The Holiday Season alights a spirit in cities around the world. With festive activities for all ages and stunning decorations being strung across neighborhoods, some destinations shine with the holiday spirit more than others. Nothing rings truer than in some of Europe's most magical cities. Discover how these cities prove there's no place like Europe for the holidays.
Iceland's vast wintery facade and mesmerizing northern lights are enough to put anyone in the holiday spirit, but the capital city of Reykjavik decks out its streets in such holiday cheer it would put a smile on any Scrooge’s face. Greet the Christmas creatures of Reykjavik at the Winter Woods Wonderland in City Hall, or grab your ice skates for some fun in Ingólfstorg Square. After visiting the reindeer in Christmas Valley, stop by the Christmas Village to sing along to Iceland's favorite holiday tunes.
Nuremburg's claim to holiday fame is its massive Christmas market. The world-renowned Christkindlesmarkt seems as though it sprung from the dreams of children, right alongside the sugar plum fairies dancing in their heads. Dating as far back as 1628, the Christkindlesmarkt is charmingly traditional, featuring 180 stalls selling ornaments, homemade gifts, and prune men – funny little figures made of dried fruit. As the scents of fresh baked gingerbread and roasting chestnuts fill the air, be sure to grab a steaming cup of Glühwein – German mulled wine – to warm your bones.
Related: Winter Wonderland: Christmas Markets
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is magical all year round, but it seems especially enchanting during the holidays. The entire city is cloaked in a warm glow from decorations and lights, highlighting the cobblestone streets and gothic architecture. Illuminated trees sprout up in Old Town and Wenceslas Squares to mesmerize patrons shopping in the Christmas markets. When it's time to take a well-deserved break, pick one of Prague's traditional pubs for a hot meal and a glass of famous Czech beer.
The City of Light is the perfect destination for absorbing some holiday cheer. In between gazing at the incredible views from atop of the Eiffel Tower and sharing a smile with the Mona Lisa in The Louvre, take time to do some gift shopping for your friends and family back home. From art to antiques, high fashion to culinary delicacies, Paris has a store or market for exactly what you've been looking for. Make sure to enjoy being immersed in this beautiful place with a skate around the many ice rinks within the city.
As the capital of yet another frozen destination, Copenhagen comes to life in the winter. Its colorful Nyhavn harbor front is lined with stalls selling trinkets and sugar-coated almonds, while the historic Tivoli Gardens amusement park hosts the city's beloved holiday market. If there's one thing that Danes do best, it's making the most of the long, cold winter by finding "hygge," a unique term for getting extremely comfy and cozy. Find your own hygge in one of Copenhagen's many cafes.
Italians, particularly Romans, know how to have a good time, and The Eternal City's holiday celebrations are some of the most jovial in Europe. There are Christmas trees, and then there's the mother of all lighted holiday shrubbery in St. Peter's Square. Churches around the city are festive hubs hosting concerts and boasting intricate nativity scenes. Along with markets, decorations, and ice-skating, pop into the Vatican City to see the Pope and the Sistine Chapel.
Spain's capital truly shines during the holidays, and we're not kidding. Nearly every street has lights strung across from building to building, and each neighborhood features a different scheme. You can take your time strolling around, or you can hop on the Navibus from Plaza de Colón. For a mere two euros, this bus takes cheerful patrons all around the city for picture perfect light viewing. To snag some unique gifts, shop in the Plaza de España's artisan market, which is open from December through January.
The holidays alight the world in cheer, and there’s no place better for capturing a bit of the season’s joy for yourself than in Europe’s great cities. Contact your travel consultant today to start planning your holiday celebrations in Europe, and ask about Liberty Travel’s exclusive EURObreaks and Journeys vacation packages. Want to concentrate on one European city? Book a EURObreaks getaway. Want to see two or more? Then a Journeys package is right for you.
These personalized packages include exclusive perks, such as priority access to our 24/7 assistance center and a $150 future travel credit, plus the assistance of a City Insider, a local guide who will reveal the local hotspots and best-kept secrets of the city they live in and love. With every Journeys package, you’ll also enjoy the services of a Travel Butler, who assist with all your pre-departure travel needs.
Talk to your Liberty Travel consultant today to begin your holiday retreat to Europe and make sure to enhance your getaway with our EURObreaks and Journeys getaways.