Travel

The AW17 travel bucket list – alternative destinations to try this season

Today’s post is brought to you by the Lorna – a Travel blogger from the UK who blogs over at Thedaychaser.com. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.

Take it away, Lorna…


Ah winter. The sunshine filled days and beach breaks might be long forgotten as temperatures across Europe drop, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t escape to the continent for a long weekend.

Here’s my list of top destinations to check out this winter:

Krakow

Picture 1 - Krakow

This beautifully charming city is the ideal spot to spend a few days; in the last week of November the main square transforms into a Christmas market selling traditional Polish goodies, ideal to pick up those unusual gifts to bring back home.

There’s a whole host of day trips you can take including the Wieliczka Salt Mines and Auschwitz, and don’t miss the opportunity to head a few miles away to winter paradise Zakopane for your fill of skiing, snowboarding, snow scooter rides and even husky dog sledding! Grab a hot chocolate or chimney cake and wander through the streets, enjoy the relaxing vibe and take advantage of the nightlife if that’s your thing.

Don’t miss this year

Szopki Exhibition/Nativity Scene Contest

Sofia

Picture 2 - Vitosha Mountain, Sofia

If you’ve spent a bit too much on Christmas presents and want a destination that won’t break the bank, try Sofia. Lots of budget airlines fly to the Bulgarian capital for next to nothing, and you certainly won’t be out of pocket when you get there.

The snow-covered Vitosha Mountain is only minutes away and is great for ski buffs, whilst the walkable city is perfect for wandering around and exploring. Head out on a day trip to Rila Monastery which is situated out in the wild woodlands, likely to be painted white with snow, for an extra slice of culture.

Don’t miss this year

Ice skating on Ariana Lake, the biggest ice rink in the Balkans.

Budapest

Picture 3 - Budapest

If the cold UK climate is getting you down, Budapest isn’t suddenly going to warm you up – but its thermal spas certainly will! You’ve got the choice of numerous bath houses across both Buda and Pest, with the hot water said to be a cure for all sorts of circulatory problems and other health issues.

I can’t comment on whether that is true, but spending a morning or two soaking up the warmth certainly made me feel better. The vibe in this city is electric all year round, with its ruin bars offering some of the best nightlife going and its national drink, palinka, also likely to warm your belly…

Don’t miss this year

Open Air Winter Festival at the Palace of Arts

Barcelona

Barcelona

There is no bad time to visit Barcelona. Fact. The architecture, nightlife and viewpoints are just as impressive in winter, with the added benefit of the Catalan capital being a lot quieter with most tourists seemingly preferring to visit over the balmy Spanish summer.

Temperatures are likely to be moderately better than the UK and certainly better than Eastern Europe, and the climate is perfect to explore the best that this eclectic city has to offer.

Don’t miss this year

Fira de Santa Llúcia

Berlin

Berlin

Ah Germany, home of the Christmas market; you can’t ask for anything better than a traditional Deutsch market – and Berlin has over 50 of them sprawled across the city.

Temperatures are likely to be quite low, but grab an apple strudel and Glühwein and shop to your hearts content! Berlin is also famed for its alternative galleries, many museums (over 150!) and numerous theatres, so head inside and enjoy them as the crowds are dwindling.

Don’t miss this year

Christmas at the Botanical Gardens


So there you go – give one of these alternative destinations a visit this season and see what they can offer you. If you want any more travel inspiration and tips don’t forget to visit Lorna’s website here.

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