8 best places to visit in December

8 best places to visit in December

The year-end holiday season is a time of festivities and spending quality time with your loved ones. So much so that choosing the perfect destination is essential in ensuring that everyone has an unforgettable vacation. If you’re out of ideas for your next vacation this December, then let us inspire you with some of the best places to visit in December for the perfect getaway.

Snowy winter destinations to visit in December

1. Seoul, Korea

The capital of South Korea and the very heart of K-pop, Seoul is a metropolis like no other. Here, you can find something interesting in every corner. From historical landmarks such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village to mouth-watering street food like ddeokbokki (spicy rice cake) and samgyeopsal (pork strips), Seoul is a stunning metropolis with something to offer every traveller. It’s also a perfect destination for budget travellers with many budget options available. Just be sure to pack warm if you’re travelling to Seoul in December, as temperatures can reach as low as -7 degrees Celsius.

Recommended for: Friends / families

Estimated Budget: RM3,200 – RM 4,000 per person (5 days, 4 nights)

2. Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is another travel-worthy destination if you don’t mind its cold weather in winter. Sure, it may not be as frequently visited as Tokyo or Osaka, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it has nothing to offer. Kyoto is beautiful and should not be skipped if you’re visiting Japan. Noteworthily, Kyoto is home to several iconic locations such as the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Fushimi Inari Shrine, famed for its bamboo grove and iconic red pillars (torii gates) respectively. These are arguably the most photographed locations in Kyoto and are a must-see when you’re there.

Travellers visiting Kyoto in December should also take full advantage of the Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro Illumination which is a 10-day event where popular locations will be lit up at night, including the Togetsu-kyo Bridge and bamboo grove. The event will be taking place from 8 to 17 of December this year. And if that’s still not enough to entice you, then the Gion district surely will with its traditional wooden townhouses (Machiya) and teahouses (Ochaya) where Geishas entertain.  Do note that there are no airports in Kyoto. Therefore, travellers looking to visit Kyoto may fly to Osaka International Airport which is about 50 minutes away from Kyoto.

Recommended for: Groups

Estimated Budget: RM3,800 – RM4,500 (5 days, 4 nights)

3. Florence, Italy

If a European cultural adventure is what you’re after, Florence is undoubtedly one of the most historical and beautiful places in Europe, especially when the city is covered in snow in winter. Feast your eyes on a treasure trove of Renaissance art at The Uffizi, marvel at the beauty of the Duomo di Firenze, or be amazed by David, one of  Michelangelo’s, the famed Renaissance artist, masterpiece – Florence truly is a haven for history buffs and art enthusiasts. The weather in Florence in December is cool with temperatures dropping as low as 3 degrees Celsius, so pack warm.

Recommended for: Couples / families

Estimated Budget: RM5,500 – RM6,200 per person (5 days, 4 nights)

Destinations with a moderate, cool climate to visit in December

4. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is the capital and the second-largest city of Vietnam. This historical city dates back to over a thousand years and today features an eclectic mix of ancient oriental and French-colonial architecture. The two main districts of Hanoi are the Hoan Kiem District (old quarter) and Ba Dinh District (french quarter) both offering unique landmarks for travellers to immerse themselves in the Hanoian way of life.

Once you’re there, be sure to explore all the Old Quarter has to offer as this is where most of the city’s sights are located including popular shopping spots. Travelling in the Old Quarter is best done on foot but can be a bit daunting if it’s your first time in Vietnam due to its chaotic traffic. Travelling to Hanoi in December is best due to its cool and dry weather with temperatures ranging between 15 to 22 degrees Celsius.

Recommended for: Families / Groups

Estimated Budget: RM1,800 – RM 2,500 per person (5 days, 4 nights)

5. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is another bustling metropolis that should be on everyone’s travel list and is best to visit in December when it is dry and cool. Travellers looking to get a birds-eye view of the modern metropolis should make their way to the observatory deck of the iconic Taipei 101 and marvel at the city below. But if the fast-paced city life is not your cup of tea, then take a day trip to Jiufen, the Santorini of Taipei – where life takes on a quieter approach. If that’s not enough, take a trip back in time by exploring Bopiliao Old Street where buildings date back to the Qing dynasty. There is more to Taipei than meets the eye – you’ll never know what adventures await you at every turn.

Recommended for: Families / Groups

Estimated Budget: RM2,700 – RM3,500 per person (5 days, 4 nights)

Sunny & warm destinations to visit in December

6. Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand makes an excellent destination all year round but visiting Queenstown in December is best for those who aren’t accustomed to the cold weather of the northern hemisphere during winter. If you’re looking for a place that is both warm and beautiful, then Queenstown is your best bet. Summer is the peak season in Queenstown, buzzing with tourist from all over the world seeking an adventure in this vibrant town.

The town boasts a multitude of attractions that will surely leave you coming back for more. From scenic mountain hiking and boat riding to more adrenaline-packed activities such as skydiving and bungee jumping, Queenstown’s charm is simply irresistible. But do not let this town stop you from exploring, take a road trip to world-famous locations such as Milford Sound, Mt. Cook, and Lake Tekapo for more unforgettable moments. There is much to explore in New Zealand, all that’s required is an adventurous spirit.

Recommended for: Families / Groups

Estimated Budget: RM5,000 – RM7,000 per person (5 days, 4 nights)

7. Gold Coast, Australia

As Europeans put on their winter coats and head indoors, Australians do the opposite. It’s summer and Gold Coast is one of the best places to visit in December. Be sure to pack a pair of swimwear because no trip to the Gold Coast is complete without getting into the water. You’ll find a bunch of water-based activities such as surfing, boat riding, whale watching, and scuba diving. Not sure how to surf? Sign yourself up for surf lessons from one of the surf schools and be guided by experts who are ever ready to teach someone how to catch a wave – after all, it’s called surfers paradise for a reason. If a fun-filled adventure on land is what you seek, then Gold Coast’s natural attractions, renowned amusement parks, and bustling shopping centres have got you covered.

Recommended for: Families / Groups

Estimated Budget: RM4,000 – RM6,000 per person (5 days, 4 nights)

8. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Who said you have to travel far and wide for an unforgettable vacation? Last but definitely not the least, Malaysia’s land below the wind, Sabah, is a beautiful travel destination to visit in December which should not be overlooked. Kota Kinabalu’s weather during the year-end period is also ideal for travellers to explore all the city has to offer due to the minimal amounts of rain.

Once you’re there,  be sure to hop on board The North Borneo Railway for a unique experience aboard a British Vulcan steam locomotive. Those seeking a cultural experience should visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village to get a glimpse into the lifestyle of some of Borneo’s ethnic groups. Kota Kinabalu is also home to Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Malaysia. Hiking up the famed mountain is certainly possible and can be accomplished within two days through guided tours. After your hike, simply unwind at Tanjung Aru Beach with your loved ones where you will be treated to beautiful sunsets.

Recommended for: Families

Estimated Budget: RM1,800 – RM2,400 per person (5 days, 4 nights)

Article first appeared in Skyscanner.

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Written by FlyKLIA

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