Quebec-MainPic

Harry Potter World during December.

December is one of the most magical times of the year to travel! While there are seemingly endless possibilities of places to visit for the holidays, there are plenty of adventurous and relaxing trips to enjoy this month. If you’re wondering where the best places to visit in December in the world are, I have outlined my top 10 picks!

From ski trips to the Dolomites to beach vacations in Anguilla to fun Christmas trips in the USA, you must check out these incredible destinations to visit in December.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Best December Vacations

Places to Visit in December in the World: Hot and Cold Destinations

A woman enjoying a winter trip to the Dolomites.

Best Warm Destinations for December:

Anguilla:

A woman enjoying a luxury warm weather vacation in Anguilla.

If you are looking for sandy beaches, palm trees and turquoise waters this December, Anguilla is your destination. In fact, December is the best time to visit Anguilla and treat yourself to a luxury vacation at the Four Seasons.

The weather in Anguilla during the month of December features highs in the lower 80s°F and lows in the upper 70s°F, making it one of the best places to travel in December for warm weather. Even though the average temperature in Anguilla during December is around 80°F, the island boasts around 13 days of rain.

Overall, this British West Indies Island has a lot of unique things to offer, like sailing to the famous West End Arch or golfing at Greg Norman’s 18-hole Championship Course. There are also a lot of beautiful resorts, white-sand beaches and marvelous restaurants to enjoy! It’s one of the best places to visit in December for couples.

Anguilla is a tropical paradise for those wondering where to go in December for warm weather! One of the best things to do in Anguilla is to check out Little Bay, a beautiful cliffside area where you can enjoy water views via a kayak, paddleboard or private boat tour. (During a private boat tour, you can also visit more pristine beaches that are private and have an opportunity to snorkel/dive and see the stunning coral reefs.)

More outdoor activities in Anguilla include horseback riding on the beach, kitesurfing, parasailing and other fun water sports.

Orlando, Florida:

Walt Disney World during December.

The best place to visit in December with family is Orlando, Florida, home to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. If you’re a theme park lover, Orlando is one of the best places in the world to visit in December! There are a lot of special holiday events.

What also makes Orlando, Florida one of the best places to visit in December is its warm temperatures. You can experience average highs in the mid to upper 70s°F and lows in the mid 50s°, especially at night. There are around four rainy days.

One of the leading places to stay in Orlando during a Disney trip is the Four Seasons Resort Orlando! This five-star resort has a few pools with grottos, including kid-friendly amenities like waterslides, a peaceful adults-only section and a lazy river with waterfalls. Four Seasons Orlando also has a few restaurants, a spa, a golf course, beautiful views and convenient access to Disney’s parks.

The best restaurants in Orlando are California Grill in the Contemporary Resort and Narcoosee’s in Disney’s Grand Floridian. You must also visit the fun Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar at the Polynesian Village Resort.

Even though Disney is a warm destination surrounded by palm trees, it’s also one of the best places to get into the holiday spirit. Many hotels and resorts decorate beautifully with Christmas trees, lights, etc. You can also enjoy all the festive decorations in the parks, especially Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs!

Throughout Orlando, there are plenty of outdoor experiences to have. I suggest attending an outdoor Christmas movie showing and skating on one of the many ice rinks that the city boasts. Additionally, Cocoa Beach is a short drive away if you want to escape the theme park madness and enjoy some relaxation.  

In addition to the Christmas celebrations, Orlando, Florida is a wonderful New Year’s Eve destination.

New Zealand:

A woman and man paragliding in New Zealand - one of the best places to visit in the world in December.

If you don’t celebrate the holidays and want to avoid crazy crowds, I suggest treating yourself to a bucket list trip! New Zealand is one of the best countries to visit in December in the Southern Hemisphere due to being in the summer season.

New Zealand’s South Island is the perfect place to visit if you love adventure! The country’s incredible landscapes are perfect for hiking, skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding and more.

Temperatures in the South Island of New Zealand range from the mid 70s°F to the upper 40s°F with around 12 days of rain.

It’s best to base yourself in Queenstown in December since there’s so much to do. A great place to stay is Sherwood, which is a unique place to unwind and reconnect with self and nature. Not only does it offer beautiful views, but there’s also a terrific restaurant and bar, stunning gardens and wellness activities.

The best restaurants to eat at in this picturesque city are Fergburger, Tanoshi, Madam Woo and Captain’s Restaurant.

December is also the perfect time for fun day trips to Milford Sound, Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park, Wanaka and the Central Otago Wine Region. The best things to do in Queenstown are strolling around Queenstown Gardens, riding the Shotover Jet, having fun on the Skyline Luge at Bob’s Peak and paragliding or hand gliding at Coronet Peak.

Magical Holiday Destinations for December:

Bavaria, Germany:

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Munich, Germany during December.

The Bavaria region of Germany is one of the most charming and best places to visit in December in Europe! Within Bavaria, Germany are the cities of Nuremberg and Munich, which have renowned Christmas activities.

The best place to base yourself in Bavaria is the city of Munich. The weather in Munich, Germany during December ranges from highs in the lower 40s°F to lows in the lower 30s°F with around 10 days of rain.

An excellent hotel close to the city center and the train station is Sofitel Munich Bayerpost. An authentic German restaurant to enjoy dinner at is Steinheil 16.

One of the most memorable things to do in Bavaria during Christmas time is to visit a German Christkindlmarkt. If you’re a Christmas lover wondering where to vacation in December to enjoy all the festive activities, you will fall in love with this part of Europe!

The Bavarian Christmas markets feature wooden chalet stands full of delicious foods and handicrafts to purchase! Another reason why Bavaria makes for one of the best December holiday destinations is because you can tour medieval castles such as Neuschwanstein Castle. You can also visit smaller, quaint towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber and enjoy their Christmas market.

Quebec City, Canada:

A woman enjoying a winter trip to Quebec City in Canada.

One of the best destinations to visit in December is Quebec City in Canada. It also boasts cozy Christmas markets!

Since Quebec City is on the snowbelt, it is COLD! You can experience average highs in the upper 20s°F to lows in the mid-teens. Even though the rainy season is during the summer, there are an average of 16 days of precipitation in December.

The best hotel in Quebec City is Hôtel 71 in the heart of Old Quebec. Two excellent restaurants to dine at during your winter holiday trip are Sapristi Bistro and Bar and Cochon Dingue.

I recommend starting your trip by wandering through Old Quebec, a historic area with stunning French-styled buildings. This area has many photo opportunities and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When looking for where to travel in December, you can’t beat the stunning views of the St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace.

One of my favorite things about Quebec City is wandering through the Quartier Petit Champlain, an area home to beautiful architecture, including the Palace Royal and Notre Dame Des Victoires.

For more gorgeous winter strolls, visit Old Port and Rue Saint-Jean. Another part of the city that I adored was Parliament Hill. Take some time to visit the Château Frontenac during the evening! This luxury hotel plays a famous role in Quebec’s history and glows beautifully during Christmas time.

Lastly, the Hôtel de Glace, or the Ice Hotel, is also one of the best places to go in December when you visit the Canadian province of Quebec. You can spend a night in a real ice palace at this epic spot. It’s so cool, literally!

In addition, I suggest visiting the Plains of Abraham and Montmorency Falls for breathtaking nature.

Natchitoches, Louisiana:

A woman in Natchitoches, Louisiana - one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

Located along the Cane River in Louisiana, Natchitoches (pronounced as nah kuh tuhsh) boasts the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in the United States. It’s one of the best holiday destinations for December.

You can enjoy warm days during your Christmas trip to Natchitoches, LA. Temperatures range from the high 70s°F to low 40s°F during the holiday season. It’s best to bring warm-weather clothing, light jackets and boots when you visit this jolly Christmas festival.

The charming Perrault House, a rental property, is the best place to stay in this festive city. It’s only a five-minute drive (and a 20-minute walk) to all the Christmas festivities in downtown Natchitoches and features a luxurious, renovated space, cozy porch and saltwater pool. Two great restaurants to eat at are Mariner’s Restaurant on Sibley Lake and Cane River Commissary for a Zydeco brunch.

The best things to do in Natchitoches, Louisiana are to take a Christmas Tour of Homes in historic downtown; admire all the Christmas lights and decorations along the city’s Front Street (where all the shops, restaurants, cafés and bars are located); make memories at Cookies with Santa at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame; watch the Lighted Boat Parade along the Cane River; see the incredible Christmas fireworks show over the river every Saturday through New Year’s Eve; visit Melrose Plantation and enjoy all the live music and performances in the downtown area.

Czech Republic:

The magical Christmas market in Prague, Czech Republic.

Another one of the best places to visit in December in the world is the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe. Czechia is one of the best holiday destinations because many of its larger and smaller cities boast magical Christmas markets!

The main city to base yourself when visiting the Czech Republic is Prague. Any Czech city will transport you into a storybook, but Prague is also where you’ll find numerous Christmas markets, stunning decorations, delicious food and more.

During an early December trip to the Czech Republic, you will experience cooler temperatures but nothing too unbearable. Temperatures range from highs in the lower 40s to lows in the lower 30s, with about five days of rain.

One of Prague’s best hotels to stay at is the Four Seasons and a terrific traditional Czech restaurant is Restaurace Staromáček. The Czech Republic is one of the more popular destinations during the Christmas market season, so it’s best to make reservations and book everything in advance.

Prague has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. You can find enchanting markets in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Peace Square, Prague Castle and Republic Square. Some of the best treats are mulled wine, sweet chimney cakes and savory sausages! You can also shop from local artisanal crafts, jewelry, winter clothing, holiday décor and more.

Other great things to do in Prague are to wander through the Old Town, see the John Lennon Wall, explore the Prague Castle Complex and visit the National Museum.

Another magical destination in the Czech Republic with Christmas markets and a charming Old Town is Česky Krumlov, a three-hour train ride south of Prague. If you’re looking for a great day trip from the capital city, you must not overlook this festive destination.

Top Places to Visit in December in the USA:

New York City:

A woman enjoying New York City in December - one of the best places to visit in December in the world.

It’s no secret that New York City is one of the best places to visit in December in the world due to its fascinating Christmas activities, events, decorations, restaurants and more.

The weather in New York City during December ranges from average highs in the mid 40s°F to average lows in the lower 30s°F, with an estimated eight days of rain. The best place to stay in the Big Apple during the holiday season is Lotte New York Palace and a fantastic, festive restaurant is Eataly in the Flatiron District.

One of the best winter activities in New York City during a December trip is to see the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in Midtown. There is also a fun outdoor skating rink to enjoy! (Make sure to reserve your date and time slot to ice skate at Rockefeller Center.)

Other notable things to do in New York City are visiting all the fun Christmas-themed bars and restaurants, seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, walking through the Bryant Park Winter Village and checking out the decorative storefront windows along 5th Avenue!

Christmas time is the peak season for New York City. Always make reservations and book activities well in advance!

Denver, Colorado:

A woman traveling to Denver, Colorado during December.

Denver, Colorado is one of the leading destinations for December travel, with mountains and unique Christmas activities.

Even though temperatures in Denver during December range from highs in the upper 40s°F to lows in the lower 20s°F, you can expect to enjoy sunny days. A great boutique hotel to stay at in the heart of the city is Hotel Teatro and one of the best restaurants is Rioja.

Union Station, the capital city’s primary train station, is one of Denver’s most festive attractions. At the center of Union Station, you can admire a massive Christmas tree as you shop or grab delicious food and drinks. You may even find Santa Claus hanging out at this spot!

For a pleasant winter stroll, Larimer Square and Dairy Block are also beautifully decorated for the holiday season and have plenty of shopping opportunities.

Denver’s Christkindlmarkt is also an impressive thing to experience. Hosted by Bank of America and United Airlines, this German-American market allows you to enjoy glühwein, sweet and savory treats like bratwurst and strudel, great shopping and a magnificent ice skating rink!

When in Denver, Colorado, I also suggest visiting the Denver Botanical Garden for the annual holiday lights extravaganza, the Denver Zoo for an illuminating festive event and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for The Nutcracker, featuring the Colorado Ballet.

Lake Placid, New York:

A woman enjoying a December vacation by cross country skiing at Lake Placid, New York - one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

Even though Lake Placid in Upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains is a wonderful summer destination, winter is also a great time to visit due to its fun winter activities.

December is the start of ski season in the Northeast and the weather is perfect for hitting the slopes! You can experience average highs in the lower 30s°F to lows in the lower teens during this time of year.

The coziest place to stay in Lake Placid is Mirror Lake Inn. This charming spot has a fantastic spa to rejuvenate yourself, firepits and fireplaces to cozy up at and a beautiful Christmas light display to admire. Big Slide Brewery and Lake Placid Pub & Brewery are great restaurants in the area.

One of the top activities to do in and around Lake Placid, New York, in winter is to take a cross-country ski lesson at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. There are over 30 miles of ski trails surrounded by beautiful winter scenery.

Next, head to Whiteface Mountain for a fun-filled ski day! After a day on the slopes, hang out at the lodge and enjoy warm mulled cider. In addition, ice skating at the Olympic Speed Oval is also a fun outdoor activity to do during the month of December.

For more Olympic sports experiences, I suggest touring the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, where you can learn all about ski jumping and watch the professional jumpers soar through the air!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

The Philadelphia Christmas market.

New York isn’t the only East Coast city with many Christmas festivities. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also has a fun Christmas scene, from holiday markets to themed bars and restaurants.

The weather in Philadelphia in December ranges from average highs in the upper 40s°F to lows in the mid 30s°F with an estimated eight days. The best accommodation to stay at is The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia and two excellent restaurants are El Vez and Fiorella.

When the holidays are in full swing, the best things to do in Philadelphia, PA are visiting the Christmas Village in Love Park and Dilworth Park Wintergarden, where you can also go ice skating. You must also see the Deck the Hall Light Show at the Philadelphia City Hall and Macy’s Holiday Light Show. Don’t forget to drive down Miracle on 13th Street to see the magical Christmas lights.

Additionally, walk down the historic Elfreth’s Alley, decorated beautifully for the holiday and resembles a Charles Dickens village with its cobbled street. If you visit this spot during a winter wonderland, it will amaze you.

During a December trip to Philly, you must enjoy seasonal food and drinks at Reading Terminal Market and visit festive-themed bars and restaurants like Craftsman Row Saloon and Tinsel.

Best Winter Places to Visit in December in Europe:

The Dolomites:

A great December ski trip is to the Dolomites in Italy - one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

Not only is Europe famous for its Christmas markets in December, but it’s also the beginning of ski season. The Dolomites in the Southern Alps of Northern Italy are one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

The weather in the Dolomites drops to cooler temperatures during the winter season. You can experience temperatures ranging from the mid 20s°F to mid-teens with daily snow.

With renowned ski resorts like Kronplatz and Val Gardena, there is no wonder why the Italian Dolomites are one of the best areas to travel to in December! Overall, the South Tyrol region of Italy is known for its downhill skiing and unique culture.

During a trip to the Dolomites in December, a great place to stay is Hotel Teresa in San Vigilio. They offer great tours that will teach you all about Ladin culture and the biodiversity of the Italian Alps.

Other great things to do during a December trip to the Dolomites are to enjoy a winter hike in the snow-capped mountains, make memories at a proper après-ski and visit the Christmas markets!

Iceland:

Where to vacation in December for snow - Iceland

Iceland is another of the best places to travel in December and January. There are endless ways to experience all the epic landscapes and National Parks, but if you don’t want to miss out on anything, I suggest exploring Iceland via a road trip!

The main city to base yourself in is Reykjavik and average temperatures there range from the upper 30s°F to the upper 20s°F with around 14 days of precipitation. The best hotel to stay at is The Reykjavik EDITION and the top restaurants are La Primavera Ristorante and Matur og Drykkur.

If you’re an adventurer wondering where to go in December, you must visit Iceland and discover all its natural beauty, including the waterfalls! Seljanlandsfoss and Skogafoss are two waterfalls along the main Route 1 that cannot be missed while exploring Iceland.

Another jaw-dropping spot to include in your Iceland winter itinerary is the seashore town of Vik I Mydal. Vik is home to the world-famous Reynisfjara Halsanefshellir shore, or Iceland’s black sand beach.

Additionally, you must explore Iceland’s Golden Circle through Reykjavik Excursions! On this tour, you can experience incredible sites like the Strokkur geyser, the Gullfoss waterfall and Pingvellir National Park.

Other unforgettable things to do in Iceland during December are visiting the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, going dog sledding, and seeing the Northern Lights dance through the sky!

Lapland, Finland:

Reindeer sleigh riding in Lapland, Finland - one of the best places to visit in December in the world.

Lapland, Finland is the ultimate winter destination and one of the top places to visit in the world in December. It’s a magical winter wonderland with a lot of fun opportunities.

The best city to stay in when you visit Lapland is Rovaniemi; temperatures there range from the mid 20s°F to lower teens with nine days of precipitation. The top hotel to stay at in Rovaniemi is the Arctic Light Hotel.

If you want to know where to vacation in December, which is great for kids, then Lapland is the perfect winter destination! Check out Santa Park, a Christmas-themed attraction where you and your family can visit the North Pole. This snow play area has everything from sledding to hot cocoa and a real Santa Claus to meet!

Snowman World is another memorable attraction to visit in Lapland. It’s a snow-filled attraction that features a giant igloo with an ice hotel, bar, restaurant and talented ice carvings.

When in Lapland, you can also enjoy reindeer sleigh riding as well as husky sleigh riding. You can also go snowmobiling, Arctic ice floating and more. For those who love Christmas markets, the Lappish city of Rovaniemi has a charming market to walk through and enjoy!

Even though Iceland has minimal daylight during the winter, it’s still an ideal time to experience the most enchanting activities!


Bavaria, Germany makes for a great December vacation

Looking for other great places to visit in December? Check out the below articles:

A Day Trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg

Magical December Getaways in the USA

Magical Eastern European Christmas Markets

I hope you all enjoyed learning about the best places to visit in December in the world. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Below are the top travel companies I use for convenience and cost:

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1 Comment

  1. Kim Deer on December 14, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    Fantastic ideas for December vacations ~ I was on the Quebec and Lake Placid trips and they were both amazing! I do need to visit the Christmas markets in Europe ~ that has to be stunning to see in person! Disney world is also awesome during the holiday season ~ Finland and Iceland look amazing too ~ great guide for awesome places to visit in December ~ love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ♥️

    Ps: our favorite place to visit is NYC during the holiday season ~ 👍🫶🎄🎅🤎

Leave a Comment





Quebec-MainPic

Harry Potter World during December.

December is one of the most magical times of the year to travel! While there are seemingly endless possibilities of places to visit for the holidays, there are plenty of adventurous and relaxing trips to enjoy this month. If you’re wondering where the best places to visit in December in the world are, I have outlined my top 10 picks!

From ski trips to the Dolomites to beach vacations in Anguilla to fun Christmas trips in the USA, you must check out these incredible destinations to visit in December.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Best December Vacations

Places to Visit in December in the World: Hot and Cold Destinations

A woman enjoying a winter trip to the Dolomites.

Best Warm Destinations for December:

Anguilla:

A woman enjoying a luxury warm weather vacation in Anguilla.

If you are looking for sandy beaches, palm trees and turquoise waters this December, Anguilla is your destination. In fact, December is the best time to visit Anguilla and treat yourself to a luxury vacation at the Four Seasons.

The weather in Anguilla during the month of December features highs in the lower 80s°F and lows in the upper 70s°F, making it one of the best places to travel in December for warm weather. Even though the average temperature in Anguilla during December is around 80°F, the island boasts around 13 days of rain.

Overall, this British West Indies Island has a lot of unique things to offer, like sailing to the famous West End Arch or golfing at Greg Norman’s 18-hole Championship Course. There are also a lot of beautiful resorts, white-sand beaches and marvelous restaurants to enjoy! It’s one of the best places to visit in December for couples.

Anguilla is a tropical paradise for those wondering where to go in December for warm weather! One of the best things to do in Anguilla is to check out Little Bay, a beautiful cliffside area where you can enjoy water views via a kayak, paddleboard or private boat tour. (During a private boat tour, you can also visit more pristine beaches that are private and have an opportunity to snorkel/dive and see the stunning coral reefs.)

More outdoor activities in Anguilla include horseback riding on the beach, kitesurfing, parasailing and other fun water sports.

Orlando, Florida:

Walt Disney World during December.

The best place to visit in December with family is Orlando, Florida, home to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. If you’re a theme park lover, Orlando is one of the best places in the world to visit in December! There are a lot of special holiday events.

What also makes Orlando, Florida one of the best places to visit in December is its warm temperatures. You can experience average highs in the mid to upper 70s°F and lows in the mid 50s°, especially at night. There are around four rainy days.

One of the leading places to stay in Orlando during a Disney trip is the Four Seasons Resort Orlando! This five-star resort has a few pools with grottos, including kid-friendly amenities like waterslides, a peaceful adults-only section and a lazy river with waterfalls. Four Seasons Orlando also has a few restaurants, a spa, a golf course, beautiful views and convenient access to Disney’s parks.

The best restaurants in Orlando are California Grill in the Contemporary Resort and Narcoosee’s in Disney’s Grand Floridian. You must also visit the fun Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar at the Polynesian Village Resort.

Even though Disney is a warm destination surrounded by palm trees, it’s also one of the best places to get into the holiday spirit. Many hotels and resorts decorate beautifully with Christmas trees, lights, etc. You can also enjoy all the festive decorations in the parks, especially Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs!

Throughout Orlando, there are plenty of outdoor experiences to have. I suggest attending an outdoor Christmas movie showing and skating on one of the many ice rinks that the city boasts. Additionally, Cocoa Beach is a short drive away if you want to escape the theme park madness and enjoy some relaxation.  

In addition to the Christmas celebrations, Orlando, Florida is a wonderful New Year’s Eve destination.

New Zealand:

A woman and man paragliding in New Zealand - one of the best places to visit in the world in December.

If you don’t celebrate the holidays and want to avoid crazy crowds, I suggest treating yourself to a bucket list trip! New Zealand is one of the best countries to visit in December in the Southern Hemisphere due to being in the summer season.

New Zealand’s South Island is the perfect place to visit if you love adventure! The country’s incredible landscapes are perfect for hiking, skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding and more.

Temperatures in the South Island of New Zealand range from the mid 70s°F to the upper 40s°F with around 12 days of rain.

It’s best to base yourself in Queenstown in December since there’s so much to do. A great place to stay is Sherwood, which is a unique place to unwind and reconnect with self and nature. Not only does it offer beautiful views, but there’s also a terrific restaurant and bar, stunning gardens and wellness activities.

The best restaurants to eat at in this picturesque city are Fergburger, Tanoshi, Madam Woo and Captain’s Restaurant.

December is also the perfect time for fun day trips to Milford Sound, Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park, Wanaka and the Central Otago Wine Region. The best things to do in Queenstown are strolling around Queenstown Gardens, riding the Shotover Jet, having fun on the Skyline Luge at Bob’s Peak and paragliding or hand gliding at Coronet Peak.

Magical Holiday Destinations for December:

Bavaria, Germany:

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Munich, Germany during December.

The Bavaria region of Germany is one of the most charming and best places to visit in December in Europe! Within Bavaria, Germany are the cities of Nuremberg and Munich, which have renowned Christmas activities.

The best place to base yourself in Bavaria is the city of Munich. The weather in Munich, Germany during December ranges from highs in the lower 40s°F to lows in the lower 30s°F with around 10 days of rain.

An excellent hotel close to the city center and the train station is Sofitel Munich Bayerpost. An authentic German restaurant to enjoy dinner at is Steinheil 16.

One of the most memorable things to do in Bavaria during Christmas time is to visit a German Christkindlmarkt. If you’re a Christmas lover wondering where to vacation in December to enjoy all the festive activities, you will fall in love with this part of Europe!

The Bavarian Christmas markets feature wooden chalet stands full of delicious foods and handicrafts to purchase! Another reason why Bavaria makes for one of the best December holiday destinations is because you can tour medieval castles such as Neuschwanstein Castle. You can also visit smaller, quaint towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber and enjoy their Christmas market.

Quebec City, Canada:

A woman enjoying a winter trip to Quebec City in Canada.

One of the best destinations to visit in December is Quebec City in Canada. It also boasts cozy Christmas markets!

Since Quebec City is on the snowbelt, it is COLD! You can experience average highs in the upper 20s°F to lows in the mid-teens. Even though the rainy season is during the summer, there are an average of 16 days of precipitation in December.

The best hotel in Quebec City is Hôtel 71 in the heart of Old Quebec. Two excellent restaurants to dine at during your winter holiday trip are Sapristi Bistro and Bar and Cochon Dingue.

I recommend starting your trip by wandering through Old Quebec, a historic area with stunning French-styled buildings. This area has many photo opportunities and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When looking for where to travel in December, you can’t beat the stunning views of the St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace.

One of my favorite things about Quebec City is wandering through the Quartier Petit Champlain, an area home to beautiful architecture, including the Palace Royal and Notre Dame Des Victoires.

For more gorgeous winter strolls, visit Old Port and Rue Saint-Jean. Another part of the city that I adored was Parliament Hill. Take some time to visit the Château Frontenac during the evening! This luxury hotel plays a famous role in Quebec’s history and glows beautifully during Christmas time.

Lastly, the Hôtel de Glace, or the Ice Hotel, is also one of the best places to go in December when you visit the Canadian province of Quebec. You can spend a night in a real ice palace at this epic spot. It’s so cool, literally!

In addition, I suggest visiting the Plains of Abraham and Montmorency Falls for breathtaking nature.

Natchitoches, Louisiana:

A woman in Natchitoches, Louisiana - one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

Located along the Cane River in Louisiana, Natchitoches (pronounced as nah kuh tuhsh) boasts the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in the United States. It’s one of the best holiday destinations for December.

You can enjoy warm days during your Christmas trip to Natchitoches, LA. Temperatures range from the high 70s°F to low 40s°F during the holiday season. It’s best to bring warm-weather clothing, light jackets and boots when you visit this jolly Christmas festival.

The charming Perrault House, a rental property, is the best place to stay in this festive city. It’s only a five-minute drive (and a 20-minute walk) to all the Christmas festivities in downtown Natchitoches and features a luxurious, renovated space, cozy porch and saltwater pool. Two great restaurants to eat at are Mariner’s Restaurant on Sibley Lake and Cane River Commissary for a Zydeco brunch.

The best things to do in Natchitoches, Louisiana are to take a Christmas Tour of Homes in historic downtown; admire all the Christmas lights and decorations along the city’s Front Street (where all the shops, restaurants, cafés and bars are located); make memories at Cookies with Santa at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame; watch the Lighted Boat Parade along the Cane River; see the incredible Christmas fireworks show over the river every Saturday through New Year’s Eve; visit Melrose Plantation and enjoy all the live music and performances in the downtown area.

Czech Republic:

The magical Christmas market in Prague, Czech Republic.

Another one of the best places to visit in December in the world is the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe. Czechia is one of the best holiday destinations because many of its larger and smaller cities boast magical Christmas markets!

The main city to base yourself when visiting the Czech Republic is Prague. Any Czech city will transport you into a storybook, but Prague is also where you’ll find numerous Christmas markets, stunning decorations, delicious food and more.

During an early December trip to the Czech Republic, you will experience cooler temperatures but nothing too unbearable. Temperatures range from highs in the lower 40s to lows in the lower 30s, with about five days of rain.

One of Prague’s best hotels to stay at is the Four Seasons and a terrific traditional Czech restaurant is Restaurace Staromáček. The Czech Republic is one of the more popular destinations during the Christmas market season, so it’s best to make reservations and book everything in advance.

Prague has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. You can find enchanting markets in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Peace Square, Prague Castle and Republic Square. Some of the best treats are mulled wine, sweet chimney cakes and savory sausages! You can also shop from local artisanal crafts, jewelry, winter clothing, holiday décor and more.

Other great things to do in Prague are to wander through the Old Town, see the John Lennon Wall, explore the Prague Castle Complex and visit the National Museum.

Another magical destination in the Czech Republic with Christmas markets and a charming Old Town is Česky Krumlov, a three-hour train ride south of Prague. If you’re looking for a great day trip from the capital city, you must not overlook this festive destination.

Top Places to Visit in December in the USA:

New York City:

A woman enjoying New York City in December - one of the best places to visit in December in the world.

It’s no secret that New York City is one of the best places to visit in December in the world due to its fascinating Christmas activities, events, decorations, restaurants and more.

The weather in New York City during December ranges from average highs in the mid 40s°F to average lows in the lower 30s°F, with an estimated eight days of rain. The best place to stay in the Big Apple during the holiday season is Lotte New York Palace and a fantastic, festive restaurant is Eataly in the Flatiron District.

One of the best winter activities in New York City during a December trip is to see the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in Midtown. There is also a fun outdoor skating rink to enjoy! (Make sure to reserve your date and time slot to ice skate at Rockefeller Center.)

Other notable things to do in New York City are visiting all the fun Christmas-themed bars and restaurants, seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, walking through the Bryant Park Winter Village and checking out the decorative storefront windows along 5th Avenue!

Christmas time is the peak season for New York City. Always make reservations and book activities well in advance!

Denver, Colorado:

A woman traveling to Denver, Colorado during December.

Denver, Colorado is one of the leading destinations for December travel, with mountains and unique Christmas activities.

Even though temperatures in Denver during December range from highs in the upper 40s°F to lows in the lower 20s°F, you can expect to enjoy sunny days. A great boutique hotel to stay at in the heart of the city is Hotel Teatro and one of the best restaurants is Rioja.

Union Station, the capital city’s primary train station, is one of Denver’s most festive attractions. At the center of Union Station, you can admire a massive Christmas tree as you shop or grab delicious food and drinks. You may even find Santa Claus hanging out at this spot!

For a pleasant winter stroll, Larimer Square and Dairy Block are also beautifully decorated for the holiday season and have plenty of shopping opportunities.

Denver’s Christkindlmarkt is also an impressive thing to experience. Hosted by Bank of America and United Airlines, this German-American market allows you to enjoy glühwein, sweet and savory treats like bratwurst and strudel, great shopping and a magnificent ice skating rink!

When in Denver, Colorado, I also suggest visiting the Denver Botanical Garden for the annual holiday lights extravaganza, the Denver Zoo for an illuminating festive event and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for The Nutcracker, featuring the Colorado Ballet.

Lake Placid, New York:

A woman enjoying a December vacation by cross country skiing at Lake Placid, New York - one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

Even though Lake Placid in Upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains is a wonderful summer destination, winter is also a great time to visit due to its fun winter activities.

December is the start of ski season in the Northeast and the weather is perfect for hitting the slopes! You can experience average highs in the lower 30s°F to lows in the lower teens during this time of year.

The coziest place to stay in Lake Placid is Mirror Lake Inn. This charming spot has a fantastic spa to rejuvenate yourself, firepits and fireplaces to cozy up at and a beautiful Christmas light display to admire. Big Slide Brewery and Lake Placid Pub & Brewery are great restaurants in the area.

One of the top activities to do in and around Lake Placid, New York, in winter is to take a cross-country ski lesson at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. There are over 30 miles of ski trails surrounded by beautiful winter scenery.

Next, head to Whiteface Mountain for a fun-filled ski day! After a day on the slopes, hang out at the lodge and enjoy warm mulled cider. In addition, ice skating at the Olympic Speed Oval is also a fun outdoor activity to do during the month of December.

For more Olympic sports experiences, I suggest touring the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, where you can learn all about ski jumping and watch the professional jumpers soar through the air!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

The Philadelphia Christmas market.

New York isn’t the only East Coast city with many Christmas festivities. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also has a fun Christmas scene, from holiday markets to themed bars and restaurants.

The weather in Philadelphia in December ranges from average highs in the upper 40s°F to lows in the mid 30s°F with an estimated eight days. The best accommodation to stay at is The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia and two excellent restaurants are El Vez and Fiorella.

When the holidays are in full swing, the best things to do in Philadelphia, PA are visiting the Christmas Village in Love Park and Dilworth Park Wintergarden, where you can also go ice skating. You must also see the Deck the Hall Light Show at the Philadelphia City Hall and Macy’s Holiday Light Show. Don’t forget to drive down Miracle on 13th Street to see the magical Christmas lights.

Additionally, walk down the historic Elfreth’s Alley, decorated beautifully for the holiday and resembles a Charles Dickens village with its cobbled street. If you visit this spot during a winter wonderland, it will amaze you.

During a December trip to Philly, you must enjoy seasonal food and drinks at Reading Terminal Market and visit festive-themed bars and restaurants like Craftsman Row Saloon and Tinsel.

Best Winter Places to Visit in December in Europe:

The Dolomites:

A great December ski trip is to the Dolomites in Italy - one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

Not only is Europe famous for its Christmas markets in December, but it’s also the beginning of ski season. The Dolomites in the Southern Alps of Northern Italy are one of the best places in the world to visit in December.

The weather in the Dolomites drops to cooler temperatures during the winter season. You can experience temperatures ranging from the mid 20s°F to mid-teens with daily snow.

With renowned ski resorts like Kronplatz and Val Gardena, there is no wonder why the Italian Dolomites are one of the best areas to travel to in December! Overall, the South Tyrol region of Italy is known for its downhill skiing and unique culture.

During a trip to the Dolomites in December, a great place to stay is Hotel Teresa in San Vigilio. They offer great tours that will teach you all about Ladin culture and the biodiversity of the Italian Alps.

Other great things to do during a December trip to the Dolomites are to enjoy a winter hike in the snow-capped mountains, make memories at a proper après-ski and visit the Christmas markets!

Iceland:

Where to vacation in December for snow - Iceland

Iceland is another of the best places to travel in December and January. There are endless ways to experience all the epic landscapes and National Parks, but if you don’t want to miss out on anything, I suggest exploring Iceland via a road trip!

The main city to base yourself in is Reykjavik and average temperatures there range from the upper 30s°F to the upper 20s°F with around 14 days of precipitation. The best hotel to stay at is The Reykjavik EDITION and the top restaurants are La Primavera Ristorante and Matur og Drykkur.

If you’re an adventurer wondering where to go in December, you must visit Iceland and discover all its natural beauty, including the waterfalls! Seljanlandsfoss and Skogafoss are two waterfalls along the main Route 1 that cannot be missed while exploring Iceland.

Another jaw-dropping spot to include in your Iceland winter itinerary is the seashore town of Vik I Mydal. Vik is home to the world-famous Reynisfjara Halsanefshellir shore, or Iceland’s black sand beach.

Additionally, you must explore Iceland’s Golden Circle through Reykjavik Excursions! On this tour, you can experience incredible sites like the Strokkur geyser, the Gullfoss waterfall and Pingvellir National Park.

Other unforgettable things to do in Iceland during December are visiting the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, going dog sledding, and seeing the Northern Lights dance through the sky!

Lapland, Finland:

Reindeer sleigh riding in Lapland, Finland - one of the best places to visit in December in the world.

Lapland, Finland is the ultimate winter destination and one of the top places to visit in the world in December. It’s a magical winter wonderland with a lot of fun opportunities.

The best city to stay in when you visit Lapland is Rovaniemi; temperatures there range from the mid 20s°F to lower teens with nine days of precipitation. The top hotel to stay at in Rovaniemi is the Arctic Light Hotel.

If you want to know where to vacation in December, which is great for kids, then Lapland is the perfect winter destination! Check out Santa Park, a Christmas-themed attraction where you and your family can visit the North Pole. This snow play area has everything from sledding to hot cocoa and a real Santa Claus to meet!

Snowman World is another memorable attraction to visit in Lapland. It’s a snow-filled attraction that features a giant igloo with an ice hotel, bar, restaurant and talented ice carvings.

When in Lapland, you can also enjoy reindeer sleigh riding as well as husky sleigh riding. You can also go snowmobiling, Arctic ice floating and more. For those who love Christmas markets, the Lappish city of Rovaniemi has a charming market to walk through and enjoy!

Even though Iceland has minimal daylight during the winter, it’s still an ideal time to experience the most enchanting activities!


Bavaria, Germany makes for a great December vacation

Looking for other great places to visit in December? Check out the below articles:

A Day Trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg

Magical December Getaways in the USA

Magical Eastern European Christmas Markets

I hope you all enjoyed learning about the best places to visit in December in the world. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Kim Deer on December 14, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    Fantastic ideas for December vacations ~ I was on the Quebec and Lake Placid trips and they were both amazing! I do need to visit the Christmas markets in Europe ~ that has to be stunning to see in person! Disney world is also awesome during the holiday season ~ Finland and Iceland look amazing too ~ great guide for awesome places to visit in December ~ love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ♥️

    Ps: our favorite place to visit is NYC during the holiday season ~ 👍🫶🎄🎅🤎

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