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Expat Exchange - Best Places to Visit in Bahamas for Christmas Cheer
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Hopetown in Elbow Cay, Bahamas

Best Places to Visit in Bahamas for Christmas Cheer

By Betsy Burlingame

Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Bahamas

Summary: Plan a day trip or weekend getaway to get some holiday cheer. This article highlights the best places to visit in Bahamas for Christmas cheer.

As the holiday season approaches, expats and digital nomads in the Bahamas may be yearning for festive experiences that remind them of home or offer a taste of local Christmas cheer. While the tropical climate may not bring snowflakes, the islands come alive with the spirit of the holidays. From bustling markets to twinkling light displays, there are plenty of places to visit in December to get into the holiday spirit. Here are some of the best spots around the world that are known for their Christmas celebrations, offering a mix of traditional and tropical festivities.

Nassau's Bay Street

In the heart of the Bahamas, Nassau's Bay Street transforms into a festive hub during the holiday season. The area is adorned with Christmas lights and decorations, creating a merry atmosphere. A highlight is the annual Junkanoo Parade, a traditional Bahamian festival that takes place on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. This vibrant event features elaborate costumes, pulsating music, and energetic dancing. While not strictly a Christmas event, its proximity to the holidays makes it a seasonal highlight for anyone in Nassau during December.

We Recommend: Don't miss the chance to try some traditional Bahamian holiday treats like Guava Duff or Rum Cake from the local vendors during the festivities. These sweets are a perfect way to indulge in the local culture while enjoying the holiday spirit.

New York City's Little Italy

Little Italy in NYC is a charming neighborhood that exudes warmth and joy during the Christmas season. The streets are lined with festive lights and decorations, and the scent of Italian pastries fills the air. The annual Feast of the Seven Fishes is an event that many restaurants in the area participate in, offering a taste of Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition. Visitors can also explore the local holiday market, where they can find unique gifts and Italian delicacies.

We Recommend: Be sure to try a cannoli or pignoli cookie from one of the authentic Italian bakeries. These treats are a staple of Little Italy and a must-have during the holiday season.

London's Chelsea Neighborhood

London's Chelsea neighborhood is known for its high-end boutiques and beautiful residential streets, which become even more enchanting during the holidays. The area boasts stylish Christmas lights and decorations, and the shop windows are a sight to behold with their festive displays. The Chelsea Christmas Market is a great place to find artisan gifts and enjoy seasonal food and drink. The market typically runs throughout December, offering a cozy atmosphere for holiday shopping.

We Recommend: Warm up with a cup of mulled wine as you stroll through the market. This spiced, hot beverage is a holiday favorite in the UK and is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

Vienna's Rathausplatz

Vienna is famous for its Christmas markets, and the one at Rathausplatz is particularly magical. Set against the backdrop of the city's grand town hall, the Wiener Christkindlmarkt is a wonderland of twinkling lights, festive stalls, and holiday cheer. Visitors can browse handcrafted gifts, decorations, and sample a variety of Austrian treats like Lebkuchen and Glühwein. The market usually starts in mid-November and runs until Christmas, making it a perfect destination for holiday revelers.

We Recommend: Try the traditional Austrian Sacher-Torte, a decadent chocolate cake that's a local favorite during the holiday season. Pair it with a warm mug of Glühwein for the ultimate Viennese Christmas experience.

Strasbourg's Grande Île

Strasbourg, located in the Alsace region of France, is home to one of Europe's oldest Christmas markets. The Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik, set on the Grande Île, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a picturesque setting for the festivities. The market is renowned for its blend of French and German holiday traditions, with numerous stalls selling crafts, ornaments, and Alsatian delicacies. The towering Christmas tree in Place Kléber is a sight to behold, and the market typically runs from late November to the end of December.

We Recommend: Sample the local gingerbread and the famous Alsatian pretzels. These treats are not only delicious but also embody the cross-cultural charm of Strasbourg's Christmas market.

Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens is transformed into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. The historic amusement park is decked out with millions of lights, creating a fairy-tale atmosphere. The Christmas market within Tivoli is a great place to find Danish holiday gifts and decorations. Visitors can also enjoy seasonal rides and traditional Danish yuletide fare. The Christmas festivities at Tivoli usually begin in mid-November and continue until the end of December.

We Recommend: Don't leave without trying æbleskiver, traditional Danish pancake balls served with powdered sugar and jam. They're a delightful treat that perfectly complements the festive mood of Tivoli's Christmas market.

Quebec City's Old Town

Old Town Quebec City feels like a Christmas village straight out of a storybook, with its cobblestone streets and historic architecture. During December, the area is adorned with lights, garlands, and a dusting of snow, enhancing its old-world charm. The German Christmas Market in Quebec City offers a European-style holiday experience, with vendors selling crafts, ornaments, and German food specialties. The market typically starts in late November and runs until just before Christmas.

We Recommend: Indulge in a beaver tail, a flat doughnut-like pastry that is a Canadian favorite. Enjoy it with a hot chocolate as you take in the festive ambiance of Quebec City's Christmas market.

Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens

Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens is the epicenter of the city's Christmas celebrations. The gardens are transformed into a festive playground with a Christmas market, ice skating rink, and various holiday attractions. The Scottish Market showcases local crafts and gastronomic delights, while the European Market offers a taste of continental Christmas traditions. The markets and festivities usually kick off in late November and last until early January.

We Recommend: Try a portion of haggis, neeps, and tatties for a true Scottish culinary experience, or warm up with a dram of Scotch whisky as you explore the markets.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Bahamas

Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Bahamas

Hopetown in Elbow Cay, Bahamas

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SJB Global

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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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