14 Best Christmas Towns and Villages Around the World

14 Best Christmas Towns and Villages Around the World

Get ready for a spellbinding holiday season!

As the most wonderful time of the year arrives, dazzling light displays, holiday bazaars, and festive cheer transform destinations around the world into enchanting Christmas wonderlands. From the frosty landscapes of North America and the winter markets of Europe, to the fairytale countrysides in Asia, we give you a peek into some of the best Christmas villages and towns to experience the holiday magic. And, you can best believe us when we say that you’ll be itching to book a year-end trip to these havens for this holiday season.

While exploring these magical Christmas towns during the season of giving, reward each one of your stays with Ascott Star Rewards, a winner of the TripZilla Excellence Awards 2023 – Best Hotel Rewards. Every stay with an ASR-participating property is a gift that keeps on giving. As a member, you get to enjoy the lowest rates, exclusive discounts, and perks, so sign up now!

Also read: 16 Dazzling Christmas Lights Around the World You Have to See

Magical Christmas towns and villages in Asia

1. Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi Province – South Korea

With a myriad of festive activities and awe-inspiring attractions for all ages, Gapyeong-gun is sure to bring out the best of Christmas! This county in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea is surrounded by many amusement parks, making it an ideal destination to visit not only during the winter holidays but all year round. 

Some of the best places you can’t miss include the whimsical half-moon-shaped river island of Namiseom (Nami Island), the beautiful floral haven of Garden of Morning Calm, and the quaint, French-inspired village of Petite France. During this time of year, these already magical spots come alive as they light up under Christmas illuminations and snowy skies. 

Also read: 12 Best Day Trips From Seoul & How to Get There

2. China Snow Town, Hailin – China

christmas towns to visit

Image credit: Jomkwan via Canva Pro

China Snow Town, also known as Shuangfeng (Twin Peaks) Forest Farm, is one of the best snowscapes in Hailin, China. The village is about 290 kilometres from Harbin, best known for its annual Ice and Snow Festival. Nestled at an altitude of 1,500 metres and spanning across 500 hectares, around 20 wooden houses decorated with bundles of corn and red chilli dot its snow-covered fields. The sight of this alone creates a serene winter atmosphere, making it one of the best Christmas villages to visit in the country. 

Aside from being a snapshot-worthy destination, this inhabited snow village has also become an iconic filming set for many Chinese movies and TV dramas. So, before you enter the village, you’ll spot signages that talk about some of the popular entertainment featuring the area. 

Also read: 10 Best Winter Destinations in Asia for Your Next Holiday

3. Ogimachi Village, Shirakawa-go – Japan

christmas towns to visit

Image credit: Supparuj via Canva Pro

Ogimachi Village is considered the largest village and primary attraction of Shirakawa-go, and one of the best Christmas towns in Japan. This UNESCO-designated world heritage site is famous for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses, a type of architectural style characterised by triangular thatched roofs. At present, some of them have been converted into eateries, cafes, museums, souvenir shops, and accommodations for travellers. 

Come January and February, it hosts highly anticipated light-up events, transforming the village into a glowing oasis! Nonetheless, it’s still worth visiting in December for those who want to experience a dreamy, one-of-a-kind winter landscape straight out of a fairytale. Located high up in the Northern Japanese Alps, it also brings you closer to other noteworthy alpine villages and vistas. 

Also read: 10 Small Towns & Villages in Japan Worth Visiting

4. Baguio Country Club Christmas Village – Philippines

No one does Christmas like the Philippines! Here, the festivities begin as early as September. Should you be visiting this tropical archipelago for the holiday season, escape to Baguio City up north. Nicknamed the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the city’s daily temperature averages 18–20°C. With its cool climate, pine-clad mountains, and festive traditions married with the warmth of Pinoy hospitality, it certainly makes for one of the best Christmas towns to visit in the country. 

A must-visit attraction during the holidays is Baguio Country Club’s annual Christmas Village! Open to the public during December, it features several light installations, which make for the perfect backdrop for your holiday photos. It also boasts a snow show set to blanket all of the displays in a layer of artificial snow––that’s as close as you could get to a white Christmas in the Philippines!

Also read: 8 Places in the Philippines to Experience a Cold White Christmas

5. Global Village, Dubai – United Arab Emirates

For your Christmas extravaganza in Dubai, enter the multicultural hub of Global Village! Combining cultures from 90 nations around the world, Global Village is just the place to be for a fairytale-like holiday. While it is not solely dedicated to all things Yuletide, it incorporates festive celebrations from around the world, creating a unique Christmas village experience. 

Open from October to April, this open-air destination has seen millions of visitors and has become a staple in Dubai’s winter calendar. From Egypt and Italy to Vietnam and Thailand, each of its pavilions transports you to the country through sights, sounds, and flavours. Go shopping, dining, and enjoy a slew of entertaining performances from across the globe all in one place! 

Best Christmas towns in North and South America

6. Quebec Old Village, Quebec City – Canada

By late November, Old Quebec magically transforms into one of the best Christmas towns to visit in Canada — just like out of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Here, fluffy white snow envelops its 18th-century buildings and cobblestone streets. Apart from the rustic festive atmosphere, the city comes alive with its yearly German Christmas Market. The hot cinnamon wine is not to be missed, here! 

The historic neighbourhoods of Petit-Chamlpain and Place Royal are especially charming during this time! The former is the oldest shopping street in Quebec City, featuring artisanal shops and restaurants serving French-Canadian cuisine. Meanwhile, the latter is a town square where folks gather to witness dazzling decorations and the magnificent giant Christmas tree. 

Also read: 12 Best Cities to Live in Canada If You Want a Fresh Start

7. Leavenworth, Washington – United States

Image credit: Joecho-16 via Canva Pro

When it comes to a town as unique as Leavenworth in Washington State, expect everything from skiing and glistening illuminations to a reindeer farm and gingerbread factory! This Bavarian-style village in the North Cascade Mountains will usually kick off its Christmas celebration after Thanksgiving, with staple holiday customs and some German traditions. 

Some of these include the Leavenworth Christmas Market, Village Voices Christmas Concert as well and the dark and chilling tradition of Krampusnacht.

Also read: 12 Best Destinations for Solo Female Travellers

8. Branson, Missouri – United States

Branson, Missouri knows how to make holiday magic happen with its month-long Christmas extravaganza! Every year, this town hosts the Ozark Mountain Christmas festival, complete with epic performances and parades. For thrill-seekers, don’t miss the dazzling illuminations at the Silver Dollar City Theme Park and the Branson Ferris Wheel

What’s more? You can embark on the enchanting Polar Express train ride with Branson Scenic Railway. Your ride here will make you feel like you’re in a scene from the classic animated movie. Now, that definitely sounds like one of the best Christmas villages for a truly magical experience!

9. Bariloche – Argentina

Going to South America for Christmas but craving a more traditional experience? Look no further than the mountain escape of Bariloche! Located in Argentina’s Patagonia region, this town is famous for its Swiss architecture, stunning natural wonders, and outdoor activities. 

On the hunt for some of the best things to do here in December? We recommend experiencing the annual Colonia Suiza Christmas Fair, hiking the stunning summit of Mount Tronador, and skiing in Cerro Catedral, the largest ski resort in South America. 

Centro Civico, however, is where all the folks come together for the holiday festivals and events. At this main square in Downtown Bariloche, you’ll find museums, boutiques, restaurants, and breweries serving up handcrafted artisan beer. 

Also read: 12 Best Countries for Extroverts Who Love to Travel

10. Taos, New Mexico – United States

Embraced by rugged snowy peaks, Taos in New Mexico remains a captivating destination throughout the year. However, from Thanksgiving until the New Year, this town takes its holiday magic to a whole new level by hosting a series of events as part of its Yuletide celebration. 

Imagine this: snow falling on beautiful candle-lit farolitos (“little lanterns” in Spanish) and rows of mudbrick buildings, cosy bonfires, and Christmas carols filling the air. Finally, its winter celebrations end with sacred dances performed by the Puebloan people at the historic Taos Pueblo

Best Christmas towns and villages in Europe

11. Colmar – France

best christmas villages

Image credit: emicristea via Canva Pro

If you’ve ever made gingerbread houses, it’s hard to imagine anything else but the picturesque town of Colmar in France! Its alleyways are lined with wooden chalets adorned with festive decorations and colourful lights; providing the perfect setting for the holidays. Primarily a pedestrian town, it also boasts architectural gems like monuments, museums, and churches you can discover on foot. Besides strolling along its streets, a must-have experience during this season is to explore its six annual Christmas markets. 

12. Bruges – Belgium

best christmas villages

Image credit: dvoevnore via Canva Pro

We kid you not when we say your trip to the medieval town of Bruges in Belgium feels like stepping into a fairytale book. As a matter of fact, it has earned a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list because of its historic significance and otherworldly magnificence! 

Come the crisp winter season, the aroma of waffles lingers among its Christmas marketplaces, Belgian chocolate shops are abuzz, and its Gothic-style buildings are decorated like snowglobes. Need a break from your sightseeing adventures here? Make your way over to the Bruges Market Square for refreshing craft beers or a warm cup of hot cocoa. 

13. Kitzbuhel – Austria

A small alpine town nestled in the western province of Tyrol in Austria, Kitzbuhel sets you up for a truly special Christmas and Advent season. Take part in Austrian traditions and customs and enjoy shopping for seasonal products like glühwein (mulled wine) at the Kitzbuhel Advent Market. Your holiday here gets even more exciting when you experience the much-awaited annual Hahnenkamm Race, the world’s most notorious downhill racecourse in the Kitzbuhel Alps

14. Rovaniemi – Finland

best christmas villages

Image credit: romanbabakin via Canva Pro

Tucked away right on the Arctic Circle in northern Finland, Rovaniemi stands as one of the quintessential Christmas villages. And rightfully so, since it is the official hometown of Santa Claus! Set against Lapland, Finland’s winter scenery, it unveils its charm through its ice sculptures, snow-covered pine trees, and glittering fairy lights. If you want to feel the magic of Christmas every single day of the year, this is just the place to be!

Also read: 10 Unique Christmas Destinations to Check Out Across the Globe

That concludes our round-up of the best Christmas towns and villages around the world the experience a magical holiday season. With our comprehensive list, you no longer need to scour the web for “Christmas villages near me.” All that’s left for you to do is to make that trip happen this year! 

Featured image credit: Gapyeong County | Official Instagram Page
Facebook image credit (left): kavalenkavadesign via Canva Pro

About Author

Andrea Larice Yap
Andrea Larice Yap

Andrea is a writer and creative individual based in Manila. This tiny human runs on iced coffee, music and films. You’ll probably catch her daydreaming in a park or jotting down random words to to put in a song. Otherwise, expect her taking a dive in the pool of uncertainty called “life.”