Winter is coming! Some may dread the cold winter months, but we think it is the perfect time to travel! No, we don’t just mean hopping a plane to the nearest tropical destination (although that is also a great option), we think wintery weather destinations are also definitely worth exploring.
Pack your warmest winter jacket, gloves, and hat and get yourself to one of our top 25 winter weather destinations. We have options for all year round, from both the northern and southern hemispheres.
As always, if you think we have missed any please let us know in the comments section below.
Quebec City is a winter wonderland. This city, beautiful all year round, is stunning in the wintertime! Don’t miss the Quebec Winter Carnival, which will make even the most skeptical souls fall in love with the season.
Breckenridge is an adorable little town, nestled in the heart of the Rockies. Aside from being a superb ski resort, Breckenridge also has great nightlife and tons of other winter activities for all tastes.
In 2002, Park City hosted the Winter Olympics and now offers visitors the chance to partake in all the thrills of the Olympic games. The city is super fun, has great restaurants and excellent nightlife, and has activities for people of all ages.
Stowe is the perfect escape from northeastern city life. Make sure to check out the awesome craft beer scene in the city. Take a brewery tour, visit the many cozy bars throughout the city, and don’t forget to take a break from beer and have yourself a delicious hard cider!
Bend is a cool city with lots of winter fun to be had, on and off the ski slope. Ski Mt. Bachelor, a dormant volcano, or do something a bit different and go winter biking on a fat tire bike. There are also tons of great craft beer breweries in the area.
Big Sky, Montana lets you escape the crowds that flock to Colorado and Utah and enjoy a serene break from your day-to-day. This area is also incredibly beautiful, with out-of-this-world views, especially during the winter.
Jackson Hole is another stunningly beautiful getaway in the Rockies, offering a fantastic escape, where you can enjoy wide-open spaces. The town itself has a cozy, wild west feel to it that will make you feel right at home. You can also find some of the best skiing around here. Jackson Hole is an excellent winter vacation choice.
Not too far from Cape Town, the Matroosberg Nature Reserve is an escape for those wanting to totally disconnect for a bit. Matroosberg lets you go totally off the grid while enjoying beautiful snow-capped mountains in the background.
The Snowy Mountains, in the southeast of Australia, offer all of the best things about mountains, including incredible skiing, gorgeous winter hiking, and snowshoeing. After a day full of adventure, spend your evenings enjoying absurdly delicious food at world-renowned restaurants and on days you want to just relax, go driving through the beautiful surrounding areas and check out Australia’s capital city, Canberra.
A short drive from San Francisco you'll find the winter wonderland of Lake Tahoe. It is home to a host of winter sports and beautiful scenery with snow-capped mountains, and tall pine forests. There's even a strip of casinos to keep you entertained at night if that's your thing.
Harbin, China is home to the International Snow and Ice Festival, which is famous for its glowing ice sculptures. If you're headed there, make sure to bundle up! This festival is an amazing event, but also extremely cold!
Mongolia may not strike you as an excellent winter choice, considering it can be extremely cold, but its sheer beauty makes it well worth a winter visit. If you prepare yourself with winter gear, you will be rewarded by gorgeous countryside, coated with snow, where the nomadic life of Mongolians continues to demonstrate the beauty there is in a simple life.
Sapporo, Japan is one of the most fun places in the world to go in the winter. There are activities galore, in addition to the world-renowned Sapporo Snow Festival, which boasts some of the most phenomenal snow sculptures in the world. Try out luging or take a break and head to the nearby hot springs. Regardless of your choice, come prepared to have a great time!
Paris! The most romantic city in the world is even more so in the winter. Something about the city of lights under glistening snow will take your breath away.
Prague is almost magical year-round, but in the winter it is something out of a fairy tale. Enjoy a less crowded stroll through the cobbled streets, sip on world-famous mulled wine, and feast on some of the best winter cuisines anywhere on the globe.
Think Sound of Music, think gorgeous mountains covered in snow, think amazing Christmas decorations, think Salzburg in the winter! Go skiing or sweat it out in a sauna. Find what inspired Silent Night, or spend the whole day eating delicious winter pastries while enjoying the views from Salzburg.
Finland claims that Rovaniemi is the birthplace of Santa Claus and the city does its best to live up to that claim. Here you can visit an arctic zoo, go on a reindeer or dog sled ride and go on a snowmobile safari. Then, spend the night in an igloo or snow hotel.
As if you need an excuse to spend more time in one of Vienna’s awesome coffee shops, or to stuff your face with delicious pastries! Winter is an excellent time to do either. After enjoying a stroll through the adorable streets of Vienna, warm yourself with delicious, homestyle food that is perfect for cold winter days.
Cologne is great because it is totally affordable and has a ton to do. During the winter, cozy up for a long night of hanging out in one of the city's pubs or bars. Enjoy a sunset on over the icy Rhine River and take a day trip to the castle Augustusburg and Falkenlust in Brühl, where the snow creates a magical scene.
Abisko is the place to be for viewing the northern lights, which may be visible between October and March. During the day, try cross-country skiing or snowmobiling through the vast wilderness.
Jasna is home to a charming ski resort, where friendly hosts will make you feel right at home. Even though it is lesser known than other European resorts, the skiing here is excellent and the views are breathtaking.
Carnival in Venice, in February, is a must-do! The masks and costumes are exquisite and there is basically one giant party throughout the city. This event takes you back in time in a city that already offers one of the best glimpses into the past.
Pucón offers some of the best skiing in South America and is a great winter destination during the northern hemisphere’s summer months (particularly June to September). This area also offers some of the best gastronomic choices on the continent. Enjoy some of the best food the region has to offer.
Cerro Catedral is one of the largest and most established ski resorts in South America, but the area also offers great winter activity options for non-skiers. Located in Patagonia’s lake district, this region is strikingly beautiful and has much to offer outside of world-class skiing.
Portillo is hidden deep in the Andes Mountains and is a perfect adult escape. Not only is there incredible skiing, but you can also enjoy wine and pisco sour tastings while overlooking the Laguna del Inca, the beautiful lake at the heart of this area.
This winter, don’t just sit inside doing nothing, book a ticket and get backpacking! Enjoy the unique experience of visiting these 25 places while they are coated with snow and take in the best winter activities that the world has to offer.