1. It’s Cheaper!
The best part about travelling to Europe in the winter is that you can make your trip last longer. Flights are less expensive and less full, hostels are always available and rates are low, so stay an extra week!
2. Less Crowded
One really awesome part about travelling Europe outside of ‘peak tourism season’ is beating the crowds. In summer, your stereotypical “American” family with 2.4 kids is running around the Louvre, drinking slurpies and taking selfies and you’re waiting for hours in line. In winter, you can get the Mona Lisa all to yourself, skip the waits and streamline through your need-to-see attractions.
3. Tis’ the Season!
Christmas Festivals and Holiday Markets!Many cities such as Salzerg and Dresden have much-acclaimed Holiday markets that set up in the weeks leading up to Christmas! Mulled wine, live bands and historical sites decorated to the nines with beautiful trees and lights? Sounds like my favourite thing ever!
4. Speaking of, let’s Talk about the Romantic Atmosphere
Snowflakes, icicles, white winter churches and more. Dazzling light displays, the once-a-year Christmas markets and lots of excitement paints a beautiful background for your winter adventure. The air is fresh, and the locals are cheery, and the scenery will be picturesque and perfect for photography.
5. Northern Lights!
Darker days mean more opportunities to see the Northern Lights. You’ll defeinitely need to be up where it’s cold and dark, in places like Scandinavia or Norway. You’ll need to do some research and be extremely patient to achieve this once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it’s doable. There are some companies such as ____ and ___ that offer tours to help you see the Aurora. Happy hunting!
6. Easier To Be Spontaneous
This goes along with everything being less expensive in the off-season, but it’s way easier to change your mind on travel arrangements or to book last minute. Lots of flights are flying basically empty and hostels have lots of open rooms, so book that trip to Dublin the day before, I dare you!
7. Winter Outfits
Now this may just be a personal preference, but I would much rather be walking around in leggings and jackets than jean shorts and tank tops. I’d rather be cozy than sweating. It’s easier to put on more layers when you’re cold than to take off your skin when you’re hot!
8. Lots of Attractions are Free
This is true in a lot of different destination spots, but just for an example, The Colosseum and walking Rome tour that I’m planning on taking is $75 in the summer, and $34 in December. Here
9. Act Like A Local
In summer, the bars and pubs are full of americans like you trying to see the spots and have their vacation experience. In Winter, the bars and pubs are full of locals trying to get some cheap whiskey on a week night, ya feel? If you’re the kind that wants to live the way the locals do like me, you’re more likely to have an authentic experience in the off-season. Plus, if you love making friends and chatting, this is your scene!
10. The Weather will be Great down South
I’m planning on starting north in November and working my way south (which I recommend) and by the time I get to locales like Athens and Santorini, it may be close to New Years, which is alright, because that is when their climate is the most temperate! not too hot, but it doesn’t ever get “winter” cold. San Francisco weather, I call it. Perfect all the time!