Where to celebrate Christmas across the World
Christmas is a fantastic time of the year and one that few of us fail to get excited about, offering a chance for the whole family to get together and show love for one another through the exchanging of gifts. While you may be keen to enjoy some quality time at home over the festive period, here are some fantastic places from across the world which you can discover at their best during the season of good will.
Should any of the destinations listed give you some ideas for next year’s festivities, be sure to purchase one of our inclusive medical travel insurance packages before you jet off!
We begin our tour with a trip to the snow, something which all of us dream about being treated to during the period. Nestled high into the north of Finland, you will struggle to find anywhere more reminiscent of a winter wonderland than Lapland – a place considered the true home of Santa Claus. As well as the stunning winter backdrops, Lapland offers the authentic Christmas package for the whole family. When we got in touch with Only in Lapland – the tourism board for Lapland – they told us why they think the region is unmissable:
“Lapland – The North of Finland is the home land of Santa Claus. As the official home town of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi celebrates Christmas every day of the year and has the real spirit of Christmas. More information here: http://www.visitrovaniemi.fi/get-inspired/santa-claus
Lapland is the winter wonderland, where you can meet real Santa and experience amazing Christmas adventures and enjoy winter activities like snowmobiling, husky & reindeer sleigh rides, a visit to a snow castle, crossing the Arctic Circle, spend a night at the snow igloo or glass igloo and of course see the Northern Lights.”
– Only in Lapland
From snow we move to sun and while many of us picture Christmas around a roaring fire with a drink in hand, they like to do things a little different in the Australian city of Sydney. Although the spirit of Christmas is still clear to see, the fact that it’s during their summer means that you’re more likely to see a festive barbecue on the beach – while wearing Santa hats of course.
Among the best places to celebrate Christmas in the city is the Sydney Tower Eye, the largest tower in the city. We’ve featured it in this guide because of the chance to experience Christmas in the Sky where you can meet Santa Claus at his Christmas Grotto some 250m in the air. With a chance to meet Santa and enjoy a photo with him and his many Christmas presents for free, it’s sure be a real hit with younger members of the family in particular.
Santa Claus, Indiana
A town with perhaps the most fortunate festive name of all, Santa Claus in Spencer County, Indiana is considered America’s Christmas Hometown. It is particularly popular for its post-office of the same name, where tens of thousands of letters are sent each and every year in the hope that all their Christmas dreams come true. Here’s a few words on why the town is a great place to celebrate the season of good will – from the town themselves.
“Santa Claus, Indiana, is home to the only post office in the world with Santa’s name and receives over 400,000 pieces of mail, in December alone, to get the annual holiday postmark. A three-weekend celebration in December includes festive events like Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire at Santa’s Candy Castle, The Story of Santa Claus at the Santa Claus Museum & Village, Lake Rudolph’s Santa Claus Land of Lights that tells the shining story of Rudolph, and so much more.”
– Santa Claus, Indiana
The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is a stunning destination to visit at any time of the year and the picturesque landscapes, fantastic culture and beautiful food means that it rarely fails to amaze. It is particularly famed for its capital city of Tokyo, with its stunning lighting displays and range of festive markets appeasing all types of traveller. It’s suggested as a place for those keen on a quieter Christmas, particularly as 25 December is not celebrated as a public holiday and both children go to school and people head to work as usual – this is because one per cent of the population are Christian. In saying this, however, it is still a fantastic occasion for those intent on celebrating.
Another great choice for those keen on escaping the cold, St Lucia is among the most popular Caribbean Islands and its combination of luscious rainforest and crystal clear waters means it’s a great place for those who want to relax. With average temperatures of 27° during December, being cold over the Christmas period is something you won’t have to worry about. While there aren’t any world-famous events which take place on the island, it’s a period that evokes great tradition and heading to the nearest church on Christmas Eve offers the perfect method of getting into the festive spirit. Christmas Day will offer an experience close to home, although the array of traditional dishes are usually adapted slightly to make them more enjoyable in the tropical heat. If you do want to head here next Christmas, the over 60s travel insurance packages we have available offer the perfect protection to holidaying completely worry-free.
German-styled Christmas markets may well be available all over the world in the lead-up to Christmas, it only makes sense that the best place to experience them is at source in the home nation. We’ve centred on the city of Munich for its markets, partly because its Christmas Market is one of the oldest in Germany and dates back to the year 1642. With stunning lighting adorning the city’s architecture and with temperatures plummeting into single figures, it’s the perfect atmosphere for an authentic festive celebration. With exquisite glassware and intricate wooden carvings just some of the multitude of Bavarian gifts on offer, there’s a product for all members of the family to enjoy.
A city which is has served as a backdrop for so many films over the years, there’s something very special about celebrating Christmas in New York City. From the giant Christmas tree outside the Rockefeller Center to the beautiful festive lighting which embellishes Times Square, familiarities of Christmas can be found all over this great city.
If you do get a chance to visit the Big Apple during the festive period, be sure to head across one of the famous ice rinks. Whether it’s the one outside the Rockefeller Center, or even in Central Park, it’s the perfect way to help you feel festive.