eTravel Article Guide

Best Places To Visit in December

Photo by Ronald_Sagarino at Pixabay

Posted on Feb 06, 2024 Tue /  Comments / 

Best Places To Visit in December

Best Places To Travel in December

December is the official holiday season all around the world. Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, December is the perfect time to indulge in celebrations and spread holiday cheer. The entertaining parades in London, Christmas markets all around in Europe, hugely lit up Fifth Avenue in New York City, pretty ski slopes of the Alps, gorgeous beaches of Rio, there are a lot of things and places that invite attraction of tourists in December. And everywhere, people are waiting to soak as much as possible as a winter break refreshes them to take on the coming year with gusto and zeal.

Here is the list of 20 best places to visit in December.

1. Dubai, UAE

DubaiPhoto by BS1920 at Pixabay

Rediscover Dubai in December, as the festivities here become bigger, brighter and better. With almost perfect winter weather, there is ample of sunshine. No one does New Year like Dubai – be it on the footsteps of Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building), with bedazzling fireworks, atop the chicest rooftop arenas, or in the middle of desert in the sand dunes, you can watch the clock strike midnight in grandeur. Dubai Shopping Festival offering some of the best deals starts in late December– a big enough reason to pack your bags for Dubai! 2nd December also marks UAE’s National Day, where Dubai transforms in a hub of activities, with the citizens enjoying themselves with carnivals, parades and stunning fireworks all over the city.

2. New York City, USA

Come December, New York City sparkles with Christmas decorations, holiday lights and mesmerizing window displays. You will enjoy doing all the touristy things in the Big Apple such as visiting Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, et al, as the city has a peppy vibe to it in December. There are pop-up holiday markets at different parts of the city, like the one at Central Park and Union Square, merchandising jewelry, toys, clothing, souvenirs, along with food and beverages. There are street music festivals with musical parades and dance shows on the sidewalks. And if you are lucky to get snow, New York City turns into a Mecca of winter sports – ice skating, sledding and building giant snowmen.

3. Phuket, Thailand

From mesmerizing pink sunsets to sublime blue lagoons, Phuket offers myriad holiday sights. The tranquil beaches including Patong Beach, Koh Phi Phi, Mai Khao Beach, Phang Nga Bay and Surin Beach, these all are sights to behold. And December sees Asia’s most popular and biggest Regatta in Phuket. The King’s Cup Regatta, Phuket’s international yachting event brings a week of sailing, partying, and abundance of good time. The event celebrates His Majesty King Bhumibol’s birthday on December 5th who is a yachting aficionado himself. Commencing on December 2nd, the regatta attracts some of the world’s best yachtsmen, yachtswomen and their expensive boats, showcasing a spectacular sight on the waters of Kata Beach.

4. St Bart’s, Caribbean

If serene turquoise waters, pristine powdery beaches and some quiet time is your thing, then St. Bart’s is the place for you. This chic Caribbean island is nothing less than a paradise, with sharp French flavor, super stylish hotels and villas, perfect beaches and gourmet restaurants. Undoubtedly, St Bart’s or St Barthelemy as it was originally called is a haven for the super famous and super rich celebrities. December though is the peak season, which means rates from flights to hotel at their highest high it is one of the best times to visit St Bart’s as it allows you to slip away from the shivering winters of Europe and North America to gorgeous beaches and soak in the sun.

5. Guatemala, Central America

GuatemalaPhoto by Dennis Jarvis at Flickr

Squashed between Belize, Honduras and El Salvador to the east and south, and Mexico in the north, Guatemala is an exceptional mix of colonial Spanish descent, inherent Mayan culture, sublime stretches of coasts on Caribbean and Pacific end and quaint colonial landscape. Though Guatemala has a pleasant weather throughout the year, December is a good month to plan a visit, as it is the dry season and the weather is warm enough, but not hot. The highlands have lovely warm days and cool nights, with temperature averaging 23C, making a perfect time to spend on the beach or visiting the temples nearby. You can also witness a number of celebrations in December including the Burning of the Devil and the St Thomas\' Day festival.

6. Goa, India


Think of Goa and all that comes to mind is pristine white beaches, Portuguese colonial towns, all night parties and distinct Goan cuisine. Having a long coastline of 105 km by the Arabian Sea, Goa is a traveler’s paradise – whether you are honeymooning, on a college trip with friends, a budget backpacker or luxury seeker. And December is one of the best months to travel here as the climate is quite pleasant as compared to harsh winters in most part of the subcontinent. At its peak season, Goa comes to life and tourist activities pick up pace. Take part in water sports such as wind surfing, sailing, scuba diving, etc at one of the several beaches. Old Goa has its own charm with beautifully decorated and brightly lit up churches, most famous ones being Basilica of Bom Jesus, St Cathedral, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Several music festivals take place in the last week of December with international DJs performing, so that you let your hair down and party like there’s no tomorrow.

7. Cambodia and Laos


South East Asia’s climate in December is just perfect, warm and dry days with abundance of sunshine wanting everyone to visit the beautiful destinations. December, the season of holiday, cheer and all things merry, has its own charm with Laos’s gorgeous colonial towns coming to life and the markets are buzzing with people all around. Siem Reap, the capital city of Cambodia is reverberating with up market restaurants and pulsating night life. And the sunrise over Angkor Wat (in Angkor Archeological Park) is something worth losing sleep for.

8. Prague, Czech Republic

Lake ComoPhoto by StockSnap at Pixabay

December in Prague is really cold; it is equally enthralling though. Prague’s Christmas celebrations are like nowhere else, making it a popular tourist destination in December. The Christmas markets in Prague are magical and quite impressive. The city is lit up by lights and exquisite Christmas decorations, bringing the tourists and locals together in a winter wonderland. The brightly decorated wooden huts have the locals selling jewelry, clothing, traditional handicrafts, toys, scented candles, Christmas baubles, scarves, etc. Soak yourselves into festive mood while strolling down the ancient cobbled streets with a skyline of gothic spires, gorging on hearty food and local drinks.

9. Malaysia, Asia


Come December, head to Malaysia to celebrate Christmas and welcome New Year in shorts, thanks to fair weather here. The tourist season is at its peak in December here, and there is so much to do and see. The gorgeous beaches of Langkawi and Penang have plenty of sunshine and calm seas, so just sit back and sip on those margaritas. Hike through the tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands, spend a day amidst fog at Genting Highlands, climb to the summit of Mt Kinabalu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or visit Kuala Lumpur to ring in New Years with Petronas Twin Towers providing a magnanimous backdrop to the fireworks.

10. Uruguay, South America

Lake ComoPhoto by 12019 at Pixabay

Although a little less popular than its glamorous neighbors, Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay, a quite small Spanish speaking country in South America, has never ending white sandy beaches that aren’t horded by crowds even during busy seasons, allowing you some peace as well as tranquility. December is a popular touristy season, when the things get lively, as the wooden shack restaurants, beach bars and tiny boutique hotels open up for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

11. Berlin, Germany

BerlinPhoto by Nordenfan at wikimedia

Berlin is rightly called a monument of living history, as it represents an aesthetic mix of old buildings of Mitte and contemporary structures of Reichstag. The historic landmarks such as the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz have history as old as several decades seeped in them. Though Berlin is a beautiful city to visit any time of the year, December sees a surge in tourists as it is considered to be one of the best party places for celebrating New Year’s Eve in the world. There are several Christmas markets all around the city and even in Museums. December also is a popular time to visit Christmas Garden, as at this time the botanical garden turns into winter fairyland with brightly colored illuminations and light sculptures.

12. Lake Tahoe, California, USA


Lake Tahoe in December guarantees festive cheer all around, with glistening light displays, magnificent lakeside lined with snow covered pine trees and beautifully decorated Santa’s grottoes. Make the most of your time in winters with snow mobiling, sledding, snowshoeing, and ice skating. With several ski resorts in the area, Lake Tahoe becomes a haven for snowboarders and skiing enthusiasts, or anyone else who likes snowy mountains and clean and fresh air. After a long day on snowy slopes, relax at one of the many bars or restaurants at South Lake Tahoe and have a blast in your winter vacations.

13. Zermatt, Switzerland


Glistening mountains covered with snow, anywhere you look around, that\'s Zermatt for you in December. Right out of a fairytale, twinkling Christmas trees, horse drawn sleighs, pretty little stalls selling trinkets, Zermatt is a beauteous little valley beneath the Matterhorn, with hundreds of kilometers of snow slopes. Summers here sure make for a good time for hiking, but December winters are perfect, making Zermatt Switzerland’s top ski resort. This pretty and quaint village is car free, having old world chalets and winding alleys for commuting. Stroll across the dainty streets and you’ll see it is nothing less than a paradise.

14. Vail, Colorado, USA

Having more than 5500 acres of terrain for skiing and snowboarding, Vail is the second biggest ski area in the United States, making it a winter playground. Bundled in the heart of Colorado Rockies, Vail is an alpine village that is ranked as one of North America’s arch skiing destinations. And December makes a perfect time to travel in this snow capped paradise. Jet setters, celebrities, and snow bunnies from all over the world love this place for great skiing and snowboarding adventure. From swooshing down the powdery slopes to gorging at the slope side restaurants, from romantic getaways to friends’ reunion, Vail is the place to be.

15. Fiji, South Pacific

FijiPhoto by 12019 at Pixabay

The warm tropical climate in Fiji makes it an ideal destination for beach holidays all year around. December being the shoulder month, the crowds are lesser making more space at the tourist places and lower hotel rates, hence making it a perfect spot for vacationing. The archipelago of Fiji consists of 332 islands, out of which only 106 are inhabited, giving you a vast array of options to choose from. From island hopping, scuba diving, traditional Fijian Bobo massage and other treatments, and Christmas picnics on the beaches, there is plenty to do.

16. Macau, South Coast of China


Macau is famously known as the ‘Vegas of the East’ because of its casinos and exotic beaches. But travel to this paradise in December holds much more than that to its visitors. With Christmas and New Years around the corner, the city is lit up with decorations and extravagant lighting. The casinos throw glitzy bashes to mark the countdown, while the fireworks display over Nam Van Lake are out of this world. Macau Light Festival sees some of the UNESCO listed landmarks and other historic buildings illuminated illustriously, bringing stories to life.

17. Bahamas, The Caribbean

BahamasPhoto by rhae at Pixabay

With hurricane season over, December is a great month to visit Bahamas for the festive break, rediscovering the party capital of the Caribbean. The Junkanoo Festival is the highlight at this time around. Held on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day every year, the festival is full of street parades offering music, dance, carnival costumes and lots of food. With gyrating dancers dressed in sequin encrusted costumes grooving to the beats of goatskin drums and cowbells, the most vibrant parades are held in Nassau.

18. The Arctic Circle

A holiday in the Arctic Circle in December is a once in a lifetime experience that one shall cherish forever. White sheets of snow covers every nook and corner of each and every space you may lay your eyes upon; isn’t that gorgeous beyond words? The reindeer herds thrive through the Lapland, sleigh rides pulled by huskies, glistening landscape right out of Narnia, and the folks dressed traditionally that is vibrantly elfish in both color and style – Arctic Circle indeed is magical at that time of the year. And the Northern Lights showing all the colors of the spectrum in the skies over Finland, Iceland, Sweden or Norway, is undoubtedly an out of this world experience.

19. Kangaroo Island and Adelaide

This December head south of Australia to enjoy a laid back festive season in Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island has gazillion things to offer – pristine white beaches, notable lighthouses, underground caves, conservation land, gastronomic local cuisine, penguins, and much more. Adelaide, on the other hand is famous for its South Australian mines that produce sublime gemstones, and is an enchanting trove of arts, culinary art, shopping and outdoor activities. Additionally, December sees all the places filled with Christmas markets, concerts, and illuminated displays to get you into the festive mood. If this still doesn’t satiate your travel bugs, the Barossa Valley nearby takes you to wine haven, where you can pick some delicious souvenirs.