5 of the Cosiest European Cities to Visit this Winter

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For those of us who adore all things cosy and Christmassy, a winter city break is a must. Whether you’re drawn to a city with an avid nightlife, or prefer to visit somewhere with historical significance, one of these European cities is certain to tick the boxes this season. 

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

Known for its scenic canals and cycling culture, Copenhagen is an incredibly picturesque and architecturally amazing city. While Copenhagen is undoubtedly chilly this time of year, the city centre is filled with inviting cafés, restaurants, and bars – many of which are authentically Scandinavian and very cosy, ideal for grabbing a warm drink or a bite to eat during the day. Additionally, Denmark has been rated the happiest country in the world multiple times! If you like the idea of spending a couple of days cycling along the canals, indulging in delicious Scandinavian food, and visiting some historical buildings, then Coppenhagen may be the place for you.

Sunset on the Canal in Copenhagen Denmark

2. Kraków, Poland 

If you are interested in seeing some magnificent architecture, diving into some history, or visiting somewhere with great nightlife, then why not consider Kraków? Kraków is known for its beautiful buildings and vibrant main square, which is filled with historical relevance, sprightly bars, and inviting eateries. If you wish to dive into the rich history of Kraków, there are multiple walking tours available which detail the city’s past. Auschwitz is also a mere train journey away. While Kraków has an energetic nightlife, this city is also great for families and features a range of child-friendly activities including the Museum of Illusions. 


To book your tickets for the Museum of Illusions, click here. Additionally, if you would like to book tickets to see the historic memorial of Auschwitz, click here

Horse and Carriage in Krakow City Centre

3. Budapest, Hungary 

Although Budapest is a great location for a city break at any time of the year, there is something quite special about the city during the colder months. In winter, Budapest boasts an ice rink, christmas markets, light shows, and thermal baths. This city is a great place to visit closer to Christmas, due to its cosy atmosphere and festive activities. Additionally, Budapest is an incredibly beautiful city to explore on foot, with many attractions located within  walking distance from the city centre. Budapest is also a great winter holiday destination for families with children, visit the Zoo Café to come face to face with a variety of friendly animals in between courses. 


To find out more about the Zoo Café, visit this link.

Budapest in the Snow

4. Helsinki, Finland

If you envision visiting a winter wonderland on your city break, Helsinki may be the ideal destination for you. While the temperatures are rather low in Finland, it means that a large percentage of the country is covered in a blanket of snow throughout the colder months (the snow season typically begins at the end of October and lasts until April). In addition to the blissfully scenic views that Helsinki has to offer, the city centre is known for having a great nightlife and a wide variety of shops and restaurants,  making it an excellent choice for couples or groups of friends. If you’re travelling with kids, the Santa Claus Express takes families from Helsinki to Rovaniemi in Lapland (known as the official home of Santa Claus), where you may choose to stay at the Santa Claus Village for a magical and festive few days. 


Tickets to the Santa Claus Village can be purchased here, and details about the Santa Claus Express Night Train can be found here.  

Husky's pull sled in Lapland Finland

5. Edinburgh – Scotland

Although many of the winter getaways mentioned thus far are notoriously cold, Edinburgh is slightly warmer and is a superb place to visit for a city break this winter. Well known for its nightlife, Edinburgh is filled with mouthwatering food, cosy pubs, and lively bars, including a variety of LGBTQ+ venues and events. While the nightlife is likely a huge incentive for many to visit this beautiful city, Edinburgh has a rich history which is worth exploring if you decide to stay. Additionally, Edinburgh is known worldwide for its annual Christmas market. The Edinburgh Christmas Market is packed full of market stalls, tasty street food, and a variety of bars, as well as having amenities like an ice rink, a carousel, and rides. Should you wish to visit Edinburgh, be sure to visit the Christmas market, which will run from the 19th of November 2022 to the 3rd of January 2023.

To find out more about the Edinburgh Christmas Market, visit this link.

Edinburgh Christmas Market