No need to worry about long, darker nights and sub-zero temperature, visiting Central and Eastern Europe during winter is totally rewarding. From frozen rivers and frosted branches to crystal-clear blue skies, the experience is lifetime’s worth that you won’t find anywhere in the world!
City life itself is livelier, celebrating the arrival of winter and New Year. So if you’re lucky enough to hold a valid EU passport, this is the best time to plan a visit and witness the charm you won’t find even during spring or summer.
- Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Edged by pointy grey Alps, Lake Bohinj possess a beauty that’s rare, eerie and charming in its own way. Meadows to the east side of the lake are hotspot for cross-country skiers while travellers can find lots of superb downhill options.
The lake freezes every winter due to plummeting temperature so you have a natural skating rink that’s a breath-taking sight in all Europe. Nearby villages are famous for producing various fruit brandies that keep the body warm and active.
- Gdansk, Poland
Cold, grey and misty even during daytime in winter, these are the great ports of northern Europe you’ll find somewhat evocative yet appealing. The town of Gdansk is best to visit with an EU passport in winter with all its gothic churches and medieval-style warehouses.
- Druskininkai, Lithuania
Druskininkai; a blend of old and modern world is located right among the dense pines of the Dzukija forest. Health resorts and spa facilities here are excellent that offer natural treatment for various diseases through 15-minute soak in mud bath. It’s a composite of swamp soil, twigs and local mineral water. Collection of yesteryear’s monuments are located just outside of the town in Grutas Park, exhumed from their pedestals during the 1991 revolution.
- Belgrade, Serbia
Social activities are at their peak during the New Year in lots of East European cities that lasts almost three months. Belgrade; with its riverside drinking scene takes a leap with outstanding restaurants and bars in Skadarlija and Savamala. The vast expanses surrounding the Kalemegdan Fortress offer a dramatic view of the sky during clear winter nights.
- Krkonoše, Czech Republic
Popular amongst local Czechs but quite off-the-route to infrequent travellers, the rolling mountains of Krkonoše are bordered with Poland with the foothills lined with vibrant resorts. Here, you’ll find a fistful of swimming and spa facilities with bustling walkways.
- Budapest, Hungary
The mineral-bath culture of Budapest is best celebrated during mineral due to natural thermal springs producing misty vapours to soothe your mind, body and soul. Winter in Budapest offers spectacular sightseeing as well as the best season to try some exotic spicy cuisine and tantalise your taste buds.
- Tallinn, Estonia
Perhaps the most festooned Baltic city in all Europe is Tallinn and definitely recommended if you’re planning a weekend visit rather than a month’s vacation. The majestic towers and sky-high spires looks more enchanting when covered in snow. Fortifications in the old-town are also worth visiting along with open-air ice rinks for a memorable ice-skating.
It’s about time you put your EU passport to good use by visiting the above destinations in Central and Eastern Europe.