January is the perfect time for fulfilling your New Year’s travel resolutions! Post-holiday prices are lower than ever while the heavy January snows make Europe look more beautiful than ever. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure-filled holiday at Europe’s most spectacular winter destinations.
1. Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck sparkles in January, and not just because it’s the home of the Swarovski crystals. As the ski capital of the world and a two-time host of the Winter Olympics, Innsbruck is an unmissable winter destination.
During the day, you can take the cable car up to the many ski slopes surrounding the city. In the evening, take advantage of the vibrant buzzing of this relatively young city to discover the city’s hotspots. Walk around the maze-like streets while taking in the beautiful gothic and baroque architecture.
If you do visit Innsbruck this winter, do not miss out on visiting Kristallwelten, the beautiful Swarovski museum that was built to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. Also worth a visit is the Nordkette Mountain. Located in the heart of Innsbruck, this mountain range offers all kinds of exciting activities, including a Jazz Brunch. You can also enjoy the many art exhibitions taking place in January, such as the Raus Mit Der Kunst. If you like science, you may be interested in attending the Illusionen exhibition that uses installations and devices to show how our eyes can sometimes trick the brain.
2. Absiko, Sweeden
If you want to experience winter like never before head out to Absiko, in Sweden. Located in the north of Sweden, Absiko is one of the furthest places North you can reach by train in Europe. Due to its position in the Artic Circle, there are days in January when the sun does not rise at all, with temperatures reaching as low as -30°C.
Take advantage of the unique activities you can do there, such as dog sledging or ice fishing. You can even go on a snowmobile sledge tour or a reindeer experience to fully experience the breathtaking snowy landscape.
A sight-to-see is the Ice Hotel in Kiruna, which is only a short drive away. Learn how they re-create this magnificent hotel every year and explore its icy suites with a professional guide. Also worth a visit is the Absiko National Park and the Aurora Sky Station. Situated on Mount Nuolja, the Sky Station is one of the best places to see the Northen Lights. Experience the magic of this illuminating phenomenon and enjoy the awe-inspiring view.
3. Edinburgh Scotland
As one of Europe’s oldest cities, historic Edinburgh is sure to mesmerise you this winter. The beautiful Scottish capital attracts visitors all year round but takes on a particular charm when covered with January snows. With its many attractions and numerous cultural events, Edinburgh is the perfect destination for anyone looking for an all-rounded getaway.
Spend the day walking around the city to appreciate the picturesque setting and beautiful architecture. Visit the colourful Victoria street and be sure to hit some of the local shops, as well as try out one of the many trendy bistros. If you are a nature lover, be sure to visit The Meadows, a large public park with beautiful lots of facilities. Also worth a visit is Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden, which is considered to be one of the best in the world. If you are interested in recreational activities such as skiing, horse riding or mountain biking, you could spend the day at the Petland Hills. Last but not least, the Edinburgh Castle, as the most visited attraction of the city, offers an unforgettable historic experience.
To make the most out of your January trip, be sure to attend one of the many cultural events and exhibitions taking place. Attend the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland to see some stunning photographs. Also, do not miss out on exploring the Indigo Yard Gin Garden, a cosy garden offering hot mulled gin cocktails accompanied by snuggly warm blankets. If you love the theatre, you could attend the renowned Mamma Mia! musical on in early January. If you are visiting in late January do not miss Wonderland, a musical adaptation of Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland.