As the mornings become colder and the nights draw darker, that autumn/winter feeling has already crept in for many off us. Before you know it, you will be reaching for your winter coat, scraping the ice off your windscreen, and starting to make that Christmas shopping list. Here you have the best winter destinations in Europe, places you would like to visit in December!
But amid the mad rush that is often the case with many people, why not treat yourself to a little break away from it all.
Get Away From The Stress
Europe is home to an array of beautiful and unique destinations, each one with its own cultural foundations for you to explore. Whilst some British families may prefer the allure of sunshine and warmth over the festive months, a flight across the North Sea or English Channel can open your eyes to what Europe has to offer around this time of year.
What’s more, private flights can ensure that you arrive in luxury, on time, and direct to your chosen destination. By sourcing a reputable private jet charter, you can start your winter break off in style as they fly directly to one of many destinations around Europe providing luxurious comfort, on-hand waiting service, and even organizing transfers so that the only thing you have to worry about is what to pack!
The lure of Christmas markets, peace and quiet, and a slightly warmer climate are often the reason individuals, couples, and families escape the British Isles. The obvious choices of Germany, the Alps, and Lapland may spring to mind, but what destinations may you not have thought of?
Photo By: Jonathan Jones
Best Places to Visit in Europe in December/January
If you want to escape the cooler winter temperatures then a trip to Andalucía is a must. Steeped in history, the cities of Seville and Granada are seriously enticing.
Take a trip to the majestic Alhambra Palace or seek the gastronomic delights of tapas in Seville. If you crave snow, take a family trip to the Sierra Nevada ski resort for some perfect ski action.
Edinburgh comes alive around the festive and new year season. Its streets become adorned with people, stalls, attractions, and performances as you experience a city drenched in history and strong culture. You won’t fail to get caught up in the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations as you wander through Scotland’s grand architecture.
Abisko is about as far north as you can get on a train in Europe. For families in search of some serious winter magic, this is the place to be – because Abisko is of course in Lapland. In December and January, the sun barely rises, which makes it one of the world’s best places to view the stunning Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).
For a bit of a family adventure why not go husky mushing via endless trails taking you through stunning national parkland? Or perhaps a reindeer sleigh ride? Transun.co.uk offers a checklist of child-friendly experiences should you wish to create an itinerary of activities for your trip.
Austria’s baroque capital offers the perfect escape as you lose yourself in its quaint town. Famous for indulgent café’s, cosy coffee’s and a picturesque backdrop, Vienna is a truly beautiful spectacle throughout the winter months.
Often associated as a central figure of international diplomacy, Geneva is a setting that epitomises the colder, festive seasons. With an abundance of architecture, history and culture to discover, you won’t be short of things to do. Relax in your chalet or wander the city, there really is something for everyone.
Copenhagen is Hans Christian Andersen (above) country and what better way to experience it than from one of the city’s many cosy pubs sat next to a roaring log fire? It’s a magical place and there’s nothing that sums this up better than a trip to the Tivoli Amusement Park. Complete with mugs of steaming hot chocolate and exciting illuminations, it will really make your winter break.
One of the best cities in Europe to visit with your family, also the winter weather compliments Rome more than any other city. Its world famous monuments and buildings stand more sharply and vividly in the frost allowing you to experience Rome in your own special way. Less remote than some of the other cities on the list, you can be sure to discover the cities little treasures from cuisine, to retail, to its monumental culture.
Whilst Paris is considered one of the world’s romantic destinations, Paris also offers the perfect escape for families and children as they discover Disneyland Resort Paris. Without the summer crowds, accommodation is significantly cheaper and queue’s a fraction of the summer months, leaving you more time to be treated to shows, performances and experiences you will never forget.
Porto & Douro Valley, Protugal
The place has slowly become a vibrant arts capital but you still get that relaxed feel of a small riverside town. In it you can visit museums, find street performers and many delicious restaurants.
Germany and Austria Christmas Markets
There’s nothing to get you into the festive spirit more than a good Christmas market. Why not visit the famous markets of Vienna, Cologne and Munich? Here, you’ll find everything from gingerbread and mulled wine, through to sleigh bells and a never-ending array of fabulous decorations. There’s nothing better than warming yourself up with a mug of hot chocolate.
Its hot springs, music and affordability have given this place a lot of attention in the last couple of years. If you go to the right places you might even be witness to the magical lights of the aurora borealis.
Cinque Terre, Italy
The Cinque Terre is formed by 5 towns where farmers have been living and building their homes with stone terraces for over 2,000 years. There is a series of paths and vineyards that you can explore. Make sure to visit all the villages. They are all unique.
This is known as the most underrated capital city in Europe, but it is a gorgeous blend between the old and modern days. The 15th-century UNESCO World Heritage site Old Town (where you can visit Albert Einstein’s former house) is paired with the futuristic designs of the center.
Rovaniemi is the official residence of everybody’s favourite bearded man at Christmas and his stunning Arctic Circle grotto is something to behold. Reindeer and the obligatory snowfall really gets you in the Christmas spirit.
If you love a slice of history, a visit to the Arktikum museum takes a look at what life was like for normal folk living at these extreme latitudes.
It is not very popular to visit in December, because it used to be a synonym for the crime. But a lot of things have changed over the last 10 years to the point of it being named the European Capital of Culture in 2013.
The architecture of Sofia was influenced by Romans, Greeks, and even the Ottomans. Sofia is the heart of the Balkan region with tasty food that you can’t miss. Once you get tired from walking around the city, climb to Mount Vitosha to admire astonishing views.
Czech Republic, Prague
Prague was founded in 870 AD. It is considered to be one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe. It is a perfect place for fans of history and low prices. Although the city is overcrowded during the summer, you can visit it any time during the year and enjoy numerous restaurants, museums, live music venues, and parks.
Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine and is one of the largest cities in Eastern Europe. It is usually chosen for sightseeing tours due to its rich historical past and for food tours. It is a surprisingly budget-friendly city with multiple Baroque churches.
Phil Warrington, an upcoming travel writer, pens his top5 European Winter destinations that you may not have thought about visiting. For private jet charter, he recommends Charter-A’s Helicopter Hire experienced and leading private jet hire providers who supply private flights across Europe and the rest of the world.