7 Awesome Winter Holiday Destinations in Europe

by | Published on Nov 7, 2016 | Last update on Jun 17, 2019Published on Nov 7, 2016 | Last update on Jun 17, 2019 | 10 comments


Looking for an awesome adventure but don’t know where to go this winter? You see, holidays are not always meant to be spent by the Mediterranean sea chilling by the beach with cocktails in your hand, although that is nice too, sometimes we overlook the beauty of winter and always find ourselves running away from it – and I’m guilty of that! Truthfully, you appreciate the beauty of winter in Europe when you experience it. Granted it is cold but with proper clothing, it shouldn’t be an issue at all! Plus, how awesome will it be to visit and experience some of Europe’s winter holiday destinations? It will be epic.

Well, as I mumble along, you most probably know that there are heaps of places in Europe that offer unique winter adventure for everyone to enjoy and that said, I highly suggest you should visit at least once in your life! Imagine a nice beautiful area with high mountains and beautiful nature all covered in thick white snow; it does remind you of some magical world, doesn’t it? Well, glad to say that’s the reality for most of these beautiful winter destinations in Europe!

I’m proud to say that this compilation of winter holiday destinations in Europe will tickle your adventure wanderlust to visit at least one of these magical winter paradise sometime in the future! I mean, come on, I know they look fascinating from your screen but imagine how it is if you’re actually there? I live in Finland and trust me, looking out at my window right now, pure beauty.


Abisko Winter Holiday Destinations in Sweden

1. Abisko, Sweden

Why is this the best winter holiday destination for you?

The chilly northern country of Sweden is unmissable in winter. Cold-fearing folks need only remember: there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices. Traveling here during the most ‘daunting’ season offered me experiences unique to the north, where embracing the dark and snow is a necessary part of life. Plus, you’re to miss the bustling crowds that characterize the summer tourist season and experience a less-traveled land during its most beautiful time.

READ: Seeing the Northern Lights on a Budget in Abisko, Sweden

What awesome things can you do in Absiko?

A winter trip to Absiko was marked by one of the most awe-inspiring experiences that a person can have: an up-close-and-personal view of the Northern Lights. There’s no such thing as a ‘bad view,’ to be fair, but the most optimal viewpoint is atop Mount Nuolja. A chairlift across from the STF Turiststation takes you up 1169 meters to the Aurora Sky Station, where you can enjoy an unparalleled, epic view of Aurora Borealis from the Panorama Cafe deck. The cafe offers the perfect definition of a traditional meal with a view.


Visit Lapland, Finland Winter Holiday Destinations

2. Lapland, Finland

Why is this the best winter holiday destination for you?

Who wouldn’t want to visit the official hometown of Santa Claus? Even January holidays to Christmas-town will leave you feeling all of the cheer. Winter is totally embraced here, with a ton of tourist activities and unique accommodation options- my favorite is definitely the snow igloos. With awesome snow, tasty local food, huskies, reindeer, and the Northern Lights, what’s not to love?

READ: Barefoot in the Åland Islands: Wellness and Nordic Design

What are awesome things you can do in Lapland?

Lapland is a winter paradise with plenty of activities (especially outdoor) to ensure a memorable trip. A guided trek down the Aurora Trail will take you out for a primetime view that is so much more rewarding on foot. Snowmobile safaris are all the rage here, too, but for a true Lapland experience, opt for the husky or reindeer safari instead. On a side note ladies and gents, regarding the safari, don’t forget to bring your women and men’s snowmobile gear for this activity, if you have one! Also, if you dare, take the plunge into the four-degree water at Rovaniemi’s Koskipuisto Park.

Reykjavik, Iceland

3. Reykjavik, Iceland

Why is this the best winter destination for you?

Even in winter, there is never a dull day in Iceland’s capital city. Along with illuminating snowfall and the regular appearance of Aurora Borealis, Reykjavik has all of the urban conveniences that you need to keep comfortable. If you’re interested, there’re unique AirBnB’s in Iceland that’ll help you fall in love with Iceland more!

READ: Iceland: A Winter Weekend Trip to the Land of Ice and Fire

What are awesome things that you can do in Reykjavik?

Don’t let the smallness of the country fool you. Reykjavik’s calendar is full of winter festivities, events, and activities guaranteed to make your trip pleasant. There are several kinds of music, fashion, and food events that characterize the winter months, with the Winter Lights Festival highlighting the journey. Make sure to experience the riveting feeling of outdoor swimming with Reykjavik’s many thermal pools as a calming source of therapy to beat any winter stiffness after hitting the slopes at Iceland’s number one ski resort, Bláfjöll.

READ: Everything you need to know about a trip to Reykjavik


Bled, Slovenia

4. Bled, Slovenia

Why is this the best winter destination for you?

Lake Bled is truly a winter wonderland. It ranks as one of the most beautiful alpine resort towns for celebrating winter in Europe, but it won’t break the bank like its equivalents in Switzerland and France. A medieval castle sits atop the cliffs overlooking the lake, providing you with all of the character and charms that you look for in old European towns.

READ: Places to visit in Slovenia

What are awesome things you can do in Bled?

Head to the exhibition in Bled Castle for a quick and enticing history and culture lesson before immersing yourself in your surrounds. Bled is considered a mecca for cross-country skiing, with trails taking you through peaceful pastures and forests. When the cold starts to bite, treat yourself to one of Bled’s many thermal spring pools, Finnish and Turkish saunas, and spa treatments.

Innsbruck, Austria

5. Innsbruck, Austria

Why is this the best winter destination for you?

The Gothic city of Innsbruck comes alive in winter. Traditional Christmas markets, glowing lights, and wintry attractions make this city perfectly picturesque in winter, and locals are proud to display their wealth of culture and traditions during this time. Consider January holidays to avoid the Christmas rush.

RELATED: Winter Activities in Kitzbuhel, Austria

What are the awesome things you can do in Innsbruck?

Spend a few hours marveling at the views offered at the Seegrube ski station. Situated 2200 meters above sea level, a funicular and cable car ride lift you up to offer panoramic views of the surrounding city and landscape. Plus, the ski down is pretty spectacular. I found the historic Old Town to be a rewarding place for a bite and a well-deserved pint after a long day in the mountain air. Culture seekers can head to the Kristallwelten Museum, named in honor of Daniel Swarovski.


Budapest, Hungary

6. Budapest, Hungary

Why is this the best winter destination for you?

Bohemian bliss reigns supreme in Hungary’s capital. Bursting with complex history and culture, Budapest is home to over 220 museums that are perfect for winter day activities. The tradition of hearty food is also best experienced in winter when the body and soul crave warmth the most.

What are the awesome things you can do in Budapest?

In addition to the plethora of museum options, the city offers a few outdoor winter activities, as well. Ice skating on the frozen Városligeti Tó, behind Heroes’ Square, and sledding at Normafa let you actively enjoy the crisp air rather than chilling to the bone. A winter trip to Budapest wouldn’t be complete with a soak in one of the public baths. In fact, the heat of the natural water makes it even more pleasant during winter months, acting as a wonderful contrast to the cold open air.

Vals, Switzerland

7. Vals, Switzerland

Why is this the best winter destination for you?

As a winter-lover, what more could I want than a white vacation in the snowy Alps? The Swiss know how to celebrate winter in Europe, and seasonal tourism is truly done right here. Traditional Alpine music plays in restaurants and pubs; folks skate on natural ice, and people are always up for a (well-clothed) snowy trek.

What are the awesome things you can do in Vals?

Ski enthusiasts will not be disappointed with a trip to this Alpine resort town. Beautiful thermal baths once again offer the perfect apres-ski, and the local town has plenty of food and drinks venues to keep you toasty and full in the cold month.


So, thats it! There might be only seven winter holiday destinations mentioned in this post, there’re tons of places in Europe that offers winter adventures which you’ll surely enjoy. Of course, what was mentioned here are few amongst the popular ones but surely there are more! Europe is huge afterall and so far I heard great stuff about skii resorts in Sarajevo, if you’re interested for a cheaper alternative. I would’ve added that on this list of winter holiday destinations but perhaps next time

READ: Gyrfalcon: The Bird of Kings

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  • Have you been to any of these winter holiday destinations mentioned?
  • If yes, which one(s)?
  • If no, which one(s) you’d love to go and experience real winter adventure?


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