Has anyone else looked at the date this week and said "I can’t believe how quick this year has gone?". I am sure we all say it every year, but I really cannot believe how quickly December has crept up on me this year.

As the shops put up their festive displays, Christmas songs blast into our car and we frantically search for the perfect Christmas party outfit…at the blink of an eye it is 'that' time of year again.

Travelling during the festive period is the perfect way to get you in the Christmas mood. With magical decorations, jubilant locals and festive markets, make this year your time to experience Christmas like they do in the movies.

Here are my top 5 cities to visit during December:

London

I am guilty of forgetting the magical things I have right on my doorstep. I often look at where I want to venture next without thinking about the areas close to me. It wasn’t until I went ice-skating in London last week that I realised how incredible my own city is during Christmas time.

From the famous Oxford Street lights, to the enchanted ice rink at Somerset House every inch of London contributes to the ultimate Winter Wonderland.

With so many history-enriched buildings, they create the perfect setting for magical lights and vibrant decorations. Even a trip to London to simply walk around and see the decorations is worth-while as they transform you into a state of joyous emotion.

For a romantic experience take a stroll along Southbank, for a family adventure enjoy the fun of Hyde park’s Winter Wonderland or if travelling alone stroll through the Christmas Markets in Covent Garden.  Stop over in London before embarking on a cruise from Southampton.

Bruges

The chocolate box of the world, nowhere else in the world makes you feel as festive as Bruges. Picturesque all year round, however Bruges truly comes alive during December. Home to the best Christmas markets in the world and largest array of Christmas décor, it is the perfect city to prepare you for the big day.

Referred to as the Venice of the North, the winding canals that bisect the quaint streets make this city a unique and magical place that captures the heart of every visitor.

Famous for their Christmas markets, Zeebrugge takes this time of year very seriously. Decorating every building, monument and tree with wonderful lights and extraordinary decorations, you will not want to forget your camera.  Visit Briges on a river cruise.

New York

Everyone watches Home Alone 2 and dreams of visiting New York during the holiday period. Does it really look that spectacular at Christmas? Yes it does.

Home to one of the only Christmas parades, this is something you should experience once in your life. Months of preparing grand floats and costumes all contribute to one of the most magical parades you will ever see, completed with Santa Claus himself closing the parade.

The famous Rockafella Centre is the most popular image used for Christmas and these images can only really be appreciated when you experience them for yourself. The grand ice rink sits in front of the iconic building, lined with hundreds of lights. The icing on the cake is the grandest Christmas tree that stands in front of the rink (the one you see in all the pictures).

Representing everything we love about this time of year, New York is 'the' place to truly warm your heart.

Dublin

Home to the largest selection of beer, traditional pubs and boutique shopping, Dublin is the number one city for weekend breaks. Popular all year round, it is December that turns this city into a winter playground.  Whether you go to do your Christmas shopping, indulge on some hearty cuisine or simply enjoy a pint in festive surroundings, Dublin has everything you would want for a Christmas getaway.

A city that likes to put on a show, there are a range of Christmas events for you to enjoy. From turning on the lights to the festive street markets and parades, every day during December will be spectacular.  A great city for family fun, Dublin is home to an array of activities for the whole family to enjoy, from Christmas fun fairs, to Santa’s grottos and sing along fetes.

Onboard

Ok I know it is not technically a city but nowhere else gives me a festive buzz like a cruise ship.  Decked out from bow to stern in Christmas decorations, there is something about being on a cruise ship at Christmas that reflects an atmosphere like nowhere else.

It is not only the décor that make a cruise ship the ultimate Christmas destination, the festive activities, exotic destinations, happy crew and special visits from Santa Claus create everything you need for a Christmas to never forget.  The crew really do want everyone onboard to have the best Christmas and their joyous personalities are extremely infectious. There is something about their mood that can instantly put a smile on your face.

With cruise ships travelling all over the world in December, you can gather around a Christmas tree and celebrate almost anywhere in the world.


By Sally Grimes