Featured Image: @alanisko
Europe is quite extraordinary in the Wintertime. Other places have snow, yes, but Europe transforms in the winter to a magical wonderland of sorts.
Europe has some of the best Christmas markets and ski destinations in the world.
So, although you may have been planning a summer trip to Italy or Spring in Barcelona, spending the cold months in Europe can be just as (if not more) magical than any other parts of the world.
Perhaps you’re wondering, is it good to visit Europe in December? 100% Yes! Explore the Christmas markets, get some hot drinks, and partake in the festivities to have the most incredible winter imaginable.
Winter in Europe is an incredible experience and a little bit of cold shouldn’t deter you from these amazing destinations.
Download the Skyscanner app and set up alerts to any city in the world. I have about 30 different alerts set up at a time and whenever a price drops I get notified. Thanks to Skyscanner I booked a roundtrip ticket from Miami to London (no layovers) for less than $350, when the regular price was over $600!!
Best European Winter Destinations
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you would feel like you’re in the “North” in Estonia’s capital – Talinn. Being a city filled with rich history, Talinn is a place where you would want to go to if you want that “medieval feels.” The city is an old town filled with old walls – just like in a castle.
During winter, you’ll almost feel like you’re walking in a fairytale movie. With lots of classical architecture scattered, it’s a must-visit for European-fanatics.
Everything in this city is instagramable, if that’s important to you (I know it is). Christmas markets and castle-like walls would be in and around you as you will never get tired of walking down the town.
Talinn was also voted this years Best Christmas Market, which is open all of December. A stop that should definitely should be on your bucket list!
Ever dreamed of meeting Santa Claus? If you did and you still do, then head on to Rovaniemi in Finland as this is where you will find Santa Claus Village, the official place of residency of Santa Claus. He hangs out regularly in the Arctic Circle and you can visit him for free!
After meeting with Santa himself, you can enjoy tons of activities in Rovaniemi. You can go sledding with husky dogs, you can go visit the Arktikum Science Museum to know more about Rovaniemi more than you’ll ever know!
Plus it’s the home of the famous Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, which is an experience all it’s own.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague in the winter is an entirely different experience than anytime of year. The Old Town Square comes alive with Christmas trees, lights, and sweet fragrances.
Don’t forget to try the trdelnek, which is a signature Christmastime pastry. I strongly believe Prague should be on everyones bucket list, but winter in Prague is in a (marvelous) category of its own.
One of my favorite cities in the world, Vienna just sparks up in the winter!
Filled with traditional Austrian Christmas markets, beautiful buildings, and opera; this is a city everyone should visit in the wintertime.
Walking around City Hall in the winter-time will be a highlight you will never forget. All the buildings are lit up, plus the aroma that fills the streets is making my mouth water as I type this…
If you really want a feel of what winter is like, then heading to Abisko in Sweden might be the perfect trip for you. In this place, the sun would not shine for weeks. Partner that up with the tantalizing view of the Aurora Borealis, and you’ve got yourself a treat.
Are you looking for a spot where you want to see the unimaginable? If so, then Abisko is a location that is hard to bet. With the freshness that it offers; the natural scenery without the normal pollution you experience in the city, you’ll definitely want to stay there.
Salzburg is the place you want to be if you want to experience the rich culture of Austria. Filled with Christmas markets sating all the way back to the 1400s and festivals all around it, you wouldn’t want to go some place else.
You can go sightseeing in places like the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Mirabell Palace, which are quite the sight.
There are Christmas markets in almost every corner of this amazing city. Shops offering trinkets and ornaments are all around, you won’t believe such a magical place exists.
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
Forget the overly-famous Swiss Alps, Madonna di Campiglio is the site in Italy if you want to go for a relaxing trip for the winter. This town sits on top of a mountain and you can enjoy looking at 19th century architecture and culture.
You’ll see wooden homes, a lot of older markets, and the ravishing culture of this mountain town. If you want to go skiing and a fine piece of Italian cuisine, then this Northern town in Italy is the perfect place for you.
Dubbed to be the Venice of the North, Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, not just during winter. However, if you’re a fan of real art such as architecture, history, and sculptures, seeing Amsterdam during the winter when all the people die down is a must.
All types of people will definitely enjoy Amsterdam. You can enjoy tons of activities from partying, enjoying European food, shopping, to sight-seeing, sitting down while drinking coffee, literally everything.
During winter, though, tons of tourists pay Amsterdam a visit to be able to witness the Amsterdam Light Festival in live. If you thought that Amsterdam isn’t a good place to visit during winter, think again. In fact, many people prefer to visit this beautiful gem during the winter.
No, Iceland isn’t a place full of ice – even if it’s their winter. Reykjavik, the country’s capital, is also a host of the amazing view of the Aurora Borealis. Since their country’s name is Iceland, locals there cope with winter and gather every year for the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival in February.
You’ll definitely enjoy Iceland if you’re eager to try natural geothermal pools, while looking at old classical buildings and towns. It’s cold in Iceland so if you plan on visiting, be sure to cover yourself up because having too much ice can kill the enjoyment.
If you really want to feel that you’re in a Disney fairytale movie, you should definitely plan on visiting Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. You’ll feel a 19th century tingle as you stroll down the streets in town.
While you’re there, you might want to pay the Tivoli Amusement Park a visit. It’s a romantic-setting, Christmastime that is perfect if you want to feel relaxed while it’s the holidays. What’s better than drinking beer while watching the ice calmly fall from the sky?
Do landscapes adore you? If it does, then heading to Bergen in Norway might just be the best plan for your winter vacation. Located in the mountains of Norway, Bergen is a place where scenery, calmness, enjoyment, and modernization all come at once.
You won’t worry about snow when you’re in Bergen. Even if there are dozens of snow, it’s still a comfortable trip there. You’ll definitely enjoy your time looking at the views from Mount Ulriken and Mount Floyen.
You can go skiing, sledding, or relax while sipping some hot cocoa.
Experience the raw culture of Spain by staying in Andalucia. It is Spain’s largest autonomous region and embodies Spain’s culture such as bullfighting, fiestas, and even flamenco’s. During the winter, though, don’t expect the temperature to be mild as it’s located further south of the African coast.
While there, paying a visit to the Seville’s Cathedral, the oldest major trading center after 1248, being established for more than 491 years. It was originally built to display how wealthy the city is and has been a landscape of art ever since.
These are just a few of the best destinations you can visit in Europe during winter.
Regardless of how harsh a winter might be, visiting these amazing places, you won’t even mind freezing your tush off. These places will leave you breathless ands perhaps even creating a new winter tradition.
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