10 Festive Free Destinations


Posted on: 27 December 2016 by Steve Harper

Escape the Christmas & New Year mayhem with these 10 festive free holiday destinations.

If you feel a little grumpier than usual during the festive season, don't worry: you are not alone. Plenty of people feel that they would rather escape the festive period than endure it. There’s no need to sit through December at home if you don't want to though. Why not visit one of the fantastic non festive holiday destinations on our list below?

Luang Prabang

Not only is this beautiful part of the world a UNESCO World Heritage Site, communist Laos does not celebrate Christmas. It’s a win-win for people who hate Christmas but also love natural beauty. So why not consider spending future festive seasons lounging on a beach in one of the most gorgeous places on earth.


Christmas is not a traditional celebration in Japan. Though you may find a few festivities here and there in the big cities, you could quite happily spend Christmas day in the stunning art galleries and restaurants of Tokyo or Kyoto, blissfully unaware of the Christmas celebrations going on back home. In addition, December 24 is considered the most romantic night of the year in Kyoto, and so is a time when most couples arrange their main date night.


Christmas is not celebrated in the Islamic country of Iran, so why not spend the day visiting Tehran's breath-taking monuments, such as the Azadi Tower and the Golestan Palace? In fact, anywhere that you decide to go in Iran will be pretty much guaranteed to be free of Christmas, but full of great food and inspiring culture. 

The North of India

Visits to the so called 'Golden Triangle' of tourism in Northern India take around 4-5 days, and there are plenty of guided tours available. Perfect for completely missing the whole festive season back home. The Golden Triangle encompasses everything from beautiful medieval villages to the Taj Mahal. 


You would be hard pressed to find any indication that it is Christmas in almost any part of China. And thankfully this is a country filled with wonderful things to see and do. So, why not spend December 25th walking the Great Wall of China or viewing the Terracotta Army?

St Petersburg

The Russian Christmas falls on January 7th. That means that you can pay a visit to the grand old city of St Petersburg (which is absolutely beautiful when the snow falls) in December time without having to endure too much in the way of festive celebrations. Then you can make your escape from Russia just before the Russian Christmas begins. The Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress and much much more await you in this breath-taking city.

The Beaches of Thailand

Party the night away in Phuket, drink cocktails in Krabi, or simply relax and take in the view in a more secluded bay. Thailand is mercifully Christmas free and it is also a great place to go to grab some winter sun because in December the humidity levels fall and the air becomes a little cooler. 

A Deserted Island, Like Motuo in China

Motuo is one of the most remote places in China. Once you have reached it by hiking and zipping across the water on a suspension cable, you will be safely insulated from Christmas. It helps that Motuo is very beautiful, too: a forest wonderland where you can forget not only about Christmas but also about the rest of the world. 


Great food and wonderful architecture await you in Istanbul. And, as Christmas is not celebrated here, you will have no trouble escaping that pesky festive season. The only Turkey that you will be enjoying this Christmas will be this beautiful country. Make sure to visit the Topkapi Palace (a fabulous historic Ottoman palace), as well as paying a visit to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque before heading down to the Grand Bazaar to purchase a few (entirely non Christmassy) gifts for your loved ones.

The People's Republic of North Korea

Christmas is most definitely not celebrated here. And, as North Korea is one of the most secretive countries on earth, if you are lucky enough to secure a place on a guided tour of the country (which is the only way to see it), you will have some truly amazing stories to tell your friends at those New Year parties when you make it back home.

However if these destinations are a little out your budget and you need some non-festive time away from  all, a little closer to home, there are a number of getaway lodges, log cabins and cottage options in Scotland, the Lake District, Wales and various destinations in England including Suffolk & Devon which will provide you with that seclusion you need.  

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