Santa Claus is knee-deep in snow, landscape picturesquely covered in white frost, snowmen with their fleecy neckwear all around – this is how most people imagine their ideal Christmas. But in fact, just a very small percentage of us can actually enjoy such an idyllic white Christmas. These days, with all the environmental and climatic changes, global warming and unpredictable weather patterns, finding a spot where you could experience snowy Christmas is even more difficult than before. Yet, there are many locations where the chance of having a white Christmas is very good. Actually, at some of the places featured in this post, you are guaranteed to have a white Christmas. From isolated mountain towns in Swiss and French Alps to bustling northern metropolises such as St. Petersburg and Stockholm, these are 25 Of The Most Beautiful Places To Have A White Christmas.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Home to almost five million people, St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. Located 60 degrees north latitude, the city is known for its beautiful snowy winters. From December to March, there’s an average of 118 days with snow cover which reaches an average snow depth of 19 cm (7.5 in) by February.
With snow occasionally lasting up to six months of the year, Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of the province of Manitoba, Canada, experiences white Christmas often. Although the city´s climate is not subarctic, winters are usually very cold here.
The capital and largest city of Norway, Oslo is a great destination for those who enjoy cold, snowy winters. With excellent ski resorts and breathtaking mountains just a few hours away by train, celebrating Christmas in Oslo is always a good choice.
Vienna might not boast as heavy snowfalls as some other Austrian cities but Christmas is usually white here. Nevertheless, if snow fails to cover the city with the picturesque white veil, local renowned Christmas markets held in front of the city hall will definitely get you in the right festive mood.
Located 61 degrees North latitude, Anchorage is one of the northernmost cities on this list. Affected by a subarctic climate, Anchorage experiences an average snowfall of 75.5 inches (192 cm) during winter, which makes your chances of having a white Christmas here very good. Surrounded by pristine nature and majestic mountains, the city attracts more and more tourists every year.
The capital and largest city of Lithuania, Vilnius is sometimes referred to as the Jerusalem of the North as the city features numerous Jewish monuments. Lithuania is one of the Baltic countries that are notable for cold and snowy winters. If you pick Vilnius as your Christmas destination this year, don’t forget to take a ride on the legendary Christmas train.
At an altitude of 3,800 meters (almost 12,500 feet), Zermatt is one of the world’s highest and most popular ski areas where snow lasts ten months out of the year (July and August are the only two months that usually have no snowfall).
The larger of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis is known for its cold and white winters. During the winter of 1983–84, almost 100 inches (more than 250 cm) of snow fell in the city. Obviously, you are very likely to experience a snowy Christmas in the “City of Lakes”.
If you happen to be in Helsinki, the capital and the largest city of Finland, on a snowless Christmas (which is not very common), you can head out northward into the local countryside where heavy snowfalls are almost guaranteed. When staying in the capital, known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and unique mix of architecture, book a room in the renowned Fabian Hotel.
While most people associate white Christmas with Northern hemisphere only, there are also several places in the southern part of the globe where you can enjoy snowy Christmas as well. Generally considered the world´s southernmost city, Ushuaia, Argentina, is one of them.
The second largest city in the German state of Bavaria, Nuremberg is a historical city packed with numerous tourist sites. Christmas is usually snowy here, characterized by the legendary Nuremberg Christmas Markets that attract over two million visitors annually.
Located 64 degrees north latitude just outside the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a country that every winter fan must love. Reykjavik, the country´s capital, is a great base to make trips to the renowned Icelandic nature. If you decide to spend your Christmas holiday in this beautiful city that ranks among the cleanest, greenest and safest in the world, you can almost be certain you will get snow.
Perched at an elevation of around 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level, Aspen, Colorado is considered the crowning jewel of the Rocky Mountains. Spending Christmas time in this captivating mountain town is a truly unforgettable experience. While skiing at one of local ski resorts, you can easily stumble upon a celebrity as Aspen is a popular VIPs´ retreat. The Innsbruck is a frequented hotel in the city.
Home to almost 3 million people, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is another city where Christmas is mostly cold and snowy. This historical city is covered with snow from mid-November to the end of March.
Located just 80 km (50 miles) south of Helsinky, Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. Although local winters are very cold, snowy and dark (with only 0.5 hour of sunshine per day in December), celebrating Christmas in this Baltic city is a wonderful experience. Similarly to many other European cities, Tallinn holds magnificent Christmas Markets during the advent. As for city hotels, the Hotel Palace and the Swissotel Tallinn have the best reviews.
Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo is the largest city and cultural, educational, and industrial center of North Dakota. Because of its location in the Great Plains and its distance from both mountains and oceans, the city features long, cold, windy, and snowy winter with snowfall averaging at 52 inches (132 cm) per season. The probability of white Christmas in Fargo is 83%.
Home to more than 12 million people, Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia. Winters in Moscow are long, cold and snowy. On average, it snows about 17 days in December but as temperatures are freezing and the snow doesn’t melt, you are sure to have a white Christmas even if it doesn’t snow on Christmas Day.
The fourth largest city in Austria, Salzburg is famous for its brilliant baroque architecture and the well-preserved city center that was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Winters are characterized by heavy snowfalls that turn this beautiful city into a fairytale-like place.
Quebec City, Canada
One of the few Canadian cities that can guarantee an almost 100% chance of a white Christmas, Quebec boasts an average annual snowfall of 316 centimeters (124.4 in). Sometimes, the city stays under the snow cover for almost half of the year. One of the city´s iconic landmarks, the Château Frontenac hotel looks astonishing when blanketed with snow.
Referred to as the gateway to the High Tatra Mountains, Poprad is a city in northern Slovakia. Located at elevation of 672 m (2,205 feet), the city is known for its breathtaking winter scenes. Poprad has about 55,000 inhabitants but as it is a popular ski resort, there is a surprisingly wide range of hotels available in the city. Penzion Sabato and Hotel Europa rank among the most frequented spots.
In the home town of Stephen King, your chances of having white Christmas are about 80% which is one of the highest rates among all US cities. The third largest city in Maine, Bangor gets approximately 66 inches (170 cm) of snowfalls every year.
Prague, Czech Republic
Czech Republic used to experience heavy snowfalls in the past winter seasons but recently, the chance of snowing on Christmas Day has dropped significantly. However, if you happen to be in Prague when it’s covered in snow, you can enjoy amazing strolls through the city´s picturesque streets and astonishing architectural jewels.
Known as the Capital of the Alps, Grenoble is a city in southeastern France at the foot of the French Alps. The host of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968, the city is known for its snowy but not so cold winters, which makes it a great ski destination.
The capital of Sweden and the largest city of the entire Nordic region, Stockholm is located 59 degrees North latitude, which suggests the city experiences cold and snowy winters. If you decide to spend your Christmas vacation in this vibrant metropolis, you can choose from a variety of hotels to stay. Similarly to other Scandinavian cities, Stockholm is quite expensive but its hotels (for example Ett Hem or Lydmar Hotel) will satisfy even the most demanding clients.
One of the northernmost cities in the world, Tromso experiences subarctic climate and cold and snowy winters. In 1997, local meteorological station recorded incredible 240 cm (94.5 in) of snow on the ground. Known as a great spot for watching rare natural phenomena the midnight sun and the Northern lights, Tromso offers its visitors numerous hotels to choose from.