4 Places To Visit For Christmas and New Years

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Curated By

Eva Garcia

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  • Morocco

  • Cape Town

  • South Africa

  • Paris

  • France

  • Dublin

  • Ireland

  • Boutique Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Bucket List-Worthy

  • Hidden Gems

The great Christmas Tree at Galerie Lafayettes Paris.
Curator’s statement

Christmas is the most magical time of the year. Spending New Year’s Eve in a new place is a great way to start the next 12 months' cycle in a mood of adventure and discovery.

In the past 10 years, I have been celebrating December 31st at many different places, and this year will not be different. It’s my way of saying, "Hey, Universe, I want more happiness, adventure opportunities, and great encounters! And I’m ready to work for it!" (i.e. make the effort to take myself somewhere new and out of my comfort zone)

If you want to do the same, here are my suggestions for places to visit for Christmas and New Years.

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Where to stay in Morocco, South Africa, France and Ireland

Château Voltaire

A picturesque boutique hotel in the heart of Paris with stunning decor, a bar and city views.

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  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Westbury Dublin

Elegant accommodations in Dublin with exclusive in-suite offerings, complimentary breakfast and more.

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  • Breakfast daily.

  • Complimentary lunch or dinner for two people.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Twelve Apostles Cape Town

Majestic mountain range flanking Cape Town's coastline, offering breathtaking views and outdoor adventures.

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Things to do in Morocco, South Africa, France and Ireland

White beach at Cape Town.

Merzouga, Morocco

Morocco is for those who don’t like cold and love to visit exotic countries. The country has a lot of interesting places to offer to visitors of all kinds. There are cities like Marrakesh for those who have a shorter stay.

But for those of you who want to have a real Moroccan experience, I would recommend spending New Year’s Eve somewhere around Merzouga. Morocco’s tourist capital visiting the Sahara Desert. There are many hotels and Kasbah around. You just have to decide where you are going to travel by yourselves or joining a tour. The day spent in the Sahara Desert will always stay in your memory as one of the most special moments.

Cape Town, South Africa

The two reasons to spend the winter holidays in Cape Town are obvious. Good weather and a lot of sightseeing possibilities. The region of Cape Town is abundant with natural, cultural, wine and food tourism activities. The city itself is an interesting mix of ethnicities and one of the most popular but worth visiting parts is the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap. Take a day or two to explore the amazing wine lands not far from the city – Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch. Get on a morning walk to the white sand beach, Dolphin Beach. You will have one of the best views of Cape Town’s landmark – the Table Mountain.

What better way to start the new year than by visiting the southernmost part of the African continent?!

Paris, France

If you haven’t been to Paris, now might be the time. Winter in this part of Europe is cold and gray. But this should not stop you from making your winter travel plans. This is the best time to visit Paris. It is a nightmare to be a first-time visitor in summer. All the world-famous sites like The Louvre and Versailles are packed with thousands of tourists waiting to enter. And once you are in, you can’t really enjoy your visit.

Go to Paris in the fairy time of Christmas and New Year. It is named The City of Lights for a reason. Don’t be afraid of the cold. In Paris, there are hundreds of interesting, out-of-the-tourist places that you can spend your time on.

My suggestions are: for a special dinner, go to the oldest restaurant in Paris, Le Procope. For a real window shopping or shopping experience, get lost in some of the many Passages of Paris. And for a real book-reality experience, go to the famous Galerie Lafayette. You don’t need to spend a cent to enjoy the atmosphere of the “The Ladies’ Paradise” by the French classic Emile Zola.

Dublin, Ireland

You might never think about Dublin as one of the best Christmas and New Year’s destinations. The truth is Dublin is always a good idea. But in this most festive period of the year, all the typical features of Ireland that we all enjoy so much are reinforced. The local friendliness is always welcome. The warmth of the Irish pubs, much needed and the universe of music that Ireland is brings so much more to the festivities.

Don’t miss out on trying as many beers as you can. The soups of the day are always served with a slice or two of delicious brown bread served with a generous quantity of local butter. On especially cold days, indulge in the soul-melting Irish stew.

Many of you might have just two opportunities per year to take long vacations. Don’t miss the opportunity to go somewhere new and interesting for Christmas or New Year. It is a period of deserved endings and earned new beginnings. Celebrate it accordingly!

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Travel Advisor

Eva Garcia

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Morocco, Cape Town, Paris and Dublin.