Just a little bit left until the most magical and fairytale holiday in the year finally arrives. The aroma of almond and cinnamon, flashing lights, street orchestras, wooden houses, cute souvenirs, and glitter creates the most beautiful magical Christmas spirit all over the world. I have the best 10 beautiful cities in Europe for you to visit during December. It’s like small little gifts in Santa’s Bag! Well I chose the ones that will make you feel like you’re living a Christmas Fairy Tale Story!
FINLAND, ROVANIEMI (LAPLAND)
Rovaniemi is the land of entertainment. The main show, is the northern lights. A short walk over to the Arctic Circle, and you get to meet the real Santa Claus. ALL FOR FREE!
Be ready to shake Yolupukki’s (santa claus) hand. You might get bored waiting in the long queue, however, you will be shown live on the Santa Claus Youtube Channel if that makes you feel any better. The gray-haired old man keeps up with the times 😀
Santa receives guests: December 1- January 6 from 9:00 to 19:00. For an extra cost, you can ride with a tea of huskies, raindeer, ride snowmobiles, training at the School of the Dwarfs and have fun with children in Santa Park, which is about an hour from Rovaniemi, It is the Zoo in the most north part of the world. Check more tours here.
THE CZECH REPUBLIC, PRAGUE
Prague transforms into one of the most beautiful Chrstimas places on earth. The smell of roasted chestnuts, and with house roofs are covered in powdered snow, makes it feel like real Christmas.
Go for a walk to the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square: they are decorated with the most beautiful and noisy and busy fairs. Shopping is great in the main shopping street called Prshikop.
Make sure you visit the Prague Fair held at the Old Town Square: December 1 – January 6.
If you want to see more, check the most popular tours in Prague. Only 3 hours away is the tiny medieval Cesky Krumlov city with its gingerbread houses, bridges, and it also has a real castle. The weather in Prague at the end of December is good: in the daytime it can be slightly above 0 ° С, at night it can be up to –5 ° С, but it not always snowing at that time.
In the evening, when 2500 lights light up on a 30-meter tree, it is obvious: the christmas spirit has arrived in Munich. Here, on the Marienplatz is the main Christmas fair.
During the New Year, the Tollwood Music and Theater Festival takes place, but the tickets, as they are quickly sold out. When you exit the Old Town, you should take the Christmas tram filled with mulled wine, gingerbread, and music .
The Munich Fair: from November 27 to December 24. There are so many things to do in Munich, check tours here.
From Munich, you can go to Nuremberg – the birthplace of the Nutcracker. Another fabulous place that is easily accessible from Munich is Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Strasbourg is rightly called the Christmas capital of Europe. The first Christmas fair in Strasbourg was staged back in 1570. In
A little before the Christmas season arrives, more than ten fairs are scattered in the squares, houses and shops are decorated with live fir branches, painted balls, and soft toys. There is also a very cool 2-hour tour in the city by Segway. Check here.
Christmas Fair in Strasbourg: November 23 – December 30. The giant Christmas tree is planted in Place Kleber close to the “Sharing Village”, an ice skating rink at the foot of the cathedral will delight the children and their parents.
Zurich knows how to take care of its guests. From the first step in the building of the main station, you are greeted by the largest in Europian Christmas market and dazzling spruce, covered with Swarovski crystals. It is also impossible to miss the Verdmühplatz fair: A choir sings Christmas carols all day long, near a huge beautiful Christamas tree You will find that the fair is opposite the opera: November 23 – December 23.
You know it’s Christmas time in Zurich when 12 thousand lights, similar to shooting stars, light up over Bahnhofstrasse. If you visit the Buerkliplatz, you’ll be able to create your own candles, while the Winter Circus Salto Natale perfoms as it has been for over 30 years.
For more tours check here. From the Zurich Main Station, you can reach Rapperswil-Jona in just 40 minutes to climb the hill with the medieval castle and to experience the panoramic views of Lake Zurich and it’s surrounding mountains.
Christmas markets start in London early in November. Make sure you visit Hyde Park , as that’s where the whole Christmas country of Winter Wonderland unfolds. The London Fair Winter Wonderland: starts from November 22 to January 6.
Do not forget to visit the main Christmas Tree at Trafalgar Square: where you can listen to the Christmas carols . The most memorable part of your visit will probably be when you have diner in the dining room of the Hogwarts, or maybe take a cruise on the Thames river with Santa Claus.
More cool tours check here. If you want to get out of London, make sure you visit the Cotswold Hills, which have been left untouched as it was three hundred years ago. Enjoy the idyllic landscapes and toy houses in the area. A memorable experience for sure.
Austria’s main Christmas destination is Vienna , but this year Salzburg is definitely the place to be. Not only Mozart was born in the musical capital, but also Joseph Mor, the author of the world’s main Christmas song Silent Night, Holy Night, which will turn 200 years on December 24th, was from there. The most magnificent fair of Salzburg attracts smells of hot baking and spicy punch at the Cathedral church. Join the processions of Krampus and Bakhtov – the furry devils with huge horns that punish the naughty.
Salzburg Fair: November 22 – December 26. You can also visit Vienna. This city is transformed when festive fairs are set up in the squares and streets. The main fair is located at the Town Hall, here the “Vienna Ice Dream” is covered by a 3,000 m² skating rink with music and illuminations. You can check more tours from Salzburg here.
In Bruges, it’s easy to feel happy – and it’s not because of all the Chocolate you will find. It is nice to look at the cute little things at the fair and not think about anything bad. If you get cold, then sit with a mug of their famous beer at a bar, or stir tiny candies in a giant cup of milk to taste the most delicious hot chocolate in your life.
Bruges Fair: November 23 – January 1.
There are some interesting tours with locals, you can check here.
From Bruges go to Ghent. There are fewer people here than in Bruges, and has a medieval charm to it. Get lost in the old streets, go to the fair and try the “Gents noses” – fruit candies that are sold only in Belgium.
To feel the atmosphere of Christmas in Budapest it’s really very simple – follow the spicy smell of baked goods and you will find yourself in the square of Vorosmarty, in the heart of the city, where a huge fair takes place.
Here you can taste fragrant a roll with cinnamon, and also listen to an evening live concert. If you want to add luxury to your trip, then make sure you visit the Gerbaux. You will find one of the most famous cafes in the world.
Budapest Fair: November 9 – January 1. Also make sure you visit the Szechenyi SPA – the largest public bath!
Check more option here. A half-hour drive from Budapest, you will be greeted by the tiny city of Eger. In winter, its baroque buildings seem even more beautiful, and its thermal springs are even warmer.
The capital Nicosia might not have any snow during Christmas, but it is, a very festive place to be. Cyprus is known for it’s warm family traditions, with special and interesting customs, filled with many various events for all ages. It is also known for it’s delicious tastes too. The Fairyland Christmas Fair in Nicosia opens its doors to visitors with access to 15,000 square meters of Christmas spirit. The fair offers many interesting events for adults and children and presents concerts of popular Greek and Cypriot singers.
The Nicosia Fair: November 17 – January 7. During holidays you have a great opportunity to rent a car (left-hand traffic) and visit fabulous Christmas cities such as Limassol, Paphos or Larnaca. For more options for special tours, check here.
In addition, if you wish to make a day trip to the Troodos Mountains in winter, you can even go skiing or snowboarding on one of the four ski slopes, and also feel the almost Tyrolean atmosphere of mountain villages.