Some historians put the origins of Christmas to the celebration of Saturnalia in ancient Rome while others point to an earlier tradition by Scandinavian peoples celebrating the presence of light and birth during the darkest of winter days as the predecessor to the present-day Christmas celebration. Whatever version you would like to believe in, one fact remains: Christmas, or the manner of its celebration, has its origins in Europe. It is thus fitting and proper that you spend the holidays in some of the best places in Europe to spend Christmas.

Lapland in Finland

Honestly, the holidays won’t be complete without Santa Claus. So, why not treat your kids to really enjoy visiting Santa’s own home in Rovaniemi? Their Christmas will simply be out of this world. And if you think Finland is only for kids because it’s the home of Santa, you’d be surprised at the many new experiences you’ll have if you’ll go there this Christmas. You can sleep in an igloo instead of a posh hotel. You can also try your hand at husky safari instead of shopping. And if you’re fortunate enough, you don’t even have to buy those expensive Christmas lights as the aurora borealis will dazzle you with a natural light show.

Prague in the Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most colorful and iconic cities to visit and spend your Christmas holidays. Time literally stands still whenever it’s the winter holidays in Prague. Tourists from all corners of the globe cannot get enough of the magic that only Christmas in Prague can provide. Amidst the backdrop of its culturally and historically important architecture, Christmas in this great city is like no other.

Leipzig in Germany

Ditch your trip to the mall for your annual holiday shopping. Instead head to the many famous Christmas markets in Leipzig, Germany. With more than 200 stalls offering you everything from oven fresh pretzels to reindeer sausages and Pulsnitz gingerbread and to the famed fairytale forest well-loved by kids, there’s clearly something unique and spectacular for every member of your family. And when you’re done exploring the different stalls, you can always sit down and enjoy a cup of the finest brew of Coffe Baum, the continent’s oldest coffee house.

Krakow in Poland

If you want something unique albeit bizarre, head to Krakow, Poland for a really unusual Christmas. It’s not actually very unusual. They simply have certain traditions that are uniquely Krakow. For instance, you can take home one of their Szopkis, a Christmas crib that is a combination of a gingerbread house, a dollhouse, and the iconic nativity scene.

These are just four of the best places in Europe to spend your Christmas. Now, don’t forget to bring your European Health Insurance Card as it is recognized and accepted in these countries. At least, you don’t have to worry anymore about receiving high quality public health care should you need one. This can really help ensure that you will have the merriest Christmas together with your family.