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Begin your Twelve Days of Christmas in Paris

Twelve Days of Christmas

21 Jul 2023 Travel Stories
Have you ever imagined a white Christmas, strolling through buzzing Christmas markets, down streets filled with twinkling lights and savouring the smell of locally baked sweets? Why not set off on your own 'Twelve Days of Christmas’ journey taking in a white Christmas in the Swiss Alps, an eventful New Year celebration in Munich and everything in between!

Day One & Two - Paris

Paris at Christmastime

Begin your twelve days in Paris, the ‘City of Lights’. Every corner of this beautiful city has its own special attraction – frosty outdoor skating rinks, magical Christmas markets lining streets and squares, store fronts aglow with delightful Advent displays… there’s just so much to explore. Get into the festive spirit aboard one of the luxurious river vessels and enjoy a sumptuous meal as you meander your way down the Seine. Imagine yourself with a belly full of local specialties and a glass of wine in hand as the beautiful lights of a Parisian Christmas pass you by. It can’t get any better than that!

Day Three & Four – Swiss Alps

Zermat6t in Switzerland

If you time your journey right, you will find yourself in Switzerland for Christmas Day. Think falling snowflakes, twinkling lights, the glistening peaks of the Swiss Alps as your backdrop and centuries old traditions - the perfect white Christmas that you have always dreamed of and more. If you’re a skier or snowboarder, where else would you want to be? Combining a skiing vacation and a white Christmas gives you the best of both worlds. The higher altitudes of St Moritz, Zermatt and Davos/Klosters are your best bet for guaranteed snow, plus they offer amazing après-ski activities too!

Day Five - Tuscany

Presepe at Piazza Duomo in Florence

Now it’s time to swap out the snow and head down through Northern Italy to Florence – home to Michelangelo’s ‘David’. This is the best time of year to enjoy Florence like a local. Be sure to visit Piazza Duomo to capture the essence of Christmas with its life-sized, terracotta nativity scene known traditionally ‘presepe’ and made by a local potter. If you talk an evening stroll, head to the Baptistery of St John where you’ll find a beautiful, exquisitely lit Christmas tree.

Day Six & Seven - Rome

Christmas tree outside the Colosseum in Rome

In Italy, you can enjoy the Christmas season well beyond 25 December as celebrations last through until the day of the Epiphany on 06 January. When in Rome, visit the Vatican City (we recommend purchasing a skip-the-line ticket or booking a private or small group tour with VIP access to truly appreciate the history), visit the Sistine Chapel to marvel at the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo and the other beautiful art pieces dotted around the buildings, and top off your Rome stop with a visit to the Colosseum for another selfie-worthy Christmas tree.

Day Eight & Nine - Venice

Venice canals at Christmas

You’ll now be more than halfway through your magical Christmas holiday but don’t let that dampen things because Venice is next! You’ll notice that the floating city is even more magical during the holidays with lights decorating piazzas, ornate architecture and even the gondolas! Although it may be a tad cold, Venice in winter is a lot less crowded which makes it a fantastic time to visit. Museums and centuries-old churches are open during the Christmas season, so art-lovers rejoice!

Day Ten - Innsbruck

Innsbruck in Austria

As you farewell Italy, the famous Brenner Pass will magically appear as you travel north to Germany. With its dramatic mountain scenery, Innsbruck is a worthy place to make an overnight stop. After dark, the city comes to life with impressive light displays, so take a stroll and admire the projections illuminating the facades of several buildings throughout the city. If you’re in search of a last stop market, you’re in luck as the Christmas Market in Maria-Theresien-Strasse remains open until the Epiphany. The main shopping street comes to life offering 30 stalls with an exciting array of gifts and all sorts of delicious treats.

Day Eleven & Twelve - Munich

Tollwood Winter Festival in Munich

As you reach the end of your twelve days, you'll find yourself in Munich which buzzes with New Year celebration spots! The Tollwood Winter Festival is the place to party at New Year! Ring it in with a tasty dinner and live music, then make your way to one of the best viewing spots such as Schwanthalerhöhe or Olympiaberg to watch the skies over Munich burst with colourful fireworks. Start the new year relaxing over a local beer at Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s most famous beer hall or get your muscles moving at the Olympic Park Ice Sport Centre which has plenty of activities on offer.

Extend your trip to visit other exciting parts of Europe or spend a few days in one area to really soak up the festive atmosphere. Whatever you choose, get in touch with your local Travellers Choice agent for help bringing your Christmas travel dreams to life.

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