WONDERING WHAT THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN DECEMBER IN EUROPE ARE?
Whether you are wanting to experience magical Christmas markets, hit the slopes, treat yourself to world-class shopping, or just want a relaxing holiday to end your year, I’ve got you covered. Planning your winter wonderland getaway in Europe and are stuck with the abundance of spectacular places to visit? These are, in my personal opinion, the best places to visit in December in Europe!
Many travelers flock to Europe over the summer months to explore the coastlines, road trips from country to country, and experience the city centers. But European winter can’t be dismissed! Expect a completely unique experience, particularly if you aren’t used to the cold, I’m talking to you Aussies!
Read on and find out the best places to visit in December in Europe.
DO YOU HAVE THESE ITEMS FOR YOUR TRIP?
✔️ Flights: Book your flights on Skyscanner
➡️ Car rental: Rent your car on Discovercars
✔️ Travel insurance: I recommend World Nomads
➡️ Accommodations: Book your stay at booking.com
✔️ Activities: Arrange your adventure trips and tours
Best Places to Visit in December in Europe For Christmas Celebrations
In no particular order, here are the best places to visit in December in Europe for the ultimate holiday celebrations!
1. Prague, Czech Republic
Firstly, on the list of best places to visit in December in Europe, is Prague, Czech Republic.
While there is no one best time to visit Prague, visiting in December could be argued Christmas is the most magical time to visit. The sprinkling snow, Christmas festivities and beauty that is Prague will make you never want to leave.
Prague is well-known for its cobbled lanes, museums, art nouveau architecture and… beer!
On your list of things to do in December in Prague is, first of all, you guessed it, visiting the Prague Christmas markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
Skip the restaurants and grab a bite to eat at the abundance of street food vendors. Be sure to try langose, a traditional fried bread with tomato sauce and cheese and, some palacinky, french style pancakes.
Although visiting Prague Castle is a must in any month, it’s especially spectacular in December with the sprinkling of snow. A huge plus is the lines are also shorter to get into the castle.
Lastly, catch a Christmas performance at a theatre or church, to not only escape the cold and enjoy a night of entertainment but to see the inside of some of Prague’s most architecturally brilliant buildings, not open to the public.
Where to stay in Prague
The Julius Prague – Heart of Prague, luxurious interior, amazing breakfast included
BoHo Prague Hotel – Small Luxury Hotels – short walk to Old Town Square, elegant atmosphere, on-site restaurant
Allure Hotel Prague – Great value, new elegant hotel, breakfast included
Hotel Cube Prague – 14-minute walk to Old Town Square, breakfast included, modern rooms
Hostel One Miru – Daily/nightly activities, range of dorms
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
Scotland is absolutely gorgeous in December, the city comes alive with festive fun and sparkle. Expect a beautiful landscape dusted in snow, averaging 5°C temperatures. Enjoy holiday festivities across Edinburgh, in particular, you have got to check out Princes Street Gardens’ popular Christmas markets. Sip soul-warming mulled wine or hot chocolate while browsing the quaint stalls.
Next on your list of activities in Edinburgh is ice skating in Europe’s largest outdoor ice rinks. Not much of a fan of ice skating? View the charming city from Ferris wheel rides.
And don’t miss the Castle of Light, a spectacular transformation of Edinburgh Castle. Watch extraordinary projections, one-of-a-kind displays and the skyline illuminate after dark.
If you are sticking around for New Year’s Eve, you’ve got to experience the Hogmanay 3-day street party. Edinburgh knows how to put on a show! Get amongst the fireworks, live performances, parades, parties, and more starting from the 30th of December through to the 1st of January!
Got some extra time available in your itinerary, take a one-hour train to Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. Stroll through George Square to see traditional festive lights and famous buildings transformed into stunning displays.
St Enoch Square is another Christmas Market worth the visit to enjoy hearty local food and pick up any last-minute presents.
Where to stay in Edinburgh
The Witchery by The Castle – opulent, one-of-a-kind experience!
Sheridan Guest House – exceptional breakfast included, great hospitality
Market Street Hotel – City center, rooftop terrace for cocktails, great extras
Apex Grassmarket Hotel – Great facilities, award-winning restaurant, prime location
Kick Ass Greyfriars – Fun atmosphere and rooftop views
Castle Rock Hostel – Central location near the castle
3. Berlin, Germany
Moving over to Germany, known for its captivating Christmas markets where all sorts of delicious foods and decorations are sold.
Experience the city of Berlin lit up with Christmas festivities and spirit. Plus save on the hefty peak season prices and explore the fun events and shows only held in December. Win, Win!
If you are a fan of theatre, December is a great time to check out the opera and symphonies at a discounted price.
Prefer to defrost in a luxury spa? Explore sauna and spa experiences to treat yourself to make it through yet another year.
Other activities to explore in December in Berlin include watching the Christmas Circus at Tempodrom or taking a romantic brunch and boat tour through the city’s waterways.
Where to stay in Berlin
Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin – Serious luxury lodging, state-of-the-art facilities, Michelin-star dining
KPM Hotel & Residences – Highly-rated, modern luxury
Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte – Fantastic location, close to the Christmas markets, great for couples
EastSeven Berlin Hostel – Top-rated in Germany, experience the true spirit of Berlin
Circus Hostel – Fun events to meet others, tours available, microbrewery onsite!
You might also like: Places you must visit before 30
4. Zagreb, Croatia
If you are wondering, which Europe country is best for Christmas?
Without a doubt, Zagreb should be on your bucket list!
Zagreb transforms into a lively celebration of Christmas in the month of December, with beautiful wooden huts, decorations, enchanting performances, and glittering canopies of fairy lights.
Home to one of the world’s best Christmas markets and month-long Advent festival. The Advent festival includes a range of concerts and musicals, performances, workshops, and exhibitions for all. If it’s Christmas themed you’re pretty much guaranteed to find it here! Ice rinks, Christmas trees, lights galore, a range of Croatian traditions, you name it! Not to mention the food on every street corner to satisfy the Christmas cravings and keep warm.
Fool around at Fulirange, which literally means fooling around, at that’s exactly what this free event is about. Celebrate the holidays with 30+ DJs, a variety of live events, photo booths, and local restaurant eats.
Take a 20-minute drive out to Sljeme to ski the mountain peak of Medvendica. If you’re up for a more strenuous activity that involves swapping the skis for hiking boots, consider hiking to the top. Still not tickling your fancy, try a cozy lunch at the top of the mountain tavern.
If you are sticking around until early January, look into buying tickets to the “Snow Queen Trophy” Ski World Cup to see the men’s and women’s slalom races.
Where to stay in Zagreb
The City Lodge – Boutique Apartments – Spacious rooms, centrally located, newly renovated rooms.
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel– Spectacular during Christmas, prominent building from 1925.
Pod Zidom Rooms – Fantastic location near loads of attractions, restaurants, and bakeries.
Feels like home apartments – Quiet location in the heart of Zagreb, comfortable and private location
Houzz21 – Private rooms with shared bathrooms, cheaper than a hotel but nicer than a hostel.
Swanky Mint – Eco-friendly facilities, great range of private rooms
Chillout Hostel – 24-hour bar with cheap drinks live DJs, unbeatable location
5. London, England
December is a fantastic month to visit London because it is less crowded, which means $$$ saved.
Beat the crowds when visiting famous tourist spots such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, and more.
The British city loves to celebrate the Christmas festivities with lights, pop-up shops, and alluring decorations.
Explore the unique cheery activities in London’s diverse neighborhood.
On your list of festive sights are the following.
Stroll through Covent Garden to get a close-up of London’s Christmas tree. Visit the magical trail of Kew Gardens after dark, to experience the Christmas at Kew event that transforms the grounds into extraordinary colors.
Top it off with the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland near Mayfair. Perfect for couples or family fun.
The holiday cheer doesn’t stop on the streets, it can also be found in some of London’s best hotels. Below are the best hotels in London that go above and beyond to celebrate the festive season.
Where to stay in London
The Connaught – Festive luxury, Christmas Carols, and menus, bespoke butler, and concierge
The Mayfair Townhouse – London’s iconic luxury hotel, central location, festive atmosphere
Avonmore Road Kensington Olympia – Terrace and garden views, spacious and well-decorated views, great location
Keystone House – newly renovated, 2min walk from King’s Cross, self-check-in
Mornington Camden – Female-only hostel, spacious town-house, discounted food and drinks
Hostel One Notting Hill – Great place for solo travelers looking to meet others, social atmosphere, the heart of Notting Hill
6. Vienna, Austria
Next on the best places to visit in December in Europe is Vienna, Austria.
Experience the magical atmosphere in Vienna, explore Christmas markets, or hit the slopes.
One of the most popular is the Viennese Dream Christmas market. An unforgettable festive experience. Vienna’s City Hall gives a unique charming backdrop to the market stalls, lights, and candles.
Venture out another night to wander through the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace and explore the baroque lifestyle and traditional handicrafts. For a full list of Christmas markets to explore in Vienna, check out this guide.
Christmas festivities aren’t the only thing to enjoy in Vienna. Austria is also home to plenty of ski resorts. Hintertux and Obergurgl see enough snow in December making them ideal spots for skiing in December. Hintertux is the only ski resort that is open 365 days a year, has superb snow quality, and plenty of beautiful hotels and in-mountain restaurants. Obergurgl uses both natural and artificial snow, has a great range of piste trails, and offers stunning views of the Alps.
Take a break from the skis and take a romantic ride through the countryside on a horse-drawn sleigh. Or get the adrenaline pumping on a dogsledding adventure.
Where to stay in Vienna
Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof – 1913 Viennese decorated rooms, surrounded by luxury shopping streets as well as St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The Levante Rathaus Apartments – Studio apartments with separate living rooms and kitchen
Hotel Kärntnerhof – Viennese Art Nouveau and Italian elegance in a quiet but central location
Wombat’s City Hostel Vienna Naschmarkt – Modern secure hostel serving cheap bar, close to cultural attractions
Hostel Ruthensteiner Vienna – Beautiful garden and music area, short tram ride to city attractions
7. Paris, France
Next on the best places to visit in December in Europe is gorgeous Paris!
Ah Paris, a stunning city that needs no introduction. An abundance of Christmas markets to check out and the many famous attractions from the Eiffel Tower to Montmartre to a special holiday lighting ceremony on the Champs-Elysées, make December a fantastic time to visit.
Paris in December experiences cold weather, the occasional light snowfall and rain. Millions of lights, loads of decorated trees along boulevards make the City of Lights sparkle. The city get’s dark as early as 5 PM, so plenty of time to make the most of the magic.
Sip on delectable hot chocolates or bold espressos in Paris’s many street-side cafes. Of course, you need to stop by the many Parisian bakeries to try a range of French pastries and Christmas treats.
Make the most of hop-on hop-off buses to get around to the most famous attractions at an affordable price. Or take a guided tour in a French vintage car for a more personalized, luxurious experience.
Some tourist attractions tend to remain closed in the winter season so make sure you do your research before heading off the day.
Enjoy an uplifting holiday concert in the exquisite French gothic church La Sainte Chapelle. Or splurge on tickets to the most famous opera house in the world to see a spectacular ballet or opera performance.
Where to stay in Paris
Kimpton – St Honoré Paris, an IHG Hotel – Eiffel Tower views, great for couples, rooftop terrace.
Hotel Etats Unis Opera – Decorate in local French styling, fantastic location
Hôtel Rosalie – Rooftop terrace, views of the Eiffel Tower and Parisienne city landscapes
St Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord – Award-winning hostel, close to the train station, home to Paris’ biggest expat bar Belushi’s.
The People – Paris Bercy – Brand-new purpose-built hostel, shared and private rooms, including some ensuites, rooftop with unique views of Paris
Best Places to Visit in December in Europe For Winter Activities
The next best European cities to visit in December are the ultimate places for adrenaline seekers, adventurers, and winter sports lovers!
8. Zermatt, Switzerland
Which country is most beautiful in December?
The most beautiful country in December in Europe has to be Zermatt, Switzerland.
Zermatt is a charming village overlooking the highest peak in Europe, The Matterhorn. Zermatt’s cozy wooden chalets, historic homes, and the ever-present towering mountains are magical places to enjoy Christmas.
Zermatt is a haven for expert skiers. Fresh powder, a guaranteed snowfall in December, epic ski-lift views, and gorgeous resorts to unwind in.
The après-ski scene (after skiing) or activities beyond the slopes for non-skiers is also some of the best around. Experience mountain excursions, tobogganing, paragliding or enjoy more relaxing outdoor activities such as taking a stroll around the town.
Escape the winter chills by exploring the restaurant scene or immerse yourself in the town’s history at museums.
The spectacular views, winter sports, and quaint towns do come at quite an expensive price tag. If you have the budget it’s worth every cent! A trip that won’t disappoint.
Where to stay in Zermatt
Matterhorn Lodge Hotel & Appartements – Alpine style, wellness spaces, 3 saunas, fantastic proximity to ski lifts
Firefly Luxury Suites – Modern boutique property, great location, pool hot tub and sauna.
Matterhorn Inn – Close to the train, great facilities
Hotel Holiday – Close to the city center, balcony with mountain views, ski-to-door access for advanced skiers
Zermatt Youth Hostel – Surrounded by the mountains, great for skiers
Typically Swiss Hotel Täscherhof – Centrally located, modern amenities
You might also like: 8 Best Holiday Destinations in January!
9. Lapland, Finland
Finland is just as beautiful in December as it is during the summer. Venture to Lapland to witness the mind-blowing Northern Lights unobscured, a sight you can’t see all year round!
To see the Nothern lights, ensure you are far enough from the city’s light pollution by immersing yourself in Finland’s wilderness and keeping an eye on the forecast for clear skies as clouds will block your view.
To maximize your chance of seeing the Northern Lights, consider taking a tour to access remote viewing spots.
Venture to Lapland’s capital, Rovaniemi, not only one of the top places to view the Northern Lights but is also home to the iconic Santa Claus Village.
What better way to spend Christmas than in the official home of Santa Claus? Get in the festive spirit by visiting his village to see elves hard at work, taking reindeer rides, and discovering how to make igloos! Sounds like something straight out of a Christmas movie right?
Celebrate the end of the year and start the New Year with an unforgettable stay at SnowCastle Hotel in Kermi. The hotel complex includes a SnowHotel, SnowRestaurant, and SnowChapel. A sight to be seen to be believed!
Lastly whilst in Lapland, sign up for a thrilling snowmobile and animals day tour. A jam-packed day including a high-speed snowmobile ride, a scenic ride on a reindeer sleigh, and lastly a ride in a husky sleigh!
Where to stay in Lapland
Pyhä Igloos – Stunning mountain views, ski-to-door access, spa bath
Holiday Village Inari – Stay in the Aurora Hut for an unforgettable experience, mountain views from your bed, or if you’re lucky the Northern Lights too!
Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos – Stay in a glass igloo in the Arctic Circle, ice bar and 3 restaurants onsite, once in a lifetime experience
Kierinki Village Majatalo – Great location for skiing, sauna onsite, restaurant, bar, and a shared lounge
Karemajat Cottage Resort – Affordable for the area, cross-country ski trails surround the property
10. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is another fantastic destination to visit in December in Europe with its exceptional Northern Light viewing conditions and festive spirit. Although December is one of Iceland’s coldest and darkest periods, the festive cheer combats the winter blues.
Experience unique Icelandic Christmas traditions such as Yule Lads, which is their equivalent to Santa Claus. Yule Lads are 13 brothers that travel from the mountains to give children presents in their show which is kept on the window shelf. In Iceland, Christmas is also celebrated on the 24th of December.
Head to downtown Reykjavic on the 23rd of December to experience the buzz of Þorláksmessa, or Christmas Eve!
Dine in one of Reykjavik’s restaurants that serve the local favorite, the Christmas buffet. Families, couples, and co-workers flock to get a taste every year.
If you’re after a bit of adventure to wrap up your year, the most well-known tours and sights are still accessible. Some favorites to check out are snowmobiling tours, northern lights hunting, Golden Circle, Volcano Crater & Blue Lagoon Small Group Tour.
I find tours the easiest and most effective way to see iconic sights, meet other travelers, and learn more about the attraction.
Where to stay in Reykjavik
Hotel Borg by Keahotels – art-deco hotel in the heart of Reykjavik, with fantastic amenities
Center Hotels Laugavegur – Bar with city views, fantastic location.
Reykjavik Domes – Experience Reykjavic up close and personal in a Dome fitted with a fireplace, kitchen, and private hot dub
Hotel Viking – Viking-themed hotel is housed in the same building as the West Nordic Culture House
BONUS! Best Warm Winter Destinations in Europe
Onto the bonus 5 best places to visit in December that are perfect for those wanting to escape the winter chill.
11. Canary Islands, Spain
Oh, let me tell you about the Canary Islands in December! It’s like stepping into a little piece of paradise right in the heart of winter! While the rest of Europe is wrapped up in blankets and sipping hot cocoa, these magical islands are basking in the warmth of the sun.
Picture this: you wake up to a gentle breeze, the sun peeking over the horizon, and the promise of another day in paradise. December here means mild temperatures that’ll make your friends back home green with envy! We’re talking about sunny days with temps of 8 to 24 degrees Celsius (64 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) – perfect for working on that winter tan or simply soaking up the rays on a gorgeous beach.
But it’s not just about the weather; it’s the variety that makes the Canary Islands so special. Tenerife offers everything from towering volcanic peaks to charming coastal towns.
Oh, and have you heard of Mount Teide? This volcanic giant not only dominates the landscape but also provides breathtaking views that’ll leave you in awe.
Then there’s Lanzarote, where you’ll feel like you’ve landed on another planet. The surreal landscapes of Timanfaya National Park look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie! And guess what? You can actually cook your lunch using the Earth’s natural heat. How cool is that?
But wait, there’s more! December in the Canary Islands means it’s time to celebrate! The locals know how to throw a party, and you’ll find cheerful Christmas markets and festive decorations wherever you go.
So, if you’re dreaming of a winter getaway that’s full of sunshine, adventure, and festive fun, the Canary Islands in December are calling your name! Pack your shades, your flip flops
Ah, Cyprus in December is like finding a hidden treasure in the heart of winter! Nestled in the eastern Mediterranean, this enchanting island offers a warm and welcoming escape from the chilly temperatures that sweep across much of Europe.
December on the island means mild and pleasant weather, with daytime temperatures ranging from 16 to 20 degrees Celsius (60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s the perfect climate for those seeking a winter sun getaway without venturing too far from home. You can bid farewell to your winter coats and embrace the joy of strolling around in t-shirts and light layers!
What makes Cyprus truly special in December is the charming blend of holiday festivities and cultural traditions. The island is adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations, creating a magical ambiance that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
Head to the main cities like Nicosia, Limassol, or Paphos, and you’ll discover lively Christmas markets filled with handmade crafts, delicious treats, and warm mulled wine. It’s the perfect place to find unique gifts for your loved ones or simply treat yourself to some local delights.
If you’re an adventure seeker, fear not! Cyprus has plenty to offer. From hiking in the beautiful Troodos Mountains to exploring the Akamas Peninsula’s untamed beauty, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities to keep you entertained.
And of course, let’s not forget about the island’s stunning beaches! While the water might be a bit brisk for swimming, the sandy shores provide the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing sunbathing session.
So, if you’re looking for a winter destination that combines warm weather, holiday cheer, cultural delights, and breathtaking scenery, Cyprus in December is the answer.
Malta is a charming Mediterranean island that offers a unique and delightful experience during winter.
The weather in December is typically mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s perfect for exploring the island without the sweltering heat of the summer months.
What makes Malta truly special in December is the festive atmosphere that fills the air. The island embraces the holiday spirit with decorations through the streets, Christmas lights illuminating the cities, and festive markets bustling with activity.
The Maltese know how to celebrate, and you’ll feel the warmth of their hospitality wherever you go.
One of the highlights of visiting Malta in December is the traditional “Nativity Cribs.” These elaborate and artistic displays of the Nativity scene can be found all over the island, from churches and public squares to private homes. Each crib is a work of art, reflecting the creativity and passion of the Maltese people.
For nature lovers, Malta has plenty to offer too. The island’s rugged coastline and picturesque cliffs provide breathtaking views and excellent opportunities for hiking and exploring. You can also take walks along the sandy beaches, enjoying the tranquil beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.
And let’s not forget about the food! December is the perfect time to savor traditional winter dishes like “Hobz biz-Zejt” (Maltese bread with olive oil, tomatoes, and capers) and “Imbuljuta” (a hot chocolate drink made with chestnuts and spices).
14. Sicily, Italy
Sicily in December is a captivating journey through history, culture, and natural beauty. The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily offers a unique and unforgettable experience during the winter months.
The weather in December is relatively mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 14 to 18 degrees Celsius (57 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s the perfect weather for exploring the island’s rich history and diverse landscapes without the summer heat.
One of the highlights of visiting Sicily in December is the unique Christmas traditions and celebrations. The island’s towns and villages come alive with festive decorations, lights, and holiday markets.
You can stroll through the city’s vibrant markets, indulging in local treats like “cannoli” (delicious pastry filled with ricotta cheese) and “cassata” (a sweet cake adorned with marzipan and candied fruits).
Plus the lack of crowds in December allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history of the island without the summer tourist rush.
Spend some time exploring the island’s diverse landscapes ranging from rugged coastlines and sandy beaches to lush forests and volcanic terrain. The famous Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, is a sight to see and you can even take guided tours to make your life easy.
15. Crete, Greece
Greece’s largest island, Crete, offers a unique and enchanting experience during the winter months. While many other European destinations are covered in snow, Crete boasts mild weather, making it a delightful winter escape.
In December, the weather in Crete is pleasantly mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 12 to 18 degrees Celsius (54 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit).
One of the highlights of visiting Crete in December is the opportunity to experience the island’s authentic charm and local traditions. The locals embrace the holiday spirit, and you’ll find various Christmas events and celebrations happening throughout the island.
Heraklion, the capital of Crete, offers a delightful mix of historical wonders and festive cheer. The city’s landmarks, like the Venetian fortress of Koules and the ancient Palace of Knossos, provide a glimpse into Crete’s rich history.
Stroll through the lively city streets, and you’ll encounter bustling Christmas markets and charming cafés where you can savor traditional Greek treats like “baklava” and “kourabiedes.”
While the sea might be too chilly for swimming, you can still enjoy walks along the island’s picturesque beaches. The rugged landscapes and scenic hiking trails offer the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the island’s stunning vistas without the crowds of the summer months.
Visiting Crete in December also means fewer tourists, allowing you to have a more intimate and authentic experience. You can immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with the friendly locals, and enjoy the island’s treasures without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist seasons.
FAQ’s: Best Places to Visit in December in Europe
Moving onto some commonly asked questions about the best places to visit in December in Europe.
Which is the best European country to visit in December?
The best European country to visit in December depends on your personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a winter holiday.
Europe offers a diverse range of experiences during the holiday season, and each country has its own unique charm.
Here are some of my top recommendations: Zermatt in Switzerland, Edinburgh in Scotland, Berlin in Germany, London in England, Vienna in Austria, Lapland in Finland, Reykjavik in Iceland, Paris in France, Zagreb in Croatia, Zagreb in Croatia and Prague in the Czech Republic.
Where is warmest in Europe in December?
In December, the warmest destinations in Europe are generally found in the southern regions, particularly the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Here are some of the warmest places in Europe during December:
- Canary Islands in Spain: Located off the northwest coast of Africa, the Canary Islands, including Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura, enjoy mild and pleasant temperatures during December, making them popular spots in Europe to escape the cold and get some sun.
- Cyprus: Cyprus experiences mild winters, and its coastal areas, like Limassol and Paphos, offer comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities in December.
- Malta: Malta’s location in the Mediterranean ensures relatively mild winters, and it’s an excellent destination for those seeking some sunshine and moderate temperatures during December.
- Southern Spain: Cities like Seville, Malaga, and Marbella in southern Spain have relatively mild and pleasant weather during December, making them perfect destinations for travelers looking to escape colder climates.
- Sicily (Italy): Sicily experiences milder winters compared to northern Italy. It’s charming towns and historical sites can be more enjoyable without the intense summer heat.
- Greece: Some of the Greek islands and coastal areas have relatively mild winters, with destinations like Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu offering pleasant temperatures and a more laid-back atmosphere.
It’s important to note that while these destinations are warmer compared to northern Europe during December, the weather can still vary, so it’s best to check the weather closer to your trip.
Additionally, “warm” in this context refers to milder temperatures for a European winter, but it may not be as warm as other tropical destinations. Don’t expect the incredibly warm weather of the Maldives in December!
Is December a good month to visit Europe?
December is a wonderful time to visit Europe, but whether it’s a good month for your trip ultimately depends on what kind of experience you are seeking.
If you love the festive holiday spirit then December is an excellent time to visit Europe. Many cities and towns across the continent host enchanting Christmas markets, where you can shop for unique Christmas gifts, savor local treats, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.
For those who enjoy winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating, December is an ideal time to visit the Alpine regions in countries like Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy, as well as other mountainous areas in northern Europe.
European cities are beautifully decorated during December, with dazzling lights and festive displays. It’s a magical sight to behold, especially in cities like Paris, Vienna, and Prague.
Plus, one advantage of traveling to Europe in December is that it sees fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months. You’ll have the opportunity to explore attractions and landmarks with fewer crowds, making it a more relaxed experience.
That being said, Europe can get very cold during December, especially in northern countries. While some travelers enjoy the winter atmosphere, others who aren’t used to extreme temperatures may struggle. If you’re seeking a warm-weather vacation, consider the southern regions or islands like the Canary Islands or Cyprus.
Another factor to consider is that daylight hours are shorter in December, especially in northern Europe. This might affect your sightseeing plans, as some attractions might close earlier.
In summary, December can be an excellent month to visit Europe if you enjoy the festive atmosphere, winter sports, and holiday decorations.
Why traveling to Europe cities in December might not be a good idea
Traveling to Europe in December can be a magical experience, but it might not be the best idea for everyone…
Firstly, the cold weather can be a significant factor to consider. Europe can get extremely cold during December, especially in northern countries.
If you are not a fan of chilly temperatures and winter activities like skiing or snowboarding, you might find it uncomfortable to explore outdoor attractions and sightseeing spots.
Additionally, December has the shortest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, which means fewer daylight hours for exploration. This can be particularly challenging if you have a packed itinerary and want to make the most of your trip.
Another aspect to be mindful of is the holiday season.
While December sees fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months, it is still a popular time for travelers due to Christmas and New Year’s.
As a result, popular tourist destinations and Christmas markets can get crowded, and accommodation and flight prices may be high.
Moreover, during public holidays like Christmas and New Year’s, many businesses, museums, and attractions may have reduced hours or even be closed.
Traveling during the winter season also comes with the risk of disruptions due to bad weather. Winter weather can lead to flight delays or cancellations, especially in regions prone to snow and storms.
Lastly, if you are traveling in the latter half of December, you might miss out on some of the holiday cheer!
Ultimately, whether traveling to Europe in December is a good idea or not depends on what you are looking for in your travel experience.
The Wrap-Up: Best Places to Visit in December in Europe
Those were my top 15 best places to visit in December in Europe. Leave a comment below where your favourite place is!
Whether you are drawn to the magical ambiance of Christmas markets, eager to hit the slopes in winter wonderlands, or simply yearn for a quieter time to experience Europe’s cultural treasures, December has something special to offer every traveler.
For those seeking a festive holiday experience, Germany’s charming markets, Austria’s elegant celebrations, and the winter wonderland of Finland are top contenders.
For the culturally inclined, Europe’s timeless cities such as Prague, Paris, and Vienna, adorned in glittering lights and decorations, offer an unparalleled experience. Alternatively, the Nordic allure of Iceland beckons adventurers with the promise of Northern Lights and unique winter activities.
While winter temperatures are often freezing, the festive ambiance, seasonal events, and cultural richness more than make up for having to bundle up!
Whether you’re wandering through snow-covered streets or indulging in local delicacies at a Christmas market the best places to visit in December in Europe will leave you fulfilled going into the new year.
So, pack your winter coat, bring along your holiday spirit, and set off on a magical journey to discover the wonders of Europe during the most wonderful time of the year. Happy travels!