The Best Places To Visit in December

11 Of The Best Places To Visit In December 2019

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Christmas is coming! Travelling during the holidays can be stressful but if you plan ahead then it can be the perfect time of year to travel.

Some of the best places to visit in December in the world might surprise you – there are plenty of destinations you’ll be adding to your winter travel bucket list!

It’s one of the best times of year to travel whether you love to discover how other cultures celebrate the festive season or you’re trying to avoid Christmas altogether!

There are hundreds of places to visit in December that you’ll fall in love with, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top 11 to make your vacation decisions easier.

Check out the best countries to visit in December 2019 and let us know if you decide to stick with some cold winter fun or escape to a sunny beach somewhere!

Statue of Liberty from low angle with blue skies and cloud - New York is one of the best places to visit in December

You’ll never guess where’s good to visit in December…

The Best Places To Visit In December 2019

Whether you’re into jumping around in the snow and looking out for Father Christmas, or temple hopping and swimming in waterfalls, we’ve got you covered!

Click on the table of contents to take you the specific destinations you’re interested in.

Or, you can browse through the whole list and take your pick from the varied places around the world! Don’t forget to check out our accommodation recommendations too.

We always use Booking.com to find the best deals on hotels, hostels and apartments so we’ve shared some great options from them.


Christmas Island, Australia – Make Time To See The World

Christmas Island, an Australian External Territory is an eco-travellers paradise.

Home to several endemic crab and bird species, the Island is over 65% National Park, is surrounded by amazing diving opportunities and is home to less than 2000 people.

Whilst it is beautiful to visit at any time thanks to it’s tropical, year round climate, if you really want to see something special, visit in December when you will have a chance to witness 50 million red crabs migrating from the rain-forest to the coasts to mate and spawn.

David Attenborough described it as one of the most spectacular migrations on the planet, and he was not wrong.

Lots of red crabs on the sand and climbing on rocks on Christmas Island - one of the best places to visit in December

50 million of these!!!

The migration closes almost all roads on the Island (and there are not many to start with!) as locals and visitors give the crabs the space to what they do naturally.

It is truly and incredible sight and one I was incredibly lucky to witness.

If you’d like more information about how to plan a visit to Christmas Island and see this incredible natural wonder for yourself, this guide has everything you need.

Try something different this year and experience a sunny holiday destination in December!

See more from Make Time To See The World on Instagram and Facebook!

Where To Stay On Christmas Island

Here’s a quick guide to some great accommodation options on the island.

VQ3 Lodge

Located in Flying Fish Cove:

  • Free WiFi
  • Terrace
  • Car rental options
  • Sea views

Click here to book


The Cocos Padang Lodge

Located in Flying Fish Cove:

  • Whole apartment
  • Washing machine
  • Free toiletries
  • Wheelchair accessible

Book your room now


The Sunset

Located in Flying Fish Cove:

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Balcony
  • Free WiFi
  • Garden

Check availability here


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Bagan – Stories by Soumya

One of the best places to travel in December is Bagan in Myanmar. And that is because of three very important reasons – the weather, the balloons, and the photographs.

December is a particularly pleasant time in Bagan. The weather is mild with temperatures ranging between 15° – 25°C. Days are sunny but not hot. You can escape the wetness of rains as well as the scorching heat of summer: a perfect time to explore.

A temple in the background with foggy red sky and trees in front in Bagan - one of the best places to visit in December

Imagine exploring this ancient city!

Bagan has a short ballooning season from October to April with December being quite popular. Cooler temperatures and calmer winds ensure that you can float closer to the temples and get a detailed look.

December also comes with multiple layers of fog during dawn and dusk. If you are looking for that perfect picture of Bagan enveloped in a shroud of mist, December is the perfect time to go.

Home to more than 2000 ancient temples, Bagan is one of the most mesmerizing, yet relatively unexplored, archaeological sites in the world.

Many of these temples contain well-preserved frescoes and carvings that are a treat for sore eyes.

It is easy to get lost in the beauty of Bagan – it really is one of the best places to visit in December.

Click here to check prices and information on city tours.

See more from Stories by Soumya on the blog, Facebook and Instagram!

Where To Stay In Bagan

Check out these budget, mid-range and luxury hotels in Bagan.

Shwe Nadi Guset House

Located in the Nyaung U district:

  • Dorm beds or private rooms
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Bike hire
  • Airport pickup (extra fee)

Click here to book


Sky View Hotel

Located in the Nyaung U district:

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Private bathrooms
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • ATM on-site

Book your room now


Villa Bagan

Located in New Bagan:

  • On-site restaurant
  • Free WiFi
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Sun terrace

Check availability here


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Laos – Life of Doing

If you want a laid-back and relaxing country to have a vacation, then Laos is the perfect place for you. One of the best time to visit Laos is in December.

The weather is perfect with the dry season and also has sunshine throughout the day.

Temperatures range between 15-26℃ (59-79℉) depending on your location. It’s a popular place to visit so you will encounter larger crowds at the tourist locations but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting.

Bright greeny blue waterfall pools in Laos

these waterfalls aren’t a bad place to visit in December!

Want to know where to travel in December?

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO Heritage site and is highly recommended with temple hopping and seeing museums, eating delicious street food, swimming in Kuang Si waterfalls, and more.

If you like big cities, visit the capital, Vientiane, and relax along the Mekong River.

We also can’t forget about Vang Vieng where you can de-stress along the Nam Song River, go caving, rock climbing, and encounter adventures.

Have an amazing time in Laos, especially if you’re going to travel in December.

See more from Life of Doing on Instagram and Twitter!

Click here for more details on adventure tours!

Where To Stay In Laos

Here are a few top picks for hotels in Laos.

Aham Backpackers Hostel

Located in Luang Prabang:

  • Shared bathrooms
  • 24 hour front desk
  • Bike hire
  • Laundry services

Click here to book


Mini S Hotel

Located in Vientiane:

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Free WiFi
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Air conditioning

Book your room now


S 2 Modern Boutique Hotel

Located in Vientiane:

  • On-site restaurant
  • Fitness centre
  • Free toiletries
  • Outdoor swimming pool

Check availability here


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Swedish Lapland – Becky The Traveller

One of the best European destinations to visit in December is Swedish Lapland.

Although the cities in Sweden are very pretty during the winter months, the best place to visit for a really spectacular experience is Swedish Lapland.

In the far north of this Scandinavian country in the Arctic Circle, you’ll find a winter wonderland with snow-covered trees, frozen lakes and glistening icicles.

But for me, on my Lapland trip, there was one thing I wanted to see, nope not Santa, although I did him too! It was the Northern Lights.

Red, yellow and green Northern Lights across the dark sky with village underneath

imagine seeing this in real life!

During the winter months, there are limited hours of sunlight, which means a greater chance of seeing the Northern Lights so that makes December the perfect time to visit Lapland.

I spent five days in Abisko National Park which is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights due to the huge lake which creates a unique micro-climate.

Abisko National Park is also stunning to explore during the daytime as well, with sledges and snowshoe tours there’s something for everyone.

See more from Becky The Traveller on Instagram and Facebook!

Where To Stay In Swedish Lapland

Find the best accommodation to book here.

Elite Stadshotellet Luleå

Located on the main street, Storgatan:

  • Breakfast included
  • British pub on-site
  • Shared lounge area
  • Free WiFi

Click here to book


Best Western Plus Savoy

Located in Luleå

  • Free spa & gym access
  • Nightclub on-site
  • 24/7 on-site café
  • Breakfast included

Book your room now


Comfort Hotel Arctic Hotel

Located in Luleå, near Central Station:

  • Sauna
  • Free WiFi
  • Free bike rental
  • Garden

Check availability here


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Doha – Dotted Globe

Are you looking for an off the beaten path destination that promises the culture of old Arabia, the amenities of a developed nation, multicultural culinary delights, and the luxury of world-class spa resorts?

Then consider a trip to Doha, Qatar in the Middle East.

Qatar is one of the safest Middle Eastern countries and offers lots of things to do for all types of travellers.

Most of the tourist attractions in Qatar are concentrated around the capital of Doha. Doha is also perfect for a short or long layover; even with a day in Doha, you can take in the most popular sites of Souq Waqif,

Museum of Islamic Arts, the Doha skyline and Katara Cultural Village.

Red and whute flags sticking out into busy street in Qatar

Qatar definitely looks like one of the best places to visit in December – look at the weather!

For a longer holiday, you can indulge in dune bashing, visit the UNESCO Site of Al Zubarah, kayak in the mangroves or see camel races.

December is perfect to visit Doha since the hot and humid summer comes to a close and the cool weather is pleasant enough to explore the desert environment.

It really could be the best Asian country to visit in December!

Click here for a great desert safari tour experience. We don’t recommend choosing a tour with a camel ride included as there is no guarantee of the healthy treatment of the animals.

Where To Stay In Doha

Check prices and availability of rooms in Doha here.

Victoria Hotel

Located in Bin Mahmoud:

  • Barbershop on-site
  • Spa & gym
  • Rooftop pool
  • Restaurant on-site

Click here to book


Warwick Doha

Located in Al Sadd

  • Beauty salon on-site
  • Rooftop pool
  • 5 restaurants on-site
  • Babysitting services

Book your room now


Oryx Rotana

Located very close to the airport:

  • On-site club
  • Fitness centre
  • Airport shuttle
  • Garden & sun terrace

Check availability here


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Austria – Travel Tyrol

Centuries-old traditions and beautiful winter mountain scenery make the central European country of Austria one of the most magical and best places to visit in December with family.

It starts with Saint Nicholas and Krampus making their rounds on or around 5 December.

Saint Nicholas awards children for good behaviour while the devil-like Krampus scares the hell out of the naughty ones!

Austria is especially famous for it’s authentic Christmas markets. Whether in Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck or a small village – Christmas in Austria is the real thing.

In the beautiful setting of historic old towns, you can wrap your hands around warm mugs of Glühwein, taste traditional treats like Kiachl, listen to atmospheric music, and shop for original hand-made gifts.

A tall church steeple at nighttime with Christmas market stalls in the foreground, in Austria - one of the best places to visit in December

The Christmas market on the town square of Seefeld in Tirol, Austria in December.

In the mountainous Alpine villages, skiing and other fun winter activities await in the snow.

Or you can simply check into a spa hotel for some winter pampering.

Whether you’re visiting with a family or as a romantic breakaway, there are many unique things to do in Austria in December to ensure an unforgettable holiday.

Austria definitely is one the the best European countries to visit in December.

Where To Stay In Austria

Find some great hotel options below.

Boutique Hostel – Zum Goldenen Kegel

Located in Vienna:

  • Shared bathrooms & kitchen
  • Pets allowed
  • Free WiFi
  • Sun terrace & garden

Click here to book


Jugend- und Familiengästehaus Heiligenblut

Located in Heiligenblut:

  • Ski runs directly outside
  • Garden
  • Meals available
  • Swimming pool nearby

Book your room now


Renaissance Wien Hotel

Located in Vienna:

  • Spa
  • Cocktail bar
  • Restaurant on-site
  • Free WiFi

Check availability here


Don’t forget too that you can click here for a Salzburg Card, which gives you FREE admission to the city’s main attractions and FREE transportation! Or, if you’re travelling to Vienna, click here for the discounts and free transportation card there.

Click here for more information on tours and city attractions across Austria.

See more from Travel Tyrol on Facebook and Instagram!

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Oslo – Rachel On Route

Back in 2014 I decided to travel on my first solo trip! I’d never done anything so adventurous so I wanted somewhere safe, quiet and cultured.

I opted for Oslo, Norway, and December was the perfect time to be there!

As it was in the run up to Christmas they had an ongoing Christmas market – which was far less busy than others I have visited around Europe.

It was so lovely not being pushed/elbowed around in a big crowd, and I spent each evening having a browse (and tried a lovely Elk burger!)

Boat in the harbour with pink sunset in Oslo, Norway in December

this incredible sunset makes me want to visit Oslo right now

The city was also perfect for wandering and discovering beautiful architecture (I’m looking at you, Opera house) art in the Munch museum and Astrup Fearnley Museet, and the views of the harbour at sunset.

But for me the absolute highlight was the Nobel Peace Prize museum.

The Nobel Peace prize ceremony is held in December, so if you are lucky to be there, you may gain a peep of the celebrations.  The year I visited was when Malala received her prize, and I was lucky to see her in person.

The exhibitions there are a wonderfully poignant testament to the people being honoured.

Where To Stay In Oslo

Check prices & availability for accommodation in Oslo.

Oslo Vandrerhjem Haraldsheim

Located in Grefsen:

  • Shared kitchen
  • Free WiFi in public areas
  • Communal lounge rom
  • Laundry services (additional charge)

Click here to book


The Apartments Company

Located in Bislett:

  • Private kitchen + bathrooms
  • Communal laundry area
  • Free WiFi
  • Studio & family rooms

Book your room now


Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station

Located near Karl Johans Gate shopping street:

  • Bar on-site
  • Private bathrooms
  • Pets allowed
  • Shared lounge area

Check availability here


Oslo has a 24/48/72 pass that you can buy, which gives you free entry to over 30 attractions and museums, as well as FREE transportation around the city. You’ll even get discounts on your shopping and meals! Click here to get yours now.

For the best city tours and attractions, click here so you can book ahead of time.

See more from Rachel On Route on Twitter and Instagram!

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New York – Travelling Collecting

December is my favourite month to be in New York City because it is a Christmas holiday/ winter-in-the-city fantasyland.

There are three iconic ice skating rinks – Bryant Park (free with your own skates), Rockefeller Centre at the base of the giant tree, and Central Park with views of Midtown and the Plaza Hotel.

After skating, do a self-guided tour of the department stores’ holiday windows. Start at Macy’s then pass the lions in front of the New York Public Library that are decorated with Christmas wreaths.

Large Christmas tree with bright multi coloured lights in front of tall building lit with pink in New York - one of the best places to travel in December

you can’t miss the famous tourist attractions in New York!

Walk up Fifth Avenue and see the enormous real Rockefeller Centre tree and enjoy the light show at Saks before seeing their windows.

As you pass the Lindt chocolate store, pop in – they usually have free samples for the holidays. Finish at the over-the-top Bergdorf windows.

The kids (or your inner kid) will enjoy another self- guided tour of all the Christmas trees.

Washington Square Park, Madison Square Park, and Bryant Park all have enormous trees. The Natural History Museum has a tree that’s covered in origami animals.

St John the Divine cathedral has a flock of origami cranes flying on and around their tree, and the Met’s tree is covered in angels.

Then venture into Brooklyn for the crazy decorations in Dyker Heights, where neighbours all try to outdo each other with over-the-top lights and decorations.

And, of course, don’t miss the annual Rockettes Christmas Spectacular in Radio City Music Hall and the Nutcracker ballet at Lincoln Centre.

It’s impossible not to get into the holiday spirit in New York in December.

Click here for skip-the-queue tickets for the main attractions.

Where To Stay In New York

Get a great deal on a room in New York.

Hotel 31

Located in Manhattan:

  • Free WiFi
  • Free toiletries
  • Shuttle service
  • Breakfast options available

Click here to book


Moderne Hotel

Located close to Times Square:

  • Free WiFi
  • Hotel lounge
  • Access to nearby fitness centre
  • Minibar

Book your room now


Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

Located near Central Park:

  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Coffee maker in room
  • Fitness centre
  • Bar on-site

Check availability here


See more from Travel Collecting on the blog, Facebook and Instagram!

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Taipei – Chloe’s Travelogue

Winter is the best time to visit Taipei, Taiwan. In particular, December is a great month for travel because of three reasons – the weather, low season, and festivity.

Taipei observes the subtropical climate year-round with the hot and humid weather, except its short winter. In December, the city cools down with temperatures ranging between 15-21°C (59-70°F).

The pleasant weather makes it much comfortable to explore the city day and night, and to enjoy the outdoor activities.

Tall skyscraper in background, park in foreground with fountains and green trees

being outside at this time of year is fun!

Besides the mild winter, December also is a low season with considerably fewer tourists in the city.

You can enjoy the popular tourist sites with less crowd. It might also mean you can score more affordable hotel rooms. 

Lastly, Taipei gets into the holiday mood in December. The Xinyi District streets near Taipei 101 and shopping malls are beautifully decorated with Christmas lights all month.

Christmas markets and festival sporadically pop up where you can buy unique handcrafted souvenirs.

But the crème de la crème of the festivity is the New Year Count Down Party. On New Year’s Eve, the city closes off many blocks of Xinyi District to throw a massive party to watch the spectacular fireworks from Taipei 101. 

Before you plan your trip to Taipei this December, steal ideas here on how to see the best of Taipei in 3 days.

Click here to book a handy private Taipei tour now.

Where To Stay In Taipei

Find a great hotel in the city below.

Inn Cube – Minquan

Located in the Zhongshan District:

  • Capsules, bunks and private rooms available
  • Shared bathrooms
  • Laundry facilities
  • Adults only

Click here to book


Liz Hotel

Located in Zhongshan district:

  • On-site restuarant
  • Free WiFi
  • Laundry services
  • Sun terrace

Book your room now


Taipei Garden Hotel

Locatedin Zhongzheng district:

  • On-site restaurant
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Fitness centre
  • Spa on-site

Check availability here


See more from Chloe’s Travelogue on Instagram and Facebook!

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Prague – Just A Pack

What is the best thing about December in Prague? Cozy pubs? Mulled wine? The chance of seeing the beautiful Baroque and Gothic buildings covered in a light dusting of snow?

While all of these things are great, Prague in Decmeber is all about Christmas markets.

And in case you didn’t know, nothing screams Christmas joy like a Prague Christmas Market.

Huge city Christmas tree in Prague with church building in background

While the Czech Republic isn’t necessarily a religious country, they are indeed a traditional people and they sure know how to get into the Christmas spirit when the season rolls around.

Prague’s Christmas markets are unlike anything you’ve seen before, even if you’ve explored other Christmas markets around Europe.

With traditional Czech food and drink, handmade souvenirs and gifts, and, of course, seasonal alcohol galore, Prague’s Christmas markets will show you a whole new side of the city.

So if you are looking for a December destination and you love feeling festive for Christmas, we highly recommend Prague!

Explore the Christmas markets with this guided walking tour.

Where To Stay In Prague

Click on the links below to book your city accommodation.

Plus Prague

Located near the Nadrazi Holesovice train station:

  • Sauna
  • Indoor pool
  • Social activities
  • Free WiFi

Click here to book


Hotel Aura Design & Garden Pool

Located in Prague 9 -Čakovice:

  • Free toiletries
  • Free WiFi
  • Garden & terrace
  • Pets allowed

Book your room now


Don Giovanni Hotel

Located next to the Zelivskeho metro station:

  • Spa facilities
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Pets allowed
  • Live music

Check availability here


See more from Just A Pack on Facebook and Instagram!

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Stockholm – Wandermust Family

For me the best time of year to visit Stockholm is actually in December! Yes, the weather is cold, and the daylight hours are limited but the city is very special in the run up to Christmas.

Although not the large sprawling Christmas markets of Germany and France, Stockholm has a quaint and very traditional market at the living history museum – Skansen.

It’s one of the top things to do in Stockholm no matter when you go!

Church-like building reflecting on the water on edge of the city

the pretty city is perfect in December

You can pick up lots of traditional Swedish fare and arts and crafts, wander round buildings that recreate traditional Swedish life and warm yourself up with gluh wine around roaring fires places!

There is also a smaller market in the old town of Gamla Stan which is a great place to wander round, or perhaps take a walking tour to learn more about the history of the city!

If you can time your visit for the 13th December I would recommend this as this is the festival of St Lucia! On this date there will be a procession of St Lucia where a young adult will be elected to represent the saint and will wear a traditional crown of candles!

So yes, it might be cold in December but you will be rewarded if you brave the cold and visit Stockholm in winter.

Click here for an unmissable ABBA experience whilst you’re in Stockholm.

Where To Stay In Stockholm

Find a great deal on accommodation here.

Skanstulls Hostel

Located in Södermalm:

  • Shared kitchen
  • Laundry services
  • Library area
  • Free WiFi

Click here to book


Loginn Hotel

Located in Riddarfjärden Bay:

  • Breakfast included
  • Restaurant on-site
  • Sun terrace
  • Shared lounge area

Book your room now


Biz Apartment Hammarby Sjöstad 

Located in the Hammarby Sjöstad district:

  • Kitchen w/ dishwasher + microwave
  • Private bathroom
  • Nearby ski slopes
  • Free WiFi

Check availability here


See more from Wandermust Family on Facebook and Instagram!


Are you planning a trip this December, or even next year? Let us know where you go in the comments!


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