Top 3 European cities to visit in the winter

Learn about places to visit in the chilling season in Europe.
Winter is a frosty season. Many people like to tuck into their beds and warm up under blankets. However, others embrace the cold and glide through the mountains and ice. Keep reading to learn about top 3 European cities to visit in winter.

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Head north to the capital of Iceland. “Ice”land isn’t as icy as you might think. The temperatures go down to 37.4°F (3°C). That’s not very cold if you compare it to cities like Norilsk, Russia where it plummets to -67 °F (-55°C)! However, you shouldn’t expect sunbathing on the sandy beaches. You can do other things though.

winter in Reykjavik
winter in Reykjavik
  • Don’t miss the northern lights

Get on a bus tour to reach one of the spots that have a spectacular view. The northern lights, or aurora, are a natural light display in the sky.  Auroras appear as colorful curtains, rays or spirals. This phenomenon happens when the wind hits the earth’s ionosphere. It’s usually very clear in the winter. So, make sure to enjoy this Earthly show.

The northern lights in IcelandThe northern lights in Iceland
The northern lights in Iceland
  • Enjoy an unusual swim in the Blue lagoon

You won’t be able to surf on waves in Reykjavik but you can enjoy a fabulous swim in the Blue Lagoon. The blue lagoon is a geothermal spa in front of Þorbjörn volcanic mountain. This man-made attraction is full of minerals that can heal the skin. Don’t worry, the water’s temperature there is around 37C – 40C.

Blue lagoon, Iceland
Blue lagoon, Iceland
  • Walk through Raufarhólshellir lava Tunnel       

Around 5200 years ago, lava from the Leitahraun eruption flooded the lands of Iceland. Years passed by and the hot lava cooled and hardened to form a unique tunnel. It’s the lava tunnel Raufarhólshellir. The awe-inspiring tunnel stretches for around 1360 m (4500 ft). Through your walk in the tunnel, you would see lava formations that stood for thousands of years.

Raufarhólshellir lava Tunnel
Raufarhólshellir lava Tunnel

2. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe. However, it’s also one of the most expensive cities on the continent. Winter can be a great opportunity to visit the lovely capital with fewer crowds in tourist places. Here are our top picks of things to do in Prague in winter.

Winter in Prague
Winter in Prague
  • Don’t miss the Christmas Markets

If you want to live an unforgettable holiday season, you should definitely pay a visit to the Christmas market. From handicrafts to wooden toys, the stalls there sell everything related to Christmas. Don’t forget to treat your mouth with some smoked dumplings and pernicky (spicy gingerbread). Yummy!

The Christmas markets often run from November 28th to January 6th.

Prague christmas markets
Prague christmas markets
  • Enjoy Masopust

After the Christmas buzz, there’s another festive celebration that looks a lot like Mardis Gras. This festival is full of parades, songs, music, food and dances. The marchers wear all kinds of colorful and eccentric costumes. Masopust usually takes place in late February or early March. So if you aren’t looking for a warmer experience in Prague, you can simply go there and attend Masopust.

Masopust carnival
Masopust carnival
  • Tour Prague Castle

Prague castle is arguably the most famous landmark in Prague but that fame comes with tons of visitors. In the winter, there are way fewer waiting lines, so you may have the whole majestic place for yourself……well and a few others.

prague castle
prague castle

3. Barcelona, Spain

If you want to go to a warmer destination in Europe, pay a visit to Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain. The city offers its visitors unforgettable experiences in both the winter and the summer. Here are some activities you can do in Barcelona in the winter. 

Barcelona in winter
Barcelona in winter
  • The Three Kings parade

In winter, it’s a must to attend the three kings’ parade on the 5th of January. This famous Christmas parade is even more popular than Santa Claus! The event lasts for more than 4 hours and it’s marked by songs, costumes and delicious foods! On this day, children leave their shoes outside hoping to get presents from the kings. 

the three kings parade
  • Pay a visit to the La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous sites in Barcelona. This astonishing church has been under construction for more than 100 years! Workers started building the church in 1882 and it is set to be completed in 2026! The site was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 due to its unique architecture. When it’s completed, La Sagrada Familia will become the highest religious building in the world. The site is usually crowded with tourists in the summer. So it’s advisable to visit it in the winter for a better experience.

La Sagrada Família Basilica
La Sagrada Família Basilica
  • Cheer at the Camp Nou

If you are a soccer fan, you should definitely visit Barcelona’s Camp Nou. The huge stadium is the biggest in Europe with a maximum capacity of 99,354 seats. You can book a ticket to watch a match there if Barcelona FC. is playing or you can take a tour to see the changing rooms, press rooms, bench of the players and of course to kick a ball on the legendary lawn that was blessed by the likes of Ronaldinho and Messi.

Camp nou

Those were our top 3 European cities to visit in the winter. What about you? Tell us about a city you visited or would like to visit in Europe in the winter.





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