The holiday season has arrived, which means it’s time to bundle up and get into the spirit. We’re taking a look at our favourite destinations to get that holiday feeling.
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, chances are you’ll find it in Helsinki. The Finnish capital gets decked out for the holiday season with festive lights decorating the main streets, as well as Christmas markets popping up all over town. Head to Helsinki’s main shopping street, Aleksanterinkatu, also known as Christmas Street, where shops try to outdo each other with their window decor during the holiday season.
You may not find a white Christmas in Budapest, but the city’s genuinely gorgeous architecture laced with sparkling lights is sure to give you that warm and fuzzy holiday feeling. Hungarian food is perfectly suited to bundling up at an outdoor Christmas market – try a piping hot chimney cake or a bag of fresh roasted chestnuts. A pond in Budapest’s City Park transforms into an ice skating rink in winter – with castle views, of course.
3. New York City
New York City knows how to holiday in style. The City That Never Sleeps transforms into a glowing Christmas wonderland for the holiday season. Must-see stops for the ultimate holiday tour include the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, Bryant Park Winter Village, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. If you want to channel the Griswolds’ annual quest to outdo their neighbors, head to the Dyker Heights neighbourhood of Brooklyn where neighbours compete with each other for the most over-the-top Christmas displays.
4. Québec City
Visit Québec City over the holiday season and you’ll step into a real-life Christmas village, à la A Christmas Carol. You can’t go wrong wandering the magical streets of Old Québec, but head to the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac for extra special holiday magic. The hotel gets dressed to the nines for the season with lavishly decorated trees filling the lobby, which can be enjoyed whether you’re a guest at the hotel or not.
If your idea of a white Christmas is hitting the nearest slope, then look no further than Whistler. The slopes stay open over the holidays, even on Christmas, and Whistler’s adorable Village enjoys extended hours over the season.
It seems impossible, but the magical streets of Prague become even more enchanting when blanketed with a layer of powdery snow. All over the city, nativity scenes pop up, from wooden to live action. If you head to Prague this holiday season, make it your mission to see as many of these diverse reminders of Christmas as possible.
Paris is known as the City of Light year-round, so imagine trying to live up to that name over the holidays – well, Paris does not disappoint. For the most dazzling displays, be sure to visit Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Place Vendôme, and Avenue Montaigne. But, we’re fairly certain that no matter where Paris takes you, there will be dazzling lights along the way.