New York, USA
Holidays in the Big Apple are legendary, thanks to numerous movies. The lights, celebrations and the dusting snow give the night a magical feel. The world’s tallest Christmas tree is lit at the Rockefeller Center early in December. Ice skating and shopping (and window shopping) in New York’s largest department stores is a must. Finish off with the famed New York Ballet performance of “The Nutcracker” straight out of Central Casting.
The mountains, snowline, cobbled streets and chocolate-box – what better could you hope for? Switzerland, the exotic location gets an extra-appeal during December. Local markets, including the one in the train station, are the biggest highlight. Attractions like festival-themed city strolls, the enchanting all-singing Christmas tree that comes alive on Werdmuhleplatz are not to be missed.
Bondi Beach, Australia
Hit the beach this season with fellow travelers for a change! Bondi is the opposite of your ideal northern-hemisphere winter. Sun, sand and surf replacing snow, fairy lights, and red caps! On 31st December the beach becomes a hub for backpackers who celebrate alongside other “globetrotters.” With music bands and DJs rocking the gathering, people have the time of their lives. Don’t forget to pack; swimsuit, sunscreen, sunhat.
With night long parties on beaches, cocktails in bars, and architecture, Goa is a connotation for celebration. There’s nothing like a party at the hippest place in India. With its Roman Catholic population and Portuguese legacy, Goa is famous for celebrating Christmas with zeal and show. The party capital of India becomes livelier during December. The entire city is decorated with flowers and lights. Even the beach shacks and restaurants serve dinners with live music.
The God’s own country is a sure shot to make into this list. Kerala can be one of the best places to celebrate your holidays. Streets are decorated and restaurants remain open all night. The restaurants offer discounts on food and drink. You need to witness the festivals to understand the local touch and the high spirits. With gorgeous beaches and serene backwaters, there’s no escape from having fun.
The French connection is evident in the soul of Pondicherry. Famous already for the exquisite architecture, cuisine and the beaches, December is a great time too. In December, Pondicherry exhibits a festive ambiance compelling you to be a part of it. The mass on the day of Christmas in Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (The Church of Our Lady of Angels), The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Church of the Assumption, The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Church of Our Lady of Good Health are quite a sight to witness.
Not much of a beach person? There is an excellent December holiday destination for those dreaming of a snow white season. Pack your bags to the snow-laden hills of Shimla in December. Here you can take a toy train ride watching snow capped hills from your cabin, eat at the various vintage cafes and restaurants at Mall Road. Why wait? Book your flights now! And find out what makes Shimla in winter one of the best places to visit in India.
There’s a certain charm to Winter being celebrated in Mumbai. Bandra west is the area not to be missed to feel the spirit of festivities. This area is mostly inhabited by Catholics and each street and house welcomes you with lights and stars hung outside, entire month. The many churches in Mumbai such as Holy Name Cathedral, Saint Thomas’s Cathedral, Gloria Church, Saint Michael’s Church, Mount Mary’s Basilica, Saint Peter’s Church, Saint Andrew’s Church and Lady of Immaculate Conception, are places where you can attend the midnight mass. Since its ‘Amchi’ Mumbai, which is also an excellent place to party, you can expect a lot of parties here as well.
Words by Akash Kaimal
Photographs from Various Internet Sources