By Haskirat Grewal, November 29 2019 —
As the holiday season approaches us, there is no better time to start planning a holiday getaway. The holidays are a time for great food, drinks and a much-needed break. This is a magical time of year where anything is possible — children eagerly await Santa Claus, romances blossom and New Year’s resolutions are jotted down. For those of you who want to experience an authentic holiday vibe, forget the beaches this holiday season. There are many destinations where the colder weather will be secondary to the fantastic sights and experiences. Here are five of my bucket-list travel destinations that get the holiday season right:
London is a popular destination to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, due to its mild temperature. Personally, it’s is high up on my travel list as the city has so much to offer. London has set the scene for many novels, TV shows and movies, inspiring millions of visitors every year. My favourite movie set in London is Love Actually directed by Richard Curtis. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love during the holidays in London? As far as activities go, I would love to go holiday shopping on Oxford Street and watch The Nutcracker Ballet. From ice skating at Somerset House to carolling around Trafalgar Square, there is something for everyone.
New York City, New York:
There is nowhere quite like NYC for the holidays, as millions gather to ring in the New Year in Times Square. Watching the ball drop with millions of people at midnight is on most people’s bucket lists, including mine! NYC has also been an inspiration due to the number of books, TV shows and movies that have taken place here. My favourite TV show set in NYC is Friends which is a classic American sitcom. If you are a solo traveller like me, NYC is a great option as you will never run out of activities to do. You may also luck out and find that special someone to share your New Years’ kiss with! Some famous activities include attending the tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center and enjoying some holiday drinking at one of the many bars and restaurants in the city.
Vienna is beautiful during the holidays with the thin blanket of snow covering the city. It has been named the best city to live in for the tenth year in a row. If you are a music lover like me, then Vienna is a great place to see. With its coffee-house culture, world-renowned museums and central location, Vienna is topping my Europe bucket list. Especially if you’re a bookworm, then you will want to visit one of the most modern, beautiful libraries in Europe called Wirtschaftsuniversität Bibliothek. Visit the world-famous Christmas markets which have everything from Christmas ornaments to mulled wine. You can also walk through the city to see the beautiful displays of lights.
Tallinn provides a comforting, cozy atmosphere and is a hidden gem among places to visit during the holidays. I had not even known about Tallinn until recently while doing some research as Estonia is not as well-known as places like London and New York. After reading up on it, I immediately decided to add this city to my travel list. It has lots of medieval history to explore and is highly affordable. Tallinn makes for a great holiday destination as it won’t be as crowded as other big cities, allowing you to have some space while also taking a break from the daily hustle and bustle. With light snow dusting the city, Tallinn showcases the best Christmas market in Europe. With over 60 museums and galleries, you will always have something to see.
St. Petersburg, Russia:
If you would like to celebrate Christmas in early January, St. Petersburg is the place to be. Also known as the Venice of the North, St. Petersburg is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Being a history buff, I’m excited to see the Soviet history showcased in multiple museums and palaces. St. Petersburg is Russia’s most European city with a perfect blend of western European and Russian architecture. With Christmas markets and stunning museums, St. Petersburg has become quite popular during the holidays. Experience the festive atmosphere as you walk through the city center and admire the city’s beauty.