Most of us make summer the main season for traveling. Everybody is more than happy to flock to a deserted beach during summer, but for most of us, North Hemisphere residents, it is an easier option to come to terms with our snowy reality during winter.
Although we do agree that a tropical holiday sounds way more appealing than touring a snowy city, we do have a selection of fun fueled winter destinations for all year long travelers. From skiing havens and Christmas markets to a paradisaical cheat, these destinations will assure you of a memorable winter getaway.
From the dusty snow to the laughter of children, Aspen is one of the best winter destinations for a family trip. Even if you are not a savvy skier, there is much more to be explored in the city. With a lively nightlife and festivals throughout the whole year, this 7,500 residents city is one of the best options if you live nearby the American Rocky Mountain Coast.
There, you can visit the Snowmass Village in order to ski in some of city’s best slopes, or have a relaxing day with spa treatments at the Remède Spa.
The always scenic Dubrovnik is a tourist hub during summer, as most Northern European tourists flock to the city for its beautiful beaches and outdoor events. During winter the city becomes less touristic, but the main attractions continue to offer a great experience for off season visitors. Enjoy the Old Town and its aristocratic palazzi and Baroque churches, just make sure to check timetables as they usually close earlier during winter. There are also several events held in the city from The New Year Concert in Stradun taking place on 1 January, to the the Four Days of the Dubrovnik Carnival and dance at the City Café and Theatre in February.
Although Austria houses some of the best ski resorts in Europe, Vienna has a lot more to offer if you are not the outdoorsy type. In Vienna you can see from marionette shows in the city’s beautiful parks, to some of the most interesting museums for the art lovers. Don’t forget to visit some of the main museums in the Quartier and browse some of the indie shops on Neubaugasse and Gumpendorfer Strasse. Locals also stock up their calories with the occasional roast suckling pig with coriander dumplings for lunch or dinner (why not?).
If your plan is to dodge winter completely and have a sunny holiday without traveling too far, then Madeira is for you! Closer to Africa than it is to Europe, tourists flock to the city for their much needed vitamin D during the winter time. Plus, the city of Funchal has one of the best NYE firework displays in the world. While visiting, don’t forget to check the picturesque Tropical and Japanese Gardens as well as the Risco Waterfall and the 25 Fontes (25 Springs).
One of the coldest spots in Europe, Iceland is an expert on making the best out of freezing temperatures. One of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, the city also sports some of the most beautiful Christmas lights, with its various luminous fairies. While on the city, do not forget to do some dog-sledding or snowmobiling on a glacier for an incredible experience. If you are visiting the city around February, do not forget to check the Lights Festival, for free entrance in various museums, beautiful light installations and performances around the whole city.
If you really enjoy the Christmas spirit, you will enjoy the winter wonderland that Copenhagen becomes during winter. Visit the Tivoli Amusement Park for its romantic illuminations and get yourself a deliciously warm mug of glögg. If you are lucky you can reserve a table at Noma, which is considered the best restaurant in the world by many.
Quebec has one of the happiest winters in the world. With its carnival parade during the 1st to the 17th of February, the city offers a winter amusement park with attractions such as skiing, ice sculptures, ice rafting and much more. Numerous private parties, mascarades and the ice palace are open for visitors as well as many little stalls to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Don’t forget to watch the entertaining ice boat races and soapbox derbies for an activity fueled weekend for the whole family.
If you have more winter destination tips, please share them with us on the comments below!