Where to travel in Europe this winter – ultimate guide

Weather in Europe can be truly capricious. Spending a couple of hours in the car can lead to utterly different climates and surroundings. I guess that’s part of the magic of this rich and mysterious continent. 

Each month can rapidly change certain destinations into a whole other world. Given the opportunity, we can explore each place from a whole new perspective. 

Let’s dive into an ultimate guide to the most mesmerizing places during European winter!

Winter sports

The beautiful mountain landscape of Europe favors the establishment of the most impressive ski regions in the world. The top countries that welcome the most demanding sports lovers during the wintertime are France, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. 

Let’s take a journey through the most unique winter hotspots for all those who love skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and drinking hot wine among the highest European mountains. 


Photo by Dominik Lückmann on Unsplash

Somewhat unexpectedly, the biggest ski region in the world is right in the midst of the French Alps. 600 km of the most impressive routes, all connected via a high-speed lift system. 

The Three Valleys (Les Trois Vallées) is more than just a giant slope center. Over many years it became a true winter hub with everything you could wish for. 

Michelin-star restaurants, picturesque views, dog sledding, SPA retreats, and slopes ready for skiing enthusiasts of all abilities – just to name a few

The SKI resorts are open for 150 days each year. It’s a fantastic destination all year round, but we’re here to plan our Europe winter travel – so let’s get to it!

Highest-rated luxury resort 

Without a doubt, one of the most luxurious and impressive hotels in the area. The price is very high, but so is the quality of your stay. 

Imagine the most perfect scenario of a winter getaway, with mountainous decor, a hot tub, a spectacular view from your room, a hot tub, a fireplace, and every possible SPA treatment you can think of. 

Top-notch breakfast is included in the price of each room – you can also pick an option with dinners. You can expect nothing but premium here. 

Budget-friendly option

The Three Valleys are, without a doubt, in general not the place to save money. Hotels provide direct access to the slopes and, better or worse – still top-notch views of the alps. 

However, Trip Tale is all about finding that perfect trip for everybody. So I scattered all the resources, reviews, videos, and tips from the locals to put before your eyes a budget-friendly option. 

Not just any – this hotel offers cozy rooms with breakfast included, all in close proximity to several ski lifts. Not to mention amenities like a sauna, bar, restaurant, and live music performances. 

All are situated in the charming mountain village of Méribel – with restaurants, bakeries, and snow-covered streets decorated with lights. 

The greatest experiences are not gonna live themselves. Book your trip today!


Photo by Abigail Griffith on Unsplash

Zermatt is a small Swiss village tightly fitted in the picturesque mountain landscape of Matterhorn. Over the years it earned the title of one of the top luxury ski and hiking spot hubs worldwide. 

A completely carless town goes above and beyond when it comes to treating its visitors with a variety of attractions and things to do – both during winter and summer. 

Enjoy one of the top-rated accommodations in the region with its luxurious amenities and get to know Zermatt’s traditions, breathtaking views, culinary potency, and much more. 

Highest-rated luxury resort

Hotel Omnia is a beautiful 5-star establishment situated on the rock 45m above the city of Zermatt – granting amazing views from room balconies. 

This unique design accommodation offers SPA & wellness amenities, ski passes, their own shuttle taxi, and a gourmet culinary experience. While you can rent ski/snowboard equipment on every corner in the Zermatt village – the hotel staff will help you navigate around the best places to rent and ski and store your winter equipment on its premises. 

Omnia is one of the highest-reviewed spots in Zermatt – staying there is on its own a unique experience and we encourage you to explore its amenities in full. The hotel also organizes an airport shuttle with an additional charge.

Budget-friendly option

Looking for something a little bit more affordable? Hotel Walliserhof Zermatt is a unique establishment with a cozy style and fantastic reviews and ratings from the worldwide guest. 

With a central location and delicious breakfast included in the attractive price (considering the average price in this region), it is a true gem on Zermatt’s map. 

The fastest way to get to Zermatt is via train. Geneva is the most convenient airport to take the direct train to Zermatt. 

The greatest experiences are not gonna live themselves. Book your trip today!


There’s a chance that you want to experience the glory of the alps with more of a Southern atmosphere. Perhaps combining the natural wonders of the Dolomites with a distinguished taste of pizza. 

Believe it or not, the North of Italy is an established winter sports hub. There are plenty of ski resorts blessed with sunny weather, slopes for every level, and Italian hospitality. 

North Italy is a fascinating place. Large influences from Switzerland and Austria shaped the region into a hybrid with qualities from both sides. 

The mesh of cultures, languages, mentalities, and history created a hospitable, relaxed yet neatly organized space. The land of Southern food delicacies and tidiness; late night dinners and punctuality; rivers of wine and mountain life. 

This comes from a deep love for all three countries and doesn’t imply stereotypes. If you visited regularly all those places and suddenly find yourself in North Italy, you might have very similar observations – it is the best of both worlds. And hopefully, you will fall in love with it instantly just like I did. 

Highest-rated luxury resort

Lefay Resorts is an Italian hotel chain with two prime locations – one of them being in the very heart of the Dolomites. 

The room prices are definitely much higher than your regular ski resort. Besides the highest standard and unique design, I can argue it is partially justified. 

Lefay is a brand focused on high-quality, eco-friendly sustainable tourism. They actively participate in a variety of ecological projects. 

Besides an impressive portfolio of environmental initiatives, there are other elements of the extravagant price and the uniqueness of the resorts. Each suite is carefully designed with a lot of natural elements in a very modern and comfortable way.

Bright and spacious rooms provide incredible views of the region around. With excellent SPA on the premises, gourmet food, and staff that will go out of their way to help you arrange the best possible stay and experience. This is a true gem on the sustainable travel map of Europe. 

Budget-friendly option

All right, let’s get things straight here – we can all agree that this is not a cheap option by no means. We all have our budgets and this one doesn’t scream saving money. Or does it?

Consider how your budget spreads through the trip. Cheaper options are usually located further from the ski slopes – which means you have to find means of transportation for every day, whether it is to ski, find a restaurant, or visit anything else. 

After finding cheap accommodation, many of us feel that because we saved so much money there, we can splurge a little bit here. This is where everything goes wrong and we essentially end up spending more money on cheap accommodation. 

Here is our solution – a slightly more pricy hotel that will end up saving money along the way. With a central location near many ski slopes, restaurants, and natural reserves – there is no need to pay for a taxi or shuttle to get places. 

Breakfast and dinner included in the price are a huge money saver that doesn’t cost you a local gourmet experience. In high-standard resorts like this one, any included food deal is worth it and prepared. 

And finally, luxury amenities – you may ask yourself how the heck will that save me any bucks? The majority of people spend much more than planned during vacation. 

When you’re traveling, you want to do something for yourself, something extraordinary – that usually costs hard cash. Consider spending the money upfront on accommodation that will provide all the goodies you may want in one place, without a need to seek something extra special. 

Winter city wonderland

There are so many cities in Europe that amaze throughout all the seasons. Many of them magically transform during winter into magical realms of exciting experiences. 

If you’re dreaming of a weekend getaway to a real winter wonderland, you’re in the right place!

Imagine roaming through the narrow streets of an old town, mesmerized by winter decorations. Enjoying the most beautiful Christmas markets, perhaps stopping for hot wine after an evening of ice skating. 

Brussels, Belgium

The capital of Belgium is a beautiful city that treats its visitors throughout the entire year. 

But there is something special that happens here during the winter months. 

The baroque buildings in Grand Palace seem somewhat different with the glaze of Christmas lights and winter decorations. The world-famous hot chocolate tastes somewhat better with the smudge of cold wind during a romantic city walk. 

Make sure to visit the famous Christmas Market, open from the end of November until the first Sunday of January. It’s a perfect occasion to harvest some holiday gifts, local souvenirs, or the most delicious street food you can find. 

Let’s not forget the other attractions that await you in Brussels – the ice skating rink at Place de la Monnaie, the Carnival of Binche, and of course Brussels by Lights Festival

Be sure to hurry up, the accommodations in Brussels are being rented real quick this year! 

In the meantime, if you love to travel without any hassle of planning and researching, here are some great choices of tours in Brussels:

Highest-rated luxury resort

Juliana Hotel Brussels is, without a doubt, one of the city’s classiest, most luxurious (but cozy!) accommodation options. 

If you feel like being pampered this winter, with all the amenities you can think of – this is the place. Not to mention – the design will leave you in awe. 

The hotel is neatly located in the very heart of Brussels. You can dismiss wasting time in public transportation or scuffling in a taxi during traffic hours. 

Everywhere you wish to go, you can do so by a short, pleasant walk under the illuminating lights of Winter Wonderland. 

Budget-friendly option

If you really want to spend your hard-earned cash on things other than accommodation, we found just the place. 

For a winter getaway to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, do you really need more than a comfy bed and clean bathroom to have fun? 

As always, that extra couple of bucks goes to the perfect location of this Airbnb, which is the historic center of Brussels. The host is an extremely reliable person who will guide you in case of any questions. Now since that’s not always the case on Airbnb, let’s cherish this. 

The greatest experiences are not gonna live themselves. Book your trip today!

Nuremberg, Germany

The city of Nuremberg is definitely one of those hidden diamonds on the European map. Considering many, many wars and battles throughout the centuries it has splendidly preserved historical landmarks. 

Perhaps not the biggest, but definitely the most beautiful Christmas Market in Germany happens right in Nuremberg. It opens every year in the last week of November and is open until Christmas Eve. 

Nuremberg is often called by germans the city of sausages. You know what that means, right? We have a special recommendation to dine in Bratwursthäusle restaurant. If you’re feeling like tasting local folklore, this is the place to be. 

Make sure to taste delicious mulled wine during long strolls in the center of the medieval town, visiting the ice skating rink, and of course the imperial Castle of Nuremberg – a 13th-century beautiful landmark. 

If you’re a fan of interesting locals, swing by the Vintage Bar – with impeccable service and classic, high-quality drinks. Keep in mind you need to ring a bell to get in – from then on out, the bar service will take great care of you. 

Highest-rated luxury resort

The Karl August Hotel is something more than just a place to lay your head at night. It’s an urban concept that represents the spirit of Nuremberg and its story. 

The hotel gives its visitors a sheer force to become the city’s explorers and connect with the city in a whole new way. The space is open to residents that share the essence of the thousand-year history with the modern sparkle of new establishments. 

Besides the fascinating concept, the hotel amazes with its flawless design and amenities that turn this place into a destination on its own. 

Fascinated yet? As it is the hottest spot in town, make sure to book as soon as you can – the rooms go away quickly!

Budget-friendly option

B&B Hotel Nürnberg-Plärrer is everything you need when planning a budget-friendly trip to Nuremberg. The primary thing, of course, is the marvelous location. 

Everything you may want to see, experience, eat or drink is within close vicinity to the hotel. No time or extra money is lost on transportation or researching routes. 

When leaving the hotel grounds, you won’t have to seek extra nice spots. All of the best places to explore will be right at your fingertips. The trendy neighborhood will amaze you with medieval cafes touched with modern decor. Guaranteed!

The hotel itself will also please you. For the price, the minimalist design, the delicious breakfast, and the helpful staff you will be perfectly satisfied with your accommodation. 

The greatest experiences are not gonna live themselves. Book your trip today!

Sunshine and beaches

The weather in Europe can be beautifully capricious, no matter the season. Luckily, there are a couple of things we can be sure of in this world. Among this reassuring list are several destinations that are warm and sunny no matter when. 

Selected spots are not only blessed with peaceful wind and white clouds. These offer a wide selection of activities that’ll take your mind off the winter bliss and grant you with most beautiful memories.

As much as I love winter, once the holiday time has ended I crave a break from the cold and gray reality. 

Not only that – some of the most touristy summer destinations become crowd-free and much more budget-friendly during the winter. 

Crete, Greece

Crete is not your ordinary greek island. Consumed with the most fascinating flora and fauna, its a home to one of the oldest cities in Europe and the birthplace of Zeus. 

The history of the island dates all the way back to 7000 BC. We can only imagine the number of battles, wars, inventions, and cultural heritage sites this mysterious land holds. 

The sheer volume of remains left by ancient civilizations makes you wonder just how many are yet to be discovered.

Now the question is, what is there to visit? As you probably already know, the fascinating sites are truly endless. Since Crete is the biggest greek island, don’t feel compelled to visit them all at once. 

Make sure to taste the greek island life during your excursions. We’ve selected top accommodation near the old city of Chania, one of the most charming towns in Crete. 

Worry not, whenever you want to peek outside the curtains of Chania, there are tons of fantastic excursions managed by professional guides. 

These guys will take care of everything for you and let you discover as much of the island as possible!

Highest-rated luxury resort

This beautiful boutique hotel is a perfectly situated, luxurious establishment designed for adults only (16+). Just a few steps from the picturesque beach covered with turquoise water as well as the central part of Chania city.

The hotel is a sight for sore eyes, being one of the most beautiful accommodations on the entire island. Compared to the luxury hotels listed above, the price is more than fair for the gorgeous suit you’re getting. 

Most likely the best breakfast you’ve ever had is included in the price of the room – as well as the wellness center. 

I can’t imagine the strength one needs to muster to leave this hotel and explore the islands – but trust me when I say both are equally thrilling! 

Budget-friendly option

You probably already noticed the prices in Greece are extremely affordable – especially compared to Central Europe. 

If you’re looking for a truly budget-friendly trip, this is it. Starting with as little as 30 EUR per night for two people, this humble and charming studio is located nearby the sea and the old town. 

It doesn’t get better than this. With excellent reviews of the place and fantastic location – this is the real budget travel gem. 

The greatest experiences are not gonna live themselves. Book your trip today!

Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife is the biggest island that belongs to the Canary archipelago. During the winter season, it slightly empties from the touristy crowds and welcomes those who seek a tropical paradise in January. 

Tenerife combines the magical mountain landscape with beautiful, sandy beaches. Despite its equatorial climate, it’s a true hiker’s heaven. Even better during the winter season, without the overwhelming heat during the day.

Make sure to explore Mount Teide if you have a chance. It’s a currently dormant volcano and the biggest peak in Spain. 

Among the other natural wonders such as the green valley of Anaga, Masca Valley, or Montaña Amarilla, the island has endless activities to offer. 

Paragliding, swimming with the turtles, scuba diving, and whale watching among many – and of course, fine dining every step of the way. Ready for your big holiday retreat?

Highest-rated luxury resort

This particular hotel is probably one of the most premium establishments you can find in Tenerife. Royal River is an adult-only resort that will take you on a journey through multiple continents, styles, and senses. 

Budget or no budget, it is an experience of a lifetime. When roaming the paths of the hotel, passing multiple pools and areas that remind of Bali or Seychelles, you can notice every single detail was well thought through. 

The words are unlikely to do this place justice. Allow me to let the pictures do the talking. 

Budget-friendly option

How about your own apartment equipped with everything you need just 100 meters from the beach? This minimalistic studio costs only 45 EUR per night with the best location you can imagine.

Just minutes from the vibrant city of Puerto de la Cruz and everything it has to offer. Magnificent restaurants, unique bars, botanical gardens, and beaches. 

Make sure to taste the local cuisine in the nearby restaurants. And if you want to undertake Spanish tastes yourself, shop at the local stores and use the studio kitchen to whip up something amazing!

The greatest experiences are not gonna live themselves. Book your trip today!

This post contains affiliate links. If you use those and make a purchase I may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. As an Amazon Affiliate, I make a living out of qualified purchases. Thank you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *