We cannot deny it but winter has finally come a bit early this year. The holiday season is a peak season for travel too. My family and I booked our tickets 6 months ago and back then, seats were already getting full for Manila-bound flights. We will be spending the Christmas and New Year holidays back home. How about you? Have you planned any holidays this winter time? If not, here are some places you may consider and you can always count on lastminute.com for those spur of the moment bookings for hotel and flights.
Here are some great places to visit during the winter holidays.
ANY OF THE DISNEYLAND RESORTS AND THEME PARKS
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Yes, Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth! At least for me and my family it is. Where else can you spend the holidays beaming with glee and excitement? Only in any of the Disneyland parks around the world. They always have annual Christmas and Winter holiday themes, parades and activities during the Yuletide season. So, soak in the holiday feeling in the magical kingdom of Disney.
VIENNA AND SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
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Visit the outdoor Christkindlmarkts at night and enjoy the various Christmas crafts they sell which double as great gifts for family and friends and Christmas tree ornaments.
Enjoy the Vienna Choir Boys who render beautiful Christmas songs for the public every Sunday at night. Aside from the beautiful music, you can eat tasty finger foods and drink Vienna’s famous spiced mulled wine or gluhwein.
ITALY AND THE VATICAN
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Being a Roman Catholic, it has always been my dream to attend the Christmas Eve Mass, officiated by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican. This is still in my dream list and one day, we will fulfill this dream.
You can enjoy your cold Christmas time in lovely Rome as well and experience the Italian celebration of the holidays. The famous Baroque square in Rome named Piazza Navona is converted into a Christmas market where you will find various kinds of toys, Italian sweets, Nativity scenes and other Christmas ornaments.
You can go further North of Italy if you want to enjoy skiing like places in Bormio and Cervinia.
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If you like to visit a place where the possibility of seeing the northern lights is a high probability, then head on to Tromso, Norway. There will be limited hotels but you can check yourself in at Clarion Hotel Bryggen near the Harbor.
NEW YORK, USA
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A visit to the Big Apple on Christmas season also tops the charts of most travelers. You can visit the big Tree in the Rockefeller Center and also enjoy the ice-skating rink in the same vicinity. Enjoy shopping at nearby big department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue for last minute shopping and you may even score further discounts offered for the holiday season.
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When the other side of the world is experiencing cold, winter season, Down Under Australia is welcoming summer. So, if you want to get away from the drab, cold weather and soak in the cool breeze of Australian summer, then get on that flight and head on to Australia.
Spend Christmas in the beach along the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney and enjoy the frolic under the sun.
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The Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt is a well-known open Christmas market. The famous Christmas market welcomes millions of visitors yearly with a giant carved wooden Ferris wheel. The stalls sell all handmade nativity ornaments and other Christmas decorations. Not only that, even adults will enjoy this place as they can eat plenty of sticky buns and finger foods while the young ones can spend the day at the Toy Museum.
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There’s no place like home and even more enticing during the holiday season. Metropolitan Manila’s famous thoroughfares are well-lit with Christmas lights and decors. Most big malls house gigantic Christmas trees adorned with pretty decorations. Christmas revelers will not miss the Misa de Gallo and a bite of the tasty bibingka and puto-bumbong right after the early morning mass. Children go caroling and ask for aguinaldo from their neighbors, family members and godparents.
No matter where your dream takes you, enjoy the spirit of the holiday season and remember, the reason for the season is Him. Happy Holidays!