This December, why not treat yourself to a last-minute city break? From exploring the famous Christmas markets of Berlin to snuggling up on a cruise in the River Seine, December isn’t just for Christmas shopping!
Best Cities to Visit in Europe on Vacation:
We’ve put together our 8 favourite cities for a city break in Europe this December.
December is by far one of the best months to visit the Scottish capital. Expect old-world charm, winding streets, stunning castles and a festive Christmas market where you can sample some fine scotch and give ice skating a go. If you are lucky to visit at the end of December, you will be able to take part in the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations. This is a new year’s party like no other and starts from 30th December to New Year’s Day. In the three-day festival, you can expect to see plenty of dancing, haggis, celebration and fireworks.
If you fancy a detour out of the city to soak in some nature and spectacular views head to Arthur’s Seat on the outskirts or why not arrange a day trip to the highlands? Just remember to pack your thermals and long johns. A thermal flask filled with some hot toddy would really seal the deal.
It might be chilly in Vienna in December, but that’s the perfect excuse to warm up with some hot chocolate and indulge in a slice of chocolate Sacher torte. When you’re not snapping up picturesque pictures of Schönbrunn Palace in the snow or wandering through the world-famous Christmas markets you can also enjoy one of the free outdoor operas!
If you really want to treat yourself, why not enjoy an evening at the Vienna State Opera House? If you’re lucky you might even get to enjoy a classical Christmas concert. After taking in so much culture, go for a walk in the Rathhauspark, one of the most popular Christmas Markets is located just outside and is always thronged, but a walk through the park can be a pleasant hideaway. Filled with plenty of Christmas lights and nativity scenes and illuminated ice skating rinks.
The city of love is filled with festive magic in December. The cold temperatures give you the perfect excuse to cosy up with a mug of mulled wine in a Christmas market located near the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral or the Tuileries Garden. Try your hand at ice skating, spend your time being mesmerized by the Christmas light displays from Paris department stores such as Galleries Lafayette and the street decorations at Rue Cler and Rue Montorgueil. And if that’s not enough, then why not see all the wonders that Paris has to offer without the summer crowds? Marvel at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre take in the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower or opt for a stroll along the Seine.
If you’ve dreamed of visiting Venice without the crowds, then December is your month. Forget being sandwiched between tourists and prepare to enjoy some space at the Piazzale Roma, December brings a more relaxed vibe to the city. You can expect to pay a lot less for luxurious hotel rooms and Gondola rides. Venice also boasts a Christmas Market, where you can take in the twinkling lights and enjoy the festivities amongst Venetians.
December is by far one of the most magical months to visit Reykjavik. The city will be full of snowy streets, twinkling lights and lots of darkness. The country is very close to the Arctic Circle so often experiences only a few hours of daylight a day in winter, this gives an even better chance to be able to catch sight of one of nature’s most magnificent shows – The Northern Lights.
Get in the mood for all things festive by visiting the Christmas village in Hafnarf Jordur, try your hand at ice skating in Ingolfstorg Square or marvel at the magic of the Christmas forest in City Hall.
If you fancy heading outside the city, then why not treat yourself to a day at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famous hot spring. Or go for an adrenaline-rushing snowmobile ride over glaciers!
Also known as the home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland is the one place to go for all things Father Christmas. You can visit the man himself in the Santa Claus Village, or why not try your luck at Elf School in Santa Park? But it’s not all about spending time with St. Nick you can also go on a Northern Lights tour, visit polar bears in an arctic zoo, take a reindeer sleigh ride through the snow or get your heart racing on a husky ride. If you’re feeling adventurous you can try your hand at ice fishing or spend a night in an ice hotel or igloo. We promise it’s warmer than you’d think!
Think Croatia is just for the summer? well think again! Forget snow and freezing fog, if you visit Dubrovnik in December you will still be able to enjoy a coffee on the cobbles, just remember to wear a coat. You will have the perfect opportunity to enjoy everything the city has to offer without throngs of tourists. Enjoy the famous city walls all to yourself and take the perfect snap for Instagram, take part in the winter festival where many of the most famous buildings in the city will be adorning in twinkling lights and there will be plenty of stalls sending festive treats to warm your hands. Go on a tour of the Game of Thrones location, take at trip to the iconic Sokol Tower, located 30km outside the city and be sure to wine and dine in the city’s many famous eateries. Forget the sticky heat of the summer and battling through the lines of cruise ship tourists, Dubrovnik in December is the best time to see this city.