Paradies tree

The Most Magical Holiday Destinations in the World

The holiday season is here — and for a travel lover, is there anything more magical than immersing yourself in the holiday spirit while in a farflung locale? From New York City’s iconic Rockefeller Center to the cobblestone lanes of Colmar, France, each of these travel destinations offers a unique blend of tradition and festive cheer. Here are some of the world’s best places to go for a magical holiday experience. 

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Photo courtesy of Rockefeller Center.

New York City, USA

At this point, New York City is practically synonymous with holiday magic. The city transforms into a glittering spectacle with the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, but the giant sparkling tree and the famous ice rink aren’t all NYC has to offer. Stroll down Fifth Avenue to see the dazzling window displays, visit Central Park for a picturesque winter scene, and be mesmerized by the holiday shows on Broadway. The festive spirit in the air is infectious.

Quebec City. Photo by Frede Langlois.

Quebec City, Canada

This charming Canadian city feels like a fairytale with its cobbled streets and historic architecture. At Christmas time, the Old Town turns into a winter wonderland, complete with festive lights, charming gift markets, and the scent of freshly baked goodies wafting through the air. Explore the Petit Champlain district, take a carriage ride through snow-covered streets, and experience the magic of Montmorency Falls illuminated in holiday splendor.

Colmar, France

Colmar, nestled in the heart of the Alsace region, is a storybook destination whose medieval streets come alive during the holidays with Christmas markets offering handcrafted ornaments, local delicacies, and festive entertainment. Wander through the Petite Venise district, where canals reflect the twinkling lights and create a magical ambiance.

London. Photo by Ruth Gledhill.

London, United Kingdom 

London, with its rich history and cultural heritage, offers a magical holiday experience against the backdrop of iconic landmarks. Skate under the glittering lights at Somerset House, explore the festive markets along the South Bank, and take a stroll through Covent Garden adorned with festive decorations. Don’t miss the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for a fairground of lights, rides, and festive cheer.

Nuremberg, Germany

Germany is famous for its charming Christmas markets, and Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is a shining example. The market, dating back to the 16th century, transforms the city’s main square into a festive wonderland with over 180 wooden stalls. Indulge in traditional Nuremberg gingerbread, shop for handmade crafts, and witness the grand opening ceremony led by the Christkind, a symbol of the holiday season in German tradition.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Is there anything more magical than visiting Santa’s hometown? If that particular experience is at the top of your wish list, head to the heart of Lapland, where Rovaniemi is known as the official home of the jolly bearded guy. The town is draped in a blanket of snow, creating a picturesque scene straight out of a Christmas card. Visitors can meet Santa himself, explore the Santa Claus Village, and even embark on a magical sleigh ride through snowy wilderness.

Bruges. Photo by Nicole Baster.

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” is a storybook destination any time of the year, but it becomes truly magical during the Christmas season. The historic Markt square transforms into a festive market with ice rinks, light displays, and a towering Christmas tree. The town’s canals and medieval architecture add to the enchantment, making it a perfect setting for a holiday escape.

Aspen, Colorado, USA

If you’re banking on a white Christmas, head to the ski town of Aspen. The town is transformed into a winter wonderland, with its streets lined with twinkling lights and snow-covered slopes perfect for skiing. Cozy up in a mountain lodge, sip hot cocoa, and take in a festive atmosphere against the backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Share Story

Related Articles