Those of us who prefer warmer climates may be tempted to wait until the summer months to visit Europe, when the sun-kissed beaches are more appealing. But it is our mission to argue that winter should be celebrated and enjoyed rather than feared. It's safe to assume that the beauty and serenity of a European winter day may bring one to the brink of ecstasy.
In the summertime, most European cities are swarmed by visitors. However, if you don't mind the chilly weather, you can dodge the throng. Cruise prices, in particular, tend to drop significantly at this season, and you'll see less tourists overall. Outside of the holiday season, most large cities are surprisingly quiet and affordable during the winter, making it an ideal time to visit for outdoor activities and warm, hospitable experiences. (Can you imagine anything better than a steaming mug of authentic hot chocolate at a quaint Belgian café by the river?) These images of Europe in the winter will inspire you to start making plans for your next trip right away, whether that's before the year ends or in 2023.
We have provided an in-depth research ranking the top winter getaways in Europe to help you narrow down the many options available during the colder months. Use these suggestions as a jumping off point for your next adventure, or use them to start making plans for your favorite spots this coming winter.
Millions of people come to experience the unique atmosphere of the City of Light every year. A lot of credit must also go to the excellent food and impressive art collections. Along the banks of the Seine are museums, cathedrals, and entire blocks of Rococo and Neoclassical architecture, all of which are further accentuated by the city's cascading trees and romantically lit cobblestone streets. Impossibly stylish Parisians can be seen strolling down the Seine's cobblestoned walkways and across its beautiful bridges on their way to the market, a cafe, or the movies.
Paris retains its allure even when it's cold outside. Sip coffee in cozy cafes and avoid the crowds at the Musée du Louvre, the Musée Rodin, and the Musée d'Orsay—three of the city's most popular museums. If you don't mind braving the winter chill, the Champs-Elysées is a magical place to stroll along during the holiday season thanks to the lighted trees that border the road.
According to Ernest Hemingway's novel "A Moveable Feast," Paris is a city of "many splendors" due to its world-class museums, couture, gastronomy, and unique atmosphere. Take in the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, browse the designer stores on the Champs Élysées or the unique shops of Le Marais, and visit the iconic Musée d'Orsay. However, don't overlook the simple joy of strolling the marvelous arrondissements (districts) or snacking on crepes from the street vendors. As soon as your plane touches down in France, you can begin your self-guided audio tour of Paris with Voxcity. Use the app's exclusive navigation tools, which make wandering about on your own a breeze, straight away. You'll feel like you're a part of the city's history and culture as you get closer to landmarks like the Eiffel Tower.
The mythical origins of the seven-hilled city of Rome are well-known. The legendary twins Romulus and Remus, raised by a she-wolf and fathered by a war god, laid the groundwork for the city of Rome. Despite some skepticism from historians, visitors to Rome are unanimous in their belief that the city possesses a special enchantment. Roma will impress you with its ancient architecture, its proximity to the Vatican and the Colosseum, its lively Piazza Navona, and its delicious trattorias.
Rome, the Italian capital, has a rich history dating back to the times of Octavian, Julius Caesar, and Hadrian. Left behind are frameworks like the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and myriads of churches, among other historic gems. The Vatican Museums are a treasure trove for art lovers, and visitors will also appreciate the excellent Italian cuisine and delicious gelato. Despite the fact that many visitors come to Rome to learn about its historic significance, the city is also a dynamic, cutting-edge metropolis with glittering designer boutiques, chic hotels, and innovative eateries throughout winter.
You'll need your winter coat and scarf for a visit to the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain in the dead of winter, but don't worry—there are plenty of places to warm up in the Eternal City. In the winter, you can see the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, inside, and then you can go out and enjoy some of the city's famous pizza and wine. During the off season, you can find great savings on Italian goods, as well as significant discounts on lodging.
You'll be captivated by our knowledgeable guide's storytelling as you discover and indulge yourself in the grandeur and majesty of Rome. Our guided tour at Voxcity allows you to hop on and off whenever you choose, allowing you to enjoy multilingual audio commentary, suggesting walking routes, pinpointing your favorite places, and locating the best photo opportunities.
It's hard to describe just how magical Venice is. True, it's a cliche to say that about a city on the water, but after you've been, you'll understand why. When you get off the train at Santa Lucia, the stunning Grand Canal will be right there to greet you. You can watch water taxis float lazily by as they pass beneath the Ponte degli Scalzi (Bridge of the Barefoot), and you can even catch the faint strains of a violin serenade you, or is that just your imagination? You should consider the possibility that it's not all in your head. Gondoliers have been known to break out into song as they steer gondolas full of lovebirds through the city's intricate network of waterways. On land, winding alleys lead past historic shops and homes before emerging onto bridges. It's worth noting that maps aren't particularly useful in Venice, and that getting lost is par for the course. Embrace your sense of disorientation, or hire a local guide by booking one of Vox City's top-rated tours of the city.
When it comes to rumors about Amsterdam, take caution. This Dutch metropolis is a lot more complex than its reputation for lenience toward the Red Light District's beckoning ladies and "coffee shops" selling an unconventional type of herb to toking customers would have you believe. After an unforgettable Indonesian lunch, a stroll along the canals at dusk, or a foray into the shops of Nine Little Streets, you, like so many other visitors before you, will realize that there is much more to Amsterdam than meets the eye.
Amsterdam is perfect for a solo adventure, a weekend with your significant other, a family vacation, or a trip full of learning for the kids, despite the fact that the city's lax regulations on vice appear to draw a college-age, male-dominant audience. Amsterdam caters to a wide range of tourists because of its wide array of sights and activities, from biking along a network of canals to commemorating the Holocaust through the eyes of Anne Frank to discovering the whirling Expressionism of Vincent van Gogh to lounging in the spacious Vondelpark.
The winters in Amsterdam might be brisk, but visitors who don't mind braving the frost can save a bundle on lodging and transportation. Many of Amsterdam's best sights are available all year, and the city comes alive with Christmas celebrations and ice skating rinks in the winter. Even though there are a number of options for getting in your 10,000 steps each day, walking is among the simplest and most efficient. Listen to your Vox City audio commentary as you stroll throughout the city to find out more about the top sights and take a break whenever it's convenient for you.