Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Winter Vacations in Europe

Nearly all European cities become choked with tourists during the summer months, but the crowds are avoidable: If you're willing to embrace a snowy aesthetic or mild-temperature weather, Europe's most popular destinations take on a brand new appeal. To guide you through the continent's wintry choices, U.S. News ranked the best winter vacations in Europe.

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Why go: The Austrian Alps peer through the skyline in this charming city, home to the 1976 Winter Olympics. Innsbruck, with an abundance of ski resorts and wintertime attractions, offers all-inclusive packages through the region's ski organization, Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Innsbruck

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Why go: Lisbon's mild winter temperatures rarely drop below 50 degrees, but you'll likely face some rain. Enduring the weather will pay off; not only are hotel prices lower during this time but many tourist sites are much less crowded than during the summer months. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Lisbon

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59 26

Why go: Zurich's vibrant city streets and proximity to the Swiss Alps make it a perfect city to visit in the winter. Take in the grand lake vistas and the medieval architecture as you peruse the cobblestone streets; just make sure to stop for some famous Swiss chocolate while en route. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Zurich

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66 27

Why go: Vienna celebrates the holiday season with advent markets, public ice skating rinks and plenty of lavish parties. Add wintry touches like snow-covered rooftops and nearby ski slopes into the mix and you'll find yourself in a European winter wonderland. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Vienna

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56 28

Why go: In Spain's Andalucía province, summer temperatures can be hot to the point of unbearable. Reserve Seville for a winter escape to experience it with cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. Bars and restaurants will feel more spacious and hotel rates will be lower. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Seville

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107 17

Why go: Winters in Amsterdam can be chilly, but those willing to brave the cold will enjoy significantly discounted hotel rooms and flights. Most of Amsterdam's attractions are open year-round, and winters offer visitors holiday festivities and many places to ice skate. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Amsterdam

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70 37

Why go: The charms of Paris are alive and well in winter. Warm up by sipping coffee in romantic cafes and spend time visiting heated indoor museums like the Musée du Louvre and Musée Rodin, which are much less crowded this time of year. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Paris

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63 32

Why go: Prague's castles and underground restaurants are perfect respites from the city's harsh winters. If you're willing to brave the colder climate you'll avoid tourist crowds and have the chance to enjoy Prague's beloved Christmas markets and concerts. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Prague

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Why go: If you like the idea of beautiful castles, cathedrals and other baroque architecture covered in snow, just looking at Salzburg might be enough to lure you into its city limits. Add to that Christmas markets and nearby skiing destinations, and you'll likely be sold on this city. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Salzburg

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56 53

Why go: In addition to generally reduced lodging and airfare rates, winters in the French Riviera city of Nice are quite pleasant — expect temperatures in the mid-50s. The city also hosts the Nice Festival in February, one of the largest annual cultural events in the world. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Nice

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