Trip to Europe in December

Travel Forums Europe Trip to Europe in December

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1. Posted by Rajat8527 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I am planning to travel to Europe in December(8th - 15th)...I plan to cover Paris and Madrid , 3 days per city/country...Will it be a good time to visit Europe during that time? Because I am getting a lot of negative feedback regarding travel to Europe in December. I have been told that shops remain closed during that time due to snow and pre Christmas season and not much people to be seen on roads because of the same. is it really difficult to travel there in December ?

2. Posted by harbinger (Budding Member 39 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

On the contrary, you're wise to be picking a really good time to visit cities in Europe - relatively few tourists mean lower accommodation costs and shorter queues for attractions.
If you were planning to visit rural areas, then my enthusiasm would be more qualified, but cities such as Madrid and Paris are jampacked with culture and myriad leisure activities, so you just have to be a bit flexible with your itinerary and organise it around the weather. If the weather's good, the take the opportunity to go up Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower. If it isn't, then that's the time to head for the Prado or the Louvre. Consult the local weather forecast once you arrive to help you plan the order in which you do things.
I took a friend from overseas on a whistlestop tour of Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, London and Paris just after Christmas last year, and it was fabulous - also a great novelty for her, as she's used to a hot climate.
Europe has 'weather' rather than 'climate', so it's impossible to predict the weather you'll experience - worst case is that it's grey and wet, and the best case is that it's cold, clear and dry. Neither Madrid nor Paris usually get heavy snow, and if they do, it's more likely to be later in winter. Very rarely would the snow be heavy enough to impede public transport, let alone cause shops to close down.
European cities are charming and photogenic in different ways in every season, and your experience will be very different to that of someone who visits in April or August. The key is to make sure that you're properly dressed for weather conditions you could possibly encounter so that you can embrace the experience. So firstly, dress in layers: museums, hotels and restaurants are centrally heated - sometimes to what feels like tropical temperatures - so you don't want to be stuck in a pullover designed to be worn by Arctic fisherman in which you'll overheat. Secondly, make sure you have a warm jacket - preferably waterproof (happily, modern fabrics mean that 'warm' no longer needs to mean 'bulky and heavy'). Thirdly, make sure you have gloves, scarf and a hat that covers your ears, as extremities lose heat disproportionately quickly. Make sure your footwear is waterproof and comfortable enough to do lots of walking. And carry a foldable umbrella.
Over the period you are planning to visit, the shops will be decorated for Christmas, and the lights combined with the short winter days and long nights, the effect is magical.

3. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1922 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

As long as you dress for the weather it should be a good time to go

4. Posted by Rixie (Budding Member 21 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I think it would be a beautiful time to go, with the Christmas lights and the excitement in the air.

5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1723 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

That is a wonderful time to travel. We visited last December and had a great time. It is winter so the days are short but it is the Christmas season so everything is covered with decorations and colored lights and looks wonderful at night. There are all sorts of Christmas Markets all over the cities and lots of special concerts and shows for the season. Much of this is free.

Obviously, no one can tell you what the weather will be like, but it will probably be fine. It may be cold but it can also be quite pleasant. We're from California so we're used to very warm weather and we were comfortable the whole time we were there. We visited Paris and Strasbourg in France because we particularly wanted to see their famous Christmas Markets. We had rain on one day and the rest of the time it was lovely.

Shops and stores will be open. There will be special concerts and exhibits. Roads will be as busy as usual unless there is an unusual snow storm. It could happen but probably won't. Trains will be running. You'll be fine. If you want to read about our trip in December to Paris and Strasbourg, here is a link you can click. December in Paris and Strasbourg

Enjoy your trip.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-May-2017, at 13:20 by Beausoleil ]

6. Posted by kate.timaeus (Travel Guru 8 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

there will be virtually no chance of snow in paris or madrid. christmas is the biggest time of the year for shopping so no chance of them being shut but france normally shuts on sundays.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1723 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

The stores may be closed on Sundays but the Christmas Markets will definitely be open then. This is Paris; I don't know about Madrid.

8. Posted by Rajat8527 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Thanks everyone for taking your time out and giving me the great suggestions. It has definitely cleared my doubts and it will help me plan my trip.

Thanks again :)

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1723 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I hope you have a wonderful time.

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