Trade your bikinis and boardies for beanies and winter boots – we’re about to get merry in Europe! Sure it’s cold, but the crackling log fires, twinkling Christmas lights, snow sports and and giant mugs of gluhwein will keep you super toasty. Check out these top 5 cities to visit on your holiday in Europe during winter.
See the Lights in Amsterdam
Get cosy in spectacular Amsterdam where the streets, canals and beautiful buildings are all lit up like a fairy tale castle. Kick back in a cosy pub with a frosty brew. Or tap your own at the exciting Heineken Experience brewery tour. Build a snowman in sparkling Vondelpark. Ice skate on the frozen canals. Don’t forget a trip to the impressive Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Then fill up on some delicious comfort food, including stamppot (veggie mash), snert (thick pea and ham soup) and to-die-for oliebollen Dutch doughnuts. YUM!
Fill up your Christmas stocking in Berlin
Nobody does Christmas markets like Germany. Berlin alone has over 60! Get festive at the awesome Gendarmenmarkt where you can shop for all sorts of Christmassy treats and gifts, including spicy gingerbread and mulled wine, hand-carved wooden toys, sparkling gloss-blown art, leather accessories, artworks and much more. Singers, acrobats, live music, fairy lights and fireworks add to the magic. Be sure to check out all of Berlin’s other attractions too, such as the graffiti-covered remnants of the Berlin Wall, the impressive 18th century Brandenburg Gate, artsy Museum Island, and the sobering Holocaust Memorial. There’s also a massive clubbing scene plus tonnes of ultra-cool pubs and cafes to hang out and meet the locals.
Explore Wunderbar Vienna
Get into the festive vibe in snow-capped Vienna, Austria’s sparkling capital city. In winter, it becomes an icy wonderland where hot chocolate and rich, gooey Sacher chocolate torte are always on the menu. Check out a free outdoor simulcast of the opera (bundle up tight, the show goes on no matter how low the temperature). Get your bells jingled at a classical holiday music concert. And snap your new Insta profile pic at the stunning Schönbrunn Palace and St. Charles Church. Up for some skiing? The beautiful Alps are just a hop, jump and a ski lift away. Plus, because its winter, the crowds are much smaller, and the prices are pocket friendly.
Pretty in Prague
Hot on the heels of Germany, Prague pulls out all the stops when it comes to Christmas markets – especially the two main markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Had your fill of shopping? Then fill up on some super tasty klobása (Czech sausage) and trdelník (fried dough) instead. Followed by a Pilsner Urquell or two. Prague has plenty to offer other than markets though. Check out the snow-dusted peaks of St. Charles Bridge and the Old Town's church spires. Sneak a peek at the Crown Jewels in Prague Castle. Take your time at the fancy Prague Astronomical Clock dating back to the 1400s. And get spooked at Kutna Hora with its creepy Sedlec Ossuary decorated with the bones of over 40,000 people.
Warm up in beautiful Budapest
Just because the weather’s cold, doesn’t mean you have to be! Winter is by far the best time to visit Budapest, where there are plenty of steamy thermal baths to get your temperature up. You’ll also find lots of cosy cafes, bustling pubs and cool clubs to party at. If you are going to brave the cold, a visit to the Hungarian Parliament on the banks of the icy Danube is a must. While you’re out there, take a whirl on the City Ice Rink, or head to Normafa for some speedy sledding down the slopes.
Skip summer and head for a winter wonderland holiday in Europe! Book your trip today.