December is a magical month, with the holiday season in full swing and a sense of festivity. It’s also an excellent time to travel and explore the world’s beauty uniquely. Whether you’re seeking a snowy winter wonderland or a warm escape from the cold, there are beautiful places to visit in December that cater to all preferences.
I have been so busy travelling that I have enlisted a guest blogger to share this week’s post. Ketan Verma is here to tell you all about where to travel this December. He is a Senior Writer at Relo.AI, which covers relocation, travel, real estate news assistance, retirement, remote work, lifestyle, and more.
Ketan is going to take you on a journey to 12 enchanting destinations where you can make unforgettable memories this December. Get ready to immerse yourself in the season’s spirit and experience the world’s beauty like never before. So, let’s embark on this magical adventure and create cherished moments that will last a lifetime!
These are the top 12 beautiful places to visit in December
1. Lapland, Finland
If you dream of a white Christmas, Lapland is the ultimate destination. Located in the northernmost region of Finland, Lapland is renowned for its stunning snowy landscapes, pristine wilderness, and the opportunity to meet Santa Claus himself. This makes it a dream come true for both the young and the young at heart. Experience husky sledding through breathtaking snowy trails and witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights in the Arctic.
Embrace the cozy, rustic atmosphere of traditional Finnish cottages, where the warmth of log fires and hearty, comforting meals await. Lapland is a true winter wonderland for those seeking enchantment and adventure in the heart of the Arctic Circle. Whether making snow angels, building snowmen, or simply revelling in the magic of Lapland, these moments will leave you with cherished memories that last a lifetime.
- Places to Visit in Lapland: Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, and Levi Ski Resort.
- Things to Shop: Handcrafted souvenirs, traditional Finnish knitwear, and Christmas decorations.
- Things to Do in Lapland: Husky sledding, reindeer safaris, and witnessing the Northern Lights.
- Weather in December: Expect temperatures around -6°C (21°F), with plenty of snowfall.
2. Miami, Florida, USA
If you’re looking for a warm and exciting destination to visit in December, Miami is a fantastic choice. Known as the “Magic City,” Miami has stunning beaches, a lively art scene, and a wide range of culinary delights to explore. You can soak up the vibrant nightlife in South Beach, wander through the charming Art Deco Historic District, and unwind beside the beautiful turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Whether you’re a fan of surfing, paddleboarding, or simply lounging on the beach, Miami has something for everyone. Be sure to treat your taste buds to the mouthwatering delights of Cuban cuisine. Venture into colourful neighbourhoods like Little Havana where you can witness the city’s rich culture. If you’re considering relocating to Miami, you can embrace diverse cultures and experience the city’s unique magic.
Miami not only makes for a beautiful spot to visit in December, but we think it’s a great place year-round! Its sunny weather, fantastic art culture and foodie scene, and of course its beaches are always calling.
- Places to Visit in Miami: Delve into the Art Deco Historic District, unwind at South Beach, and admire the views from the Venetian Causeway.
- Things to Shop: Shop at Bal Harbour, Lincoln Road Mall, or discover vibrant street art in Wynwood.
- Things to Do in Miami: Water sports, beach lounging, exploring cultural neighbourhoods.
- Weather in December: Miami boasts mild weather, perfect for sun-seekers, with temperatures from 66°F to 78°F (19°C to 26°C).
3. Kyoto, Japan
Experience the serene beauty of Kyoto in December, when the city is graced with a dusting of snow and cherry blossoms have given way to vibrant autumn foliage. Take strolls along the charming Philosopher’s Path, where you can admire the colourful leaves reflecting in the canal. And don’t miss the breathtaking Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Explore Gion, where geisha and maiko add to the city’s timeless allure.
Visit historic temples and shrines, explore traditional tea houses, and immerse yourself in Japanese culture while enjoying hot bowls of ramen and matcha tea. Be sure to participate in a traditional tea ceremony to gain a deeper understanding of this ancient ritual. Also consider a visit to the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates that lead to the sacred Mount Inari.
- Places to Visit in Kyoto: Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
- Things to Shop: Traditional tea sets, kimono fabrics, and handmade crafts.
- Things to Do in Kyoto: Participate in a tea ceremony, explore historic temples, and indulge in the local cuisine.
- Weather in December: Kyoto has cool temperatures, averaging around 10°C (50°F) with occasional snowfall.
4. Banff National Park, Canada
For those seeking a serene escape, Banff National Park in Canada offers a winter wonderland in December. Snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes, abundant wildlife, the ethereal tranquillity of snowflakes falling gently, and the refreshing scent of pine trees in the crisp air make this UNESCO World Heritage Site a breathtaking destination. Explore the magic of this pristine wilderness.
Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and relaxing in natural hot springs surrounded by snow-covered pines. You can also bundle up for guided wildlife tours and witness the park’s majestic inhabitants, from elk to bighorn sheep, in their serene winter habitat. Exploring Banff National Park in December is a truly immersive experience in the heart of Canada’s pristine wilderness.
- Places to Visit in Banff National Park: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Banff Town.
- Things to Shop: Authentic Canadian winter clothing, indigenous art, and maple syrup.
- Things to Do in Banff National Park: Skiing, snowshoeing, and soaking in the Banff Upper Hot Springs.
- Weather in December: Expect cold weather with temperatures often below freezing.
5. Queenstown, Ireland
Explore historic castles, such as the iconic Blarney Castle, and discover the rich history and legends they hold. Listen to traditional Irish music in the heart of cozy pubs, where the lively atmosphere will have you tapping your feet to the rhythms of the fiddles and bodhráns. Drink a delicious pint of Guinness and immerse yourself in the Irish culture that comes to life during the holiday season.
Indulge in the delicious flavours of Irish cuisine by sampling hearty dishes like Irish stew and boxty pancakes. Queenstown’s culinary scene offers a delightful blend of traditional and modern fare, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts. Don’t forget to explore the picturesque countryside with its rolling hills, ancient ruins, and hidden gems that reveal the true beauty of Ireland in December.
- Places to Visit in Queenstown: Milford Sound, Queenstown Gardens, and Lake Wanaka.
- Things to Shop: New Zealand-made outdoor gear, Maori artwork, and woollen products.
- Things to Do in Queenstown: Adventure sports, wine tasting, and exploring the scenic South Island.
- Weather in December: Queenstown has a pleasant summer climate of around 20-25°C (68-77°F).
Six more beautiful places to visit in December
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague’s charming old town and historic architecture are even more enchanting during the holiday season. The city’s Christmas markets are a sight to behold, with wooden stalls selling handmade gifts, delicious treats, and mulled wine to keep you warm as you explore the festive atmosphere. Don’t miss the famous astronomical clock, a centuries-old marvel that puts on a captivating show every hour.
Prague’s enchantment during December extends to its cozy cafes, where you can savour traditional Czech pastries and hot chocolate. Stroll along the Charles Bridge to take in picturesque views of the Vltava River, and participate in the city’s cultural heritage by attending classical music concerts held in historic churches. Prague’s holiday season is truly a time of magic and wonder.
- Places to Visit in Prague: Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and Old Town Square.
- Things to Shop: Bohemian crystal, marionettes, and wooden toys.
- Things to Do in Prague: Wander through Christmas markets, take a river cruise, and admire Gothic architecture.
- Weather in December: It’s chilly, with temperatures averaging around 0°C (32°F).
7. Santorini, Greece
Indulge in a romantic December getaway on the enchanting island of Santorini. During this time of year, the weather is more pleasant, and the crowds are fewer, allowing you to soak in the island’s exquisite sunsets, iconic white-washed architecture, crystal-clear waters, and an overall sense of peace and serenity. It’s the perfect destination for couples searching for a memorable romantic escape.
While there, delve into the island’s rich history by exploring ancient ruins and treating your taste buds to delectable Mediterranean cuisine. Take leisurely hikes along the awe-inspiring caldera trails, sample Santorini’s unique wines at local wineries, and wander through charming hillside villages. And, of course, don’t forget a sunset cruise against the beautiful Aegean Sea backdrop.
- Places to Visit in Santorini: Oia, Fira, and Akrotiri Archaeological Site.
- Things to Shop: Local wines, olive oil, and handmade jewelry.
- Things to Do in Santorini: Watch sunsets, explore ancient ruins, and relax on beautiful beaches.
- Weather in December: Santorini has a mild winter climate with temperatures around 13-16°C (55-61°F).
8. Vienna, Austria
In December, Vienna undergoes a magical transformation, resembling a city straight out of a fairytale. Its majestic palaces and historic squares come alive with enchanting lights and bustling Christmas markets, creating an atmosphere that’s simply enchanting.
Take a leisurely walk along the renowned Ringstrasse, go to classical music concerts, and indulge in the delectable delights of Austrian pastries. Vienna’s Christmas markets are renowned as some of the most beautiful in Europe, offering a truly enchanting experience. These alone make Vienna one of the most beautiful places to visit in December.
Don’t miss the chance to sip warm mulled wine and shop for unique handcrafted gifts while soaking in the festive ambiance. Additionally, be sure to catch a horse-drawn carriage ride through the illuminated streets of Vienna, where the city’s timeless charm comes to life during the holiday season.
- Places to Visit in Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and Belvedere Palace.
- Things to Shop: Hand-painted ornaments, Viennese porcelain, and delicious chocolates.
- Things to Do in Vienna: Attend classical concerts, ice skate at Rathausplatz, and sip mulled wine at Christmas markets.
- Weather in December: Vienna experiences cold weather with temperatures averaging around 0°C (32°F).
9. Sedona, Arizona, USA
Sedona is famous for its breathtaking red rock formations and the serene, spiritual energy that permeates the area. In December, the mild desert climate provides an ideal setting for outdoor activities like hiking, jeep tours, stargazing, and even yoga retreats to connect with nature.
Don’t forget to sample the local cuisine and immerse yourself in the unique culture that makes Sedona a genuinely captivating destination year-round.
The holiday season adds an extra layer of tranquillity to this already beautiful destination, making it an excellent time to soak up the natural wonders and peaceful ambiance that Sedona has to offer. You can also explore the local art galleries and unique shops, which take on a festive charm during this time of year, making it an ideal season for adventure and relaxation in Sedona.
- Places to Visit in Sedona: Cathedral Rock, Red Rock State Park, and Oak Creek Canyon.
- Things to Shop: Native American art, turquoise jewelry, and natural healing products.
- Things to Do in Sedona: Hiking, jeep tours, and stargazing in the clear desert skies.
- Weather in December: Sedona has a mild winter climate with temperatures ranging from 5-15°C (41-59°F).
10. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town offers a truly unique experience in December, thanks to its delightful summer weather and breathtaking natural beauty. You can start by taking in the awe-inspiring views from the iconic Table Mountain, spending quality time with adorable penguin colonies at Boulders Beach, and indulging your taste buds with world-class cuisine in this vibrant coastal city.
While basking in the sun on Cape Town’s gorgeous beaches, don’t miss the chance to embark on a scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive, celebrated for its stunning coastal vistas. For nature enthusiasts, visiting the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a must. It’s a gorgeous spot to visit in December as well as the rest of the year.
- Places to Visit in Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Stellenbosch Wine Region.
- Things to Shop: African crafts, Cape wines, and handmade jewelry.
- Things to Do in Cape Town: Beach activities, wine tasting, and exploring the Cape Peninsula.
- Weather in December: Cape Town experiences warm and pleasant weather with temperatures around 20-28°C (68-82°F).
11. Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, not only offers a warm Nordic welcome but also serves as a gateway to some of the world’s most stunning natural wonders. In December, you will hopefully experience the mesmerizing Northern Lights. You can also relax at soothing geothermal pools, and embark on adventures in the otherworldly landscapes of ice caves and breathtaking waterfalls.
Beyond the natural splendours, Reykjavik boasts a vibrant cultural scene. Explore art galleries, savour the flavours of traditional Icelandic cuisine, and soak up the friendly atmosphere of this charming Nordic capital. Stroll along the picturesque harbour to absorb the city’s rich history, appreciate its modern architectural marvels, and connect with the locals who make Reykjavik a genuinely welcoming destination.
- Places to Visit in Reykjavik: Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park.
- Things to Shop: Icelandic woollens, lava jewelry, and unique Viking-inspired souvenirs.
- Things to Do in Reykjavik: Witness the Northern Lights, soak in geothermal pools, and explore ice caves.
- Weather in December: Expect cold weather with temperatures often below freezing.
12. Sydney, Australia
And finally, rounding out our list of the most beautiful places to visit in December is Sydney, Australia. December is actually a summer month down ‘under so don’t expect to see any snow. Instead, you can celebrate the snowy season on their sandy beaches.
Ring in the New Year style with a front-row seat to the world-famous Sydney Harbour fireworks display. Revel in the spectacular pyrotechnics that light up the night sky, creating an unforgettable start to the year. As the clock strikes midnight, the Sydney Harbour Bridge becomes a canvas for a mesmerizing light show, making it an iconic moment to cherish. Join the joyful crowd along the waterfront and feel the festive spirit.
Sydney’s pleasant December climate invites you to enjoy sunny days at the beach, embark on leisurely harbour cruises, and discover iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and the beautiful Bondi Beach. You can explore the vibrant neighbourhoods, savour world-class cuisine, and partake in cultural events that make Sydney a top destination during this festive season.
- Places to Visit in Sydney: Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, and Taronga Zoo.
- Things to Shop: Australian opals, Aboriginal art, and beachwear.
- Things to Do in Sydney: Experience the Sydney Harbour fireworks and beach-related fun, most engaging with the city’s lively culture.
- Weather in December: Sydney has a warm summer climate with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F).
Conclusion – 12 beautiful places to visit this December 2023
December is a month filled with beauty and wonder, and these 12 destinations offer a diverse range of experiences to suit every traveller’s taste, whether you’re seeking a snowy escape, a warm getaway, or a mix of both, guaranteeing that your December travels are truly exceptional and unforgettable.
These beautiful places to visit in December 2023 promise to create unforgettable memories and make your holiday season exceptionally magical. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the world’s beauty in its most enchanting season, turning your long-held wanderlust dreams into reality!