Where to go on holiday in December

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Destinations in Europe

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Long haul destinations

Wondering where to go in December for a holiday or city break? We're here to help, with an extensive range of destinations that are ideal for a getaway at the end of the year. More and more people are travelling in December and enjoying Christmas in a whole new way. Whether you're dreaming of a white Christmas or want some winter sun for a change from the UK, there are plenty of destinations to choose from. New Year's Eve celebrations in other countries are also worth experiencing. Take a look at some of the most popular destinations to visit in December

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Top destinations for a holiday in December

Destinations in Europe

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is known for its many Christmas markets - Berliner Weinachtszeit behind Alexanderplatz is one of the best. You'll find mulled wine, delicious snacks, rides for the kids, and a huge range of gifts on sale. The Botanical Gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland in December, with illuminations, an ice rink and cosy fireplaces. New Year's Eve is celebrated at Brandenburg Gate with a huge street party offering entertainment, food, and fireworks. 

Don't miss: A winter walk through the illuminated Christmas Garden Berlin.

Weather in December: Average high: 3°C / low: 0°C

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is decorated in elegant twinkling lights in December, creating an inviting, festive atmosphere. From roasted chestnuts to ice skating through the park, Vienna offers wintery delights throughout the city. The Christmas market at Upper Belvedere Palace offers not only tempting local delicacies, arts and crafts, but also unmissable photo opportunities. Temperatures vary from mild to freezing in December, so you may get some snow if you're lucky.

Don't miss: A sip of Weihnachtspunsch and a bite of Lebkuchen at the Christmas markets.

Weather in December: Average high: 3°C / low: -1°C

Lanzarote, Spain

For winter sun, Lanzarote is featured high on our list of where to go in December for a holiday. Temperatures average around 19 or 20°C in December, for a pleasantly warm holiday in the volcanic island in the Canaries. The sunny climate means you can relax on the beach, go snorkelling or tour Timanfaya National Park without a care in the world. The island is known for its golf courses, marine life, and unique take on Spanish cuisine.

Don't miss: César Manrique's Jardín de Cactus.

Weather in December: Average high: 22°C / low: 15°C

Long haul destinations

New York, USA

New York City celebrates the festive season in style! The famous Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center towers over the plaza and ice rink below at a height of up to 90 feet. In addition to the city's perennial sights, like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, New York is known for its amazing department stores - ideal for Christmas shopping. Check out Saks Fifth Avenue or Barneys for some incredible gifts. At the beginning of winter, New York has similar temperatures to the UK.

Don't miss: Take a stroll, or horse-drawn carriage ride, around the famous Central Park.

Weather in December: Average high: 6°C / low: 0°C

Cuba

With an average temperature of 23°C in December, Cuba is a perfect winter holiday destination. With beautiful white sand beaches, the azure Caribbean Sea, and palm-lined resorts, the island is a tropical paradise. Be sure to visit Havana to experience the colourful city, its music and art. The capital has flourished recently adding modern cafes and bars to the historic sights to see.

Don't miss: Morro Castle for incredible views at sunset.

Weather in December: Average high: 26°C / low: 19°C

Goa, India

With an average December temperature of 27°C, Goa is delightful in the winter. Picturesque beaches line the coast of the Arabian Sea, Portuguese colonial architecture features in churches and forts, and the rich spices of the cuisine linger in the air. Goa has a laid-back vibe which lends itself perfectly to your escape from the cold. Relax on the beach, browse the colourful markets, and enjoy an authentic curry in this unique location.

Don't miss: Dudhsagar Falls - a four-tiered waterfall surrounded by forests.

Weather in December: Average high: 32°C / low: 20°C

Phuket, Thailand

This tropical island in the south of Thailand is hot and sunny in December. There is something very special about spending Christmas day on the beach. Phuket has a huge number of beaches, try Mai Khao in the north for a secluded stretch of warm sand that you will have all to yourself. You will feel a million miles away from the cold UK while you enjoy a cocktail and the delicious cuisine. Huge New Year celebrations include an explosion of colour, music, and fire crackers.

Don't miss: Freedom Beach - a white-sand beach with great snorkelling.

Weather in December: Average high: 31°C / low: 23°C

Kyoto, Japan

December in Kyoto means fewer tourists and more opportunities to explore without being surrounded by crowds. With an average temperature of 7°C, you can wander around the city comfortably. Tour some of the cities 2,000 temples, watch a traditional tea ceremony or visit the enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Wandering through the narrow streets of the Gion district, you'll see Geisha and traditional teahouses.

Don't miss: The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, which is at it's most beautiful under a dusting of snow.

Weather in December: Average high: 11°C / low: 3°C

Hurghada, Egypt

Once a small fishing village, Hurghada has grown into one of the most popular resorts in Egypt. Thanks to its location on the coast of the Red Sea, you can expect incredible golden beaches and some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the world. And with warm temperatures throughout winter, December is a great time to go. What better way to celebrate Christmas in style?

Don't miss: Sand City Hurghada – this open-air museum features sand sculptures of both historical and fictional characters.

Weather in December: Average high: 24° / low: 13°

Sydney, Australia

December means summer in Australia, so travel to Sydney for a hot and sunny Christmas to remember. From the famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House to surfing on Bondi Beach, Sydney is a cosmopolitan city with so much on offer. The breathtaking Blue Mountains are around an hour outside Sydney, making it an ideal day trip for hiking or mountain biking. Spending New Year's Eve in Sydney is an unforgettable experience with its spectacular fireworks display over the harbour.

Don't miss: Sydney Tower Eye for great views of the city.

Weather in December: Average high: 25°C / low: 17°C

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