Table of Contents
- 16 places to visit in India in December to celebrate the winter season
- 1. Auli, Uttarakhand
- 2. Kutch, Gujarat
- 3. Goa
- 4. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
- 5. Alleppey, Kerala
- 6. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
- 7. Ranthambore, Rajasthan
- 8. Udaipur, Rajasthan
- 9. Jodhpur, Rajasthan
- 10. Gokarna, Karnataka
- 11. Pondicherry
- 12. Shillong, Meghalaya
- 13. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- 14. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
- 15. Daman and Diu
- 16. Nainital, Uttarakhand
In December, the last month of the Gregorian calendar, the Indian peninsula enters one of its most attractive seasons – snow covers many parts of the northern landscape, while the gentle sunlight warms its beaches. In December, Christmas and New Year take centre stage, and the weather remains cool across the country, making it an ideal time to go on a vacation. While there are a number of amazing places to visit in December in India, here are a few that are sure to impress.
16 places to visit in India in December to celebrate the winter season
1. Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli in December is the perfect place and time to enjoy winter and snow. It is renowned as India’s top skiing destination, attracting tourists from across the country and abroad.
Try your hand at snowball fights, enjoy some skiing and other adventure sports, or simply relax and enjoy the scenic Himalayan view. There are many breathtaking places to visit in Auli, making your winter vacation unforgettable, no matter what you do!
By air: Auli is located around 220 km from Jolly Grant Airport or Dehradun Airport. A number of airlines offer daily flights from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Buses and taxis are available for travellers to reach Auli.
By road: Auli is easily accessible by bus from Dehradun and Haridwar. There are regular buses running from Delhi and Dehradun to Auli on this route. It is possible to reach Auli along this route by private taxis or shared taxis.
By train: The closest rail station serving Auli is Rishikesh Railway Station, about 230 km away. The extensive network of railways linking Rishikesh to major Indian cities makes travel to the city easy and frequent. Auli visitors can hire cabs, taxis, or budget buses outside the railway station.
2. Kutch, Gujarat
In its former glory, Kutch was once a princely state in India, but now it’s best known for its vast expanses of white salt deserts. There is nothing quite like seeing these deserts, whether at night or during the day! The Rann Festival, which features cultural programs, adventure activities, and hot air balloon rides, is definitely worth attending if you come here in December. The Siyot Caves and the ancient town of Dholavira are also worthwhile visits.
By air: Kutch is located 80 kilometres from the Bhuj airport. Several places in the country have flight connections to Bhuj, making it one of the most convenient ways to travel.
By road: The only direct route to Kutch is by road. A variety of state and private buses operate from major cities, making your travel more convenient. Depending on your budget and convenience, you can also travel by air-conditioned, non-air-conditioned, state and Volvo buses. It is also possible to drive directly to Kutch from Ahmedabad (400 km away) or Rajkot (300 km away).
By train: You won’t find a train station in the city, as mentioned earlier. There is, however, a railway station in Bhuj city that operates trains from various major cities such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad, etc. To get to Kutch from Bhuj, you will need a vehicle or a taxi.
Goa is among the best places to visit in December in India. As one of the most popular tourist destinations along the western coast, it is well known for its beach landscapes, nightlife, and historic Portuguese architecture. Among the places to visit in Goa in December, the casinos become major tourist attractions and hence, its nickname, ‘Las Vegas of India’. With fireworks and trance music and sand tickling your toes, it’s the best way to spend a new year!
This list doesn’t end there—you can also attend the loudest electronic dance music party, St. Francis Xavier’s feast, and the Sunburn Music Festival.
By air: The nearest international airport in Goa is Dabolim, if you are arriving via air. Panaji is located approximately 29 kilometres from Dabolim’s main airport. As an international airport, this one is well connected to the major domestic cities and major international cities in the United Kingdom and Germany.
By road: You can reach Goa via two major highways. You can take National Highway 4 (NH 4) from Mumbai or Bengaluru to get to Goa. From Mangalore, the shortest route is via NH 17. You can find buses from Mumbai, Pune, or Bengaluru that will take you on a Goa road trip, if you don’t drive.
By train: Both Madgaon and Vasco-da-Gama are major train stations in Goa. Goa is well connected to the rest of the country through these stations. You will travel through some of the most beautiful views of the Western Ghats along the rail route to Goa.
4. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
As it is close to the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is the best place to visit in December in India. This city is popularly called the ‘golden city’, because of the golden dunes surrounding it and the golden sandstone castles which line its walls.
Among the Jaislamer places to visit, the temples and Havelis here, reflect the rich heritage of this city and are famous for their beautiful architecture. Winter is an ideal time to enjoy desert safaris with camels, watch the stunning desert sunset, and enjoy luxurious desert camping.
By air: In order to reach Jaisalmer, you should fly to Jodhpur Airport. Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Udaipur and Mumbai all have regular flights to Jodhpur. Jaisalmer can be reached in 5 to 6 hours from the airport. When travelling from Jodhpur Airport to Jaisalmer, most people use prepaid or private taxis.
By road: A network of roads connects Jaisalmer with the rest of India. Besides Rajasthan Roadways, private operators also run buses between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, Jaipur, Barmer, Mount Abu, Bikaner, Ahmedabad, etc. For transportation to and from hotels or attractions, passengers can take local transport from the bus terminal.
By train: A wide network of trains connects Jaisalmer Station to most Indian cities, including Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur, etc. You can hire an auto-rickshaw or a private taxi to the station for a nominal fare.
5. Alleppey, Kerala
Kerala’s Alleppey is the perfect place to spend a holiday in December. One of the most beautiful places to visit in India in December, Alleppey has been called the Venice of the East, because of its proximity to the Laccadive Sea. Staying in Alleppey is excellent, because there are many homestays, houseboats, and rejuvenating Ayurvedic resorts to choose from. From houseboats, you can see paddy fields and choir-making activities and witness the local life of Keralites as they travel through the serene backwaters.
By air: Alleppey is located approximately 75 kilometres from Cochin International Airport and 150 kilometres from Trivandrum International Airport. Regular flights operate between these two airports, so getting to Alleppey is not a problem. Taxis are available at the airport for tourists to reach Alleppey.
By rail: Located within the city limits, the Alleppey railway station provides access to all major cities and towns in the state and nation. The station is served by numerous and frequent trains. Taxis, buses, autos, and other forms of transportation are available outside the railway station to reach your destination.
By road: The National Highway-47, which passes through Alappuzha and Cherthala, provides access to Alleppey. Tourists and locals can travel comfortably throughout the state on the KSRTC bus service at a reasonable rate. Alleppey is also connected to other states by private buses.
6. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh’s Manali is another awe-inspiring destination listed on our best places to visit in India in December, nestled between the snow-covered Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. For decades, this serene hill station has mesmerised tourists with its natural beauty; it is particularly breathtaking in winter. For sightseeing enthusiasts, Manali is a great destination with ancient temples and scenic valleys. In addition, for people looking for things to do in Manali, there are some excellent trekking excursions.
By air: Manali is approximately 50 km from Bhuntar, the nearest airport. There are domestic flights connecting Bhuntar with Delhi and Chandigarh. Pre-paid taxis are available at the airport to take you to Manali. Weather conditions, however, make flights an unreliable option for getting to and from Manali.
By road: State-run as well as private buses connect Manali with major tourist destinations like Leh, Dharamshala, Shimla, Kullu, and New Delhi. Since Delhi to Manali is 550 kilometres away, it is recommended that you book your ticket in an air-conditioned Volvo coach, as these are more comfortable than ordinary buses for such a long journey.
By train: Manali is connected to several important cities of the country via the Jogindernagar railway station. Another option to reach Manali by train is from Chandigarh or Ambala stations. Buses and taxis are readily available from there.
7. Ranthambore, Rajasthan
Ranthambore, one of India’s best tiger reserves, makes for an even more welcoming experience in December, thanks to the cool weather. The region is renowned for its flora and fauna, a dreamy landscape of the Vindhya and Aravalli mountains, and the Ranthambore Fort.
Besides the endangered tiger, other animal species found here include wild cats, hyenas, leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, jackals, and hyenas. At Ranthambore, tiger sightings are relatively higher in December when compared to other tiger reserves.
By air: The nearest airport to Ranthambore is Sanganer Airport in Jaipur. It takes about 180 km to travel from Jaipur to Ranthambore. Daily flights from all major cities of India to Jaipur, so tourists can easily access this city. Taxis and buses are available at Sanganer Airport for tourists to get to the place.
By road: All major cities and towns of India are directly connected to Ranthambore Park by road. Visitors can reach Ranthambore Park easily by taking a state bus or hiring a taxi from the cities of Jaipur, Agra, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Kota, Mumbai, Delhi, or Ajmer.
By train: The closest station is Sawai Madhopur, which is 10 km away. From any major city or town, tourists can take trains to reach Sawai Madhopur railway station easily. Tourists can take a bus, taxi, or cab from outside the railway station to get to their destination.
8. Udaipur, Rajasthan
Udaipur is know as the city of lakes. Some of the stunning places to visit in Udaipur are locations like Lake Palace, Monsoon Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, and Jag Mandir, which are among the perfect places to visit in December. A major advantage of Udaipur is its location at the base of the Aravali Mountains. Owing to the surrounding hills, the city’s temperature is cold in December but the lakes nullify the effects. In other words, you get fabulous weather.
By air: Maharana Pratap Airport, or Dabok Airport, is the city’s main airport, connecting the city with other parts of the country. There are regular flights between New Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur and Udaipur operated by Air India, Jet Airways, and SpiceJet. Travellers can hire cars and taxis outside the airport to get to the city centre, which is about 20 km away.
By road: National Highway 8 (NH 8) connects Udaipur to Delhi, and Mumbai. Buses connect Udaipur with many cities such as Kota, Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, and Ahmedabad, among others. When it comes to travelling by bus, there are many options, including air-conditioned coaches, deluxe buses, and state-run buses.
By train: There is an extensive rail network connecting Udaipur to major cities in India, including Jaipur, Delhi, Indore, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Kota. Among the many trains which run on a daily basis are the Mewar Express, the Bandra-Udaipur SF Express, the Chetak Express, and the Annanya Express. Udaipur is also a scheduled stop for the famous and luxurious Palace of Wheels. If you want to get down in the city, you can hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw after arriving at the station.
9. Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Jodhpur, also known as the Blue City, is one of Rajasthan’s most beautiful cities and best places to visit in December. Among the most notable interests of the city is the Mehrangarh Fort and the blue houses that are just as exotic as they are beautiful. Apart from that, there are numerous temples, lakes, and shopping malls for those looking for things to do in Jodhpur that look like relics from the past.
By air: Jodhpur has its own domestic airport, located about 5 kilometres from the city centre. Several Indian have daily flights to Jodhpur, including Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Udaipur, and others. For transportation in and around the city, taxis and autos are available outside the airport.
By road: Jodhpur is easily accessible by road from Delhi and Jaipur by direct buses. Several private deluxe and luxury buses are available along this route, as well as government-operated Volvo coaches. It is quite safe to drive on Jodhpur Highway since the road conditions are quite good.
By train: Some trains run to and from Jodhpur from places such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, etc. The luxurious Palace on Wheels is also available for Jodhpur city in addition to regular express and mail trains. You can take a taxi from outside the station to travel anywhere in the city.
10. Gokarna, Karnataka
The Hindu pilgrimage town of Gokarna is known for its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes. In December, however, Gokarna becomes a party town as crowds gather on the serene tropical beaches for Christmas and New Year celebrations. Gokarna’s palm-fringed beaches are dotted with foreign tourists in December, while Indian tourists are few in number. A one-of-a-kind destination on the Arabian Sea, Gokarna offers a slow, relaxing vacation away from the crowds.
By air: Dabolim in Goa is the nearest airport to Gokarna for travellers. A taxi will take you to Gokarna from this airport, which is 140 kilometres away.
By road: There is good road connectivity between Gokarna and nearby cities. Direct buses are available from Goa, Mangalore, Bangalore, and Delhi to Gokarna. Taxis are also available in nearby cities if you prefer a more comfortable and efficient travel experience.
By train: A railway station is located in Ankola, about 20 kilometres from Gokarna. This station serves several cities, including Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, and Veraval. Taxis are available from the station to Gokarna.
Known locally as Pondy, this was a former French colony and is one of the seven Union Territories of India. With its beautiful streets lined with French Quarter, huge walls covered with bougainvillaea, and mustard-yellow colonial structure, the place has a perfect blend of traditional Indian and French architecture. The area also has some beautiful cafés and boutiques that showcase French culture. The meditative town of Auroville and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram are must-sees.
By air: For domestic travellers, Pondicherry Airport serves as the entry point, and for international travellers, Chennai International Airport is the closest airport. Visitors can take public transportation like buses or prepaid taxis from either airport to access different parts of the city.
By road: Several expressways and highways connect the city with nearby cities and states, making it easily accessible for travellers. Some of the major thoroughfares passing through the city are Grand Southern Trunk Road (GST), East Coast Road (ECR), and National Highway 32. The Pondicherry Bus Station serves as the main entrance to the city for those arriving by bus.
By train: The Puducherry Railway Station (PDY) connects Pondicherry to various Indian cities. By bus, taxi, or auto rickshaw, you can easily get around the city from the station, which is only 4 kilometres away from the city centre.
12. Shillong, Meghalaya
Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, is surrounded by nature and offers a world of exploration to wanderlust. Shillong’s gentle breezes and light drizzles in December make visiting this hill station a joy.
Due to its beautiful golf courses, museums, mountains, and crystal clear lakes, Shillong is also known as the ‘Scotland of the East’. The city is known as the music capital of India and is a must-see during December. It is a very youthful and lively place, with many prominent musicians hailing from here, and music events are held throughout the year.
By air: Umroi Airport, 35 km away from Shillong, provides regional flights between Kolkata and the hill station. There is also a bigger and more convenient airport at Guwahati, approximately 130 km from Shillong, named Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. To reach various destinations after arriving at the airport, visitors can hire a taxi or board a state bus.
By road: Shillong can be reached by buses operated by Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) and Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC). The types of buses available to travellers depend on their budget and requirements, such as sleeper, air-conditioned, luxury, and Volvo buses. A journey of around 3 to 4 hours to cover the 135 km distance from Guwahati to Shillong can also be made by driving along NH 40.
By train: Shillong is about 135 km from Guwahati Railway Station. An extensive rail network connects Guwahati Railway Station with major Indian cities. Taxis, cabs, and buses can be hired outside the station to reach Shillong.
13. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
With its scenic beaches, dense forests, and adventurous water sports, Andaman and Nicobar Islands form a large group of islands in the Bay of Bengal. Winter is the best time to explore the beautiful coral reefs and crystal clear waters. These islands offer a variety of activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, and visiting beautiful national parks, making them an ideal December getaway!
By air: Those travelling by air to Andaman should fly into Port Blair’s Veer Savarkar International Airport. Kolkata and Chennai are both connected by air to Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands. If you are travelling from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, or any other city, you must first get to Kolkata or Chennai before getting on a flight to Andaman.
By sea: Alternatively, you can reach the islands by boat. Haddo Jetty in Port Blair is the port where cargo ships arrive from Kolkata, Chennai, and Vishakapatnam. While boats can be fun, they are not very convenient or comfortable as they can take a long time to reach the islands. In addition, weather and sea conditions can affect travel times and add to the journey to Port Blair.
14. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Located on the banks of the sacred river Ganga, Varanasi is also known as Banaras or Kashi. Due to its location and the multitude of temples in the city, it is regarded as one of the holiest cities in India.
One of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi is known for its stunning river ghats. The cosy climate in December makes it possible for tourists to explore places to visit in Varanasi and the city’s rich cultural heritage freely. Get a taste of this ancient city’s morbid and stark contrast by watching life and death on the cremation ghats along the riverside.
By air: There are multiple flights between Varanasi and some of the biggest cities in India, such as Mumbai and Delhi, through Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport. Prepaid taxis can take you to the city centre after your arrival.
By road: Varanasi enjoys excellent road connectivity to cities such as Allahabad, Patna, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, and Ranchi. Buses run by the Uttar Pradesh government connect Varanasi with other major cities in the state and neighbouring states. From nearby cities to Varanasi, air-conditioned private buses are also available.
By train: There are two main railheads in Varanasi: the Varanasi railway junction and the Kashi railway station. There is an extensive rail network connecting both of these stations to prime Indian cities. In front of these railway stations, autos, rickshaws, and auto rickshaws are readily available.
15. Daman and Diu
An island near Veraval, Diu, was a Portuguese colony in the past, but today it is surrounded by beaches. It’s worth it to visit Diu in December if you want to avoid the crowds in Goa and enjoy cleaner beaches. An important part of the region’s heritage and architecture is the Diu Fort, a primary imprint of the Portuguese. It is also worth visiting Vanakbara, a small fishing village with colourful boats and constant activity.
By air: The Diu Airport is the closest airport to Diu. This is the only airport in the Daman and Diu Union Territories that connects to the rest of the country.
By road: There are buses from Junagadh, Porbandar, and Veraval. Thus, in order to reach Diu via bus, you must first travel to one of these places. You may even drive along the NH8 from Mumbai, Baroda, and Ahmedabad.
By train: The nearest railway station to Diu is Veraval Railway station, which is 87 km away.
16. Nainital, Uttarakhand
Nainital is one of the most fascinating hill stations in Uttarakhand, located at the foot of the Kumaon range of the Himalayas. Naini Lake, after which the town is named, is among tourists’ top places to visit in Nainital. It is at the epicentre of the town’s popularity and beauty, located at an elevation of around 1,938 metres.
In addition to its similarity to the Cumbrian Lake District, Nainital is brimming with elegant colonial structures that elevate its beauty, making it one of the best places to visit in December India. Located near Delhi, it’s a great weekend getaway. You might be able to see the first snow there!
By air: There is no direct air connectivity to Nainital. The nearest commercial airport to Nainital is Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. If a person wishes to travel to Nainital from Delhi, they can board a flight on any domestic or international airline that connects Delhi with the rest of the world. To reach Nainital from Delhi, you can board a bus or hire a private taxi.
By road: The road network between Nainital and several cities and small towns in north India is excellent. From Delhi and Kathgodam, there is a daily bus service to Nainital. There are Volvos, ACs, and non-ACs available on this route. Getting to Nainital from Delhi by overnight bus is the most convenient option.
By train: The nearest railhead to Nainital is Kathgodam Railway Station, approximately 34 km away. Those travelling from Kolkata, Agra, Lucknow, and Mathura can take a train to Kathgodam and take a private taxi or shared taxi to Nainital from there.
Which places in India are good for friends to visit in December?
In December, Goa is always a great place for partying with friends. Kasol, Corbett, Jammu & Kashmir and Gokarna are some other places you can visit with friends.
Where can you experience snowfall in India?
There are many places in the country where you can see snowfall, including Nainital, Lansdowne, Shimla, Kullu, Tawang, Kufri, Gulmarg, Auli, Dhanaulti, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Mukteshwar, Manali, Binsar, Chopta, Munsiyari, Sikkim, Ladakh and Chopta.
What are the best honeymoon spots in India in December?
Andaman, Shimla, Wayanad, Sikkim, Udaipur, Jaipur, Ooty, Darjeeling, Shillong, Agra, Lakshadweep, and Jaisalmer are some of the most romantic winter honeymoon destinations in India.