Looking for that perfect end to the year? Here is a list of 7 Christmas holiday destinations to tempt you into planning a holiday. From traditional celebrations and exciting events, to festive markets, holiday feasts, and the best of carol singing, we have covered it all!
Take your pick and have a very merry Christmas!
A great place to be in during the holiday season, the picturesque city of Zurich hosts an array of events in the lead up to Christmas. The Lichterschwimmen candle-floating event and the official switching on of Christmas lights along the Bahnhofstrasse, are a treat to the eyes. Add to that the Circus Conelli on the Bauschänzli, daily concerts and Santa Claus Parades.
One can whiff the scent of cinnamon and mulled wine in the air, as the city gears up for a month full of festivities. Head to the popular Christmas markets throughout the city for unique Christmas gifts, handcrafted goods, live performances, fun workshops, good food and more.
Where to Stay: Hotel Welcome Inn Kloten (Starts at Rs.7,700 per night); Ramada Zurich City (Starts at Rs.11,400 per night); Swissotel Zurich Hotel (Starts at Rs.16,100 per night)
Where to Eat: Restaurant Ach’i, Haus Hiltl, and
The sunny beaches of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Newport Boat Parade in Orange County, celebrations in Balboa Park in San Diego, and fun activities in the snow at Mount Baldy-all of this makes California one of the best Christmas holiday destinations in the US.
Disneyland gets even more enchanting and fairytale like with all its Christmas parades and decorations. The decking up of the Mission Inn with a million lights is yet another thing to look forward to. For couples, we recommend the Holiday of Lights drive-through show in Del Mar, and a walk through the Thoroughbred Street in Rancho Cucamonga for its wonderfully decorated houses.
Where to Stay: Ramada San Diego North Hotel and Conference Center (Starts at Rs.5,700 per night); Four Points By Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport Hotel (Starts at Rs.8,300 per night), Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel (Starts at Rs.13,300 per night)
Where to Eat: Hobee’s Restaurant, Umami Burger, and Wine Country Trattoria
Beat the winter blues with a visit to Sydney this Christmas. One of the top cities in the world to live in, Sydney’s splendid harbourfront and skyline, beautiful beaches and national parks, charming history, culture and entertainment options make it a popular pick. Add to that, a chance to experience Christmas in the summer!
Unlike most parts of the world, December is the start of summer in Sydney, giving it the perfect setting for a warm and sunny Christmas. Be a part of the traditional Carols by Candlelight gathering and Christmas concerts held all over the city, shop at the outdoor night markets at the Rocks, and check out the huge illuminated Christmas tree in Martin Place. Besides these, the spectacular golden beaches are a popular retreat for barbequing and sunbathing on Christmas Day.
Where to Stay: Cutmore Cottages (Starts at Rs.4,000 per night); Central Station Hotel (Starts at Rs.8,000 per night); The York by Swiss-Belhotel (Starts at Rs.12,300 per night)
Where to Eat: Tetsuya’s, est., and Friggitoria
Ireland’s picture perfect capital is the ideal place for a winter vacation for all age groups. The Christmas lighting ceremonies in Dublin’s city centre kick-off festivities and events throughout the city. There are carol concerts, street performances, Christmas markets, ice skating rinks, and the traditional Moving Crib nativity play all over the city. Kids are sure to love the traditional pantomime theatre, where fairytales and musical comedies are performed on stage. This is followed by Saint Stephen’s Day celebrations on the day after Christmas.
While you are here, be a part of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, an annual horse racing event with four days of betting, dressing up, and enjoyment. At night, you can head to one of the popular Irish pubs and drink to this delightful festive season!
Where to Stay: Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge (Starts at Rs.7,100 per night); Radisson Blu Hotel Dublin Airport (Starts at Rs.9,200 per night); The Gibson Hotel (Starts at Rs.12,500 per night)
Where to Eat: Winding Stair, Woollen Mills, and Chapter One
Vancouver’s Rogers Santa Claus Parade in downtown, the lit up VanDusen Botanical Garden, the Carol Ships Parade of Lights, Christmas ballets, and snow sports are a pleasure. For kids, Stanley Park’s Bright Nights, where its famous miniature train and plaza are illuminated, is a must see.
Vancouver also hosts a huge shopping event on 26th December, also known as Boxing Day, when everything from electronics and home decor to designer merchandise goes on sale.
Where to Stay: Empire Landmark Hotel (Starts at Rs.4,000 per night); Ramada Limited Downtown Vancouver Hotel (Starts at Rs. 5,400 per night); Hyatt Regency Vancouver Hotel (Starts at Rs.14,500 per night)
Where to Eat: Hawksworth Restaurant, Trafalgars Bistro, and Blue Water Cafe
The island city-state of Singapore is a magical display on Christmas, with a million lights and festive decorations. The global city is famous for its shopping delights and gourmet food, which are known to become even more splendid during the festive season.
The shopping belt on Orchard Street is amazingly lit up and is your go to place for premier Christmas deals and sales. Add to that myriad street performances, fairs, and decked up building facades competing for the Best Dressed Building award.
For foodies, there are extravagant Christmas menus and spreads on offer throughout the city. Try the Asian variant of the traditional Christmas Turkey, complete with Asian flavours and spices.
Where to Stay: Grand Copthorne Waterfront Singapore (Starts at Rs. 8,500 per night); Orchard Hotel Singapore (Starts at Rs.9,400 per night); One Farrer Hotel & Spa (Starts at Rs.11,800 per night)
Where to Eat: Bread Street Kitchen, Forest, and Restaurant ANDRE
The crisp fresh snow and the warm glow of street markets make Vienna a beautiful sight in the winter. Despite the low temperatures, tourists flock to this charming city in December, joining in the many music concerts, operas, Christmas markets, ballets and ice-skating events.
The markets, held in the backdrop of the wonderful palace architecture, are much loved for their fantastic array of handmade goods, beautiful ceramics, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and traditional cakes. Celebrate Christmas Viennese style as you go market hopping from the traditional Freyung Christmas market and the newer Belvedere Palace market to the more grand markets outside Rathaus and Schönbrunn Palace.
Where to Stay: Enziana Hotel Vienna (Starts at Rs.3,800 per night); Der Wilhelmshof Hotel (Starts at Rs.6,600 per night); NH Wien Hotel (Starts at Rs.10,700 per night)
Where to Eat: Café Central, Stadtkind, and Salmbräu