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Expat Exchange - Best Places to Visit in Singapore for Christmas Cheer
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Marina Bay, Singapore

Best Places to Visit in Singapore for Christmas Cheer

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

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

As expats and digital nomads in Singapore, you might be yearning for that festive cheer as December rolls around. While Singapore itself offers a tropical Christmas with its own unique charm, you might be interested in exploring other places renowned for their holiday spirit. From traditional Christmas markets to festive light displays, there are numerous destinations around the world that come alive during the holiday season. Here are some of the best places to visit in December to immerse yourself in the yuletide joy.

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is often hailed as the "Capital of Christmas," and for good reason. Its Christkindelsmärik, one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, dates back to 1570. The city transforms into a winter wonderland with its half-timbered houses adorned with festive decorations and lights. The market is spread across several squares in the city, with Place Broglie and Cathedral Square being the most prominent. Visitors can browse through hundreds of stalls selling traditional Alsatian Christmas decorations, handcrafted gifts, and seasonal treats like bredele biscuits and vin chaud (mulled wine). The market typically runs from late November to December 24th.

We Recommend: Don't miss the chance to try the local gingerbread and the spiced hot orange juice, which are especially popular among visitors looking for a non-alcoholic warm beverage.

Nuremberg, Germany

The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is a must-visit for anyone seeking an authentic German Christmas experience. This historic market is famous for its unique atmosphere, with the Nuremberg Christkind opening the market with a traditional prologue. Held in the city's Hauptmarkt square, the market offers a plethora of traditional goods, including the famous Nuremberg Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Zwetschgenmännle (figurines made of prunes), and the original Nuremberg bratwurst. The market usually starts on the Friday before the first Sunday in Advent and ends on December 24th.

We Recommend: Be sure to taste the Nuremberg sausages, which are smaller than the average German sausage and typically served three in a bun, known as "Drei im Weggla."

Vienna, Austria

Vienna's Christmas markets, or "Christkindlmarkt," are a spectacle of lights, ornaments, and holiday spirit. The Viennese Dream Christmas Market in front of the City Hall is particularly enchanting, with its ice-skating rink, traditional booths selling handcrafted gifts, and an array of sweet and savory treats like Sachertorte and Wiener Schnitzel. The market usually opens in mid-November and runs until Christmas. Additionally, the Schönbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace markets offer a more regal backdrop for holiday shopping and festivities.

We Recommend: Indulge in a warm mug of Weihnachtspunsch, a traditional Austrian Christmas punch, often spiked with rum or brandy and flavored with spices.

London's Chelsea Neighborhood

London is magical during the holidays, and Chelsea's Duke of York Square and Sloane Square are particularly festive. The area is known for its elegant Christmas lights and the Chelsea Christmas Shopping Weekend, which usually takes place in early December. The Saatchi Gallery also hosts a fine Christmas market, and the nearby King's Road is lined with chic boutiques offering holiday deals. For a traditional British Christmas experience, visit the Chelsea Physic Garden for its Christmas Fair, where you can find artisanal gifts and seasonal treats.

We Recommend: Enjoy a classic British mince pie while taking in the sophisticated decorations and lights that adorn the stylish boutiques of Chelsea.

Little Italy in NYC

New York City's Little Italy is a vibrant community that comes alive during the holiday season. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American tradition celebrated on Christmas Eve, and many restaurants in Little Italy offer special menus for this occasion. Mulberry Street and the surrounding area are festooned with festive lights and decorations, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The neighborhood also hosts holiday markets where you can find Italian sweets like panettone and torrone, as well as unique gifts.

We Recommend: Sample some authentic Italian hot chocolate, which is known for being particularly thick and decadent, perfect for the chilly December weather in New York.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh's Christmas is a six-week season of festive entertainment in the heart of the city. The celebrations include a Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens, offering a variety of food, drink, and Scottish gifts. The market is known for its traditional Hogmanay celebrations and the famous Edinburgh's Christmas ice rink. The city's historic streets are beautifully lit, and there are numerous events, including light shows and Santa Land for the kids. The festivities usually begin in late November and run through early January.

We Recommend: Try a hot Scotch pie or a portion of haggis, neeps, and tatties for a taste of Scotland's traditional holiday fare.

Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City is often described as a slice of Europe in North America, and its Christmas celebrations are no exception. The German Christmas Market, inspired by the world's great Christmas markets, brings a European flavor to the heart of the city. The Old Town is transformed into a picturesque Christmas village, complete with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and the aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. The market typically runs from late November to late December.

We Recommend: Don't leave without trying the maple taffy on snow, a sweet Canadian treat that's especially popular during the holiday season.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen's Christmas spirit is best experienced at the Tivoli Gardens' Christmas Market. The historic amusement park is adorned with more than half a million lights, creating a dazzling winter wonderland. Visitors can enjoy traditional Danish yuletide treats like æbleskiver (pancake puffs) and gløgg (Danish mulled wine), as well as shop for Scandinavian crafts and decorations. The market usually opens in mid-November and continues until the end of December.

We Recommend: Experience the hygge (Danish coziness) by savoring a warm cup of gløgg accompanied by a plate of æbleskiver, dusted with powdered sugar and served with jam.

Whether you're looking for traditional Christmas markets, festive lights, or unique holiday traditions, these destinations offer a wealth of experiences to get you into the holiday spirit. As an expat or digital nomad, exploring these places can provide a memorable and joyous way to celebrate the season away from home.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Marina Bay, Singapore


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