Winter is an amazing time of the year to holiday in mainland Europe, and I say this without even including all of the great ski resorts within the region.

Worried about the prices? Go ahead and do a quick search for Europe travel during the winter months. You will find reduced airfare, cheap hotel rooms and plenty of room to personalize your visit  since the summer crowds are gone.

Worried about the weather? You may very well find yourself in some cold places but spots like the south of Italy, Portugal, Spain and most of Greece all have pretty mild temperatures in winter. But even the cold can have its beautiful moments; just imagine icicles hanging from the Eiffel Tower or the gorgeous scenery of snow-capped mountains in Switzerland.

Worried about what to do? Don’t worry Europe is just as festive and lively during winter as it is all throughout the year. Check out just some of the things you can do, on a budget, during your stay…

For the Arts & Music Lover- As you may already know if you are interested in this subject; the opera, theatre and symphony seasons are in full swing during the winter. Because of the freezing temperatures outside you will find more and more concert halls and theatres that will put on a variety of entertainment. This means plenty of show time enjoyment for you!

For the Food Lover- In winter, European cuisine is at its finest! Once the leaves start to fall, you can smell the heavy long-cooking sauces, roasted vegetables and open fire duck and goose cooking in the kitchens.  In the winter you can finally indulge in those comfort food ‘specialities’ that you’ve heard about in those European guide books, but chefs wouldn’t dare to make them during those hot summer months. 

For the Festival Lover- If you think there won’t be any festivals or celebrations during the winter you are very mistaken! Europe stays festive with plenty of traditional Christmas markets, interesting festivals and holiday celebrations all throughout Europe. I personally have found the Christmas markets to be one of the most poignant of Europe travel experiences, and with so many to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding a deal.

For the Historian Lover- This is your chance to beat the crowds and enjoy the European history as it was meant to be enjoyed. There won’t be mile-long lines to get into just one museum, which simply means you won’t have to choose any to skip out on. Enjoy the museum displays without the noise of hundreds of cameras clicking away or get lost within the hustle and bustle of shoving tourist groups. And as an added bonus, in the winter you can even receive special discounted rates for the museum entrance as well! It’s truly a win-win if you are a history lover.

Photos by Alfred Diem, achimh

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 10:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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