Why you should travel Europe in Winter

It’s not hard to understand why so many people flock to Europe during summer, and avoid it like the plague during winter. Winters in Europe can be harsh, particularly the further north you go, but during my recent travels through the continent over the off peak season so far, I have begun to see many benefits to it.

Everything’s cheaper

Although Europe is definitely not the cheapest continent in the world to travel, it is considerably cheaper for most of your main expenses here during the winter. For a start, you will usually find a night in a hostel dorm is usually a couple Euro’s cheaper per night during this period as the hostels try to attract visitors during the off peak season. Transport is also somewhat cheaper. For instance, a Eurolines youth pass right now will cost you around 175 Euro’s for 15 days worth off unlimited travel on any Eurolines service across Europe, but during the summer this same pass will cost you 240 Euro’s. That’s a saving of 65 Euro’s, just for travelling during the winter months. If you want to travel Western Europe in particular, but are on a budget, then why not come during winter and you could save yourself some pennies!

Winter Sports

One thing I love about summer is water sports, but winter has so much to offer when it comes to similar activities. France and Switzerland in particular have some incredible ski slopes for all the winter sports you can handle! I particularly like skiing, and if you are any good at surfing then you’ll probably find snowboarding quite easy to get to grips with. Winter in Europe doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom…it can be fun too!

It’s not all freezing!

If you head down to southern Spain, or Italy, you will find that even during the thick of winter you may still get sunshine. Europe is a large and diverse continent on many levels. The weather varies greatly depending on where you are. If you really can’t stand the cold then head as far south as you can. It may not be sweltering summer heat, but it will be a hell of a lot warmer than places like Scotland, Scandinavia, or Russia. Depending on where you come from will depend on what sort of temperatures you consider to be hot or cold. Coming from a cold country myself, Spain during winter is warm enough for me to be out in my shorts and t-shirt! For most people though, the kind of temperatures experienced in southernmost Europe during this time of year are probably more like t-shirt and jeans kind of weather. Either way, it’s a lot better than the mountains of layers you’d have to put on same time of year in the North of the continent.

Winter Fashion

Anyone who knows me well know I like my silly woollen hats! I love winter clothes! Big art school type knitted jumpers, woolly hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens! Also, wee kiddies look cute in their big puffy jackets! Winter fashion can sometimes be the best! I don’t know about you, but for me that’s as good an excuse to go shopping as any! You deserve it facing that freezing cold weather every day. It would almost be wrong not to… 🙂

Pub

Feeling cold? There’s always a pub to make you feel warm and toasty once again! If ever there was an excuse to drink vodka, the freezing cold weather is one of them! After a few drinks you won’t feel the cold anyway, but usually the pub will be warm place to hang out anyways, and get to know the locals. Also, hang out in Eastern Europe a bit and you will soon find out the size of vodka shots there are around double what they are in places like the UK. A tip from someone who comes from a nation of alcoholics – shots makes the cold go away quicker! 🙂

4 Responses to “Why you should travel Europe in Winter”

  1. Great advice. I love Europe in Winter. I also love the Christmas markets in Germany!

  2. Andrew says:

    Great list. I agree with Laurel, the Christmas Markets are a great part of Winter. Add to that other winter festivals like Mardi Gras, Fasching and other local Fire Festivals (Switzerland).
    Cold can be good. It means it isn’t weird to sit all day inside at the Pub.

  3. Cam says:

    Agree with both Andrew and Laurel, the best part of Europe in the winter is its Christmas Markets.
    Here’s a recent photo blog from Germany’s wonderful markets –
    http://travelingcanucks.com/2010/12/best-europe-christmas-markets-germany/
    Great list, we really enjoy Europe in the winter!

  4. Very good points.
    We are traveling in Poland now and it’s so pretty when everything around you in covered in white snow.

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