6 Places to Spend Christmas in Europe

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From London’s yuletide carols to Cologne’s Christmas markets, Europe is full of holiday havens. In many locales, there’s even a good chance of snow. If you are ready for a great Christmas escape, try one of these cities in Europe. (main picture Cologne Germany)

london christmas
1. London, England

Even Scrooge would enjoy modern London’s cultured Christmas parties. You’ll find performances of Handel’s Messiah, Swan Lake andThe Nutcracker in cathedrals and other venues throughout the city. Skaters glide across ice rinks on the spot-lighted grounds of the London Eye, the Natural History Museum and the Tower of London. In Hyde Park, which also has a rink, traditional carousels and ice sculptures make the annual winter Wonderland sparkle. So do the Christmas lights and festive window displays along Oxford and Regent streets.


2. Prague, Czech Republic

The names of the city’s attractions — Wenceslas Square, Bethlehem Chapel — are good indicators of how festive a Prague Christmas is. Even if it’s 10 degrees below zero, this 700-year-old medieval city will warm you with its celebrations. Christmas markets, like the one in Old Town Square, are filled with decorated wooden stalls selling hand-made puppets and other toys and gifts. Take in the traditional Christmas trees and thousands of lights, and enjoy the outdoor nativity scenes. If you’re here in early December, you might catch the arrival of Mikulas, the Czech Santa Claus.

3. Cologne, Germany

Some of Europe’s Christmas markets have been active since the Middle Ages, so it’s no surprise that Cologne, which has five, is a seasonal hit. Starting on the last Monday before Advent, millions come to shop for yuletide handicrafts filling each market’s Buden (quaint wooden huts). The star of the show is the Am Dom market, in front of a mighty twin-spired cathedral, the Kölner Dom. Feast on sticky gingerbread and warm yourself up with a mug of Glüwein (mulled wine).

paris departments tore

4. Paris, France

The French capital dazzles at Christmas. Enjoy a moving midnight mass with organ and choral music in Notre Dame Cathedral. Stroll down the Champs-Élysées, lined with trees glittering in thousands of lights. Munch on roasted chestnuts and chocolaty crepes, and maybe even slip on some ice skates and glide along the seasonal rink atop the Eiffel Tower. For some Parisian chic, head to the Galeries Lafayette, a department store whose majestic interior is home to a huge decorated tree.

5. Rome, Italy

Rome truly celebrates the spiritual origins of the holidays. Among the many churches with nativity scenes are Santa Maria Maggiore, whose 13th-century version is carved in marble, and Santi Cosma e Damiano, with everyday figures alongside biblical ones. Roman kids write their wish lists to Santo Bambino, honored when his statue is paraded through the streets. Thousands gather in St. Peter’s Square for the pope’s Christmas message, delivered at noon from his apartment window. For a taste of the holidays, be sure to try some seasonal panettone and pandoro cakes — heavenly.

6: Rovaniemi, Finland

You’ll definitely find your Christmas spirit in what’s widely considered to be Santa’s official hometown. Rovaniemi’s Santa Claus Village — on the Arctic Circle — has plenty of snow, ice, elves and boutiques. Here in Lapland, it’s also easy to get in touch with nature. Try your hand at ice fishing or, for higher-octane fun, reindeer or dog sledding. And you can take in the best holiday light show of them all: the aurora borealis (Northern Lights).

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your reply. Basically I have not talked to her in 30 days as as of today. So today is oilfcafly 30 days since we last talked.I think it’s almost been 4-5 weeks. Is that a bad sign? that means around week 3 she came on msn. Does that mean the PEEK time is over now? After the msn thing I still didn’t talk to her. I do know that since that day she has NOT come back on msn. I’m usually online at night, and I haven’t seen her. Also to add, I don’t think she has deleted or blocked me on MSN messenger. Not sure why? I guess maybe in the heat of the fight she blocked me on FB because of anger. THough I hope that after 30 days her anger stage is gone. I do know she can be very stubborn and have a big ego. Which is why I don’t know if she will be the one to contact me. Normally in our relationship when we fought it was always her trying to fix it. Or atleast thats what she used to always tell me. Is that she always keeps coming back to me or keeps trying to resolve things. I won’t say it’s fully true, but that’s how she feels and I now I would agree.I’m just wondering if I will need to be the one to make contact? She left me though, and in some ways I don’t want to show up as needy or as if she made the right decision. But at the same time I don’t know if she will make a push to talk or not. I’m still afraid she is going to be cold or hurtful towards me. I’m in a calm state now, 3 days has given me time to really think about things. I have no hate towards her regardless if she moved on to another guy or not. I do know a story of her sister, about a year ago she was supposed to get married. Her boyfriend said some insulting and rude things to her parents. Wedding breaks off her sister doesn’t talk to the bf and things end. Then her sister decides to move out of the parents house gets her own apartment. I’d say another month and she starts talking to her bf. My ex told me her sis realized that she loved this guy still and thats why she took him back regardless of her family hating the guy. I told my ex that story about her sis to remind her that we could work it out like them.. but my ex was not in a state to listen. This was when I was pestering her while she wanted space. Anyways I’m been contemplating writing an email, and seeing if she wants to go for some coffee. I don’t know what else to say or do. I have people telling me I should wait for her to contact me. Or that if I do it she will get the upper hand and the satisfcation that she made the right choice by leaving me. It’s a hard decision, because if it’s something cold again.. it may or may not hurt depending on how much I have healed in the last 30 days.

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