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30 BEST Places to Visit in Europe in December – Christmas & non-Christmas Travel!

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The best place to visit in Europe in December depends on what YOU want from a trip to Europe in December!

With schools breaking up for the Christmas holidays in December, this is an excellent time of the year to travel and the best thing about going on holiday in Europe in December is the amount of options there are!

From City Breaks with the best Christmas markets in the world to world-class Ski Resorts and Winter Sun Islands, there are many options for the best places to visit in Europe in December!

Best Places to Visit in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog best places to visit in Europe in December
Keep reading for the best places to visit in Europe in December

In this Europe travel guide, I’ve teamed up with my fellow travel bloggers to give you the best winter destinations in Europe which range from visiting Santa in Lapland and the best German Christmas markets, to the winter sun on the Canary Islands and the fairy tale landscape of Cappadocia.

I know not everyone wants a Christmas-filled holiday in December so this list of places to visit in Europe in December will give you lots of different options whether you’re looking for a weekend break in Europe in December or a 2 week Europe holiday in December.

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere stretches from December to February but realistically, weather-wise, winter is late November and often the start of March too, and although you can apply this list to the best places to visit in Europe in winter.

The contributions are very much concentrated on the month of December and the weather in Europe in December with Christmas and the December holidays in mind.

I’m trying to help people travel to the best places in the world in December because this is such a big month for people to travel with school holiday time off. See the BEST Places to Visit in Asia in December here!

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog best places to visit in Europe in December, Beach in Antalya Turkey in December
Whether you’re looking for winter sun in Europe in December like here in Antalya, Türkiye,
The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog best places to visit in Europe in December, Christmas markets in Germany
Or, a city break to the best Christmas markets in Europe, we’ve got you covered!

Best Places in Europe to Visit in December

So let’s get into the best places to visit in Europe in December! I have noted against each option whether it is best for a Christmas-related trip, non-Christmas-related trip, or Winter Sun holiday in Europe, and which ones are the best places to visit in Europe in December for families.

1. Rovaniemi, Finland – the best place to visit in Europe in December for families!

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Christmas in Finland, Best Places to Visit in Europe in December
Rovaniemi being the Santa Claus town celebrates Christmas like no one
The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog best places to visit in Europe in December, Roveniemi Finland, northern lights
Want to see the Northern Lights in Europe in December? Book a trip to Rovaniemi Finland!

One of the best places to visit in Europe in December is Rovaniemi. Located in the Lapland region of Finland, this city is a breathtaking destination. It’ll put you in the holiday spirit and give you memories to last a lifetime.

There are so many things to do in Rovaniemi, but in December, getting in the Christmas spirit is at the top of the list. Rovaniemi is known as the official hometown of Santa Claus and is located on the Arctic Circle, making it a prime destination for a Christmas getaway.

One of the highlights is Santa Claus Village, where you can meet Santa himself, explore the Santa Claus Post Office, and enjoy the festive atmosphere. The village is adorned with twinkling lights, snowy landscapes, and cheerful holiday decorations, creating a magical atmosphere that will bring out the childlike wonder in visitors of all ages.

You can also enjoy the snow by going snowmobiling, taking a reindeer sledge ride, or even going dog sledging. All of these can be family-friendly but also get your heart racing! Be sure to bundle up as the temperatures are often below freezing, even during the day.

Another reason to visit Rovaniemi in December is the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing phenomenon of the Northern Lights. With the long nights of winter, there is a higher chance of catching a glimpse of the dancing auroras in the clear Arctic skies.

Venture outside the city, away from light pollution, and experience the awe-inspiring display of vibrant colours painting the night sky. It’s an extraordinary natural spectacle that will leave you in awe and create lasting memories of your winter getaway in Europe. You can also stay in a glass igloo to have uninterrupted views of the sky!

Suggested by: Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler

2. Nuremberg, Germany – the best city break for Christmas Markets in Europe!

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Winter vacations in Germany, best winter destinations in Europe
Fan of charming Christmas markets and stalls? Nuremberg will be your best winter getaway in Europe

Nuremberg is known as one of the best places to visit in Europe during Christmas in the world, thus is a fantastic option for a winter getaway in Europe. Throughout December the main event is the annual Christmas market, Christkindlesmarkt. This is spread throughout the old town and is a real treat of lights, decorations and festive foods or drinks. The main Christmas Market is in Hauptmarkt, a picturesque town square which is home to the gothic Frauenkirche.

The backdrop of Nuremberg city certainly adds to the visit with its beautiful churches, a castle on the hill and timber-framed buildings. The top attractions in Nuremberg are still open throughout the city in December. This includes the Imperial Castle on the hill overlooking the city.

The banks of the River Pegnitz are stunning to see, especially the views of Maxbrücke, a pretty bridge. At night, this area is very vibrant, with Christmas stalls and people having fun. Other recommended things to do is to walk the city walls and to pop in and see the Christmas displays in the various churches of Nuremberg.

For food and drink, the Christmas markets deliver lots of options to try. For drinks, you can enjoy various festive mulled ciders and wines. There are countless gingerbread stalls which add to the aroma of the city. And when in Nuremberg, the local speciality sausage is a must try if you eat meat. Overall, Nuremberg is one the fantastic countries to visit in December in Europe, hence is one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe.

Suggested by: Rich from RJOnTour

3. Reykjavik, Iceland – the best place to visit in Europe in December for snow!

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Winter getaway in Reykjavik Iceland, nice places to go in Europe in December
Enjoy winter to its fullest and head to the best Europe destination in December; Reykjavik, Iceland

Looking for the best places to visit in Europe in December for snow and winter activities? If so, then be sure to head to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. 

After all, this city is covered in snow and is a magical winter wonderland where you can regularly see the northern lights dancing through the sky since the city only receives around four hours of daylight a day. 

However, if you really want to enjoy the natural beauty of the northern lights, hop on the Golden Circle and take it to Þingvellir National Park. You can also go to nearby Lake Kleifarvatn on the Reykjanes Peninsula as part of a fun day trip from the city. 

Just be aware that many roads are closed in Iceland in December, So, it’s best to stay in Reykjavik and do short day trips from there. 

Tours you shouldn’t miss out on:

You’ll also love that Reykjavik is bedazzled with tons of vibrant Christmas decorations that you can see as you wander through the streets. However, you cannot visit Iceland in December without checking out Yule Town at Ingólfstorg. Not only is the decor amazing but you can go ice skating on a big ice rink that sits in the center of the market.  

There are also tons of vendors here that sell delicious traditional foods – like Síld (pickled herring) and Hangikjöt (smoked lamb) – as well as decorations, homemade gifts, and more. 

And if you stay in Iceland through the New Year, you’ll see tons of fireworks light up the sky. You can also join in on the fun as people gather around bonfires and party together until the sun starts to come up

Suggested by: Victoria of Iceland Trippers

4. Gran Canaria, Spain – the best winter sun holiday in Europe!

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Gran Canaria, best places to visit in Europe in December with family, countries to visit in December in Europe
For those desiring a winter sun destination, Gran Canaria is an excellent choice

A great destination to visit in Europe in December is Gran Canaria. For those looking for some almost guaranteed winter sun, the Spanish Canary Islands are a good option. The average high temperature is 22c/71f, with the sea temperature being almost the same, so swimming is still an option. The evenings and mountain regions can get a little chillier but a long sleeve top or light jacket should be enough.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the capital city located in the north of the island and Maspalomas is a popular tourist resort that sits in the south, next to the Maspalomas sand dunes. However, if you are looking for a quieter resort, Taurito is a nice option. Taurito Beach sits at the end of a valley, with towering cliffs on either side. There’s also a saltwater waterpark and a couple of nice beach bars. 

Puerto de Mogan is a short drive away and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Little Venice of Gran Canaria’ because of the narrow alleyways and colourful buildings in the marina area.

For a break away from the coast, a fun day trip is a full-day island tour into the mountain regions. In winter the temperature is a little lower compared to the regions, especially in the south. Highlights include the Valley of Fataga, visiting an aloe vera farm and the towns of Tejeda and Teror. If visiting on a Sunday, the Mercadillo de Teror (The Sunday Market of Teror) is a must-see, it’s one of the oldest markets in the Canary Islands.

Several places have Christmas decorations displayed from November. Throughout December, Belén de Arena de las Canteras takes place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This is a giant nativity scene in the form of sand sculptures on the beach!

Suggested By: Kylie from Between England and Everywhere

5. Barcelona, Spainbest city to visit in Europe in December for Winter Sun

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, Beach outside Barcelona in December
This was at a beach outside Barcelona in December

Spain is a great option for the best places to visit in Europe in December for winter sun and the city of Barcelona is a perfect option because you can experience a city break and time on the beach.

You won’t be swimming or sunbathing in Barcelona in December, it’s not like one of the Spanish Canary Islands that I recommend as a great European Winter Sun Holiday but if you get a seasonably warm day, you will be able to enjoy a walk along the beach like we did at the end of December which was such a lovely way to spend the time between /Christmas and New Year.

A city break in Barcelona in December is also great because the crowds are less than in the summer and Barcelona is a city you can walk around for days around and walking around in the comfortable winter temperature is much more pleasant than the hot summers heat.

We visited Barcelona and the coastline nearby just after Christmas and although there were Christmas decorations around, it wasn’t one of the most Christmassy cities in Europe which we enjoyed.

Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn

6. Malta one of the warmest places to visit in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Malta,best winter destinations in Europe, best countries to visit in December Europe
Malta’s sunny beaches make it a top warm European destination for a relaxing December visit

December in Europe is often associated with snow, cold weather and days spent cooped up inside. But why not make the most of this time of year and head to Malta as it is one of the Best Places to Visit in Europe in December?

Located just off the coast of Italy, Malta is easily accessible from many major European cities. With cheap flights operating throughout December, it’s easy to make the trip. And once you arrive, you’ll be met with beautiful weather – in fact, Malta is one of the warmest places to visit in Europe during the winter months!

Malta is known for its amazing beaches – and while this isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a winter vacation, they are worth visiting. 

With crystal-clear waters and plenty of sunshine, Malta’s beaches are the perfect place to relax and soak up some winter sun making it one of the best warm places to visit in December in Europe. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s definitely worth doing a private boat trip to explore some of the hidden lagoons and coves that surround the Island.

Malta is also incredibly easy to get around – whether you opt for public transport, or rent a car for maximum flexibility – you’ll be able to explore the Island’s many attractions and towns without any issues.

So if you’re looking for winter vacation destinations in Europe to visit during December and want to make the most of your time, look no further than Malta! With its stunning beaches, warm weather and easy access from all over Europe, it’s one of the best places to visit in December.

Suggested by: Lowri from Many Other Roads

7. Lucerne, Switzerlandone of the most beautiful places in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, winter getaways in Europe
With its festive Christmas markets, the old town is known as the best European destination in December

If you’re looking for a truly enchanting experience, make sure to visit Lucerne, Switzerland in December, one of the best winter destinations in Europe. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on the magical transformation this charming city undergoes during the winter season.

Visiting Lucerne in December provides numerous benefits, starting with the captivating holiday atmosphere that fills the city. Sparkling lights and festive decorations adorn the streets, casting a warm and welcoming glow over the entire area. The old town becomes a hub of joy and merriment with its delightful Christmas markets, making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in December.

Here, visitors can browse through wooden stalls brimming with handcrafted gifts, indulge in local delicacies, and sip on warm mulled wine. The markets offer a chance to experience the holiday spirit and find unique souvenirs.

Beyond the festive ambience, Lucerne’s natural beauty is accentuated by the winter scenery. Blanketed in a layer of snow, the city’s stunning landscapes become even more picturesque. Take a leisurely boat ride on the glistening Lake Lucerne, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, or venture to Mount Pilatus via a cogwheel train for panoramic views and exhilarating winter activities like sledging and snowshoeing. The pristine snowscapes provide the perfect backdrop for creating cherished memories.

For winter sports enthusiasts, Lucerne offers convenient access to nearby ski resorts, providing opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. Additionally, the frozen lakes, including Lake Lucerne, offer the chance to partake in the joy of ice skating.

Lucerne in December offers a captivating blend of festive charm, stunning landscapes, cultural experiences, and winter activities. It truly stands out among the best winter destinations in Europe.

Pack your warm clothes, bring your holiday spirit, and get ready for an unforgettable winter adventure in Lucerne’s enchanting wonderland!

Suggested by:  Lavina D’Souza from Continent Hop

8. Cappadocia, Türkiye best non-Christmas related destination in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Cappadocia- Turkey, best places to visit in Turkey in december
Cappadocia is well-known as being the best place to visit in Turkey in December

The other-worldly region of Cappadocia in central Turkey is a year-round destination and one of the best places to visit in Europe in December and the best place to visit in Turkey in December. It’s most popular in summer when crowds of tourists descend on the lunar-like valleys for hiking and hot air ballooning.

Yet, it’s in winter when Cappadocia really emerges as one of the best winter destinations in Europe. The tourist hordes have melted away, and you’ll often have some of the most picturesque areas to yourself – something that wouldn’t happen in peak season.

Winter brings the snow, and to see the geological landforms dusted in sparkling white just adds another layer to the enchantment. It’s not necessarily cold in Cappadocia during December, and you’ll often experience beautiful blue sunny skies at this time of year too, making it a nice place to go in Europe in December.

Hotels are cheaper during winter, so this can be a great time to stay in one of the luxurious cave hotels in Goreme or Uchisar. This is a quintessential Cappadocia experience, but summer prices can often be prohibitive. Being nestled into the rock, cave bedrooms are super cosy in December and often come with open fires for a romantic touch as well as a bit more warmth.

You can still enjoy all the activities that Cappadocia has to offer during December, and you won’t be fighting off the tour groups at the top attractions. The Open Air Museum in Goreme is a must, as well as horse riding and hot air ballooning over the valleys and plains.

Don’t miss hiking down Love Valley to see the iconic fairy chimneys – the cooler winter weather is perfect for exploring these barren landscapes.

Book your hot air balloon in advance below to get a great price and a guaranteed booking on your first morning!

The perfect way to end a day of adventure here is with a hammam. This is a traditional hot steam bath and massage that’s typical of Middle Eastern and North African regions.

Suggested by: Heather from Conversant Traveller 

9. Antalya, Türkiyebest family holiday in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, , swimming pool in Antalya in December
For a great family resort holiday in Europe in December, look into Antalya!

The coast of Turkiye is one of the warmest places in Europe in December and the holiday town of Antalya is a great place to go during the Christmas school holidays.

Don’t expect perfect sunshine and high temperatures, we experienced a range of weather in Antalya in December the other year but we booked a hotel with a heated swimming pool which was 100% a great idea on an all-inclusive board so we didn’t have to worry about finding restaurants that were open, we planned a few day trips like the Land of Legends Theme Park and we had a great family holiday in December in Europe and it was much warmer than at home in the UK!

Because Antalya is a big tourist destination, our hotel did have a lot of Christmas decorations and Christmas music but it wasn’t as full-on as other places in Europe so if you are looking for a Christmas-free holiday in Europe in December, overall Tururkiye is a good idea!

Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn

10. Rome, Italy – the best city break in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Rome, best places to visit in Europe for Christmas
Italian cuisine, festive markets, iconic sights – aren’t these reasons enough to visit Rome?

Rome, Italy is the perfect place in Europe to visit in December!  The city is much less crowded in December, so you will have an easier time seeing Rome’s iconic monuments and getting tickets for popular tours and attractions such as the Colosseum, the Borghese Gallery, and the Vatican.

It’s a much more pleasant experience strolling through famous Rome piazzas when they aren’t thronged with tourists.  You can really take your time to relax, enjoy the gorgeous fountains and sculptures, and get that perfect picture.  Take in the beauty of Piazza Navona with Bernini’s stunning Fontana dei Fiumi, see the Pantheon in the Piazza della Rotunda, and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to Rome!

December in Rome is extra special as the city lights up to celebrate the holidays. making it one of the best winter holiday destinations in Europe. Shops and monuments sparkle with Christmas lights and festive decorations. And be sure to visit Rome’s best Christmas market. It’s held in Piazza Navona and is open from the 8th of December through to the 6th of January.

The Vatican City, an independent nation located inside of Rome, is a must-see in December. St. Peter’s Basilica with its incredible museums and the Sistine Chapel are of course popular year-round. In December, admire the Christmas tree and Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square, and see the Pope make his address to the world on Christmas Day.

By visiting Rome in December, you avoid the sweltering summertime heat, so you can comfortably enjoy exploring the Eternal City.  Expect high temperatures in the mid-50s and be prepared for an occasional rainy day.

Suggested by: Lisa Garrett of Waves and Cobblestones

11. London, U.K – the best place to visit in the UK in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, , Oxford Street Christmas Light
London’s grand celebration of Christmas and December events make it a top European destination.

From winter festivals to Christmas markets to Christmas decorations, there are many reasons why London is one of the best places to visit in Europe in December.

Checking out the Christmas markets is one of the most fun activities in December and you can find these at many spots throughout the city. For example, the Southbank Centre Winter Market and the Christmas Market at Covent Garden are great ones.

Furthermore, there are many events that take place in December. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one of the best festivals to attend in London. This is a Christmas event that takes place in Hyde Park and during it, many activities can be done.

For example, there are many attractions, live shows, and restaurants. Another event to attend is Christmas at Kew, which is a festival at Kew Gardens during which you can see all kinds of beautiful lights. Lots of special concerts take place in London as well. For example, you can go to the Royal Albert Hall for a special Christmas concert

Ice skating is also a fun activity during December in London and all throughout the city lots of pop-up outdoor ice rinks can be found during this month.

New Year’s Eve also takes place in December and London has many great spots for seeing fireworks. One of the best places for that is the Sky Garden, a public garden that is located in a skyscraper in the City of London. Furthermore, the banks of the River Thames are great for seeing the annual fireworks show.

Suggested by: Daniel from North Carolina Travel Guides

12. Alta, Norwaybest place to see the Northern Lights in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog alta-norway, visiting Europe in the winter
Head to Alta in Norway for the town of the Northern Lights!

December is one of the most magical times to visit Europe, especially if you travel North to the Arctic Circle. One of the most beautiful places to visit in this region is the Norwegian town of Alta, also known as “the town of the Northern Lights”.

It is home to only 20,000 people, yet it remains the most populated area in the Finnmark County, and can be reached by cruise ship, or by plane from Oslo in 2 hours, or by car in 5.5 hours from Tromso.

Located at 70 degrees north latitude means that during winter (late November to mid-January), Alta experiences the polar night. This is when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon, meaning the whole area is shrouded in darkness most of the day except a few hours in the afternoon when there is a twilight blue glow. For most people this takes some getting used to, however, it does provide optimal conditions for the town’s biggest draw, the Northern Lights.

The best way to experience them is by hiring a guide or joining a tour. Both will check the clouds and solar activity, to make sure you visit the spot with the most likelihood of viewing the Northern lights. Many of them also include tripods and photographers, to help you capture the moment. Tours run from 10 pm-2 am, so make sure you get an afternoon nap in if you can!

Other popular winter wonderland activities in Alta include snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and dogsledding. There are also plenty of great attractions such as the Northern Lights Cathedral, Alta Museum and the famous ice hotel at Sorrisniva to make your winter destinations in Europe memorable!

Suggested by: Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

13. Halstatt, Austriabest places to visit in Europe in December with family

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, Halsatt in Winter with snow and sunshine
Hallstatt’s vibrant Christmas makes it one of the best places to visit in Europe for Christmas

If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Europe in December with family, the fairytale town of Hallstatt, Austria couldn’t be more perfect. 

The town, situated on the turquoise shores of Lake Hallstatt, is known for its colorful gingerbread homes, perched amongst pine trees on the slopes of the Alps. During wintertime, though, the homes’ rafters are festooned with twinkling lights, festive garland, and, oftentimes, glistening icicles. 

Beyond its general whimsical appearance, though, Hallstatt goes all out for Christmas every year on December 8th, when the town transforms into a Christmas market.

There are plenty of things to do in Hallstatt during this time of year—you can peruse the local vendors’ booths, hawking handmade mittens, ornaments, or wooden toys; admire the life-sized wooden Nativity scene, hand-crafted by the local carpentry school; or tuck into some holiday goodies, like a steaming mug of glühwein or Hallstatt’s iconic cookies.

If you’re visiting with kiddos (or just really like to get into the holiday spirit!), consider timing your visit with the first weekend of Advent. Every year, the children of the neighbouring town of Obertraun wait on the shores of Lake Hallstatt at night, illuminated only by candlelight, to await the arrival of St. Nicholas.

The jolly old man sails to shore on a wooden boat; passes out small treats to the waiting children, like apples and oranges; and recites a Christmas poem. And, just like that, he slips back into his boat and sails into the darkness until next Christmas. This ritual and other Christmas shenanigans make Hallstatt one of the best places to visit in Europe during Christmas.

Suggested by: Jess from Uprooted Traveler

14. Lanzarote, Spainbest places in Spain to visit in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Lanzarote, warm places to visit in December in Europe, visiting Europe in the winter
Fancy a winter in swimwear? Consider Lanzarote as one of the warm places to visit in December in Europe

How about some wintertime in a bathing suit? Book your flight to Lanzarote, a Canary Island paradise, one of the warm places to visit in December in Europe, that awaits you in its pristine crystal waters with an amazing temperature to be enjoyed throughout all year, December included.

Both outside and the water temperature on the island remain quite stable at around 68ºF/20ºC, even in the winter months. You’ll be able to do some sunbathing on amazing beaches like Papagayo and Playa Blanca or swim in beautiful natural volcanic pools in Arrieta and Punta Mujeres.

If you’re into surfing, enjoy some waves in the surf capital of the island, Famara, while staring at its impressive walls that hide the highest point of Lanzarote. The island also has many cultural options to visit such as the architectural gems of local artist Cesar Manrique like Jameos del Agua, Casa LagOmar, or overwhelming views of the neighbouring island La Graciosa from Manrique’s Mirador del Río.

Do some trekking on petrified lava surrounded by (sleeping) volcanos in Timanfaya National Park and have an adventure entering Cueva de los Verdes, a 20.000 years old volcanic tube. 

Special tip for foodies: Did you know that you’d be able to find a salmon smokehouse in the middle of the Canary Islands?

In the small town of Uga, you can delight yourself with this local delicatessen (try it at Bodega de Santiago’s restaurant) accompanied by some island’s cheese, and the famous Canarian papas arrugás (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo verde and mojo picón (typical Canarian sauces). Don’t forget to try the local volcanic Malvasia dry white in one of Lanzarote’s wineries surrounded y the peculiar vineyard landscape.

Suggested by: Inês from

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15. Tenerife, Spainwarmest islands in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Tenerife - Spain, Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, winter vacation destinations in Europe
Tenerife is famous as the warm place to visit in December in Europe

When December blizzards or torrential rains are pouring down in your country, head to the island of eternal spring, Tenerife; a warm Christmas destination in Europe. You can’t find a place like Tenerife in all of Europe in December, where you can not only sunbathe but even swim in the ocean.

Travelling to Tenerife in December is a great idea because you will find comfortable climatic conditions and sunny weather which makes it one of the Best Places to Visit in Europe in December.

Daytime temperatures in December in Tenerife are usually between +18°C and +25°C. With the mountain range, the southern part of the island is considerably warmer than the north and the temperature difference can reach 4-7 degrees Celsius. 

In the evening and night hours, it gets noticeably colder, and the average temperature is +16 °C, so be sure to put in your suitcases not only summer clothes but also sweaters, jackets, pants and sneakers. 

December in Tenerife is the perfect time to explore the island and embark on various excursions. The absence of scorching heat allows you to enjoy the sights and activities to the fullest.  

Be sure to visit Teide National Park and its highlight the active volcano Teide. The volcano is over 3,500 meters high. A visit to the Teide volcano is without exaggeration considered a mandatory ritual on a trip to Tenerife. While climbing the volcano, you can also enjoy the beauty of the Teide National Park. This natural monument is more than 5 million years old.

The area surrounding the volcano is dotted with a plethora of volcanic fragments, solidified lava in hues of black, white, and ochre that, over time and through natural processes, have taken on peculiar and unusual shapes. 

If you like authentic places, visit Icod de los Vinos, a typical old Canarian town. It dates back to the 16th century and has preserved its traditional architecture and stunning mansions with wooden balconies. 

The most important tourist attraction of Icod de los Vinos is Drago Milenario, a huge dragon tree. It is a fact that the tree is over a thousand years old, although its exact age remains unknown.

Another popular place in Icod de los Vinos is the butterfly park where you can see hundreds of butterflies. 

The weather in Tenerife in December is also great for outdoor activities and hiking. Tenerife has one amazing place for hiking – the Laurel Forests in the Anaga Mountains, in the northern part of Tenerife. 

This area is notably cooler than the southern part of the island and experiences higher levels of rainfall, which has allowed these laurel forests to thrive here. There are only a few places on the planet that have such forests and they have been preserved since the Jurassic period.

Suggested by: Alexandra from Tenerife-is

16. Nice, France

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Nice- France, visiting Europe in the winter
Nice truly lives up to its name, standing out as one of the nice places to go in Europe in December

Another wonderful place on the list of warm places to visit in December in Europe is Nice, France. During the month of December, the city experiences an average high temperature of 57°F and an average low temperature of 43°F, which means it’s relatively warm compared to most other places in Europe.

Additionally, travelling to Nice during this time of year tends to be cheaper in comparison to the summer months since there are usually significantly fewer tourists out and about.

For visitors who want to explore the city, there’s plenty to do and see! One great spot is Castle Hill, where you can take in the breathtaking views of the Cote d’Azur coastline. Or, if you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, head over to Nice’s Christmas market. The annual event runs for an entire month and features around 60 stalls selling festive items, local foods, and souvenirs.

And of course, don’t forget to stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais. Here, you’ll not only get to see and enjoy the lovely coastal views but also you’ll be able to admire the holiday lights. Similar light displays and decorations can be found in the iconic Place Massena and Place Garibaldi

But, if you’re looking for a change of scenery, you can catch a glimpse of how the rich and wealthy celebrate the holiday season by visiting Monaco as a little excursion!

All in all, Nice is one of the best places to visit in December. Its relatively warm weather, picturesque views, and an array of activities to partake in make it one of the ideal winter getaways in Europe for those looking to experience Europe during wintertime!

Suggested by: Kristin of Global Travel Escapades

17. York, UKone of the best cities in the UK in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Christmas in York, best places to visit in Europe during Christmas, best places to visit in Europe for Christmas
Doesn’t the charm of York’s buildings in this picture transport you straight to Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley?

The historic city of York in northern England is a fantastic destination to visit in winter, but also one of the best places to visit in Europe in December. On gloomy rainy days, its cobbled streets and maze of snickelways (old pedestrian alleyways) take on an added atmosphere.

Don’t miss the mediaeval cobbled street The Shambles, voted Britain’s Best Street, whose overhanging, tightly packed timber buildings are said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies.

You can escape the wintery weather by visiting one of the city’s world-class museums such as the National Railway Museum, the Jorvik Viking Centre or the York Castle Museum. If the weather is good, climb to the top of Clifford’s Tower for a 360-degree view of the City of York.

Alternatively, take a tour of one of the city’s historic houses such as the Georgian era Fairfax House or the Victorian Mansion House or simply indulge in a festive afternoon tea at the iconic 100-year-old Betty’s Tea Rooms. On crisp sunny days, York’s city centre parks and riverside walks are the best places to catch some winter sun. 

York comes alive at Christmas when the city is festooned with lights and window displays. There is a six-week-long Christmas market (The St. Nicholas Fair) in the pedestrianised centre of York, making it one of the most picturesque warm Christmas destinations in Europe. It hosts over 100 alpine chalets selling locally-made crafts, food and drink.

It is ideal for picking up a last-minute Christmas gift. Visitors to York at Christmas should also visit York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe. It offers candlelit services and carol concerts throughout December which are guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.

Suggested by: Sinead at York Travel Expert

18. Berlin, Germanybest place for New Year’s Eve in Europe

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Berlin, visiting Europe in the winter, best places to visit in Europe during Christmas
Want to enjoy New Year’s Eve and Christmas to the fullest? Book a trip to Berlin!

Normally, you might not think of coming to Berlin as the best place to visit in Europe in December. After all, it is pretty cold and dark at that time of year. But in December, Berlin is such a festive place to be. You won’t regret coming for the Berlin Christmas markets, solidifying Berlin’s reputation as one of the best winter holiday destinations in Europe.

One of the best markets to visit in Berlin is the WeihnachtsZauber at Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market, usually called Gendarmenmarkt for the square where it normally takes place. But due to construction, it’s being held at nearby Bebelplatz until 2024.

There’s a 1 euro entry fee, but if you get there before 2 pm most days, it’s free. This market has a lovely setting, even at its temporary location, and it oozes holiday charm. You’ll find traditional Christmas market food and mulled wine, and plenty of specialty stalls selling gifts and tree ornaments.

Another great market to check out is Lucia at Kulturbrauerei. This one has a Nordic theme, and you’ll find food and drinks from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and other Nordic countries. It’s in the courtyard of a former brewery, and the red brick buildings make for a cosy setting.

If you’re in Berlin at New Year’s, you can experience one of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. It takes place near Brandenburg Gate, and the roads are closed off to make room for stages to be set up.

There are musical performances and of course, a big fireworks display at midnight. Even if you don’t go there, you can find NYE parties at clubs and bars all around the city, and fireworks being set off from every bridge and intersection. Berlin at New Year’s is not for the weak!

Suggested by: Ali from Berlin Travel Tips

19. Porto, Portugalbest cities to visit in Europe in December for fewer crowds

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Porto-Portugal, Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, best places to visit in Europe during Christmas
As one of the best places to visit in Europe in December, Porto captivates with its charming architecture

Porto, on this list of the best places to visit in Europe in December, is a captivating city with its charming narrow streets, magnificent architecture and picturesque riverside setting. It’s a great winter getaway in Europe, perfect to visit year-round but particularly ideal in December.

One of the reasons why Porto is a great place to visit in December is the fewer tourists. With the peak tourist season long gone, you can experience the city’s attractions without the crowds which makes it one of the best winter holiday destinations in Europe.

Another advantage is the pleasant weather. While winter brings cooler temperatures, they remain mild compared to other European cities. The cooler temperatures are ideal for strolling through Porto’s enchanting streets, sipping on a cup of hot Port wine and enjoying the city’s festive decorations.

A visit to Majestic Café in December is a must. This iconic café, adorned with beautiful Art Nouveau decor, has been a beloved meeting place for residents of the city since 1921. It always has really long queues in the summer but is much quieter in winter.

You’ll also want to make sure you explore the historic Ribeira district. Wander through its narrow, winding streets, lined with colourful buildings and intricate tiled facades

Explore the bustling Ribeira Square where you can soak in breathtaking views of the Douro River and the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge. Experience the local cuisine at the riverside restaurants, sample the famous Porto wine and maybe even join a relaxing boat cruise along the Douro River.

Another thing you can’t miss is Livraria Lello, often considered to be one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Its grand neo-Gothic architecture, intricate wooden bookshelves and stunning stained glass ceiling create a magical atmosphere.

Suggested By: Megan From Traveller’s Elixir

20. Sicily, Italybest places to visit in Italy in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Sicily - Italy, best winter destinations in Europe, best places to visit in Europe during Christmas
Seeking winter vacation destinations in Europe? Sicily is undoubtedly the best destination to consider

If you’re looking for the perfect European destination in December, check out Sicily.

Winters are milder in Sicily with reasonably warm days and temperatures hovering between 55-60°F. You can expect some rain (bring your umbrella), but snow is uncommon. However, Mt. Etna’s high altitude means that the peak is covered in snow and December is the perfect time to go skiing and snowboarding here which makes Sicily one of the best winter holiday destinations in Europe.

Sicily also has popular Christmas markets with many of them running through December. The best ones happen in Palermo, Catania, Ragusa, and Agrigento. It is a great time to soak in the festive vibe, eat good food, and shop for Christmas gifts and trinkets.

Sicily is also home to several other December festivals including the renowned Festa di Santa Lucia in Syracuse and Festa di Santo Stefano, not forgetting it has the best places to visit in Europe for Christmas.

December is the low season in Sicily which means accommodation and tours are more affordable. It also means fewer tourists at popular tourist attractions. Therefore, it is the best time to explore the historic centres of Palermo and the Late Baroque Towns of Val di Noto.

If you’re a history enthusiast, you’ll love visiting Sicily’s iconic archaeological sites which are virtually empty in December. The Valley of Temples in Agrigento, the Ancient Theater of Taormina, and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica are all great choices. Since they are mostly out in the open, exploring these sites is also a good way to get your daily dose of winter sun.

December is a mild winter month in Sicily, but be sure to pack warmer layers and an umbrella just in case temperatures dip. 

Suggested by: Soumya of Stories by Soumya

21. Malaga, Spainone of the warmest cities in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Malaga, winter getaways in Europe, winter vacation destinations in Europe
Searching for winter destinations in Europe? Look no further than Malaga, a gem in Southern Spain.

If you are looking for winter destinations in Europe, Malaga, located in Southern Spain, is a fantastic option.

The high temperature in Malaga in December is 17.5 degrees Celsius, and it doesn’t rain much, so there are many outdoor things to do while enjoying the sunshine.

December is a good time for sightseeing, but also hiking. It isn’t cold or warm as in the summer when the city can reach 40 degrees Celsius.

During your visit to Malaga, don’t miss its main attractions, which include Alcazaba and Roman Theatre, Malaga Cathedral and Gibralfaro Castle. And if you like museums, Picasso Museum is a must-see, although Malaga has over 40 museums with different themes to choose from.

However, exploring beyond the city centre is also a good idea. You can head to traditional white-painted villages, such as Frigiliana and Mijas Pueblo. Both villages are perfect for taking photos and learning about local culture.

On top of this, if you love all Christmas-related activities, you can also enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in Malaga, from seeing the Christmas Light Show every evening from the end of November to the beginning of January to visiting the traditional Spanish nativity scenes, like the one in the Town Hall, and window shop at the Christmas markets.

Christmas in Malaga isn’t the stereotypical cold and snowy Christmas but is full of fascinating traditions and events, like New Year’s Eve and the Three Kings Parade so you must consider visiting Malaga if you are looking for the best places to visit in Europe during Christmas.

Suggested By: Cristina of My Little World of Travelling

22. Ephesus, Türkiyebest non-Christmas related vacation in Europe

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Ephesus in Turkiye, countries to visit in December in Europe
Add Ephesus to your ‘best places to visit in Europe in December with family’ list

Ephesus might not come into your mind when looking for winter destinations in Europe, but let me tell you; it is one of the best places to visit in Europe in December. Located along the sunny Aegean coast, Ephesus is an ancient city that exemplifies the rich history of bygone civilizations.

It’s also a fantastic destination to visit in December, especially thanks to its pleasant weather (even during the winter!) and fewer crowds.

To start, the Aegean region doesn’t suffer from extremely cold weather, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Turkey during the winter. You can expect temperatures of around 10 to 14 C (50 to 57 F) in December, and there is little chance of snow.

Likewise, Ephesus is absolutely fantastic during the winter, as there are much fewer crowds than the summer. You can peacefully enjoy some of Ephesus’ most popular attractions without having to wait in long lines or push through crowds. 

While Ephesus is one large historical complex, there are plenty of stand-alone landmarks once you’re inside. The most famous is the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!), along with the Library of Celsus, the Ancient Theater, and the Terrace Houses. To get the most out of your trip to Ephesus, we recommend hiring a guide, as they’re a wealth of information on each of the places!

If you have some free time after exploring Ephesus, we also recommend visiting the nearby village of Şirince as well. It’s only a 10-kilometer (20-minute) drive and is sure to be the highlight of your trip! Şirince is famous for being a wine-producing village, with the added atmosphere of narrow cobblestoned streets and olive groves that grow on the outskirts.

While you’re here, be sure to visit one of the many viewpoints to look at the traditional houses, try the local Turkish coffee (with a twist!), and enjoy fresh farm-to-table food. 

Suggested by: Kedi from Let’s Travel to Türkiye

23. Prague, Czechiabest cities in Europe for Christmas in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Prague, best places in Europe to visit during Christmas
Prague is a magical fusion of historic charm, festive lights, and a winter wonderland ambience

Prague is the ultimate winter fairy tale city. The stunning architecture with structures spanning centuries serves as the best backdrop for Christmas time

Visiting Prague in December is all about Christmas. Most Christmas markets start at the end of November and last until December 24th. The way the city dresses for the occasion of Christmas is beyond beautiful

Prague’s main Christmas market can be found at the Old Town Square. It has everything you could look for in a market, including local treats, mulled wine, and hot mead. There’s usually a massive tree and a stage with Christmas concerts. However, it’s also the most crowded Christmas market of all.

For a more intimate Christmas market experience, head to the smaller ones. E.g. the Christmas market at Náměstí míru is still within walking distance from the city centre and provides a market of a smaller size, yet lacking nothing. The market is held right in front of the church of St. Ludmila, which is quite magnificent on its own.

And then there’s the Prague Castle Christmas market. Personally, I find it to be the most charming one of all. Even though it’s primarily geared at tourists, it doesn’t take away from the magic. Prague Castle buildings, with the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral at its heart, provide a unique setting for any event. If you get lucky and experience some snowfall while in Prague, you’ll truly feel like you’re living in a fairy tale.

Visitors who’ll be in Prague on the night of December 5th will experience a special event – it’s St. Nicolas Day and St. Nicolas, together with his helpers, angels and devils, will be roaming the streets of Prague!

Suggested by: Veronika from Travel Geekery

24. Athens, Greeceone of the best places to visit in Europe in low season

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Athens in Greece as one of the best places to visit in Turkey in december
Athens being best winter destination in Europe will give you the unmatched Christmassy experience

Though it may not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for the best places to visit in Europe in December, Athens is a fantastic destination to consider for your December travels. With mild temperatures, a festive atmosphere, and plenty of cultural experiences to indulge in, Athens has a lot to offer visitors in the winter months.

Though the temperature may only hover between 15 and 8 degrees Celsius, you’ll be grateful for the cooler weather when you’re exploring the city’s many outdoor sights. And while the overcast skies and occasional rain showers may seem like a downside, they also mean you won’t have to contend with the summer crowds.

Imagine strolling up the Acropolis hill without having to elbow your way through hoards of tourists. In the summer, the crowds are horrendous, but in December, you’ll have plenty of space to breathe and take some shots without being photobombed.

Stay in one of the Athens hotels with pools indoor, such as the A.P. Acropolis View Apartments, for a unique and indulging experience and epic views over the Acropolis.

Here are some must-visit attractions of Athens

For shopping and entertainment, there’s plenty to do in Athens during December. Visit the Monastiraki flea market for incredible finds, or stroll the hipster neighbourhood of Psiri.

December is also perfect for taking your time and enjoying indoor museums, and Athens boasts a fantastic choice. From the world-renowned Acropolis Museum to the Jewish Museum, you’ll find plenty to learn and explore.

Besides, visiting Athens in December means you can take part in the lovely holiday festivities that the city has to offer. Syntagma Square will be lit up with colourful lights, and for the ultimate Christmassy experience, head to Technopolis, home to festive performances, food and souvenir stalls and a traditional Christmas market.

Suggested by: Mal of Raw Mal Roams

25. Dolomites, Italybest places in Europe for Winter Activities in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, snowy Dolomites
If skiing and hiking are your things, consider the Dolomites one of the best places to visit in Europe in December!

The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northern Italy and are one of the best places to visit in Europe in December. The mountain peaks are tall and jagged and the lakes are Gatorade blue. It’s a super unique and gorgeous winter getaway destination. Visiting in December calls for unparalleled skiing and a Christmas wonderland.

The Dolomites are quite large with many towns located throughout. You will want to select the town you want to stay in based on the activities that are important to you. However, some good options are Ortisei, Cortina or Val d’Ega. Plan to stay as long as you can, but four days in the Dolomites should be the minimum!

Getting here is easy as Milan is only a few hours away. From there you can either drive or take the train. It’s best to have a car so you can explore the area easily on your own!

If you enjoy skiing or other winter sports, then you’ll probably want to spend a lot of your time doing that. Select one of the 20+ ski resorts in the Dolomites to stay and or visit to hit the slopes!

But there are plenty of other things to do in the area, and this time of the year visiting Christmas markets is an absolute must. There are currently at least ten different markets to visit and they all offer something unique, so it’s recommended that you visit at least a few.

And most importantly, you must enjoy some of the incredible food, you are in Italy after all! Some of the things this area of the country is known for include polenta, canederli and fondue!

Suggested by: Adam and Kathryn of Adventures of A+K

26. Lisbon, Portugalone of the top European cities to visit in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, Christmas Tree in Lisbon main square
Lisbon should top your list if you’re seeking the best European destinations to visit in December

In the list of best places to visit in Europe during Christmas, how can one forget Lisbon? Even in December, Lisbon is a city that’s worth visiting. While temperatures will be cooler than usual and you may run into some rain, the overall climate remains mild in Lisbon in December.

Plus, there’s added warmth in the air brought on by the festive holiday decorations and Christmas markets around the city.

Usually a great place for foodies, in December you can sample seasonal treats as well. Try the Broas Castelares, a holiday cookie with sweet potato as one of its main ingredients. Or, sample a slice of Bolo Rei, Lisbon’s traditional Christmas cake.

Enjoy the Christmas lights hung all across the city, and spend a few hours at the Christmas markets like the one in Rossio Square. There, you’ll find plenty of stalls selling unique gifts to bring home as souvenirs. Sample the hot chocolate, mulled wine, roasted nuts and a variety of other snacks for sale at the market.

Various Churches across Lisbon also host special Christmas concerts this time of year, and you can even hear the music from the streets as you pass by.

Visiting Lisbon in December also means you benefit from fewer crowds and more affordable rates, since it’s off-peak season in the city. This means you can appreciate all of the typical landmarks on most Lisbon itineraries with fewer crowds.

Whatever time of year you visit Lisbon, including in December, be sure to attend a Fado show for a taste of traditional Portuguese music.

If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Europe in December, there’s no doubt that Lisbon should be on your list.

Suggested by: Nausheen of Globe Gazers

How to get the best flights??

I use Skyscanner to book all of my flights! I’m a huge fan of Skyscanner because I love how easy it is to compare different destinations and different dates for the best price and route!

For example, I type in ‘everywhere’ in the destination if I have fixed dates and want to find the best flights on those dates on Skyscanner.

And if I have a set destination I’ll look at the ‘month view’ to check the cheapest days to fly in that month!

27. Budapest, Hungarybest budget-friendly Christmas market in Europe

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Budapest, Hungary, best winter destinations in Europe
Budapest is the best winter getaway destination while being budget-friendly festive haven

Budapest is a budget-friendly yet beautiful city to explore, especially during the month of December.  The city has lots of history, tasty food, great beer, and a variety of things to do, including Christmas markets that’s why people head to Budapest when looking for the best places to visit in Europe in December

Budapest turns into a Christmas Market haven at the end of November and runs through December and is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.  Strolling through Budapest, you can find multiple Christmas Markets offering locally made gifts and serving delicious Hungarian specialities such as chimney cake, Palacsinta, or marzipan

Hungarian hand-crafted gifts include painted porcelain, embroidered textiles, and ornaments that are perfect gifts for loved ones. Make sure to explore the stalls and try the local drink specialities such as mulled wine which is a red wine with cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel to warm up and enjoy the holiday season.

The best and biggest Budapest Christmas market takes place in Vörösmarty Square, in the heart of Budapest. In addition to the amazing foods and gift ideas, Hungarian bands offer free concerts daily in the square.

If you are looking for a smaller, more quaint experience, then check out the Christmas market in front of St.Stephen’s Basilica, which has great photo spots such as the Christmas tree by the ice skating rink. You can also catch an amazing custom light screening show that is displayed at the church hourly.

Obuda is a charming Christmas market that is less touristy and has a unique carousel, delightful Christmas carolers, and twinkling tights that create a lovely ambience, overall solidifying Budapest’s reputation as the best place to visit in Europe for Christmas.

Suggested by: Adam & Hannah from Getting Stamped

28. Dubrovnic, Croatiabest places to visit in Europe in December for fewer crowds

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Dubrovnik for winter getaway, one of the Best Places to Visit in Europe in December
Dubrovnik’s Christmas charm and ancient streets make it one of the best places to visit in Europe in December

Beautiful Dubrovnik is probably the best-known city in Croatia. Travellers voted Dubrovnik the most beautiful coastal city in Europe, leaving behind cities like Barcelona, Lisbon, and Venice.  

Thus, it is no wonder that many people want to see Dubrovnik. The high season in Dubrovnik is summer. Summer in Dubrovnik means crowds, heat, and inflated prices. Opposite to summer, winter in Dubrovnik means no crowds, no heat, and reasonable prices making it the best winter destination in Europe.

Sun-kissed Dubrovnik is among the best places in Europe in December. Dubrovnik enjoys sunshine, while most of Europe sees rain, fog, and snow in December. To make it clear, Dubrovnik can be chilly in December. But you will never lack sunshine either!

The daily temperatures in Dubrovnik are not favourable for swimming, but they are great for sightseeing in the city! December is a perfect time for sightseeing the Baroque and Renaissance churches, monasteries, and palaces in Dubrovnik with no crowds.

December is a great time for strolling the ancient cobbled streets and the walls of the Old City. The best way to explore the city is to book one or two best Dubrovnik tours to learn about the city and the area from local expert guides. 

Besides that, Dubrovnik Christmas Fair is a joyful event that brings Christmas magic to the city. Stradun, the most famous street in Dubrovnik, gets filled with Christmas huts that sell traditional Croatian Christmas products, food, and drinks.

In addition, the streets of Dubrovnik get decorated with traditional Croatian Christmas ornaments. The New Year’s Eve celebration in Stradun is a top event in Dubrovnik. The start of a new year comes with live music in Stradun and fireworks above the Old City of Dubrovnik

So, if you wish to celebrate New Year in one of the most beautiful old-walled cities, head to Dubrovnik

Suggested by: Milijana of World Travel Connector

29. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovinaone of the best-underrated places to visit in Europe in December

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Sarajevo as Best Place to Visit in Europe in December, visiting Europe in the winter
Sarajevo in December merges cultural diversity with festive spirit, becoming a top Christmas destination

Visiting Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in December can be a delightful experience as it is one of the best places to visit in Europe for Christmas. Like any other city in Europe, Sarajevo embraces the holiday season with enchanting Christmas decorations, lights, and festive markets. The city centre, particularly the Baščaršija area, comes alive with a joyful atmosphere.

But besides Christmas, there are other reasons to visit Sarajevo in December too. The weather is cold, with temperatures typically ranging from -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F). If you’re lucky, you might experience a snowy landscape that enhances the city’s charm.

In the surrounding mountains you can almost be sure there will be snow. Locals flock to the famous Olympic mountain towns such as Bjelašnica and Jahorina for a range of winter sport activities such as skiing, snowboarding or simply enjoying a magical winter wonderland that is just a stone’s throw away from Sarajevo making it the best place to visit in Europe in December with family.

Most tourists avoid Sarajevo in December due to the chilly temperatures. This allows you to explore the city without the large crowds. And with plenty of indoor activities it is easy to escape the cold in this winter destinations in Europe.

First of all, Sarajevo has a number of interesting museums about the Bosnian war such as the Tunnel Museum and Galerija 11/07/1995. Second of all, there is always a cafe or traditional tea house nearby to warm you up with a hot cup of tea with sweet treats like baklava or bosnian sweets

Bosnia’s cuisine is just as multicultural as the city itself with influences from its Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian past. This diverse cultural heritage is visible everywhere in the various religious sites and the different styles of architecture. What makes Sarajevo unique is that you can enjoy the Christmas festivities in the traditional old town that feels more Middle Eastern than Europe. 

Sarajevo in December thus offers a blend of festive spirit, culinary delights, winter sports and cultural diversity, making it the Best Place to Visit in Europe in December

Suggested by: Ellis from Backpack Adventures

30. Istanbul, Türkiye

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog Best Places to Visit in Europe in December, Istanbul with Snow in December
Istanbul is great for a winter getaway in Europe in December!

You’ll need to wrap up warm for this European winter break but December is a great time to visit Istanbul!

Like many of the cities on this list of places in Europe to visit in December, going at this time of year benefits from fewer crowds and easier temperatures to walk around in.

All of the best things to do in Istanbul are open in winter and seen as Istanbul is such a great city for coffee, tea and the local Turkish drink Salep it’s a great time to enjoy the cafes of Istanbul and warm up with a hot drink between sightseeing.

I did experience snow in Istanbul in Janaury, it is less likely to snow in December but you never know!

Istanbul is also one of the great places in Europe without a Christmas atmosphere. Although there will be more lights around the city and the occasional Christmas display, this isn’t a city you visit for Christmas markets which will suit some people well.

Suggested by: Ellie from The Wandering Quinn

I hope this has helped you with the best places to visit in Europe in December and plan your winter holiday in Europe in December!