It would be fair to say that winter breaks have soared in popularity over the past decade. While ski resorts often grab the (expensive) headlines, let’s not forget that there is plenty more charm through Europe when the temperatures plummet.
Granted, additional precautions travel insurance to cover Covid need to be taken, but if you are all set in that regard, here are five destinations that should most certainly be on your “to-go” list this winter.
Austria’s capital city, Vienna is a fantastic year-round destination. A winter trip to the Austrian capital will see you surrounded by some of Europe’s most beautiful architecture and art – as well as an impressive array of museums and galleries.
It would be wrong to think that this cosmopolitan city doesn’t have plenty going on in the colder months; far from it! Throughout December and January, you can enjoy Christmas markets galore, plus concerts held around St Stephen Cathedral (which incidentally looks stunning when lit up at night).
Although Copenhagen is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe when bathed in sunshine, it also has plenty to enjoy during winter months too – especially if you are an architecture or history buff! The historical Nyhavn district looks particularly lovely illuminated by Christmas lights and there’s often street entertainment to be enjoyed throughout December and January. A great way to get around this compact city is via bicycle; why not hire one for your stay? It’ll be cheaper than public transport anyway!
There’s something wonderfully charming about Belgium’s Bruges; the quiet, cobbled streets and quaint buildings are simply stunning. So, it should come as no surprise that this city is one of the most popular winter getaways in Europe. The “Venice of the North” (as it has been nicknamed) really does look like something out of a fairy tale during the cooler season too!
The markets are spectacularly atmospheric – there is even an ice rink on Market Square to be enjoyed if you fancy getting some exercise along with your foodie fix!
Poland’s Krakow is another fantastic destination when temperatures begin to drop; plus an important thing to remember is that everything will be very inexpensive.
One of the most popular attractions in this city is Wawel Castle; however if you fancy something slightly more chilling then head over to Auschwitz – yes, it’s an incredibly thought-provoking experience but also one that should not be missed.
The markets are great fun here too; there aren’t as many Christmas markets as some cities such as Prague or Vienna, but they’re still worth checking out. The Rynek Glowny hosts an eclectic mix of stalls where you can get your fill of souvenirs alongside traditional Polish delicacies like pierogi. If all else fails though, simply head down Ulica Floriańska which boasts hundreds of restaurants serving everything from pizza and pasta dishes through to seafood delights – the choice is endless.
Let’s finish with a city that you simply must visit at least once in your life. It’s an incredible destination for any time of year, but the winter months are arguably most impressive. The Northern Lights make a regular appearance throughout December and January and there is plenty more to see and do here too – from thermal baths through to ice caves, skiing or snowboarding (you can even go dog sledging if you fancy it!).