select - winter adventure

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Want an adventure this Christmas? The world is awash with merry atmosphere in December and, despite the grumblers, it isn’t all just commercial hype. Enjoy music, markets, and merrymaking in three stylish – but very different – cities, and rediscover your seasonal cheer.


About as close as you can get to Santa’s home at the North Pole and still be in a city, Stockholm rolls out the Christmas experience from mid-December’s Santa Lucia Day, when young girls dressed in white carry candles through the streets. Stockholm comes alive with Christmas markets, street buskers playing carols, and shops decked in festive finery. In Skansen open-air museum, traditional houses are decorated the old-fashioned way, and kids can make decorations. Go ice-skating in Kungstrдdgеrden or have a cocktail at the original Absolut Ice Bar, with its icicles and silver fir trees. When the chill sets in, it’s time for glцgg (mulled wine) or hot cocoa with gingerbread in the atmospheric old town, where candles flicker in windows. Finish with a julbord, the sumptuous winter version of the famous smorgasbord banquet.

Atmospheric festivities in a cold climate, amid the winter snow.

The city’s best Christmas markets are in Skansen, Kungstrдdgеrden and along Stortorget in the old town.

Qatar Airways has non-stop flights to Stockholm five times a week.



Christkindlmarkt (Christmas markets) have featured in Germanic-speaking countries for centuries, and are as popular as ever. Dresden’s – Germany’s oldest – dates from 1434, and the country’s biggest, in Berlin, gets four million visitors. Vienna hosts the oldest Christmas market in Austria in front of its elaborate Town Hall, where you can hear carollers sing ‘Silent Night’ (Stille Nacht) and ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ (O Tannenbaum) in their original language. Have a mulled wine flavoured with cinnamon, a seasonal macaroon, or some hot apfelstrudel as you browse the stalls for food, traditional decorations, nutcrackers from Hungary and handmade crafts – an almost medieval shopping experience. The surrounding trees are strung with lights, while Christmas trees are tied with red ribbons and hung with gilded pinecones.

A reminder of Christmas shopping the old-fashioned and sociable way.

You’ll find other fine Christmas markets at Freyung, Spittelberg, Belvedere Palace, and in the wonderful grounds of baroque Schцnbrunn Palace.

Qatar Airways operates daily flights to Vienna.


Washington DC

The US capital is alive with activities and events at Christmas, starting with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree by the President, and continuing with street lighting, candlelit tours of historic houses, and amazing ice sculptures at Gaylord National Resort. Several theatres offer versions of The Nutcracker Suite, the classic Christmas ballet, as well as performances of The Messiah and more jolly sing-alongs.

A Christmas glowing with miles of street lighting and decorated trees.

Head to the Kennedy Center for the Christmas music and ballet season, and Washington National Cathedral for The Messiah and baroque orchestras.

Qatar Airways has daily non-stop flights to Washington DC.

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