Whether you’re looking forward to a warm escape or excited to fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by roaming through a quaint European Christmas market, chances are your search for the ideal winter getaway destination is currently going in full force.
So, where are most travelers heading off to this season?
Booking recently commissioned an independently conducted research among 42,513 of its users and analyzed their search sessions between 18 September 2023 and 1 October 2023, with check-in dates between 1 November 2023 and 31 January 2024.
The just-published survey revealed that these six destinations were the most popular in the world.
6. Krakow, Poland
The study’s findings were divided into “Warm Weather” and “Cold Weather” categories, and since over half of the participants (56%) seemed to favor cooler destinations this winter, let’s start with the top three picks from this category.
One of them was Krakow, a once-overlooked Polish gem that has recently emerged as one of Central Europe’s most enticing destinations.
Featuring gorgeous medieval architecture, lively artisanal markets, and deep-rooted festive traditions, the city turns into a fairytale winter wonderland come December.
Krakow’s stunning old town, a Unesco World Heritage Site, buzzes with its Christmas market, hand-made souvenir shops, local chefs selling their delicacies, and one-of-a-kind performances that are sure to get even the grumpiest tourists into the festive spirit.
From here, visitors can head over to Wawel Castle and marvel at the snow-covered wonder that lies beneath them.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
The second wintery destination that’s drawing the attention of millions of travelers worldwide is Copenhagen, the Danish capital that promises the quintessential festive getaway this December.
The narrow cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, enchanting Tivoli Gardens, and twinkling Copenhagen markets will all contribute to a concept or feeling that the Danes refer to as “hygge.”
The term is used to represent coziness, warmth, and contentment brought on by enjoying the good things in life with the people you love.
The crackling of a fireplace is hygge. The smell of a freshly-made cup of cocoa is hygge. Experiencing the comforting atmosphere of Copenhagen during the most wonderful time of the year? You guessed it, hygge.
4. New York, United States
Those looking to keep their travels domestic this winter can’t go wrong with New York, the unofficial Christmas capital of the U.S.
The Big Apple transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland during the festive season, complete with the iconic Rockefeller tree and ice skating rink, enchanting displays at Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, Bryant Park’s Winter Village, and the lively Times Square celebrations.
3. Maceió, Brazil
For those looking to indulge in a warm beach getaway instead, Maceió should be one of the first destinations on your travel bucket list.
Known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant local culture, the Brazilian gem hosts some truly legendary celebrations this time of year, complete with live Christmas concerts, gorgeous light installations, and traditional dances that are sure to get you in a festive mood all while taking in the warm Atlantic sun.
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is the perfect year-round destination for culture seekers around the world, and as December quickly approaches its end, there are even more reasons to visit the Thai hotspot.
Between the enchanting landscapes, local festivals, and slightly cooled-down temperatures that make temple exploration that much easier, visitors will have the time of their lives in Chiang Mai this time of year.
There’s no better way to ring in 2024 than with a bowl of steaming khao soi or gaeng hang lay, especially when tried at local eateries that leave no detail of their prized dishes unattended.
1. Cancun, Mexico
There’s no international destination Americans love or appreciate more than Cancun, and winter seems to make no difference in travelers’ love for the Mexican hotspot.
While most people think of snow-covered landscapes when they think of festive getaways, more and more tourists are opting for the sun-kissed beaches and vibrant nightlife of Cancun instead.
In fact, now that the rainy season has passed and hurricane season has yet to begin, the beloved hub is gearing up for yet another record-breaking December, beckoning travelers not only with its dreamy weather but also its vibrant Boulevard Kukulcan, historic Chichen Itza, and underwater wonders of Isla Mujeres.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations, and Q&A's happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.