Uncovering 31 Best Winter Travel Destinations in Europe

The cold winter months don’t have to be a time of staying indoors. In fact, Europe offers some stunning winter travel destinations that are perfect for those looking for an unforgettable experience in the snow and ice.

From majestic mountain scenery and traditional Christmas markets to incredible scenery and cultural attractions, there’s something special about exploring Europe during the winter.

I. Best Winter Travel Destinations in Europe

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland

Krakow is an ideal destination for a winter getaway. The city’s famous Christmas markets are some of the best in Europe, with traditional decorations and local food specialties that will make your stay unforgettable.

The lively evening atmosphere of the markets is a great way to experience Krakow’s vibrant culture. You can find a wide array of handmade decorations and gifts, as well as traditional Polish delicacies such as pierogi and obwarzanek.

Of course, no Christmas market would be complete without hot drinks like mulled wine or hot chocolate. The festive atmosphere of Krakow’s winter markets makes it a prime destination for travelers looking for an unforgettable winter experience in Europe.

Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs to bring home or just want to soak up the holiday spirit, Krakow should not be missed!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is another great destination for a winter getaway. In the winter months, the city transforms into a stunning wonderland of snow and ice. The famous Charles Bridge is especially beautiful during this time of year, as its span turns into an ethereal canvas of light and color reflecting on the river.

During your stay in Prague, you can explore the city’s enchanting medieval streets and visit historical monuments such as Prague Castle or one of many charming churches.

Of course, no trip to Prague would be complete without experiencing some of its renowned Christmas markets. You can find stalls full of traditional decorations and gifts made by local artisans, plus plenty of hot drinks to keep you warm while wandering around the old town.

Another perfect winter destination in Europe.

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck in Austria is an amazing winter destination in Europe. With stunning mountain scenery and a variety of ski resorts, Innsbruck is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. The city also offers plenty of cultural attractions, such as the Imperial Palace or the Golden Roof, that you can explore during your stay.

You can also experience the festive atmosphere of the city’s many cafes and restaurants that serve up delicious Austrian dishes.

Whether you’re looking for an exciting adventure on the slopes or just want to soak up the holiday spirit, Innsbruck is a great choice for your next winter escape in Europe.

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg in Austria is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and it looks especially impressive during the winter months. With its baroque architecture, stunning mountain views, and a lively Christmas market that stretches along the banks of the Salzach River, Salzburg is an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience real-life European charm and beauty.

You can explore some of the city’s famous attractions, such as Schloss Mirabell or Mozart’s birthplace, while also indulging in some delicious traditional Austrian cuisine.

Make sure to add Salzburg to your bucket list!

Hallstad, Austria

Hallstad, Austria

Hallstad is a charming winter destination located at the foot of the Hallstatt Mountains. During the winter months, this picturesque village transforms into a magical snow-covered wonderland.

You can go skiing or snowboarding in the surrounding mountains and take part in other unique activities, such as horse-drawn sleigh rides or ice skating on one of its many frozen lakes.

The town also hosts several Christmas markets throughout December, where you can find traditional decorations and handmade gifts from local artisans.

Enjoying traditional Austrian dishes like dumplings or schnitzel with a mug of hot mulled wine is an essential part of any visit to Hallstad! It’s easy to see why this idyllic village is one of the most popular winter destinations in Europe.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi, Finland

This northern city is known as the home of Santa Claus and features some of the best winter activities in Europe. Here you can visit Santa’s post office, take pictures with him at his residence, view reindeer, explore the Christmas markets, and more.

Rovaniemi also offers some of the most stunning views in Europe – be sure to take a trip to the nearby Korouoma Canyon or the Arktikum Science Centre to get a glimpse of them. For those looking for outdoor activities during their stay, Rovaniemi has plenty of skiing opportunities around its many ski resorts.

With lots of activities for all ages and a truly festive atmosphere, Rovaniemi is a great destination for winter travelers in Europe.

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg in France is a great winter destination full of festive charm. From late November to early January, the city’s picturesque Christmas markets open, offering locals and visitors alike an opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind presents from talented artisans.

Another highlight is the Strasbourg Cathedral, one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Europe. A trip up to the top of the cathedral’s spire will reward you with breathtaking views of the city and nearby villages.

After admiring this historical building, be sure to try some traditional Alsace dishes such as flammekueche or choucroute garnie – they’re sure to warm your heart during those cold winter days!

Strasbourg is an ideal destination in Europe for winter travelers looking for a festive and magical experience.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt is a winter wonderland located at the base of the Matterhorn and surrounded by stunning mountain views. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other outdoor activities in the Alps, or take part in snowshoe walks through forests to admire the majestic mountains.

The town also has plenty of culinary delights – from traditional Swiss dishes such as fondue and raclette to international cuisine – all served with magnificent views of the Matterhorn.

For those looking for a break from winter sports, Zermatt offers many activities, such as visiting the local museums or taking an aerial tramway ride up to one of its highest peaks.

With its unforgettable scenery and unique atmosphere, Zermatt is an ideal destination for winter travelers.

Amsterdam, Nederland

Amsterdam, Nederland

Amsterdam, Netherlands, is an amazing winter destination! Though the city is known as a bustling capital of culture and art, there are plenty of activities to enjoy during the cold winter months.

One highlight not to be missed is skating on one of Amsterdam’s many frozen canals – it’s a truly unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in Europe! Additionally, explore some of its best museums, such as the Rijksmuseum or The Van Gogh Museum, to learn about Dutch history and culture.

If you’re looking for something more festive, don’t miss out on Amsterdam’s Christmas markets, where you can find handmade gifts and decorations along with festive treats like mulled wine.

This is undoubately one of the best winter destination in Europe!

Tallin, Estonia

Tallin, Estonia

Tallinn is a great winter destination for those looking to explore the magical side of Europe. Home to a charming old town as well as modern attractions like nightclubs and designer stores, it’s easy to find something for everyone here.

During your stay in Tallinn, be sure to check out the city’s iconic medieval walls or take a walk through the cobblestone alleys of the old town.

There are also plenty of things to do indoors – from visiting, museums and galleries to exploring cafes tucked away in cobbled alleys. And don’t forget about Christmas markets- you’ll find many of them around the city during the holiday season, offering delicious treats and festive decorations.

With its unique blend of old and new, Tallinn is an ideal destination for winter travelers.

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Norway, is a magical winter wonderland with stunning fjords and mountains as far as the eye can see. The city’s historic waterfront area has plenty of activities to enjoy during the colder months – from visiting one of its many museums to indulging in some of its famous seafood dishes.

One highlight not to be missed is taking a boat tour of Bergen’s beautiful fjords or going on a hike through one of its national parks. If you’re in the mood for something truly festive, then Bergen’s Christmas markets are certainly worth a visit.

You’ll find an array of handmade decorations and presents there, along with traditional Norwegian delicacies such as smoked salmon and reindeer sausage!

With so much to explore, see and experience here, it’s no a wonder why these wintery festivities draw in people year after year.

Zakopane, Poland.

Zakopane, Poland

Zakopane, Poland, is an ideal winter destination! Surrounded by picturesque snow-covered mountains and situated at the base of the Tatra Mountains National Park, Zakopane is truly a winter wonderland. Enjoy skiing and snowboarding on some of its best slopes or take part in a traditional sleigh ride through its stunning terrain – you won’t be disappointed!

When you’re done with winter sports, there are plenty of other things to do – from visiting the local restaurants and bars to shopping at the many handicraft stores and markets. Additionally, the city hosts an array of winter festivals throughout the season so that you won’t be missing out on any festivities.

With its majestic beauty and unique atmosphere, Zakopane is an ideal destination for winter travelers.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is an amazing winter destination! With breathtaking architecture, vibrant cultural activities, and plenty of sights to explore, there is never a dull moment in this magical city.

Take time to admire the beautiful skyline from the banks of the Danube river or visit one of Budapest’s many museums, such as the House of Terror and the Hungarian National Gallery.

In winter, the city is transformed into a festive wonderland. From outdoor ice-skating to traditional Christmas markets, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

For a truly magical experience, don’t miss out on the annual Festival of Lights or catch one of the many concerts and operas that take place during the season.

So make sure you include Budapest on your list of winter destinations.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Embark on an enchanting winter excursion to Edinburgh, Scotland! This desirable destination boasts stunning architecture, picturesque cobblestone streets in the old town, and plenty of activities and attractions to suit everyone’s age or interests.
During the winter season, visitors can enjoy a variety of festive events – from outdoor ice skating to traditional Christmas markets. The city’s famous Hogmanay celebration is a must-see and offers plenty of entertainment, from street performances to lively fireworks displays.

For those who prefer a more relaxed experience, there are plenty of cozy pubs offering warm drinks and delicious food. With so much to explore in this historic city, it’s no wonder why Edinburgh has become one of the most popular winter destinations in Europe.

London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

Experience the ultimate winter getaway in lovely London, United Kingdom! From ice-skating at Somerset House to shopping for Christmas presents in Oxford Street, there is no shortage of festive activities to enjoy here.

For a truly unique experience, don’t miss out on the various holiday markets taking place throughout the season – from traditional Christmas, markets to light shows and more!

The views of the city at night are simply breathtaking and offer a perfect backdrop for romantic evening strolls or long walks. Moreover, London boasts an array of world-class museums and galleries as well as popular tourist attractions such as Big Ben and Tower Bridge that can be enjoyed year-round.

With its myriad of attractions to explore during your winter escape, it’s no surprise why London is a top holiday destination during winter.

Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg, Germany

Head to Nuremberg, Germany, for a picturesque winter retreat that will leave you in awe!! This historic city is famous for its medieval old town and iconic castle that offers some of the most stunning views in Europe.

During the cold winter season, visitors can relish in a wide selection of festive activities – from gliding across an outdoor ice rink to exploring traditional Christmas markets.

Foodies will also be delighted to find an array of seasonal delicacies and local specialties on offer. With its romantic atmosphere, festive vibes, and plenty of attractions, Nuremberg is the perfect winter holiday destination in Europe.

Abisko, Sweden

Abisko, Sweden

Experience the best of winter in Abisko, Sweden! Nestled on the shore of Lake Torneträsk in Swedish Lapland, this charming destination promises plenty of winter activities and natural wonders to explore.

From skiing or snowshoeing through pristine forests to sledding and ice fishing, there is something for everyone here.

Take some time to admire the Aurora Borealis – one of nature’s most spectacular phenomenons – that can be seen from Abisko during the long winter nights. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to see reindeer roaming around freely or even glimpse a pack of Arctic wolves!

With its unique landscape and captivating natural beauty, Abisko is a must-visit winter destination in Europe.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Experience the magic of winter in Venice, Italy! From gondola rides through the city’s canals to strolling along its charming cobble streets, this destination promises plenty of romantic moments that will capture your heart.

Discover Venetian culture and history at some of its many attractions, such as St Mark’s Basilica or Doge’s Palace. During the festive season, visitors can attend the traditional Nativity scene exhibition and take part in various holiday activities like ice skating on Campo San Polo Square.

Don’t forget to sample some of Venice’s famous Italian dishes like risotto alla veneziana or enjoy warm drinks at one of its cozy cafes during your winter escape!

With so much to offer, Venice is an unforgettable winter destination in Europe.

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Experience the true winter wonderland in Zagreb, Croatia! This beautiful city comes alive during the winter season and offers a plethora of sights and experiences to explore. From its rich history to its vibrant culture, Zagreb will keep you entertained throughout your stay.

Take time to admire the stunning architecture of Upper Town or visit one of the popular museums like the Mimara Museum or the Croatian History Museum.

During the festive period, visitors can attend Christmas markets and festivals held throughout the city, indulge in traditional Croatian cuisine, or simply enjoy a stroll through Zagreb’s beautiful parks.

No matter what your preferences are, you’ll find plenty of activities to do in Zagreb during winter – making it an ideal destination for a holiday escape!

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Uncover the enchantment of Dublin with a winter holiday! This dazzling city is ideal for an unforgettable experience, boasting both a lively ambiance and countless tourist attractions. Make your way to Dublin this season and explore all this captivating destination has to offer. From visiting historical sites to exploring cozy pubs, there’s something for everyone here.

During the festive season, experience the traditional Christmas markets in Dublin’s main squares or take a stroll through St Stephen’s Green Park – an oasis of greenery located in the heart of the city.

Visit some of Dublin’s iconic landmarks, such as Trinity College Library or The General Post Office, and learn about Irish history and culture.

Don’t forget to try some of Ireland’s delicious local dishes like colcannon potatoes or Guinness stew while you’re here!

With its unique charm, Dublin is the perfect winter destination in Europe.

Lublana, Slovenia

Lublana, Slovenia

Discover the beauty of Lublana, Slovenia, with a winter escape! Located in the heart of Central Europe, this captivating city offers plenty of sights and activities to explore throughout the season. An unforgettable vacation awaits in Lublana—a city with awe-inspiring architecture, captivating culture, and breathtaking scenery.

Visit some of Lublana’s most popular attractions, such as Ljubljana Castle or Metelkova City – both offering spectacular views of this charming destination. Enjoy the festivities of the holiday season with your family while admiring amazing light installations in the city center or take part in traditional Christmas markets.

From delicious local cuisine and vibrant nightlife to its captivating natural beauty, Lublana is a must-visit winter destination in Europe.

Make sure to visit this beautiful city and experience all it has to offer!

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is a winter wonderland! This enchanting city is the perfect destination for a festive getaway. From its picturesque canals and cobbled lanes to its unique architecture and history, Bruges will charm you with its beauty.

Experience Bruges’ magical Christmas markets in Grote Markt or admire the magnificence of the Belfry Tower – one of the best-known attractions in Bruges. Take a boat ride on one of its many canals, sample some delicious Belgian chocolates, or simply stroll through the quaint streets while admiring this stunning destination.

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s something for everyone in Bruges during winter. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, making it an ideal destination for holidaymakers!

Lofted islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Experience the beauty of Norway with a winter escape to the Lofoten Islands! This breathtaking archipelago is an ideal holiday destination, boasting stunning landscapes and endless outdoor activities. Enjoy panoramic views of snow-covered mountains, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters, perfect for a peaceful getaway.

Take part in some of the exciting winter sports available on the islands, like skiing or snowboarding at one of its many resorts, or even try ice fishing – a traditional activity enjoyed by locals here.

There are also plenty of hiking trails winding through picturesque towns, making it easy to explore this area’s unique culture and history.

Discover all that Lofoten has to offer during winter – from its idyllic nature to its vibrant culture. An unforgettable holiday awaits in this beautiful Scandinavian archipelago!

Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Experience the best of Italy in Milan with a winter escape! This vibrant city is the perfect destination for holidaymakers looking to explore its rich culture and history. Milan is the perfect destination for those looking to experience a city filled with both historical significance and fashionable sophistication.

Whether it be exploring its grand architecture or browsing through chic boutiques, Milan offers something unique for all visitors.

Explore some of the city’s most well-known attractions like Piazza del Duomo or visit The Last Supper – Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece housed in Santa Maria delle Grazie. Spend an evening at Teatro alla Scala or take a stroll through Parco Sempione; no matter what you’re looking for, there’s plenty to experience here during winter.

Make sure to savor some delicious Italian cuisine while in Milan too! Enjoy a traditional pizza or some mouth-watering pasta dishes at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Milan is an unforgettable destination for winter holidaymakers in Europe, and with its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine, it’s sure to make your trip special!

Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, Poland

Experience the beauty of Poland in Gdansk this winter! This charming port city is full of history, culture, and charm. From its old-town cobblestone streets to its beautiful waterfront, there’s something unique for everyone here.

Explore some of Gdansk’s historic landmarks like St Mary’s Basilica or the Golden Gate – two of the most impressive examples of Polish architecture you can find in Europe. You can also take a stroll through the old town and admire its colorful buildings or visit Long Market Square to experience traditional Christmas markets with excellent souvenirs.

Enjoy some delicious local cuisine while in Gdansk too! Dig into a plate of pierogi or enjoy some smoked fish from the waterfront, both popular dishes here. Don’t forget to try some liqueur made with honey and herbs for a unique taste you won’t find anywhere else.

Gdansk is an excellent winter destination for holidaymakers looking to explore Polish history and culture. With its stunning scenery, delicious food, and fascinating architecture, your trip here will be unforgettable!

Dresden, Germany

Dresden, Germany

Experience an unforgettable winter holiday in Dresden, Germany! This beautiful city is famous for its baroque architecture, magnificent art galleries, and breathtaking views of the Elbe River. Discover some of Dresden’s most iconic landmarks like the Frauenkirche or the Semperoper theatre – both remarkable examples of German architecture.

Visit Zwinger Palace to explore its impressive collection of artwork, or take a stroll through the picturesque Brühl’s Terrace for spectacular views of the city. Don’t forget to try some local delicacies while you’re here, too; indulge on sausages, roasted pork, and delicious pastries like Berliner donuts!

Dresden is the perfect destination for winter holidaymakers looking to explore German culture and history.

Chamonix, France

Chamonix, France

Chamonix is another amazing winter destination in Europe. With its breathtaking mountain scenery, stunning vistas, and an abundance of activities to enjoy, it’s the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Take a cable car up to Aiguille du Midi for some unforgettable views of the Alps, or visit Lac Blanc for incredible panoramas of Mont Blanc. Spend a day skiing on one of Europe’s longest runs or take a ski tour around some of the most beautiful areas in Chamonix Valley

After spending time outdoors, make sure to spend some time exploring Chamonix’s charming old-town area too. Visit Place Balmat – home to many quaint shops, restaurants, and cafes – or take a stroll down rue du Docteur Paccard for some great souvenirs.

Chamonix is an unforgettable winter destination for those looking to explore the French Alps.

Transylvania, Romania

Transylvania, Romania

This area of Romania is famous for its enchanting landscapes, breathtaking mountains and rich vampire folklore. There’s something unique to explore here in every corner.

Visit Sighișoara to experience its medieval cobblestone streets and exciting nightlife, or explore Biertan’s fortified church – a World Heritage Site full of fascinating history. Spend a day discovering Bran Castle, famously known as Dracula’s castle, or take a tour around some of the many beautiful caves located in Transylvania.

Don’t forget to try some traditional Romanian cuisine too! Dig into some sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), mămă ligă (cornmeal porridge), or some of the delicious local cheeses.

Transylvania is an incredible winter destination in Europe for anyone looking to explore the beauty and culture of Romania.

Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy

Nestled in the Brenta Dolomites, this picturesque ski resort is the perfect destination for adrenaline seekers and nature lovers alike. Ride cable cars to explore some of the 45km of trails and ski along charming alpine pathways, or take a chairlift up to Grostè peak for some incredible views.

For an alternative experience, take a trip to Lake Molveno and discover its hidden gems. For après ski, relax in one of the local bars and sample some delicious Italian cuisine or take a romantic stroll around town and admire its breathtaking scenery.

Madonna di Campiglio is an idyllic winter destination in Europe for those looking to experience Italy’s in unforgetable way!

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reyjikjavik, Iceland

Unlock the amazing beauty of Reykjavik in the winter season and bask in its splendor! This city is famous for its breathtaking natural landscape, exciting nightlife, and unique culture. Spend a day exploring one of the many magnificent glaciers, or take a trip to see some awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

Visit the iconic Hallgrímskirkja Church located near downtown Reykjavik, or take a walk around Tjörnin – a picturesque lake surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Take your taste buds on an adventure while you’re here and sample some of Iceland’s unique culinary delights, such as fresh seafood, rye bread, and skyr yoghurt. You won’t want to miss out!

For those eager to explore the unique culture and breathtaking scenery of Iceland, Reykjavik offers an unmatched winter wonderland unlike anywhere else in Europe!

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

Immerse yourself in Munich’s spectacular beauty and thrilling culture! This city is known for its rich history, delicious beer halls, and exciting nightlife. Embark on an unforgettable journey throughout Munich and explore its iconic attractions, such as the captivating Marienplatz or Viktualenmarkt, or marvel at Englischer Garten – one of Europe’s biggest urban parks.

For those looking to experience the unique Beer Halls scene in Munich, make sure to visit Hofbräuhaus am Platzl or Augustiner-Keller-Bräustuben. Sample some delicious Bavarian cuisine while you’re here, and don’t forget to try a traditional Weissbier too!

Whether you’re drawn to Germany’s captivating culture or awe-inspiring beauty, Munich should be your top pick for winter destinations in Europe.

II. Reason to Visit Europe in Winter

  • Spectacular Mountain Views and Skiing in the Alps
  • Christmas Shopping and Festivals in Germany
  • Magical Ice Castles and Snowy Forests in Finland
  • Idyllic Villages and Ski Resorts in Austria
  • Cozy Winter Retreat in Switzerland

III. Tips for Planning a Winter Trip to Europe

  • Research the Weather: The weather in Europe can be unpredictable, so make sure to research your destination’s temperature and precipitation before you go. Winter temperatures vary from place to place, so it’s important to pack appropriately for the climate you’ll encounter.

  • Take Advantage of Winter Events. There are lots of winter festivals and events all over Europe that are worth exploring during your trip. From Christmas markets and New Year’s Eve celebration to local cultural performances and more, there are plenty of entertaining activities available throughout the continent during the winter season.

  • Dress Warmly: Even though some parts of Europe have warmer climates than others, it’s important to dress warmly when you travel during the winter months. Make sure to pack plenty of layers and always carry a warm scarf as well as comfortable waterproof boots.

Bartosz is a travel writer, photographer & founder/editor of theuniquepoland who tells stories of adventure, history and current affairs. He writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Poland. He loves travelling, discover new unknown and inspire others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *