best places to visit in December in Europe

Europe’s Most Magical Festive Destinations

Looking for the best places to visit in December in Europe?

It is that time of year again when you start to notice the first Christmas menus being displayed in pubs and restaurants (and you may have even spotted the odd bit of tinsel out of the corner of your eye?!). Rather than getting depressed that Christmas is not too far away, it is the perfect opportunity to start planning a magical festive winter getaway.

Europe is home to some of the world’s most festive destinations, so let’s run through a few of them. Enjoy!

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With its impossibly grand buildings and historic streets, Vienna seems like it’s been made to be visited in the winter months. The city’s oldest Christmas market is at Freyung Wein, and you can also buy handcrafted gifts from the locals at Karlsplatz. The Konzerthaus outdoor ice skating rink is the perfect wintery activity. And if that weren’t enough, there are plenty of festive shows you can enjoy around the city.

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

When it comes to picking a destination to make the most of the Christmas markets, Germany is right at the top of the list, and you can’t do much better than Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber. This medieval town in the heart of Bavaria on the Romantic Road is still very well-preserved, and it has a Christmas museum and village that are open year-round. While many of the world’s Christmas markets have become overly commercialised, the ones on the Romantic Road retain their touch of festive magic.





A city so heavily associated with the father of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, has to be a spectacular wintertime destination! Copenhagen’s cobbled streets and criss-crossing canals make a perfect backdrop as you slip inside one of the city’s many cafes to sip on a steaming mug of hot chocolate. The Christmas Market in the Tivoli Gardens amusement park is a great attraction where you can enjoy sparkling fairy lights.


No list of the best places to visit in December in Europe would be complete without mentioning Santa’s homeland! Although you will need to wrap up warmly, what better place to enjoy the festive season than somewhere you can get a guaranteed white Christmas? When you pay a visit to Lapland, you really feel like you are in a winter wonderland, and it is an ideal destination if you are planning a trip with the whole family. A wide range of festive activities are available to partake in, so it is well worth looking into a winter holiday in Lapland.


This Belgian historical gem is another of the best places to visit in December in Europe! The city looks like it was meant to be enjoyed during the winter. In November and December, the medieval architecture of Bruges is lit with Christmas lanterns. Wandering the canal-lined streets of this city transports you back in time to another era. There is a wonderful Christmas market that sells its wares in the heart of the city with an ice skating rink at its center.



If you’re looking for a way to get a little more excited about Christmas, just consider a trip to one of these five best places to visit in December in Europe!
Which of these destinations is on your list? Have you been to any? Let me know in a comment! 🙂

Follow my daily adventures on Instagram @CamWonderlands!


Hey, I'm Camille! I quit my life to travel the world in 2013 – and I haven’t stopped since! I have visited 40+ countries as a location-independent travel/lifestyle writer and digital marketer. I like hammocks, scooters, eating, and scaring my mother trying adventure sports! I was chosen as a top travel influencer by, and have co-founded Helipad Marketing to help travel & lifestyle brands soar with killer online marketing.

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4 thoughts on “Europe’s Most Magical Festive Destinations”

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