Best Places To Travel in December 2024

best places to travel in december

December may be the busiest time of the year, but it's also a fantastic time to plan an escape. Whether you're after a warm-weather getaway or a snow-filled vacation, there are plenty of places around the world that fit the bill. Ready to squeeze in one last trip before the new year? Here's our list of the best places to travel in December.

Northern Lights

1. Lapland, Finland

Average temperature: -6ºC/21°F
Season: Winter
Why go in December? Snow activities and the Northern Lights

Traveling to Finnish Lapland in December is a winter adventure. You can experience a range of outdoor adventures, from husky sledging and reindeer safaris to cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The chance to witness the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime highlight, and cozy log cabins, warmed by roaring fireplaces, offer a perfect retreat after long days spent outdoors. Embrace the Finnish tradition of sauna, followed by a roll in the snow, and savor hearty local cuisine, including dishes like leipäjuusto (bread cheese) and smoked salmon. 

Related: Holiday Travel: Top 15 Snow Vacations

Taking off to Finnish Lapland? Stay connected with a Finland eSIM.

Vienna Christmas Market

2. Vienna, Austria

Average temperature: 2°C/36°F
Season: Winter
Why go in December? Festive markets and classical music

Next on our list of best places to travel in December is Vienna. The Austrian capital transforms into a winter wonderland over the holidays, with twinkling lights and festive decorations. The city's famous Christmas markets, like the one in front of the Rathaus, serve up artisanal crafts, mulled wine, and delicious pastries. Classical music fills the air, making it a terrific time to attend a concert or opera performance. Don't miss the impressive Belvedere Palace, home to a stunning art collection (and Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss"), and warm up with a cup of rich Viennese hot chocolate. 

Heading to Vienna? Stay connected with an Austria eSIM.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Average temperature: 27°C/81°F
Season: Dry 
Why go in December? 
New Year's Eve at the iconic Petronas Twin Towers

December is the start of the dry season in Kuala Lumpur ("KL" to locals), making it a fantastic time of year to visit. The Malaysian capital celebrates the holidays with colorful decorations, twinkling lights, and festive dishes. Visit Petaling Street for food stalls, holiday shopping, and the city's most famous eateries. Take a day trip to Batu Caves and hike the 272 rainbow-colored steps to Temple Cave. And admire the iconic Petronas Towers on New Year's Eve, illuminated by a dazzling fireworks display.

Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur? Stay connected with a Malaysia eSIM.

Phuket beach

4. Phuket, Thailand

Average temperature: 28°C/82°F
Season: Dry
Why go in December? History, culture, and island-hopping

The next stop on our list of best places to travel in December is Phuket. December brings clear skies and warm weather — fantastic conditions to explore Thailand's largest island. Visit picture-perfect beaches like Patong and Kata and explore limestone caves and emerald waters on a longtail boat tour. Highlights include Bangla Road, Phuket's Old Town, and the 45-meter-high Big Buddha that overlooks the island. Food lovers will delight in Naka Weekend Market's street food staples like pad thaisom tam (papaya salad), and satay.

Related: Holiday Travel: Top 15 Winter Sun Vacations

Taking a trip to Phuket? Stay connected with a Thailand eSIM.

Canal in Strasbourg, France

5. Strasbourg, France

Average temperature: 2.5ºC/36.5°F
Season: Winter
Why go in December? Holiday magic at Europe's very first Christmas market

Strasbourg is truly fairytale-like in December. Home to Europe's very first Christmas Market, the city's UNESCO-listed Grand Île brings the holiday magic. Wander the 400-year-old market's 300 chalet-style stalls, stopping for mulled wine and bredle (Christmas biscuits) along the way. Other landmarks to add to your itinerary include Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Palais Rohan, and Petite France. Hop on a boat tour or experience the Alsatian capital on foot, but be sure to bundle up — December is Strasbourg's snowiest month.

Exploring Strasbourg? Stay connected with a France eSIM.

Beach in the Bahamas

6. The Bahamas

Average temperature: 23°C/73°F
Season: Winter
Why go in December? Beach vibes and Junkanoo celebrations

The Bahamas is one of the best places to travel if you're after guaranteed winter sun. December marks the start of the dry season, with balmy temperatures, abundant sunshine, and pristine beaches at the ready. Spend your days swimming, diving, and snorkeling at one of many postcard-worthy beaches (Cable Beach and Pink Sands Beach are favorites), or head to Exumas to see its famous swimming pigs. Join the Junkanoo festivities, which celebrate Bahamian culture with parades, costumes, and music on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Hitting the beach in the Bahamas? Stay connected with a Bahamas eSIM.

Prague skyline

7. Prague, Czech Republic

Average temperature: 2°C/36°F
Season: Winter
Why go in December? Stunning architecture and traditional Christmas markets

Traveling to Prague in December is a magical experience. Already one of the most beautiful cities in the world to visit, the Czech capital goes all out during the holidays. Its Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau architecture gets decked out in twinkling lights, and landmarks like the Astronomical Clock, Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge are dusted in snow. Be sure to explore the city's enchanting Christmas markets, like the one in the Old Town Square, with their traditional crafts, warm drinks, and delicious Czech pastries.

Related: The 25 Most Beautiful Cities in the World To Visit

Planning a trip to Prague? Stay connected with a Czech Republic eSIM.

Dubai skyline at nightFreepik

8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Average temperature: 22°C/72°F
Season: Dry
Why go in December? Sunny skies and the world's biggest fireworks display

December is one of the best times of year to visit the Middle East's most glamorous city. Dubai's typically scorching temperatures cool off in December, making it a fantastic time to explore all the city has to offer. It's home to the world's tallest building, biggest mall (including an indoor ski slope), longest urban zipline, and deepest diving pool. Must-see spots include Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, Madinat Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, Old Souk, Dubai Creek, and Dubai Frame. Don't miss New Year's Eve when the world's biggest fireworks display lights up the Dubai skyline. 

Visiting Dubai? Stay connected with a United Arab Emirates eSIM.

Kerala, India

9. Kerala, India

Average temperature: 25°C/77°F
Season: Winter
Why go in December? Lush landscapes after the monsoon season

If you're after a lush, tropical paradise, look no further than Kerala. In December, Kerala enters its dry season, with cooler temperatures and minimal rainfall. It's the ideal time to explore the Indian state's stunning natural beauty. Kerala's layered landscape, from misty hill stations like Munnar to pristine beaches in Varkala, promises a truly epic trip. Visit the enchanting backwaters with palm-fringed canals, houseboats, and villages, trek in the Western Ghats' spice-and tea-covered hills, and explore nearly 600km of glorious Arabian Sea coast and beaches.

Traveling to Kerala? Stay connected with an India eSIM.

Queenstown, New Zealand

10. Queenstown, New Zealand

Average Temperature: 15°C/59°F
Season: Summer
Why go in December? Long, sunny days for outdoor adventures

The final stop on our list of best places to travel in December is Queenstown, New Zealand. Dubbed the "adventure capital of the world," Queenstown is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. December marks the start of summer, the perfect time for thrilling adventures like bungee jumping, white water rafting, and skydiving. Looking for something a little more tame? Hike the Queenstown Hill Walk, a favorite with locals for its breathtaking views of the city, Lake Wakatipu, and the Southern Alps.  

Adventuring in Queenstown? Stay connected with a New Zealand eSIM.

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Stay Connected With an eSIM From Airalo

No matter where your travels take you, stay connected with an Airalo eSIM. Airalo gives you access to affordable eSIMs for 200+ countries and regions — including each of our best places to travel in December.

Why Airalo? Here are a few reasons to use an Airalo eSIM when you travel:

  • Connect to a mobile network within minutes of arrival.
  • Choose from flexible local, regional, and global data plans.
  • Eliminate the need to find a local SIM vendor.
  • Say goodbye to expensive roaming charges.
  • Store multiple eSIM data plans on your device.
  • Need more data? Top up in the Airalo app.

Where will you travel in December? Choose an Airalo eSIM to stay connected during your trip.

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