What could be cozier? Twinkling lights, merry music, hot toddies, toasting your toes by a roaring fire––and no high-season tourist crowds in the most romantic and historic cities in Europe! Add to this tours and talks by the world’s best tour guides, and insider access to the cultural treasures of London, Salzburg and Venice. This year could be your Christmas holiday of a lifetime! (Be advised that you will need to book ASAP with these top-rated tour companies, as they do sell out these small group tours well in advance of the holidays.)
Christmas in Victorian London: A Celebration of Charles Dickens
On a Smithsonian Journeys‘ cultural adventure, with a small group of like-minded history buffs, explore the Southwark and Highgate neighborhoods where Dickens walked, relive Victorian London, and settle in for guided tours, live theater, tea by the fireplace, and all things Dickens!
Just a few highlights of “Christmas in Victorian London: A Celebration of Charles Dickens”
- Christmas Eve theater performance
- On Christmas Day, a traditional luncheon with celebratory Christmas crackers!
- Culinary traditions from Dickens’ time–learn how to make mulled cider, mince pies & Christmas pudding
10 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in London
On your own in London? Here is a one-day itinerary with suggestions for holiday entertainments and shows, tours, eateries, shops and sights.
- Charles Dickens Museum, Barnard’s Inn, Fleet Prison & Newgate prisons, Saffron Hill
- In Rochester, visit the Dickens Discovery Rooms in the Guildhall Museum, explore the buildings and sites in his novels, and Rochester Cathedral
- Covent Garden, Borough Market, the City of London
- Gray’s Inn, St. Paul’s Cathedral, lively Christmas markets
- Stay at the Bloomsbury Hotel, an elegant, quintessentially English hostelry
- December 22-29, 2016. 8 days from $6,395
Salzburg at Christmas with ACE Cultural Tours
A few highlights of an extraordinary, culture-focused holiday in one of Austria’s most captivating cities:
- Mozart & Schubert concert in the 11th century fortress, Hohensalzburg Festung
- Choral High Mass in Salzburg Cathedral on Christmas Day
- The Magic Flute at the Baroque Marionette Theatre[pullquote]Your guide on Salzburg at Christmas will be John Bryden, a well-known organist and a member of the Dartington Piano Duo. He appears frequently on radio and TV, and gives master classes, and he also leads these and other ACE Cultural Tours:
- Beethoven Festival in Bonn
- Schubert in Cambridge
- Verdi Festival in Parma
- Mozart dinner-concert at the Stiftskeller St Peter
- Shopping at Christkindlmarkt, the sparkling holiday market
- Mozart’s Wohnhaus, the Baroque Residenz Palace
- An excursion to the lakeside towns of Mondsee & St Wolfgang
- King Ludwig II’s Versailles-inspired Herrenchiemsee Palace
- Stay at the lovely Hotel Mirabellplatz
- December 20-27, 2016. From $2765 pp.
Christmas in Venice with Kirker Holidays
During the crystalline days of winter, the galleries, museums and historic sights of Venice remain open on most days, and you will find them wonderfully quiet (unlike the tourist crush of the high season).
A few highlights of Christmas in Venice:
- 18th century art at Ca’Rezzonico
- The Frari, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
- Scuola Grande dei Carmini
- Cini Foundation on the island of San Maggiore.
- Stay at the delightful 4-star Monaco & Grand Canal hotel near St. Marks’ Square
- Christmas lunch at world famous Hotel Danieli !
- 5 nights from about $2,000 pp including Gatwick flights, departing December 16, 2016
Your guide on this Kirker Holidays tour is Charlie Hall, a noted lecturer, scholar and Italophile who runs the John Hall Venice course. He took his Masters at the University of London in History of Art, and teaches Christie’s “Collecting and Great Collections” programs. Hall also leads these and other Kirker Holidays tours:
- The Duchy of Milan with a visit to Lake Como
- The Hill Towns of the Marches
- Genoa – City of the Doges
- Florence – Cradle of the Renaissance
On an Avalon Waterways cruise, in each city, guided sightseeing to the cultural and historic sights and fabulous Christmas markets: Prague, Nuremberg, Bamberg Würzburg, Miltenberg, Frankfurt. Avalon’s “Suite Ship® “ Tranquility II river cruiser has two decks of Panorama Suites with tall windows and balconies, and more amenities and included luxuries than any river ship afloat!
Where did you spend your favorite Christmas away from home?
Where would you LIKE to spend it?