Winter (also known as ‘off season’) may be the best time to visit Europe if you like skiing, glacier spotting, polar light shows, Christmas markets… or the opera. Europe in December is simply beautiful, whether you’re trekking in Austria’s Bregenz Forest or gazing up at Reykjavik’s snow-capped mountains, wiggling your toes from the comfort of your thermal pool.
Many travellers visit northern Europe in December, on purpose, to catch the northern lights or visit the Christmas markets. This may be reflected in the price – particularly in renowned destinations like Nuremberg and Stockholm.
Elsewhere though, you’ll find winter to be the most peaceful and affordable season in Europe. Think peaceful walks down the Venetian canals on a crisp morning. Think dolphin-watching off the coast of Madeira.
Winter is also the season for high culture in Europe. Theatre lovers will never travel at any other time!
Sadly, there is a catch. Quiet streets and cheaper flights? Sure. But you will have to contend with short, dark days that can get VERY cold. Some tourist attractions will close during winter too, so make sure you do some research before booking your trip.
Stock up on lip balm and moisturisers. Scandinavia may be beautiful in winter, but boy does the cold bite. Especially if you’re not used to it.