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The 32 Best Places to Spend Christmas Around the World

December 5th, 2022 |

Written by Caitlin Morton for Conde Nest Traveler

We’re all for cozying up with loved ones at home, but we also love seeing how cities around the world transform every December. The best places to spend Christmas, in our book, run the gamut from European towns with storybook Christmas markets to Asian megacities with over-the-top light displays—and even merry mainstays right here in the U.S. And in case your idea of a perfect holiday includes lounging by the pool with a cocktail, we’ve included some spots in the southern hemisphere where temperatures hover in the 80s on December 25.

While the jollity may look a bit different from city to city, these global destinations keep the holiday cheer going year after year. And if you already have your plans solidified for this upcoming season, it’s never too early to start planning a fabulous winter vacation for 2024.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Why we go: For the past three decades, the little town of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania has channeled its name and transformed into “Christmas City” for the holidays. Celebrations are centered around the Christkindlmarkt at the SteelStacks, with more than 50 booths featuring artisan crafts, as well as live music and special events with Santa Claus himself.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: A “live” advent calendar at the Goundie House on Main Street features a downtown merchant emerging from the door at 5:30 p.m. every night with treats for all who are waiting.

Stay here: Hotel Bethlehem is a wonderland of its own, with 35,000 Christmas lights, 36 wreaths, life-sized toy soldiers, and a gingerbread house of the hotel.

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