When the end of the year is quickly approaching, many of us are planning on taking a much-needed break away from work or school responsibilities. While sometimes, the idea of a perfect holiday involves spending time at home with your family, other times you just want to take a nice trip somewhere.
Everyone’s idea of the best places to visit in winter is different: some want to enjoy the holiday spirit, some want to get away from the cold and lounge on a beach somewhere, and others are all about the winter wonderland feel.
This article will detail some of the best countries to visit in the winter, whether you want to ski, sunbathe, or bask in the Christmas cheer. And, if you are not lucky enough to be visa-exempt, you will also learn how you can get a visa to go there!
Best Places to Visit in Winter
First off, it’s the obvious choice: Switzerland.
The mountainous country in Central Europe is a winter sports lover’s paradise. You can ski in the high Alpine peaks, hike the charming hiking trails, take a cable car through the breathtaking mountain landscapes or enjoy the holiday cheer of its charming towns.
Also, and this may be the best part, you can enjoy some of the world’s best chocolate firsthand!
If you are from the US, an EU country, or Australia, you don’t need a visa to visit Switzerland. However, citizens of several other countries do and you can learn how to get a visa for Switzerland here
Winter may be one of the best time to visit Iceland, the most important reason being because that’s when you get the highest chances of seeing the Northern Lights. But the Northern Lights are not always reliable, so while in Iceland, you can also visit the Glacier Lagoons, go whale watching, or take part in a tour to the ice caves and tunnels.
And… if you are a fan of the popular HBO show, Game Of Thrones, you can visit the locations where some of the show was filmed – it’s the scenes set North of the Wall!
Nationals of EU member states, the US, Canada, or Australia do not need a visa to visit Iceland.
But if you do need one, you can learn how to get a visa for Iceland here.
Canada is a picturesque country all-year-round, but in winter there’s a special certain charm to it and there’s no shortage of things to do. You can skate on the Rideau Canal (which freezes up in the winter and is almost five miles long!), go on a dog-sled trip, visit the Ice Hotel of Quebeck, attend one of the many winter festivals, and even visit the Niagara Falls. Although it’s truly a sight to behold in the warm months, the Niagara Falls is even more breathtaking in the winter months when it looks like the entire waterfall has frozen.
Best places to visit for Christmas
Visiting practically anywhere in Germany at Christmas time means unavoidably encountering its famous Christmas Markets (which actually originated in Germany!). There are usually large, Christmas Markets in any of the major German cities, where people dress up in old-style clothes, sell delicious food, and the whole thing just gives off an incredibly festive atmosphere.
If you are a sucker for Christmas, Germany during the month of December, all decked up in Christmas lights, is a place to see!
With Italy being a Roman Catholic country, it comes as no surprise that Christmas time is a big deal there. The entire country is decked up in lights and Christmas decorations, with Christmas markets popping up in the cities. The best city to visit is Rome, and the nearby Vatican City, the home of Catholicism.
And as a bonus, you can visit some of the country’s famous historical landmarks with a lot fewer tourists bustling around.
Although when most people think about visiting France, they first imagine the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France is truly a sight to behold during Christmas time.
The Christmas markets are a cheery, exciting, and fuzzy-warm experience on its own. The Strassbourg Christmas market is especially famous, drawing in 2 million visitors every year.
Additionally, Paris is still Paris, just decked out in Christmas lights, falling snow, and large Christmas trees (ie. it’s even better!).
Places to visit in winter if you want some sunshine
Mexico is one of the best places to visit if you want to get away from the cold of winter. The average maximum temperature across Mexico is 28°C (82°F), whereas the minimum is only 20°C (68°F).
If you visit Mexico in December, you can take part in many of their traditional festivals, as well as enjoy their Christmas traditions like “La Posadas” and delicious Christmas food.
If you think you need one, you can learn how to get a visa for Mexico here.
Cuba is the most reliable place to go to if you want to sunbathe in December. With an average temperature of 27°C (80°F), you can comfortably lounge in one of the sandy white beaches and relax.
Or, alternatively, you can explore Havana, with its colorful Spanish colonial buildings, and old cars which make it feel as though you have traveled back in time.
However, if you are a US national, it may be slightly more difficult for you to visit Cuba as a tourist – although not impossible.
If you want to visit the pyramids of Egypt, or any other landmark of this remarkable, ancient country, but are not eager to brave the scorching heat of the summer months, then winter is the best time to visit Egypt. The temperatures are still warm averaging at a maximum of 20°C (68°F) during the daytime. This means you can comfortably explore all the famous historical sights, although it may not be optimal for sunbathing.
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