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7 of the best places to visit at Christmas

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 14 May 2024 | Created: 9 December 2022
Picture shows a cosy and inviting Christmas market in Cologne Germany.

Christmas is less than a month away, but there’s still plenty of time to arrange a last-minute Christmas getaway. If you’re in the mood for a festive holiday but looking for some inspiration, we’ve got 7 unique places to visit over the holidays.

1 – Salzburg, Austria

Picture shows a warm and vibrant Christmas market in Salsburg

With its famous Baroque architecture and snowy mountains, It’s also home to one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets, making it an excellent destination for a festive trip. The city looks amazing, covered in lights, and has plenty of markets to browse for stocking fillers. As the birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is also awash with music and culture.

2 – New York, USA

Picture shows a snowy New York City skyline.

Spending Christmas in New York is something millions of people have on their bucket lists. The Big Apple certainly offers festive visitors plenty of fairy tale moments. From the massive tree and ice rink of the Rockefeller Center to browsing the shops on Fifth avenue, a Christmas in New York can feel like you’re in a blockbuster. There are also plenty of hidden gems to find, such as Lillie’s Victorian Establishment, a restaurant that takes Christmas decorations to a new level.

3 – Rovaniemi, Finland

Picture shows a crisp snowy Christmas village in Lapland.

Just outside of the very Christmassy city of Rovaniemi is the official home of Santa Claus, making it a brilliant destination for a festive getaway. While the Santa Village will enchant children and adults alike, Rovaniemi is also a charming, cosy spot to relax and explore. The city is just inside the arctic circle, so snow is almost guaranteed, and there is a decent chance you’ll see the Northern Lights in December. Just remember to wrap up warm.

4 – Cologne, Germany

Picture shows a busy Christmas market in Cologne Germany.

If you love Christmas markets, visiting Cologne is a must. The city hosts eight excellent festive markets. Cologne has a fantastic atmosphere, a mixture of quaint and traditional stalls, and soaring architecture. There are plenty of Christmas traditions to discover, including festive theatre performances and a Christmas garden at Cologne Zoo

5 – Reykjavík, Iceland

Picture shows vibrant green northern lights above Iceland.

Iceland is another fantastic destination if you want to spend your Christmas holiday wrapped up nice and warm as you enjoy a hot chocolate. Much like Lapland, you’ll have a good chance of a snowy trip, and you’ll likely be able to see the majestic Northern Lights. Reykjavik is a beautiful city no matter the time of year, but Christmas brings a special kind of magic. You’ll also meet the local version of Father Christmas, 13 Icelandic scamps known as the Yule Lads.

6 – Bruges, Belgium

Picture shows a row of brightly covered tall houses nestled together in Bruges Belgium. They are light up and warm and inviting.

This mediaeval market town feels like it was made for spending Christmas in. It’s a compact city, so everything feels cosy as you stroll the streets and discover the multitude of Christmas markets which pop up at this time of year. The city is home to many chocolatiers, and the iconic Belfry and canals add to the atmosphere. Belgium is sometimes overlooked, so Bruges may not be as crowded as you might expect.

7 – Gdańsk, Poland

Picture shows a busy, inviting Christmas market in Gdansk Poland.

This charming port city feels like a storybook year-round but becomes magical at the month-long Christmas Fair. The city is awash with advent windows to discover as you explore. There’s also the two-floor Gdańsk carousel, which you can enjoy a ride on as you take a break from the various stalls nearby.

If you’re travelling this Christmas, don’t forget the importance of comprehensive Travel Insurance as you make new magical memories to last a lifetime. Wherever you spend Christmas, make the most of this beautiful time of year.