Christmas day getaways: Top 10 destinations for a magical white Christmas

Last Updated:

Ever dreamt of a Christmas straight out of a snowy postcard? Well, you're in for a treat as we unwrap the top 10 Christmas day getaways, where winter's magic paints the world in a blanket of glistening white. From the charming streets of New York City to the enchanting landscapes of Lapland, join us on a virtual sleigh ride as we explore destinations that turn into real-life snow globes come December. Forget the movie scenes; we're talking about experiencing the hushed beauty of snowfall firsthand. Grab a cup of cocoa, cozy up, and let's go on a journey to discover the ultimate white Christmas wonderlands.

1. Quebec

Where: Canada
High / Low temperature in December: -3°C / -10°C

Quebec during Christmas is like stepping into a festive fairy tale—'little Europe' dressed in white magic. Imagine strolling down Rue du Petit Champlain, where every cobblestone whispers winter charm. With German-inspired markets, sparkling streets, and Santa making surprise appearances, it's Christmas in full swing. Don't miss the Chateau Frontenac's enchanting tree displays. And hey, if you're up for it, venture beyond for snowy slopes or marvel at the frozen Montmorency falls. Quebec City promises a dreamy white Christmas straight out of storybooks!

2. Budapest

Where: Hungary
High / Low temperature in December: 4°C / 0°C

Budapest's got the winter wonderland vibes dialed up! December brings the chill, and most times, a fluffy blanket of snow. Hungarians go all out for Christmas, decking the city with lights and setting up charming markets. Picture this: sipping hot cocoa, shopping for unique Hungarian goodies, and nibbling on Kurtos Kalacs. The city's alive with festive tunes, and if you're up for it, lace up your skates at the Christmas markets. Budapest, with its frosty charm, is the place to be.

3. Vilnius

Where: Lithuania
High / Low temperature in December: 0°C / -5°C

Ever thought of a Christmas straight out of a snow globe? Vilnius, Lithuania's got that snowy magic! The city, usually a stunner, transforms into a winter wonderland. The town square hosts a majestic Christmas tree, and if you're lucky, there's a festive Vilnius Christmas mart. You can stroll through snowy streets, sip warm drinks, and duck into cozy shops. Many restaurants and shops around have tiny bonfires to keep you warm. You can also check out the snowy slopes at Vingis Park for some sledding, topped off with a chilly Lithuanian beer.

4. Lapland

Where: Finland
High / Low temperature in December: -7°C / -16°C

Imagine spending Christmas at Santa's own place – Lapland's a snowy dream come true! Everywhere you look, it's a winter wonderland, with Santa's home, office, and workshops all dusted in snow. Say hi to the big man himself, give his reindeer a friendly pat, and hitch a ride on a husky-drawn sleigh. Lapland doesn't just promise snow, it's a ticket to Northern Lights magic. With snowflakes falling, reindeer trotting, and the sky dancing with auroras, Lapland is where all your Christmas dreams come true!

5. Ruka

Where: Finland
High / Low temperature in December: -6°C / -15°C

Ruka in Finland is like a winter wonderland on steroids. Tucked up North, it's practically in Santa's neighborhood, hitting chilling lows of -30 degrees Celsius. This ski haven not only guarantees snow but spreads it on the slopes for good measure. You can cozy up in a traditional log cabin, with your personal sauna – because, Finland. Don't forget to stock up on Glögi, Finnish mulled wine, for that perfect fireside sip after a day on the snowy slopes.

6. Tromsø

Where: Norway
High / Low temperature in December: 0°C / -4°C

Imagine a Christmas so cold and dark it's practically a fairy tale – welcome to Tromsø, Norway, where winter means a dazzling display of lights. Along the waterfront, the city decks itself in a brilliant glow, a perfect contrast against the snowy mountains. But the real showstopper? The Northern Lights, nature's own holiday spectacle. Witness the aurora's greens and reds dance across the heavens. If you're a fan of any kind of lights, especially the magical kind, Tromsø is your Christmas dream come true!

7. Courmayeur

Where: Italy
High / Low temperature in December: 5°C / 0°C

Courmayeur, in the Italian Alps, is a snowy Christmas dream with alpine vistas straight from a postcard. It's a haven for outdoor lovers, especially if you're introducing the kiddos to skiing. With gentle slopes and a top-notch ski school, it's perfect for beginners. But even if skiing isn't your thing, the winter wonder continues. Try snowshoeing or fat biking in Val Ferret, glide on an Olympic-sized ice rink, or soar on the Skyway Monte Bianco Cable Car for Mont Blanc views. Christmas Eve brings Rhémy de Noel to the village square, along with festive events. Beyond, explore Chamonix, go dog sledding, or hit Aosta's Christmas market amid ancient Roman ruins. Courmayeur – where Christmas magic meets mountain adventure!

8. Moscow

Where: Russia
High / Low temperature in December: -3°C / -7°C

Experience the epitome of a white Christmas in Moscow, Russia, where the cold winters guarantee a snowy spectacle. Contrary to rumors, the chill isn't as harsh as you'd think, with December temperatures hovering around -3°C to -7°C. Moscow, bedecked in festive cheer throughout December, exudes a magical ambiance with abundant snow and a fairytale-like charm. What sets it apart? It's a winter wonderland without the holiday crowds, as December 25th isn't a national holiday. If you're keen on learning more about Russian culture, extend your stay to witness the Orthodox Christmas celebration on January 7th.

9. Andorra

High / Low temperature in December: 10°C / 0°C

Andorra, Europe's pint-sized gem, transforms into a winter wonderland come Christmas, embracing its tiny stature with immense festive charm. The mountains don a snowy blanket, and the country sparkles with holiday decorations. For outdoor enthusiasts, it's paradise – skiing takes center stage, with family-friendly slopes at Grandvalira Resort and a special Mon(t) Magic Program for the little ones. Beyond the slopes, there's tubing, ice skating, and mountain mushing adventures. Amidst it all, a local tradition adds a playful touch – spotting 'The Caganer' in nativity scenes brings good luck to the kids. In Andorra, a white Christmas isn't just a dream; it's a magical reality for all.

10. New York City

Where: United States of America
High / Low temperature in December: 7°C / 0°C

Wandering through New York City at Christmastime, hoping for those fluffy snowflakes to add a touch of magic is all we can ask for! While the chance of a snowy Christmas is like 1 in 8, the city's holiday spirit is off the charts. Twinkling lights everywhere, the massive Rockefeller Tree stealing the show, and folks skating in Central Park – it's a winter wonderland. Even if the snow takes a rain check, NYC's festive vibe and iconic traditions make it a Christmas dream come true! If you're in New York for a few days around Christmas, you'll be guaranteed to see snow, and we promise it will be magical!

White Christmas Destinations