The 11 Most Festive Destinations To Celebrate Christmas In Europe

Bruges Noel 31
Bruges Noel 31 | © Rod-20/Flickr
Alice White Walker

Glühwein, cobbled streets, towering fir trees, fairy-lit squares, the sweet scent of waffles — even the biggest Scrooges melt under Europe‘s infectious Christmas cheer. From the continent’s oldest Christmas markets to sleigh rides and meeting Saint Nicholas himself, The Culture Trip recommends these top 11 European destinations to celebrate Christmas this year.

Bruges Noel 31


For those in search of the real spirit of Christmas, why not go direct to the source” Santa Claus Village in Lapland is a genuine (and all year-round) winter wonderland. Explore the fir tree-laden village, complete with a joyful band of elves to take you to Santa’s Office, open all year long (excluding public holidays). What better present to give your children than a meeting with Saint Nicholas himself.
Lapland is, of course, home to a host of festive experiences, including reindeer sleigh rides, husky safaris and playing on snowmobiles. Explore the Arctic Circle and its wildlife as well as the region’s most popular attraction, the Northern Lights.
Santa Claus Village, 96930 Rovaniemi, Finland, +358 16 356 2096

Skating rink at Somerset House

1. Vienna

Architectural Landmark

Viennese Christkindlmarkts, where the smell of sausages and hot chestnuts will tempt you from every corner, are not to be missed. The Alt Wiener Weihnachtsmarkt is a favorite, with its beautifully handcrafted ceramics, decorations and toys.
Celebrate the festive season with song at one of the city’s classical or Italian opera concerts; there’s also a Hansel and Gretel opera for children to enjoy.
Really want to penetrate the Austrian culture” Book a slot at the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations where you can chat with a local during one of these popular social dining events.

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