We live in Europe, so we really want to use this opportunity to move around this great continent and see all there is to see. Winter is a unique time since it’s typically a low-season for tourism (depending on where you go), so it’s nice to be close to areas that do their own thing so spectacularly. Even the little things like the Sinterklaas parade just puts us in the winter and Christmas spirit! Below is our winter wishlist, but sadly we are not going to be able to do everything on this list this year. I mean, we just got here! We have to spread the joy out a little bit.
German Christmas Markets
There are many Christmas Markets around the world, but the ones that caught our eye are the ones in Germany. You can go to Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Nuremberg, or a number of other places, but we decided we are going to the markets in Cologne this year with a chance of visiting Dusseldorf.
Amsterdam Light Festival
This is the third year for the Amsterdam Light Festival and it looks like so much fun! Many international artists came together to create light installations, projections, and sculptures that you can see through a walking tour or a canal cruise.
Paris for New Years’
This is Sean’s find. Apparently they do New Years’ like Times Square! Ok, maybe not quite like that. They are French after all. It has to be classy! There are fireworks galore and events all over the city.
Skiing on the French or Swiss Alps
I haven’t been skiing in over a decade and Sean’s never been skiing. But I would absolutely love to get back into it and what better place for Sean to learn than visiting some of the best slopes in the world? Sounds perfect!
Visit Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland
Who wouldn’t love to visit the town Santa is from?? We’d love to visit Finland in the snow with the reindeer and meet Santa. I hear they have some cool igloos you can stay in too. I’m not sure if WE would stay in them…but it’s a fun idea.
Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
Ok, so we’ve been to Neuschwanstein, and it was winter, but we want to see it in all of its snowy glory. There is something magical about castles and when you add snow…well, it’s like you are living in a snowglobe. This castle was also the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle. Oh, and the BEST apple strudel we’ve ever had was just below this castle. So that helps!
Warm-climate getaway in the Mediterranean
It’s cold here in Amsterdam for the winter. Currently, it’s been hovering right around freezing and we’ve never had a winter getaway, but when the Mediterranean isn’t too far, it’s so tempting to take a quick trip to warm up. Down side: you have to come back into the cold.
Those are our must-do European winter activities. What would you add to this list?