Winter is an interesting time of year since half of the hemisphere is actually in winter, and technically the other half is in summer. In this article i’m going to focus on my favorite places that are great specifically during winter. Not to say that these suggestions aren’t great in the summer too, but in particular going to these places in the Winter will yield better results. As a person who travels approximately 100 days a year I plan my travel around where I think I’ll yield the best results for that particular place during that time of year.
- Iceland – What people often think is one of the coldest places on Earth (I mean, the name kind of connotes it), is actually not that much colder in Winter. However, what you do get during late Fall to early Spring is the Northern Lights (October to March). This is because of how dark it stays during Winter, with close to 20 hours of effective darkness in the midst of it. Combine this with the fact that Iceland doesn’t really warm up that much in the Summer, and put this at the top of the Winter travel list.
- Copenhagen – During the Winter months Copenhagen will warm everyone’s hearts. That may sound cheesy but damn its true. Between the mulled wine (known as Glogg) and the feeling of Hygge (which essentially means the warm fuzzy feeling you get), this was a country made for Winter. Don’t just take my word for it though, because winter is actually the only time that the famous outdoor Christmas gardens of Tivoli open and which are basically a must visit. Consisting of food stalls, skating, and literal acres of Winter activities it is a Winter Wonderland in the most literal sense.
- New York – A Winter travel list wouldn’t be complete without New York. Although New York is a great place almost year round, in the Winter right before Christmas it is a city full of life and bustle. Come before January though and get ready for some of the best bar and restaurant hopping in the US. For some reason New York just happens to be a bit more special in November and December as the holidays near. My favorite places to visit happen to be the market under the Plaza Hotel, and of course Rockefeller Center for the view from the Top of the Rock. As much as I try to avoid the most touristy spots – the views from the Top of the Rock in a cold dry winter during nighttime just can’t be beat.
- Paris – This is a city that is pretty year round, but during Winter the appeal is similar to that of New York. There’s a certain romantic quality to Paris that is especially prevalent in Winter, both of the literal and of the traveling variety. Many people will say that Paris is cold, dreary, and rainy in the Winter, but in my opinion there is a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi during this time of year. Between the Christmas markets next to Notre Dame, the special Cassoulet’s which are served only during the Winter months, and the lights strewn over Champs-Elysees, Paris is right behind New York on my Winter (Cold) list.