It may be winter outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get on a plane and enjoy a quick city break in another country. There’s plenty of winter wonderlands in Europe that are ideal places to stay for the winter holidays, here are just some of them.
As the fifth most visited city in Europe, Prague stands heads and shoulders above many of its capital counterparts. If you love to wander, then this is the perfect place for you, due to its charming architecture. From Art Nouveau to Gothic, the city is like a patchwork quilt of different building styles, with the cherry on the top being the stunning St Vitus Cathedral.
Standing in the middle of Dam Square, you will notice that there are streets all around you that lead to different parts of the centre. Head down to Red Light District to look at the city’s risque area—the go-to place for a lively night out. Alternatively, if you want to peruse the more glamorous side, then head right where you will find De Negen Straatjes—nine streets of boutiques, restaurants, up market shops and jewellery outlets, which are surrounded by its world famous canals.
The city also boats a range of illustrious museums and art galleries, including the Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt and the Anne Frank Huis.
It may be the biggest cliché of all time, but there is something extremely romantic about Paris. If going with a partner, then you can really get into the cosy festival spirit by wrapping up warm and head to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which looks endearing during Yuletide. If it gets cold, you can always get toasty again in a cafe with a coffee and croque-monsieur.
Shopping is also a must when in the French capital, so be sure to visit its many haute couture outlets, or trendy vintage shops like GoldyMama or Omaya Vintage.
The expression ‘dripping with history’ is perhaps an overused phrase, but here is much to be said of Istanbul’s past. Straddling two continents, Istanbul has gone through many a change due to its proximity, being a gateway to Europe and Asia.
Whilst being respectful of those who do not celebrate the holiday, one can still get into a festive spirit due to the friendly locals and stunning architecture like the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Galata Tower, which looks astonishing during December through the mist, and the snow that occasionally arrives during the season.
As Germany’s biggest city, Berlin caters for over three and a half million people, meaning there is so much on offer. For instance, it is presently home to 400 art galleries and 138 museums, with even an island dedicated to the latter.
Of course, if you are in Germany then you might want to visit one of its charming Christmas markets that look spectacular at night. Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt is one of the best, but you have to pay a small fee. However, a mere euro will grant you access to stalls that sell strong pilsner, hot cider, numerous cheeses and many more foods to get you in the spirit.
Whilst many associate visiting the Mediterranean during the summer, Rome is a city that looks marvellous at any time and being a highly Christian society hold Christmas in high importance. Whilst not in alignment with the traditions of colder cities, Christmas trees are starting to become a more popular. What one should really get excited about, however, is the lit up statues, monuments and piazzas which are the makeup of the city centre— which, if you are lucky, will be blanketed by snow.
After you have visited landmarks like The Colosseum, then it’s a good idea to find some hearty Italian food to warm you up, such as pasta-based dishes, pizza or gnocchi.
Are you planning to head to one of these winter wonderlands in Europe this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!