Whilst Christmas is usually a warm occasion for us in South Africa, why not head to colder climates for a very different festive experience?
Hollywood often depict Christmas as a pretty, snowy occasion, so with that in mind we have rounded up our top 4 places to visit in December to get this feeling for your elf. Sorry, self.
Reykjavik is such a pretty city. It is small in size, with streets lined with colourful small houses. At Christmas, visit the Ingolfstorg Christmas Market in downtown Reykjavik for some yuletide gifts, an ice rink and much more.
The shortened daylight hours in Iceland’s winter means more opportunity to view the stunning Northern Lights!
If the cold gets too much for you, take a trip to the Blue Lagoon and swim outside surrounded by the snow, but in water heated from the local springs.
Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland
For the ultimate festive experience why not visit Santa’s home of Lapland?
Take a stay in this glittering town and visit Santa’s home and workshop. You can also make gingerbread cookies with Mrs Clause, join Elf School and meet Santa himself.
In Rovaniemi you can also do lots of other winter activities such as husky rides, warm up in an outside hot tub, visit the Snow Hotel and much more.
Nuremberg Christmas Market, Germany
The Nurnberger Christkindlesmarkt attracts a monumental 2 million visitors each year.
Here you will find traditional, old fashioned attractions such as a carousel, steam train and Ferris wheel. Within the market you will find gorgeous handmade goods and toys as well as incredibly stunning Christmas decorations. So, grab a spiced mulled wine and get festive!
New York City
Head over to the big apple during the festive season for your own fairytale of New York!
Pull on your ice skate at the famous Rockerfeller Center or alternatively at one of the many other pop up ice rinks around the city, like in Central Park. Wander the shops and marvel at their spectacular Christmas displays, such as at Macys, and hop on a horse and cart tour of central park.
With the locals so friendly, you will certainly have that 'Happy Holidays’ feeling.