“There’s no place like home for the Holidays” but… have you ever wondered what Christmas is like in Prague? Or heard of the Sankta Lucia festival in Sweden? If you’re itching to celebrate the holidays in a different corner of the world this year, we’ve got the perfect recommendations! From sunny beaches to winter wonderlands, here are our top places to spend the holidays abroad with Workaway: 🎄
Germany may be the most well-known for its Christmas Markets, but the one in Old Town Square, Prague is nothing to miss. With gothic architecture and beautifully lit cobblestone streets you’ll want to experience the Czech take on St. Nicholas, Christmas dinner (featuring carp) and more. For an added bonus, stay with a Workaway host in a nearby mountain village where the slopes and sights offer their own spectacular view.
This East Coast State is so much more than the city it’s named for. Rolling foothills, sprawling farms, and country charm are all more than enough reason to spend the Holidays away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re dreaming of a ‘White Christmas’ in a cozy, down to earth spot, then consider joining this farm family in Berne! Pitch some hay, skate on the pond, and help prepare for the next growing season all while enjoying the serene surroundings. And…if you’re itching to see the ball drop in Times Square for New Year’s Eve, NYC is only a bus ride away!
Looking for warmer weather? Spice it up on the island of Playa Del Carmen! Volunteer at this adventure hostel and spend your spare time diving into the deep blue waters of a cenote, exploring Mayan ruins, or sipping a margarita under crystal skies while soaking in sunshine. Don’t forget to watch for the traditional celebration of the Virgen de Guadalupe (December 12th) and Las Posadas (beginning December 16th) which are candlelit processions reenacting Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter.
Every place has their own take on how to celebrate the holidays and Catalonia in Spain is no different! A vibrant mix of cultures collides in Barcelona making it rich with festivals and feasts to prolong the season. A few to look for are ‘La Misa Del Gallo’ (meaning, ‘Rooster Mass’) which takes place on Christmas Eve, and Three Kings Day which is January 5th. For a deeper culture exchange, stay with this lovely family of 4 and learn Catalan while teaching them English or French!
Escape to Scandinavia where the Northern Lights provide their own festive background for celebrating the Holidays. Sweden is truly a magical place and when the days are long and dark the people make up for it by putting candles outside every doorway and sharing candlelit dinners with family and friends. On December 13th, you can witness a one of a kind tradition honouring Sankta Lucia (Saint Lucy) with songs, parades, candles and a special baked bun made with saffron, called Lussekatt. We might be biased, but we think there’s no better way to get the inside scoop on the culture and traditions than staying with a local. We recommend helping this host just outside of Stockholm while you explore!
Take a ride down the Rhine to experience this enchanting city decked out for the Holidays! Famous for more than one Christkindlmarkt, Cologne is the place to be for an authentic taste of Glühwein, artisan crafts, and a general sense of merriment. To go behind the scenes and become your own Christmas elf, volunteer in the workshop of this artistic couple with their very own booth in the market!
Where are your favorite places to celebrate the Holidays? What special family or cultural traditions do you enjoy the most? We’d love to hear your stories! 💌✨ No matter where you happen to be this season, Have a very Happy Holiday from all of us at Workaway!