I'm not sure where this year went, but the holidays are swiftly approaching, and for many families, that means it's time for a vacation! If you have Europe on your must-visit list, I have three beautiful destinations in mind that are just perfect to visit during the holidays.
Florence, Italy. In my opinion, Florence is at its best around Christmastime. Yes, summer and autumn are lovely, too, but at Christmas, Florence really gets into the holiday spirit. Nearly all of its streets are decorated with hanging lights (see below), and the shopping is to die for. There's also a fabulous German-style Christmas market every year at Piazza Santa Croce. You're sure to find a gift for everyone on your list in this beautiful Renaissance city. For a list of events and Christmas markets held in Florence, check out our Event Calendar.
Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm is one of my favorite cities on the planet. Not just for the architecture and style, but also for its people. They're friendly and authentic, and family is very important to them. You can tell when you visit Skansen, an open-air museum, and Grona Lund, a family-friendly theme park. You can't help but smile when you see families laughing, dancing and singing together as they join in to the holiday festivities. I'm also intrigued by the Swedish tradition surrounding St. Lucia, and December is the perfect time to get a glimpse of that history.
Munich, Germany. Munich looks stunning when it's dusted with a thin blanket of snow. And there's nothing better than strudel and a hefty stein of beer to warm you up after a chilly day of sightseeing (or a pretzel the size of a frisbee—see below). But if you think Munich looks lovely in winter, you should see nearby Neuschwanstein Castle (a day trip from Munich). A fairy-tale castle nestled in the Bavarian mountains, it's nothing short of magical in December. The hike up to the castle can be tough when the snowfall exceeds about four inches, but that's what horse-drawn carriages are for! You can hire one at the bottom of the mountain. Be sure to look over your shoulder as you make the journey up the mountain, because the surrounding scenery is just as breathtaking as the castle. For more ideas for things to do in Munich, check out my blog post on the five things you must do in Munich.
Which of these cities would you most like to see during the holidays? What cities would you suggest for a family getaway in December? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.