Winter isn't all about gloom and dreariness. It also isn't all about taking a sunny break in the tropics, either. There are some wonderful little spots in Northern Europe that make for perfect winter holiday locations, and even if you don't walk away with a tan, you will still find yourself revitalized and entertained. It's a lovely feeling to wrap up warm and venture out into a new city, grabbing a hot chocolate or a cup of soup, watching people go about their day, and discovering different winter traditions to bring home.
Frederiksberg Gardens, in Frederiksberg, Denmark, are beautiful in the summer, but just as fascinating in the winter months. The winding paths, canals, and Romantic-style gardens contain an array of interesting buildings, from a palace to a Chinese summer-house. If you are lucky, you may even get to see the elephants in the zoo from the Elephant Viewpoint. You can also skate for free on the beautiful ice skating rink.
You can jump on a train in Copenhagen, Denmark and be in Malmö, Sweden in less than an hour. The trip is worth it for the water views alone, and you get to travel over the famous Oresund Bridge. Malmö has a lovely Christmas vibe around the holidays. Decorations and lights fill the stunning architecture in the old city streets, buildings from as early as the 14th century, and the Christmas markets contain gifts for everyone back home — and mulled wine, don’t forget the mulled wine!
Trondheim, Norway is a beautiful city full of ancient buildings, but if you find yourself there in the winter you should check out the skiing and snowboarding opportunities right outside the city. Or you can just take the tram to Lian and walk around the Bymarka forests — just make sure you don’t get lost as the tram service closes down earlier in the winter.
Winter in the Netherlands means endless hours of ice skating along canals. You will land in Schiphol and from there you can choose any place of your fancy — most major cities are a short distance away, Amsterdam being a mere 20 minutes from the airport. Amsterdam provides entertainment all year round, with hearty food and fantastic food tours, museums, and biking routes along the canals.
Warsaw, Poland is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer, the added plus of being there in the winter means you can really appreciate the hot soups, pierogis, and mulled beer that are available in the old town. The architecture is stunning and if there is snow on the ground it will transport you back to a different era. There is something so peaceful about strolling around the old castle in the middle of winter, quite like a fairytale.
The wonderful part about visiting these cities in the winter is that you get to enjoy all the attractions without dealing with all the summer tourists. It’s a great way to hang out with the locals and enjoy the winter spirit!
This post is part of a series for Hipmunk Destination Unknown