December is a great time to explore new places. It can be difficult deciding which one to visit first, but we have you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit this December. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there’s something on the list for everyone and every interest.
Best Places to Visit in December
If you’re looking for adventure, there’s no better place to visit than Hawaii. Hawaii is the best of both worlds: it has all of your tropical needs as well as plenty of things to do in December. From hiking and surfing to exploring volcanoes or natural pools, it will not disappoint–plus, it’s a great spot for an anniversary or honeymoon.
Spend your vacation exploring the natural wonders of Hawai’i on one of many guided tours. From awe-inspiring volcanoes to Instagram-worthy Akaka Falls, there is plenty for you to see and do. Explore the island of Molokai for an authentic Hawaiian experience, or stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui for epic pampering and relaxation.
If you are a history buff, visit the Kalaupapa Peninsula to learn the fascinating and tragic history of the Molokai Leper Colony.
Alongside beautiful hikes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and popular beaches such as Waikiki Beach or Sandy Cove, there is shopping. On Oahu, you will find shopping malls and outlet stores. On the Big Island, be prepared to find unique Hawaiian food items mixed with artsy crafts from all around the island; just what any tourist needs when they come to visit this incredible place.
Madagascar was an easy choice for the best places to visit in December. This island nation is best known for its natural beauty and wildlife. December in Madagascar brings weather that ranges from 24-33 degrees Celsius, so if you’re looking to get away this winter while visiting somewhere warm–Madagascar should be on your list.
Most people have only heard of the primordial island to see lemurs, chameleons and animals that are best seen in their natural habitat. This country has a diverse range of ecosystems that will intrigue adventurers–from desert landscapes and mountainsides to tropical rainforests with verdant greens and refreshing waterfalls.
This December, take a journey to end-of-the-world Madagascar and explore this best-kept secret with your own two eyes.
Dubai is like a dream come true for those who love the beach and traveling. With its gorgeous shores, international cuisine, and epic attractions, Dubai has all you need to make your vacation one of the best ones yet. This city offers luxury shopping and sunshine year-round. Visiting this U.A.E destination in December is often a comfortable time of the year with an average temperature of around 70 degrees and fewer rain showers.
With the ever-growing smorgasbord of things to do in Dubai, there are many adventures that one can take. Bask on Jumeirah Public Beach during morning hours before shredding powder at Ski Dubai in afternoon afternoons or haggle for traditional gold and spices from established Souks then buy contemporary goods with your credits card at the mall. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, head straight towards Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) where incredible views stretch into the Persian Gulf.
Kyoto is the former imperial capital of Japan and where better to find traditional culture than in this historic city? December is packed with festivals and markets such as Kobo-San and Tenjin-San fleas. With festive Christmas markets, and dazzling decorations adorning every corner, you may be inspired to spend your December holiday here.
Held in early December, the Arashiyama Hanatouro lantern festival is a magical spectacle. Along with nighttime temple lights and snow showers, it will be one of your favorite memories from this holiday season.
Don’t miss out on visiting Tokyo’s best shopping districts and exploring its many museums, gardens and temples. This December, lose yourself in the best of Japan.
Thailand is a must-see destination for the December traveler. With an average of 31 degrees, expect sun and less rain in this land known as the “land of smiles”. Enjoy exploring Bangkok by tuk-tuk or even on foot while tasting delicious street food like Pad Thai noodles! Immerse yourself with some drinks at Khao San Road–a famous nightlife district renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and cheap prices.
Explore the untouched beauty that surrounds you when visiting these beachside paradises. Visit Nai Harn Beach to enjoy some of the best sunsets in Phuket or warm up with a dip in the ocean before venturing over to tourist-packed Phi Phi Island for snorkeling and more beach time.
Mauritius is a small island nation in East Africa that attracts many visitors for its pristine beaches. If you want a place with luxury resorts for accommodation, then Mauritius has plenty. The beaches which are turquoise and have clean water make this one of the safest places to travel in December.
If you want to avoid the crowds of high season, then put Mauritius on your list of best places to visit in December. This region of Africa has a tropical climate with warm to hot temperatures and low rainfall which makes it perfect for beach activities in December.
Mauritius is home to an abundance of things to do that can be sustained by simply taking a short moment away from sitting on the beach. Activities, historic sites, and lush forests are all present in Mauritius for those looking to venture outside of their hotel.
Prague’s Christmas markets, beer gardens, and stunning architecture will not disappoint–plus it’s the best time of the year to find special deals on hotels! The average temperature during this month ranges from 32-43 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you are willing to brave the cold, this city is a delight to visit in December.
Whether you’re looking for an enchanting holiday experience or a chance to indulge your inner beer enthusiast, this European destination has something for everyone. In December, enjoy festive decorations and activities like skating at Stromovka Park or attending one of Europe’s oldest Advent fairs in the Old Town Square.
This winter wonderland has something for everyone, from a trip to the National Museum of Prague and its iconic Astronomical Clock to skiing at one of many ski resorts in the Czech Republic.
Goa is the best destination for those who want to escape the winter season of their home country. This region in India offers a tropical climate with warm temperatures and high humidity which make it perfect for exploring ocean-side attractions like beaches, food tours, and more.
December’s weather ranges from 22-33 degrees Celsius so be prepared by packing some light clothes and a hat if you plan on exploring outside.
Christmas is a time for celebration throughout India and Goa has plenty of joy to offer with fireworks, Christmas trees, and Santa hats. The Indian New Year celebrations in Goa are also famous thanks to the free-spirited nature of their revelry and festivities in India’s most liberal state.
Goa has been popular for decades now, and with December’s weather ranging from 22-33 degrees Celsius, it’s a perfect time to explore India.
New Zealand is best known for its wild beauty and natural wonders–perfectly fitting for an adventuring December traveler. New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, so it makes for a perfect place to visit in December during its summer months. With average temperatures between 26-31 degrees Celsius, New Zealand is best known for its pristine beaches and awe-inspiring mountain ranges.
December is one of the best times to visit New Zealand’s beaches. This month kicks off summer across this incredibly beautiful island nation, which means warm weather accompanies Christmas festivities on these shores. It’s a great time for beach-going and adventuring alike as you won’t be fighting crowds or high rates at this unassuming time of year – yet another reason why December is such an excellent choice.
Zermatt, Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps offer a beautiful backdrop that is best experienced during the month of December, thanks to the crisp, clean air and deep blue skies. The quintessential winter vacation you only see in Christmas cards and movies. Horse-drawn sleigh rides, glowing holiday trees, and hot cider are abundant in this scenic mountain town beneath the Matterhorn.
If you are interested in a swiss skiing vacation, Zermatt offers 200 kilometers of ski slopes on some of the best snow in Europe. The best way to explore Zermatt is by taking a winter hike or ski tour around the area to see all of its best features, like the breathtaking views from atop Mount Titlis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as other local attractions near this quaint mountain town.
December’s weather ranges from -2-6 degrees Celsius, so it is best to come prepared for exploring this region by packing warm clothes, but the festive atmosphere will keep you warm and happy.
Banff and Lake Louise
Banff National Park is best known for its natural beauty and winter wonderland. December in Banff brings weather that ranges from 22-29 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s perfect for a festive Christmas getaway.
Stunning Lake Louise is located inside Banff National Park and is undoubtedly Canada’s most famous lake. It is the jewel of Banff National Park’s many awe-inspiring lakes.
Visit Lake Louise in winter, and you’ll experience a snowy wonderland with dramatic, glacier-bearing peaks surrounding a jaw-droppingly pretty natural ice skating rink. Nearby, one of the world’s best ski resorts beckons and the Chateau Lake Louise hotel offers incredible accommodations.
December might be the best time to see Canada’s Rocky Mountains at their best–with snowfalls blanketing these mountainsides and fewer crowds than in the summer months. Visit Banff this December to experience its bustling winter festivals and best-of-the-best ski resorts, which will delight those who love snow sports.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make the trek to Banff and explore all that nature has in store for you. At any given moment, there’s something spectacular happening outside your window- whether it be a beautiful sunrise or snowfall at night.
For those looking to kick back with their feet up, a stay at Fairmont’s Banff Springs Hotel is just the ticket. Make sure you leave time to explore Downtown Banff with its adorable boutiques, and fantastic restaurants, and don’t forget to get that famous Instagram shot with Cascade Mountain in the background.
New York City
While New York might be on your list of places to visit all year, it is also worth checking out in December during the holiday season. New York City is best known for its bustling city life and iconic landmarks. December in New York brings weather that ranges from 22-28 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s perfect for a festive Christmas getaway.
Don’t let the freezing temperatures deter you–there’s nothing like the sparkling lights and holiday cheer of a winter wonderland in NYC. Make sure to check out the best Christmas markets around the city, or take a festive stroll through one of New York’s most popular attractions–Central Park.
If you’re looking for some warmth and need a break from all that shopping–see the Rockettes dance the night away at Radio City Music Hall or catch a Broadway show in the Theater District.
December in New York City is the most cinematic of all months. This season features events like ice skating under the Rockefeller Center tree and theatrical window displays in Fifth Avenue stores.
Tulum is the jewel of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, and its popularity becomes clear once you experience the breathtaking scenery and beautiful beaches. Tulum has seen a transformation over the last decade. Once a laid-back beach destination, Tulum is now home to an impressive list of trendy amenities and activities for anyone interested in exploring.
Visiting Tulum in December is best for those who want to avoid the crowds of Spring Break and Summer. The weather is best in December, as it ranges from 27-32 degrees Celsius. This city offers many unique attractions worth seeing during your visit, including Tulum’s famous ancient ruins–the largest Mayan site south of Mexico City.
Tulum needs to be on your list of best places to visit in December to explore the best of Mexico.
Tourists can best explore this beautiful location in the winter months. This is because Sydney, Australia, has a warm climate year-round that ranges from 23-29 degrees Celsius. December is perfect for exploring iconic attractions like the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach.
The best time to catch a glimpse of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House is during December when they are all lit up, so take in the best views while it’s still warm enough to do so outside!
Itineraries for visiting Australia should include catching a ferry across beautiful Sydney Harbour over to Circular Quay, where you can take a tour of the best sights in Sydney.
The best time to visit is December as it’s their summer months which have warm temperatures and low rainfall. The average high temperature ranges from 23-29 degrees Celsius, making this one of the best places to go if you want warmth but not too much sun exposure.
Paris is best explored in December for many reasons. This city has the perfect balance of culture, food, and fun. From its iconic landmarks like The Louvre Museum to delicious French pastries–this city can’t be beaten.
December’s weather ranges from 3-7 degrees Celsius, so it is best to come prepared to explore this beautiful European City. Visiting a Parisian Christmas market should be on your list if you are in need of an original holiday experience.
When you imagine visiting Paris in December, cruising up and down the Seine by night may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Whether it’s for a special occasion like Christmas Eve or an evening dinner cruise, taking this experience is something you’ll never forget.
Paris is best for those who want to experience an enchanting city with a rich cultural heritage and ensure they’re getting the best of what this world-renowned destination has to offer.
The Bahamas offers a unique tropical paradise with beautiful beaches and luxury resorts that make this destination best visited in December. A key feature that makes The Bahamas an ideal winter escape is its year-round warm climate.
December’s weather ranges from 22-33 degrees Celsius, making it best for those who want to experience the best of both worlds: warm temperatures and low humidity.
Start your journey by taking an afternoon to lounge on one of its many beaches, explore crystal-clear water via snorkeling and diving, or enjoy time on a private island where you can do things like swim with dolphins or feed wild pigs.
Islands like Atlantis and Paradise Island Resort & Casino are best visited by leisure vacationers in December thanks to their luxury amenities as well as the charm that can’t be beat during the month of December.
December is a time of year when we can all slow down and enjoy the holidays. But it doesn’t have to be just about Christmas! There are plenty of places in the world that offer something for everyone during this magical season, from adventure seekers looking for snow and skiing to people who want some quiet relaxation away from urban life. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in December, so whether your goal is exploration or solitude, there’s an option on our list for you.
So go ahead, and indulge yourself with one last trip before 2021 ends – leave no stone unturned when exploring these beautiful places to visit this December.
This post can also be viewed on Google web stories as 15 Destinations to Visit in December.
Casandra is the founder of Karpiak Caravan Adventure Family Travel and a mother to two adventurous, young boys. She is a family-focused, adventure travel advocate who grew up in Toronto with Danish roots. Casandra has visited over 20 countries on three continents often with her two boys in tow!