Christmas Beyond the Markets: Fun Places to Fly with First Class Tickets This Winter
Europe’s authentic Christmas markets get a lot of attention this time of year, but there are plenty of other reasons you’ll want to start searching for first class tickets to Europe this winter. Here are a few of our favorite European cities that offer memorable holiday festivities:
Rather than waiting for Santa to visit your home, why not take the family to visit Santa in his official hometown of Rovaniemi, Finland? There, Santa’s Village greets visitors with dozens of shops, attractions, restaurants and activities such as snowmobiling and reindeer sleigh rides. The zoo features Arctic animals like polar bears and huskies, and the science center delves into phenomena of the Northern Lights. Of course, the main draw here at Christmastime is the holiday village where kids can help Santa’s elves with their chores and make cookies with Mrs. Claus. For lodging, check out the igloo hotel for a truly northern experience or look for luxury hotels like the Arctic Light Hotel and the Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Rovaniemi.
Quebec City, Canada
If you’d rather stay within North America, Quebec City is an excellent destination for those shorter first or business class flights. The city transforms into a Victorian town during the season, complete with carolers, candlelight and Victorian storytelling.
Thousands of twinkling lights create magical experiences in neighborhoods like Rue de Petit-Champlain, Palace Royale, Grande Allée and Sous-le-Fort Street. The city’s German Christmas market provides a glimpse into Old World traditions, but there are plenty of modern holiday touches like nighttime luge rides, Christmas concerts and the ice sculpture and 500,000 lights of Festi Lumiere. Quebec City is also home to several five-star hotels, including Auberge Saint-Antoine, Hotel Le Germain-Dominion and Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.
Rome may not be the first place you think of when you plan your winter holidays, but it’s actually a spectacular place to celebrate the season. Many of the city’s streets are decorated with festive lights, and several Christmas markets offer abundant celebrations. Of course, the big draw during the holidays is the Pope’s Christmas Eve Midnight Mass held at St. Peter’s Basilica. Other magnificent experiences in Rome include outdoor ice skating, touring the many nativity scenes and enjoying the immense Christmas trees erected in St. Peter’s Square, the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. There’s also a spectacular Menorah on display in Piazza Barberini to celebrate Hanukkah. Rome is relatively easy to get to, and its busy Fiumicino Airport is a prime destination for finding discounted first class airfare.