18 of the best places to visit during the Christmas season

 In Get Inspired, Winter Sports, Winter sun

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… And I’m so ready for it!

No matter where you are in the world, the festive season is always a time that fills me with joy, happiness and contentment. It’s a time for spending extra quality time with your loved ones, reflecting on the previous year, and projecting dreams, goals and ambitions for the year ahead.

Many people choose to spend Christmas snuggled up at home, but that doesn’t have to be the case. I’ve spent quite a few Christmases in Australia, embracing their summer to escape from the dreaded UK winter. But, in the name of exploring somewhere new and spreading my wings even further, I’ve put together a bucket list of places to spend the Christmas season, to inspire you to get away at the most wonderful time of the year…

Here are 18 places you should visit at Christmas time…

1. Germany

Germany is Christmas market central! I really enjoyed exploring the Christmas markets in Munich, and would love to go back and see the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg and Cologne too! Think of all the glühwein you could drink if you did a trip combining all three…!

The ultimate christmas markets roadtrip through Europe | Where's Mollie? A travel and adventure lifestyle blog
The ultimate christmas markets roadtrip through Europe | Where's Mollie? A travel and adventure lifestyle blog

2. Rome, Italy & Vatican City

Imagine midnight mass in The Vatican… all the Christmas feels! Combine it with a weekend of sightseeing, pizza and pasta and it sounds like a great alternative Christmas weekend!

Top tip: Want to save money and only take carry-on luggage? Check out my carry-on packing guide here.

3. London, England

If you haven’t experienced London at Christmas, you must. With lights everywhere, little huts selling mulled wine, and the perfect place to start your Christmas shopping (if you don’t mind the hustle and bustle), it’s the most magical place to be at Christmas!

Check out my top 24 festive things to do in London this year here.

4. Prague, Czechia

With some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, Prague is the perfect destination for travellers on a budget – it’s so cheap!

Top tip: Looking for cheap flights? Check out the best deals on Skyscanner!

5. Lapland, Finland

Home to Santa himself, Northern Finland is a beautiful place to explore at this time of year. Chalets, snow, husky rides & even the chance of seeing the northern lights will make this the trip of a lifetime.

Check out Finland on my blog here.

6. Dublin, Ireland

Every year thousands of swimmers take a frosty dip at Forty Foot in Dublin! Why not join them, and then toast to a very merry Christmas with a Guinness?

7. Kiruna, Sweden

Located in the Arctic Circle, Kiruna is the perfect snow adventure destination! Snowmobiling, spas, ice hotels and more give you the perfect opportunity for a winter adventure!

  • KIRUNA SWEDEN
  • The ultimate best friend bucket list

8. Vienna, Austria

This city is full of culture every day of the year, but add in some Christmas markets and festive cheer and it looks like a great weekend away! Good for a solo travel weekend too because Vienna is so safe.

9. The Alps

A chalet in The Alps would be the perfect cozy holiday for Christmas! Ski by day and snuggle by night (after a cheeky après-ski drink of course). Spanning Austria, Switzerland and Germany, there are plenty of chalets to cozy up in!

Top tip: Get £25 off your first AirBnb booking with this link.

10. Bath, UK

Bath holds an award-winning Christmas market every year which attracts thousands of visitors. Explore the markets and picturesque side-streets followed by a cuppa in a local cafe – bliss!

11. Bruges, Belgium

Another stunning city with an amazing Christmas market, make sure you wash some typical frites down with a large glass of mulled wine!

12. New York, USA

Just like the movies! While you’re Christmas shopping, try and find a Christmas miracle on 34th street or go ice skating at the Rockefeller Center.

13. Australia

A typical destination for Brits escaping the dreary winter, Christmas time is the perfect time for backpackers to explore Australia! The sun is shining, the people are lovely… and who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas on the beach?!

Top tip: Want to know how much you’ll spend when you’re in Australia? Check out my budgeting guide for Australia here!

A complete guide to Manly, Sydney

14. Israel

One of the most cultural places to be at Christmas. If you want to learn more about the Christian festival, rather than the commercial side, Jerusalem & Bethlehem should be on your Christmas travel bucket list!

15. Tokyo, Japan

For a less religious experience, head to Japan. Most Japanese people aren’t Christian, but still celebrate Christmas in a commercial sense. They go absolutely crazy for lights and luminous displays here, so expect everything to be lit up!

A temptation to visit Tokyo, Japan with KLM
A complete guide to Tokyo, Japan | Where's Mollie? A travel and adventure lifestyle blog

16. Cape Town, South Africa

Another place to chase the winter sun! What’s more, is you can watch an outdoor screening of a Christmas movie at The Galileo in Kirstenbosch Gardens. Check what’s on here.

17. Queenstown, New Zealand

Another sunny destination for the time of year! Loads of restaurants open for Christmas dinner and the New Year’s fireworks attract thousands of people from all over NZ. Start the summer season off in New Zealand with a bang!

A backpacker's guide to Queenstown, New Zealand | Where's Mollie? A travel and adventure lifestyle blog
A backpacker's guide to Queenstown, New Zealand | Where's Mollie? A travel and adventure lifestyle blog

18. Thailand

Why not try somewhere that doesn’t celebrate Christmas? As a predominantly Buddhist country, Christmas is only a national holiday in certain provinces. December is also a great time to visit Thailand weather-wise, with little to no rain and glorious sunshine!

Check out Thailand on my blog here.

Top tip: Looking to add adventure to your winter without travelling so far? Check out my top tips here.

Have you travelled at Christmas?

Where did you go? I’d love to know!

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie.

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18 of the best places to visit during the Christmas season
18 of the best places to visit during the Christmas season
18 of the best places to visit during the Christmas season
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