Whilst cosy on the sofa and debating if I should put something warmer on for the school run, I can’t help but look back at the colder trips we’ve had and the ones we want to pursue in the next few years. I am all for summer sunshine – give me a cold drink, a sunny walk along the sea front and you’ll find me particularly content. But on the other side of the spectrum, I absolutely love a winter city break. I’m picturing snow, hot chocolate, wooly hats and mulled wine. Wandering around Christmas markets and finding shelter in cosy cafes when it gets too cold. Not to mention that during the winter months a lot of the larger cities aren’t as busy due to it not being peak season anymore. Here are five places I’ve been to / have a desire to go to in order to catch a little winter wonderland magic.
Prague, Czech Republic
What can I say about Tallinn? The more I dream about our trip, the more I love it. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to and there’s absolutely no doubt in us that we’ll be going back. We’d like to go back during Christmas as temperatures can drop to -19! I’m thinking lots of snow, hot chocolate and winter markets. It was already a beautiful and historic town without the added beauty of christmas, so I can only imagine what it’s like when it hits peak festive period! Tallinn goes all out during the Christmas period – traditional huts, Estonian cuisine, handmade gifts and a winter grotto alongside lots of performances from different choirs. The tree is a huge attraction as it’s been set up in the Town Hall square since 1441 and was one of the first to be displayed in Europe. There’s also an ice skating rink which is worth looking out for if you’re into that sort of thing! (I definitely enjoy the idea of ice skating more than actually attempting it!).
If you’re look for snow then Krakow is the one. The city’s Christmas market, which is held in Rynek Glowny, (the cities main square) typically gets a heavy dusting of snow during December, making a visit here even more magical than some of the big name markets in western Europe. The popular specialities in Krakow’s Christmas market are the hand painted baubles, spiced nuts and boiled sweets. There is so much on offer so it’s worth pondering about and sourcing out some beautiful and unique gifts to give as presents.