15 Best Countries to Explore in December 2023

There's no better time to take a worldwide trip than when the year comes to an end and the festive season takes hold.

Traveling in December provides an array of experiences, from magical snow wonderlands to beaches bathed in sunlight.

Imagine yourself drinking hot chocolate by a roaring fireplace in a European chalet or lounging beneath the warm Caribbean sun.

Whatever your inclination, December will provide you with priceless memories and the opportunity to experience the planet in its cheeriest and most enthralling light.

Here are the top 15 countries that promise unforgettable journeys in December 2023.

  1. London, England - United Kingdom

  2. French Alps - France

  3. Phuket - Thailand

  4. Bahamas - The Bahamas

  5. Torres del Paine National Park - Chile

  6. Hawaii - The Big Island,United States

  7. New York City - United States

  8. Grenada

  9. Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

  10. Prague - Czech Republic

  11. Bhutan

  12. Dubai - United Arab Emirates

  13. Queenstown - New Zealand

  14. Quebec City - Canada

  15. Todos Santos - Mexico

1. London, England - United Kingdom

LondonLondon, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a city steeped in history and culture. From iconic landmarks like the Tower of London to the modernity of the London Eye, there's something for everyone. Explore world-class museums, stroll along the Thames, and indulge in the diverse culinary scene.

Things to do:

  • Visit the British Museum to explore a vast collection of art and artifacts from around the world.

  • Take a ride on the London Eye for breathtaking views of the city skyline.

  • Explore the historic Tower of London and learn about its centuries of history.

  • Enjoy a leisurely stroll in Hyde Park or Regents Park for a break from the urban hustle.

  • Catch a West End show for a taste of London's renowned theater scene.

How to reach 

By Air: Direct flights are available from major Indian cities to London Heathrow Airport. The flight duration is approximately 9–10 hours.

2. French Alps - France

French AlpsThe French Alps offer a picturesque winter wonderland with snow-capped peaks, charming villages, and delectable cuisine. It's a haven for winter sports enthusiasts but also a perfect destination for those seeking cozy Christmas markets and Alpine charm.

Things to do:

  • Hit the slopes in world-class ski resorts like Val d'Isère and Chamonix.

  • Experience après-ski culture with lively social scenes and delicious Alpine dishes.

  • Visit Annecy, a town dotted with châteaux, and explore its quaint canalside streets.

  • Embrace the holiday spirit at Christmas markets offering local crafts and festive treats.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Geneva Airport or Lyon Airport in France. From there, you can take a train or drive to the French Alps.

Also read: Budget-Friendly European Destinations for Indian Travelers in 2023

3. Phuket - Thailand

Phuket - ThailandPhuket, Thailand's largest island, boasts a warm tropical climate year-round. December offers cool, dry weather, making it an ideal time for beach lovers. Enjoy sun-soaked days on stunning beaches, indulge in water activities, and explore the vibrant local culture.

Things to do:

  • Relax on the beautiful beaches of Nai Harn and Kata Noi.

  • Go scuba diving or snorkeling to explore the colorful underwater world.

  • Visit the Big Buddha and Wat Chalong to experience Thai spirituality and culture.

  • Explore Old Phuket Town with its Sino-Portuguese architecture and vibrant street art.

How to reach

By Air: Direct flights are available from major Indian cities to Phuket International Airport. The flight duration is around 4-5 hours.

4. Bahamas - The Bahamas

The BahamasThe Bahamas, an archipelago of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, offers a perfect retreat in December. With hurricane season behind, it's an excellent time to enjoy the crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant Bahamian culture.

Things to do:

  • Lounge on pristine beaches, such as Cable Beach and Pink Sands Beach.

  • Snorkel or dive in the mesmerizing underwater caves and coral reefs.

  • Experience the lively Junkanoo festival, a celebration of Bahamian culture.

  • Take a boat tour to explore the stunning cays and hidden beaches.

How to reach

By Air: Take a flight from major Indian cities to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. The journey involves multiple connecting flights and takes approximately 20–25 hours.

5. Torres del Paine National Park - Chile

Torres del Paine National Park - ChileNestled in the heart of southern Chilean Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park is a nature lover's paradise. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is renowned for its awe-inspiring landscapes, including turquoise lakes, dense forests, and dramatic granite peaks.

Things to do:

  • Embark on scenic hikes to witness the stunning Grey Glacier and the iconic Cuernos del Paine.

  • Explore the picturesque trails surrounding the park's captivating lakes.

  • Discover the rich biodiversity of the region, including guanacos, foxes, and condors.

  • Marvel at the extraordinary beauty of nature and its diverse ecosystems.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Santiago, Chile. From Santiago, take a domestic flight to Punta Arenas. Torres del Paine is about a 4-5 hour drive from Punta Arenas.

Also read: Travel guide to Chile from India in 2023

6. Hawaii - The Big Island, USA

Hawaii - The Big Island The Big Island of Hawaii is a tropical paradise offering a diverse range of landscapes, from black sand beaches to active volcanoes. December provides a perfect balance of warm weather and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time to explore the island's natural wonders.

Things to do:

  • Relax on the unique black sand beach at Punalu'u Beach or the green sands of Papakolea Beach.

  • Hike to Akaka Falls State Park to witness the breathtaking Akaka Falls.

  • Visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park to witness the awe-inspiring Kilauea volcano.

  • Explore Mauna Kea, one of the best stargazing spots in the world.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Hilo International Airport on the Big Island.

Also read: Travel guide to Hawaii from India in 2023

7. New York City - United States

New York City

New York City is a bustling metropolis that transforms into a magical winter wonderland during December. The city is famous for its iconic holiday attractions and festive ambiance.

Things to do:

  • Rockefeller Center: Admire the dazzling Christmas tree and go ice skating at Rockefeller Center.

  • Macy's Window Displays: Marvel at the elaborate window displays at Macy's department store.

  • Central Park: Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park and enjoy the crisp winter air.

  • Attend Holiday Shows: Watch festive shows and Christmas-themed pop-up experiences throughout the city.

How to reach

By Air: Direct flights are available from major Indian cities to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The flight duration is approximately 16–18 hours.

8. Grenada

Grenada Grenada, known as the "Spice Island," is a tiny Caribbean paradise with a warm and inviting climate. December is an excellent time to visit, as it falls between the rainy season and the peak tourism season.

Things to do:

  • Grand Anse Beach: Lounge on the beautiful Grand Anse Beach and soak up the sun.

  • Taste Local Flavors: Sample the island's rich flavors at local markets or visit the House of Chocolate.

  • Enjoy Steady Temperatures: Experience steady temperatures in the 80s without the crowds and costs of the upcoming months.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Maurice Bishop International Airport in Grenada. The journey involves multiple connecting flights and takes approximately 30-35 hours.

9. Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro, with its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture, is a city that pulses with life. December marks the start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, offering warm temperatures and festive celebrations.

Things to do:

  • Visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain for panoramic views of the city.

  • Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach.

  • Experience the electric energy of Réveillon, Rio's spectacular New Year's Eve celebration.

  • Explore the lush Tijuca National Park for a taste of the city's natural beauty.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport. The journey involves multiple connecting flights and takes approximately 25–30 hours.


10. Prague - Czech Republic

Prague - Czech RepublicPrague, often referred to as the "City of a Hundred Spires," is a fairytale destination with its enchanting architecture and cobblestone streets. In December, the city transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with Christmas markets and a festive atmosphere.

Things to do:

  • Wander through the Old Town Square and admire the Gothic and Baroque architecture.

  • Explore the enchanting Christmas markets for unique gifts and traditional Czech treats.

  • Attend the St. Nicholas Eve event for a glimpse of Czech holiday traditions.

  • Visit Prague Castle for stunning views of the city and a dive into Czech history.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Václav Havel Airport in Prague. The journey involves one or more connecting flights and takes approximately 13–15 hours.

Also read: Travel Guide to Russia from India 2023

Bhutan

Mountain Pass Bhutan Bhutan, a Himalayan kingdom, is a destination of stunning landscapes and cultural richness. December provides a unique opportunity to experience Bhutan's serene winter.

Things to do:

  • Explore Cultural Sites: Visit Bhutan's historic monasteries and fortresses known as dzongs, such as Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest).

  • Scenic Hiking: Embark on scenic hikes through Bhutan's beautiful landscapes, including lush valleys and snow-capped peaks.

  • Experience Local Festivals: If your visit coincides, participate in local festivals and witness traditional Bhutanese dances and rituals.

How to reach

By Air: The closest international airport to Bhutan is Paro International Airport. You can fly from major Indian cities to Paro via connecting flights.

12. Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Dubai Dubai is a modern marvel in the heart of the Arabian Desert, known for its futuristic architecture, luxury shopping, and vibrant cultural scene. December offers pleasant temperatures, making it an excellent time to explore the city's diverse attractions.

Things to do:

  • Soak up the sun on the pristine Jumeirah Public Beach or explore the historic Bastakiya Quarter.

  • Indulge in a world-class shopping experience at the largest mall in the world and explore the gold and spice souks.

  • Immerse yourself in the Dubai Shopping Festival for incredible deals and entertainment.

  • Take a thrilling desert safari for an unforgettable adventure.

How to reach

By Air: Direct flights are available from major Indian cities to Dubai International Airport. The flight duration is approximately 3-4 hours.

13. Queenstown - New Zealand

 Queenstown - New ZealandNestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a picturesque resort town surrounded by the stunning Southern Alps. December marks the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, providing excellent conditions for outdoor activities.

Things to do:

  • Experience adrenaline-pumping activities like skydiving, paragliding, and bungee jumping.

  • Hike along the scenic Ben Lomond track or take a ride on the Skyline Gondola for panoramic views.

  • Explore the charming town center with its boutique shops, cafes, and vibrant arts scene.

  • Take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu for a leisurely day on the water.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Queenstown Airport. The journey involves multiple connecting flights and takes approximately 25–30 hours.

14. Quebec City - Canada

Quebec Winter Carnival Quebec City is a charming Canadian destination known for its rich history and stunning architecture. The city comes alive during the winter months with fresh snow covering the streets, creating a picturesque Christmas village atmosphere.

Things to do:

  • Explore Old Québec: Wander through the cobblestone streets of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admire the 17th- and 18th-century architecture.

  • Shop at Quartier Petit-Champlain: Visit Quartier Petit-Champlain for unique shopping experiences and find the perfect holiday gifts.

  • Enjoy Winter Activities: Embrace the winter season with activities like ice skating and snowshoeing.

  • Attend Festive Events: Experience the holiday spirit by attending various events like the lighting of millions of holiday lights, a lighted boat parade, and a luminary night.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City. The journey involves one or more connecting flights and takes approximately 20–25 hours.

15. Todos Santos - México

Todos Santos - Mexico

Todos Santos is a hidden gem on the Pacific coast of Mexico, known for its artistic community, beautiful beaches, and laid-back atmosphere. In December, the town enjoys pleasant weather, making it an ideal escape from winter.

Things to do:

  • Explore the town's vibrant arts scene by visiting galleries and studios showcasing local and international artists.

  • Relax on pristine beaches like Playa Los Cerritos and Playa La Pastora.

  • Take a whale-watching tour to witness the incredible migration of gray whales in the nearby waters.

  • Indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine at the town's restaurants, known for fresh seafood and authentic flavors.

How to reach

By Air: Fly from major Indian cities to Los Cabos International Airport. From there, you can drive or take a bus to Todos Santos.

Also read: Top 20 India's Most Enchanting Winter Destinations

December is a great month to travel the world and enjoy activities like sunbathing in the Caribbean or chaleting in Europe. You have the opportunity to see the world in its most joyous light during this holiday season. The globe awaits in all its festive grandeur in December 2023; pick one of the top 15 nations for experiences you won't soon forget.

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