The Christmas zest is unmissable as it spreads throughout the country from a week before 25th December. Here’s a list of places in India to visit during the Christmas week. By Shubhanjana Das

Given that New Year is soon afterwards, it feels like a long festive holiday that is perfect for spending time, and eating and drinking away in glory with friends and family. However, if you don’t want to stay back in the city, we have the perfect list of destinations that will suit every taste, no matter how you prefer to party.

P.S. Prepare for the overdose of cake, wine, and some local Christmas delicacies.

1. Shillong

Christmas or not, Shillong deserves more space on your itinerary than it gets. This Christmas, consider getting your flights booked to Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya or ‘the abode of clouds’. The place has a vast catholic population and celebrates Christmas with understated pomp, which is as much about spending time with friends and family as it is about dressing beautifully (fashion capital of the East, after all). Shop, dine, hike, or walk around the city — Shillong during Christmas is not the same as Shillong throughout the year. It is just the right cold generously topped with Christmas celebrations.

2. Pondicherry

Pondicherry is hands down one of the best beaches you can go to during Christmas. Its French architecture, Gothic churches, and the cathedrals look 10 times more gorgeous than it does during the rest of the year. Stroll throughout the length of Pondicherry beach, attend the celebrations at Domus Dei Cathedral and gorge on some seriously delicious cakes and cookies at one of its many French-style cafés.

3. Kolkata

Kolkata sure knows how to celebrate Christmas right. Don’t believe us? One look at Park Street and you’ll know that the zeal is just as high during Christmas as it is during Durga Pujo and Kali Pujo. Following soon after its boisterous festive season, which spans throughout October and a part of November, Christmas celebrations take on an unbelievable shape as almost all of Kolkata comes down to Park Street for midnight parties after the generous servings of cake at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Rabindra Sadan.

4. Bangalore

If you are a serious party-animal who wants nothing for Christmas but a week full of partying and dining on some of the absolute best foods, Bangalore is the place to be. The unmissable Christmas energy is infectious and catches on to you the moment you land in Bangalore. Mark Infant Jesus Church and St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on the map for Christmas traditions before heading to Thomson’s bakery for their epic rum-soaked cake or a feast of Turkey dinner at Caperberry.

5. Kerala

Kerala strikes the perfect balance between over-the-top partying and humble, intimate celebrations with midnight mass ringing with Christmas carols, Christmas plays, and the local feasts, ideally at a local’s house. Visit Basilica of our Lady of Dolores Church, Edathua Church, St. Francis Church for an authentic experience of how the local Keralite Christians celebrate the festival.

5. Daman and Diu

Yes, we know that Daman and Diu is not the first place that comes to one’s mind for Christmas celebrations, but if you want to witness how the Portuguese celebrate Christmas, you can get a hint of it interlaced with the local Indian traditions. Corridinho (Portuguese) dances, midnight mass at St. Paul’s Church or Cathedral of Bom Jesus, followed by a fun-filled night of partying or just sitting by the sea — choose your pick when at Daman and Diu during Christmas.

Related: 6 Never Heard Of Christmas Traditions from Around the World