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Looking for a new and exciting way to spend the long winter months? 

Perhaps you’re itching for an adventure that will get your blood pumping and leave you with a sense of exhilaration and excitement. If so, then consider heading to Europe in Winter for some thrilling experiences. 

The beauty and romance of this part of the world are well-known, but there are also many excellent places to go if you’re looking to escape the cold and spend some time outdoors. 

From sprawling forests to snow-capped mountains, here are 20 of the best places in Europe for wintertime adventure.

1. Transylvania, Romania

Amfiteatrul Transilvania
Photo: amfiteatrultransilvania

Transylvania is best known as the mysterious land of vampires and howling wolves. You might think it’s fictional, but this region of Romania is a real and fabulous place. And it’s pretty special, too. 

You can take a tour of amazing Bran Castle, hit the slopes in Poiana Brasov, enjoy Transylvania’s Christmas markets, stay at an ice hotel near Sibiu, see the Magical Clay Castle, escape the cold completely in the Salina Turda, visit Transylvania’s UNESCO’s protected fortified Churches, eat a traditional Romanian meal, and warm up with some fiery Romanian tuica, palinka, and hornica. 

Beautiful Romania is much more than that!

2. Vienna, Austria

Vienna Christmas Market
Vienna Christmas Market

If you’re looking for a city that never sleeps, Vienna is the perfect place to visit in the winter. The Austrian capital is a fascinating place and one that offers many exciting attractions for visitors. The city’s famous architectural landmarks, such as the Stephansdom Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace, are truly stunning when they are covered in snow. There are also many other excellent places to go if you’re looking for a different kind of winter adventure. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can enjoy a day’s skiing at the Schnee-Eiss-Sees. This is Austria’s largest indoor ski resort, so it’s open all year round. Alternatively, you can also try hiking out in the open. The Hohe Warte, Vienna’s famous hill, is a great place to do this.

3. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague in winter

If you’re looking for a city break in the winter, Prague is the perfect place to go. This beautiful city is filled with fascinating architecture and culture and offers a host of excellent attractions for visitors to enjoy. The city’s famous Astronomical Clock, the Charles Bridge, and the Old Town Square are best seen covered in snow. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can enjoy a day’s skiing at Sněžka, a local ski resort. Alternatively, you can also try snowshoeing, hiking, and cross-country skiing in the city.

4. Rovaniemi, Finland

Santa Claus Village
Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland

This popular destination in Finland is the home of the famous and friendly Reindeer. In the winter, Rovaniemi is an excellent place to go if you’re looking to enjoy some wintertime activities in the great outdoors. There are many excellent hiking trails through the forests, as well as several excellent ski resorts. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can visit Santa Claus Village, which is open all year round. You can also try cross-country skiing, or even go ice fishing.

5. Zermatt, Switzerland

Cabin In The Snow Zermatt

Zermatt is a famous ski resort, located in the Swiss Alps. It’s an excellent place to go in the winter if you want to enjoy winter sports and outdoor activities. There are many excellent hiking trails through the surrounding forests and mountains, as well as several excellent ski resorts. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can visit the famous Ice Palace, where you can ice skate and enjoy winter sports. 

You can also try hiking, snowshoeing, or even skiing in the open.

6. Tallinn, Estonia

Old Town of Tallinn
Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia

This city in Estonia is best known for its rich medieval architecture and culture. It’s a fascinating place to visit at any time of year, but especially so in the winter. Tallinn’s Old Town is the perfect place to go during the winter months. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can try cross-country skiing or go ice fishing on the frozen Baltic Sea. 

Alternatively, you can also try hiking in the open or even horseback riding.

7. Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Square
Zagreb Square

Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia and a great place to visit in the winter. It’s a fascinating city with a rich history and culture, and it’s well worth a visit whatever time of year it is. The city’s historic Upper Town is the perfect place to go during the winter months, as it’s beautifully decorated for the season. 

If you’re visiting in the winter, you can try cross-country skiing in the open or even go ice fishing on the River Sava. 

8. Bergen, Norway

Bergen Norway

This beautiful Norwegian city is a popular tourist destination at any time of year, but it’s especially stunning in the winter. It’s a place of great natural beauty and charm, and it’s famous for its breathtaking views and stunning, colorful, wooden architecture. It’s the perfect place to go for those who want an escape in the winter. 

If you’re visiting in the winter, you can visit the famous Christmas Market in the Bryggen Wharf area of the city. Alternatively, you can also try hiking in the open or even ice climbing.

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands

I Amsterdam Sign

Amsterdam is a city that’s best known for its many canals, beautiful architecture, and Dutch culture. It’s a great place to visit at any time of year, but especially so in the winter. The city’s canals are beautifully frozen over and covered in snow during this season. This is a truly stunning sight and one that you’ll want to see for yourself. 

If you’re visiting in the winter, you can visit the famous Christmas Market in the city’s Dam Square area. 

10. Ilulissat, Greenland

Iceberg in Ilulissat
Iceberg in Ilulissat

Greenland is a country that’s best known for its Arctic landscape and Northern Lights. It’s a stunning place to visit at any time of year, but especially so in the winter. During this season, there are many excellent places to go for stunning views and exciting adventures in the great outdoors. One of the best places to visit for some wintertime action is Ilulissat. 

If you’re visiting in the winter, you can go ice climbing or even try dog sledding. 

11. Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice is a famous city that’s built on and around water. It’s a very romantic destination and one that’s best visited during the winter months. The city’s canals and famous landmarks are all beautifully decorated for this season. Venice is also a very popular city break destination during the winter, as it always has events and festivals throughout the season. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can visit the famous Venice Carnival. 

You can also try ice skating on the frozen canals.

12. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

There’s no better place to go for Christmas and New Year’s than the city of Strasbourg in France. While the rest of Europe is freezing, Germans, Swiss, and Brits will all be heading to this French city to celebrate the holidays, and you’ll have plenty of company. The Christmas Market in Place de la République is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You can enjoy mulled wine, crepes, and carolers while watching a beautiful wooden Christmas tree light up the square. If you’re looking for somewhere a little bit quieter, head to the Basilica of Our Lady of Strasbourg — said to be the most visited pilgrimage site in France.

13. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest

If you’re looking for an excellent and affordable city break in the Winter, then consider heading to Budapest in Hungary. With plenty to see and do, you’ll easily fill up a few days in this vibrant city. Head to the Budapest Thermal Baths to get in some wintertime relaxation and enjoy the unique architecture of the Gellért Thermal Bath. For those that have never been to a thermal bath, it’s a must-visit. Inside, you’ll find a large indoor pool that is filled with warm water (38-39 degrees Celsius) that has naturally occurring minerals that are said to help you relax, heal, and detoxify your body.

14. Dublin, Ireland

Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Dublin has long been a popular travel destination for those visiting Europe during the Winter, and there are many excellent attractions for you to visit. First up is the Guinness Storehouse, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. From there, you could walk over to the Irish Writers’ Museum, which showcases the lives of the country’s most popular authors like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and W. B. Yeats. If you’re looking for a more outdoor-oriented activity, head to the Dublin Mountains where you can go sledding, hiking, cycling, or even go zorbing.

15. Copenhagen, Denmark

Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark

For those that love winter sports, Copenhagen is the perfect place to go in the Winter. You can visit one of the city’s many ice rinks, or make the short trip to Klampenborg Ski Resort, where you can go skiing and experience an authentic Nordic ski vacation. While you’re there, be sure to visit Tivoli Gardens, which is open throughout the year and is one of the most popular attractions in the city. For those that are looking for something a little less active, you could also make the trip to Louisiana, the world’s largest Louisiana swampland and home to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

16. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Christmas Market
Edinburgh Christmas Market

For those that are looking for a more cultural experience, Edinburgh is the place to go in Winter. There are many excellent museums to visit in the city, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery. If you’re more interested in architecture, you could also pay a visit to the Royal Architecture Society, where you’ll find exhibits on famous architects like Oscar Niemeyer and Frank Lloyd Wright. For those that would prefer a more festive and lively experience, Edinburgh plays host to various Christmas markets and events that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

17. Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, Austria

If you’re looking for something a little less touristy, then consider heading to Lake Hallstatt in Austria. This incredibly scenic lake is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and it’s best visited in the Winter when the lake freezes over and the surrounding mountains are filled with snow. From December to March, you can visit the nearby Salzbergwerk, a salt mine that has been in operation since the 16th century and is the oldest industrial building in the world. You can also visit the nearby Dachstein Ice Cave, which is an incredible and unusual ice cave that you can only visit during this time of year. The only way you can get there, though, is via a tour. The cave is located on private land, and tours are the only way to access it.

18. London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

For those that have been to London before, Winter is the perfect time to go back. The city is transformed during this time, and you’ll find it to be a much more relaxed and romantic place to visit. There are many excellent activities to enjoy in the city, including visiting the Christmas markets, attending a festive concert, or taking a walking tour of the city’s most popular landmarks. The city also hosts a New Year’s Eve celebration that is the perfect way to ring in the new year, and you’ll be able to experience the famous London fog. If you’re looking for something a little less festive, you could also visit the Tate Modern Museum or the British Museum, two of the world’s most famous art museums.

19. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Photo: Andrej Tarfila

Ljubljana is perhaps best known for being home to some of the most awe-inspiring architecture in all of Europe. The city is home to numerous architectural masterpieces, including the iconic and ornate Ljubljana Castle, the beautiful Franciscan Church, and the impressive and imposing Slovene Parliament building. You’ll also find a wide variety of other attractions and activities, such as the award-winning Ethnographic Museum, the Ljubljana Botanical Gardens, and an excellent selection of restaurants and cafes (you must try the famous Ljubljana-style pizza!). But what makes Ljubljana a great place to visit in Winter is the fact that it’s one of the snowiest cities in all of Slovenia. Yes, you read that correctly. 

Ljubljana averages more than 100 days of snow per year, which may make it one of the snowiest capital cities in the world.

20. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

The charming city of Bruges has the perfect mix of culture, architecture, and winter activities. You’ll find a wide variety of museums and art galleries, along with many interesting historical landmarks, including the 13th-century city hall and the iconic Belfry tower. You’ll also appreciate the city’s impressive selection of restaurants and cafes, all of which feature high-quality Belgian dishes, such as beer-braised rabbit and chocolate mousse. You can enjoy all this in the comfort of Bruges’ charming cobblestoned streets and medieval architecture, which has earned the city a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Bruges also plays host to many annual winter festivals and events, including The Carnival of Bruges, an annual winter festival that marks the city’s transition from autumn to winter. There’s also Bruges’ Winter Cycling Festival, which boasts a bizarre yet entertaining event called the Sauna Cycling Challenge. 

At this event, participants mount bikes and cycle through the city wearing nothing but a bathing suit and a pair of gloves!

Europe is a perennially popular travel destination, and the best time to visit Europe is during the winter months.

So, go ahead, and visit Europe, but also enjoy your trips to locations around the World with Framey App!

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