World’s Top Ten Most Festive Destinations

Britons seeking a little extra Christmas cheer this year are being encouraged to plan a seasonal getaway

Britons seeking a little extra Christmas cheer this year are being encouraged to plan a seasonal getaway and visit the world’s top ten festive destinations.

Experts at cruise company, Panache Cruises have identified the ten most picture-perfect Christmas destinations where tourists can feel like they’re in a Hallmark holiday film.

A festive trip abroad is the perfect way to switch up Christmas traditions, as holidaymakers can see how the jolly season is celebrated in different parts of the world.

December is a time when cities all around the world get their festive suit on, but some places really go all out for the holidays.

These festive places make tourists feel like they’re walking in Christmas Wonderland with their magical markets, snowy villages and dazzling Christmas lights.

Northern Europe is especially popular during Christmas time because it offers snowy landscapes, festive traditions and beautiful architecture.

Here are the top ten most festive destinations:

1. Lapland, Finland

The snowy forests in Lapland are considered to be the home to Santa Claus. Tourists can have a true winter experience by lodging in igloos and visiting Father Christmas Village and Santa Park, where they can go on a reindeer safari and sled with huskies.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Ice skating is a very popular holiday tradition in Denmark, so there are several ice rinks spread out all throughout Copenhagen. Another important Christmas tradition is a trip to the Tivoli Gardens amusement park where visitors can go on rides, meet Santa and see water and light performances.

3. Reykjavik, Iceland

Tourists visiting Reykjavik can experience a very special Christmas under the glowing northern lights. There are plenty of winter activities to engage in, such as visiting ice caves, glacier hiking and snowmobiling. Visitors can try traditional Icelandic Christmas food at a Yule Buffet and try Christmas craft beers at markets.

4. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn’s Old Town becomes truly magical in the winter months. The cosy and authentic Christmas Market held at the Town Hall Square was named Europe’s best in 2019. Its enormous tree and wooden stalls invite people to explore handmade goods and watch festive shows while enjoying a warm cup of glögi and nibbling on gingerbread cookies.

5. Vienna, Austria

Vienna has some of the best Christmas markets in the world, with the oldest dating back to the 13th century. The markets have an old-fashioned charm with festive carousels, twinkling holiday decorations, nativity displays and legendary Vienna Boys Choir concerts.

6. New York City, US


Many festive films are set in New York and there’s a good reason for it – Christmas time in New York is truly magical. There are many festive sights to enjoy, from the iconic tree and ice skating rink at Rockefeller Centre to festive window displays on Fifth Avenue.

7. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is known as the ‘Capital of Christmas’. The villages in Strasbourg come alive during holidays with festive illuminations and the whole city transforms into one big Christmas market spread over ten sites.

8. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague’s main Christmas market is set up in the middle of the beautiful, gothic Old Town. Visitors can go ice skating, sing carols, explore the stalls and indulge in local delicacies.

9. Edinburgh, Scotland

The streets of Edinburgh are filled with holiday lights, music and markets during Christmas. Tourists should definitely go and watch the Christmas at the Botanics festive light display show at the Royal Botanic Garden.

10. Nuremberg, Germany

In Nuremberg visitors can experience the real old-fashioned German Christmas Market. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is crammed with wooden booths where traditional yuletide treats such as gluhwein, bratwurst and gingerbread can be bought.

To find out more about booking a cruise to visit some of the top festive destinations, visit