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Best Christmas holiday destinations

Naughty or nice – here are the best places to spend Christmas for every kind of traveller.

Do you picture yourself soaking up the sun on a tropical beach or taking in the sights in a winter wonderland this Christmas? Whatever your desire, if you’re looking to do something a little bit different this holiday season, we’ve handpicked ten Christmas holiday destinations to enjoy the festive season and some might surprise you.

Plus, we’ve included our top sites to book holiday packages so you can save big on your Christmas trip.

Top Christmas holiday destinations

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1. Best for the ultimate Christmas: Lapland, Finland

There are so many magical locations where you could experience a white Christmas, but if we had to pick just one, it would be Lapland. The home of Santa is graced with tons of snow, festive activities such as reindeer rides and the chance to visit the big man himself.

  • Cost: High-priced accommodation and meals due to its relatively remote location
  • How long should I stay? 7 to 10 days (in and around Lapland)
  • Recommended hotel: A stay at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort - Igloos and Chalets is almost guaranteed to make this a Christmas to remember, where its Finnish sauna will keep you warm and its ski-in ski-out facilities can get you out on that powder

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2. Best short international break: New Orleans

It’s true, New Orleans isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think about Christmas. However, with festivities such as NOLA ChristmasFest, Krewe of Jingle, Running of the Santas and the chance to participate in the annual Jackson Square Caroling by Candlelight, this could be your new holiday staple.

  • Cost: Mid- to high-priced accommodation due to peak season but well-priced food
  • How long should I stay? Three to five days
  • Recommended hotel: Be in the heart of all the action at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, located in the French Quarter just steps from Bourbon Street

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3. Best for a local break: Quebec City

Why go all the way to Europe when we’ve got the authentic European Christmas atmosphere right in our own backyard? Christmas markets, concerts, masses and festive shows abound in the festive season topped with a huge New Year’s Eve celebration.

  • Cost: Mid-range accommodation and reasonably priced food
  • How long should I stay? Two to three days
  • Recommended hotel: Auberge Saint-Antoine takes Christmas very seriously with a visit from Santa, gifts for the kids, Christmas movie screenings, mulled wine and Christmas cookies served throughout the season

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4. Best for a bargain break: Belize

Not only is it the dry season but this off-the-beaten-track destination offers an affordable getaway close to home. Whether you’re after some quiet island time, a trek through an ancient Mayan site or fancy a subterranean adventure swimming through a cave, Belize has something for every type of traveller.

  • Cost: Low- to mid-range accommodation and reasonably priced food
  • How long should I stay? Three to five days
  • Recommended hotel: Ian Anderson's Cave Branch is located in the heart of Belize, off the grid and right in the jungle

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5. Best for festivities: London

Offering festive markets, a huge winter wonderland festival in Hyde Park and Christmas shopping in West End, London is a huge crowd-pleaser when it comes to Yuletide trips.

  • Cost: Mid-range accommodation as competition keeps prices from soaring too high, but food and drink can be pricey
  • How long should I stay? 7 to 10 days
  • Recommended hotel: Urban Grill Christmas meals and festive afternoon teas are all available at Thistle Kensington Gardens

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Matt Anderson Photography North Friar's Bay St Kitts Nevis Caribbean 2008

6. Best for beaches: St. Kitts

Spending Christmas in tropical St. Kitts is possibly one of the most unique ways to spend the holidays thanks to its annual Carnival between Christmas and New Year’s. Fill your days with a blend of relaxing beach time on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and colourful carnival festivities.

  • Cost: Mid- to high-priced accommodation with food costs similar to prices at home
  • How long should I stay? Five to seven days
  • Recommended hotel: Use Timothy Beach Resort to escape from all the festivities at the end of the day

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7. Best for Christmas and New Year’s holidays: New York City

It’s hard to beat the festive season in New York. You’ve got the Rockefeller Center’s gargantuan tree, over-the-top shop displays throughout the city and let’s not forget the iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square.

  • Cost: High-end accommodation due to demand, but you can keep spending money down by eating in cheap delis
  • How long should I stay? 7 to 10 days
  • Recommended hotel: The Dream Downtown is known for creating a new quirky Christmas wonderland every year, including a Christmas light tunnel on the rooftop and an alpine lodge in the lobby

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8. Best low-key destination: Montebello

Located east of Gatineau on the banks of the Ottawa River, this little country village is ideal if you just want to get some R&R this Christmas period. Have Christmas dinner taken care of and enjoy a traditional Christmas Eve “Réveillon” along with a full holiday activity program to get you in the mood.

  • Cost: Mid- to high-priced accommodation with well-priced food
  • How long should I stay? Three to five days
  • Recommended hotel: The Fairmont Le Château Montebello is touted as the largest log structure in the world and most visitors travel to Montebello just to stay in its luxury cabins

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9. Best city break: Edinburgh

Known for mirroring a Christmas card, Edinburgh pulls out all the stops during the end of the year. Think Christmas markets, pop-up ice rinks, stunning decorations and a truly addictive atmosphere – there really is something for everyone in this classic holiday destination.

  • Cost: Mid-range-priced accommodation with plenty of budget-friendly places to eat
  • How long should I stay? Five to seven days
  • Recommended hotel: The Dunstane Houses is perfectly positioned for a visit to Edinburgh’s Christmas markets

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10. Best for families: Mont-Tremblant

Standing tall at 875 meters, Mont-Tremblant is surrounded by lush boreal forest and stunning views. When you’re not soaking in the surrounds, there are tons of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Ice skating, cross country skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, spa experiences and even a snow tubing park are just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Cost: Mid-range accommodation and reasonably-priced food.
  • How long should I stay? Three to five days
  • Recommended hotel: Le Grand Hotel offers a variety of rooms, from studios to three-bedroom apartments, and organizes family activities and programs just for kids.

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3 sites to book your Christmas holiday package online

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1. Expedia

Skip the headaches when it comes to booking your own travel and do it all through one website.

  • Search from over a million flights, hotels and packages.
  • No cancellation fee from Expedia to change or cancel most hotel reservations.
  • Get rewards, bonuses and access to exclusive deals with Expedia Rewards.

Book your Christmas holiday with Expedia

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2. Apple Vacations

Have it all taken care of for you and relax as everything from flights, hotels and even excursions are all included.

  • Hotel transfers are complimentary for most destinations.
  • Say no to layovers with the choice of an exclusive non-stop vacation flight.
  • Get help and destination advice from an on-site Apple Vacations representative.

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3. Hotwire

If you’re willing to be flexible about which hotel or flight you get, Hotwire’s Hot Rate picks could save you some money.

  • Search for package deals including last-minute stays on destinations around the world.
  • Get some cash back if you find a lower price within 24 hours of booking.
  • Save on hotels, flights and car rental on the one site.

Book your Christmas holiday with Hotwire

Latest Christmas holiday destination deals


Up to 15% off Germany Christmas markets tour

Verified 5 days ago Expires 6 Dec 2021
Available on 4 December 2021 for a 7-day trip. Includes accommodation, breakfast, 2 dinners and more.

Europe hotels from €54

Valid for bookings on select dates until December 2019 including Christmas holidays across Europe. Destinations include London, Portugal, Spain, Germany and more. Sample price is for Cambrils Playa. T&Cs apply.

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