Healthy Travel Tips »

Healthy Travel Tips » Stay safe on vacation

7 Cheap European Destinations to Visit This Winter

Take advantage of favorable exchange rates in these affordable European locales.

U.S. News & World Report

7 Cheap European Destinations to Visit This Winter

Men looking at map along Seine River, Paris, France
Credit

(Getty Images)

Plan a wallet-friendly European getaway this winter.

If you're yearning to explore iconic attractions or stroll through colorful markets across the pond this winter, now is the time to snap up a deal. With advantageous exchange rates, affordable airfare and seasonal packages, there are plenty of alluring places that promise excellent values from now through March. Here are a few ideas – from the storybook setting of Copenhagen to the trendsetting streets of Berlin – to inspire you to grab your passport and plan a budget-friendly winter trip to Europe.
Next:Dublin
The quays in Dublin City, Ireland at dawn with the sky reflected in the River Liffey.
Credit

(Getty Images)

Dublin

Winter is an inexpensive time to visit Dublin, thanks to affordable airfare from many major airports across the country. Google Flights currently lists round-trip flights from New York City to Dublin in December starting at $567, and round-trip flights from Los Angeles start at $822. And once you arrive, you can enjoy simple pleasures, such as exploring vibrant Grafton Street and the National Gallery of Ireland, which offers free admission to its 15,000-plus collection of European art. Plus, you get your culture fix without breaking the bank, thanks to the city's three-day Freedom pass tickets, which include free public transit and discounted attraction rates.
Next:

Plan a wallet-friendly European getaway this winter.

If you're yearning to explore iconic attractions or stroll through colorful markets across the pond this winter, now is the time to snap up a deal. With advantageous exchange rates, affordable airfare and seasonal packages, there are plenty of alluring places that promise excellent values from now through March. Here are a few ideas – from the storybook setting of Copenhagen to the trendsetting streets of Berlin – to inspire you to grab your passport and plan a budget-friendly winter trip to Europe.

Dublin

Winter is an inexpensive time to visit Dublin, thanks to affordable airfare from many major airports across the country. Google Flights currently lists round-trip flights from New York City to Dublin in December starting at $567, and round-trip flights from Los Angeles start at $822. And once you arrive, you can enjoy simple pleasures, such as exploring vibrant Grafton Street and the National Gallery of Ireland, which offers free admission to its 15,000-plus collection of European art. Plus, you get your culture fix without breaking the bank, thanks to the city's three-day Freedom pass tickets, which include free public transit and discounted attraction rates.

Istanbul

With a beneficial exchange rate (1 U.S. dollar is equal to nearly 3 Turkish lira), Turkey is an ideal place for the bargain-hunter this winter. A Google Flights search shows round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Istanbul for less than $650 in early December and round-trip flights from New York City beginning at $557. Flights from Chicago start at $785 and flights from Miami start at $670 for the same time period. Apart from affordable airfare, this year you can stay at a high-end property without paying a hefty price tag. For example, Sumahan on the Water currently offers nightly rates starting at 140 euro in December. And, better still, many of the city's must-see sites are free to explore, including the Blue Mosque, Taksim Square and the Grand Bazaar. 

Lisbon, Portugal

Pleasant weather (temperatures hovering in the mid-50s), the strong dollar-to-euro ratio, inexpensive attractions and few crowds make Lisbon especially enticing in winter. You can take advantage of steeply discounted admission to more than 80 attractions across Lisbon by picking up a Lisboa Card, and there are plenty of free pursuits to pique your interest, from UNESCO World Heritage sites to the more subtle city charms, like the elaborate tiles scattering the city's sidewalks and squares. Lisbon also impresses with striking architecture, a romantic cafe culture and vibrant nightlife. And best of all, you can reserve upscale but reasonably priced boutique hotels across the city, including LX Boutique Hotel, which is offering nightly rates starting at 95 euros in December.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen rewards winter visitors with brightly lit markets, affordable attractions and budget-friendly lodging options. Arrive between November and December to experience Denmark's quintessential Christmas markets, including the world-renowned Tivoli Gardens, which transitions into a winter wonderland illuminated with lights and colorful stalls selling crafts and snacks. When you need a break from shopping, take advantage of the city's cost-effective (and free) attractions, like the Round Tower and Rosenborg Castle. For more savings, invest in a Copenhagen Card, which grants free entry to more than 70 sights and museums, along with reduced rates for restaurants. Plus, you can snag a deal on accommodations at properties such as The Square Hotel and the Tivoli Hotel, which both offer a 35 percent discount on stays of two nights or longer.

Berlin

You'll likely score a better price on airfare to Berlin than you would find to more popular hubs such as London, Paris and Rome, and the savings continue after you arrive. Some of the city's top attractions such as Viktoriapark and the East Side Gallery, the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall still remaining, won't cost you a dime. And if you want to visit Berlin to check out the classic Christmas markets across the city in December, like Gendarmenmarkt, you'll also find enticing promotions. Right now, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is offering a 20 percent discount on rooms from November through March 31, 2016, and Lux 11 is offering apartment rentals for 71 euros per night for rooms reserved in December.

Amsterdam

Planning a budget-friendly trip to Amsterdam is relatively easy, thanks to free and reduced-priced cultural attractions, cost-effective apartment rental options and low-priced flights to Amsterdam's Airport Schiphol. Google Flights currently shows round-trip tickets from New York City to Amsterdam in December starting at $654, and round-trip flights from Los Angeles start at $801. Once you arrive in the Dutch capital, you can't miss strolling through Vondelpark, the city's sprawling green space, or making your way past the city's centuries-old canals by bike. And of course, no trip to Amsterdam would be complete without admiring the world-renowned pieces on display at the Van Gogh Museum (entry costs 17 euros for adults; admission is free for children).

Barcelona

Thanks to a strong U.S. dollar, now is the time to snag budget-friendly hotels and flights to Barcelona. With mild temperatures up to the 60s during the winter months, you can easily soak up the city's art and cultural and historical attractions without worrying about icy temperatures or battling hordes of tourists at top attractions. Plus, people-watching along Las Ramblas, admiring Gaudí's gems, like Güell Park, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia, and picking up local specialties at the vibrant Boqueria Market won't burst your budget.
1 of 8

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.