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Christmas is upon us once again. What is it about Christmas that brings out the inner child in all of us? For billions of people around the world Christmas is the biggest holiday or time-off of the year. The annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ is also one of most popular and busiest times of the year to travel. The holiday is most likened to Santa Claus and the North Pole, but while many will spend Christmas in the snow, not all Christmas destinations are filled with white powder, nor are all Christmas' a chilling experience.
Here are five destinations on five continents that jolly, old Saint Nick would surely approve of.
Christmas in Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, while magical in any season, is especially fairy tale like during the month of December. Christmas markets are a Czech tradition. To see enchanting Prague in lights simply adds to the allure of this already charming city. Wenceslas Square and Prague's Old Town, where Christmas trees complete with Bohemian crystal, offers a Christmas not to miss. Prague covered in white snow is a dream Christmas. Prague, long known is one of the world's great walking cities of the world. You will never get cold with tea rooms, mulled wine, grog from street vendors, hot chocolate and always a nice pilsner or two. Prague comes to life in December.
Christmas in Sydney, Australia (Photo Courtesy of Telegraph UK)
Few cities can lay claim to matching Sydney at having world-class beaches, merely a few minutes from their vibrant city centers. Going to the beach on Christmas Day in an Aussie tradition. Can you imagine climbing Harbor Bridge or surfing at Bondi Beach, while you catch a few rays, all on Christmas Day. It's all possible in Sydney. From Martin Place to Darling Harbor, the Christmas cheer is out in Sydney. Celebrating at a house party with new or old friends remains a popular Sydney Christmas tradition. So put a shrimp on the barbie and head to Sydney.
Christmas in Rio De Janeiro
After Carnival and New Years, the biggest celebration in Rio is Christmas. Like other Southern hemisphere cities, Christmas in Rio means summer. You won't get snow and Santa down your chimney, but you most likely will see Santa on a Jet Ski or playing volleyball on Ipanema beach. Visit the world's largest Christmas tree floating in Rio's lagoa- a small lake along the a narrow strip of Ipanema. Another large gathering is the "Goddess of the Sea" festival. Once in a year people gather on the golden beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Loblon to worship the Goddess of the Sea. Grab your girl or guy and head to the city that invented bossa nova and sexy beaches. Rio De Janeiro. The local Cariocas, the natives of Riode Janeiro are especially friendly during this most holy and festive time of the year.
Christmas in Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town with its breathtaking views from the backdrop of Table Mountain is already South Africa's coastal treasure. But during the Christmas season, both South Africans and travelers from throughout the world flock to Capetown for a Christmas beach celebration. Like Sydney and Rio, Capetown is in the Southern Hemisphere. The climate is wonderful during the Christmas season. Visit Greenmarket Square for Christmas Carols and other Christmas traditions, including Christmas cookies and desserts. Don't miss the concert organized by the City of London Choir and the Sparrow Schools Choir from South Africa mixing traditional Christmas carols with South African culture. Clifton Beach is the place to be to spend a Christmas day on the beach. You can climb Table Mountain on Christmas day. Once you take in the South African hospitality of Cape Town. You may never want to leave.
Christmas in Quebec City, Canada (Photo courtesy of The Telegraph UK)
Unesco named Quebec City a World Heritage site for good reason. The stunning architecture alone is worth a visit to Quebec. A little bit of France in North America. Quebec just may be North America's most European city. Certainly, one of its most charming. Always enchanting in any season, but the snow dusted Christmas season is truly remarkable. Quebec City dates back to the 16th century. The walled city with lit-up cobblestone streets, quaint bars and restaurants, truly adds a European flavor to enchanting Quebec. Snow falling as you stroll Quebec's Christmas markets make the holiday season especially festive. The Marche de Noel is Quebec's famed market. With over 100 beautifully decorated stalls offering everything from world-famous Quebec maple syrup to crepes and pancakes, baked goods, artisan crafts, food, wine, and more, the market transforms into a Christmas Winter Wonderland. This is a place for foodies and shoppers alike in a storybook setting. No visit to Quebec City is complete without a visit to the historic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Perched high on a hill overlooking Quebec City. More than just a famed hotel. This symbol of Quebec is especially grand covered in snow. The Quebecios are also some of the friendliest and inviting people who you will ever meet.
About the Author: Nick Kontis - Travel Expert and Founder of the World Travel List
Nick Kontis started out as a world traveler at an early age traveling back and forth between California and Greece every summer. But it was a backpacking trip around the world at age 24 that proved to be a life changing experience. After traveling by car, train, plane, bike and, boat around the world, it would be this trip of a lifetime that would lead to a life as a travel entrepreneur and world traveler. Nick has been on both radio and television. Featured on Arthur Frommer’s television show, and referred by Lonely Planet writers. Frequently mentioned as the “father of around the world airfares.” Arthur Frommer once said, “If Jules Verne were alive today he would use Nick to go around the world in 80 days.” Nick and his various travel companies have sent over 10,000 people taking their dream trip through airfare discounts of as much as 50% off the airlines published fares. Now Nick promotes travel through his World Travel List and ‘Trip Rambler’ by World Travel List. Having traveled to over 80 countries Nick hopes to inspire others to travel the world. Follow Nick's "passion for travel" at World Travel List.