There's no better way to escape the run-up to Christmas than by taking a European holiday as cities on the continent boast a wealth of festive events and Christmas markets. Furthermore, the weather remains mild in much of Southern Europe, so it's always possible to find a little sun.
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December Holidays in Europe: Top Holiday Lettings
The Top Places to Visit in Europe in December
From cosy markets to sunny climes or being the first on the slopes, Europe is home to many excellent December destinations.
The island county of Malta enjoys some of the best winter weather in the Mediterranean and those who visit in December can enjoy fewer crowds and cheaper rates. Average winter temperatures range from 18-22°C, which means pleasant weather for visiting the historic sites of Rabat, Mdina and Valetta, and even the possibility of relaxing on the beach.
The Christmas markets in German towns and cities are probably the best in Europe. Atmospheric, traditional and truly festive, a visit to a German market is the perfect way to get in the mood for Christmas and even to buy some gifts for loved ones. Top markets can be found at Nuremberg, Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Cologne and Stuttgart.
The capital of Denmark is a fine winter destination. The city's 175-year old amusement park, Tivoli Gardens, hosts a festive winter wonderland every December, which includes market stalls, light displays and family entertainment.
Throughout December, Amsterdam hosts a spectacular Light Festival. Many of the artistic light installations are laid out along walking routes that allow visitors to explore the city, whilst stopping for pancakes or hot chocolate in Amsterdam's cosy bars and cafés along the way. Just like in many European cities, the crowds are much smaller during December making it a great time to visit the major attractions such as the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum.
5. St Mortiz
The European ski season is just beginning in December, which means only certain resorts will have guaranteed snow-ready slopes. This, fortunately, includes the famously glamorous St Moritz in Switzerland.