Innsbruck cathedral with the Alps in the background
Travel Planning

8 Reasons Europe Is Better In Winter

There’s nothing quite like exploring a city with the sun shining on your face, the scent of sun cream in the air and the prospect of picnics in a park. Summer trips are ideal for a lot of people, but there are a few reasons why the risk of winter rain completely outweighs the glorious sunshine.

Cost

As the days get shorter and the chill starts to set in, most people want to spend the days inside tucked up by a warm fireplace, a hot chocolate in hand topped with marshmallows. So the holiday companies and airlines need to give some incentive to get people to use their flights, hotels, services etc. And thankfully for us, this usually comes in the way of cheap deals! I always opt to travel when the weather is starting to turn, purely so I don’t have to pay the premium prices that summer carries.

Other tourists

Did someone say queue? I may be British, but if there’s one thing I hate more than people who don’t queue properly, it’s the actual queue itself. I don’t want to spend half my time on a city break queuing up to see something. And less tourists means less queues, way less crowding in museums and attractions, and clearer shots for me to snap a photo or two. I’ve heard people complain about queueing for hours to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam – I just walked straight in. The same for the Belfry Tower in Bruges – I only saw a few other people the whole time I was in there. Although this happens a fair amount, these two attractions stick out for me as it would have been a completely different experience if they were totally crowded.Queue for Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam

Sanity

One holiday a year. Two glorious weeks in the summer to relax and lounge by the pool. As much as I love this, I cannot spend the other 50 weeks of the year waiting for my next holiday. While I wouldn’t recommend a beach holiday to most European places in the winter, it’s so nice to still have a break away to look forward to. And thankfully Europe has so many amazing cities that you’re spoilt for choice of where to explore!

Comfortable flights

Granted, a plane seat in the summer is not all that different to a seat in the winter. There’s just one noticeable difference – the other passengers. Because less people travel in winter, there are less people on the planes, and therefore more available seats. While this might not make much difference to some – because you only need one seat on the plane – it makes a difference to me. I recently had a whole row to myself, which meant I could sit next to the window without worrying I’d have to clamber over some poor soul in a bid to get to the loo, and I could spread out a bit. Being able to put stuff on the spare seat is such a god send too, because I hate having to rummage in my bag to find things.

Local grub

While the local food is usually available all year round, there’s nothing quite like tucking into a hearty goulash near a roaring fireplace in the middle of winter. Some food just begs to be eaten on a cold winters day! And I wouldn’t want to eat the carbalicious grub in the summer, because I wouldn’t have my lovely winter coat to hide behind when I’ve eaten a touch too much.Currywurst and potatoes from a German Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany

Crisp winter skies

Sure, the weather in winter is a bit more hit and miss than in the summer. But there’s just something about those crisp blue winter skies that makes me so happy. And if you’ve not got the blue skies, those insta filters work wonders on cloudy backdrops!Innsbruck Cathedral with the Alps in the background

Accessories

Scarf, hat, gloves – the essentials! While I do hate being cold, I love being able to wear my hat and scarf and being all cosy. And how much cuter does everyone look when they’ve got their winter accessories on? Who even needs to feel their toes anyway?

Christmas markets

The markets were what first pulled me to Europe in the winter, and they are the main reason I seem to return each year. There’s enough festive cheer to get even the biggest grinch into the Christmas spirit. Teamed up with delicious and cheap food, drinks and ice skating, there’s not much more you could want.

Drinks stall at Alexanderplatz Christmas market, Berlin
Drinks stall at Alexanderplatz

And there you have it, 8 reasons why I think Europe is better in the winter!

Is there a reason you like to visit Europe at a certain time of the year?

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11 thoughts on “8 Reasons Europe Is Better In Winter”

  1. I love winter travel. Every restaurant has a table for you. Boat rides have plenty of seats (Yes, my family and I have been on a tour boat on the Seine in December.)
    The scenery is different. I missed the chance to see a shady Cours Mirabeau and Manly Beach near Sydney was deserted on a cold day, to be sure. Both were still beautiful.
    I also felt a bit like an insider instead of a tourist. I was talking with local residents, rather than other Americans. And we were becoming friends.
    And the Christmas markets! Yes, a great reason to visit in December.

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  2. Without registering that you were British and reading this post, I was automatically trying (but failing!) to apply all these points to the UK. But now my brain has woken up I 100% agree with everything you’ve written! Germany is my favourite place ever during Winter – it all feels so festive and cosy.

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