We’re looking at December, a month of festive spirit and celebration across the world – which means there’s no better time to dust off that passport and start exploring!
While the northern half of the globe are pulling on their warmest knits and sitting in front of crackling fires, those to the South are embracing short sleeves, longer days and warm weather. Whether you’re in the mood for mulled wine and Christmas markets in Europe, or looking for a beach escape in the tropics – these are the places you should be adding to your itinerary for December.
Offering Christmas shopping on Oxford Street, festive markets with mulled wine, a huge winter wonderland festival in Hyde Park and the possibility of a white Christmas, London is a huge crowd-pleaser when it comes to Yuletide trips.
Christmas in Europe is a time for centuries-old traditions with all the trimmings. Sorry to break it to you travellers, but you really haven’t experienced the festive season until you’ve experienced it at an enchanting German Weihnachtsmarkt. Amongst the snow-dusted market stalls selling handcrafted trinkets, fir trees adorned with ornaments, and the cinnamon scent of glühwein, the romance of the holiday season truly comes alive. The topic of which Christmas market is the best and biggest is still hotly contested, but Nuremberg, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt consistently rank in top lists.
If you can’t beat the winter, why not go all in and escape to a true winter wonderland? Finnish Lapland is a true Arctic wonderland; snow-dusted fir forests, rushing waterfalls, gentle reindeer and a vast, white wilderness that’s guaranteed to leave you breathless (and not just because it’s cold).
Strap on your hiking boots and crunch a path through the taigas, rustle up some huskies and experience the rush of a real dog sled, watch the sun go down over the pristine peaks, and then enjoy a traditional Sami meal or sauna while the skies dance with the Aurora Borealis. Keep an eye out for a jolly bearded man in a red suit around the 25th too – rumour has it Santa’s workshop is right here!
Since Rome is stifling hot in the summer, winters cool weather is perfect for walking around and taking in all the historical sights. If you can score tickets far enough in advance, Christmas Eve midnight mass at St. Peter’s Basilica needs to be on your bucket list. And obviously, there will be pizza, pasta, and gelato on repeat.
Paris is romantic anytime of year, but seeing the Champs-Élysées all lit up and the Eiffel Tower surrounded by snow is something truly special. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying the traditional Christmas dessert – the Bûche de Noel.
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