people ice skating at christmas outdoor rink


6 Best Destinations for a White Christmas

Published December 18th, 2018

Almost every kid grows up watching Christmas movies like Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and just about every film ever made come December. Each, of course, features a gloriously magical white Christmas. However, you know what has never made it into a Christmas movie - the beach.

So for that very reason, there are a couple of generations of Aussies all with the exact same travel bucket list destination - to finally experience the joy of not sitting around sweating and swatting flies on December 25th. To instead bundle up in 50 layers of ugly Christmas sweaters and frolic in the mysterious fluffy white frosty stuff called snow.

To get those gears in motion, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite cities that are well and truly the best places to spend a white Christmas:

1. Lapland, Finland

Unofficially the absolute capital of Christmas is Lapland. Reason being, it’s where Santa Claus officially lives. At least that’s where he lives according to the Fins, in the capital of Lapland and a remote town called Rovaniemi. The town also features a year-round Santa’s Village where you can meet the big old fat man himself, ride husky-drawn sleighs and pat real-life reindeer. The added bonus is that because it’s located in the Arctic Circle, the chance of seeing snow is preeeeetty high and you may even see the Northern Lights.

2. Oslo, Norway

Another great European city to experience a bright white christmas lies in the capital and largest city of Norway, Oslo. For anyone who is a fan of especially cold, snowy winters, this is the city for you. With top-notch ski resorts and phenomenal mountains just a couple of hours out by train, celebrating Christmas here is about as magical and jam-packed as it gets. There are Christmas concerts, markets and plenty of traditional Christmas Eve food, including ribbe (pork ribs or pork belly, bone in), lutefisk (cod cured in lye), pinnekjøtt (dry-cured ribs of lamb), boiled cod, ham roast and turkey. Yum!

3. Salzburg, Austria

While many people opt to visit Vienna for Christmas, the slightly smaller Austrian town of Salzburg is just as festive, if not more! Not only is Salzburg just as likely to receive a heavy dose of snowfall, but it’s also where The Sound of Music was filmed and the birthplace of Mozart, could there be a more joyful place to spend Christmas than that? Christmas markets fill the main squares in addition to the Hohensalzburg Castle. There’s also plenty of ski resorts nearby, so it’s a win-win situation for all involved.

4. Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City tops many a list as one of the top cities to spend the Christmas holidays in. It has entertained travellers seeking the spirit of Christmas for literally centuries with its French and historical charm. As December rolls around, the city transforms into a  quaint Christmas village with concerts, festivals and all the glittering lights you could ask for. Take in the decorations along Rue du Petit-Champlain, skate on an outdoor ice rink or sip mulled wine from the Christmas markets.

5. Chicago, USA

If you’re looking for big, skip Texas and head straight for Chicago because it doesn’t get much bigger than Christmas here. From late November through to Christmas Eve is one of the biggest Christmas markets around, Christkindlmarket offers up all sorts of handicrafts like wooden nutcrackers and hand painted ornaments through to treats like bratwurst, glühwein, a warm, spiced holiday wine and even potato pancakes - yum! Let's not forget either the fact that almost every American Xmas movie ever has pretty much been set in Chicago. We’re talking Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Christmas with the Kranks.

6. New York City, USA

The other half of those Christmas movies have of course all been filmed in Chicago’s neighbouring, New York City. From Miracle on 34th Street to Elf and of course Home Alone 2, New York has to be one of the most featured destinations when it comes to Christmas movies. While it’s not guaranteed to snow on Christmas day in New York City, it sure is one of the most Christmas-y places in the world. The few trees along the streets are wrapped in fairy lights and awnings over the street sport snowflakes and bell-shaped lights while department stores, restaurants and bars are all decked to the nines in tinsel, wreaths and all kinds of bells and whistles. You can ice skate outside in Central Park or at Rockefeller Plaza and pick a real Christmas tree in one of the pop-up shops that line the sidewalk. It doesn’t get much better than a New York Christmas.

Student Flights

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.