With chalets filling up fast, and little availability left for Christmas and New Years in many of the popular mountain destinations, a city escape may just be the alternative winter holiday you’ve been looking for. With so many amazing short-term city apartment rentals available year round, you will not be hard-pressed to find a last minute city abode. From the unassuming to the extravagantly festive, here are our top cities to jet off to for the holiday season. Geneva This sleepy Swiss town may have the reputation of being dull, dreary and uncompromisingly uneventful. But we think it has a lot to offer – beyond great chocolate (check out local favourite Auer), efficient public transport and the beautiful Alpine scenery. For one, there are few cities in Europe that offer amazing skiing in under an hour from the city centre. So if you’re dying to hit the slopes this Christmas but have been slow to book your chalet, then consider a Geneva apartment rental. Gstaad, Villars, Megeve and Chamonix will be on your doorstep for easy day trips to the best slopes around. LA If the warmer climes are calling your name this holiday season then why not consider a stay in the city of angels. With 70-degree weather, we can’t promise a backdrop of snow-capped mountains or an authentic white Christmas. But in true Hollywood style, LA creates the illusion of a magical winter wonderland with festive activities held across the city throughout the month of December. Check out the Hollywood Christmas parade and don’t miss a visit to the upscale shopping center the Grove – the best Christmas lighting in town. Amsterdam For a more traditional wintry holiday escape, Amsterdam is a fantastic choice. And what better way to experience a quintessentially Dutch Christmas then by living like a local in your very own apartment overlooking the canal. Christmas shows, markets, winter festivals and ice-skating can be enjoyed across the city. If traveling with children, the World Christmas Circus at the Royal Theatre Carre will inspire and amaze. Sydney You can be certain that if a city dedicates a website (with official daily countdown) to its New Year’s Eve festivities then it is not one to be missed. The City of Sydney’s website even provides a map with the best vantage points to watch the famous Harbour of Light Parade and fireworks extravaganza. But for a more private affair, choose a chic apartment rental with harbor views instead. You’ll be one of the first to ring in 2014 and you’ll be doing it in style. Rio de Janeiro With Brazil hosting FIFA World Cup 2014 in June and July, you may be saving your travel pennies to visit Rio later in the year. But if you are not a footie fanatic than your best bet is to visit this holiday season. Rentals will be more affordable (despite it being high season) and you will not have to contend with the World Cup crowds. Stay in your very own penthouse apartment overlooking Ipanema beach or a stunning Copacabana designer. You can be sure that there are very few places in the world that know how to ring in the New Year like Rio. John-Christian Moquette is a Partner at IAVRA. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.
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