The majority of people might believe that going on vacation in the summer is the only sensible option, but there are benefits to being outside in the chilly weather as well. Christmas magic, the rush of ski runs down intimidating slopes, and the romanticism of sleigh rides beneath the chilly, starry skies all come with winter. While hardly every European city can survive the winter, some just thrive in the freezing weather. See our list of the best things to do in Europe in Winter and learn more about what makes each one so unique.
Hallstatt, Austria: Best things to do in Europe in Winter
Some locations in Europe, such as the charming tiny mountain town of Hallstatt, appear they’re most natural during the winter. This tiny Austrian village, which is isolated by a lake, is dwarfed by the neighboring Alps, which are at their most beautiful when covered in snow. Hallstatt’s blend of a magnificent environment and charmingly tiny mountain homes is what, however, makes it so unique.
Although it doesn’t take long to walk around the town, you’ll probably find yourself pausing every few feet to take in the scene in front of you. Hallstatt, which is made up of little streets that weave in and out of old-fashioned wooden cottages, is tucked between a lake and the steep hillsides behind it.
If you have the energy, attempt climbing up to the Hallstatt Skywalk, which is perched above the town and offers even more expansive views. Hallstatt is a very picturesque location both in the summer and in the spring, but the winter raises it to a must-visit location.
Zermatt is a quiet village for the majority of the year. But when winter comes, skiers of all levels swarm there to use the 200+ kilometers of pistes. With off-piste chances and top stations at approximately 4,000 meters, Zermatt is a refuge for expert skiers.
Zermatt offers a wide variety of activities for people who don’t ski. Zermatt offers lots of sunshine during the cooler months, ideal for a trip in the wilderness for those who want to attempt snowshoeing and winter hiking.
Sledding, tobogganing, and guided treks are also available for those who prefer to explore off-the-beaten-path locations. The 2.2-kilometer hike from Blauherd to Fluhalp is a fantastic, easy track to try out where you can see chamois grazing on the slopes and the Matterhorn in the distance.
Val Thorens, France: Best things to do in Europe in Winter
The tallest and most well-known ski resort in Europe, Val Thorens is located at an elevation of nearly 2,000 meters and has 140 kilometers of slopes. The resort is surrounded by towering peaks and a sea of snow as far as the eye can view, making it a fantastic destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Val Thorens has a lot to offer off the slopes for those who want beauty without the rush. From winter sports like snowshoeing and trekking to more odd ones like snow biking and riding down a mountain on France’s biggest toboggan course. The highest zipline in Europe can take you down the mountain at speeds of over 100 kph, or you may try an ice driving course. Or put your courage to the test by trying ice diving.
Madeira – Tropical Delight
People who spend their winters in Europe can certainly consider a trip to Madeira if they want to catch some sun and surf. This tiny island, which is 500 kilometers west of Portugal, is a tropical pleasure with its unique weather patterns and one of the best winter road trips in Europe.
Beyond the apparent beach vacation, people visit Madeira for its renowned landscapes and vineyards. As you enjoy your winter vacation in Europe, sample some of the world’s best wines.
St. Petersburg – Time For Russian Christmas
India has an extremely negative impression of Russia as a travel destination. To explore Europe’s rich history and tradition, places like St. Petersburg make for some of the best winter city holidays.
Russian Christmas, which takes place around January 7 and is one of the must-see events in wintertime Europe, is one of the greatest festivals in the country. St. Petersburg presents itself as a truly active city for visitors to explore, adding to the charming winter snow. And there’s no denying that this is among the top destinations in Europe to visit in December.
Prague, Czech Republic: Best things to do in Europe in Winter
Without a doubt, Prague is one of Europe’s most opulent cities. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the Czech Republic’s capital is extremely bustling throughout the summer months. Funny thing is, Prague is just as captivating in the winter, with much fewer tourists.
Even a tiny covering of snow might make this city of old-world grandeur, architecture, and culture appear more evocative than it would under a clear sky. Prague is a city rich in culture, but it’s also a pleasant location to visit thanks to its love of beer and partying. No of the season, drinking the various local beers in the city’s numerous taverns is fun.
Prague has a variety of beer baths where you can practically soak up the regional beers if you’re seeking to warm up and drink some beer at the same time. Not to be missed is the city’s well-known European Christmas market, where you may enjoy the holiday cheer while sipping on hot mulled wine and the local grog.