Published On: November 2nd, 2023Categories: Best Of Lists, MSNTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Cities That Share New Christmas Vacation Ideas

12 Cities That Share New Christmas Vacation Ideas

Christmas is upon us once again. Are you ready to call it quits this year and just skip out on the usual traditions? Maybe you’re looking to get out of town—or the country!—and find someplace to make new Christmas memories. From penguins in the summer to a a new traditional holiday meal, here’s 12 cities that’ll have you seeing Christmas in a whole new light:

Cape Town, South Africa

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If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit without the frosty weather, head to Cape Town, South Africa. December begins the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, after all. Once you finish shopping in the city’s holiday markets, head over to Boulder’s Beach to take selfies with the 3,000 African penguins nesting there. Escape the winter blues in town by staying at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa for the perfect Christmas getaway.

Bruges, Belgium

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This medieval city really brings out its Old World charm for Christmas. Follow Bruges’ cobblestone streets on the Winter Glow light trail through its 10 installations, including Renaissance-era Church of Our Lady Tower. Sharing mugs of Belgian hot chocolate with the family in a grand hotel will surely chase those winter chills away.

Copenhagen, Denmark

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What better place to celebrate the holidays than the happiest country on Earth? Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens hosts an alpine village-style Christmas market each year, adorning vintage amusement park rides in lights and its Christmas tree in Swarovski crystals.

Berlin, Germany

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Germany’s capital city is a great place to visit this time of year, especially if holiday shopping is your reason for the season. Over 100 Christmas markets open every November in Berlin, giving ample opportunities to peruse the Bavarian gifts for sale. Take a break from gift hunting to skate the ice rink while you’re here.

Leavenworth, Washington

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Want the old German charm without the long flights to Europe? Look west to Leavenworth, the Washington town designed as a tribute to those old Bavarian villages. From holiday lights to traditional food halls, you’ll be decking the halls like there’s no tomorrow.

Paris, France

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No list of Christmas vacation destinations would be complete without the City of Light. Take in the lights display along the Champs-Élysées after hitting up the shops of Galeries Lafayette. Take the kids by any number of French cafes to indulge in the best chocolat chaud you’re likely to find.

London, England

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Enjoy the modern Christmas celebration by returning to where it began. A Christmas Carol codified the holiday traditions as we know them today; visiting the Charles Dickens Museum or riding the Christmas Steam Express are two great ways to begin your English holiday adventure.

Quebec City, Canada

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Run away to Quebec City if you’re looking to escape the holiday pressures in style. The Strøm Spa offers a variety of packages to ease seasonal tensions. For you speed demons, the Toboggan Slide Au 1884 gets you into the Christmas spirit, sliding down its 19th-century tracks at over 40 mph.

Rome, Italy

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Look to Rome if you’re looking to really go old school Catholic for your Christmas getaway. Their holiday season runs December 8 to January 6, making this a perfect time to see the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and other Catholic holy sites. Visit St Peter’s Square during this time to witness the annual “100 cribs in the Vatican” exhibition.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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Catholic traditions continue to live on in the thriving city of San Miguel de Allende. Along with the usual Christmas trees and wreaths, giant puppet people known as mojiangas lead religious pilgrimages around the city. Enjoy the sunny December days spent in this joyous Mexican culture.

Vienna, Austria

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Skip the frantic gift shopping and get back to holiday cheer with Vienna, Austria. Warm the family with mugs of Weihnachtspunsch (Christmas punch) as you take in one of many Advent classical concerts around the city. If you’re still looking for gifts, shop the Christmas market lined up around the Ring boulevard circling the old town.

Tokyo, Japan

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Although Japan only has a 1.5% Christian population, you can still find people getting into the Christmas spirit in unusual ways. Legend has it that KFC has been a go-to Christmas meal since 1974, helping families throughout Tokyo to close out the year with fried chicken cheer. Enjoy a KFC “Party Barrel” with some new friends this holiday season.

The 10 Countries with the Most Immigrants (Where does the US Rank?)

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According to the World Migration Report, the vast majority of people never emigrate from their home countries. There are currently only 281 million migrants worldwide, making up 3.6% of the population, but that number is growing as people and jobs become more mobile and tech makes moving easier.

The report comes out every two years and uses bank transfer data to track migration. People who move abroad regularly send and receive money to and from their home countries. Immigration is one of the primary ways countries grow their economies and keep job roles filled, especially as birth rates decline.

The 10 Countries with the Most Immigrants

This European Country Goes Mega Viral for Hiring Americans

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In 2022, 76,221 Americans moved to the European Union. The largest group, 12,220, moved to France. Still, many Americans who want to move to Europe are concerned about being able to afford some of the pricier destinations and are worried about finding a job. Most countries in Europe don’t offer a digital nomad visa for Americans working remotely, so you’re only able to stay 90 days at a stretch in the E.U.

That may be why 2.3 million people on TikTok have watched this video featuring a less-popular country that’s actively recruiting people in many job roles, including engineers, accountants, servers, retail workers, chefs, and more.

➤ This European Country Goes Mega Viral for Hiring Americans

Is the US Driving You Insane? Consider These Countries for Mental Health

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Since 2022, the Expatsi Test has helped users find out where they’d like to move abroad to, based on their personal needs. Its data covers everything from healthcare rankings to languages spoken and best places for raising kids. The goal—to boost psychological safety for Americans by navigating to a healthier life in another country.

Over 40,000 people have taken the Expatsi Test in the last 18 months. Here’s their best countries for mental health, based on test data:

Is the US Driving You Insane? Consider These Countries for Mental Health

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Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.

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Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
bed49dc5d4263d6d37b46cb09574d411?s=150&d=mp&r=g
Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.