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9 best places in Europe to relax in winter

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

Cold, ice and snow are not the only things that people associate with a winter vacation in Europe. However, winter is a great time to visit Europe. The cities of Europe are beautiful even when covered in white snow. The European countries have plenty of attractions, world class museums to offer for tourists who come during this season. Here is a list of best places to visit in Europe during winter:

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is one of the most popular cities in Europe, and for good reason. It's a vibrant city with many museums and sights, as well as plenty of things to see and do. Berlin also has an affordable cost of living, making it easy to enjoy yourself without breaking the bank.

Moreover, there's no shortage of history here; this was once part of East Germany before reunification in 1990 (hence why many locals still refer to themselves as Ossis). If you're into learning about how life used to be under Communism or just want a glimpse into what life might have been like if things had turned out differently during World War II--or even earlier--visit some historic sites such as Checkpoint Charlie or Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Site while visiting Berlin during wintertime!

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is Germany's second-largest city, and it has a rich history that spans centuries. The city is home to the largest port in Germany, as well as many museums and other cultural attractions.

Hamburg has a long maritime tradition, and was once an important trading center for North Sea trade routes. Today, Hamburg remains an important port city with excellent access to Europe's major cities via its airports or train stations (with direct connections).

Here are some of the best places to see and activities to do in Hamburg:

  1. The harbor: Hamburg is home to the second largest port in Europe and the city’s harbor is a must-see. Take a stroll along the harbor promenade and admire the boats, ships, and cranes. You can also take a harbor tour to get a closer look at the bustling activity.

  2. St. Michaelis Church: This iconic church, also known as the “Michel”, is Hamburg’s most famous landmark. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city and harbor.

  3. Historic Speicherstadt: This historic district is a maze of brick warehouses and canals, and is one of the largest warehouses in the world. Explore the maze of narrow streets and waterways, and visit the Miniatur Wunderland, a museum showcasing miniature versions of iconic landmarks from around the world.

  4. The Elbphilharmonie: Hamburg’s new concert hall is a stunning piece of architecture, with its glass façade and curving lines. Take a tour or catch a performance and marvel at the acoustics of the concert hall.

  5. Alster Lakes: These two man-made lakes are perfect for a relaxing stroll, picnic, or boat ride. Take in the views of the city’s skyline and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and stunning scenery.

  6. Weekly farmers market: Hamburg’s weekly farmers market is a bustling gathering of local farmers, bakers, and artisans. Stock up on fresh produce, baked goods, and handcrafted items.

  7. Take a guided tour of the city: Guided tours are a great way to discover the history and culture of Hamburg. Join a walking tour or take a bus tour to see all the top sights.

Venice, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It's also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, attracting 13 million visitors per year. The city has been regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world since its founding during Roman times, when it was known as "Venetia".

The beauty of Venice comes from its history, architecture and culture--but also from something else: water! Venice is built on an archipelago made up of 118 islands connected by over 400 bridges (that's more than any other city).

London, United Kingdom

London is a great place to visit in winter. There are many museums and galleries, as well as things to do, making it easy for you to spend your days exploring the city. London is also easy to get around because of its extensive public transportation system and taxis that can take you anywhere in town quickly and efficiently. And when it comes time for shopping? Well, there's no better place than London!

Must see places

  1. Buckingham Palace: This iconic palace is the official residence of the British monarch and is open to the public during the summer months. Don't miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place daily.

  2. British Museum: This museum is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world, and it is home to a collection of over 8 million objects from all over the world, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles.

  3. Trafalgar Square: This famous square is home to Nelson's Column, fountains, and a number of other famous landmarks, making it one of the most popular tourist spots in London.

  4. London Eye: This giant Ferris wheel offers panoramic views of the city and is a great way to see London from a different perspective.

  5. Covent Garden: This trendy neighborhood is home to street performers, boutique shops, and a variety of restaurants, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.

Estimated Cost

A one-week vacation in London can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on your travel style and budget. This cost includes airfare, accommodations, food, and activities.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland is a great place to visit in winter. This city has many festivals and attractions as well as museums, like the National Museum of Scotland. You can also see the Edinburgh Castle which overlooks the city.

What to do?

Top attractions in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop an extinct volcano and offers panoramic views of the city, and the Royal Mile, a bustling street lined with shops, restaurants, and historical buildings. The National Museum of Scotland is a fascinating place to learn about the country's rich history, while the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh showcases a variety of plants from around the world.

For those looking to get out into nature, the nearby Pentland Hills Regional Park is a great option. The park offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and mountain biking, and there are also several picturesque lochs to explore.

Harry Potter

Edinburgh has a close relationship with the beloved Harry Potter franchise. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, lived in Edinburgh for several years and wrote much of the first book in the series in local cafes. Many fans of the series believe that the city provided inspiration for some of the magical locations in the books, such as the dark, winding streets of the Old Town and the imposing Edinburgh Castle. Today, fans can visit many of the places that Rowling frequented, including the Elephant House cafe, which is considered to be the birthplace of Harry Potter, and the Greyfriars Kirkyard, which is said to have inspired the naming of several characters in the series.

Paris, France

Paris is a great place to visit in winter. The city offers food, culture and history lovers plenty of things to do. You can shop at some of the world's best stores or stroll through one of Paris' many parks while people watching. There are also museums like the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay to explore if you want something more cultural than shopping or eating out at restaurants (which is also great).

One week vacation cost

There are many free and low-cost attractions in Paris, such as the Luxembourg Gardens, the Marais neighborhood, and the historic Notre-Dame Cathedral. On the other hand, visiting popular attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and the Palace of Versailles can add up quickly.

In general, a budget-friendly one-week vacation in Paris might cost around $1,500, while a mid-range vacation could cost around $2,500, and a luxury vacation could cost upwards of $5,000 or more. Of course, these estimates can vary greatly based on the time of year you visit, your travel style, and the exchange rate.

Rome, Italy

There is no doubt that Italy is one of the if not most touristic country among european countries. Rome is a great place to visit in winter. It's a beautiful city with plenty of museums, restaurants and entertainment options, as well as historical sites that will make you feel like you've traveled back in time. The architecture is also worth mentioning: Rome has some of the most impressive buildings in Europe--and many of them are free!

If you're looking for somewhere warm and sunny during your winter vacation break from school or work (or just because), Rome may not be at the top of your list. But if you're interested in seeing some truly amazing architecture and experiencing what life was like thousands of years ago when these structures were built, then Rome should definitely be on your travel bucket list this year!

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is a stunning city with a unique combination of geography and climate. The city is built on top of an active volcano, so there are plenty of opportunities to see volcanoes in Iceland from up close.

You'll find plenty of culture here as well; Reykjavik has more museums than any other city in Iceland! You can also learn about their history at the National Museum or take part in traditional festivals like the Festival of Lights (Ljolafest).

Foodies will love exploring all the delicious restaurants and cafes around town--many locals say that this is some of the best food they've ever had! If you'd rather explore on foot than by car or bus, there are many walking tours available through local companies such as Reykjavik Food Tours and Taste Of Iceland Tours (which even includes tastings!). There's also plenty more activities like whale watching trips available nearby so make sure you check those out too before deciding which ones sound best for yourself!

Oslo, Norway

Oslo is the capital of Norway and has over 600,000 people. It's a city with a lot of museums, shops, parks and gardens. The city is surrounded by mountains which makes it perfect for skiing in winter time!

Oslo has many restaurants where you can try the local food like fish cakes or reindeer meatballs (my favorite). You will also find many cafes where you can get coffee or hot chocolate while enjoying the view over this beautiful city!

Average Cost

The cost of a 1 week vacation in Oslo can vary greatly, but on average, it can cost around $600 to $1,200 USD. This amount takes into account the cost of accommodation, food, and transportation. Keep in mind that Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, and the cost of living in Oslo can be significantly higher compared to other cities. To keep costs down, it's recommended to book accommodation in advance, eat at local cafes and consider cooking some meals at your accommodation, and make use of the city's efficient public transportation system.

European winter vacation destinations

Europe is a great place to visit in winter. The weather is usually milder than it is at home, and the Christmas markets add a touch of holiday magic to any trip.

But before you go, make sure you pack the right clothes! You don't want to freeze your toes off while sightseeing in Europe--or worse yet, get sick because you're not properly prepared for cold weather conditions. Pack layers so that if it gets colder than expected on one day (or night), all you have to do is add another layer underneath your jacket or overcoat instead of buying new clothes while abroad (which can be expensive).

Worth to mention

There are many more cities that are worth to go of course, such as Barcelona, Madrid, Sicily, Istanbul, and much more.


So there you have it: a list of nine great places to visit in Europe during winter. If you're looking for a romantic getaway, I recommend Paris or Rome. If you want some adventure, try Iceland or Norway. And if you just want to relax with friends and family by the fireplace (or maybe even under the Northern Lights), then check out Edinburgh or London!


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