The holidays are coming up, and it’s time to start planning your next vacation. If you’re looking for a destination that is cozy, relaxing, and full of exotic things to do then Europe is the perfect location! There are so many places in Europe that offer an unforgettable experience during the winter season. We’ve compiled a list of 10 destinations in Europe to help you find one that will exceed all of your expectations this holiday season.
There are so many different events happening throughout the city during the holidays that you’ll never be bored. From art exhibits to light shows and plenty of live music – Berlin is such a festive place this time of year! Add in some delicious German food and drink for good measure (try something called Glühwein or hot spiced wine) and you have the perfect winter getaway.
Things to do: In Berlin there are many different neighborhoods each with its own distinct culture. Check out Kreuzberg for some great Turkish food or Friedrichshain for a punk scene. You can also take the S-Bahn to Tempelhof or Tegel and explore some of the more industrial parts of Berlin with wide-open spaces like abandoned military bases, warehouses, and factories that are now home to creative startups.
Barcelona is one of those destinations that just feels like home in December – it’s a warm city with rich culture, amazing food, incredible shopping, and incomparable views! This destination has something for everyone during this time of year. If museums don’t interest you, Barcelona also has beautiful beaches to enjoy during the colder months.
Things to do: Some popular attractions include Park Güell and the Sagrada Família. If you’re looking for a more relaxing day at the beach, Sitges is just over an hour away from Barcelona by train. The city also has many museums such as Museu Picasso and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
Bergen is such a magical place that will bring out your inner child! A lot of its tourism can be attributed to its stunning Christmas market and its unbelievably gorgeous wooden architecture – it’s like being in an entirely different world for just a few days.
Things to do: It’s known for its medieval buildings, beaches, and views of the fjords. Some people visit Bergen to see textiles from around the world at museums such as the Norwegian Folk Museum or Bergen Textile Art Center. Other popular activities are exploring one of the many hiking trails in town, watching a Norwegian fjord from the Mount Ulriken funicular, or enjoying a boat tour on one of Bergen’s many lakes.
Dublin isn’t your average vacation destination – it’s the perfect city for a holiday getaway with family and friends! There are always tons of activities happening in this compact city like festivals, live music performances, theater shows, and more. You’ll never be bored or lonely as you walk around the cobblestone streets admiring the scenery.
Things to do: -Ice skating in the middle of Dublin!
-Visit Guinness Storehouse to see how they make their famous drink. It’s a bit touristy, but it is worth seeing.
-The other thing you should do when visiting Ireland is visiting Blarney Castle and kiss the stone at least once for good luck.
Vienna is an elegant city that offers a lot of culture and tradition during this time of year – it’s even been called “The City Of Lights” because their Christmas markets are so spectacular! If you’re looking for some authentic Austrian food to try (we recommend Apfelstrudel) then this is the place to go.
Things to do: *Walk around the city and explore. You can see many historic buildings, monuments, parks, and gardens.
*Dine at a traditional Viennese restaurant to eat some delicious sausages or schnitzel! Popular dish options are Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal with lemon butter), Tafelspitz (boiled beef with horseradish sauce and mashed potatoes), or Wiener schnitzel mit Spatzle.
Rome has something for everyone during these months – plenty of beautiful historic buildings and churches that are lit up beautifully at night. If you’re looking for a more festive experience, make sure to head over to the Piazza Navona where they have one of the most bustling Christmas markets in the world. And of course, there’s gelato to enjoy while you’re there!
Things to do: -Visit the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin over your shoulder. The tradition is that if you return to Rome, the wish will come true!
-Explore St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City for amazing art and history exhibits.
-Cruise along the Tiber River past authentic buildings from ancient times including one of the seven wonders of the world, the Colosseum.
Dubrovnik is a coastal city full of beautiful scenery and beaches that will make for gorgeous photos this time of year. It’s well known as one of the best cities on Earth to see sunsets, so make sure to schedule a beach day and watch the sunset over the Adriatic Sea.
Things to do: Go to the beach! There are several options for beaches in Dubrovnik, all of them within walking distance. We recommend you visit Banje Beach or Trsteno Beach on one side and Lapad Bay Beach or Gruž Pier on the other side. You can also take a cable car up Mt Srd.
Reykjavik is one of those destinations that will make you feel at peace – there’s something about this city that just feels serene during these winter months. You’ll get to experience the Northern Lights if you’re lucky and there’s plenty of delicious food to try as well (try some Icelandic hot dogs!).
Things to do: -Ice Skating on Laugardalslaug: Icelanders are crazy about hockey and ice skating. The rink is free, but you can buy skate rentals for a few dollars.
-Hiking around the town center: There’s plenty of good hikes to explore the city from above ground level with some really amazing views of Reykjavik’s skyline.
Prague, Czech Republic:
The Christmas markets in Prague are so famous that they’ve started their own holiday! You’ll be able to find all sorts of things like gingerbread cookies, hearty stews called goulash, or crispy fried potato pancakes called latkes. But one of the most impressive and beautiful things about Prague during this time is that all of their architecture will be lit up with Christmas lights!
Things to do: You know, Prague is really a lot of fun. There’s this one street called Karlova that has all these little shops and cafes on it…
How cool are those Christmas markets? They’re so festive! And the Czech cuisine – you can’t go wrong with some good old kilobase (a type of sausage) and a beer.
Venice is such a magical place – it’s like stepping into a storybook land where everything sparkles under twinkling lights. The architecture of the buildings is so beautiful and there are plenty of people to enjoy it with you (especially during their Christmas market!).
Things to do: Bike around the Grand Canal. This is an amazing experience and I highly recommend it! Don’t forget your camera too, you’ll want to document this adventure for sure! There are some great spots to take pictures of that iconic view down the canal towards the Rialto Bridge.
IMPORTANT TIP- DON’T FORGET TO TAKE YOUR CAMERAS WITH YOU!
Take pictures because there are such iconic spots that will remind you of the beauty of nature for years to come, no matter where you are.