Best European winter destinations

Tallinn covered in snow during Winter

5. Tallinn – It’s as if you stepped foot into a Disney movie with the snow drizzling, the magical walled city, and the cobbled stone streets of the Old Town. The Christmas market which is held in the Main Market Square is one of the most photogenic locations across all of Europe. You made also consider taking a two-hour ferry to Helsinki while you’re there. A city that is very unlucky to not make this list.

Tallinn in Winter
Tallinn in Winter

Climate: Average high/low 1°/ -5°
Budget: $$$$$
Don’t miss: See frozen Jägala waterfall.

4. Innsbruck – Step back in time to Innsbruck’s old town paved with cobbled stoned streets and spectacular mountainous views. Relax in a cozy cafe warming yourself up or experience the adrenaline of skiing at the Bergisel Ski Jump which is where the winter Olympics of 1964 and 1976 were held. Anything you visit here will seem like a winter wonderland whether it is the Christmas market, the Alpine Zoo, or the Ambras castle when it covered under a layer of thick white snow.

Climate: Average highs/lows 4°/-3°
Budget: $$$$$
Don’t miss: A nighttime sledding run.

3. Oslo – You cannot mention winter in Europe without mentioning Norway. Although there are so many amazing places to visit while you are here in winter such as Bergen or Tromsø, it’s as if all of Oslo’s activities are made with winter in mind. These include Oslo winter park, Frogner ice skating rink, Korketrekkeren toboggan run, Saunas, or just small and warm cafes that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Climate: average highs/lows 1°/-4°
Budget: $$$$$
Don’t miss: Sauna visits and ice-cold dips at Oslo fjord sauna.

2. St Petersburg – If you want a real Christmas experience you must visit this part of Russia. The sun doesn’t rise, the snow rarely stops and giant rivers are completely frozen over. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Kicking through the snow with a traditional Russian doll in one hand and hot chocolate in the other while admiring the extraordinary lights and decoration will put just about anyone in the Christmas spirit! You also get great hotel deals here in winter.
Climate: Average highs/lows -1°/-6°
Budget: $$$$$
Don’t miss: Visit Peterhof palace under the snow.

A church in Russia
A church in St. Petersburg

1. Zakopane – Zakopane is the definition of what a winter wonderland is and should be. If you are not from Poland, there is a good chance that you never heard of it before. Located only a two-hour bus journey south of Krakow, expect to find completely contrasting cities. Zakopane combines wooden framing reinforced with stone structure leaving a trail of gorgeous cabins across the city. If you’re looking for winter sports, shopping, wonderful cuisine, and an unforgettable Christmas experience, then get yourself to The winter capital of Poland.

Climate: Average highs/lows 2°/-5°
Budget: $$$$$
Don’t miss: The Christmas market on Mount Gubalowka.

Cabins in Zakopane, Poland
Zakopane stores

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