There’s something about watching snow fall that always feels just that little bit magic, not to mention endlessly romantic. Here in Europe, there are a number of cities that enjoy regular snowfall throughout much of the winter and are perfect winter wonderlands in which to revel in this seasonal treat.
Located in the Tyrol province of Austria, in the heart of the Alps, Innsbruck is a popular winter-sports destination, but is also famous for its imperial architecture. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains, which are invariably covered in snow at this time of the year, while there’s something magical about watching the snow fall over its historic centre.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Prague architecture is like something out of a fairytale, and is improved only by the winter weather. The many palaces and castles that give the city its charm are the perfect backdrop against which to look on as the Czech capital disappears under fresh snow, while the many cosy cafes are ideal for getting some respite from the cold weather and warming up with a cup of hot chocolate.
One of the most picturesque cities in Norway, Trondheim is best known for its colourful buildings that line the waterfront, and which stand out all the better against bright-white snow. Wrap up warm and explore the historic centre – the impressive 11th-century gothic cathedral appears all the more dramatic in the snow.
If you want to combine a cool city break with the chance to see some snow, the Danish capital should be top of your list. A top European destination for food, nightlife and design, Copenhagen has much to offer visitors – even in the midst of winter. A visit won’t be cheap, but you’ll be able to eat in some of the most talked-about restaurants in the world and enjoy the now-famous hygge culture.
The capital of Latvia is a European city very much on the rise, with a growing number of visitors choosing Riga for a budget-friendly city break with plenty going for it. A burgeoning food scene, cool cafe culture and some impressive landmarks are just some of the reasons travellers love it.
The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is absolutely steeped in history and culture, and you only have to wander through the streets of the Unesco World Heritage Altstadt (Old Town) to get a glimpse of it. A baroque masterpiece, the city is surrounded by mountains, some of which can be accessed in less than 30 minutes by car and offer great possibilities for winter sports.
One of the wealthiest cities in Germany, Hamburg has been an industrial powerhouse and a major port for centuries. While snowfall is generally light in Hamburg, if you’re lucky enough to be around when the city does turn white, it’s truly a sight to behold. The shores of the Elbe River scintillate as they reflect the city lights, only softening when the river freezes over and gets swallowed up by the snow.
Another Scandinavian city that won’t be easy on your budget but has much to offer in terms of culture, Stockholm is well prepared for the winter weather: there are even ski slopes that are accessible via the city metro. Other winter activities involve ice skating with a guide on a nearby lake (although there are ice rinks in the city, too) and of course there’s always a sauna somewhere nearby to unwind in at the end of the day.
There’s really no knowing when snow will fall in Edinburgh, but it’s well worth seeing the Scottish capital when it does. Edinburgh Castle looks all the more impressive when the city gets a dusting of snow, and a trip up the Scott Monument will offer some scenic vistas. See in the New Year with a traditional Hogmanay celebration and watch as the city centre transforms into one big party.
Just like its Latvian counterpart, Tallinn is very much a city on the rise, and a great place for a winter minibreak, thanks to its lively Christmas markets and charming landscape. It’s close to both Finland and Russia, and the Tallinn food culture borrows from both, with a growing number of restaurants offering interesting contemporary cuisine.
With a 66 percent chance of snow at Christmas, Helsinki is a good bet if you are determined to see some powder. A city on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Helsinki offers an eclectic mix of history, art and culture. The Finns are renowned for their coffee-drinking culture, so it’s no surprise that there are some amazing cafes in which to huddle when the snow falls.
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