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The Best Places to Travel in Europe in January

Come January, the holiday season is over, and you may be a few pounds heavier and a few (hundred) dollars lighter. You might be sick of traveling, too, if you had to make your way through jam-packed airports and bumper-to-bumper traffic to see friends and family this holiday season. That said, if you stop traveling in December, you’ll miss out on some magical experiences. Winter is an amazing time to visit Europe so you can take advantage of cheaper prices, fewer crowds, and picturesque winter wonderlands . You may have to brave colder temperatures, but that can be part of the fun. Bundle up in warm jackets, hats, scarves, and mittens and enjoy snowy activities, including sleigh rides and ice castle tours in some of Europe’s most fascinating cities and landscapes. Then, take a break from sightseeing and warm up in cozy restaurants and interesting museums. Book a winter getaway at one of these best places to visit in Europe in January.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi is the perfect destination for a wintry vacation filled with snowy fun. Get around on a snowmobile, a dog sled, or a reindeer sleigh, and try some winter sports including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or ice fishing. Rovaniemi is also a great walking city, and there are several walking tours and museums to experience to learn a little more about this Finnish town. Consider buying the Culture Pass, which gets you into three attractions for one price. With this pass, you can learn about the history of Lapland and Arctic research at Arktikum, get to know northern contemporary art in the Korundi House of Culture, and familiarize yourself with the northern forests at Science Centre Pilke.

Take a Hurtigruten Cruise along the stunning Norwegian coast this January for a unique winter vacation. The cruise line offers trips that take you to the Arctic Circle and North Cape, where you’ll take in picturesque winter scenery. Plus, there’s a chance you can even catch a glimpse of the northern lights. Be sure to check out Oslo, where you take a fjord cruise or learn about Nordic history at the Viking Ship Museum. Try cross-country skiing or sledding at Korketrekkeren. While you’re there, visit Frognerseteren, an old-fashioned cafe that has views of the Oslofjorden and serves apple pie, hot chocolate, and, of course, Norwegian waffles.

The Canary Islands

If you want to skip the wintry wonderlands and go for a warm island vacation in January, try the Canary Islands, which share Africa’s climate but are actually part of Spain. While on the islands, you hike on volcanoes, like the famous Mount Teide on Tenerife. You can also try tackling Roque de los Muchachos, which reaches almost 8,000 feet in elevation (but it gets cold in the winter, so bundle up if you plan to reach the top).

While it might be a little too chilly to enjoy the beaches, there are plenty of other activities on the islands. Take time to go off-roading on sand dunes and enjoy the local Canarian cuisine.

A New Year's swim on the first day of the year is a Canary Island tradition in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Be sure to also check out the Canary Islands International Music Festival, which happens in January and February.

Vienna, Austria

This city is famous for its Christmas markets, but you can enjoy its unique history and culture in January without the holiday crowds. Stop into a local cafe to experience Viennese coffee house culture and warm up with a toasty beverage after a day of touring the city. If you’re in Vienna for the New Year, try following the Silvesterpfad, a New Year’s Eve trail which takes you to different stages with live music. Stop and enjoy a glass of mulled wine or champagne while you prep for the coming year.

Bavaria, Germany

Southern Germany is lovely throughout the year, but it turns into a snowy wonderland during the winter months. Think about basing yourself in Munich, an urban center that is walkable and offers several nearby day trip options. Consider traveling to Salzburg, Austria or visiting Munich Residenz, the former home of the royal family and the largest city palace in Germany.

January may be the best time of year to visit the nearby famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. This castle is known as the inspiration for Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World, and it’s going to look even prettier covered in snow.

London, England

Take in this historic city in January and skip the holiday crowds. You can wander down quiet streets and visit museums like the Tate Modern (which features modern art) or the National Gallery, which has works from da Vinci, van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo.

During the day, visit historic sites like the Tower of England (where you can view the Crown Jewels) or Westminster Abbey. Then warm up in a cozy pub with a pint and some fish and chips.

Gstaad, Switzerland

January is the best time to visit western Switzerland. There’s tons of great skiing, with runs to fit every level — from beginners to experts. You can even try night skiing at Rinderberg, which stays open late with floodlit slopes. Each year, the nearby town of Château-d’Oex hosts a nine-day hot air balloon festival, and the snow-capped mountains make a perfect backdrop for the hundreds of colorful balloons that decorate the sky.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Consider ringing in the new year in the party city of Amsterdam. You can visit fascinating museums during the day and enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife in the evenings.

Each January, Amsterdam is filled with art installations for the Amsterdam Light Festival, which lasts until January 19. There are 30 different light installations to explore around the city. Then, you can try ice skating at Ice Amsterdam at Museumplein, or celebrate National Tulip Day on January 18, where you can pick up a tulip in Dam Square.

Monte Carlo, Monaco

January offers a taste of the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix (held every May) with the Monte-Carlo Rally, held at the end of January. Even though it’s not as exciting as the main event, this race still brings parties and excitement to the city.

While in Monaco, be sure to check out the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, made famous in the James Bond films and books. Stop by the Oceanographic Museum to learn about marine life, or go shopping at the Metropole Shopping Centre and Fontvieille Shopping Centre.

Sierra Nevada, Spain

If you want great skiing without the frigid temperatures, try the southernmost ski region in Europe in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain. This resort area has 65 miles of trails with lots of routes for beginner and intermediate skiers.

Be sure to check out the beautiful Alhambra in nearby Granada. The walled palace dates back to the 13th century, and it was home to King Charles V and Queen Isabel during the 16th century.

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24 Best Places To Visit In Europe In January (2024)

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

January is a fantastic time to take a European holiday. In many places, Christmas markets are still open and Christmas decorations linger in the early part of the month. However, the overall craziness of Christmas time has passed. It is low season in most places, so you should be able to find great flight and hotel deals for a fantastic vacation in Europe. In addition, the most popular attractions will see fewer crowds and will be more enjoyable to explore. In Europe, you have the best of both worlds. You have the choice of cold destinations, some with winter sports for a snowy winter getaway and warm weather spots where you can enjoy a warm January holiday. From all the wonderful possibilities, where should you go? Here are 24 of the best places to visit in Europe in January.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you buy something through my site. This helps me run my website and produce the articles that I hope you find helpful.

Other Destinations In Europe

Many places may still have Christmas markets open and Christmas lights up in early January. For a list of both warm and cold places with amazing Christmas celebrations that you may want to check out, please see  24 Best Places To Visit In Europe For Christmas .

If you are not sure about your timing, consider 22 Best Places To Visit In Europe In February .

If you are looking for the best snow and winter destinations in Europe, please see 17 Best Snowy Winter Wonderlands To Visit In Europe .

For those looking for the best sunsets in Europe, please see 28 Best Places In Europe For Most Beautiful Sunsets .

For those hoping to find inexpensive European destinations regardless of the season, please see:

  • 27 Best Cheap Cities In Europe For A Fantastic Vacation ; and
  • 22 Best Cheap Countries To Visit In Europe .

After reviewing this article, you may be curious about other destinations in January. Here are the  24 Best Places To Visit In The USA In January .

Best Places To Visit In January In Europe

I have asked some of the best travel bloggers and industry experts where are the best European destinations for a January vacation. They include cities, towns, mountain ranges, and beaches all over Europe offering both warm and cold weather. Whether you wish to explore historic city centers, lounge on beaches, discover beautiful natural beauty, or stay active through skiing or other outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone.

In the following article, the best things to do in each destination are described, as well as how best to get there. In addition, the expected weather is set out so you can properly pack. If a travel blogger stayed in a fantastic hotel or other accommodation, their recommendation is included. Finally, any annual events or festivals are provided in case you can organize your trip to participate in these special events.

best places to visit in Europe in January

Tenerife, Spain (Canary Islands)

By Lara from The Best Travel Gifts

One of the best beach destinations to visit in January in Europe if you are looking for a sunny days is Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. With pleasant temperatures, Tenerife is one of the warmest places in Europe during the winter months.

Besides discovering Tenerife’s beaches and enjoying the sun, there are plenty of incredible things to do on this island. The easiest way to explore is to rent a car, but you can also book tours to some of the most popular attractions, such as National Parque El Teide. 

The National Park includes Volcano El Teide, the highest point in Tenerife, and the whole of Spain (12,188 ft). There is a cable car to take you to the top from which you will have a stunning view over the island. If you are lucky, you can even see the other Canary islands as well, such as Gran Canaria. 

Make sure you also take some time to hike and explore other areas of the Park. For a bit of excitement, book an Quad Safari tour . The volcanic landscape is simply fascinating. For

Another beautiful national park for hiking is Parque Rural de Anaga in the north. You do need a car to get there, but it’s well worth the drive. Alternatively, book a guided tour and explore this stunning part of the island.

Two other towns worth exploring are Garachico and the Unesco World Heritage listed town of San Cristobal de La Laguna. San Cristobal offers colonial architecture and its’ linear layout of its streets – created in the 15th Century without protective outer walls – combine to give a remarkable feel to this ancient university city. If you don’t have a car, you can take a tour and explore both pretty towns.

You can expect pleasant average temperatures between 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The best place to stay is the south of the island because it has the most sun hours and the least amount of rainfall.

Best Way To Reach Destination

It’s only a fifteen-minute drive from Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur (TFS) to Costa Adeje, a town in the south.

Hotel Recommendation

Lara says, “Costa Adeje is a popular town in the south. During the summer, Tenerife and Costa Adeje can feel extremely touristy due to the large crowds, but in January it’s actually a pleasant place to stay. Especially if you skip the large hotels and stay at a cute boutique hotel, such as B&B Villa Boutique Tenerife.”

best European destinations to visit in January

Lapland, Sweden

By Ellie from El On The Move

What better place than to experience a true winter wonderland than in Lapland. Located in the Arctic Circle and part of Swedish Lapland, Kiruna is one of the best January holiday spots in Europe. It is the most northern town in Sweden, and it feels like it is in a world of its own.

Kiruna developed because of a very large iron mine and apart from the mine and the town itself, there is nothing but snow, forest and wilderness.  

The best activity is dog sledding in the Lapland countryside. Being pulled by a team of dogs in the snow with utter silence surrounding you allows you to be able to appreciate the stunning nature. You can choose to drive your own sled or be driven by a guide, relax and enjoy the views.

No trip up north would be the same without searching for the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights can be seen from Kiruna town but the lights are best when far away from any light source.

For example, some of the best Northern Lights that you might see are are when you driving between towns as there is no light at all. Tour companies offer Northern Light tours , but any place with low light is an opportunity to see them.

January in Kiruna is a great time to visit as it is still during the polar night (at least the first week or so). The polar night means there is a full day of sunset or sunrise colours across the whole sky. The colours are incredible and the short daylight hours means more darkness to see the Northern Lights.

January is one of the coldest months of the year. You can expect lots of snow and 10°F – 17°F (-30°C) is very normal. So make sure you pack extra warm clothes with high percentage wool base layers. High quality layers make such a difference.

Kiruna is accessible by flight from Stockholm. The flight is about 1.5 hours. They run multiple times a day in the winter season. There is also an overnight train from Stockholm that offers incredible scenery throughout Sweden.

Ellie says, “Kiruna is home to the world’s first Ice Hotel. The rooms are carved from Ice and kept at a balmy -5°C inside the rooms. When sleeping in an ice room you are provided with reindeer skins and a very warm sleeping bag.

The rooms are changed each year and created by ice artists from all over the world, so it is a very special experience. They also have warm rooms if the thought of sleeping in -5°C is not for you. The hotel is based overlooking the Tourne River which is completely frozen so it offers some lovely views.”

best European cities to visit in January

Catania, Italy (Sicily)

By Ingrid from Ingrid Zen Moments

Sicily  is Italy’s largest island, with a vast history, strong local culture, and incredible food scene. It is no wonder thousands of tourists flock here every year. If you love old towns packed with history, but also beautiful nature, Sicily should be on your Italian bucket list.

Visiting Sicily during the winter months is a great time to enjoy your trip without the torrid temperatures you get during summer, but also without the crowds and for very cheap prices.

Catania is the main city to visit on Sicily’s eastern coast, set at the foot of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. It is a fantastic city to explore for a European January vacation. The city was founded by Greeks almost 2800 years ago and today is an open-air museum, where one can still see the remnants of Greek culture on a stroll around town.

Castello Ursino dates from the 13th century and is one of the main tourist attractions in town. Today, it hosts a museum with artifacts from Catania and its region. The Greek/Roman Theater of Catania is another important sight you shouldn’t miss during your visit.

From Catania, you cannot skip visiting Mount Etna or a day trip to the picturesque and bohemian city of Taormina . Once the favorite destination for poets and writers from all over the world, Taormina will charm you with its beautiful narrow streets and impressive architecture.

For those looking for an AMAZING 12 day road trip in Sicily that takes you from one end of the island to the other while seeing incredible history, beautiful beaches, and fantastic natural beauty, please see Best 12 Day Itinerary In Sicily .

The average temperature in Catania in January ranges from 50°F – 59°F.

Reaching Catania is easy both from inside of Italy, but also from other European capitals. Catania–Fontanarossa Airport is less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) away from the main city center and can be easily reached by car or by public transportation.

Ingrid says, “While choosing an area to stay in Catania could prove to be challenging, you could never go wrong with a hotel or apartment in the old city center, along the seafront, or anywhere close to Corso Italia. They all come with advantages and disadvantages, but from there you will not only be close to most of the tourist attractions but will also be in a great area with fantastic restaurant choices.”

January is best time to visit Istanbul in Europe

Istanbul, Turkey

By Sasha from Mog And Dog Travels

Spanning the continents of Europe and Asia, the historic city of Istanbul is one of the best European cities to visit all year round. However, travellers who decide to take a city break in Istanbul in January will be rewarded with wonderful and unique experiences. 

With the summer tourist crowds gone, January is a much more peaceful time to explore this mammoth city. You avoid the long queues that usually snake around the major tourist attractions in Galata and the historical area of Sultanahmet. Low season also makes Istanbul a much more budget-friendly destination, with reduced prices for hotels, flights and tours. 

Make sure to visit the Hagia Sophia – a 1500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site that was once at the centre of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. Take your time to marvel at the ornate and amazingly preserved mosaics on the upper floors and ceilings of the building.

You can then cross Sultanahmet Square to the Blue Mosque. Another architectural wonder that was built in the 17th Century and decorated with over 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles. Take a tour of both to make sure that you don’t miss anything!

Any winter trip to Istanbul should include a tour of the city’s amazing gastronomic scene. January is a great time to sample sahlep , a rich traditional Turkish drink only consumed in the winter months and made from orchid root, milk and cinnamon. Available in cafes and restaurants all over the city, it’s the perfect antidote to the chilly weather outside. 

January is also the best time to visit Turkey’s largest ski resort at Mount Uludağ, just 2.5 hours outside of Istanbul. It offers a range of activities including downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and sledding. It also has the longest cable car ride in the world, the Bursa Teleferik, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

January is the coldest month in Istanbul, with daytime temperatures ranging from 39°F to 47°F. Whilst it does rain quite frequently, there will be many days when the weather is bright and sunny.

The fact that many of Istanbul’s main attractions are covered also makes it a great place to visit in January even when the weather is unpredictable.

January is also when Istanbul is most likely to experience snowfall. While this is usually very light (only 2-4cm (1.5in) at most), the sight of the city’s mosques and churches covered in snow makes for stunning photographs. 

Most visitors to Istanbul will fly into Istanbul Airport. This is normally a 45-60 minute drive from the city centre, though during rush hour this can take much longer. 

Sasha says, “There are a number of popular areas to stay in Istanbul and accommodation ranges from cool apartments to luxury hotels and budget hostels. Louis Appartements in Galata, just a few minutes from the metro station and close to many cafes and restaurants, has comfortable, gorgeous suites and an amazing roof terrace with views of the Galata Tower.”

most beautiful places to visit in Europe in january

Crete, Greece (Greek Islands)

By Angela from Fitting In Adventure

Walk the paths of many mythological stories on Crete, one of the best European destinations for a January getaway. Surrounded by quaint shops and restaurants, this lesser known Greek Island is sure to leave your adventurous soul fulfilled whether you dive into its history and mythology, or the more current music culture. 

History lovers will be in heaven since Crete’s history predates the ancient Minoan civilization by more than four millennia.

The island of Crete’s Palace of Knossos is where the legend of the Minotaur was born. Constructed by Daedalus, the labyrinths purpose was to house the minotaur.

Legend has it that the Cretan King then demanded that Athens send seven young men and seven young women to be fed to the minotaur as a tax. This continued until Theseus killed the minotaur. While visiting the Palace of Knossos you will wonder the ruins and view the legendary throne room of King Minos. 

Take a trip up Mount Ida. Mythology states this is where Zeus was raised. Also called Psilorertis, this is where Zeus’ mother Rhea hid him from his father Cronos. Cronos was known to eat his children to prevent them from overthrowing him in the future. Make sure to visit the cave of Dikteon Andron where Zeus was born. 

Visiting in the off-season will help you avoid many of the crowds typically associated with summertime in the Greek islands.

With the average temperature in the high 50s, you will miss the muggy summer months making it the perfect time for wandering and hikes. You will want to return again and again to enjoy the clearest coastline in Europe. 

Fly into Athens and grab a ferry or cruise to head over to the island of Crete. Crete also has two international airports – one in Heraklion the capital and the other in Chania – from where you can pick up a rental car and explore the island.

best places to travel to in Europe in January

Paris, France

By Kelly from Girl With A Passport

If you’re in search of one of the best cities to visit in Europe in January, then look no further than Paris.  As the capital of France, the city of light is known for its incredible food, world-class museums, and refined culture. 

If you plan your visit for January, you’ll love Paris even more since you’ll enjoy cheaper hotel prices, better deals on flights, and less crowded attractions. Accordingly, you can quickly and easily visit places like the Louvre without the hordes of tourists. Plus, staff at many of the city’s busy restaurants and hotels will be a lot less stressed – and infinitely more polite – since they don’t have to cater to as many people. 

While you’re in the city and have the place all to yourself, be sure to visit amazing works of art at the Louvre. These include the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the Seated Scribe, and Liberty Leading the People. If you can, try to time your visit for a Wednesday or Friday evening when the museum is open late. 

Next, take in a vibrant cabaret show at places like the Moulin Rouge or the Crazy Horse before attending a classic opera performance at The Opéra-Comique. 

Finally, ascend the Arc de Triomphe for unparalleled views of the city before retreating inside Laduree for some well-deserved macarons and afternoon tea in Paris . 

Whatever you do though, be sure to dress warmly since average temperatures in January only reach a high of 46°F  and a low of 37° F. You’ll also want to bring a warm jacket, rain coat or umbrella since the city can receive an average of nine days of rain throughout the month. 

Kelly says, “When you want to retreat into warmth, consider a suite inside the Exe Panorama hotel.  Rooms here are well-priced and sit inside a lovely, Haussmann-style building that is only a five-minute walk from the Cadet metro station.”

January is best time to visit Hallstatt in Austria in Europe

Hallstatt, Austria

By Nadine from Le Long Weekend

The fairytale village of Hallstatt is a dream to  visit in winter . Surrounded by snow-dusted mountains, on the edge of a beautiful lake, it lives up to its lofty reputation as one of the most beautiful villages in the world. It is certainly one of the best winter escapes in Europe.

Although small, there are plenty of things to do in Hallstatt. Take a walk up to the Skywalk platform where you’ll be awarded with incredible views over the village, lake, and mountainous region beyond.

Visit the Altaussee Salt Mine to learn about the history of the town and its industrial past. This is also a fun activity if visiting with kids, as there are rides and a light & sound show that will delight all ages.

And discover the creepy Bone House at St Michael’s Church where you’ll see the collection of around 1200 human skulls – some of which are painted in symbolic patterns and arranged into family groups.

Nearby, there are many places to enjoy winter sports too.

Visiting Hallstatt in January is the best time as you’ll still have the magical festive decorations to enjoy, but you’re more likely to see it under a blanket of snow.

Bundle up and wander the bucolic streets, getting lost in the maze of alleyways and staircases. Pop into warm cafes for streaming mugs of punsch or hot chocolate when you get too chilly.

With daily highs only reaching 42F, January is the snowiest month, with snowflakes falling 19 days of the month.

The closest International airport is in Salzburg. You then drive just over an hour the rest of the way, or take the train & ferry.

Nadine says, “Stay at the lakeside Boutiquehotel Strand Hallstatt to wake up to magical scenes (complete with resident swans) each morning.”

best destinations to travel to in Europe in  January

Gozo, Malta

By Suzanne from Meandering Wild

Gozo is a small island located off the north coast of Malta. Gozo, along with its larger neighbour Malta and the small island of Comino, form this small southern Mediterranean island state. It is halfway between the south coast of Italy and the coast of Tunisia in Africa. It is a beautiful spot and one of the best January trips you can take in Europe.

In the centre of Gozo are a number of historic sites. The main town on the island is Rabat and sitting over the town is the Cittadella. This is an ancient building with large walls surrounding the ruins of ancient buildings and the Old Courts of Law and the Old Governor’s Palace.

A short drive from Rabat is The Blessed Virgin of Ta’Pinu Basilica. This beautiful church can be seen from the surrounding landscape between the villages of Gharb and Ghammar. 

Gozo has its own UNESCO World Heritage site which Is found at the the Ggantija Temple. It was built between 3600 and 3200BC and even today, the huge slabs of limestone that made up the temple can be seen.

January is the perfect time to visit Gozo as it is quiet and calm with very few tourists. After the festivities of Christmas, the island relaxes and does not have any significant celebrations.

In January, Gozo’s temperature is between 48 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, with only about 7 days of rain. The sea temperature is a cool 63 degrees but with a good wetsuit this means that it is not too cold for  swimming, snorkelling or diving .

Gozo is reached initially by an international flight into the main Malta International Airport near Valetta.  An hour drive takes you to the ferry at Cirkewwa. This ferry runs almost continually and within 45 minutes, you will be on Gozo. 

Suzanne says, “One of the nicest places to stay is the coastal village of Marsalforn and this is a short 20 minute drive from the ferry at Mgarr. In the village, there are a number of hotels, with Hotel Calypso on the waterfront being the largest in the town.”

best places to visit in January in Europe

Prague, Czech Republic

By Veronika from Travel Greekery

Prague is a beautiful destination to visit any time of year. The spire-adorned jewel on the banks of the Vltava River should be on top of everybody’s bucket list. However, in January, with the possibility of snow, it is a magical fairytale city that is one of the best winter vacation spots in Europe.

When visiting Prague, one shouldn’t leave out the top sights. Those are Prague Castle, a unique castle complex featuring structures spanning centuries, the charming Charles Bridge, and the Old Town Square with the unique Astronomical Clock. The whole Old Town and Lesser Town Quarters are simply too beautiful for words.

It’s going to be cold in January, so you should cozy up in Prague’s many cute cafés in between all the sightseeing. Museum-goers will love the newly reconstructed National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square. It currently even houses a whale skeleton.

January is a quiet time of year to visit Prague. You can have it practically to yourself, without the usual crowds of tourists. Some Christmas markets last until January 6th, but after that, things quiet down. 

For a fantastic three day Itinerary, including a beer spa where you can drink delicious unlimited beer while soaking in hot hops, please click here .

You’re quite likely to experience snow in January. It’s typically one of the coldest month. Based on averages, the warmest it could be is 0.8°C (33.4°F) or it might go as low as -4.9°C (23.2°F). 

If it snows and you want to enjoy the freshly fallen snow, don’t wait until the next morning! The snow melts fast in the city and turns into slush.

On the other hand, the quiet streets in Prague’s city center become absolutely magical with fresh snow. Only rarely does snowfall turn heavy. You’re most likely going to experience a light dusting.

Prague is easily accessible. Fly to the Václav Havel International Airport and take a bus, a combination of a bus and the subway, or a taxi.

Veronika says, “The Mosaic House is a great accommodation option near the center of Prague, offering a variety of different room styles for every budget. If your flight from Prague is early in the morning, I can recommend the new  Airport Prague Hotel .”

best European destinations to visit in January

Mallorca, Spain

By Joanna from The World In My Pocket

Mallorca is one of the most popular summer destinations in Europe, with many people choosing it for the gorgeous beaches and the guaranteed warm weather. However, Mallorca is great place in Europe for a January holiday as well, especially if you are looking for a relaxing spot.

Mallorca offers something for every type of traveller. While most of the touristy resorts close down for the winter, the cities and villages around the island continue with their daily lives. You can find very affordable accommodation in stunning hotels or traditional fincas if you travel to Mallorca in January.

One of the best things to do in Mallorca is to explore the beaches. In January, you won’t be able to sunbathe as the weather is too cold, but you will be able to explore all the beautiful beaches and coves without any other people around. Places such as Cala Pi or Cala Mesquida, which are packed in the summer, are now empty.

Walking in the Cala Mondrago National Park is a lovely experience in the winter months, as you will find free places to park, as well as no other people on the trails.

If you enjoy hiking, consider going to the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains. In summer, it is way too hot to attempt the long trails. In January, the temperature is just right.

Another great thing to do in Mallorca is to go shopping in the local markets. Each village and town has its own market day. Small local producers gather in the main square and sell their homegrown fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese, sobrasada, or sundried tomatoes. 

Another great thing to do in Mallorca in winter is go hiking in the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains. In summer it is way too hot to attempt the long trails. In January, the temperature is just right.

The weather in Mallorca in January is mild, with an average daily temperature of 56 degrees Fahrenheit and around 5 days of rain. But don’t worry, there are plenty of  things to do in Mallorca even when it rains .

Most airlines still operate winter flights to Mallorca. The airport is located only a couple miles away from Palma de Mallorca. It is well connected by local buses to the city centre. There are also plenty of car hire companies at the airport if you want to explore the island and not base yourself in Palma.

Iceland best winter destinations

Thingvellir National Park , Iceland

By Paulina from UK Everyday

If you want to visit one of the most unique UNESCO World Heritage sites look no further than Iceland in January. In Thingvellir National Park, you can walk between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates that are drifting apart from each other by 0.8 inches (2 cm) every year. All the cracks are shaping a beautiful canyon that is home to many amazing attractions.

One of the best things to do in Thingvellir National Park is a short hike to Oxarafoss Waterfall. This famous movie location from “Game of Thrones” attracts many visitors so exploring it in January will allow you to avoid the crowds. It is only a 6-minute walk to the waterfall from Oxarafoss Parking which makes it a perfect place to visit even during the colder months.

There are various hiking paths in Thingvellir National Park that provide excellent views. One of them is a 20-minute walk from Oxarafoss Waterfall to Hakið Visitor Center. It is a perfect spot to admire the second largest lake in Iceland –  Thingvallavatn. 

Thingvellir National Park covered with white snow looks incredible. If you decide to visit Iceland in January, you will have amazing light for your pictures. The Golden Hour in Iceland lasts much longer during winter than in any other location around the world.

Wintertime is the  best time to visit Iceland  as you can also see the Northern Lights or explore ice caves.

The average temperature in January is between 26.6 F and 37.4 F. You can expect beautiful sunny days, but also heavy snowing a few hours later. The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable so make sure to be ready for every situation.

When purchasing your plane ticket, choose Keflavik Airport. It is just a 1-hour drive from Thingvellir National Park and less than 40 minutes drive from Reykjavik.

Paulina says, “You can find plenty of accommodations in the capital such as Freyja Guesthouse & Suites or Black Pearl Apartment Hotel.”

best warm winter destination in Europe

Albufeira, Portugal (The Algarve)

By Linn from Amused By Algarve

One of the best European beach vacations in January is the quaint town of Albufeira on Portugal’s Algarve coast. Not only is it one of the most popular destinations in the Algarve, it’s also one of the most beautiful with the white village spilling onto the beach between cliffs.

With over 300 days of sun in the year and beautiful warm temperatures, this is a wonderful destination in January for a warm weather getaway that avoids the summer crowds. Albufeira is also centrally situated for exploring the rest of the Algarve.

There are endless  things to do in Albufeira . It has one of the most picturesque beaches in Portugal where you can do water sports like parasailing and surfing.

Go on a kayak or paddleboard tour to explore the mesmerizing coastline where you can discover hidden beaches and sea caves. Take a boat tour to the world-famous Benagil Cave, or explore the inland on a buggy or jeep tour.

January is also the best time to go hiking because the temperatures are not too high. Head to Marinha beach and take on the stunning Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. Wander across golden cliffs, and discover massive sinkholes, sea-carved arches, and unique rock formations.

Make sure you wear good hiking shoes and a hat to protect yourself from the sun – even in January it can get hot on a clear day.

Winter temperatures can reach high 60s Fahrenheit (20-25 degrees celsius).

The closest international airport is Faro airport. You can take a bus or train to Faro city where you have to transfer to a bus. (The train to Albufeira stops 7 km outside the city, so the bus is your best option.)

Alternatively, there are transfers from Faro airport to Albufeira that you can take. Also, Check with your hotel to see if they offer free airport pickup.

Linn says, “A wonderful place to stay in Albufeira is the Vila Gale Cerro Alagoa. You can indulge in the pool or take the short walk to the beach depending on your mood.”

best winter destinations in Europe

Riga, Latvia

By Lowri from Many Other Roads

Riga is a city in Latvia that is perfect place for a European city break in January. Not only is it incredibly budget friendly but it is off the beaten path for many travellers. Riga is filled with cobbled stone streets and lots of historic sites to explore. There are also many great bars that serve delicious food on a budget.

There are lots of amazing things to do in this unique European city.

Latvia is one of the cheapest countries in Europe and this means you can enjoy some of the best food without breaking the bank. The restaurant ‘Milda’ serves traditional Latvian dishes such as potato pancakes, bread soup, and black bread with cheese at an affordable price.

If you want to see the most incredible views over the city, stop by the Panorama Riga Observation Deck. This is a circular terrace and observation deck belonging to the Latvian Academy of Sciences. It costs about 6 euros to visit and is absolutely one of the best spots in Riga. 

Riga is full of amazing buildings, but the best is the Three Brothers. This group of buildings are not only pretty but are the oldest dwellings in Riga. The buildings can be found in Maza Pils Street near Central Dome Square. 

January is the best time to visit as it has snowy winter conditions, without the crowds for the Christmas markets. Riga has cold winters with temperatures ranging from -2°C to -6°C (28°F to 21°F) so make sure you pack properly before going.

The most popular way to arrive into Riga is by Riga International Airport. It takes about 15-30 minutes to reach from the airport to the City Centre. Taking a bus from the Airport is the cheapest option. However, buses don’t run at night so if you arrive late, you will have to get a taxi. 

Lowri says, “Riga is full of amazing hotels so you have plenty of options. For a stay that is truly unique, book a stay at the elegant Hotel Gutenbergs. There is something so special about this hotel and breakfast is included too!”

best European cities to visit in January

Florence, Italy

By Jaclyn from Resting Beach Face

Florence, dubbed the birthplace of the Renaissance, is a place to immerse yourself in history, art architecture, delicious food and wine, all the while being surrounded by welcoming locals. While Florence may be a city, it has a small-town feel and much calmer than other equally tourist-centric locations.

When in Florence, you will notice that the city is filled by pedestrians who stroll the streets to window-shop, enjoy a fabulous meal, or spend the day in a piazza people watching.

Florence is the capital of Tuscany, which is famous for rolling hills and vineyards. It is a perfect home base for short day trips to the countryside where you can take a cooking class at a gorgeous village or even help harvest grapes or olives for the season. Florence has no shortage of culture, of all varieties, and is still a bit of a hidden gem .

Take a tour of the Palazzo Medici and learn how the Medici family boosted the Renaissance; how Michelangelo was discovered; or, why Hitler decided not to destroy the Ponte Vecchio.

Next, visit the Basilica of Santa Croce. The exterior is exquisite and the interior is home to the tombs of some of the most influential Renaissance artists and scholars, including Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli.

Finally, find your way to Piazzale Michelangelo which offers one of the best views of Florence and of the Duomo.

January is one of the best times to visit this European city. It offers lots of events to enjoy. January 6th is a national holiday called The Epiphany. This is where the Befana brings small goodies to those who have behaved during the year and the Three Wise Men will parade the streets. In addition, the city is illuminated with colorful lights pointed at some of Florence’s best-loved monuments.

On alternate weekends between January 7-24, the famous Pitti Palace is the center of the fashion world. In addition, throughout January, you will also find farmers markets, Organic and Artisan Markets, and an Antiques Fair held on various weekends.

The average temperature in Florence in January is 52 F, however there is a possibility of sleet and snow. Keep that in mind and pack some layers.

However, Italy in general is very fashionable so try to stay stylish while staying warm! Generally, you should carry a travel umbrella and a packable rain jacket with you as you never know when there will be a downpour or flurries.

You will fly into the Florence airport (FLO). There is a new tram line that can take you from the airport to the city center. This is the easiest and cheapest way to reach Florence. Uber and Lyft do not operate in Florence.

best winter destinations in Europe in January

Besançon, France

By Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer

A wonderful place for a European holiday in January to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and to simply sit back and relax can be found in the  Eastern France Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region , more specifically in the Jura and Doubs department. The region is synonymous for good wine, authentic little villages untouched by the spoils of over-tourism and Comté, the salty cheese that takes its name from the region.

Learn all about the history of the local salt production in the UNESCO classified sites of Saline Royale Arc-et-Senans and the Salins-les-Bains salt museum.

Alternatively, head out to Arbois to have a delicious wine tasting in the Domaine de la Pinte vineyard. Try your hand at the famous Yellow Wines from the Jura, the  MacVin  digestif or a delicious dessert wine that goes by the name  Vin de Paille .

January has an average temperature of 45°F. The upper Jura region is known to get a lot colder at times with an average snowfall of 62 centimeters. It is the quintessential getaway for lovers of outdoor winter activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking, snowboarding and even dog sledding.

With daily trains running between Besançon and Paris, getting to the Jura and Doubs department is an absolute breeze.

Caroline says, “Base yourself out of Hotel le Sauvage in Besançon to be close to both the slopes and the wonderous activities in the city.”

best greek islands to visit in January in Europe

Santorini, Greece (Greek Islands)

By Mary from Be Right Back by Mary

When thinking about Santorini, you usually think about going to the beach, tanning, and watching incredible sunsets while sipping on a cocktail by the sea. But this Greek Island has lots to offer for a European getaway in January.

January in Santorini offers some of the warmest temperatures in Europe. In addition, you are guaranteed peace and quiet as the island is deserted by the majority of tourists who prefer to visit during the hot summer months. The cost for a trip to Santorini is definitely a lot lower during the off season, so it is the perfect place if you are looking for a cheap and sunny escape. 

Another worthy visit is Pyrgos village which is built on a hill. You have to walk up a good number of stairs to reach Pyrgos castle. This activity can be painful in the summer but it is perfect for January’s temperatures. At the top, you’ll find one of the best 360° views of the island.

Finally, there is a nice walk which takes you from Fira to Imerovigli, a lovely town along the Caldera. The walk is easy and about 1.25 mile long. It takes about 30 minutes to complete. On your way, you can make a detour to go check out the Rock of Skaros. 

January in Santorini offers warm temperatures with peaks at 15°C (59°F) and an average of only 11 days of rain.

There are international airports on Santorini and Mykonos. There are also ferries between the Greek Islands. The cheapest alternative is to fly into Athens and take the ferry from there.

Mary says, “One of the best things to do in Santorini in January includes staying at a luxurious hotel on the Caldera. A good number of the  best hotels in Fira ,  including the famous cave hotels, have beautiful views of the Caldera and include a hot tub. However, these can be quite pricy during the summer.

January is the best time to experience luxurious Santorini without having to break the bank. Hot tubs are also a great addition as the sea is too cold for a swim at that time of the year.

Athina Luxury Suites is the perfect option.”

best European cities to spend time in January

Pecs, Hungary

By Richard from RJ On Tour

Pecs is a fascinating city with an interesting history in the south of Hungary near the Croatia border. The city of Pecs was founded by the Romans and also occupied by the Ottoman empire, thus it has some remarkable sites to visit. The area is famous for its wine and food and the restaurants serve some great options, including iconic Hungarian dishes like Goulash.

There are lots of  things to see and do in Pecs , from visiting sites to enjoying a hike in the nearby hills. In January, Pecs is quiet, thus it is the best time to visit all the historic sites when they are empty. The most popular attraction is the Sopianae, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Basically, it is an early Christian burial site from the 4th century.

The Mosque of Pasha Gazi Kasim is currently a church, however it used to be an Ottoman Mosque during their occupation in the 16th century. Visiting Mosque of Pasha Gazi Kasim is interesting as you learn history and see the unique decor inside. This building is the finest example of Turkish and Ottoman architecture in Hungary.

Pécs Cathedral is also a fantastic place to visit. It is the most prominent building in the city and has four towers. You can visit the inside of the cathedral too, which is colourful with lots of decorative features. They display the history of the site very well throughout the building. You can also climb the cathedral’s tower which offers fantastic views across the city and nearby countryside.

The climate in January is cold and typically ranges from 24.8F to 34.9F. There is an average of 5 days of rain, so it is pretty dry compared to other European cities .

The nearest international airport to Pecs is Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. From there you can get a direct train into Pecs, which takes two and a half hours. Alternatively, you can drive which takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

Richard says, “There are many apartments and hotel options in Pecs, however Corso Hotel is a centrally located four-star hotel. It is known for its large and modern rooms and delicious food.”

best places to travel in January in Europe

Gibraltar, United Kingdom

By Emma from Travel On A Time Budget

Gibraltar, the tiny British Overseas Territory that borders Spain on its southern shores, is one of the best European escapes in January. It might only be 2.6 square miles, but there’s plenty to do.

Most of the top things to do in Gibraltar centre around “The Rock”.  This is hardly surprising since at almost 1,400 foot, it’s impossible to go anywhere without staring up and seeing it.

A cable car goes to the top where you can snap incredible photos out across the sea. It’s then a short walk down to St. Michael’s cave, where there are massive stalagmites rising up from the floor and stalactites hanging down from the ceiling. 

Part of the draw to the Rock is the chance to see Gibraltar’s famous monkeys. The Barbary macaques can be seen along the pathways of the nature reserve or viewed at Apes’ Den.

For history lovers, there are places in the Rock to visit to learn about Gibraltar’s history. The 18 th  century Great Siege Tunnels formed part of the defence of Gibraltar from France and Spain during the Great Siege. There are also World War 2 tunnels where military equipment was stored and troops stayed for protection.

Gibraltar also has beaches where you can relax after your sightseeing. Camp Bay has a lido and areas where children can swim. Even in January, you can get warm weather.

Average temperatures can reach 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees centigrade) although there may also be rainy days and chilly evenings.

It’s also a really easy place to reach as it has its own airport that is easily walkable from the centre.

Emma says, “There are a range of places to stay in Gibraltar. The Holiday Inn Express is a reasonably priced option about 15 minutes’ walk from the main town. For those who want to stay somewhere a bit different, the Sunborn is a hotel on a yacht in the marina. There’s a swimming pool and fabulous views of the rock from the sundeck.”

best European winter destinations

Borovets, Bulgaria

By Abi from I’m Going On An Adventure

For many people, January is their least favourite time of year. The weather is at its’ worst and all the joy from Christmas is over. However, one of the best ways to lift those winter blues is a European getaway in Borovets in Bulgaria. It’s the cutest little ski resort with stunning views, great runs and a fantastic vibe.

The main reason to go is for the snow and to enjoy the snowy mountain ski runs. The town has some fun slopes with varying levels of difficulty and is really, really cheap in comparison to most other ski resorts in Europe. It is a fantastic place to start learning how to ski or snowboard.

Borovets has some other fun winter activities such as riding snowmobiles through the mountain forest and enjoying a relaxing spa day at the gorgeous Rila Hotel or Yastrebets Hotel. However, in winter most people visit for the skiing and it has been built up around this.

It’s easy to rent the skiing and boarding equipment from the town, plus the ski passes are easy to find. There’s only one main gondola to take you up to the top and it’s there at the bottom where you can buy lift tickets. A day pass is very reasonable and a week’s pass will be discounted.

It’s also a great location for families. It’s easy to grab a sled and toboggan down the smaller slopes, and there’s horseback riding too. In addition, there are a selection of shops to wander around and purchase some souvenirs.

There’s loads of traditional Bulgarian restaurants with open log fires serving delicious meals such as melted blue cheese and cauliflower roasted potatoes, cheese fondants, hearty soups and local red wine.

The nightlife is energetic with lots of small bars and karaoke to enjoy. There’s a few local games which are played at the pubs such as one where you need to try and bang a nail into a log – which is really quite funny. Most evenings, there’s some sort of event running, so it’s a great place for everyone!

Don’t forget to give night skiing a go too. The slopes light up and the main run is open. It’s even better when it starts snowing!

It’s best to go towards the end of January to allow for as much snow as possible. The temperature drops to 2/-4 degrees (35 / 19 Fahrenheit) in January so it’s so important that you arrive prepared – warm clothes and thick socks.

Borovets is easy to reach but it does require a taxi or shuttle to take you from the airport to the town. You can book these at the airport but it’s easier to arrange beforehand.

The closest airport is Sofia international which has regular flights all year round. The transport takes around 1 hour 15 minutes and is a beautiful drive through the mountain roads (once you pass the city).

Abi says, “There are some fantastic hotels in Borovets, depending on budget you can stay in the luxury Rila Hotel right in front of the slopes or a more budget friendly accommodation further down the hill such as Villa Park Guesthouse. Just be wary the further down you are, the harder the hike to reach the slopes.”

best warm winter destinations in Europe in January

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

By Lina from World of Lina

Another one of the best European escapes in January is the lovely town of Ayia Napa on the island of Cyprus .

Ayia Napa is located on the southeast coast and is mainly known for its many beautiful beaches. In the resort town, you can find fantastic restaurants serving fresh seafood and at night, you can enjoy cocktails and other drinks at the many pubs and bars.

Right at the heart of the town, you’ll find Ayia Napa monastery, a charming monastery partially built underground. Inside is a museum that houses historic exhibitions about Cyprus.

The harbor is another one of the must-see places as it offers amazing views over the Mediterranean Sea. Sit back and relax in one of the many cafés and enjoy a good cup of coffee or a refreshing drink.

Just a bit outside of Ayia Napa, at Glyko Nero Beach, is the famous ‘Love Bridge’. This rocky arch was entirely created by mother nature and is, for sure, one of the most amazing natural attractions in Cyprus. It’s even possible to walk out onto it, but you have to be very careful.

Ayia Napa is a good destination in January because you can enjoy the warm winter sun without it being too hot.

Temperatures are usually between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit – perfect for sightseeing.

The closest airport is Larnaca International Airport which is accessed by most international airlines. It will take you approximately 40 minutes to reach Ayia Napa by car.

Lina says, “The resort town is full of hotels ranging from luxury to affordable. Some of the best addresses include Limanaki Beach Hotel, Nissi Beach Resort and Cosmo Napa Boutique Hotel.”

best places to visit in Europe in January

Dublin, Ireland

By Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler

Dublin, the capital city of Ireland , is a charming European city to visit in January. Located on the east coast of Ireland, Dublin has a variety of things to offer travelers. 

Temperatures in January are on the cool side. If you’re a bit chilly, there are plenty of pubs to warm you up with a drink or snack. Hidden gems like The Church combine history, culture, live music, and delicious food.

Even in the colder months, there are plenty of  things to do in Dublin . History buffs can explore Dublin Castle, Trinity College, or even the Leprechaun museum for glimpses into Dublin’s past. Dress in layers and explore the beautiful sites including Christ Church Cathedral, Ha’penny Bridge, and the beautiful architecture along the River Liffey.

At the end of January is the Temple Bar Trad. It’s an Irish music and culture festival featuring some of the best musicians in Ireland. There are also street parades, craft fairs, open-air concerts, and art shows.

One of the best things that you can do in Dublin is a musical pub crawl. This takes you from pub to pub with a band of Irish musicians. It is fun and a pretty cool experience. For a rundown of the best and worst attractions in Dublin, please see The Best And Worst Most Popular Attractions In Dublin .

Average temperatures in Dublin range from -2°C to 11°C.

Most visitors fly into Dublin International Airport (DAA) directly and drive 20 minutes to the city center. Alternatively, you can also fly into Shannon Airport (SNN) and drive through the countryside to the city. It’s about a 2 1/2 hours drive from Shannon to Dublin.

Pamela says, “A great hotel located in the heart of Dublin is The Schoolhouse Hotel. It dates back to 1859 and has been a witness to the history of the city, including Dublin’s Easter 1916. The boutique hotel is also home to a Gastrobar for hungry visitors.”

best warm winter city in Europe in January

Malaga, Spain

By Milijana from World Travel Connector

Malaga in southern Spain is one of the sunniest places in Europe in January. It is perfect for a European city break in January or winter staycation in Spain.  

The beautiful city of Malaga is the capital of Costa del Sol. Costa del Sol, meaning Coast of the Sun, is famous for lots of sunshine and fantastic sandy beaches. 

Malaga beaches are some of the best in Spain and Europe overall. Although the sea temperature is not ideal for swimming in January, the sandy beaches in Malaga are a perfect place for sunbathing and enjoying delicious tapas with a glass of sangria in  chiringuitos  (traditional beach restaurants) in winter.

On top of that, Malaga is a modern Mediterranean city full of great restaurants (including nine Michelin star restaurants), traditional tapas bars, and bodegas. Tapas bar hopping is one of the  best things to do in Malaga . 

You might be surprised, but the city is rich with museums. There are more than 30 museums in Malaga. In addition, Malaga is the birth town of Pablo Picasso. Consider strolling through the museums and admiring the artwork of Pablo Picasso, especially in the colder months when there are no crowds to block your view.

For some fun, decompress in traditional Arab baths, take day trips and visit traditional Andalusian white villages in the area, or hike jaw-dropping El Caminito del Rey . 

Daily average temperature in January is 63° F, but can reach 72° F during the day.

Malaga-Costa del Sol International Airport serves Malaga. The airport is the largest in southern Spain and one of the busiest. It connects Malaga with many Spanish and international destinations. 

Milijana says, “Book a room in the 5-star Vincci Selección Posada del Patio with a rooftop swimming pool in the center of Malaga to have a fabulous winter vacation in the capital of Costa del Sol.

Best places to visit in Europe in January

Turin, Italy

By Natalie & Robson from The Best Of Turin

Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region in Northern Italy and one of several fantastic places to visit in Piedmont . It is one of the largest cities in the country and is surrounded by the impressive Italian Alps. It offers a rich history, incredible architecture, outstanding museums, delicious food. Although it has all these great attributes, it’s still under the radar for many international tourists.

What makes Turin a great European destination to visit in January?

The answer is easy. You can combine a winter city break with snowy slopes and winter sports in Turin.

When in Turin, you must visit the Royal Palace to learn about the Savoy Dynasty and how Turin became Italy’s first capital. Also, it has over 10 palaces and royal residences that are UNESCO heritage sites. Most of these palaces are open to visitors and are within the city or its’ surroundings. The most impressive ones would be Venaria Reale, Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi and Palazzo Madama.

Once you are done with the historical sites, you can visit some of Turin’s museums like the Egyptian Museum – one of the largest collections in the world – or the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, which pictures the important industrial past of the city.

Food is another big thing. Take time to stroll around the Porta Palazzo Market, one of the biggest open-air markets in Europe. Then, savor a nice meal at Mercato Centrale, known for serving the best local ingredients and traditional recipes paired with the world-famous Barolo wine from the region.

A stop at Valentino Park for the best views of the Po River is a must too. If it’s snowing, go there anyway. The park looks like a fairytale when covered in snow.

Talking about snow, Turin is only one hour and 40 minutes by train from Bardonecchia, one of Italy’s best-known ski resorts. The resort has 49 pistes and 21 ski lifts located 2,750 meters above sea level. 

January is a good month to hit the slopes, as snow is guaranteed. Bardonecchia is a small mountain town that gets busy in winter. So staying in Turin is an excellent option as the city has more hotel choices. You can easily go for a day trip to the mountains. When in Turin, you will be surrounded by the snowcapped mountains all the time, offering fantastic views.

January is the coldest month in Turin, the average highest temperature in the city is 45ºF, and the lowest is 27ºF. It doesn’t snow much in Turin, so consider yourself lucky if it snows and the city is covered in white. In the mountains, it will be colder and snow is abundant.

Getting to Turin is easy. The city has a small international airport – Torino Airport, which is connected to the city by public transportation. Another option is to fly to Milan, which has 3 international airports. There are different ways to travel from Milan to Turin , including driving one hour. You can also get from Milan to Turin by train or bus.

Natalie & Robson say, “Regarding where to stay in Turin, the options are endless. You can book a room at a luxury hotel like Hotel Principi di Piemonte, or in a mid-range accommodation like Opera35 Suite&Studio. For budget travelers, the Hotel Tourist is a good option.”

best cities to visit in Europe in January

Lisbon, Portugal

Located in the south of Portugal, Lisbon is a popular destination in Europe in January for anyone looking to escape grey damp weather and Christmas season melancholia. 

Spend  four days in Lisbon  exploring the highlights and main landmarks of the city. Some of the best things to do in the city include visiting the Alfama district, known as the oldest and most charming district of Lisbon. You will recognise the neighbourhood by the authentic orange coloured roofs.

St George Castle is also a must-see both for the history and the incredible 360° views it offers of Lisbon and the Tague Estuary Natural Reserve, the largest wetlands in Portugal. To avoid waiting in line at the castle, tickets can be purchased online in a few minutes.

Another fun thing to do in Lisbon is rent electric scooters and travel through the city to the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge and the Jeronimos Monastery, a World Unesco Heritage Site.

In the winter months, a fair number of European destinations are very quiet with shops closed and restricted hours for museums. However, Lisbon is bustling all year round. Everything is open and the city feels alive! At the same time, the city doesn’t feel overcrowded at this time of the year, which means you won’t be waiting in long lines for each museum.

One of the main reasons for Lisbon being one of the best European cities to visit in January is, of course, the weather. With temperatures going as high as 60°F (16°C), and only about 7 days of rain, January is a great month to visit for anyone looking for a dose of sunshine.

The closest airport is Lisbon airport. Lisbon airport is very easy to navigate both at arrivals and departures. The heart of the city is only about a 30 minute drive with taxis, buses or ubers waiting for you. 

Mary says, “If you are in Lisbon for a special occasion and are looking for a romantic hotel, Casa Balthazar is the place to be!”

January is the best time to visit many European destinations. If they offer winter sports and outdoor activities, you will be able to enjoy all that is offered. On the other hand, if they do not, and it is low season, whether it is busy cities or beautiful beach destinations, you will get fantastic flight and hotel deals. In addition, you will only be sharing restaurants and attractions with locals without the fierce summer crowds.

Europe has many wonderful places to visit in January. Where are you going?

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35 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

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Dreaming of a winter getaway? Check out this list of the best places to visit in Europe in January for an unforgettable experience!

January in Europe  is one of the coldest months in the year with the entire continent wrapped in the blanket of thick snow. The continent gets a different look during this month painted in either white and grey or white and black.

So if you are not afraid of the cold, and  planning for a European vacation , January is the most beautiful time of the year.

The days are bright with snow-covered mountains, valleys, and roads to go for snowboarding and  mountain hiking , while the nights are glamorous with exotic cultural events, festivals, and opera nights.

It is one of those times of the year to watch the dreamy snowfalls or taste the lip-smacking European cuisine sitting by the fireplace. The continent has got a lot to offer for the visitors during this time being less crowded and  extremely cost affordable  due to off tourist season.

What is the weather in Europe in January?

The entire month of January is the  coldest winter month in Europe  while the temperatures and snow keep on varying in different parts of the continent.

  • Northern Europe  is cold during January having a maximum temperature of 1 degree and a minimum of -7 degrees.
  •   Western Europe  is equally cold, having temperatures between 1 to 5 degrees.
  •   Eastern Europe  also experiences chilly weather having temperatures between 1 to -3 degrees. All of these parts have extremely shorter days ranging for few hours due to freezing temperatures.
  •   Central Europe , however, is a bit comfortable during winters where the weather is cold and pleasant having temperatures between 7 to 17 degrees. It gives you comfort from freezing and also has moderate snow. This is the warmest part of the continent during January.

So to prepare your  travel bucket list , let’s have a look at the best  places to visit in Europe in January .

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Table of Contents

Dreaming of a winter getaway? Check out this list of the best places to visit in Europe in January for an unforgettable experience!

Advantages of Traveling in January

January is often overlooked as a prime time for travel in Europe, but it’s one of the best months to embark on a city break . Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion, breathtaking landscapes, or simply a change of scenery, there are numerous advantages to visiting Europe in January. One of the most compelling reasons to go to Europe in January is the significantly lower number of tourists. 

Many people travel during peak seasons, leaving January relatively quiet and serene. This means you’ll have more personal space to explore popular attractions and landmarks without the usual crowds. 

It’s truly a unique experience to have famous sites almost entirely to yourself. Furthermore, traveling in January lets you fully appreciate each destination’s authentic charm and character. 

With fewer tourists around, locals are more likely to engage with visitors personally, offering insights into their culture and way of life. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in local customs and traditions while forging genuine connections with the people you encounter. 

Another advantage is that cities are more affordable during this time of year. Accommodation rates and flight prices often drop significantly compared to peak tourist seasons. 

Lower costs mean your budget can stretch further, allowing you to splurge on unique experiences or indulge in local cuisine without breaking the bank. January is also ideal for outdoor enthusiasts as several European countries offer stunning winter landscapes perfect for skiing or snowboarding. 

From picturesque alpine villages nestled amidst snow-capped mountains like Zakopane in Poland or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in France , there’s no shortage of breathtaking vistas awaiting adventurers. If you appreciate art and culture, visiting museums and galleries becomes an absolute treat during this time. 

With fewer visitors jostling for space, you’ll have uninterrupted access to renowned masterpieces at places like The Louvre Museum in Paris or The British Museum in London. Take your time, savor the beauty, and truly absorb the artistic creations without feeling rushed. 

January is an underrated gem when it comes to deciding to visit Europe. From the tranquility and personal space to the affordability and unique winter landscapes, it’s clear that this month presents countless advantages for travelers. 

So why not break away from the conventional travel seasons and embark on a city break in Europe this January? You will be satisfied by the abundance of places to go in Europe during this time, offering experiences that are absolutely one of the best. 

Are you planning your travels? Here’re my top travel resources!

I’m a serial planner both in life and in travel – I have bucket lists, things to do, see, and everything. So, I always love when my life is sorted easily using tools and resources that would make my general planning a little smoother and easier. Therefore, in my many years of traveling the world, I’ve seen myself returning to these travel resources repeatedly. And here I am, sharing my tips to make your life easy and breezy so you can stress less, travel heaps, and focus on the fun part of travel!

  • Booking.com  – I book all my hotels through this website and don’t honestly use anything else. They always have the best prices, in my opinion.
  • Airbnb  – If I’m traveling long-term to one destination, I book my flats through Airbnb.
  • Skyscanner  – The best place to find cheap flights on flexible dates. I use this a lot to score cheap flights within Europe!
  • SafetyWing  – Always travel insured! Never leave your home country without one. It is worth the extra money, I promise you!
  • GetYourGuide  – Hands-down, the best place to find cool and unique tours if you don’t feel like winging it, and go straight to a local expert. I use this a lot in new destinations to get acquainted with the area!
  • My Pretty Wild World Travel Diary (coming soon)  – A book you can write down your travel plans, create itineraries, track down your budget, and dot down memories along the way! A handy book you can keep and read later to revisit memory lane.
  • Pretty Wild World Travel Planning Printables (coming soon)  – Are you a nut like me when it comes to planning? Yes? Good. My travel planning resource in one zip file is an easy-to-use printable planner that comes with tips that helps you plan your travels during the planning stage, a pre-flight checklist, an itinerary planner, and so on.

Top 35 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

1. ghent, belgium.

Best places to visit in Europe in January: ghent, belgium, architecture

Ghent is a beautiful city of  Belgium  that is famous for its edgy historical architecture from the medieval era giving the city a small-town look that is beyond beautiful. It is not a famous tourist destination compared to other cities of Belgium and is more of a  hidden gem . It is one of the  picturesque places  to visit in Europe in January.

The climate during this time is extremely cold, having temperatures between 2 to 6 degrees. Ghent receives very little sunshine in January, and the weather is either cloudy or rainy. One of the mysterious winter attractions in Ghent is the Winter Wonder Castle which is also called the count’s castle.

You can spend the daytime exploring its history and surrounding areas, explore the  city of Ghent  through boat rides, go skiing in the ice skating rink, take the carriage rides in the city streets like royals, visit the museums, the great butcher’s hall, take the canal boat tours and many more entertaining activities.

The nights are beautiful with winter pop-up bars, Zebrawoods winter festival, having luxurious beers at The brewery, trying the handcrafted meatballs, burgers, Lebanese  cuisine , etc.

Learn more about Ghent and Belgium: Places to Visit in Belgium , Things to do in Ghent , Day Trips from Ghent , Things to do in Brussels

2. Malta – one of sunniest places to visit in Europe in January!

Places to Visit in The Mediterranean Valetta Malta

Malta is the warmest country in Europe  which is known for its coastal beaches and warm weather in January in Europe. It is a Middle Europe  Mediterranean destination , and hence it is the warmest place in  Europe in January  due to the extremely comfortable climate with temperatures ranging between 13 to 16 degrees.

The Valletta International Baroque Festival is organized during this time celebrating the annual event for 15 days starting from talented performances to the Baroque-themed ball. The colorful event is an eye treat for all visitors in  Malta  in January. You can also spend the day trekking through the offbeat areas, enjoy the beautiful sunset in the evening at Dingli cliffs.

Also, pay a visit to the mysterious hypogeum, enjoy some warm sunshine on the lovely  beaches , a taste he Maltese pastizzi with hot coffee or tea, try out the traditional Mediterranean cuisines indulge yourself in the luxurious treatment at Myoka Spa, visit St. John Cathedral and enjoy Mediterranean cruising in the  picturesque local destinations . The destination can be awarded for having the best weather in Europe in January.

Read more about Malta: Places to Visit in Malta , Things to do in Malta , and Day Trips in Malta

monaco, monte carlo, france

Monaco is one of the best places to visit in January Europe.

Monaco is a western  European destination  that has varying climatic conditions in January with sometimes temperature dropping to 7 degrees while most of the time it remains pleasantly cool between 12 to 15 degrees.

The weather is most comfortable to explore the  beautiful attractions  of Monaco unless you are interrupted by rainfall, which is quite common here in January turning the climate extremely cold.

Some of the best attractions to enjoy here are Monte Carlo Casino, Prince’s Palace, the gorgeous Musee Oceanographic, Monaco Cathedral, Les Jardins Saint-Martin overlooking the Mediterranean sea, Opera nights at Opera de Monte Carlo, and many more.

If the temperature is pleasant, you can even visit the lovely beaches of  Monaco  like Larvotto Beach, Baie du Soliel beach, Plage Garmagilla Beach, Plage Mala Beach, Plage Paloma beach, and lots more to spend some quality time under the sun aloof from the summer tourist crowds.

Read more about Monaco: Places to Visit in Monaco , Thing to do in Monaco , and Day Trips from Monaco

4. Oslo, Norway

The Royal Palace, Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway , is undoubtedly one of the best winter destinations in Europe, and January is a great month to visit this stunning Scandinavian city. With its picturesque landscapes, enchanting fjords, and delightful blend of modernity and history, Oslo offers a unique experience for travelers seeking a memorable winter getaway. 

During January, Oslo transforms into a wonderland of snow-covered streets and beautiful parks. The city takes on a serene ambiance as locals and visitors embrace the season’s magic. 

One of the sunniest places in Norway during this time, Oslo allows you to enjoy crisp winter days with just the right amount of sunlight. There are numerous places to visit in January while exploring Oslo. 

Start your journey at the iconic Vigeland Park, where over 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland are displayed among majestic snow-covered trees. This open-air museum celebrates art and offers breathtaking views across Oslo. 

For those looking to delve into history and culture, visit the Viking Ship Museum. Here, you can witness awe-inspiring Viking vessels impeccably preserved for centuries. 

The museum provides an intriguing glimpse into Norway’s rich maritime heritage. Another must-visit location is Akershus Fortress, which overlooks Oslofjord. 

This medieval castle boasts incredible architecture and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. Walk along its walls and feel transported back in time as you imagine centuries-old battles fought within these walls. 

If you’re interested in contemporary attractions, explore Aker Brygge. This vibrant waterfront district has trendy shops, delectable Norwegian cuisine restaurants, and lively bars offering warmth amidst the winter chill. 

In addition to its cultural offerings, Oslo embraces winter sports during January. Whether you’re an experienced skier or just starting out on cross-country trails, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as skiing or ice skating. 

The famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump is also a must-see, offering breathtaking views and an insight into Norway’s passion for winter sports. Oslo, Norway, should be high on your list of places to visit in Europe in January. 

With its majestic winter landscapes, cultural treasures, and abundant opportunities for outdoor activities, this city offers a perfect blend of history, adventure, and natural beauty. So pack your warmest clothes and get ready to embrace the enchantment of Oslo during this magical time of year. 

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

The Little Mermaid Copenhagen, Denmark

If you’re looking for the best winter destination in Europe, Copenhagen should definitely be on your list. 

January is the coldest month in Denmark , but it also offers one of the best winter experiences in the world. With its charming streets dusted with snow and cozy cafes serving hot drinks, Copenhagen truly comes alive during this time of year. 

One of the best things about visiting Copenhagen in January is that you can avoid crowds and long queues. Unlike other popular European cities, which are bustling with tourists year-round, Copenhagen experiences a quieter period during winter. 

This means you can easily explore attractions like Tivoli Gardens and Christiansborg Palace without feeling overwhelmed by crowds. January is also great to enjoy some of Copenhagen’s best food. 

The city is famous for its culinary scene, boasting numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and trendy eateries. From traditional Danish dishes like smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) to innovative Nordic cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every palate. 

When exploring the city’s cultural attractions, January offers an advantage, too. The National Museum of Denmark and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek are two must-visit museums where you can delve into Danish history and art without battling hordes of tourists. 

For those seeking outdoor activities, Copenhagen has plenty of options during winter. You can rent ice skates and glide across frozen lakes or join locals for a refreshing dip in one of the city’s many open-air winter baths. 

Copenhagen should be high on your list if you’re looking for the best European places during winter. In January, this vibrant city offers one of the best winter experiences with its picturesque snow-covered streets, delicious food scene, cultural attractions free from crowds, and plenty of outdoor activities. 

6. Lapland, Finland

Reindeer in a winter forest in Finnish Lapland

Lapland  being extraordinarily beautiful in winter is one of the reasons why you should visit this place in January. The weather is completely freezy here having extremely lower temperatures between -9 to -12 degrees with minimal sun.

The beautiful location of  Finland  is like a dream to the travelers offering a series of winter activities like riding the sled by huskies and reindeer, snowshoeing,  skiing , snowboarding, and ice fishing.

The snow-covered location looks like a paradise having beautiful structures, roads, trees, and everything dipped in snow. Try the exotic  Finnish sauna  in the freezing climate, explore the  magical northern lights , go for snowshoe hiking through the forest areas, visit the ice hotel, go ice climbing, tank riding, and whatever you have dreamt of doing with the snow. It is a perfect destination for snow-addicted people.

Read more about Finland:  Places to Visit in Finland , Winter in Finland , The Best Finland Guide

7. Helsinki, Finland

TOP THINGS TO DO IN HELSINKI

Helsinki , the capital of Finland, is a charming destination to visit in January. Despite being located in the northernmost part of Europe, Helsinki offers a truly magical and unique winter experience. 

In fact, many travelers consider January to be one of the best times to visit this stunning city. One of the main reasons Helsinki is an ideal place to visit in Europe during winter is its picturesque snow-covered landscapes. 

The city transforms into a winter wonderland, with its streets adorned by twinkling lights and cozy cafes offering warm drinks and delicious Finnish pastries. The pristine white snow blankets the parks and waterfront areas like a soft, serene quilt, creating postcard-perfect scenery that will leave you in awe. 

Moreover, Helsinki experiences relatively mild temperatures compared to other European cities during this time. Though it can get chilly with temperatures hovering around -5°C (23°F), it’s still considered quite bearable when properly dressed for the weather. 

In fact, Helsinki is known as one of the sunniest places in Northern Europe during January, making it an even more attractive destination for those seeking some winter sunshine. When visiting Helsinki in January, be sure to embrace the local tradition of ice swimming. 

Many Finns participate in this invigorating activity by plunging into icy waters through holes cut into frozen lakes or at designated swimming areas along the coast. It may sound extreme, but it’s a popular way for locals to boost their immune systems and enjoy a refreshing experience amid nature’s icy embrace. 

Aside from embracing winter activities like ice skating or wandering through snowy parks, plenty of indoor attractions and cultural experiences are available throughout Helsinki. Visit museums such as the Ateneum Art Museum or Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art to indulge your artistic side or explore historical sites like Suomenlinna Fortress – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which showcases Finnish history dating back several centuries. 

Traveling to Helsinki in January also offers the advantage of finding some of the best deals on accommodation and flights. With fewer tourists compared to the peak summer season, you can benefit from lower prices and avail yourself of special offers at hotels and restaurants. 

This allows you to indulge in Helsinki’s vibrant culinary scene, trying traditional Finnish dishes like reindeer stew or salmon soup without breaking the bank. Helsinki is a fantastic place to visit in Europe during January. 

From its picturesque snowy landscapes to its unique winter activities, Helsinki offers a truly immersive experience combining natural beauty and cultural exploration. So, if you’re looking for one of the best European winter destinations, Helsinki should definitely be on your list! 

8. Tallinn, Estonia

tallinn, historic center, estonia

Tucked away in the Baltic region, Tallinn , Estonia’s capital, is a hidden gem that comes alive in January. Despite being one of the lesser-known countries in Europe , Tallinn is a captivating place to visit during this time of year. The city’s medieval charm blends harmoniously with its modern vibes, creating an unforgettable experience for any traveler. 

When you wander through the cobblestone streets of Tallinn in January, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking city views. The snow-covered rooftops and ancient architecture create a picturesque scene that seems like a fairytale. 

As you stroll through the Old Town, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The well-preserved medieval walls and towers tell stories of centuries past and invite you to immerse yourself in history. 

January is a fantastic time to visit Tallinn if you’re looking for one of the sunniest places in Europe during winter. While it may be chilly outside, the clear skies offer an abundance of sunshine that adds warmth to your explorations. 

The crisp air invigorates your senses as you traverse Kadriorg Park and Palace, where stunning gardens await amidst snow-dusted landscapes. Take a moment to embrace nature’s beauty before heading to Pirita Beach for a refreshing seaside walk. 

One must explore the vibrant Christmas markets in Europe during winter, and Tallinn’s market is no exception. Early January still sees remnants of these enchanting markets lining Town Hall Square with festive lights and wooden stalls selling local crafts and delicious treats like piparkoogid (gingerbread) and mulled wine . 

Indulge your taste buds while experiencing true Estonian hospitality from friendly locals. For those seeking cultural experiences unique to this time of year, visiting Tallinn also means delving into Kumu Art Museum or enjoying performances at the Estonia Concert Hall. 

Immerse yourself in the country’s rich artistic heritage, showcased through various exhibitions and shows. The contemporary art scene in Tallinn is thriving, and January provides an opportune moment to appreciate the creativity of local artists. 

Tallinn, Estonia, is undoubtedly one of the best places to go if you seek a memorable European destination in January. From its captivating views of the city to its vibrant Christmas markets and cultural experiences, this hidden gem offers delights for every traveler. 

Whether exploring the medieval Old Town or indulging in local delicacies, Tallinn will leave a lasting impression on your heart. So pack your winter gear and embark on an adventure to this charming Estonian capital that promises to be a true winter wonderland. 

9. Paris, France – a romantic place to visit in Europe in January!

is paris safe for travelers? louvre, architecture, buildings

Paris, France, the City of Light, is a must-visit destination for travelers looking for the best winter experience in Europe. With its charm and iconic landmarks, Paris in January is like stepping into a fairytale. 

Whether you’re strolling along the Seine River or taking in the breathtaking views of the city from atop the Eiffel Tower, there’s something truly magical about this winter destination in Europe. One of the best cities to visit in Europe during January, Paris offers a unique blend of culture, history, and gastronomy. 

The Louvre Museum beckons art enthusiasts with its vast collection of masterpieces, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Take a leisurely walk through Montmartre’s charming streets and visit Basilique du Sacré-Cœur for panoramic city views. 

January is one of the best times to visit Paris to escape the crowds that typically flock to this iconic city. The streets are quieter, allowing you to explore at your own pace without feeling overwhelmed by tourist masses. 

Plus, you can fully immerse yourself in the authentic Parisian experience with fewer people. If you’re looking for a unique way to discover Paris in January 2023, consider taking a leisurely stroll through one of its picturesque parks or gardens. 

Jardin des Tuileries is perfect for enjoying a cup of hot chocolate while marveling at statues and fountains adorned with glistening frost. Alternatively, head over to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and take a scenic walk around its hilly terrain while enjoying breathtaking views over the city. 

Regarding culinary delights, January offers an abundance of cozy cafes and bistros where you can warm up with classic French dishes like boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin. Indulge your sweet tooth with mouthwatering pastries from famous patisseries such as Pierre Hermé or Ladurée. 

And, of course, a visit to Paris in winter would only be complete with sipping on a steaming cup of chocolat chaud at a charming cafe. For those seeking a touch of romance, a leisurely boat cruise along the Seine River is an absolute must in January. 

As you glide past iconic landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, you’ll witness the city’s beauty illuminated by twinkling lights, creating a truly enchanting atmosphere. If you’re looking for the best European winter destination, Paris in January should be at the top. 

With breathtaking views, cultural treasures, and delectable cuisine, this city offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking charm and romance. So bundle up and embrace the magic that awaits you in Europe’s most captivating capital city. 

10. Nice, France

top 10 best beach cities in europe. Nice, France.

January unveils many enchanting destinations to explore in the picturesque landscape of Europe. As we navigate this wintery wonderland, one city that beckons with its undeniable charm is Nice, nestled on the glamorous French Riviera . 

Renowned for its stunning beaches , vibrant culture, and mild Mediterranean climate, Nice presents an alluring option for those seeking respite from the cold even in winter. Throughout January, Nice experiences relatively mild temperatures compared to other European cities. 

With average highs hovering around 14°C (57°F) and lows around 6°C (43°F), it offers a pleasant escape from the harsh winter conditions elsewhere. This makes it one of the warmest places in Europe during this time of year. 

While you may not be basking in tropical heat, Nice’s moderate climate creates an atmosphere conducive to exploration without excessive layers of clothing. Strolling along the Promenade des Anglais is a quintessential experience while visiting Nice in January. 

This iconic boulevard stretches along the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea and boasts breathtaking views. Take leisurely walks or rent a bicycle to soak up the serene coastal beauty while enjoying fresh sea air on your skin—an invigorating way to start your day. 

Venturing into Old Town (Vieux Nice) is another must-do activity during your visit to this charming city. Lose yourself amidst narrow cobblestone streets with pastel-colored buildings adorned with wrought-iron balconies overflowing with vibrant flowers. 

Explore bustling markets such as Cours Saleya and indulge in local delicacies like socca—a savory chickpea pancake—and freshly caught seafood. January is also an opportune time for art enthusiasts as Nice houses several world-class museums worth exploring. 

The Musée Matisse showcases an extensive collection dedicated to renowned French artist Henri Matisse—providing insight into his life and artistic journey. For contemporary art lovers, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) exhibits a diverse range of works by internationally acclaimed artists. 

As you immerse yourself in the cultural delights of Nice, visit the iconic Colline du Château. Although the castle no longer exists, reaching its ruins offers unparalleled panoramic views of the city, coastline, and majestic mountains. 

Take a leisurely hike or an elevator ride to enjoy this breathtaking vantage point that captures the essence of Nice’s allure. In January, Nice emerges as one of Europe’s best cities for those seeking respite from harsh winter climates. 

Whether exploring its coastal beauty, embracing its vibrant culture in Old Town, delving into art museums, or marveling at stunning vistas from Colline du Château—this French Riviera gem promises an enchanting escape. So why not add Nice to your European itinerary and bask in the city’s sunshine-filled ambiance? 

11. Munich, Germany

tour europe in january

Munich, Germany , is a city that truly comes alive in January. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and Oktoberfest, Munich offers an array of experiences for travelers visiting Europe in January. Despite the chilly temperatures, this city always captivates visitors with its charming architecture and lively atmosphere. 

One of the best things about Munich in January is its magical winter markets. The most famous one is the Tollwood Winter Festival at Theresienwiese. 

This bustling market features an enchanting combination of food stalls offering mouthwatering traditional German delicacies like bratwurst and glühwein (mulled wine) and unique handcrafted goods created by talented local artisans. The festive ambiance with live music performances and dazzling lights makes it a must-visit spot during this time of year. 

For those seeking cultural immersion, Munich boasts an impressive array of museums and art galleries perfect for exploring in January. The Alte Pinakothek houses a magnificent collection of European masterpieces from renowned artists such as Rembrandt and Botticelli. 

Meanwhile, the Deutsches Museum offers fascinating science and technology insight through interactive exhibits catering to all age groups. A visit to Munich would only be complete with diving into its rich beer culture. 

While Oktoberfest may be over by January, there are still plenty of beer halls where you can raise a stein or two. Hofbräuhaus is unquestionably one of the best places to experience authentic Bavarian beer. 

This historic establishment has been serving up frothy brews since 1589 and continues attracting locals and tourists with its lively atmosphere. If you want to escape the winter chill for a while, why not visit SEA LIFE Munich? 

Located at Olympiapark, this underwater wonderland allows visitors to explore marine life from all corners of the globe without leaving the city. From awe-inspiring shark tunnels to interactive touch pools, SEA LIFE Munich is a great destination for families and animal lovers. 

Every trip to Munich in January would be complete with a visit to the stunning Nymphenburg Palace. Surrounded by sprawling gardens, this former summer residence of Bavarian rulers is an architectural marvel that showcases the grandeur of the past. 

Take a leisurely stroll through its opulent halls and learn about the fascinating history of the Wittelsbach dynasty. Overall, Munich truly shines as one of Europe’s best winter holiday spots during January. 

With its charming markets, cultural attractions, lively beer scene, and captivating landmarks, this vibrant city has no shortage of things to see and do. So pack your warmest attire and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in one of Europe’s most captivating destinations! 

12. Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Regarding European cities to visit in January, Berlin , Germany, should be on your list. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and thriving arts scene, Berlin offers a unique experience that is truly captivating. 

Visiting Berlin in early January means you’ll experience the city during its festive period. The Christmas markets might still be open, allowing you to indulge in delicious traditional treats and shop for unique handcrafted gifts . 

The city’s streets are beautifully adorned with twinkling lights and decorations, creating a magical atmosphere that adds a touch of enchantment to your January vacation . One of the highlights of Berlin in January is the annual International Green Week trade fair. 

This event showcases the best of global food and agriculture and attracts visitors from all over the world. It’s an excellent opportunity to sample delectable cuisines from various countries and learn about sustainable farming practices. 

If you’re up for some winter sports activities, Berlin’s surrounding areas offer fantastic opportunities for skiing or snowboarding. With several ski resorts nearby, such as Wittenberg or Feldberg in the Black Forest region, enthusiasts can hit the slopes and enjoy some exhilarating winter fun. 

Berlin has an array of museums and landmarks for those interested in history and culture that will captivate your attention. The iconic Brandenburg Gate is a must-see attraction that symbolizes unity and peace in Germany . 

Stroll along Unter den Linden boulevard towards Museum Island, where you can explore world-class institutions like the Pergamon Museum or Alte Nationalgalerie. January might be considered the coldest month in Berlin; don’t let that deter you from exploring this remarkable city. 

Bundle up in warm clothing and embrace the chilly weather as you wander through cozy cafes offering hot chocolate or mulled wine – perfect ways to warm yourself up. Visiting Berlin in January offers one of Europe’s best experiences. 

This city truly has something for everyone, from its festive atmosphere and winter activities to its historic landmarks and cultural treasures. So, grab your coat, embrace the cold, and embark on an unforgettable journey in one of the most captivating destinations in Europe. 

13. London, United Kingdom

tour europe in january

London, United Kingdom, is one of the best cities to visit in January. Despite the chilly weather, this iconic city offers a unique and magical experience during this time of year. 

London is a winter destination worth exploring because of its rich history, vibrant culture, and endless attractions. One of the best winter experiences in London is witnessing the city’s transformation into a winter wonderland. 

The streets are adorned with twinkling lights, and famous landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge are beautifully illuminated. Take advantage of visiting Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, where you can enjoy ice skating and thrilling rides and indulge in delicious festive treats. 

If you’re looking for indoor activities to escape the cold, London has an abundance of world-class museums and galleries. The British Museum is a must-visit, housing many artifacts worldwide. 

The Tate Modern allows contemporary art enthusiasts to admire incredible works by renowned artists. And remember the iconic Madame Tussauds wax museum – get up close and personal with lifelike wax figures of your favorite celebrities! 

January is also an ideal time to explore London’s vibrant theater scene. With fewer tourists in January, you’re likelier to snag tickets to popular shows like “The Lion King” or “Phantom of the Opera.” Additionally, many theaters offer discounted rates during this off-peak season. 

For those seeking retail therapy or seeking sales after Christmas season splurges, London’s shopping scene won’t disappoint either. Oxford Street is known for its vast shops catering to every taste and budget. 

If you’re looking for luxury brands and designer labels, head to Harrods in Knightsbridge or Selfridges on Oxford Street. A visit to London would only be complete with indulging in traditional British cuisine. 

Warm up with hearty dishes like fish and chips or shepherd’s pie at cozy pubs scattered throughout the city. Treat yourself to afternoon tea at one of London’s elegant tea rooms, where you can savor finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and various exquisite teas. 

London is one of the best places in Europe to visit in January. From its stunning winter scenery to its diverse cultural experiences and shopping delights, this historic city has something for everyone. 

Whether you want to explore iconic landmarks, immerse yourself in art and history, catch a theater performance, or enjoy British cuisine, London will captivate your senses during winter. Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to discover one of the world’s greatest cities in all its wintry glory! 

Read more about London and the UK: Places to Visit in the United Kingdom , Things to Do in London , Day Trips from London

14. Edinburgh, United Kingdom

castles in the united kingdom edinburgh castle scotland

Regarding picturesque European destinations, few can rival the enchanting city of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. This historic Scottish gem offers many attractions and experiences, making it one of the best places in Europe in January. As winter casts its spell over the city, a magical atmosphere descends upon the cobblestone streets, creating an unforgettable holiday experience. 

One of the highlights of visiting Edinburgh in January is the opportunity to immerse yourself in its vibrant festivities. The city comes alive with various monthly events and celebrations, including the world-famous Hogmanay festival. 

Hogmanay is a traditional Scottish New Year’s celebration that attracts visitors from around the globe. Join locals and revelers as they gather on Princes Street for a spectacular street party, complete with live music, dancing, and a mesmerizing fireworks display. 

If you plan your visit to Europe in January, explore some of Edinburgh’s iconic landmarks. Start by discovering the imposing Edinburgh Castle that proudly sits atop Castle Rock. 

From this vantage point, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city below and beyond. As you explore further, go down the Royal Mile – a charming street lined with quaint shops, cafes, and historic attractions such as St Giles’ Cathedral and The Real Mary King’s Close. 

Edinburgh offers an array of intriguing museums and galleries for those seeking artistic inspiration or cultural enrichment during their European adventure in January. The National Museum of Scotland showcases fascinating artifacts that tell stories from across history. 

Meanwhile, art lovers will solace at venues like The Scottish National Gallery or The Fruitmarket Gallery. Every visit to Edinburgh would be complete with indulging in its culinary offerings. 

Warm up with hearty dishes at traditional Scottish pubs or sample local delicacies at one of many fine dining establishments scattered throughout the city center. Exploring Edinburgh’s vibrant farmers’ markets is a must for foodies looking for something unique during their European escapade. 

From fresh produce to artisanal crafts and delectable treats, these markets offer a delightful sensory experience. Regarding weather, it’s important to note that January in Edinburgh can be quite chilly. 

Bundling up in warm clothing and layers is essential, as temperatures can drop below freezing. However, this wintry climate adds to the city’s charm and creates a perfect backdrop for cozying up in quaint cafes or exploring the stunning Arthur’s Seat – an extinct volcano offering panoramic views of the city. 

Edinburgh truly stands as one of Europe’s best winter destinations, and visiting it in January allows you to witness its unique allure firsthand. Whether captivated by its rich history cultural events, or simply seeking a charming place to escape during the colder months, Edinburgh promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning for more. 

15. Bucharest, Romania

Europe in January

Bucharest , Romania, often referred to as “Little Paris,” is a hidden gem that offers one of the best experiences for those who visit in January. With its stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and rich history, Bucharest is one of the best European cities to visit during this time of year. 

Whether you are seeking a winter wonderland or an urban adventure, Bucharest has something for everyone. One of the best things about visiting Bucharest in January is the charm and beauty of its winter landscapes. 

The city transforms into a picturesque wonderland with snow-covered streets and parks. Stroll through Herastrau Park and enjoy the serene atmosphere while taking in breathtaking views of the frozen lake. 

For more adventure, head to Cismigiu Park, where you can go ice skating or indulge in hot mulled wine from the nearby stalls. If you’re a skiing enthusiast, you’ll be pleased to know that Romania offers one of the best ski resorts in Europe – Poiana Brasov. 

Located just outside Bucharest, Poiana Brasov is easily accessible and provides excellent ski opportunities with its well-groomed slopes and stunning mountain views. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert skier, this place is perfect for enjoying your January vacation. 

Aside from its natural beauty, Bucharest also boasts a vibrant cultural scene that appeals to art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Explore some of the city’s impressive museums, such as the National Museum of Art, or immerse yourself in Romanian folk traditions at The Village Museum. 

Remember to indulge in traditional Romanian cuisine at local restaurants where you can savor mouthwatering dishes like sarmale (cabbage rolls), mici (grilled minced meat rolls), and cozonac (sweet bread filled with nuts or chocolate). January is also one of the best times to visit Bucharest to experience its bustling nightlife without dealing with large crowds. 

The city offers many bars, clubs, and live music venues where you can dance the night away or simply unwind with a drink. The Old Town area, with its narrow streets lined with historic buildings, is a hotspot for nightlife and offers a unique atmosphere combining tradition and modernity. 

Regarding accommodation and travel in Bucharest during January, you can find some of the best deals. Many hotels offer discounted rates during this off-peak season, allowing you to experience luxury at a fraction of the cost. 

Additionally, fewer tourists mean shorter queues at popular attractions and a more authentic city experience. Bucharest in January offers one of the best European winter experiences. 

With its charming winter landscapes, cultural richness, and vibrant nightlife scene, it’s no wonder why this city is becoming increasingly popular among travelers seeking an unforgettable winter getaway. So pack your warm clothes and get ready to explore all that Bucharest offers during this magical time of year! 

16. Zakopane, Poland

buried, skis, skier

Zakopane, Poland, is one of the best cities to visit in Europe in January. This charming town at the foot of the Tatra Mountains offers a unique winter experience that attracts tourists worldwide. Zakopane is a haven for winter enthusiasts with its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and exciting outdoor activities. 

January is the perfect time to visit Zakopane as it transforms into a winter wonderland. The town is covered in snow, creating a picturesque setting straight out of a fairy tale. 

The Tatra Mountains are ideal for skiing and snowboarding, offering well-groomed slopes for beginners and experienced thrill-seekers. Strap on your skis or snowboard and enjoy some of Europe’s best winter sports. 

Aside from skiing, there are plenty of other activities to indulge in during your visit to Zakopane. Take a scenic hike through the snowy trails or ride an adventurous sled down the slopes. 

If you’re up for a challenge, try ice climbing on frozen waterfalls or test your skills at snowshoeing through the pristine wilderness. Zakopane also offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in Polish culture and traditions. 

Explore Krupówki Street, lined with quaint wooden stalls selling local crafts and traditional delicacies. Indulge in hearty Polish cuisine like pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), and oscypek (smoked cheese). 

Warm up with mulled wine or hot chocolate as you stroll around this charming town. Zakopane provides nature lovers access to stunning national parks such as Tatra National Park and Pieniny National Park. 

Embark on guided tours or witness breathtaking vistas of frozen lakes, towering peaks draped in snow, and majestic waterfalls partially frozen against serene backdrops. Zakopane should undoubtedly be on your list if you plan a city break in January. 

Experience the magic of this winter wonderland and enjoy the best Europe offers during this enchanting time of year. Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking for thrilling activities or simply want to soak in the beauty of nature, Zakopane promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime. 

17. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic Prague, the charming capital city of the Czech Republic, is a truly magical destination in January. 

With its fairytale-like architecture and rich history, this city offers a unique and enchanting experience during the winter months. Known as one of the best places to visit in Europe in January, Prague is sure to captivate you with its beauty and charm. 

January is a great time to visit Prague for several reasons. Firstly, the city is less crowded compared to other peak tourist seasons, allowing you to explore its iconic sites without feeling overwhelmed by crowds. 

It’s also an excellent opportunity to score some of the best deals on flights and accommodations since it’s considered off-peak travel season. Despite being early January, when temperatures can drop quite low in Europe during winter, Prague offers a delightful experience. 

Wrap up warmly as you stroll through the cobblestone streets lined with picturesque buildings adorned with snow. The Christmas decorations might still be up in some areas, creating a cozy and magical atmosphere. 

One of the best things about visiting Prague in January is witnessing its charming Christmas markets. While many European cities close their markets after December 25th, Prague keeps them open until early January. 

Here, you can indulge in delicious local food like Trdelník (a sweet pastry) or savor a warm cup of mulled wine while browsing through unique handicrafts. If you seek cultural experiences, visit Prague’s museums or galleries. 

The National Museum and the Museum of Communism are just two examples that offer fascinating insights into Czech history and culture. Additionally, explore Prague Castle- one of the largest castles worldwide and provides breathtaking views over the city. 

Regarding European weather in January, it’s important to note that while temperatures may drop below freezing point, it doesn’t deter visitors from enjoying Prague’s charms. The city is well-prepared for winter, with many indoor cafes, restaurants, and shops to warm up in. 

Just dress appropriately in layers and embrace the chilly weather as part of the experience. Prague is undeniably one of the best winter destinations in Europe. 

Visiting this enchanting city in January allows you to explore its historical sites without fighting through crowds, enjoy the magical atmosphere of Christmas markets, and indulge in Czech culture and cuisine. So, if you’re looking for a city break during the winter months, Prague should be at the top of your list! 

Hold up! Have you thought about the importance of travel insurance?

Remember this:  anything can happen. Travel is fun, but your health is more important; thus, I always, always, always recommend getting insured during the duration of your trip. I have benefitted from having one multiple times, and it has been covered for thousands of euros!

The latest one is not necessarily “health” related – it was during the peak of the unspeakable terrible C that consumed the world. I was living in Vietnam when I received an email from SafetyWing (my travel insurance) that if I want they’ll fly be back home to Finland as the world goes through a global emergency alert. I flew back fully covered, and dealing with  SafetyWing  was a breeze despite the roar of people in contact with them trying to get back home.

I can’t highly recommend them enough. Otherwise, I rarely get sick; hence I don’t always need to head to a hospital, but knowing that I have travel insurance makes me feel safe at the very least.

Read my post about  why you should get travel insurance  for more information. Otherwise, you can get a free quote from  SafetyWing  – they’re the best, in my opinion.

18. Ljubljana, Slovenia

ljubljana, smarna gora, city

Ljubljana  in Slovenia is freezing cold in January having a maximum temperature of 2 degrees and a minimum of -5 degrees. The beautiful location  Ljubljana  is packed with entertaining events and activities for tourists in January provided they have no issues with freezing weather.

January is one of the best months to visit Ljubljana due to its fun-filled environment and gorgeous winter sceneries. Starting from a fun Ice skating at i-Lucky Land to enjoying the influential opera event of Placido Domingo.

Spend fun times with family watching the ice skating and enjoying Russian circus “Moscow Circus on Ice,” visiting the  musical festival  Ment Ljubljana, and trying out the adventurous cable car dinners over the snow at Krvavec Ski Resort, Ljubljana is among the exciting destinations to spend your winters in January.

Ljubljana is also one of the  cheapest destinations in Europe .

Read more about Ljubjana and Slovenia: Places to Visit in Slovenia , Pretty Castles in Slovenia to Visit , and Day Trips from Ljubljana

19. Venice, Italy

Gondola near Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

The most  romantic  location of Venice becomes one of the cheapest places to visit in January in Europe due to a very less tourist crowd. January is a little bit cold in  Venice , but it is comfortable if you have the right set of woolen garments. The temperature ranges from 3 to 6 degrees and sometimes even drops to 0 degrees.

This is an excellent time for travelers to enjoy its chilly grey atmosphere accompanied by some hot chocolates for extreme pleasure. The location is also perfect during this time for winter photography and takes a casual walk through the streets. You can experience luxurious accommodations at cheaper prices.

The mornings are beautiful in Venice Beach watching the people taking dips in the freezing water, watching the Italian people celebrate Epiphany and Befana with La Befana’s good witch doll.

Join the feast of Saint Anthony’s day and explore the local attractions like Palazzo Ducale, walkthrough Ponte Dei Sospiri, take the Gondola ride at Canal Grande, etc. while the nights are beautiful concerts at Teatro La Fenice and visiting the strategically beautiful riverside  restaurants .

Learn more about Venice and Italy: Things to do in Venice , Day Trips from Venice , Top Places to Visit in Italy

20. Florence, Italy

most visited tourist attractions in europe florence cathedral florence italy

Florence , Italy, is a destination that should definitely be on your radar if you’re looking for the best places to visit in Europe during winter. Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence offers one of the best cultural experiences you can find. And January is actually one of the best times to go! 

I know what you might think: “But isn’t January the coldest month?” Yes, it is chilly in Florence during this time of year, but trust me when I say it’s worth braving the cold for all this magnificent city offers. One of the best things about visiting Florence in January is that you’ll experience its renowned art and architecture without navigating through hordes of tourists. 

The famous Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Museum, home to Michelangelo’s David, are much more enjoyable when you don’t have to fight through crowds just to catch a glimpse. Moreover, January is also an ideal time for exploring Florence’s charming cobblestone streets at your own pace. 

Take leisurely strolls along the Arno River and marvel at iconic landmarks such as Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti with fewer distractions. You’ll have more space and time to truly appreciate their beauty and historical significance. 

For those seeking a cozy escape from the cold, Florence offers some delightful indoor activities, too. Warm up with a cup of delicious Italian hot chocolate at one of its charming cafés, or treat yourself to traditional Tuscan cuisine at a local trattoria. 

Indulging in hearty dishes like ribollita (a delicious vegetable soup) or bistecca alla Fiorentina (Tuscan-style steak) will surely warm your body and soul. And let’s remember shopping! 

Florence is renowned for its high-quality leather goods and designer fashion outlets. In January, many stores offer enticing discounts during their winter sales, making it the perfect time to score some stylish finds at a fraction of the usual price. 

If you are planning a trip to Europe in January and are seeking a destination that offers both cultural richness and a chance to embrace the winter season, Florence should definitely be on your list. With fewer crowds, stunning architecture, delectable cuisine, and enticing shopping opportunities, this jewel of Italy is ready to enchant you during your winter escape. 

21. Pisa, Ital y

man-made structures in europe leaning tower of pisa

Pisa is one of the best destinations to  visit in January in Europe

Pisa in  Italy , which is world-famous for its leaning tower experience cold weather in the month of January with temperatures between 7 to 10 degrees and can drop up to 3 degrees at night. Pisa may not be the warmest place in Europe in January; still, the location enjoys quite a good amount of sunshine, which is a pleasure for the  European winters .

Pisa is such a breathtaking location with its picture-perfect tourist destinations and  historical heritage sites  that it adds a different flavor every month of the year in terms of its weather influencing the scenic beauty.

Some of the best attractions to explore in Pisa are –  Leaning Tower , Banks of the Arno, Piazza Dei Miracoli, Battistero, ski in the districts of Tuscany and  ski resorts , enjoy the Opera nights and Tuscany winter festivals and Carnevale, visit the Santa Maria della Spina, take a stroll at the Guelph tower, explore the beautiful Mezzo Bridge and many  attractive tourist destinations .

Learn more about Pisa and Italy: Things to do in Pisa , Day Trips from Pisa

22. Rome, Italy

St. Peter's Basilica

If you’re planning a trip to Europe in January, Rome should definitely be on your list of must-visit destinations. Known as the Eternal City, Rome offers a unique blend of ancient history, stunning architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine that will leave you awe-inspired. January is a great time to visit Rome for several reasons. 

Firstly, the city is less crowded than the peak tourist season, so you can enjoy some of the best attractions without long queues or overwhelming crowds. Plus, you’ll have more space and time to explore at your own pace with fewer tourists. 

One of the best places in Europe to visit in January is undoubtedly Rome. The city boasts mild winter temperatures perfect for exploring its picturesque streets and iconic landmarks. 

While it may not be beach weather, you won’t have to worry about extreme cold or snowstorms. There’s plenty of options regarding things to do in Rome during this time of year. 

You can start by exploring the historic Colosseum and Roman Forum – two attractions that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Stroll through cobblestone streets with charming cafes and boutique shops in neighborhoods like Trastevere or Monti. 

Winter sports enthusiasts will also appreciate that January is one of the best times to hit European ski slopes. Although Rome doesn’t offer ski resorts nearby, it’s well-connected with other winter destinations in Italy, such as Cortina d’Ampezzo or Livigno, where you can enjoy thrilling downhill runs or even try snowboarding. 

But let’s remember the culinary delights that Rome has to offer during this season! Indulge yourself with authentic Italian cuisine – from piping hot bowls of pasta carbonara and delicious thin-crust pizzas topped with fresh ingredients to decadent pastries like cannoli or tiramisu – your taste buds are in for a treat. 

Rome is an incredible European city to visit in January. With its rich history, beautiful architecture, and delectable food, you will surely have a memorable experience. 

So pack your warm clothes, explore the ancient ruins, savor Italian delicacies, and immerse yourself in the charm of this timeless city. Rome awaits you with open arms! 

23. Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Ah, Positano, Italy! Nestled on the Amalfi Coast, this charming coastal village is a warm winter escape that should be at the top of your list when considering places in Europe to visit in January. 

Known for its stunning cliffside views and colorful buildings cascading down to the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Positano is a slice of paradise even during the coldest winter months. In January, while most of Europe shivers in bone-chilling temperatures, Positano enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. 

With average highs reaching around 15°C (59°F) and lows hovering around 9°C (48°F), it’s best to pack some layers to stay comfortable throughout your visit. The warmer winter weather makes it an ideal time to explore this picturesque town without the summer crowds that usually flock here. 

Positano is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January because of its unique charm and tranquility. Stroll along narrow cobblestone streets with boutique shops selling local handmade crafts and stylish fashion. 

Take leisurely walks on scenic pathways offering breathtaking coastline views and vibrant bougainvillea-covered houses perched precariously on cliffs. While exploring this enchanting European city in January, visit Fornillo Beach. 

While swimming might not be on your itinerary due to cooler temperatures, you can still take peaceful seaside walks along its shoreline or bask in the serenity offered by this less crowded spot. When hunger strikes after a day of exploration, indulge in authentic Italian cuisine at one of Positano’s many charming restaurants. 

Treat yourself to fresh seafood pasta dishes or traditional Neapolitan pizza while enjoying panoramic sea views from cliffside terraces. If you’re looking for retail therapy or want to immerse yourself in local culture, explore the weekly markets held in Piazza dei Mulini. 

From fresh produce to handmade crafts and souvenirs, these markets offer a vibrant atmosphere where you can experience the true essence of Positano. If you plan your visit to Europe in January 2023, Positano in Italy should be high on your list of places. 

With its warm winter climate, stunning coastal views, charming streets, and delectable cuisine, this European gem is a delightful escape from the cold. So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure to this picturesque village on the Amalfi Coast. 

24. Barcelona, Spain

spain, barcelona, arc de triomphe

Barcelona is one of the best places to  visit in europe  in January,

Barcelona in  Spain is one of the best places to visit in January  if you are thinking about where to go in  Europe in January.  It has not too warm climate nor too freezy being very much comfortable for the tourists to enjoy Europe in January. While the daylight temperatures range between 10 to 13 degrees, at night it can drop to a maximum of 5 to 7 degrees not below that saving you from the freezing weather.

The tourist rush is also less during this time, having  reduced flight fares  and  hotel prices . Barcelona can also be referred to as one of the cheapest places to travel in January in Europe. There are lots of winter attractions for the tourists to enjoy in January like  visiting Gaudi’s main pieces , enjoying events like “Three Kings Parade,” and “Els 3 Tombs & Sant Antoni festival”.

You can take casual daylight walks through the Ramblas and Barri Gotic, explore the Barcelona Aquarium, and visit Museo Picasso and many entertaining locations.

Spain  being the warmest country in Europe and among the hot European countries in January helps you have a comfortable winter vacation in Europe. Whether you are looking for the  best European cities to visit  in January or the best places in Europe to visit in January, Barcelona is a must inclusion in both lists.

Read more about Barcelona and Spain: Places to Visit in Spain , Things to do in Barcelona , Day Trips from Barcelona

25. Costa del Sol, Spain

Nerja, Costa del Sol, Andalusia

Located on the stunning southern coast of Spain, the Costa del Sol is a beloved winter destination for travelers seeking a warm and sunny escape. This region boasts mild temperatures in January, making it an ideal place to visit in Europe if you’re looking for the best winter getaway. With its beautiful beaches , vibrant cities, and charming towns, the Costa del Sol offers many attractions and activities that will make your trip memorable. 

Malaga is among the best places to visit along the Costa del Sol in January. This lively city welcomes tourists in January with its pleasant climate and cultural festivities. 

Stroll along the bustling La Malagueta beach promenade or explore the historic center’s enchanting narrow streets. Take advantage of visiting iconic landmarks such as Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress offering breathtaking views of the city, or Picasso Museum, where you can admire works by one of Spain’s greatest artists. 

Marbella is another must-see destination on the Costa del Sol during January. This glamorous city attracts visitors from all over Europe seeking warm winters and luxurious experiences. 

Wander through Puerto Banus Marina, lined with extravagant yachts and high-end boutiques, or relax on one of Marbella’s pristine beaches . For those seeking tranquility amidst natural beauty, head to Sierra Blanca Mountain Range or explore Old Town Marbella with its quaint Andalusian architecture and charming squares. 

If you’re an avid golfer, Estepona will captivate you with its numerous golf courses against breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and Sierra Bermeja Mountains. Embrace your adventurous side by visiting Selwo Adventure Park, where you can encounter exotic animals from around the world in a natural environment. 

If you’re traveling to Europe in January 2023 hoping for sun-drenched relaxation, look no further than Fuengirola. This coastal town offers long sandy beaches , perfect for a leisurely stroll or basking in the sun. 

Discover the vibrant atmosphere of Fuengirola’s lively promenade lined with bars, restaurants, and shops. Be sure to visit Bioparc Fuengirola, a unique zoo that immerses you in different ecosystems and allows you to observe animals up close. 

The Costa del Sol is undoubtedly one of the best winter destinations in Europe, especially during January. With its warm weather, picturesque landscapes, and an array of attractions to explore, this region caters to all tastes and interests. 

Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches or looking for cultural experiences in vibrant cities like Malaga and Marbella, the Costa del Sol will surely provide an unforgettable vacation experience. So pack your bags and get ready to enjoy some of the best that winter offers in this sunny paradise along Spain’s southern coast. 

26. Madrid, Spain

madrid, spain, building

If you’re looking for the perfect time to visit Madrid , Spain, January is one of the best times. Although it may be winter in Europe , Madrid offers a relatively mild climate during this time. 

While other parts of the continent may be covered in snow and freezing temperatures, Madrid provides a warm winter getaway that is hard to resist. Despite being the capital city of Spain, Madrid retains a friendly and laid-back atmosphere that is particularly enjoyable in January. 

As you explore the city’s charming streets, you’ll notice fewer crowds than peak tourist seasons. This means shorter lines at popular attractions such as the Royal Palace or the Prado Museum. 

You can take your time appreciating famous masterpieces without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. One of the great advantages of visiting Madrid in January is its bustling cultural scene. 

The city offers one of the best theater performances, concerts, and art exhibitions during this period. With various venues hosting lively events throughout January, you can find something captivating to attend each night. 

For those seeking outdoor activities, Madrid also boasts several stunning parks perfect for leisurely strolls or invigorating jogs. The Retiro Park is particularly enchanting during winter with its tranquil lake and leafless trees that create a unique ambiance. 

You can even rent a rowboat on a sunny day and enjoy some peaceful moments on the water. And let’s remember food! 

Spanish cuisine is renowned worldwide for its delectable flavors and tapas culture. In Madrid, you’ll find countless charming restaurants serving traditional dishes such as paella or patatas bravas alongside modern culinary creations by innovative chefs. 

Remember to pair your meal with sangria or local wine for an authentic experience. If you’re searching for an unforgettable European destination in January, look no further than Madrid. 

With its mild weather conditions compared to other parts of Europe, an abundance of cultural events, beautiful parks, and mouthwatering cuisine, this vibrant city offers one of the best winter getaways you can find. So pack your bags, and get ready to immerse yourself in the warmth and charm of Madrid! 

27. Alicante, Spain

Urban landscape, view of the Mediterranean city of Alicante, Spain

When choosing a destination in January, Alicante, Spain, is undoubtedly one of Europe’s best places to travel. While some may think of sunny beaches and warm weather when they think of Alicante, visiting this coastal gem in January can offer a unique and captivating experience. Contrary to popular belief, January is an ideal time to visit Europe to avoid the crowds of tourists that flood popular destinations during peak seasons. 

In Alicante, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the city and its charming streets without feeling overwhelmed by hordes of visitors. You can take leisurely walks along the tranquil promenade or venture into the narrow alleys of Barrio de Santa Cruz without jostling through throngs of people. 

But what about the weather in Europe in January? Well, fear not! 

While much of Europe may face harsh winter conditions during this time, Alicante enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate even in winter. With average temperatures ranging from 12-18°C (54-64°F), you can enjoy pleasant strolls along the beach or sip coffee at one of the cozy outdoor cafés that dot the city. 

If you visit Alicante in January, visit one of its fascinating historical sites – Castillo de Santa Bárbara. Sitting atop Mount Benacantil, this imposing castle offers one of the best panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. 

You can take a leisurely hike up or an elevator ride for those who prefer a more relaxed approach. Alicante truly shines as a destination in January with its pleasant weather and less crowded atmosphere than other European countries. 

Whether you’re seeking relaxation on sandy beaches or exploring historical landmarks like Castillo de Santa Bárbara, this Spanish gem has it all. So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable January vacation – Alicante awaits! 

28. Mallorca, Spain

Cala Figuera Mallorca Balearic Islands Port

Mallorca , Spain – a gem in Europe in January When it comes to dreamy holiday spots, Mallorca always shines brightly on the radar. And guess what? 

January is one of the best times to go! While the rest of the continent might be shivering in winter’s grip, this Balearic island offers a delightful escape with its mild and sunny climate. 

Mallorca should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for the best deals and fewer tourists in January. One of the best things about visiting Mallorca in January is exploring its pristine beaches without fighting for a spot or contending with throngs of tourists. 

Imagine strolling along golden sands that stretch as far as your eyes can see, with turquoise waters gently lapping at your feet. Playa de Palma is a fantastic beach in January; it boasts crystal-clear waters and a promenade lined with charming cafes where you can warm up over coffee. 

Apart from its stunning coastline, Mallorca offers an array of enchanting towns and villages just waiting to be explored. Make sure to visit Palma de Mallorca, the capital known for its impressive Gothic cathedral, La Seu. 

Wander through its narrow winding streets adorned with vibrant architecture and stumble upon hidden gems like quaint cafes and boutique shops. Another must-visit place on this sunny island is Sóller, nestled amidst mountains and boasting picturesque landscapes. 

Take a ride on the vintage Sóller train for spectacular views and immerse yourself in the cozy charm of this town. When traveling to Europe in January 2023 or any other year, Mallorca is one of the best places to visit. 

Whether you want to bask under warm winter sunrays on pristine beaches or explore charming towns steeped in history, this Balearic beauty has got you covered. So pack your bags, grab your sunglasses, and get ready to embark on a delightful January vacation in Mallorca. 

29. Lisbon, Portugal

Is Lisbon worth visiting? In this post, lets discover its historical significance, picturesque landscapes, vibrant nightlife, gastronomical delights, and more!

Ah, Lisbon – the vibrant capital of Portugal. This city offers one of the best European experiences; in January, it’s no exception. 

In fact, January is a fantastic time to visit Lisbon . Sure, it may be the coldest month in this part of Europe, but fear not! 

The weather in January can still be quite pleasant for those who are prepared. One of the best things about visiting Lisbon in January is that you won’t have to deal with heavy crowds or long lines at popular attractions like the Tower of Belém or Jerónimos Monastery. 

You can explore these iconic landmarks without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by tourist crowds. Despite being winter, Lisbon still offers one of the mildest climates in Europe during this time of year. 

While it may not be beach weather, temperatures typically range from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit), making it perfect for strolling through charming neighborhoods and enjoying outdoor activities without freezing your toes off. Another reason why Lisbon is one of the best places to visit in January is its rich cultural scene. 

The city boasts numerous museums and galleries you can explore at your leisure. From modern art at the Museu Coleção Berardo to historical artifacts at the National Museum of Ancient Art, there’s something for everyone’s taste. 

If you’re a food lover like me (and honestly, who isn’t?), you’re in for a treat when visiting Lisbon in winter. The city is known for its delicious cuisine and warm hospitality all year round. 

Enjoy this quieter season by indulging yourself in traditional Portuguese dishes like bacalhau à brás (a codfish dish) or pastéis de nata (custard tarts). And don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of port wine – after all, Portugal is famous for it! 

Lisbon is one of the best European cities to visit in January. You’ll experience its rich cultural heritage, enjoy mild winter temperatures, and savor authentic Portuguese cuisine without the usual crowds. 

So, if you’re planning a winter getaway, consider adding Lisbon to your list of must-visit destinations. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed! 

30. Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal old town view with Douro river

Regarding winter destinations in Europe, Porto , Portugal, is one of the best things you can do in January. Let me tell you why. First of all, Porto is known for its stunning architecture and charming riverside views. 

Imagine strolling along the Douro River, with its picturesque colorful buildings and iconic Dom Luís I Bridge towering above you. It’s truly a sight to behold. 

January is the best time to visit Porto because you can enjoy this beautiful city without the crowds that usually flock here during the peak tourist season. You will have more space to explore at your own pace and find some of the best deals on accommodation and flights during this time. 

It’s a win-win situation! In terms of weather, Porto may not be one of the sunniest places in Europe during January, but it still has a certain charm that makes up for it. 

Pack your warmest winter coat and get ready to embrace the crisp air as you wander through Porto’s narrow streets lined with cozy cafes and inviting restaurants. And don’t forget to try some of their famous port wine while you’re here – it’s an absolute must! 

There are plenty of attractions to keep you busy in Porto during January. Explore historic landmarks like São Bento Railway Station with its stunning tiled walls or venture into Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. 

If you’re looking for retail therapy, head to Bolhão Market, where you can find fresh produce and local delicacies. To sum it up, if you’re planning on traveling to Europe in January and looking for a great place to visit, Porto should definitely be on your list. 

With its charming atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and fewer crowds compared to other times of the year, January is a fantastic time to experience all this Portuguese gem offers. So grab your coat and prepare for an unforgettable city break in Porto! 

31. Azores, Portugal

Mountain landscape with hiking trail and view of beautiful lakes, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal.

If you’re looking for the best places to travel in Europe in January , the Azores should definitely be on your list. Situated in Portugal, this group of islands is a hidden gem that offers stunning natural beauty and a unique charm. January is a fantastic time to visit the Azores as it is the coldest month, making it less crowded with tourists. 

The Azores is known for its breathtaking landscapes and outdoor activities. From hiking through lush green valleys to exploring volcanic craters, there is no shortage of adventures here. 

One of the best places in Europe to satisfy your wanderlust, this archipelago boasts picturesque lakes and hot springs that offer relaxation amidst nature’s wonders. One must-visit spot in the Azores during January is Lagoa das Sete Cidades. 

This twin lake surrounded by rolling green hills will leave you awe-struck with its beauty. The contrasting colors of blue and green are mesmerizing and make for a perfect photo opportunity. 

Additionally, don’t miss out on visiting Ponta Delgada, the vibrant capital city of the Azores, where you can explore historic churches charming streets, and indulge in delicious local cuisine. In terms of weather, while January may be one of the coldest months in Europe overall, the Azores enjoys milder temperatures due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Although rain showers are common this season, they often create enchanting misty landscapes that add to the island’s allure. So embrace your adventurous spirit and visit Europe in January by exploring one of its sunniest places – the beautiful Azores! 

32. Santorini, Greece

top day trips from santorini greece naxos

Santorini is just like a paradise in  Greece  painted all in white, which is a coastal island on the banks of the Aegean Sea. The royal blue water of the Aegean sea contrasted with the whitish  isle of Santorini  is something straight out of heaven. The destination has pleasant cold weather in January ranging from 10 to 14 degrees and comparatively warmer, unlike the freezing European destinations.

It is not the  warmest place in Europe  in January but receives a burst of good sunshine for seven long hours. January is off tourist season, and hence it is an excellent time to explore the painted locations of this coastal island.

It offers various luxurious winter activities for tourists like staying in the cave villa overlooking the beautiful Aegean Sea, visiting the painted white village of Oia and its historic homes.

Explore the glamorous winter restaurants, shops in the town of Fira and take a cable car ride over the Aegean sea, visit the blue dome of Firostefani, view the stunning Aegean sea from Imerovigli, trek to the highest point of Mount Profiti Ilas, rake a stroll on the Red and Black beach and lots of activities to spend the  winter days .

Read more about Santorini and Greece: Places to Visit in Greece , Things to do in Santorini , Day Trips from Santorini

33. Athens, Greece

The Acropolis, Greece

Athens , Greece, is one of the best places to visit in January. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and mild winter weather, it offers one of the best European city breaks in Europe during winter. The city is surprisingly less crowded than the peak tourist season, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a more peaceful and authentic experience. 

One of the highlights of visiting Athens in January is exploring its ancient ruins without being jostled by large crowds. The iconic Acropolis, home to the Parthenon and other magnificent structures from ancient times is usually much quieter during this time of year. 

You can take your time absorbing the grandeur and significance of these historical landmarks without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Aside from its historical sites, Athens has a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums and art galleries. 

On a rainy day or when you want to take a break from sightseeing, you can visit one of these cultural institutions. The National Archaeological Museum is particularly renowned for housing an extensive collection of artifacts showcasing Greece’s fascinating past. 

Another advantage of visiting Athens in January is that you can enjoy a more affordable trip compared to other months when prices tend to skyrocket. Flight deals and discounted hotel rates are often available during this off-peak season. 

Plus, with fewer tourists, you’ll have more flexibility when choosing accommodations and dining options. If you are considering a trip to Europe in January 2023 and want to make the most of your visit, consider Athens a top destination. 

Whether you are captivated by its ancient history or simply want to immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, this Greek city has plenty to offer all year round. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Athens! 

34. Crete, Greece

top day trips from santorini greece crete chania

Crete , Greece, is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January. Known for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and rich cultural heritage, Crete offers a unique experience during this time of year. While some may shy away from traveling to Europe in winter, January is a great time to explore this beautiful island. 

One of the best things about visiting Crete in January is the lack of crowds. Unlike the busy summer months when tourists flock to the island, January offers a more tranquil and peaceful experience. 

You can wander through the charming streets of Chania or Heraklion without battling throngs of tourists. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and truly appreciate the beauty of Crete. 

Another advantage of visiting Crete in January is that it’s one of the warmest places in Europe during this time. While other European cities might be blanketed with snow or experiencing freezing temperatures, Crete enjoys mild weather with average temperatures ranging from 15-20 degrees Celsius (59-68 degrees Fahrenheit). 

It’s perfect for those who want to escape the winter chill and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or exploring archaeological sites. If you’re looking for a city break in January, visit Heraklion, which is not only Crete’s largest city but also home to numerous historical landmarks. 

Explore the ancient ruins at Knossos Palace and marvel at its rich Minoan heritage. Stroll along Venetian walls or visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, which houses an impressive collection dating back thousands of years. 

If you plan to travel to Europe in January, take advantage of exploring Crete, Greece. With its mild weather and fewer crowds compared to peak tourist seasons, it’s one of the best places on the continent during this time. 

Whether you’re fascinated by history or simply craving a relaxing beach getaway, Crete offers a perfect mix of cultural heritage and natural beauty. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and immerse yourself in the enchanting charms of Crete. 

35. Stockholm, Sweden

Aerial panorama of Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is a city that truly shines in the month of January. The city is covered in a blanket of pristine snow and the crisp winter air creates a serene and peaceful atmosphere. For those seeking a winter wonderland experience, Stockholm is the perfect destination.

One of the reasons why Stockholm is a great place to visit in January is the plethora of winter activities available. Visitors can enjoy ice-skating on the stunning natural ice rinks, skiing in the beautiful parks, and even trying their hand at ice fishing. There are also several winter festivals taking place in the city including the Stockholm Light Festival, which is a breathtaking display of light installations set across the city.

Another reason why Stockholm is a must-visit in January is its unique culture and history. The city is home to world-renowned museums like the Vasa Museum, which offers insight into the rich maritime history of the region. There are also numerous art galleries and theatres for culture enthusiasts to indulge in. The city’s old town, Gamla Stan, is a must-visit for any history buffs as it is a well-preserved medieval city center and the birthplace of Stockholm.

For foodies, Stockholm is a heaven for gastronomic delights. During winter, warm and hearty food is paramount and Stockholm has plenty to offer, from traditional Swedish meatballs to spicy gingerbread cookies and mulled wine. The city has a wide range of dining options, including Michelin-starred restaurants and street food markets, all of which are guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.

Overall, Stockholm is a stunning winter destination and deserves a spot on anyone’s travel list. From its natural beauty to its unique culture, the city has so much to offer and is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in January in Europe.

How to prepare your trip to Europe in the winter?

Europe around this time of the year is cold and regardless of where you’re heading to, you must dress properly for the weather to avoid getting sick from the weather. Here are our top posts to help you stay warm while exploring these beautiful destinations:

  • What to Pack for Winter in Europe + Printable Ladies Packing List!
  • Travel Jacket: Best Lightweight Winter Travel Jacket for Women
  • Top 10 Best Women’s Winter Shoes for Travel
  • Top 10 Best Men’s Winter Shoes for Travel

Tips for Travelling to Europe in January

Weather considerations in europe in january.

January is often overlooked as an ideal time to explore Europe, but it’s one of the best times to visit. Sure, the weather may not be as warm as during the summer, but if you’re looking for the best European cities to visit without throngs of tourists, January is the perfect time. Let’s dive into some weather considerations for your European adventure in January. 

When it comes to weather in January, it’s essential to keep in mind that Europe experiences diverse climates across its regions. In Southern Europe , countries like Spain and Portugal can offer surprisingly mild temperatures compared to other parts of the continent. 

Alicante, in Spain, often referred to as one of the warmest places in Europe during winter, boasts agreeable temperatures around 15-17 degrees Celsius (59-63 degrees Fahrenheit). Imagine strolling along beautiful beaches and enjoying some of the city’s best views without heavy winter clothing! 

Moving further eastward towards Greece, Athens, and Crete are among the sunniest places in Europe during January. With average temperatures hovering around 13-15 degrees Celsius (55-59 degrees Fahrenheit), these destinations offer a pleasant escape from colder climates. 

Picture yourself wandering through ancient ruins like the Acropolis or basking under gentle rays of sunshine on a charming Greek island. However, it’s important to note that not all parts of Europe experience such mild conditions in January. 

Northern European countries like Norway or Sweden have considerably colder climates, with temperatures often dipping below freezing point. So, if you plan on exploring these regions during this time of year, be prepared with appropriate clothing and gear to stay comfortable and safe. 

So whether you opt for a warmer place like Alicante or embrace colder landscapes up north, there are plenty of amazing places to visit in January across Europe. Check specific weather forecasts for your chosen destinations and pack accordingly to enjoy your European adventure during this unique time of the year. 

Essential clothing and gear to battle European winter

When traveling to Europe in January, one of the most important considerations is packing the right clothing and gear to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. The weather during this time can vary greatly across European cities, ranging from chilly temperatures to downright frosty conditions. 

So, it’s essential to be prepared with appropriate attire. Firstly, make sure to pack plenty of warm layers. 

This includes thermal undergarments, thick sweaters or fleeces, and a good winter coat. Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves to protect your extremities from the cold. 

Waterproof boots with good traction are also crucial for navigating icy streets or snowy terrains. Layering is key as it allows you to adjust your clothing to fluctuating temperatures throughout the day. 

Additionally, investing in a sturdy umbrella or raincoat is advisable as January tends to be a wet month in many European cities. Having reliable rain gear will help keep you dry and protect your other belongings as you explore popular tourist spots or stroll through charming cobblestone streets. 

Another essential item for your travel wardrobe is comfortable footwear. Opt for shoes that are not only warm but also practical for walking long distances. 

Consider bringing insulated and waterproof boots that offer style and functionality, ensuring your feet stay dry and cozy while exploring European cityscapes. Remember accessories such as sunglasses (yes, even in winter) since snow glare can be intense on sunny days. 

Also, consider packing a travel-sized umbrella or foldable poncho that can easily fit into your bag if you visit places known for their frequent rainy spells. By packing these essential clothing items and gear suitable for Europe’s winter climate in January, you’ll be well-prepared for any weather conditions that may come your way during your travels across the continent. 

Adjusting travel plans for shorter daylight hours

Adjusting your travel plans to accommodate shorter daylight hours is crucial in January. As winter envelopes Europe, the days grow shorter, giving you fewer daylight hours to explore. 

However, fret not, for there are several ways to make the most of this enchanting time of year. One way to adapt your itinerary is by planning your activities accordingly. 

Aim to visit indoor attractions and museums during the early morning and late afternoon hours when natural light is still available. You can experience Europe’s cultural wonders without wasting precious daylight. 

Museums such as the Louvre in Paris or the British Museum in London are ideal for immersing yourself in art and history. Additionally, consider prioritizing outdoor activities that can still be enjoyed even with limited daylight. 

For example, embarking on scenic walks or hikes during midday can provide breathtaking views while making daylight most available. Exploring winter destinations in Europe, like Switzerland’s picturesque alpine towns or Austria’s snow-covered mountains, can be a feast for the senses during January. 

Furthermore, it’s essential to be mindful of safe transportation options during reduced daylight. Plan your journeys accordingly and avoid traveling long distances during late evening hours when visibility may be compromised. 

Opting for public transportation rather than driving allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery without worrying about navigating unfamiliar roads in limited light. Adjusting your travel plans for shorter daylight hours in January doesn’t mean sacrificing experiences; it presents an opportunity to discover Europe’s charm from a unique perspective. 

Embrace this time by exploring its indoor marvels and indulging in outdoor adventures that showcase its winter beauty. Whether marveling at historical sites or relishing warm winter delicacies at vibrant markets, Europe in January is undeniably a great place and time to visit – so make sure it’s on your list! 

Prepare for possible early closing times of many establishments

Now that we’ve covered the essentials of traveling to Europe in January, you need to remember the possibility of early closing times for many establishments. While this may not be a concern during peak tourist season, it becomes more relevant during the quieter winter months. 

So, let me shed some light on why this happens and how you can best prepare for it. January is one of the best times to visit Europe if you prefer a less crowded experience. 

However, with fewer tourists in January, some businesses and attractions may adjust their operating hours accordingly. It’s common to find that museums, shops, and even restaurants might close earlier than usual or have limited opening days throughout the week. 

This is especially true in smaller towns or off-the-beaten-path destinations. To navigate these potential obstacles smoothly, it’s essential to plan ahead and do your research. 

Check the official websites or contact establishments directly before your visit. They often update their opening hours online or have automated phone systems that provide up-to-date information regarding closures or changes in schedule. 

When exploring Europe in January – whether wandering through ancient streets or enjoying breathtaking views of the city – consider that cities like Paris, Rome, and Barcelona usually have a vibrant nightlife scene, even during winter. However, certain areas may shut down earlier than usual due to reduced foot traffic. 

In addition to being aware of early closing times, another tip is to prioritize sightseeing and activities during daytime hours when most places are open. This way, you can make the most of your trip without missing out on any must-see attractions! 

Whether you’re visiting renowned museums like the Louvre in Paris or exploring historical landmarks such as Rome’s Colosseum – ensure you plan accordingly to enjoy these incredible sights while they’re open. By considering these factors and planning ahead, you’ll be well-prepared for early closing times and ensure you make the most of your visit to Europe in January. 

Remember, although your itinerary may require more flexibility, the rewards of experiencing Europe during this time are worth it. So embrace the opportunity to explore captivating destinations with fewer crowds, immerse yourself in local culture, and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime! 

What are my favorite travel must-haves?

As a frequent traveler, I’ve learned a lot throughout my years of travel, and there are five items that I always carry with me regardless of where I go and how long the trip is. Here are my five travel must-haves!

  • Warm packable jacket  – I always carry a light jacket, even when heading to warm countries. There hasn’t been a time I never used it, especially in airports and planes.
  • Transparent toiletry bag  – I often bring a carry-on if I’m only traveling within Europe for a few days. Life is so much easier to go through security checks with a transparent toiletry bag.
  • Kindle Paperwhite  – I love a good read and always take my Kindle everywhere. It keeps me entertained during long flights and waiting times.
  • Powerbank  – I don’t know how I could travel without one! Having a power bank saved me a ton since I carry a lot of electronic devices with me.
  • Travel Adapter  – I never leave my luggage without a travel adapter! I carry one with me all the time. It is just one of that travel-must haves that doesn’t hurt to have in your bag at all times.

So, planning your visit to Europe in January?

January is a fantastic time to explore Europe, with its unique charm and various destinations that offer unforgettable experiences. Whether seeking a winter wonderland or escaping the cold, Europe has something to offer for every traveler in January. From the sun-soaked cities of Alicante and Mallorca in Spain to the vibrant cultural hubs of Lisbon and Porto in Portugal, there is no shortage of amazing places to visit in January. 

Athens, Greece, is one of the best cities to consider for a city break in January. With milder temperatures than other European destinations during this time, Athens offers a pleasant escape with its rich history and archaeological wonders. 

Explore iconic sites like the Acropolis and Parthenon while enjoying fewer crowds at this time of year. Another excellent choice is Crete, Greece’s largest island. 

Known for its stunning beaches and picturesque landscapes, Crete remains one of the sunniest places in Europe, even during winter. Enjoy mild temperatures, explore ancient ruins such as Knossos Palace, or simply relax on beautiful beaches without fighting for space. 

Traveling to Europe in January can provide a unique and memorable experience. Whether you embrace the winter charm or seek warmth in sunny destinations like Alicante or Crete, plenty of amazing places await discovering. 

The best part is that January is also one of the best times to visit these destinations due to fewer crowds and more affordable prices. So pack your bags and prepare for an incredible adventure as you explore some of Europe’s best places this winter season! 

Plan your trip to Europe: Monthly breakdown

  • Europe in January
  • Europe in February
  • Europe in March
  • Europe in April
  • Europe in May
  • Europe in June
  • Europe in July
  • Europe in August
  • Europe in September
  • Europe in October
  • Europe in November
  • Europe in December

Plan your trip to Europe by season

  • Winter in Europe: Top 21 Winter Destinations in Europe
  • Spring in Europe: Top 15 Spring Destinations in Europe
  • Summer in Europe: Top 14 Best Summer Destinations in Europe
  • Autumn in Europe: Top 15 Fall Destinations in Europe

Europe by Experience

  • Northern Lights Holiday: Top 10 Destinations to Spot Aurora Borealis
  • Where to See the Midnight Sun: Top 8 Places Where the Sun Never Sets
  • 25 Beautiful Castles in Europe That Would Inspire Your Wanderlust
  • 30 BEST Fairytale like Towns in Europe (That Will Tickle Your Wanderlust)
  • Top 20 Cheapest Countries in Europe to Visit for Budget Travelers
  • Top 10 BEST Destinations for New Year’s Eve in Europe
  • Christmas in Europe: Top 15 MAGICAL Ideas for Christmas
  • 26+ Best National Parks in Europe You Must Check Out!
  • Top 25 Best European Foods You Must Try!
  • Top 15 Best Road Trips in Europe
  • 30 BEST Places to Visit in Europe
  • 26 Most Romantic Destinations in Europe
  • Top 10 Party Destinations in Europe to Experience

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tour europe in january

73 BEST Places to Visit in Europe in January [2024 UPDATE]

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January is a great time to visit Europe if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy some of the best attractions that the continent has to offer at an affordable price. From stunning mountain landscapes to charming old towns and vibrant cities, here are 73 best places to visit in Europe in January .

Do you have travel insurance for your winter trip to Europe??

If you plan on traveling to Europe this winter, I highly recommend getting travel insurance . I used to travel Europe without it, but after a trip where the airlines lost my luggage AND my flights got canceled and I ended up sleeping on an airport floor, I never travel without it now. SafetyWing is ridiculously affordable (we’re talking $42/month of travel affordable ), so it’s silly NOT to get it.

In this post, you’ll find some of the best places to travel in Europe in January for warm weather in addition to the best spots for skiing and winter spots. You’ll even get the lowdown on Europe in January weather for every spot on this list and some awesome travel tips for your journey!

I’ve also included some lesser-known areas ( be sure to check out Norway and Finland if you want to see the northern lights this January! ) that you may have never heard of before.

Happy Travels!

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January for Romance

If you’re thinking about going on a winter honeymoon or simply want a romantic getaway in Europe, consider these top destinations!

1. Paris, France – undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for romance

Paris is easily one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

If you’re looking for a romantic European city to visit in January, look no further than Paris . The city is still decked out in holiday decorations, and the Christmas markets are still open ( at least for the first week of January ).

Plus, there are great shopping sales to be had during the bi-annual sale season that takes place in January. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch some snow! Best of all, flights and accommodations are usually much cheaper this time of year.

You also won’t have to share precious lawn space with other tourists while you watch the evening Eiffel Tower light show! So if you’re looking for a winter getaway, Paris is easily one of the best places to visit in Europe in January 2022. Just be sure to pick up some souvenirs !

2. London, England – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for iconic sites and romance

London isn't just among the best places to visit in Europe in January, it's also among the best cities to visit in Europe year-round

The capital of England and the heart of the United Kingdom, London is high on our list of the best places to visit in Europe in January! Known for its sophisticated vibes and historical significance, London offers a plethora of winter attractions to explore including The Tower of London , Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum.

And if you’re a Harry Potter fan… have you ever considered exploring Hogwarts in the snow? Plus, January is the best time to score deals on hotel prices and flights in an otherwise insanely expensive European city .

London hosts endless concerts and shows throughout the month including ongoing Christmas carols as well as popular operas and plays. It also has some really fun British souvenirs to check out!

If you can brace against the cold with a smile, then London will surely be one of your favorite cities in Europe this winter.

3. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

tour europe in january

This magical city is encompassed by the gorgeous Vltava River and is overflowing with fairytale-like architecture. Visit the historic castle, take a boat ride down the river, and enjoy traditional Czech cuisine all during your winter trip to Český Krumlov.

In particular, I recommend the trdelník (a sweet cinnamon pastry slathered with chocolate hazelnut spread) and svíčková, a tender beef dish served with bread dumplings and cranberry sauce – perfect for the festive winter months!

In January, the locals celebrate Three Kings Day with parades and festivities, making it the perfect time to visit if you want a unique experience.

In my personal opinion, Český Krumlov is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January.

4. Rome, Italy – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for romance

Rome comes alive in the winter when most of the tourists have left making it one of the best best cities to visit in Europe in January

We’ve all seen the pictures of the 6-hour wait to get into the Colosseum … but, doesn’t that primarily happen in the summer months? YES!

Come January, many of Rome’s main tourist attractions including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Saint Peter’s Basilica have shorter wait times and lower ticket prices. Plus, the weather is still mild and it’s not peak season for tourists anymore so you won’t be battling for elbow space at the Trevi Fountain.

Plus, Rome is known for its incredible cuisine. When you’re there in January ( because let’s be real. you WILL be visiting ), be sure to try the traditional Roman dishes like carbonara and cacio e pepe.

Honestly, any form of cheese, pasta, bread, pesto, gelato… you get it… is going to be incredible, but we recommend seeking restaurants and cafes outside of the main squares even in the winter months since you’ll find less touristy options and better quality products. Ciao!

5. The Hague, Netherlands

tour europe in january

Situated on the Netherlands’ far western coastline, The Hague is best known for being the seat of government and home to the Dutch royal family. But in January, the city transforms into a winter wonderland filled with ice skating rinks, festive markets, and cozy cafes.

Be sure to check out Madurodam, a miniature city made up of iconic Dutch landmarks, all decked out in twinkling lights! While the weather can seem a bit harsh the farther north in Europe you travel, The Hague is actually quite beautiful come wintertime.

Plus, you can always warm up with a mug of Dutch hot chocolate… if you haven’t tried Dutch sweets yet, be sure to check out the food section of my article on the best souvenirs in Amsterdam !

6. Bruges, Belgium – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for medieval architecture

Not only is Brues one of the best places to visit in Europe in January by popular demand, it's also one of my favorite placed in all of Europe

Oh, man… Bruges ! One of my personal favorite cities in all of Europe. Adorned with medieval architecture, ornate squares, and cozy taverns, January is the perfect time to explore this charming city.

Bundle up for a stroll along the canals while you look at all of the festive lights before warming up with some delicious Belgian chocolate or waffles.

While there typically won’t be many boat vendors ready to provide a tour of the canals, you just may get lucky and see one or two still in operation!

At this time of the year, the individual vendors decide whether or not they want to run, so you may come across someone who’s ready to go regardless of the temperature. Be ready with cash on hand, as all sales are on the spot! Souvenirs from Belgium are also often paid for with cash, so keep this in mind if you’re thinking about picking something up off the street.

Bruges isn’t just one of my favorite spots in Europe, it’s also easily one of the best places to visit in Europe in January by popular opinion.

7. Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne is gorgeous year-round, but the massive price break tourists get on accommodations puts it on the list of best places to visit in Europe in January

Ever seen the iconic photograph of the flower-studded bridge with swans swimming under it in a seemingly perfect utopia? Yup, that’s Lucerne!

Often identified for its old town and mountainous surroundings, Lucerne is best known for its Chapel Bridge and Water Tower which was built in the 13th century. In January, the cold weather adds a romantic touch to the city as it’s blanketed in snow since there’s no end to the cozy opportunities to be had.

Warm up at one of the numerous spas offering incredible massages or beauty treatments, or treat yourself to a luxury villa overlooking Lake Lucerne. Whatever you do, if you’re wondering what the best places to visit in Europe in winter are, don’t miss Lucerne if you decide to visit Switzerland!

8. Annecy, France

Annecy is well deserving of its spot on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January

If you’re looking for a charming European town to visit in January, look no further than Annecy, France . This fairytale-like town is located in the Alps and offers stunning views of the snow-capped mountains surrounding Lake Annecy.

There’s also some great hiking to be had in the area ( La Tournette is a popular mountain to brave for alpine enthusiasts ) and the food is amazing (a mix of French, Swiss, and Italian flavors). Plus, Annecy is a very expensive town year-round, so it’s best to take advantage of the fantastic travel deals available to tourists in January.

Annecy is easily one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for tourists looking for all of the fairytale town romance with none of the tourists! And it’s close to some of the best wine regions in the country .

✈️ Pro Tip: be sure to check out Hotel Les Grillons on the eastern side of Lake Annecy in the small town of Talloires… it was truly one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at in my life!

9. Copenhagen, Denmark – one of the best places to visit in Europe in December/January for romance

When it comes to the best places to visit in Europe in January, Copenhagen surely doesn't disappoint with its stunning Nyhvn Harbor

Touch down in Denmark ! This vibrant port city is known for its stunning architecture, cozy cafes, and amazing shopping. Did you know that Copenhagen has actually been referred to as the “happiest city in the world?” Well, now you know!

Plus, January is the best time to catch some beautiful winter scenery along Nyhavn Harbor. There’s a good chance you’ve seen pictures of this canal lined with vibrant buildings in many travel magazines and websites throughout your travel research. And with good reason! It’s gorgeous, to say the least.

But, the downfall of the summer months is that you can never find even a good spot to stand because there’s always someone or something trying to get around you. Hello, January! Tourists have moved on and many locals have limited their fishing for the year so it becomes much quieter of a city, but equally if not more beautiful.

If you want to see a culturally vibrant city without all the tourists, then Copenhagen is absolutely one of the best places in Europe to visit in January!

10. Zaandam, Netherlands

Zaandam is eaasily one of the best places to visit in Europe in January if you want to see the windmills

Ah, Zaandam. Easily recognized around the world for housing the historic neighborhood of Zaanse Schans where some of the world’s last windmills are still in operation, this Dutch town is the perfect escape from the busy city of Amsterdam.

Reachable in just 30 minutes by train from the Dutch capital, this small city is also known for its beautiful canal-lined streets and charming architecture. January brings the best opportunity to view Zaandam’s famous ice sculptures, which are illuminated and on display throughout the town during the month.

Warm up with a mug of advocaat ( a traditional Dutch winter drink that closely resembles egg nog with the addition of brandy ) while you explore the beauty and history of Zaandam as its one of the best places to visit in Europe during winter.

11. York, England

tour europe in january

Ever heard of a Yorkshire pudding? Well, it’s from York. And York is absolutely one of the best places in the U.K. and for sure one of best places to visit in Europe in January 2022. Why?

Well, York, England is known for its well-preserved historical architecture as it used to be the Roman capital back in 71 AD ( known then as Eboracum ).

But today, you can walk around and explore the beautiful York Minster, the second-largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, or take a stroll down The Shambles, one of the best-preserved medieval streets in Europe.

And if you want a break from all the sightseeing, drop into one of the local pubs for a pint and incredible conversation. But, couldn’t you do all of this in the summer months? Yes! That’s what is so great about Yorkshire.

Practically everything that you can do in the summer months is also open and available in the winter months! But, at a much more affordable rate and with far fewer tourists making it the best place to go in January in Europe!

12. Dinant, Belgium

tour europe in january

Perfectly etched into the side of a mountain, the town of Dinant is best known for its beautiful cathedral and the citadel overlooking it.

January is a great time to explore the town’s quaint streets and cozy cafes, as well as partake in some winter sports at the nearby ski resorts. As the native town of the infamous Adolphe Sax, Dinant is quite historic and stunning to witness.

Easily recognized for its vibrant buildings lining the Meuse River, be sure to take a stroll over the Charles de Gaulle Bridge for some epic photos of the city’s dramatic layout. If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Europe in January 2022, do your best not to skip Dinant as its truly a remarkable city in Belgium .

13. Ghent, Belgium

tour europe in january

On the northwestern side of Belgium, Ghent is known for its charming medieval architecture, canals, and delicious Belgian food. January is the best time to visit because it’s off-season and less crowded, plus you can see Ghent illuminate during its annual Light Festival in mid-January.

Popular among tourists who love fairytale canals and cobblestone streets, Ghent is often called the “Venice of the North” ( along with numerous other cities in Europe ).

January brings chilly temperatures and far less sunshine, but it’s worth bundling up for the Christmas markets and ice skating on frozen canals. And don’t forget to indulge in Belgian chocolate and beer while you’re there!

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in the Winter

If you’re more of a city hopper, these iconic European cities are sure to keep you entertained all winter long!

14. Helsinki, Finland

tour europe in january

We’re off to Finland! The Finnish capital of Helsinki lies in the far southern region of the country on its own peninsula in the Gulf of Finland.

While most travelers Finland to be a summer destination due to the icy temperatures that accompany the fall and winter months, January is actually a wonderful time to experience the beauty of the snow-covered streets, frozen lakes, and cozy cafes.

Don’t miss taking a dip in one of Helsinki’s famous ice pools, or visiting one of its many design shops and art galleries. Take a stroll down Mannerheimintie and admire the stunning architecture and Christmas lights that adorn the city during this festive time of year.

Before you go, be sure to check out the National Museum which showcases Finnish history dating all the way back to the stone age!

15. Birmingham, England

tour europe in january

Ah, good ol’ Birmingham. Easily recognized for its famous canals and colorful street art, Birmingham has become a hot spot for tourists in recent years.

January is the perfect time to visit as the Christmas markets are still up and running early in the month, plus you can catch some fantastic deals on accommodations in an otherwise high-end city.

Often overlooked by its nearby sister city with a population nearly 9x its own (London), Birmingham has so much to offer winter travelers including ice skating rinks, annual shopping sales, and a dramatic perspective of the city’s historic past once the winter clouds really set in.

If you’re wondering where to go in January in Europe, Birmingham is a great destination to consider.

16. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon isn't as warm as its southern counterparts, but it's still no doubt deserving of its spot on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January for its outstanding scenic overlooks and mild temperatures

Time to talk about Portugal . One of my top countries in Europe and where I’m always sending my clients in the winter months, I would absolutely call Lisbon one of the best places to visit in Europe in January.

The weather is mild with a good amount of sunshine and you’ll avoid the peak season prices that accompany the influx of tourists that come during the summer months.

Don’t forget to check out Belem Tower , spend a day at one of the nearby picturesque beaches in Cascais , enjoy some Portuguese wine, and listen to some fado music for the ultimate day in Lisbon.

Want an amazing view of the city? Check out these 19 amazing hotels in Lisbon with a rooftop pool ! The pools may be seasonal, but you’ll get free, endless views of the Portuguese cityscape right from your accommodation.

17. Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva becomes a winter wonderland putting it among the best places to visit in Europe in January

Delicately perched around Lake Geneva, this sophisticated Swiss town offers charming cobblestone streets, stunning Alpine views, and world-renowned chocolate shops. Not to mention over a dozen Michelin-star restaurants!

Discover cozy cafes serving up decadent hot cocoas, vibrant street markets, and iconic landmarks like the Jet d’Eau Fountain and St. Peter’s Cathedral. January is a great time to visit as the city transforms into a winter wonderland with snow-covered roofs and frozen lakes.

Be sure to pack plenty of layers as this town experiences frigid temperatures, but the beauty and charm definitely make it worth it.

18. Porto, Portugal – one of the best places to visit in Europe in 2023

Porto is a great stopping off point for entering the northern mountains of Portugal making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for winter sports

Want to indulge in Portugal’s off-season by visiting the northern parts of the country? Head to Porto! Recognized worldwide for its close relation to the Douro Valley and port wines, this stunning area is truly unique come wintertime.

Many tourists use Porto as a departure point for skiing in the Serra da Estrela Mountains , but the city has much more to offer if you’re looking for an excuse to stick around.

Explore the beautiful architecture and take a scenic ride along the Douro River, stopping for some of the best seafood in all of Europe ( the squid ink pasta blew my mind… I never thought to try it until then, and it’s highly recommended! )

It may not be wine season in Porto , but don’t be fooled, there are still plenty of wine tours you can take! If you want to know our opinions on where to go in January in Europe, take our suggestions and include Porto in your winter Portugal itinerary!

19. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the most iconic cities in Europe and earns its spot as one of the best places to visit in Europe in January with its gorgeous canals

Of course, we had to include Amsterdam ! Known for its boating canals turned meandering ice skating rinks, Amsterdam is easily one of the best places in Europe to visit in January.

This city of “chaos” is well known for its adventurous Red Light District, cobblestone streets, and infamous coffee shops. And with a variety of museums to choose from – including the famous Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House – there’s plenty to do indoors as well when the temperatures are just a little too frigid.

Grab a warm and melty stroopwafel from the popular Albert Cuyp market ( yes, it’s even open in January! ), and cozy up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine at one of Amsterdam’s many charming cafes . Just be sure not to confuse a coffeeshop with a cafe .

If they ask for your ID at the door, you might be in the wrong place if you were hoping for a cappuccino! What they’ll be offering likely wasn’t the Dutch souvenir you were hoping for…

Plus, with the exciting Amsterdam Light Festival ( one of the best things to do in Europe in January ) happening throughout January along the city’s iconic canals, there’s really no better time to visit one of Europe’s best cities!

20. Oslo, Norway

tour europe in january

For Norway , we’ll start in the capital! Oslo is a gorgeous Nordic city known for its stunning architecture, including the Opera House and City Hall. In January, visitors can experience stunning light displays, ice sculpture competitions, and the Holmenkollen ski festival!

But, outside of the typical activities, visitors can also enjoy cross-country skiing, ice skating, and all types of tours right within the borough of Oslo.

Enjoy a hot mead, coffee, or herbal tea as you make your way through town before retiring to a cozy Scandinavian hotel for the evening.

21. Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden's capital of Stockholm becomes void of many tourists after the holidays making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in January if you want to score a good deal on accommodations

Sweden’s elegant and sophisticated capital city actually resides on 14 different islands across the Baltic Sea’s unique archipelago. It’s best visited during winter when its waterways freeze over and visitors can enjoy ice skating on the canals without the sky-high prices of the summer months.

During your trip, be sure to check out Gamla Stan where Stockholm’s stunning Old Town is located, along with the Royal Palace and Nobel Museum. Easily one of the most popular cities in the European Union, it shouldn’t come as much of a shock when we say it’s also one of the best places to visit in Europe in January.

Be sure to dress warm though! Just because this city is world-renowned for its beaches doesn’t mean it won’t get cold while you’re there. January brings average temperatures of around 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 Celsius).

22. Frankfurt, Germany

tour europe in january

Last on our list of German destinations is Frankfurt! This southcentral city is best known for its skyscrapers and finance industry. But it also boasts a rich history, with its Medieval Altstadt (Old Town) and historic sites like the Dom-Römer Quarter.

In January, Frankfurt transforms into a winter wonderland, with ice skating rinks popping up throughout the city and holiday markets filling the streets with festive cheer.

Be sure to pack some warm gloves and a hat as it’s no doubt the city will be brisk , but a winter visit to Frankfurt is a wonderful way to end the holiday season!

23. Cobh, Ireland

County Cork's Cobh is one of the best cities to visit in Europe in January

If you’re looking for a city to visit in Europe in January that is full of history and color, Cobh should do the trick. Located on an island in Cork’s city harbor , Cobh was actually the Titanic’s last port of call in back in 1912 before disaster struck.

Today, it’s known for its famous “deck of cards” houses that line Cork’s West View street with a perfect view of the Cobh Cathedral in the background. Winter is a great time to visit Cobh because you can watch the storms roll in from the comfort of one of its many pubs or bed and breakfasts lining the harborfront.

Cobh is one of the best cities to visit in Europe in the winter for its local pub scene and stunning scenery off of Ireland’s southern coastline.

24. Dublin, Ireland – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for nightlife

Dublin is undoubtedly one of the best cities to visit in Europe in the winter

If you’re looking for a lively city to explore during your January travels in Europe, look no further than Dublin ! With its rich history and culture, amazing pub scene, and hearty food, Dublin is the perfect place to spend your winter vacation.

Plus, with deals on airfare and accommodations easy to come by during the colder months, there’s no reason not to add Dublin to your list of best cities to visit in Europe this winter.

You can add it as an easy stopover on your way to a seasonal ski trip, or make it the main focus of your vacation. Either way, you’ll enjoy experiencing the never-ending chaotic city life and meeting the lively locals in Dublin .

Start planning your trip now and experience why Dublin is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January.

25. Belfast, Northern Ireland

With its close proximity to the Giant's Causeway, Belfast earns its spot on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January

Claiming its spot as one of the best cities to visit in Europe in the winter, Belfast shouldn’t be overlooked.

Known for its location nearby the popular Giant’s Causeway , this historic city has tons to offer visitors, including food and walking tours, pub crawls, and some very unique museums for art and history enthusiasts.

As the capital of Northern Ireland, it’s the perfect spot to start any European vacation and makes for a great winter stopover spot en route to some warmer cities in Europe. With its lively city atmosphere, there’s never a dull moment in Belfast.

26. Edinburgh Scotland – one of the best European cities to visit in January and February

Thanks to its medieval architecture, Edinburgh is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

Scotland’s capital is easily recognized around the world for its stunning architecture, including the historic Edinburgh Castle, as well as its vibrant culture and legendary New Year’s Eve celebration, known as Hogmanay.

The weather can be a bit brisk, but visitors are rewarded with fewer crowds and lower hotel prices. Winter visitors can also take part in the city’s famous Burns Night celebration, honoring Scottish poet Robert Burns, or attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival in late January.

You may need to bundle up for a chilly but memorable trip to Edinburgh this January as it is truly one of the best cities to visit in Europe during winter.

27. Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen is one of the lesser known best places to visit in Europe in January on this list

The quaint port city of Aberdeen in the northeastern United Kingdom is a “seriously, please don’t miss this” spot on this list of the best places to visit in Europe in January. Known for its notable fishing and oil industries, Aberdeen also offers stunning views of the North Sea and surrounding countryside.

Take a stroll along the Victorian-era promenade, visit stunning castles like Craigievar or Drum Castle, or spend the day exploring Balmedie Beach. And don’t forget to sample some deliciously fresh seafood while you’re there!

The winter weather adds a crispness to the air and the city’s Christmas markets make for a festive atmosphere in early January. Plus, hotel prices tend to be lower during this time of year compared to the peak tourist season, so you can travel to even one of the most expensive countries in Europe without breaking the bank!

Aberdeen is often overlooked but it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe in December/January.

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January for Christmas Markets

If the holidays are your jam, then Europe in January is the place to be. While many cities have stunning Christmas markets with unique goods, festive lights, and hot mulled wine, some are… well, more experienced than others.

Check out some of our favorite European cities for Christmas markets in early January below!

28. Nuremberg, Germany – one of the best places to visit in January for Christmas markets

Nuremberg is undoubtedly #1 on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January when it comes to Christmas markets

The Christmas market capital of the world brings us to Nuremberg, Germany! This iconic German town is best seen in the winter months, when their famous Christkindlesmarkt takes over the city center with traditional Christmas goodies , decorations, and cheer.

Which, let’s be honest… is one of the top reasons to visit Germany !

Spend some time exploring the old town, with its colorful houses and gothic churches, before indulging in some glühwein ( mulled wine… my favorite! ) and bratwurst at the market. And don’t miss the Imperial Castle, where emperors of the Holy Roman Empire once ruled.

Nuremberg is overflowing with powerful history, enchanting architecture, and gorgeous scenery. But. if Christmas markets are at the top of your priority list, then Nuremberg is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Europe in January!

29. Munich, Germany

Munich's Christmas markets are some of the best in Germany earning its place on the list of best places to visit in Europe in January

We all know what Munich is famous for… Oktoberfest! But, unfortunately, this iconic annual folk festival ends the first week of October. So, is it still worth visiting Munich in January? Absolutely!

Munich is a beautiful city in its own right, with stunning architecture and a vibrant cultural scene. And, while there may not be an Oktoberfest to attend, you can still experience the best of Munich’s beer culture by visiting one of the many traditional Bavarian pubs.

Plus, January is prime time for winter sports in the nearby Alps or for getting lost in the old-time streets lined with local taverns designed by talented German architects.

If you’re debating between including Munich in your winter itinerary, keep in mind that it is often rated one of the best cities to visit in Europe in January.

We actually have an entire post dedicated to the best accommodations in Munich for the winter months , so that alone should speak for itself!

30. Strasbourg, France – undoubtedly one of the best places to vist in Europe in January for Christmas markets

If you're looking for the best places to visit in Europe in January, Strasbourg should be on your list

When it comes to European cities with a unique blend of French and German influences, Strasbourg is just the place! This charming city is located on the northeastern border of France and offers stunning architecture similar to that of Colmar.

As the capital of France’s Grand Est region ( also known as Alsace ), Strasbourg offers a wide variety of unique activities and winter events.

The locals are incredibly friendly, and you can find some great travel deals at this time of the year. If you visit, the local bed and breakfasts are the best spot to spark up a conversation with the locals and learn about their unique culture.

The Ill River adds to the charm as it meanders its way through the city, especially if the town’s received a beautiful backdrop of snow recently.

So if you’re looking for an interesting and affordable destination in Europe, Strasbourg is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe in winter!

31. Dresden, Germany

tour europe in january

Situated near the eastern border of the country, Dresden is another popular winter town often recognized for its enormous and thrilling Christmas markets. But don’t let the word “Christmas” fool you as every individual of every faith is welcome to join in the celebration and enjoy the stunning displays of lights and festive decor!

Dresden is also known for its historical landmarks, including the famous Frauenkirche church and Zwinger Palace which come alive when dusted with bright white snow.

Dresden’s dramatic Baroque architecture and unique culture set its spot on the list of best places to visit in Europe in January 2023.

31. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the best cities to visit in Europe in January for tourists seeking beautiful Christmas markets and local taverns

The city of Prague is known for its fairytale-like architecture, historic castles, and tasty beer. But, what about in January ? Well, Prague also turns into a winter wonderland!

With its Christmas markets open through the beginning of the month and the higher possibility of snow blanketing the city, Prague is easily one of the most popular places to visit in Europe in January.

Plus, Prague is already known for being one of the best-value cities in Europe, so by taking advantage of the winter sales and travel deals, you can experience all it has to offer without breaking the bank.

Prague happens to be one of my favorite cities in Europe at any time of the year, but in January… well, you have to see it for yourself!

33. Brussels, Belgium – often overlooked, but one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for Christmas markets

If you want insanely decked out Christmas markets, then Brussles is definitely going to be one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for you

We’re finally at the capital of Belgium! Brussels is a beautiful, bustling city best known for its neverending lively atmosphere and delicious chocolate, waffles, and beer. You can get lost down its artistic network of cobblestone streets while taking in the festive lights and do some gift shopping while you’re at it.

January is one of the best times to visit Brussels because of the winter festival that takes place in the Grand Place. The square will be filled with lights and ice sculptures, creating a magical atmosphere for visitors!

Plus, the weather may be frigid, but there are so many unique pubs, cafes, and romantic restaurants to warm up in. We actually prefer the outdoor tables with a lovely fire or heater nearby!

Those looking for some of the best Christmas markets in Europe should be sure to include Brussels on their list of best places to visit in Europe in January. With all of these amazing Belgian cities, it can be hard to know which one you should choose !

34. Colmar, France – easily one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for Christmas markets

Colmar has some incredible Christmas markets and is no doubt one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

If you’re looking for a charming European town to visit in January, Colmar, France is a great choice. Situated on the border of Germany, this small town is studded with beautiful wooden houses and Renaissance-era architecture.

Plus, it’s located along the Alsace wine route, where you can find some of the best wine estates in the region. Many of them offer discounted wine tastings in the off-season, and you can easily find cozy bed and breakfasts to truly immerse yourself in the local culture.

The town itself is like a fairytale, nestled on the Lauch river with charming bridges and historic buildings lining the water. January is a great time to visit Colmar, as you can really meet the locals and experience true French hospitality.

If you’re looking for a quiet getaway this winter, Colmar is definitely worth considering.

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January for Winter Sports

If you couldn’t spend more than a day or two in the cities before you’re aching to hit the slopes, check out some of the best winter sport towns in all of Europe!

They’re simply packed with adrenaline-pumping activities like skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, ice climbing, hiking, and more!

35. Chamonix, France – easily one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for alpine enthusiasts

Chamonix isn't only on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January, but it's also my personal favorite place in Europe

If skiing is your #1 priority this winter, then Chamonix, France is easily one of the best places to consider in 2022. This charming town is located in the French Alps and is home to some of the best skiing in the entire world .

But there’s much more to Chamonix than just its slopes – travelers can take advantage of its stunning location by enjoying activities like paragliding ( I leaped off of Mont Blanc with Absolute Chamonix Paragliding Co. ) hiking, and sightseeing.

And don’t forget the food – La Raclette and cheese fondue are two dishes not to be missed ( you get served either a melting cheese wheel or a giant pot of liquid cheese to pour over a beautiful plate of vegetables, potatoes, and freshly baked bread! )

Chamonix is my personal favorite place in Europe and I can honestly say that it is truly one of the best places to visit in Europe in January.

36. Zermatt, Switzerland – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for winter enthusiasts

At the base of the Matterhorn, Zermatt will always be one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for winter sport enthusiasts and enchanting village seekers

If you’re an outdoors/mountain/nature enthusiast like I am, then chances are you’ve probably heard of Zermatt and why it is well deserving of its place on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January.

Home to the Matterhorn, this enchanting town offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Europe, as well as other winter activities like tobogganing, ice skating, and snowshoeing.

And let’s not forget about the stunning views of the alps on every corner and endless hot cheese fondue peering through every window in every home.

Nestled in the mountains, Zermatt offers the perfect balance for winter travelers – an active winter escape and a cozy mountain village ideal for relaxing and indulging in delicious food.

37. Interlaken, Switzerland

tour europe in january

And we’re onto Switzerland! A land of mountains, breathtaking lakes, and Swiss chocolate, Interlaken is a must-visit during the wintertime. The best part? You can ski or snowboard at one of the many nearby resorts like Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen.

And let’s not forget about all of the cozy fondue restaurants to warm up in for the après-ski hour.

Located in central Switzerland, Interlaken is by far one of the best places to visit in Europe in January. Book a beautiful mountain chalet or stay at a cozy hotel like the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa for the ultimate winter vacation.

Just be sure to bundle up, because it can get quite chilly up in the Swiss Alps!

38. The Jungfrau Region, Switzerland

tour europe in january

Identified as the region surrounding the iconic Jungfrau mountain peak, this area is best known for its famous ski slopes, but it also offers amazing views and hiking opportunities in the summer.

January is a great time to visit for mountain enthusiasts seeking extreme winter sports opportunities, but don’t get the impression that you’ll be avoiding the tourists by visiting in the winter months like in most other places in Europe.

Come January, the Jungfrau Region is swarmed with international visitors seeking their next PR ( personal record ) on the rugged downhill slopes, but that just adds to the excitement.

Don’t let this mere fact push you away from visiting the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland, as it’s truly one of the best places to visit in Europe in winter!

Best Warm Winter Destinations in Europe

We get it, not everyone loves the snow. Some of us are beach bums! If you’re seeking a mild to warm European getaway this winter vacation, we have a few places up our sleeves that surely won’t disappoint!

✈️ Pro Tip: Almost nowhere in Europe gets hot during the winter months, so if you’re seeking temperatures in the 80s Fahrenheit or higher, you may want to consider the Caribbean or South America.

39. The Greek Islands – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for warm weather

tour europe in january

If you’re wondering why we’re referring to all of the Greek islands and not just one or two, that’s because they’re all incredible! The Greek islands offer beautiful weather in January, most notably Santorini and Mykonos. You can relax on the beaches, explore ancient ruins, and indulge in delicious Greek cuisine.

You’ll still want to pack a sweater since it cools off in the evenings, but overall the temperatures are mild and perfect for outdoor exploring.

Spend some time wandering the streets of Santorini’s iconic blue and white buildings or lounge on the beach in Zakynthos. And don’t forget to try the fresh seafood and famous traditional feta cheese on a fresh Greek salad!

40. Algarve, Portugal – the warmest place in Europe in January and February

Algarve is by far one of the best places to travel in Europe in January for warm weather

Diving more into the best places to travel in Europe in January for warm weather, the Algarve is in the top 3, no doubt.

The Algarve region in Portugal offers stunning beaches, quintessential natural rock formations such as the Benagil Caves, delicious food, and amazing wine ( which would make for an amazing Portuguese souvenir if you’re checking a bag! )

January is the perfect time to visit as it’s not too crowded ( well, in comparison to the summer months but quite crowded if you compare it to the rest of Europe ) yet still warm enough to enjoy some beach time or take a kayak ride through the gorgeous grottos.

With temperatures averaging at a high of 17 degrees Celsius and a low of around 9 (55-63 degrees Fahrenheit), pack your swimsuit and sunscreen , but also make sure to bring some layers for the cooler evenings!

41. The Azores, Portugal – one of the best places to go in Europe in January

The Azores are an outstanding destination year-round, but when winter hits and all most of the tourists leave, that's when it comes one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

Lying nearly 950 miles off the western coast of Portugal, the Azores are a hidden gem in Europe. In January, the archipelago offers mild weather and stunning natural beauty, with options for hiking, whale watching, hot springs, and more.

The ultimate winter destination for warm weather seekers looking to maintain a European style with the luxury of being on an island, the Azores are the perfect fit.

Be sure to visit the town of Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores, where beautiful buildings and cobblestone streets provide a charming atmosphere, as well as Furnas, where you can soak in natural hot springs surrounded by rich green landscapes.

If you want the best places to visit in Europe in January for warm weather, look no further than the Azores!

42. Sicily, Italy – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for warm weather

Sicily will always hold a special spot on the list of best places to visit in Europe in January with its amazing scenery and hospitable locals

And we’re off to Italy! Sicily sits right at the southwestern end of Italy’s “boot” and offers some of the best Mediterranean views and flavors in the region. January marks the start of the low season, so you can enjoy all that Sicily has to offer without the summer crowds ( and the summer prices at that ).

Make sure to visit Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, and sample some authentic Sicilian cuisine like arancini ( my absolute favorite… ) and granita ( kind of like a snow cone mixed with sorbet ).

Now, don’t get me wrong. The temperatures in Sicily in January will be chilly, but that just means layering up and enjoying a cozy meal inside one of the cute trattorias dotting the city!

43. Valletta, Malta

tour europe in january

This tiny island found in the Mediterranean Sea beneath Sicily is sure to wow you on a visit at any time of the year, but we prefer January. This stunning island country is recognized for its Baroque architecture, stunning views, and delightful Mediterranean cuisine.

With its warm weather and off-peak tourist season, it’s the perfect time to explore Valletta’s historical sites like St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the ancient city walls without the summer crowds.

On a winter visit to Malta, be sure to spend some time lounging on the beaches and visiting the Blue Grotto sea caves in Qrendi.

With temperatures averaging a high of 16 degrees Celsius in January (60 degrees Fahrenheit), it’s the best time to visit this little gem.

44. Bari, Italy

Bari is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January if you're seeking warmer weather

If you haven’t heard of Bari on the eastern coast of Italy, you’re in for a real treat. This incredible city is recognized far and wide for its culinary delights, specifically the fresh seafood and handmade orecchiette pasta.

But cuisine aside, Bari also has a rich history dating back to medieval times. The Old Town of Bari is filled with winding alleys and beautiful architecture, including the iconic Basilica di San Nicola (Saint Nicholas’ Basilica).

Known for its enchanting Christmas markets, Bari also celebrates the Epiphany on January 6th in grand fashion with parades and festivities throughout the city.

If you’re looking for some of the best cities to visit in Europe in the winter, Bari is no shy contender!

45. Naples, Italy – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for foodies and mild temperatures

Naples is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for its delicious food and homey feel

Ahhh, can you smell the pizza? Naples, Italy is the birthplace of pizza and a must-visit destination in January. With mild temperatures and fewer crowds, it’s the perfect time to explore this historic city and indulge in some of the best Italian food you’ll ever have.

Yes, it may be a bit chillier with average temperatures in the low-50s, but that’s no reason not to overstuff yourself with gelato too… just bundle up! There’s also the opportunity to explore the stunning architecture of Naples’ historic center or take some day trips to nearby Mount Vesuvius!

With so much to do and see in this incredible Italian city throughout the summer months, it’s only natural that January brings a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing for a truly authentic and immersive experience.

Although this list doesn’t go in any particular order, Naples would be at the top of the best places to visit in Europe in January!

46. Barcelona, Spain – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for mild temperatures

Barcelona made its way on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January with its warm weather and stunning scenery

The city of endless tapas surely deserves a place on this list of where to go in January in Europe! Barcelona offers a mix of beautiful architecture, stunning beaches, and delicious food.

Plus, January is the best time to visit in winter as most of the holiday crowds have subsided but many businesses are still in full operation.

Come February, Barcelona tends to be a little bit less lively and vibrant than in the rest of the year, so January is the perfect time to visit. Also, Spain is actually one of the best places to travel in Europe in January for warm weather if you’re looking to escape the winter chills!

The further south you travel, the warmer it will tend to be, with temperatures averaging in the mid-50s (around 13 degrees Celsius) throughout the month in Barcelona.

So, you will likely still need a sweater or light jacket when combing the beach for pretty seashells, but flip-flops are not only allowed, they’re recommended!

47. Valencia, Spain

tour europe in january

Travel a little further south to the bustling city of Valencia where you’ll find the best paella, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife. January is a great time to visit as the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller, though you’ll always find a lively atmosphere in Valencia no matter when you decide to visit.

Fantastic for those seeking a fun and lively night scene without those brutally cold temperatures, Valencia, Spain is easily one of the best warm places to visit in Europe in winter.

48. Málaga, Spain – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for warm weather

tour europe in january

On the southern end of Spain near the Straight of Gibraltar, Málaga offers winter sun and warmth, along with stunning beaches, historic architecture, and delicious cuisine. January is a great time to visit because it’s off-season for tourists, making it easier to explore the city’s attractions without all the crowds that this lively city typically brings in.

But, don’t be fooled… there are still thousands of other tourists who got the memo on Málaga being one of the best places to travel in Europe in January for warm weather. So, you won’t be completely alone.

While you’re there, try the famous salted fried fish dish, pescaíto frito, and visit the Museo Picasso Málaga to see a collection of over 200 works by the famous Spanish artist.

49. Cádiz, Spain – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for its beaches

Cadiz is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for warm weather

Situated just west of the Parque Natural Los Alcornocales in southern Spain, Cádiz is one of the best destinations in Spain for warm weather in January. You’ll find stunning beaches, historic architecture, and a vibrant culture that makes Cádiz unique.

And on January 5th, the city celebrates the festival of Los Tres Reyes Magos with parades and parties throughout the town ( so be sure to plan your trip around this if you can! )

But, if you’d rather enjoy the beaches that the island of Cádiz has to offer, you can visit Playa de la Caleta, an idyllic beach framed by beautiful 18th-century fortresses.

If you’re interested in good nightlife, incredible seafood, and warm weather this winter, then Cádiz should be a must-visit on your Spain itinerary !

50. Almeria, Spain

tour europe in january

Our last pick for Spain brings us to Almeria… a small coastal town with big charm! January is a fantastic time to visit, as it’s not too hot like in the summer months and as we’ve seen in most places across Europe , the crowds have subsided.

Plus, the famous Alcazaba Fortress is a must-see during this time of year when the waves are crashing all around its boundaries.

Almeria is truly a special place with architecture dating to the 17th century in the Old Town all the way to the 20th century in the recently revitalized new town. History enthusiasts seeking the best places to travel in Europe in January for warm weather, Almeria is the #1 spot on this list!

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January for History

Are you a history buff who’s ready to dive into Europe’s past? From ancient ruins to famous battles, here are the best places to visit in Europe in January 2023!

51. Berlin, Germany

tour europe in january

Berlin is overwhelmed with history, culture, and stunning architecture all year round, but in January, the city becomes even more magical.

The Christmas markets are still up and running through the first week of the month or so, and the winter temperatures create a picturesque setting for exploring the city’s famous landmarks like the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate.

In the summer months, Berlin is completely overcrowded with people trying to get a selfie in front of Checkpoint Charlie or the Holocaust Memorial.

But, in the winter, you’ll find yourself with incredible opportunities to truly immerse yourself in the tragic history that took place here and come to remember why Berlin is such a historically significant city.

But, while art and history enthusiasts will certainly enjoy themselves, that’s not to say that foodies and sightseers won’t ! January brings some of the best deals on flights and accommodations, making it a budget-friendly destination.

Plus, with insanely popular restaurants like POTS in Potsdamer Platz and bars like Klunkerkranich offering rooftop views of the city, there’s something for everyone in Berlin during the winter.

52. Normandy, France – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for history buffs

If you can spend at least 3 days in Normandy, it's without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

If you’re looking for a place to visit in Europe in January that won’t be packed with tourists, Normandy is a great option.

While the beaches here are beautiful year-round, they’re far less crowded in winter and there are plenty of D-Day tours available to give you a deeper understanding of the history that took place here during World War II ( they typically book up very fast in the summer months ).

In addition, the towns and villages in Normandy are super charming and offer plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining, and simply taking in the picturesque scenery.

53. Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg offers a unique display of art and literature, particularly the works of Mozart, making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in January after all the tourists have left

From the epic Christmas markets to the stunning architecture, Salzburg oozes winter charm.

In January, the city is often blanketed in snow and decorated with lights for its annual Winterfest event where you can enjoy a stroll through the city or catch one of the incredible concerts offering glamorous displays of some of Austria’s top performers.

Once the home of Mozart, the city also offers incredible musical experiences throughout the month with concerts and operas happening almost daily. If you’re heading to Europe to experience a true winter getaway, then a visit to Salzburg should be on your list of top places to go in Europe in January.

54. Split, Croatia

tour europe in january

Found along Croatia’s central coastline, this small city lures in thousands of visitors with its beautiful Adriatic views and historic old town.

Split’s best attractions include Diocletian’s Palace, a well-preserved Roman ruin that now houses shops and restaurants, as well as the nearby Marjan Hill, a forested park perfect for hiking or picnicking with sea views.

Despite January bringing in some chillier temperatures, Split’s Mediterranean climate still offers relatively good weather for outdoor exploring.

Split is also known for its gorgeous beaches like Bačvice, a popular spot for locals to play the traditional game of picigin.

Split is for sure one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for its historic background, insanely beautiful views, and vibrant culture!

55. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

tour europe in january

No, Bosnia and Herzegovina are not two different countries. This one country is made up of a variety of beautiful backgrounds including Serbian, Croatian, Bosniak, and so on making it one of the ultimate eastern European destinations.

Sarajevo sits on the Miljacka River and is best experienced on foot, so bundle up and explore the historical sites such as the Latin Bridge or Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque. Learn about Sarajevo’s tragic past at the War Childhood Museum or take a cable car to the top of Mount Trebević for stunning views of the city.

January brings chilly weather, but the small city’s beauty is well worth your efforts. Sarajevo happens to lie just outside of the famous Trebević mountain peak which is perfect for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, and more!

If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations, then Sarajevo is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe in winter.

56. Aarhus, Denmark

tour europe in january

Found on Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula, Aarhus is known for its beautiful harbor and stunning architecture. In January, the city celebrates with Nordic light festivals, ice skating rinks, and Christmas markets as a precursor to February’s iconic Vinterjazz ( winter jazz festival ).

Popular amongst locals and tourists alike, be sure to check out ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum to see the famous rainbow-colored walkway and contemporary art exhibits.

If you’re considering where to go in January in Europe, Aarhus is one of the best European cities to visit in January and February!

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January for Northern Lights

Want to be swept away by the stunning natural phenomena of the northern lights in Europe? Look no further than these top destinations.

57. Tromsø, Norway – one of the best places in Europe to visit in January for the northern lights

If you want to see the northern lights, Tromsø is absolutely #1 on this list of the best places to visit in Europe in January

If you haven’t yet marked down that Tromsø is the best place to visit in Europe in January, do it now ! World famous for its stunning displays of the aurora borealis ( otherwise known as the northern lights ), Tromsø is a dream destination for anyone looking to witness this natural phenomenon.

And January has some of the best chances for clear skies and optimal aurora visibility! The city also offers plenty of other winter activities, such as ice fishing and snowshoeing, as well as cultural experiences like visiting museums and trying traditional Norwegian cuisine.

I always recommend immersing yourself in the most unique cultural experiences possible, so instead of booking a fancy chalet, book a room in someone’s home instead.

Tromsø is home to very hospitable people who are willing to share their homes, their meals, and their hearts with you and it truly shouldn’t be missed!

58. Lapland, Finland – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for a winter wonderland scene

if you're looking for a winter wonderland, them Lapland, Finland needs to be on your personal list of the best places to visit in Europe in January

Ever wanted to see the purest form of a winter wonderland on Earth? Well, here’s your chance. Lapland, Finland is known worldwide for its stunning snow-covered landscapes, and January is the perfect time to visit.

Yes, it WILL be cold… but, you’ll get to experience dog sledding, reindeer safaris, and spending night after night soaking up all the amazing displays of the northern lights this region of the world has to offer. Don’t forget to dress warm though!

Lapland isn’t unfamiliar with extremely harsh temperatures, so a proper winter packing list should be by your side while preparing for your trip.

You can also attend the Finnish Ice Marathon, where you can participate or cheer on those who do! And last but not least, Lapland is home to Santa Claus Village – the best place to have a magical encounter with Old Saint Nick himself.

Trust us, it’s worth braving the cold for these unforgettable experiences and Lapland is absolutely one of the best countries to visit in January.

59. Svalbard, Norway – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for the northern lights

tour europe in january

A dream destination of mine ( I’ve actually been looking at flights here recently ), Svalbard is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world, located between Norway and the North Pole.

In January, you’ll find it blanketed in snow, but mostly ice, making for a unique winter wonderland experience with opportunities to see polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.

And don’t miss out on the chance to witness the incredible northern lights dancing overhead! It’s easily one of the best things to do in Europe in January!

Locals here will tell you all about the polar bears that roam free and how to heat your home in consistent negative temperatures for weeks on end.

If you’re looking for once-in-a-lifetime European experiences , Svalbard is highly recommended as one of the best places to visit in Europe in January!

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January for Incredible Scenery

Whether you’re roaming the green hills of the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland or hiking through the snow-capped Swiss Alps, January offers incredible scenery in Europe.

60. Sligo, Ireland

Sligo is quite remote but insanely beautiful and far fewer tourists than the Cliffs of Moher, making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

If you want to know where to go in January in Europe, a trip to Sligo will not disappoint. With its stunningly tall Slieve League cliffs and beautiful coastal scenery, Sligo offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Plus, with its remote location in the northern communities of County Donegal, Sligo is often overlooked by tourists – which means you’ll get to enjoy all the best sights and sounds without having to deal with crowds!

Take a day trip to the Sligo Cliffs ( which happen to be nearly 2.5x higher than the ever-so-popular Cliffs of Moher ) before practicing your photography skills (hint: a wide lens is highly recommended!) Just be sure to bundle up before you go out exploring this stunning, yet incredibly cold Irish gem.

61. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik may not be as warm as you might think, but it is nevertheless so beautiful and definitely deserves to be on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January

The popular tourist destination known as “the Pearl of the Adriatic” is just as beautiful in the colder months.

The winter season offers fewer crowds and a quieter atmosphere, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the stunning medieval walls and architecture of Old Town Dubrovnik. Plus, January falls within the city’s winter festival season, featuring events such as the Winter Festival and Christmas Market.

While not as warm as in other parts of Europe with temperatures in the upper-40s Fahrenheit, the mild winter temperatures make for perfect weather to explore the city on foot ( just be sure to grab a mug of some rakija to keep you going ).

And, with Dubrovnik’s manageable size, visitors can easily see all the best sights in just a few days making it one of the good places to visit in Europe in January.

62. Cotswolds, England

The lesser known Cotswolds offer truly unique beauty making them one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

Found amidst England’s southwest region, the Cotswolds are made up of rolling hills, cozy villages, and stunning gardens. January is the perfect time to visit as the crowds from peak season have died down and you can truly appreciate the region’s charm.

Be sure to check out Bibury, a village known for its picturesque row of cottages on the River Coln, or explore some of the many English gardens lining the streets. Come wintertime, temperatures have dropped but the region still receives sunshine ( though it is on the less frequent occasion ) and is overflowing with friendly locals in all the pubs and cafes.

If you’re wondering where is best to go in Europe in January for a local getaway void of wandering tourists but full of charm, the Cotswolds should be high on your list.

63. Kotor, Montenegro – one of the best places to visit in Europe in January to get the best travel deals

tour europe in january

Just south of Croatia brings us to the smaller western European country of Montenegro where we can find the charming city of Kotor. January brings mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making it a perfect time to explore the Old Town and visit the nearby Kotor Beach.

With unique cuisine options including the traditional Brav u Mlijeku or the famous Montenegrin smoked ham, Pršut, Kotor offers special culinary experiences for any traveler.

Come January, Kotor’s off-season sets in which means amazing photographs of the dramatic landscape of Montenegro.

Use this stunning city set in the mountains as an arrival and departure point for reaching the amazing Bay of Kotor or the beautiful Durmitor National Park, or simply indulge in the uniqueness of this stunning Balkan country!

64. Isle of Skye, England – one of the most remote places to visit in Europe in January

The Isle of Skye is among the most beautiful and best places to visit in Europe in January

Situated in the far northwest of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Skye is one place that winter enthusiasts dream about. Known for its dramatic landscapes, including the towering cliffs of the Quiraing and the fairy pools of Glenbrittle, this small island is best explored during the chilly months.

In January, you can also experience the Isle of Skye in all its winter glory with potential snowfall adding to the already breathtaking scenery. While you’re there, be sure to try the fresh seafood like salted cod, or you could stick to the classics like English black pudding and traditionally made tea biscuits.

The Isle of Skye is one of the most unique places to visit in Europe in January as it’s not a place that most tourists typically consider. It’s remote and tucked away on the edge of the Norweigan Sea, making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in the winter in our opinion!

65. Le Havre, France

tour europe in january

If you’re looking for a place to visit in Europe in January that has plenty of things to do, Le Havre, France is a great option. This iconic fishing town is located in the vibrant Normandy region of France and is home to some fantastic seafood restaurants.

Plus, the Perret show flat – a museum showcasing the lifestyle and designers of the 1950s – is well worth a visit. And don’t forget the beautiful beaches!

This is one of the best regions in France for photographers aiming to get a glimpse of old-time France, so don’t forget your camera if this sounds like something you’d like to capture.

66. Donegal, Ireland

Remote Donegal earns its place on this list of best places to visit in Europe in January for its vibrant culture

Donegal is located in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland ( it’s in the northern part of the Republic, not to be confused with Northern Ireland… ) and is known for its Donegal tweed, which is made from the wool of local sheep by hand.

Known for its cultural traditions, the historic town of Donegal is also home to Donegal Castle and the Slieve League Cliffs, which are less than an hour away by car. It’s also one of the best stops to pick up some traditional Irish souvenirs !

On those brisk winter days, what could be better than a seaside location like Donegal? And with its beautiful Irish heritage on full display, this is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe.

And if you’re a fan of seaside towns, you’ll love Donegal’s location directly on the Atlantic coast – perfect for watching those winter storms! If you want to know where to go in January in Europe, Donegal offers the perfect getaway from the more popular European cities.

Just be sure to pack warm for Ireland as this region of the island nation gets quite chilly by the time the fall months set in!

67. Étretat, France

tour europe in january

If you’re in dying need of a beautiful European town to visit this January, then you have to check out Étretat, France .

This charming seaside village is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the country ( ever heard of the magnificent L’Aiguille or the Needle natural rock formation? ), and its hospitable locals make it a great place to relax and take in the fresh air that comes with the late winter months.

Plus, with its chilly weather and affordable prices, Étretat is a perfect destination for budget-minded travelers. Art enthusiasts should also consider Étretat as it was once the home of the famous French artist, Claude Monet!

So if you’re looking for a winter escape that’s both picturesque and affordable, Étretat is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Europe in January.

68. Inverness, Scotland

tour europe in january

Of course, we included Edinburgh on this list ( I mean, seriously… what’s more beautiful than the capital of Scotland covered in white lights…? ), but have you ever considered visiting Inverness in the Scottish Highlands in January? Probably not.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s the best time to visit this charming city. Inverness is known for its stunning lochs and castles, like the famous Loch Ness and Cawdor Castle (yes, THE Cawdor Castle from Shakespeare’s Macbeth).

But what really sets Inverness apart in January is the annual Hogmanay celebration come New Years’ Eve when the whole town is ready to light those lanterns.

If you want to know some more destinations you should consider visiting for New Years, check out my article on the 25 Best Places in Europe for New Years Celebrations !

This always makes Inverness stand out as one of the best places in Europe to visit in January, but its truly the hospitable locals that get people to stay. Once you’re there, be sure to snuggle up in a cozy B&B with a traditional hot toddy and a good book on those cold winter nights!

69. Bristol, England

tour europe in january

Harbored in the United Kingdom’s southwest region along the Atlantic Coast, Bristol is one city that you probably didn’t expect to see on this list. So, why have we included it?

Well, for starters, the city is absolutely charming in the wintertime with its historic architectural beauty and cozy cafes. Plus, January brings about some of Bristol’s best events including the annual Festival of Ideas and the International Kite Festival.

Not to mention, the English coastline is known for its stunning wintery display of ice-covered mossy rocks and old-time taverns set against a constantly perilous cloudy landscape.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge also looks fierce when dusted with snow, so be prepared if you happen to visit during some snowfall.

Absolutely one of the best places to visit in Europe in winter, Bristol is one destination that you shouldn’t overlook!

70. Dingle, Ireland

tour europe in january

Ireland is a land of stunning beauty, with its rolling green hills and misty cliffs. And the best time to see it all? In winter, when the harsh weather brings out the best in the landscape. One great place to visit in Ireland during winter is Dingle, the heart of the Dingle Peninsula.

This region offers some of the most breathtaking views of the rugged Irish coastline in the entire country. Plus, January brings epic waves and mighty winds that make this region crazy to experience – but it’s also one of the most beautiful times to be there.

Dramatic views and scenic landscapes are abundant come winter, so if you’re looking for adventure and some unforgettable scenery, don’t forget that Dingle is one of the best cities to visit in Europe in the winter!

Visiting Dingle this winter? Here are the best places to stay on the Dingle Peninsula !

71. Doolin, Ireland

There's nothing better than seeing the Cliffs of Moher without tourists making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in January

If you’re looking for a charming, off-the-beaten-path town to visit in Europe in January, look no further than Doolin, Ireland. This quaint fishing village is located just south of Galway on Ireland’s western coastline and is full of hospitable locals who will make you feel right at home.

While it may be small, Doolin offers plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy during your stay. From exploring the stunning Cliffs of Moher to enjoying some of the best fish and chips at Russell’s Fishshop or beer at my favorite pub in Ireland ( Gus O’Connor’s ), there’s something for everyone in this little gem of a town.

So if you’re wondering where to go in January in Europe, be sure to add Doolin to your list!

72. Bergen, Norway

tour europe in january

If you’re looking for some snow-filled fun, head to Bergen in January. This charming city is known for its colorful wooden houses and stunning fjords, and during the winter it transforms into a winter wonderland!

Ski or snowboard on Mount Ulriken ( or take the cable car up for insane views ), go hunting for the aurora borealis, or indulge in some traditional Norwegian cuisine like lutefisk ( air-dried white fish ) or reindeer meat.

Don’t miss visiting the famous Bryggen area, a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of historic wooden buildings that were once part of the Hanseatic League trade empire.

73. Geiranger, Norway

if you want to see Norweigan fjords, Geiranger is obviously one of the best places to visit in Europe in January to see them all frozen over

Located at the head of the iconic Geirangerfjord, this stunning Nordic coastal town is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Europe in January. Well known for its waterfalls, including the Seven Sisters and the Suitor, Geiranger’s winter landscape only adds to its beauty when it turns to ice come wintertime.

Take a hike along Eagle Road for stunning views of the fjord or enjoy a leisurely drive through the breathtaking scenery ( just be sure to plan ahead for icy roads and snow! )

January also brings the small opportunity to spot orcas in their natural habitat when they come to hunt, but remember that there’s far less daylight during this time of the year so spotting them can be tricky.

As one of the best places in the world to visit in January, Geiranger is certainly not going to disappoint!

If you plan on traveling to Europe this winter, I highly recommend getting travel insurance . I used to travel without it, but after a trip where the airlines lost my luggage AND my flights got canceled and I ended up sleeping on an airport floor, I never travel without it now. SafetyWing is ridiculously affordable (we’re talking $42/month of travel affordable ), so it’s silly NOT to get it.

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snow covered brown, white, and gray concrete castle under cloudy skies

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Is Europe Too Cold in January?

While it’s true that Europe can get quite chilly in January, it’s not so cold that it’s unbearable. Having lived in Alaska through the winter consistently enduring temperatures well into the negative forties and fifties Fahrenheit, I promise you Europe is nothing like that.

Depending on where you go, you might experience snowfall and below-freezing temperatures, particularly in Northern Europe and the Alpine regions. However, if you pack the right winter gear, you can comfortably enjoy the stunning winter landscapes.

Southern Europe, on the other hand, enjoys a milder winter, with temperatures rarely dropping below the 40s and 50s, and almost never dropping below freezing during the day. Plus, many hotels and restaurants can get exceptionally cozy in the winter, offering a warm retreat after a day of exploring. So, no, Europe is not too cold in January—it’s just different, and that’s part of the charm!

Europe in January Weather

tour europe in january

January in Europe brings a diverse range of weather conditions, varying dramatically from one region to another. In Northern Europe, countries like Norway and Finland are blanketed by snow, with temperatures often plunging below freezing – providing an idyllic setting for winter sports enthusiasts or anyone seeking the ultimate winter wonderland destination.

The Alpine regions, including Switzerland and Austria, also experience a cold yet charming winter, perfect for skiing and snowboarding.

The Central and Eastern parts of Europe, such as Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, also witness cold temperatures, but seldom as extreme as their Northern counterparts. You may experience occasional snowfall, giving the cities a picturesque, frosted look. Overall, however, average temperatures remain bearable, rarely dipping below zero during the day.

Conversely, Southern Europe enjoys a much milder winter. Countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, and Greece experience milder temperatures ranging from the 40’s to 50’s Fahrenheit, occasionally even going higher.

The days are pleasantly cool, with plenty of sunshine, offering a winter experience that is quite different from the frosty north. So despite the month, there’s a perfect European destination waiting for you in January, regardless of your weather preference.

FAQ: Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

In this next section, I’m going to dive in to answering some questions for you that you’re sure to have when planning a winter trip to Europe!

If you still aren’t sure where you want to go, consider taking my winter travel quiz ! It’s aimed at helping you find the perfect winter destination based on your travel preferences and interests!

Is January a Good Time to Go to Europe?

tour europe in january

Absolutely, January can be a fantastic time to explore Europe! It’s the off-peak season which means fewer tourists and lower prices for flights and accommodations. Plus, the cooler weather is perfect for enjoying winter sports in places like Switzerland, the Czech Republic, or Norway.

For those looking for milder climates, the southern parts of Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece can provide pleasant temperatures and ample sunshine. In addition, many European cities embrace the winter season with festive holiday markets, outdoor ice rinks, and twinkling lights that create a magical atmosphere.

I personally found Europe to be at its peak come January (since I’m a massive fan of winter sports and après-ski life), so don’t let the fact that it’s the “off-season” turn you off from wanting to visit.

Should I Visit Europe in January?

January is a great time to visit Europe if you want to save money on flights and accommodations and explore with far fewer tourists around

You should absolutely visit Europe in January! January is a great time to visit Europe because the crowds are far smaller than in the busy summer months and the weather is still mild in most places.

You can also score great deals on accommodations and flights after the holidays, so it makes traveling to more expensive European countries obtainable for more travelers!

However, January can be very cold in northern Europe ( think: Germany, Poland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, etc. ), so be sure to pack warm clothes if you’re visiting that region.

tour europe in january

Which Country in Europe is Best to Visit in January?

Paris is so beautiful in the snow and should be on your list of cities to visit in Europe in winter

In our opinion, the best country in Europe to visit in January is the Algarve region of Portugal.

Public transportation is still in full operation ( though some schedules may be more limited ), you’ll experience mild temperatures perfect for exploring, and stunning sunrises and sunsets make a notable appearance without the influxes of thousands of tourists standing in the way of your camera.

You can still take amazing kayaking tours through the Benagil Caves or rent a jeep to take you to the best spot to watch the sunset over the Atlantic.

And while Portugal is very affordable anyway, you can still receive a cost break on many of the activities you decide to do as well as accommodations and travel bookings!

Portugal’s Algarve region is definitely at the top of our list of best places to visit in Europe in January.

What is the Warmest Part of Europe in January?

tour europe in january

The warmest part of Europe in January is usually the south-Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece.

The Canary Islands can also be warm during winter, with temperatures up to 18 degrees Celsius! If you’re looking for warmer parts of Europe in January then these areas are your best bet.

Of course, you should also take into account other factors such as cultural attractions and availability of accommodation when planning your trip.

Where is the Warmest Place to Travel in Europe in January?

Spain and Portugal are amongst the warmest European countries in winter

Spain and Portugal are the best places to visit in Europe in January if you’re looking for warm weather. They both have average temperatures of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in January. Other countries that are relatively warm in January include Italy, Greece, and Turkey.

For the warmest weather, consider Spain’s Canary Islands which have higher average temperatures around the low 70s Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius).

Overall, Spain and Portugal are two of the best places to travel in Europe in January for warm weather.

What European Country Should I Visit in January?

Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece are going to have the nicest warm weather in January

The best places to visit in Europe in January are those that offer the most pleasant weather for the activities that you would like to partake in. Countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece offer mild temperatures and sunny skies during the winter months of January and February.

But, if you would rather be shredding up the slopes on your skis or snowboarding in the mountains of Austria and Switzerland, that’s a fantastic option as well!

When it comes to the aurora borealis (or the northern lights as most people refer to them), Norway, Finland, and Iceland ( though Iceland isn’t technically in the European Union ) are the top contenders.

Should I Rent a Car for Europe in January?

If you happen to be visiting one of these best places to visit in Europe in January, then a rental car can be a great way to get around with a flexible schedule

Depending on where you are traveling, renting a car for Europe in January can be a great decision. If you are planning on going skiing in the Alps, then perhaps you should have some more experience driving in the snow before considering renting a car.

However, if you are visiting cities like Paris or Rome, it may be best to rely on public transportation as the roads can be quite crowded and navigating can be difficult.

Is Train Travel Better for Europe in January?

tour europe in january

If you aren’t super comfortable driving in winter conditions (particularly in countries where most cars are manual and they drive on the opposite side of the road and sit on the opposite side of the car – hello, Ireland ), then train travel in Europe can be a great substitution.

The trains in Europe are reliable, comfortable, and most importantly – they come with amazing views. Trains can also help you save money on accommodations as it’s easier to take overnight trains and sleep on the way to your destination instead of spending money on a hotel for just one night!

The Wrap-Up: Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

We also have some articles dedicated to the best places to visit in Europe in December , March , April , May , and July ! These may just be some of the best places to visit in Europe in 2023/2024.

January is a great time to visit Europe because you can enjoy mild temperatures and sunny skies in many countries, while also taking advantage of the festive atmosphere that comes with the holiday season.

If you’re looking for a winter getaway, consider Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, or Iceland! Each of these countries offers something special and unique that will make your January vacation unforgettable.

But, on this list of the best places to visit in Europe in January , they’re all pretty unique.

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Hey there! I'm Emily Concannon, a seasoned globetrotter who has backpacked her way across over a dozen European countries, immersing myself in the diverse cultures, languages, and cuisines of the region.

My passion for travel transcends personal experiences; I've spent years learning how to transform my globetrotting knowledge into personalized itineraries for fellow travelers worldwide.

With a tally of 26 countries (and counting!) under my belt, my day job involves extensive research on different countries which often leads me to booking a new adventure every chance I get!

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28 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January 2024

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Europe in January presents an offbeat time to explore! As the New Year begins, the continent is adorned with the remnants of the festive season, blanketed in snow, and brimming with cultural activities. Here are some of the best places to visit in Europe in January to check off cities, towns, and amazing festivals along the way.

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January | Best European Cities to Visit in January

tour europe in january

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The crisp winter air is invigorating, and the chilly temperatures are easily combated by the warmth of indoor cafés and museums in Europe in January. 

The landscapes and cityscapes become a winter wonderland, adding a touch of magic to iconic landmarks and hidden gems alike. While the more popular destinations have their charm, the quieter places provide a chance to experience Europe from a unique, unhurried perspective. 

Snowy bikes in Amsterdam the Netherlands: Best European cities to visit in January

You can cozy up in a cabin in the Scandinavian countryside, ski down the snow-capped Alps, or simply wander through Europe’s historic cities , where streets are quieter, and attractions are less crowded during this time! 

Regardless of the cold, January in Europe is marked by an array of exciting events such as winter carnivals, music festivals, and cultural celebrations.

So bundle up, pack your adventurous spirit, and embark on a journey that promises to be a feast for the senses. Europe in January is not just a destination, it’s an experience waiting to be savored.

Read: Europe in November | Europe in February | Best places to visit in Europe in winter

1. Paris, France | Romance, moody, and New Years!

  • Average temperatures: 3 to 8 degrees Celsius (37 to 46 F) 
  • January events/festivals:  
  • Where to stay: Hotel de Neuve by Happyculture (Marais)

Paris in January is quiet, cold, and cloudy, but that makes it amazing to find cheap flight tickets and accommodation. In fact, it is the cheapest time of the year to visit Paris! So why not book a room with an Eiffel Tower view and relax after the Christmas madness? 

With crowds gone and temperatures still relatively low, it’s an ideal place for romantic walks through its cobbled streets or to explore a variety of cultural attractions. 

Take some time to stroll around the Latin Quarter or Montmartre for stunning views of the city’s architecture. 

Then, explore some of Paris ‘s many museums such as The Louvre or Musee d’Orsay for a dose of art and culture.

When it comes to food, January is an ideal time to indulge in some French cuisine. Try the crepes with Nutella at one of the city’s famous cafes or have a gourmet meal at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants.

For something a bit different, consider visiting the Catacombs of Paris – an underground network of tunnels and caves filled with skulls and bones from centuries past. An eerie yet unforgettable experience!

Paris in the New Year is amazing too! 

Whether you’re looking for romance, culture, or art, there’s something to keep visitors entertained during their stay in Paris . 

🖤 Resources: Paris in a day | Amsterdam Paris Brussels itinerary

2. Edinburgh, Scotland | Festivals, whisky and a castle

  • Average temperatures: 4 to 5 degrees Celsius (39.2 to 41 F) 
  • January events/festivals: New Years, Hogmanay
  • Where to stay: Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge

Edinburgh in January is cold and a little gloomy, but the festive streets make up for it! 

A view of Edinburgh city center from Calton Hill, best places to visit in Europe in January

One of the biggest events in January is the Hogmanay, a traditional Scottish two-day celebration that starts on December 31st and ends in the early hours of January 1st. 

There are plenty of activities to enjoy during this time such as New Year’s Eve parties, concerts, and firework displays.

Other things to check out include visiting some whisky distilleries for a taste of Scotland’s famous national drink or exploring Edinburgh Castle for a glimpse of Scotland’s history. 

When it is too cold outside, you can hit museums and galleries such as the  National Museum of Scotland, The Writers’ Museum, and Camera Obscura & World of Illusions. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also join guided tours to some of the city’s hidden gems like secret gardens and underground tunnels.

The temperature during the month of January usually ranges from 4 to 5 degrees Celsius (39.2 to 41 F) so make sure you pack warm clothing!

🖤 Resources : 4 days in Scotland itinerary

3. Munich Bavaria, Germany | Three Kings Day, museums and cheapest time to travel

  • Average temperatures:   -2 to 4 degrees Celsius (28.4 to 39.2 F)
  • January events/festivals: Three Kings Day
  • Where to stay: Hotel München City Center

January is one of the cheapest times to visit Munich , as many people tend to stay away from the cold weather. The temperature usually ranges from -2 to 4 degrees Celsius (28.4 to 39.2 F). 

Odeonsplatz in Munich in Germany, during the snowstorm

One of the biggest events in January is Three Kings Day, a religious festival that celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem. This is an exciting time to be in Munich Bavaria as it’s vibrant and rich with cultural activities such as parades, music, and dance performances.

You can also explore some of the city’s historical sites like Munich Residenz or take a day trip to one of Bavaria’s beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle . 

Munich is also home to many world-class museums such as the Deutsches Museum, so don’t forget to add them to your Bavaria itinerary .

If you’re feeling a bit chilly, why not warm up with some traditional Bavarian food? Munich’s restaurants and pubs are full of hearty dishes such as schnitzel, pretzels, and sausages. 

Or just grab some coffee and cake and enjoy the city’s cozy atmosphere!

January may be cold but Munich is still a great place to visit for a unique cultural experience. From festive celebrations to historical sites, there’s always something for everyone in this charming German city . 

🖤 Resources: 3 days in Munich itinerary | Best places to visit in Germany in winter

4. Andorra | Extreme winter sports, skiing and more

  • Average temperatures: -2 to 1 degree Celsius (28.4 to 33.8 F)
  • January events/festivals: Ski Trip to Grandvalira Resort, Soldeu Andorra
  • Where to stay: Andorra Park Hotel

If you’re looking for a winter adventure, look no further than Andorra ! Located in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, it’s one of the most popular destinations for extreme winter sports.

The temperature during January usually ranges from -2 to 1 degree Celsius (28.4 to 33.8 F). With an altitude of about 1,500 meters (4,921 ft), Andorra is an ideal place to enjoy skiing and snowboarding.

You can also visit some of the best ski resorts in Europe like Grandvalira or Pal-Arinsal for a chance to explore Andorra’s beautiful mountain scenery. 

If you’re looking for something different, consider joining one of the many snowshoe tours or dog-sledding experiences available in the area.

Andorra is also home to some of Europe’s most beautiful and untouched nature spots, so don’t forget to check out its trails! 

January in Andorra may be cold, but it’s still a great time to visit for some exciting winter sports and breathtaking landscapes. 

🖤 Resources: One day in Andorra itinerary | Fun facts about Andorra

5. Monte Carlo, Monaco | Enjoy the winter sun

  • Average temperatures: 8 to 12 degrees Celsius (46 to 54 F)
  • January events/festivals: Ice skating at Port Hercules
  • Where to stay: Hôtel Nice Excelsior

For a pleasant winter trip head to the Principality of Monaco and its capital city Monte Carlo! It is relatively pleasant (around an average temperature of 11 degrees Celsius (51 F)) and is one of the warmest places to visit in Europe during this time of year.

One of the best things about visiting Monte Carlo in January is that you get to enjoy all the attractions without having to battle with crowds or high prices. This makes it the perfect place for a romantic getaway or just to relax and unwind.

You can also take part in some of the amazing activities such as ice skating at Port Hercules, taking a drive through Monaco’s famous Grand Prix circuit, or stroll along La Condamine and admire all the luxury shops and restaurants that line its streets.

Don’t forget to also check out some of the city’s iconic sites like the Prince’s Palace, Monaco Cathedral, or the Oceanographic Museum. 

January is a great time to visit Monte Carlo for its beautiful weather and take advantage of delicious cuisines at three-star Michelin restaurants. 

🖤 Resources: Milan to Monaco day trip

6. Prague, Czech Republic | Historical architecture and tasty local food

  • Average temperatures: -1 to 3 degrees Celsius (29 to 37 F)
  • January events/festivals: Prague Christmas Markets (until the first week of January)
  • Where to stay: Grandium Hotel Prague

Prague is one of the amazing European destinations to visit in January. It may be cold but it’s a great time to explore historical sites. 

The temperature averages around 0 degrees Celsius (32 F) and the city is much quieter during this time of year.

You get to explore Prague at your own pace without too many people crowding the streets, making it a great time for photography. 

You can also enjoy some of the cultural events and activities like the Prague Christmas Markets (open until the first week of January) or visit attractions such as Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.

When you’re feeling hungry, there are plenty of local restaurants serving up traditional Czech dishes such as goulash or trdelník (pastry roll). You can also find international restaurants that are a bit pricier, but still delicious.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, consider visiting one of Prague’s microbreweries for a taste of Czech beer. 

Or take a day trip to Kutna Hora to explore the famous Sedlec Ossuary and its unique decorations made from human bones. 

No matter what you choose to do, there’s always something interesting to explore in Prague in January! 

🖤 Resources: One Day in Prague | Where to stay in Prague first time

7. Zurich, Switzerland | Snowy Panoramas, Luxury Shopping and Culinary Delights

  • Average temperatures:   -1 to 4 degrees Celsius (30-39 F)
  • January events/festivals : Meh Suff! Winter Festival
  • Where to stay: Storchen , Hotel Adler

Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland , has its own unique charm in the month of January. This city offers breathtaking views of the nearby mountains in January. 

The cityscape, blanketed in a layer of pristine snow renders it an enchanting winter wonderland.

Apart from the scenic beauty, Zurich is a paradise for shoppers. The Bahnhofstrasse, one of the world’s most exclusive shopping avenues, is a must-visit. Here, you can find everything from high-end fashion brands to Swiss watches and chocolates.

For the adventurous at heart, the Uetliberg mountain offers a network of hiking trails. A brisk hike to the top will reward you with panoramic views of the city and the distant Alps. 

There are also many ice skating rinks in the city where you can enjoy the cool weather! Most of the rinks are open until the first week of March in Zurich and nearby areas. 

The temperature in January averages between -1 to 4 degrees Celsius (30-39 F), so don’t forget to pack warm clothes!

No trip to Zurich would be complete without tasting Swiss cuisine. Traditional dishes like fondue and raclette are especially comforting in the cold January weather.

With a rich cultural heritage, Zurich also offers many museums and art galleries to explore. The Kunsthaus Zurich is a treasure trove of modern and contemporary art that should not be missed. 

Meanwhile, the city’s vibrant nightlife promises a fun-filled end to your day.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an action-packed city break, Zurich in January offers something for everyone. 

🖤 Resources: 2 days in Zurich itinerary | Things to do in Zurich in winter

8. Amsterdam, Netherlands | Weather, Festivals, and Things to do

  • Average temperatures: 5 to 6 degrees Celsius (41 to 42.8 F)
  • January events/festivals: Amsterdam Light Festival
  • Where to stay: Ambassade Hotel

Amsterdam is cold and slightly wet in January, and you can expect average temperatures to be around 5 to 6 degrees Celsius (41 to 42.8 F) during the day. It can be a grey month for some but there’s plenty of activities to enjoy during your stay.

Amsterdam in winter

In December and January, the city centre lights up during Amsterdam Light Festival  – you can check out cool illuminations on foot, bike, or boat! It’s a great time to be in Amsterdam as the city comes alive with cultural events and markets.

Other activities to enjoy in January include winter sports like ice skating and skiing at nearby slopes or taking a scenic boat ride along the canals for a different perspective of the city. 

After dark, you can take in some of the nightlife in Amsterdam’s many bars, restaurants, and clubs. We enjoyed street food in the city too (yummy and affordable)!

Prefer to stay indoors? Consider visiting one of Amsterdam’s many museums such as the Rijksmuseum or Anne Frank House to learn more about the city’s culture and history. Don’t forget to book admission tickets ahead of time. 

🖤 Resources: Zaanse Schans Windmills tour | Best cities in the Netherlands

9. Tromsø, Norway | Northern Lights, and a Cool Winter Break

  • Average temperatures: -1 to -5 degrees Celsius (23 to 30 F) 
  • January events/festivals: Northern lights
  • Where to stay: Radisson Blu Hotel

January is a great month to visit Tromsø in Norway. This region offers some of the best views of the spectacular Northern Lights as well as a unique winter experience.

tour europe in january

The city itself is home to many cultural and historical attractions such as The Polar Museum and Tromso Arctic Cathedral. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy too, like skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. 

If you’re looking for some nightlife, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from. Plus, January is an ideal time to go on a whale-watching trip, with the chance to spot some of Norway’s iconic wildlife.

You can also get on the Fjellheisen Cable Car to experience the beauty of Tromsø from above.

Tromsø is a unique destination offering a great combination of outdoor activities and cultural attractions. 

🖤 Resources: Europe bucket list | Best Europe winter tours

10. Reykjavik, Iceland | Northern Lights, spas and unique activities

  • Average temperatures: -3 to 3 degrees Celsius (27 to 37 F) 
  • Where to stay: Center Hotels Plaza

Hit the capital city of Iceland in January! Reykjavik is cold and the city looks like a winter wonderland during this time of year, with snow-covered landscapes that are perfect for photography.

There are high chances of chasing Aurora Borealis in January – a phenomenon usually seen from October to late April . 

Reykjavik and nearby is one of the best spots to experience the Northern Lights, and you can join guided tours for an unforgettable experience.

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, consider joining winter expeditions to explore Iceland’s natural beauty such as lava tubes, ice caves, and more. 

Reykjavik makes for an amazing base to explore the Golden Circle in winter waterfalls on the southern coast, and beyond. 

Other popular activities include taking relaxing dips in hot springs , geothermal pools, or spas such as the Sky Lagoon , Blue Lagoon , and Secret Lagoon – but make sure to book in advance! 

You can also visit some of the unique museums like the Phallological Museum, or enjoy a show at the Harpa Concert Hall. 

🖤 Resources: Iceland winter tours | 3 days in Iceland itinerary

11. Lisbon, Portugal | Weather, festivals, and things to do

  • Average temperatures: 11 to 15 degrees Celsius (51.8 to 59 F)
  • January events/festivals: Pet Festival
  • Where to stay: InterContinental Lisbon, an IHG Hotel

Lisbon’s winter temperatures start to appear in December but January is still mild enough to explore the city. Average temperatures during this time range from 11 to 15 degrees Celsius (51.8 to 59 F), making it a comfortable place to visit even in winter.

If you’re visiting Lisbon in January, you will love to know that it is the cheapest month to fly, and with amazing deals on hotels and day tours you will be spoilt for choice. With fewer crowds, you can visit popular museums and historical centres with ease!

Lisbon is a haven for art enthusiasts, offering a plethora of galleries and museums. Immerse yourself in a unique cultural experience by visiting renowned establishments like the Castle of Sao Jorge, Jerónimos Monastery, or Centro Cultural de Belém. 

As you explore the vibrant art scene in Lisbon , you’ll find yourself surrounded by an array of captivating masterpieces that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage. 

Want to chill out instead? You can enjoy a romantic dinner by candlelight at one of Lisbon’s many traditional restaurants.

With mild weather, you can also embark on guided walking tours, quite comfortably! So take your time to wander through the charming streets, discovering hidden galleries and stumbling upon unexpected artistic gems.

🖤 Resources: 3 days in Lisbon itinerary | Best Lisbon souvenirs

12. London, UK | Beat the crowds, warm up to the cool weather

  • Average temperatures: 4 to 9 degrees Celsius (40 to 48 F)
  • January events/festivals: Blues Festival (multiple days/venues)
  • Where to stay: Sidney Victoria Hotel , Marriott Grosvenor Square

London winters can be dreary, but January can still provide some beautiful days. Average temperatures are around 7 to 8 degrees Celsius (44-46 F), making it the perfect time for a stroll through Hyde Park or a visit to one of London’ s many museums and galleries.

Tower Bridge and Tower Hill Dial in the snow, with City Hall in the background, London, UK

The city is bustling during this winter season, with a number of events and activities taking place including New Year’s, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (until 1st January), and January Blues Festival. 

If you’re looking for cultural activities, January is the perfect time to explore London’s iconic landmarks such as Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace. Plus there are lots of free museums and markets to check out when London is cool and wet. 

Or take an afternoon tea cruise (covered boat) along the Thames and marvel at the city’s stunning skyline.

Don’t forget to head to one of London’s many pubs and bars where you can sample some traditional English delicacies such as fish and chips or steak and kidney pie in the evening! 

🖤 Resources: London itinerary 4 days | England itinerary 10 days

13. Seville, Spain | Weather, festivals, and things to do

  • Average temperatures: 10 to 13 degrees Celsius (50 to 55 F)
  • January events/festivals: The Cavalcade of the Three Kings
  • Where to stay: Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Seville is a beautiful city all year round, but it’s particularly special in the winter months. The weather is overall very mild which makes outdoor sightseeing and exploring easy (as compared to the hot summer season). 

One of the best ways to enjoy Seville in January is by taking part in the Cavalcade of the Three Kings. On the 4th and the 5th of January, the cavalcade rides through the streets of Seville with lots of pomp and show bringing joy (and candies) to children. 

At other times of the month, you can explore the city’s many attractions including the stunning cathedral, Plaza de España, and Alcazar Palace. Plus, take advantage of Seville’s vibrant nightlife with plenty of tapas bars, restaurants, and live music venues to choose from. 

Take a stroll through one of Seville’s many parks or take a cruise on the River Guadalquivir – you won’t be disappointed with the stunning views. 

For those looking for something special, why not take a cooking class and learn to make traditional Spanish dishes like paella or tapas ?

🖤 Resources: 2 days in Seville itinerary | Where to stay in Seville first time

14. Dublin, Ireland | Perfect city break!

  • Average temperatures: 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 to 46.4 F)
  • January events/festivals: Dublin Holiday Show, Temple Bar TradFest
  • Where to stay:   Hendrick Smithfield

Dublin makes a great city break at all times of the year! January, although cold, the temperatures in Dublin are not super severe, with temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 to 46.4 F). 

Despite the chill, you can still enjoy plenty of activities and attractions during your stay.

Visit one of Dublin’s many museums or take a tour of iconic sights such as Phoenix Park or the Guinness Storehouse. You can also enjoy a traditional Irish evening at a pub with live music and dancing! 

If you’re looking to learn more about Dublin’s culture, then make sure to check out this annual five-day fete of music and culture in January (late January). Temple Bar TradFest attracts over 30,000 guests every year!

Don’t forget to pack a warm coat and gloves, as well as your best camera so you can capture the stunning sights. 

🖤 Resources: 2 days in Dublin itinerary | Belfast or Dublin

15. Rovaniemi, Finland | Winter Activities, Santa Claus Village

  • Average temperatures: – 30 to -15 degrees Celsius (- 22 to 5 F)
  • January events/festivals: Backcountry Skiing Adventure in Finland, Arctic Trek
  • Where to stay: Scandic Rovaniemi City

Europe in January doesn’t just have to be about BIG cities. Rovaniemi, Finland is a great place to visit for an unforgettable winter experience. 

Reindeer sleigh caravan in winter forest in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

Temperatures range from – 30 to -15 degrees Celsius (- 22 to 5 F) during the months of December and January, so make sure you pack your warmest coat!

The area around Rovaniemi is stunningly beautiful in the snow, and you can explore it on a number of activities. Take part in ice fishing or enjoy some cross-country skiing – Finland has many trails suitable for all levels of experience. 

You can even go husky sledding or take a snowmobile safari to get deeper into the forests and mountains in winter.

Christmas or not, you must pay a visit to the Santa Claus Village (located about 8 km or 4.9 miles) and enjoy the beautiful site. After New Year’s you can expect the crowds to disappear! 

So if you’re looking for an adventure and want to explore Europe in January – then make sure to add Rovaniemi, Finland to your list.

🖤 Resources: Best places to spend Christmas in Europe

16. The Algarve, Portugal | Warm weather, and plenty of things to do

  • Average temperatures: 12 to 17 degrees Celsius (53.6 to 62.6 F)
  • Where to stay: Marina Club Lagos Resort (Lagos)

The Algarve in Portugal can be a great place to visit in January. Although it is the coldest month, but with temperatures ranging from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius (53.6 to 62.6 F), you’ll still get plenty of sunshine during your stay.

The area has many beautiful beaches that are perfect for exploring – whether you’re looking for a more relaxed experience or want to take part in some of the activities on offer such as golfing, hiking, and mountain biking. You can swim at this time but with a wetsuit. 

And don’t forget to visit one of the Algarve’s many hidden coves and secret beaches!

There are tons of cute towns sprinkled all across the region, and with lovely cafes (minus the crowds) you will enjoy the wonderful views all to yourself!

The Algarve celebrates the Three Kings Day with grandeur in Silves. The celebration of St. Luis is also very popular in the small town of Querença. 

Also, check out the region’s festivals such as the  Al Mutamid Music Festival and other traditional events.

There are also plenty of historical and cultural attractions to explore, such as the castle in Silves or the old town centre in Faro.

So if you’re looking for a warmer destination in January – then the Algarve is definitely worth considering. With its beautiful scenery and wonderful festivals – Portugal is an amazing place to visit and explore during this time of year. Get ready for your perfect winter escape!

🖤 Resources: 10 days in Portugal itinerary | Portugal bucket list

17. Vaud, Switzerland | Hot air balloon festival at the Château-d’Oex, thermal baths, toboggan fun park, and snowboarding

  • Average temperatures:   -4 to 8 degrees Celsius (24.8 to 46 F)
  • January events/festivals: International hot air balloon festival, winter sports
  • Where to stay: Mandarin Oriental, Geneva

Vaud is a wonderful wine-producing region in Switzerland, located along Lake Geneva. 

Vaud Hot sir balloon festival

Typically average January temperatures range from -4 to 8 degrees Celsius (24.8 to 46 F). Although it may be cold, there are still plenty of activities you can enjoy while visiting throughout this month.

One of the biggest events in January is the International Hot Air Balloon Festival at Château-d’Oex, where you can witness a spectacular array of hot air balloons take flight. 

You can also visit the many thermal baths in Vaud for some relaxation or enjoy fun activities like tobogganing and snowboarding.

For those looking for nonadventurous activities, consider joining guided tours to some of the historical sites like the Château Chillon, or take a day trip to Lausanne for some shopping. 

You can also experience true Swiss hospitality by visiting some of the local restaurants and pubs serving up hearty dishes such as cheese fondue, and rösti.

From hot air balloons to thermal baths, there’s always something for everyone in this charming Swiss region. 

🖤 Resources: Best places to visit in Switzerland in winter | 5 days in Switzerland itinerary

18. Bruges, Belgium | Picturesque castles and canals

  • Average temperatures: 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (35 to 42 F)
  • January events/festivals: New Year Concert
  • Where to stay: Bryghia Hotel

Bruges is a small medieval city in the northwest of Belgium, and January is one of its best months to visit. The city’s cobblestone streets are as romantic as ever in wintertime, and the snow-capped canals make it a perfect backdrop for your photos.

The Grote Markt is a must see. This is where Christmas markets are set up, and up until New Year’s Day, you will also find an ice skating rink where you can hang out! 

Visit the stunning Belfry Tower for its breathtaking views of Bruges, or take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride around the city’s picturesque streets lined with historical buildings. 

With average temperatures ranging from 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (35 to 42 F) Bruges can be cold but still beautiful!

The canals also provide an opportunity to explore this unique city, however, keep in mind boat tours are not possible in January.  

If you’re looking for something more lively, Bruges is known for its beer, so be sure to sample some of the local ales! 

And if you love shopping, there’s no shortage of stores offering antiques, souvenirs, and tasty treats.

🖤 Resources: 3 days in Belgium itinerary | Brussels or Bruges

19. Dubrovnik, Croatia | Ancient walled city and minus the crowds

  • Average temperatures:   7 to 11 degrees Celsius (44 to 51 F)
  • January events/festivals: Dubrovnik Winter Festival (November to first week of January)
  • Where to stay: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

January is a great time to visit Dubrovnik as it’s less crowded and the weather is mild. 

Average temperatures range from 7 to 11 degrees Celsius (44 to 51 F), which is perfect for exploring the city’s winding streets and ancient walls.

Take in the views of the old town, or take a walk along the city’s walls to explore its medieval fortifications. For a truly unique experience, take a cable car up Mount Srd for panoramic views of Dubrovnik from above!

The city also has plenty of cultural attractions such as the Franciscan Monastery and Rector’s Palace, where you can learn about Dubrovnik’s history. There are also plenty of museums, churches, and galleries to check out.

Dubrovnik is known for its local cuisine, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample some of Croatia’s traditional dishes such as Ćevapi (sausages) or Bosanski lonac (meat and vegetable stew). 

🖤 Resources: Best Dubrovnik food tours | 10 days in Croatia itinerary

20. Canary Islands, Spain | Warm places to visit in Europe in January

  • Average temperatures: 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 69 F)
  • Where to stay: Hotel Tigaiga (Puerto de la Cruz)

If you’re looking for warmer temperatures in Europe, the Canary Islands are a great option. 

This archipelago is located just off the coast of Morocco and consists of seven main islands with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) in January – making it a perfect time to visit to escape the cold! 

Desert Landscape in Volcan Teide National Park, Tenerife, Canary Island, Spain

In the Canary Islands, you can explore stunning volcanoes, natural parks, and botanical gardens or discover the unique culture of each island. Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote is particularly known for its volcanic landscape!

Tenerife also boasts the distinction of hosting Spain’s most popular natural park and one of the world’s most frequented: the Teide National Park. 

Here you will also find the third tallest volcano on Earth and the highest peak in Spain, making it an idyllic getaway for nature enthusiasts seeking mesmerizing landscapes and awe-inspiring beauty.

Other than natural beauty, don’t forget to check out some of the local restaurants for a taste of traditional Canary Island cuisine such as papas arrugadas (boiled potatoes) served with mojo sauce or conejo en salmorejo (meat dish) – delicious!

You can also join local tours such as whale and dolphin watching (in January). And don’t miss out on the nightlife in Tenerife or Gran Canaria – there are plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from.

🖤 Resources: 10 days in Spain itinerary | Spain bucket list

21. Santorini, Greece | Moderate weather, food and fun!

By David & Intan from The World Travel Guy

  • Average temperatures: 9 to 14 degrees Celsius (49 to 57 F) 
  • January events/festivals: Feast of St. Basil (Ayios Vassilios)
  • Where to stay: Villa Dima or La Perla Villas

The island of Santorini Greece is famous for its beautiful white buildings, luxury hotels with infinity pools and hot tubs, and panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. This can be a great place to escape winter because Santorini has very moderate weather and it’s never truly cold.

Like many places in Greece, Santorini Island has amazing food, scenery, and more. It’s full of iconic sights, and many of the best things to do in Santorini are free, such as strolling the historic towns, taking pictures, relaxing on the beach, and seeing the sunset.

Even though there aren’t any white sand beaches in Santorini, there are lots of nice black sand beaches like Perissa, which also has high quality accommodation and restaurants. 

Two hotel choices to check out in Santorini are the Villa Dima , or the La Perla Villas (a luxury hotel in Oia).

You can get to Santorini or any of the Greek islands by flying from Athens or taking the ferry from Piraeus. Flying to Santorini is the easiest, fastest, and most expensive (but usually recommended) way to get there. 

There are direct flights to Santorini from many international cities in Europe, including Frankfurt, London, and Rome . The flight time to Santorini from Athens is only 45 minutes!

22. Syracuse, Italy | Escape the cold, and explore the rich historical town

By Steph from Big World Small Pockets

  • Average temperatures: 9 to 14 degrees Celsius (48 to 58 F) 
  • Where to stay: Maestranza72 or Maecò Ortigia B&B

Syracuse in Sicily is an amazing place to visit in Europe if you’re looking to escape the cold!

Situated in the southeastern corner of Italy ’s most southerly region – if you’re going to get the warmth anywhere in Europe during the colder months, it’ll be here! 

Historical houses facing the Mediterranean Sea on the island Ortigia, the oldest part of Syracuse town

But it’s not just the warmth that Syracuse (or Siracusa as it’s known in Italian) offers, because this amazing spot also boasts a UNESCO-listed old town, a gorgeous coastline, delicious local food (of course!), and some amazing day trips. All of these make visiting Syracuse undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Sicily .

The UNESCO-listed Old Town is called Ortigia and is actually an island, connected to the rest of the city by a bridge. Over 2500 years old, wandering the ancient streets here to marvel at the historic buildings and castle is a must. 

Boasting plenty of amazing restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars – don’t miss the sunset-watching, Aperol-sipping spot of Mikatu.

If you want to get away from the crowds, however, then heading on a day trip out of Syracuse is the way to go. Top picks include the Barque beauty of Noto – accessible by train in under an hour – or the white sand beach of Fontaine Bianche – reached by train in 20 minutes.

And when it comes to places to stay, the charming Maestranza72 , which is located in one of Ortigia’s historic buildings, is a great option. Maecò Ortigia B&B is another top pick with a slightly lower price tag.

🖤 Resources: 10 days in Italy itinerary | Best Italy souvenirs

23. Istanbul, Turkiye | History, food and beyond

By Paul from Anywhere We Roam

  • Average temperatures: 3 to 9 degrees Celsius (37 to 48 F) 
  • Where to stay: Pera Palace Hotel

With ancient churches, timeless mosques, grand baroque palaces, and a history that spans Greek, Persian, Roman, and Ottoman influences, Istanbul is an enchanting destination and the perfect European winter escape.

It’s a city that effortlessly combines respect for iconic historical attractions with vibrant neighborhoods that burst with young energy.

Winter, when the crowds are fewer and the summer heat has rescinded, is one of the best times to visit the attractions of Istanbul .

Explore the atmospheric Hagia Sofia and experience centuries of history in the largest interior space in the world. 

As the centre of great religions and empires over the eons, Christian murals look down to Islamic prayer niches with inscriptions by Crusaders etched into railings.

Be intoxicated by the Grand Bazaar built by the Ottomans shortly after they conquered the city in 1453. Today, it’s still an endless hubbub of activity and a great way to warm up in winter. 

For a more serene experience go to a Whirling Dervish ceremony to see the ancient Mevelvi order enchant the crowds with their flowing ritual dance.

Book a stylish stay at the Pera Palace Hotel , one of the finest in Istanbul. The magnificent old building is adorned with neoclassical, art nouveau, and oriental styles with 3 restaurants and a world class spa. It’s the ideal place for an indulgent stay in an excellent location within the centre of Istanbul.

24. Copenhagen, Denmark | Sightseeing and cultural attractions

  • Average temperatures: -1 to 3 degrees Celsius (31 to 38 F) 
  • January events/festivals: Fashion Week 
  • Where to stay: Tivoli Hotel

January in Copenhagen is cold, yet the city brings its own unique charm during winter, with plenty of activities to enjoy. 

Since this is a relatively quiet time of year for tourists, you can take advantage of some great deals on hotels and restaurants. Plus, there are many cultural attractions to explore in Denmark’s UNESCO’s World Capital of Architecture.

If you’re a bit of a history buff, take in the sights and sounds of Copenhagen’s historical center. Or wander around Nyhavn for great views of the city from the harbor (just remember to layer on). 

Those looking for some cultural activities, try visiting one of Copenhagen’s many art galleries or museums, such as The David Collection or the National Museum of Denmark.

Trivoli Gardens are amazing all year, and this is where Santa arrives and Christmas markets are set up in December, and they stay open until the first week of January. 

Copenhagen Light Festival takes place in February, so if you are visiting the Danish capital towards the end of January, we recommend sticking around for an extra week or so to experience the event. 

Whatever your interests are, there’s something to keep you entertained during the winter months in Copenhagen. From educational and cultural attractions to outdoor activities and sightseeing – with its fairytale-like setting, this city will take your breath away! 

25. Kotor Montenegro | Old town charm with warm weather

  • Average temperatures: 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (41 to 46 F)
  • January events/festivals: Tripun Day Festival
  • Where to stay: Hotel Porto In

Kotor in Montenegro is a picturesque old town located on the Bay of Kotor. January is one of the best months to visit as there are fewer crowds and the weather is mild. 

Kotor old town in Montenegro under the snow

January celebrates the Tripun Day Festival in honor of their patron saint (Saint Tripun), towards the end of the month.

Average temperatures range from 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (41 to 46 F), and it is so much better than hot scorching summer months for sightseeing. 

The old town itself feels like you stepped back in time, with cobblestone streets, old churches, and breathtaking views of the bay. Take a stroll through the city’s winding streets or take a hike up the nearby mountainside for some amazing views of Kotor from above.

Be sure to visit some of Kotor’s traditional restaurants offering delicious Montenegrin cuisine such as ćevapi (grilled minced meat) and pršut (smoked ham). 

Or stay in and enjoy some of the local dishes such as burek (savory pastries with beef or cheese filling) or sarma (cabbage rolls filled with minced meat).

January is also a great time to visit nearby sights such as Perast, a small coastal town just 12 km (7.4 miles) away. Here you can explore its many churches, picturesque streets, and spectacular views of the bay.

🖤 Resources: 2 weeks in Balkans | Best Balkan tour packages

26. Granada, Spain | Warm weather, photography, and wonderful city break

By Alyssa from An apple and a Plane

  • Average temperatures: 2 to 12 degrees Celsius (36 to 54 F) 
  • January events/festivals: Celebrations of Three Kings
  • Where to stay: Alhambra Palace

Granada, Spain is one of those cities visitors find near and dear to their hearts.  Whether it’s the historic neighborhoods, gorgeous narrow streets with restaurants beneath twinkling lights, or the famous Alhambra, it is truly a can’t-miss destination while traveling through Spain. 

Its prime location in the Andalucia region of Spain makes it easily accessible to other historic neighboring cities such as Cordoba and Seville.  

The Alhambra achieved UNESCO World Heritage status in 1984.  It was originally created as a palace, fortress, and city- all in one!  

Only a certain number of visitors are permitted to enter each day, so be sure to book tickets online in advance. A passport as identification is checked at the entrance to make sure it matches your booking ticket.

While visitors flock to Granada to visit Alhambra, (for good reason!) there’s certainly more reason to stay!  

Check out the famous neighborhoods of Albaicin and Sacromonte.  Many free walking tours take you through both neighborhoods and will provide an in-depth discussion on the importance of these places.  

With its hillside location facing the Alhambra, one of the city’s best sunset locations can be found in Albaicin at the Mirador de San Nicolas.  

Consider staying at Alhambra Palace for an excellent location and remarkable views of the Alhambra. 

🖤 Resources: One week in Spain itinerary | Day trips from Seville Spain

27. Valletta, Malta | Warm city break with amazing sights

By Moumita and Sankha from Chasing the Long Road

  • Average temperatures: 9 to 16 degrees Celsius (49 to 60 F) 
  • January events/festivals: Valletta Baroque Festival
  • Where to stay: La Falconeria Hotel

Malta is a small island country in the Mediterranean Sea, famous for its pristine beaches, all-year-round warm climate, historic towns, and delicious local cuisines. There are plenty of lovely places to visit in Malta for a perfect European gateway in winter. 

tour europe in january

During this time, the weather is much warmer than in the rest of the European countries, with sunny days and mostly clear blue skies. 

Start your Maltese adventure with a visit to the fortified city of Valletta. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and the capital city of Malta. 

Wander around the winding streets of this historic city to marvel at the lovely photogenic architecture. 

A visit to St John’s Co-Cathedral is an absolute must in the city. Founded in the 16th century, the incredibly ornate interior of the cathedral is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. 

Afterward, admire the breathtaking panoramic view of the picturesque Grand Harbour and the Three Cities from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Visitors gather here to watch the ceremonial gunfire that takes place daily at noon. 

There are plenty of luxury and budget hotels dotted around Valletta. We would recommend staying at La Falconeria Hotel , which lies very close to the city centre.

Also, take a day trip to explore the atmospheric walled city of Mdina, known as the silent city, and the neighboring historic town of Rabat. 

For a beach day, head towards Blue Lagoon on Comino Island or the Golden Sand Bay on the mainland. Both of them are fantastic spots for swimming and sunbathing.

28. Toulouse, France | Escape the cold and enjoy the delicious cuisines

By Kristin of Global Travel Escapades

  • Average temperatures: 2 to 10 degrees Celsius (36 to 49 F) 
  • January events/festivals: Festival Mondial de la Magie
  • Where to stay: Hôtel Mercure Toulouse Centre Saint-Georges

Another beautiful place to escape the cold is Toulouse, France. The city is the capital of the Occitanie region in the South of France and is known for its delicious culinary dishes!

Saint Nicolas V-th century church in Toulouse city center and Garonne river background, France

For example, the most famous dish that the city and region are widely recognized for is cassoulet. For those who don’t know, cassoulet is a slow-cooked stew that typically contains various types of meat, beans, and a few added vegetables! You’ll discover that almost every other restaurant serves the traditional local dish!

Along with participating in Toulouse’s French gastronomy, there are also lots of tourist attractions to check out. A few of the most popular ones include the Place du Capitole, Pont Neuf, and Cúpula de La Grave. 

And if you find yourself running out of places to visit in the city, consider visiting a nearby town! Toulouse is about an hour away from several other smaller French cities, such as the medieval town of Carcassonne !

So if you’re ready to pack your bags and escape the cold in Toulouse, be sure to check out the Hôtel Mercure Toulouse Centre Saint-Georges . It’s located right in the heart of the city and there are endless restaurants in the area to help you eat your way through the city! 

🖤 Resources: Best weekend trips from Paris

Travel Tips for Visiting Europe in January

Planning a trip to Europe in January can be a rewarding experience, with fewer crowds and amazing winter landscapes. However, it’s important to consider a few things to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

  • Dress Appropriately: Europe in January can get quite chilly with snow in many regions. Layering is important, so pack thermal clothing, warm sweaters, and a heavy coat, and don’t forget hats, gloves, and scarves. Waterproof footwear can also be helpful, especially in snowy areas.
  • Check Opening Times: Some attractions may have reduced hours or may even be closed in January, especially in smaller towns. It’s recommended to check the operating hours of the places you wish to visit in advance.
  • Plan for Shorter Days: Daylight hours are significantly shorter in winter. Plan your daytime activities accordingly to make the most of the daylight.
  • Stay Flexible: Winter weather can be unpredictable and could result in delays or even cancellations. Keep your plans flexible where possible and be prepared for potential changes.
  • Embrace Indoor Activities: If the weather gets too rough, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy in Europe, such as museums, art galleries, shopping, or simply enjoying local cuisine at a cozy café or restaurant.
  • Enjoy Winter Activities: Europe in January is a great time to engage in winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating. These can be a fun way to experience the European winter.
  • Travel Insurance: It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance, but it is especially important during winter travel when weather-related disruptions are more likely.

Get a free quote for Safety Wing Travel Insurance

Remember, with careful planning and the right mindset, a winter trip to Europe can be an unforgettable experience.

Europe in January is a picturesque snow canvas that boasts a unique blend of beauty and charm. Whether you’re cozying up in a cabin, exploring a quiet city, or taking on the slopes of the Alps, the continent’s allure is undeniable. 

There’s a certain magic in the air during winter – a blend of crisp air, bright snow, and twinkling lights – that adds a whole new dimension to the European experience. 

So wrap up warm, embrace the chill, and let Europe’s winter wonders captivate your heart. After all, there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ weather, only different kinds of good weather.

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Pin: Best European cities to visit in January

tour europe in january

Mayuri is the founder & editor of ToSomePlaceNew. An Indian-Canadian globetrotter, she has traveled to over 100 cities and 40+ countries.

Mayuri has a graduate degree in History and is an MBA. She loves traveling the world particularly Europe, capturing historical nuances, and discussing that over a cup of coffee with her husband, Salil. 

She has lived in Portugal, Canada and India.

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The Great Adventure Tour

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"The Vatican City is a principal centre of Christianity in the world. You will be able to visit St. Peter's Basilica." Ian, traveled in September 2023

10 Day Group Tour in Ancient Greece & Santorini with Cruise to Volcano Tour

10 Day Group Tour in Ancient Greece & Santorini with Cruise to Volcano

"Everything is average, not too bag, not too good." mike, traveled in July 2021
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Tour from Athens to Belgrade: 7 Balkan countries in 14 days Tour

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"The sites were beautiful and we saw a lot in the two weeks. I will always remember this region." Barbara, traveled in April 2024

Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre & Venice in 7 Days Tour

Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre & Venice in 7 Days

"nice experience. The tour was a great way to see the city." Raul, traveled in November 2019
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Tour from Athens to Dubrovnik or Split: 7 Balkan countries in 14 days Tour

Tour from Athens to Dubrovnik or Split: 7 Balkan countries in 14 days

"Best service, best deals." elisabeta, traveled in May 2023

European Inspiration (Start London, Classic, 19 Days) Tour

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"She had the best day plans and they are honestly what kept me on track! She was so incredible, I would go on a trip with her again right this second." Victoria, traveled in June 2023

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Timeless Cities in Modern Transportation: Turkey Unleashed 10 Day Tour

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Grand Classical Tour Of Greece plus Mani and Monemvasia (Small group - In depth culture/Historical/Nature/Culinary guided tour) Tour

Grand Classical Tour Of Greece plus Mani and Monemvasia (Small group - In depth culture/Historical/Nature/Culinary guided tour)

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Turkey Classics Tour Tour

Turkey Classics Tour

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Portugal: Lisbon, All-inclusive Algarve w/Douro valley cruise Tour

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Iberian Explorer (13 Days) Tour

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The 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

With all the excitement of Christmas and New Year’s , it’s easy to be so overwhelmed with everything going on that you completely forget what a great month January is for traveling . At this time of year, many of Europe’s most charismatic cities are deserted, meaning you can visit the iconic museums and see the famous landmarks without having to fight your way through crowds. 

There’s no way around it – most of Europe is pretty chilly in January. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ancient fairytale villages look even more magical when they’re covered in a light dusting of snow, and remote ski resorts provide a dynamic alternative if you want to get away from cosmopolitan life.

Whether you want to lounge on a sun-kissed beach and forget that winter even exists or embrace the enchanting season and explore medieval towns while feeling like you’re the only person in the world, January is a great time to travel throughout Europe. To help you plan the perfect winter escape, we’ve put together a fantastic selection of warm-weather destinations and winter wonderlands for you to check out!

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).

The 15 Best Places in Europe to Visit in January

1. tenerife, canary islands.

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in January: Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Canary Islands is one of your best options if you’re looking for warm European destinations in January. The volcanic archipelago is located closer to northwestern Africa than it is to mainland Spain, giving it a wonderful climate all year round. In January, temperatures rarely drop below 60°F (15°C), and they can often go as high as 70°F (21°C). If there’s a Calima sandstorm, temperatures can even spike up to a boiling 90°F (32°C).

Not only are the Canary Islands a fabulous place to visit in January because of the weather, but this special time of year is also when you’ll find the biggest Christmas celebrations. While Christmas Day is certainly acknowledged, the main festive event takes place on the eve of Epiphany (January 5).

What Places to Visit in Europe in January: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tenerife is a fantastic place to be at this time of year when cities throughout the island come to life in preparation to welcome the three kings. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the island’s capital city, the three kings arrive by helicopter and parade throughout the streets on camels, handing out gifts and sweets to children who have been well-behaved all year!

2. Belgrade, Serbia

Must Visit Places in Europe in January: Belgrade, Serbia

If New Year’s is your favorite celebration, spend January in Belgrade, Serbia. Not only will you be able to celebrate the typical New Year’s Day on January 1, but you’ll get to celebrate the beginning of the Serbian New Year on January 15, too.

Serbia is a largely Eastern Orthodox country that uses the Julian calendar as its liturgical calendar. This means locals in Belgrade celebrate Christmas Day on January 7 and New Year’s Day on January 15. They still celebrate on January 1, like the rest of the world, but they also get a second big party two weeks later.

Where to Vacation in Europe in January: Belgrade, Serbia

Because Christmas falls so late in Serbia, Christmas markets still abound in the first half of January. Republic Square, the main square in Belgrade, is where you’ll find one of the city’s best Christmas markets. Wander around the cute wooden huts and pick up all kinds of festive treats and souvenirs. 

On January 4, Serbian families traditionally burn oak branches on a big fire. Head to St. Sava Temple after sunset and see the unique Christmas Eve custom for yourself. 

3. Santorini, Greece

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January: Santorini, Greece

The Greek Islands are magical places to visit. But in summer, their alluring charm is tainted by the swarms of visitors which descend on the archipelago. If you want to experience the islands at their best, visit them out of season, when the sleepy coastal towns are mostly full of a small number of residents.

Out of all the islands, Santorini is one of the best European destinations in January. The Aegean jewel is pleasantly mild at this time of year, with temperatures ranging from lows of 48°F (9°C) to highs of 57°F (14°C). It may not be the warmest place in Europe, but the island hardly gets any rain and is bathed in plenty of sunshine throughout the month.

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in January: Santorini, Greece

Because so few people visit Santorini in January, it’s an excellent time to take in the most iconic sites. Spend lazy days on the island’s golden beaches, explore the ancient site of Akrotiri, check out the Thera ruins, and watch the sunset from a cute seafood restaurant by the sea.

4. Auvergne Region, France

Must Visit Places in Europe in January: Auvergne Region, France

If this time of year typically leaves you feeling gloomy, mix things up a bit and plan an alpine adventure. France’s Auvergne Region is one of the top locations in Europe for all kinds of adrenaline-pumping winter sports.

There’s the Mont-Dore Ski Resort for fast-paced skiing down soft snowy slopes, as well as Chastreix-Sancy for cross-country skiing if you fancy a bit of a challenge or don’t want to take things too fast just yet.

Where to Vacation in Europe in January: Auvergne Region, France

For something even tamer, consider snowshoeing across one of the trails that surround Puy de Dôme. This is the highest peak of the ancient Auvergne volcano range and rewards visitors with spectacular views. 

If you really want to get your heart racing, consider dog mushing or snow kiting. Both of these extreme winter sports are available in Le Lioran and Prabouré, respectively. 

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in January: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

There are loads of amazing festivals going on throughout Europe at this time of year, and you’ll find one of the most spectacular and spellbinding in the Netherlands . One of the best places to visit in Europe in January, Amsterdam hosts its remarkable Light Festival in winter.

This spectacular 53-day event begins at the start of December and continues until the end of January, giving you plenty of opportunities to check it out. No matter how many incredible Christmas lights you’ve seen before, you’ve never seen anything quite like what Amsterdam has to offer during its festival.

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

National and international artists flock to the city for the chance to show off their mind-bending work. Sculptures of all shapes, sizes, and designs are scattered throughout the city center and along the dreamy canals, all illuminated with the most wonderful lights. From giant butterflies floating on the canal to bizarre space-like objects that seem to hover in the sky, this festival will leave you questioning your eyes!

Experience the Amsterdam Light Festival

6. The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Must Visit Places in Europe in January: Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Iceland is at the top of many people’s bucket lists and if you’ve always wanted to go, consider booking flights for January. Although this is the darkest and coldest month of the year (Iceland only gets six hours of daylight, and temperatures typically drop as low as 30°F/-1°C), it’s also one of the quietest.

Hordes of people travel to Iceland to spend the holidays there. After New Year’s has come and gone, the place is practically empty, making it an excellent time to see the sights and explore. 

What Places Have Shoulder Season in Europe in January: Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Now is the time to trek through solid ice caves and hike over stunning rugged glaciers. It’s also the best month to relax in the steamy Blue Lagoon and snap unique selfies without a bunch of other people in the background.

Another added bonus is that January is a fantastic time to spot the Northern Lights. With wonderfully clear skies and plenty of dark hours, you’ve got a great chance of seeing this natural phenomenon.

7. Lapland, Finland

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January: Lapland, Finland

When it comes to where to go in Europe in January for a truly magical experience you’ll be telling people about for the rest of your life, you can’t go wrong with Lapland. While countless families flock there in December for the chance to celebrate Christmas with Santa, this place is shockingly quiet in January, making it a great spot to go for some peace and quiet.

With temperatures ranging between 16°F (-9°C) and 40°F (4°C), you’ve got to be able to brave the cold. But if you wrap up warm, you’ll have the chance to stay in a one-of-a-kind ice hotel. Lapland’s ice hotels are even more whimsical and majestic than you can imagine.

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in January: Lapland, Finland

Almost everything, from the walls and the floor to your bed and sofa, in your room will be made entirely out of ice. Thankfully, you’ll be given some super-soft animal furs and sleeping bags, so you don’t freeze at night! 

See the Lapland Northern Lights

8. Paphos, Cyprus

Where to Vacation in Europe in January: Paphos, Cyprus

Cyprus is absolutely packed with fascinating historic and mythical places to visit. If you’re interested in Greek mythology, you’ve got to take a trip to Aphrodite’s Rock in Paphos. This eye-catching natural wonder rises from the waves and is said to be the birthplace of the goddess of love. If you’re up for it, you can climb to the top of the rock and snap some amazing pictures of the surrounding landscape. 

If you’ve got zero interest in Greek mythology, Paphos is still worth visiting. This is the low season for the city, making it blissfully quiet. Popular sites that are usually buzzing with visitors are almost completely empty at this time of year, giving you the chance to admire ruins that date back as far as the Roman Empire, as well as the Tombs of the Kings, which was created in the 4th century.

Must Visit Places in Europe in January: Paphos, Cyprus

January is surprisingly mild in Paphos, with plenty of sunshine at highs of around 60°F (15°C). This weather is perfect for laid-back beach days without having to worry too much about getting burned. If you’re wondering where to go in Europe in January, Paphos is well worth a visit!

9. Zell am See, Austria

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in January: Zell am See, Austria

Definitely one of the best places in Europe to visit in January, Zell am See in Austria boasts some of the very best skiing opportunities on the continent. The perfect choice for total newbies, amateur skiers, and intermediate ones, the slopes here are a little more gentle than most other resorts, but they’re still plenty of fun.

Zell am See has a pretty low base at 2,500 feet, and the highest ski lift only takes you 6,600 feet into the sky. But if you’re just getting started with skiing, it’s ideal. January is one of the coldest months in the resort, so you can be guaranteed a fresh, thick layer of snow almost every day.

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January: Zell am See, Austria

What makes Zell am See extra special is its idyllic location at Lake Zell. When you’re riding the ski lift to the top of the slope or zooming down it at high speed, you’ll be rewarded with astounding views you won’t be able to take your eyes off. 

10. Lerwick, Scotland

Must Visit Places in Europe in January: Lerwick, Scotland

If you want to carry on the party that Christmas and New Year’s started, make plans to visit Lerwick, the main port in Scotland ’s Shetland Islands. Each January, this usually sleepy city comes to life with one of Europe’s biggest and most impressive fire festivals.

Known by the unusual name of Up Helly Aa , this one-of-a-kind event takes place on the last Tuesday in January and celebrates the local Viking heritage. More than 1,000 locals dress up in costumes that are unbelievably accurate and hurl genuine burning torches into a traditional Viking longship.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in Europe in January: Lerwick, Scotland

As well as the main event, the festival also includes live performances of traditional music. It’s great fun to see locals dressed in period clothing dance just like their ancestors would have done centuries ago. 

There’s also a dramatic torch-lit procession that precedes the torch throwing. The whole thing has a really eerie, Pagan feel, but it’s something you won’t experience anywhere else in the world! 

11. Tromsø, Norway

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January: Tromso, Norway

Spotting the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people. If you’ve got some vacation time to use at the start of the year, make plans to visit Europe in January. There are many different places you can spot the spectacular natural light show at this time of year, including Tromsø in Norway .

Most of the city is still in the polar night season in January, when the sun never rises above the horizon. This means most of your trip will be in darkness, giving you the best possible chance of spotting the Northern Lights. 

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in January: Tromso, Norway

Even if you don’t manage to see the stunning show, January is still an excellent time to visit Tromsø. The icy-cold weather at this time of year creates the ideal conditions for all kinds of fun winter sports and activities. 

Fill your to-do list with snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowboarding, skiing, whale watching, and whatever else takes your fancy. If the low temperatures get to be too much for you, you can always hide away in one of the city’s many public saunas. 

Search for the Tromsø Northern Lights

12. Snowdonia National Park, Wales

What Places Have Shoulder Season in Europe in January: Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Get a head start on Valentine’s Day and plan a romantic getaway with your partner to the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. While the rest of the world celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14, Wales celebrates it on January 25.

On this special day, known locally as St. Dwynwen’s Day, it’s tradition to give your special someone a Welsh love spoon to show them how much they mean to you. In the days leading up to the holiday, you’ll find these cute spoons in all the shops in the local area, so you won’t have to look far.

Where to Vacation in Europe in January: Snowdonia National Park, Wales

There are plenty of phenomenal things to do in the Snowdonia National Park during your visit, too. There are many stunning winter walking trails, the world’s fastest zipline, white water kayaking, horseback riding routes, and mountain biking treks, all of which are running throughout January.

13. Zermatt, Switzerland

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in January: Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt is one of the top spots for stretching your legs – it’s surprisingly walkable, even in the middle of winter. This makes it one of the best places to go in Europe in January, whether you’re planning on exploring the city or staying on the outskirts and discovering everything that nature has to offer.

As well as some of the finest snowboarding and skiing opportunities in Europe, Zermatt is also home to fantastic routes for snowshoeing. The scenery you’ll walk through is absolutely enchanting. Make sure you keep a lookout for the famous Matterhorn peak that stands proudly in the distance. 

What Places to Visit in Europe in January: Zermatt, Switzerland

If you’d prefer to move vertically instead of horizontally, the city also boasts some epic ice climbing. Ride the Swiss cable car all the way up to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Here you’ll find a phenomenal place with 14 icy glaciers, 38 rugged mountain peaks, and some of the most spectacular views you’ve ever laid eyes on.

14. Istria, Croatia

What Places Have Shoulder Season in Europe in January: Istria, Croatia

Istra is one of the few hidden gems that remain a well-kept secret in Europe. The biggest green oasis of the North Adriatic, this stunning vacation destination is the perfect place to visit if you’re craving some winter sunshine.

The weather may be a bit on the cool side in January (temperatures range between 45°F (7°C) and 55°F (13°C), but the blissfully blue skies and warm dazzling sunshine more than make up for it. When there’s absolutely no breeze, these temperatures can feel surprisingly warm and perfect for a day at the beach. 

Where to Vacation in Europe in January: Istria, Croatia

Most find the sea a little too cold for swimming at this time of year, but there are plenty of other things to do in Istria. Like a lot of places, January is the low season for this city, making it one of the best European destinations in January if you hate jostling in crowds.

Streets that are usually overflowing with people, such as the coastal avenues in Rovinj, are beautifully peaceful at this time of year, giving them a totally different vibe from the one most people experience. Amazing archaeological sites, such as Pula Arena, are also all but empty in January! 

Best Places to Visit in Europe in January: Malta

Malta is one of the best places in Europe to visit in January if you want somewhere with stunning sandy beaches, fascinating historical sites, and lively festivals you won’t be able to resist. At this time of year, the weather is warm and sunny, with lows of 48°F (9°C) at night and highs of 61°F (16°C) in the middle of the day. Rain is almost unheard of in January, but you can be sure of plenty of sunshine.

Valletta is one of the best cities to visit in Europe in January. This sleepy medieval town hosts its International Baroque Festival during this month which is something you’ve absolutely got to experience. During this annual 15-day event, all kinds of talented performers from around the world show off their talents at the ball. Expect to see people in lavish costumes performing shows that wouldn’t look out of place centuries ago.

What Places to Visit in Europe in January: Malta

As well as the fun festival, January is also an excellent time for hiking. As the weather is mild, you don’t need to set off early in the morning. Instead, you can follow the most popular routes, such as the Girgenti Country Trail and the Zurrieq Loop, whenever you choose to.

There you have it! The 15 best places to visit in Europe in January. What’s your favorite European destination to travel to in January?

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Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since. From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places. The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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15 of the Best Places To Visit in January in Europe: Skiing, Snow, Sun & City Breaks

Home » Destinations » Europe » 15 of the Best Places To Visit in January in Europe: Skiing, Snow, Sun & City Breaks

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Updated: 20th November 2023

Europe in January might not seem the most exciting prospect on paper. Christmas markets have closed, festive cheer has been replaced by New Year’s resolutions and, let’s be honest, we’re all ready to save some cash after December’s expenses. But that’s precisely why these picks are some of the best places to visit in Europe in January; they all promise the perfect post-Christmas rest and recharge. 

For some, that might mean starting the year by strapping on skis and hitting the slopes. If you’re feeling burned out, now is the perfect time for a cost-saving scenic spa getaway or to cosy up inside watching the northern lights. Maybe you just want a bit of winter sun or a cheeky city break away while the prices are lower? Yep, those off-season deals can be motivation enough to visit the best European destination in January.

Well, whatever you’re seeking from a start-of-year vacation, these are my suggestions of the best European countries to visit in January, broken down into skiing and snow, adventures, relaxation, city breaks and winter sun. And sure, some of Europe’s best cities, like Barcelona and Rome, might be a little lighter on crowds — these famous metropolises are never tourist-free — but instead of just listing the headliners as suggestions for slightly lower hotel rates, I’ve tried to focus on destinations with a compelling reason to visit in January.

In this article...

Best European ski and snow destinations in January

Many of Europe’s most popular January places are focused on snow and winter spots. You’ve got the slightly offbeat, such as Slovakia’s Tatras Mountains, and the old favourites, like Innsbruck in Austria , but the following three stand out for their own compelling and different reasons. Plus, you can usually snag some decent deals if you visit mid-month after the Christmas holidays are over but before February when the slopes can get busier again during the school holidays.

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Indulge with pristine pistes and après-ski in France’s fabulous winter wonderland, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. With over 3000 mountains — including the famed Mont Blanc — in this Swiss border-touching region, there’s a resort for all. Plus, France just seems to have the edge when it comes to skiing.

If you want to splurge, book a stay in one of the luxury ski chalets in Courchevel, arguably the region’s most upscale resort. Known for its Michelin-awarded restaurants and first-class boutiques, you’ll have plenty to pamper yourself away from the pistes of the world’s largest continuous ski area, Les 3 Vallées. Plus, January also often brings the best fresh powder.

But there are also some more budget-friendly options, with Le Semnoz being a solid choice for affordable ski passes. Another great reason to visit Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes for your skiing holiday in January rather than December or February is that you miss the school Christmas and half-term breaks. As such, it’s a much more adult-only affair, perfect for the all-important après-ski.

From the top of the mountain at Bansko Ski Resort

Bansko, Bulgaria

Bulgaria might not have the same international reputation as France for skiing, but that makes it the perfect pick. Bansko is one of the best places to go in Europe in January if you’re a beginner, budget-conscious, or both.

It’s actually where I first (attempted) to learn to ski, and even though my skiing trip in Bansko was a bit of a failure — I realised I’m more suited to the après than the actual skiing — I had no hard feelings; I’d paid the same for my whole weeks trip as the most expensive ski pass in the Alps.

Not only are the rentals, chair lift passes and accommodation options fairly priced, but you can actually base yourself in Bansko Old Town and then take a gondola up into the UNESCO-listed Pirin National Park, where the slopes are located, each morning. I loved this, as it meant I could experience the more traditional side of the country by staying in an actual lived-in town while also having the snow on my doorstep.

Enjoying the hot springs in Bansko, Bulgaria

Sierra Nevada, Spain

My final suggestion of the best places to visit in January in Europe for skiing is the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Spain.

While this isn’t the best-rated ski resort in Europe, it offers the chance for a much more rounded holiday as you can combine the slopes with visits to some of Spain’s best cities , such as Granada — the magnificent Alhambra looks spectacular when backed by the snowy peaks — or Seville, one of the warmest cities in Europe in January.

With more than 100 slopes (the highest tops out at 1200 metres) to choose from, more experienced and beginner skiers are served. There is also a cross-country track, which doesn’t require a ski pass. And, if you plan your visit for early January, you’ll be around for Three Kings Day on the 6th, which sees Spain’s Christmas celebrations kick-off with parades on the night before, followed by gift-giving on the actual El Día de los Reyes Magos.

Views across Granada's Alhambra

Where to go in January in Europe for adventures

Europe’s January snow isn’t only reserved for skiing; there are plenty of other adventures to enjoy across the continent if you visit the best European destination in January. From northern light explorations in the Arctic to snowmobile rides to remote villages, winter brings plenty of opportunities. Plus, you might still find some sunny hiking trails and roaring surf in Europe’s best beach destinations .

The aurora borealis put on a show above Luleå, Swedish-Lapland

Lapland and Nothern Nordics

Picking the best places to visit in January in Europe in the Nordics is challenging, as each country has similar offerings. As such, I’ve grouped them all together, as Lapland isn’t limited to the Santa Village of Rovaniemi in Finland but also stretches across Sweden and Norway. Budget can also be a factor in where you decide to visit, as having just come back from a couple of months up north, I can confidently say the exchange rate in Sweden makes it much more appealing than Norway for the cash-conscious.

Once you’ve made your way up and beyond the Arctic Circle, you’ll be in a true winter wonderland. Epic views on the Lofoten Islands, husky-sledding in Lapland, snowshoe hikes along Sweden’s King’s Trail, and cinematic rail rides to Norway’s most northerly points all bring awe alongside adventures. You can even sleep in igloos or check in at a hotel built of ice, often for a fraction of the price of coming for Christmas.

But what truly makes it one of the best places to go in January in Europe is the chance to spot the aurora borealis (northern lights) in all their glory. And while sightings aren’t guaranteed — January can mean some cloud cover — January 2024 is an especially good time to give it a shot, as the 11-year peak of the solar cycle is peaking in winter 23/24.

One of the most under-the-radar European destinations in January is Georgia. It’s well worth considering a trip to this gorgeous country and the Caucasus Mountains if you want to enjoy some adventures without breaking the bank. Plus, the Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7th, so you may get to see the all-dressed-up Alilo parade and traditional carols.

The main gateway to the country (and capital city), Tbilisi, is a delightful winter city break, with small terraces dotted with heaters and blankets to keep you cosy while sipping on the scrumptious Georgian wines and some of the best cuisine in the world. But for an adventure, it’s the Caucasus Mountains that call loudest.

Certainly, it’s worth knowing that snowfall is heavy up here, and some roads to remote communities can be shuttered due to weather. However, affordable ski resorts like Gudauri are always kept accessible. Here, you can also get an adrenaline hit on a snowmobiling adventure, paraglide over the snow-capped peaks, or strap on some winter hiking gear to tackle the trails around Kazbegi for epic views of Gergeti Trinity Church.

The big waves of Nazare are just one of Portugal's January adventures

One of the most all-round adventure destinations in Europe in January is Portugal. Can you think of many other places where you can ski, surf giant waves, and set off on a sunny hike across beaches in one weekend?

But that is precisely what my perfectly formed and compact chosen home country offers. In the Serra da Estrela mountain range, you’ll find mainland Portugal’s highest peak, Torre, and while it might be surprising, snow does fall here in the colder months. The small ski resort isn’t really much to shout about, but it can keep you entertained for a couple of days.

Then, along the coast, you’ve got surfing of epic proportions. The most impressive swell is in Nazare, where the world’s biggest waves are surfed by the pros, though there are plenty of more laid-back options, such as Sagres or Ericeira, to enjoy a less extreme surf camp.

And then you’ve got the hiking options. From the Algarve’s Fisherman’s Trail, a multi-day hiking route that clings to the coast, to the archipelagos of Madeira — with its soaring peaks and levada trails — and the Azores , where adventures abound, there are plenty of options. A bonus is that Madeira and the Algarve are two of the warmest European destinations in January.

Madeira's levada trails offer a great January combo of sun and hiking adventures

Best places to go in January in Europe for relaxation

If adventure isn’t exciting for you — let’s be honest, we all need some R&R post-Christmas — then there are some excellent places to visit in January in Europe to enjoy a pamper. From hot springs and healing baths to forested spa resorts far from the crowds, these European spots ensure that January is more about switching off and seeking out serenity.

Karlov Vary surrounded by forest

Karlov Vary, Czechia 

Tucked away in forest-heavy Bohemia, the adorable spa town of Karlovy Vary is one of the best European cities to visit in January to soothe your soul. It’s rare that I take spa breaks or visit retreats, but a couple of years back, I was craving some peace and pampering and ventured here on a whim, mainly driven by the competitive pricing of upscale hotels. And boy, am I glad I did.

Not only did I get to stay in two incredible resorts ( Retro Riverside Wellness Resort was a magical bolthole) shrouded by dense forests, but when I eventually tore myself away from the spa, I found an enchanting Old Town with a fascinating tradition.

You see, the warm healing waters that Karlov Vary is known for aren’t just used in treatments but are sipped on daily by the city’s residents. These traditional Spa cups (locally called Karlov Vary drinking cups) date back to the 17th century and are often carried around to and then filled up at one of the city’s free fountains. You’ll easily be able to get your own porcelain cup (it’s a great souvenir) from one of the market stalls or shops, so you can make a brew and sip tea as you explore the historical highlights before exploring the other more castle-heavy parts of the country such as South Bohemia .

Entering Iceland's Blue Lagoon on a dark January night was R&R101.

Iceland is one of the best countries to visit in Europe in January for multiple reasons, and it could easily fall into any of these categories. You’ll have the chance to chase the northern lights, enjoy underwater adventures as you snorkel between tectonic plates or hike atop glaciers, and witness waterfalls tumbling into snowy valleys, and the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Reykjavik are genuinely something to behold.

But Iceland in winter is particularly incredible for a little respite, as there is an abundance of spas, geothermal waters, and hot springs — such as the famous Blue Lagoon — to relax in. Slowing down is also almost forced upon you, as access to parts of the island can be restricted in the winter months, and the shorter days mean less time for outside exploration. Still, I absolutely adored the week I spent in Iceland over Christmas and New Year snowy break here, and in January, you might even snag a great deal.

If you prefer your waters colder, follow my lead and go snorkelling or diving in Iceland

Latvia’s Gauja National Park

Latvia is criminally overlooked, and while its vast swathes of forests and local obsession with getting out in nature make it a fantastic summer hiking destination, it’s also one of the best places to go in January for Northern Europe’s famed sauna culture without Finland’s price tag.

Saunas and bathhouses have been a staple in Latvian culture for centuries. There is no shortage of spa hotels, remote cabins, and luxury hotels in the country, and a sauna is pretty much guaranteed. So, if you want an affordable, relaxing and rejuvenating winter getaway, set your sights on this Baltic state.

Personally, I’d suggest getting out of Riga (it’s most magical at Christmas) and heading into Latvia’s pristine Gauja National Park. Not only is it postcard-perfect when snow coats the trees and trails, but there are some fantastic castles — such as Cēsis , where you’re given a candlelight to explore — when you’re taking a break from being pampered.

Amsterdam is just as magical in the colder months

Best European cities to visit in January

Once the Christmas markets have closed and the last of the mulled wine supped, Europe’s cities say farewell to festive cheer and instead welcome back fairer-priced hotels. It can also be one of the quietest months to visit popular destinations such as Venice (before the carnival in February) and over-touristered Dubrovnik in Croatia . On the flip side, warmer January cities, such as Lisbon and Seville, are still pretty popular. But beyond fewer crowds and more affordable flights, the best European city breaks in January offer a strong argument for visiting.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

The capital of The Netherlands is arguably one of the best European cities to visit in January. Not only do you have plenty of world-class museums to tour if rain showers come, but there’s still an enchanting air to the city, especially if the canals are frozen, and locals are out ice skating.

Adding to the magic of a January weekend break in Amsterdam is the Light Festival, which continues well into the middle of the month. Illuminated creations from global artists brighten the city’s canals and streets with a digital app guiding you to the twinkling and neon installations.

By day, you can explore Amsterdam’s excellent collections of museums, such as the extensive collection of the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh’s most impressive pieces, and the Rembrandt House collection.

San Sebastian beach early morning

San Sebastian (Donosia), Spain

Spain is one of the best countries to visit in January in Europe for a multitude of reasons. The sun is still shining in the Canary Islands, Granada has its ski slopes, and the 6th of January sees Christmas celebrations. But in the country’s verdant north, the Basque Country is hosting its festivities, and there’s no better place to experience them than in one of my favourite cities, the food-obsessed San Sebastián .

Already an absolute gastronomy mecca, thanks to being home to the Basque Culinary School, multiple Michelin star restaurants, and bar tops laden with pintxos — a Basque style of tapas — there’s never really a wrong time to visit the city. But the best dishes often come from underground, with invite-only gastronomic societies long being credited with creating some of the country’s best chefs. 

Luckily, as part of the lively Tamborrada drum festival (San Sebastián Day) on the 20th of January, these exclusive private culinary club kitchens open their doors to visitors, allowing anyone in town to take a peek into a members-only world. This is due to the parades accompanying the 24 hours of drumming (yep, you read that right) being a tradition of the societies and their members. Being one of the best European cities to visit in January for a well-timed visit, you’ll need to book your hotel well in advance.

Being invited to one of underground gastronomic societies was a highlight of my trip

Budapest, Hungary

While many people rave about Budapest, it’s not one of my favourite cities. Still, I can appreciate why so many people fall in love with it, and the many thermal baths across the city make it a decent choice for a January city break in Europe.

That means, once you’ve explored the city’s highlights — such as the Fisherman’s Bastion and the hulking parliament building — you can sink into some medicinal warm waters and relax. 

Széchenyi Baths, one of the largest in Europe, is most impressive, boasting more than a dozen indoor and outdoor pools. But there are plenty of smaller, more offbeat choices for a dip. What I found made the bathhouse culture so special in Budapest was that it wasn’t just tourists using them, but you’ll get a good insight into local life too, as people play chess and families get together to warm up in winter.

Budapest, with its multiple bath houses, makes for a great January city break

Warm European destinations in January

While there aren’t really any hot January destinations in Europe, there are some warmer spots where winter sun is likely, if not guaranteed. Still, even when you head south, it’s best to book prepared for some cloud cover or showers and understand that a ‘beach holiday’ in January does come with some risks. However, if you want a cheap-ish getaway to get away from the grey back home, these three are some of January’s best European beach destinations.

Praia de Odeceixe marks the border between the Algarve and the Alentejo on the Fisherman's Trail

The Algarve, Portugal

With a lot of personal experience of the Algarve in January — it’s home — I’d say it’s a pretty good bet. Even writing this article now in late November, I’m sitting outside basking in 20 degrees, and I often enjoy my Christmas dinner on a sun-kissed terrace.

Still, showers do come and go throughout the winter, although the most significant rainfall is usually recorded in December, with January usually hitting a pleasant 16 degrees in the daytime. But one of the reasons I love January so much is how peaceful it is. Many businesses in smaller villages close for their holidays around now, which can put some visitors off, meaning cliff-top hikes and afternoons on the beach are blissfully devoid of people.

It’s also one of the best places to visit in January in Europe as the hotels are heavily discounted at this time of the year; sometimes, I even take a little staycation to enjoy a 5* experience for less than €30 a night. Madeira and Porto Santo, Portugal’s more southerly islands, are also two more of Portugal’s best places to go in January in Europe for warmer climates.

If you're chasing winter sun, Malta is one of the best bets in Europe in January

A twin-island escape to Malta and Gozo, one of Europe’s smallest countries , will help you enjoy one of the warmest January destinations in Europe. Highs are usually around 15 degrees, and while there is rain, it’s usually only short showers every few days.

Alongside the fantastic beaches and great value January deals, there are also plenty of cultural attractions to enjoy if the weather does turn, such as exploring the underrated capital city of Valletta, a gorgeous mishmash of medieval sandstone buildings, or venturing inside museums spanning everything from archaeological sights to fine arts. For around three weeks in January, you can also enjoy the Valletta Baroque Festival, with a program of classical concerts in some of the island’s finest Baroque buildings.

Pin it: Best European destinations in January (Top: Bankso, Bottom: Lanzarote/Canva)

Canary Islands, Spain 

Spain’s Macaronesia islands are geographically in Africa, meaning you’ll certainly enjoy warmer weather than mainland Europe. In fact, the archipelago is one of the few places in Europe which regularly hits 20 degrees in winter.

Each of the eight main Canary Islands has its own personality, and while beaches are a common thread, you’ll want to research which island ticks your personal boxes. Arid Lanzarote is usually regarded as the hottest of the group, as it’s closest to the Sahara and has a wide variety of excellent beaches ranging from golden sands to red and volcanic black.

For more volcanic vistas, venture to the UNESCO-listed Teide National Park in Tenerife, the largest and perhaps most rounded Canary Islands, or enjoy a more offbeat experience in Fuerteventura, where there are fantastic winter wind sports, or El Hierro, the smallest and least visited isle. If you’re looking for the warmest European destinations in January, it doesn’t get much better than the Canaries.

Discover more of the best places to visit in Europe by season and month:

  • Best places to visit in Europe in winter
  • Best places to visit in April in Europe

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15 warmest places in Europe in January (2024 guide)

Amalfi Coast in Italy

What are the warmest places in Europe in January? 

As the festive season departs and the new year sets in, people around Northern Europe find themselves wondering if there’s somewhere they can go to escape the winter blues. 

Largely, people ask if there are any warm destinations in Europe in January which offer beautiful beaches and hours of sunshine every day!

If you’re finding yourself craving some January sunshine, I have good and bad news. 

Good news? There are plenty of places in Europe that have mild weather in January. 

Bad news? Nowhere is really hot in Europe in January – you won’t get sunbathing and sea swimming weather anywhere really – but there are plenty of places you can go that are warmer than say, London or New York. 

So, where are these places? Let’s dig in! 

Table of Contents

What’s the warmest place in Europe in January?

tour europe in january

I’d pinpoint the warmest place in Europe in January to be Tenerife . 

This Canary Island is in a southerly location, surrounded by sea, which means that it stays mild throughout the cooler months. 

Spain is the warmest country in Europe in January , too. 

This isn’t just because it’s home to the Canary Islands; the southern region (Andalucia) is usually very warm and sunny. 

I adore Spain in winter because not only are parts wonderfully sunny but you can also travel to its ski slopes relatively quickly.

It’s a wonderful combination of two of the best parts of winter in Europe!

January’s the depths of the winter season – the coolest month of the year in most places – but you can still find warm weather in a smattering of locations across Southern Europe. 

Check out my other posts about the warmest places in Europe across the winter months:

  • Warmest places to visit in Europe in November
  • Warmest places to visit in Europe in December
  • Warmest places to visit in Europe in February
  • Warmest places in Europe in March

1. Malaga, Spain

City of Malaga in Spain

When most of Europe is shivering, Malaga , sitting on Spain’s south coast, is home to an abundance of warmth and sunshine!

The capital of the Costa del Sol , Malaga averages a comfortable 17°C (63°F) in January.

We visited Malaga last January and loved the gentle warmth – it was balmy enough to sit on the rooftop of our hotel (Aperol spritz in hand!) and even take a quick dip in the pool. 

I also went for a swim in the Med at Malagueta Beach, but it was chilly! 

One of the city’s best things to do is the Alcazaba , an ancient fortress that looms over Malaga. It dates back to the 10th century when this area of Spain was Moorish-controlled. 

I couldn’t imagine walking up to the top fo the Alcazaba in the sweltering heat of the summer, but in January it was cool enough to walk around without working up a sweat.  

Nearby, Malagueta Beach is ideal for a picnic on the sands! 

The water may be too cool for a swim for many people (although I did go for a dip on New Year’s Day 2023!), but the beach is incredibly inviting.

Malaga’s terrace restaurants are ideal for the winter, with delicious al fresco local Andalusian cuisine. 

Delight in a plate of freshly caught seafood or traditional tapas as the Mediterranean sun shines down!

Fewer crowds in the winter months make it easier to secure a spot at popular attractions like the Picasso Museum and the Gibralfaro Castle too.

Check out my full guide to Malaga in January.

I visited Malaga last January with Jet2 Holidays . All packages are ATOL-protected and include flights (with hold luggage) and the hotel. Check out their offerings for THIS January !

2. Valletta, Malta

Looking out over Sliema on the island of Malta.

In January, Valletta, the capital city of Malta, averages a comfortable 15°C (59°F).

Right away, you’ll notice the Mediterranean Sea setting the backdrop for a city that refuses to hibernate through winter!

Want sun? You’ll get plenty.

Use those sun-soaked hours to wander the stone streets and grab a coffee at an open-air cafe, no winter coat needed!

Also, duck into St. John’s Co-Cathedral , a masterpiece of Baroque art. 

If history’s your thing, Fort St. Elmo is waiting.

Navigate its corridors and expansive walls; don’t forget to look out over the Grand Harbour. N

earby, the Upper Barrakka Gardens offer another perfect harbour view.

But don’t stay in the city; you’re on a glorious Mediterranean island, after all! 

Malta’s the perfect destination for beach hopping – visit Golden Bay where you can enjoy the bright beaches or horseriding or head to the south of the island to see beauty spots like the Blue Grott o and the ancient Hagar Qim site . 

Check out my full Malta winter guide.

3. Lisbon, Portugal

Yellow vintage tram on the street in Lisbon, Portugal. Famous travel destination

In January, Lisbon keeps the winter blues at bay with average temperatures around 15°C (59°F) .

January may be the coldest month, but there’s still sunshine to be found here – the sun often bathes the city’s historic neighbourhoods such as Alfama and Belém .

Slip into a cosy café, order a pastel de nata, and savour the sunlight streaming through the windows.

For history aficionados, the Jerónimos Monastery is a must-see. 

Walk through its intricate cloisters as you learn about its history from the 16th century. 

If you’re looking for an elevated view of the city, head to the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte viewpoint.

Snap a few photos; the panorama is spectacular.

 While the Atlantic Ocean might be too chilly (and choppy – winter is prime surf season!) there are sandy beaches just a short journey from Lisbon city centre.

Plus, you’ll find fresh seafood restaurants that deliver ocean flavours right to your plate.

I’ve visited Lisbon a few times , and my January trip was my favourite.

The capital can be far too hot in the summer season – it’s much more comfortable in the winter – and it’s less crowded too. 

It can be a bit rainier, but you’ll usually have plenty of sun, it’s just a bit cooler! 

Take a look at my full guide to visiting Lisbon in January.

4. Palermo, Sicily

Aerial view of Palermo with Church of the Gesu at sunset, Sicily, Italy

Chasing warmth in January? Head to Palermo! 

The temperature hovers around 16°C (61°F); it’s a mild escape from Europe’s harsher winter climates.

Sunshine is a common site in Palermo.

Use it to your advantage to explore Palermo Cathedral , an incredible building that dates back to early Christian times and has been modified throughout the Norman, Catalan-Gothic and Neoclassical eras. 

As you walk the ancient streets, consider grabbing a quick espresso or a Sicilian pastry at one of the many cafes – plenty of them have al-fresco seating, even in January! 

In the Norman Palace , you can wander through rooms adorned with mosaic artistry – don’t miss the Palatine Chapel.

From the palace, you can catch a glimpse of the Tyrrhenian Sea!

A leisurely walk along Mondello Beach is doable, even in January.

The sea may be too chilly for swimming, but it’s a stunning site throughout the seasons. 

Hungry? Try street-side arancini or more elaborate dishes in high-end restaurant; seafood is abundant, as are traditional Sicilian dishes.

Of course, you can take a trip out to other spots in Sicily; don’t miss the Valley of the Temples and Teatro Antico di Taormina. They’ll be much quieter in January than in the peak summer months!

5. Funchal, Madeira

Landscape of Madeira island - Portugal

Eyeing the charming town of Funchal for your winter trip?

Thanks to Madeira’s southern location, January temperatures average a comfy 18°C (64°F).

While November sees slightly warmer temperatures , January’s still inviting. 

It’s often sunny here, perfect for leisurely walks through the Madeira Botanical Garden .

Gaze at the exotic flora or take a cable car ride to get a bird’s-eye view of the city.

If you’re a wine enthusiast, you can’t miss a tour of a Madeira wine cellar.

Madeira’s also famous for its levada walks. “ Levadas ” are the island’s stone irrigation systems, many of which lead to epic viewpoints with panoramic views of Madeira’s nature.  

January’s perfect weather for hiking – it’s not too hot and not too cold!

Jet2 offer package trips to Madeira – so you can have a beach holiday even in January! Check out the best deals.

6. Ibiza, Spain

Cala d'Hort, Ibiza (Spain)

In January, the Balearic Island of Ibiza sheds its party persona to reveal a quieter, more authentic version of itself.

With warm temperatures around 15°C (59°F), you won’t be swimming, but you’ll be far from shivering.

November’s a fair bit warmer, but January’s climate is still ideal for outdoor activities!

Start with a visit to the UNESCO-listed Ibiza Town , rich in history and home to the Ibiza Cathedral.

Despite the cooler winter, you can still trek to the island’s various viewpoints.

The area around Es Vedrà offers spectacular vistas that remind you why Ibiza is more than just a party destination!

7. Limassol, Cyprus

LIMASSOL CYPRUS

Welcome to Limassol , where January boasts a mild Mediterranean climate with an average temperature of 17°C (63°F).

Venture to the coastline and you’ll see that outdoor activities aren’t just reserved for summer!

The waterfront promenade is an ideal place for a brisk walk, and the local cafes keep their doors open for you to enjoy a coffee with a sea view.

Got a taste for history?

Limassol Castle is a journey back in time – and it’s even more enjoyable when you don’t have to battle the heat.

If you prefer modern spots, hang out at the Limassol Marina which is home to an array of shops and restaurants that give you a glimpse of today’s Cyprus.

Take a seat, enjoy local meze platters (including fresh halloumi cheese) and seafood straight from the Mediterranean.

8. Seville, Spain

Enjoying some sunshine in Seville in November.

Seville in January is a stark contrast to the city’s sweltering summer months.

With a pleasant average temperature of around 16°C (61°F), you’re free to explore without feeling overwhelmed by heat!

January’s the coldest month in Seville – personally, November’s my favourite time to visit – but January’s still comfortable. 

Whenever you visit, Seville’s a glorious city with a staggering amount of history and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Wander through the Alcázar of Seville , where intricate Moorish designs await.

Or, explore the Jewish Quarter, a maze of narrow streets filled with history, small shops, and inviting cafes.

Plaza de Espana is open throughout the winter season; it’s a huge square with mosaics dedicated to each area of Spain. 

Finish your day by cheers-ing with a Spanish cava in a rooftop bar and basking in the warm winter sun! 

9. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

tour europe in january

Are you looking for the warmest place in Europe in January? Tenerife beckons ! 

Part of the Canary Island archipelago which is around 100 km from the West Coast of Africa, Tenerife is a volcanic island that basks in a subtropical climate. 

Unlike much of Europe in the winter, Tenerife is ideal for outdoor activities in winter.

Hiking trails, like those in Teide National Park , remain accessible and are the ideal setting for a winter adventure without snow boots!

If you’re into water sports, the wind conditions are excellent for kitesurfing and windsurfing .

While the Atlantic Ocean can be a bit cool for swimming, watersports are generally accessible provided you have a wetsuit. 

Then there are lava caves , which are open year-round – these were a highlight of my winter trip to Tenerife!

Gorgeous towns are abundant in Tenerife – my favourite was Icod de los Vinos in the north. 

Of course, if you just fancy spending a week in January kicking back in an all-inclusive resort, that’s an option too.  

Tenerife’s also a popular destination in December – check out my full guide.

10. Sorrento, Italy

Small fishing boats at harbor Marina Grande in Sorrento, Campania, Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Winter in Sorrento is quiet and more relaxed with mild temperatures around 15°C (59°F).

Although the city is a hit in summer, in winter the lack of crowds boast an uninterrupted view of Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples!

The cooler weather is excellent for touring Sorrento’s rich historical sites.

The Cathedral of Sorrento and the Museo Correale are less crowded. 

There are a few excellent day trips from Sorrento, too. 

In winter, Sorrento’s perfect for exploring the Amalfi Coast without the hordes of tourists .

You’ll find the drive along the coast less stressful, as the usually hectic roads are more navigable.

Towns like Positano and Amalfi offer a unique, quieter charm; without so many tourists, you’ll experience local culture a lot more.

Then there’s Pompeii , an ancient city that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

It’s located just a short train ride from Sorrento.

The advantage here is twofold: fewer crowds and milder temperatures.

While summer visits can be overwhelmingly hot, winter’s milder weather allows for a more comfortable time seeing the ancient ruins.

Wander through the Forum, imagine life in the amphitheatre, and study the remarkably preserved frescoes in the villas, all without the distraction of throngs of visitors.

11. Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Cagliari - capital of Sardinia. Sardegna wide angle view. Roofs and houses of biggest city in Sardinia island - Cagliari, Italy.

In Cagliari, January temperatures are comfortably mild, making this Sardinian capital an appealing European winter destination.

While there’s snow up in the mountains, Cagliari is by the coast, which makes the temperatures milder. 

There are plenty of hours of sun too! 

With lighter crowds, the historic district of Castello is a perfect setting for leisurely walks. 

You’ll find open-air markets, like the Mercato di San Benedetto, less crowded and full of winter produce—think juicy Sardinian oranges and fresh seafood!

If you’re into archaeology, Cagliari offers ample opportunities.

The prehistoric site of Su Nuraxi and the Roman Amphitheatre are awash with ancient history.

Visit these sites in January to have a more personalized, less hurried experience.

Even Poetto Beach, usually bustling in the summer months, takes on a quieter mood.

You may find it too cold for swimming, but the conditions are excellent for windsurfing if you’re up for an adventure!

12. Marbella, Spain

Marbella, Spain - December 21 2014: View of Plaza Altamirano, a pedestrian zone with bars and restaurants in the heart of the old town. The tower of the historic Greater Church of the Encarnacion is in the background.

The Spanish city of Marbella boasts an average temperature of 16°C (61°F) in January, setting it apart as a warm winter getaway.

Known for its high-end resorts and luxury shopping, the winter months are a more laid-back version of this usually buzzing town.

You can stroll through the Old Quarter with its narrow winding streets and traditional Andalusian architecture without jostling through crowds.

The Alameda Park and the Avenida del Mar are outdoor spaces you can enjoy year-round, but they are particularly pleasant during the mild winter.

These public spaces feature sculptures by Salvador Dalí and Eduardo Soriano , providing a touch of art as you wander.

January is a perfect month for golf enthusiasts. Marbella is home to some of the best golf courses in Europe, and winter provides optimal playing conditions with fewer players to contend with.

Plus, if you’re in Marbella at the start of January, enjoy Three King’s Day , which is the official end of Spanish Christmas. 

13. Fethiye, Turkey

Scenic view of ,in the centre of Fethiye, just behind the harbour, is Telmessos' 6000-seat Roman theatre dating from the 2nd century BC.

Looking for somewhere warm but affordable to enjoy a beach vacation in January? 

Look no further than Fethiye in Turkey ! 

In January, Fethiye boasts milder temperatures compared to much of Europe. 

The mild conditions are perfect for outdoor adventures without the oppressive heat of the summer months.

The Lycian Way , one of Turkey’s most famous hiking trails runs through Fethiye. While January’s a little rainy, it’s much quieter out of season. 

Local markets, such as the Tuesday Market, continue to operate in winter, albeit at a smaller scale.

You’ll encounter seasonal produce and traditional Turkish textiles – it feels a lot more authentic than the hectic summer months. 

The city’s ancient ruins, including the Tomb of Amyntas carved into the cliffs, are another opportunity to explore without throngs of tourists.

Although the boat tours to the nearby islands cease in winter, the quiet harborside takes on a charm of its own!

14. Mykonos, Greece

Traditional windmills on the beach in night illumination. Greece. Mykonos. Chora.

In January, the Greek Island of Mykonos completely transforms. 

Gone are the packed-out beach resorts and buzzing beach clubs, and in its place are mild temperatures and a relaxed pace of life. 

The average temperature hovers around 15°C (59°F), not quite warm enough for lazing on the beach but certainly mild enough for seeing the island’s highlights! 

The renowned windmills , which are usually surrounded by tourists during the summer, stand solitary against the winter sky.

You have the unique opportunity to capture these iconic structures in your photos without having to navigate through crowds.

Delve into local history by visiting the Folklore Museum or the Archaeological Museum , which remain open during the winter.

Are you a foodie? Mykonos offers a selection of local restaurants that stay open year-round; you’ll typically find that the local joints are the ones that stay open. 

15. Faro, Algarve

view of Faro is Faro Cathedral

Faro, the capital of Portugal’s Algarve region , is one of the warmest winter destinations on the continent, with temperatures around 17°C (62°F).

While it’s the gateway to the Algarve’s famed beaches, Faro itself has plenty to offer. 

The Old Town, with its cobblestone streets flanked by medieval architecture offers a subdued charm in January. 

If you venture into Arco da Vila , one of the city gates, you’ll find views that are unobstructed by the crowds common in warmer seasons.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park , a sprawling sanctuary of lagoons and islands, is ideal for a slie of nature. 

While swimming may not be on the agenda, the area becomes a haven for birdwatchers, as migratory species use the park as a resting stop.

Faro’s eateries also continue to operate.

Dishes like cataplana , a sumptuous seafood stew, or pastéis de nata , the famous custard tarts, are available without the long summer queues.

In fact, it’s often possible to walk into a restaurant and choose from the best tables, no reservation needed!

During the winter, several cultural venues, such as the Faro Jewish Heritage Centre and the Municipal Museum , become quiet spaces for absorbing local history and culture.

January’s cooler temperatures also make it an ideal time for hiking and biking around Faro, with several trails easily accessible. There’s no way you’d want to attempt these in the summer, but they’re perfect in January!

How to book your Europe January holiday

If you want to book a package holiday (flights and hotels on the same booking) from the UK I recommend Jet2 .

They offer winter sun beach holidays and city breaks.

All bookings include flights with hold luggage and the hotel and are fully ATOL protected.

They’re currently offering £50 off winter holidays, too!

Take a look at Jet2’s website here or click on the banner below.

tour europe in january

Tips for visiting Europe in January

Amalfi Coast in Italy

Here are some top tips for visiting these warm winter destinations in Europe in January! 

Take advantage of cheap flights

Flights to winter sun destinations can be extremely cheap in January. 

I holidayed in Lisbon a few years ago, but I remember my flight costing me £8 ($10)! 

You could factor in where you go on the cost of the flight. But do also consider the costs when you arrive, too. 

Don’t just pack shorts and flip-flops! 

Even if you’re off the the canaries, you’ll need a light jacket for the evenings and a rain mac for possible downpours. 

Remember that while winter temperatures can be mild in the daytime, they often drop at night. 

Pre-book excursions and attraction tickets

While it’s off-peak season in most of Europe, it’s actually the Canary Islands and Madeira’s peak seasons – they’re popular with people escaping chilly winter weather in Northern Europe. 

Plus, even places like Andalucia in Southern Spain can be busy. On our January trip to Malaga, we went on a sold-out tour of the Alcazar. 

I’d recommend using Get Your Guide to pre-book your tours and tickets. 

FAQs about Europe’s warmest destinations in January

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about warm winter destinations in Europe in January!

Lisbon sunset

Where in Europe is warmest in January?

The warmest places in Europe during January are usually in southern regions.

You’ll experience the most warmth in the Canary Islands, particularly in Tenerife and Las Palmas, where temperatures average around 17-18°C (63-64°F).

What European cities are hot in January?

While “hot” might be a stretch, certain cities are milder than others.

These include Malaga in Spain, Funchal in Madeira, Portugal, and Limassol in Cyprus, all boasting temperatures above 15°C (59°F).

Which places in Europe are warm in winter?

Southern European destinations are generally warmer in winter.

Consider the Canary Islands, the Madeira archipelago, or southern coastal cities like Malaga, Spain, and Limassol, Cyprus.

These locations maintain mild temperatures often above 15°C (59°F).

Where is hot and cheap in January?

Almeria in Spain or Alicante offer more budget-friendly options compared to other warm destinations.

Both cities have January temperatures averaging around 16°C (61°F), and accommodation and dining tend to be less expensive than in more tourist-heavy spots.

Which Canary Island is hottest in January?

Tenerife usually holds the title for the warmest Canary Island in January, with average temperatures around 18°C (64°F).

It’s followed closely by Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, also averaging around 17°C (63°F).

How warm are the Canary Islands in January?

The Canary Islands maintain a mild climate in January, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 18°C (59°F to 64°F). Tenerife and Las Palmas in Gran Canaria are among the warmest, both averaging around 17-18°C (63-64°F).

Are you ready for a warm January getaway?

These winter sun destinations are the ideal spots to kick off your new year! 

While the weather might not scream “beach holidays” with sunbathing every day, it’s the perfect time to walk around and see archaeological sites and historic towns. 

Whether you choose Tenerife or Sorrento, you’ll have a relaxing winter sun vacation in these Southern European destinations . 

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Claire Martin

Claire is an expert in exploring Europe in the winter! She's from the UK and has been to over 20 countries on the continent in the winter season. She loves every bit of Europe in the cooler months, including finding winter sunshine in Spain, skiing in the Alps and the charm of the Nordic countries in the festive season.

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Ten great winter holiday ideas in Europe

Nov 6, 2023 • 5 min read

tour europe in january

It's impossible not to hopelessly fall in love with some parts of Europe in winter © Getty Images

Here are 10 suggestions for quintessentially European things to see and do in the colder months.

Winter comes in many guises in Europe . In the polar north there’s serious snow, the northern lights and weeks without sun. Around the mild Mediterranean, you’ll find lingering warmth well into the season. And in the center of Europe: cozy cafe culture and halls decked with Christmas spirit.

It’s an inspiring time to visit grand cities, charming villages and cultural sites. With fewer queues, you can fit more into your itinerary, and off-season prices make European accommodation wallet-friendly in November, December, January and February. Using Europe’s train network you can explore countries at your leisure, and it’s easier to meet locals outside the often-frenetic summer tourist season. 

People walk through a lit up Christmas market in front of an elaborate church.

1. Drink glühwein at Christmas markets in Germany or Austria

December sees these romantic historic markets pop up all over Germany , Austria and other Central European nations. Expect cute stalls selling everything from gingerbread to sleigh bells, and plenty of good cheer, toasted with a glass of warming glühwein .

Top tip: Famous markets in Cologne , Vienna and Munich draw the tourist crowds, but seeking out ones in smaller towns is rewarding.

Bathers crowd Szechenyi Baths in Budapest on January 1st

2. Warm up at one of Budapest’s famous thermal bathhouses

Couples skating hand-in-hand, breath cloudy in the frosty air – there’s nowhere better for it than the enormous outdoor ice rink in Budapest’s picturesque central park, Városligeti Műjégpálya . Feeling chilly afterward? Hungary’s capital is famous for its ornate thermal baths .

Top tip: At night seek out a ‘ ruin pub ’– an atmospheric drinking venue artfully housed in a once-abandoned building.

3. Witness the northern lights in Abisko, Sweden

Located almost as far north as you can get in Europe on a train,  Abisko in Lapland is for lovers of serious winter. The sun doesn’t rise for several weeks in December and January, but that darkness makes it one of the world’s best places to view the majestic aurora borealis (northern lights). Other attractions include cross-country skiing along national park trails and husky mushing.

Top tip: Stop off at nearby Kiruna to see the famous Swedish Icehotel .

12 years old girl pulling a sledge on snow in forest. She walks uphill on a trail in a cold sunny winter day in Transylvania, Romania

4. Steel-gray skies set the mood in Transylvania, Romania

You can’t visit Dracula’s lair on a sunny day with lambs bleating in the fields, right? You want steel-gray skies, bare trees and a smattering of snow. Braşov and Sighişoara , two hours apart by rail, are gorgeous medieval towns with various connections to Vlad Ţepeş, the historical Dracula, though it’s doubtful he ever set foot in his so-called castle.

Top tip: Bram Stoker never visited Romania , so don’t expect many parallels with the book or films.

Low angle view of backpacker looking at La Giralda in Seville Cathedral against cloudy sky in cit

5. Bask in the sunshine in Andalucía, Spain

Some parts of Andalucía are further south than the African coast, so expect mild temperatures in winter . Accommodation is cheap and crowds are smaller at standout attractions like Granada’s Alhambra and Seville’s cathedral . Plus, tapas and nightlife in the cities are as enticing as ever.

Top tip: Head to the Sierra Nevada near Granada if you want snowsport action.

Woman looking at a temple on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece.

6. Have the best sites in Athens (almost) to yourself

It’s a real downer trying to Photoshop 500 people out of your would-be-prizewinning Parthenon photo, but during the winter in Athens , it’s not an issue. All summer stresses – crowding, tourist pricing, intense heat, queues, air pollution – more or less disappear. The average temperature during the winter is around 13ºC (55ºF). It’s the best time to explore the country’s ancient heritage and experience local culture.

Top tip: By all means do some island-hopping, but most accommodations close in winter.

Skier at the summit of a mountain in Slovakia; there is cloud cover below and a chairlift rising to the right.

7. Hit the slopes at Jasná, Slovakia’s best ski resort

Slovakia offers high-quality skiing at affordable prices . Accommodation and food are reasonable too, and there’s a friendliness that’s missing from some of the snootier Alpine slopes. Jasná is the best Slovakian resort, with long descents flanked by snow-laden spruce trees, set in the ruggedly lovely Tatras Mountains.

Top tip: Flights from the US direct to Slovakia can be pricey, so don’t make this your entry point to Europe.

A happy tourist woman enjoys the view to the beautiful Nyhavn area in Copenhagen, Denmark, during winter time with snow and Christmas decorations

8. Expect snow flurries and fairytales in Copenhagen, Denmark

For a fairytale European winter, it’s hard to beat the home of Hans Christian Andersen . Forget the over-hyped Little Mermaid and head to the city’s cozy bars and cafes to watch snow flurrying outside. In the heart of town, the 19th-century Tivoli amusement park is a romantic, kitsch delight around Christmastime, with heartwarming illuminations and body-warming mugs of glögg (mulled wine).

Top tip: Noma may have closed but Copenhagen still has an incredible restaurant scene. Go for broke at Alchemist , widely considered one of the world's best restaurants. (Book three months in advance and set aside 4–6 hours.)

People in Reindeer sledge caravan safari in winter forest in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

9. Visit the unofficial home of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland

Fistfuls of Christmas clichés characterize Rovaniemi , the ‘official’ terrestrial residence of Santa Claus. Everyone’s favorite bearded man hangs out in an atmospheric Arctic Circle grotto, and it’s free to visit him (but photos are another story). Snow and reindeer add festive spirit, while the Arktikum Museum gives insights into life at these latitudes.

Top tip: Finnish thermometers have more numbers below 32°F (0°C) than above, so pack serious winter clothing.

People in masks and Venetians costumes look into the camera.

10. Be seduced by the incredible Carnival in Venice

Hauntingly beautiful and rather weird, Venice’s Carnival in February is a European highlight. Elaborate costumes and spooky masks bring the canal city’s colorful history to life. Costumed dances are pricey affairs, but you can have a ball enjoying the free events with a mask bought on the street – just be prepared for epic crowding.

Top tip: Book accommodation well ahead. Day-tripping in and out on a train will considerably lower costs.

This article was first published Sep 19, 2019 and updated Nov 6, 2023.

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12 Best Europe destinations in January of 2024

Europe isn’t known for great weather in January, but most of the popular cities are warmer and nicer than you might expect. You’ll see on the list below that most of them are well above freezing most of the month and they also tend to get very little rain or snow. The 12 places on the list below all have weather that is plenty nice enough for an enjoyable visit.

Perhaps the best reason to visit Europe in January is that it’s the slowest month of the year for tourism so crowds will be almost non-existent even at popular places like the Coliseum in Rome or the Eiffel Tower. Hotels also tend to be quite cheap in January so you’ll be able to treat yourself to something much nicer than you would if you visited in summer, and you’ll still be saving money.

Note: This article was last updated in September, 2023.

Important European holidays in 2024

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day (public holiday in most of the world)
  • January 6 – Epiphany (minor holiday in many Christian countries)

Below you’ll find

  • Europe’s best January beach destination
  • Europe’s 11 best January city destinations

Europe's only decent January beach destination

Tenerife, canary islands, spain.

  • January avg high: 69°F/21°C
  • January avg low: 59°F/15°C
  • January avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

tour europe in january

Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands and it’s the best choice for English speakers as well. The area in the southwest of the island around Los Cristianos is where you’ll find most of the hotels and short term rentals, and fortunately it also usually has the nicest weather on the island. Things here are cheap for Europe and even for Spain. It’s worth pointing out that Tenerife is only one of the Canary Islands and the other share essentially the same weather and prices. Some online travel agencies group them all together, while others list each island separately so it might also be worth checking for Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and La Palma, which might offer even better deals.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €40 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €84 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €15 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Tenerife >>> Tenerife prices and travel tips

11 Best non-beach destinations in Europe in January

Rome, italy.

  • January avg high: 55°F/13°C
  • January avg low: 39°F/4°C
  • January avg precip: 3.1″/7.8cm

tour europe in january

During most of the year Rome is so packed with tourists that it can be chaotic and frustrating, and at least you’ll get far less of that in January. The hotel prices will also be lower, which is helpful since accommodation in this city is more expensive than you might expect. You might even consider Sicily, which will be even a bit warmer.

Even December can be quite busy in Rome so a visit in January could be very peaceful, especially compared to any other month aside from February.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €53 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €71 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €22 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Rome >>> Rome prices and travel tips

Florence, Italy

  • January avg high: 50°F/10°C
  • January avg low: 35°F/2°C
  • January avg precip: 2.9″/7.3cm

tour europe in january

Florence is the heart of Tuscany and one of the world’s most important cities for art, so there is no shortage of excellent food and interesting sights to see. You can also visit Pisa in an hour each way as a day trip. The Cinque Terre is also fairly close and can be a day trip from Florence, but in January those towns will be very quiet and not worth your time.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €55 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €85 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €21 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Florence >>> Florence prices and travel tips

Venice, Italy

  • January avg high: 42°F/6°C
  • January avg low: 30°F/-1°C
  • January avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

tour europe in january

You can see Venice in only a day or two, especially in the less crowded winter, but you should be careful of the Acqua alta (high water). During winter the lagoon can rise so much that the town squares can flood a bit and you have to walk over them on wooden planks. That only happens during high tide, so even on the bad days you can still enjoy at least half the day. And especially in January when hotels are cheaper, I recommend staying on the main island of Venice rather than across the lagoon on the mainland. You’ll save time and see a lot more. Finding a hotel close to St Marks Square or the Rialto Bridge (or between the two) is ideal if you can afford it.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €61 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €76 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €31 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Venice >>> Venice prices and travel tips

Paris, France

  • January avg high: 45°F/7°C
  • January avg low: 38°F/3°C
  • January avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

tour europe in january

Most of the top attractions here are indoors, so you can spend time in museums, galleries, and shops if it’s not sunny out, and do your outdoor sightseeing when it’s nicer. If you want to do most of the famous attractions you should check out our  review of the Paris Pass .

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €83 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €94 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €34 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Paris >>> Paris prices and travel tips

London, England

  • January avg low: 36°F/2°C
  • January avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

tour europe in january

It’s worth noting that London is so far north that it gets dark by 4pm in January, but the city is still very alive and the pubs are full of locals even in the winter months. You might even want to look at our  London Pass review  if you want to see the top attractions in a short time.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from £67 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from £88 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from £24 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for London >>> London prices and travel tips

Barcelona, Spain

  • January avg high: 56°F/13°C
  • January avg low: 40°F/4°C
  • January avg precip: 1.6″/4.0cm

tour europe in january

You’ll obviously need some outerwear, but Barcelona is on the coast and it never gets very cold. The dining scene and nightlife here are legendary, and nights here are lively all year round. If you are doing the main sights you should have a look at  the Barcelona Pass .

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €46 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €60 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €19 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Barcelona >>> Barcelona prices and travel tips

Madrid, Spain

  • January avg high: 49°F/9°C
  • January avg low: 37°F/3°C
  • January avg precip: 1.5″/3.8cm

tour europe in january

Obviously January is the slow season for tourists in Madrid as well, and there are plenty of great things to see here including the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace. Hotels in Madrid are great bargains in winter so you’ll be able to treat yourself to something nicer than you’d get if you visited in July when prices are literally double or more.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €51 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €16 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Madrid >>> Madrid prices and travel tips

Lisbon, Portugal

  • January avg high: 58°F/14°C
  • January avg low: 47°F/8°C
  • January avg precip: 3.8″/9.5cm

tour europe in january

You might get a bit of rain in Lisbon in January if you are unlucky, though it’s easy to avoid since the city is quite densely packed and a shelter is never far away. You can get here on an overnight train from Madrid, though flying is probably a better and obviously much faster option for most people.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €49 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €69 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €18 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Lisbon >>> Lisbon prices and travel tips

Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • January avg high: 41°F/5°C
  • January avg low: 34°F/1°C

tour europe in january

Amsterdam hotel prices are very high in summer, but in January you’ll get wonderful deals. You can reach Amsterdam by train from Paris in a bit over 3 hours, or from London on the Eurostar in about 5 hours. This is the only time of year that you can get into the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum without a long wait as well. That said, you now have to make reservations in advance and you might as well do that early anyway.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €73 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €91 for two people

>>> Check hotel deals for Amsterdam >>> Amsterdam prices and travel tips

Athens, Greece

  • January avg low: 41°F/5°C
  • January avg precip: 2.27″/5.5cm

tour europe in january

Unlike some others on this list, Athens’ main sights are mostly outdoor ones, so you’ll want to keep track of the weather. Still, since rain is rare and snow is far more rare, you’ll almost certainly have enough time up the Acropolis and through the Agora market hill on the way down. The Greek islands are mostly shut down this time of year, so it’s probably not worth a flight or a rough ferry ride.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €27 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €41 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €11 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Istanbul >>> Athens prices and travel tips

Istanbul, Turkey

  • January avg high: 48°F/9°C
  • January avg precip: 3.4″/8.5cm

tour europe in january

It will be chilly in Istanbul in January, but with so few other tourists you’ll be able to see how things operate for the locals who will still be hard at work. The main sights are mostly clustered together in the Sultanahmet Square area, so even if it is cold you can still see a lot in a short time. The famous Grand Bazaar is a huge indoor marketplace, so the weather won’t be an issue there either.

Turkey continues to be an outlier in Europe as it has a currency that continues to lose value quickly and high inflation as of late 2023, but that doesn’t actually make the place more expensive for visitors because every other currency buys so many Turkish liras. In other words, Turkey has always been quite affordable and once again it’s one of the cheaper places in Europe or the world for that matter.

  • Good 3-star hotels in January from €32 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in January from €46 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in January from €10 per person

>>> Check hotel deals for Istanbul >>> Istanbul prices and travel tips

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Hi Roger Thank you for the above suggestions and due to one of the party having been to Spain a number of times we have settled on Italy and probably around Florence. We fly in on New Years eve or New Years Day and then leave on the 5th January. Would we be better to stay in Florence itself, or in one of the surrounding towns? We are happy to hire a car for trips to Siena and surrounds but I’m just a little unsure if the smaller towns will have much open at that time. Cinque Terre will be very much weather dependant as to wether the paths will be open but we would still consider that as a possibility as we all love outdoor activities. i really appreciate your suggestions, it helped us work out a place to start. Jalna

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New Years Eve will probably be pretty busy (and fun) in Florence, but the following days should be pretty quiet so I’d stay in the city itself. There are many nice hotels within a reasonable walk of the main train station and if you stayed in that area you’d be able to get anywhere very quickly. Italy has very good high-speed train service to major cities and if you buy the tickets at least a month or so in advance they are strangely cheap. The trains to smaller cities like Pisa are always fairly cheap because they are commuter lines that leave a couple times an hour. I’d take trains rather than hiring a car, mostly because a car is a liability in most of the places you’d want to go. In other words, you could drive to, say, Siena, but then finding parking can be confusing and sometimes expensive.

I think it’s a great idea to check the weather before you lock in plans for Cinque Terre. Most things in those towns will be closed except for a handful of restaurants, and if it’s cold and rainy you won’t even be able to take nice photos, much less enjoy strolling around. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Hi Roger Thanks for the reply. That sounds like a good plan if we were to go to Turkey, the only problem being it involves quite a few travel days. We are open to suggestions for Italy and Spain and as you say they could be a better option. We are interested in food tours/classes,, walking, (not skiing) I know this sounds very vague but we are happy to have a week all together with a different country thrown in and things to do!! Thanks again Jalna

If you want to stay based in one city for that whole time and only do day trips I think Italy or Spain are better options. In Italy you could base yourself in or near Florence and you’d be within 2 hours of Venice, Rome, Siena, Pisa, and the Cinque Terre by train, just to name a few places. Another option would be Sorrento where you’d be within 90 minutes of Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and the Isle of Capri. Those last two options would be quite empty in December though, so the Florence idea is probably better.

As for Spain, Madrid is entertaining enough for the whole time, but it’s also within an hour of Toledo (great day trip) and 1 hour 40 minutes from Valencia and about 2.5 hours each way to Barcelona. Barcelona would be a long way for a day trip, so you could spend 2 or 3 days in Madrid and the rest of your time in Barcelona? As always, let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Hi Roger My husband and I are visiting our daughter and partner in London over Christmas and mid January. We wanted to go somewhere for a week from the 28th December. Current thoughts are Istanbul with day trips or overnight trips. We don’t want to go to Gallipoli but would appreciate some suggestions as to what we could do. We love food history and outdoors. I have read through some of your above suggestions but thought i would ask as well. Thanks in advance

I actually lived in Turkey for over a year not long ago, and I’m still a big fan, but unfortunately nearly all of the best places are very quiet from November through late March. Most restaurants and many hotels in the beach areas are actually closed for that period, and even Cappadocia will be very quiet. I’m pretty sure you’d still enjoy it, and Istanbul itself is vibrant even in winter, but I think there are better choices that time of year and you can save Turkey for spring or autumn.

If you are looking for a one-week trip from London in early January the more obvious choices would be Italy or Spain, both of which are reasonably mild that time of year and could be ideal. I’ll be happy to give you more details on any of those choices, including Turkey, so let me know what you are thinking. If you were thinking Turkey I’d probably recommend 3 nights in Istanbul and then 2 nights in Cappadocia (in Goreme, more specifically) and then 2 nights in Antalya. Antalya is known for beach resorts up and down the coast, but the historic center of town is quite interesting (and remarkably cheap), so it could be fun and it’ll be busy enough because it’s a large city as well. -Roger

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hey Roger. I am thinking of doing the 5 day – I have a 19 year old that would like to go. So it will be 3 of use. Do you think the 5 cities we could do in 7-9 days?

If you are asking whether you could visit 5 European cities in 7 to 9 days I’d say it’s possible but not recommended. I highly recommend spending 3 nights in almost any European city you visit if you are in a hurry. The short version is that it typically takes 3 to 5 hours to get between cities on trains (and usually a bit longer if you fly), and from the time you check out of one hotel to the time you check into a hotel in the next city, it’s usually 6 or 7 hours later. And you’ll be tired so it’s hard to do much sightseeing. If you have 7 to 9 days I’d shoot for 3 cities at the most. I’m happy to help if you’ve got other questions. -Roger

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  • Gorgeous Places To Visit In Europe In January 2024 On A Dream Vacay

15 Dec 2023

Europe is a one of a kind spot as most tourists flock to its connected yet completely distinct nations. The people of the various European nations adhere to their very own way of life and language, and so any place you go it is an extraordinary and life-changing experience. Would you like to see colossal mountains? Simply travel to Switzerland and explore the Alps for some time. At the point when you have enough from the chilly, windy breezes, simply fly down to the French Riviera and appreciate the sunlight. Do you appreciate visiting large bustling cities? It can’t get any better than London- the greatest city in the whole of Europe. Whatever you are searching for you can discover it here in Europe.

Weather In Europe In January

Weather

In most of Europe, January is the coldest month of the year. You can anticipate close to or below frigid temperatures and short, dim days. Temperatures are simply freezing, with lows plunging to around – 7°C. You will need your warm winter gear, including a coat, cap, scarf, sweater, gloves and warm clothing.

Reasons To Visit Europe In January

Atrani Beach in Italy

January is the ideal time to go to Europe for some reasons; there are less groups, there are plenty of celebrations and occasions, and lodgings and flights are frequently far less expensive.

  • The Snow And Ice Sculpture Festival, Bruges: When you stop into Bruges, especially from November through January, you’re blessed to receive a wonderful exhibition of expertly made ice and snow figures.
  • Up Helly Aa, Scotland: Home to the biggest fire celebration in Europe, Scotland’s Shetland Islands is widely popular among tourists. You’ll discover a lot of individuals walking about in Viking-style ensembles, drinking their fill and, obviously, lighting things ablaze.
  • The Amsterdam Light Festival, Amsterdam: The Amsterdam Light Festival endures from November through January. Much like Bruges’ Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, this celebration consistently has a specific topic. Artists decipher the topic with their own styles, throwing the city in light shows that glint off the water perfectly.
  • Energy Ski Festival, Verbier: You can’t miss the Momentum Ski Festival that happens every year in Verbier, Switzerland. The popular ski destination is astounding enough, however the celebration takes things to an altogether new level.
  • Celebration Of Lights, Lyon: This will offer you a chance to see France past Paris with its yearly Festival of Lights. The celebration’s wonderful light shows lend everything a merry and joyful soul that you are certain to bring home with you.
  • Kaiserball, Vienna: Vienna is renowned for its astonishing balls. Truly outstanding of all is the Kaiserball that happens on New Year’s Eve. It’s a ticketed occasion, so you’ll need to ensure that you plan far ahead of time to make it. The best part is that the Kaiserball happens in an actual castle. While you’re around, don’t pass up shopping at Vienna’s stunning Christmas markets.
  • Lower Fares: The lower demand for winter flights to Europe implies an opportunity of an undersold plane as well as lower charges. Though flights in January or February to Europe consistently drop as low as $250 roundtrip out of major U.S. air terminals, July and August flights are typically well over $1,000, particularly in the event that you didn’t book a very long time ahead of time.

While rate contrasts differ by flights, streak deals throughout the winter off-season can be 50 percent less expensive than flights in summer. Flights aside, you’ll additionally get a good deal on winter lodges in Europe.

Suggested Read: 12 Best Islands In Europe For Honeymoon Packed With Romance & Passion

5 Places To Visit In Europe In January

Here are the best places to visit in Europe in January to make the most of your holiday:

1. Barcelona, Spain 2. Berlin, Germany 3. Budapest, Hungary 4. Madrid, Spain 5. Florence, Italy

1. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona

The city of Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia locale of Spain. The city receives the rewards of the ocean breeze during January, which prevents the mercury from plunging excessively low. January is the least famous month of the year for visitors in Barcelona. You will have the option to visit all the significant vacation destinations in the city that are open in the month without stressing over the crowds. In the event that you need a modest shopping location, Mercat Del Encants is the spot for you.

Suggested Read: 10 Churches In Netherlands Which Offer A Glimpse Of The Ancient Structures Of Europe!

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2. Berlin, Germany

Best Castles In Berlin

The German capital of Berlin is one of the most mainstream vacationer destinations in the nation. Berlin is situated in the northeastern part of the nation, making its winters very unforgiving. In spite of the fact that January isn’t the most agreeable time to be in Berlin, the city has enough attractions to cajole you out of your lodging. One experience that you can’t stand to miss while in Berlin January is skiing. Harz Mountains offer the absolute best skiing exercises in Europe. The Berlin Wall Memorial is another must-visit milestone in Berlin.

Suggested Read: 7 Surreal Caves In Europe Which Are No Less Than A Magical Dream!

3. Budapest, Hungary

Buda Castle at night

Budapest has an advantage over other European cities in January as it has various regular warm showers that could alleviate the freezing climate. Ice skating at the City Park Ice Rink is another activity to anticipate in January. Remember to enjoy the rich Hungarian street food that would suit the climate well.

Suggested Read: This Winter, Escape To The Best Honeymoon Destinations In Europe In Winter !

4. Madrid, Spain

A popular building in Madrid of Spain

Madrid has an unforgiving winter, yet the city is situated at a height, which encourages it get splendid daylight and clear skies all through January. January is an incredible time to investigate the parks of Madrid, particularly Retiro Park. You ought to likewise try the local delicacies, including Cocido Madrileño and churros. If you have some extra time, head outside the city to appreciate some winter sports like snowboarding and skiing.

Suggested Read: 22 Chilling Winter Destinations In Europe That’ll Melt Your Heart !

5. Florence, Italy

Outside of the Florence cathedral

It is the agelessness of the city’s design that makes Florence have an exceptionally one of a kind vibe about itself. Florence has the absolute most noteworthy exhibition halls and museums on the planet, so exploit the off-season and visit them all. Remember to climb the Duomo to get a decent view of this noteworthy city.

Further Read: 9 Best European Music Festivals You’d Be Excited To Attend

Europe is the ideal spot for explorers of any sort. Whether you are searching for a hiker trip or an extravagant relaxing trip, Europe has something for everything. From staggering sea shores in Greece, antiquated Roman history to shopping in Paris, Europe is a heaven for sightseers. We hope you enjoy your trip with Europe Tour Packages and take back lovely memories!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Europe In January

What are some warm places to visit in Europe in January?

Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal are some of the warmest places to visit in January.

What is an ideal trip duration to Europe?

3-4 days are enough to explore and appreciate the major cities and attractions of Europe.

How is the weather in January in Europe?

The maximum temperature in most of Europe is around 3 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature dips below freezing.

What are the best places to see in Europe?

London, Paris, Budapest and Spain are some of the best places to visit in Europe.

What are some things to do in Europe?

You can scale the Eiffel Tower, go skiing in the Alps and eat waffles at Belgium. You can also visit the Stockholm Palace at Sweden. You can also go see the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

What is the most economical city to visit in Europe?

Hungary, Romania, Portugal, and Ukraine are some of the most economical cities to travel to in Europe.

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10 Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

tour europe in january

Looking for some winter sun? Then you’ll want to know some of the warmest places in Europe in January. Without the crowds of either summer or the Christmas holidays, January is the ideal month to seek warmth in some of Europe’s storied cities.

Beach days, ancient ruins, hiking, and lapping up no end of culture (and food) are the order of the day in winter in Europe. (As long as you’re not heading to northern Europe!)

I’ve put together this list of my favorite January destinations to give you some much-needed travel inspiration for the new year.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission.

Table of Contents

What’s January weather in Europe like?

For most of Europe, January is a pretty cold month. In fact, this is the coldest month for most of Europe, a snowy, freezing time of year that you’d think would be more suited to skiing or snowboarding than soaking up some winter sun.

This is certainly true for northern Europe! But the climate differs between different European countries. So if you are looking for warm places to visit in Europe in January, it’s best to set your sights on the Mediterranean.

While temperatures aren’t exactly subtropical, the weather in January in some European countries is mild enough — good for wandering historic streets, going on day trips to see ancient monuments, and (maybe) even hanging out at the beach!

Hottest Places to Go in Europe in January

1. canary islands, spain.

tour europe in january

Comprising eight main islands, the Spanish archipelago that is the Canary Islands has long been a favorite for sunseekers (even in winter).

These islands are, officially, the warmest place in Europe in January. Temperatures can reach as high as 68°F, with averages hovering around 62°F.

Temperatures differ between the islands, too, with Fuerteventura and Lanzarote being slightly warmer than Tenerife and Gran Canaria, for example.

Beach days aren’t completely out of the question in January in the Canary Islands, what with the sea temperature at 68°F and an average of six hours of sunshine daily.

Only around five days in the month see rainfall, making it fairly dry and ideal for soaking up some sun in the new year!

Where to stay in the Canary Islands

You have eight islands to pick from! If you want to get off the beaten track and away from crowds looking for winter sun, head to El Hierro. For something more developed, I’d recommend Fuerteventura.

Canary Islands - Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

Suggested hotels in El Hierro

Balneario Pozo de la Salud – Set right on the coastline itself, this polished hotel features dramatic sea views from its comfortable guest rooms. There’s a restaurant, children’s play area, and spa treatments available.

Suggested hotels in Fuerteventura

Bahiazul Resort Fuerteventura – If you really want to splash out, take note of this sophisticated 4-star hotel. Featuring a chic swimming pool, dining room, and breakfast bar, it’s got everything you need.

Things to do in the Canary Islands in winter:

  • Go surfing at El Cotillo beach
  • Hike in Timanfaya National Park
  • Check out The International Music Festival of the Canary Islands
  • Go stargazing!
  • Ring in the New Year with a 1st January swim at Las Canteras beach

2. Crete, Greece

Chania Crete Venetian port

The largest Greek island, Crete, makes up the southern boundary for the storied Aegean Sea and its scattering of islands and archipelagos. From its dramatic coastlines and interior hiking opportunities to its long history, there’s a lot to draw you to Crete.

This attraction includes the weather. In January you can expect not to freeze completely thanks to an average temperature of 52°F. Though lows can dip down to a fairly chilly 46°F, you’ll also be grateful for the 61°F highs in January. Ideal for exploring the outdoors!

Another bonus, which goes for pretty much everywhere in the Mediterranean at this time, is the fewer crowds at Crete’s famed historic sites — namely the ancient Minoan palace complex at Knossos.

Lighthouse in Rethymnon Venetian port

Where to stay in Crete

I’d recommend either Chania (the capital of the island until 1971) or Rethymno. While the former is awash with interesting history, Rethymno also has a coastal charm of its own.

Suggested hotels in Crete

Veneto Boutique Hotel – Situated in Rethymno, this gorgeous hotel is set in a former Venetian building dating to the 14th century. Staying here puts the old town right on your doorstep for easy sightseeing.

Scala de Faro – You’ll find this historic but recently renovated property in Chania. An easy walk from both the archaeological museum and the beach, rooms here are polished and contemporary.

Things to do in Crete in winter:

  • Visit the incredible palace of Knossos
  • Go wine tasting (Crete is famous for its wines!)
  • Take a hike (note: Samaria Gorge is closed during winter)
  • Tour its picturesque villages
  • Take to the hills on a 4×4 safari adventure

3. Murcia, Spain

Murcia in Spain - Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

Murcia is among the warmest places in Europe in January. Temperatures here reach highs of 59°F, with averages sitting around 50°F and chilly lows of 41°F.

It can get even hotter — the record high for Murcia is 82°F!

This is the ideal sort of weather to spend time exploring the pretty city itself. Set in southeastern Spain, this university town is awash with stunning architecture, cultural sights, and some amazing local cuisine!

With six hours of sunshine and only around 40mm of rain expected for the entire month, you won’t need to worry about getting caught in a downpour during your wanderings.

Murcia - Hottest Places to Visit in Europe in January

Where to stay in Murcia

Without a doubt, the best place to stay in Murcia is the Centro Histórico. Staying here puts the city’s top sights within easy walking distance of your accommodation. Plus you’ll have some super charming streets to wander on your doorstep!

Suggested hotels in Centro Histórico, Murcia

Occidental Murcia Siete Coronas – Just a five-minute walk to the cathedral, this sparkling new hotel features chic, modern guest rooms and plenty of amenities for a comfortable stay. The breakfast is particularly good!

Hesperia Murcia Centro – This centrally located hotel is a great place to stay in Murcia for all your sightseeing needs. Add to this spacious rooms in a contemporary setting, and this hotel is ideal for a winter trip to Murcia.

Things to do in Murcia in winter:

  • See the stunning cathedral
  • Admire the imposing Monteagudo Castle
  • Explore the cafes along Trapería Street
  • Cross the “old bridge”, Puente de los Peligros
  • Eat at the palatial Restaurante Real Casino de Murcia

4. Faro, Portugal

Faro - Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

The capital of Portugal’s Algarve region, Faro is among the warmest places in Europe in January.

While the sea is a little rough and cold this time of year, putting beach days pretty much out of the question, the city itself will be more than pleasant enough for a sunny change from, say, winter in London!

Temperatures at this time of year can climb to 61°F, but average out at 54°F. It can drop as low as 46°F, so you’ll still need to pack sweaters and jackets. Ideally waterproof ones, too, as around 10 days in January see rain in Faro.

Faro - Hottest Places to Visit in Europe in January

Where to stay in Faro

While I’d usually recommend Marina del Faro, this is more of a summery place to stay (it’s by the marina). Otherwise, I would suggest Cidade Velha, which translates to “old town” in English. It’s packed with charm and rustic hotels.

Suggested hotels in Cidade Velha, Faro

Sunlight House – Staying here means staying in a lovingly decorated villa with plenty of space and photogenic design touches. There’s a shared kitchen and lounge, and breakfast is included in the price. It’s an ideal way to start the day!

Hostel Casa d’Alagoa – Choose to stay either in shared accommodation or a private room in this beautiful accommodation option. Set in a historic building on a cobbled street, it features a shared terrace and kitchen, among other facilities.

Things to do in Faro in winter:

  • Spot flamingos at Quinta do Lago
  • Shop for fresh produce at Faro Municipal Market
  • See Algarve beaches without any tourists on them!
  • Visit the Santa Maria Cathedral
  • Get a history lesson at the Municipal Museum of Faro

5. Madeira, Portugal

Madeira in Portugal is one of the Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

While Madeira is definitely among the warmest places in Europe in January, the Atlantic island also gets quite a bit of rain this month. On average, almost half of the days in the month see some rainfall. But with five hours of sunshine too, it’s a mixed bag.

But if all you want is mild temperatures, then you’ll be happy with the 64°F highs that Madeira gets in January.

Plus, unlike other places in Europe in January, it never gets too cold! Even the lows only reach 57°F or so (the average is about 61°F).

So for some really mild weather in January, Madeira is definitely a safe bet.

tour europe in january

Where to stay in Madeira

I’d suggest staying in Funchal, the capital city of Madeira. Here you’ll find plenty of things to do, sights to see, and places to eat and drink. It’s perfect to explore at your own pace and, with the weather so mild, you won’t be walking around dripping in sweat!

Suggested hotels in Funchal, Madeira

Reid’s Palace – It doesn’t get much more luxurious than this five-star accommodation option in Funchal. The elegant rooms here feature balconies and marble bathrooms, while amenities include two restaurants (one is Michelin-starred), three swimming pools, and an oceanfront spa.

Quinta da Penha de Franca – This charming hotel is an ideal spot for those who want to get away from it all. From its outdoor pool (heated in winter) to its multiple restaurants, and classically decorated guest rooms, it feels sophisticated the moment you arrive.

Things to do in Madeira in winter:

  • Stroll around the Monte Palace Madeira
  • Explore Madeira Botanical Garden
  • Snap photos at the Farmers’ Market
  • Admire the carved wooden ceiling at Funchal Cathedral
  • Visit the Contemporary Art Museum, set in the 17th-century São Tiago Fortress

Cyprus - Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

With temperatures creeping up to average highs of around 63°F, Cyprus ranks among the warmest places in Europe in January. You may even find it warm enough to chill out on one of the island’s many beaches!

But surprisingly enough, you can actually go skiing this time of year in Cyprus! Winter sports enthusiasts should head to the Troodos Mountains for skiing, snowboarding, and wintry scenes.

Then again, down by the coastline, you’ll find it mild enough for beach strolls, exploring ancient monuments, and maybe even eating al fresco at a local taverna.

Where to stay in Cyprus

Paphos is the ideal place to stay in Cyprus for sightseeing. Here you’ll find places to eat, plenty of ancient history to learn about, and good transport links for the rest of the island.

Aphrodite Rock , Cyprus - Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

Suggested hotels in Paphos, Cyprus

Queens Bay Hotel – This seafront property boasts gardens, swimming pools, and a sauna, plus activities from archery to table tennis to get involved in. Guest rooms feature balconies with sweeping views and polished bathrooms.

Amphora Hotel & Suites – Set among manicured gardens, this hotel boasts guest rooms with sea views and large, comfortable beds. Enjoy meals in the restaurant, a cocktail in the lounge bar, or sun yourself on your own private balcony.

Things to do in Cyprus in winter:

  • Explore the Archaeological Site of the Tombs of the Kings
  • Snap photos of Aphrodite’s Rock
  • Have a beach day
  • Visit Panagia Chrysaliniotissa, the oldest Byzantine church in Nicosia

7. Valletta, Malta

tour europe in january

Valletta, the capital city of Malta, has a little bit of everything: history, coastal ambiance, great food, and good transport links. It’s also one of the warmest places in Europe in January, with average highs hovering around 59°F, and lows only dropping to around 50°F.

But one of the best things about visiting Valletta in January is the sea temperature. That’s right. This time of year, the seas around Malta are a positively balmy 82°F! This means that days at the beach, splashing around in the shallows, are a must for sunseekers here.

But with the mild temperatures, you’ll also find plenty of opportunity to take to one of Malta’s many hiking trails. It may be small, but only around a fifth of Malta is urbanized — there’s plenty of countryside to explore!

tour europe in january

Suggested hotels in Valletta

The Phoenicia Malta – This amazing hotel pretty much has it all. From the infinity pool and spa services to its multiple bars and restaurants, you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away for sightseeing. The cherry on top? The Phoenicia Malta’s incredible customer service.

The Falconeria Hotel – Set just a few steps from the heart of Valletta’s old town, The Falconeria Hotel is a polished accommodation option in the Maltese capital. Start the day with a delicious a la carte breakfast before heading out to explore.

Things to do in Valletta in winter:

  • Explore the beautiful Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens
  • Stroll the attractive Valletta Waterfront
  • Learn about WWII history at Lascaris War Rooms
  • See the stunning interiors of St. John’s Co-Cathedral
  • Be awed by the sprawling Grandmaster’s Palace

8. Malaga, Spain

Malaga spain - Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

It turns out that the Costa del Sol is great in winter. One of the reasons for this is not only the weather but also the lack of tourists. Sightseeing in this part of the world can be hellish in summer, what with the heat and the crowds, but come winter that’s not an issue!

Malaga is one of the better warm places in Europe in January to visit. The temperature varies, ranging daily from about 39°F to 69°F. So while it can get chilly at night and early in the morning, you’ll be treated to mild weather most of the time, with around five hours of sunshine per day to soak up.

That means the ideal temperature for wandering Malaga’s historic streets and even hitting the beach (though the sea temperature, at 61°F, isn’t that warm).

Camini del Rey in Malaga - Warm Places to Visit in Europe in January

Suggested hotels in Malaga

Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro – Located next door to Castillo de Gibralfaro, this four-star hotel is the ideal spot for your winter city break in Malaga. Guests can make full use of the swimming pool, rooftop sun terrace, and the onsite restaurant, which serves up fresh seafood among other delights.

Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio – Feel like staying in luxury? Then take note of this place. Like something from the pages of a design magazine, Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio is superbly chic. As well as a selection of high-end amenities, the hotel incredibly boasts its very own ancient ruins too!

Things to do in Malaga in winter:

  • Have a beach day minus the crowds
  • See the Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga
  • Hike the Caminito del Rey
  • Discover history at the 10th-century Castillo de Gibralfaro
  • Explore the Alcazaba of Malaga

9. Marbella, Spain

Marbella Spain - Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January

The hottest places in Europe in January also include Marbella, though I wouldn’t necessarily call it “hot”. The average temperature (52°F) is relatively cool for Marbella, which sees summer temperatures of around 75°F (though it gets much hotter).

That said, it’s a good option for some winter sun. It’s not snowing, it’s not freezing, and there are about six hours of sunshine per day to lap up — not to mention hardly any rain.

So if all you want to do is simply rock up, find somewhere you can sun yourself on a private terrace, eat in some good restaurants, and generally bask in temperatures warmer than back home, Marbella is a safe bet!

Marvbella - Hot Places to Visit in Europe in January

Where to stay in Marbella

While Marbella itself is nice, it’s also worth having a look at the accommodation in Puerto Banus. Set just to the southwest of town, this small village grew up as a resort in the 1970s and has since blossomed into a high-end getaway destination.

Suggested hotels in Marbella

Occidental Puerto Banus – The chic vibe of this hotel wows from the moment you arrive. Think designer furnishings, sleek guest rooms — each one with a private terrace or balcony — and a gorgeous garden setting.

Hotel Lima – Elsewhere, in Marbella city center, you’ll find Hotel Lima. This place is all about its blissful roof terrace, while guest rooms are well-appointed and the ideal place to chill after a day of exploring.

Things to do in Marbella in winter:

  • Witness the crowds gathering for Epiphany (6th January)
  • Go shopping along Avenida de Ricardo Soriano
  • People-watch in Plaza de Naranja
  • Explore the historic Marbella Old Town
  • Have a beach day (if it’s warm enough!)

10. Rhodes, Greece

Outside of the Acropolis at Lindos Rhodes

With temperatures ranging from 50°F to 59°F this time of year, Rhodes isn’t exactly the hottest place in Europe in January. That said, it’s definitely mild and still beats a cold, cloudy winter in London or Paris.

Even the nights aren’t super cold, with temperatures falling to around 54°F on average.

This time of year, there are around 4 hours of sunshine per day in Rhodes, with an average of 10 days over the month expecting rainfall. A waterproof jacket may be needed when you’re out exploring the island!

As you enter the hospital of the knights Rhodes

Where to stay in Rhodes

Rhodes Town is the place I’d recommend staying in Rhodes. This is where the main port is, and is also not too far from the airport. Plus is where most of the major attractions are.

Suggested hotels in Rhodes Town

Best Western Plus Hotel Plaza – With rooms boasting either Old Town or sea views, this hotel also features a great central location (ideal for sightseeing). It also has a pool, sauna, and sun terrace for all your chilled-out vacation needs.

Rhodos Horizon City – This modern, 4-star hotel offering is the ideal spot to relax on a winter break in Rhodes. Start the day with a hearty breakfast, play a game of table tennis, or just admire those sea views.

Things to do in Rhodes in winter:

  • See a medieval castle at the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
  • Marvel at the Lindos Acropolis
  • Discover ancient history at Mandraki Marina & Port
  • Hit up Tsambika Beach (deserted in winter!)
  • Simply wander Rhodes Old Town

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Jane Austen's World

This jane austen blog brings jane austen, her novels, and the regency period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th c. historical details related to this topic..

  • The Grand Tour in 18th-19th C. Europe: Small collector/tourist items

July 4, 2024 by Vic

Inquiring readers,

I recently purchased a book entitled The Grand Tour of Europe (*1 ). The tour was a rite of passage from the 17th through 19th centuries for the sons (and in a few cases, the daughters) of aristocrats, the wealthy gentry, and rising merchant classes. Some of the travelers were accompanied by their tutors for serious study, others led merry, somewhat debauched lives with friends. Most returned to their homeland 3 – 5 years later with a sense of continental sophistication. Perfecting their French was an accomplishment absolutely expected of the sophisticated, well-traveled Englishman or woman.

In her review of Masculinity and Danger on the Eighteenth-Century Grand Tour (2*) , Michele Cohen mentions Stephen Conway’s reasoning – that the tour:

“Encouraged a ‘specifically European outlook’, which included polish and refinement, appreciation of classical art and architecture, theatre, and music as well as continental cuisine, wine and fashion.”

Austen’s connection to the grand tour was her brother Edward Austen Knight, who took several extended journeys. He wrote his memories in private journals . ( The Grand Tour in the 18th & 19th Century | Jane Austen’s World .)

Copies and molds of ancient gems that visitors collected and brought back:

Throughout history, the marvelous gems and cameos cut in Ancient Greece and Rome were admired by collectors for their beauty and perfection. Many visitors who returned from their Grand Tour brought back fabulous paintings, sculptures, and a collection of impressions and casts made from those gems. Others, who were not as flush in the pocket, returned with more modest, portable souvenirs, such as trinkets, fans, and a few impressions and casts.

Tourists in Italy commissioned intaglios and cameos from numerous workshops as souvenirs of their travels: 

“…the demand was chiefly for technically accomplished, accurate copies, often difficult to distinguish from the originals, a feat made possible because the engravers had at hand collections of casts from well-known gems which made copying easy. Such casts, produced in quantity by moulding in materials such as wax and plaster of various kinds, had been circulating among connoisseurs and collectors for centuries in mid-i8th century Rome. Their manufacture in hard-wearing, red-dyed sulphur or white gesso became a major industry…” – The Grand Tourist’s favourite souvenirs: cameos and intaglios, Gertrud Seidmann (*3).

Screen Shot 2024-07-03 at 8.31.09 PM

Madame de Pomadour, 1754, François Boucher

Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV of France, was an influential patron of the arts and helped revive the ancient art of gem carving. She hired the best gem carver to live at Versailles and provided him with the finest tools. Then she asked him to teach her how to carve gems. ( National Galleries Scotland. ) In this portrait she “is depicted surrounded by a garland of flowers supported by three putti. Scattered at the base of the design are the symbolic attributes of the arts she so enthusiastically supported – painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, writing and music.” – Google Arts and Culture

The following pair of casts are made in sulfur and sealing wax and are from a private 19th C collection. They are part of a much larger collection. (* 1 )

Screen Shot 2024-07-02 at 2.56.10 PM

 “During the sixteenth century, ancient gems and cameos circulated widely among collectors, directly or by means of impressions and metal casts.” (*1, p120.)

Shared Knowledge 

Ancient Carved Art Gems in 18th-Century Europe:

“During the 18th century, the arts of Rome and Greece were discovered anew. With their simple linear grace, ancient carved gems in particular inspired artists, scholars, and collectors. Long part of royal or aristocratic collections, these tiny but enduring fragments of the distant past now sparked a popular craze…” – From an explanation near an art display of an Oak Cabinet , at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

“The 18th century saw the standardization and sharing of all kinds of knowledge…This oak cabinet is part of the same movement. Its carefully lettered drawers contain thousands of numbered red sulphur wax impressions or casts of ancient and modern carved gems created in the London shop of Scotsman James Tassie (1735-99)…[and] copied from collections around Europe, was the most comprehensive of its kind, numbering about 20,000 casts at the time of his death.” –  From a wall plaque near an oak cabinet displaying James Tassie impressions and casts at the Walters Art Museum.

Screen Shot 2024-07-03 at 7.20.31 PM

Oak Cabinet, – Photo @ Vic Sanborn, February 2024

Click on this link to see a Drawer of Gem Impressions and read a description about it. Their arrangement is typical of the thousands of gems that rest inside the drawers.

Oak Cabinet with drawers and drawers pulled open

[The] carved gems fall into two categories: intaglios and cameos. With intaglios, the design is carved down into the selected material, whereas with cameos, material is carved away so that the design projects upward from the surface . Glass paste copies of carved gems made by Tassie could be used as costume jewelry, seals, or mounted into frames to create innovative window displays.

Screen Shot 2024-07-02 at 3.58.20 PM

James Tassie holds one of his cameos. Portrait by David Allen.

James Tassie, 1735 – 1799. Sculptor and gem engraver | National Galleries of Scotland . Interestingly, Tassie and Allen went to art school together and later shared a house in London. Tassie then invented vitreous glass paste and used it to create small portrait medallions and reproductions of antique gems and cameos. His fame spread, and Catherine the Great became his most important patron. Listen to the Talk | by Liz Louis – The life and work of James Tassie on the National Galleries of Scotland site. 

Smaller collections in smaller cabinets

Not all of the copies were made for large and elaborate collections, as shown in this Portrait of a Lady, painted in oil. ( Walters Art Museum, 37.394 , Acquired by Henry Walters.)

Portrait of a Lady

“On the table in this portrait is a smaller cabinet of impressions of ancient carved gems than the larger cabinet. The unknown woman seems lost in thought…and is presented as scholarly (literate and interested in the Classical past), but also ladylike (fashionably dressed and bonded to a male relative or lover-shown by the miniature portrait pinned to her dress). The portrait can be dated to after 1793, as this is the year that saw the publication of the sheet music, seen rolled on the table, for Peter von Winter’s duet “Con quell occhietto languido non mi” (“With that little languid eye, not to me”).  The objects included in this portrait tell a story about the interests of the woman portrayed…”  – Plaque near the portrait in the North Flanking Gallery, Walters Museum of Art. 

About the exhibit at the Walters Art Museum described in this post:

This exhibit in the north flanking galleries was taken down on July 3rd, 2024, and is no longer in view. In its place, a new installation, entitled Art of the Americas, will open in 2025. Some galleries featuring 19th C. art objects, mostly the Walter’s sevres porecelain collection, will still be available . 

Fortuitously, I had made photos of the art objects and the wall signs, which are now taken down but are quoted in full. I’ve also linked directly to the museum’s website for a different description to provide you with a more rounded story. 

In conclusion:

“Returning with a gem on one’s finger or with a precious collection, shipping back cabinets of casts – the later collections often miscellanies of Roman monuments, sculptures and paintings intermingled with gems, almost equivalent to modern photograph albums – was an inevitable part of the scene for the grandest as well as humbler visitors to Italy.” – (*3.)

*1 – The Grand Tour of Europe, (2023) Editor Franco Maria Ricci, 167 p. Van Cleef & Arpels  

*2 – Professor Michèle Cohen, review of “Masculinity and Danger on the Eighteenth-Century Grand Tour,” (review no. 2451) 10.14296/RiH/2014/2451 Date accessed: 04 July 2024

*3 – “The Grand Tourist’s favourite souvenirs: cameos and intaglios”, Gertrud Seidmann,  Research Associate, University of Oxford Institute of Archaeology, Delivered to the Society’s History Study Group on 18 November, 1996. JSTOR

*4 – “Madame de Pompadour’s Legacy as a Patron of Arts Is Often Overlooked: A new exhibit explores the creative works of one of history’s most famous mistresses”, Maris Fessenden, Former correspondent, May 12, 2016, The Smithsonian Magazine .

Additional Sources:

James Tassie, Cast Collection, Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum, London

The Grand Tour: Souvenir Project :  An exploration of culture and memory.

‘Making an Impression’ exhibit highlights ancient engraved gemstones

Also see Artworks by James Tassie at the Walters Art Museum website .

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Posted in Jane Austen's World | 7 Comments

7 Responses

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Fascinating look at the reproduction industry for the Grand Tour. Thank you. Cameo souvenirs are still being sold in Italy. When we went to Pompeii on a bus tour the stop for lunch (not good) was also a cameo shop with first rate pieces.

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I recall all the souvenir stands near the major monuments in Italy, which I think now are being removed further from the entrance to the most popular ones. The proud tradition of making cameos and intaglios continues. My father brought back a beautiful cameo from his time in Italy in the 1950’s, which he gave to my mother and that I still have. I can wear it as either a brooch or a necklace.

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Thank you for the fascinating article! Doesn’t it remind you of that bit in “Emma”:

Mr. Knightley had done all in his power for Mr. Woodhouse’s entertainment. Books of engravings, drawers of medals, cameos, corals, shells, and every other family collection within his cabinets, had been prepared for his old friend, to while away the morning; and the kindness had perfectly answered. Mr. Woodhouse had been exceedingly well amused. 

Yes, that is one reason why I thought this topic was appropriate for JAW. I’ve been examining that oak cabinet at the Walters for two years now, and noticed that the dates of those gems, casts, cameos and intaglios were featured largely during the 17th-18th-early 19th centuries, precisely during the popularity of the English traveling to the continent on their grand tours. And then I purchased a book about the journals of Edward Austen Leigh, which I haven’t finished yet, but which connects the Grand Tour to the world the Austens knew and read about. I’ve enjoyed reading more about the topic. Thank you, Jean, for stopping by and including this Emma quote!

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Gosh, Jean – well spotted. I had completely forgotten that bit in Emma. Vic’s article ties in perfectly as Mr. Woodhouse was definitely a challenge sometimes.

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What a wonderful post.

In going through late MIL’s jewelry, I found a cameo from the Victorian Era–confirmed with a jeweler–not the right time period for your post, but it was a great find. She had received it from a grand-aunt, and it was from an unnamed relative.

Thanks for stopping by, Denise. I recall two of my great Aunts, who never married. When I was a child in The Netherlands, they still wore Victorian-like clothing, dark, with hand-made lace collars, skirts that reached just above their ankles, sturdy shoes, and, yes, cameo pins at their throats.

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Project Gutenberg: eBook of Stage-coach and Mail in Days of Yore, Volume 2 (of 2), by Charles G. Harper

STAGE-COACH AND MAIL IN DAYS OF YORE: A PICTURESQUE HISTORY OF THE COACHING AGE, VOL. II, By CHARLES G. HARPER. 1903. Click on this link.

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Best of the Money blog

Welcome to the Money blog, your place for personal finance and consumer news and tips. We'll be back with updates on Monday - meantime, browse through some of our best features below.

Friday 5 July 2024 09:31, UK

Essential reads

  • Savings Guide:  Savers have a rare opportunity - but it might be the last hurrah
  • Cheap Eats : Two Michelin-starred chef reveals his favourites in Birmingham
  • Women in Business : 'We don't get invited to golf' - The women who coordinated pregnancies to start virtual cancer care business and raised £5m
  • Basically... What is income tax?
  • Money Problem : 'I hired a car via EasyJet but they are directing my complaint to someone else - what can I do?'
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

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The Money blog will return on Monday - meantime, why not scroll through some of our best and most popular features below...

John Lewis is keeping its school uniform prices frozen for the fourth year running.

The department store chain also offers parents an online school uniform checklist to help prepare for the start of the new year.

It also offers a free shoe-fitting service, while some of its newer school uniform products released in the last three years have not seen a price rise.

John Lewis school uniform buyer Cydney Ball said: "Our customers trust us as the one-stop-shop for all things back to school."

Cineworld is drawing up plans to axe dozens of British cinemas as part of a radical restructuring that would also include extensive rent cuts.

Sky News has learned that the company, which until last year was listed on the London Stock Exchange, is considering closing about a quarter of its roughly-100 British multiplexes.

Cineworld also wants to renegotiate rent agreements at a further 50 sites, with the remaining 25 untouched by the restructuring.

Sources said the proposals were expected to be formally outlined to creditors including landlords in the coming weeks.

Read the full story here...

A safety charity has warned England fans against buying cheap electronics online amid a "blitz" of advertising.

Electrical Safety First is urging fans bombarded with ads for discounted goods "don't bring it home" in a new campaign to raise awareness of unregulated online marketplaces.

The charity have previously uncovered substandard and dangerous electrical products across major online marketplaces.

Examples of such include portable heaters posing a serious risk of electrocution, hair straighteners and hair dryers featuring illegal UK plugs and e-bike chargers that pose a fire risk.

"Football, and other global sporting events, are experiencing advertising blitzes by major online marketplaces across the globe, and at a time when millions of people are struggling with finances, we understand how appealing low-cost deals will be," said Electrical Safety First's chief executive Lesley Rudd.

"But it's important for fans to remember that they risk scoring an own goal if the deal they bag turns out to be a substandard or dangerous product.

"Substandard electronics can have serious consequences for your safety and an innocent purchase could put you and your family at risk."

The charity makes the following suggestions to consumers selecting electronics from online marketplaces:

  • Pay attention to the plug - if a product is listed with a foreign plug and travel adaptor, do not buy it.
  • Do not buy on price alone - not all bargains are worth it
  • Make sure you do your homework if you decide to buy products below high street retail prices.
  • Beware of a product with solely glowing reviews, especially if the reviewers are not verified.
  • Make sure you know where the supplier is based - a "co.uk" URL doesn't guarantee the website is UK-based.
  • If there is no address supplied, or there is just a PO Box, be wary; many dodgy electrical goods are manufactured overseas.
  • Look for websites that allow you to pay safely – these have a padlock symbol in the address bar of the website you are visiting. If you cannot see it, do not enter your payment details.

Consumer spending on car purchases has risen three times faster than for public transport journeys, new figures show.

Around £57.4bn was spent in the UK on new and used cars in 2023, up 6% on five years earlier, according to AA analysis of Office for National Statistics data.

By comparison, consumer spending on public transport - including rail, buses, flights and taxis - was £60.9bn, representing a 2% increase on five years ago.

AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens claimed the figures highlight how vital motoring was for people in the UK, as well as the country's finances.

He said: "These latest ONS figures underline the UK's reliance on cars and the huge amounts of money they generate for the economy - not to mention VAT on that spending, and other tax.

"Cars are not just necessary but essential on so many levels. Even if a significant amount of car use was transformed into take-up of public transport, the impact on the economy and other income generation would be dramatic.

"Just think how much councils would lose if a high percentage of cars stopped turning up to their car parks or needing parking permits, and getting fined.

"The key question is whether what consumers spend on cars would translate into income for public transport and cover the cost of infrastructure investment to enable that.

"It seems that getting travelling consumers to fork out for their own transport and its maintenance, and then tax the heck out of them, is a pretty good deal for the public purse."

Running a car also accounted for a large chunk of the £78.6bn spent on what is described as the operation of personal transport, with spending on fuel and lubricants up 20% since 2018 to £41.7bn.

New car purchases down

But despite the fact more consumers are spending money on cars than on public transport, the number of purchases of new cars by private buyers has declined for nine months in a row, new figures show.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 67,625 new cars were registered by private consumers in June, down 15.3% from 79,798 during the same month last year.

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said: "With average new car prices rising almost 40% over the last five years, it's clear cost is the culprit.

"Manufacturers are responding with discounts but they're failing to keep pace, which is forcing many buyers to opt for a used alternative.

"Whoever forms the next government needs to address electric car affordability and provide long-term stability for the market."

Environmental impact

Despite comments from the AA, the billions of pounds spent by consumers every year on cars is having a clear effect on UK roads - where overall traffic levels in 2023 were 2.2% higher than the previous year.

More cars on the roads means more air pollution, which is among the biggest environmental health risks facing people in the UK.

Burning petrol and diesel fuel creates harmful by products like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, while vehicles emit carbon dioxide, the most common human-caused greenhouse gas.

Even electric vehicles produce particulate matter from the friction between their tyres and the road.

Researchers from University College London estimated that 48,625 adults die prematurely each year in the UK due to particulate matter pollution. 

Presently, 79% of the UK exceeds the World Health Organization's (WHO) annual mean guideline for safe fine particulate matter levels. 

A Greek restaurant has faced criticism for its "rip off" prices.

Holidaymakers have been warned to stay away from DK Oyster on the popular holiday island of Mykonos, which has received swathes of bad reviews on  Tripadvisor .

The restaurant, which describes itself as being an "oasis of ultimate luxury and extravagance", has an average star rating of two on the website - although, in the interests of balance, it has 4.8 on Google reviews.  

Angry punters say they were lured into buying a drink at DK Oyster after being told the sunbeds were free, only for the prices for those drinks to be sky-high.

Among the latest to complain is Lori E, who said she returned home from her Greek holiday to see a charge of $876 (£690) for two drinks.

She wrote: "Total rip off! Make sure you get a receipt before leaving and check your credit card because they over charge. 

"Was told beds were free to sit it if we order food or drink. No problem....ordered 2 drinks which we afterwards saw were 51 euros each. 

"If that wasn't crazy enough we returned to the states and had a $876 charge on our account. FOR 2 DRINKS!!!"

The tourists are now trying to dispute the charge with their credit card company after never receiving a paper copy of a receipt.

Responding to the Tripadvisor review, DK Oyser said: "Our sunbeds come with minimum consumption, so we encourage all visitors to check the menus, before placing their orders. 

"I would like to note that our menus are displayed on blackboards near the entrance, showing the prices of our food and drinks to keep our guests informed."

Other reviews claim DK Oyser charged them £253 for sea bass and £100 for a jumbo shrimp that "wasn't cooked properly".

DK Oyster has been contacted for comment.

Iceland is set to partner with parenting website Mumsnet to launch a range of children's products.

Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts, and the brand's partnership director Sarah Murray-Muncila, met with members of Iceland's innovation team last week to work on the products.

According to The Grocer , the new products will hit the stores in early 2025.

"We've been working on something truly special in partnership with Iceland Foods," Mumsnet said.

"Big things are happening for little ones."

Iceland has launched several new collaborations in recent months, including exclusive products with brands such as Slimming World, MyProtein and boxer Tyson Fury's Furocity.

It's not just a big day in the UK with voters heading to the polls but also in the US with 4 July celebrations taking place.

And there's plenty to celebrate for those with a stake in US stocks. 

Last night, there was another record high for the S&P 500 index that tracks the share price performance of the 500 largest companies listed on US stock exchanges.

The performance of companies on the tech firm-heavy New York-based NASDAQ too reached a new high.

It came as Elon Musk's Tesla saw its share price reaching a six-month high, along with the rise and rise of trillion-dollar AI microchip maker Nvidia.

Today and tomorrow will likely be quieter as the US markets close. 

In the UK, both the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 and 250 indexes are up - 0.76% in the list of 100 most valuable companies and 0.42% in the 101st to 250th most valued firms. 

While the pound does by buy less euro than it did earlier this month, with £1 equal to €1.18 it's still buying more than during most of the last year.

Against the dollar, sterling has held the gains of the last few weeks and a pound will get you $1.2749. 

There is no let up for motorists as the oil price is sticking around the two-month high mark. A barrel of the benchmark Brent crude oil costs $86.59.

As house prices continue to rise, so too does the age at which young people can expect to own their own home. 

Unfortunately, even the ceiling of the term "young people" isn't far off from being challenged - with fresh research suggesting that the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is 33 years and 8 months old, according to Mojo Mortgages . 

In comparison, in 1960, the average first-time buyer was 23 years old, according to separate research by Keepmoat Homes. 

Comparatively, however, the average age of a first-time buyer in 2014 was 32 years, 6 months old, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

During the same period, the average price of a house in the UK rose from around £188,000 (January 2014) to £282,000  ( January this year). 

Back to today's figures - and those in Wales are able to buy their homes the youngest, with the data suggesting the average first-time buyer there is 31 years old. 

Naturally, the older you buy a home, the later in life you'll pay off a mortgage. 

With an average mortgage length of 30 years, it seems the average UK first-time buyer isn't expected to be mortgage-free until they are 63 years and 8 months old.

And if you live in the capital, you'll surpass the current retirement age at 66 years, 8 months. 

Here's a full breakdown of how old first-time buyers are, the average mortgage length and age they can expect to be mortgage-free by region... 

A lot of people have had to renegotiate or extend their mortgages thanks to soaring interest rates in recent years - and the data from Mojo tells us a little about that too.

The study found extending your mortgage term by 10 years (to 35 years) will cost today's average first-time buyer an extra £110,640, which may impact later life planning and their pension.

Barclaycard is cutting the minimum amount its customers have to repay each month.

While the move may sound like good news on the surface, it could well mean you're in debt for longer and end up paying more interest. 

At the moment, most Barclaycard customers have a minimum repayment of 3.75% of their balance, 2.5% of their balance plus interest, or £5. 

But, from 22 July, that will change to the highest amount out of: 

  • 1% of their balance
  • 1% of their balance plus interest

This means if you are currently only paying the minimum on your card, you'll likely repay less each month. 

But, minimum amounts are designed to keep people in debt for as long as possible, and lowering them just makes this period even longer.

MoneySavingExpert says the change means it could now take a customer with a £1,000 debt an extra decade to pay it off, if they only pay the minimum amount.

On average, it says it will take 19 years and three months to clear and the interest will total £1,655. 

Founder of MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis says the change is "worryingly under the radar" and urged customers to check if their repayments are set to the minimum amount.

"Minimum repayments have always been credit card firms' secret weapon. Letting people repay little looks appealing – hence why Barclaycard says this is about 'flexibility'. Yet it takes flexibility to kick your own backside, and this will hurt some just as much," he said.

A Barclays spokesperson told Sky News: "We regularly review our products and from July, some Barclaycard customers will see changes to their minimum monthly payments, alongside adjustments to the APR.

"Customers will benefit from a reduction in their minimum monthly repayment and the vast majority have no change to APR, while some will receive a decrease.

"We have made these changes to increase flexibility for our customers and have been clear in our communications that paying more than the minimum can help customers clear their balance sooner and pay less interest." 

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Deal alert: Points and miles travel deals for July 2024

Augusta Stone

Editor's Note

From lucrative deals for bonus points on hotel stays to generous sales of airline miles , we're finding plenty of travel deals to help you earn and redeem your points and miles so you can book the vacation of your dreams.

For July, we found deals to fly nonstop to Hawaii from $190 round-trip , earn up to 75,000 Air Canada Aeroplan points by donating to Miles4Migrants and fly nonstop to Mexico from multiple U.S. cities from $222 . But that's not all.

We help our readers each week by rounding up ongoing monthly promotions so you don't have to scour the internet for the best reward redemptions and offers. From frequent flyer programs and hotel rewards programs to credit card offers that help maximize your spending , you can make the most of your points and miles redemptions with these lucrative offers.

Here's our list of some noteworthy new points and miles promotions for July.

Airline loyalty program promotions (July 2024)

tour europe in january

Airline loyalty programs can offer trip discounts on certain dates, the chance to earn more miles for future travel and deals to rack up points toward elite status. Below are some of the offers we found for July.

Discounted award flights on Air France-KLM Flying Blue

If you're looking to book European flights to take from now through the end of the year, you could get more for your miles by redeeming this month's Air France-KLM Flying Blue Promo Rewards.

  • Get up to 25% off Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles redemptions with the monthly Flying Blue Promo Rewards .
  • Discounted reward tickets are available on long-haul flights to and from Europe operated by Air France and KLM.
  • Long-haul economy tickets from Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and Raleigh-Durham to Europe start at just 15,000 miles.
  • Book by July 31 to travel to Europe through Dec. 31 for just 15,000 miles.

Related: Best airline credit cards

Hotel loyalty program promotions (July 2024)

tour europe in january

Hotel loyalty programs occasionally offer discounted stays, ways to earn extra points and deals at various properties. We collected some of this month's active deals below.

Triple Marriott Bonvoy points on select Homes & Villas rentals in the Caribbean

Ready to book a Caribbean getaway? Marriott Bonvoy is running a deal to earn triple the number of base points you'd earn on a Homes & Villas stay in the Caribbean. You'll have to act fast since this offer ends July 7.

  • Earn triple points on a stay of at least four nights with Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy properties in the Caribbean after you register for the deal.
  • You must book by July 7 and stay by March 31, 2025, to redeem this promotion.

Hilton Honors bonus points when flying Delta Air Lines premium cabins

Hilton loyalists who enjoy flying with Delta could find some value in the loyalty programs' latest joint promotion, offering up to 6,000 Hilton Honors bonus points when booking and flying with Delta in the airline's premium cabins.

  • Earn 1,000 Hilton Honors bonus points for each one-way Delta Air Lines flight booked and flown in Delta Comfort+, first class, Delta Premium Select or Delta One, up to 6,000 total Hilton Honors bonus points ( see terms ).
  • You must book your flights by July 19 and fly with Delta by Sept. 19 to earn these bonus points.

Marriott Bonvoy bonus points at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

Planning a luxurious stay in Vienna, Austria, this summer could earn you up to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points — along with daily complimentary breakfast during your stay.

  • Earn bonus Marriott Bonvoy points when you book a two-night minimum stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna, using the deal's promotional code, "M11."
  • Your bonus-earning is dependent on the room type in which you stay. Get 15,000 bonus points when you stay in a Premium Deluxe Suite; get 30,000 bonus points when you stay in a Junior Suite; get 40,000 bonus points when you stay in a Premium Suite.
  • You must book by Aug. 31 for stays through Sept. 13 to redeem this offer.

World of Hyatt bonus points for stays in Latin America and the Caribbean

If you're a World of Hyatt loyalist looking to stack up more points, this one's for you. You could earn a heap of bonus points for every three qualifying nights at participating hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean if you register for this promotion .

  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every three qualifying nights stayed from July 15 to Oct. 14 at participating Hyatt properties in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • You can earn up to 20,000 bonus points with this offer.
  • Register for the deal before booking your stay. You have until Sept. 30 to register.

Related: Best hotel credit cards

Credit card promotions (July 2024)

tour europe in january

Card issuers sometimes offer deals and discounts for certain cardholders on everything from airfare to restaurant dining. Here are some of the offers we've rounded up this week.

Targeted American Express Offer with Hilton brands

If you're planning to book a hotel soon, check your American Express Offers to see if you've been targeted for this solid cash-back offer on stays at most Hilton brands this summer. (We found this deal on The Platinum Card® from American Express , as it appears to be in celebration of the card's 40th anniversary.)

  • Get a one-time $40 statement credit when you spend at least $180 in one or more purchases (including room rate and room charges) at most Hilton brands.
  • This deal excludes Hilton Grand Vacations.
  • You must enroll your eligible card in this offer before making your purchase to earn the statement credit.
  • The offer expires July 31.

Targeted American Express Offer for JetBlue flights

Summertime travel can get a bit sweeter if you're targeted for this Amex Offer on JetBlue flights. (We found this deal on the Amex Plat.)

  • Get a one-time $50 statement credit when you spend at least $200 in one or more transactions directly with JetBlue. You must use your enrolled eligible card.
  • You must enroll your eligible card in this offer before making your purchase to earn a statement credit.
  • The flight must originate in the U.S., and the purchase must be made in dollars.
  • The offer expires Aug. 6.

Targeted American Express Offers on Amazon purchases

Amazon Prime Day is on the horizon. Check your Amex Offers to see if you can make the deals even more rewarding. We found two examples of this offer on the American Express® Gold Card .

  • Earn 1,500 additional Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $400 in one or more purchases with Amazon, with a limit of 4,500 additional Membership Rewards points; earn 1,000 additional Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $250 in one or more purchases with Amazon, with a limit of 3,000 additional Membership Rewards points.
  • You must enroll in the offer you're targeted for and use your eligible card on your Amazon purchases to earn extra points.
  • The offer expires Aug. 30.

Targeted American Express Offer with The Langham Hotels and Resorts in North America

If you're targeted for this promotion, you could get more back on a stay at a participating North American location of The Langham Hotels this summer. We found this offer on the Amex Gold.

  • Earn $150 as a one-time statement credit when you spend $750 or more on purchases (including room rate and room charges) at participating Langham Hotels and Resorts properties in North America.
  • You must enroll in the offer and use your eligible card to earn the statement credit.
  • The offer expires Sept. 2.

Targeted American Express Offer for Hilton stays in the US

If you weren't targeted for the $40 cash-back Amex Offer with Hilton, you could still be eligible for another Hilton-Amex promo to earn cash back on an upcoming stay. This offer is only available for Hilton stays in the U.S.

  • Get 5% cash back as a statement credit when you use your enrolled eligible card on purchases (including room rate and room charges) at participating Hilton properties.
  • You can earn up to $100 back with this deal.
  • The offer expires Sept. 30.

Targeted American Express Offer on AKA properties in the US

Lastly, if you're looking to earn some cash back on a stay at a U.S. AKA property, check to see if you've been targeted for this Amex Offer.

  • Earn $150 as a one-time statement credit when you spend at least $750 in one or more purchases on room rate and room charges at a participating AKA property in the U.S.
  • The offer is not valid for AVE properties or AKA Marylebone. The offer also excludes Access AKA membership fees and purchases from apresaka.com.
  • You must book on stayaka.com to redeem this offer.
  • The offer is only valid on purchases made in U.S. dollars.
  • The offer expires Nov. 22.

Ongoing travel deals

In addition to these new offers, there are many others from previous weeks that are still available:

  • Enroll in a Sixt rental car status match with multiple airline and hotel program partners .
  • Enroll in an Air France-KLM Flying Blue status match opportunity if you're a resident of an eligible country (including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and Spain; others can be found here ). Successful enrollment in the status match is contingent upon submitting an application , proving equivalent elite status in one of 18 eligible airline loyalty programs and paying a fee determined by your status match level. There is no publicly available end date for this promotion.
  • Earn bonus World of Hyatt points for attending a virtual timeshare presentation. You must reside in an eligible U.S. state and meet an annual income requirement, among other requirements . You must request information to learn more about this promotion. There is no publicly available end date for this offer.
  • Buy Avianca LifeMiles with up to a 155% bonus through July 11.
  • Buy Southwest Rapid Rewards points with up to a 50% discount through July 21.
  • Buy Hilton Honors points with a 100% bonus through July 23.
  • Earn bonus miles in the Lufthansa Miles & More program by registering for a Best Western deal and staying at participating properties in Europe. The deal expires July 31.
  • Those who have a Citi Double Cash® Card (see rates and fees ) can get 10% off a single hotel stay booked through the Citi travel portal . You must book your stay by July 31.
  • Earn four times the reward points on your next Accor Live Limitless stay using this registration link . Book by Aug. 4 for a stay by Sept. 22.
  • Earn bonus Hilton Honors points for each AutoCamp stay completed by Aug. 12.
  • Earn bonus Marriott Bonvoy points on select stays in the Middle East, Africa and participating European cities. Register for the deal and use promotional code "MR5." Book by Aug. 22 for stays through Sept. 1.
  • Earn triple All Nippon Airways miles (9 miles per dollar) when you stay at an IHG property through Aug. 31. Register for the promotion and set ANA miles as your point-earning preference.
  • Earn bonus Marriott Bonvoy points when you stay at The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Use "M11," the deal's promotional code , at checkout. Book and stay by Aug. 31.
  • Receive a discount on an IHG One Rewards redemption when booking at a select new or renovated property this summer. Book and stay by Aug. 31.
  • Earn bonus Wyndham Rewards points for staying with the brand. Your bonus is determined by how many consecutive nights you stay. Register for the deal by Aug. 31 for stays completed by Sept. 3.
  • Earn bonus Best Western Rewards points when you register before your stay and book at least three nights (separate or consecutive). Complete your eligible nights by Sept. 2.
  • Earn bonus Marriott Bonvoy points for stays in the Caribbean and Latin America. Register with "MRP," the deal's promotional code , and book by Sept. 3. Stay by Sept. 9.
  • Earn bonus points for joining IHG One Rewards and staying at an IHG property within 21 days of joining. The promotion ends Sept. 13.
  • Get a discount at participating Fairmont properties when you book directly with the brand . Book by Sept. 15. Stay by Dec. 30.
  • Earn 250 miles in the Lufthansa Miles & More program by registering for the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program using this link . The offer expires Nov. 30.
  • If you book hotels, car rentals and attractions through the Citi travel portal, as a Citi Double Cash cardmember, you will also earn an additional 3 bonus Citi ThankYou Rewards points per dollar spent. This gets you a total of 5 ThankYou Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible bookings through the Citi travel portal. The offer expires Dec. 31.
  • If you aren't a member of Qatar Airways Privilege Club , you can earn bonus Avios if you join by Dec. 31. Register with "PCAMER24," the deal's promo code , and book a flight by June 30, 2025, to earn bonus Avios.
  • Earn bonus Spirit Airlines Free Spirit points for completing an eligible round-trip flight at any time in 2024. Register with your Free Spirit number to redeem this offer. Travel must be completed by Dec. 31.
  • If you haven't set up a Free Spirit account yet, you can get bonus points by registering as a new member through this promotional link . You must register by Dec. 31.
  • Those who hold Citi rewards credit cards , including the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card (see rates and fees ), the Citi Rewards+® Card (see rates and fees ) and the Citi Double Cash, can earn both Citi ThankYou Rewards points and Select Guest points through Omni's loyalty program if you book a stay at one of 50 Omni Hotels & Resorts through the Citi travel portal. This offer is also available to those with the Citi Simplicity® Card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card (see rates and fees ).

The information for the Citi Simplicity has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Additionally, there are many stand-alone Amex Offers and Chase Offers still available across a variety of credit cards.

Targeted Amex Offers

  • Earn a one-time statement credit on charges at participating Secrets Resorts & Spas and Impression by Secrets resorts. Book at the Hyatt Inclusive Collection website by July 14.
  • Earn cash back when you spend with Frontier Airlines. The offer expires July 15.
  • Earn cash back as a one-time statement credit on purchases with select WorldHotels properties in the U.S. and internationally. The offer expires July 19.
  • Earn cash back as a one-time statement credit on purchases at The Global Ambassador hotel in Phoenix. The offer expires July 29.
  • Earn cash back on a stay at a participating Hilton hotel in Nevada. The offer expires July 31.
  • Earn cash back on stays with Minor Hotels Group. The offer expires July 31.
  • Earn bonus Membership Rewards points for opening a business checking account. If you're targeted, you must apply by July 31 to receive the offer.
  • Earn cash back in the form of a statement credit on transactions with Carnival Cruise Line . The offer expires Aug. 1.
  • Earn bonus Membership Rewards points on a stay at a Canyon Ranch resort. The offer expires Aug. 12.
  • Earn a one-time statement credit when you spend at Equinox Hotel at Hudson Yards. The offer expires Aug. 16.
  • Earn bonus Membership Rewards points after purchasing Delta Air Lines gift cards. The offer expires Aug. 25.
  • Get a one-time statement credit on purchases across multiple Boyne Golf resorts in Michigan. The offer expires Sept. 1.
  • Earn 5 Membership Rewards points (up to 50,000) for each dollar spent on purchases made directly with AmaWaterways. The deal expires Sept. 1.
  • Get a one-time statement credit when you use your enrolled eligible card on purchases with Avis Car Rental. The offer expires Sept. 9.
  • Earn cash back or extra Membership Rewards points on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and spa and personal care centers. These deals expire Sept. 13.
  • Earn a one-time statement credit when you spend at The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The offer expires Sept. 15.
  • Earn a one-time statement credit on Hilton all-inclusive resorts and vacation hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America. The offer expires Sept. 30.
  • Earn a one-time statement credit on stays with Omni Hotels & Resorts in the U.S. and Canada. The offer expires Sept. 30.
  • Earn cash back as a one-time statement credit on a stay at select Opal Collection properties, PGA National Resort or Margaritaville Beach House Key West. These offers expire Sept. 30.
  • Earn cash back on online purchases with ResortPass. The offer expires Sept. 30.
  • Earn cash back as a one-time statement credit on stays at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The offer expires Oct. 4.
  • Earn cash back as a one-time statement credit on a stay at Lotte Hotel Seattle. The offer expires Oct. 29.
  • Earn a one-time statement credit when you use your card to spend with Micato Safaris. The offer expires Nov. 15.
  • Earn a one-time statement credit when you use your card to pay for a stay at Lotte New York Palace. The offer expires Nov. 22.

Targeted Chase Offers

  • Earn cash back when you spend with Turo, a car-sharing marketplace. The offer expires July 30.
  • Earn cash back on purchases at Great Wolf Lodge. The offer expires July 31.
  • Earn cash back when you stay at Hyatt House or Hyatt Place properties. Both offers expire July 31.

Remember that these are targeted, and you must activate the offers before making eligible purchases to enjoy the cash back or bonus points.

Related reading:

  • Best travel credit cards
  • The best time to book flights for the cheapest airfare
  • 6 real-life strategies you can use when your flight is canceled or delayed
  • Maximize your airfare: The best credit cards for booking flights
  • The best credit cards to reach elite status
  • What are points and miles worth? TPG's current monthly valuations

IMAGES

  1. 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe In January (2024)

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  2. 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe in Winter

    tour europe in january

  3. 10 Best Place to Visit January in 2020

    tour europe in january

  4. Europe in January: Top 10 Best Places to Visit

    tour europe in january

  5. 10 Best Places to Go in Europe in January 2021

    tour europe in january

  6. 40+ The Best Places To Visit In Europe In January Background

    tour europe in january

VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. 21 best places to visit in Europe in January (2024 guide)

    Paphos, Cyprus. Paphos is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January. This coastal city is located in the southwestern part of Cyprus and is known for its very rich history. Over the centuries, various civilizations like the Greeks, Romans, Turks, and even the British have made left their marks in this place.

  2. Best Places to Travel in Europe January

    From snowy Finland to bustling London, these are the best places to travel in Europe in January. Visit the best museums, restaurants, and sights with fewer crowds by traveling this month.

  3. 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe In January (2024)

    Tenerife, Spain (Canary Islands) By Lara from The Best Travel Gifts. One of the best beach destinations to visit in January in Europe if you are looking for a sunny days is Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. With pleasant temperatures, Tenerife is one of the warmest places in Europe during the winter months.

  4. 35 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

    8. Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by falco on Pixabay. Tucked away in the Baltic region, Tallinn, Estonia's capital, is a hidden gem that comes alive in January. Despite being one of the lesser-known countries in Europe, Tallinn is a captivating place to visit during this time of year.

  5. 73 BEST Places to Visit in Europe in January [2024 UPDATE]

    2. London, England - one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for iconic sites and romance. 3. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic. 4. Rome, Italy - one of the best places to visit in Europe in January for romance. 5. The Hague, Netherlands. 6.

  6. 27 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January (+ Winter Tips!)

    Location: Poland. Average temperatures in Zakopane in January: highs of 0C (31F) and lows of -9C (16F); 5 days of precipitation. Recommended by: Holly from Four around the World. Zakopane is a beautiful mountain town in Poland that is well-known for its winter sports and quaint wooden houses.

  7. 28 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January 2024

    Table of Contents. Best Places to Visit in Europe in January | Best European Cities to Visit in January. 1. Paris, France | Romance, moody, and New Years! 2. Edinburgh, Scotland | Festivals, whisky and a castle. 3. Munich Bavaria, Germany | Three Kings Day, museums and cheapest time to travel. 4.

  8. 10 Best Europe Tours in January 2025

    What people love about Europe Tours in January. Kapila Wadumesthrige 24 Apr, 2024. 4. It was very good. The tour guides were awesome. The Great Adventure. Susan Annette Crisan 20 Mar, 2024. 5. Fez Travel packed in lots of sights and things to see and do.

  9. The 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

    January is surprisingly mild in Paphos, with plenty of sunshine at highs of around 60°F (15°C). This weather is perfect for laid-back beach days without having to worry too much about getting burned. If you're wondering where to go in Europe in January, Paphos is well worth a visit! 9. Zell am See, Austria.

  10. Top 10 Europe Tours Departing January 2025

    Europe; Top 10 Europe Tours Departing January 2025; Travel in the off-season to see Europe in a new light. Picture this: you've just entered the Uffizi in Florence without a wait, you take a surprisingly crowd-free photo at Park Güell in Barcelona, and the bakery in Lisbon has more pastéis de nata available than you can eat in a sitting.

  11. 15 Best Places To Visit in January in Europe: Sun, Ski, Cities & Snow

    San Sebastian (Donosia), Spain. Spain is one of the best countries to visit in January in Europe for a multitude of reasons. The sun is still shining in the Canary Islands, Granada has its ski slopes, and the 6th of January sees Christmas celebrations.

  12. 34 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in January [2024]

    Here are the best winter escapes in Spain. 34. Seville, Spain. 🌡️ Average January temperature: 42 °-60°F | 6°-16°C. 💧 Average rainy days in January: 6. ☀️ Why visit in January: Seville is the capital of Andalusia and one of the sunniest places in Europe. Even in January, temperatures are very mild.

  13. 15 warmest places in Europe in January (2024 guide)

    Warmest places to visit in Europe in February. Warmest places in Europe in March. 1. Malaga, Spain. When most of Europe is shivering, Malaga, sitting on Spain's south coast, is home to an abundance of warmth and sunshine! The capital of the Costa del Sol, Malaga averages a comfortable 17°C (63°F) in January.

  14. 10 classic European winter vacations to try

    5. Bask in the sunshine in Andalucía, Spain. Some parts of Andalucía are further south than the African coast, so expect mild temperatures in winter. Accommodation is cheap and crowds are smaller at standout attractions like Granada's Alhambra and Seville's cathedral.

  15. Best Places to Visit in Europe in January 2024

    Monte Carlo - Car Rally. 24th of January -28th January 2024. In what will be the Monte Carlo Car Rally's 92nd event, prepare to witness one of the world's most famous rallies in one of the most incredible locations in Europe. With its historical roots dating back to 1911, and its associations with Prince Albert I, the event is full of ...

  16. 20 best places to visit in Europe in January

    The weather in Europe in January. In most of Europe, January is the chilliest month, with average temperatures often dropping to around - 7°C / 19°F. Expect shorter, darker days and freezing conditions. Be sure to pack your winter essentials: a coat, hat, scarf, gloves, and plenty of warm layers. Best winter destinations in Europe

  17. 12 Best Europe destinations in January of 2024

    In other words, Turkey has always been quite affordable and once again it's one of the cheaper places in Europe or the world for that matter. Good 3-star hotels in January from €32 for two people. Good 4-star hotels in January from €46 for two people. Hostel dorm beds in January from €10 per person.

  18. Best Winter Europe Tours & Vacations

    Winter Escapes. Travel on a Rick Steves tour for the very best value in a European winter vacation. The following itineraries have dates available in December, February, or March. Rick packages all his winter tours to include small groups, great itineraries, central hotels, all sightseeing, and memories to last a lifetime. Best of Rome in 7 ...

  19. 32 BEST Destinations To Spend Winter In Europe

    Krakow, Poland. Another fantastic place to spend winter in Europe is this Polish City. It's a known fact about Poland that Krakow is one of the best-preserved cities in Europe because it was amazingly spared destruction in WWII. The city lies in Southern Poland and has an impressive medieval core and Jewish quarter.

  20. 15 Best European Cities to Visit in January 2021

    Temperatures in Bergen in January: Bergen is cold in January, with temperatures around 37°F, sometimes dropping to 29°F. Things to do in Bergen in January: Take a winter boat tour among the fjords of Bergen, visit the Hanseatic Museum, climb the Rosenkrantz Tower and enjoy the view. Read more: Best Time for Watching Northern Lights in Norway. 4.

  21. Places To Visit In Europe In January 2024 For A Chilled Vacation

    5. Florence, Italy. 1. Barcelona, Spain. The city of Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia locale of Spain. The city receives the rewards of the ocean breeze during January, which prevents the mercury from plunging excessively low. January is the least famous month of the year for visitors in Barcelona.

  22. 10 Warmest Places to Visit in Europe in January 2024

    Tour its picturesque villages. Take to the hills on a 4×4 safari adventure. 3. Murcia, Spain. Murcia is among the warmest places in Europe in January. Temperatures here reach highs of 59°F, with averages sitting around 50°F and chilly lows of 41°F. It can get even hotter — the record high for Murcia is 82°F!

  23. Europe Winter Tours

    Explore the best winter tours & trips through Europe. Choose from 199 unique tour itineraries with 148 past traveller reviews from 13 leading tour operators. December is the most popular month to join a winter tours & trip through Europe with 2,835 departures starting between September 2024 and April 2026.

  24. Europe's travel strikes: Flight and train disruption you can expect in

    Europe's travel strikes: Flight and train disruption you can expect in July Passengers look at check-in times for flights during a nationwide strike of airports ground staff, and check-in services ...

  25. How to Check In

    Make your travel day even easier with the Fly Delta app. After download, check in as a guest, log in or register for a SkyMiles® account. From there, add your trip confirmation number to access your trips. When you're logged in, you'll be automatically checked in 24 hours before your flight, and you can use Today Mode to see your boarding ...

  26. The Grand Tour in 18th-19th C. Europe: Small collector/tourist items

    Inquiring readers, I recently purchased a book entitled The Grand Tour of Europe (*1). The tour was a rite of passage from the 17th through 19th centuries for the sons (and in a few cases, the daughters) of aristocrats, the wealthy gentry, and rising merchant classes. ... for Peter von Winter's duet "Con quell occhietto languido non mi ...

  27. Times Travel

    Airport and air traffic control strikes in Europe: will my flight be cancelled? 42 minutes ago. VIDEO. Europe's freshest city is one you've probably never heard of. ... The Times Travel Awards 2024: vote for your favourites and win top prizes. TRAVEL AWARDS. The Times Travel Awards 2024: vote for your favourites and win top prizes ...

  28. Best of the Money blog

    Pay attention to the plug - if a product is listed with a foreign plug and travel adaptor, do not buy it. Do not buy on price alone - not all bargains are worth it ... (January 2014) to £282,000 ...

  29. Deal alert: Points and miles travel deals for July 2024

    From lucrative deals for bonus points on hotel stays to generous sales of airline miles, we're finding plenty of travel deals to help you earn and redeem your points and miles so you can book the vacation of your dreams.. For July, we found deals to book American Airlines round-trip flights for just 10,000 miles, earn up to 75,000 Air Canada Aeroplan points by donating to Miles4Migrants and ...