Best places to travel in December 2020
December brings celebrations of all shapes and sizes across the world. Embrace a wintry yet magical Christmas in Russia, where Gorky Park turns into an ice rink and sleigh rides are offered throughout the month. Top off your year joining in a New Year’s celebration in another part of the world. Travel to Brazil and watch the cariocas (Rio’s locals) dressed in white as they gather on a sunny Copacabana in tribute to the goddess of the sea. Or head to Australia for a New Year’s celebration of a lifetime in Sydney. Witness fireworks exploding off the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, while enjoying the summer temperatures.
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Popular countries to visit in December
Our specialists share their ideas, personal recommendations and inspiration about the best places to visit in December
As well as the legendary festive celebrations in New York, Rio and Sydney, it’s well worth seeking out smaller events such as the Festival of Lights in Villa de Leyva, Colombia or the annual Franschhoek Champagne Festival in South Africa. See Japan’s scenic hot springs and snow monkeys, try a safari in Malawi or Zambia, or opt for romantic sleigh rides and ice skating in Moscow’s Gorky Park.
Tours we recommend in December
Trip suggestions that we know capture a route at its best if you’re planning to travel in December.
Explore Arenal Volcano, a spectacular setting for some of the country's best activities.
Visit the Monteverde Cloudforest: a cool, lush climate with excellent birdwatching.
Try zip-lining or tackle the Cloudforest canopy walkways.
Relax on the beaches of Manuel Antonio.
Enjoy the museums, restaurants and shops of Cape Town.
Take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for incredible views of the city below.
Visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned during apartheid.
Enjoy a full day guided tour of the Cape Point and Peninsula and see the jackass penguin colony on Boulders Beach.
Indulge in fine food to accompany the great wines of Franschhoek and the surrounding vineyards.
Drift among stunning limestone karst scenery on a traditional junk in Lan Ha Bay (a quieter alternative to Halong).
Unearth Vietnam's modern and ancient history in imperial Hue.
Shop and relax in charming Hoi An.
Explore the French influence in the bustling cities of Hanoi and Saigon.
Enjoy a shared tour of the magnificent Cape Point and Cape Peninsula.
Take a private tour of Robben Island to learn about South Africa’s apartheid history.
Go wine tasting at the various estates in and around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
Enjoy game drives in a private nature reserve, looking for zebra, wildebeest and antelope.
Relax and stroll on the beach in the laid-back coastal town of Paternoster.
Explore the historic streets of Old Havana in Cuba's pulsing capital.
Visit a traditional Cuban music hall in Trinidad.
Admire the views in the peaceful valley of Viñales.
Experience life in the artistic rural community of Las Terrazas.
See a different side of Mumbai at dawn as the city wakes.
Visit the bustling, entrepreneurial Dharavi slum with a local.
Relax on the palm-fringed beaches of Goa.
Sample freshly-caught seafood in Goa's old town.
Salt cathedral of Zipaquira.
Historical centre of Bogota.
Fortified city of Cartagena.
The lush countryside in the coffee region.
Soak up the art and culture of Durban and sample local Afro-Indian delicacies.
Relax at a countryside retreat in the Midlands, taking leisurely strolls along the river.
Find out about the history of the Battlefields, touring the sites with a knowledgeable guide.
Go hiking, horse riding or mountain biking in the Drakensberg Mountains.
Experience the contrast between Old and New Delhi.
Enjoy the breath taking views of the Taj Mahal.
Take a guided tour of Gwalior's little-visited Fort.
Explore Khajuraho's quirky temples.
See the evening pooja (prayers) in Varanasi.