Going on a trip is a great way to have an unforgettable Christmas. You can escape the crowds at the mall, skip the Christmas dinner preparations, and create a lasting memory that your family will treasure for years. Here are some of the best Christmas vacations, from the beaches of the Maldives to the Fjords of Norway to the mountains of Sri Lanka.
1. Hangout at Belgium’s Christmas Markets
Belgium is famous for its Christmas markets and makes a great place for a family to spend time together. You can pick up locally made Christmas decorations and crafts and view beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Brussels’ Winter Wonders is one of the biggest, and you can enjoy live music, ice skating, and fair rides. There is also plenty of great food to eat like waffles, pancakes, and smoutebollen, a deep-fried sweet dumpling, and you can stay warm by drinking mulled wine or locally made gin.
2. Christmas in Germany
Deutschland is the home of the Christmas market, and the options are plentiful. Berlin alone has over five different markets – the one located in Charlottenburg is indeed pretty, centrally located, and spacious. Cologne and Nuremberg are excellent choices, and both have lively nightlife as well if you’re looking for a fun night out. Germany never disappoints with hearty portions of stews and steins of beer in abundance.
3. Celebrate in Sri Lanka
Celebrating Christmas in Sri Lanka is a fabulous idea because the weather is fantastic at this time of the year, with slightly cooler days and no chance of rain. Depending on your interests, there are a variety of Sri Lanka tours you can choose from. If you are interested in ecotourism, you can go whale watching, go on a safari through the jungle, or work with elephants at the elephant sanctuary.
Hikkaduwa, Bentota, and Mirissa are glorious beaches to spend your Christmas Day relaxing or playing water sports. Then, be sure to head to the mountains, where you can wander through tea plantations and explore ancient Hindu and Buddhist monuments. There are many great accommodations to choose from, including lodgings at tea plantations, in a treehouse surrounded by jungle, or at a lovely hotel by the beach.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has two Christmas markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Both are busy, but they boast authenticity by showcasing plenty of local foods and souvenirs. Prague lends itself to the festive period with its imposing castle perched atop a hill and cobbled streets hiding plenty of bars where you can spend the cold winter evenings.
5. The Maldives
The Maldives is a beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and it is a great place to spend a quiet and relaxing Christmas. Note that there are only a few Christmas celebrations since it is a Muslim country. The island won’t disappoint, consisting of stunning coral reefs, crystal clear aquamarine water, and many beautiful white beaches. You can try water sports like surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing or simply relax on the beach. You can also try oceanfront yoga and then treat yourself to a trip to a spa.
6. Sip Mulled Wine in Austria
Christmas markets in Vienna generally start from mid to late November. The Viennese Christmas market in the country’s capital is staged in front of the beautiful City Hall. The market offers all the delights you would expect, and Vienna has plenty to do besides checking out the Christmas scene and gorging on sausages and mulled wine. Though you should be sure to try weihnachtspunsch, or “Christmas punch,” while there.
7. On a Northern Lights Cruise
Head to Norway, and you can spend your Christmas vacation on a Northern Lights cruise, sailing down stunning fjords while enjoying the views. A Fjord is a long narrow inlet with a steep, narrow cliff caused by glacial erosion, and they are breathtakingly beautiful.
There is plenty of snow in the winter, and the temperature drops below 0, so make sure that you bring lots of warm clothing. There are plenty of things to see off the boat. You can explore historical Viking villages, go cross-country skiing, and uncover the beautiful capital city of Oslo.
8. Visit Europe’s Top Christmas Market in Croatia
Surprisingly, Zagreb has won Europe’s top Christmas market for two consecutive years. They go all out here with life-size nativity scenes, the scrumptious food, drinks, and an impressive outdoor ice skating rink. Despite being thought of as a summer destination, there’s plenty to do in Croatia during winter landing it a spot on this list of best Christmas vacations. An interesting attraction is the Museum of Broken Relationships – devoted to all failed love affairs.
9. Vilnius, Lithuania
Lithuania might not be well known as one of the best Christmas vacations. However, this Eastern European destination is rapidly liberalizing and becoming a top choice for travelers. The Christmas market in Vilnius is small but incredibly picturesque. The small cobbled streets are filled with craft beer bars, and the cafes are oozing with festive charm, but this won’t surely damage your wallets throughout this spendy season.
10. Explore Edinburgh
It’s no surprise that people fly from all over the world to see the Scottish capital over the holiday season. Every year around Christmas, Edinburgh hosts one of the most well-known Christmas markets in the world, right in the heart of the city. Rides, attractions, kiosks, and a thousand other fantastic things to do are usually abundant in Princes Street Gardens, George Street, and St. Andrew’s Square.
Aside from that, Scotland may be ‘dreich’ (an old Scots word for cold and wet) in the winter, but with its annual snowfall and breathtaking hills and mountain ranges, it’s one of the greatest destinations to visit for winter sports as well as one of the best Christmas vacations in Europe.
Try One of These Best Christmas Vacations
Do you prefer to have your toes in the sand during the Christmas holidays or to create snow angels in ski resorts? Regardless of your choices, one thing is for sure, Christmas is more enjoyable if celebrated with your friends and loved ones.
Featured Image Credit: Prague City Tourism.