Whether you want to discover other corners of your country or get to know someone new, December is a lovely month for a new adventure. In this article, I’ll share 10 European destinations to visit in December. Whether you want to party, make cultural visits, or leave the city in search of tranquility, in this post, you will find your next getaway.
10 Perfect Destinations to Visit in December
If you love to eat as much as I do, Italy is always a good choice. But if you also feel like being in a less touristy area that is warmer, the Campania region is the place for you.
The capital of Campania is Naples, the birthplace of the best invention of humankind: pizza. This chaotic but fascinating city is a paradise for any foodie. Not only will you be able to taste the best pizza in the world, but the pasta, as in the rest of Italy, is spectacular.
Another must-see place in Campania is the Amalfi Coast, even more beautiful in real life than in photos.
The weather in Campania in December is between 9°C (48ºF) and 14°C (57ºF). Also, rainfall is rare in this region of southern Italy at the end of the year. Therefore, you will be able to stroll through its streets full of history easily.
To visit this region of southern Italy, you can fly from major cities to Naples. From Madrid, the flight takes two and a half hours, while from Barcelona, the journey time is less than two hours.
Flanders is a region of Belgium ideal for solo travel, couples, or groups of friends. Whether you want to learn about history and culture, go beer and chocolate tasting, or cycling, Flanders is a perfect destination in December.
In Flanders, you can visit cities such as Antwerp, with attractions such as the Rubenshuis. The Rubenshuis translates to “house of Rubens,” as it was the home of Peter Paul Rubens, the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque. Meanwhile, Bruges, Flanders’ most touristy city, looks like something out of a fairy tale, with super-scenic canals, tulips, and brick buildings.
The average highest temperatures in Flanders during December are around 6ºC (42ºF). So, if cold is not your thing, it can be a challenge to visit the region at this time of year. However, the charm of its Christmas markets and idyllic surroundings make it worth traveling to this destination in December. But, please, bring your umbrella, as rain is expected at this time of year.
To visit Flanders, you must fly to Brussels, the capital of Belgium, which has many must-see attractions. You can take a train from Brussels to Antwerp, and you will be in the city in about 45 minutes. All towns in Flanders are connected by train, and the distances between them are short.
Traveling to Lanzarote in December has a significant advantage: Temperatures between 17 and 22ºC (62-71ºF).
Although you might not dare to swim in the Atlantic Ocean in the winter, there is plenty to do in Lanzarote. For example, the Timanfaya, a volcanic park where you’ll feel like you’re on Mars, is a must on a first trip to Lanzarote.
There are direct flights to Lanzarote from Madrid, Barcelona, and other European cities.
Porto is a place that can be visited all year round. This Portuguese city has charming neighborhoods like Ribeira on the banks of the Douro River. Ribeira is a beautiful neighborhood of narrow streets and colorful buildings covered with Portuguese tiles.
Similarly, Portuguese gastronomy, with its cream cakes and devotion to codfish, is a compelling reason to visit Porto.
It is possible to fly to Porto from all the major European cities.
When it comes to a cultural getaway, all roads lead to Rome. Italy’s capital has historic attractions as world-famous as the Colosseum, the Fontana di Trevi, and the Vatican Museums, to name only a few. So a visit to Rome is like a trip back in time, and no matter how many visits you make to the city, there is always something to discover and learn.
In addition to museums, churches, and monuments, Rome has charming neighborhoods such as Trastevere. This Roman quarter is home to some of Italy’s best restaurants, among family-run trattorias and Michelin-starred establishments.
Rome is an excellent place to go in December because, although it is still a very touristy city, it is impressive. In addition, with colder temperatures than in its scorching summers, it is easier to withstand the crowds at the attractions.
Tip: If you want to avoid queues at attractions or crowds, it will do you good to get up early. You can also buy tickets for the Roman Colosseum online.
There are direct flights to Rome from almost all the big cities in the US, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Winter is synonymous with snow, and few places are as well equipped for skiing and winter sports as Andorra. This mountain destination has two ski resorts, Vallnord and Grandvalira, with slopes of different levels and accommodations.
Andorra is also an excellent place to travel during December if you like hiking. In Andorra, you will find the Madriu-Perafita-Claror, a natural park declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Also in the small country of the Pyrenees is the Valls de Comapedrosa. This park is home to protected animal species such as the bearded vulture bird.
To travel to the Principality of Andorra, you can take a bus from Barcelona. The duration of the journey by bus is between 3 and 4 hours. You can also go by car or plane from the main cities of Spain and Europe.
Seville is a good choice for a winter getaway due to its mild temperatures. In early December, minimums in the Andalusian capital do not drop below 9ºC (48ºF), while maximums do not exceed 17ºC (62ºF). It is much better to travel to Seville in winter than in the summer.
In the city that “has a special color,” you’ll find attractions as impressive as the Real Alcázar of Seville. This walled palace blends Mudejar architecture with its beautiful gardens and Gothic finishes. In addition, some episodes of the hit series Game of Thrones were filmed in the Alcazar.
Other must-see sites in Seville include the Plaza de España and its picturesque historic center. The square was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and has 48 benches representing the provinces and archipelagos of Spain. On the other hand, the city center is a place to get lost among narrow streets, historic sites, and excellent restaurants.
There are high-speed trains to Seville from Madrid and Barcelona, as well as flights from all major cities in Europe and Spain.
Lyon is one of the most exciting destinations in France. Although not as visited as Paris, Lyon has nothing to envy the French capital.
One of its neighborhoods, Vieux Lyon (“Old Lyon”), stands out for its Renaissance architecture and for being listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Within this neighborhood, you will find museums as original as one for puppets and another for films and miniatures. Therefore, if you consider yourself a film buff or cinephile, Lyon is a fantastic choice to visit in December.
But, with temperatures that can drop to 1°C (33ºF), don’t forget to bring a good coat to Lyon.
The capital of Greece is a city full of history and art that attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year.
This mythological city is home to the Acropolis. The Acropolis of Athens includes a group of temples, such as the Parthenon, in honor of the goddess Athena. This imposing building was built from 447 to 432 B.C. and is at the highest point of the city, 156 meters above sea level.
In addition to historical attractions, Athens is an ideal destination to sample the best Greek cuisine. Areas like Plaka have plenty of restaurants where you can eat delicious gyros, souvlakis, and Greek salads, among other delicacies.
There are flights to Athens from all major cities in Europe.
Flying to Berlin in December is worth it despite the cold because of the Christmas markets. And since late November, the capital of Germany fills up with lights, colors and carols. Therefore, it is a magical time to visit Berlin.
However, if you are a bit of a Grinch, you can travel to Berlin for other reasons, such as partying. After all, this city has a legendary nightlife. The capital of techno is home to Berghain, a nightclub that is a worldwide institution.
Berlin also has renowned museums, street art and a number of historic attractions.