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Winter wonders: 12 best places to go in December

With the final fall leaves fading, December arrives, bringing its magic and wonder. For many, this is the time to seek out the perfect holiday destination to round off the year.

Whether it’s the allure of winter wonderlands or the desire to chase the sun, December has something for everyone. 

If you’re hunting for the ideal December retreat, you’re in the right place. Our guide is your key to unlocking the 12 best countries to visit in December. 

Best places in December to enjoy Christmas markets

Christmas market in Prague decorated with Christmas trees.

Prague (Czech Republic)

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 6°C, minimum temperature -2°C. 
  • Often a chance of light snowfall.
  • The travel time from the UK to Prague is approximately 2 hours by plane.
  • Prague is 1 hour ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+1).

Why visit Prague in December?

Are you seeking a magical winter escape from the UK? Consider Prague in December!

The city’s iconic architecture is draped in festive lights, and the air is filled with the charm of the holiday season.

Let’s delve into the allure of Prague during December:

  • Visit the Christmas markets: The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square host the city’s most famous markets. They’re brimming with festive stalls, traditional Czech treats, and unique handmade gifts. 
  • Explore Prague Castle: The historic buildings are dusted in snow. It’s a great time to explore the castle grounds, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the charming Golden Lane. 
  • Enjoy a classical concert: Attend a performance in Rudolfinum or the National Theatre. It’s a memorable way to experience Prague’s cultural richness.

In Prague, the Czech koruna is the currency you’ll need. Order your Czech currency online with Manor FX and enjoy our quick, hassle-free service. We ensure you have the right currency for your Prague trip!

Christmas market in Berlin.

Berlin

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 3°C, minimum temperature -1°C.
  • Occasional rain or snowfall.
  • The travel time from the UK to Berlin is approximately 2 hours by plane.
  • Berlin is 1 hour ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+1).

Why visit Berlin in December?

Consider a trip to Berlin in December, where the city takes on a festive and enchanting atmosphere.

Berlin in winter transforms into a captivating blend of historic charm and contemporary vibrancy. Join us as we delve into the unique experiences that make Berlin an incredible destination in December:

  • Visit the Christmas markets: Visit the Gendarmenmarkt and Charlottenburg Palace. They offer a festive atmosphere with unique crafts, delicious food, and warm Glühwein. 
  • Attend a classical concert or ballet: The city’s renowned venues host special concerts and performances, like the Berliner Philharmonie and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. These include seasonal favourites like “The Nutcracker.”
  • Ice skating: Berlin has several rinks, such as the one at Potsdamer Platz, where you can skate outdoors and enjoy the festive surroundings.

The euro is the official currency of Berlin. At Manor FX, we ensure you get competitive exchange rates for your euros. Get your currency sorted with us today for your Berlin trip!

Majestic peaks of Los Kuernos over Lake Pehoe. On a dirt road is worth guanaco - Lama. The national park Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile.

Chile (Santiago)

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 32°C, minimum temperature 13°C.
  • Dry season.
  • The travel time from the UK to Santiago is approximately 14 -16 hours by plane.
  • Santiago is 4 hours behind the UK during December ( GMT -4).

Why visit Santiago in December?

Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey to Santiago, Chile, in December.

While much of the world experiences the chill of winter, Santiago beckons with its warm and sunny embrace.

Let’s discover the best things to do in Santiago in December:

  • Explore the Andes Mountains: Take a day trip to the Andes. Enjoy hiking, horseback riding, or simply marvelling at the breathtaking scenery. Don’t miss visiting the Cajón del Maipo, a stunning canyon with crystal-clear rivers and hot springs.
  • Celebrate Christmas in Santiago: Explore Christmas markets like the Feria Navideña. Attend a Misa del Gallo (Midnight Mass) at one of the city’s churches for a cultural experience.
  • Wine tasting in the Maipo Valley: Take a wine tour to the Maipo Valley or the Casablanca Valley. You can visit vineyards, taste exquisite Chilean wines, and learn about winemaking. 

The Chilean peso (CLP) is the official currency of Santiago. By obtaining them through Manor FX today, you have your pesos ready for a seamless and stress-free journey. 

Royal castle of the Polish kings on the Wawel hill, over the Vistula river in beautiful sunset light, Krakow, Poland.

Poland (Krakow)

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 2°C , minimum temperature -5°C.
  • Occasional snowfall.
  • The travel time from the UK to Krakow is approximately 3 hours by plane.
  • Krakow is 1 hour ahead of the UK during December ( GMT +1).

Why visit Krakow in December?

Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting charm of Krakow, Poland, in December. While many places are blanketed in winter’s chill, Krakow transforms into a fairytale city.

Join us as we discover the allure of Krakow during the festive period:

  • Explore the Christmas markets: Head to the Main Market Square (Rynek Główny) to experience the festive atmosphere. You can shop for handcrafted gifts, savour traditional Polish treats like pierogi, kielbasa and enjoy mulled wine.
  • Visit Wawel Castle: The castle is beautifully illuminated in December, making it a picturesque sight. Explore the historic interiors, including the Royal Apartments and the stunning Wawel Cathedral. 
  • Attend a Christmas Eve Wigilia: Experience a traditional Polish Christmas Eve (Wigilia) celebration by participating in a local dinner. Many restaurants and venues offer special Wigilia meals with symbolic dishes like borscht and carp.

The Polish złoty (PLN) is the official currency of Poland. By securing them through Manor FX today, ensure you have your travel money ready for a smooth and hassle-free trip. 

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Top places to visit in December to enjoy the sun

Baobab trees at sunset at the avenue of the baobabs in Madagascar.

Madagascar

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 30°C, minimum temperature 20°C.
  • Start of the wet season.
  • The travel time from the UK to Madagascar is approximately 12-14 hours by plane.
  • Madagascar is 3 hours ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+3).

Why visit Madagascar in December?

Set your sights on Madagascar! December in Madagascar is a vibrant display of nature’s wonders, far from the typical winter landscape.

This unique island paradise, renowned for its diverse wildlife and lush landscapes, offers an adventure unlike any other. 

Let’s explore the wonders of Madagascar during this enchanting time of year:

  • Explore the rainforests of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park: December, being part of the rainy season, brings Madagascar’s rainforests to life. Andasibe-Mantadia is ideal for seeing unique wildlife like the indri, the largest lemur species.
  • Relax on Nosy Be and surrounding islands: This famous island offers warm weather and clear waters in December. It’s perfect for beach relaxation, snorkelling, and diving.
  • Visit the avenue of the baobabs: The wet season brings a lush, green backdrop to these majestic trees. It’s an excellent time for photography and to appreciate the unique landscape of Madagascar.

The Malagasy ariary is the official currency of Madagascar. Manor FX provides excellent exchange rates and offers a wide range of currencies. Secure yours today for your Madagascar adventure!

Asian girl enjoy travel in Wat Xieng Thong temple one of the most famous attraction place in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Laos

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 25°C, minimum temperature 14°C.
  • Dry season.
  • The travel time from the UK to Laos is approximately 14 -18 hours by plane.
  • Laos is 7 hours ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+7).

Why visit Laos in December?

Embark on a journey to Laos this December! In this season, Laos reveals its serene beauty and cultural richness. This time of year is perfect for exploring ancient temples or cruising the Mekong River.

Let’s uncover the beauty and tranquillity of Laos in December:

  • Visit Luang Prabang: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. Its well-preserved architecture, stunning temples like Wat Xieng Thong, and nightly street markets make it a cultural gem. 
  • Cruise the Mekong River: This is an excellent way to see the Laotian countryside, with stops at small villages and caves like Pak Ou Caves. 
  • Explore the Plain of Jars: This archaeological site is scattered with thousands of stone jars. The cooler temperatures in December provide a comfortable setting for exploring this unique historical site.

The Lao kip is the official currency of Laos. At Manor FX, Prepare for your trip to Laos by getting your currency with us today!

Camel in front of Dubai Marina in a summer day, United Arab Emirates.

Dubai

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 26°C, minimum temperature 14°C.
  • Dry season
  • The travel time from the UK to Dubai is approximately 7-8 hours by plane.
  • Dubai is 4 hours ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+4).

Why visit Dubai in December?

Get ready to embark on a December journey to Dubai. The country is a dazzling oasis of modernity nestled in the heart of the Arabian Desert. While much of the world embraces the winter’s chill, Dubai offers a warm and extravagant escape.

Let’s discover the top 3 things to do in Dubai in December:

  • Visit the Dubai shopping festival: December in Dubai starts with the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). You can enjoy shopping, entertainment, and cultural events. 
  • Desert safari: Embark on a thrilling desert safari. You can experience dune bashing, sandboarding, camel rides, and even watch a mesmerising desert sunset. 
  • Visit iconic landmarks: December offers comfortable weather for exploring the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the Dubai Fountain. 

The United Arab Emirates dirham (AED) is the official currency of Dubai. By securing them through Manor FX today, ensure you have your dirhams ready for a smooth and hassle-free trip. 

Lady freediving in the ocean in Mauritius.

Mauritius

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 30°C, minimum temperature 20°C.
  • December marks the beginning of the wet season.
  • The travel time from the UK to Mauritius is approximately 12-13 hours by plane.
  • Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+4).

Why visit Mauritius in December?

Mauritius is an island where summer’s embrace brings a different natural spectacle.

As winter takes hold in many parts of the world, Mauritius basks in the warmth and vibrancy of summer.

Let’s uncover the enchanting allure of Mauritius in December:

  • Relax on stunning beaches: Flic en Flac, Trou aux Biches, and Mont Choisy are breathtaking. You can sunbathe, swim, and indulge in water sports like snorkelling and windsurfing.
  • Explore the Black River Gorges National Park: The park is home to native forests and wildlife, including the famous Mauritian flying fox. December’s weather provides a comfortable backdrop for exploring these natural wonders.
  • Visit the botanical gardens: The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses is a must-visit. Established in the 18th century, it features over 85 varieties of palms. 

The Mauritian rupee is the official currency of Mauritius. Get your rupees with Manor FX today for a smooth and worry-free travel experience.

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Best places to visit in December for adventure seekers

Reindeer sledding ecotourism tour, Sweden.

Sweden (Norrbotten)

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature -10°C, minimum temperature -20°C.
  • December often brings thick snowfall.
  • The travel time from the UK to Norrbotten is approximately 5 – 8 hours by plane.
  • Norrbotten is 1 hour ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+1).

Why visit Norrbotten in December?

Consider a December journey to Norrbotten, Sweden, where the winter landscape offers a different kind of natural splendour.

In this northernmost region of Sweden, December transforms the scenery into a mesmerising winter wonderland. Known for its breathtaking Arctic landscapes and unique wildlife, Norrbotten presents an array of winter adventures. 

Let’s discover the serene beauty and unique activities that make Norrbotten a must-visit destination in December:

  • Witness the northern lights: Norrbotten is one of the best places in the world to see the Aurora Borealis. Towns like Kiruna and Abisko offer ideal viewing conditions. 
  • Visit the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi: the hotel is rebuilt each winter with unique ice and snow sculptures. It’s not just a hotel; it’s an art exhibition and a truly unique architectural marvel. You can stay overnight or just visit for the day.
  • Go dog sledding or snowmobiling: Embrace the winter landscape with a dog sledding adventure. Alternatively, snowmobiling through the pristine wilderness offers an exciting way to explore Norrbotten’s vast, snowy landscapes.

The Swedish krona is the official currency of Sweden. At Manor FX, we can help you prepare for your Norrbotten trip. Get your travel money from us today!

mountaineer  looking to the Taranaki volcano in the north island of New Zealand.

New Zealand

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 24°C, minimum temperature 12°C.
  • Dry season.
  • The travel time from the UK to New Zealand is approximately 24 -30 hours by plane. There are no direct flights, and most routes require at least one stopover. 
  • New Zealand is 13 hours ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+13).

Why visit New Zealand in December?

Imagine a December escape to New Zealand, where summer is just beginning.

Far from the cold and dark of winter, New Zealand in December showcases lush greenery, breathtaking landscapes, and long, sunny days. 

Let’s embark on a journey to explore the unique splendours of New Zealand in this vibrant season:

  • Explore the Bay of Islands: It’s a stunning area with over 140 subtropical islands. The bay is known for its stunning beaches, Maori cultural artefacts, and abundant marine life. Activities like sailing, fishing, and dolphin watching are popular.
  • Visit Fiordland National Park: The summer weather is ideal for exploring the fjords, like the famous Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound. Hiking, kayaking, and scenic flights offer unparalleled views of these dramatic landscapes.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities in Queenstown: Queenstown is often called the world’s adventure capital. The warm weather is perfect for bungee jumping or jet boating.

The New Zealand dollar is the official currency of New Zealand. Secure your New Zealand currency with us today for a hassle-free travel experience to this stunning destination!

Young woman kayaking near South Sea Island, Mamanuca islands group, Fiji.

Fiji

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 32°C, minimum temperature 22°C.
  • Wet season.
  • The travel time from the UK to Fiji is approximately 24 -30 hours by plane. There are no direct flights from the UK, and are likely to have at least one stopover.
  • Fiji is 12 hours ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+12).

Why visit Fiji in December?

Prepare for an unforgettable December getaway to Fiji!

In Fiji, December ushers in a season of lush landscapes and warm, sunny skies, perfect for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Join us as we uncover the top 3 things to experience in Fiji in December:

  • Snorkelling and diving in the coral reefs: The Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands are famous for their stunning marine life and clear waters. Perfect for snorkelling!
  • Explore the Fiji Islands on a boat cruise:  You can explore the numerous islands, each with its unique charm. Enjoy activities like swimming, sunbathing, and experiencing the local Fijian culture.
  • Visit a traditional Fijian village: Many tours offer the opportunity to participate in a kava ceremony, enjoy Fijian music and dance, and learn about the local customs and way of life. 

The Fijian Dollar is the official currency of Fiji. Secure your Fijian travel money through Manor FX today for a seamless and stress-free journey to this stunning island paradise.

Houseboats on the backwaters of Kerala in Alappuzha (Alleppey).

India (Kerala)

Quick facts:

  • Maximum temperature 32°C, minimum temperature 22°C.
  • Dry season
  • The travel time from the UK to Fiji is approximately 9-12 hours by plane.
  • Kerala is 5 and a half hours ahead of the UK during December ( GMT+5 and 30 mins).

Why visit Kerala in December?

Gear up for a December trip to Kerala!

In December, Kerala, known as “God’s Own Country,” reveals its splendour with perfect weather and lush greenery. 

Let’s dive into the unique experiences that Kerala offers in December:

  • Backwater cruise in Alleppey: This offers a serene and picturesque journey through the lakes, lagoons, and rivers. You’ll enjoy the lush landscapes, witness local life along the waterways, and savour traditional Kerala cuisine onboard.
  • Explore the hill stations: Visit Munnar or Wayanad, known for their tea and spice plantations, rolling hills, and tranquil environment. 
  • Attend a traditional Kerala festival: Festivals like the Cochin Carnival or the Christmas celebrations are vibrant and full of life. There’s traditional music, dance, and colourful processions. 

The Indian rupee is the official currency of India. Ensure you have your rupees ready for a smooth and hassle-free trip by securing them through Manor FX today.

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Takeaways

As we wrap up our journey on the best places to visit in December, it’s evident that this month offers a diverse array of travel opportunities.

Whether you’re drawn to Krakow’s enchanting winter wonderland or Santiago’s warm embrace, December invites you to embark on unforgettable adventures. 

So, prepare to pack your bags and set out on a December adventure that promises lasting memories. And as you plan your travels, remember that Manor FX is here to ensure you have the right currency for your journey. We provide both convenience and excellent exchange rates. 

FAQs

There are many beautiful countries to visit in December, including:

Switzerland: Switzerland is a winter wonderland in December. You can enjoy skiing in the Swiss Alps, visit charming villages like Zermatt and St. Moritz, and savour Swiss chocolate and cheese in cosy chalets.

Iceland: Explore the stunning landscapes of Iceland, including geysers, waterfalls, and the famous Blue Lagoon. You might even have a chance to witness the Northern Lights during this time.

France: Paris is magical in December with its beautifully decorated streets and iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. Additionally, you can explore the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, known as the “Capital of Christmas.”

Norway: Embrace the winter charm of Norway, especially in cities like Oslo and Bergen. You can go dog sledding, witness the stunning Northern Lights, and enjoy Norwegian cuisine.

Czech Republic: Prague’s Christmas markets are a must-visit, where you can admire the beautifully lit Old Town Square and try delicious trdelník pastries.

Consider the southernmost regions in December if you’re looking for warm weather in Europe. This month’s warmest places in Europe are typically the Canary Islands, part of Spain, and some parts of southern Portugal. 

These destinations enjoy milder temperatures than the rest of Europe, making them popular choices for winter sun seekers.

The Canary Islands, including Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote, offer pleasant temperatures in December, ranging from 18°C to 24°C. These islands are known for their beautiful beaches, volcanic landscapes, and outdoor activities.

Southern Portugal, particularly the Algarve region, also experiences relatively mild weather in December, typically ranging from 15°C to 18°C. This area boasts a scenic coastline, golf courses, and historic towns to explore.

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