The Best Places You Can Visit in December

Written by: Dave Owen

Bah, Humbug! Escape for Christmas

We actually like Christmas quite a lot. It makes a compelling case: time off, presents, triple your daily calorie intake, and television adverts ruthlessly fleecing you with emotional blackmail. It’s ace!

But it’s not for everyone, and that’s cool. Around the site you’ll find plenty of articles on where to visit to make the most of Christmas, so we thought we’d be contrary with this one. Here are the best destinations to visit in December to get away from Christmas.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

This article is going to be thickly slathered with sunny destinations, because any UK resident is used to not seeing the sun for the entirety of December. We owe ourselves some sunshine!

Head to Rio in December and you’ll launch straight into Brazil’s summer. A trip up Corcovado Mountain to see Christ the Redeemer (which is a bit like a Christmas ornament, we concede) and the incredible views over the city will make you forget the holiday season ever existed.

Nobody does a street party like the Brazilians, so make sure you stick around for New Year, the festivities inevitably spilling onto legendary Copacabana. There’s not a glass of mulled wine in sight.

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

December is the perfect time to visit Phuket in southern Thailand. Here are some reasons: firstly, the monsoon months have just finished, leaving the air fresh and the temperatures balmy. Secondly, the beaches shouldn’t be too crowded, as it’s the start of the season.

The first week of December also sees the King’s Cup Regatta scud into Phuket. So you can watch lots of boats doing boat stuff. There’s nothing Christmassy about boats.


Bangladesh beach

It might not ride high on your bucket list, but there are so many things to see in Bangladesh and – you guessed it – good weather makes December a great time to visit.

You shouldn’t miss Cox’s Bazar, the world’s longest beach at 125km, and from there you can sail out to Sonadia Island to surf/pose for selfies with a surf board. If you really want to avoid Christmas, take a trip to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. Not even Santa can find you there, and Santa is magic.

Tulum, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

The canny amongst you will have spotted our theme by now. The Yucatan Peninsula, sometimes known as the Mayan Riviera, basks in hot (but not too hot) temperatures in December, but isn’t yet inundated with Cancun-bound American tourists.

We recommend getting a beachside cabana in Tulum. It means literally living on the beach, which is about as decadent as it gets. Plus Tulum is only a short distance from the Mayan pyramids at Chichen Itza. Think of the whole trip as a Christmas present to yourself.


Finland at Christmas

Alright, we have to have one Christmassy destination on here! And if you’re going for the Christmas vibe, you might as well do it right! Finland in December is basically a winter wonderland.

Helsinki, Finland’s capital, has styled itself ‘the Christmas city,’ and makes good on the promise with reams of lights, extravagant markets, and temperatures low enough to make you question your life choices. You also have great odds of getting some Christmas snow.

You could even take it one step further and stay in a cabin in Lapland, where you can spend Christmas Eve watching the sky for Santa Claus silhouetted against the Aurora Borealis.

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