25 Best Places to Visit in Europe in December: Your Ultimate Guide

December is a special time to visit Europe. While the weather might be chilly, the festive atmosphere and celebrations make it the perfect destination for a winter getaway. Whether you want to embrace the cold weather in Lapland or enjoy sunny days and Christmas traditions in the south, Europe offers a variety of destinations to explore.

Places to Visit in Europe in December for Christmas Celebrations

December is all about Christmas in Europe. Cities and towns all over the continent come alive with festive decorations and markets. Here are some of the best places to experience the most Christmassy atmosphere.

1. Rovaniemi, Finland

Located in Lapland, Rovaniemi is known as the official hometown of Santa Claus! At Santa Claus Village, you can meet Santa, explore the Post Office, see his reindeer, and even enjoy a photo opportunity with the giant snowman. Rovaniemi is also a great place to see the Northern Lights and try winter activities like snowmobiling, reindeer sledding, and dog sledding.

2. Óbidos, Portugal

Óbidos, a beautiful town in Portugal, is known for its Medieval castle walls and charming streets. During December, the town transforms into a Christmas village, with festive decorations, an ice rink, and stalls selling hot cocoa. It’s a great place to visit if you want to experience a traditional Christmas atmosphere in a picturesque setting.

3. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a fantastic winter destination. The entire city is adorned with Christmas lights and decorations, and the Old Town Square hosts a large Christmas market selling traditional handicrafts. Visit the city to enjoy the festive atmosphere, taste traditional Estonian cuisine, and explore the city’s rich history and architecture.

4. Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is magical in December. The city’s famous Christmas markets offer a variety of local delicacies and unique gifts. Don’t miss the chance to try Bryndzové Halušky, a traditional potato dish, and Lokse, a sweet potato dish served with Nutella or honey. Visit Bratislava Castle and the Church of St Elizabeth for stunning views and architectural delights.

5. London, England

London is a highlight when it comes to festive destinations. The city’s extensive selection of Christmas markets, light displays, and museums make it a fantastic choice for a winter trip. Explore the iconic sights like Regent Street and the Natural History Museum, indulge in the multicultural food scene, and even take day trips to nearby Brighton for a seaside escape.

Skiing Destinations in Europe in December

December marks the start of the ski season in Europe. If you’re a snow lover, here are some of the best skiing destinations to visit in Europe.

6. Bansko, Bulgaria

Bansko, nestled in the UNESCO heritage site of the Pirin mountains, is not only a fabulous ski resort but a well-preserved Bulgarian town. With 15 ski lifts and over 75 km of slopes, Bansko offers a great skiing experience. Explore the charming streets, indulge in traditional Bulgarian cuisine, and experience the unique culture of the region.

7. Morskie Oko, Poland

Morskie Oko, located in the stunning Tatra Mountains in Poland, is a great destination for a winter hike. The area is colder than other destinations, with heavy snowfall, making it less crowded and perfect for winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding.

8. Val d’Aran, Spain

High in the Pyrenees mountains, Val d’Aran offers a unique winter experience. Visit Vielha, the small city at the heart of the region, and enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding at Baqueira Beret, the largest ski resort in Spain. Explore the charming towns and immerse yourself in the rich local culture.

9. Mayrhofen, Austria

Mayrhofen in Zillertal is a hidden gem for winter sports enthusiasts. With over 60 cable cars and chairlifts, Mayrhofen offers a variety of skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, and snowshoeing opportunities. Beyond the slopes, enjoy the stunning alpine village, visit the Nature’s Ice Palace, or take the kids to the Mayrhofen Adventure pool.

10. Gudauri, Georgia

If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path skiing destinations, consider Gudauri in Georgia. Located against the backdrop of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, Gudauri offers unique slopes for free riders and extreme sports enthusiasts. Beyond skiing and snowboarding, enjoy tobogganing, paragliding, and helicopter tours in this beautiful and lesser-known destination.

Winter Sun in December in Europe

If you’re looking for milder temperatures and sunshine during December, head south to these European destinations.

11. Valencia, Spain

Valencia offers a mild climate in December, making it an ideal escape from the harsh winter weather in other parts of Europe. Enjoy the festive atmosphere, explore the Christmas markets, and indulge in the local cuisine. Don’t miss visiting the City of Arts and Sciences for the best Christmas market in town.

12. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona in December offers mild temperatures and a unique festive vibe. Explore the city’s Christmas markets, stroll along Barceloneta Beach, and take in the stunning architecture of Gaudi. Barcelona is less crowded in December, allowing you to experience the city like a local.

13. Alacati, Turkey

Alacati, a Greek town located on the Turkish Riviera, offers mild weather and charming streets lined with boutiques and cafes. While it might not be beach weather, Alacati’s unique stone villas and medieval marketplace make it a beautiful destination to explore in December.

14. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Lanzarote offers pleasant weather year-round, and December is no exception. Enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches, explore the volcanic landscapes, and indulge in delicious local cuisine. December is the low season in Lanzarote, meaning you can enjoy the island without the tourist rush.

15. Fethiye, Turkey

Fethiye is a great place to visit in December for a sunny winter getaway. While the weather might not be hot, it’s milder than most other places in Europe. Explore the town’s beautiful beaches, visit ancient ruins, and enjoy the local cuisine. Fethiye is less crowded in December, allowing you to experience the region’s beauty in peace.

16. Ksamil, Albania

Ksamil, located in southern Albania, offers some of the best beaches in the country. Enjoy the mild weather, explore the Four Islands off the coast, and indulge in the local cuisine. December is the low season in Ksamil, meaning you can enjoy the beaches and attractions without the crowds.

17. Saturnia, Italy

Saturnia is a hidden gem in Italy, known for its hot springs and beautiful landscapes. While it may be cooler in December, the thermal springs are still a great option for relaxation. Explore the stunning surroundings, indulge in local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this charming destination.

18. Valencia, Spain

Valencia in December offers mild weather, beautiful beaches, and incredible landscapes. Enjoy the city’s Christmas fair, relax on the beach, and explore the charming streets. Valencia is less crowded in December, allowing you to experience the city’s beauty without the tourist rush.

19. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona in December offers mild temperatures and a unique festive atmosphere. Explore the city’s Christmas markets, stroll along the beach, and enjoy the local cuisine. Barcelona is less crowded in December, allowing you to experience the city like a local.

20. Alacati, Turkey

Alacati, a Greek town located on the Turkish Riviera, offers mild weather and charming streets lined with boutiques and cafes. While it might not be beach weather, Alacati’s unique stone villas and medieval marketplace make it a beautiful destination to explore in December.

21. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Lanzarote offers pleasant weather year-round, and December is no exception. Enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches, explore the volcanic landscapes, and indulge in delicious local cuisine. December is the low season in Lanzarote, meaning you can enjoy the island without the tourist rush.

22. Fethiye, Turkey

Fethiye is a great place to visit in December for a sunny winter getaway. While the weather might not be hot, it’s milder than most other places in Europe. Explore the town’s beautiful beaches, visit ancient ruins, and enjoy the local cuisine. Fethiye is less crowded in December, allowing you to experience the region’s beauty in peace.

23. Ksamil, Albania

Ksamil, located in southern Albania, offers some of the best beaches in the country. Enjoy the mild weather, explore the Four Islands off the coast, and indulge in the local cuisine. December is the low season in Ksamil, meaning you can enjoy the beaches and attractions without the crowds.

24. Saturnia, Italy

Saturnia is a hidden gem in Italy, known for its hot springs and beautiful landscapes. While it may be cooler in December, the thermal springs are still a great option for relaxation. Explore the stunning surroundings, indulge in local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this charming destination.

25. Valencia, Spain

Valencia in December offers mild weather, beautiful beaches, and incredible landscapes. Enjoy the city’s Christmas fair, relax on the beach, and explore the charming streets. Valencia is less crowded in December, allowing you to experience the city’s beauty without the tourist rush.

FAQs about Visiting Europe in December

  • Is December a good time to visit Europe?
  • Where is nice to travel in Europe in December?
  • Where is still warm in Europe in December?
  • Where is the best place to visit in December?
  • Is Greece warm in December?
  • Is Greece nice in December?
  • What is Portugal like in December?
  • Is December a good time to visit Spain?
  • What is the warmest place to travel in December?
  • Where is the prettiest place to spend Christmas?

Europe in December offers a variety of destinations to suit every traveler’s preferences. Whether you’re looking for a snowy winter wonderland, a festive Christmas atmosphere, or a warm escape from the cold, Europe has it all. Plan your trip and make memories that will last a lifetime.

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