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That lovely time of the year is just around the corner when most of the places in Europe get blanketed in pristine white snow. The time when Christmas Markets make a vivacious appearance and when riveting New Year parties last till the wee hours of the morning. Winters somehow manage to convert the enchanting continent into an even more magical land! So if you ask "where to go in Europe in January", we can give you loads of ideas for those winter-sun holidays!!
Do you want to plan a winter vacation and are in search of places to go in January in Europe? Well, here’s just the list for you! Pack your chic winter coats and leather jackets and go on a European adventure this winter.
A good place for watching the fascinating Northern Lights, Kiruna is a lovely town in Swedish Lapland. The northernmost town in Sweden, if you are in search of some tranquillity and want to step away from the hustle and bustle of popular cities, Kiruna is where you should head over to. Trivia: Did you know that Kiruna is home to two spectacular things? The highest mountain in Sweden and the world's largest underground iron-ore mine!
What to see: Kiruna Church, Kiruna City Hall.
Travel Tip: Check in to the unique Icehotel which is made completely of ice and is open only during the winters. It is located at a distance of approximately 19 kilometers from Kiruna.
Well, we had to add Innsbruck to this list of places to visit in Europe in January; it is after all the ski and snowboard capital of the world! Adventure seekers and skiing fanatics would probably feel like they have stepped into some kind of heaven that has been customized just for them! Home to some top-notch alpine skiing resorts, Innsbruck has also hosted the Winter Olympics two times in the past.
What to see: The Hofkirche and the Emperor's Tomb, the Hofburg, the Golden Roof, Cathedral of St. James.
Travel Tip: While visiting, do check out the Tyrolean State Museum which is home to some fabulous artifacts.
Chester is one of the places to visit in Europe before you die! Why you ask? Well, because it will leave you so enthralled with its charm that you might never want to leave! Historically inclined, step back in time as you explore the quaint streets and intriguing museums that the city has to offer. Chester also boasts of some architecturally marvelous structures that will leave you in awe.
What to see: Chester Cathedral, Grosvenor Museum, Chester Zoo, the ancient city walls.
Travel Tip: Shop till you drop at the Chester Market!
4. Bled, Slovenia:
With its irresistible sublime charm and its enchanting natural beauty, Bled in Slovenia is one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. Especially if you opt for a comfy BnB or a homestay. To provide a rejuvenating experience to its visitors, Bled is home to a thermal lake that works miracles and spas that pamper you rotten. But worry not; there are plenty of opportunities for skiing and hiking for the outdoorsy visitors.
What to see: Lake Bled, Bled Castle, Triglav National Park, Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church.
Travel Tip: You have to go ice skating over Lake Bled once it freezes during the winters.
One of the warmest places to visit in Europe during January, if you are not a snow person and prefer a vacation where the sun shines pleasantly on all your travel plans, Nicosia is the place to be. Inhabited continuously since the Bronze Age and located in the Mediterranean Sea, Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus. An offbeat holiday destination, this historically rich city captivates visitors with its friendly hospitality and intense culture and traditions.
What to see: The ancient city walls and its moat, Cyprus Museum, Selimiye Mosque, Famagusta Gate.
Travel Tip: Shop for traditional jewelry at Ledra Street.
A whimsical place to visit in Europe in the month of January, Granada provides a respite from the bitter cold. No other region in Spain offers so much variety as Granada does- you can head over to the coast on a balmy day or you can opt for a skiing sojourn and head over to the Sierra Nevadas or you can simply explore the charming city on foot.
What to see: Alhambra, Sacromonte, Sierra Nevada Ski Station, Granada Cathedral.
Travel Tip: For a hearty breakfast, gorge on Suizo.
7. Amsterdam, Netherlands:
With most of the tourist attractions open all year round, Amsterdam is a delight in the winters. More so because of the discounted hotel rates and cheap flights! Although January tends to be extremely cold in the Netherlands, if you are willing to face the chilly weather, Amsterdam can play host to a memorable vacation if you give it a chance. And please don’t believe everything you hear or read about Amsterdam and the debauchery associated with it! The city is a wonderful destination for family vacations as well and your kids will definitely love exploring the many parks that Amsterdam is home to. Amsterdam is your answer to the question "where to go in Europe in January with family".
What to see: Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam Canals, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Vondelpark, Anne Frank House.
Travel Tip: If you love cheese, Amsterdam will prove to be a heaven for you! You will find many gourmet stores selling hundreds of varieties of cheese.
A pretty little town located in the Alsace region of France, Colmar is a picturesque destination you can visit in Europe in the month of January. With its quaint cobbled alleys, its visually appealing houses with its overhanging balconies and its architecturally marvelous tourist attractions, Colmar manages to appease all its visitors. Trivia- did you know that Colmar is considered to be the ‘capital of Alsatian wine’?
What to see: Little Venice, Old Town, Musee d’Unterlinden, Colmar’s Statue of Liberty, Bartholdi Museum.
Travel Tip: Travel to the nearby town of Wintzenheim and check out the Hohlandsbourg Castle.
9. Rhodes, Greece:
The fourth-largest Greek island, Rhodes is a year-round destination. Relatively expensive, it is during the winter season that the hotels in Rhodes offer great discounts, flights are cheaper and the queues outside popular tourist attractions are short. Why not explore this island in winter then?! In Rhodes, you will find a vibrant amalgamation of many cultures; it has seen successive waves of settlements and rulers- from the Romans to the Persians to the Arabs.
What to see: Palace Of The Grand Master Of The Knights Of Rhodes, Ancient Kamiros, the island of Prasonisi, Rhodes Aquarium.
Travel Tip: While visiting the island, do explore the private reserve of Petaloudes which is home to a variety of butterflies and other pretty insects.
For nature lovers and tranquillity seekers, a visit to Dingle feels like a walk-in paradise! With the serenity and lyrical beauty that the town and the entire region offers, it is no wonder A-List stars such as Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton escape to Dingle now and then. Less for the tourist who wants to see attractions and more for the traveler who wants to breathe in the splendor and peace of the place, this town along with the Dingle Peninsula leaves visitors in love with its understated charm.
What to see: Gallarus Oratory, Irish Famine Cottages, Oceanworld Aquarium, O'Sullivan's Courthouse Pub, St. James Church.
Travel Tip: Rent a car and drive down the scenic Slea Head Loop. You will witness lyrical landscapes and stunning sights along the way.
If you find winters to be too chilly and horrendous, worry not, because this place is one of the warmest places in Europe even during January! Sitting prettily in the Atlantic Ocean, the Spanish island of Gran Canaria is a lovely place that will warm the cockles of your heart with its friendliness and charisma. Top bustling cities and picturesque towns you can explore while visiting this island include Las Palmas, Maspalomas, Telde and Mogan.
What to see: Puerto de Mogan, Palmitos Park, Playa de las Canteras, Dunas de Maspalomas, Holiday World Maspalomas, Roque Nublo.
Travel Tip: Rent a car and explore the entire island at a leisurely pace.
Do you have shopping on your mind? Then the city of Cologne in Germany will prove to be a wonderful vacation spot for you. Hosting many winter markets and beautifully decked up Christmas markets, the shopping opportunities in this city are aplenty. An enchanting seductress, Cologne manages to please everyone- from kids to adults, from bachelors to romantic couples, from family vacationers to solo travelers.
What to see: Kolner Dom, Altes Rathaus, Chocolate Museum, Koelner Zoo, Museum Ludwig.
One of the best places to visit in Europe in January, especially for skiing enthusiasts, the Ivano-Frankivsk Region in Ukraine is an offbeat vacation destination. The famous ski resort of Bukovel would be perfect for people who want to ski to their hearts’ content. However, if you are not into skiing, the nearby historic city of Ivano-Frankivsk will play a delightful host to you.
What to see: Rathaus, Viche Maidan, Church of the Holy Resurrection, Church of Virgin Mary, Shevchenko Park, Potocki Palace.
Travel Tip: Go bargain hunting at the Market Square and at the Bazaar.
If you are in search of a happening New Year Party destination in Europe, look no further than Zurich. The celebrations last till 3 in the morning and boast of live music and spectacular fireworks displays. Partying in Zurich will prove to be an effervescent way to bring in the new year don’t you think? Besides, once your hangover recedes, you can explore the beautiful city at your own leisurely pace.
What to see: Lindenhof, Old Town, Bahnhofstrasse, Fraumunster Church, Zurich Zoological Garden.
Travel Tip: Sign up for the quirky cheese fondue cruise over the lake, if it is not frozen!
A year-round destination, Valletta is one of the offbeat places to visit in Europe in the winter season. The Mediterranean Sea’s best-kept secret, plan your trip to this capital city of Malta today before it gets thronged with tourists. Named after its founder, Grand Master of the Order of St. John- Jean Parisot de la Valette, this Fortress City has plenty of things to see and experiences to undertake that will make the traveler in you very happy.
What to see: St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Upper Barrakka Gardens, the Malta Experience, Casa Rocca Piccola, National War Museum.
Travel Tip: During a particularly cold night, indulge in some soothingly warm golden Minestra soup which is often accompanied by Maltese bread and oil.
Zip up your boots, wear your mufflers, put on your earmuffs and dive into the icy cold wonderland that Europe turns into during the winters.