With the holidays rapidly approaching, you’re probably wondering about potential destinations to visit to celebrate Christmas. From fairs to tree lightings to markets to caroling, holiday festivities are happening around the world. If you’re looking for your dream Christmas getaway, then check out this list of our top holiday season vacation destinations.

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Solvang, CA

Solvang is one of the most interesting towns in Southern California with its unique classical Danish architecture, charming shops, and its “go big or go home” attitude towards Christmas. Here, you’ll find no shortage of winter holiday celebrations.

Enjoy this year's Julefest, a celebration from late November to early January that’s full of family fun and delicious food to satisfy your sweet tooth. Visitors in early December will get the chance to see the Julefest parade march down Solvang’s quaint streets.

If your kids are begging you to take them to see Santa, you’re in luck! Santa Claus makes his appearance in Solvang every weekend until December 18th (hopefully his reindeer are doing ok after dealing with the infamous SoCal traffic).

If you love using your brain on Christmas, you and the other nerds in your life can enjoy Solvang’s Nisse Adventure. Using clues, curious visitors can unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Solvang’s mischievous little gnomes.

London, England


London is a magical place to celebrate the holidays. From its glittering lights, to its Christmas markets, to its ice skating rinks, and to its steaming mugs of mulled wine, tourists are guaranteed to have a memorable vacation.

To see some of the city’s most beautiful lights, take a walk through Covent Garden, Regent Street, St. James’s Street, and Carnaby Street. However, the magic doesn't stop at the end of these streets – everywhere you go in London, you’ll be able to see the twinkling Christmas lights.

Visit Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and hop on some thrilling rides, shop at the markets, listen to live music, and more. The best part of the festivities? Entrance to Winter Wonderland is free! Just remember to bring your wallet so that you can splurge on mulled wine and other goodies.

Prague, Czech Republic


For a Christmas vacation in Europe, consider visiting Prague for the holidays. You won’t forget the memories you made at the Christmas markets in the Old Town Square, sipping on a cup of Svařák (the Czech version of mulled wine) or when you felt the wind against your face as you skate on the ice in Old Town.

After a day of shopping at the Christmas markets, put on a snazzy outfit and go see one of the classic Christmas symphonies, ballets, and performances at any of the renowned theaters in Prague, such as the National Theatre of Prague, the Estates Theatre, or Karlin Theatre.

Take a cruise along the Vltava River for a better look at Prague during this festive time of the year. Hold your loved ones close as you sail through one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The best part? These river cruises are heated during the winter so that you don’t have to worry about shivering all through your tour.

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Salzburg, Austria


Fans of classical music and Hollywood musicals will love strolling through the small city of Salzburg, Austria around Christmas time. This city was once home to the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the famous Von Trapp family as well as the actual filming location used in the movie musical about the singing family starring Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music. During the holiday season, the city is also host to some of the most popular Christmas markets in Austria.

Visitors can head over to the Residenzplatz, aka the Main Square, and take a look at all of the shops, the Cathedral, museums, and the square’s centrally located fountain. However, tourists should be aware that this area of Salzburg can get incredibly crowded during this time of year, so try to visit the Main Square earlier in the day.

If you want to witness some of the most gorgeous views in the city, then it’s time to ascend the Hohensalzburg Fortress, a castle built in 1077. From the top of this fortress, visitors can get a good look at both Salzburg and the Alps. To get to the top, tourists will either have to pay to take the funicular or spend a short 15 minutes walking up. Either way, this Salzburg staple is worth it!

New York, NY


The Big Apple is a classic place to visit for a Christmas vacation. With its bustling boroughs, the flashing lights of the billboards of Times Square, and the seemingly endless number of wintertime shows during this time of year, you’ll never run out of things to do to celebrate the holidays.

Take a trip to Rockefeller Center to bask in the lights of the enormous Christmas tree. Or, if you’re a fan of Broadway, check out one of the many holiday-themed shows during this time, such as The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Head out to Central Park to partake in a beloved New York City tradition: ice skating. Each year, Wollman Rink sees many locals and tourists alike gliding and twirling (and sometimes falling) across the ice. Since this is an incredibly popular winter activity in the city, we recommend going early in the day or on a weekday.

Branson, MO

In Branson, MO, Christmas comes early every year. Starting the day after Halloween, the citizens of Branson begin celebrating the holidays through early January. This leaves plenty of time for tourists to plan a Christmas vacation to take part in the festivities.

The city’s businesses and residents have been working since 2016 to make Branson known as “America’s Christmas Tree City” through their Branson Christmas Tree Tour. This tour takes visitors to see 100 of the city’s most vibrant and beautiful trees.

Tourists can also hop aboard the Polar Express on the Branson Scenic Railway. Based on the famous train from the 1985 book The Polar Express, passengers can attend a reading of the book, listen to music from the film adaptation, munch on complimentary cookies, and sip steaming mugs of hot cocoa. They'll also get to meet a very special guest: Santa Claus will be on the train handing out presents to everyone on the Polar Express. All aboard!

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Hopefully, these locations will help you discover your ultimate Christmas vacation destination. Don’t forget to pack your mistletoe, milk and cookies, and candy canes with you as you embark on your holiday adventure!