10 Best European cities to visit in winter
Winter is coming, if it hasn’t already reached you, but that doesn’t mean that your travels are finished for the year, because there are still plenty of fabulous European cities to visit that are great all year round. Here are ten great cities in Europe to visit this winter, and the off-season prices are great too!
1. Athens, Greece
If you have never visited Athens, then winter can be the best time to go. The incredible array of ancient monuments is still there, but the annoying crowds and the stifling heat have gone!
2. Abisko, Sweden
For a real taste of a European winter, Abisko cannot be beaten. This Swedish town is about as far north in Europe that you can get by train and from here you can get an amazing view of the Northern Lights. There is also plenty of skiing, dog sledding, or check out the world’s first ever ice hotel in the nearby town of Kiruna.
3. Transylvania, Romania
Best European cities to visit in winter also include Transylvania. Visiting the home of Count Dracula just wouldn’t feel right on a warm summer’s day, so why not to take a trip to Transylvania midwinter and feel a real chill in your blood! It’s not only home to the blood sucking fiend, you can also explore the country’s rich history through its many historic castles and cathedrals and enjoy some of its many country parks and ski resorts.
4. Edinburgh, Scotland
Home of haggis and kilts, Scotland has a huge heritage to keep any visitor enthralled. Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is one of Europe’s oldest cities and has enchanting winding streets, plenty of shopping and the world famous Edinburgh Castle. There are also plenty of welcoming local pubs to warm up in too.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
Another one of best European cities to visit in winter is Copenhagen. The fairy-tale home of Hans Christian Anderson is even better in the winter than in the summer. The locals specialise in a tradition known as ‘hygge’, or cosiness, which basically means relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate, while the cold winter blows outside. A fantastic way to unwind!
6. Granada, Spain
You may struggle to find a beach holiday in Europe in the winter, but it’s not all snow and ice! One city where you will find a warm welcome and a warmer climate is Granada in Spain. There is plenty of skiing, if that’s what you are looking for, but it will also be warm enough to explore this fabulous city, without shivering too.
7. Venice, Italy
One of the major European tourist attractions in the winter is the Carnival of Venice. Beautiful, haunting and some say plain weird, the carnival is an annual event where participants wear elaborate masks to attend organised events or just join in the many free street events. With or without the carnival, Venice is still a great cultural city to visit and is a lot less busy in the winter months.
8. Reykjavik, Iceland
Fancy taking a dip in the warm waters of an outdoor geothermal pool, while the snow falls around you? Well, that’s just one of the amazing attractions that you will find in the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik. There is also the incredible winter lights festival in February and a whole host of winter sports to enjoy, as well as restaurants and museums are great to visit in Reykjavik as well. A word of warning though, it is one of Europe’s coldest cities, so wrap up warm!
9. Moscow, Russia
The Cold War is long over and now, one of Europe’s most historic cities, Moscow, is open and welcoming to visitors from all around the world. Visit the famous sites of Red Square, the Kremlin and Lenin’s tomb, as well as the beautiful St. Basil’s Cathedral. Winters can be harsh in Moscow, but they can also be truly stunning to see.
There is never a bad time of year to visit Amsterdam, but the city is especially vibrant in the winter months. The city welcomes winter with lights in the streets, public ice skating and street vendors serving all kinds of foods and wares. This is the time that the locals enjoy their own city, so it’s a great time to see Amsterdam, as it really is, without all the annoying crowds.
What other European cities do you like to visit in winter?