Just looking for holiday hang out

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Here are some ideas on how you might want to spend this festive season. Travel regulations are changing all the time, so check FCDO advice before your trip. Main photo: Christmas decorations in Rathausplatz, Vienna Shutterstock. All products and brands mentioned in this article are selected by our writers and editors based on first-hand experience or customer feedback.

We feature properties from a specially selected list of trusted operators who are of a standard that we believe our readers expect. This article contains links which are and if you click on a link and buy a product we will earn revenue. The revenue generated will help us to support the content of this website and to continue to invest in our award-winning journalism. Iceland is the perfect holiday destination for travellers in search of Christmas spirit. Here, the festive season pulsates with lively Christmas markets, where wooden booths brimming with food, drink and gifts glitter as imposing Christmas trees stand guard.

Expect a true winter wonderland made up of wild lava fields and craggy mountains topped with snow for added sparkle. The Rhine, Germany Spend the Christmas season afloat on the Rhine, accompanied by a glass of local wine as steep vineyards and historic castles slip by.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria Shutterstock. Christmas holidays are celebrated with gusto in Germany as its famous Christmas markets overflow with copious helpings of mulled wine and shining Christmas lights. Hip Berlin offers up a huge funfair and you can get straight into the Christmas spirit with a ticket to the Alexanderplatz show.

Festive history buffs might want to go further afield and spend Christmas at the luxurious ancient castle of Colditz, which was far from Christmassy during the war years. The Caribbean is made for cruises during Christmas. Explore the wild east. Where is hot in December? Broad, easy-skiing pistes combine with Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star hotels to create the most luxurious of all ski resorts.

With palatial digs aplenty, you can sip fizz while someone organises Boxing Day brunch for you. Hop on an overnight flight after Christmas lunch, and wake up seven hours later in Muscat. Got older kids? Absorb the Bedouin vibes of the Arabian desert with teens; try stargazing and camel-riding at Wahiba Sands; and turquoise-hued Wadi Bani Khalid oasis makes for engaging TikTok content. Nearby, the call to prayer echoes around the minarets at the opulent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, open most days for visits. For bargains, go in early December when the Christmas markets are open, but the city is still relatively peaceful.

Take a spin on the panoramic big wheel above Princes Street, bar crawl under the fairy lights of George Street and pop into the Scottish National Gallery to contemplate winter scenes. After dark, head to the Royal Botanic Garden to sip spiced cider and marvel at its Christmas illuminations. Revel in the unabashed schmaltz — this is the fantasy festive break.

Dressed to the nines in baroque finery and surrounded by snowcapped peaks, Salzburg is the staunchly traditional, chocolate-box city of Mozart and The Sound of Music , and will cocoon you in comfort. Walk around the Old Town streets, dive into vaulted beer cellars and shop for lederhosen.

To warm up? Climb every mountain, of course. Explore its dimly lit arched passages and within a few paces, you might stumble upon Balkan Grill Walter, a kiosk selling Balkan beef sausages since For the real deal and endless other wintry activities, such as snowmobiling, skiing and reindeer rides head north to the smaller resorts of Levi, Yllas or Saariselka. Levi is just 20 minutes from the airport, making transfers with weary tots super speedy. The focus is firmly on wholesome festive fun and, refreshingly, souvenir stops are sparse.

Head from the second or third weekend in December for a guaranteed snowscape. Darkness reigns: daylight falls between 10am and 2pm, when an eerie green and pink glow illuminates the sky. Breath frozen like a wraith on the air, the steady pad of footsteps on snowy pavements and multi-coloured Christmas lights — Russia , especially Moscow and St Petersburg, offers plenty of Christmas spirit.

In St Petersburg, grab a chilled vodka at a Christmas market, while in Moscow the snow-dusted candy-coloured onion domes of icon-laden cathedrals seem good enough to eat. This city is the face of Christmas, especially in films. Next head to the Rockefeller Center for a mulled wine and a gawp at the tree.

For Christmas shopping, Bryant Park is transformed into a Winter Village, with stalls selling affordable gifts such as handmade scarves and soaps. Yes, tourism has made its mark on Tenerife , but the choked resorts take up only a fraction of the island. Beyond, unspoilt beauty awaits: seaside villages and picturesque coves, gracious colonial towns, a rainforest dripping with lichen, and ravishing ravines. And all beneath the awesome gaze of a ,year-old volcano. Passing through the heart of central Europe revellers can celebrate the festive season at bustling Christmas markets garlanded with Christmas lights and spirit.

A mulled wine here, a juicy, grilled sausage there — which Christmas market will be your favourite? This is the time to snag a bargain to Marrakesh , but pack layers and stay somewhere with heating. July and August are even cheaper, but only worth it if you can handle temperatures in the high 40Cs.

The Residence, Mauritius. Shortly after, hotel lobby decorations and seasonal shop window displays appear across the island. Food is central to a Mauritian Christmas and hotels in beach resorts like Grand Baie and Flic-en-Flac offer gala dinners and festive brunches so you can tuck in with a cocktail or two. Fly to the capital, Male, then take a seaplane to a private island resort such as Medhufushi.

Sleep in a villa suspended on stilts above the Jacuzzi-warm waters of the Indian Ocean, and snorkel and day-sail your way through the season. Many hotels in the Maldives offer traditional menus on Christmas day. Marina Bay, Singapore Getty Images.

Singapore soups-up the Christmas experience. Festivities start in mid-November when almost four kilometres of Christmas lights are switched on in the Orchard Road shopping area. Shortly after, restaurants debut their festive menus and Christmas Wonderland opens at Gardens by the Bay. Tour holidays. Amble through a twinkling market, mulled wine in hand, celebrate the festive season cruising the Rhine, or escape to the winter sun of the Middle East for a different sort of Christmas celebration Wednesday October 13 , pm.

Main photo: Christmas decorations in Rathausplatz, Vienna Shutterstock This article contains affiliate links. Show more Show less. Available from: January 3rd Highlights of Iceland Northern Lights holiday from. River cruise holidays. Available from: December 17th Beach holidays Barbados. Available from: December 9th All-inclusive Barbados holiday at The Sands from. Available from: December 19th Christmas in Scotland tour from. Tour holidays Finland.

Available from: January 23rd Northern Lights holiday in Finnish Lapland from. Available from: October 27th The Blue Danube River Cruise from. Available from: October 9th A Cunard Voyage from Barcelona to Singapore 23 nights from. With wooden chalets selling roasted cones of steaming chestnuts, Christmas spirit-stirring light shows and handblown baubles aplenty, we've picked the cities that have yuletide all wrapped up Read the full story.

Travel advice. Swap chilly evenings for mornings on the beach with our pick of the ultimate places to swap the UK for in the coldest month of the year. Mistletoe and wine, with bargains to be had. A guide to best Christmas markets.

Just looking for holiday hang out

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