As the Christmas period descends on us once more, everybody begins to truly embrace the festive fun in preparation for the big day. The holidays are a great way to catch with your friends and family, but what if you wanted to try something different this Christmas?

Countries and cities all over the world celebrate the yuletide period with different unique cultural events and traditions. Here are some of the best places to visit if you are looking for a different Christmas experience:

Capturing the true essence of Christmas, Lapland is the perfect place to take your family for the holiday period. Situated in the arctic regions of northern Sweden, Finland and Norway, there are a villages in each country around where you can enjoy the full festive experience.

Soome, Märts 2012 / Finland, March 2012

Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland and is the most popular official home of Santa Claus. Visitors can meet Old Saint Nick himself, take a trip around his famous toy factory and learn to bake Christmas treats with Mrs Claus. You can even get a sleigh ride from Rudolph and his reindeer friends, something young children will certainly cherish.


For anyone looking to sunbathe on the beach this Christmas Day this year, look no further than Sydney. As the traditional winter months are in fact the Australian summer, visitors to the Harbour City will enjoy temperatures of up for 40 degrees whilst tucking into their Christmas dinner.

But rather than having turkey and ham, you’ll be tucking into a traditional barbequed feast down on the beach. The famed Christmas markets take over the city centre, with carol singers lining the straights to bring some festive cheers. The Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Town Hall are all part of the impressive Christmas lights show, lighting up the Sydney skyline.

Las Vegas

Renowned for its style, extravagance and flamboyant nature, it is no surprise Vegas pulls out all the stops when it comes the Christmas. The city makes over £11m on Christmas day alone, as reported by Ladbrokes, that is the equivalent of 227,118 Turkeys!

The city becomes a winter wonderland, with all the shops, hotels and famed casino complexes embracing the festive spirit. The Fremont Street Experience leads the Christmas cheers with daily yuletide themed shows, with sing-a-longs and dancing galore as they parade around the streets. The Bellagio gets fully involved in the festive fun, turning its Botanic Gardens into a scene from Santa’s Grotto and young children can even meet the man himself.


Prague brings a more authentic Christmas feel, with its unusual traditions back dropped by its famous architecture. The city is renowned for its Christmas markets, with the streets packed with wooden huts selling decorations, handcrafted ornaments and spit-roasted ham.

To bringing more festive joy, the Old Town Square is turned into traditional naivety scene, with real life horses, sheep and cows. If you are looking to get the Czech experience, try the trdelník, an authentic pastry sold in the markets during the festivities.

The Philippines

Sometimes it can feel like the Christmas period is over before it has even begun – but that certainly can’t be said for the Philippines. Asia’s largest Roman Catholic country celebrates from the start of September all the way through until The Feast of the Epiphany on 6th January.

The streets are brightened by traditional star-shaped lanterns known as parols, with carol singers signing local yuletide hyms. From 16th December, the main events begin with giant lantern festivals and street parties welcoming in Christmas
23 Dec 2014 14:30:00