We all know that the Philippines is one of the most festive places to be at Christmas. After all, where else does the holiday season begin in September? But sometimes, it’s nice to have a change of scene—to visit a place where it actually snows, or to see what all those carols are going on about. Here’s how other cities celebrate the Yuletide season.

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Tokyo

Despite the fact that Christians are a minority here, the Japanese go all-out at Christmas. It’s a wonderful time to visit Tokyo, which comes alive with its winter illuminations. Make sure to catch the Starlight Garden, a 5-10 minute lights show in Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi. It’s also worth dropping by Ginza to check out Mitsukoshi, Wako, and Matsuya’s festive holiday displays and take advantage of their Christmas sales.

Copenhagen

Denmark is well known for its spirit of ‘hygge’—a sense of coziness and contentment evoked by simple pleasures, a feeling of warmth and well-being that wards off the bitter cold. And nowhere is this spirit become more alive than at Copenhagen during the holidays. Visiting the famous Christmas market at Tivoli Gardens is a tradition among locals and tourists alike. Shop for unique presents, sample Danish delicacies, hop on the Elf Train, or marvel at the Christmas illuminations and fireworks shows.

Rovianemi

Apparently, Santa Claus’s official hometown is in Finland. This makes sense, considering that Rovianemi, the capital of Lapland in Finland, is an absolute winter wonderland. Go on a reindeer sleigh ride, send a letter from Santa Claus’s Main Post Office (which is manned by his elves, of course), or take a short walk out of the city to see the northern lights.

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London

The sheer amount of holiday activities in London is overwhelming. After all, where else can you go on a Harry Potter Christmas tour? Explore the traditional winter market at Leicester Square, check out the festive Christmas lights and window displays on Oxford Street, or gawk at the gigantic Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. The enormous Norwegian spruce is a yearly gift from Norway to London as a gesture of thanks for Britain’s support during World War II.


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This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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