Your Guide to Eastern Europe in December

December in Eastern and East Central Europe is fun and festive, with Christmas markets, lights and decorations, and other holiday-related attractions lighting up cities from Krakow to Zagreb. Most of the cities in Eastern Europe have typical continental weather during December, with temperatures dipping low on the scale and possible snow. Know how to pack for the weather, read up about annual December events, and get tips for enjoying these top destination cities.

I​f your trip is starting in November, we've got you covered.

  • 01 of 10
    Christmas Markets in Prague
    ••• Pudelek/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-4.0,3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0

    Prague' Christmas market is one of East Central Europe's finest. Enjoy hot mulled wine while you browse the Christmas stalls on Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

  • 02 of 10
    Krakow Christmas Market
    ••• Robert Clare/Getty Images

    Krakow's Christmas celebrations rival Prague's. This favorite Polish destination has much in store for the December traveler, and Krakow often sees a white Christmas - a holiday plus!

  • 03 of 10
    Budapest Christmas Market 2012
    ••• Top Budapest/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    If you love Budapest, try experiencing it in December and shop for gifts for loved ones while you're there.

  • 04 of 10
    Moscow in winter
    ••• Uroš/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-3.0

    The big holiday in December in Moscow is New Year's Eve. Russia doesn't celebrate Christmas until January, but you can still catch sight of decorated trees. Also, take advantage of the cold weather and try out Moscow's ice skating rinks.

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  • 05 of 10
    Town hall square with Christmas tree.
    ••• rhkamen/Getty Images

    Christmas events and cold weather are two guarantees for December travel to Vilnius.

  • 06 of 10
    Granny buying sweets at Christmas market
    ••• Susanty Bong/Contributor/Getty Images

    Christmas lights reflect off the river as Ljubljana dons her best for the holidays. A Christmas market and New Year's Eve celebrations round out the events calendar.

  • 07 of 10

    Old Town Warsaw becomes the center of traditional Warsaw Christmas festivities, where an annual Christmas market and decorations appear. Old Town is also where you'll get a good view of the New Year's Eve fireworks if you plan to celebrate the changing of the year in Warsaw.

  • 08 of 10

    Zagreb doesn't have the mild weather of Croatia's coast, but the city lights up for Christmas, with Ban Jelacic Square the center of the festivities.

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  • 09 of 10

    Bratislava's compact and cozy Old Town rings in Christmas and the New Year with decorations and celebrations.

  • 10 of 10

    Dubrovnik avoids the worst of winter weather with its mild coastal temperatures. Enjoy Christmas and New Year's on the Adriatic Coast!