Christmas is coming and everyone is getting into the festive spirit. Spending Christmas and New Year’s holiday weeks with relatives and friends is a long tradition in much of the western world, but those living in the cooler northern climates are searching for alternatives. After a few decades of being wrapped up, many want to wonder if there’s any way to spend the holidays. We are going to tell you about some cheap places to travel on Christmas 2020.
People with money have been going to Hawaii for Christmas for a long time, but there are also thousands of countries and islands with similar tropical climates around the world, and most of them are much cheaper, at least until you get there. Below is a list of almost every major tourist destination that mixes mild weather and low prices during the Christmas and New Year weeks.
Why you should go to Bruges
Bruges is full of old and medieval houses, canals, and cobblestone streets, is typically what visitors fly to Belgium as one of the most popular medieval cities in Europe.
Busloads of tourists are coming here for short trips to take pictures of canals and houses. The best-preserved medieval city in Europe is delightful all year round, but particularly during holidays. It’s hard to picture a more beautiful location as you walk down the cobblestone streets, enjoy the shimmering lights, and cozy up in cafes with Belgian hot chocolate mugs. rist destination that mixes mild weather and low prices during the Christmas and New Year weeks.
Where to stay in Bruges
The Grand Hotel Casselbergh
The Grand Hotel Casselbergh has welcoming touches including exposed wooden beams in the rooms, a lobby bar with a fireplace, and a fitness center in the cellar of the 16th century.
Top sights in Bruges
Belfry of Bruges
The Belfry of Bruges is a mediaeval bell tower in the middle of Bruges, Belgium. One of the most famous symbols of the city, the belfry formerly housed the treasury and civic archives, and acted as an observation post for fire and other hazards.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic basilica in Bruges, Belgium. The church contains a relic of the Holy Blood, supposedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and taken from the Holy Land by Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders. Established between 1134 and 1157 as a chapel of the Count of Flanders, it became a minor basilica in 1923. The Basilica in Burg Square consists of the lower and upper chapels.
Lake of Love
This beautiful Scenic lake with a park & old castle should be on your bucket list.
Bruges City Hall
The Bruges City Hall is one of the oldest town halls in the Netherlands. It is situated in Burg Square, the field of the former fortified castle in the middle of Bruges, Belgium. Its gothic design leads your eyes upwards with large slender windows.
If your definition of Christmas merriment involves an authentic Irish pub crawl (we’ll get it then Dublin is your place. There’s no better way to bundle up on a chilly Christmas night than with some black pudding and a few pints—and believe us this town has enough cosy bars to last you until New Year’s Eve. But of course, Irish capital is not just about drinking. Holiday packages include Christmas markets, illuminated stores on Grafton Street and tree lighting ceremonies.
Where to stay in Dublin
The Westbury gets ever more comfortable during the holidays, with spectacular views of the Grafton Street lights during the afternoon tea. Dublin is considered one of the cheapest places to travel on Christmas.
Top Christmas sights in Dublin
Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo
“Ocean of Light” is the focus of Dublin Zoo’s award-winning night-time spectacle this year-and its only sea-rifice. The exhibition presents an entirely new cast of illuminated silk lanterns, inspired by the mysteries of marine life.
Another vacation day the popular Dublin Amusement Park has been relieving Christmas cabin fever families for years after spending so many days together. It’s also home to iSkate, the only outdoor ice-skating rink in Ireland.
Dublin Christmas Flea market – Free entry
A mish-mash of second hand, antique, retro bric-a-brac, clothes, accessories, vinyl, motorcycles and more, this funky Christmas market is the best place to pack something a bit different. It’s a beautiful day out with 70 indoor and outdoor stalls and plenty of places to stop for coffee or brunch.
3. Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
At the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, Sharm el-Sheikh is more or less Cancun or Mallorca in the area, but not as warm in December. This is a purpose-built tourist area that has been popular with both Europeans and others for some time now. Although it’s isolated and generally protected from the surrounding chaos, most of its fans are opting to go elsewhere at the moment.
We all hope that one day soon, travelers will be able to go to Egypt without reviewing all security alerts every few days. Until then, it’s not for everybody, but those who visit are accepted at some fantastic hotel prices, including the famous Christmas holiday season.
Top Christmas sights in Sharm el-Sheikh
Naama Bay is a natural bay in the Sharm El Sheik resort and is considered the key tourism centre of the region, renowned for its cafes, restaurants, hotels and bazaars.
The Heavenly Cathedral
The Heavenly Cathedral is Sharm’s newest and largest Coptic church. It was voted one of the 10 most beautiful churches in the world in 2010, when it was completed, and features spectacular frescoes and religious murals of biblical scenes such as The Birth and The Exodus. Founded in only two years, the cathedral is situated in the district of Hay el Noor, not far from the twin minarets of El Mustafa Mosque. Prepare to be swept away by St John’s view of the Apocalypse, which can be seen looking ominously from the ceiling.
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Where to stay in Sharm El Sheik
Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh should be your choice while staying there as they have all covid-19 precautions. They also give very excellently and services.
4. Alsace, France
Christmas in Alsace is really magic. This is the area that has had a great impact on the traditions of Christmas in France. There’s a long running tradition in the Christmas business. The proximity of Germany offers a ‘Germanic air’ that is very much enjoyed in France. It’s the dream atmosphere. Old half-timbered houses richly decorated, plenty of fairy lights, classical concerts in nearby churches, delicious food and Christmas cookies and gingerbread. They all blend to deliver an incredible mystical experience. And when it’s snowing, you’re welcomed to the most typical Christmas experience!
Top sights in Alsace on Christmas
Christmas markets in Alsace
The Alsace region is the home of the French Christmas markets. This is where you’ll find the oldest and some of the more conventional markets. One of the most beautiful markets is the Christmas market of Strasbourg.
Most of the towns in Alsace have the streets of their historic core richly painted and illuminated for Christmas. Any of the lovely old façades show a great display of Christmas decoration. It has become a tradition for Alsatians to take a walk along the enchanting streets of their cities at nightfall.
5. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is lovely at Christmas time. The whole town is adorned with Christmas lights. Some shops and hotels often go out with lighting and decorations – Corte Ingles on Plaza Catalunya normally looks great! I really enjoy the special and very unusual rituals of Catalan Christmas. At the biggest Christmas market in town, the Fira de Santa Llúicia, you’ll see a lot of very adorable little logs with faces and hats on the Caga Tió—literally, “poo uncle.” Kids wrap him in a blanket and feed him in the run-up to Christmas, and on Christmas Eve the weak log gets battered before he, um… releases… toys! Find out more in Two Scottish Abroad’s Barcelona Winter Guide.
PortAventura World is a very wide adventure theme park situated 1 hour south of Barcelona, with Ferrari Land as well. PortAventura has many traditionally decorated resort hotels and a complete schedule of Christmas packages, parties and displays, including an ice show, Christmas festival and Christmas parade, exclusive Christmas menus and exclusive shows. On a one day bus ride from Barcelona, you can visit both parks.
Christmas shopping Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the best shopping cities in Europe, and Christmas shopping in Barcelona kicks off with Black Friday all over the city at the end of November. La Nit del Passeig de Gràcia – Shopping night 2019 with live music and activities on Passeig de Gracia’s top shopping street on 19 December. On Sundays and on some December public holidays, Barcelona has additional Christmas shopping days. If they choose to be open on public holidays and Sundays, stores pick themselves.
Barcelona Christmas food
Traditions of Cooking. What do they eat in Barcelona, Spain, at Christmas? ‘Escudella I carn d’olla’ is a traditional Christmas dish. This is a delicious bowl of ‘galets’ pasta shells in a meat and vegetable stew or soup (escudella means bowl). The delicious ‘carn d’olla’ is another traditional Catalan Christmas dish, which is a stuffed capon or turkey meat dish. ‘Turrón,’ which is on sale at Christmas markets and supermarkets around Barcelona, is a typical Christmas dessert in Spain and Barcelona.
6. Tamarindo/Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a wide variety of resort towns along both its Caribbean and Pacific coasts, and all of them will be warm and sunny in late December. There are also national parks and volcanoes (not always sunny) in the interior, but if your main goal is to relax and be a tourist, the best area is around Tamarindo in the Guanacaste province. There’s even a newer international airport nearby in the main city of Liberia, so finding cheap direct flights is fairly easy.
Things to do in Costa Rica
corridas de toros
The days after Christmas are also packed with corridas de toros in Zapote, just east of downtown San José. Unlike the violent Spanish bullfights, the version of Costa Rica has a special pacifist twist: instead of humans pursuing the bull, the bull is chasing the people. Who wants reindeer when you have horses and bulls? Most notably, the week after Christmas is a time to spend with relatives and friends. In Costa Rica, that often means going to a gorgeous beach.
7. Tokyo, Japan
If you’ve been mulling a Christmas trip to Tokyo for a long time, this year might be a good time to make it happen. Japan celebrates Christmas with some very specific traditions – although most Japanese are not Christian, holidays are considered a secular celebration for lovers. Cities all over the country are lit with lots of tiny lights, and Tokyo is no exception! You can expect to save $300 or more on a roundtrip flight from Chicago during the Christmas week.
Top Christmas sights in Japan
Tokyo Disney Resort (Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea) is holding an annual Christmas “Disney Christmas” festival from early November to December 25, featuring Christmas lights, huge Christmas trees, special day and night parades, limited snacks, drinks and merchandise ranges. It’s certainly the most festive and dreamy place to be in the Christmas season!
Chichibu Night Festival
Chichibu Night Festival or Chichibu Yomatsuri(agreed) is a traditional festival held annually in Chichibu City from 1st to 6th December. It takes place at Chichibu Shrine in Chichibu District, Saitama Prefecture, which can be reached in about 90 minutes from central Tokyo. While the festival lasts for 6 days, the main activities will take place on 3 December, showcasing a procession of huge floats and fireworks.
Japan is one of the best countries for snow sports, and skiing and snowboarding are a big draw for international tourists. There are many world-class ski resorts offering great courses and fine powder snow, particularly in Hokkaido and Hakuba (Nagano Prefecture). There are also a variety of fantastic ski resorts accessible from Tokyo!
8. Papeete, Tahiti
The stunning island nation of Tahiti is a bucket list destination for a lot of people, but because of its remote location and the high cost of traveling there, often it remains unattainable. However, you do not realize that the trend for Tahiti over the last few years has been that Papeete’s airfares are getting more accessible. This year, fares from Los Angeles to Chicago are on average) about $300 cheaper than last year.
9. Bled, Slovenia
Everyone claims that Bled in Slovenia is one of the most romantic fairytale cities in Europe. But consider that the church on the lake and the castle on the hill with snow on the mountains – that’s the epitome of magic, making Bled one of the best-known Christmas breaks in Europe. Don’t think that Bled is just a place to watch in the winter, there’s a lot of activity in this usually quiet area, from skiing to skating to snowshoeing.
Top Christmas sights in Bled
Visit the Lake Bled Christmas Market
Although several Christmas markets in Europe are not open on holidays, the Bled Winter Fairytale Festive Lakeside Promenade is open on holidays! You will come on holiday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Highlights include eating all the tasty food, shopping for Slovene souvenirs, and visiting some of the exclusive holiday photography spots they set up last year.
Attend St. Stephen’s Fair & the Blessing of the Horses
In the morning of 26 December, St. Stephen’s Day the St. Stephen’s Fair is a perfect place to keep the holidays alive the day after Christmas. This occurrence has been part of local traditions since the 18th century, while the small village of Kupljenik dates back to at least the 14th century. The Blessing of the Horses is the focal point of the celebrations. The protection of horses was an important part of the survival of the Slovenes in this part of the Julian Alps.
Christmas & New Year’s Eve Concerts and Parties
Whether you’re going to be at Lake Bled once you get down to New Year’s Eve, there are always Christmas and holiday activities to be attended. There’s a Christmas/New Year’s Eve concert on December 30th and a New Year’s Eve children’s party on New Year’s Eve.
Is there a ticket price to get into the events?
The main promenade is free to attend. We suggest bringing cash so you can shop and purchase food. Occasionally special events might have a ticket price.
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