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15 Best Places To Visit In December

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Colmar, France decorated for the Christmas holiday

Colmar, France

December can immerse you in the joyful ambiance of a white winter in the Northern Hemisphere or allow you to embrace the warmth of Southern Hemisphere summers.

Whether eager to ski luxurious slopes or lounge on pristine white sands, bask in a tropical hideaway, or indulge in the festive charms of small-town Christmas festivities, travel in December offers new perspectives on traditions and landscapes.

The following information provides details of the best experiences you can have in 15 destinations, no matter your travel preference.

1. Italy

Christmas tree in Vatican City, Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Temperatures: Low 40°F | High 53°F

Highlights: Culture, ancient ruins, villages, museums, wine, cuisine, scenery, winter sports, Christmas markets

Other recommended travel times: February | March | May | June | September | October

The temperate climate in December makes the entire country comfortable, with the festive ambiance of the season focusing attention on extended Christmas celebrations. The crowds have returned home after the summer months to give you a more authentic atmosphere as you uncover vibrant Christmas markets or mass at the Vatican, embrace the luxury winter-sports paradise of the Alps, or indulge in the marvelous shopping arcades and artisan crafts across the region.

Learn more: Italy Tours & Vacations | Italy Travel Guide | 4 Reasons Why You Should Plan a Christmas Trip to Italy | 8 Best Italy Christmas Markets and How to Visit Them

2. France

Skiing Vallee Blanche Chamonix with panorama of Grandes Jorasses in FranceSkiing Vallee Blanche Chamonix with panorama of Grandes Jorasses in France

Chamonix, France

Temperatures: Low 37°F | High 45°F

Highlights: Winter sports, culture, museums, cuisine, wine, Christmas markets

Other recommended travel times: May | June | July | September

December in France feels authentic. Virtually no crowds and few tourists make the entire country accessible, with Christmas markets that add to the festive ambiance. Winter sports overtake the snowcapped mountains, thermal spas make warmth possible, and stylish stores reflect France’s famous fashionable reputation. Whether looking for winter truffles or interested in celebrating the seasonal festivals, France in December is a destination in which you can indulge.

Learn more: France Tours & Vacations | France Travel Guide

3. Norway

Dog sledding in Tromsø, Norway

Dog sledding in Tromsø, Norway

Temperatures: Low 20°F | High 29°F

Highlights: Northern Lights | Snowshoeing | Dog Sledding | Flåm Railway | Sami Culture

Other recommended travel times: February | March | June | July | August | September

Norway is a paradise of snow and adventure in winter. The festive holiday season brings light to the long dark nights, with celebrations that cross into the Arctic Circle without the summer crowds. Winter feels exciting, with endless chances to see the Northern Lights or migrating whales moving through the fjords. From the snowy landscape to chances to ski or sled between destinations, winter sports to Christmas markets, Norway in December demonstrates a unique kind of majesty.

Learn more: Norway Tours

4. Austria

Flachau; ski resort in Salzburger Sportwelt in the Austrian Alps

Flachau, Austria

Temperatures: Low 28°F | High 37°F

Highlights:  Culture, cuisine, villages, winter sports, scenery, museums, Christmas markets

Other recommended travel times: May | July | August | September

December in Austria embodies the wonders of winter and makes it one of the busiest times of year to visit. Glowing Christmas markets, festive light shows, and seasonal charms entice travelers from around the world, further lured by the promise of luxury ski resorts across the alpine region. From Winter skiing to snowshoeing, the arts to imperial grace, Austria in December can feel like an intimate getaway that reflects timeless charm and former grandeur, from the Dolomites to the Danube River.

Learn more: Austria Tours & Vacations

5. Denmark

Copenhagen cityscape at twilight with lights reflecting in the waterr

Copenhagen, Denmark

Temperatures: Low 75°F | High 54°F

Highlights: Culture, museums, scenery, Christmas markets

Other recommended travel times: September

Surprisingly cozy, full of Christmas cheer, and exuding natural snowy majesty, Denmark in winter is a festive destination. Celebrate the season with vibrant holiday markets. Uncover the dazzling Northern Lights hovering above the expanse of snow. Ice skate, indulge in a soothing sauna, and embrace the antique towns or connection to Denmark’s famous storyteller. Denmark in December demonstrates its reputation as one of the happiest countries in the world, with pure contentment that you can embrace during your trip.

Learn more: Scandinavia Tours & Vacations | Best Scandinavia Tours From USA

6. New Zealand

Queenstows with Lake Wakatipu and panoramic view of The Remarkables mountains in New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

Temperatures: Low 59°F | High 70°F

Highlights: Warm weather, wildlife, culture, beaches, water sports, hiking, scenery

Other recommended travel times: February | March | June | July | August

New Zealand is dynamic in December, with the promise of endless adventures in the Southern Hemisphere summer. Plenty of sunny days make it an exceptional time to enjoy watersports, take to the hiking trails, or travel to the beaches. Search for whales along the coastline, learn about Maori culture, or indulge in new adventures, from celebrated wines to fantastic surf. Explore the vibrant color of lupins or the impressive mountain peaks as you enjoy how New Zealand brings the fantastical to life.

Learn more: New Zealand Tours & Vacations | New Zealand Travel Guide

7. Australia

Boats in clear water and sandy beachfront with they skyline and landscape in the background along Australia’s Gold Coast

Gold Coast, Australia

Temperatures: Low 71.6°F | High 86°F

Highlights: Warm weather, wildlife, culture, beaches, water sports, scenery

Other recommended travel times: January | February | March | April | October | November | December

December captures the majesty of summer in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. The temperatures are warm around the county, bringing larger crowds to the famous beaches, hot desert days to the Red Centre, and ushering in the beginning of the wet season for the tropical regions along the Top End and northern Queensland. Whether eager to lounge on the sands of the Whitsundays, indulge in the colorful coral of the Great Barrier Reef, or explore the cosmopolitan ambiance of cities like Melbourne and Sydney, December is a celebratory time in Australia.

Learn more: Australia Tours | Australia Travel Guide

8. Chile

Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) in Los Flamencos National Reserve, in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert, Chile

Temperatures: Low 56°F | High 85°F

Highlights: Warm weather, culture, hiking, scenery

Other recommended travel times:  January | February | October | November

December in Chile casts a bright light over the natural beauty that spans from the northern Atacama Desert to the southern Patagonian icefield. December ushers in the heart of summer in the Southern Hemisphere to bring warmth and stunning colors back to the landscape. While crowds start growing, especially around Patagonia, December is a great time to explore the captivating scenery that can take you from glacial lakes to star-studded skies, along epic hiking trails or to explore the celebrated wine regions, or even to the legendary Moai statues of Easter Island.

Learn more: Chile Tours & Vacations | Argentina & Chile Vacations

9. Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

Temperatures: Low 69°F | High 82°F

Highlights: Warm weather, culture, hiking, scenery, cycling, wine, horseback riding

Other recommended travel times: February | March | April | November

December in Argentina brings life to the summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The warm weather spreads from the coastline to the Patagonian steppe before the peak season crowds arrive. The rains of the tropical north funnel through the thundering cascades of Iguazu Falls, while the clear skies and warm days make the glaciers of Patagonia within reach. From the legends of tango in Buenos Aires to the natural splendor of the Andes, traditional asado to a passion for futbol, Argentina in December can satisfy every kind of adventurous spirit.

Learn more: Argentina Tours | Patagonia Tours

10. Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano surrounded by lush rainforest in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Temperatures: Low 64°F | High 77°F

Highlights: Warm weather, wildlife, culture, beaches, scenery

Other recommended travel times: February | August | October

Misty volcanic peaks, trekking beneath jungle canopies, peaceful beach escapes, or intimate mountain resorts highlight the possibilities of Costa Rica in December. The dry season brings comfortable temperatures across the country, which also attracts growing crowds. From searching for raucous macaws to finding nesting sea turtles, lounging on golden sands of seductive beaches or soaring through the sky on exciting zipline trails, Costa Rica in December is the essence of the Pura Vida spirit.

Learn more: Costa Rica Tours | Costa Rica Travel Guide

11. Maldives

Huts on the beach in Malé Atoll, Maldives

Malé Atoll, Maldives

Temperatures: Low 80°F | High 86°F

Highlights: Warm weather, marine life, culture, beaches, villages

Other recommended travel times: March | April

The Maldives in December can be an escape from winter into an island haven. The winter can bring more people eager to lounge on the soft white sands for part of the season. With longer periods of unceasing sunshine and possible showers in the earlier half of the month, December in the Maldives can be the perfect time to lounge on the beaches or dive into the crystal-clear waters in search of the colorful marine life. From exclusive resorts to the wonders of the coral walls, you can embrace island life in the Maldives in December.

Learn more: Maldives Tours & Vacations | Maldives Travel Guide

12. Thailand

Golden Triangle at Mekong river, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

Golden Triangle, Thailand

Temperatures: Low 71°F | High 88°F

Highlights: Warm weather, culture, museums, wildlife, beaches, water sports, museums, cuisine

Other recommended travel times: January | March | April | May | November

Thailand in December brings the idyllic tropical paradise to life. Islands are ringed with white-sand beaches, enticing cuisine lures locals and visitors into exciting restaurants, and cool mountains in welcoming forests accentuate the warm air. The number of visitors grows in December, with many tourists from around the world escaping harsh winters. Rainy days are minimal, the nights are cool, and the wonders of Thailand become easily accessible, whether visiting the Golden Triangle in the north, the Temple of the Golden Buddha in Bangkok, or the golden sands of Koh Lanta.

Learn more: Thailand Tours & Vacations | Southeast Asia Tours & Vacations

13. Sri Lanka

Buddha statue at Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple

Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Temperatures: Low 75°F | High 84°F

Highlights: Warm weather, wildlife, culture, beaches, ancient ruins, villages

Other recommended travel times: February | May | August | December

With whale-watching and pleasant weather from the south to east coasts, December in Sri Lanka represents the beginning of peak travel season. The growing crowds understand how to enjoy the comfortable weather and experience the Cultural Triangle as blue skies return after the monsoon season. With roaming elephants, timeless ruins, endless beaches, and a deep connection to preserved heritage, Sri Lanka can feel like a hidden gem, even as peak season returns.

Learn more: Sri Lanka Tours

14. Bhutan

Memorial chortens at Dochula Pass in Bhutan

Dochula Pass, Bhutan

Temperatures: Low 43°F | High 68°F

Highlights: Culture, temples, villages, museums, hiking

Other recommended travel times: March | April

Bhutan is a winter travel surprise in December, filled with clear blue skies and captivating snowy landscapes. The kingdom opens to spectacular views of the high Himalayas for an added reward that accentuates the abundant festivals and open rails along the lower regions of the mountains. Look for the migrating cranes, explore the Dochula Pass, or celebrate the season with locals to experience the authentic beauty of Bhutan in December.

Learn more: Bhutan Vacations & Tours 

15. Cambodia

Umbrellas and blankets on white sand beach on Koh Rong Island in Cambodia

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

Temperatures: Low °F | High °F

Highlights: Warm weather, wildlife, culture, beaches, ancient ruins, villages

Other recommended travel times: February | April | November

December in Cambodia is perfection, with dry, sunny days and relatively cool evenings. The great weather and holiday season make Cambodia a popular destination for travelers from around the world in December, but still casts a captivating spell, where ancient and contemporary cultures meet. With imperial temples, adventures into the mountains or rice paddies, and natural beauty with freshwater dolphins or surprising tropical islands, Cambodia is an enchanting destination in December.

Learn more: Cambodia Tours | Southeast Asia Tours & Vacations

Plan your trip for December

The ruins of Sukhothai at Sukhothai Historical Park in Thailand

Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand

December can take you into the depth of winter or the heart of summer. Trek to the marvels of the Paine Massif. Experience Christmas Mass at the Vatican. Travel a tropical jungle in search of ancient ruins or find the perfect secluded beach.  A personalized vacation in December opens your eyes to new possibilities which you can discover with our Trips of a Lifetime sample itineraries. You can also discover more helpful travel tips with Zicasso’s Travel Blog. Are you ready to book a trip? Speak with our team free by filling out a Trip Request or by calling 1-888-265-9707.

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