8 European Cities To Visit For A Magical, Snowy Christmas | POPxo

8 Places To Visit If You're Dreaming Of A Snowy White Christmas This Year

8 Places To Visit If You're Dreaming Of A Snowy White Christmas This Year

Living in India and having an unseasonably hot September, you may have almost forgotten that we're actually inching close to the winter break. That's one time of the year when everyone is ready to pack their bags, put on their luggage tags and fly off far away from reality. It's the celebration of the coming year and with it, the possibilities of a more prosperous and happier future ahead. 

As the holiday season approaches, many cities across the world transform themselves into winter wonderlands, straight out of Disney fairytales. A white Christmas is the romance of winters that we have seen so many times on screen and trust us, it's not overrated. Let me paint you a picture: a hot cup of cocoa, snow-clad streets, warm fireplaces, cosy blankets, and Christmas trees decorated with twinkling lights and baubles. Doesn't that sound idyllic? 

Unfortunately, the prices of flights and stay also surge this time of the year so you have to think ahead and plan your holiday. So, if you and your beau are planning a romantic, snowy getaway, now would be the perfect time to make your bookings.

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Unsplash

We've selected eight cities, where you'll be able to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve by making snow fairies and romancing under the glimmering lights.

So ready to enjoy the holidays like they're supposed to be?

Lapland, Finland

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Unsplash

In winters, you will experience polar nights in Finland, when the sun doesn't rise at all. As soon as you cross the Arctic circle, you'll be able to witness this phenomenon and it's a once in a lifetime experience. If you're lucky, you'd be able to catch the breathtaking Northern Lights (aurora borealis) and enjoy the magical views when the sky is all shades of green, purple, soft pink and blue. The temperatures are freezing and are usually between -5C and -30C, so carry all the down-feather jackets you own. To take it up a POP, you can book a private igloo at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort and snuggle into a sleeping bag under the night sky. Huskies, reindeer, snowmobile safaris, ice-fishing, and skiing can all be enjoyed here. 

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Ivalo is Rs 60,000 upwards; an-hour-and-a-half hour drive from Ivalo to Lapland 

 

 

Salt Lake City, United States Of America

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Shutterstock

Spreading Christmas cheer and holiday joy in the States is also a great idea. Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, is the place to be if you want to sing carols, go for plays and enjoy ballet. Go on the Heber Valley Railroad North Pole Express, a historic train ride through the Heber Valley while sipping hot chocolate and munching on cookies and visit Santa. You should also not miss out on on the Festival of Trees that happens at that time of the year, where over 1,000 Christmas trees get decorated in beautiful wreaths, laurels, lights, and baubles. Stay in this cute and cozy Airbnb bungalow that can accommodate up to six people (approximately Rs. 10,000 per night) for an unforgettable holi-yay.

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Salt Lake City is Rs 1,00,000 upwards

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Reykjavik, Iceland

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Shutterstock

The temperatures in Iceland fall to -2C at night, so if you want to feel like you're in a snowglobe, then Reykjavik is the place for you. Here, too, you can catch glimpses of the Northern Lights and enjoy a White Christmas. Take a dip in the man-made pools near Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier for a spectacular view. You have to eat at the award-winning restaurant Grillmarkaðurinn that only serves food made from the organic produce from close-by framers' market. Meat lovers, the beef, trout, and quail are must-tries here.  

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Reykjavik is Rs 80,000 upwards

 

Quebec City, Canada

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Shutterstock

Canada is another option to consider for a White Christmas with your loved ones or even as a solo traveller because it's a safe country. Go on a shopping spree at the German market and devour all the rum cakes and cinnamon rolls you can get your hands on in Quebec. A must-visit for drinks is the Christmas themed pop-up bar Miracle, which serves holiday-centric cocktails. You can even go ice-skating at the rink in Place d’Youville. For an authentic Qubecean meal, go to La Bûche and have their Christmas buffet - their pie is all the Christmas goodness you need. For stay in a castle, pick Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (approximately Rs 35,000 a night) but for a more affordable option we've found you a loft on Airbnb in the heart of the city (Rs 5,099 per night).

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Quebec City is Rs 97,000 upwards

Salzburg, Austria

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Shutterstock

While many people miss out on the quaint town of Salzburg for Vienna, this place should definitely be on your bucket list for a snowy holiday vacay. It's romantic and stunning and the baroque old town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's the birthplace of Mozart, so music and culture lovers will find plenty to do around here. It's a cultural capital defined by music, theatre, and there is a whole lot to do here. Visit the Christmas markets in winding roads of the city and sing Do-A-Deer while you're at it because The Sound Of Music was shot completely here.

The holiday celebration is a sight to see especially because there was a time the city was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by archbishops. Look out for mangers and representations of the Nativity scene in the charming lanes and sip hot chocolate to get the full wintery feel. For a budget stay, a cosy bed and breakfast like Frühstückspension Haus Elisabeth (approximately Rs 5,000 per night) is something to consider.

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Salzburg is Rs 49,000 upwards

 

Moscow, Russia

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Shutterstock

If you want to go somewhere in Russia, Moscow would be the best bet for a holiday. The entire city is blanketed with white cover like whipped cream on the hot chocolate you'll be drinking. You have to take out a day to witness the famous Moscow Christmas Festival, where Christmas trees are decorated, street art is displayed, and plays are performed. Don't miss the ice ballet because it's enchanting. For New Year's Eve, you can also join the cheerful crowd at Moscow’s central Tverskaya Street to count down the seconds to 2020. Dance and celebrate because the party carries on till 3 a.m. on the streets. Sounds fun, right? Stay at an Airbnb in the central area of the city in a luxurious apartment (approximately Rs 6,800 per night).

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Moscow is Rs 25,000 upwards

 

 

Tallinn, Estonia

Arguably one of the most gorgeous cities in northern Europe, the capital of Estonia could be your holiday getaway if you don't want to spend as much. The medieval stone walls, sky-scraping church bell towers, and cobblestone roads are every traveller's dream. Go to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or St Olaf’s Church for Christmas mass and have a holy experience. Compared to western Europe, the food and nightlife is cheaper; try out the local beer and Baltic cuisine at Restaurant Ribe and Rataskaevu 16.  

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Tallinn is Rs 43,000 upwards

 

Sapporo, Japan

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Shutterstock

Japan probably isn't the first place that comes to your mind when you think of a white Christmas. But if you don't want to go out of Asia, it's perfect. Have hot wine, shop and eat at tiny bakeries at the German Market in Sapporo. If you're an adventure lover, then stay at the Niseko Grand Hirafu and explore the mountains with skis in hand. You can even stay at Jozaneki Onsen or Asarigawa Hot Spring, which are considered to be some of the most popular hot spring resorts in Sapporo. A dip in the warm water in the icy winter will make you let go of all your worries. Don't miss out a fresh seafood breakfast at Nijo Fish Market to get a taste of local delicacies. 

How to get there:

Flight from New Delhi to Sapporo is Rs 64,000 upwards

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