While most countries are perfectly prepared to welcome visitors at any time of the year, there is no doubt that some absolutely thrive in the cooler months, especially those with resplendent mountains to ski, activities related at Christmas to immerse yourself in and cities to explore without the blisters. beating sun.
Among the wide array of nations that litter Europe, there is a seemingly endless array of historical sites to explore, treasures to discover, food to devour, and much more to see and do across the continent that it is. difficult to determine where might be the best fit for a winter getaway. It should also be noted that UK citizens will soon (November 2023) need to register with the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) and follow the requirements in order to visit any country in the Schengen area of Europe – that’s a big part of Europe.
From the delights of Italy to the slopes of Switzerland and whimsical France and Finland, we take a look at some of our favorite European countries to visit when winter arrives.
This compact country is full of medieval towns, captivating towns, Renaissance architecture, chocolate and beer, among many other delights, of course. Stroll through the streets of the ancient city of Bruges and admire the incredible views like the 14e century Stadius, Markt Square with its 13e century belfry and winding canals which offer an array of highlights to be seen from the confines of a river boat is a must see and winter makes this place amazing lit up. Cozy up in a pub and sample the famous beer, wrap up warm as you venture outside, and enjoy the quaint Christmas markets that are sure to delight.
This northern European country is home to the capital Helsinki with its array of picture-worthy notable buildings such as Helsinki Cathedral and the Finnish and International Art Museum, Ateneum; the 18the century seat fortress, Suomenlinna; and the Senate and Market Square.
Head north and you’ll see how the country really comes alive in winter, from warming up in the saunas and watching the Northern Lights to visiting Santa’s house and crossing the Arctic Circle at the Village of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi in Lapland. Meet the man himself and his reindeer, savor the magic of Christmas and take part in a range of activities designed to bring joy to all visitors.
Skiing in the French Alps to the magic of Paris to all the towns, villages and coastal haunts that buzz all year round, France is a place that never sleeps and so a visit in winter can be just as special as any other time in the world. year. Beat the crowds in Paris and admire the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, dine on delicious food, shop in some of the most luxurious boutiques and marvel at the wonders of galleries and museums.
The French Christmas markets will be worth a visit, and winter sports enthusiasts will be in awe of Chamonix, Val d’Isère and Courchevel.
Although it is a beautiful country at any time of the year, it is in winter that compact Switzerland really comes to life. Skiers, snowboarders and others will be happiest hitting snow-capped peaks at resorts such as Zermatt which sits below the Matterhorn, Verbier and St. Moritz. Luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, spas and shops fill the gaps between all the winter sports of these luxury resorts.
Medieval quarters, stunning monuments, opportunities to treat yourself to quality watches and delicious chocolates, Christmas markets galore and many more ways to spend time in towns and villages across the country are in abundance.
Fascinating history and sights, incredible food, endless shopping opportunities – all of this you can find all year round across Italy.
Skiers should add Cortina d’Ampezzo, Courmayeur, Cervinia and Livigno to their lists, while culture vultures will no doubt be delighted to get a good vantage point over some of Rome and Florence’s must-see sites. The Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, Rome’s Pantheon and Duomo, the Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia will be much more accessible in winter and there will certainly be no shortage of decadent pasta dishes at any time of the year. ‘year.