Need advise on where to travel for winter holiday in Europe

Travel Forums Europe Need advise on where to travel for winter holiday in Europe

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1. Posted by Tizza (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

First time poster here I'm struggling with the planning of my honeymoon which we have semi-organised for this European winter. I'm from Australia and have booked a 4 week holiday in Europe from 17th Dec to 21 Jan, and we have booked up till the 5th of Jan but are torn between how to finish our trip. The confirmed plans are as follows;
Return flights from Perth to Amsterdam. Amsterdam 18th-22nd, then fly to Prague. The fiancee is desperate for a winter wonderland xmas so we are spending it in Prague until the 28th then we fly to Paris for the new year. We leave Paris on the 5th but have booked nothing beyond that. There are two ideas that I've floated in my head and some pro's and con's from you guys would be greatly appreciated.

My original plan was to catch the Eurostar from Paris to London, and then spend a week in the UK (London and Edinburgh primarily). Then catch the eurostar to Brussels and Bruges slowly making our way back to Amsterdam for the return flight.

Option two has been brought to my attention post booking's by family members and friends who have travelled Europe. Many say that Venice is very memorable and lovely in winter and an Austrian relative has insisted I shouldn't miss out on Vienna in the winter and perhaps Budapest. My issue with this plan is that if i hadn't already booked Paris from Prague this route makes sense but the bouncing between flights is asking for delay troubles.

Another idea visiting more of France or possibly Germany aswell?! too many great places, not enough work leave!

Any ideas or suggestions for my plans would be absolutely fantastic, we are both in our late 20's- love good food, beer and wine and I am a bit of a History buff- We will mostly be avoiding car hire so ideas around cities/access via public transport is best.

Thanks alot!

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Oct-2018, at 02:41 by Tizza ]

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1863 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

We had five days in Venice last November, and I think winter is defiitely the time to go. We had a brilliant time, got a travel pass for the vaporetto water-buses and explored every corner. I'd choose it over London or Vienna.

That said, you have about 15 days to fill so if you were going to Italy you'd end up also seeing Rome or Florence I expect.

Budapest may be too similar to Prague; I'd think a continental winter would get old quite quickly. Venice, London or Edinburgh should be milder anyway.

Post 3 was removed by a moderator
4. Posted by king_golo (Respected Member 129 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!


This sounds like an exciting holiday coming up! A few points to consider, though.

1. Prague - don't expect too much in terms of winter wonderland. Snow in mid-December is possible, but not very common, and as Prague doesn't lie on a high altitude it's not too likely. It should still be fine, though, given that it is a great city to discover.

2. I agree with you that flying to and fro between eastern and western Europe is not exactly the best way to discover the continent. I like your idea of going to the UK more. You could spend a few days in London, do a day trip to Oxford (absolute must!!!) and/or Cambridge from there (easily feasible by bus) or discover the lovely Cotswolds Hills (about half an hour west from Oxford) by car. I know you don't want to hire a car, but getting there by public transport in winter requires too much time and makes you very unflexible. The Cotswolds are known to be quintessentially English, and if you like that, you should perhaps spend a night or two there.

3. Going up to Edinburgh will require a lot of time by train. If you plan on flying, it'd be okay, but the train would not be the best option. Also, be aware that Edinburgh offers a lot and probably too much if you plan to get a real insight into both London and Edinburgh. If you go up there, you shouldn't miss the Scottish Highlands, but that again would require a car. A day trip from Edinburgh is feasible, but spending the night there would make more sense imho.

4. More of France? Definitely an option! France has so much more to offer than just Paris, and pretty much every town has some sights worth seeing. From Paris, you could go to Versailles with its famous castle or to Rouen, Auxerre, Chartres, Orleans or Reims. Not to forget the numerous lovely villages - google "plus beaux villages de France" to give you an idea.

5. Germany? It strongly depends on what you want to see or do. We do have many historical places, but as most of the cities were destroyed in the second world war, you won't always get a historical feel there. Interesting cities close to the Belgian / Dutch border are e.g. Cologne, Bonn, Aachen, Düsseldorf, or Münster.

In the end, it's up to you to decide, but you'll definitely have a great time in Europe. One last word of advice: Don't underestimate travelling times. Europe is much more densely populated than Australia, there are possible train delays or road closures, strikes at the airport or the like. Also, the airports are normally far away from the city centres, so expect at least 1-1.5 hours for getting to hotels in the centre.

5. Posted by benolr (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the great advise, am planning to travel soon as well

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Oct-2018, at 11:11 by benolr ]

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1311 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

If you are from Australia, it would seem England and Scotland would be too much like home. It's all so English . . . Think about southern France. In winter the weather may be pretty nice (for winter) and right on the Mediterranean it could be lovely. You could take the train to Avignon and spend a week there and continue on to Nice and spend a week there. The public transportation in Provence is very reasonable and covers a lot of the country, especially around Nice. You could visit Eze, Antibes, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Juan-les-Pins . . . and the list goes on. There is history at every turn of the road and the culture is completely different from what you are used to at home, not to mention that the wine is fabulous.

Here's a bit of my TravellersPoint blog on France. Scroll down to the section on Provence. There are links to more information you can check. Click here for information about travel to France

Just a thought. Whatever you choose, have a wonderful time.

7. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I couldn't see where you fly out of to return home. I think Amsterdam, but the wording stymied me.

If you want to keep a tight area, Germany has many a lovely place to it's north. Cologne, maybe? Also, The Netherlands are far more than just Amsterdam, you could have a great time in Haarlem, or Utrecht....or, if you like military history, one of the bridge towns like Eindhoven.

(I'm going to throw Barcelona in there, just cause I like it and easy to get to by train from Paris)

I sympathize with your dilemma. Perth is far away, and there are so many places in Europe to see-yet you can't see them all. Choose someplace close so you can reduce worries. Have a great trip.

8. Posted by Daivd (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I live in London so am biased. There is a lot to do here. Art, Shows, Food, Sights....winter wonderland...
We always have a day in town before christmas and see places such as Borough Market, Carnaby St lights (always slightly different), Oxford and Regent St, Harrods (egyptian staircase) and lots more.

We went to Bruge last winter for a weekend and thought it was superb. We were lucky as although cold it was sunny. Extremely picturesque, Impeccably clean, designed for tourists, and the rain.

I agree about Barcelona. My favorite city in Europe (including London), although I've only ever been in the summer.

9. Posted by MilesTX (Budding Member 36 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

If you aren't fond of the cold, Mallorca and Malta would be good options.

10. Posted by Rohbear (Budding Member 14 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

The thing about northern Europe in the winter is the likelihood of cold damp rain/drizzle. It's not that the temperature itself is the problem (1-5 C), but the dampness which gets into one's bones (at least mine anyway) aided by any wind which might be present. It all depends on your (and your fiancé's) constitution. While no place in Europe could be labeled 'warm' in Winter, the Mediterranean coast has a fair chance for at least milder weather. And as other poster's have suggested, there are very nice places to visit there.