Baby, It’s Cold Outside: The Best Europe Winter Destinations
Cities dusted with snow, mountains capped with ice and epic festive celebrations feature in our favourite Europe winter destinations.
It's dark and the lights are twinkling as you walk hand in hand with your love down cobbled streets, your cheeks perfectly blushed as you smile from ear to ear. No, we aren’t describing a Richard Curtis box office hit; this could really be you. Winter can be hard; sunshine is rare, Christmas parties loom and you’re guaranteed to receive socks you don’t want come the 25th. Bring a little cheer to the colder months with a getaway to the greatest Europe winter destinations. Plum Guide brings you the best of the bunch, plus some beautiful homes to boot.
As the land of hygge, choosing Copenhagen for a Europe winter destination just makes sense. Yes, it is a little cold but head to the nearest market and you’re greeted by the scent of clove, oranges, cinnamon and star anise heralding the Gløgg at the bar. The Danes love this warming drink and you will too. Cafe hop as you explore the streets, find yourself an ice rink and delight at wasting all your money at an overpriced Christmas market. Your aunt will definitely love that snow globe, buy it.
You’ll never be cold if you have a bottle of whisky in your pocket. Where best to practise this incredible proverb than in bonny Scotland? Find your favourite at one of the many distilleries across the country. Edinburgh and Glasgow will provide all your cultural highlights as well as history galore. Head to the countryside for glacial beauty, heart-skipping landscapes and the kind of peace and quiet that dreams are made of.
annoying self-respecting people say; there is no such things as bad weather, only bad clothing (thanks Plum). Pack your best gloves, woolly hats and long johns for a winter in Berlin gets really, really cold. Embrace the snow with an enchanted walk through Tiergarten, the city’s largest park before ticking off one of Berlin’s art galleries. Cosy up in a cafe or bar to warm the cockles and congratulate yourself on your sensible layering.
“Oh Paris! I simply adore Paris any time of year, but it really comes into its own in winter. I simply j’adore Paris!” That is the kind of thing you will say after a little trip over the channel come November. Quieter streets, smaller queues for the Louvre and exactly the same big tower everyone likes. Get yourself to Paris and explore one of the Europe winter destinations that dreams are made of.
Find milder winter weather and spacious streets if you head to Lisbon, one of Plum Guide's favourite Europe winter destinations. Visit the world’s oldest bookshop and stock up on poetry books you will never read, an atlas depicting the 1700s and a handful of bookmarks. Embrace culture at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum before drinking copious amounts of port and feasting on pastéis de nata, because life is about balance.
Skate the ice rink in Hyde Park, buy things you don’t need at Liberty London, shed a tear at the sheer beauty of the Christmas display at Fortnum & Masons and pay a visit to the Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City. A festive bucket list right there. A winter getaway in the capital is full of festive joy and overpriced mulled wine – and quite frankly it couldn’t be better.
You’ll be forgiven for thinking Croatia is just sunshine and beach holidays. It is those things, of course, but it also makes a splendid winter break. They take Christmas seriously here so check the festive celebrations before you go. Ski resorts nestle among picturesque mountain villages and the scenery is *chef's kiss*. Watch snow dance on Plitvice Lake before taking in the frozen waterfall – and keep your eyes peeled for Mr Tumnus; you’re in Narnia after all.
Winter is the perfect time of year to visit Milan and avoid those pesky crowds. Take things at a leisurely pace; skip from boutique to high-end restaurant and take in the sights of jaw-dropping architecture dotted across the city before holing up in a dreamy Plum Guide home. The Duomo Cathedral doesn’t look much better than with a dusting of frost and the magnificent interiors are sublime any time of year.