In the western world, the period around Christmas and New Year, is traditionally spent with friends and family. However, many people living in the colder parts of the west like to look for alternatives and an increasing number do fly off to warmer climes.
Hawaii, for example, is one of the most visited alternative option for a summer in December. With tons of islands, tropical rainforests, camping and hiking spots, and Hawaii’s warm weather make it a major tourist destination.
Other countries, like those mentioned below in Asia, Africa, as well as the Middle East, are great options to spend the holiday in, buy Christmas gifts, eat turkey and see the Santa and live music and carol shows without ending up to cold. The cheapest flights and pocket-friendly accommodation options during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday aids in the popularity of these destinations.
Here is a list of some of the best warm weather cities in the world, where you can enjoy an amazing Christmas, or simply forget about the traditional celebrations and enjoy the weather and a different culture.
Christmas is not a huge festival in Singapore but it is celebrated. The eating and shopping scenes, along with the spectacularly lit up streets, malls, and stores gives the city an overall impressive festive scene. Great parties are organised on the sandy shores of Sentosa, where you can dance the night away and wake up in a new year where the sun will come out to greet you almost as warmly as the Singaporeans.
Galle, Sri Lanka
December is the ideal month to take a trip to Sri Lanka, when the weather is neither too warm nor is it the monsoon season. The warm sun above the breathtakingly beautiful beaches are superb. You might also enjoy the sounds of firecrackers, thousands of lights decorated on the streets for Christmas and the ritualistic tasks of merrymaking, especially the world-famous Sri Lankan Christmas cake. Sri Lanka is also known for its tallest artificial Christmas tree and the beautiful Christmas fairs that are set in the run-up to the festivities.
Oman, United Arab Emirates’ neighbour, celebrates the Christmas holiday in full spirit. The capital city Muscat is home to some of the most breathtakingly beautiful beachfront hotels in the Middle East, such as the Shangri-La Barr al Jissah, the Chedi, or the Al Bustan. A week is not enough in the city as there are hundreds of museums, opera houses and waterfalls to see in the artistic city. The hotels in Muscat are decorated in beautiful Christmas light to give the tourists a feel of Christmas, before the Christmas.
The Caribbean’s third biggest island is known for its Gran Market on Christmas Eve. Being familiar with British tourists, sunny Jamaica is filled with wooden chalets of goodies, arts, crafts and decorations in the Christmas markets. Christmas in Jamaica is all about family, friends, food and fun.
Cape Town, South Africa
From Festival of Lights and Carols by Candlelight to Christmas markets, there is no shortage of things to do and celebrate the Christmas holiday in the Mother of Africa, Cape Town. The city has the warmest sun during the European winter, and with the live music performances on the beaches and bays, dozens of stalls selling twinkling Christmassy lights, delicious traditional street food and Christmas gifts will give you one of the best Christmas experience of your life.
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
The Cancun of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the best warm weather cities to visit in winter. The glorious sandy white beaches and crystal clear waters will give you, quite literally, a much deeper fun-filled vacation than the regular snowy Christmas of Europe. Amazing dinner excursions, sightseeing tours, great shopping scenes, quad bike rides, scuba diving, or just relaxing your feet in the warm water as you enjoy the breeze on a boat, will all make your trip to the city worthwhile.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is one of the most popular and visited cities in the Middle East. The flashy, dazzling and wealthy people’s shopping capital is one of the best places to spend the Christmas holidays. The enormous malls are decorated in the lights and colours of Christmas filled with all ranges of gifts and things to eat at reasonable prices.
The luxury markets and beach hotels will be a bit expensive around the winter holidays, however there are cheaper hotels and accommodations in other locations to be found, too. The city knows how to celebrate Christmas, with its Santa and beautifully decorated and lit Christmas trees and fake snowfall. Though Islam is the religion of the country, the cultural diversity sees people from all over the world celebrating their own festivals, including Christmas.
Bangkok is one of the top travelling destinations in Asia, especially around the time of Christmas holidays. Even though Christmas is not a traditional holiday in Thailand, as it is a primarily Buddhist country, Bangkok is becoming more and more popular among tourists who want to travel in time for Christmas and celebrate it in style.
When December rolls in, the small minority of Christians, along with the Buddhist and other religions, fill the air with Christmassy spirit. Some of the best Christmas markets are found in Thailand, such as the Great Gatsby Christmas Market, German Christmas Market, Bonjour French Fair, etc. Some of the most beautiful Christmas trees are decorated and lit in Bangkok, along with the Christmas lights and carols that fill the busy streets.
Half in Europe, Istanbul can be a little cold in December. However, there is a slim to no chance of snowfall around here. The country has 98 per cent Muslims, but that doesn’t stop them from celebrating the festival of the year. Christmas decoration starts at the beginning of the month and Christmas trees, street lights and Santa Claus will make you feel like you are at home.
Stores and malls gear up to celebrate the birth of Christ and then begin to prepare for New Year celebrations. The Muslim majority city will not stop you from joining an amazing Christmas Mass, you can just take a trip to Anthony of Padua, the largest Catholic Church in Istanbul.