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Which Are the Best Countries to Visit in December?

December marks the beginning of winter in most parts of the world. As the mercury starts dropping in many places, it is the ideal time to escape the cold and head to warmer destinations. December is a great month to go on an international vacation as you can celebrate Christmas and New Year in a new destination.

From tropical beaches to European Christmas markets, there are many wonderful places that make for the perfect December getaway. Here are some of the best countries to consider for a holiday in December.

What Country is the best to visit in December?


With balmy weather and minimal rainfall, Thailand is hands down one of the best places to visit in December. The country offers everything from tranquility to adventure, making it ideal for different types of travelers.

The southern islands of Thailand, like Phuket and Koh Samui, have temperatures around 30°C in December, which is perfect for sunbathing and water adventures. The west coast destinations like Krabi and Phang Nga are great for island hopping, snorkeling, and kayaking. Inland places like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the north have cooler weather at around 25°C and are best explored through jungle trekking, village tours, and elephant encounters.

Thailand also has great night markets, street food, and lavish New Year celebrations that add to its appeal as a December destination.

Things to do

  • Relax on the beaches of Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui
  • Go island hopping around Phi Phi Islands and Phang Nga Bay
  • Enjoy New Year festivities on Koh Phangan
  • Trek through jungles and visit hill tribes in Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai
  • Explore Buddhist temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun in Bangkok


The Indonesian island of Bali boasts gorgeous beaches, terraced rice paddies, and rich cultural heritage. With its tropical climate, Bali makes for an idyllic December vacation spot.

You can relax at the cliffside pools of Uluwatu, surf the waves at Kuta, go on temple tours in Ubud, or enjoy a romantic dinner on Jimbaran Bay. The weather stays consistently warm, around 30°C throughout the month.

Things to do

  • Relax at beach clubs in Seminyak and Canggu
  • Take surfing lessons at Kuta and Uluwatu
  • Go temple hopping in Ubud
  • Enjoy the sunset at Tanah Lot temple
  • Experience village life in central Bali
  • Party the night away in Kuta


Dubai is a world-famous metropolitan hub that combines modernity with Arab tradition. Dubai is best visited in December when the weather is nice, all the main attractions are open, and there are many holiday-related activities going on.

You may enjoy sunlight and temperatures of about 25°C during the day. Enjoy shopping in massive malls, try dune bashing in the desert, unwind at infinity pools, or take in the expansive views from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

In the evening, dine under the stars at al fresco restaurants or party at glitzy rooftop bars. You can also attend Christmas concerts, New Year’s Eve fireworks, and other events organized throughout Dubai in December.

Things to do

  • View Dubai from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building
  • Go dune bashing and camel riding in the desert
  • Shop for gold and various spices at traditional souks
  • Relax on beaches like La Mer and JBR Walk
  • Experience luxury at Atlantis, The Palm
  • Take an evening desert safari

South Africa

December falls in the summer season in South Africa when wildlife viewing opportunities are exceptional. You can spot the Big Five and other animals in their natural habitats under sunny blue skies.

Major parks and game reserves like Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park offer incredible safaris. You’ll find many lodges and resorts offering special December rates with holiday decor and events.

Things to do

  • Take a safari through Kruger National Park
  • Visit Boulders Beach to see endangered African penguins
  • Soak up the sun on Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town
  • Explore the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg
  • Hike up Table Mountain for breathtaking views
  • Tour the wineries of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek


December is an excellent time to visit Spain, as you can soak up Christmas vibes in Spanish cities that get decked out in holiday decor. Popular spots like Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville have festive lighting displays, Christmas markets, and holiday concerts.

During the day, you can explore museums architecture, and savor tapas. At night, join locals in the town to experience Spain’s legendary nightlife. Parts of Spain, like the Costa del Sol, still see pleasant temperatures around 15-18°C.

The Canary Islands off the coast of Africa are best for beach holidays with warm weather all year round. Places like Tenerife and Gran Canaria have temperatures around 22°C in December.

Things to do

  • See Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and La Rambla in Barcelona
  • Join Christmas festivities in Plaza Mayor in Madrid
  • Soak up sunshine on the beaches of Costa del Sol
  • Hike around volcanic landscapes in Tenerife
  • Tour the Alhambra Palace in Granada
  • Eat tapas and drink sangria in Seville


December falls in the Australian summer, making it a fantastic time for a vacation Down Under. You can soak up the sunshine on Sydney’s famous beaches, admire icons like the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, and watch spectacular fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Temperatures range from about 18-26°C with plenty of sunshine for hitting the outdoors. Go surfing on the Gold Coast or swimming at the Great Barrier Reef. Explore the Outback on adventures like Ayres Rock and Kings Canyon.

Things to do

  • Celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks at Sydney Harbour
  • Visit kangaroos and koalas at Featherdale Wildlife Park
  • Go surfing and whale watching on the Gold Coast
  • Spend a day at Bondi Beach in Sydney
  • Take a day unforgettable trip to the Blue Mountains from Sydney
  • Drive along the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne

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