Aussie-blogger Ashlea of A Globe Well Travelled tells us why spending Christmas in Europe is her favourite thing
Christmas here in Australia usually means a backyard barbeque or a day at the beach. As a result of this Aussie culture of Christmas in summer, spending the holidays in the cold Northern Hemisphere is a huge novelty for me! I dream of snow perched on the many church spires throughout Europe, cosying up in cafes when the weather is chilly out, and wandering through quiet streets on my way to charming Christmas markets. I’m totally addicted to the idea of a wintery Christmas.
It’s no secret that I LOVE travelling to new places in December. In fact, I’ve done it 3 times already. I spent the lead up to Christmas in 2013 exploring Poland and Germany, then in 2015 I spent December in New York City, and most recently I did a road trip through the southern US last December.
In my opinion, Christmas is one of the best times of year to travel. There are so many reasons why taking a trip at Christmas is a good idea - here’s a few of them!
1 You can really get into the Christmas spirit
As an Australian, I struggle to get into the Christmas spirit when I’m at home. December is the beginning of summer here, and as Christmas is mostly themed on snowy destinations, it’s hard to get into all things festive. On top of this, I don’t have any kids and I don’t live particularly close to my family, so there’s really no need for me to decorate my apartment with a tree or decorations.
When Ashlea visited Prague over Christmas
That all changes when I travel during December. I love getting caught up in the way other cultures celebrate Christmas, especially in Europe where you can buy gingerbread hearts at the Christmas markets in Germany, or admire the seasonal decorations at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, or visit the adorable Santa’s Village in Finland. There are endless options for making your trip as Christmassy as possible!
Need a hostel in Copenhagen? Check out the award-winning Copenhagen Downtown
2 You can get super cosy
Our warm weather in Australia means that Christmas just isn’t associated with being cosy while it’s cold outside. One thing I love about travelling in December is that I can visit a place where I can actually get super cosy on my Christmas travels. Nothing makes me happier than rugging up in a warm coat, drinking spiced mulled wine, and eating delicious comfort foods. It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, so I’m going to embrace it!
Ashlea loved the Berlin Christmas Markets. See the 5 Best Markets in the German capital here
3 It’s cheaper to travel at Christmas
I’m all about saving money on holidays, and Christmastime is often considered off-peak season for tourism. As not many people are travelling to new destinations at this time of year, entrance fees are often reduced to encourage more visitors, and hotels aren’t as booked up so cheap rooms are usually easy to find.
Travelling in off-peak season is also the number one way to save money on a tour. As tour operators often struggle to fill seats at this time of year, you’ll find that the departures over Christmas are much cheaper than they are during the summer season. Take a look at the websites of tour operators to see whether they have any last-minute winter specials!
Wroclaw Christmas festivities
4 Destinations are quieter at Christmas
I don’t know about you, but I think that travelling in the height of summer when destinations are packed is not at all appealing. Crowds completely ruin a destination for me.
When I travelled through Europe at Christmastime a few years ago, the hoards of summer tourists were nowhere to be seen. Most other travellers are spending time with their families at this time of year, so hostels and tourist destinations will be much quieter than they normally are. You likely won’t get hassled by as many people trying to sell you stuff on the street, and there’s no need for you to line up for an hour and a half to get into the Louvre or go up the Eiffel Tower. If you want to explore a destination in the peace and quiet, then you should pack up and go for Christmas!
Want more? Check out the 10 Best Christmas Markets in Europe
Article and photos by Ashlea Wheeler