Best Cathedrals to Visit at Christmas

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If you’re strapped for things to do this Christmas, visiting cathedrals could make a great day out. Here is a list of some of the best cathedrals to visit at Christmas. From sightseeing to Mass, there is a cathedral you can visit and appreciate.

Best Cathedrals for sightseeing

Lincoln Cathedral at Christmas
Photo – Lincolnshire Live

Lincoln – Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lincoln Cathedral is one of the UK’s top architectural treasures. The cathedral hosts Christmas concerts and various other fun activities during December. 

Westminster Abbey at Christmas
Photo – Flickr

London – Westminster Abbey

One of the most famous cathedrals in the world, Westminster Abbey is a definite visit when in London. With activities for all the family during the festive season

Gloucester Cathedral
Image from

Gloucester Cathedral

If you want a little magic during Christmas, Gloucester cathedral was used in the Harry Potter movies. During the festive season, you can go and visit carol services and classical concerts at the venue.

Best Cathedrals for Christmas carols

Kings College at Christmas
Photo – The Listener’s Club

Cambridge – Kings College Chapel

Kings College Chapel in Cambridge hosts a Christmas Eve carol service called A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. It’s a Christmas tradition for the chapel, but they use it for regular services, so you have to double-check the service before heading down.

Christ Church Oxford Christmas
Photo – Christ Church Cathedral

Oxford – Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral holds a family carol concert during the day towards the beginning of December and then on Christmas eve they too hold nine lessons and carol service for people to attend. Between those two events the cathedral hosts many other Families orientated Christmas activities.

Best Cathedrals for Christmas lights

When it comes to traditional service, the UK has it on lock, but if you want to experience something a little bit different maybe a Christmas getaway and a trip to a cathedral outside of the United Kingdom.

Berlin Cathedral lights
Image from

Germany – Berlin Cathedral

Every Christmas Berlin cathedral is lit up with thousands of colourful lights in projecting, different patterns and images, giving the cathedral a 3D look. The lights bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the cathedral year after year, with good reason.

If you do find yourself in Berlin this Christmas, why not partake in other german traditions. Some of which you can read in our post, German Christmas Traditions.

St Marys Cathedral Australia
Photo – Reddit

Australia – Saint Marys Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia is lit up with projections to create a look of stained glass across the building. It’s truly a sight to behold if you find yourself in Sydney.

Vienna St Stephens Cathedral lights
Photo Credit | Johann G on Flickr

Vienna – Saint Stephens Cathedral

Lit up within, the interior of St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna glows with different colours. During Christmastime this allows visitors to really think about what Christmas is about. Or just enjoy the lights. Saint Stephens stands right in the centre of Vienna and has the second biggest church bell in all of Europe.

Best Cathedrals for Christmas mass

St Pauls Cathedral choir
Photo credit | Arnaud Stephenson

London – St. Pauls Cathedral

Not only is it one of London’s most famous landmarks, but it also has a great mass service on Christmas day. From 8 am onwards you could spend the day enjoying the service and listening to carols sung by the cathedral choir at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

This was a list of cathedrals to visit at Christmas. It would be good to consider visiting one, whether alone or with the family. The atmosphere of cathedrals lends itself to introspective thinking and discussions about local architecture and history.

Best cathedrals to visit