european winters

Travel Forums Europe european winters

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1. Posted by raincoat (Budding Member 14 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hi all,

just some queries about the european winter

i'm planning on backpacking through germany, netherlands, italy, france, england and switzerland. at the moment the plan had been to go from december-march due to work committments, etc. however, now we're getting a little worried about the european winter (this isn't a skiing holiday). i was hoping someone could help with just how cold it is. will we still be able to sightsee etc? or is it advisable not to go during the winter? we may be able to re-schedule and go from feb/march-may. is this much more highly recommended, or does it not make a difference? also, whats the weather like in february, is it beginning to warm up?

any help in this area would be greatly appreciated

kylie in australia

2. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Heya Kylie!

I have never been to Europe in Dec or Jan, but in Feb and March I find it to be a little rainy. Here's a link to the UK Weather Office for past weather in Europe, it should give you a good idea:

Katie ;)

3. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Winter is perfectly fine to travel in, providing you arent expecting it to be warm sunny and dry the whole time. Weather is extremely changeable, particularly in UK and Northern Europe. You will get wet at some point. It will be cold at some point. Windchill can make Northern Europe (espec UK) feel much colder than it actually is.Providing you accept that will happen and are prepared to make the most of it, you won't have any problems.

In recent years, Feb has actually tended to be the worse month for weather, whilst December has tended to be generally milder. But you never know what will happen.


4. Posted by raincoat (Budding Member 14 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

thanks for the replies, it has eased my mind a little. i didn't really want to wait until march to travel, i'm itching to go!


5. Posted by raincoat (Budding Member 14 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

sorry to bother people again.

ive been checking online weather sites and think perhaps mid jan to end of march may be a good time, given that id like to be back as earlier in the year as possible. any thoughts on this? ive had bad weather experiences before on holidays, which is why im a little concerned.

thanks again

6. Posted by kelster (Full Member 51 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I think it's fairly wet in France but I don't know!
In England, it goes dark around 3pm-4pm each day & the lighter days don't start until the end of March. It can be wet & cold. It hasn't snowed for a while, but probably would a little in Scotland. The past couple of years February has been quite mild & warm (ish) usually about 0 to 10 degrees. However, it can get icy & below 0. It is slightly warmer in the South, London, Brighton etc. (I am in Manchester) & it's usually colder in Scotland.
It depends what you like really. It's generally wet. I have been to Canada in the extreme cold, but because it is dry it's not so bad. Here it just rains! not that this should put you off, England is great & you should come & visit.
Oh & I imagine Germany & The Netherlands are more or less the same temperature wise.

Hope that helped

7. Posted by Quercus (Full Member 76 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,
Sorry, all you Britons, I don't mean to offend, but you made me laugh when you described 0-10 as being mild or even warm!!
This is about the coldest it gets in Melbourne, even in the middle of winter.
Kylie, remember you are from Australia, even in Tasmania they wouldn't describe these temperatures as warm!
I have travelled in Germany and Denmark from April - May and found that the temperatures were around 6-12. But, I ate more, wore warmer clothes and acclimated. My advice - it will be cold by Australian standards, but you'll get used to it if you pack well.

8. Posted by kelster (Full Member 51 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

No offence taken Quercus But lately February has been "warm" compared to previous years! Sometimes I forget that some of you out there are used to the heat!
6-12 degrees sounds about right for May, & generally we don't get much heat in the summer, sometimes 25 degrees & that to us is hot, I don't think it ever goes above 30 degrees & if it did we would all melt away....
I guess the main thing is the dark then. Days are short here December-March.
I guess now you know why all us Brits love to travel

9. Posted by raincoat (Budding Member 14 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

quercus, i thought exactly the same thing. 0-10 degrees is cold, cold, cold!

althought im not concerned about the cold so much as the rain or snow. as long as we can get out and do things, the cold is tolerable. plus im sure all the beer i plan to drink will help. kel, you mentioned in another post the cheap beer in the czech republic - thanks for the tip.

i think we've decided to go in late jan to early april, with the colder countries (germany, switzerland) left until last.

thanks guys

10. Posted by kody (Respected Member 234 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hi all,

I'm from malaysia and it's definitely warm and sunny yet rainy overhere. I'm planning circle up in England, given me an extra time, I would loveee to drop by in Scotland, Wales or France since it's the nearest country to England.
I'll be heading to South London somewhere around end of February or 1st-20th of March 2005. Only 3 weeks I have, sigh...

Now I'm worrying exactly like kylie frm oz... abt the weather.
Will it be ok to travel during this time? Need some advise so that I can start planning now.

Can't wait to go...