26 Jan Winter Holidays in Europe: Which Cities should you visit?
Although most cities are great to visit during any month of the year, it is also true that some are more magical in winter time. The other great advantage of traveling during that period, if you are from a northern country, is that you can go away and catch the warmth of the sun, to get yourself re-energized. Below you will find a few different cities that are part of one of these two categories.
Traveling the Schengen Zone
Europe is one of the greatest regions of the world to visit, because it offers so many different environments and weather, at any time during the year. Even in the coldest months of winter, you can still go and warm up in the Canary Islands (Spain) or Sicily (Italy), where days are warmer than in the northern regions. It also means a large variety of activities, from skiing to sun bathing.
But before you head to Europe, you need to make sure to check on your visa (according to your citizenship) and get a Schengen travel health insurance, which will be needed for many countries. To simplify your search, you can check out AXA Schengen to find the right plan for you and the ones traveling along. Once that is done, you’ll be able to enter into Europe and enjoy your holidays peacefully.
Let’s start with cities where you will feel as if you have entered into a fairy tale. The colder months and the holiday season bring with them a special kind of atmosphere in certain countries. That is particularly true of the two destinations below.
Prague, Czech Republic
If you visit Prague in winter time, chances are you will fall in love with this city. Imagine the world of a dark fairy tale; that is what you will find in this beautiful city. As you walk around the streets of the old town, you will come to the center where you will discover a magnificent giant Christmas tree, and a Christmas market that has nothing to envy any other in the world. Before you get there, you will probably pass by the medieval astronomical clock, located on the south wall of City Hall. You will most probably spend many minutes watching, when the clock strikes, and characters come alive.
But the real magical elements of Prague are the Charles Bridge which will take you to the other one: the castle. Crossing the bridge and its many statues, during the day or at night time, will give you chills. It is a haunting memory that will remain with you always, for its beauty and mystery. The castle is a small city in itself, where another Christmas tree awaits you. Walking around will bring you back in time, as during your visit, you will even see the torture chamber inside the castle.
Place Prague at the top of your list as a winter European destination; you won’t regret it.
Budapest is the flip size of the coin to Prague. It is the white fairy tale, where everything you see is bigger and more beautiful than anywhere else. Made out of two cities separated by the Danube, you will be mesmerized everywhere you look. There is so much beauty that you end-up expecting it at every turn. The one thing many people come for, are the old-fashioned outdoor hot baths, opened all year long. It is the perfect break during a cold winter day. You can go ice skating on the outside rink and then head to the baths to warm you up in the fresh, crisp and cold air.
Eating sweets is something you’ll end-up doing often in Budapest. Why? You won’t be able to resist their cakes, which you will find in the various coffee shops, everywhere around town. With a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate, you will fill yourself up, so you can continue your walkthrough the streets of the Hungarian capital.
If you live in a northern country, you may want a little respite from the harsh winter months. Europe also offers this possibility. Here is one city that is particularly popular in winter time, to catch some sun and a somewhat warmer climate.
If tropical weather is what you are looking for, you won’t find it in Europe, but Athens will provide you with temperatures around the mid-60s (fahrenheit), which is perfect to visit. Walking around the Acropolis in summer time can be almost impossible, due to the heat and the number of tourists, so winter is the perfect time to do so. This is one of the best preserved archaeological sites in the world and it will fill your eyes and mind, as you go back in time and remind yourself of days where pagan Gods ruled the human world.
Whether you are looking for a magical holiday or a little bit of sun, Europe has what you need during the winter months. Get packing and choose between the three cities above; you will create memories to last a lifetime.