Sunday, 6 December 2015

10 Christmassy Cities to Visit This Year

Blogmas: Day Six
'Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies and present buying, so how better to get into the festive spirit than with a European winter break to start your shopping? Whether you're travelling abroad or staying closer to home, here are my top ten destinations that are even more majestic in the colder months.

Zermatt, Switzerland
My summer home-away-from-home transforms itself into Santa's lapland come the festive season. I last visited Zermatt in winter in 2013 and I can still remember so vividly how magical it was. Not only for how glamorous the town was, with the irresistible Swiss restaurants luring you in with a delicious wafting smell or fancy apres-ski bars overflowing with crowds of skiers feasting on beer, but for the breathtaking views that borders the town. The Matterhorn, sitting proudly north to the village and lightly dusted in snow, is never far from the corner of your eye - and an even better view is shared whilst skiing or snowboarding. See my Zermatt winter photo-diaries here for more information. Click below to see more!

Covent Garden, London, UK
London truly is a glorious city to spend Christmas in. I won't ramble on too much about this one as I just previously wrote a blog post here about all the wonderful things you can do in London during this festive season - so enjoy!

Rockefeller Centre, New York, USA
It's always been my dream to holiday in New York for Christmas. The city lights up into a winter wonderland each year with Christmas trees, holiday window displays and twinkling lights. And just imagine the endless Christmas shopping, ice-skating in Rockefeller center, waltzing round a snowy central park and taking a snuggly horse carriage ride through town. It would be the perfect Elf Christmas - I just need that 'World's Best Cup of Coffee' before anything else.

Boston, USA
December days are short and sometimes cold - but festive lights sparkle, winter activities move into high gear, and Boston holiday shoppers fill the streets and stores. Christmas dominates Boston theaters and holiday concerts on the cultural calendar, while carol singers chant cheerful tunes from street to street. New England’s old-world ambiance and coziness make Boston a natural choice for the holidays. Enjoy Beacon Hill’s cobblestoned streets dusted with snow, and celebrate the ghosts of Christmases past with the Christmas Revels at Harvard's Sanders Theatre.

Prague, Czech Republic
The city of Prague in Czech Republic would truly make a dreamy Christmas. Stroll historic Nerudova street in Mala Strana to view the city’s Gothic and Baroque architecture, or catch an opera or ballet at the State Opera or National Theater. Don’t miss: standout local brews; grab a pint of pilsner at cozy U Pinkasů.

Paris, France
They say that nowhere is lovelier than Paris in spring, but the City of Light and Romance is unsurprisingly majestic in the colder months too, with the centre's many monuments illuminated, shop windows glittering and Christmas markets galore. The 27-metre-high tree at The Galeries Lafayette is a must-see.

Stcokholm, Sweden
The Swedish city of Stockholm is perfect for either a traditional or contemporary festive visit and the markets are the best places to do your festive shopping beneath the sparkling seasonal adornments. Heat things up in the snow by drinking glögg (it might be the same as mulled wine but it's much more fun to say) and eating the homemade gingerbread.

Vienna, Austria
The season of Advent brings festive concerts and shows, as well as classic Christmas markets, to the pretty squares in the romantic Austrian capital of Vienna. Don't miss: the Alt Wiener Weihnachtsmarkt at Freyung for traditional shopping, the local delicacy of mulled wine and orange juice and the annual Christmas Eve celebration at Weikersdorf Castle.

Tromso, Norway
Trømso, Norway is also on my 'one day I'll spend Christmas here' bucketlist. The snowy city island of Trømso offers unparalleled views of the northern lights (look for them between 6 p.m. and midnight) and a chance to say you’ve been to the North Pole—well, the Arctic Circle, anyway—for Christmas. Plus, there’s dogsledding, great food, and a mountaintop cable car. Most hotels shut down for the holiday, but not the Clarion Hotel Bryggen, right on the harbor.

Geneva, Switzerland
Montreux, Lausanne, and Geneva have the best Christmas markets, decorations, and lights in the Lac Léman region of Switzerland. Geneva likes to play up its international links and thus hosts an annual Genève Marché International de Noel at Place de la Fusterie between the old town and Lake Geneva. The market has a mix of international exhibitors and traditional pre-Christmas food from many nations. Geneva also often sports some of the best Christmas decorations in the region. Rue du Marché usually have the largest displays while the high-end shops in Rue de Rive often have very classy Christmas windows too.

Are spending your Christmas at home or abroad?


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