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Five of the Best Winter Break Vacations

Not all great vacations happen in the summer seasons. There are many benefits to taking a break in the winter; not only do you escape the winter blues back at home and avoid the summer crowds, but you can visit places that really shine during the colder months of the year.

Whether you wrap up warm to brave a snowy walk in round Lake Bled or explore the magical markets of Germany, here are five of the best winter break vacations in Europe.

Autumn in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin has much to offer those who want the buzz of a capital city with stunning natural scenery just a stone’s throw away. Picture a candlelit pint of Guinness in a snug Victorian pub, streets filled with festive folk music and a wintry stroll through sprawling Phoenix Park. St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the magnificent Trinity College – once home to a student Oscar Wilde – also make for fun excursions.

Visit it on: Irish Highlights Winter

The Magic of Snow in Moscow

Winter in Russia’s capital is a sight to behold, the snow-dusted city twinkling with light installations until mid-January as part of the Journey to Christmas Festival. The Red Square is at the centre of the hustle and bustle – pick up special gifts for loved ones at the traditional Christmas Market, take to the ice rink for some skating, and enjoy the open-air theatre and dance performances. Warm up nearby in the colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Annunciation with its spectacular golden domes.

Lake Bled and Ljubljana in Winter

Visiting Slovenia in winter is becoming increasingly popular, along with the Baltic countries nearby. It could be something to do with the picturesque towns, set against a backdrop of moody mountains, dusted with snow and twinkling with lights. Or perhaps it’s the festive markets, rich with the scent of spiced wines and baked goods. Either way, whether it’s a brisk walk in the mountain air around Lake Bled, or cosying up for a hearty meal in the eclectic city of Ljubljana, Slovenia in winter has something for all.

The Quieter Streets of Paris

Paris is quieter in winter, which means discovering the tucked away haunts only the locals know about. You can see the whole city sparkle at night, pick up some festive treats from a Champs-Élysées chocolatier, and amble along winding cobbled lanes and avenues without the crowds. Pop over to the Louvre for shelter from the chilly weather and the best view of the Mona Lisa you’ll get all year.

Experience this on: Paris Explorer Winter

Christmas Markets in Dresden, Germany

Europe is famous for its Christmas markets, and Dresden is the ideal destination to embrace the winter wonderland spirit whole-heartedly. From the end of November until Christmas Eve, the city is home to Striezelmarkt, the oldest Christmas market in Germany. Sip mulled wine, snack on bratwurst and traditional Christstollen fruit cake, and find hand-crafted treasures to take back home. If you manage to drag yourself away from this giant glittering grotto, check out some of the city’s wonderful historic architecture like Zwinger Palace and the Opera House.

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