Do you loathe the season of goodwill and think there’s nothing worse than all that festive cheer? If Christmas jumpers and endless Mariah Carey songs are your absolute worst nightmare, we’re here to help. We’ve lined up the top cities where Christmas is just another average day.
Here’s where you can escape Christmas this year…
Swap turkey for Turkey and spend your Christmas in the fascinating city of Istanbul. Christmas in Istanbul is basically a day like any other, and all of the usual tourist attractions are open so you can get your sightseeing fix. You’ll find lights and decorations as the city gears up for new year, but none of the Christmas commercialism – so you’ll get that festive feeling without the overblown Christmas hype. As it’s low season in Istanbul you’ll find that there are less queues and crowds. So take the opportunity to explore Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque while it’s quiet, and pick up plenty of gifts for yourself at the Grand Bazaar.
Istanbul City Tour – Red Route, Stop: Sultanahmet Square
You won’t be able to completely escape the Christmas trees and tinsel in this Middle-Eastern metropolis, but the festive cheer is far less OTT. Plus, Dubai’s endless sunshine and toasty temperatures makes Christmas in the city feel decidedly different. You’ll find that all the shops, restaurants and tourist attractions are open just like on any other day, as Christmas isn’t a public holiday in the city. So spend the day doing a desert safari in a 4x4, zooming up to the top of the Burj Khalifa, or testing out the rollercoasters at IMG Worlds of Adventure.
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City Tour – Red, Stop: The Dubai Mall
Forgo festive cheer and cheesy Christmas songs for an adventure in the Middle East. Muscat is the UAE’s not-so flashy neighbour with less malls and futuristic skyscrapers and more colourful bazaars and crumbling forts. Spend Christmas exploring the city’s best bits, including the 16th century Mutrah Fort, Al Alam Palace, and the Grand Mosque. And then get an authentic taste of Omani culture by haggling at the Mutrah Souq and strolling along the 500-year-old city walls of the ancient Old Quarter.
Dreaming of a white-sand Christmas? Head to Miami to swap freezing temperatures and snow for sunbathing on the beach. This South Florida city just isn’t great at celebrating a holiday centred around Christmas trees, cosy log fires, reindeer and snow – which, of course, is great news for Grinches. Instead of staying indoors wearing your itchy Christmas jumper, head to a basketball game and watch Miami Heat, who usually play on Christmas Day. Or explore the Wynwood Walls art district and soak up some sun on the beach.
City Loop (Red) Route, Stop: Wynwood Walls
Book your anti-Christmas escape today and get away from all that festive cheer. Head to any of the cities above and get stuck into some alternative activities, or do all your sightseeing without crowds or tourists in your way.