We Will Go on Holiday: Which European Destinations to Choose in Winter

We Will Go on Holiday: Which European Destinations to Choose in Winter

The pandemic has postponed tons of holiday plans, but that’s no reason to cancel them! We are taking a look into the bright future and think that we can finally go on that long-awaited trip this winter. So we have selected a number of picturesque, tasty, and even warm European destinations!

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Florence, Italy

  • Temperature: +6.5 ℃.
  • Advantages: reduced prices of museum tickets, Bohemian atmosphere, Tuscan wine.
  • Drawbacks: not warm enough for total bliss.
  • Activities: enjoy the art, try Florentine steak, drink Chianti, and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Tuscany is a sunny region. Winter features a bright blue sky, between-seasons temperature, and a tranquil mood. Locals and tourists walkabout in autumn coats, drink coffee at cozy little tables, ride bicycles and even buy the famous Florentine ice-cream by Ponte Vecchio. Note the prices: the normal cost of a scoop of ice cream is €1.50, but in places teeming with tourists, it could increase to €3.

Della Gherardesca is one of the largest private gardens in Florence.

January is the low season in Florence, so there are almost no queues to the famous Uffizi Gallery or Galleria dell’Accademia. Moreover, due to the low demand, entry tickets are cheaper. For example, an adult ticket to Uffizi Gallery between November and February costs €12, while from March to October it costs €20. On the other hand, the prices of wine and steak don’t depend on the season, but are an essential part of any cultural program in Florence.

Budget wine tasting in Florence

If you want to immerse yourself in the local party culture, then take a look into a wine bar called Enoteca alla sosta dei papi. Wine o’clock there begins at 18:00, and the Italians amble up to the little tables both inside and outside, take a wine glass from the bar, walk in the vicinity, and mingle incessantly. The bar staff is most welcoming here, and wine costs €3-5 per glass. It is served with a couple of free mini-sandwiches with pesto sauce and tomatoes, sausages or cheese. To find out where else to eat out in Florence, read this blog.

Where to stay

Nice, France

  • Temperature: +9.1 ℃.
  • Advantages: winter sales, impressive architecture, lots of museums. 
  • Drawbacks: the sea is quite cold, and dining in the restaurants is expensive.
  • Activities: meditate by the winter sea, renew your wardrobe, drink Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Nice brings to mind the French Riviera, aristocratic holidays, and high costs. And all because the Russian nobility started to travel here in the 2nd half of the 19th century to chase away their sadness and boredom.

But winter is just the right time to get to know the local scene, take a look at the Musée Matisse and Marc Chagall National Museum, try the local wines and buy something French for yourself. An adult ticket to the Musée Matisse cots €10, and it’s €9 to the Marc Chagall National Museum.

Nice brings to mind the French Riviera, aristocratic holidays, and high costs. But it has lots going for it, too 🙂

If it’s Italian pizza and pasta, you’re after then take a ride to the Ligurian village resort Sanremo. A bus ticket costs €5, or it’s €15 by train, with the journey taking about an hour.

Where to stay

Athens, Greece

  • Temperature: +10.2 ℃.
  • Advantages: the atmosphere of an open-air museum, discounted tickets to the Acropolis, and cheap eating out.
  • Drawbacks: some neighborhoods are dirty and noisy, and the modern architecture is unimpressive. 
  • Activities: study the ruins, eat lunch in the tavernas, view the graffiti, and meet sunset on Mount Lycabettus.

Athens is an ancient city that everybody has heard of from school. So you must see it with your own eyes at least once in your lifetime. All the more so as it is colorful, diverse, full of the spirit of freedom and street art.

The Athenian neighborhood Plaka — the oldest part of this antique city.

A trip to Athens in winter means avoiding the tiresome flow of tourists, eating Greek souvlaki and other fast-food to your heart’s content, walking miles and miles around the city, and saving on the cost of tickets to the Acropolis. From November to March they cost €10, while from April to October they cost €20.

Lunch in a taverna

If you want to try national Greek dishes such as egg-plant moussaka, potatoes, and mincemeat, then take lunch in a taverna. At Taverna Platanos, you will find an unhurried atmosphere, lots of locals, and generous portions. As well as moussaka, here you can order grilled meat or fish, kebabs, French fries, the famous Greek salad and lots more. A two-course meal with a soft drink will cost €15-20.

Where to stay

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

  • Temperature: +10.2 ℃.
  • Advantages: luxury atmosphere.
  • Drawbacks: damned expensive.
  • Activities: throw money around, but avoid casino trips.

Actually, it’s perfectly feasible to spend a couple of days riding around Monte-Carlo if you go in winter, as the Mediterranean coast here is picturesque all-year-round. And fortunately, it’s totally free to admire the sea and the skies.

Head to Monte-Carlo for a couple of days if you go on holiday to Nice.

Where to stay

Tenerife, Spain

  • Temperature: +20 ℃.
  • Advantages: plenty of amazingly beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, and Spanish delicacies.
  • Drawbacks: to save on costs, you will need to fly there with a number of connecting flights. 
  • Activities: take a boat excursion, wander along the volcanic sand, and if you’re not afraid of the cold, then bathe in the Atlantic Ocean.

Tenerife is known as the island of eternal spring due to its comfortable temperature: it’s not too hot in summer and not too cold in winter. Therefore, if you want to truly warm up after a snowy New Year, then head for the Canary Islands.

Teide National Park is the island’s main natural tourist attraction.

Entry to Teide National Park is free, and it is considered the island’s main natural tourist attraction. You won’t have to pay to view the Basilica of the Royal Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Candelaria or Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa in Santa Cruz, either. You can buy the main Spanish delicacies at the market — jamon, cheeses, seafood, and wine.

Where to stay


Head off to Europe in winter, in order to build up your endorphins, spend time in the fresh air, and gather strength to make your New Year’s wishes come true. At that time, the appearance of warm European cities is stunningly different from the usual winter greyness.

You can take lunch in the open air, spend hours walking in parks and along the seafront, take photos without other tourists popping up in the background, and avoid having to push through the crowds.

Off to Europe

Tags: Christmas, New Year, travel destinations
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