Top 5 places to celebrate Christmas in India [2021]

Whether you want to plan for yourself a solo getaway, a backpacking trip with friends, or a family vacation, India, due to its eclectic culture, diverse geography and vibrant history, has a range of alluring locations to satisfy your every whim during this Christmas season.


Christmas is a time of the year everyone looks forward to, if not for the church masses, then for the Christmas trees lit up on the streets, huge discounts at the malls, and the smell of amazing food and desserts wafting through the marketplaces. Most of all, people look forward to Christmas as it marks the end of yet another well-spent year.

So it’s no surprise that, with everyone just pushing through the last few gruelling weeks of the year, Christmas seems to arrive at the best time possible to plan a much-needed break. 

With the holiday cheers halting the monotony of everyday life, visiting a new place known for its Christmas celebration to partake in the festivities is sure to rejuvenate your spirits and put you in a good mood for the upcoming year.

Whether you want to plan for yourself a solo getaway, a backpacking trip with friends, or a family vacation, India, due to its eclectic culture, diverse geography, and vibrant history, has a range of alluring locations to satisfy your every whim. 


Here are the top 5 places in India you can choose to spend your Christmas this year: 


1. Goa

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Goa’s infamous year-end parties and music festivals have not been a secret to the world. With its dazzling nightlife, it attracts tourists from all over the world, a feat that becomes even more prominent during the Christmas season when everyone flocks towards the coastal state to experience the beaches and parties it offers.

But, contrary to popular belief, this is not all that Goa has to offer. With a significant population of Christians, and various architectural marvels in the form of churches and cathedrals to fawn over, Christmas can also be a quiet and peaceful affair in the State. Locals have their own way to make Christmas special and unique to the place. This is when Goan homes and bakeries make traditional sweets such as dodol (coconut and cashew squares), neureos (stuffed dry fruit and coconut balls), kol-kols, sing carols at the churches, and hold nighttime marches at the neighbourhood churches. 

So, whether you are a party animal or adore serenity, Goa is a perfect travel destination for everyone.

2. Delhi

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Delhi is known as the melting pot of India. An amalgamation of cultures, traditions, and ideas coming together to cultivate a culture unique only to the city. Christmas too then is celebrated in a way different from any other part of the country. 

If you wish to experience Christmas with the hustle and bustle of a city that never sleeps, loud celebrations on the streets, artfully decorated Christmas trees in the poshest areas, theme parties at restaurants and clubs that seem to last all night long, large crowds at the churches and the joyous looks on everyone’s faces, Delhi is a place you definitely need to pay a visit.

3. Manali

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Manali is a perfect romantic location for those looking to celebrate a white Christmas this year. If the hustle and bustle of a city do not sound thrilling to you, then the quiet and serene atmosphere of the hill station decked in snow during the peak of winter is just the location for you. 

Set in the snow caps of Himachal Pradesh, Manali is one of the most underrated places you can visit during the festival. The cold weather and snow are ideal for outdoor activities like skiing and snowboarding and the cosy cottages provide the much-needed warmth and calm. Gilgal Prayer House church and Arcot Lutheran Church are a must-visit. You might even be lucky to experience a Christmas miracle in the form of a snowfall!

4. Puducherry

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The Union territory just east of Tamil Nadu offers the cleanest and calmest beaches, on top of quirky and colourful architecture, and a local life you’re bound to fall in love with. 

The pleasant weather, when most of the country is facing the biting cold of December, makes for a perfect retreat to this quaint and picturesque city or ‘The “Little France”— as it is known in those parts of the country. Having a French heritage, there are a lot of Christians here who celebrate Christmas with great fervour following all the traditional rituals and breaking some rules too! 

The churches, especially the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart of Jesus are some of the most tastefully decorated churches during Christmas festivities in India. 

5. Shillong

Image courtesy: The Guwahati times

This list would feel incomplete if it did not mention the North East when it comes to Christmas celebrations. One city, in particular, stands out when discussing this subject and it is Shillong. 

The capital of Meghalaya, with its considerable Catholic population, is known to celebrate Christmas in style every year. With pleasant weather, stunning landscape, unique cultural shows, and of course some amazing food to indulge in, Shillong is a must-visit place during the Christmas season. 

As the streets, churches, and homes are decorated with gorgeous twinkling lights and bright tinsel, the midnight mass sees huge crowds pour into the churches of the city and melodious bands playing gospel music and recite hymns and carols, one can easily discern the passion and vigour of locals in the air.