- Özgür Töre
From fireworks decorating the beautiful skyline across the amazing backdrops to vivacious street parties in the most sought after cities, there is no shortage of amazing ways to bid farewell to this year and ring in 2020.
Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), names the best festive countries to celebrate the holidays leaving you spellbound with their ultimate experience.
Proclaimed to be the official hometown of Santa Clause visit Rovaniemi in Finland and rejoice one of a kind Christmas in this Finnish Village. Spotting the reindeer on the winter streets of Lapland is a perfect way to cherish this joyous occasion. An ideal winter landscape surrounded by snow-capped mountains; the giant Christmas trees decked with shimmering gifts is a sight to behold.
The second trending festive destination is London. Enjoying the city’s colorful illumination at the Regent Street or spotting the giant Christmas tree at the Trafalgar Square, these celebrations add charm to London. Each year Hyde Park hosts the Winter Wonderland with attractions like outdoor ice rink, fairground rides, circus and Christmas market. The most iconic New Year celebration happens by the Thames River with live music and endless fireworks.
Paris is always revered to be the best romantic destination to welcome the New Year with your loved one. It ranks third after London. The City of Lights brims with joy and merriment where the architectural landmarks like Champs-Elysees Avenue and the Eiffel Tower are lit up in all their glory. On New Year’s Eve, thousands of people gather at the Arc de Triomphe to enjoy the firework display at midnight followed by a light show projected on the Arc de Triomphe.
Dubai comes forth with great splendor. Christmas in Dubai is equally enchanting with its winter garden market at Habtoor’s Palace. A fun galore for kids where the snow zone, holiday carols, and festive food treats will leave even the adults entertained. New Year Eve celebration is incomplete without cascades of spectacular fireworks including the palm-shaped firework at the Palm Jumeirah. Groove to the latest tunes as Dubai hosts some of the best parties with enthralling VIP performances, amazing food, and great nightlife.
Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, MENA and India, Wego, said: “It’s a special time of the year, we have handpicked the best 10 destinations for everyone to soak into the festive spirit of Christmas and New Year celebrations. During the holiday period, we notice that the majority of the people book their holidays at least 27 days ahead of their travel date.”
Planning a trip to Istanbul in Turkey might be the best option for a European winter vacation with a milder temperature. Turkey ranks the fifth most festive City for MENA travellers. Turks welcome the New Year in a unique tradition where Baba Noel, the Turkish version of Santa Claus visits children and leaves gifts under the tree.
Travelling further north towards the Arctic Circle will take you to the breathtaking Norwegian city of Tromso, which is considered to be the sixth-best place to enjoy the natural beauty of Northern Lights also called the Aurora Borealis. Spotting the neon green ribbons and swirls of Aurora is surreal and once in a lifetime experience.
Indonesia is one of the trending destinations and the seventh trending destination to spend the holidays. On Christmas, people gather at the churches and offer prayers followed by a grand celebration with bright and noisy crackers. Adding joy to this occasion, Sinterklass (referring to Santa Claus) also distributes gifts and chocolates to all children.
Travelling to more festive cities by the West, New York in the USA has a reputation for its sleepless nights and Rockefeller’s enormous Christmas tree decorated during Christmas and is the eighth in the list. Every year on New Year’s Eve, the celebration begins at Times Square where millions of people come to see the musical performances and the iconic ball drop.
Last but not least Tallinn in Estonia is one of the trending and sought after festive cities for winter vacations in 2019. Adding to the real charm of Christmas festivity, skate in the Old Town, taste the rich mulled wine or visit the medieval churches that bring out the nostalgic memory of this joyous celebration.
Always dreamt of ringing the New Year on the beach? Then head straight to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. New Year’s Eve party at Copacabana Beach is one of the most iconic celebrations attracting over 2 million tourists. It is one of the wildest and largest parties held on a beach that stretches to over two and a half miles. Take part in the musical and dance performances and witness the colorful fireworks display overlooking the vast ocean.