This list of the best places to pack your bag and travel to for a great Christmas holiday vacation in 2024 can help you decide where you should be celebrating this jolly season.
Some people want to cosy up at home by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate, whereas there are those who want to enjoy the festivities in a different part of the world. The truth is, Christmas is just as merry spent travelling as it is at home. Just because you’re not at home doesn’t mean you’re not enjoying Christmas.
With that being said, let’s not waste any more time and sleigh right into the fun. We have Christmas in the snow, Christmas under the sun, and even Christmas in a tropical paradise waiting for you!
- London, England
- Rovaniemi, Finland
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Paris, France
- New York City, USA
- Quebec, Canada
- New Orleans, USA
- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- Bali, Indonesia
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Dubai, UEA.
The Best Christmas Holiday Destinations In Europe For A True Festive Spirit
These places to travel for Christmas vacations in 2024 are the authentic definition of a Christmas wonderland. Here, Christmas is in full swing, with grandiose decorations, awe-inspiring Christmas trees, and many season-special attractions.
Magical Holiday Retreat In London, England
Christmas is in full swing in London. Photo by Alexey Fedorenko - stock.adobe Stock.
The English know what they’re doing when it comes to Christmas. And it shows in the twinkling decorations of the streets of London, the sparkles adorning every lamp post, and the frosting-up glasses of the iconic red telephone booths.
That, and the joyous air of the holiday that you can just feel and sniff in the air, is enough to send any Christmas-loving wanderlusts packing for London. A Christmas holiday in London is a holiday well spent.
What to do
- Go ice-skating: A staple of a true Christmas vacation is ice and snow, and what’s a better way to enjoy both than ice-skating? The most picturesque spot for ice skating in London is the outdoor rink in front of the National History Museum, one of the many must-visit museums in the home of Big Ben. Another one that can rival its beauty is the outdoor rink beside the Tower of London.
- Enjoy an exciting day out in Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park: You’ve probably heard of its name. The famous annual event features a large Christmas market, fairground rides, and a Bavarian village with lots of traditional food and drinks.
- See a festive show or pantomime: London’s West End is famous for its performance arts scene. Drop by the area and allow yourself to be immersed in wonderful shows, ranging from holiday classics like “A Christmas Carol” to family-friendly pantomimes.
- Feel the Christmas vibe on London streets: London’s Christmas lights sparkle brightly from Oxford Street to Carnaby Street. Also, don’t miss the Christmas tree donated by Norway every year in Trafalgar Square.
- Enjoy a peppermint cup of tea: Christmas doesn’t mean no time for tea in England. Many tearooms welcome Christmas holidayers to sit down and have a sip with a festive twist.
Pay Santa A Visit In Rovaniemi, Finland
In Rovaniemi, there is a place by the name of Santa Claus Village. Honestly, can anything get more Christmas-y than a Christmas vacation here?
Santa Claus Village is one of Finland’s most visited attractions. It’s located inside the Arctic Circle in the city of Rovaniemi. It’s known as Santa’s hometown and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year.
This magical place can be a dream come true for Christmas lovers around the world. It’s almost like Disneyland but in the snow! We wonder whom you can meet in Santa Claus Village. Will it be Santa himself or his little helper elves?
If you’re looking for where to go for Christmas Day 2024 with kids, it’s the perfect choice.
What to do
- Visit Santa’s home and send postcards from Santa’s Post Office: These two are the main attractions of this winter wonderland. Christmas vacation tourists can talk to, take photos and receive small gifts from Santa himself. You can also send letters to friends at home with a special Santa’s postmark.
- Go snowmobiling: the snowy landscape of Finland makes for a perfect, thrilling snowmobile ride down the trails of Santa Claus Village’s trails.
- Go ice-fishing: challenge your patience and craftsmanship with this sport on an icy frozen lake nearby.
- Have a playful day at Snowman World: just like London’s amazing Winter Wonderland, Snowman World has plenty of winter activities, including ice sculpting, snow tubing, ice slides, and eating at an ice restaurant.
- Riding on a husky-pulled sledge: These fluffy furry friends are just so perfect and cute, but they’re also so hard-working you can’t help admiring them. If you’re lucky, you can catch sight of the alluring Northern Lights on one of your sledge rides. Truly a magical moment for your Christmas holiday!
Historic charms meet Christmas in Prague, Czech Republic
We don’t talk about the historical beauty of Prague enough here - its well-preserved mediaeval buildings, Gothic houses, and charming cobblestone streets.
It’s the one place that the god of time seems to have forgotten about, leaving its beautiful Romanesque facade perfectly intact. Prague is a perfect destination to travel for your Christmas vacation in 2024 if you want to enjoy a peaceful and historical experience.
In the winter, this beauty is amplified. The city is adorned with Christmas decorations and lights. The famous Charles Bridge overlooking the city’s skyline is like a gateway into a winter wonderland.
What to do
- Visit the Old Town Square: this is where the festivities are in full swing, with Christmas decorations highlighting classic European architecture, traditional food stalls and handmade arts and crafts shops.
- Drop by the Prague Astronomical Clock: explore the intricate details and watch the clock come to life as the hours pass.
- Explore the Prague Castle: you must take advantage of this. This castle is a magical place during the wintertime.
- Stroll Charles Bridge and enjoy street performances: breathe in the fresh and minty winter air as you take a walk on the bridge, with the Vltava River and the city as a backdrop; and sweet carols of the street performers as your background music.
- Sample Czech local cuisine: various delicacies awaiting you at Christmas markets in Wenceslas Square and Republic Square. You can enjoy dishes like trdelnik, svíčková, mulled wine and gingerbread.
A Romantic Christmas Retreat in Paris, France
The City of Lights is even more enchanting in December. Paris is beautiful all year-round, but the magic of Christmas just ten-folds the city’s beauty. With Christmas lights twinkling in every corner and the scent of roasted chestnut in the air, spending your Christmas vacation in Paris is a whole new level.
Being a kingdom of fashion helps, too. Window displays during the Christmas season in Paris are a real feast for the eyes. You will catch yourself with your mouth hanging open at how breathtaking they are. A Hermes Christmas tree? You see it here in Paris first.
What to do
- Right after getting all cosy and snuggly in your winter clothes, head to central Paris to shop at the Champs-Élysées Christmas Market where nearly 200 wooden chalets await. We know we recommend Christmas markets a lot, but aren’t they just so fun and special? Nothing screams Christmas holiday like they do!
- If you’re in the mood for some luxury shopping or just to see luxury fashion stores wearing the best Christmas decorations, head to the famous Galeries Lafayette.
- Spend a day in Disneyland Paris: with Christmas-themed rides and parades, this attraction sure will steal the heart of any Christmas lover.
- The stunning Eiffel Tower makes for a perfect ice skating backdrop.
- Don’t know how to skate? Just stroll around and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere, or stop by a pastry shop for delicate seasonal sugar treats. We all know Paris is the home to some of the best sweet treats in the world.
- There are also the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sacré-Cœur Basilica to be explored.
Enchanting Christmas Experiences In The US And Canada
Like their European friends, many US people and Canadians go all in for Christmas. From delightful decorations and wild Christmas parties to unique traditions, the US and Canada can give you the breathtaking Christmas experience of your dreams.
H3. A Classic Christmas Fun In New York City, USA
New York is bustling all year round, but there’s something that’s just so special about the city during the Christmas vacation season. The streets coming to life in red, green, and white? The hectic atmosphere of people hurrying to buy Christmas holiday gifts? Maybe it’s all of the above and many more that make New York City a must-visit on Christmas.
The Big Apple never fails to deliver the magic of Christmas. This city has it all for a perfect Christmas vacation, from sightseeing Christmas-themed attractions to performances.
What to do
- Visit the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree: one of New Yorkers’ Christmas traditions is watching the tree be lit up. It’s massive and adorned with sparkling lights and dazzling ornaments, which attract millions of locals and tourists alike.
- Enjoy holiday special performances: add music to your Christmas vacation with world-class orchestras of The New York Philharmonic, which is one of the most respected musical institutions in the world.
- Shop holiday specials in Christmas-themed Union Square Holiday Market and Bryant Park Winter Village.
- Take photos in front of Holiday Window Displays: every year, extravagant Christmas decorations are displayed in New York’s biggest department stores, like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s.
- Stroll the breathtaking Christmas-themed New York Botanical Garden for a more peaceful festive atmosphere.
European-style Christmas in Quebec, Canada
Don’t feel like celebrating Christmas in Europe? Come to Quebec!
Quebec is a popular destination in the winter for many who want to experience a Christmas holiday with European traditions. The winter landscape is also one of its charms. It’s a bubbly and vibrant hub where people come together to enjoy the Carnival, dance, party and enjoy local food and arts.
Winter festivities in Quebec often last until January and February, making it the perfect spot for people who want to avoid travelling during the busy Christmas time in December.
What to do
- One popular attraction in Quebec during Christmas is the Christmas markets. You can find them in various cities, like Quebec City or Montreal. The centrepiece is the German Christmas Market in Quebec City, where you can stroll through the stalls, enjoy traditional food and listen to live music.
- The Winter Carnival is another must-see on your Christmas vacation bucket list. It features many exciting activities in the snow, such as ice skating, snow sculpture competition and sleigh riding. If you’re there, don’t miss out on seeing the famous Bonhomme Carnaval, the carnival’s cute snowman mascot.
- Attend the Festival of Lights to see the buildings of Quebec illuminated with sparkling lights.
- Participate in thrilling outdoor activities in Quebec’s snowy landscape: Quebec is known for its excellent ski resorts. Take this time to enjoy Quebec’s scenic beauty by snowboarding or skiing in Mont-Sainte-Anne or Stoneham Mountain Resort.
Get the Christmas party started in New Orleans, USA
Not a fan of calm and laid-back Christmas celebrations? New Orleans is definitely worth considering for an exciting Christmas vacation. It’s one of the best places to visit in the US, more so on this wonderful occasion.
Though it’s a lot warmer in New Orleans and doesn’t have that Christmas cold, many people love it. The city goes all out for its celebrations and decorations. And with a local cultural twist, even!
New Orleans is historically impressive, with lots of authentic traditions and cultural delights. It shows in the people, their houses and the atmosphere. With lots of nighttime activities and a vibrant music and party scene, a Christmas vacation in New Orleans is fantastic for the young at heart.
What to do
- Enjoy Christmas-special “Reveillon Dinners” at renowned restaurants in the city, like The Bower and The Palace Cafe. A Reveillon menu differs from restaurant to restaurant. A Christmas food tour doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
- Watch the Krewe of Jingle parade: a colourful parade with lots of floats, marching bands and costumed characters.
- Join a Christmas-themed walking tour: A walking tour lets you have a better look at all the quintessential things that make New Orleans so amazing and charming. Plus, many walking tours come with their own ghost stories. It’s a thrilling experience you cannot miss.
- Enjoy the nightlife scene: head over to Bourbon Street to discover New Orleans’ liveliest nightlife hub, where there’s live jazz music and friendly locals.
- Attend Cajun Christmas Fais Do-Do: a Cajun-style Christmas vacation celebration with live music, traditional Cajun food, and holiday festivities.
Feel the summer heat on Christmas in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Despite the hot summer weather, a Christmas holiday in this beautiful capital still manages to capture the hearts of many because of its joyful and vibrant atmosphere. Shop windows still put on their best Christmas display, and streets are dressed in colourful lights and decorations to create a festive ambience.
Without the snow and the cold, Christmas is still memorable in Brazil. It’s a wonderful stop for those who want to escape the cold but still be able to experience the magic of the holy season.
What to do
- Come see the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon: It’s one of the largest Christmas trees in the world, reaching up to 70 metres. The grand event that attracts many is the lighting ceremony.
- Join the Feast of Saint Sebastian with the locals: it’s a unique celebration in Rio, where there are concerts, processions, and many more cultural events. It takes place on January 20th of every year.
- Experience a Santa Claus Parade: A special parade in the neighbourhood of Ipanema where you can see Santa Claus arriving by boat, with traditional music and dancing.
- See the nativity scene, or “presépio” in Portuguese, displays in shopping malls, churches, and public spaces. One of the most beautiful scenes is in the Candelaria Church.
- Treat yourself to a traditional Christmas dinner or go shopping at one of downtown Rio’s Christmas markets.
The Most Unique Places To Go For A Warm Christmas Celebration
Not every Christmas getaway has to be about the snow, the ice and all the winter festivities. A Christmas retreat at a sun-kissed beach? Who says you can’t? Or if you love celebrating Christmas in the summer, go for it.
And you can’t deny that Christmas in the tropics sounds just as tempting as Christmas anywhere else. Here are four of the best places where you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind Christmas vacation experience.
Christmas By The Beach In Bali, Indonesia
A crystal clear sea, soft pastel sand and a coconut in hand might be the farthest thing from a Christmas holiday. But it can be a unique experience to try once in your life.
While Bali is predominantly a Hindu island, the locals make sure to get into their best Christmas spirit for the tourists to feel their festive best, like decorating houses and public spaces with Christmas decorations. The Christian population of Bali still holds traditional Christmas celebrations if that’s what you're looking for.
It’s a perfect mix of festivities and classic beach fun that you don’t want to overlook for your future Christmas escape.
What to do
- Join traditional Christmas celebrations in tourist spots like Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud. Many hotels and resorts offer special Christmas dinners and events. They are often served in Balinese tradition or as a fusion with Western tradition.
- Beach hop and water activities: it’s a great time as any to relax on the beach with a cocktail or to dive into the water for some adrenaline-pumping fun like snorkelling, diving and surfing. What a fun way to spend your Christmas holidays!
- Have an adventure in Ubud Monkey Forest: tread through the lush forest of Ubud Natural Reserve, where hundreds of monkeys inhabit. Stop by the Tegalalang rice terraces on your way too, if you’re in the mood to explore nature.
- Explore nearby islands like Nusa Penida and the Gili islands: you can shop local markets for handmade crafts, explore their cultures and sample traditional dishes.
A tropical Christmas Vacation in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
While Vietnam is mostly known for their tropical climate, diverse landscapes, delicious traditional food, and rich cultural heritage, many people still adore this peaceful country as a destination for their Christmas retreat.
The majority of the population in Vietnam practices Buddhism, but you can still see Christmas decorations in streets and buildings in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. In some bustling neighbourhoods, many restaurants and clubs host Christmas parties and events.
Ho Chi Minh City’s iconic red brick Notre-Dame Cathedral is, unfortunately, under construction at the moment. But there are many historic churches around the city that hold Midnight Mass and are decorated beautifully.
The dreamy Tan Dink Church, also known as The Pink Church, is one of Saigon’s biggest and most eye-pleasing churches. It’s bright pink and mesmerising both day and night. Surely, it’s a site you cannot miss in Vietnam.
What to do
- Ho Chi Minh City does not have a market dedicated to the jolly season, but many flea markets around the city centre follow the Christmas theme. You can shop for local arts and crafts or sample traditional dishes.
- There’s also a great number of historic apartment complexes that are now used as shopping centres, cafes, and bistros.
- Stroll the streets of Ho Chi Minh City:
- Nguyen Hue is the best way to view the city’s most luxurious buildings
- Bui Vien is where all the best Christmas parties are.
- Nguyen Thuong Hien has one of the largest collections of street food vendors in the area.
- Enjoy dinner on Saigon River: hop on a cruise and tour the stunning city. You will have the best view of Ho Chi Minh City’s two most beautiful districts, District 1 and 2.
Maldives’ Warm Christmas Holiday Is The New Black
It’s time to switch things up with a beachy Christmas vacation in Maldives. Credit: dominiika
Not everyone is up for a snowy white Christmas holiday. Some like turquoise blue and pristine white beachy Christmas in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world - the Maldives. The natural beauty of Maldives, coupled with luxurious resorts and exciting water activities, is a perfect recipe for a unique Christmas getaway.
Being a predominantly Muslim country, people don’t celebrate Christmas as an official holiday. But the Maldives is known for having world-class tourism, so you can expect there to be a lot of special events and activities available for travellers.
It’s a perfect spot to add to your travel checklist if you want to enjoy the best of both worlds.
What to do
- Enjoy a Maldivian Christmas dinner hosted by your hotels or resorts. If your accommodation doesn't host one, don’t worry. There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Maldives that serve traditional dishes like the spicy fish broth Garudhiya or chilli fried fish Fihunu mas.
- Instead of Christmas gifts under the tree, gift yourself a spa day at your hotels or resorts where you can relax and rejuvenate.
- Beach-ify your Christmas by enjoying Maldives’ world-famous pristine beaches and diverse range of watersports, such as snorkelling and diving.
- Sunny and calm weather is also perfect for more adrenaline-pumping activities like jet skiing and paddleboarding.
- Maldivian culture is beautiful. Take your time travelling to nearby islands to explore the rich culture of the country.
It’s Getting Hot On Christmas In Dubai, UEA
Dubai is not always the first destination Christmas holiday enjoyers think of. It might be because of their beautiful desert landscape and state-of-the-art man-made attractions. But yes, Dubai is absolutely one of the best places you can travel to for Christmas of 2024.
Dubai is always doing the most, but in the best way possible, when it comes to pleasing its tourists. From mind-blowing buildings and aesthetic outdoor spaces to luxurious shopping centres and resorts, Dubai is a phenomenal destination. So, you can expect their Christmas decorations and activities to be amazing as well, despite being a predominantly Muslim country.
If you’d love to witness grandiose events and be in awe of extravagant architecture - sprinkle in a lot of fun and exciting desert outdoor activities, too - then Dubai is for you!
What to do
- Explore local diverse culture: Dubai is a melting pot of many cultures. This diversity is reflected in the country’s architecture, food and traditions.
- Tour Old and New Dubai on an abra (water taxi)
- Enjoy local dishes and go shopping in traditional souks (markets)
- Visit Dubai Gold souk - one of the world’s largest gold markets
- Enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in Dubai’s resorts and malls: you can go ice skating in the Dubai Mall, visit Santa in one of the grottos, and take photos with dazzling decorations.
- Attend festive concerts: many Dubai resorts and hotels offer themed concerts, where you can find live performances, dance shows and parties.
- Take a themed cruise: tour Dubai Marina and Dubai Creek on a luxurious yacht. You can enjoy the sunset and the city’s skyline with a festive dinner.
- Dubai is famous for its grand fireworks, so head to popular places like the Buri Khalifa and Dubai Festival City to see amazing fireworks shows on Christmas.
How To Plan For A Christmas Holiday In 2024
After you’ve chosen one destination from this list of best places to travel on Christmas 2024, make sure to keep in mind these helpful pieces of advice to have a merry, fun and hassle-free trip.
Smart packing saves lives
Some places on this list are going to be very cold this December, so winter clothes are a must for every Christmas vacation packing list. But packing them can be a hassle if you don’t know how to or don’t have the right bag.
CabinZero’s solution: consider packing cubes. They help keep things organised and neatly folded. Our recommendation is our versatile travel cubes that can be used as packing cube or handy bag on their own.
Beating the crowds
The more, the merrier is the motto. But as a tourist, it’s important to take precautions when venturing into crowded places, especially at the airport or on public transport.
CabinZero’s solution: avoid carrying around too much stuff. Opt for a carry-on-only trip if you can. This way, you can save some money on your luggage when flying and it also allows you to keep track of your belongings more easily. Also, book your flights and accommodations as early as possible to avoid disappointment and higher prices.
Embrace the local culture
Each place has its own wonderful Christmas celebration. Any good globetrotter will understand that a trip is only truly fun if you understand and appreciate the culture and traditions of where you’re travelling to. Do some research, and join the fun of Germany’s Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) or New Orleans’ carolling houses.
Consider alternative destinations
Popular destinations like New York City and Paris will be packed and expensive. Consider visiting a less popular destination for a more unique and affordable Christmas experience. Here are some uncrowded Christmas destinations if you want to have a breath of fresh air:
- Valletta, Malta
- Alsace, France
- Azores, Portugal
- Riga, Latvia
- Cinque Terre, Italy
- Marrakech, Morocco
- Transylvania, Romania
- Kerala, India.
How To Find All-Inclusive Christmas Vacation Packages 2024
In order to not miss out on any good bit of your Christmas holiday vacation, we recommend booking an all-inclusive Christmas getaway.
The best way to find all-inclusive Christmas vacation packages in 2024 is through websites like Expedia. They have a great collection of packages to choose from, namely European countries, the US, Canada, Central America and Asia.
Wanting to sort things out by hotel deals instead of destinations? Try First Choice and Red Tag. For budget travellers, you can find good Christmas all-inclusive packages for a more affordable price on Selloff Vacations.
Now You Know The Best Places To Travel On Christmas In 2024
That concludes our very joyful list of Christmas destinations. Now it’s time to get it packing, get it going and get it festive. If you find this article helpful, don’t forget to hit like and share it with your friends!
Nguyen Tran Gia Khanh