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Best Places to Visit in December

Updated: Feb 26

December is a magical time of year when the world is blanketed in a festive atmosphere, and travelers seek unique destinations to celebrate the holiday season. While many popular destinations like Paris, New York, and London often steal the limelight, there are countless lesser-known gems waiting to be explored. In this blog, we'll introduce you to some of the best places to visit in December, avoiding the more common options and highlighting destinations that offer a different kind of charm.

Vienna in December

Vienna, Austria: Vienna in December is a magical wonderland, where the city transforms into a festive paradise with twinkling lights and a delightful holiday spirit. One of the must-visit attractions during this time is the iconic Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz. This enchanting Christmas market is adorned with charming stalls offering handmade crafts, delicious treats, and a variety of holiday decorations. Take a stroll through the market, sipping on a warm cup of mulled wine and immersing yourself in the cheerful atmosphere.

For a dose of cultural richness, explore the stunning Belvedere Palace, which hosts special winter exhibitions during December. Marvel at exquisite artworks and experience the grandeur of the imperial architecture. Another highlight is the Vienna State Opera, where you can catch a captivating performance of classic holiday productions. Don't forget to indulge in the city's culinary delights by visiting traditional coffee houses, such as Café Sacher, where you can savor the world-famous Sachertorte. Vienna in December offers a perfect blend of festive charm and cultural delights, making it an ideal destination for a magical winter getaway.

Prague view over river

Prague, Czech Republic: As the winter chill descends upon the picturesque city of Prague, December brings with it a magical ambiance that transforms the historic streets into a wonderland of festive cheer. For tourists seeking an unforgettable holiday experience, Prague in December is a dream come true. The iconic Old Town Square becomes the heart of the city's Christmas celebrations, adorned with twinkling lights, festive markets, and the grand Christmas tree. Visitors can indulge in the charm of traditional Czech handicrafts, warm up with mulled wine, and savor local delicacies like trdelník. For a truly enchanting experience, don't miss the hourly show at the Astronomical Clock – a centuries-old masterpiece that comes alive with animated figures and celestial displays.

Beyond the festive fervor, Prague's rich cultural heritage beckons exploration. The Prague Castle, with its stunning architecture and panoramic views of the city, takes on a serene beauty in the winter months. Stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge, adorned with glistening frost, and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Prague's historic sites. December in Prague offers a perfect blend of festive celebrations and cultural delights, making it an ideal destination for a magical winter escape.

Finland Winter

Lapland, Finland: Welcome to Lapland, where winter transforms the landscape into a snowy wonderland, and December brings a touch of magic to this enchanting destination. If you're planning a visit to Lapland during this festive month, you're in for a treat! One of the must-do activities is experiencing the ethereal Northern Lights. December offers optimal conditions to witness the dancing colors across the Arctic sky. Head to remote locations away from city lights for an awe-inspiring celestial show that will undoubtedly leave you spellbound.

Embrace the spirit of the season by visiting Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus. Meet the man in red, explore his workshop, and cross the magical Arctic Circle. For an adrenaline rush, embark on a husky safari through the pristine snow-covered landscapes. Let the enthusiastic sled dogs lead you through the wilderness, creating memories that will last a lifetime. To truly immerse yourself in Lapland's winter charm, try traditional activities like ice fishing and snowshoeing. December in Lapland is a magical blend of natural wonders and festive experiences that promise an unforgettable holiday adventure.

Dubai in December

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dubai, a city known for its stunning architecture and vibrant culture, transforms into a magical wonderland during the month of December. The cool winter breeze brings a sense of festivity to the air, making it an ideal time for tourists to explore the unique experiences this glamorous destination has to offer. One of the must-visit attractions is the Dubai Shopping Festival, a paradise for shopaholics, where you can indulge in tax-free shopping and discover exclusive deals on luxury brands. Additionally, take a stroll through the enchanting Global Village, an open-air theme park that showcases diverse cultures through food, entertainment, and shopping. The dazzling light displays and festive decorations create a joyful atmosphere that's perfect for creating lasting holiday memories.

For those seeking a blend of tradition and modernity, a visit to the historic Al Fahidi Neighborhood is a must. Wander through the narrow lanes of Al Fahidi and explore the charming wind-tower architecture, visit art galleries, and savor traditional Emirati cuisine in cozy cafes. To top off your December adventure, head to the Dubai Opera for a world-class performance or enjoy the breathtaking view of the city from the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa. Dubai in December is a fusion of cultural richness, festive cheer, and unparalleled luxury, offering tourists an unforgettable experience that goes beyond the glitz and glamour the city is known for.

Sydney Australia

Sydney, Australia: December is a magical time to visit Sydney, with the city adorned in festive lights and a vibrant holiday spirit. Start your December Sydney adventure by exploring the iconic landmarks illuminated in dazzling Christmas lights. The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge take on a mesmerizing glow, creating a picturesque backdrop for your holiday photos. Stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden, where you'll find a Christmas-themed light display that adds a touch of enchantment to this lush oasis.

Embrace the festive vibes at the Christmas markets scattered across the city. From handmade crafts to delectable treats, these markets offer a unique shopping experience. Don't miss the opportunity to sample some of the finest Australian cuisine at the various food stalls. For a memorable evening, hop on a cruise around Sydney Harbour, enjoying breathtaking views of the city skyline while savoring a delicious festive dinner. December in Sydney is also synonymous with outdoor events, so check out the lineup of open-air concerts, plays, and festivals taking place during your visit. Whether you're into cultural experiences, culinary delights, or simply soaking up the holiday atmosphere, Sydney in December has something special for every tourist.

Bangkok floating market

Bangkok, Thailand: As the holiday season unfolds, Bangkok transforms into a magical wonderland, offering tourists a unique blend of traditional charm and vibrant celebrations throughout the month of December. One of the must-visit places is the iconic Grand Palace, adorned with dazzling lights and festive decorations, creating a picturesque scene straight out of a fairy tale. Don't miss the chance to witness the traditional Thai dance performances that add a touch of cultural elegance to the atmosphere.

For a more immersive experience, explore the bustling markets that come alive during December. The Chatuchak Weekend Market becomes a festive hub, featuring an array of local crafts, seasonal delicacies, and unique souvenirs. Indulge in the mouthwatering street food, from steaming bowls of Tom Yum soup to sweet mango sticky rice, as you navigate through the stalls. Additionally, take a serene boat ride along the Chao Phraya River to enjoy the stunning city lights reflected on the water, creating a tranquil escape from the urban hustle.

In the heart of the city, Lumpini Park hosts enchanting events such as open-air concerts and light displays, providing a perfect setting for a leisurely evening stroll. December in Bangkok is not just a celebration of the holidays but an invitation to immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry and festive spirit that defines this vibrant city.

Bonaire snorekling

Bonaire, Caribbean: Welcome to Bonaire, the Caribbean paradise that sparkles a bit brighter in the enchanting month of December! As the island embraces the holiday spirit, tourists are treated to a unique blend of sun, sea, and seasonal festivities. Start your day by exploring the mesmerizing underwater world with a snorkeling adventure at the renowned Bonaire Marine Park. The crystal-clear waters teem with vibrant marine life, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. After an invigorating morning dip, head to the local markets where you can immerse yourself in the island's rich culture. December brings a plethora of festive events, from vibrant street markets featuring handmade crafts to lively music festivals that echo the rhythms of the Caribbean.

As the sun sets, don't miss the opportunity to experience Bonaire's magical holiday lights. Take a stroll along the charming streets of Kralendijk, where the twinkling lights create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Indulge in the local cuisine at seaside restaurants, offering fresh seafood and traditional dishes that capture the essence of the island. December in Bonaire is not just about the holidays – it's a celebration of nature, culture, and the joy of exploration. So, pack your bags and get ready to make unforgettable memories in this tropical haven!

Manila Philipines in December

Manila, Philipines: Manila comes alive with festive cheer in the month of December, offering a myriad of delightful experiences for tourists seeking a memorable holiday adventure. As the Christmas season kicks into high gear, the city transforms into a dazzling spectacle of lights and decorations. One of the must-visit spots is Ayala Triangle Gardens, where the annual Lights and Sounds show mesmerizes visitors with a synchronized display of colorful lights set to heartwarming Christmas tunes. For a taste of Filipino holiday traditions, head to the Manila Cathedral for the Simbang Gabi, a series of nine dawn masses that culminate on Christmas Eve. This centuries-old tradition is a beautiful blend of spirituality and culture, making it a unique and authentic experience for tourists.

Beyond the festive celebrations, December in Manila offers a perfect opportunity to explore the city's rich history and cultural heritage. Take a stroll through the historic district of Intramuros, where you can visit iconic landmarks like Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church. Embrace the vibrant local markets, such as Divisoria and Greenhills Shopping Center, for a chance to indulge in some holiday shopping and discover unique Filipino crafts and delicacies. To cap off your December adventure, enjoy a relaxing evening along Manila Bay, where you can witness breathtaking sunsets and savor delicious seafood at the famous Manila Baywalk. With its blend of festive traditions, historical charm, and modern delights, Manila in December promises an unforgettable experience for every tourist.

While the well-known holiday destinations have their charm, December is the perfect time to venture off the beaten path and explore hidden gems that offer an entirely different experience. Whether you seek a snowy wonderland, a cultural escape, or a unique adventure, these destinations provide an unforgettable December journey without the crowds and clichés.

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