The World’s Most Christmassy Destinations

The World’s Most Christmassy Destinations

Our top festive travel picks…

Pictured above: Copenhagen ©Daniel Rasmussen

Family fun in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park is lit up for the festive season, and it looks spectacular with some 70,000 baubles and 1,000 Christmas trees. There are pretty wooden chalets featuring all kinds of treats and Santa makes an appearance, too. Afterwards, go ice-skating by the harbour-front, wander the cobbled streets then warm up in one of the man museums such as The Planetarium. Stay at fairytale-pretty Nimb, a luxury spot in Tivoli Gardens, or at least book for the festive brunches.

Quebec City’s dazzling displays

Baby, it really is cold outside but the Canadian city is worth wrapping up for. During the winter, Quebec looks like something out of a festive film set. Wander the beguiling Rue du Petit-Champlain, and bob in to the boutiques and restaurants to stay warm. Shop at the Christmas markets and take a spin on the ice rink. Stay at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, which does Christmas in style with spectacular decorations. There is also a toboggan run, which has been offering 70km thrills to brave souls for over 100 years.

Quebec ©Emmanuel Coveney,
Destination Québec cite

Make merry and shop in Germany

Germany’s Christmas markets are legendary. But which one to choose? Cologne hosts several. The market at the cathedral looks spectacular with chalets surrounding the huge Christmas tree. The harbourside market, meanwhile, has pretty white tents and a Ferris wheel. At Neumarkt, the Market of Angels features glowing stars and fairy lights in the trees. Heinzels Winter Fairytale has a fabulous ice rink. Take an afternoon Christmas cruise to enjoy city views from the Rhine.

Koln Heinzels Wintermärchen

Californian Christmas road trip

Newport Beach hosts quite an extraordinary sight come December with vessels of all kinds encouraged to decorate their boats with myriad lights and parade through the harbour for a fivenight festival. The opening night features a night market and fireworks, too. Then head to Disneyland – if anywhere knows how to do Christmas, it’s Disney, which has even more lights and glitz than usual, plus snowfall, of course. Pop down the coast to San Diego: as you might expect for California, Santa arrives via surfboard rather than sleigh.

Newport Beach MarinaPark

Tokyo for all-out glitz

Japan’s capital is not known for its subtlety when it comes to bright lights and what better excuse than the festive season for ramping things up even further. Midtown is a top spot to see illuminations, along with Marunouchi’s fairy-lit trees, Caretta Shiodome and the display of pretty blue lights at Shibuya Blue Cave. Take a stroll around a German market, complete with gluhwein, and head to a top hotel for Christmas lunch or try Tokyo’s festive feast mof a KFC bucket (so popular a tradition, you have to order in advance!)

Caretta Shiodome © TCVB