6. New York
It’s hard to believe that back in the 17thcentury, Christmas was banned in Boston, but the city has wasted no time in making up for it. With holiday markets, candlelight carols, ice-skating on frozen lakes and an abundance of festive shows, there’s plenty to do in the Massachusetts capital. Don’t miss a look at the Faneuil Hall tree, a glittering marvel dripping with ornaments; the historic Christmas trees on Boston Common; or a visit to the Stone Zoo’s Zoolights with its mind-blowing lightshow.
In a country famed for having not just one, but two Santas (St. Nicholas and Pere Noel) it’s no surprise that the Belgium capital makes the most of its yuletide celebrations. Brussels‘ annual ‘Winter Wonders’ Christmas market was voted the ‘most original in Europe’ by British tour operators and features 2km of stalls, a giant Ferris Wheel and fairground, a sledding track, ice rink and a series of music concerts and lightshows on the famous Grand Place. There’s even a Food Plaza where you can sample local specialties like sweet Belgium waffles, croustillons (sugared doughnuts) and, of course, plenty of delicious Belgium Chocolates.
Madrid is in the mood for a fiesta during the Christmas season and there’s plenty to keep visitors entertained, from the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor to a number of pop-up ice rinks. The Christmas season officially starts on December 15th, marked with a huge show in Plaza de Oriente, and culminating with the vibrant Three Kings Parade on January 5th, an annual procession of colorful floats and a walking nativity, marching through the city streets.