Christmas around the world
Collected by Adriana Yampey, AFAR Local Expert
"It's the most wonderful time of the year". Beautifully light Christmas trees and glistening ornaments, great food and hot drinks and all around happiness.
Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
For the uninitiated northerner, spending Christmas in Santiago can be a little odd. First, it is HOT. December 21 is the summer equinox and the temperature can heat up well into the 90s. There are no cookies in sight here; yuletide cheer comes...
Römerberg, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
There’s no better way to experience the festivities of the holidays than Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Germany, and Frankfurt's is particularly beautiful. The markets take place usually in the center of the town, and you'll find all...
Staroměstské nám. 1/4, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Old Town Square, founded in the 12th century, is the center of Prague. In the middle of it all, the Old Town Hall (which also houses the famous Astronomical Clock), built in 1338, still provides the best 360-degree views of the city. For a...
Marienplatz 1, 80331 München, Germany
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
A fairy-tale town deserves a magical funfair. Tivoli Gardens is one of the country’s most popular attractions, drawing more than four million visitors a year (in a country with a population of around 5.5 million). Youngsters will enjoy the...
Cinnamon, vanilla and anis lead the way. Bells and laughter invite. Two golden angels greet you as you walk through the gate. It's such a special time and no place really seems to bring the joyful feeling of Christmas closer to my heart than the...
2 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Every Christmas season San Franciscans head to the elegant Palace Hotel's Garden Court to enjoy holiday brunch or tea. This historic Beaux Arts hotel also offers inventive holiday cocktails in their Pied Piper Bar. An annual gingerbread...
Warmoezeniersweg 20, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Went over to Brugge the other day to see the ice sculptures and also had a walk through the city. The main square was lit up very nicely and there was an ice rink right in the center. The weather was cold but the atmosphere was poetic.
55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4, Canada
Toronto's Distillery Historic District attracts tourists all year round however I find it particularly atmospheric during winter with a dusting of snow and sparkle of lights. 2012 marks the 3rd annual Christmas Market that takes place here and I...
630 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5N6, Canada
I love the lights, the carols, the colors, and the food of Christmas. I have always wanted to take in the famed German and Austrian markets, but I have yet to make the trip. If you are on the West Coast of North America, the Vancouver German...
Sint-Katelijneplein, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
The most interesting part of Brussels' Christmas Market is in St Catherine's Square, where there are not only food and drink stalls, as well as those to buy gifts, but also a chance to go ice skating and ride a very big Ferris wheel. The square is...
North University, Austin, TX 78705, USA
The massive display of Christmas light pageantry on 37th Street draws thousands of spectators to this north campus neighborhood on an annual basis in December, but you won't find any nativity scenes here! The theme of this display every year is...
V Kotcích 516/15, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Domplatz, 99084 Erfurt, Germany
After three Christmases and countless holiday markets since our move to Germany, the Erfurter Weihnachtsmarkt has definitely become one of our favorites. Whether it's for the impressive Dom overlooking the main part of the market, the Medieval...
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
We spent a wonderful afternoon in the walled medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, about one and a half hours from Stuttgart. Rothenburg ob der Tauber brings the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to life, before your eyes.The unique atmosphere...
Japan, 〒060-0042 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, 大通西7丁目
One of the highlights we wanted to see in Sapporo was the White Illumination event in Sapporo in the winter. Odori Park, which is a whole12-block stretch of park that serves as a central landmark of Sapporo, is lit up using thousands of light...
China, Guangdong, Guangzhou Shi, Yuexiu Qu, BeiJingLu, Qiaoguang Rd, 泰康街 邮政编码: 510115
The Christmas holiday is gaining huge popularity in China. The Christmas Market in Guangzhou has anything and everything related tis the season: trees, decorations, Santa costumes, wrapping paper. Even if you don't need to buy anything, it's an...
1000 Brussels, Belgium
If you were in Brussels last weekend, you were lucky because the city had laid down the flower carpet in the main square. This is done every five years and I decided to head up the road to have a look since it had been some time since the last...
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
Fürstenweg 37, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hellbrunn is the ideal destination for a family outing, or anyone really who likes to have fun, as this peculiar palace was built for that sole purpose. The grand structure glows golden in the afternoon sun, but it is the garden that attracts the...
27 Rue des Cordeliers, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Unfortunately, I haven't been to enough European Christmas markets to know whether this one is truly extraordinary, but I really love the marché de Noël in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. The little stalls are set up along the Cours...
Ipanema Beach - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For my first beach experience in Brazil, we went to Praia de Ipenema on Christmas Day. It was one of the hottest days in Rio so far, so the beach was packed. After we established our area, a guy from one of the beach bars took our drink orders for...
Rue du Parc 2, 4577 Modave, Belgium
The Chateau is gorgeous at any time of the year but at Christmas time it's extra special as each room gets decorated with Christmas trees and beautiful ornaments. We went this past Christmas and I loved it. I cannot wait for next Christmas!
Trg bana Josipa Jelačića, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
An elegant square lined with grand, 19th-century buildings, Ban Jelačić is a great spot to feel the city’s pulse. It often plays host to fairs and performances, as well as locals chatting under the sculpture of Ban Josip Jelačić or the...
Budapest, Andrássy út 22, 1061 Hungary
Budapest, Hungary is brimming with art, culture and a touch of decadence. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Hungarian State Opera House on the luxurious Andrássy Way. If you don't have the time or money to take in a concert in this...
New York, NY, USA
Manhattan can, famously, feel like endless rows of apartment blocks and office towers for most of its length. At least above 14th Street, a regular grid of streets and avenues, bisected only by Broadway, has transformed the city into a dream for...
Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s showpiece schloss is one of the main sights in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. Initially a country house built for (the future) Queen Sophie Charlotte in 1695, it served as a summer residence for Prussian kings throughout the 18th...
Tarvantie 1, 96930 Rovaniemi, Finland
So many lifetime experiences await friends of Christmas in Santa Park: Elf School, Mrs Claus Gingerbread Kitchen, Santa’s Office, Four Seasons Sleigh Ride, Ice Princess Ice Gallery, Giant Snow Globe, Post Office and much more to see and do....
The Distillery District, Toronto, ON M5A, Canada
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