Jingle Bells ..
Santa Fell ..
Star Wars oh Delay ..
People are marrying ..
Their kids are crying ..
All I need is a getaway ..
Yup. It’s that time of the year where you wish your Secret Santa gifts you a one way plane ticket to anywhere, so you can get away from all the holiday drama happening around. Well we have the perfect options for you to forget the past and live the moment. The aurora and the atmosphere in these areas, gives you the perfect mood to celebrate the holiday in style.
Here are the top 7 places to spend your Christmas Eve:
1. Leipzig – Germany
If there is anything that the German’s are the best at, other than automobiles and beer – it definitely has to be the way they celebrate Christmas. With its tradition dating back all the way to 1458, this is one of the largest Christmas markets in the country, with a beautiful spread of around 250 shiny stalls near the picturesque Renaissance Town Hall.
Top Attractions: Old Town Hall from 1556, St. Thomas Church and Bach Museum. Leipzig also has a vibrant nightlife, making it popular with a younger crowd.
2. Strasbourg – France
Popularly known as “Christkindelsmärik” among the locals, this Christmas market attracts more than 2 million visitors from around the world every year around the holiday season. Dating back to 1570, the chalets in the markets bring out the Christmas Spirit by selling gingerbread, Christmas cake and mulled wine. However, the main highlight in front of the Cathedral is the gigantic 107ft. Christmas Tree.
Tip: Hotels are booked a year in advance. So this might be the best time to plan your visit to the quaint city next year.
3. Prague- Czech Republic
These markets in the Old Town & Republic Square are open from around 3 weeks before Christmas till the first week of Jan every year. The traditional and cultural programs with the bustling and glittering atmosphere, sets in the perfect holiday mood for the locals and tourists. The large Christmas tree in the Old Town square will be lit up for the first time during the last week of November to start attracting people to the stalls.
Do Not Miss: The Christmas gastronomic specialities in Wenceslas Square (2nd largest market after Old Town Square). Hot wine (svařák), grog, and warm honey liquor (medovina) come in handy for the cold weather.
4. Budapest – Hungary
This Christmas fair happening at the Vörösmarty Square, changes the area to a festive market place. You can literally smell the Christmas aroma in this plaza, through the scent of traditional honey cookies, mulled wine, cinnamon and fir from afar.
Interesting read: 7 Christmas secrets from 7 countries!
While you are there: Check out the open air thermal Szechenyispa Baths while exploring Budapest and indulge in a relaxing massage.
5. Dresden – Germany
Traditionally called as “Striezelmarkt”, this is Germany’s oldest Christmas Market with its history dating back to 1434. Located in the historical city center at Altmarkt Square, the themed markets stretch out till the main railway station (more than 2kms). Enchante? Here are more such markets you could check out!
Highlight: World’s tallest Christmas pyramid (14 meters high) and the World’s biggest Nut Cracker. The culinary highlight of the market is the traditional Dresden Christstollen (German Christmas Cake), originally known as ‘Striezel’ -which accounts for the market’s name.
6. Vienna – Austria
Be it Christmas or Not .. this beautiful city has its own charm. Once the holiday season kicks in, all the tiny halls surrounding the City Hall transform into magical lands of a shining fairy tale. While the Old Viennese Christmas Market in the city center is committed to tradition, the youth are mostly attracted to the romantic Christmas village in the Old Akh.
While you are there: After exploring the Christmas village at the Maria-Theresien-Platz, check out the Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum.
7. Rockefeller Center – USA
Ah now we have arrived to the Mecca for Christmas Celebration(s). The tree is a world-wide symbol of the holiday season in NYC. Each year tens of thousands crowd the sidewalks for the event and millions watch the live broadcast. The 90 ft. tall Center Christmas tree that is imported from Norway, is decorated with 30,000 lights.
Interesting read: Polar Express – across the best Christmas Markets of Germany
What Happens to the Tree after Christmas?: The tree is recycled and three tons of mulch are donated to the Boy Scouts of America. A portion of the tree is also donated to the United States Equestrian Team in New Jersey for obstacle jumping.
Holiday Bonus – Rovaniemi (Finland)
So amid all the holiday excitement around, some of us may wonder where does Santa come from before jumping in from our chimney chute. Click ‘Play’ below, to explore his lapland’ish village at Rovaniemi and some exciting activities and attractions that cannot be missed out.
Picked out your favourite? Plan it right here!
Updated: 23 December 2019