MORE ON

It’s THAT time of year again. Around the world, Christmas trees are finding lovely homes for the winter, and children are starting to work on their wish lists.

It’s most definitely the season to be jolly.

We’re sure that you’ll be spending an excellent Christmas wherever you are in the world, but if you haven’t made travel plans yet and wouldn’t mind discovering something new…these last minute options may just tickle your wanderlust.

Chosen for their unique Christmas spirit and the excellent hotels we have there, these destinations will have you wishing it was Christmas already.

Russia

Christmas in Russia

Christmas in Russia

If you’re brave enough to face its winter, you’ll be lucky to enjoy not one, but two white Christmases in Russia, and if you’re not brave enough, well, there’s always the solace of vodka and steaming plates of Schi and Borshch to keep you going. Because it’s well worth it.      

Held on January 7, the Russian Orthodox Christmas is as grandiose as the “regular” Christmas with markets, carols, the magic of a white Christmas and a much more charming alternative to Santa in the form of the Snow Maiden. It’s two Christmases for the price of one and we’ll let you decide which one is best.

Discover our hotels in Russia

Rome

The magic of a Roman Christmas

The magic of a Roman Christmas

When your idea of an ideal Christmas is store displays, Coca Cola Santas and red nosed reindeers, avoid Rome at all costs.

Here Christmas is a much more somber, but charming affair, and one taste of it might have you visiting every end of year.

A long standing tradition started by Saint Francis of Assisi, elaborate nativity scenes are a common sight, and the streets are filled with the sound of carols pouring out of churches while giant sparkling Christmas trees stand guard next to monuments such as the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Cathedral.

It feels the way Christmas is meant to feel and since tourists tend to visit in the summer months, it’s not as crowded as you would expect and the tone is kept very local.

Discover the magic of a Roman Christmas from within these excellent hotels

New York

Rockefeller Center, NYC

Rockefeller Center, NYC

Anyone who’s watched Home Alone as a kid will remember how magical New York looks during Christmas time. Though a white Christmas is rare (it usually snows in January and February), the end of year is a wonderful time to visit the Big Apple regardless of the weather.

A far cry from the somber and traditional Rome, New York bedazzles with elaborate window displays on Fifth Avenue (Bergdorf Goodman’s our personal favorite), the giant ice rink at the Bank of America’s Winter Village and the now iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree… It’s a Hollywood Christmas come real life.

And to store your shopping and rest when you need to, these top New York hotels can’t be beat

Prague

Prague, the Paris of the East

Prague, the Paris of the East

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, traveling to Prague is always a good idea and Christmas is no different.

Covered in a blanket of snow and full of yuletide cheer, the atmosphere in Prague will bring out your inner child and have you feeling all fuzzy inside despite the cold.

The city offers four different Christmas markets to discover, but the ones you shouldn’t miss can be found in the Old Town square and Wenceslas square. And they’re only five minutes apart from each other.

The Old Town’s Christmas market unfolds in a fairy tale like setting with medieval buildings such as the Old Town hall, Kinsky Palace and the Tyn Cathedral bringing a unique flavor to the festivities.

The market is made up of wooden huts and stalls traditional throughout Europe, but the Czech comfort foods you’ll find here make it stand out.

Czech food might not win the prize for the healthiest dishes out there, but it more than makes up for it with flavor and comfort factor. You’ll love digging into the Christmas market’s generous selection of Klobasa (Czech Sausage) and washing them down with a cheap bottle of Pilsner beer or Svarak (mulled wine).

Discover our hotels in Prague 

Amsterdam

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Christmas in Amsterdam is a great way to introduce the little ones, and yourself, to different Christmas traditions in Europe.

The star here is not Santa Claus, (at least until the 24th of December), but Sinterklaas who will be distributing presents for all the good children on the 5th of December, before letting Santa Claus do his thing and reward them at the usual date. Needless to say if you’ve been good all year, you better hope that you’re spending Christmas in Amsterdam.

But it’s not only the kids having fun. If you’re lucky enough to be in town during a cold spell, all of the city’s frozen canals are fair go for ice skating, turning Amsterdam into a veritable playground. It’s a rare event, but when it happens, the whole city comes out to play. Round it all off with a plethora of Christmas markets and Amsterdam’s festival of light, and you might be set for one your best Christmas experience yet.

Our top Amsterdam hotels to keep you warm this Christmas

 


About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

Top Stories