Where will you be spending Christmas this year? As a modern-day nomad, I’ve spent the past few Christmases in various corners of the world– from New York to London, Madrid, East Germany and this year back home in Singapore. Each destination has its own unique Christmas flair and offer a different experience. Today’s guest post by Holiday Extras will bring us through five classic Christmas destinations that you could visit this winter to spice up your Christmas .
If you’re looking for a whimsical, dreamy Christmas, New York is the place. The Big Apple guarantees to set everyone in the right Christmas mood. There’s no shortage of things to do for Christmas in New York: ice skate in the beautiful Central Park, see a couple of the most famous Christmas trees in the world (including the tree outside of the Rockefeller Centre), visit a beautiful selection of markets and take in the beautiful Christmas window displays at Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Flickr photo by by Stuck in Customs
Every corner of London dons the fabulous lights of Christmas and the atmosphere is palpable; ice rinks appear all over London filled with keen skaters; some even host shows. As you walk around the city you will see some of the best Christmas lights in the world, with Covent Garden and Harrods in Knightsbridge particularly special. Christmas trees can be found around most corners; you should also make time to visit the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, which is received as a present from Norway each year.
Flickr photo by waldopepper
Here, in the birth town of Christ, this time of year is treated as a major event and it is at Christmas time that the true colors of the town shine through. Many services and processions are led by different Christian denominations, passing through the Manger Square and streets of the town. The Christmas season in Bethlehem is much longer than in most places as different sects of the Church choose to celebrate the birth of Christ on different dates and each date is honored with various celebrations. If you fancy finding out what Christmas is traditionally all about, pay Bethlehem a visit and soak yourself in tradition.
Want to get away from the cold weather at Christmas? Where better to do that than in the southern hemisphere! Australia celebrates Christmas during their summer and so temperatures can reach upward of 35 degrees. This doesn’t make the country any less festive – there is still an abundance of trees, treats, presents, lights, festivities and holiday spirit. Christmas carols are sung by candlelight in Sydney and Melbourne and the smaller cities and towns hold their own services to celebrate this time of year. I’m sure not many people could argue with a Christmas on the beach, in the sun, with a bottle of beer.
Photo from mymodernmet.com
For a sure case of snow-blanketed backdrop, the possibility of catching the northern lights, proximity to the North pole (home of Santa Claus) and traditional Christmas markets, travel to Norway this winter. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can fulfill your life-long dream of riding a reindeer sleigh in the Arctic Circle. You can also learn to drive a snow mobile, spend the night in a igloo hotel, try deep sea fishing or book a dog sledge ride through the snow covered forests and landscapes.
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