Are you dreaming of a magical white Christmas vacation this year?
Christmas holidays are not long away! Pack your bags and head to one of these five fascinating places to go for Christmas around the globe, where you can sip cinnamon-dusted hot cocoa while watching delicate snowflakes fall softly to the ground. Make snowmen with the kids, go skiing and ice skating or have fun exploring the new city you’re visiting – the choice is yours!
1. Salzburg, Austria
Christmas in Austria would be an unforgettable Xmas holiday experience. When it comes to embracing Christmas traditions, this mountainous country doesn’t fall short.
During advent – the four weeks before Christmas – most towns in Austria will hold their own ‘Christkindlmarkt’ (Christmas market) from late November to early December. Alive with Christmas spirit, the vibrant markets will offer guests an array of goods including handcrafted Christmas decorations, traditional foods like gingerbread and Glühwein (sweet, warm mulled wine).
The festive season will also see homes adorned with elaborately woven Advent wreaths, surrounded by twinkling Christmas trees and other traditional decor.
Salzburg is one of the best places to spend Christmas. When in Salzburg, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride across a blanket of silky white snow as you take in the city’s scenic views. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Salzburg is known for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centers in Austria. Thanks to its stunning Alpine surroundings, the historical city was also featured in the musical play and film, The Sound of Music.
2. Oslo, Norway
Offering miles and miles of cross-country ski trails, Oslo is the perfect place for a fun-filled white Christmas holiday with the family. The capital city of Norway boasts more than 2,600 km (1,600 miles) of equipped cross-country ski trails, which run deep into the forests.
Because there’s nothing like having a delicious hot drink on a cold winter’s day, skiers are also invited to make a stop at any of the 44 picturesque cabins offering refreshments and homemade pastries. Now, that sounds heavenly!
Whether you prefer something more adventurous or just want a relaxing white Christmas travel experience while enjoying the beauty of the snow-capped pine trees, these trails can certainly cater to your needs.
3. Winnipeg, Canada
Christmas in Canada is beautiful. Snow and ice play a big part of the Christmas holiday season here.
Winnipeg – nicknamed Winterpeg (due to its long winters) – is one of the Canadian cities that won’t disappoint if you want to experience a snowy, white Christmas holiday with loved ones. If you’re into ice skating, head to the breathtaking Seine River, which winds its way through prairie lands before reaching the city. During winter, the river freezes over, transforming into a beautiful, natural ice skating rink.
Besides skating, you could take a romantic post-Christmas dinner stroll through the city, which will be specially lit up for the festive season. For a dose of family-friendly activities, you can count on Assiniboine Park to hold memorable Christmas events featuring community choir performances, movies, music and other festive activities. It’s the ideal place for family Christmas vacations!
4. Moscow, Russia
If a white Christmas vacation is what you’re after, Russia can guarantee it. Snow cover in Russia lasts for about three months of the year, usually from November to April. The snow can get as deep as 25 cm between December and January – perfect for snowball fights! Just ensure you stay warm during the winter season by packing suitable clothing.
Although Christmas was banned in Russia during the Soviet times, it’s now regaining its popularity and religious meaning. However, Christmas in Russia is done a little differently.
Firstly, it’s most widely celebrated on January 7, following the Orthodox calendar. But, there are still some Russians who celebrate Christmas on December 25 as well. As for Father Christmas, he’s known as the non-religious ‘Grandfather Frost’ while his female sidekick is Snegoorochka (‘The Snow Maiden’).
For a memorable white Christmas holiday filled with new experiences, explore Russia’s capital city – Moscow. Here, snow falls in silent flakes and forms a deep, white covering that squeaks underfoot. Catch a glimpse of the public trees like the Christmas tree in Moscow’s Red Square, which also serves as a symbol of the New Year.
At night, colored lights twinkle throughout the city while the Basilica of St. Basil can be seen in the distance – an enchanting ambience indeed!
5. Lucerne, Switzerland
Known for its preserved medieval architecture, Lucerne is a quaint city located amidst snow-capped mountains in Switzerland. During the Christmas holidays, the lights of this winter wonderland are especially beautiful. The city will also be buzzing with a number of Christmas holiday events as well as Christmas markets offering everything from creative gift ideas to Christmas trees.
While the grown-ups savour hot food and drinks, the children may make a beeline for the Christmas carousel. As the appropriately seasonal tunes of brass ensembles and choirs float through the air, the festive ambience continues to attract visitors to stroll, browse and linger.
To top it off, Lucerne is home to more than 10 attractive winter sports resorts featuring panoramic views, comfortable mountain guesthouses, snow bars and much more. Everything that’s required for the perfect white Christmas vacation.
Now that you know of all the exciting Christmas getaway destinations, have you decided on your favorite yet? Start planning your trip now and turn your white Christmas holiday dream into a reality.