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Swap the sofa for snowy mountains, the TV for hot Thai beaches and the shopping crowds for remote Himalayan adventures

The Queen’s speech doesn’t do it for you?

Allergic to paper crowns? Can’t stand the thought of sitting next to your squiffy aunt as she sniffles her way through the most depressing episode of EastEnders ever screened?

We hear you, loud and clear. So make a break for it and spend Christmas overseas this year.

You don’t have to give up any of the traditions you actually like – they have great fruitcake in India, snowy scenery in Russia and, naturally, vats of mulled wine in Germany.

And if you head to the States, you can even still have your Starbucks Toffee Nut Lattes in a red cup.

But whether you’re looking for a holiday that’s sporty, foodie, sunny or just something completely different from your usual Christmas celebrations, there’s definitely a holiday on this list that will fit the bill.

 

Short haul

Best for: A cosy getaway

Where
: Krakow, Poland.

Why
: You can’t beat Krakow for traditional Christmas scenery. From the twinkling lights of the festive markets,to the snow-covered Gothic churches, every sight you clap eyes on looks like it belongs on the front of a Christmas card.

The city’s most unique Crimbo tradition is the ‘sopka’ – miniature portable theatres used for puppet Nativity plays. You’ll find them at most of the old churches in the city.

Don't miss
: Get a scenic tour of Krakow by night from a horse-drawn carriage, which you can arrange from the central Rynek Glowny Grand Square. Bring a blanket and a flask of mulled wine to keep you warm if it’s snowing.

How much more Christmassy could you want?

Getting there
: Fly from London Stansted to Krakow with Ryanair (ryanair.com) from £235 return*. Flight takes approx two hours.

poland.travel

 

Best for: A foodie holiday

Where: Berlin, Germany.

Why:
Everyone knows the real meaning of Christmas is to stuff yourself silly.

So what better place to do it than in Germany, which boasts some of the best Christmas grub on the planet?

In the lead up to the big day, browse all the goodies in the many Christmas markets across the city, including iced gingerbread cookies, lebkuchen (soft, cinnamon-flavoured biscuits) and stollen (festive fruit cake) among other sweet treats.

For Christmas dinner itself, Germans usually go in for a traditional, multi-course roast, which could include goose, stuffed carp and suckling pig, or a rich cheese fondue with a generous kick of wine.

Be warned, though, do this foodie holiday right and you won’t be able to squeeze into your seat on the plane ride home.

Don't miss: Washing down everything you eat with cups of the ultimate Christmas tipple, glühwein.

Getting there: Fly from London Heathrow to Berlin with British Airways (ba.com) from £307 return*. Flight takes approx one hour 45 minutes.

visitberlin.de

 

Best for: A guaranteed white Christmas

Where: Moscow, Russia.

Why
: Tired of always dreaming of snow-cover scenes on Crimbo Day and never actually seeing them?

Then take matters into your own hands and jet off to Moscow for the holidays where your chances of seeing snowflakes falling on December 25 are infinitely better than they are in London.

While you’re here, indulge in ice skating on the frozen lake in Gorky Park, then visit some of Moscow’s most iconic architecture, such as St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin, while they’re covered in powder.

Don't miss: The ultimate Russian Christmas experience – watching Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the Bolshoi Theatre, which has an annual run between Xmas and New Year. Book tickets (from approx £190) well in advance.

Getting there: Fly from London Heathrow to Moscow with British Airways (ba.com) from £587 return*. Flight takes approx three hours 40 minutes.

bolshoi.ru/en; moscow.info




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