Europe & Britain | Inspiration

The most festive destination in the world, according to our guests

Christmas is just around the corner and we can’t wait to marvel at the twinkling lights, fill up on gingerbread and mulled wine, and sing carols in the magical Christmas markets. But which Christmassy destinations do it best? We turned to our guests on Trafalgar’s Facebook page and asked them what they think is the most festive destination in the world. From European Christmas markets to Santa Claus’ official village, here’s where to travel for the most festive destinations – as chosen by our amazing guests. 

RELATED CONTENT: Best 7 destinations for a Europe trip in December

Germany

If you want to supercharge your merry-making this Christmas, you’ve got to head to Germany. The country hosts more than 70 Christmas markets every December, along with the oldest Christmas markets in the world, like the enchanting Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg. Here you’ll find over 200 stalls selling handcrafted gifts, traditional toys, gingerbread, glühwein, and the famous Zwetschgenmännle prune men.

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: German Christmas Markets

This uber-festive country had the most votes from our guests:

Germany. Christmas markets!!! – Elizabeth Potts 
Christmas markets in Germany – Lani Galang
Germany – Melanie Scott
Germany 💕💕💕 – Eileen King-Holderle
Christmas Markets in Europe – Cheryl Reynolds Cousins

RELATED CONTENT: Christmas in Germany: A guide to German Christmas traditions

Vienna, Austria

Vienna in Austria is gorgeous at any time of the year, but it really turns up the magic in December. The city transforms into a winter wonderland with three dreamy Christmas markets, the oldest dating back to the 13th century. If you want to admire traditional nativity scenes, stroll through dazzling markets, and listing to carollers while sipping goblets of gluhwein, Vienna is the place for you.

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany and Switzerland

Here’s what our guests had to say:

The Christmas Markets in Vienna down at The City Hall, just amazing and the atmosphere is unbelievable 2017 – Jan Hall.
Vienna
! – Beth Beier Tomalty

RELATED CONTENT: An expert’s guide to the must-sees on our Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany and Switzerland tour

Italy

There are endless reasons to visit Italy – and one of them is because it’s one of the most festive destinations in the world! As winter arrives, the Christmas lights come out, the smell of spice fills the air, and festive music rings out through the streets. 

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: Best of Italy

From the extravagant Christmas markets of Rome and Florence to the old-world alpine traditions of Trento, Italy is dazzling in December. Our guests Mary Lou Smelko Kane voted Italy, while Natalie Adorno recommended visiting the ‘Christmas market in Milan’.

RELATED CONTENT: Where to go to find the best Christmas markets in Italy

Rovaniemi, Finland

You can’t make a list of the most festive destinations without mentioning Rovaniemi. Thanks to our guest Tracy Laubscher, who voted for Rovaniemi, you can put it on your festive bucket list this year. 

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: Nordic Adventure

Rovaniemi in Finland is home to the Santa Claus Village, the official hometown of Santa Claus. This is where the real-life Santa Claus lives, receives letters, and meets his fans. You can meet with Santa in his office and tell him your Christmas wishlist, or send a letter to family and friends from his official post office. Set right on the Arctic Circle, the Santa Claus Village is open every day of the year – but it’s at its magical best in December.

RELATED CONTENT: Visiting Santa’s Grotto in Rovaniemi, Lapland

New York City, USA

Our guest Maria Schmidt Ambra voted ‘my hometown – NYC’ as the most festive destination in the world. And we can see why! From the massive Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the Bryant Park ice-skating rink to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the ball drop in Times Square, there are few other places that do Christmas quite like New York. 

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: New York Explorer

Even if you spend your time gazing at the festive shop window displays, strolling through Christmas markets, or looking at light displays, Christmas in New York is unforgettably festive. 

RELATED CONTENT: Go to New York for Christmassy feels

Paris, France

Brenda Hogan is one of our Trafalgar guests who voted for Paris, France, as the most festive destination. The City of Lights really lives up to its name in December, and there are endless places to soak up the festive spirit. Wander from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe and you’ll see over 2.4km of lights and 450 decorated trees. 

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: London and Paris Explorer

Or head to the Eiffel Tower at night and see it illuminated in all its glory. While you’re strolling through Christmas markets, be sure to fuel up on hot chocolate and fresh pastries. It’s a Christmas lover’s dream.

RELATED CONTENT: Christmas in France: A guide to French Christmas traditions

Edinburgh, Scotland

Trafalgar guest Ray Clout voted for Edinburgh, Scotland, as the most festive destination – and it definitely deserves a spot on this list. This stunning medieval city offers an enchanting backdrop to the Christmas festivities. 

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: Real Britain

As you stroll down cobbled streets, you’ll marvel at the glowing lights, traditional Christmas markets, and lively Scottish tunes. For the best view in the city, head to Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock, to soak up the festive sights and sounds of Edinburgh in December.

RELATED CONTENT: The 14 most Christmassy destinations in the world

Poland

If Poland isn’t on your festive bucket list, you’re missing out! Our savvy guest Debbie Marnocha Perry is in the know and voted for Poland as the most festive destination. From Krakow to Warsaw and Wroclaw, you’ll discover dreamy Christmas markets and old-world traditions, all set against the backdrop of gorgeous medieval architecture and cobbled streets. Whether you want to fill up on pierogi or Polish gingerbread, take a romantic carriage ride or go ice skating, Christmas in Poland is like something out of a storybook.

RELATED CONTENT: 10 spectacular Christmas light displays around the world

What do you think is the most festive destination in the world? Let us know in the comments below!

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