Top 10 Hot and Cold Destinations for Your Winter Vacation

Top 10 Hot and Cold Destinations for Your Winter Vacation

Some like it hot, some like it cold. If you’re undecided on where to go for your winter vacation, there’s no need to worry. Whether you visit somewhere filled with snow or pick a spot to soak in some extra vitamin D, you’ll find the perfect place to visit. 

To help you make your choice, we’ve put together the perfect list of chilly and warm destinations for your winter vacation. 

In this article, we’ll cover an equal amount of hot weather and cold weather vacation destinations, including things to do, when to visit, and why you should make the trip.

ZenHotels Blog
9 minutes read

1. Malé, Maldives

Maldives is a stunning getaway destination year-round, but a trip to the Maldives in the winter is unmatched. Maldives is a group of islands in South Asia with many choices between islands you could travel to. However, Male is the capital of Maldives, which is a must-visit destination. 

Malé, the Maldives’ heart, presents a winter escape into its sunlit serenity and turquoise allure.
Photo: icemanphotos  /

In Male, you can experience the culture, colorful buildings, and stunning mosques before traveling to the other islands to visit beaches and resorts. Other must-visit islands include Maafushi, Fuvahmulah, and Sun Island. 

While in Maldives, enjoy turquoise water, sunny skies, and beautiful warm weather sights in the middle of winter!

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2. Reykjavík, Iceland

The Northern Lights, incredible hot springs, and plenty of snow for building a snowman…What more could you want in a winter vacation?

Auroras dance over Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavík’s iconic church, embodying Iceland’s winter splendor and vibrant city life.
Photo: basiczto /

Iceland offers all of the above and more. With interesting culture, food, and language, a trip to Iceland should start in its capital, Reykjavik, for fun nightlife, great restaurants, and tons of excitement. 

Keep in mind that winter in Iceland is not as icy as the name suggests, but you should be prepared for snow and wind while visiting. 

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3. Los Angeles, California

Sunny California is just as sunny in the winter as it is in the summer, making it the perfect destination for a winter getaway. 

Visit theme parks, check out celebrity homes, and try out new and inventive restaurants and food in this trendy city. 

Dawn breaks over Los Angeles, where the perennial sun offers a warm winter escape amid the city’s iconic allure.
Photo: Gabriele Maltinti/

Not only is L.A. filled with fun activities, but there’s also plenty of opportunities for relaxation in the City of Angels. Lay out in the sun on the beach and soak in some vitamin D while enjoying a fruity drink and recharging. 

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4. Seoul, South Korea

People often forget that East Asia sees snow, but South Korea can make for the perfect winter destination to experience snow and chilly weather near the holidays. 

Seoul is famous for its palaces, food, and exciting activities. Korea has the best of both worlds for travelers—offering a lengthy history with modern technological advancements. You can truly experience the magic of old Korea and new Korea in one city. 

A glimpse of tradition – a woman in hanbok admires Gyeongbokgung Palace, where Seoul’s history whispers in the winter air.
Photo: raker /

As the capital of South Korea, Seoul is also a great place to explore the rich Korean culture, from its language to its fashion and art. While you’re there, you’ll enjoy shopping, eating Korean cuisine, visiting cultural landmarks, and learning new things. 

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5. Stowe, Vermont

Stowe is famous for its fall foliage and winter snow. We recommend visiting in November to try to get a glimpse of both! Famous for its natural beauty, Stowe is the perfect location to take cold-weather trip photos. 

Autumn’s fiery tapestry blankets Mount Mansfield, showcasing Stowe’s seasonal splendor in November.

For a cozy cabin getaway with plenty of hikes and natural beauty, Stowe is an excellent winter vacation choice for lovers of cold weather. Hiking, biking, and exploring are the main appeal of Stowe. There are many well-maintained trails to choose from. 

Stowe is also home to many local breweries, so you should dedicate time to doing at least a half-day local brewery tour. 

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6. Dubai, UAE

Dubai is a modern desert paradise home to amazing tourist attractions. With luxury accommodations and out-of-this-world things to do, Dubai is a must-visit destination. Visitors to Dubai in winter benefit from cooler, but still warm, temperatures. 

Dubai’s skyline, a symphony of modernity, basks in the warm glow of a desert dawn.
Photo: Cara-Foto/

A trip to Dubai must include visits to unique attractions, like the world’s first indoor ski resort and the tallest building in the world. Dubai is also rapidly creating new buildings, hotels, and museums to create an interesting mixture of traditional Middle Eastern architecture and a modern, exotic skyline. 

Also, while Dubai is a desert location, there are also gorgeous beaches to visit on your winter vacation. 

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7. Vienna, Austria

As one of Europe’s largest cities, Vienna is unique in that the city is filled with historic architecture and natural beauty. Snowy mountains, frozen lakes, and waterfalls punctuate a visit to a historic winter wonderland that you just can’t miss. Vienna in winter is simply breathtaking!

Vienna’s mosaic rooftops, crowned by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, whisper tales of history amid the crisp winter air.
Photo: Romas_Photo/

Art collections, world-class music performances, and fascinating architecture make a trip to Vienna action-packed and full of Austrian culture. While in Vienna, you can also take a trip to the Alps for skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities.

Vienna is also home to world-famous Christmas markets. For the perfect winter trip, we recommend a visit to Austria before the holidays for a healthy dose of holiday cheer, beautiful lights, and an Austrian Christmas. 

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8. Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a unique winter destination. The country features warm weather in winter but is often overlooked by tourists. However, Colombo is a truly special city in the heart of South Asia. Located south of India, the island country has much to offer in terms of culture, beautiful nature, and idyllic sights. 

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka’s Lion Rock, rises majestically above the forest, a testament to the island’s lush winter warmth
Photo: Radchuk O.S/

Sri Lanka has a colonial history and features an interesting mix of cultures and religions as a result. Lately, the country has focused a great deal of effort on modernization. The capital city of Colombo is a perfect place to visit to stay in gorgeous, new hotels while wandering around historical neighborhoods. 

Visitors to Colombo call the city “sophisticated,” and there is plenty of nightlife and shopping to never grow bored. For tropical weather in the winter, Colombo should be high on your list. 

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9. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is also known for having a lively city culture and a deep respect for the arts. The city regularly hosts festivals and amazing events all the time, so you won’t miss out by visiting in the chillier months. 

Twilight descends on Saint Vitus Cathedral, casting a warm glow over Prague’s gothic splendor.
Photo: Den Rozhnovsky/

Prague has a well-preserved historical center, where you will feel transported through time as you walk the wintery streets. With beautiful Gothic architecture, Prague has neverending must-see sights, from castles to cathedrals and more. 

While you’re in Prague, you should also visit the Prague Christmas markets to take advantage of the city’s holiday cheer. The markets feature handmade goods, traditional Czech food, and amazing gifts. Another popular activity in Prague in winter is going ice skating!

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10. Medellin, Colombia

Medellin is known for its gorgeous weather. Colombia is warm year-round because of how close the country is to the equator. Winter, fall, spring, or summer, a visit to Medellin will come with warm weather, blooming vegetation, and plenty of outdoor activities to do. 

As the cultural center of Colombia, Medellin is known for its amazing museums. Of note are its art and history museums, which feature interesting architecture and amazing exhibits. Medellin also has several community parks which are world-renowned. 

On a warm weather trip to Medellin, you should plan to spend plenty of time outdoors, dedicate time to visiting the museums, and, of course, eat amazing Colombian food. 

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Cartagena’s vibrant spirit shines, as Colombia’s warmth radiates from its colorful culture and sunny skies.
Photo: sunsinger/

Time for your new adventures

Whether you choose warm or cold, taking a trip in winter is a great idea to rest and reset partway through the year. No matter where you decide to go, if you choose a city on this list, you will have plenty to do, taste, see, and explore. 

So, when winter hits, where will you be going? With over 2 million accommodations to choose from, you should use ZenHotels to get the best deal for your winter vacation.

 Off to adventures!

Tags: California, Iceland, Maldives, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE
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