Winter already started in Europe so if you want to plan a vacation, this is the right time to start. There are various different wonderful winder destinations you can enjoy in the continent. Some are really quiet while others are really busy. Some are filled with snow while others offer a hot retreat for those that do not really like low temperatures. If you want a real adventure you can even start a train travel trip as Europe’s network lets you easily explore numerous countries at a leisure pace.
Although winter in Europe can be enjoyed in various different destinations, here are some you do want to consider.
Rovaniemi – Finland
If you love Christmas clichés you are going to simply adore Rovaniemi. This is where Santa Claus “officially” resides. If you want to have a truly Christmas tradition based vacation, it is the perfect place to visit. This place is close to the Arctic Circle and you can visit Santa Claus for free, at his home. You will surely love all the reindeer and the snow surrounding you and if you visit, be sure that you visit the beautiful Arktikum museum. It offers so much inside information about life in the area. Always pack some really warm winter clothes since the temperature is really low.
Austria & Germany – Incredible Christmas Markets
In December there are numerous romantic historic markets that pop up in these countries. The same can be said about different other central European nations but Germany and Austria are the top options. Cute stalls will welcome you and you can buy basically anything from sleigh bells to gingerbread. There are different famous markets you will want to visit in Munich, Vienna and Cologne.
Athens – Greece
If you want to visit Athens and get rid of the crowds, winter is most likely the best choice since summer stresses like heat that is too intense, air pollution, queues, tourist pricing and crowding tend to disappear. You can easily explore ancient heritage sites of the country and experience all the local culture without being bothered by others. Always consider island hopping too, although research is needed as various accommodations are closed during winter.
Abisko – Sweden
If you love riding a train, this is the far north part of Europe you can reach. Lapland’s Abisko is perfect for those that really love winter. Sun will nor rise for a large number of weeks during January and December but darkness makes this a perfect place to see the aurora borealis. Besides this, you will be able to enjoy other winter activities like cross country skiing or husky mushing. Make sure you visit the Icehotel in Kiruna.
Budapest – Hungary
In Budapest, Hungary, you can often see hand in hand skating with couples. The Varosligeti Mujegpalya central park is a wonderful destination just for that due to the huge outdoor skating rink present there. If you feel too chilly after, consider the ornate thermal baths of the city. Ruin pubs have to be considered during the night as this is a drinking venue that is atmospheric and artfully created in a building that was once abandoned.
Transylvania – Romania
Most people that visit Dracula’s castle both during the winter and during summer will tell you that it is much more majestic during winter. This is because of snow, bare trees and steel-grey skies. Sighisoara and Brasov are just 2 hours apart and there are many different beautiful medieval towns you can visit, all having connections to emperor Vlad Tepes, who was the inspiration behind Dracula. Even if he most likely did not live here for a single day and Bram Stoker never actually visited the country, you will feel the atmosphere.
Jasna – Slovakia
Last but not least, in Slovakia you can find world-class skiing at prices that are highly affordable. Food and accommodation will not cost much and the locals are really friendly. Jasna stands out as the best resort in Slovakia, with descents being long and flanked by snow filled trees, all in the scenic Tatras Mountains. Just be sure you do not fly directly to Slovakia because of the fact that everything will be much pricier. Some other way to get into the country is always recommended to save money.