Best European Cities to Visit in Winter

Best European Cities to Visit in Winter

When it comes to traveling across Asia and India, then winter is considered the best time for travel. The weather is nice though it is cold still the days are sunny and perfect for outdoors. But when it comes to traveling to Europe, it seems summer is the best time to travel. At least people from my country travel to Europe in summers. I know we travel to some places in Asia and India in summers, it is hot but nice. So I was curious to know how it is traveling to Europe in winters. I asked some of my fellow female bloggers, what they think about Europe travel in winters and which are the best European cities to visit in winter.

Read about 20 Beautiful places in India.

These are some of the best European cities to visit in winters according to travelers from Europe –

Tasha Oyster from Tasha Oyster’s Favorite European city is Bruges in Belgium. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Bruges is a small, medieval city which will capture your heart. With Christmas markets filling the streets, hot chocolates spilling out of cafes and wooden chalet-style stalls serving typical Belgian waffled, what more of a reason could you need for visiting Bruges in the winter? A couple of years ago, I surprised my boyfriend with a birthday trip there. We’d always wanted to visit a Christmas market abroad together so this seemed like the perfect place. As soon as we arrived, we were charmed by the atmosphere and quaint streets. The city was filled with Christmas trees, reefs and fairy lights. It was basically a winter wonderland.

Each year, there are a couple of Christmas markets in Bruges, the main one being on Market Square which boasts stalls with food and drink in abundance, all surrounding a gleaming ice rink. Bruges is famous for lace-making and this is apparent when shopping in the markets. You can buy dainty little arts and crafts and there are also plenty of knitted scarves to keep you warm!

There’s more to do than just explore the Christmas markets there though. One word: chocolate. With every corner you turn, you’re bound to stumble upon an impressive chocolate shop. There’s even a chocolate museum to visit! The evenings tend to be quieter in Bruges with all the day trippers making their way home. It’s the ideal place for a winter stroll. You can wander along the canals, enjoy a feast in one of the many restaurants and sip some mulled wine along the way.Bruges

Clare Dewey from Epic Road Rides‘ favorite European city is Nice in France. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Nice, on France’s Côte d’Azur is a glamorous, opulent place. Its elegant architecture curves its way round Bay of Angels, and the city is full of museums, art galleries, and superb parks.
Nice is a vibrant, authentic city that hums with energy. It’s bordered on one side by the azure Mediterranean, to the east is Monaco, to the west is Cannes while inland is craggy mountains and deep cavernous valleys.

It’s a treat to visit at any time of year, but if we had to choose between summer and winter, we’d take winter every time. In summer, it all gets just a bit too busy: the roads are jammed with traffic and the city swelters. In winter the city comes into a league of its own. Temperatures generally mean that eating lunch outside should be perfectly feasible, but you’ll want to be inside for dinner.

The city has been a winter escape for generations of aristocrats and was said to be Queen Victoria’s favorite winter abode. Nice and the French Riviera have also been home to the world’s greatest modern artists: the likes of Picasso, Matisse, and Van Gogh. In Nice, you’ll find the Musée Matisse, housed in a gorgeous red-ochre villa, as well as Musée Marc Chagall which will allow you to see a full range of the Russian artist’s work.

For anyone that loves to cycle, the mountains that sit inland, just a handful of kilometers from the coast, offer world-class riding in the shape of the Col de la Madone, Col de Vence, Col de Braus and plenty more! They’re hugely popular with pro riders and plenty of teams have bases here.Nice in France

Ellis Veen from Backpack Adventures’s favorite European city is Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Follow her on Instagram

I never considered visiting Sarajevo in winter, even though it is one of my favorite cities in Europe. Winters can get cold here and heavy snowfall is not uncommon. However, my boyfriend is from Bosnia and convinced me to come with him.
Sarajevo in winter is a totally different experience. With fewer tourists, it is more peaceful and quiet and the snow that I dreaded turns Sarajevo into a winter wonderland. The old town is full of cozy teahouses and restaurants where you can warm up with huge mugs of delicious herbal teas while watching the snow fall outside.

Sarajevo is surrounded by hills and once the snow disappears in the city it is still visible in the mountains. Bjelasnica and Jahorina make great day trips in the winter, especially if you like winter sports. Once the main centers for the Winter Olympics in 1984 they are now ski resorts where local people come to have fun in the snow.

From the old town in Sarajevo, it is also possible to hike up the hills to the yellow fortress and enjoy the view over the city. With the snow, the views are even better than in summer. One last reason Sarajevo is a great destination in winter is its museums where you can learn more about Bosnia’s history and the civil war. Sarajevo makes a great city to visit, even more so in winter.

Cristina Puscas from Looknwalk Greece favorite European city is Athens in Greece. Follow her on Facebook  and Twitter

For most of the time I live in a temperate climate city (with some blissful Mediterranean influences). And that means we may get snow and we certainly get below freezing temperatures. As I grow older, I cannot stand the cold anymore, so I make it a habit to visit (and live) in warmer cities. Enter: Athens, Greece.

While Greece’s capital may get snow and below freezing temps, this is not that common and most of “cold season” can be spent weather a fall/spring jacket.
Unless you visit during Christmas or New Years, airfare and accommodation are dirt cheap. In early December, a night an apartment will set you back € 19 for two adults (private bathroom, near the National Archaeological Museum, via Booking.com). Airfare from London, for the same time frame, sets you back € 124 return per person (includes hand luggage on low-cost carrier). Packing your bags yet?

Greece is seasonal, and most activities are limited during winter. However, if you fancy checking out restaurants, clubs, concerts, or want to try dancing the tango, winter is the time to come to Athens!

The archeological sites are also open, of course, but the opening hours are much shorter than during the travel season. Make sure to do some research before you make any plans.
What I love about Athens during winter is the lack of crowds. You can take photos without fighting for a good shot, you can enjoy the vibe of the city as locals enjoy it, and you will most certainly fall in love!Athens in Greece

Kris from Nomad By Trade’s favorite European city is Vienna in Austria. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Vienna is worth a wintertime visit just to experience its amazing Christmas market in front of the city hall. In addition to beautiful decorations throughout the Austrian capital, the area in front of City Hall comes alive with booths selling souvenirs, Christmas gifts, and drool-worthy food, while twinkling lights give the already beautiful backdrop an even prettier appearance.

Don’t forget to try some of the gluhwein – the traditional mulled wine drink served at the Christmas markets. It’s served in a festive mug designed for that year’s market and is exactly what you need to keep warm while shopping outdoors.

The main market in Vienna also features an ice skating area with skate rentals and lockers. I’ve never had so much fun skating before, as whizzing through the maze of curving pathways was way more fun than the usual open skate where you just go around an oval over and over again.Vienna in Austria

Zoe from Together In Transit’s favorite European city is Rotterdamin Netherlands. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

I believe Rotterdam is a perfect city location for winter for the many activities and cozy locations you can explore. It does get cold, but then it becomes even more perfect to skate at the ice rink below the Euromast skyline tower. Or if you are lucky, to skate on the natural lakes and rivers like at the Kralingse Bos Park.
There is a wide variety of museums to explore to keep you warm. Museums like the Kunsthal Rotterdam, Maritime Museum, Boijmans Van Beuningen and Netherlands Photo Museum are at the top to visit. All with different expositions and not at all overpriced.

Spend a morning at one before heading to lunch at a cozy place to eat in the city center. Some recommendations include Rotown, Jamie’s Diner and Jarmarsh. To top it all off, visit Suicide Club for a cocktail on the rooftop with amazing views over Rotterdam Central Station.
Rotterdam is the largest port harbor in Europe, so there’s always something happening on the River Maas. Take a harbor tour with a Spido cruise. Or stay in the city and join a walking tour to explore places like the Markthal and the famous Cubic Houses.

Whats unique about Rotterdam is that more than 90% of the buildings in the city center are less than 80 years old. This was due to the Germans bombing the city during WW2, leaving the city to rebuild into a unique architecture-focused city. So there’s a big difference to cities like Amsterdam, Delft or Utrecht.Cubic houses in Rotterdam

Sarah Vanheel from CosmopoliClan’s favorite European city is Three Cities Malta. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

While big sister Valletta shines brightly as the European Capital of Culture 2018, the Three Cities manage to keep their authentic charm a well-kept secret. The cities were part of the historical Cottonera lines, a defense system protecting the economic heart of Malta, its Grand Harbour. Vittoriosa, Cospicua, and Senglea or, as originally named, respectively Birgu, Bormla, and Isla, are just a 5-minute water taxi ride away from Valletta.

When crossing the Grand Harbour, you’ll be welcomed by the most stunning views of Fort Sant Angelo, at the tip of Vittoriosa (Birgu) and Gardjola Gardens, at the tip of Senglea (Isla), before mooring in Cospicua (Bormla). Each of the Three Cities has its own personality but they all breathe authenticity. Vittoriosa is our favorite of the three because of its gorgeous marina and the maze of immaculately restored narrow streets. It’s the kind of city where you can still have a drink in a hole-in-the-wall cafe in the company of locals.

This city used to be the capital of Malta before Valletta took over and many historical buildings still reflect that grandeur, such as the Fort Saint Angelo and Inquisitor Palace. Also, Saint Michael Bastion in Senglea is pretty impressive. The interior of these buildings is often just as intriguing, both from an architectural point of view as for the collections on display. But don’t spend all your time indoors. Three Cities Malta is an excellent winter destination thanks to its mild temperatures and low chance of rain.

If you’re looking to escape the cold winter days and have a taste of early spring, then this is definitely your go-to destination. You won’t have to share Three Cities with many other tourists either: the ones that do visit Malta in winter will be overrunning Valletta. It’s just you, a bright winter sun and a whole lot of authenticity waiting to be explored.Three Cities Malta - Vittoriosa Birgu - marina

Carrie Camp from Maple & Maps’s favorite European city is Dublin in Ireland. Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

Despite having short days and frequently dreary weather, Dublin is a fantastic destination for a winter getaway in Europe. Rain or shine, the Irish capital is a lively city with plenty of attractions to interest travelers. Best of all, it’s fairly compact and easy to navigate on foot.

If the sun comes out, take a walk through St. Stephen’s Green, a well-manicured urban park that remains beautiful year-round. Then stroll down Grafton Street, a popular, pedestrian-only shopping district. The area is a hotspot for street performers, so it’s worth a visit even if you’re not an avid shopper. Many of Ireland’s greatest musicians, including Glen Hansard, got their start by busking on Grafton Street.

Not blessed with great weather? Spend the day checking out Dublin’s world-class indoor attractions. Visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a must on any trip to Dublin. Entering the cathedral, which was founded in 1191, is like stepping back in time hundreds of years. Then head to Trinity College, the oldest college in Ireland. If you’re a book nerd, make a beeline to the Trinity College Library and drool over the countless shelves of first-edition books. The library’s crowning jewel is the Book of Kells, an ancient, beautifully illustrated copy of the Gospels dating to the 9th century.

Of course, there is no better way to warm up on a cold winter’s evening than by stepping into an Irish pub. The most famous pub in Dublin is The Temple Bar, which is a fire engine red and typically bustling with activity. But any pub will do. Dig into some lamb stew or fish and chips and enjoy the lively atmosphere. You will forget about your frozen toes in no time!Dublin in Ireland

Taryn from Happiest Outdoors’s favorite European city is Reykjavik in Iceland. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

In Iceland, the cold, short days and snow of a subarctic winter are a regular part of life. That makes Reykjavik, the capital city, a great place for a winter visit since its attractions are open all year. It’s a fairly small city of just 125,000 people. It has a compact downtown core so it is easy to walk around to see the sights, even in cold weather. Reykjavik has some stunning architecture – be sure to check out Hallgrimskirkja church and Harpa concert hall.

One of the main draws is Reykjavik’s vibrant arts and culture. There is a thriving music scene with concerts almost every day. And if you’re into dancing and drinking all night, Reykjavik has tons of nightclubs that stay open into the wee hours. Museums are also plentiful and cover a wide range of topics from Viking history to art to penises. Yes, that’s right. Reykjavik is home to the Icelandic Phallological Museum!

Iceland is also famous for its beautiful landscapes. In winter, they’re carpeted in snow and if you’re lucky, the northern lights dance overhead. If you head out of Reykjavik on a day trip, it’s easy to rent a car with winter tires or book a bus tour. The most popular destination is the Golden Circle a few hours inland where you can see Gullfoss waterfall dripping with icicles.

No trip to Iceland would be complete without a dip in their famous hot springs. Winter is the best time to visit the hot springs. It’s pretty magical to sit in toasty hot water up to your neck while snow falls around you. There are two hot springs near Reykjavik: the famous Blue Lagoon near the airport in Keflavik and the Secret Lagoon in the Golden Circle. However, if you want a more budget option, just do as the locals do… go sit in the outdoor hot tubs at the public swimming pool!Reykjavik in Iceland

Sanne van den Berg from Veni Vidi’s favorite European city is Rome in Italy. Foollow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Rome is beautiful every single day of the year. However, it especially is a great winter destination. The climate in Rome is very mild during the winter. Snow is rare, but if you do happen to encounter the Colosseum in the snow, that’s a once in a lifetime experience. When I visited Rome in December it was around 15 degrees Celsius. This was the perfect weather to explore the city and it was certainly not too cold for Italian ice cream!

Moreover, Rome has something to offer for every weather type. When it’s dry and sunny, you can explore all outdoor attractions, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Stairs, and of course the Trevi Fountain.

If you visit the Eternal City in the rain, there are loads of world-renowned museums that will keep you busy all day. One of them is obviously the Vatican Museums and its famous Sistine Chapel. However, there are several other museums in Rome that you shouldn’t miss, such as the Capitoline Museums on the Capitoline Hill next to the Roman Forum and the Galleria Borghese in the Villa Borghese park. Note: even though I visited the Galleria Borghese in December, I still booked my ticket online beforehand. Only a few people at a time can enter this famous gallery with statues by Bernini.

During the winter months, Rome will generally be less busy with tourists than during the summer, but it won’t be less stunning (although you still shouldn’t expect a picture of you at the Trevi Fountain without any other people on it).Rome In Italy

Greta Omoboni from Greta’s Travels favorite European city is Barcelona in Spain

If you’re looking for the perfect European getaway this winter you need to add Barcelona to your bucket list. In Barcelona, you will find amazing food, friendly locals and warm weather also in winter. I visited Barcelona in February and was surprised that you could walk around just in jeans and a light jacket.

Barcelona won’t be a winter wonderland kind of destination; it will be an escape from the winter cold. On days with colder or rainier weather, you can discover Barcelona’s history such as Casa Battlò, the Sagrada Familia, and the Barcelona Cathedral.

Whilst on warmer days you can try to spend more time outside and visit beautiful parks such as Bunkers del Carmel, where you can enjoy a sangria and picnic with the locals while watching the sunset over Barcelona.Barcelona in Spain

Molly from Piccavey’s favorite European city is Andalusia in Spain. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Granada is a beautiful city in Southern Spain, located in Andalusia. On one side of this historic city, you have the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Enjoy winter sports in this Spanish ski resort from November until end of April.
Situated 35 minutes by car from the city, it makes a good option for those wanting to mix skiing or snowboarding with a historic break.

The city itself is home to the Alhambra Palace. A UNESCO World Heritage site and enthralling monument of medieval palaces from the period of Al Andalus. The Nasrid Palace is the jewel in the crown. With intricate plasterwork, babbling fountains and stunning architectural details. This setting recreates tales of Arabian Nights as you wander through its grounds.

As well as a rich history Granada also has some fabulous gastronomy. With free tapas offered with each drink, although this is not the most typical of the cuisine of the region. Taste ultra fresh zero-mile food from Granada province. With local avocados and tropical fruit from the coast and little-known wine producers to discover. The city is brimming with delicious bites to experience when you visit.
World award-winning cheese and local olive oil or cured Serrano ham will make your taste buds buzz. Discover more about the typical dishes and how locals eat on the Taste of Granada tour by Spain Food Sherpas. They offer an authentic experience in small groups every day.

Granada also has beautiful labyrinthine streets in the Albaicin quarter. The Sacromonte district with its rabbit’s ear cactus and gypsy caves is another part of the city which enchants visitors.Piccavey Granada Spain

Sarah and Justin from Travel Breathe Repeat’s favorite European city is Berlin in Germany. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

The first time we stepped foot in Berlin it was New Year’s Eve. It had snowed and was bitterly cold. Having packed poorly, we didn’t have boots so our feet were wet pretty much the whole time. But we fell in love… with the city, with travel, and even a little bit more with each other. Since then, we’ve been back to Berlin five times at different times of year and in all different types of weather. And though we did thoroughly enjoy our summer trip to Berlin, wintertime definitely wins out. Here’s why we think Berlin is one of the best European cities to visit in winter.

To be honest, Berlin isn’t the prettiest city, but a dusting of snow turns up the charm and lends the city a little romance. It’s an incredibly easy city to get around using its highly efficient public transportation system, which is very useful during winter when the weather can be unpredictable. There is so much history and culture and art to see and learn about in Berlin, and during the warmer months, you might feel bad spending so much time inside. But in winter, you’ll need an excuse to warm up! Berlin’s museums are so top-notch – and there are so many of them – you’ll truly treasure all that time inside.

Another great way to spend a winter night in Berlin is at an Eisbären Berlin ice hockey game. The fans sing throughout and it’s a really fun and lively atmosphere. But of course, the best reason to visit Berlin in winter is the Christmas Markets. We strongly recommend visiting in December when they are in full swing. There are a seemingly endless number of Christmas Markets all throughout the city. Each has their own theme and feel and special tasty treats. So you can get to know the different neighborhoods better while enjoying all the German holiday merriment and most importantly staying warm with Glühwein.Berlin in Germany

Shelley from Travel Stained’s favorite European city is Venice in Italy. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

There are few places on earth that elicit reactions from visitors as strongly as Venice, Italy. With good reason. It’s an improbable city built completely on water, shrouded in mist, and impossibly romantic, with the sound of singing gondoliers as its soundtrack.
Well… at least in the movies.

In reality, it’s overrun with tourists, smelly and overpriced. And that gondola ride along Venice’s famous canals? It’ll cost you a pretty penny, and the gondolier sure won’t sing (it’s illegal for them to do so). You’ll still fall in love with it though. After all, it’s hard to truly hate a place as rare as Bella Venezia, even if your experience as a traveler might be lacking.

I’ve had the good fortune of visiting the Italian City of Bridges multiple times, in multiple seasons, and I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Venice in winter is amazing. There’s far fewer tourists, no unseemly cruise ships parked nearby to ruin the vibe, and enough elbow room to get your pics in iconic locations like Rialto Bridge. I’d even say that the poor jaded Italians that deal with gazillions of tourists day after day are just a little bit nicer and friendlier.
Time your winter visit for Carnevale, and you’ll be richly rewarded. Venice truly becomes a “City of Masks,” with mysterious figures in incredibly ornate costumes and glamorous disguises wandering the streets.

What started as a way of dealing with the restrictions of Lent, is today, a huge 2 week-long party in the squares and streets of Venice. And while the extravagant masquerade balls are expensive and require invitations, the candle-lit boat parades, concerts, and street performances are free and open to everyone to enjoy.Venice in Italy

Baia from Red Fedora Diary’s favorite European city is Prague in Czech Republic. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook

Czechia’s capital Prague is a beautiful place no matter the season and time of the year. However, it’s even beautiful in winter, when the whole city is covered in a thick snow. Winter here starts from the end of November and lasts until February. Weather temperature easily goes down to -2C, moreover, winter here is quite crisp, so you need to bundle up in gloves, warm scarf, and a hat.

Unfortunately, the day here is short, the sun rises at and gets dark from 4 p.m. This could be discouraging for many, but if you plan your itinerary well, you’ll be able to see most of the sites in a daylight. Visit some of its magnificent museums later in the afternoon, such as Moukha, National Gallery, Kafka, Salvador Dali, or Medieval Sex Machine Museum.

Make sure to pack warm clothes and a jacket as you will be spending most of your time outdoors exploring its old town, Prague Castle, Jewish quarter, and many small cobblestone streets. To enjoy panoramic views of the snow-covered old town, go up in a tower of Astronomical Clock and overlook the area. It’s even more beautiful at night when the city is illuminated by lights.

Another great spot for such views is one of the towers of Charles Bridge. And if you manage to visit Prague in December, you can stroll down different stalls of Christmas Market with a cup of glue wine or grog and eat Tridelnik, local spiral-shaped pastry baked on the coal and dipped in the mixture of sugar and cinnamon.Prague in Czech Republic

Which are your favorite European cities to visit in winter ??

Also read Most Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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