What are some of the best places to visit in December for solo or family travelers? As the year gracefully approaches its conclusion, December weaves its enchanting magic, beckoning travel enthusiasts to embark on a journey through captivating destinations adorned with festive cheer and wonder. Across the globe, various corners come alive with the allure of the winter wonderland experience, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the charm of European cities like Vienna, Prague, and Salzburg.
Within these cities’ embrace, charming Christmas markets entice with their delightful offerings, and intricate decorations bedeck the streets, shimmering under the luminous glow of dazzling lights. As snow blankets the cobblestone paths, a warm refuge awaits in the form of hot mulled wine and delectable seasonal treats, filling the air with a tantalizing aroma that encapsulates the essence of the holiday spirit.
For those yearning for the embrace of sun-kissed heavens, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean extend their alluring arms. Bali, Thailand, the Maldives, and the Bahamas unveil their tropical paradises, where pristine beaches caressed by azure waters offer a blissful respite from the winter’s chill. Alternatively, for the daring souls seeking an extraordinary adventure, the Arctic regions beckon. In Iceland, Norway, or Finland, the mystical dance of the Northern Lights paints the night sky with mesmerizing hues, a celestial spectacle that leaves observers in awe.
Embracing cultural celebrations, India lights up with the exuberant festival of Diwali, where the nation radiates with vibrant jubilation amidst a sea of gleaming lights. Germany and Austria invite travelers to partake in their enchanting Christmas markets, steeped in tradition and warmth, offering a memorable experience steeped in heartwarming customs and hospitality. For the dream of a quintessential white Christmas, the dreamy destinations of Canada, Switzerland, or Japan present themselves, where snow-laden landscapes form a breathtaking backdrop to joyous holiday festivities.
As the year bids farewell, December also marks the auspicious occasion of welcoming the New Year in iconic cities like Sydney, New York City, and London. Mesmerizing fireworks displays ascend to the heavens, igniting the night sky with a kaleidoscope of colors, heralding the advent of a new chapter filled with hope and jubilation, a grand spectacle that symbolizes the promise of tomorrow.
Best Places to Visit in December for Solo or Family
Let’s find below some of the best places to visit in December for solo or family:
1. Singapore: Budget-Friendly Bliss
Singapore is a current go-to destination for budget-conscious travelers. Embrace the charm of Marina Bay, experience the thrill of Universal Studios, and explore Sentosa Island, a paradise of fun and entertainment. Delve into the cultural richness of China Town, marvel at the stunning Botanical Garden and Orchid Garden, and traverse the Helix Bridge, offering stunning vistas. Engage in cruising tours, food tours, and art and culture experiences, indulging in the best that Singapore has to offer.
2. Caye Caulker, Belize: A Mesmerizing Atoll of Pastel Hues
Step beyond the veil of honeymooners, and Caye Caulker reveals itself as an irresistible paradise for the solo traveler. Within its compact embrace lies a tranquil world, untouched by the maddening crowds, where pastel hues paint a canvas of charm, beckoning you to indulge in an unspoiled wonder.
At the heart of this mesmerizing atoll, The Split awaits, a premier beach that captures the essence of idleness. But Caye Caulker is more than just languid lounging. Venture beneath the azure waves, and a vibrant marine life unravels before your eyes, teeming reefs casting a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes, a ballet of nature’s artistry.
Embark on a kayak journey to the lesser-visited corners, where the watchful eyes of crocodiles peer from the shadows, adding an element of thrill to your island escapade. As the sun sets, camaraderie awaits at reggae bars during the joyful afternoon happy hour, before Creole-style street food entices you with its alluring aromas come nightfall. In this realm of solo travel, culinary indulgences take center stage, allowing you to relish your shrimp and swordfish dinner with unrushed delight.
Beneath the crystalline waters of the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, an epic solo experience awaits – embark on snorkeling or diving escapades, where the graceful company of turtles and small sharks add to the thrill of exploration.
3. Uruguay: A Serene Oasis by the Ocean
Nestled in South America, Uruguay offers an idyllic retreat for those seeking relaxation by the ocean. While Punta del Este’s famous beaches, like the scenic Playa Mansa and Playa Brava, are popular choices, the more secluded shores of Jose Ignacio and Rocha promise a quieter escape from the crowds.
However, if you crave a blend of sunbathing and cultural enrichment, head to Montevideo, the capital. Here, in addition to the inviting beaches, you’ll find historical landmarks, captivating museums, and captivating Candombe music and dance performances that showcase the country’s vibrant heritage.
4. Peru: Trekking through Andean Splendor
For adventurous souls, December beckons you to explore the awe-inspiring vistas of Peru. Trekking enthusiasts will relish this time of year, as it marks the end of Machu Picchu’s dry season. Embrace the opportunity to witness the majestic Andean perspectives with fewer crowds and delightful weather during Machu Picchu’s shoulder period. Don’t miss the chance to behold the Lost City of the Inca, one of the new seven wonders of the world.
5. Hermanus: A Symphony of Marine Life
This time brings spring to Hermanus, a coastal gem that lures sea life enthusiasts and whale watchers alike. Prepare to be captivated by the graceful dance of whales above the glistening waters during the Hermanus Whale Festival, celebrated from Sept 28 to 30. Witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat will undoubtedly leave you awe-struck and inspired. This heartwarming destination is ideal for a memorable family holiday, where cherished memories are made on the Cape Whale Coast Wine Routes and the serene Grotto Beach.
6. Aruba: Unraveling the Lap of Luxury
Indulge in a luxurious escape amidst the splendor of the Caribbean islands in Aruba. September to December is the ideal time to visit this paradise, where opulent resorts offer unbeatable prices. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of pristine beaches, bask in the sun, and perhaps engage in a friendly game of beach volleyball. Allow the picturesque views of the Caribbean seas to mesmerize your senses, and relish every moment of pure bliss in this sanctuary.
7. Japan: Embrace Solitude
Contrary to popular belief, solo travelers seeking solitude will find Japan to be an exquisite option. A safe and welcoming destination, dining alone is commonplace, and the inherent politeness of the locals ensures help without any hassle. InsideJapan has curated a Japan Solo itinerary, offering a blend of sociable group experiences and independent exploration.
Partake in a street food tour in Osaka, wield a samurai sword during a lesson in Kyoto, and delve into the culinary arts with a cooking class in Tokyo. Explore the scenic beauty of Miyajima island with a mountain hike and reflect at the poignant Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, all while relishing the joys of solitude.
8. A Journey through the Galapagos
Embarking on an expedition cruise to the Galapagos is undeniably the most captivating way to explore this unparalleled natural wonder. Picture yourself sailing gracefully between these enchanting islands, each one a unique tapestry of captivating landscapes and fascinating wildlife. Within moments, you’ll find yourself amidst the majesty of lumbering giant tortoises, dragon-like marine iguanas, and endearing sea lions, their curious eyes locking with yours, forging a connection that transcends species boundaries.
Every day unfolds as an exhilarating quest, with a myriad of activities and experiences to leave you in awe. Led by erudite guides, small groups venture forth into the untamed wilderness, immersing themselves in the secrets of this diverse ecosystem. With every step, the islands divulge their distinctive character, inviting you to unlock the mysteries of evolution that Charles Darwin himself once unraveled.
Hurtigruten Expeditions, a vanguard in exceptional journeys, offers a rolling program of no-single-supplement offers, making this unforgettable voyage accessible for solo adventurers. Their Galapagos Islands Wildlife Expedition Cruise aboard the illustrious MS Santa Cruz II is an epitome of comfort and adventure combined. Equipped with kayaks, snorkeling gear, paddleboards, and even wetsuit hire, every possibility for exploration is catered for, ensuring a seamless journey of discovery.
9. Washington DC
Nestled in the heart of the United States, Washington DC beckons solo adventurers with its allure of discovery and enlightenment. The leafy expanse of the National Mall serves as a captivating focal point, adorned with resplendent monuments and memorials, while concealing within its bosom a treasure trove of world-class museums that promise to immerse you in a sea of knowledge.
The most delightful revelation? A multitude of these cultural havens welcomes visitors with open doors and free entry, a generous gift to every curious soul. Among them, the Smithsonian museums and galleries stand tall, a testament to the nation’s dedication to education and appreciation of the arts and sciences. Lose yourself amidst their hallowed halls, where history, art, and innovation weave an intricate tapestry of human achievement.
And when your appetite for exploration is satiated, embark on a culinary escapade that rivals the finest of epicurean indulgences. Dine solo and seize the opportunity to embrace the camaraderie of the city’s vibrant dining scene. With the money saved on sightseeing, you can savor delectable experiences at the bar of illustrious establishments such as Copycat Co, where Chinese street food dances on your taste buds, or Tail Up Goat, a Michelin-starred haven of Mediterranean flavors that beckons the palate to revel in its symphony of tastes.
Should your heart crave the simplicity of classic comfort, 2Amys Pizza awaits, offering a slice of gastronomic delight that transcends borders and traditions. It is in these moments, amidst the ambrosial offerings of the nation’s capital, that you find yourself in the company of diverse flavors and cultures, where every bite carries a story waiting to be told.
For a splendid retreat that mirrors the magnificence of the city it resides in, set your sights on Hyatt Place Washington DC. As you ascend to its rooftop bar, a panorama of the cityscape stretches before you, a living canvas painted with the architectural marvels of human ambition. Embrace the view, savoring the breeze that carries the whispers of the past and the promises of tomorrow.
In Washington DC, the solo adventurer finds solace and wonder, amidst the grandeur of history and the warm embrace of diverse experiences. Traverse its avenues, guided by curiosity and propelled by the desire to encounter the world in all its splendor, for it is in these moments that the soul is enriched, and the heart finds a home away from home.
10. Norway: Nature’s Haven for Solo Explorers
A land of pristine beauty, Norway beckons as an accessible haven for the solo traveler. The summer season unfurls a world of outdoor attractions and activities, with Oslo, the capital, inviting exploration of its myriad museums, restaurants, and parks, best savored on foot, two wheels, or through the convenience of public transportation.
For a unique adventure, embark on a multi-day voyage aboard a Hurtigruten coastal steamer, where majestic fjords unfold before you, punctuated by numerous ports of call. The symphony of nature’s splendor accompanies you, inviting you to hike, kayak, safari, and more amidst Norway’s stunning coastline.
For seekers of the Northern Lights, a journey between November and March places you in the heart of peak aurora borealis season. Traverse to Tromsø, the celestial realm, for optimum viewing of this awe-inspiring phenomenon.
11. Ireland: A Warm Embrace of Tradition and Splendor
Ireland extends an open invitation to wary travelers, where language barriers dissolve, and friendly faces abound. Dublin, the UNESCO City of Literature, entices with literary walking tours and bustling shops along Grafton Street. Find solace in the coziness of the Guinness Storehouse, savoring a pint of the world-renowned stout.
Discover the picturesque charm of Galway, where stunning scenery and affable inhabitants captivate the soul. Wander along the delightful Salthill Promenade or immerse yourself in traditional pubs in Eyre Square, serenaded by live Irish folk music.
Venture beyond the city’s limits, sailing to the Aran Islands, adorned with medieval ruins and forts, or journey to the iconic Cliffs of Moher for breathtaking views etched in your heart forever.
12. East Coast Australia: An Odyssey of Natural Wonders
A mesmerizing tapestry of exploration unfolds along the East Coast of Australia, where the duality of solitude and companionship weaves a captivating spell. From Sydney’s vibrant heart to the sublime reaches of Cairns, an odyssey of natural wonders, infrastructural excellence, and abundant tours entwine seamlessly with raucous late-night revelry.
Step forth, and each stop on this iconic road trip route unveils a world of bucket-list attractions. Bask on the iconic shores of Bondi Beach, immerse yourself in the primeval embrace of the Daintree Rainforest, and delve into the ethereal beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, where enchantment rises with bubbles beneath the waves.
Venture beyond the beaten path, traversing coastal surf towns and the one-pub villages of the Outback, where soulful interactions with locals paint indelible memories. A profound encounter with the land’s Indigenous people awaits, as you embark on tours guided by Aboriginal communities, revealing a lesser-seen facet of this well-explored land.
13. Denmark: A Sojourn into Elegance and History
Set foot in Denmark’s heart, Copenhagen, where the Nyhavn district extends a warm welcome with its iconic wooden ships and colorful townhouses lining the serene canal. Embrace the enchantment of Tivoli Gardens, a realm that marries amusement and serenity, as flower gardens, bubble fountains, and a captivating aquarium enchant the senses.
Step into the realm of Shakespeare, as Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, inspires visions of Elsinore Castle from “Hamlet.” Embark on a journey to Hillerød, where Frederiksborg Castle, a bastion of Danish heritage, bridges the past and present in a seamless dance of history and culture.
14. Italy: the quintessential romantic escape
Italy, the quintessential romantic escape for couples, unveils a hidden facet of its charm, welcoming solo travelers with open arms to explore its enchanting beauty. Often synonymous with honeymoons or family vacations, Italy extends its embrace to embrace the solitary voyager as well, promising a tapestry of experiences that rival any partnered escapade.
As you traverse the length and breadth of this captivating nation, you’ll discover a vibrant community of like-minded explorers, each on their own quest for unforgettable memories. The locals, renowned for their warmth and hospitality, make this journey even more delightful, their welcoming smiles inviting you to immerse yourself in their culture and traditions.
Venture forth with an adventurous spirit, for Italy reveals itself through a plethora of unique and diverse destinations. From the sun-kissed shores of the Amalfi Coast to the timeless allure of Rome, and from the artistic allure of Florence to the tranquil waters of Venice, every step you take unravels a new chapter in your personal odyssey.
And of course, the pièce de résistance – the food! The culinary delights of Italy are renowned the world over, and you need not fret about savoring these delights without a dining companion. On my own solo sojourn to Italy, I found solace and joy in embracing the art of solo dining. The moment you relish your first taste of authentic pasta or savor the aroma of freshly brewed espresso, you’ll understand why the Italians take immense pride in their gastronomic heritage.
Embark on a culinary journey that tantalizes the senses, from the delicate flavors of risotto in Milan to the delectable Neapolitan pizzas in Naples, each region bestowing its culinary treasure upon you with open arms.
Looking to experience the wonders of Italy from a unique vantage point? Consider a river cruise, where the camaraderie of fellow passengers blooms effortlessly amidst the intimacy of a smaller ship. With each passing day, bonds are forged, and unforgettable encounters become cherished memories. Uniworld’s Brilliant Bordeaux itinerary, a testament to the marriage of wine and culture, gracefully sails along the Garonne, Dordogne, and Gironde, revealing the breathtaking beauty of southwest France.
Indulge in delectable wine tastings and oyster adventures, or take to the pedals on cycling tours that reveal the region’s hidden gems. Wander through picturesque town centers on scenic drives, and witness the splendor of landscapes that have inspired artists for centuries.
15. Cross-Country Skiing in Austria
In the embrace of Austria’s snow-laden wonderland, lies the perfect opportunity to bond with both nature and your fellow companions through the art of cross-country skiing. An idyllic winter escape awaits, beckoning solos with its allure of camaraderie and serenity, as single supplements are delightfully low.
Nestled in the picturesque hamlet of Pertisau, embraced by the shimmering shores of Lake Achensee and cradled at the feet of the majestic Karwendel Mountains, your Alpine adventure begins. A four-star spa hotel serves as your sanctuary, blending lavish comfort with the rustic charm of the surrounding countryside.
With each stride on the glistening snow, you’ll uncover the joys of mastering a new skill, a shared experience that fosters lasting connections and cherished memories. Gentle cross-country ski lessons welcome beginners, ensuring the journey is accessible to all. But the adventure doesn’t stop there. A snowshoeing excursion awaits, where you can revel in the enchanting hush of the winter landscape, discovering hidden gems that only the intrepid wanderer may behold.
The Austrian Alps provide an idyllic backdrop, a canvas where the thrill of exploration is matched only by the tranquility of the serene surroundings. As you glide through this snow-kissed wonderland, the crisp alpine air fills your lungs, and your spirit soars amidst nature’s grandeur.
December opens up a world of possibilities for travelers seeking diverse experiences. Whether you long for the serenity of ocean shores, the grandeur of mountain treks, the enchantment of marine life, or the allure of luxury, these fourteen destinations promise an unforgettable journey. Embrace the burst of life’s hues in every corner of the globe this December and create timeless memories that will stay etched in your heart forever.