Enjoy the sounds of Christmas at home
Explore sonorous European festivities
Just outside the capital, Cambridge is less than an hour’s train journey from London and makes for a wonderfully festive day trip with atmospheric cobbled streets and heritage buildings emulating the magic of Harry Potter. The opening notes of the university’s famous carol concert is the true hallmark of Christmas, and though members of the public are not able to physically attend the concert this year, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols can still be enjoyed wherever you’re celebrating via the BBC’s Radio 4 live stream this Christmas Eve. Surround yourself with candles, mulled wine and loved ones and sing along to your heart’s content this Christmas Eve.
The Eternal City is a magical destination steeped in rich heritage, making it a delight to visit all year round. The Vatican needs no introduction and draws crowds from around the world to marvel at its beauty and unique history. If you’re still dreaming of visiting or would relish the opportunity to relive your visit, you can whet your appetite with the exquisitely atmospheric Christmas Masses streamed live from St Peter’s Basilica, performed by Pope Francis. This uniquely Roman celebration will be available to watch via the Vatican News website. If you happen to be in town or planning a festive weekend in Rome, you can also marvel at the Vatican’s soaring annual Christmas tree lit up in splendour, and its quaint Nativity scene on display.
Originally part of the Berlin City Palace during the 15th Century, the city’s iconic and mesmerising Cathedral stands tall above the city on the museum island, its reflection enhancing its grandeur. While visiting Berlin, you can download a charming Treasure Hunt app which prompts unusual facts about the building and its surrounding area. This year, the renowned Staats- und Domchor Berlin, led by the Cathedrals program leader Dr. Zimmerman, are inviting those who would like to take part from home to tune in every Sunday in the run up to Christmas to enjoy Advent and Christmas carols from home as part of their Sing at home program.
Bring the splendour of the Mariinsky theater to your living room and soak up the ambiance of this truly exquisite venue with online broadcasts of its shows. Enjoy a majestic Beethoven concert filmed recently and performed by the Russisch-Deutsche MusikAkademie conducted by Valery Gergiev. It’s worth keeping an eye on the mariinsky.tv site as well as the theatre’s official YouTube channel to enjoy a sensational choice of performances to revisit.