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7 of the Best European Winter City Breaks
by Andrew Bartlett
Winter is undeniably the best season for exploring European countries, with a plethora of picturesque streets, cosy cafes and magical Christmas markets. So, read our choice of the 7 best Winter city breaks, and set about packing your suitcase!
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The Danish capital is cool, crisp and incredibly beautiful during the Winter months. Rich in culture and brimming with ‘hygge’, Copenhagen is definitely one for the bucket list.
What to do? If you’re a fan of museums and architecture (and not a fan of the low outdoor temperatures!), the Danish National Museum is worth a visit. Browse their huge selection of artifacts - you can easily spend a whole day learning about the fascinating Danish heritage.
Where to stay? First Hotel Mayfair combines a central location with stylish rooms and friendly service. From £153 per night.
Culture-filled Warsaw is a hub of historical sites and monuments, completely full of charm. Although chilly during the Winter, often with sub-zero temperatures, it’s a wonderful place to explore for a weekend break.
What to do? Visit Warsaw’s Old Town, where you will stumble on a festive Christmas market selling local delicacies, unique souvenirs and decorations. There is also an impressive ice-rink, a great place to go with family and friends.
Where to stay? Hotel Bristol, which is next door to the Presidential Palace, is home to the most luxurious hotel rooms in Warsaw. From £93 per night.
Just a short flight from the UK, Nuremberg is a fantastic choice during the Winter and is a popular destination with travellers across the globe.
What to do? If you’ve always dreamed of visiting an authentic Christmas market, Nuremberg is the place to visit. Be sure to try a bratwurst sausage and explore local craft stalls. Explore the Old Town and see the original city walls, Imperial Castle and magnificent architecture.
Where to stay? Hotel Elch is a boutique hotel situated in a beautiful building dating back to the 14th century. With modern amenities and elegant rooms, it’s a great choice. From £60 per night.
Avoid the Summer crowds, enjoy the Gothic architecture and taste the warming Czech cuisine as Prague is transformed into a Winter Wonderland during the Christmas Period.
What to do? Ice-skating is a popular activity in Prague - head to the Galerie Harfa’s rooftop and enjoy views of the city whilst perfecting your skating. After a long day exploring the city, indulge in a hot chocolate in one of the cosy cafes.
Where to stay? Augustine is a 5-star hotel offering spa impressive facilities and stylish design. From £186 per night.
Croatia isn’t the most obvious choice for a Winter break - but there is certainly more to this country than the Dalmatian Coast! Zagreb is a magical Winter Wonderland during the Christmas period and is a must-visit.
What to do? Zagreb’s main streets and squares are guaranteed to be packed with Christmas stalls. Stroll around the city with a cup of mulled wine, pick up one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts and enjoy the Croatian cuisine.
Where to stay? Palace Hotel Zagreb is the city’s oldest hotel, situated in a convenient yet quiet location. From £69 per night.
Salzburg is a great Winter destination which is appealing to travellers from all walks of life. Whether you are looking for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing break, Salzburg will succeed all expectations!
What to do? Go up to the Untersberg, a mountain which is visible from practically all of Salzburg. Take a cable car to the top and enjoy a panoramic view of the Alps and Bavaria - check online beforehand to make sure it’s a clear day in order to avoid a disappointing view.
Where to stay? Hotel Sacher, on the banks of the Salzach river, is a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World offering the most luxurious accommodation. From £281 per night.
Immerse yourself into the joyous Latvian capital during the Christmas time, when the air is crisp and the city is lit with fairy lights. This city has so much to offer, with tempting mulled wine, gingerbread and roasted chestnuts.
What to do? The UNESCO-listed Old Town centre is the perfect setting for a Christmas market with its picturesque cobbled streets and impressive medieval buildings. Explore Riga’s Art Nouveau district for a vast variety of eclectic architecture, with over 800 impressive buildings.
Where to stay? Grand Palace Hotel is in the heart of the Old Town and is full of charm with a beautiful, contemporary twist. From £137 per night.