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Finnish Lapland, Finland
Now, it would be impossible for me to even have a list on the top 10 travel destinations for Christmas without mentioning this absolute beauty. Seeing the Northern Lights is a once in a lifetime experience that for the rest of existence will always be a breathtaking and magical. But imagine staying in an igloo or a log cabin where you can lie in bed with your loved one and watch the Northern Lights? The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers this experience and if you’re fortunate enough to have the money, then there should be no questions asked really. Hence why this is No. 1 on my list folks. Find a way to journey to Finland this Winter.
Our very own Manchester, UK
Aux Privé is based in Manchester, and it would be a crime not to promote what really is a fantastic city full of Christmas cheer and abundance of fun activities. Fancy ice skating at Spinningfields? Fancy walking around the Christmas markets for hours and hours surrounded by knick-knacks, mulled wine and glorious food? Fancy a photo with the giant Santa in Albert Square? Fancy watching the snow fall as you look out onto the city and the surrounding beauty of Greater Manchester and the Pennines from the Hilton on Deansgate or the rooftop bar at Manchester House? Then venture to Manchester.
The Incomparable New York City, USA
New York City is incomparable when it comes to Christmas destinations. All your favourite New York set Christmas films come to life as you experience what the big apple has to offer. Yes, all your dreams of skating at Rockefeller Center, climbing the Empire State Building and shopping along 5th Avenue can come true. The excitement of being in the great city of NYC is spellbinding and should – in my opinion – be something that everyone experiences in their lifetime. Take your children to the huge Toys R’ Us and where FAO Schwarz once stood proudly as the ultimate Christmas toy shopping experience, or take a romantic horse-drawn carriage through Central Park, wrapped up in your best Winter clothes and prepare to be blown away by the enchantment of the city that never sleeps.
Vienna is one of those cities that everyone knows about but it’s never usually at the top of people’s bucket list. I admit, I’ve never really had the dying urge to go, but after taking in what could potentially be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, I cannot recommend it enough. Vienna at Christmas time is everything you want when you picture a beautiful European city in December. Vienna’s impeccable architecture is impressive all year round, however it takes flight in December when it is covered in bright Christmas lights. You honestly feel as though you are in a fairlytale, with its wooden markets, its huge castles and charming aesthetic. The Austrians sure know how to do Christmas.
Ever been so bewildered by the shining lights of Tokyo, well imagine what it looks like during Christmas. Despite being a more Shinto and Buddhist country, Tokyo sure knows how to rock the Christmas display extravagance and light display. Completely stunning and in true Tokyo style, completely manic. If you adore being in the middle of an exquisite winter wonderland, then Tokyo might be your next destination.
Let’s face it, Amsterdam is fantastic all the time. You feel so free in Amsterdam, it’s just one of those cities where you don’t feel restrictions. So naturally, Amsterdam looks AMAZING during Christmas. Walk down the infamous canals and enjoy the trees covered in lights. And hey, you can even ice skate or walk on the canals if it’s really cold and the water has frozen. How cool is that!?
No list would be complete without London. The sheer excitement of being in London is always thrilling, especially for new time visitors. However, the nature of London is that this could be your tenth time visiting the city and somehow, there’s always impossible amounts of things to do and see. The store Liberty on Regent Street should be the first place you go to over the Christmas period. Heck, there was even a television programme about Liberty at Christmas time it’s that insane. The team at Liberty go all out for Christmas and do not disappoint. Quite frankly, London is one of the cities where you think: ‘what CAN’T we do in this city?’. Take a trip to Buckingham Palace, walk down Oxford Street or enjoy the wondrous festivities in all the suburbs of London. Even going to your local pub and enjoying a warm mulled wine and a mince pie is exciting.
For those Scrooges and winter-phobes out there who want to avoid the snow and cold weather like the plague, then you need to purchase a ticket to Down Under. With scorching temperatures, it doesn’t even feel like Christmas. The Australian summer weather means you can head to the beach on Christmas morning or enjoy a barbecue with family and/or friends. Forget Let it Snow, grab your sunglasses, a cold beer and enjoy what Australia has to offer… a juxtaposition.
Paris’ beauty is beyond exquisite. Now, imagine experiencing it during Christmas time: the ultimate romantic Christmas experience. Paris is a metropolis of beauty with great food and architecture. If you’re lucky enough to see Paris covered in snow, you will absolutely not be disappointed, especially if you take a winter-time stroll down the The Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Edinburgh is just one of those cities that is wildly underrated and unexplored. Yes, it will be cold. But, if you have the chance to experience Edinburgh in Winter, then be prepared to fall in love. Edinburgh is spectacular all year round, but the intimate streets and sheer magnitude of the Edinburgh castle makes the city an absolute must for all those who love Christmas and beautiful settings. Take a walk down Princess street and enjoy the shops on one side and the beautiful castle on the other. The lights and infectious friendly and warm atmosphere will make this city an unforgettable destination this Christmas.