Stop dreaming of a white Christmas and make this year the year by spending December in one of these top snow destinations.
There’s something oh-so enchanting about spending Christmas surrounded by snow.
If you’re eyeing that magical moment when you’re surrounded by nothing but fluffy, white snowflakes gently collecting on your hair, shoulders and nose, these are the places that you need to go.
1. Quebec City, Canada
Being located in the great white north, this city is known for its December snowfall and could likely see some this year on Christmas Day.
Located in French-Canada and one of North America's last remaining fortified cities, Quebec City has a romantic, European air about it. With colourful buildings, narrow cobble-stoned streets and French being spoken all around you, you'll feel a lot more like you're walking down a street in France than you will in Canada.
Just a few hours from Montreal (where you're more likely to find a flight deal to), it's the perfect place to experience the charm of French Canada.
Best ways to experience Quebec City at Christmastime:
Quebec Ski-Shoeing Excursion
Ice Hotel Tour from Quebec City
Christmas Magic in Old Quebec
2. Lapland, Finland
If you’re going to travel halfway across the world to see snow this Christmas, you may as well go all the way and visit Santa while you’re at it.
According to the Fins, Santa lives in the remote town of Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle. Dubbed Santa’s Village, it’s a place where you can meet the man himself, pat reindeer and ride husky-drawn sleighs. Being in the Arctic Circle there’s a high chance of snowfall and a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Best ways to experience Lapland at Christmastime:
Lapland Reindeer Sleigh Ride to Santa Claus Village from Rovaniemi
Spend the night in a chalet or igloo
Short Getaways in Lapland
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
During winter, the temperature in Iceland’s capital drops to -2℃ at night, making it an ideal place to capture some Christmas snowfall.
Mind you, it’s also known to be quite windy during December so remember to bring good snow gear when you visit. Drive far north enough and you might even catch some Northern Lights activity as well.
Best ways to experience Reykjavik at Christmastime:
5-Day Winter Package - Iceland Winter Holiday
Iceland Winter Adventure
Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik
4. Glasgow, UK
Scotland's industrial capital has one of the best odds this year (2017) to be blanketed in snow on Christmas Day.
Often overlooked for Edinburgh, Glasgow pulls out all the stops for season with Christmas markets that run until 29 December, family-friendly entertainment such as pantomimes and theatre shows and festive food around every corner.
Not far behind Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh are also facing good odds for a white Christmas this year.
Best ways to experience Glasgow at Christmastime:
Scotland In Depth Explorer
Winter Britain and Ireland
Private Outlander Day Tour - Winter Edition
5. Midwest, USA
Central and eastern states of the US are predicted to receive a snow dump this year, making it a magically white Christmas for many.
AccuWeather has major states such as Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin down for some frosty the snowman action in the weekend leading up to Christmas.
By the 25th, fresh snow in the midwest is unlikely with your best bet for flurries being upstate New York and New England. Your best bet is to head as far up north as possible to increase your odds.
Best ways to experience the Midwest USA at Christmastime:
Chicago Holiday Lights Tour by Segwey
Chicago Holiday Stroll and Food Tour
6. Salzburg, Austria
While many may opt to visit Vienna for Christmas, the smaller Austrian town of Salzburg is just as mesmerising… and just as likely to receive that sought-after snowfall.
Famed for being the birthplace of Mozart and the filming location for The Sound of Music, Salzburg lights up during Christmas as markets fill its main squares as well as the courtyard of the Hohensalzburg Castle. For guaranteed snow, take a trip to the dozen ski resort areas nearby.
Best ways to experience Salzburg at Christmastime:
Christmas Markets Tour from Salzburg
6-day Christmas Markets Tour
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride
7. Budapest, Hungary
With its frequent and gentle December snowfall, conditions for a perfect white Christmas in Budapest couldn’t be better if it tried.
The eclectic city of Budapest offers a unique Christmas for visitors. Brimming with ruin bars and thermal baths, you can spend days hopping from one to the other. When you’re done, immerse yourself in the festive spirit of the Christmas markets and outdoor ice rink in Budapest City Park or take a Christmas boat ride along the Danube.
Best ways to experience Budapest at Christmastime:
Christmas Danube River Cruise with Live Music
European Christmas Wonderland Cruise
Christmas Markets Tour with Wine
8. Tromsø, Norway
Tucked 350km north of the Arctic Circle, where snowfall can start as early as October, is the colourful port town of Tromso.
One of Tromsø’s biggest claims to fame is that it’s the northernmost town in the world with a popular over 50,000 - although it doesn’t feel like it. The city centre is extremely manageable on foot and often wears a thick coat of snow in late winter. The town itself can be reached by Hurtigruten cruise, plane or bus making it easily accessible for holidaymakers.
Best ways to experience Tromsø at Christmastime:
Lapland Lyngen Alps Snowmobile Safari from Tromso
Lapland Husky Sled Safari from Tromso
Reindeer Camp Dinner with Chance of Northern Lights in Tromso
9. New York City, USA
There’s something a little bit magical about New York City at Christmas time.
From the colourful department store displays to ice skating rinks in Central Park and at the Rockefeller Centre, this urban jungle transforms into a winter wonderland come Christmas. There may not be blankets of snow to make angels in right in the city, but there’s a good chance of flurries making your evening skate a bit more enchanted.
Best ways to experience New York City at Christmastime:
Christmas Markets and Lights Walking Tour in New York
Sightseeing New York Christmas Holiday Lights Guided Tour
Christmas in New York Walking Tour
10. Moscow, Russia
Layer up and prepare for snow when you plan to spend Christmas in Moscow. Throughout the month the highest temperature is rarely over 0℃ and snow flurries are common.
Russia is renowned for its white winters, so for a good chance of snowfall it’s the place to be. In December, Moscow’s famous Red Square transforms into an unforgettable Christmas market. However, the place to be between mid-December and mid-January is the nearby Manezh Square, which is where the Journey into Christmas festival takes place. It’s a traditional Russian Christmas fun fair with modern ideas that’s said to be the most picturesque festival in all of Moscow. It’s also one of the biggest New Year’s Eve festivals in the world.
Best ways to experience Moscow at Christmastime:
The Snowball - 6 days
Romantic Private Tour of Moscow for Couples
White Russian - 7 days
11. Tallinn, Estonia
Base yourself in Old Town Tallinn for a unique Christmas with a medieval feel.
Renowned for its cheap food and drink (compared to Western Europe) and its party atmosphere, Tallinn is one of the best places to celebrate the season, not least because of its high chance of snowfall. It’s also a short boat ride from Helsinki if you want to double down and see another European city potentially covered in snow.
Best ways to experience Tallinn at Christmastime:
Cross-country skiing tour in Estonia
Stockholm & The Baltics in Winter
Tallinn City Walking Tour
12. Japan's Alps
Japan may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think Christmas, but its proximity to Australia and (literally) mountains of snow put them in lucky spot number 10 on our list.
A long-time favourite destination for Australian snow bunnies, Japan's north and Alps are some of the snowiest places in the world during the winter months - which fall over Christmas and New Year's in that part of the world.
Best ways to experience big cities at Christmastime:
Snowshoeing in Japan's Alps
Snow Monkeys Day Trip with Lunch
10-day City and Ski Japan trip