Winter is the perfect time to visit the grand cities and picturesque villages of Europe. From Hygge and café culture to winter wonderlands and festive markets, the continent offers up a truly magical choice of activities and destinations.
Plus, with accommodation and flights generally being less expensive from November to February, your dream trip will be easy on your wallet too.
Away from the seasonal market rush, most major European cities are remarkably crowd-free in the winter season, making it an ideal time to travel if it’s your first time in the destination. More experienced travellers, meanwhile, will discover a cosier side to bustling cities and metropolises.
Whether you’re planning a last-minute trip for this winter or are already planning ahead to next year, check out one of the following destinations for an unforgettable winter getaway.
Unforgettable Winter Getaways
The official home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi in the heart of Lapland is the ultimate destination for a winter wonderland.
Not only is the city packed with events and activities all focused on the “most wonderful time of the year”, but it’s also a dream to explore either solo or with a significant other.
Visit the local reindeer farms, take a husky-driven sledge out for a ride and, if you’re not tired after all that, hit one of the numerous ice rinks.
If you’re feeling truly adventurous, head out on a Northern Lights safari to get a glimpse of the magical aurora borealis.
The Hungarian capital city truly comes alive during the winter season. As well as all those festive markets to check out, featuring a wealth of local produce and arts and crafts, it’s one of the most picturesque cities that’s crying out to be explored.
The compact nature of the city makes it easy to get from the hills of Buda to downtown Pest and there’s so much to discover along the way.
Head to the city’s renowned museums and galleries, and stop off for a pick-me-up at one of the many grand cafes lining Andrassy Boulevard.
The national park, Normafa, is only a bus ride away from the main stations of Nyugati and Deli. And, when the sun begins to set, head to Budapest’s ornate thermal baths to warm your bones.
Situated in the epic Black Forest, Baden Baden has long been renowned as a destination of culture and romance. The spa-town on the border of France looks truly remarkable in the snow, while the freezing temperatures will make your time in the mineral baths all the more enjoyable.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on visiting the sumptuous Baden Baden Kurhaus. An architectural masterpiece dating back to 1824, it’s the epitome of elegance and remains the centre of the town’s social scene.
Choose from a programme of regular concerts, recitals and galas, or explore the many gaming tables in the glamorous casino. To ensure you don’t look and feel out of place on the casino floor, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the rules and gameplay of games like blackjack and poker.
You’ll find several digital formats available at online platforms, including Texas Holdem, the most popular variant of the game, which has guides and strategies for those who want to get started. Without a doubt, poker has become one of the most played games in the world in recent years.
A trip to Greece may be rather unconventional for a winter getaway, but November to February is actually the ideal season to take a trip to the normally bustling city of Athens.
Most of the tourists disappear during the winter months, meaning fewer queues for attractions like the Parthenon, and the average temperature drops to a mild 13C (55F).
Winter in Athens is truly the best time to explore the local culture of the city and absorb yourself in the centuries-old heritage of Greece.
Maybe it’s that ol’ Dickensian charm but London during the winter season is, quite simply, timeless.
Like most capital cities, winter sees fewer tourists flock to the Big Smoke, but that doesn’t mean the city scrimps on attractions and things to do.
From ice skating at Hampton Court to seeing the city from above on the London Eye, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained and in the festive spirit.
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Source: Unforgettable Winter Getaways