Don’t Miss Stunning Christmas at Biltmore!

Do you live for the Christmas season each year? Are you a fan of Downton Abbey and grand, Gilded Age homes? If you answered yes, then you cannot miss Christmas at Biltmore!

Christmas is a time for traditions, and one of the most popular in Asheville is to visit the Biltmore House, decked out in all its Christmas finery!

The estate’s annual Candlelight Christmas Evenings event features festive decorations, access to the House after dark, and special live musical programs from local choirs and orchestras.

The Biltmore Estate is worth a visit any time of year. (That’s why we’re annual passholders.) But the Christmas season in November and December is extra special!

Here’s everything you need to know about tickets, dates, and what to expect during Christmas at Biltmore season!

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Visiting the Biltmore Estate at Christmas is Special!

Every year, this already impressive estate outside of Asheville, NC explodes with decorations for the Christmas season.

And we’re not talking tons of over-the-top gimmicks or animated decorations.

This is vintage Christmas: cranberries, popcorn balls, wreaths, garlands, trees in every room, and thousands of classic white lights!

And that’s just the House.

Biltmore House Banquet Hall decorated for Christmas

The estate’s Antler Hill Village area and the two on-site hotels are also decked out in their finest holiday attire.

It’s a one-of-a-kind Christmas atmosphere and experience you can’t find anywhere else in the US.

When is Christmas at Biltmore?

It takes the Biltmore Estate nearly 4 weeks to get the grounds ready for Christmas.

Christmas at Biltmore runs from the first weekend of November through the first week of January every year.

That means they’re prepping for Christmas in October.

Some of you aren’t impressed by that. But for those of us that don’t put up our trees until at least after Thanksgiving, October is really early.

Pro Tip: One of the best ways to visit the Biltmore on a budget is to go in late October when most of the Christmas decorations are already up but they haven’t yet started charging Christmas prices.

Why Visit the Biltmore Estate?

Because we’re all a little voyeuristic. Who doesn’t love to be a little nosy and ooh and aah over a fabulously decorated home?

This 250-room mansion was built in 1895 by a wealthy Vanderbilt bachelor as his country escape from New York City.

Who wouldn’t want to take a peek at that kind of lifestyle?

History buffs will also love the Biltmore Estate for the incredible adventure involved in developing, building, and maintaining what was originally a 250,000 acre estate at the turn of the 20th century in the backwoods mountain town of Asheville, NC.

Biltmore Louis Room fireplace decorated for Christmas

All the latest technology and conveniences were included in the Biltmore house when it was built, including electricity, refrigeration, fire suppression building techniques, as well as an elevator, a bowling alley, and an indoor swimming pool.

Famous names like Frederick Law Olmsted and Richard Morris Hunt were key designers of the landscape and house, respectively.

There are plenty of reasons to visit the Biltmore because this place is amazing all year.

The Blue Ridge Mountains surround the estate and are awesome to behold, no matter the season.

The azalea gardens burst into bloom in the spring, and the trees put on a show in the fall.

There’s a season for everyone here! We highly recommend getting a Biltmore annual pass if you want to visit the estate more than once in a year. It’ll save you money!

three christmas trees lit at night in the Biltmore breakfast room

Christmas at the Biltmore Estate: What to Expect

Dreamy any time of year, the estate’s fabulous mansion and welcoming hotels are adorned in all manner of Victorian Christmas décor for the holidays.

A giant Norwegian spruce by the fountain on the front lawn welcomes you to America’s largest privately owned home.

Inside the House, every room showcases individually decorated trees and classic Christmas decorations that’ll make you think you’ve stumbled onto the set of Downton Abbey.

The Biltmore House kitchens feature a gingerbread house model of the mansion, complete with rock candy trees and a gumdrop roofline!

Copper pots hang on a rack above the main table in the Biltmore kitchen which holds an intricately designed gingerbread house replica of the Biltmore Mansion

Complete your House tour and turn left into the Stable Courtyard for a hot chocolate or spiced cider. There are tons of tasty treats at the Biltmore!

Step inside the Christmas Shop (open year round) for your own Biltmore Christmas ornament, and visit the toy shop, book shop, and Biltmore shops to start your Christmas shopping!

Candlelight Christmas Evenings: What to Expect

For an unforgettable Christmas experience, the Biltmore Estate Candlelight Christmas Evenings House tours are a twinkling wonder to behold.

The Norwegian spruce on the front lawn stands out as a shining beacon for your approach to the House for your evening tour.

The House glows from every window, beckoning you inside.

christmas tree with Biltmore banquet hall chandelier and ceiling and organ

Live music fills the first floor of the mansion with a Christmas ambiance to match the luxurious surroundings as you begin your self-guided tour.

While the House has always had electricity, the wood-burning fireplaces and candles galore add dancing firelight to the festive Christmas atmosphere.

Every room is dressed to the nines with wreaths, garlands, and lights and individually decorated Christmas trees.

Each tree is themed: some with specific colors, others with actual vintage presents, and even one decorated entirely with miniature wooden ships!

The decorations change every year, so you never see the same tour twice, which is why we keep coming back!

christmas tree with ribbon in Biltmore library

The banquet hall features another equally large Norwegian spruce that pushes the limits of the 70ft high ceiling.

Cranberry wreaths and Christmas knickknacks and vintage decorations dance in the firelight of the library’s enormous fireplace.

The stone corridor walls are sheathed in a full-height curtain of lights, creating a Christmas tunnel through the basement.

Even the bowling alley and swimming pool areas in the basement are decorated!

The Biltmore House truly goes all out for Candlelight Christmas Evenings, for a Christmas experience you won’t soon forget.

How Much Does It Cost to Visit the Biltmore Estate at Christmas?

A trip to the Biltmore is no more expensive than attending a theme park, but, like theme parks, certain times of year are more expensive.

Christmas at Biltmore is the busiest time of year to visit the estate. Weekdays are always cheaper than weekends and holidays.

Pro Tip: You can try searching for discounted Biltmore tickets in a few places we’ve found over the years, but you’re unlikely to find them for the holidays.

At Christmas, Biltmore ticket prices vary depending on the date of your visit, not just whether or not it’s a weekend.

Daytime tickets range from $110-$145 per adult (2023 pricing).

House entry tickets include:

  • Parking and option for complimentary use of the parking lot shuttle bus
  • Access to the Estate’s 8,000 acres, including all gardens, the Bass Pond, and the Lagoon
    • Note: for Candlelight Christmas Evening Tickets, you may access the grounds either the day of your evening visit or the day after your evening visit.
  • Self-guided tour of the Biltmore House with audio guide
  • Access to Antler Hill Village: more shops & restaurants & family activities
  • Free wine tasting at the Biltmore Winery (in Antler Hill Village)
  • {New for 2023!} A 2nd day grounds pass is included

So if you can’t fit in everything you want to do in one day, you can return the next day and finish seeing the gardens or shopping or dining on the estate.

The only thing you can’t do with a 2nd day pass is go back inside the House.

Biltmore Tapestry gallery christmas tree with Vanderbilt portrait

Candlelight Christmas Evenings tickets range from $115-$145 per adult (2023 pricing).

All the same perks are included as the daytime ticket, but you’ll also enjoy live music on the first floor as your tour the mansion aglow in the evening.

This is the only time of year you can access the house in the evenings. It’s a beautiful time to get evening pictures inside and out.

If it’s your first Christmas visiting Biltmore, I highly recommend a Candlelight Evenings ticket!

Discounts are available for children and seniors. Check the website for the most current pricing.

nativity set with green garland and candles

Visiting the Biltmore at Christmas on a Budget

Now, those tickets are still a bit pricey for those of you on a budget. No shame; we’ve been there!

It is possible to visit Biltmore on a budget when you set priorities and know a few good tips. We’re annual passholders and have been visiting the Biltmore estate for years.

All our best money-saving tips for visiting the Biltmore on a budget are here.

If you live nearby or are interested in visiting the Biltmore again in a warmer season, consider getting an annual pass.

We did the math. It’ll save you money if you visit just twice in a year.

Let’s not forget that there are a lot of cheap or free activities in Asheville as well.

Make a day trip to Biltmore your splurge activity and plan the rest of your vacation around budget-friendly activities elsewhere in the area.

Where to Stay near the Biltmore

If you want to go all out for the full Vanderbilt experience, book yourself a luxury stay in a butler suite at The Inn on the Biltmore Estate.

Even the most basic room at The Inn is a step above.

We particularly appreciated the large bathroom with full shower, tub, and vanity as well as the stone threshold which actually sealed the room from noise and light from the hallway.

If a butler suite is a bit too over the top for you, the Village Hotel is a less expensive option with all the convenience of a stay on the estate grounds.

Our favorite cheap place to stay near Biltmore is the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites – Asheville Biltmore Village Area.

(NOT the one in Biltmore West. The one in Biltmore Village is just 5 minutes from the estate entrance.)

Visiting the Biltmore Estate at Christmas is an Unforgettable Bucket List Experience!

Don’t forget to visit the gardens, even in the winter. There is always something new to see at the Conservatory and the Walled Garden!

Enjoy the treats of the season at one (or many!) of Biltmore’s dining experiences.

Strongly recommend reservations for the restaurants during the holiday season. They book up fast!

Looking for other things to do in the Asheville area? November is a great time to take a drive down Blue Ridge Parkway for stunning views!

More Biltmore Travel Resources

More Western North Carolina Travel Ideas

Happy Travels!

Headshot of Rachel Means at Clingmans Dome in Smoky Mountains

About the Author: Rachel Means

With six-figure student loan debt and only 10 PTO days per year, Rachel started traveling the world. A decade later, she’s paid off her loans, changed careers, and been to 38 US states and 17 countries. She’s an expert at planning and budgeting for travel and loves to help others do it, too! Read her full story here.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Cassandra

    Christmas at Biltmore looks very magical and perfectly Christmasy!

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