Europe is best known for its’ wonderful array of colourful cities, intimate little towns and its impressive landmarks. With most capital European cities just a short plane journey away from the UK, you can jet off and explore somewhere new within a matter of hours. Europe is a brilliant destination for a city break at any time of year, but particularly at winter if you love embracing the freezing cold and enjoy soaking up the festive spirit past December! Here are my top five cities for brilliant European breaks this winter…
The German capital is somewhere I have always wanted to visit, particularly at Christmas time with its gorgeous wooden markets and abundance of Gluhwein on sale! The city is steeped in war history, and famous landmarks worth visiting include Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall and, of course, the iconic Brandenburg Gate. It’s well known that Berlin can get super cold during the winter months, so I’m all for piling on the layers, wrapping up warm and releasing my inner explorer whilst enjoying everything that the city has to offer!
This hip little city seems to be on EVERYONE’s bucket lists for 2017, but I first visited back in 2014 when it seemed to be a little less popular and more of a hidden gem! Reykjavik is famed for its cool street art, stunning harbour front and interesting buildings, particularly the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the focal point of the city. Although there are lots to see and do in Reykjavik, I’d highly recommend doing the Golden Circle tour, which takes you to the Gulfoss waterfall and Pingvellir national park, as well as taking day trips to the glaciers and the Blue Lagoon for the ultimate winter getaway.
This Danish beauty is next on my bucket list and I’ll be taking my very own winter escape there in February. I’ve been told that it gets really cold during the winter months, and that the iconic Nyhavn Harbour looks even more beautiful than it usually does so I’m looking forward to getting over there and exploring. I’ll be looking out for the Little Mermaid statue and the stunning Tivoli Gardens, although I’ve discovered that the amusement park will be closed during my visit (boooo!) I’m hoping to soak up the wintry vibe over there though and have got my hat and scarf and my thermals packed already!
The Czech capital is one of Europe’s most historic cities, and one of the most visited too. With its rich culture, stunning buildings and the iconic Charles Bridge at its heart, Prague has it all. Newer parts of the city offer modern shopping outlets and popular restaurants, whilst the Old Town, with its Astronomical Clock Tower placed firmly in the centre, retains the charm and history of the place affectionately known as the City of a Hundred Spires. Winter is a particularly magical time to visit Prague, and the city looks like something from a fairy-tale when it’s covered in snow!
Offering something a little different for a winter city break, Budapest is brimming with thermal pools and spas allowing you to escape the cold and warm up in style! The Hungarian capital is famed for its thermal baths and they are one of the most visited attractions in the entire city. You can also take a boat cruise along the River Danube to catch a glimpse of the stunning Hungarian Parliament Building all lit up at night. I visited Budapest when it was still fairly warm, but I would have loved to have seen it covered in snow during the Christmas period! Maybe next time…
So there we have it, just five of the best winter breaks in Europe that’ll cure your winter wanderlust addiction in no time! With twinkling lights, snowy skylines and plenty of top tourist attractions you’ll never be stuck for something to do in these gorgeous European cities, despite the sub-zero temperatures!
By Jessica from Journeys With Jessica
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