Who doesn’t love the winter season? I’m not a lot for gloomy, overcast, and wet climate however I’ve to confess I really like the winter in Europe. White snow, mulled wine, heat scarves, and a breath of recent brisk air.
Europe is my favourite area within the winter season. It’s why we preserve coming again to the continent throughout December, January, and March. Simply because it’s the coldest time of 12 months doesn’t imply it’s not a superb time to journey.
Seems, we’re not the one those who like to spend winter in Europe. Yearly thousands and thousands of vacationers flock to the continent after the perfect winter locations in Europe. Listed here are the must-see locations in Europe in winter.
Greatest Winter Holidays in Europe
There aren’t many cities in Europe fairly like Innsbruck, in order that’s why it tops this checklist of locations to spend winter in Europe. It’s coined itself the title “Capital of Alps” and straightforward to know why when you set foot within the metropolis. Flanked by the spectacular Nordkette mountain vary that towers over the town nature by no means feels distant. When the mountains are coated in snow it makes it the most effective locations to go to Europe within the winter.
It’s the one metropolis the place you may ski, discover a grand palace, window store, and savor a strudel all in someday. There are many issues to do in Innsbruck with the Austrian Alps and a metropolis wealthy in historical past. In some ways, it’s all the things we love about Austria all packed into a contemporary metropolis and historic metropolis. We love the truth that you may be in a good looking medieval previous city after which inside minutes locations you within the coronary heart of the Alps with cowbells ringing and recent Alpine air.
Love or hate Venice there is no such thing as a denying its recognition. It’s the most lovely historic metropolis on the planet, however it is usually besieged by vacationers. The sinking metropolis is a community of 118 islands linked by bridges. Buildings listed below are previous and when you handle to get away from the crowds it feels as when you’ve stepped again 5 centuries. It’s surreal and after a number of visits, we love Venice.
In our opinion, Venice is greatest visited within the winter, when the streets are quiet and the air is recent. The canals of Venice are infamous for harboring numerous waste and in the summertime the odor can get fairly dangerous; nevertheless, within the cooler months there are fewer vacationers, much less waste, and the odor is at bay. In case you had been to ask us Venice is likely one of the most lovely cities in Europe, particularly within the winter. There are so many issues to do in Venice you’ll have a tough time becoming bored.
The town of Amsterdam wants no introduction. It is named the Venice of the North due to its a whole bunch of canals. Amsterdam is nothing in need of spectacular and a should see whereas in Europe within the winter when the crowds die down. Whether or not you’re into historical past, structure, partying, meals, procuring, artwork, or cafes there’s something right here for everybody.
Our favourite factor to do in Amsterdam is to easily sit canal-side in a quiet neighborhood, like Jordaan and revel in a chilly Amstel. Or you could possibly do even higher with a ship cruise. In case you’re searching for conventional sights take a look at the Anne Frank Home, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum.
One other unbelievable place to spend winter in Europe is that this Polish Metropolis. Krakow is likely one of the best-preserved cities in Europe as a result of it was amazingly spared destruction in WWII. The town lies in Southern Poland and has a tremendous medieval core and Jewish quarter. The central level of the town is the huge Ryenk Glówny (market sq.).
Within the sq., you’ll discover the wonderful Fabric Corridor a Renaissance-era market and St. Mary’s Basilica a 14th-century Gothic church. It’s a stunning metropolis and better of all it could probably the most inexpensive to go to so that you get nice bang to your buck. Within the winter you’ll discover vacation cheer and even Christmas markets.
Lech Am Arlberg, Austria
If we had been to choose considered one of our favourite ski resort cities in Europe it will undoubtedly be Lech Zurs Arlberg. The village ambiance is hard to beat as a consequence of a big selection of boutique lodges all intimate in dimension as a consequence of strict ordinance legal guidelines. You gained’t discover any mega lodges or overseas funding on this former farming village.
It’s all distinctly Austrian with eating places, lodges, bars, chalets, and B&Bs run by native households. Every part within the village is fashionable and splendid however understated so that you gained’t be fully gobsmacked right here. This attraction is what continues to attract regulars from world wide 12 months after 12 months.
It’s robust to argue with the attraction of Edinburgh because it’s one of the gorgeous cities in all of Europe, however do you know it’s the most effective winter locations in Europe? The Scottish capital is filled with an extended and darkish historical past. The town middle break up between the jumble of medieval buildings within the previous city and the superbly lined Georgian buildings of New City. The town in some ways is a large number, however a good looking one at that! It’s brimming with class, vacationer websites, and character, and I guarantee you there is no such thing as a scarcity of issues to do in Edinburgh.
The town comprises many contrasts and gives all the things from world-class artwork festivals within the winter to effective eating, rowdy pubs, designer outlets, comedy golf equipment, luxurious lodges, and hip espresso outlets. It’s virtually inconceivable for any customer to have the identical expertise or opinion of Edinburgh. We tried our greatest to take pleasure in a little bit of all of it, however like all guests, we’ll must return sometime with extra time. We’ve visited as soon as within the fall and as soon as within the winter for Edinburgh’s epic Hogmanay Pageant. Each seasons are super, and Edinburgh a singular winter European vacation spot.
Norway within the winter is what fairytale books are made out of. Particularly the extra north you head. We discovered a unbelievable winter residence in Narvik the place we may spot the Northern Lights and go snowboarding all in someday.
The primary evening of our tour exterior of Narvik included a canine sled at evening led by head torches and the Aurora Borealis above us. Our second evening was adopted up with the Northern Lights over the town of Narvik from atop the ski hill. Each experiences are ones to recollect perpetually!
In case you plan to see the Northern lights in Northern Norway I’d advise you to hire a automotive as a way to assure your possibilities. Northern Norway is essentially coastal and is comprised of a mixture of mountains and islands. The results of the distinctive panorama and the ocean create very localized climate and unpredictable climate.
Narvik can be the place you may go to Narvikfjellet, considered one of Norway’s most well-known ski resorts. Off-piste using is a serious draw for Narvikfjellet as their model new gondola supplies entry to some massive terrain with views of the fjord down under.
Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy
That is the jewel of the ski scene within the Trentino area, and is certainly a should go to place whereas spending winter in Europe. It’s a widely known resort that’s well-known for internet hosting many Italians searching for stable snowboarding, eating, and leisure in a really posh surroundings. In actual fact, it nonetheless holds on to its declare to fame because the summer season trip spot of Austrian Royalty and Princess Sissi. The city is a good looking little gem set on the base of the Dolomites and has all of the attraction of a mountain city.
The city is sort of car-free, and it’s straightforward to take a night stroll after a day on the slopes. We spent our night’s window procuring whereas testing the 19th-century structure with a cappuccino in hand. Charming picket properties line the streets on the foot of the Dolomites. It’s straightforward to see why the resort city is nicely cherished in Northern Italy.
The little mountain village supplies good entry to 2 ski areas and quite a few climbing trails. Excessive above Grindelwald lies to the Bernese Alps, and a well-known mountain face. That mountain is Eiger’s infamous North Face – yup the clothes firm you may have in all probability heard of is known as after a mountain in Switzerland.
The village has an extended important street and loads of lodging choices to deal with numerous vacationers that make the journey up the valley from Interlaken. The village lacks the attraction that the encompassing villages have such a Gimmelwald, Murren, or Wengen, but it surely does present wonderful entry to the mountains – nice for skiers and people after a stable European winter vacation.
Luxembourg Metropolis, Luxembourg
Luxembourg Metropolis is a mixture of the previous and new with highrises rising everywhere in the metropolis, and a pleasing previous city positioned within the coronary heart of the town. It’s a melting pot of nationalities and also you’ll usually hear English on the streets as many foreigners come to work for banks and tech corporations primarily based within the metropolis. It brings a pleasing expatriate vibe to vibe to the town and provides to its character.
The town and nation embody many quintessential European cities and nations. We had been fortunate sufficient to go to through the Christmas season and catch one of many first snowfalls of the season and even participate in Luxembourg’s fantastic Christmas markets. These Christmas markets are virtually an identical to those in German and Austrian cities and are nicely price a go to! Be certain to have brunch on the Chocolate Home for a scrumptious and distinctive sizzling chocolate if you’re feeling chilly exterior.
There are few cities in Europe that really feel as forward-thinking as Helsinki. The Finns have pushed into the fashionable period and embraced design, meals, and artwork. No place is that this extra evident than in Finland’s capital. It’s a wonderful metropolis that delighted us with loads of issues to do within the winter.
For such a contemporary metropolis you by no means appear to be too distant from nature, even within the winter. The town encompasses a marvelous quantity of inexperienced area because it’s unfold out throughout a collection of islands within the Baltic Sea. If you add within the cities scrumptious eating places and Finn’s clear affinity for having a superb time you may have an excellent combine. The Finns know methods to dwell life with, “kalsarikannit,” a phrase to explain sitting at residence in your underwear consuming with no intention of going out – that made us snigger.
Helsinki is an excellent metropolis to discover stuffed with issues to do and scrumptious meals to eat. We spent every week right here round Christmas time and couldn’t have had a greater time exploring a metropolis. Helsinki is probably not your typical European metropolis break vacation spot, however it’s nicely price a particular journey to Finland for.
Vienna has been voted probably the most habitable metropolis on the earth a number of instances over and it’s recognized for its abundantly completely satisfied residents, so it’s no marvel it’s the most effective locations to spend winter in Europe. It’s a beautiful metropolis stuffed with historic buildings and palaces. Most notable is the Habsburgs Palace a surprising instance of Baroque structure and awe-inspiring gardens. Vienna opera home is thought for being the most effective on the earth, and don’t overlook to attempt the well-known Sachertorte (chocolate cake).
Through the holidays you’ll discover world-class Christmas markets and loads of Glühwein to go round!
St. Petersburg, Russia
One other nice winter vacation spot ib Europe is Saint Petersburg. The Telegraph in contrast visiting Saint Petersburg in winter to “stepping right into a Russian novel”. Now, who wouldn’t wish to expertise that? Saint Petersburg in winter is a must-visit vacation spot in Europe and is actually magical right now of the 12 months. Freakishly chilly (so convey a superb down jacket), however magical however.
Saint Petersburg is positioned on the Neva River so it’s infamous for wind chills. Additionally it is darkish and gloomy throughout winter months, however I promise will probably be price it when you see the frozen canals and royal palaces coated in snow. You possibly can truly tour a few of the palaces to heat up and get completely blown away by their grandeur and sweetness. A few of the palaces beneficial to go to are Catherine Palace, Yusupov Palace, Mikhailovskiy Palace, and Winter Palace.
Experiencing Russian opera and ballet is one other benefit of visiting throughout winter. Whereas summer season is the height season for vacationers, it’s the low season for a lot of the theatres. So braving the chilly will provide you with an opportunity to boast about watching well-known Russian ballet at Mariinsky Theatre.
If you’re extra into adventurous actions than arts and tradition, think about ice skating and snowboarding at Victory Park or on the frozen pond at Yelagin Island. No matter it’s you select, Saint Petersburg is not going to disappoint. After a chilly day exterior you may all the time heat up with a bowl of steaming sizzling borsch or a plate of conventional Russian pelmeni.
Tallinn, for my part, is likely one of the greatest locations to go to in Europe within the winter. Through the winter the town can usually change into magical with snow-covered rooftops and streets. This mixed with the truth that the metropolis is of course lovely with medieval towers, historical partitions, a surprising previous city, and cobbled streets make it extraordinarily photogenic and the most effective winter locations. It’s additionally solely a two-hour ferry trip away from Helsinki!
One of many highlights of this metropolis is the Previous City, which is within the middle of the town. This is filled with points of interest corresponding to museums, church buildings and historic landmarks, in addition to lovely eating places. Inside the metropolis are additionally a lot of prime locations to remain and a superb lodge could be the gorgeous Savoy Boutique. This lodge is positioned proper subsequent to the Previous City and a brief stroll to most of the cities important points of interest. It comes with a lush and chic design and after exploring could be a tremendous place to return to and escape the chilly climate.
Lastly, when visiting Tallinn you’ll have to ensure you take a superb high quality coat, in addition to a hat, gloves, and winter boots. Throughout this season temperatures can common between -2°C and -5°C. It might probably additionally get very windy, particularly at a few of the many superior viewpoints across the metropolis, so wrapping up heat is essential when visiting to benefit from the metropolis and keep comfy.
Zermatt within the winter time can solely be described as a magical winter wonderland. This chocolate field alpine village, beneath its blanket of snow, is about towards the backdrop of the long-lasting Matterhorn and is a should on anybody’s Swiss itinerary. Whether or not you’re into snowboarding or not, you may’t assist however fall beneath the attraction of this lovely village. It is going to enchant you with its little again roads, its conventional and fashionable chalets, its lack of visitors (it’s a car-free village) in addition to the eating places and outlets that line the principle avenue.
Skiers are spoiled for alternative with the kilometers of slopes on provide. A visit as much as the Klein Matterhorn or a journey on the prepare to the Gornergrat is a should for non-skiers. There’s a full of life après-ski scene and an abundance of eating places catering to all tastes from conventional Swiss fayre to Japanese, Chinese language, Italian and extra. Additionally it is an ideal resort for households visiting Zermatt though it does include a hefty price ticket.
If you wish to be within the coronary heart of the motion and are searching for a enjoyable, quirky place to remain, make sure to take a look at the Distinctive Lodge Submit. We often keep in self-catering lodging as this fits our household’s wants completely and is a good possibility
Any journey to Iceland will begin and finish within the capital metropolis, Reykjavik. It’s an ideal metropolis to go to all 12 months spherical, however throughout Iceland’s winter months it comes alive! There is probably not a lot daylight within the winter season, however the streets are coated in white snow and are lined with Christmas lights. Within the winter you may see the Aurora Borealis, a spectacular present and a sight everybody ought to see of their lifetime.
There are a handful of festivals within the wintertime just like the Darkish Music Days in January and Rainbow Reykjavik in February. Essentially the most well-known pageant; nevertheless, is the Winter Lights Pageant which is held the primary week of February. The pageant celebrates the winter and the rising daylight that’s returning to Iceland.
My favourite place to remain in Reykjavik is the CenterHotel Midgardur. The lodge is smooth, fashionable, and centrally positioned on the town. We stayed right here after our campervan journey across the Ring Street, and it was good to be in a cushty mattress and with a sizzling bathe after 10 days sleeping in a van. The very best half is it’s fairly priced for the town so it’s going to assist along with your Iceland journey finances.
If I had been to choose the perfect time to go to Iceland it will most definitely be within the winter. Simply make sure that to pack just a few coats in your keep it up baggage!
Whereas a well-liked vacationer vacation spot over the summer season months, Paris holds a little-known secret very near its chest. In winter, France’s lovely capital transforms into one of the gorgeous cities in Europe and is certainly a must-see vacation spot that shouldn’t be ignored through the colder local weather.
Apart from the breathtaking sight of white rooftops and iconic monuments being dusted with snow, there are additionally many advantages of visiting Paris throughout winter. Have you ever ever puzzled what it will be like barely having to line as much as enter the Musée du Louvre or not having to courageous a snaking queue to ascend the Eiffel Tower?
This was my expertise and an indication of what you may count on within the winter months, particularly after New Years’ and earlier than Easter. Fewer vacationers competing for restricted area means you may spend much less time losing your day lining up and extra time exploring the museums and different well-liked points of interest that make Paris such a fascinating winter vacation spot.
Fewer vacationers lead me to the subsequent advantage of visiting Paris throughout winter. Minimal vacationers additionally imply minimal pickpockets, who’re infamous for concentrating on guests at well-liked Parisian points of interest. Sure, sadly, it’s doubtless there’ll nonetheless be just a few prowling about from time to time however I used to be very stunned on the distinction of their numbers between my summer season and winter guests in the identical 12 months. It’s a lot a way more gratifying expertise if you’re capable of loosen up a bit and take within the sights of Paris with out the lingering strain of being focused by pickpockets.
This Swedish metropolis north of the arctic circle doesn’t hibernate in winter; it thrives. The snow is knee deep, the northern lights are sometimes seen, and lots of locals drive round their snowmobiles. The solar doesn’t even rise for 21 days in December. Because the locals say: the times could also be brief and the nights could also be lengthy, however with a shiny full moon, it seems to be rather a lot like daytime. That’s truthfully an angle we should always all aspire to have. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, it’s additionally merely a captivating place.
Some winter actions embrace studying about Sami tradition, visiting the Snow Pageant (finish of January), and consuming glögg to maintain heat. For the lively customer, there’s ice skating, canine sledding, snowboarding, and mountain climbing. Uniquely so, the native iron mine is considered one of Kiruna’s important vacationer points of interest.
Traditionally talking, Kiruna has largely been a mining city. They discovered iron deposits within the space, and subsequent to it, they constructed a metropolis. Now they’ve found extra iron beneath the town. So what do the Swedish do? They relocate the city eastward like that’s no massive deal in any respect. The mine produces sufficient iron for six Eiffel Towers a day and is open for visits year-round – regardless of the frozen situations in winter.
Talking of freezing, within the close by city of Jukkasjärvi hosts the unique Ice Lodge. In case you ever wished a keep by no means to overlook, that is it. Yearly, the lodge carves snow and ice blocks out of a close-by river. Then engineers and artists construct your complete construction from scratch. You’ll sit on it, you’ll drink from it, and also you’ll sleep on it.
Tucked away in a quiet nook of northwest Belgium is the fairytale medieval city of Bruges. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Website, slim cobbled streets weave via its middle linking the canals, hidden squares and colourful homes of this lovely previous city. Considered the most effective medieval cities in Europe numerous Belgian chocolate outlets, waffle makers, quirky beer homes, and tiny eating places fill each nook. Bruges is well the most effective cities in Europe to go to within the winter.
Bruges is extraordinarily well-liked with day journey guests from the encompassing cities, particularly at weekends, so we advocate staying no less than one evening to actually expertise its magic. We love the Lodge Acacia, positioned subsequent to the principle sq., with its resident parrot, Coco, who greets friends upon arrival on the lodge! Stunning in each season, Bruges is further particular through the winter when it’s residence to one of many greatest Christmas markets in Europe and the Previous City transforms right into a festive wonderland full with a Christmas village within the city sq..
Filled with all the things festive from scrumptious meals to mulled wine, distinctive chocolate souvenirs, and ice skating beneath the shadow of the Belfry Tower, the Bruges Christmas market is one to not miss. Evenings spent wandering via the twinkling Previous City consuming, consuming and skating are a few of our most magical recollections. Don’t overlook; it may get chilly in between all these mulled wines and sizzling goodies – winter in Europe requires wrapping up warmly, and we all the time pack a comfortable heat scarf to maintain the chilly winter air at bay!
Dresden is a good looking metropolis to go to at any time of the 12 months however in winter it actually involves life. It has a wealthy historical past, grand baroque palaces and museums enhance the town middle, filled with a wealth of treasures and artwork collected by probably the most notable ruler of Saxony, King Augustus the Robust. The winter means Christmas markets for Dresden. Every market is exclusive and displays its neighborhood and origins.
The most important market on the Altmarkt sq. can be the oldest in Germany. The Streizelmarkt is constructed from the bottom up every year however resembles extra of a village than a brief pageant. Gluhwein, Gluhbeer, and Jagertea are the drinks of alternative right here. Be sure you attempt a range since every stand has its personal distinctive taste.
Fantastically handcrafted decorations from the close by Erzgebirge mountains may be taken residence as a memento. The Streizelmarket is opened with the Stollen Parade. Stollen is a standard fruit cake, coated with a mix of powdered sugar and butter. An enormous stollen is paraded via the town on a wagon pulled by horses accompanied by a marching band and fanfare. Exterior of Christmas ice skating is feasible on the winter pageant and the museums that are quieter than different instances of 12 months beckon guests out of the chilly.
Keep on the Vienna Home QF Lodge, a chic lodge within the coronary heart of Dresden’s baroque previous city, a central location, with out compromising a restful evening’s sleep. 5 of Dresden’s Christmas markets and lots of museums are located inside a couple of minutes stroll of the lodge.
Annecy is a small Alpine city throughout the Haute-Savoie area of France. It’s positioned on the northernmost tip of the Lac d’Annecy, set towards the gorgeous backdrop of the mighty French Alps. Because of this regardless of its small dimension, there are numerous causes to go to all 12 months spherical. However for us, Annecy in winter is extra-special. Lac d’Annecy is the third-largest in France and boasts the place of being Europe’s cleanest lake.
The views of the lake from Annecy city, set towards the backdrop of the snow-covered Alps in winter, are notably magnificent. In addition to providing easy accessibility to quite a lot of ski resorts and alpine trails, the historic Vieux Ville (previous city) is a picture-perfect place to go to in winter with Insta-worthy picture alternatives galore. Visiting throughout winter means you can take pleasure in quite a few seasonal delights across the previous city of Annecy itself. The Christmas markets are all the time one thing particular. Afterwards, go to one of many quite a few eating places within the city and revel in some native delicacies. Annecy is a cheese-lovers dream, and native cheese-based specialties tartiflette and raclette will characteristic on many menus.
Lastly, strolling across the lake or over to the city corridor to look at the spectacular mild present will assist to work off a few of these cheese and wine energy. Our prime lodge choose in Annecy is Les Tresoms Lake and Spa resort, overlooking the lake. A spa lodge is an ideal place to loosen up and heat up after a day within the Alpine temperatures. To stave off the chilly through the mountain winters, we’re by no means with out our Icebreaker merino wool underlayers. Each the leggings and long-sleeved tops assist to cease the chilly seeping via.
The primary time I visited Lviv, Ukraine was within the wintertime and it was love at first sight. The town seemed lovely, like a fairy story! The clear blue sky, the snow crunching beneath the toes, and shining within the solar was pure magic. Lviv is a spot the place you simply have the most effective winter holidays in Europe
Typically there’s a lot snow that the streets are blocked, however that simply provides to the ambiance. Even the loopy chilly (like -20°C) didn’t hassle all that a lot. And after I was beginning to really feel uncomfortable, I may escape to one of many cozy cafes which can be in abundance in Lviv. The wonder in Lviv hides inside, and there are few locations the place the inside will make your jaw drop – a few of them are the Opera, Home of Scientists, or Ethnography Museum. Since Lviv can be loopy low cost, you may have nice culinary experiences at a low price. Simply bear in mind to take heat merino wool socks with you as winters in Lviv can get chilly!
Throughout considered one of my visits, I found by chance the George Lodge. Because it turned out it’s the oldest lodge in Lviv, stuffed with historical past and an extended checklist of noble names that stayed there. To not point out the inside that’s gorgeous too. Along with your breakfast, you’ll get dwell piano music to make the beginning of the day much more gratifying.
Lisbon, Portugal’s capital metropolis, is a really heat place in Europe in December. Blue skies and sunshine are nonetheless plentiful and the relative lack of vacationers makes this a good time to go to. So long as you wrap up, the gentle winter temperatures imply you may nonetheless benefit from the quite a few out of doors cafés and strolling across the metropolis to admire it from varied hilltop viewing spots.
Even on gray days, Lisbon is way from gloomy. The town is famend for its mild, which displays from the vast Tagus River and the limestone cobbled paving. Vibrant avenue artwork, colorfully painted tile-clad buildings brighten up the cityscape even additional.
The aroma and smoke of roasting chestnuts permeate the streets and within the weeks surrounding Christmas, revolutionary decorations dominate Lisbon’s squares and main thoroughfares. Relying on which month you select to go to, you’ll encounter varied meals and winter markets. Christmas additionally brings a cycle of concert events to the town, some within the squares, others in theatres and church buildings.
As you’d count on from a capital metropolis, Lisbon has many fabulous palaces and museums together with the Gulbenkian, the Nationwide Museum of Historic Artwork and the brand new Museum of Artwork, Structure and Know-how the place you may take shelter on wet days. Even the metro stations type an underground artwork gallery. Procuring can be a pleasure, whether or not you like element-proof shiny malls, conventional impartial outlets, indoor markets, distinctive boutiques, treasure trove vintage outlets or quirky procuring facilities with idea and design shops, corresponding to Embaixada.
Nightlife nonetheless spills out onto the streets in winter, besides on wet evenings, though there are many heat, cozy consuming and consuming spots if it’s too chilly for you. The New Yr’s Eve celebrations with fireworks over the Tagus River are price braving the chilly for.
Prague, Czech Republic
Overrun with vacationers within the hotter months, Prague can really feel downright abandoned in winter. Snowfall will muffle your footsteps as you discover the Previous City and Fort Districts. Our favourite avenue, Novy Svet, is a classic wonderland of embellished doorways particularly crafted to tell apart its residences from each other. On the backside of the steps resulting in Thunovská avenue, you may duck right into a low barrel-ceilinged medieval townhouse repurposed into a comfortable espresso bar. The fabled Charles Bridge is shrouded in mist rising from the Vltava, and the town skyline takes on a mysterious air within the milky mild so beloved by painters via the centuries. Shopkeepers and servers have on a regular basis on the earth for pleasantries within the winter, and locals are completely satisfied to succeed in out with gives to share a meal or advocate an expertise.
Go ready with sensible footwear – heat boots good for tromping round in chilly and damp situations. The Clarion Lodge Prague Previous City is a good place to remain. It’s tucked away on a quiet aspect avenue solely a five-minute stroll to Dlouhá Avenue. First-time guests to Prague ought to undoubtedly think about coming within the low season for a extra genuine, slice-of-life expertise in considered one of Europe’s most magical locations.
Finnish Lapland is the winter white paradise in Europe. Freshly fallen snow sparkles through the day and displays the moonlight at evening. The bushes are remodeled into nature’s greatest interpretive ice sculptures whereas the hues of the northern lights dance overhead. Sure, the temperature is actually chilly, however you gained’t find a way to withstand venturing out into idyllic winter magnificence solely present in Lapland. Rovaniemi is the preferred spot to start out your journey to Finnish Lapland.
The city is well walkable and has quite a few corporations providing journeys to discover the forests and trails throughout, whether or not by snowmobile, canine sled, or reindeer sleigh. When you’ve adjusted to life north of the Arctic Circle, head to the untouched wilderness of Luosto to snowshoe and watch the Auroras mild up the sky. If snowshoeing isn’t for you, the realm additionally has downhill and cross-country snowboarding. Both manner, there’s one thing actually unforgettable about exploring the snowy wilderness on foot with out the buzzing of a motor to disrupt the silence.
Afterward, return to your very personal log cabin, bookable via Lapland Lodge Luostotunturi. They’re surrounded by wilderness and include their very own hearth and sauna! Having a good time within the excessive chilly means having the suitable gear. No matter the place your Finnish Lapland adventures take you, make sure to pack a pair of thermal underwear[. Tour operators will provide you with proper Arctic boots and snowsuits, but you’ll need the right layers underneath to keep warm.
Andermatt, Switzerland is a postcard-perfect winter destination. Think snow-capped mountains, ski slopes, and thermal baths. After foreign investment and much restoration, the once small skiing village is now a significant Alpine resort destination. Joining the nearby skiing area of Sedrun, it has become the largest ski area in central Switzerland. If you love hitting the slopes, then you’ll be spoilt for choice as there are over 120kms of runs.
Yet with all the refurbishing and development, it still has that quaint village charm that you can enjoy at any time of the year. You’ll definitely want to visit at Christmas time as the sleepy snowy town comes alive with a jovial Christmas Market. There is a magical fairytale-like quality as lights are displayed along the streets in a wonderfully festive scene.
If you want to experience luxury, you’ll definitely want to stay at the George Hotel. My favorite thing about the Chedi is the indoor or outdoor heated pools. I love taking a thermal bath among the pristine winter scenery. Although the Chedi spa is very pricey, it is definitely one of the most luxurious you’ll ever experience. If you’re wanting the perfect alpine escape, give Andermatt a try. It really is a beautiful and charming winter destination.
Borovets in Bulgaria is a great destination for those who want to experience a ‘proper’ European winter on a budget. Just 90 minutes’ drive from Sofia Airport, the resort is small enough to be walkable but large enough to have all the conveniences and entertainment that visitors would expect from a modern-day tourist town. International restaurant chains have started to creep into the resort but most places are independent, traditional Bulgarian eateries offering hot stews, traditional soups, and freshly baked bread.
Summer is a beautiful time to visit Borovets, but the region really comes to life in the winter, when snow blankets the mountains and wolf cubs can be seen playing in the pine forests. The resort has a great selection of ski and snowboard runs from beginner to expert, as well as off-piste skiing and of course great apres-ski. For visitors who don’t fancy skiing, snow-shoeing, skidoo safaris, and husky sled rides are also available. Budget apartments are widely available, but if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday why not try the upscale Hotel Rila at the bottom of the main slope for ski-up affordable luxury?
Traveling to Europe in the winter is the perfect time to visit, and Budapest is one of those cities that is truly special. There are way fewer tourists in town which have several benefits: cheaper accommodation rates, less crowded attractions, more tolerable temperatures, making it overall more enjoyable.
Our first visit was just after Thanksgiving when the Christmas markets were set up throughout the city. As you wander around the city checking out all the things to do in Budapest you’ll continue to stumble upon Christmas markets. Which is also a great place to pick up a unique gift for those back at home.
If you happen to be going to Christmas markets in Germany or Austria you’ll find that the prices are much cheaper in Budapest. We stayed at the Kempinski Budapest Hotel, which has a Christmas market on one side of the hotel and the Budapest Eye Ferris Wheel on the other side. It’s the perfect location for exploring the city. Don’t’ forget an umbrella, it may be winter but the temperature varies in Budapest. You could have snow one day and the next day rain.
The beautiful Austrian city Graz is a true gem. It’s the second largest city in Austria and the capital of Styria. Back in 1999, Graz was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites – and this is definitely not surprising. The cobblestoned streets, cute buildings, and the amazing landscapes are unique. In the winter is when this city really starts to sparkle.
Not only does it host 14 (!) truly Austrian Christmas markets, but also adds the snow a special atmosphere to the rather old, traditional, and sleepy city. Entering Graz during winter will put an immediate smell of roasted almonds into your nose. Followed by some mulled wine odor and the views of perfectly lit Christmas trees. Once the sun sets in Graz, the whole city will be put into an almost cold, but still warm-ish orange. Then, the atmosphere is truly magic. People start gathering in the streets, they wander to the various markets, get their first mulled wine and maybe snack on some grilled sausage, as this is a typical dish to eat on a Christmas market.
Then, it is also the perfect time to get to the Schlossberg. This mountain lies on top of the city and functions as the perfect lookout for those that are sunset-lovers just like myself. Within five minutes the funicular will take you to the top. The mountain is 123 meters high and during Christmas time it is home to one of the most romantic Christmas markets I have ever seen. It’s called “Aufsteirern” and is somehow a mix of medieval market and a magic Christmas play that takes place right around you.
Every Friday, they meet at the “Wunderland” Christmas market. It’s located in the cool and upcoming district Lend and combines some proper old Austrian and German music with the Christmas atmosphere. Could it get any better? My tip – Don’t forget to pack mittens! How else can you hold a mug of mulled wine outside in the cold?
Not many people are aware that my hometown Milan is actually a great winter destination. Summers are very hot, and spring and autumn are very busy with festivals, trade fairs, and other events – but December-February is low season and you’ll be able to find great deals on flights and accommodation.
The city does get cold – but the good thing is that you can go skiing about an hour away! Milan has the reputation of being an expensive city, but as a matter of fact, there are plenty of places to visit in Milan for free. You can visit many churches, museums on the first Sunday of each month and there are even some Christmas markets – my favorite is the one near Navigli.
Shopping is also reason enough to visit Milan – the city is famous for its expensive boutiques but there are also many artisan and young designer shops, where you’ll be able to snap up unique pieces of clothing/accessories at bargain prices. Areas like Brera, Porta Ticinese, and Isola are great places for a spot of pre-Christmas shopping.
If you happen to visit the city in January or February, even better – that’s when the sales are on! Milan also has some amazing restaurants from all over Italy and beyond. Milanese dishes are actually perfect comfort food for winter – my favorite is risotto alla Milanese with saffron, delicious in its simplicity. PanEvo restaurant makes the best one in town!
You may not have heard of Malbun as a place to spend winter in Europe, but I guarantee you it’s a beautiful secret waiting to be explored. We’ve been on a mission to explore some of the smallest countries in the world. It’s what recently brought us to Luxembourg and took us through Swaziland last year.
On our grand tour of the Alps, we visited Austria and Switzerland so it only made a chance to stop by the country sandwiched right in between the two. Liechtenstein has an area of just over 160 square kilometres making it the fourth smallest country in Europe with a population of only 38,000 people!
Malbun is a small town in the alps that is great for a winter vacation in Europe. It’s here you can enjoy the best things to do in Europe in the winter – snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and fondue dipping! We even went for a winter walk in the woods with llamas!
We spent two full days in Liechtenstein and thought it was the ultimate place for families. The mountain and town is big enough to have some fun in, but also small enough to let your children run wild and free!
What to Pack For Your Winter Trip to Europe
We love to travel during the winter months and have spent a lot chasing the snow around the world. Learn from a few of our tips and check out our Europe Packing list or ski trip packing list before your winter trip.
Travel in Europe