Are you starting to dream about getting away for a while? This time of year it’s a very common sensation to want to get out of your house and find something new and exciting to do. You might instinctively want to get out of the cold and find somewhere warm to go instead, but it would be a mistake to dismiss colder winter holidays that quickly. Here are some ideas about gorgeous winter destinations for you to take inspiration from…
One of the most beautiful cities in the United Kingdom, Edinburgh brings gorgeous old architecture together with a thriving, busy city centre to create the perfect Christmas or winter vacation spot. With a huge, continental Christmas market to explore, the glorious backdrop of the surrounding hills and the castle in the city centre will create atmosphere like nowhere else. Visit the café where JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book and hike up to Arthur’s Seat before going for tea on the Royal Mile. Edinburgh is a breathtaking whirlwind of a city and absolutely worth a visit.
The capital of Austria, Vienna is home to some of Europe’s most authentic and thriving Christmas markets, with a number of incredible bars and cafes to duck into if you get too cold outside. During the advent period you can enjoy classical music concerts at St Stephen’s Cathedral, including works by Mozart, Bach and Haydn along with classic Christmas carols. You can also check out the program of extravagant Christmas events in the Museumsquartier, with an ice rink and ice sculptures.
Winter in Montreal is a time to be enjoyed and explored, with the annual snow carnival, the Fête des Neiges, which involves tube sliding, ice skating, and snow games, along with the Montreal des Lumiéres, which showcases seasonal cuisine, and the Montreal All-Nighter, in which the restaurants, bars, museums and theatre stay open city-wide in a night long party. Before you travel there, make sure you check out the official Canada ETA site. Then you can have fun with your winter activities – you could also go skiing and drink hot chocolate on the Mont-Royal!
Although from its name you might expect Iceland to be bitterly cold over the winter, it’s actually more temperate than you might think, leading to a fun and decidedly liveable atmosphere. Check out the natural ice caves on the Icelandic glaciers and visit the Blue Lagoon, the famous geothermal spa where you can bathe in warm water outside in winter. Of course, you can also check out the famously beautiful Northern Lights by night.
One of the most fun and cosmopolitan cities in the world, London is bursting with things to do over the holidays. Take in the magical fairground and delicious food stalls at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, before heading up to Covent Garden to go to some bars and take pictures in front of the giant Christmas tree there. Hamleys, one of the world’s biggest toy shops, will be full of festive fun on Regent Street, and if you’re there over Christmas you can check out the huge sales that begin on December 26 in one of the best shopping cities worldwide.