TravelThe 10 best cities to travel at Christmas

The 10 best cities to travel at Christmas

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Christmas is a special time. You may like it more or less, but it is impossible to deny the obvious: traveling at Christmas is something that practically all travelers like. The problem comes when you have to search and find the perfect place to do it, which meets all the requirements and characteristics that fit your needs, and also fits perfectly with the destination you have always dreamed of to spend this special time.

In this case, we are going to focus on what we believe are the best cities to travel at Christmas , taking into account several factors such as proximity, days needed to get to know it and of course, having that Christmas atmosphere that will surely mark the difference on this trip.

Based on the many times we have traveled at this time of year and all the places we have visited, we leave you with a selection of what we believe are the best Christmas destinations. Let’s start!

Cities to travel at Christmas time

There are places that stand out in a special way during certain times of the year. This is what happens with the cities that we include in this list because although they are ones that can be visited at any time and always surprise, you have to wait for the last month of the year to shine in a unique way, especially for its Christmas markets.

If you are looking for a plan for this Christmas, we assure you that any of these destinations will be perfect for unforgettable parties.

1.New York

This is probably the quintessential Christmas destination. The one that all travelers want to know at this time of year and the one that every time you think of it you imagine living a dream vacation. But we know that it is also an expensive destination, especially on those dates, so first of all we recommend you start looking at flights well in advance so that your budget does not become too expensive. It is also important to reserve accommodation in advance since from Thanksgiving Day, which is one of the most important holidays in the country during which families gather and eat the traditional turkey, until New Year’s Day again, flights, accommodation and activities increase their prices considerably.

Another important thing is to organize your visit to a minimum, since in addition to the usual things to do in New York and places to visit in New York, there are special things that you can do during this very special time of the year:

  • Make a route through the Christmas windows of the most famous stores.
  • Tour Manhattan looking for the festive atmosphere and lose yourself among the best Christmas markets.
  • Take photos of the hundreds of Christmas trees scattered around the city and be amazed by the street lighting.
  • Skating at an ice rink, especially in Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center and Central Park.
  • Go to a Broadway show. Does the one they do at Radio City Music Hall ring a bell?
  • Take the tour of lights in Dyker Heights, in Brooklyn.

But all this is not at odds with the most classic and essential visits that we always recommend doing in New York and through which you will be able to get to know and get closer to the Big Apple. Although our recommendation is that you stay a week in the city, which is the perfect time to get to know it, if you don’t have so many days and you have to fit the trip into the December long weekend, in 4-5 days you can see the most important places among which are included the best viewpoints in New York, some of the best museums and of course a visit to neighborhoods like Harlem or a walk through Central Park, which is one of our favorite places in the city.

We recommend you follow these routes, depending on the days you have available, so as not to miss anything:

  • New York in one day
  • New York in 2 days
  • New York in 3 days
  • New York in 4 days
  • New York in 5 days
  • New York in 6 days
  • New York in 7 days

As you may have already seen, visiting New York at Christmas is not exactly a relaxing trip and that is the incredible thing about this destination since you will be able to enjoy it to the fullest and live a unique Christmas experience.

  • Recommended time: 7 days
  • Recommended accommodation: Holiday Inn Times Square, with an excellent location, very close to Times Square and excellent value for money. If you take one of the rooms on the high floors, you have an amazing view of the Empire State from your bed. Be sure to read this post with all the details and information on where to stay in New York. Another good option is the Room Mate Grace Boutique Hotel, located a few steps from Times Square and with an indoor pool, sauna, and a small gym.
  • To take into account: it is very important to bear in mind that this is one of the most requested Christmas destinations, so it is very important to book flights, accommodation and activities in advance if you want to find good prices.
  • More information: where to eat in New York, tips for traveling to New York, the best insurance for traveling to New York and a New York guide
New York, one of the best cities to travel at Christmas

New York, one of the best cities to travel at Christmas

2. London, one of the most beautiful Christmas cities

London is another of the cities most requested by travelers to visit at Christmas. Despite having hundreds of things to see and do, this is a perfect destination to enjoy a getaway for a few days, both due to its proximity and ease of transportation, since the city has several airports and many companies operate this route. . It is important to bear in mind, as in other Christmas destinations, to book flights and accommodation as far in advance as possible, since especially on specific dates such as the December long weekend, prices increase and availability decreases considerably.

In addition to all the places to visit in the city, we recommend you to prepare your visit a bit since at this time you can visit and do very interesting things such as:

  • Visit Winter Wonderland, a Christmas amusement park in Hyde Park.
  • Ice skating in one of the most famous skating rinks in the city such as Somerset House.
  • Lose yourself in the lights (and buy lots of gifts) at the Harrods shopping center and stroll along Carnaby Street, a very famous shopping street that is especially lively at this time of year.
  • Visit a market like Covent Garden and Southbank Winter Market, which is one of the most visited Christmas markets in London.
  • Take a photo in front of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square.
  • Take the opportunity to see a Christmas musical.

Among the places to visit in London include:

  • Big Ben
  • Tower Bridge
  • London parks: Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Regent’s Park, Kew Gardens and Primrose Hill.
  • westminster abbey
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Tower of London
  • London viewpoints: The Shard, London Eye and Sky Garden.
  • Buckingham Palace
  • San Pablo’s cathedral
  • London neighborhoods: Camdem Town, Notting Hill, Soho, Covent Garden, Marylebone and Mayfair.
  • trafalgar square
  • London Markets: Candem, Portobello Market, Brick Lane, Leadenhall, Columbia Road, Borough, Maltby Street and Broadway.
  • Oxford and Regent Street
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • London Museums: Natural History Museum, British Museum, National Gallery, Science Museum, Tate Modern and Madame Tussauds.
  • Harry Potter Studios, one of the best excursions from London.

Another aspect that we recommend you pay special attention to is gastronomy. Although initially it may seem that the city does not shine especially in this aspect, we assure you that you only need to spend a few minutes on its most traditional dishes and choose one of the most recommended restaurants to eat in London to be eager to taste its cuisine again.

  • Recommended time: 4-5 days
  • Recommended accommodation: Garden Court Hotel, located very close to Notting Hill and Hyde Park. It is very close to the yellow line (Circle Line) of Bayswater and the Queensway line (Central Line), of tube, which allow you to visit most important places in the city. Another option is the Victor Hotel, a small, family-run Victorian-style hotel located very close to Victoria station.
  • To take into account: remember that from October 1, 2021 you will not be able to enter the United Kingdom with your ID. You must carry a passport and that it is valid throughout your stay in the United Kingdom.
  • More information: London guide and tips for traveling to London.
London, another of the best cities to travel at Christmas

London, another of the best cities to travel at Christmas

3.Madrid

Madrid is without a doubt another of the best cities to travel at Christmas . If you don’t want to travel very far but you want to enjoy a good atmosphere, lights, Christmas markets and leisure activities, you couldn’t choose a better destination during these dates. In addition, the typical atmosphere of the city on these dates multiplies to unsuspected limits and we assure you, there will not be a minute in which you do not feel the Christmas spirit. Among the things you can do during Christmas are:

  • Lose yourself in the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor, one of our favorites in the city.
  • If you like sports (or not), you can’t miss the Santa Claus Race, a super fun race suitable for all ages.
  • Stroll through the most emblematic streets of the city to see the Christmas lighting.
  • Feeling like a child in the Botanical Garden that is especially illuminated at this time.
  • Enjoy a typical theater show of these dates. Ideal for little ones.

In addition to all this, we recommend you take a look at this list of places to visit in Madrid so as not to miss any of the essentials:

  • Sun Gate
  • Main Square
  • Gran Via
  • San Miguel Market
  • town square
  • Almudena Cathedral
  • Royal Palace
  • Museo del Prado and Museo Reina Sofía, two of the best museums in Madrid.
  • Temple of Debod
  • Spain Square
  • Neighborhoods of Malasaña, Chueca, Barrio de las Letras, La Latina…
  • Círculo de Bellas Artes, one of the best viewpoints in Madrid.
  • Plaza de Cibeles
  • Withdrawal
  • Puerta de Alcala

Although you would need a lifetime to get to know the city, we recommend you go a minimum of 3-4 days to be able to see the most emblematic places and do it with some peace of mind. We recommend you follow these specially designed routes so as not to miss anything:

  • Madrid in one day
  • Madrid in two days
  • Madrid in 3 days
  • Madrid in 4 days

In case you fly to the city, we recommend you read this post on how to get from Madrid airport to the center. And if you have more days to visit the city, we suggest you visit a nearby city such as Toledo, Segovia or El Escorial, which are some of the best excursions from Madrid.

  • Recommended time: 3-4 days
  • Recommended accommodation: our favorites are Room007 Select Sol and One Shot Prado 23, both located near Puerta del Sol and with excellent quality/price ratio. You can find more information in this post about where to stay in Madrid.
  • To take into account:  although there are many typical dishes at this time of year, be sure to try the famous calamari sandwich in one of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Madrid, such as La Campana.
  • More information: Guide to Madrid, tips for traveling to Madrid and the best free tours in Madrid.
Madrid, one of the best cities to travel at Christmas

Madrid, one of the best cities to travel at Christmas

4. Paris, one of the most beautiful cities to visit at Christmas

Considered by many travelers as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris is also one of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas. With countless activities that you can do during this time and a festive atmosphere that you can live thanks to the lights and Christmas markets, if you decide that Paris is your Christmas destination, we assure you that you will not regret it. Among the things you can not stop seeing and doing are:

  • Lose yourself among hundreds of stalls in the Christmas market on the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower, which, although smaller, is charming.
  • Stay with your mouth open with the decoration of shops and shopping centers like Galeries Lafayette. Skating on one of the ice rinks that are installed in the city such as the Grand Palais ice rink, the Tulleries market or the Arche de la Défense ice rink.
  • Visit Versailles to see Le Parcours du Roi, a dance and music show that will take you back in time and that only takes place on these dates.
  • Walking the streets of Paris taking your breath away with the decoration and lighting that you will find in every corner.
  • Going to Disneyland Paris at Christmas. We spent the end of the year there and we assure you that it was an unforgettable experience.

In addition to these very Christmas activities, you cannot miss these places to visit in Paris that will show you the most touristic and historical side of the city:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre Museum
  • Sainte Chapelle
  • Arch of Triumph
  • Garnier opera
  • A Paris pantheon
  • Neighborhoods of Montmartre, Le Marais and the Latin Quarter.
  • Elysian Fields

Although you would need practically a week to get to know the city, in 4-5 days you will be able to see its most important places and even make a getaway to Versailles or Disneyland Paris, which are two of the most recommended excursions from Paris. We recommend you follow these optimized routes depending on the days you have to visit the city:

  • Paris in one day
  • Paris in two days
  • Paris in 3 days
  • Paris in 4 days

To get to the center from any of the city’s airports, we recommend you follow these guides on how to get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris, how to get from Beauvais Airport to Paris or how to get from Orly Airport to Paris.

  • Recommended time:  4-5 days
  • Recommended accommodations:  Hotel Le Compostelle, Le Relais du Marais and the Paris France Hotel. You can find more information in this post about where to stay in Paris.
  • Keep in mind:  if you want to make a lot of visits to the city, it can be very interesting to buy the Paris Pass or the Go Paris Explorer Pass, two tourist cards with which you can save a lot of time and money.
  • More information: Paris guide, tips for traveling to Paris and where to eat in Paris.
Paris, one of the best cities to travel at Christmas

Paris, one of the best cities to travel at Christmas

5. Prague

If at any time of the year Prague is a destination in capital letters, we assure you that visiting it at Christmas will be an experience that you will soon forget thanks to the Christmas markets, the lighting and the typical atmosphere of this time that make it another of the Best cities to travel at Christmas. Among all the things you can do, at this time you cannot miss:

  • Stay with your mouth open in the Plaza de la Ciudad Vieja, where there is a huge tree, a nativity scene and one of the best-known markets in the city.
  • Climb the Old Town Hall Tower for a unique perspective of illuminated Prague.
  • Lose yourself in the illuminated streets where the shops wear their best clothes.
  • Visit the Prague Castle which at this time looks spectacular thanks to the lighting and Christmas decorations.
  • Delight yourself with a Christmas concert.
  • Taste the typical gastronomy of the country and of this time of year in one of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Prague.

Our recommendation is that you dedicate a minimum of 3 days to the city during which you cannot miss these places to visit in Prague:

  • Old Town Square
  • Old Town Hall
  • Gunpowder Tower
  • municipal house
  • jewish quarter
  • Bridge of Carlos
  • mala strana
  • Prague Castle
  • Mount Petrin and Strahov Monastery

We recommend that you follow these optimized routes for days so as not to miss anything important in the city and if you have an extra day, take one of the best excursions from Prague such as Karlovy Vary, the Terezín Concentration Camp, Cesky Krumlov or Kutna Hora.

  • Prague in one day
  • Prague in 2 days
  • Prague in 3 days
  • Prague in 4 days

Be sure to read this post on how to go from the Prague airport to the center to make this transfer in the fastest and most comfortable way.

  • Recommended time: 3 days
  • Recommended accommodation: one of our favorite hotels in the city is the Archibald City, located very close to Wenceslas Square. Another hotel with an excellent quality/price ratio is the Design Metropol Hotel Prague, also located in the city center. More information in this post about where to stay in Prague.
  • To take into account: this is one of the most visited cities in Europe and much more so on holidays such as the December bridge. In case you do not want to meet so many people, it would be more advisable to travel on other dates.
  • More information: Prague Guide, Prague Card, Prague Tourist Card and tips for traveling to Prague.
Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in the world

Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in the world

6. Strasbourg, another of the best cities to travel at Christmas

What can we say about Strasbourg that you don’t already know? Capital of Christmas par excellence and without any doubt, one of the most requested cities to travel at Christmas, visiting it is like stepping into a fairy tale and transporting yourself to your childhood with Christmas markets, mulled wine and lights on every corner. Despite the fact that the city is a true marvel, we recommend that you visit it as part of a trip through Alsace during which you can make stops at:

  • Colmar, one of our favorite cities at Christmas time. Be sure to read this post with recommendations on places to visit in Colmar and this list of restaurants to eat in Colmar to enjoy the local gastronomy.
  • mulhouse
  • Eguisheim, one of the most beautiful places to see in Alsace
  • turckheim
  • Kaysersberg
  • riquewihr
  • Hunawihr
  • Ribeauville
  • Obernai

To make a route through all the places to visit in Strasbourg, you will need a minimum day, but to make a route through the best-known Alsace towns, we recommend you have 4-5 days.

  • Recommended time: 1 day to get to know Strasbourg and about 4-5 days to do a route through Alsace at Christmas.
  • Recommended accommodation:  we recommend you base yourself in Colmar and Strasbourg if you are going to do a route. In Colmar we recommend you stay at IBIS Colmar Centre, located a few minutes walk from the old town. In Strasbourg we recommend the Hotel Graffalgar, located 200 meters from the train station and a 5-minute walk from La Petite France.
  • To take into account:  Alsace is one of the Christmas destinations par excellence, so it is practically essential to book flights and accommodation in advance if you want to find availability and cheap prices.
  • More information: tips for traveling to Alsace, where to eat in Alsace and where to eat in Strasbourg.
Strasbourg, one of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas

Strasbourg, one of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas

7.Montreux

Although initially it may seem to you that it is not a city to travel at Christmas, we assure you that Switzerland, and especially Montreux, will not leave you indifferent. Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, both the city and its surroundings are a perfect destination for both adults and children as it offers numerous activities that revolve around its traditional Christmas market. Among the things you cannot miss during these dates are:

  • Visiting Santa Claus in Rocher-de-Naye.
  • Go to Caux, the Swiss Christmas village.
  • Go back in time during a visit to the Château de Chillon.
  • Feel like a child at the Montreux Christmas market, which is also one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.

Although visiting this city is reason enough to make this trip, if you have more days we recommend you take a panoramic train route through Switzerland to enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience.

  • Recommended time:  2-3 days to visit Montreux and its surroundings and 7 days to make a tour of Switzerland.
  • Recommended accommodation:  our recommendation is the Hotel La Rouvenaz Montreux with a perfect location, facing the lake and just a few minutes from the train station that you can access through an elevator located in the same street.
  • To take into account: it is important to check the weather before the trip since at this time of the year it is usually quite cold and depending on the places you are going to visit or the activities you are going to do, it may be necessary to wear appropriate clothing.
  • More information:  Guide to Switzerland, tips for traveling to Switzerland and Route through Switzerland in 7, 10 and 14 days.
Chillon Castle, another place to visit on the route through Switzerland at Christmas

Chillon Castle, another place to visit on the route through Switzerland at Christmas

8. Vienna

Located on the banks of the Danube, Vienna is another of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas, especially from the end of November, when the streets begin to light up and the shops shine with that Christmas decoration that visitors love so much. Viennese and of course, travelers who visit the city. Among all the things that can be done during these dates we highlight:

  • Enjoy a Christmas concert in churches or specialized halls.
  • Get lost among Christmas markets. We especially recommend the City Hall, which is probably the best known.
  • Being a child again in the Prater amusement park.
  • Slide on the ice at the City Hall skating rink.
  • Pay a visit to Schönbrunn Palace, where there is also a Christmas market. This is one of the best excursions from Vienna and more at this time of year.

In addition to these Christmas visits, we recommend you not to miss some of the best-known places to visit in Vienna such as:

  • Hofburg Palace
  • naschmarkt market
  • Austrian National Library
  • vienna opera
  • Capuchin Crypt
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • stadtpark
  • ringstrasse

To make it easier to organize your trip we leave you several routes optimized for days, with which you can get to know the city without missing anything important.

  • Vienna in two days
  • Vienna in 3 days

And to make the transfer from the airport quickly and comfortably, we recommend you read this post on how to get from the Vienna airport to the center.

  • Recommended time:  3 days
  • Recommended accommodation:  our recommendation is the Hotel Capricornio, located in the center, less than 10 minutes walk from the cathedral. Another option, also great value for money, is the Living Hotel an der Oper, located just 50 meters from the State Opera. You have more information in this post about where to stay in Vienna.
  • To take into account:  in case you have more days you can do a combination of Prague, Vienna and Budapest, 3 cities that we are sure you will love.
  • More information: Guide to Vienna, tips for traveling to Vienna and where to eat in Vienna.
Vienna, another of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas

Vienna, another of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas

9. Brussels, another of the best cities to travel at Christmas

Although a visit to Brussels already justifies the trip on its own, since it is one of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas, doing it in combination with a visit to Bruges, Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp, which are some of the most popular cities in Belgium. beautiful, we assure you, it will be a sure hit. In Brussels and during this time you can not stop enjoying the following things:

  • Speechless in the Grand Place when you see the giant Christmas tree.
  • Enjoy typical dishes of the season like never before, such as cougnou, hot chocolate (which is delicious at any time of the year) and speculoos, which are a kind of Christmas cookie.
  • Go to the Cathedral of San Miguel and Santa Gúdula to see the collection of nativity scenes.
  • And of course, stroll in search of the Christmas markets so typical of this time and be dazzled by the lighting and Christmas decorations in the shops.

In addition to all this, you cannot miss seeing some of the most touristy places to visit in Brussels, such as:

  • royal park
  • Saint Hubert Galleries
  • Manneken Pis
  • Palace of Justice
  • Sablon Quarter, European Quarter and Saint Géry
  • Comic Route
  • Atomium

We recommend you follow these routes so as not to miss anything important in the city:

  • Brussels in one day
  • Brussels in two days
  • Brussels in 3 days

Be sure to read this post on how to go from Brussels airport to the center to have all the information and make this transfer in the fastest and most comfortable way.

  • Recommended time: 2 days to see the city and 4-5 days to combine the visit with Bruges, Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp.
  • Recommended accommodation: our recommended accommodation in the city is the Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi Hotel, located right in front of the Brussels Midi Station, which is perfect if you are going to visit more cities and you are going to move by train. Another option, also with excellent value for money, is the Boutique Hotel Saint-Géry, very close to the Grand Place. We recommend you read this post about where to stay in Brussels for more information.
  • To take into account:  get fed up with speculoos, a kind of Christmas cookie and try delicious dishes typical of this time in any of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Brussels.
  • More information: Brussels guide, best excursions from Brussels and tips for traveling to Brussels.
Brussels, another of the Christmas destinations

Brussels, another of the Christmas destinations

10.Budapest

We cannot finish this list of the best cities to travel at Christmas without mentioning Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, especially when this time comes and it dresses up. And it is that in addition to the lights and decoration typical of these dates, Budapest is one of those destinations in which the probability of snowfall in December is quite high, something that we are sure of, more than one traveler is the fact that will finish convincing him to make this trip. Among the things that you cannot stop doing on these Christmas dates are:

  • Lose yourself in the center in search of some of the best Christmas markets such as the one in Vörösmarty Square and the one in Saint Stephen’s Square.
  • You will be speechless when you see the light and sound show in the Basilica of San Esteban.
  • Get on the Ganz UV tram which during this time is adorned with lights and becomes the best transport in the city.
  • Relax in the Gellert Bath or the Széchenyi Bath, two of the best baths in Budapest.
  • Ice skating at the Vajdahunyad Castle rink.

In addition to these things, with which you will experience a most intense Christmas getaway, we recommend you not to miss these places to visit in Budapest, which, although they are more typical, we believe are essential to get to know the city and experience it to the fullest.

  • Budapest Parliament
  • chain bridge
  • Vaci Utca
  • jewish quarter
  • budapest opera
  • Andrássy Avenue
  • buddha castle
  • Fisherman’s Bastion

We recommend you review these routes optimized for days so you don’t miss anything important in the city and enjoy it to the fullest. Also, be sure to read this post on how to get from the Budapest airport to the center to make this journey in the easiest and fastest way.

  • Budapest in one day
  • Budapest in two days
  • Budapest in 3 days
  • Budapest in 4 days

If you are going to make many visits, we recommend you review the information on the Budapest Card, a tourist card with which you can save a lot of time and money.

  • Recommended time: 3 days
  • Recommended accommodation: if your budget is tight, one of the best accommodation options is the Hostel Maverick, located a few meters from the Liberty Bridge and with one of the best quality/price ratios in the city. Another option is the Bellevue Budapest B&B, located a 3-minute walk from Buda Castle. You have much more information in this post about where to stay in Budapest.
  • To take into account:  remember that this is one of the most visited Christmas cities, so it is important to book flights, accommodation and activities as far in advance as possible.
  • More information: Guide to Budapest, tips for traveling to Budapest and restaurants to eat in Budapest.
Budapest

Budapest

Other cities to visit at Christmas that will not leave you indifferent

In addition to those mentioned, there are many other cities to travel at Christmas that will not leave you indifferent and would be a destination that we are sure would become part of your favorite places in the world. Among all of them we would highlight Singapore, Berlin, Barcelona, ​​Sydney, Edinburgh, Rome, London, Montreal, Krakow, Florence, Amsterdam, Dubai… and a long etcetera.

Singapore, another of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas

Singapore, another of the most recommended cities to travel at Christmas

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