Destination Deep-Dive 10 MINS READ

The 10 Best Destinations To Celebrate New Year’s Eve

The 10 Best Destinations To Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Destination Deep-Dive 10 MINS READ

Christmas is a date with great importance for the whole family and the loved ones. But New Year’s Eve is also a precious day, as families and friends reunite to celebrate an exciting new beginning. And there’s no better way to welcome a new year than by traveling to an exciting and new destination. A holiday trip, either with family or friends, can be a great opportunity to breathe new air, recharge, and enjoy the happy atmosphere that takes place all over the world.

Across the globe, there are several different events that celebrate New Year so, in case you’re still deciding on where to go, there is a showcase of destinations to choose from. For a cosmopolitan holiday surrounded by skyscrapers, museums, and hype restaurants, go to New York and watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s eve. For some relaxed time around nature, ring in the new year by spending a few days in Thailand, where you stay at a wellness boutique hotel in front of the ocean. The options are endless.

With the cancellation of most New Year’s Eve parties across the world, a good idea is to opt for a staycation in a nearby city, or travel internationally (if you can) and rent a cozy vacation home in your destination of choice. That way you can host a dinner party with a few close people, open a bottle of champagne, and watch the fireworks display online. You can also use the ideas from this list to plan a New Year trip for the upcoming years!

For you to experience the most memorable New Year’s Eve in 2020 or in a near future, we’ve gathered the top travel destinations where you can see spectacular fireworks, light shows, and a great deal of fun to ring in the year with a bang.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Best New Year Destinations Around the World

Berlin, Germany

Fireworks over Berliner Cathedral in Berlin, Germany.

Take advantage of the holidays and go to Berlin for a trip filled with culture, art, and good beer. The city is known for hosting an annual New Year’s Eve Party Between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. This superb and huge open-air party brings together live music, DJs, and an amazing fireworks display at midnight, and attracts hundreds of people. However, due to the current situation, this year the celebration will happen with no audience and it will be broadcasted online. Other famous parties in Berlin will also take place this year with a Corona-compliant concept. The Spreespeicher party, for instance, will take place in the waterfront open-air Spree Terrace but, contrary to previous years, it will be a more intimate and cozy celebration. Guests will be placed in three separate rooms, and groups can stay together as long as they hold the same ticket category.

After a night of celebration, which can happen either at a party or at dinner at your vacation rental in Berlin, a great idea is to take a tour around the city and cure the hangover by trying some of the most delicious German must-eats.

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Koh Phangan, Thailand

Full Moon Party in Koh Panghan, Thailand.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Thailand became famous because of the iconic Full Moon Party. This iconic celebration is an all-night beach party that originated in 1985, taking place every year on the night, before, or after every full moon. Well, if your idea is to spend the last night of the year surrounded by madness in the company of your friends, this is your place. As soon as the sun sets the party starts at Sunrise Beach and it does not end until … until one wants to. You can even start the first dawn of the year with a good dip on the beach while watching the sunrise. It sounds good, right? This iconic celebration is an all-night beach party that originated in 1985, taking place every year on the night, before, or after every full moon. Due to the pandemic, the party has been canceled, but you can still put this celebration on top of your bucket list for your next Southeast Asia trip.

This year, why not go for something more chill, and maybe try going on a yoga retreat in Thailand? Surrounded by natural features, such as forested hills and pristine beaches, the country is an authentic health and wellness retreat. So, a great idea for the New Year 2020 is to replace crowded spaces and celebrations with more secluded destinations, where you can indulge in some outdoor activities, be around nature, and recharge. That way you can still celebrate the New Year, but respecting the social distancing and keeping yourself safe.

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New York City, United States

New Year's Eve celebration at the Times Square, in New York City.

Aside from being one of the most amazing cities for a Christmas holiday, New York also happens to be one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. During the winter, New York gets even more dazzling, and the city sparkles with a slew of holiday lights, which create the perfect environment for some celebration time.

A typical New Year celebration in New York usually involves heading over to the famous Times Square for the countdown and fireworks. This iconic celebration brings together thousands of people from all around the world, but this year New York will ring 2021 in a different way. To ensure everyone’s safety, the popular Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration will go online. The famous New Year’s Ball Drop in Times Square will still happen at the exact same time as the previous year, but people will have to watch it online.

So, in case you’re planning to go to New York City to celebrate New Year, no need to be upset. You can still enjoy the city’s skyscrapers and amazing holiday attractions, such as the ice rink at Rockefeller Center. You can spend New Year by having dinner with loved ones at your vacation rental in New York. Just grab a bottle of Champagne and tun in to watch the Times Square countdown and you’re good to go!

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Sydney, Australia

Aside from the party in Times Square, the fireworks show in Sydney, Australia, is probably the most famous New Years Eve celebration in the world. This huge event happens Is held every year on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and it features two amazing fireworks displays: the 9 pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks. Both of them are televised nationally, and Midnight Fireworks is televised globally. Each year, a new theme for the event is chosen and is usually viewed by more than one million people surrounding the area of the harbor and one billion worldwide for the Midnight Fireworks. A great idea is to celebrate New Year in Sydney by taking a boat tour while you enjoy the fireworks with the famous Opera House as a backdrop.

This year, the 9 pm Family Fireworks Show has been canceled, but there will still be a small fireworks display from the Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight. The celebration will be televised live on the ABC channel, and you can tune in to watch it while celebrating the New Year with close friends and family.

After you celebrate the New Year in Sydney, why not take a road trip to explore the most charming small towns in Australia? This will surely kick off your 2021 the right way!

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

New Years Eve fireworks at Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro.

Get ready for a very tropical New Year, because Rio de Janeiro will provide you with the ultimate summer holiday. At the end of each year, this vibrant and bustling city gets even more festive thanks to it’s traditional New Year’s Eve Celebration in Copacabana Beach. The event, which is the biggest New Years Eve party in the world, actually started in the ’80s as a religious celebration, which gathered only the people who lived nearby in the area. But the party became extremely popular, and now it brings together around 3 million people from all around the world. Aside from a spectacular and colorful fireworks display that takes about 18 minutes, the party at Copacabana also features live music.

During the New Year in Brazil, it’s common for people to wear white, in order to bring good luck. And one of the most famous traditions all across the country is for people to “jump the 7 waves”. On midnight, they go to the ocean and literally jump 7 waves in order to bring good luck for the next year.

This year, Rio de Janeiro canceled the New Years Eve festivities, and a virtual celebration is being planned. But, if you decide to spend New Year in Rio de Janeiro, you can still enjoy the local beaches, and have a private dinner with close people to ring in the New Year. Boasting warm tropical weather at any time of year, the city is one of the most Instagrammable places in the world to visit during the summer.

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Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town hosts a myriad of fun events to celebrate New Year. The most famous one is the New Years Eve 2021 at the V&A Waterfront Cape Town, which also happens to be the biggest New Year’s Eve party in South Africa. Located in South Africa’s oldest working Harbor, on the Atlantic shore, the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront is a 123 hectares complex developed for mixed-used, harboring both residential and commercial buildings. The event features several outdoor entertainment areas, aside from carnival-themed shows, and light installations, from 6 pm to midnight.

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New Orleans, United States

Fireworks in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In case you’re planning to travel with a group of friends, New Orleans, Louisiana, is definitely one of the best places to spend the New Year, as it’s filled with street parties, live music, and plenty of fun activities for you to have a good time.

One of the most famous New Years Eve celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana, is the Bourbon Street Party. Located in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, Bourbon Street is a historic area and well-known for having a showcase of bars and strip clubs. On New Years Eve, this iconic street gets filled with excitement, featuring nonstop parties at the local bars, fireworks, and a midnight champagne toast.

Another well-known party in New Orleans is the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, at Jackson Square. This huge, free party is open to all and features fireworks, live music performances, and the iconic “fleur-de-lis-drop”, which is the New Orleans version of the Times Square Ball Drop. Definitely a more family-friendly option than the Bourbon Street Party.

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Queenstown, New Zealand

Firworks over the Lake Wakapitu, in Queenstown, New Zealand.

New Zealand is not only one of the best destinations for outdoor lovers and adrenaline seekers. The country is also one of the best places to spend the new year. So, in case you chose New Zealand as your destination, you might wanna consider bringing in the new year in Queenstown. The city is located on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, and it’s a famed spot for adventure sports such as bungee jumping and jet-boating.

Offering some of the best views of Lake Wakapitu and the surrounding snowy mountains, this resort city hosts a handful of pub crawls during New Years eve.

For a more family friendly experience, you can head over to the Marine Parade and watch the fireworks over Queenstown Bay, or to Earnslaw Park, which hosts an annual party with live music, food trucks and fireworks.

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Paris, France

The Sacre Coeur church with fireworks, during the New Year in Paris, France

Paris is always a good idea. A perfect destination at any time of year, the City of Lights also happens to be one of the best places to ring in the new year. During the holiday season, Paris is even more beautiful, as it gets filled with themed decorations and even more dazzling lights. A true winter wonderland, the city usually hosts a series of parties, dinner cruises, cabaret shows, and many other fun events on New Year’s eve.

Starting at around 900 pm on New Years Eve, people usually head over to the Champs Elysée for the famous countdown and a gorgeous light show Along the way to Champs Elysée, you’ll be able to marvel at the Eiffel Tower, which is a true sight to be seen.

After ringing in the new year, make sure the party continues by popping some authentic French Champagne with a stunning view of the Eiffel tower.

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Las Vegas, United States

Fireworks at the Sunset Strip, in Las Vegas.

The New Year’s Eve fireworks display at Sunset Strip is one of the most iconic New Years celebrations in Las Vegas. Lasting up to eight minutes, the fireworks spectacle has been a staple event in Sin City for years and, in January 2020, more than 80,000 colorful fireworks illuminated the Strip during the New Years Eve celebration in Las Vegas.

A true bucket-list New Year destination, Las Vegas attracts visitors from all over the world during the holiday season thanks to it’s lively atmosphere all year round. Unfortunately, this year Las Vegas won’t be ringin in the New Year with it’s traditional fireworks spectacle due the pandemic. But the city, which is definitely one of the best places to celebrate this special occasion, is still expected to host minor events and parties, especially in the casinos and hotels.

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Of course, there are thousands of destinations to spend New Years Eve. Luckily for you, we can offer you the best accommodation in each place, so wherever you are, you’ll always feel at home.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels.

Here are some curated readings for you:

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Destination Deep-Dive 10 MINS READ

10 Best Christmas Vacations for Families in the U.S.

10 Best Christmas Vacations for Families in the U.S.

Destination Deep-Dive 10 MINS READ

Christmas is just around the corner. And, since most people are longing for some travel and recharge time, going on a passport-free holiday vacation is the best way to enjoy the radiance of the season. But this year, instead of hopping on an airplane to travel internationally, you can go on a holiday staycation trip within your own city or set off to an exciting U.S. destination you’ve always wanted to go to. Either way, you’ll be in good hands. The options of places to spend Christmas are endless, as the country is home to a showcase of holiday getaways that offer seasonal treats, comfortable accommodation options, and plenty of activities for the whole family.

To help you with your holiday planning, we’ve rounded up the 10 best Christmas vacations in the U.S. Which one is your favorite?

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Best Christmas Vacation Ideas


Are you itching to escape the urban sprawl and enjoy the restorative benefits of being around nature? If so, a great Christmas vacation idea is to set off on a family trip to the wilderness. You can even rent a cozy cabin in the woods and have your own holiday celebration while enjoying the brisk air and sweeping forested views.

For families who are seeking the ultimate holiday experience, why not head over to Disney World with the kids during the Christmas season? This year, the park will host a showcase of entertainment experiences, light displays, and festive treats until December 30.

Filled with seasonal activities and an array of lights, New York is will surely light up your holiday spirit during your family vacation. The city becomes a magical wonderland during the holidays, hosting a range of iconic events such as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the European-style Christmas market at Bryant Park.

Best Christmas Vacations for Families

San Francisco, California

San Francisco City Hall in red and green light during Christmas.


One of the things that makes San Francisco one of the best places to spend Christmas in the United States is the fact that it has a lot of kid-friendly activities. During this time of year, the city houses a panoply of festive lights and decorations, including the iconic 83 feet tall Macy’s “Great Tree”, which is decorated with more than 33,000 energy-efficient LED lights and 1,100 ornaments. This year, you can also take the little ones to Golden Gate Park, which will be transformed into a whimsical winter wonderland. In December, the park will become home to “Entwined”, an art installation that’s it’s themed around an enchanted forest with 2,000 LED lights. The installation is part of the Illuminate San Francisco Festival of Light, which will turn the city into a glittering paradise by spreading over 40 illuminated public artworks in 17 neighborhoods of San Francisco.

Aside from indulging in plenty of holiday activities, make sure you also tour around San Francisco and check some of the city’s top-rated attractions, including Chinatown, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Ghirardelli Square. Don’t forget to sight-see the Golden Gate Bridge, which is the most photographed spot in San Francisco, and one of the most Instagrammable places in the world.

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San Diego, California

Holidays celebration at the Gaslamp Pets Parade, San Diego, California.


In case you have a bit more time, you can turn your Christmas vacation into a fun road-trip with your family by taking the Pacific Coast Highway to explore the cities along California’s coast. After a weekend in San Francisco, for instance, you can head south and either stop in Santa Barbara or go straight to San Diego. Offering a pleasant climate all year round, San Diego is the perfect getaway for families who want to escape the cold weather.

Aside from beaches, gardens, and parks, San Diego also displays a showcase of festive events during Christmas. From December 2 to December 30, visitors will be able to wander through 37 acres of illuminated plants and garden areas in the San Diego Botanical Garden. The event will also host a display of lighted animals, laser lighting, and fire pits for the whole family.

To provide locals and visitors with a safe holiday experience for locals and visitors, San Diego will host events that were adapted to ensure social distancing. The annual Enchanted Village at the Noah Homes, a nonprofit organization, will return this year as a drive-thru light tunnel. From your car, you’ll be able to wander through over 100,000-holiday lights, and interactive displays, and also have your photo with Santa taken at a safe distance!

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Chicago, Illinois

Chicago decorated Christmas Tree on the Magnificent Mile.


While some events were called off this year due to the current situation, there will still be plenty of Christmas activities throughout Chicago. Until January 2021, the Lincoln Park Zoo will host a range of attractions, such as a candy cane lane, light tunnels, and even a hot chocolate and s’mores stand. To sight-see some more dazzling lights, head over to the Morton Arboretum’s annual tree lights display. This year, this event will return as a drive-in show, where visitors can pass through a two-mile stretch of colorful lights while listening to a musical soundtrack. Another must-go for a Christmas vacation in Chicago is the Great Tree at Macy’s Walnut Room restaurant.

There will be no ice skating at Millenium Park this week, but you can still go to Maggie Daley Park to have some fun while sliding on their Ice Skating Ribbon.

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Washington, D.C.

The United States Christmas Tree shining bright in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.


As the year begins to wind down, Washington, D.C, turns into a sparkly holiday destination that appeals to both couples and families with children. One of the most famed activities during Christmas it’s visiting the National Christmas Tree. This year, the tree displays a patriotic design, which includes red, white, and blue opaque lights, a handcrafted 3D gold star, and 18,000 LED lights.

When in Washington DC for your Christmas vacation, also go to the Downtown Holiday Market, an outdoor shopping village that will feature more than 70 exhibitors. Aside from doing your spot of shopping, you can also indulge in some live music concerts, and delicious heartwarming food, such as churros, barbeque, and doughnuts.

During your Christmas vacation in Washington DC, don’t forget to visit the renowned Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.

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New York City, New York

The decorated Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, in New York.


New York City during the Christmas season is a true sight to be seen. In fact, New York embraces the Christmas spirit like no other place in the United States. And what makes NY one of the best places to spend the holiday season is the fact that the city has something to offer everyone, from adults to children. For a flavor of the winter in NYC, you can start off your trip with some family-friendly activities, such as ice skating on Bryant Park, and checking out the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Once these are done, you can move on to other magical holiday activicties, such as visiting the New York Botanical Garden, which will host an outdoor experience this year. Named NYBG Glow, the event will fully illuminate the garden’s landscape with energy-efficient LED lights. There will also be a miniature train show, where visitors can watch little trains traversing a display of nearly 200 of the city’s landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

And, in case you’re in a true Christmas mood this year, there are more holiday activicties in New York for you and your family. So what about marveling at New York’s festive lights by going to the iconic Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Display? A tradition for more than 30 years, the light display spans over three avenues and several streets in Brooklyn, from 11th to 13th Avenues (also known as Dyker Heights Boulevard), and from 83rd to 86th Street in Dyker Heights. The houses located in this area get over-the-top decorated in the old-fashioned style, filled with dazzling lights, giant sleighs, inflatable Santa’s, Christmas trees, and more.

Feel like taking a quick break from all the Christmas-themed events? A great idea is to visit New York’s top-rated attractions. You can always go for a walk on Central Park and feel the brisk air or winter, wander around Chinatown for a dumpling-filled meal, or go visit the city’s museums.

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Seattle, Washington

People ice skating in the Enchant Christmas Event at Safeco field, in Seattle.


Seattle might not be the first destination you consider when planning a holiday getaway. But we guarantee that you won’t regret it if you decide to spend Christmas in the city. Start your Seattle family vacation by going to the “Illuminate Your Holidays” at the Woodland Park Zoo. This immersive experience will take you through an exhibition of large scale animals and nature scape lanterns that represent wild places from around the world. The event will also host a brand-new lantern festival name WildLanterns.

After the dazzling experience at Woodland Park, go visit the famous Candy Cane Lane in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood. Also known as the N.E. Park Road, the Candy Cane Lane consists of 23 houses decorated with lights, life-size moving objects, Christmas trees, and fake snow.

Craving some Christmas shopping spree? Then make your move to the Pike Place Market, an open-air market where you’ll find a slew of amazing handmade gifts for your family.

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Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A snowy mountain ski village at night.


Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is one of the best Christmas vacations for an authentic holiday in the wilderness. Located between the Gros Ventre and Teton mountain ranges, Jackson Hole is well-known for being home to three major ski areas, and for being close to the Grand Teton National Park, and the Yellowstone National Park.

If hitting the slopes during winter is your family’s favorite holiday tradition, you can plan a ski trip and stay at a mountain resort. This year, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the Teton Village Association will have an array of Christmas activities, such as ski with Santa Claus, a snow sculpture building contest, and free ice skating on the Village Rink, among others.

And, when you’re not sleigh riding, nordic skiing, and snowboarding in Jackson Hole, you can celebrate the holidays by taking your family to Town Square, which gets filled with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations.

Seeking some cozy time curling up by the fireplace and binge-watching your favorite Christmas movies with your family? Then a great idea is to rent a cabin in the woods. You can throw your own Christmas dinner party and maintain your beloved holiday traditions while traveling.

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Charleston, South Carolina

A thome decorated for Christmas in Charleston, SC.


For some heartwarming Southern hospitality during the holidays, go to Charleston, South Carolina. Filled with historic homes, gorgeous piazzas, and award-winning restaurants, the city is guaranteed to provide you with a memorable Christmas experience, as it will host a range of swoon-worthy events this winter. Until 31 of December Charleston will host one of the most awaited shows of the year: the Holiday Festival Of Lights. Visitors will be able to marvel at two million lights while enjoying mouth-watering treats.

To level up your holiday season in Charleston, go to the Christmas Candlelight Tour, which will take you and your family to explore the beautifully decorated Boone Hall Plantation. If you feel like having even more fun with the kids, a great place to go is Theodora Park, the only small city park with holiday lights that look like jewels spread across the gardens.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico

The square in Santa Fe sparkling with Christmas lights.


Known for its Pueblo-style architecture and dramatic mountainous backdrop, this off the beaten path destination is one of the best places to spend your Christmas vacations in the U.S. Christmas in New Mexico is influenced by different cultures, including Spanish, Native American, Mexican and Anglo-American, which will allow you and your family to learn about other holiday traditions. In fact, many pueblos close to Santa Fe celebrate Christmas with traditional festivals, which usually feature typical dances and music.

Adrenaline enthusiasts can also benefit from spending Christmas in Santa Fe, as the city turns into a veritable wonderland for winter sports during the holiday season. There are several mountainous areas around Santa Fe where you can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and even sleigh-riding.

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Walt Disney World, Orlando

Amn illuminated landscape with rocks, trees, lake, a Christmas Tree and a colorful stadium on the International Drive area.


Get ready to be spending the happiest time of the year in the happiest place on earth. After all, when it comes to having a wonderful time with your family, Walt Disney World never disappoints. And while the conditions are a bit different this year, Disney brings the holiday spirit to every park by offering a myriad of events. In Epcot, for instance, visitors will witness Santa Claus touring around the World Showcase in his horse-drawn sleigh, while wishing everyone a happy holiday season. Until December 31, guests will also be able to participate in the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays and visit the Holiday Kitchens around the world.

Magic Kingdom will feature colorful castle projections, a holiday trolley, and a philharmonic. To satisfy your cravings, you can indulge in some sweet and savory holiday treats, such as hot chocolate and cookies.

Wondering where to go for your holiday shopping? Well, Orlando has infinite options of outlets where you can find great deals and go hunting for Christmas presents for your family. With a wide range of things to see and do, Orlando is certainly one of the best Christmas family vacations in Florida.

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CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels.

Here are some curated readings for you:

Magical European Winter Destinations
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Activities & Adventure 2 MINS READ

The Most Charming Europe Christmas Market List in 2020

The Most Charming Europe Christmas Market List in 2020

Activities & Adventure 2 MINS READ

Europe Christmas markets and Christmas traditions, anyone? Cultural travel is on the rise, and after tapping into Barcelona undiscovered museum list, best ancient Roman heritage sites and midsummer traditions, one can go on and discover the Northern European holiday traditions, be it Christmas, Winter Solstice or New Year’s.

Winchester

Take a break from the capital and get some black pudding at Christmas market.

Tallinn, Estonia

Take a stroll around Tallinn, the birthplace of the Christmas tree tradition, where the Brotherhood of Blackheads erected the first Christmas tree was erected in 1441.

Berlin, Germany

Visit Lucia Christmas market and buy some vegan gingerbreads.

Aarhus, Denmark

Visit the Gamle By open-air town museum and hear some Christmas carols singing and get your hygge by drinking.

Stockholm, Sweden

Feel the magic of Christmas by crunching on the chocolate glazed apple in Skansen Christmas market or get your Christmas feeling by windowshopping around Nordiska Kompaniet on Hamngatan and Kungsträdgården.

Krakow, Poland

Get your winter taste by drinking warm beer and eating bigos during Sylwester.

Dublin, Ireland

Listen to Irish pipes get into a swing of the ceilidh.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Visit the island of ice for the winter solstice festival to warm up with some whiskey, see some Icelandic sagas and watch some whales.

Ready to go to Europe for winter 2020? Get more ideas for what to do on Europe winter holidays in New Year 2020 and follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook:

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Activities & Adventure 3 MINS READ

Free Budapest Activities, Tours and Excursions

Free Budapest Activities, Tours and Excursions

Activities & Adventure 3 MINS READ

While looking for budget destinations in Europe, you cannot go wrong with Hungary. While some of us plan Christmas Holidays well in advance, some in a distinctively human way postpone every single decision, among them – where to go this Christmas Holiday. Eastern and Central Europe have an emerging travel scene and some of its destinations shine brighter every year. Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and others are true gems. What’s the best? They are not overly expensive, as the tourism industry is still emerging. Here CuddlyNest had a look at what activities Budapest has to offer for budget travelers.

Taste Hungary Wandering Around the Great Market Hall

If there is something every single traveler loves about Eastern and Central Europe, it is surely the food. Hungarian cuisine is well known for its real and unimaginably tasty food. Cheese croissants selling in the Hungarian pékség are fresh and full of cheese, and Hungarian specialty lángos is made on the spot as ordered. Have your stomach grumbling already? When visiting Great Market Hall, do not forget to buy a couple of paprika spice satchels selling on the Hungarian street and climb up on the second floor to have a free tour of Hungarian national handicrafts, which are selling at bargain prices.

Wander the Streets with Eyes in the Sky

Budapest has a lot to offer beyond museums. In fact, the best museum to visit is the streets of Budapest. Conserved the history of ages of different ruling powers and cultures present,  the architecture tells its own story. From the Budapest Parliament building to Szent István (St. Stephens’s) Basilica to Castle, you will see architecture from Medieval and Baroque to Neoclassicist, preserved throughout centuries. And if you have a chance to stay in one of the Neocclaccisist buildings while sharing the apartment or renting out the whole place for your family trip, you will see how spacious are the buildings.

Budapest Free Tours in English, German and Spanish

Budapest winter weather may not always be as welcoming as in Medditarean climate, but the guides of Budapest free tours will make you feel better instantly. Tours are offered in Chinese, English, Spanish, German and even Russian, and are generally very informative and interesting. One thing you should keep in mind though is the fact that you must be registered before. Not required but welcomed also are some donations for the guides. Keep in mind that tours range from 1 to 3 hours and start from the Jewish Quarter – you better be there on time!

Ruin Pubs for the Contemporary Budapest Experience

If you wish to save whilst on the road, yet experience not only the historical architecture but meet people and have fun in one of Budapest’s signature places, you must go to its ruin pubs. From the super touristic Szimpla Kert to Csendes Bar, Budapest will exceed your expectations and amaze you with its diversity. If you love cultural experiences, go to Szimpla on Mondays and join the Hungarian dances. If your thing is brunch, then Farmers’ Market and Breakfast will be just right for you. Other hotspots of alternative, yet free cultural experiences are Golya, Aurora, and Kék Ló (Blue Horse).

Free Days on Budapest Museums are Worth It

Budapest’s art scene may not be regarded as particularly avant-garde, although you may find many inspiring and innovative approaches present in its many local galleries, especially when taking a stroll around District II. However, Budapest offers a lot to art lovers, and if you are lucky, you may get into museums completely for free. Every month on the third Saturday you may visit Hungarian National Gallery (Castle District) and Fine Arts Museum ( near Hősök Tere – Heroe’s Square) for free given that you are a European passport holder under the age of 26. For modern and contemporary art lovers Ludwig Museum will be the best fit, free to attend on the last Sunday every month. Hungarian National Museum in the center of the city and Skanzen of Szentendre on the outskirts of Budapest are good places to go as well.

Overall, while Budapest weather definitely takes a toll on the possible things to do in December and January, it is never short on events and places to go. Budapest is therefore just the perfect getaway for anyone looking for a great place to go for a couple getaway for the Christmas or New Year holidays.

Activities & Adventure 3 MINS READ

Fun Things to do in Chicago in Winter

Fun Things to do in Chicago in Winter

Activities & Adventure 3 MINS READ

Just because winter is here doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up in your house. In fact, there’s plenty of activities to do in the winter that will keep you busy. Here are some winter fun ideas in Chicago.

Art Institute of Chicago Special Holiday Events

Visiting the Art Institute of Chicago will open your eyes to a variety of special holiday-theme performances and events:

  • Open Lecture: The Neopolitan Creche
  • Holiday Choir Concerts
  • 36th Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt & Tea Party (Hosted December 10th, 10:45 AM until 2:30 PM)
  • Get Crafty and Build a Gingerbread House (On December 16th between 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM, and other times to come.)
  • Member Lecture: Holiday Thorne Rooms
  • Holiday Small Plates at the Museum Cafe (Every Thursday evening in December. Reservations encouraged)

Brookfield Zoo – Experience the Holiday Magic of 2020

Visit Chicagoland’s longest and largest running lights festival, the Polar Lights Show during its 36th year. Additional holiday highlights include: Dolphins in Action, photo opps with animals, Wild Encounters, Singing to the animals, Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

How to get in: You can obtain Brookfield Zoo tickets as they are included with the Go Chicago Card, as well as holiday events and activities, are all included with admission, unless specified otherwise.

Ice Skating at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Chicago in Winter

Step out on the ice and have a blast with a view of the Chicago skyline. This ice skating rink is a holiday favorite for several locals. Due to convenience and being able to find, this area is the place to be during the cold, winter months. If skating with a crowd isn’t something you jump for joy about, the skating rink is open throughout March, so there will be time to skate in peace after the New Year.

Be sure to check online for more information and specified hours. The rink is free but if you need to rent skates, rentals are available for around $10.

Lincoln Park Zoo and Zoo Light Festive Fun

Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo for some family tradition and festive fun in Chicago. Between the fun seasonal activities and bright illuminations, your Christmas spirit will for sure blossom. Whether you want to take the kids, or just stroll around with some adults, it’s the ideal place for anyone. Admission to the Lincoln Park Zoo is free.

Polar Adventure Days

Mainly for kids, Polar Adventure Days boast tons of fun such as meeting and greeting Siberian huskies, live music, storytelling, and ice sculpture creations. This is the 13th year for Adventure Days and it’s the perfect spot for some winter fun in the Chicago area. Once you’re done, you can explore nearby attractions, including the Adler Planetarium, where your children can learn about space exploration. Admission to the Polar Adventure Days is free and Adler Planetarium tickets come included with your Go Chicago Card.

What type of winter, snowy fun will your family have this year? Share and spread your ideas to spread Christmas spirit with us and our readers.

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