The Best Places To Visit In December

The iconic Nine Arches Bridge in Sri Lanka
The iconic Nine Arches Bridge in Sri Lanka | Photo by Hendrik Cornelissen on Unsplash

Editorial Manager

Have you still got holiday allowance you have to use before the end of the year? Not looking forward to endless Christmas adverts and social events? Fancy a bit of winter escapism before charging into a new year? Whatever the reason, there are so many great places to visit in December we think you might need help picking the best ones.

Fancy a festive city break? Check out our guide to the the Best European Cities to Visit in December.

Escape to Iceland’s Frozen Wilderness

Let’s start off with one that we’ve all been thinking about. Iceland is an incredible country full of beautiful wilderness, stunning scenery and an otherworldly aura. I travelled on Culture Trip’s first trip of the year to the country with a small group and our incredible Local Insider and want to go back again before the year is out. From speeding on glaciers driving snowmobiles to sitting in a naturally heated rock pool gazing up at the Northern Lights, this Icelandic trip packs a lot in over a short time period. This is the one to go for if you only have a few days leave left to take before the end of the year, or if you just want to feel a little festive cheer before Santa comes to town.

Discover glaciers, black sand beaches and volcanic lagoons on this 5-day adventure to the Land of Fire and Ice.

Watch out for ‘sneeker’ waves on Black Sand Beach in Iceland. Our Local Insider will tell you exactly how to avoid getting wet and how to take the best pictures.

Treasure Island: Ancient Temples and Wildlife Encounters in Sri Lanka

Immerse yourself in authentic Sri Lanka on this 12-day adventure trip. You’ll avoid the usual tourist traps and get a glimpse of real Sri Lankan culture – from a local’s tour of Colombo to cycling around 1,000-year-old ruins. Foodies will love the hands-on cooking lesson, combined with a trip to the village market, while thrillseekers will get their fix white-water rafting and abseiling at Kitulgala. Explore a quieter, lesser-known side of Yala National Park, where you might spot wild elephants and leopards, before finishing on a tropical beach in Kosgoda.

Set off from Colombo on an epic 12-day tour to experience the many sides of this tropical island

Sigiriya is part of the itinerary when you visit Sri Lanka with Culture Trip

Pyramids, Temples and the Nile: the Ultimate Egypt Experience

Egypt is another one of those destinations you’ll feel compelled to visit more than once. Our comprehensive trip lets you see all the major attractions you’ve read about in books, and rest assured seeing them in person is a breathtaking experience.

Step back in time on this epic 10-day voyage of discovery through Egypt. After the unforgettable experience of exploring the Sphinx and Great Pyramid of Giza and browsing the stalls of the Khan Al-Khalili bazaar in the historic centre of Cairo, continue your journey south, first by sleeper train and then by luxury cruise ship on the Nile. Marvel at ancient temples, kayak on the river and sip cocktails on a felucca – a traditional Egyptian sailboat. Wrap up your trip in Aswan, where you’ll enjoy an authentic Nubian dinner on your final evening.

From Cairo to Aswan, follow in the footsteps of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

Nothing can prepare you for the sheer majesty of the Great Pyramids of Giza

Vietnam Adventure: a Journey of Urban and Rural Discovery

Savour traditional street food, immerse yourself in rural village life and marvel at diverse tropical scenery on this action-packed journey through Vietnam. Starting in the capital, Hanoi, you’ll make the unforgettable trip to Mai Chau – a rural valley lined with paddies between forested mountains. After cruising through the dreamlike seascapes of Halong Bay on a luxury cruise ship, continue south by overnight train to Hue, where the Imperial City offers a fascinating window into the country’s past. Wrap up your trip in Hoi An, soaking up the atmosphere of its lantern-lit streets and charming canals.
See the best of Vietnam and take an unforgettable 12-day trip to Vietnam with Culture Trip.

The streets of Hanoi are always busy and always exciting

Island of the Gods: the Ultimate Bali Itinerary

Want to really get away from all the stresses of Christmas at home? Celebrating the festive period in Bali seems like a pretty good alternative to us, and the parties to welcome in every new year are legendary.
From snorkelling with turtles to swimming in tropical waterfalls, experience the vast array of natural wonders Bali and the Gili Islands have to offer. Starting in the lively beach resort of Legian, your journey continues north into the jungle-covered mountains. Climb Mount Batur for spectacular sunrise views and attend a cooking masterclass in Ubud before taking a speed boat to Gili Trawangan – a tiny island off the coast of Lombok. Return to Bali and cap off your trip with an optional surf lesson, traditional beachfront blessing ceremony and an unforgettable farewell dinner in Canggu.
Book yourself an early present and head to Bali on a 12-day escape with Culture Trip.

The green rice fields of Ubud

We have many more Mini Trips and Epic Trips to pick from if you’re still looking for inspiration, so take a look around and make sure you book the perfect end to the year with Culture Trip.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.