“Europe in the winter?” you ask. “But it’s cold and rainy – why would I want to travel then?” Our question to you is – why would you not want to travel to Europe in the winter?
We travelled to Europe during January a few years back during our round the world trip, and it was awesome. At the time, being on a student budget meant that we wouldn’t have been able to afford such a trip in the summer months. There are many perks to European travel in the winter, and the following are but a few!
1. It’s cheaper (a lot cheaper)
We’re budget travellers here at The Global Couple, so visiting an expensive region like Europe requires a careful consideration of cost. Hotels and attractions often have low-season prices in winter. For example, we stayed in a hotel in Venice during winter and Petra’s parents stayed at the same place the following summer, and the room rate was double what we paid in winter!
2. It’s much less crowded
Have you seen the Mona Lisa, or were you too short or too far away to see over the throng of people in front of you? When we visited the Louvre in winter, we got to see her from the very front, just behind the barrier – try doing that in summer without waiting and pushing! The same goes for most other attractions and destinations: winter = less crowds.
3. Many of the attractions are indoors, anyway
It’s easy to keep out of the rain/snow/cold when visiting Europe’s attractions, as many of them are indoors. Most of them are even heated! There’s no reason why you can’t visit art galleries, churches, and museums in the winter months. And an extra bonus – you won’t have to wait long in the line outside because there are less crowds!
4. Enjoy winter sports
Embrace the winter weather and strap on some skis! The ski resorts throughout Europe are world-renowned and are well worth visiting if you’re into snow sports. There is a huge range of other fun winter sports on offer too, depending where you go – you can try curling, snow shoeing, or ice skating to name a few.
5. Christmas markets and local food
Europe is the home of some of the world’s most amazing Christmas markets. To get you in the holiday mood, think fairy lights, cute souvenirs, and delicious local foods to warm you up. Another point about local food – some European food just tastes better in the winter. Would you rather have fondue, mulled wine, and hearty meat pies in winter or summer?
6. You look fashionable in winter clothing
Yes, winter clothes are more bulky, but you only need one coat and one pair of boots when travelling to Europe in winter as layering is key. You’ll also look far more fashionable with a nice coat, scarf, and hat compared to summertime when you end up being a sweaty mess! Tip: pack merino wool layers, gloves, and warm socks!
7. It’s easier to be spontaneous
You don’t need to worry about advance booking for accommodation and flights for winter travel. During the summer months, most accommodation is booked out months in advance. In winter there are lots of last-minute deals that you wouldn’t find in summer, and if you want to go to that in-demand restaurant tonight, you can!
There you go – seven great reasons why travelling to Europe in the winter is better. Just remember to wrap up warm and take an umbrella with you!
Do you have any more tips and reasons for travelling to Europe in the winter? Or do you think other times of the year are better? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
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