Have you ever thought about spending Christmas in warm, even tropical weather or some exotic surroundings? Dreamy beaches, mesmerizing nature, exquisite cuisine, or an exciting new culture of a foreign country – give you an opportunity to unwind while doing something completely different during the season to be jolly. If you’re looking for the alternative way to spend the holidays and want to get away from the cold weather and snow, read on to find out the best destinations.
Singapore, cultural melting pot
Singapore is definitely your go-to destination for amazing holidays. The city is heavily decorated, especially the Orchard Road shopping district that turns into a breathtaking Christmas market during the holidays. This city has everything you ever wanted: from finger-licking food that is a mixture of Chinese, Indian Indonesian, and Malaysian cuisine, great art scene, and amazing architecture to theme parks, wildlife, and party opportunities. Discover how modernity clashes with tradition by exploring the charming neighborhoods of Chinatown, Dempsey Hill, and Tiong Bahru. Join some of the festive events by the river and consider staying for the New Year’s eve: the fireworks at Marina Bay are stunning. If you’re looking for a getaway, consider offshore islands: take a pleasant ferry ride to Pulau Ubin or Kusu Islands and relax.
Sydney, a festive treat
Spending Christmas in Sydney is really something: from renown landmarks and spots such as the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Botanic Garden to the vivid Circular Quay, China Town, and mesmerizing beaches – Sydney won’t disappoint you. Enjoy freshly produced food at the Rock Foodies Market (such as barbecued salmon or gourmet pies) or savor tasty dishes at the Darling Harbour restaurants where you’ll also get the chance to enjoy amazing ambient and fireworks during the holidays. If you like heart-pumping activities, sign up for a Sydney Bridge Climb: just make sure to book your place because it’s open only in the afternoon on the Christmas Day. Bondi Beach seems to be the most favorite spot for tourists to enjoy the Christmas Day: just keep in mind it is an alcohol-free zone. Shopping enthusiasts don’t want to miss the Queen Victoria Building and the majestic discounts offered during the holiday season.
Christmas Island, a natural wonder
Another Australian getaway, Christmas Island is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, about 2600 km northwest of Perth. It is best known for the magnificent migration of red crabs as millions of them head out to the sea to spawn. Here you have tons of diving opportunities: you can expect warm, clear water, untouched corals, various species of tropical fish, but also docile dolphins, whale sharks, eels, and other marine creatures. You can find out more about the island culture and the I-Kiribati, the oldest Pacific language islanders use. Flying Fish Cove is a popular spot, as well as the promenade in front of the Kampong. Whether you just want to chill and soak up the sun or go for an adventure in the jungle – Christmas Island makes the perfect destination. Fun fact if you’re wondering about the name: Captain William Mynors named it Christmas Island back in 1643 because it was Christmas Day when he sailed past it.
Dubai, city of skyscrapers
Dubai is one of those cities that has to be seen to be believed. Fear you might get nostalgic for snow? Despite the warm climate, Dubai has created artificial snow spots such as the one at the Festive Market at Souk Madinat Jumeirah. You can even enjoy a camel race on the Dubai-Al Ain Road, learn how to make hot chocolate at Jones the Grocer in Al Manara, or savor amazing food at world class restaurants. If you don’t mind splurging a bit, choose the ones with the amazing view such as the Armani restaurant within the hotel in Burj Khalifa. During the holiday season, they offer a four-course menu for the price between Dhs 450 and Dhs 550. A more wallet-friendly Christmas dinner includes the Food Truck Jam: pay Dhs 50 to enter and enjoy tasting various types of food. Don’t forget Dubai’s malls and famous attractions such as Madinat Jumeirah, the Outlet Village, Dubai Opera, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, etc.
Gramado, Brazil’s Christmas capital
Located south of Rio, Gramado is home to the famous festival called Natal Luz – Lights of Christmas. This event starts on the 12th of November and it continues all the way to the 17th of January. There are around 800.000 people per year who enjoy daily exhibitions and vivid program within the festival. Visitors have the chance to see amazing light shows, fireworks, live music, and holiday plays. Don’t miss visiting the Aldeia do Papai Noel: it is a place where Christmas exists all year round! Santa Claus house and trails in the forest will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. The best way to get to Gramado from Rio is flying to Porto Alegre and then take a two-hour bus ride to Gramado.
You’ll be surprised to find out various ways holidays are celebrated around the world. Traveling is an amazing way to shake things up a bit: there are many breathtaking destinations so consider these five for an awesome Christmas you’ll never forget.