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Winter Wonderlands! Must-See Christmas Extravaganzas Around the World

Written by Lauren Saccone

This blog post was updated on October 24, 2022.

Christmas is coming, and it’s time to celebrate in true style. But who wants to stay home this winter? Sure, you could cozy up by the fire — but where’s the fun in that? Get into the holiday spirit in a whole new way by visiting some of these sensational Christmas extravaganzas.

From insane light displays to mouth-watering seasonal fare, there’s something for everyone. So start planning the ultimate Christmas vacation, and get ready to celebrate in a whole new way. Here are some must-see Christmas locales to make your holiday merry and bright.


Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Tower by Kyle Hasegawa licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

If you’re a particular fan of Christmas lights, it’s time to book a trip to Japan. Every year the city of Tokyo celebrates with a jaw-dropping light display that simply puts all others to shame. Each district tries to outdo the others with increasingly spectacular lights. Tourists can stroll through the chilly streets and admire the millions of flickering lights that turn the city into a winter wonderland.

Portland, Oregon


For a truly extraordinary festival of lights, you can’t go wrong with a Christmas trek to Portland, Oregon. Located in the Grotto, this event runs every night throughout the month of December and is definitely worth the trip. Visitors will enjoy an immersive Christmas experience unlike any other. With nearly 160 choral concerts to choose from, fantastic shopping, and all the Christmas treats you can chow down on, Oregon takes the Pacific Northwest Christmas experience to wonderful new heights.


For a classic European Christmas, there’s nowhere better to go than Vienna. The city embraces the classic Christmas concepts, with charming street fairs and gorgeous light displays. For a truly spectacular Christmas experience, make sure to see the Vienna Boys’ Choir in concert. Their renditions of classic carols will get even the grumpiest Grinch into the holiday spirit.


Looking for all the Christmas cheer, minus the freezing cold temperatures? Then it might be time to plan a trip to Barcelona. You can explore the classic architecture while taking tours of their famed Christmas street markets without fear of frostbite. There are giant nativity scenes to see, endless concerts and plays, and even a circus sure to delight smaller travelers. Barcelona offers the perfect combination of classic Christmas experiences with modern fun for everyone.

Strasbourg, France

If you’re going to call yourself ‘the capital of Christmas,’ you better be ready to put on an impressive display. Strasbourg certainly delivers, with a picturesque look that will charm any Christmas traveler. Besides the lovely light displays, the town has the oldest street market in France, with countless delights to explore. From holiday delicacies to artisan decorations, Strasbourg really makes Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.

New York Cityshutterstock_341810249

There’s really no place like New York come Christmas. The city decks the halls with astonishing light displays and festive decorations. Countless local street fairs offer up wares from around the world, letting you sample an assortment of cultures as you stroll through the city. Be sure to swing by Rockefeller Center for some holiday skating fun. And don’t forget to bundle up for a carriage ride through Central Park!

Did we miss any of your favorite Christmas extravaganzas? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Lauren Saccone

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