Sydney vs. London: The Festive Edition

I loooooooooove Christmas – I’m basically a hyped up elf for the entirety of December (and most of November too, let’s be real) singing Christmas carols and pumping Michael Buble all day, everyday, because who doesn’t love Christmas?? Well, Grinches don’t, but seeing as The Grinch is my favourite Christmas film, i’ll let it slide…

But the age-old (well, not really, but hey let’s pretend) question is: is Sydney or London better for the festive season? Aside from the obvious hot vs. cold climates, I’ve been lucky enough to have experiences in both cities over the Christmas period, and noticed quite a few distinct differences between the two:

Sydney //
  • Hot, hot, hot – the weather is usually so warm that people spend all day outside (and let’s be honest, Sydney is the BEST city to spend time out of doors in)
  • Seafood is on the menu!
  • The beach/pool is the place to be – and if you’re not at either of these two watering holes, you’ll sure as hell be receiving dozens of snaps from friends who are
  • The gigantic Christmas trees in Martin Place and the QVB – plus, this year there’s a Boulevard of Light in the city ahhhh!!!
  • Drinking is an all-day affair – and when it’s mixed with sun and sand, there really isn’t any better combination of things
  • The sun stays up longer (here’s looking at YOU, daylight savings) – at 8pm the sun will just be starting to set, and who doesn’t want a longer Christmas??
  • Carols in the Domain – ahhh, the massively popular annual event where TV stars and celebrities host hours worth of Christmas carols and entertainment while the audience bands together with Santa hats, candles, picnics and loud voices. This year’s are on the 18th of December
  • The David Jones Christmas-themed shop windows in the city are always marvellous
  • Summer fruit – after lazing about playing games in the pool all day, there’s only one thing everyone craves and that’s ripe summer fruits to refresh yourself
  • The mood (and sky) is bright – it’s proven that there’s less depression in Summer than Winter, and considering Christmas ought to be a celebratory affair, this bodes well Down Under

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London //
  • Ugly Christmas Jumpers – the one thing every Aussie is infinitely jealous of of our neighbours up north are ugly christmas jumper parties
  • Sweater weather – Christmas is the best time to gorge yourself on food, and while in the Southern Hemisphere you’re in your swimsuit for most of the day, Londoners don’t have that summer body expectation during the silly season
  • Ice rinks pop up at all the most beautiful places – think: Natural History Museum in South Ken and Canary Wharf for a modern spin on this winter classic
  • Oxford St sales – possibly the busiest street in any city in the world on a normal day, Oxford St goes absolutely bonkers on Boxing Day, and while the crowds can be a pain, the thrill of finding those bargains (all the while fighting whoever’s next to you for that cute jumper) is too good to miss
  • Trafalgar Square Christmas tree – last year’s natural massive tree was so rustic and simplistic you couldn’t help but feel the magic of all the Christmas’ past
  • Potential for snow (yes, potential!) – I haven’t experienced London in the snow before, but I have seen pictures, and the possibility of waking up to a city covered in the whitest of snows on Christmas morning is thrilling
  • Christmas lights EVERYWHERE – there’s no other city that festoons their buildings and streets with Christmas cheer better than London – check out the Cartier building, Carnaby St, Harrods and of course Regent and Oxford St for beautiful displays
  • Winter Wonderland – a magical Christmas festival in Hyde Park (open from November 18 to January 2 2017) which just lights up the city and showers London in Christmassy cheer

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So there you have it – not an exhaustive list, by any means, but there are some definite differences between Christmas in London and Sydney. I’m personally a traditionalist, and while I absolutely adore London (and winter), I love spending Christmas with my same traditions and with my family every year and so for me, Sydney wins out in this festive edition of Sydney vs. London. What do you think? Where would you rather be at Christmas? xx

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