Best Places to Travel in December
The best part of traveling during December is being able to take advantage of festivities happening around many parts of the globe. North America and Europe are especially festive during this time of year with many free and culturally rich experiences in most cities. Why not take some time off in December to explore how another culture celebrates the holidays and prepares to ring in the New Year!
If you want a guaranteed festive and white Christmas, then Germany is without a doubt the first place you should consider when planning a December holiday. Germany is famous for its Christmas markets where you can walk around with a mug of mulled wine in your hand while shopping for trinkets and stocking stuffers. My top pick for Christmas markets is Nuremberg because of its long history of markets and the charm of the old city center. Feast on Bavarian sausages, handmade chocolates, and other festive delights in one of the oldest and most famous Christmas market in the world. The entire city is decorated with Christmas lights, tinsel, and an enormous Christmas tree in the city center During the day, check out Nuremberg Castle which was built in the Middle Ages and stands as an icon of the city. Getting into the Christmas spirit in Germany is a perfect way to spend the holiday season!
Budapest is another city that does not skimp when it comes to Holiday spirit. I was just as impressed with the Christmas markets in Budapest as I was with those in Germany. There is nothing better than enjoying a delicious bread bowl full of steaming hot goulash followed by a warm cup of mulled wine. When traveling to Budapest in December, prepare yourself with a heavy winter coat and gloves. The temperatures can be quite intimidating if you are coming from an area that is not accustomed to snow and cold wind chills. However, what better way to warm up than by enjoying one of the many Turkish bathes located around the city. Pampering yourself in one of these spas is truly part of the Budapest experience. Also, be sure to take a nighttime cruise along the Danube River which separates the districts of Buda and Pest. Budapest in December is a romantic and charming city full of festivities to enjoy and foods to indulge in.
New York is one of those cities with an iconic image during Christmas time. See the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza and go ice skating in the famous outdoor ice skating rink.. There is nothing more romantic than walking around and seeing the holiday lights at night. As one of the capitals of culture in the US, be sure to see one of the many theater productions. There are endless amount of productions for any age and any budget. I recommend checking out a production of the Nutcracker or even catching a matinee show on Broadway. Consider planning your trip towards the end of December to take advantage of ringing in the New Year in Times Square. This surely is an item on everyone's bucket list!
Belgium is one of my favorite places in Europe because of all the delicious foods and beer to explore! I recommend visiting Brussels because of its Christmas markets and also proximity to Bruges! If you are a lover of craft beer and fine chocolates, then Brussels is a must see destination for you. Also, there is a fantastic light show set to Christmas tunes that plays in the historic city square. Hundreds of people wait to see this show on the hour once the sun goes down. To get a taste of a smaller Belgian town, head over to Bruges which can be reached by train in less than an hour from Brussels. I recommend checking out this quaint city during a daytrip. One day is plenty of time to get a feel for the magic that is Bruges. This romantic city is winding with canals and alleys lined with shops and cafes. Grab a hot chocolate for your ride along the city's canals or while you walk around taking in the Christmas lights. The festive lights, fine chocolates, and beer are enough to get anyone excited about celebrating the holidays away from home!
December is a great time for all of the cities mentioned above. I believe that whether you choose Nuremberg, New York, Budapest, or Brussels you will have a fantastic holiday. Taking a trip in December is full of benefit such as festive atmospheres and seasonal foods. With this in mind, be sure to book ahead in order to get the best deals in these cities! Along the way you're going to need the best travel backpack so make sure you pick one up before you go.
Before you go - make sure you also check out the Wine Outlet for any of your international wine needs.