Top 10 places to spend Christmas(2)

6. Vienna, Austria

An old-fashioned warmth envelops Vienna at Christmas, softening the hard edges of imperial architecture with twinkling decorations and three outdoor Christkindlmarkets, which are best visited at night. Vendors sell crafts and ornaments, while visitors fuel their shopping with finger food and a glass of spiced mulled wine, or gluhwein.

7. Quebec City, Canada

Lit-up cobblestone streets, 16th- and 17th-century stone houses, and lots of snow make Quebec's 400-year-old walled city an atmospheric and European-like place to be at Christmas.

8. Paraty, Brazil

It may not look a lot like Christmas, but Paraty, a half-day's drive from Rio, is a hidden gem of a town with astonishingly well-preserved Portuguese colonial architecture, a vibrant cultural scene, and easy access to verdant rainforest and some of the world's most perfect beaches.

9.Castleton, England

A tiny stone English village dotted with cheerfully lit Christmas trees would be enough of an allure, but caroling by candlelight inside caves seals this southern town's place on a list of special yuletide travel destinations.

10. Kaikoura, New Zealand

The Kaikoura peninsula may not have reindeer, but it is teeming with sperm whales, fur seals, dusky dolphins, pilot whales, and albatross in Kaikoura Bay. Since it'll be summertime when you visit, you can encounter almost all of them by boat or kayak, then catch some yuletide rays on the beach.