The Best Neighborhoods in the World to Celebrate Christmas

Touring the world in search of the spirit of Christmas is fashionable. Visit the best markets in Europe, enjoy the best Christmas shops in the cities or eat typical sweets from each city.

We know that these dates excite you, as much as that boy or girl who waited impatiently for their gift under the tree or near the Nativity scene. We hope you get your hopes up in the same way traveling to the heart of these neighborhoods that are pure Christmas.

Chelsea, London

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London is one of the most beautiful European cities to experience Christmas. Any street, whether central or not, bets on careful decoration and lighting. You cannot miss a walk through Carnaby Street, which this year has been decorated with a very current theme such as recycling and zero waste; Kew Garden Gardens, Covent Garden Galleriesor a stroll down Oxford Street.

We certainly suggest that you do your best in the Chelsea neighborhood. Why? South of the River Thames, we find one of the most majestic and wealthy neighborhoods in the city. Come to Duke of York Square, Pavilion Road, and for the first time King’s Road, to live it intensely with choirs in the streets, reindeer, illuminated shops, the great Christmas tree, a visit from Santa Claus, and the tradition of kissing the mistletoe. Here you have all the information.

If you want to know one of the most classic markets in the old part of the neighborhood, you should go to Chelsea Enchanted Christmas Fair in Sloane Square. A Christmas carol concert takes place in St Luke’s Church ( Sydney Street ) on 5 and 13 December. It is one of the most endearing charity concerts because they allow the entry of dogs. Don’t forget to buy your ticket.

Engen, Bergen, Norway

The Christmas in this city on the coast of Norway is a true delirium. The reason is that they have not forgotten any detail: it has everything you can dream of at this time. Without a doubt, the biggest attraction is Pepperkakebyen, the gingerbread city created in November by the citizens of Bergen. Everything in it is edible, from the fjords to the churches. If you want to visit Gingerbread Town you will have to go to the Sentralbadet building, it will be open until December 31.

Also don’t miss its great Christmas market in the Festplassen square until December 22, where you will find 80 stalls of all kinds, and JuleMarked, which is a submarket with local products. The best part is that the large market in Bergen has its own air-conditioned pavilion where you can enjoy the food and drink stalls out of the cold.

Millennium Park, Chicago

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In the United States, Christmas is taken very seriously, and in one of the cities where we can live it as we hope is in Chicago. Do you want to know where? Head to the Millennium Park neighborhood, the largest green space along with Grand Park in the city. At this time of year, as you might expect, its surrounding gardens and buildings are decorated for the occasion.

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Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated moments is the lighting of the square where Cloud Gate (also known as The Bean ) and its large Christmas tree, the 106th in its history, is located. On November 22, its lighting is inaugurated with a party in style, there is no lack of Christmas songs, elves, and lights. Also in this same square every Friday, from 6 to 7 in the afternoon, from November 29 to December 20, choirs gather to sing Christmas carols. It is free.

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A few meters away is the McCormick Tribune ice rink. You will only have to rent the skates for $ 13 or $ 15 because the rink is free. And also very close in the Auditorium Theater, from November 30 to December 29, the classic Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, is performed.

Shibuya, Tokyo

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Christmas in Tokyo is fantasy and everything you can imagine squared. One of the most emblematic districts is Shibuya, where you will find large shopping centers, restaurants, and leisure clubs; although it is world-famous for the large pedestrian crossing, which should not be visited by tourists who feel agoraphobia, and for the sculpture of Hachiko, the most faithful dog in history.

If we recommend this neighborhood it is obviously because of the great play of Christmas lights. Head to Blue Cave Shibuya Illumination, located in Yoyogi Park, for a lighting show worthy of only Japan. Last year 600,000 lights adorned its trees and the entire Meguro River, this year they will surely be exceeded.

Right next door, another of the great Christmas tourist attractions is Omotesando Hills, a business complex that since 2017 surprises with a new madness. For this 2019, 40 water tanks have been created that surrounds a 7 m high Christmas tree in the middle of a landscape of lights entitled ‘Water and Magic’.

Marché-aux-cochons-de-Lait, Strasbourg

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Visiting Strasbourg in December is almost as appetizing as eating chocolate with churros in the warmth of a fireplace. The capital of Christmas in France prepares these dates with great affection. Without a doubt, one of its essential locations is the Marché-aux-cochons-de-Lait square.

In its surroundings, we find small charming streets, such as Rue du Maroquin with cafes and small fairytale shops, as well as the typical Renaissance-style wooden houses with more history in the city. Formerly the weekly wooden market took place here and, later, the pork meat market, now it holds a traditional Christmas market. From this point, you can visit the three trees that adorn Strasbourg: the one in the Place du marché Gayot, a large collaborative tree, the one in the Place Greimmeissen, and the one in the Place de Kléber.

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To know all the Christmas markets in the city, these are the addresses that you should write down from November 26 to December 30: Place de la Cathédrale , Place du Château , Place de la Grande Boucherie , Place du Marché-aux- poissons , Rue du Palais Rohan, and another market outside the Palais Rohan .

Dyker Heights, New York

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In the Brooklyn district, we find the quintessential neighborhood that every visitor to New York should go to if they like Christmas. If it is true that here they do not skimp on lights and decorations, perhaps at some points you can even suffer a Christmas indulgence. There is an established itinerary to visit the best-decorated houses with the help of a guide, which includes the house of the Italian Lucy Spata, who started all this Christmas movement 40 years ago. You can find out here.

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If you are wanting more you can walk through other locations such as Brookfield Place Winter Garden where 650 LED lights have been used for lighting, by the Saks Fifth Avenue store, the facade of this shopping center is a tribute to lights Christmas, and of course, Central Park.

Plönlein, Rothenburg, Germany 

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber is surely one of the most Christmas towns in Bavaria, Germany; and also a place to visit quietly, enjoying its history and each story building. It is not surprising that this town has served as the inspiration and set for numerous films, including Harry Potter.

At Christmas, its smell of hot white wine and toasted almonds will completely intoxicate you. Much more if you approach its Christmas market with more than 500 years of history. Reiterlesmarkt takes place in the medieval center of Rothenburg from November 29 to December 23.

But if you are looking for one of its most photogenic corners at this time, that is Plönlein, it is a triangular square with a typical half-timbered house ( Fachwerk ), a fountain, and two towers: the Kobolzell Tower and the Sieber Tower, both built-in 1204. All this decoration is completed with well-preserved bourgeois houses, and if you are lucky enough that it has snowed, the postcard could not be more epic.

Ruka-Kuusamo, Finland

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In Central, Lapland is one of the most beautiful cities to live Christmas in Finland, with permission from Rovaniemi. The snow, a natural setting of heart attack (whether in winter or summer), the northern lights, and its perfect architecture make it the ideal alpine city. Even more so at Christmas where you can enjoy the company of white reindeer, huge illuminated trees, and an agenda full of activities.

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For example, a delicious Nordic dinner, a day of night skiing, or listening to classic Christmas carols in one of its churches. Christmas Bird Musical takes place on December 20 and is Ruka’s big Christmas party because up to 230 students from the schools participate. In it the legend about an epic battle between good and evil at Christmas is recreated, there are fireworks and they also receive a visit from Santa Claus.

Gamla Stan, Stockholm

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Stockholm is a festival of lights, markets, and activities during Christmas. And not only in the Gamla Stan neighborhood, the oldest and most touristic of all, but also in others such as Norrmalm, where one of the most alternative markets takes place, Östermalm, with the only market held in the royal stables in Stockholm; or Södermalm, where Give peas a chance takes place, an authentic vegan Christmas market. Here you can find many more.

Take another one of its essential addresses: in the Vasaplan neighborhood, you will find the Kungsträdgården park, with a large ice rink and the most famous illuminated reindeer in the city.

If we focus on Gamla Stan, fun is guaranteed from November 23 to December 23. In addition to walking through its streets full of lights, we can enjoy the oldest Christmas market in Stockholm, open since 1837, and considered one of the best in Europe. It is in this neighborhood where Christmas guided tours are organized by candlelight, a great opportunity to find little-known corners and learn about Swedish legends. Stockholm also has a map with 40 illuminated streets to walk them without missing any detail.

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Merano, Italy

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In the Trentino-Alto Adige region, from November 29 to January 6, 2020, many cities, such as Vipiteno, Bolzano, or Trento, celebrate Christmas with enthusiasm. We are left with the city of Merano, and with the neighborhood that bears his name, because it is considered a Historic Christmas Village. Its schedule is enviable with numerous activities, be it the market with typical products from Piazza Della Rena, where you can tastevin brulé and Christmas tea, made with orange peel and cloves; or along the Passirio river and in Piazza Delle Terme, where there are also numerous stalls of local Christmas crafts, as we see in the photo.

The town hall has prepared an interactive map to see the product house by the house: imagine trying a freshly baked Italian bread or a delicious homemade cheese from the Alto Adige region. It is also recommended to visit the Church of San Nicolás, which in December shows a beautiful nativity scene.

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