10 Best Cities For Christmas

WalletHub compared the most festive and affordable cities for Christmas celebrations and shopping.

A Christmas market in Helsinki.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hunkering down at home for Christmas isn’t on your list this year? If you feel the urge to explore new places during the holidays, then check out the latest WalletHub study, “Best Cities For Christmas in 2023” for the most festive, yet affordable places to celebrate Christmas. 

Best “Glittering” Christmas Getaways

To identify the best glittering getaways, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest cities in the U.S. based on 28 key indicators, including traditions and fun, observance, generosity, shopping and costs. 

And while the North Pole may be an option, for cities closer to home, take a look at the 10 best cities that put their own twists on holiday celebrations.

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Like Atlanta, GA, with superb shopping, dozens of bakeries and places to buy holiday decorations. Or, Orlando, FL, which boasts the most gift shops per capita. Enjoy the Cosmopolitan Ice Rink with more than 4,000 square feet of real ice in Las Vegas, NV, or hop aboard the Union Station Polar Express (as seen in the holiday classic movie), an actual train headed for the fictional North Pole in St. Louis, MO. And, who would have guessed that Miami (of all places) has the most Christmas tree farms per capita?

Top Ten Best Cities For Christmas in 2023

Swipe to scroll horizontally
RankCityTotal Score*Traditions & Fun RankObservance RankGenerosity RankShopping RankCosts Rank
#1Atlanta, GA628265570
#2Pittsburgh, PA622337928
#3 Orlando, FL6041068281
#4Las Vegas, NV6134463138
#5 San Francisco, CA5826841193
#6 St. Louis, MO58215221447
#7Seattle, WA5898011397
#8Chicago, IL56593101740
#10Miami, FL56624751088

Tips for Saving on Your Christmas Celebrations

Christmas gifts and celebrations can add up, but we've put together a short list to help keep your festivities jolly without breaking the bank or your budget.

  • Create a budget and stick with it. If you're entertaining a large family or group of friends, consider a "Secret Santa" gift exchange or placing a limit on the cost or number of gifts exchanged. 
  • Take advantage of sales and discounts. Many stores, like Amazon, Target and Walmart are offering sales on many holiday items that you can still get in time for Christmas. Consider the best credit cards for holiday shopping, including best overall and best for online shopping.
  • Consider DIY gifts. Making or baking a gift with your own two hands can make an otherwise impersonal gift, personal and much appreciated, besides saving you money.
  • Add flexibility to your travel plans. Many airlines offer lower rates for less popular travel days, saving you money and make a substantial difference in your overall travel costs.
  • Take the burden out of holidays meals. The cost of holiday meals can add up quickly. To avoid overspending, create menus in advance, prepare shopping lists, and take advantage of sales and discounts on food items. 
  • Use credit cards wisely. Cards that earn travel rewards or cash-back for buying certain items in specific categories is not only smart, but can save you money in the long run. Consider using a 0% APR card and avoid paying interest for a certain length of time. Just remember to pay off your purchases before the introductory period runs out.
  • Recycle and reuse. Instead of ripping off the Christmas wrapping, ribbons and bows in a holiday frenzy, try your best to gently peel away the paper so you can use it again. That's a lot to ask of children, but it can save you money next year.

Source: WalletHub Best Cities for Christmas in 2023. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale to calculate the total score. The numbers in each category show the relative rank, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that category.

*Total scores are rounded.

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.