8 Best Places to Discover a Winter Wonderland

What winter blues?


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There’s something magical about seeing a city dusted with a glittery layer of snow. Though tourists usually flock to destinations during the summertime, consider planning your next adventure when the colder weather arrives. Taking a winter vacation offers plenty of benefits: lower seasons mean fewer crowds, cheaper hotel rates, plenty of festivals, and cozy settings to warm your hands by the fire.

Whether you prefer to bundle up and take on the slopes or wander small, cheery villages, there are plenty of spots that will take away even the slightest winter blues. Warm up by the fire while taking in these eight stunning winter wonderlands.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish basically invented coziness and according to Conde Nast Traveler, they even have a word for that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re covered in a blanket, sitting around dozens of candles on a cold night. Copenhagen has dozens upon dozens of inviting cafes, cute restaurants, and hotels that’ll feel like home. When out and about, head to Tivoli Gardens for breathtaking light shows, ice skating, and fun family activities or go to Nyhavn to see the iconic waterfront covered in snow.

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Lake Tahoe, California

Though a year-round must-see destination according to Foders Travel, Lake Tahoe is spectacular in the winter. The picturesque town offers over a dozen ski resorts, hot springs, a great night life, and gorgeous vistas. Pick from a variety of trails and hike your way to some breathtaking views. Or you can  simply make a snowman or go ice skating at the at the Squaw Valley Olympic Ice Pavilion.

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Berlin, Germany

Imagine rows beyond rows of candy, hot chocolate, and other wintery treats, as well as sparkling winter trees and artisan crafts. Berlin has more than 60 Christmas Markets to satisfy every shopper. The Gendarmenmarkt, located near Friedrichstrasse, Unter den Linden, and Leipziger Strasse is open from November 26 to December 31. Make sure to see the nighttime sea of lights at the WeihnachtsZauber including the Französischer Dom, a cathedral that dates back to 1701.

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Saariselka, Lapland, Finland

Take a flight and head 250km north of the Arctic Circle for a village of holiday cottages, stunning hotels, and their main attraction, the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, which according to Elle Décor, features dozens of glass igloos – and traditional snow igloos too – with exceptional views of the Northern Lights.

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Banff, Canada

Spend some time in the purest, crispest mountain air at Banff, Canada. The alpine lake, Lake Louise, is known for turning various shades of blue from lapis to sapphire to turquoise. Enjoy the views of The Rockies or spend some time in the quaint views of the charming town. From the Banff upper hot springs to the Alpenglow Festival (where local musicians perform and guests enjoy delicious food and s’mores), this natural treasure won’t disappoint

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Svalbard, Norway

Always wanted to cross taking in the Northern Lights off your bucket list. Head to one of the northernmost inhabited areas on Earth to see the Polar Night. From mid-November to the end of January, the sun doesn’t rise and during twilight, the sky turns bright blue. If you don’t witness the aurora borealis, there’s still plenty of sights to see. Look at the stunning mountain views or catch a glimpse of the polar bears residing nearby.

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Kyoto, Japan

Head to Kyoto to check out the temples, gardens, and shrines under a blanket of snow. When the winter winds feel a little too strong, warm up in their natural hot springs. You could also head to the International Snow Sculpture Contest to see more than 400 ice sculptures compete for the winning prize.

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The canals are especially gorgeous when snowy, and especially so in December and January when Amsterdam features the exciting Light Festival. Get free access to Amsterdam’s museums and grab your skates to glide along the canals. For a break from the chill, stop by the bruin cafés with their wood-paneled interiors and homey decor for a bar snack and a nice local beer.

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