10 Of The Best Christmas Festivals In The World

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The Weather Outside is Frightful, but the Christmas Festivals are so Delightful.

Another year rolls on and yet another Christmas is upon us. The happiest time of the year is filled with family traditions, great food and a whole lot of adult beverages to make the party that much more jolly. While sitting by the fire is quite cozy, us adventure junkies here at Rad can’t get enough of epic festivals around the globe even if it’s Christmas Day! Let’s take a look at the world’s best Christmas Festivals to put you in the holiday spirit.

1. Winter Wonderland – United Kingdom

Europe’s biggest Christmas celebration..

Every December Hyde Park lights up into an extravagant holiday festival filled with festive decorations and plenty of shopping. Over two million people from around the world come to the Winter Wonderland entertainment park where Santa Claus, an ice rink and scrumptious holiday food awaits. Top that off with a 200-foot high observation wheel, two roller coasters and multiple circuses for a Christmas celebration that just can’t be beat!

Dates: Nov – Jan 
Location: Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in London near Hyde Park. 

2. Christmas Fair Budapest – Hungary

Hungarian Christmas done right..

Each European city has their own style of celebrating the world’s most popular holiday, but none seem to be as unique as Hungary’s Budapest Christmas Fair. The famous Vorosmarty Square transforms into one of the most scenic Christmas venues in the world. Wooden cottage stalls line the festival grounds selling exquisite holiday gifts and festive foods. Grab a honey cookie, a mulled wine and take a stroll down the Hungarian blocks where tradition fills the air.

Dates: November – December
Location: Vorosmarty Square, Budapest, Hungary

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in Budapest

3. Winterfest Boat Parade – USA

Throw on some sandals and a Hawaiian tee, but don’t forget the Santa hat..

Tired of the cold winter weather but still love Christmas celebration? Look no further than the spectacular Winterfest Boat Parade in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Take in the beauty of two-foot mega-yachts decked out in Christmas lights as they effortlessly float along the Intracoastal Waterway. Make sure to get there early to secure a spot at one of the many bars or restaurants nearby for the best view.

Dates: December
Location: Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in Fort Lauderdale.  

4. Christmas in Strasbourg – France

Holiday history runs deep and the memories last forever..

Home to Europe’s oldest Christmas market, Strasbourg holiday roots date back to 1570. With over 300 local stalls selling holiday decorations and presents, its easy to fall in love with the French Christmas spirit. If you appreciate a big ol’ Christmas tree, make sure to head to Place Kleber where you will find one of the most epic trees in the world. The Great Christmas Tree dwarfs every other man made attempt including New York’s Rockefeller Center tree.

Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 30
Location: Grande Ile, Strasbourg, France

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in Strasbourg

5. Krakow Christmas Market – Poland

Make your White Christmas dream become a reality..

Although it may not be as popular as other Western European markets, Poland’s rendition of Christmas festivities packs a real punch. Krakow’s snow-clad main square lights up with beautiful lights and buzzing crowd. It is mainly known for being a year-round Christmas shopping experience that sells some of the best antiques and unique chatskis around.

Dates: December 
Location: The Rynek, Market Square, Old Town, Krakow, Poland

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in Krakow

6. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market – Germany

Music, food, drinks and culture – Christmas in Germany..

Quite possibly one of the most popular places to spend Christmas on the planet, Berlin’s out-of-this world Christmas markets are unrivaled. Out of the dozens around the city, be sure to head to Gendarmenmarkt where awe-inspiring architecture, delicious German cuisine and first-rate shopping awaits. Craft tents sell unique paintings and wood carvings completing this ultimate Christmas gem.

Dates: November – December
Location: City center, Berlin, Germany

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in Berlin

7.  Santa Claus Village – Finland

Ol’ St. Nick just can’t hide from the paparazzi..

Love Santa? Go to Finland. But make sure to really dress for extreme arctic whether as temperatures can drop to zero. Nonetheless this annual Santa Claus Village is done right with a magical touch of Christmas lights, food and festive drinks. Fun attractions include Santa Claus’ Main Post Office where a large variety of Christmas related items can be purchased. Enjoy the beautiful Northern Lights caused by Earth’s magnetic field in Finland’s Arctic Garden.

Dates: November – December
Location: Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

Where to stay: Book your stay at Santa Claus Holiday Village

8. 12 Days of Christmas Market – Ireland

Get wild in Dublin!

Ireland’s capital is home to plenty of history and things to do throughout the year. For nearly two weeks, enjoy an Irish Christmas-themed party at their world famous market in Dublin. Alcohol, specifically whisky, is of no shortage as you can imagine. Make sure to take an extra shot if you are thinking about taking a morning swim on Christmas Day in the Forty Foot sea-water pool with the rest of the locals.

Dates: December – January 
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in Dublin

9. San Juan Christmas – Puerto Rico

80 Degrees on Christmas? Yes please!

Escape the winter cold and head down to Puerto Rico for San Juan’s buzzing holiday fun. Catholic churches across the city put on beautiful mass ceremonies igniting dozens of carolers to migrate along the streets in unicine. Partake in spit-roasted pig during the enormous traditional feast in the city center on Christmas Day. The party lives on until Three Kings Day on January 6, so overstaying your welcome isn’t a problem.

Dates: December – January 
Location: Downtown San Juan, Puerto Rico

Where to stay: Find the best hotels in San Juan

10. Fantasy in Lights – USA

Christmas light fanatics unite..

For the 25th year in a row, Pine Mountain, Georgia is home to one of America’s most epic light displays. The Callaway Gardens has very little light pollution which magnifying each Christmas light bulb. Take a ride on the Jolly Trolley with a full narration during your journey at Fantasy in Lights and don’t forget to stop at the Christmas Village shop for holiday trinkets and a picture with Santa Claus!

Dates: November – January
Location: Callaway Resort and Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia , USA

Where to stay: Book your stay at Callaway Resort and Gardens

Feature image credit: Budapest Christmas

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Harry R Bennett III

Harry R. Bennett III is a Los Angeles native who grew up addicted to playing sports. His love for the game of baseball eventually landed him several scholarships to play college ball across the United States. After receiving his B.A. in journalism, he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and moved to New York City in an effort to pursue his passion in the sports industry. Bennett has worked with major companies such as Fox Sports and Major League Baseball and has written for several online publications covering a variety of sports content. Although his playing days are over, he enjoys the endless pursuit of competition from athletics and action sports. In his free time, Harry can be found surfing, snowboarding, golfing, playing basketball and selling homes in Brooklyn. Follow him on Instagram @hb3_estates


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