#TravelTuesday: Celebrating Christmas around the world
As we countdown to the most enchanting time of the year, fill your year-end getaway with yuletide nostalgia when you visit these charming cities
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro boasts a tropical Christmas experience unlike any other. Head down to the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon to witness theworld's largest floating Christmas tree towering at a height of 85 metres, with fireworks to herald in the festive season. Indulge in an array of heart-pumping performances in Parque de Cantagalo located near the lagoon, and treat your tastebuds to a uniquely Brazilian gastronomical Christmas adventure consisting of bacalhau (cod fish), rabanada (a dessert similar to French toast), smoked ham and plenty of champagne or red and white wine.
New York City
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at the Big Apple by visiting the Bryant Park Winter Village 2016, where you get to skate for free on the Bryan Park's 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink, discover the 125 holiday shops, or satisfy your holiday cravings at Public Fare, a rink-side pop-up restaurant serving coffee, snacks, sandwiches and soup throughout the day. Join thousands of New Yorkers at the nexus of town to witness the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in its full glory — 78-foot tall, 10-ton heavy Norway Spruce illuminated in over 45,000 LED lights. Of course, check out the beautifully decorated storefronts along Fifth Avenue and the Chrlstmas light displays in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
Get a fast fix of the Christmas spirit in London by visiting the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, which will see the annual gathering of winter markets, festive fun-fair rides, ice-skating, meet-and-greets with Santa Claus, and the biggest outdoor rink in UK. Check in at the Southbank Centre Winter Festival which boasts the Rekorderlig Winter Lodge — a Scandinavian-inspired two-floor pop-up lodge offering fire pits, Swedish food and hot and cold cider cocktails. At Trafalgar Square, behold the spectacular sight of the capital's biggest Christmas tree, donated each year as a gift from Norway, and listen to the angelic Christmas carols performed in public by choirs.
The capital city of Vienna puts on a lavish and magical display of Christmas joy in the shadow of Baroque architecture. Skate to your heart's content at the many ice rinks set up across the city during the winter months, including ones at the Rauthaus and Vienna Konzerthaus. Take a little Christmas cheer home with some traditional handicrafts, artisanal gifts, Christmas decorations and special culinary delights like Vanillekipferl (crescent shaped biscuits) and Weihnachtspunsch (a spiced "Christmas punch"). These trinkets and treats are available at the many Christmas Markets such as the Christmas Village which stands against the historic Baroque-style backdrop of the Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace.
Spot Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicholas, the character famous in Dutch culture who makes his appearance in parades all over Amsterdam. Or catch Tchaikovsky's classical ballet "The Nutcracker" — a staple of the festival season, at the Charkov State Opera & Ballet Theatre, and take a romantic Water Colours Cruise down the many canals in Amsterdam to see illuminated sculptures and installations by international artists. For the music aficionados, delight in a fantastic collection of classical and choral concerts by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra lined-up for the Christmas season.
Looking to make a last-minute Christmas getaway? Emirates flies to all the destinations above.