Top 10 Places in Europe to Visit in December

December is almost here, and I know many people are already thinking about their next winter trip. No need to search more; I have the perfect list for you! Europe has an amazing mix of history, culture, and nature. It has magical places that you must visit during the festive season.

Get ready to see my list of top 10 best European places in December. There are shining lights, snowy mountains, and lovely traditions.

Let’s start exploring these winter places together!

I have traveled many winters across Europe, and I can say with confidence that the holiday season is the best time to enjoy its many attractions. You can find busy Christmas markets with the smell of hot wine and gingerbread, and amazing mountain places for skiing and snowboarding. Europe in December is like a dream world waiting for you to explore.

In this blog, I’m going to share the top 10 best European places that you should consider adding to your December trip plans.

What is the warmest place in Europe in December?

The warmest place in Europe during December is generally the Canary Islands, which are located off the northwest coast of Africa but are part of Spain.

The Canary Islands have a subtropical climate with mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine throughout the year, making them a popular winter escape for Europeans. In December, the average temperature ranges from 18°C to 22°C (64°F to 72°F), with Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote being some of the warmest islands in the archipelago.

Is December the high season in Europe?

December is not considered the high season for tourism in most of Europe. The high season usually occurs during the summer months, typically from June to August, when the weather is warmer and more predictable.

Many travelers choose this time for their vacations, resulting in higher prices and larger crowds at popular tourist destinations.

What should I pack for a trip to Europe in December?

Packing for a trip to Europe in December requires careful consideration, as the weather can be quite cold and varies depending on the region you’ll be visiting.

Here’s a list of essential items to pack for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

  1. Warm clothing: Pack layers, such as thermal or long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and cardigans, to help you stay warm and adapt to changing temperatures.
  2. Outerwear: Bring a warm, waterproof, and windproof coat or jacket to protect you from the elements.
  3. Bottoms: Pack warm pants or jeans, and consider bringing thermal or fleece-lined leggings to wear underneath for extra warmth.
  4. Footwear: Choose comfortable, waterproof, and insulated shoes or boots with good traction for walking on potentially wet or icy surfaces.
  5. Accessories: Don’t forget hats, gloves, scarves, and earmuffs to keep your extremities warm and protected from the cold.
  6. Umbrella: A compact, sturdy umbrella is essential for protection from rain or snow.
  7. Travel adapter: Europe has different power outlets than other regions, so bring a universal travel adapter to charge your devices.
  8. Portable charger: A portable charger can be useful for keeping your phone or camera charged during long days of sightseeing.
  9. Toiletries: Bring travel-sized toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, and any other personal care items you may need.
  10. Medications: Pack any necessary prescription medications and a small first aid kit with over-the-counter medicines for common ailments.
  11. Travel documents: Keep your passport, travel insurance documents, and any necessary visas or permits easily accessible.
  12. Entertainment: Bring a book, e-reader, or other forms of entertainment for long flights or train rides.

Top 10 Places in Europe to Visit in December

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, also known as the City of a Hundred Spires, is beautiful in December. With its charming streets, festive markets, and historic buildings, you will feel like you are in a fairytale. Don’t forget to try some trdelník, a delicious Czech pastry, while you stroll through the city.

What to do: Visit Prague Castle, stroll across Charles Bridge, and admire the Astronomical Clock.

Best dish to try: Trdelník (Czech pastry)

Average Daily Spend: $60-$80

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is famous for its stunning architecture and beautiful Christmas markets. In December, the city transforms into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights and festive decorations. Be sure to visit the Schönbrunn Palace and try some delicious hot chocolate at a local café.

What to do: Explore Schönbrunn Palace, visit the Hofburg, and attend a classical music concert.

Best dish to try: Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet)

Average Daily Spend: $70-$100

Reykjavik, Iceland

December is a great time to visit Reykjavik, as the city is covered in snow and the Northern Lights can be seen in the sky. If you’re brave enough, you can also try some traditional Icelandic dishes like hákarl (fermented shark) or puffin.

What to do: See the Northern Lights, take a Golden Circle tour, and relax in the Blue Lagoon.

Best dish to try: Lamb soup

Average Daily Spend: $100-$150

Lapland, Finland

If you’ve ever dreamed of meeting Santa Claus, Lapland is the place for you! This magical destination is home to Santa’s Village, where you can meet Santa and his reindeer. You can also try your hand at dog sledding or take a snowmobile tour through the snowy forests.

What to do: Visit Santa’s Village, go dog sledding, and see the Northern Lights.

Best dish to try: Lohikeitto (salmon soup)

Average Daily Spend: $80-$120

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is a beautiful city with charming canals, historic buildings, and delicious chocolate. In December, the city comes alive with Christmas markets and festive lights. Be sure to take a boat tour of the canals and try some traditional Belgian waffles.

What to do: Take a canal boat tour, visit the Belfry, and explore the Markt.

Best dish to try: Belgian waffles

Average Daily Spend: $60-$90

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a city full of history and beautiful architecture. In December, the city is lit up with festive lights, and you can enjoy the famous thermal baths in the cold weather. Don’t forget to try some delicious Hungarian goulash while you’re there!

What to do: Visit Buda Castle, take a dip in the thermal baths, and explore the Parliament building.

Best dish to try: Hungarian goulash

Average Daily Spend: $50-$80

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is known as the “Capital of Christmas” and for a good reason! The city’s Christmas market is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Europe. With its half-timbered houses and festive decorations, Strasbourg is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit.

What to do: Visit Strasbourg Cathedral, stroll through Petite France, and explore the Christmas market.

Best dish to try: Tarte flambée (thin-crust pizza with onions, bacon, and crème fraîche)

Average Daily Spend: $70-$100

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is a charming city known for its beautiful baroque architecture and as the birthplace of Mozart. In December, the city is covered in snow and has a magical atmosphere. Be sure to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress and take in the stunning views of the city below.

What to do: Tour the Hohensalzburg Fortress, visit Mozart’s Birthplace, and explore Mirabell Palace.

Best dish to try: Sacher Torte (chocolate cake with apricot jam)

Average Daily Spend: $70-$100

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, with its medieval architecture and cobblestone streets, is a truly magical destination in December. The city’s Christmas market is held in the historic town square, and you can enjoy mulled wine and gingerbread cookies while you explore.

What to do: Explore the historic Old Town, visit Toompea Castle, and walk along the city walls.

Best dish to try: Estonian kama (traditional dessert with yogurt, grains, and berries)

Average Daily Spend: $50-$80

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is a beautiful city with a rich history and stunning architecture. In December, the city comes alive with festive markets and events like the famous Hogmanay celebration. Don’t forget to visit Edinburgh Castle and take a stroll along the Royal Mile.

What to do: Visit Edinburgh Castle, walk the Royal Mile, and explore the National Museum of Scotland.

Best dish to try: Haggis (savory pudding made from sheep’s organs)

Average Daily Spend: $70-$100

My Thought

traveling to Europe in December offers a unique and magical experience that you won’t want to miss. With festive markets, enchanting lights, and snow-covered landscapes, the continent transforms into a winter wonderland that’s perfect for making lifelong memories.

To make the most of your trip, be sure to research the weather and local customs of the destinations you plan to visit and pack accordingly to stay warm and comfortable throughout your journey.

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