Top Christmas Destinations of 2023
Our favorite vacation spots for a Merry Christmas'23
With the holidays approaching fast we're all looking to plan the perfect Christmas Vacation. After a 3 year break since our original Top 6 Christmas Destinations post, we're back with what I hope will be a yearly tradition! Here is our favorite Christmas Destinations for your next Christmas vacation!
1. London, UK
Carnaby Street, by Alex-David Baldi on Flickr
I moved to London earlier this year, so it feels fitting to start the list off with my new home town. London is a must-visit destination any season (and it's Pin Traveler's #2 most visited destination), but it is extra special in Christmas time.
Come winter, the iconic Oxford, Regent, and Carnaby Streets are adorned with Christmas Lights, perfect for a Christmas-themed evening stroll (or a shopping spree). The famous department stores Selfridges and Harrods are always beautifully decorated too, and a great spot to shop for gifts for friends and family (just ask my mom).
If you're not in a walking mood, check out some of the various Christmas Lights Bus Tours you can take through the city:
Christmas in London is more than just shopping and decorations though. On Christmas day you must watch the famous Parade featuring floats, bands and more. Although not strictly Christmas, New Year's Fireworks on the Thames is also spectacular.
New Year's Fireworks, by Christ Chabot on Flickr
2. Aspen, Colorado, USA
Photo by Chris Ford on Flickr
If you're into skiing (and I am) you've definitely heard of Aspen. And Aspen is a great spot for world-class skiing throughout the season. But if you have the opportunity, it's worth going there on Christmas. In December, you'll see festive decorations all around downtown Aspen and experience Aspen Christmas Market. Make sure to watch the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's "The Nutcracker", a Christmas classic, and watch a Torchlight Parade where skiers and boarders come down the slopes carrying torches, at one of Aspen's many resorts.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
Northern Lights over Reykjavik, from Wikimedia
Experience a unique Christmas in a winter wonderland with the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. Enjoy traditional Icelandic holiday celebrations with various events, including the Yule Lads, mischievous characters from Icelandic folklore who visit homes in the thirteen nights leading up to Christmas. Iceland is a magical country to visit at any time, but Christmas time is extra special.
4. New York, USA
Rockefeller Christmas Tree, by gigi_nyc on Flickr
New York is, ... a lot. And Christmas in New York is no different. Iconic landmarks such as Rockefeller Center boast a towering Christmas tree adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, while Fifth Avenue showcases dazzling window displays from renowned department stores like Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. The city's neighborhoods, including Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, go all out with elaborate residential light displays. You simply have to experience a New York Christmas once in your life, why not make that once this year?
5. The Maldives
Turns out, Christmas doesn't have to be cold. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we're all too used to the wintery Christmas vibes. Why not change things up this year and go to the tropical paradise that is the Maldives? Enjoy the beauty of the coral reefs, lush vegetation, and swim in warm crystal-clear waters in the middle of December! You likely won't even miss out on the festivities as most resorts host special New Year's and Christmas celebrations with festive decorations.
6. Malacca, Malaysia
Portuguese Settlement, by AmazingMelaka on Flickr
Continuing on the non-traditional streak, Malacca is a very unique and interesting destination for the holidays. While Malaysia is a majority Muslim country, Malacca, with its colonial history, adds a unique charm to Christmas celebrations. The city is adorned with lights, and churches host special services. Jonker Street and the Portuguese Settlement are known for their festive decorations. The warm tropical weather is just a bonus.