Seasonal Celebrations from Sydney to Strasbourg: Booking.com Reveals Some the Best Holiday Celebrations Around the World
Dreaming of the ultimate trip to celebrate the holiday season? Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has combed through it’s more than 141,000 destinations around the globe to share an ultimate list of festive holiday celebrations worldwide. From browsing historic Christmas markets in Strasbourg to churches carved from radishes in Oaxaca, Mexico, these destinations are sure to make your season bright and memorable.
Giant Lantern Festival – San Fernando, Philippines
The Giant Lantern Festival is celebrated annually in December in the city of San Fernando, otherwise known as the ‘Christmas Capital of the Philippines.’ Each year, visitors flock to the city to see the parade of world-class, giant lanterns made by the locals from bamboo or steel, colored plastics and paper. And with temperatures averaging around 33 degrees celsius (91 degrees fahrenheit), it’s the perfect climate for those looking to escape a cold winter this Christmas. According to Booking.com travelers, the top endorsements for San Fernando include the atmosphere, friendly people and beach. Top nationalities that booked San Fernando during the past year include Italian, French and German.
Where to stay: Situated in Angeles, Winds Boutique Hotel offers modern yet homely accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool to relax after the Christmas celebrations.
Cavalcade of Lights Festival – Toronto, Canada
Marking the start of the holiday season, the Cavalcade of Lights Festival brings over 525,000 glistening LED lights and a giant Christmas tree to Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of Toronto. The event has been held annually since 1967 and attracts tourists and locals alike with live musical performances and fantastic firework displays, ensuring everyone is entertained. The opening of the square’s winter ice rink adds the finishing touch of festive cheer. Sightseeing, shopping and restaurants were Booking.com travellers favourite things to do whilst visiting Toronto and American, British and German travellers were the most frequent tourists to visit.
Where to stay: QWEST offers perfect luxury apartments just a stone's throw from Nathan Phillips Square. The apartments also boast a rooftop terrace with city views. After the Cavalcade Lights Festival, take advantage of the accommodation’s central location and take a short walk to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Many other landmarks, including the Rogers Centre, Ripley's Aquarium and Metro Convention Centre can be found within 15 minutes' walk.
Santa Claus Village – Rovaniemi, Finland
For those looking for festive nature and scenery, the Santa Claus Village in Roveaneimi offers the perfect winter getaway. As the birthplace and home of Santa Claus, travelers can meet ol’ Saint Nick himself , be enchanted by the Northern Lights glowing overhead and stroll through festive nature trails to truly embrace the Christmas season. Booking.com travelers love Rovaniemi for the nature, scenery and Northern Lights and is most loved by Chinese, Russian and British travellers.
Where to stay: Travelers can actually stay at the Santa Claus Holiday Village itself in a range of private cabins offering saunas, a kitchenette and terrace. Friendly staff can help arrange reindeer, husky and snowmobile safaris. Guests can also enjoy the skiing and hiking trails nearby and Lappish delicacies can be found served at the Christmas House Restaurant.
BBQ on Bondi Beach - Sydney, Australia
For those looking for a Christmas celebration down under, Sydney offers revelers plenty of sand and surf instead of snow. Many young travelers take to Sydney’s infamous Bondi Beach to catch some rays and waves, with public BBQ’s available for use nearby to cook up a traditional Australian feast. On the other side of town, take a walk along the incredible Boulevard of Light with it’s twinkling Christmas light canopies hanging from above. Sightseeing, Sydney Harbour and shopping are the top three endorsements according to Booking.com travelers and Chinese, British and Kiwi travellers are the most popular travelers.
Where to stay: The QT Bondi aparthotel offers sleek accommodation just a few minutes stroll from the beach. Each stylish room is air-conditioned and offers amenities to make guests feel right at home, not to mention a balcony with spectacular ocean views, When not BBQing on the beach, enjoy living like a local by popping into one of the many restaurants, cafes, and stores at your fingertips.
Browse the Christmas markets – Strasbourg, France
The heart of Strasbourg, Grand Ile Quarter is home to one of Europe's oldest Christmas markets. Dating back almost 450 years, visitors can take a stroll among the 300-or-so chalets dotted around Strasbourg’s historic city center and soak up the Christmas magic. Explore arts and crafts, pick up traditional Alsatian Christmas decorations or, if food’s your thing, enjoy some local culinary specialities. According to Booking.com travelers, the best things about Strasbourg are its old towns, cathedrals and architecture and German, Swiss and Belgian travelers are the most popular tourists.
Where to stay: Hôtel Régent Petite France & Spa is located in the center of Strasbourg and is just a short stroll from the festive celebrations. Set in a converted 17th-century mill, onsite offerings include a wellness center with a sauna, hammam, hot tub and massage treatments. Each of the ensuite rooms offers views of the picturesque neighborhood of La Petite France, either overlooking the river Ill or the traditional half-timbered houses of Alsace.
A uniquely Oaxacan Festival - Oaxaca City, Mexico
For a different kind of food fair, head to Oaxaca for a slice of authentic Mexico this festive season. Each year on the 23rd December, the city of Oaxaca transforms into a sea of red and white colours with its annual Night of the Radishes festival. Dedicated to the carving of oversized radishes, the festival originates from the colonial period when radishes were introduced by the Spanish. Locals compete for cash prizes and the honour of being given the champion title and create large and intricate designs carved from radishes, from churches to angels and everything else in between. According to Booking.com travelers, the best things about Oaxaca City are the culture, food and architecture and it’s most loved by American, French and German travelers.
Where to stay: Stay in the heart of Oaxaca at the charming Parador del Dominico, with both the Santo Domingo Church and Zócalo Square just a short stroll away. After visiting the traditional Night of the Radishes Festival, enjoy authentic Mexican and Oaxaqueña cuisine at the onsite restaurant.