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How bad is Winter Europe?

Travel Forums Europe How bad is Winter Europe?

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1. Posted by Casey_Me (Budding Member 39 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,

I am planning a trip to Europe next year from June to when ever. I was thinking of leaving Europe November to miss the worst of the European cold weather, but would like to keep my options open incase I like it too much to leave after only 6 months.

So a few questions, (noting I am open to any destination in Europe) since I am not too familar with how cold it actually gets in Europe.

- Which places are still moderately warm or not so cold that I dont require SKiii gear to keep warm? (I have never seen snow, but would like to but not for an extensive amount of time)
- As a backpacker with limited space for various clothing items, what would you recommend bringing in the back pack to survive an unexpected longer stay in Europe winter? Or would it be better to buy something while im there instead? In that case I would have no idea how expensive a warm jacket would be in Europe?

Can I get away with wearing a pair of regular boots, Jeans and a warm jacket? (Im from Perth Australia- the coldest I have felt is 10 degrees celsius, and 0 degrees over night when Im already in bed), so my idea of winter to some of you might be your summer?

Thanks peeps

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 6257 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi Casey,

Temperatures vary a lot in Europe, as they do in Australia. In general, the more southerly you are in Europe, the warmer it will be. So southern Spain won't be all that much colder than Perth in winter for example. A bit further north and you'll start to get freezing temps and then head up to Scandinavia in winter if you're a real sucker for punishment :) If you really don't want much cold, just start up north and head more southerly as you get closer to winter.

Bear this in mind though - Australian houses have generally terrible insulation. So even though our temperatures aren't all that cold, the houses we live in don't handle it all that well. Mostly, European houses are very well insulated, particularly further up north. Double / triple glazed windows, thick walls, underfloor heating and so on. So even if it's freezing outside, you can be nice and toasty indoors most of the time. Just rug up when you go outside.

I'm not a fan of cold weather, but really it's nothing to be overly afraid of either. All part of exploring different places!

3. Posted by Casey_Me (Budding Member 39 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Ahh thanks peter, gives me some peace of mind. I figured I would avoid scandinavia... but is Berlin horribly cold at that time? When I think of Winter being any colder than Perth, I wonder how I will survive haha.

4. Posted by Peter (Admin 6257 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Berlin will be pretty cold for someone from Perth at that time. But honestly, you will survive just fine. Just get a nice warm coat, gloves, scarf and beanie You might find you really enjoy the different scenery that winter brings.

5. Posted by TeflonCDN (Full Member 131 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hmmm, seems everyone here is focused on the weather... But what about the Schengen rules?

The maximum stay is 90 days out of any 180 period for tourists. If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you will need a Long-Stay Visa.

Here is the info on how to get a Long-Stay Visa$en

PS. As a Canadian, I won't comment on the cold.

6. Posted by Peter (Admin 6257 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Yeah, that's a fair point. I guess I was kind of assuming a working holiday visa or ancestry visa. A lot of Australian's go over to the UK on these visas, so it's pretty easy to stay a while.

7. Posted by Casey_Me (Budding Member 39 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Ok thanks for the heads up! I will look into the visa's I wasnt sure if I wanted to apply for a working visa just yet. I was also wanting to visit South America after Europe. Are you say I could come back to Europe after 180 day period was over?

8. Posted by Casey_Me (Budding Member 39 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Also if I dont stay in one country and move between countries over an 8 month period I just thought that would be a normal holiday visa? (what ever normal is)

I am still in the planning stages of the trip so any onfo is handy :)

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5164 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Almost all of Europe is part of the Schengen Zone, and basically treated as one big country. (There's no border controls within that area.) Note that the 180 day period is a "rolling window", so there's no tricky solutions to get around it, although if you're particularly enamored of the UK, Ireland and former Yugoslavia (which aren't members), there's still possibilities by staying more than half the time in those countries. But yeah, a WHV for at least one of the countries is the more common solution.

10. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 873 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

The trick to staying warm with backpacker clothes is bring things that can be layered. Good quality marino undershirt, long johns and socks. The undershirt can be worn as one layer on warmer days, or a base layer under a fleece and jacket. They pack really small too.