December is one of the busiest travel months of the year after the summer. For the holidays, many fly home or to far-flung locations. Others are kicking off the ski season early. Additionally, workaholics with wanderlust are taking advantage of their time off to travel one final time before the year is through.
However, December is a wonderful time to travel despite the crowds. In Europe, there are numerous Christmas markets, particularly in Strasbourg and Nuremberg. St. Lucia is the ideal tropical escape for northern snowbirds. Patagonia experiences some of the most pleasant weather of the year in December. Additionally, there is no place like New York City around the holidays, and is considered one of the best places to travel in December.
Even though December typically signals the end of the year, your travel plans don’t have to change. Here are some of TravelRaval top recommendations for the greatest places to visit in December, whether you’re seeking for breathtaking northern lights, thrilling beach experiences, or cozy Christmas markets.
- 1. Chile’s Patagonia is Full of Incredible Landscapes
- 2. Experience Legendary Ski Slopes in Japan’s Hokkaido
- 3. Cape Town is the Most Preferred Destination for December’s Festivities
- 4. December is When Nuremberg Really Sparkles
- 5. St. Lucia is the Most Preferred Escape from the Harsh Winters up North
- 6. Costa Rica is at its Most Breathtaking in December
- 7. Pleasant Weather and the Entertainment Sums up Thailand Vacation
- 8. Sleep on ice Beneath the Northern Lights in Arctic Sweden
- 9. London Sparks in December
- 10. Enjoy a Winter Wonderland Feel AY New York This Time Of The Year
- 11. December Seems like the Perfect Time to Hit Hawaii
- 12. Canada’s Banff Would be An Ideal Escape for Ski Lovers
- 13. The Historical Strasbourg Throws a Renowned Christmas Market
- 14. It’s the Best Time to Visit Sin City – Las Vegas
- 15. Experience the Romantic, Fairy-tale Laced Vacation in Black Forest Germany
- 16. Maldives in December is Full of Ample Sunshine, Warms Temps, and Luxury Under-Water Stays
- What Are Your Plans for December 2022?
1. Chile’s Patagonia is Full of Incredible Landscapes
If you want to reconnect with nature in one of the most magnificent places on the planet, travel to Chilean Patagonia. Even the most seasoned explorers will be impressed by this pristine natural area. Imagine a landscape with windswept steppes, blue glaciers, sparkling green lakes, and Andean peaks that kiss the sky.
December occurs in the midst of the summer season in South America, making the weather ideal for traveling to locations like Sierra madre Aires, Point Cape, Perito Moreno, and Nevado del Paine National Park. As this is peak season, make bookings with outfitters and guides well in advance.
2. Experience Legendary Ski Slopes in Japan’s Hokkaido
Head to Hokkaido in December if you want to ski on world-famous slopes. Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan, has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best snow destinations. And this snow isn’t just any snow; it’s a unique variety known among powder hunters as “Ja-pow,” which is dry and puffy. Mid-December marks the start of ski season, though if the weather is favorable, it may begin earlier.
For your December ski holiday, Hokkaido has a plethora of ski resorts to select from. Every year, Niseko receives around 1,500 millimeters of snow. Sahoro offers excellent tree skiing and treats visitors from throughout the world well. Consider Tomamu, which emanates cheesy Japanese culture, if you want to venture off the beaten track.
3. Cape Town is the Most Preferred Destination for December’s Festivities
Tourists from all over the world travel to Cape Town in December, and for good reason. The Southern Hemisphere’s summer time provides ideal sightseeing weather – not too hot, not too cold, and almost no rain. However, if you want to visit South Africa in the height of the tourist season, you’ll need to make your plans well in advance.
Take Table Mountain’s aerial cableway to the top while visiting for the most breathtaking views of Cape Town and the ocean. You can also visit Boulders Beach to meet the resident penguins, visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens to witness about 7,000 unique plant species. Besides, you can also take pictures in front of the candy-colored buildings of Bo-Kaap.
4. December is When Nuremberg Really Sparkles
No other city decorates the halls as well as Nuremberg does for the European Christmas markets. For that, it ranks among the top tourist destinations in the world in December. An annual tradition at the Hauptmarkt since at least the 1500s, the little Bavarian city is home to one of Germany’s oldest Christmas marketplaces.
If you can, aim to be in Germany in late November to see the much-anticipated Nuremberg Christkind (a gift-giving fairy from German Christmas folklore) deliver an exposition in the Main Market Square to commemorate the festivities.
But even if you miss that occasion, you can still take in all the festive spirit of the Nuremberg Christmas market in December. Eat the famous bratwurst and gingerbread of the city, look for vintage wooden toys and knit caps, and gather a few ornaments for your Christmas tree.
5. St. Lucia is the Most Preferred Escape from the Harsh Winters up North
St. Lucia, one of the most beautiful islands in the world, is a fantastic getaway in December from the chilly weather up north. A wonderful approach to unwind before the New Year will be to simply unwind at one of its opulent resorts. You can spend your days relaxing on the beach, participating in water activities, and going on excursions before settling down to enjoy the sunsets with their rainbow-streaked patterns.
For more adventurous visitors, there are plenty of things to do in St. Lucia. A difficult trip to the towering Pitons could be undertaken by seasoned hikers. Additionally, you can go scuba diving along the Anse Chastanet coral reef, hike the Tet Paul Nature Trail to witness views of Martinique and St. Vincent, and explore the laid-back fishing community of Soufrière.
No matter how pressed for time you are, make sure to block off an hour to soak in a mud bath at Sulphur Springs. You’ll receive thanks from your skin.
6. Costa Rica is at its Most Breathtaking in December
Want to see Costa Rica at its most beautiful? Plan to arrive in the nation of Central America in mid-December, right after the end of the wet season.
The scenery will be lush, and waterfalls will still be gushing from the previous months’ downpours. But there will be little chance of rain and great temperatures for exploring the different areas.
In Costa Rica, you can choose from a variety of vacation possibilities. The Nicoya Peninsula offers miles of golden sand lined with palm trees for beach lovers to enjoy.
Staying close to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve will allow hikers convenient access to the outdoors. The birds at the Cao Negro Wildlife Refuge or the howler monkeys at Corcovado National Park will make wildlife enthusiasts feel perfectly at home. Go to Manuel Antonio National Park for both animals and beaches.
7. Pleasant Weather and the Entertainment Sums up Thailand Vacation
Bangkok is at its most beautiful and one of the best places to travel in December for warm weather. When the monsoon rains stop in November, the Thai capital experiences comparatively cold, dry weather in December.
When the sun is at its maximum during the day, the temperature might reach 32 degrees Celsius in the evening.
There are plenty of things to do in Bangkok while soaking in the pleasant weather. Visiting the Grand Palace is essential. Many Thai monarchs and their royal courts resided in the approximately 250-year-old palace, which has breathtakingly elaborate construction. Additionally, it houses the revered Emerald Buddha.
Visit Wat Pho, the city’s oldest temple, situated south of the royal grounds to see the renown 45-meter-long reclining Buddha statue.
After exploring the sights, soak in the energy of this busy metropolis. The Khao San Road backpacker area is a whirlwind of color and activity, with music blasting, street merchants peddling trinkets, and guesthouses everywhere. This region is where you can find some of Bangkok’s best street cuisine. Mango sticky rice is a must-order.
8. Sleep on ice Beneath the Northern Lights in Arctic Sweden
The sun never rises in the final three weeks of the year in the Swedish settlement of Jukkasjärvi, one degree latitude north of the Arctic Circle. In December, darkness reigns supreme, making it the ideal time to view the Aurora Borealis. It is also one of the best places to travel in December on a budget.
The original Ice Hotel is located in Jukkasjärvi, and its 33rd iteration will open on December 1 this year. Here, you can spend the night in an ice bed 6 .
The region also serves as a base for activities such as cross-country skiing, husky plowing, snowboarding, wagon rides, befriending reindeer, and learning about traditional Sámi culture, all of which are enchanting for both children and adults.
Abisko National Park, located 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the northwest, is even further away from light and offers possibly the best aurora-watching conditions in the world.
9. London Sparks in December
December brings a literal shine to London. The entire city is decked out in holiday decorations and twinkle lights, giving it a lovely, almost magical vibe.
This is especially true of Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Covent Garden. But London is one of the top destinations to visit in December because of its packed events calendar.
Visitors can view the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the first Thursday of December. Locals and visitors alike enjoy Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for its amusement park rides, ice skating, and Christmas market.
Christmas at Kew at the Royal Botanical Gardens offers visitors the chance to stroll a mile-long path that is illuminated by more than a million lights. Naturally, the city also holds its renowned New Year’s Eve Fireworks on December 31 at the London Eye. Purchase your tickets well in advance to ensure a good view.
10. Enjoy a Winter Wonderland Feel AY New York This Time Of The Year
There are no better places to visit in USA in December than New York City. When the trees are lit up with twinkling lights and there is a light coating of snow on the walkway, the glass and concrete city feels like a winter wonderland.
Visit Rockefeller Center—one of the must-do activities in New York City at this time of year. The Big Apple’s famous Christmas tree can be found there, along with a seasonal skating rink that has been a yearly ritual since 1936.
During the Christmas Spectacular holiday stage show, more than 140 members of the world-famous Rockettes do their high kicks in unison at neighboring Radio City Music Hall.
In New York, December is also the busiest shopping month. Visit department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s to buy presents for all your loved ones. You can also stroll down Fifth Avenue to view the beautiful Christmas window decorations in storefronts.
11. December Seems like the Perfect Time to Hit Hawaii
Any island in the Hawaiian archipelago looks like the ideal destination in December, but the Big Island stands out as being particularly special.
The Big Island is just as delectably warm and tropical as neighboring islands like Maui, Kauai, and Oahu, but with significantly less tourists.
You can find the enigmatic black-sand beaches, tall peaks, dense rainforests, and desolate lava desserts here. On this volcanic island, you’ll unquestionably get that intrepid, primeval spirit. In actuality, the still active Kilauea volcano is located on the island.
You come to the Big Island if you want adventure, stunning natural beauty, and don’t mind avoiding the huge beachside resorts.
You’ll discover hiking, sightseeing, and sunbathing on beaches surrounded by enormous, dense jungles on this extraordinary island retreat.
12. Canada’s Banff Would be An Ideal Escape for Ski Lovers
Even if you hate winter right now, a trip to Banff in December will teach you to love it. This magnificent mountain town offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Canada, as well as a vibrant après ski culture, and amazing ice skating on Lake Louise.
Still, there are more winter activities in Banff. Additionally, visitors can walk from hut to hut through the Wapta Icefields and enjoy husky sledding in the Rockies with a boisterous pack of huskies.
If all that time climbing up and down mountains has left you sore, you can relax your achy joints and muscles in the renowned Banff Hot Springs. Staying at the famed Banff Springs Hotel will help you to wrap up your journey.
13. The Historical Strasbourg Throws a Renowned Christmas Market
Strasbourg, just across the border from Germany, is another of the best destinations to visit in December. This ancient city hosts a well-known Christmas market that combines German and French customs, just like its Black Forest neighbors.
Christkindelsmärik, one of the city’s oldest markets, is held annually against a backdrop of half-timbered buildings and pure canals that conjures up images of a fairy tale. Shopping from international sellers and having a nice drink while snowflakes dance down on the glittering market is an unforgettable experience.
Place Kléber is where you may continue your holiday touring and find the Great Christmas Tree.
The enormous arbor rises at least 30 meters above the city and is decorated with 400 ornaments, 240 lit cherubs, and 7 kilometers of dazzling lights. It will undoubtedly make you feel festive.
14. It’s the Best Time to Visit Sin City – Las Vegas
As more and more well-known celebrities (such as Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga) secure residencies in Las Vegas, the reputation of the city as a top entertainment destination grows as well. So go see a show while you’re there, but now is also the ideal time to explore off-strip because the weather is so agreeably cool. Want to see stunning geology? You should see the red-hued Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Public art? Wander downtown. gangster stuff? Don’t miss the Mob Museum, which has a brewery on its premises.
15. Experience the Romantic, Fairy-tale Laced Vacation in Black Forest Germany
The Black Forest is the most romantic and fairytale-like location in Germany. And never more so than in December, when its undulating hills and densely packed evergreens may be dusted with snow and Christmas is sprinkled everywhere.
One of TravelRaval’s best places to visit in December in 2022 is the vibrant university town of Freiburg, which is a great option for a festive getaway.
Its medieval center of cobblestone alleyways and gabled homes is delightful to walk at any time of year. Peruse the Christmas market, where you can make your own candles and sweets, ride the Chariot, and eat grilled cheese and bratwurst.
Take the train or bus to adjacent Hinterzarten to visit the eye-catching Ravennaschlucht market, where traditional stalls are arranged in a gorgeous way.
16. Maldives in December is Full of Ample Sunshine, Warms Temps, and Luxury Under-Water Stays
The Maldives are one of the most breathtaking islands on earth, especially in December when there is a lot of sunshine, high temperatures, and little rain. This honeymooner’s haven is famed for its luxurious resorts and hotels. If you’ve ever wanted to stay in an underwater suite or a private overwater cottage with a plunge pool, you may do so in one of the Maldives’ 26 pristine archipelagos.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are two of the most popular activities in the Maldives. These islands’ surroundings are surrounded by turquoise waters that are home to a diverse range of reefs and marine life. You’ll have good visibility on your underwater adventure thanks to the dry December weather.
The Maldives are also ideal for families who want to spend time at the beach. An all-inclusive resort is an excellent way to unwind and rejuvenate.
What Are Your Plans for December 2022?
We hope this list helps you choose a destination that best suits your style and preference. Hopefully, we have inspired you to consider adding some of these destinations to your travel bucket list. From Nuremberg to the Maldives, there is no shortage of great places to visit in December. So go ahead and make those travel plans— this year can’t come soon enough!