The top 5 places to go in December

From hot chocolate in festive-fuelled New York to sipping sundowners on a beach in tropical Thailand – there’s something to suit every type of traveller who wants to get away in December. With Christmas fast approaching, there are plenty of beautiful locations around the world that make for wonderful December breaks. Whether you want to escape to a sunnier climate or a festive wonderland, consider our pick of the top five winter destinations for December:

New York, United States

If you adore everything about the festive season, from nerdy Christmas jumpers to overdoing it on the sequins and sparkles, then you need to be in New York City for December. A mecca for Christmas shoppers, New York City goes all out for the month of December, celebrating the festive season like no other city on earth. Embrace the climate, the lights and the ice-skating and you’ll remember Christmas in New York for the rest of your life!

New York

The Gambia

If you are looking to escape the depths of the British winter and to relax on a beach in a bikini – then the Gambia is the place for you. December is one of the best times to visit this stretch of African coast, with average temperatures of the around 31 degrees, it makes for perfect beach weather. The Gambia is also perfect if you’re looking for tropical heat, but don’t want to endure the long haul flight or get jet lag – the direct flight is just 6 hours and there is no time difference.

The Gambia

Germany

If you’re in the mood for embracing the Christmas spirit, donning your Christmas jumper, sipping on a glass on hot mulled wine and indulging in some retail therapy at a traditional market, then you may want to consider Germany. Germany is world-famous for its authentic Christmas markets selling traditional crafts and locally produced festive treats – perfect for buying unique Christmas gifts for loved ones.

Germany

Lapland

If you are looking to experience all things festive and to meet the man himself, then head for Lapland. This country is nothing short of magical in December, with white fluffy snow, the mesmerizing northern lights, reindeer sleigh rides and the chance to meet Father Christmas -we don’t think it’s possible to get more festive!

Lapland

Thailand

Thailand is always beautiful in December; the rainy season has finished, it’s not too hot and you’re guaranteed nice weather. Versatile, fun and beautiful, you can enjoy your time there by relaxing on one of the many stunning beaches, hanging around the tropical islands or sipping on a coconut while getting your tan on. You can even do your Christmas shopping in Bangkok. A great place to celebrate New Years, Thailand provides a fun and different way to ring in the New Year; partying on a beach in a bikini!

Thailand

Paul Shipway is Business Development Director at Simply Luxury Holidays.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Anastasia says:

    New York is a nice and compact city mid-town, with so much traffic you can decide which shopping area to stop in, by riding the buses, which go one way every other street very slowly, enough time to window shop.

    The bus stops are pretty well every other block.

    New York has a grid city street so easy to find yourself around by streets and avenues for the nearest to your shop on an avenue by finding the nearest crossroads with a street.

    Mid-town is where the shops are and some very nice 5 star luxury hotels.

    All very convenient.

    There are far more beat Police officers and security down in the subway (underground).

    Going downtown has very few shops towards Wall Street and there is no point in going uptown as well, above Central Park (not advisable to go in after dark). Americans in Central Park who jog and ride bikes believe they are a superior being to pedestrian so give way and keep a good eye out for them.

    However cold we get, New York gets even colder, and the breeze between these high buildings needs you to wrap up well. But plenty of very nice coffee shops to take rrefuge, easy to find fromt he freshly ground coffee aroma wafting along the streets and avenues.

  2. Lily says:

    New York, Berlin – these cities have so much adorable inspiration for Christmas holydays. It seems magic is in the air))) I think my choice is for them!

  3. Lorna says:

    I’ve just returned from Germany and its Christmas markets and I agree, it totally kick-started my Christmas spirit.

    I’m also glad you included Lapland. I suppose it’s an obvious choice but many people think it’s a bit cheesy. I couldn’t disagree more – I went for a [very long] day trip when I was younger and truly it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Landing on a runway covered in snow; being blasted with freezing cold air on a husky ride; climbing through a snowy wilderness to find Father Christmas in the exact little hut that you always imagined he lives in; and of course seeing the breath-taking northern lights. I couldn’t think of a better thing to do at Christmastime.

    For cheese, I’d also suggest Disneyworld in Florida at Christmas. Not necessarily luxury (but potentially so); still very magical.

  4. Bryan Hoare says:

    Thailand is still an amazing place to escape to, despite a number of countries issuing travel warnings; the police and protesters are working in union to find ways to keep the peace, and the people of Thailand want to keep any disagreements wholly peaceful. There may be small pockets of trouble, but Thailand is very safe…

    Beaches and islands: a number of new resorts have recently opened in Phuket – including a Como Shambhala resort called Point Yamu, and a newly developed property on Phuket’s west coast, called Kata Rocks.

    Phuket and Thailand in general is the perfect place for the festive season! The beaches are inviting for the whole of December, the weather is perfect and the seas are calm and warm.

  5. I’ve been around the world, but New York City (my hometown)is still the most magical place for the holidays! That said, going to Lapland this year…

  6. Sophia says:

    I was in NYC last December and it was really an unforgettable experience! Sadly, it is not really cheap to stay there, we found a “cheap” hotel and affordable plane tickets and still returned home with just a few dollars left. This year, I’m going to Barcelona. I’ve been there in the summer and hope that it will be as magical!

  7. Pedro says:

    The Gambia is never on anyone’s list, but it’s really perfect for the winter season. Great to see it on this list!

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