CC0 by Max Pixel

India is a vast nation with perhaps the highest diversity of languages and cultures. If there’s one thing that sets it apart from the other countries is the number of festivals it has and the enthusiasm with which each is celebrated. This is something that you’ll probably only find in India. Christmas is one such festival that is celebrated in full swing by people from every religion in the month of December. Each city has some unique ways of celebrating this festival. You can experience an entirely different Christmas when visiting the following cities:

1. Goa

The party capital of India used to be a Portuguese colony and still has many remnants from the olden days. Every year, from Christmas to New Year, Goa is bubbling with tourists and the party scenes are at a high. It also has a high population of Catholics and some beautiful churches. You could go and attend midnight mass at these churches, or if you prefer a more party-filled celebration, the beach clubs are the place you can head to.

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Panjim

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Panjim – CC by 3.0/Josephdesousa

Church of St. Francis Xavier, Goa

Church of St. Francis Xavier – CC by 3.0/Sandeepsea

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Goa is from November to February when the climate is cool and windy.
Where to Stay
You can choose to stay at Grand Hyatt Goa or Holiday Inn Resort Goa.
How To Reach
The Panjim Airport is connected to all major airports in the country and is also connected to many international destinations.

2. Pondicherry

A former French colony, Pondicherry is located at a stone’s throw distance from Chennai and still reminisces its French past. Beautiful churches and quaint beaches are the highlights of this place, and you can go for night mass at some of these Gothic churches like Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This peace-loving town has an endless number of places to go to and live the spirit of Christmas, and the decorations throughout the city will definitely please your eyes.

St. Andrew's Church, Pondicherry

St. Andrew’s Church – CC by 3.0/Jayarathina

Beach Promenade, Pondicherry

Beach Promenade – CC by 3.0/Sanyam Bahga

Best time to Visit
The best time to visit is during the winter season when the temperatures are moderate between November to March.
Where to Stay
You can enjoy beautiful sea views from The Promenade or at Ocean Spray.
How to Reach
Pondicherry is well connected to Chennai by road and Chennai airport is connected to all major cities around the world.

3. Mumbai

The powerhouse of India, Mumbai is one of the best places to experience the spirit of Christmas. The streets are decorated, and it is common to find both the sides of streets decked up with stores that sell goodies for the festival. Several bakeries all across town come out with special dishes and the scent of these dishes fill the air around which will transport you into a world of your own! There are several centuries old churches in the city, and you can visit these for your night mass.

Altar Church, Matunga

Altar Church, Matunga – CC by 2.0/Philip Tellis

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus – CC by 2.0/Avinash Anand

Best Time to Visit
Mumbai has a pleasant climate all round the year but its best to visit during monsoon and winter from August to March.
Where to Stay
A royal stay awaits you at Vivanta by Taj – President or you can stay in the oldest five star hotel in India, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
How to Reach
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is connected to every major airport in the world.

4. Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu is tiny but is filled with excitement and celebrates Christmas with complete enthusiasm. This otherwise quiet place turns into a venue for a carnival during these days, and you can even witness the traditional Portuguese dance Corridinho here. Lamps and lanterns adorn the city’s walls, and this makes the atmosphere all the more festive. There are also some old and famous churches here like the Saint Paul’s Church where you can head over before the clock strikes midnight.

St. Paul Church, Diu

St. Paul Church, Diu – CC by 3.0/Mohnish1208

Bom Jesus Church, Daman

Bom Jesus Church, Daman – CC by 3.0/Pradeep717

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit is in winter from October to March when the climate is cool.
Where to Stay
You can have a luxurious stay at The Deltin Hotel or have a budget stay at Daman Casa Tesoro.
How to Reach
There are regular flights from Daman to Mumbai and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is connected to every major airport in the world.

5. Kolkata

This is the time when Kolkata gets into a festival frenzy mood, and you can smell freshly baked cakes and pastries in the air around town. Various light and sound shows are conducted, and you may even get a chance to see some cool rock bands perform live! If you’re looking to shop during this time, you’re in for a treat because many places offer huge discounts and goodies are available at throwaway prices. The City of Joy only becomes more joyous during Christmas!

Kolkata

Christmas Decorations – CC by 4.0/Sujay25

Kolkata

Kolkata Streets – CC by 3.0/Amartyabag

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit is in winter from October to March when the climate is cool.
Where to Stay
How to Reach
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is well connected to every major international destination in the world.

6. Bangalore

The pub capital and IT hub of India has a unique way of celebrating Christmas. Every shopping area in Bangalore, right from markets to malls, gets decked up and you can get some awesome goodies at attractive prices. Restaurants and pubs come out with great offers and special menus for you to gorge on too. Some funky parties also take place during this time, and you can welcome Christmas in style with your close ones. There are also some churches in the city like St. Mary’s Basilica where you can attend the night mass and celebrate the festival in a traditional manner.

Bangalore Streets

Bangalore Streets – CC by 2.0/Saad Faruque

Brigade Road, Bangalore

Brigade Road – CC by 2.0/Rakesh

Best Time to visit
The best time to visit is during winter from October to March when the climate is cool. Rest of the year the climate is pleasant too.
Where to Stay
The ITC Gardenia is a good option for you to stay in a luxurious manner.
How to Reach
Kempegowda International Airport is well connected to every major international destination in the world.

7. Delhi

The capital of India makes sure that it is set apart from the rest. From crazy themed parties to peaceful midnight mass, Delhi has got it all. Malls and streets of the city are decorated with lights, and the entire atmosphere is very pleasing to the eye. The chilled weather adds to the fun of the festival, and many restaurants and clubs come out with attractive menus and offers for you to indulge and enjoy the festive season. Various churches across the city like the Sacred Heart Cathedral also welcome Jesus traditionally.

Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi

Sacred Heart Cathedral – CC by 2.5/Maria Krüger

Best Time to visit
The best time to visit is during winter from October to March when the climate is cool
Where to Stay
How to Reach
Indira Gandhi International Airport is well connected to every major international destination in the world.

Apart from these, every city in the country celebrates the festival and welcomes Santa Claus with gusto, and you can experience this festival in Indian style by visiting these cities. With this year’s Christmas just around the corner, it’s about time that you start planning your trips this December!