It’s that time of year again – the Christmas decorations are out, the shops are packed with people desperately completing their quota of presents for the year, and the radio just won’t stop playing ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! It’s truly magical.

However, after many years it does tend to get a bit samey, a bit stale.. If you’re like us, you might be considering experiencing the most magical time of year away from home for once, for something new and fresh, but you’re just a bit conflicted about where to go. Well, you’re in luck today because we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best places to go at Christmas time!

10. Castleton, England

Where better to celebrate Christmas than in a sleepy English town that lines the streets with Christmas trees and lights come that time of year? Located in Derbyshire, Castleton is famous for Peveril Castle and its breathtaking caverns, which visitors are allowed to explore throughout December. An easy destination that isn’t too far out of the comfort zone, a weekend visit might even be the way to go.

Visit Castleton’s official tourist site: https://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/visitor-information/castleton-visitor-centre-p681471 

9. Trømso, Norway

The prime location for experiencing The Northern Lights in their full glory. Home to some amazing natural phenomena, Trømso is truly something else at Christmas time, and there’s also plenty to do! From hiking to seeing the midnight sun, this fantasy-like city is sure to please.

Visit Trømso’s official tourist site: https://www.visittromso.no/en

8. Nuremberg, Germany

Germany is known for its dedication to going all out on Christmas celebrations, particularly with its markets, and Nuremberg is absolutely no different. It features over 200 stalls with plenty to eat and there’s even a festive opening ceremony with stage actors!

Visit Nuremburg’s official tourist site: https://tourismus.nuernberg.de/en/

7. Barcelona, Spain

There’s a really high chance you won’t have a white Christmas in Barcelona, but what you will have is an excellent selection of markets to choose from. Couple that with the city’s love of lights and spectacularly decorated Christmas trees and you’re onto a winner!

Visit Barcelona’s official tourist site: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/

6. Edinburgh, Scotland

Fairground attractions, market stalls full of food and trinkets, and Christmas-themed shows all await you in Scotland’s second most populous city. All of this is accompanied by one of the best accents in the world, of course! Make sure to see one of our personal favourites – The Ice Adventure, a tour through Scotland’s history featuring numerous ice sculptures.

Visit Edinburgh’s official tourist site: http://edinburgh.org/

5.  Taos, New Mexico, The United States

A little further than a simple European break, but well worth a visit. Taos in New Mexico can open you up to a touch of the historical Spanish culture at Christmas time. Traditionally, luminaria or farolitos are lit up (a small lantern made of paper with a candle inside), this is accompanied with arts and crafts fairs in front of the amazing old Adobe houses and structures.

Visit Taos’ official tourist site: https://taos.org/

4. Santa Claus, Indiana, The United States

Yes, there’s really a town in America named after Santa Claus, and you can expect it to fully live up to its name come that special time of year. We’re just going to list off some of the town’s attractions here and if you don’t get excited, well, there’s something wrong with you! There’s Santa Claus’ Land of Lights, the North Pole Network, Santa’s Candy Castle, Frosty’s Fun Centre, the Santa Claus Christmas Store, the Santa Claus Museum and much more.

Visit Santa Claus’ official tourist site: http://santaclausind.org/

3. Paris, France

Known internationally as the city of lights, Paris certainly lives up to its nickname at Christmas time. All the romantic locations we know so well seem to take on a new level of allurement; The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Arc de Triumph, Notre Dame. Apart from these must-sees, you can also enjoy themed light shows, Christmas markets and ice rinks.

Visit Paris’s official tourist site: https://en.parisinfo.com/

2. New York City, The United States

With an 80-foot Christmas tree erected in front of Rockefeller Centre each year, New York is arguably one of the best places to celebrate during the holidays. Markets, amazing light decorations and plenty of opportunities to go shopping are just some of the main draws for the Big Apple!

Visit New York City’s official tourist site: https://www.nycgo.com

1. Lapland, Finland

If you really, truly want it to feel like Christmas then the absolute best place is Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. Here, you can meet the man himself in the place Finnish people claim to be his real home. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also take up some snowmobiling and sledging. Ideal for families with young children, you’re sure to make lasting memories, just be very aware that you need to wrap up warm!

Visit Lapland’s official tourist site: http://www.visitfinland.com/lapland/

Don’t forget to take pictures on whichever trip you choose – after all, they can make for excellent themed Christmas gifts to your grandparents or other family members if you’re back in time for Christmas day!