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Top 5 Europe Winter destinations

Our top choices for winter in Europe!

Winter is an amazing time to travel Europe with Interrail. Not only do you have some of the most remarkable snow-capped scenery to view from your carriage window, but you’ll also be able to soak up the festive atmosphere present in cities throughout the continent.


Get to all these top destinations with an Interrail Global Pass

1. Germany

 Winter in Freudenberg
Winter in Freudenberg

Why go?

Germany is the Christmas capital of Europe. You’ll find festive markets throughout the country, but most of the action takes place in Cologne, Munich and Berlin. There you’ll find quaint stalls selling sumptuous snacks, warming glühwein, and traditional toys and trinkets to take home.

 

How to get there

Germany has a comprehensive rail network that makes it one of the easiest European countries to travel by train. There is a wide selection of high-speed and regional trains throughout the country, many of which require no advance reservation.

2. Austria

 Vienna Christmas market
Vienna Christmas market

Why go?

Like Germany, Austria is a fantastically festive country to visit in winter. The capital, Vienna, is a particularly joyful place in the buildup to Christmas. Cities like Salzburg and Innsbruck take on entirely new identities with fresh dustings of snow, and the nearby Alpine regions present some amazing winter sports opportunities.

 

How to get there

Austria has some of the most advanced high-speed trains in Europe that will connect you between major cities. There are also plenty of regional lines that enable you to reach towns in both the north and the south.

3. Sweden

 Aurora Borealis over snow covered forest
Aurora Borealis over snow covered forest

Why go?

If you’re a true winter lover then you may as well go all-in with a visit to Sweden. Trains can get you as far north as Lapland, where you’ll experience winter like you never have before. You may not see the sun for several weeks up there, but it's the best place to experience the phenomenon of Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights).

 

How to get there

Though distances are far, Sweden has a good rail network that makes getting around by train easy. You can reach Abisko in the far north by night train from Stockholm. Reservations are required for this remarkable journey, which will save you one night of accommodation.

4. Spain

 Cibeles fountain and Alcala gate at night
Cibeles fountain and Alcala gate at night

Why go?

Spain may be an odd duck in this top 5 Europe Winter destinations, but hear us out! If you can’t handle the European cold, then winter is the perfect time to visit this diverse country. The temperatures in Spain drop only a bit, making the weather much more bearable than the mid-summer heat. You may not have many beach days, but you will benefit from fewer tourists and better prices.

 

How to get there

Spain has a comprehensive rail network that spreads out from the capital Madrid. Though many high-speed trains require advance reservations, these will transport you between major cities quickly an in style.

5. Switzerland

 Bernina express in Switzerland
Bernina express in Switzerland

Why go?

Many consider Switzerland to be the original winter paradise. There are few sights as staggering as the snowcapped Alps, and no better way to experience them than from the carriage of a scenic Swiss train. If you’re a fan of winter sports there are several famous ski resorts to visit. Mugs of hot chocolate and cheese fondues are never far away!

 

How to get there

Switzerland has a comprehensive rail network that makes getting around by train effortless. The main rail hub is Zurich, but there are stations located throughout the country.