There’s no place like home for the holidays, but sometimes its good to escape from all those hall-decking and feast-preparing obligations. If you ever have the opportunity to plan a getaway over the yuletide season, consider some of these festive destinations around the world. Some will give you a traditional Christmas experience while others will do quite the opposite, enlightening you on how other cultures get merry in December. Either way, they are sure to get you in the spirit. Here are 14 of the coolest places to celebrate Christmas at least once in a lifetime.
1. Bethlehem, West Bank
It’s hard to beat the supposed birthplace of Jesus himself as a sacred destination to celebrate Christmas. Various denominations of Christians hold services and events throughout December and January in the little town of Bethlehem, including Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Ethiopian, Armenian and more. Even if you’re not particularly religious, there’s something special about being in Manger Square and the Basilica of the Nativity, considered to be the site of Christ’s birth. Word to the wise, you might want to take a tour here from Jerusalem rather than follow a star.