Where to go on holiday in December 2023? As the winter season embraces Europe and the United Kingdom, December transforms into a period of exceptional allure and festive enchantment. Urban landscapes twinkle under the glow of holiday illuminations, while Christmas markets buzz with life, offering a unique blend of tradition and festivity.
Those in search of a romantic retreat, a journey rich in cultural experiences, or simply a joyous setting to immerse in the holiday spirit will find our guide indispensable. It showcases some of the finest destinations to consider for a December holiday, each promising a memorable experience.
Table of Contents
- Lyon, France
- Paris, France
- Dublin, Ireland
- London, United Kingdom
- Aberdeen, Scotland
- Inverness, Scotland
- Birmingham, United Kingdom
- Madrid, Spain
- Stay with Us
1. Lyon, France
Lyon in December is a city transformed. The Festival of Lights turns the city into a luminous wonderland, with artistic installations that light up the night. Stroll along the Rhône and Saône rivers, where reflections of lights dance on the water, creating a mesmerizing effect. The city’s culinary scene, famous for its rich and hearty French cuisine, offers the perfect respite from the chilly weather. Historical landmarks and Renaissance architecture take on a new life under the glow of festive lights, making every walk through the city an enchanting experience.
Good for: Foodies and history enthusiasts
Average temperature: 4°C
Weather: Chilly with occasional snow
Insider Tip: Discover the hidden courtyards in Vieux Lyon, beautifully lit and less crowded for a tranquil experience.
2. Paris, France
December in Paris is a fairytale. The city of love sparkles with festive lights, especially around landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame. Charming Christmas markets dot the city, offering everything from artisan crafts to warm vin chaud. Strolling through Montmartre or along the Seine offers romantic vistas, while world-class museums like the Louvre present cultural feasts. The chilly air is perfect for cozying up in quaint cafés, enjoying the rich flavors of French cuisine.
Good for: Romantics and art lovers
Average temperature: 5°C
Weather: Cold and often misty
Insider Tip: Visit the lesser-known Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market for a more authentic and less touristy experience.
3. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin in December is a blend of warmth and festive cheer. The city’s streets come alive with holiday decorations, and its famous pubs offer a respite from the cold with their lively atmosphere. Literary enthusiasts can follow in the footsteps of famous writers like James Joyce, while history buffs can explore ancient castles and cathedrals. Traditional Irish music fills the air, and local dishes like hearty stews provide comfort.
Good for: Bookworms and beer aficionados
Average temperature: 6°C
Weather: Cold and damp, perfect for pub hopping
Insider Tip: Experience the unique atmosphere of a traditional Irish music session in one of the historic pubs in Temple Bar.
4. London, United Kingdom
London in December is a wonderland of festive activities and shopping. The city streets are adorned with sparkling lights, and famous landmarks like Big Ben and the London Eye offer stunning views. Ice skating rinks, Christmas markets, and special holiday shows add to the seasonal joy. Traditional British cuisine, from fish and chips to warm puddings, can be enjoyed in cozy pubs and elegant restaurants.
Good for: Theatre enthusiasts and shopaholics
Average temperature: 7°C
Weather: Chilly with occasional rain
Insider Tip: For a unique Christmas experience, visit the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, offering a range of festive attractions and activities.
5. Aberdeen, Scotland
Aberdeen’s December charm lies in its blend of maritime history and modern vibrancy. The Granite City’s architecture sparkles under the winter sun, and the harbor bustles with tales of the sea. Seafood lovers can indulge in fresh catches, complemented by local whisky. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the stark beauty of the Scottish countryside, a short drive away.
Good for: Seafood enthusiasts and nature lovers
Average temperature: 5°C
Weather: Cold with a sharp breeze
Insider Tip: Visit the quaint fishing village of Footdee, known locally as ‘Fittie’, for a glimpse into Aberdeen’s maritime history and stunning sea views.
6. Inverness, Scotland
Inverness, the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, offers a mystical December escape. The city’s historical charm, with Inverness Castle overlooking the River Ness, is heightened by the festive atmosphere. Explore the local markets for unique Scottish gifts or venture into the Highlands for stunning winter scenery. Traditional Scottish fare, from warming haggis to comforting cullen skink, is a must-try. The city’s proximity to Loch Ness adds an air of mystery to your winter adventure.
Good for: History buffs and adventure seekers
Average temperature: 4°C
Weather: Cold and misty
Insider Tip: Embark on a winter walk along the Caledonian Canal, offering serene views and a chance to spot local wildlife.
7. Birmingham, United Kingdom
Birmingham in December is a hub of festive activity. The city’s famous Frankfurt Christmas Market brings a taste of Germany to the UK, with stalls offering traditional crafts, foods, and mulled wine. Explore the historic canals, beautifully illuminated, providing a romantic backdrop for evening strolls. Birmingham’s cultural scene is vibrant, with theatres and galleries presenting seasonal shows and exhibitions. The city’s diverse culinary scene, from classic British pubs to international cuisine, offers something for every palate.
Good for: Market lovers and culture enthusiasts
Average temperature: 6°C
Weather: Cold with possible rain showers
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the Jewellery Quarter for unique handmade gifts and a glimpse into Birmingham’s rich industrial heritage.
8. Madrid, Spain
Madrid in December is a vibrant mix of Spanish tradition and modern festivity. The city’s streets and plazas, like the bustling Puerta del Sol, are adorned with lights and decorations. Explore historic sites, from the Royal Palace to the Prado Museum, without the usual crowds. The chilly evenings are perfect for experiencing Madrid’s lively tapas bars, where you can indulge in Spanish culinary delights. Don’t miss the chance to join in the local holiday celebrations for a truly authentic experience.
Good for: Cultural explorers and foodies
Average temperature: 10°C
Weather: Cool and crisp
Insider Tip: For a truly local experience, join the Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve) tradition of eating twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight at Puerta del Sol.
General Travel Essentials
Here’s a checklist of items to pack for a holiday in November in Europe:
- Passport/ID: Ensure it’s valid for at least 6 months from your return date.
- Travel insurance documents: Both digital and printed copies.
- Reservation confirmations: Flights, accommodations, car rentals, etc.
- Travel itinerary: Have a plan of your daily activities.
- Travel guidebook: Especially when traveling to a new destination.
- Chargers: All devices, with a portable charger.
- Travel adapter: If traveling internationally.
- Local currency and cards: Inform your bank about your travels.
- Basic first-aid kit: Plasters, antiseptics, pain relievers, etc.
- Prescription medications: Original containers with the prescription.
- Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated!
9. Stay with us in December 2023
As the year draws to a close, treat yourself to the unparalleled beauty and festive spirit of Europe. December here is a mosaic of twinkling markets, historical treasures, and gastronomic adventures. With GuestReady, your holiday accommodation becomes part of the adventure. We handpick properties that not only meet but exceed every traveller’s expectations, ensuring your stay is as unique as the destinations themselves. Dive into the enchanting winter landscapes and craft memories that will last a lifetime. Choose GuestReady for a stay that’s as special as the European winter magic.
As the seasons change, so do the landscapes and experiences that our beautiful world has to offer. At GuestReady, we believe every month brings its own unique charm and opportunities for adventure so let us guide you through each month with our expert travel insights and handpicked locations. Start exploring and find your next unforgettable holiday experience with GuestReady.
August Adventures Await: Ready for a summer escape? Dive into our ‘Where to go on holiday in August‘ article. Uncover the best summer spots and vibrant holiday experiences with GuestReady’s curated selection.
September Escapes: Welcome the charm of autumn with our ‘Where to go on holiday in September‘ guide. Discover destinations that blend the warmth of summer with the cool touch of fall, all chosen carefully by GuestReady.
October Getaways: Embrace the autumnal magic this October. Our ‘Where to go on holiday in October‘ article is your gateway to destinations rich in fall colours and cultural festivities, handpicked by GuestReady.
November Retreats: Seeking a pre-winter getaway? Explore our ‘Where to go on holiday in November‘ guide for unique travel ideas. From quiet countryside retreats to vibrant city breaks, GuestReady has something special for every traveller.
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