It’s the end of the year. You deserve a break before those New Year’s resolutions.
December is a beautiful month with fun rituals, but sometimes it can get a bit monotonous. Why not run away from that Christmas shopping list, turn off the Michael Bublé, or revolutionize the family reunion by trying out one of our suggestions for December holidays?
This country is an expert at turning December holidays into 100 % mad fun. In early December half of Aberdeen goes on a Santa Run. Yep, you’re imagining that right: an army of Santa Clauses jog a few kilometers along the beach for a good cause.
If you’ve never been to the infamous Hogmanay, then put it on your December holiday bucket list immediately.
Expect the most random, hilarious, and heartwarming medley of events that put all other New Year’s Eve celebrations to shame. Edinburgh‘s opening torchlight procession kindles a sense of a ceremony, which soon descends into costume-clad chaos and electrifying open-air concerts.
A unique way to bring in the New Year is to be locked in a ceilidh in the old town. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish group dance that makes total strangers fall into fits of laughter.
How to get there: Edinburgh and Aberdeen are accessible by buses, trains and flights. Start planning your Scottish getaway now to get the best price possible.
If you are a Christmas fiend, there’s no question of where to go in December. Germany is practically your homeland.
Starting even in early November, Christmas markets take over any decently sized open space and fill them with sugar and spice and all things nice. Little handcrafted wooden tree decorations or star-shaped lanterns make great early Christmas gifts.
The food is so good it probably won’t make it home. When choosing where to go on holiday in December, why not turn eating every German goodie possible into a sort of Pokemon Go? Lebkuchen are gingerbread cookies, mastered in Nuremberg.
Schneeballen (“snowballs”) are pastry scraps smooshed together with chocolate, caramel, nougat, or anything yummy. The world’s finest marzipan is made by Niederegger in Lübeck.
Stollen, a weighty fruit loaf doused in icing sugar with a marzipan core from Dresden. Glühwein, mulled wine (or literally “glow wine”) can be found in any self-respecting Christmas establishment.
Want to know more about great German cities? You can check our guide to German cities worth putting at the top of your travel list!
The best thing about holidays in December has to be the snow. And snow means it’s time to hit the slopes! Austria and its share of the Alps are well known for scenic ski resorts.
If you want a glamorous city to visit along with your sports, Salzburg has the best of both – it’s the dazzling home of Mozart, Hadyn, and inspired the Sound of Music. ‘Nuff said.
Austria is also home to an entertaining Advent tradition: Krampus, the hairy, goat-headed demon who is St Nicholas’ counterpart, gives children twigs and coal if they’ve been bad.
This is basically a great excuse for adults to dress up in scary costumes and prowl the streets for a bit of mischievous fun.
The best way to travel to Salzburg? Plenty of international European airports offer direct flights to Salzburg- start planning your December holidays and find the best price for you.
If someone told you that they’d willingly walk around outside in -10°C, they can only be talking about one thing: the Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival. 2016 is the event’s first year in Amsterdam, and accordingly, the theme is ambitious: “Music Inspires”.
Solid ice versions of Mozart, Prince, and every other musical deity will turn Amsterdam’s Arena Park into a freezing cold and more aesthetically pleasing Madame Tussaud’s. This life-size cityscape sculpted out of 550,000 kg of ice makes choosing where to go on holiday in December a lot easier.
The best way to get to Amsterdam? If Santa’s sleigh isn’t an option, you can find daily direct flights from the USA to Amsterdam pretty easily.
Don’t be ashamed to admit it: sometimes you just do not want winter to happen. Malta is a great place to go into hiding or hibernation for holidays in December, not just for its warmth but also to beat the crowds during the off-peak season. The weather is still beach-friendly with termpatures in the low twenties (Celsius) and plenty of vitamin D rays.
If you think that Malta is just another beach resort, you’ll do a double-take when you see the 16th-century capital, Valletta, surrounded by stone harbors. Although you’ll feel the heavy touch of old Mediterranean culture as you explore, you’ll also feel yourself sinking into the small island life like a comfy bean bag.
The best way to get to Malta? Escaping to the sunshine is easy as there are a generous amount of direct flights between major European airports and Malta.