Winter Destinations In Europe: 10 Beautiful Places

What are the best winter destinations in Europe? From watching the aurora to strolling in the warm sun, here is a list of my favorite places to visit in Europe in winter to plan your dreamlike holiday.

Christmas Gingerbread.

The South Coast, Iceland

Viewing the Northern lights is one of the most exciting things the South Coast region of Iceland offers.

The Aurora usually lasts a few minutes to several hours at each appearance. It’s depicted as “an artistic performance” by the perfect combination of light streams on the horizon.

Watching aurora is one of the best things to do in Iceland in winter.
Watching the aurora is one of the best things to do in winter in Europe.

Usually, the aurora occurs on clear and cold nights. To capture shimmering photos, choose places with less light pollution, wear warm enough and prepare protective gear.

Some of the highlights and dreams of tourists and photographers for aurora hunting include Mount Kirkjufell, Mount Vestrahorn, and the Jökulsárlón Glacier.

Travel tips

Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg (Nürnberg) is a Christmas market that has been around since the 1500s.

It’s considered one of the best Christmas markets in Germany and is constantly ranked as the top winter vacation spot for families.

It’s hard to beat the shimmer of holiday lights in a medieval town, especially under the light December snow in this market.

Handwerkerhof Nürnberg in Germany.
Handwerkerhof Nürnberg is a lovely Medieval shopping area in Nuremberg, Germany.

Here, more than a hundred stalls sell everything from famous local decorations to traditional Lebkuchen gingerbread against a backdrop of historic buildings.

After shopping, you can catch a concert at Lorenzkirche church or stroll the cobbled streets to the grounds of Nuremberg Castle, then visit the city’s toy museum to learn about the centuries-old tradition of making wooden toys.

Santa Claus in Christmas market.
Nuremberg Christmas market is a popular Europe winter destination.

Travel tips

Hallstatt, Austria

The ancient town of Hallstatt, a wonderland in poetic Austria, is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

In winter, the ancient village of Hallstatt (more than 7,000 years old) is covered with fairy-tale snow.

Despite the cold, no visitor wants to miss a stroll in thick, warm winter coats through the courtyards of Melk Abbey and then between the graceful colonnades of Augustins.

Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful winter destinations in Europe.

You can also explore the world’s oldest Hallstatt salt mines, find the snow-capped Hallstatt Skywalk like an arrow of the Ice Goddess, and see the mirage Alps in the winter fog.

Time seemed to stop, and everything lived so slowly, peacefully, with each scene dragged through the silent oak window arch. 

Travel tips

Budapest, Hungary

Hungary’s capital is lively in winter, with a beauty that blends the antiquity of 19th-century Central European architectural masterpieces with modern architecture. 

Budapest is one of the best winter destinations in Europe.

Relaxing in one of Budapest’s hot thermal baths is a wonderful winter experience. Soaking in hot springs can help you reduce stress and create a sense of serenity.

Rudas and Széchenyi Thermal Bath are my two favorite thermal baths in Budapest. Built in the middle ages during Ottoman rule, Rudas still retains its ancient architecture.

Rudas thermal bath in Budapest, Hungary.
Rudas is one of the most popular thermal baths in Budapest, Hungary.

On the other hand, Széchenyi Thermal Bath was built in 1913 and has a modern look with palace-like architecture. It’s one of the biggest natural hot spring spa baths in Europe, with its fifteen indoor baths and three outdoor pools.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath is one of Europe’s largest thermal bath complexes.

Also, you should not ignore the beautiful and prominent Christmas market in the central square of Pest’s old town named Vörösmarty, or the Christmas market located in front of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Stephen’s Basilica.

From the beginning of November, many stalls offer sweets, delicious wines, city specialties or Hungarian “national soul” fish soup, and handmade souvenirs.

Christmas market in Budapest, Hungary.
Visiting the Christmas market is an amazing thing to do in Budapest in winter.

You can also join evening cruises to enjoy sights like the Hungarian Parliament building built in 1902 and Buda Castle.

Travel tips

Canary Islands, Spain

With a great climate and temperatures from 25 to 28 degrees Celsius, the Canary Islands in Spain are known as the archipelago that never misses spring.

Tourists come here most often in winter to avoid the cold snow.

Tenerife is one of the largest of the Canary Islands. This place is known as “eternal autumn” thanks to its romantic beauty as if stepping into a fairyland.

Tenerife offers what it takes for a dream vacation: extreme sports or enjoying the fresh ocean breeze from its beautiful beaches, savoring unique local cuisine, and soaking up the sun.

Guide to renting a car in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Travel tips

Seville, Spain

Surprisingly, there is no snow in Seville in winter.

If you come here, the warm rays of the sun shining on the awe-inspiring architecture will welcome you.

Things to do in Seville, Spain.

It would be a waste not to spend time relaxing on the vast grounds of Maria Luisa Park and exploring the gardens, lakes, monuments, and historic buildings.

Once the garden of the royal palace, this 34-hectare green space was gifted to the city by the eldest Princess María Luisa Fernanda upon her death in the late 19th century.

Also, don’t forget to visit the famous Plaza de España nearby and feel amazed by the artwork and architecture.

You also should visit the famous Royal Palace Alcazar, Cathedral, and Giralda Tower on your trip.

Plaza de España is one of the best places to visit in Seville, Spain.
Plaza de España is one of my favorite places in Seville, Spain.

Travel tips

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is another excellent place to visit in Europe in winter.

The beautiful scenery and slow pace of life will make you enjoy the best moments.

Lisbon Cathedral or the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is worth a visit, while Time Out Market Lisbon is excellent for fresh seafood. 

You can save money and get free admission to many attractions in Lisbon with Lisbon card.

On the next day, you should go to Belem tower – a must-see symbol in Lisbon.

After buying a ticket and 200 steps of climbing, you will have a panoramic view of the Tagus – an iconic river in Lisbon.

Belem Tower Lisbon Portugal.
Belem Tower is an iconic attraction in Lisbon, Portugal.

Travel tips

Lapland, Finland

Lapland is a European winter destination for those who love winter sports.

This place is also known as the hometown of Santa Claus, with magnificent natural scenery admired by many travelers.

Husky ride in Lapland, Finland.
Husky ride in Lapland, Finland.

Try driving a reindeer or do some husky riding yourself – one of the cultural icons of Finland. It gives you an experience you will never forget! Or try the Arctic people’s livelihood activities: ice fishing.

In the evening, you can grill fish and hunt for the aurora.

Looking up at the sky-high every time there is an aurora, you will see millions of shimmering rays as if being lost in a wonderland.

Lapland is a beautiful Europe winter vacation spot.

Prague, Czech Republic

You are lost in the perfect fairy world if you visit Prague in winter.

Everyone pours into the old town square, enjoys chimney cakes, and visits the Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas Church to pray.

bridge view in Prague, Czech Republic.

The following day, you should watch the sunrise on the Charles Bridge. Fresh breezes blew across the bridge, dispersing the mist from the statues’ stern faces.

Be careful when walking, because the stairs or seats are covered with snow, so It’s very slippery.

Despite the cold weather, you can go to the City of a Thousand Spires and warm up in pubs, cafes, and museums. Evening concerts offer plenty of things to do as the sun goes down.

Travel tips


If you like the ancient architecture of the Roman era, then come to the capital of Malta to visit this winter.

This place was also the filming location of the movie Game of Thrones.

In winter, malta is usually less cold and sunny, very suitable for taking pictures of old buildings and walking around the flea market.

Malta is a beautiful winter vacation spot in Europe.

FAQs about winter destinations in Europe

Is it a good idea to visit Europe in winter?

Yes, traveling to Europe in the winter is worthwhile. The cities are quiet and reasonably priced even though some attractions may be closed. Additionally, you can participate in winter activities.

What countries in Europe are warm in winter?

European countries are rarely a warm getaway in winter. However, some cities in Europe are warm in winters, such as the southernmost such as Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Malta, and Italy.

How to prepare for visiting Europe in winter?

A trip will be perfect if you are well-prepared. Here is a suggested list of essential things to prepare for your winter vacation in Europe: Medicine, warm clothes, gloves, boots, and protective gear for hiking and skiing. You should get travel insurance in case of unpredicted incidents.

Above are my European destinations to visit in winter. Wish you have a happy holiday with your loved ones!

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