebrations, surrounded by vibrant decorations and festive cheer.


While many people in the Northern Hemisphere dream of a white Christmas, Sydney offers the opportunity to enjoy a sunny day on one of its beautiful beaches. Bondi Beach, with its golden sand and sparkling blue waters, is a favorite spot for locals and visitors to spend Christmas Day, whether it’s swimming, sunbathing, or having a beachside barbecue with friends and family.


Sydney also hosts a range of outdoor events and festivals during the Christmas season. Carols in the Domain, a popular annual concert, brings together top Australian musicians and performers for a night of festive music and entertainment under the stars.


The city’s vibrant food scene comes alive during Christmas, with restaurants and cafés offering special menus and dining experiences. From traditional Christmas feasts to fresh seafood barbecues, Sydney presents a diverse range of culinary delights to tantalize your taste buds.


Of course, Sydney wouldn’t be complete without its spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Known around the world for its grandeur and beauty, the Sydney Harbour fireworks light up the night sky in a breathtaking performance that marks the beginning of the new year.


Immerse yourself in Sydney’s festive spirit by exploring the local markets, where you can find unique crafts, artworks, and delicious treats. The Rocks Christmas Market and the Paddington Markets are perfect places to find one-of-a-kind gifts and soak up the holiday atmosphere.


Sydney offers a sunny and vibrant Christmas experience that embraces the city’s coastal lifestyle and cultural diversity. From the iconic landmarks to the beautiful beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and create lasting memories during the holiday season in this remarkable city.


Prague, Czech Republic

Steeped in history and charm, Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, offers a fairytale-like setting for a memorable Christmas experience. Known for its stunning architecture, cobblestone streets, and romantic atmosphere, Prague becomes even more enchanting during the holiday season.


One of the highlights of Christmas in Prague is the vibrant Christmas markets that pop up throughout the city. The largest and most famous market is located at the Old Town Square, where you can find a variety of traditional Czech handicrafts, delicious street food, and warm mulled wine. The market is also home to a magnificent Christmas tree, adorned with sparkling lights and ornaments.


The historic Charles Bridge, with its statues and picturesque views, takes on a magical quality during Christmas. Stroll along the bridge, browsing the stalls of local artisans selling handmade gifts and souvenirs. The ambiance is enhanced by street musicians playing traditional Czech carols, creating a truly festive atmosphere.


Prague is known for its stunning architecture, and during Christmas, the buildings are adorned with lights and decorations. The Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle complex in the world, stands as a majestic backdrop to the city’s festivities. The castle hosts various concerts and exhibitions during the holiday season, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Prague.


The city’s churches, such as the iconic St. Vitus Cathedral, come alive with beautiful concerts and midnight masses. Attend a traditional Czech Christmas concert or take part in a choral performance, immersing yourself in the magical sounds of the holiday season.


Indulge in the delicious flavors of Czech cuisine during Christmas. Sample traditional dishes such as carp, a popular holiday fish, served alongside potato salad, mushroom soup, and honey cake. Don’t forget to try trdelník, a sweet pastry coated in cinnamon and sugar, which can be found at the Christmas markets.


Prague’s quaint streets and charming neighborhoods offer a delightful atmosphere for leisurely winter walks. The Lesser Town, with its narrow alleys and cozy cafés, is particularly picturesque during the Christmas season. Take in the breathtaking views of the city from Petřín Hill or visit the Prague Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square, both iconic landmarks that add to the city’s allure.


Prague exudes a unique sense of magic and romance during the Christmas season. From its festive markets to its architectural marvels, this city offers a truly captivating experience that will leave you with cherished memories of a winter wonderland in the heart of Europe.


Reykjavik, Iceland

In the land of ice and fire, Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, offers a Christmas experience unlike any other. Known for its stunning natural wonders, geothermal hot springs, and a vibrant arts scene, Reykjavik transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season.


One of the unique attractions of Reykjavik during Christmas is the enchanting northern lights. With the longer winter nights, there is a possibility of witnessing this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. Imagine gazing up at the dancing lights in the sky, creating an otherworldly and captivating backdrop to your Christmas celebrations.


Reykjavik is home to several Christmas markets, where you can find an array of locally-made crafts, gifts, and delicious Icelandic treats. The most famous market, called “Jólaþorpið” or the Christmas Village, is set up in the city center, offering an assortment of festive delights along with entertainment and activities for all ages.


Experience the delightful Icelandic tradition of the “Yule Lads” (Jólasveinarnir). These mischievous characters, who are the Icelandic equivalent of Santa Claus, come to town one by one in the thirteen nights leading up to Christmas. Each has their own unique personality and leaves small gifts or tricks for children in their shoes, creating a sense of anticipation and wonder.


Reykjavik also hosts various cultural events and performances during the Christmas season. Attend a Christmas concert at the iconic Harpa Concert Hall or enjoy a theatrical production at one of the city’s many theaters. The arts scene in Reykjavik is vibrant and provides a unique blend of Icelandic and international talent.


For a traditional Icelandic Christmas experience, indulge in festive cuisine such as smoked lamb, hangikjöt, and laufabrauð—thinly rolled bread that is cut into intricate patterns and deep-fried for a crispy treat. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate seasoned with a hint of traditional Icelandic spices.


Reykjavik’s natural wonders also beckon during the Christmas season. Take a dip in one of the geothermal hot springs, such as the Blue Lagoon, and let the warm waters envelop you as you enjoy the beautiful snowy surroundings. You can also embark on winter adventures, such as snowmobiling, ice cave explorations, or chasing waterfalls in the breathtaking Icelandic landscapes.


Reykjavik offers a truly magical Christmas experience, combining the beauty of nature, unique cultural traditions, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. From the mesmerizing northern lights to the festive markets and culinary delights, spending Christmas in Reykjavik will create memories to cherish for a lifetime.


Vienna, Austria

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-class music. During the Christmas season, the city comes alive with a festive spirit that delights both locals and visitors alike.


A visit to Vienna’s Christmas markets is a must during the holiday season. Known as “Christkindlmarkt,” these markets are spread throughout the city and offer a delightful shopping and culinary experience. Browse through the stalls filled with handcrafted ornaments, traditional toys, and delicious Austrian treats like gingerbread cookies and roasted chestnuts.


One of the most famous Christmas markets in Vienna is the Christkindlmarkt in front of the magnificent City Hall. Admire the beautifully adorned Christmas tree while sipping on a cup of warm mulled wine or indulging in a sweet treat. The market is also home to an ice-skating rink where you can glide under the twinkling lights and feel the joyful ambiance.


The Viennese love their classical music, and during Christmas, the city hosts a myriad of concerts and performances. Attend a festive concert at one of the historic concert halls, where you can enjoy the sounds of Mozart, Strauss, and other renowned composers. The Vienna Boys’ Choir, a world-famous institution, also holds special performances during the holiday season.


Vienna’s stunning architecture takes on an even more magical allure during Christmas. The iconic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, with its Gothic design and towering spires, hosts enchanting concerts and midnight masses. The Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace are also adorned with lights and decorations, providing a captivating backdrop for your festive exploration.


Vienna’s coffeehouse culture is an integral part of its Christmas traditions. Warm up with a cup of Viennese coffee and pair it with a delicious slice of Sachertorte or Linzer Torte, both local specialties. These cozy cafés, with their elegant interiors and relaxed atmosphere, offer the perfect setting to unwind and enjoy the city’s festive ambiance.


If you’re a fan of ice skating, Vienna has several picturesque outdoor ice rinks set up during Christmas. Skate in the shadow of historic buildings like the Vienna State Opera or in the beautiful gardens of the Rathaus, immersing yourself in the winter wonderland atmosphere of the city.


Vienna offers a blend of history, culture, and festive charm that makes it a perfect Christmas destination. Whether you’re exploring the Christmas markets, attending a concert, or simply strolling through the elegant streets, Vienna’s timeless beauty will captivate your heart and create cherished memories of a magical holiday season.



Christmas is a truly magical time of year, and celebrating it in a different destination adds an extra layer of enchantment to the holiday season. From the sparkling lights of New York City to the snowy landscapes of Lapland, the vibrant culture of Tokyo to the romantic charm of Paris, the captivating spirit of Rio de Janeiro to the sunny beaches of Sydney, the historic beauty of Prague to the winter wonderland of Reykjavik, and the grandeur of Vienna, each destination offers a unique and unforgettable Christmas experience.


Whether you’re seeking traditional festivities, adventurous outdoor activities, cultural events, or delicious culinary delights, these destinations have something for everyone. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in diverse traditions, create cherished memories, and witness the beauty of Christmas celebrated in different corners of the globe.


While each destination has its own charm and appeal, they all share one thing in common: a sense of joy, unity, and the spirit of giving that embodies the true essence of Christmas. Whether you’re exploring the bustling markets, enjoying festive performances, or simply soaking in the magical atmosphere, these destinations will inspire wonder, create lasting memories, and make your Christmas celebrations truly extraordinary.


So, this year, consider stepping out of your comfort zone and embark on a Christmas adventure to one of these amazing destinations. Embrace the festive spirit, indulge in local traditions, and make lifelong memories that will warm your heart for years to come. Whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or with your loved ones, these destinations promise to deliver a Christmas experience that will be truly unforgettable.