Culture & Travel

25 December 2023

Ever been to a Christmas village? Picture snow-covered landscapes, dazzling lights, and a magical atmosphere brimming with Christmas spirit. Celebrating Christmas in these villages promises a truly unique and unforgettable holiday experience.

We've handpicked six of our favorite Christmas villages for you—let's see which one steals your heart.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Nestled in the Lapland region of the North Pole, Rovaniemi proudly holds the title of the world's official Santa Claus village. With a strong commitment to providing visitors a genuine northern fairy tale experience, Rovaniemi transforms into a magical wonderland, especially during Christmas.

Santa Claus Village serves as the official residence of Santa Claus. And the best part? You don't have to limit yourself to New Year's Eve to meet Santa and his adorable reindeer. You can immerse yourself in this fairy tale 365 days a year. So, what's in store for you in Rovaniemi? Let's take a peek.

Rovaniemi

Stroll through traditional Lapland houses, encounter reindeer, take horse-drawn sleigh rides, try ice fishing, and witness the northern lights dancing in the sky—these are just a few of the unforgettable experiences Rovaniemi offers.

The Christmas markets, featuring traditional handicrafts and flavorful stands, provide a fantastic opportunity to delve into the unique culture of Lapland. And, of course, don't miss the chance to meet the warm and friendly locals.

Colmar, France

Situated on the banks of the Rhine River in the Alsace region of France, Colmar is like a fairy tale town brought to life with its history and charming atmosphere. During Christmas, its streets adorned with decorations and traditional Alsatian Christmas markets evoke the joy of the new year.

One of Colmar's most enchanting areas, La Petite Venise, earns its nickname "Little Venice" with its colorful houses, canals, and romantic boat trips. Experience it during Christmas, and you'll witness a fairy tale come alive.

Colmar

Colmar is renowned for its medieval narrow streets and colorful houses. Alongside these unique dwellings, each with its own character, landmarks like the historic Saint Martin's Cathedral and Saint Matthieu Church showcase the architectural richness of the city. Colmar, where every street and square resembles a painting, is a town worth exploring not only on New Year's Eve but at any time of the year.

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, the true gem of Alpine tales, is a small village nestled in the heart of Austria. It boasts mesmerizing landscapes year-round and stands out for its historical richness, cultural events, and friendly atmosphere.

Come Christmas, this Alpine village takes on a natural charm. Hallstatt, with its crystal clear lake, houses reflecting in the water, tranquil atmosphere, and a village square that feels like an open-air museum, comes alive with art festivals and cultural events in the summer months.

Hallstatt

North Pole, USA

Nestled in the heart of Alaska, the town of North Pole is a truly enchanting destination to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas. This whimsical town, where the festive spirit prevails year-round, boasts an array of tourist attractions. Chief among them is the Santa Claus House, featuring a towering Santa Claus statue and an array of charming souvenir shops.

Santa Claus Village

Adding to the allure is the Aurora Ice Museum, the globe's inaugural and sole ice museum. Visitors can explore an icy wonderland adorned with artistic creations and structures crafted entirely from ice.

Come Christmastime, Sleigh Bell Plaza in the town center transforms with a colossal sleigh, an oversized bell, and glittering decorations. Take a leisurely stroll amidst the festive tunes, letting the holiday vibes surround you.

Brugge, Belgium

With its historic market squares, twinkling streets, and meandering canals, Bruges becomes a storybook setting, especially during winter. The presence of Christmas markets showcasing local crafts and delicacies further cements this medieval town as one of the world's most romantic cities.

For an authentic Bruges Christmas experience, start your journey at Belfry Square in the historic center. The markets surrounding a majestic Christmas tree offer more than just a typical shopping experience, with the chance to savor hot drinks adding to the festive ambiance.

Minnewater Park transforms into an idyllic spot to capture the romantic essence of Bruges during Christmas. A snowy stroll under tree-lined paths, observing swans gracefully gliding on the pond, and uncovering the splendor of surrounding historical structures will leave you in high spirits.

Brugge

Quebec City, Canada

Nestled on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Canada, Quebec City stands as a UNESCO World Heritage site, beckoning visitors with its historical charm, European-inspired architecture, and breathtaking vistas. The winter season, coupled with Christmas adornments, turns the city into a genuine winter wonderland, seamlessly blending with its historical tapestry.

Come Christmastime, historic sites like Place Royale, Quartier Petit Champlain, and Dufferin Boardwalk dazzle with vibrant lights, festive embellishments, and oversized ornaments. One of the city's main squares hosts a grand tree-decorating ceremony, enthusiastically joined by locals.

Quebec City

New Year's Eve celebrations unfold with a variety of events, including Christmas markets, open-air concerts, and street theater, fostering a sense of unity among locals and visitors alike. Indulge in the essential Christmas delights of hot chocolate and freshly baked bread, making for an unforgettable experience in Quebec City—where history, culture, and entertainment converge to offer a distinctive North American encounter.

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