European Winter: Your Own Winter Wonderland

December 8, 2013

You’ve read about them, you see them in movies and on television too: European winter is packed with an unique romantic and festive feeling you can only find there. There are many attractions that will redefine “winter wonderland” to you, and here are our top picks.

Sweden: Igloos in Jokkmokk

Sweden is much more DIY than just IKEA: you can also get your own DIY Igloo in the city of Jokkmokk. So if you’re looking for a different experience and you want to keep the winter while it’s winter (you can always head to a beach at some other time, while building your igloo sure is pretty extreme - think of the selfies you’ll take). It is extreme and you get to sleep in your own igloo for one night. The fee includes dinner, breakfast and your own guide, skis and snow shoes. You are also given reindeer skin for warmth.

Bear in mind that you need three or four people to build the igloo and they recommend that you have a general level of fitness, so that’s where your gym workouts will be going right now.

For the even more adventurous ones, there is a more hardcore version which includes more activities and lasts for 9 days, also being far more expensive.

Enjoy a rocking stay in Jokkmokk for a rather affordable price tag with any of these hotels!

→ Click here to book your stay in Jokkmokk, Sweden!

Norway: Fjords & Northern Lights and Cruises

The Norwegian coast is dotted by beautiful fjords, and from there you are in the perfect place to see the Northern Lights. Tourists are served by many different packages which are made to fit just about anyone’s needs. You can choose activities like dog sledding, snow mobile rides, stays at the Kirkenes Ice Hotel and much more.

If you’re looking for something more festive, you’ll also enjoy the Norwegian Christmas Cruises. These grant you an authentic Norwegian Christmas experience, and depart between the 19th and 23rd December, lasting between 8 and 12 nights.

The atmosphere aboard the ships is very comfy and casual, as these ships are a mix of passengers and freight. If you drink: like in all Nordic countries, alcohol is extremely taxed, and you are allowed - and therefore encouraged - to bring your own bottle for consumption in your cabin.

Score amazingly affordable hotels in Tromsø!

→ Click here to book your stay in Tromsø, Norway!

Finland: Helsinki, The Christmas City

If you want something close to Lapland but a bigger city, Helsinki is surely your choice with it’s big celebrations. There is a Christmas parade with the one and only true Santa from Lapland, so you get to see him without traveling too far. You also get to see the Christmas lights in Aleksanterinkatu, which were first done by local shopkeeprs in 1949 to boost the spirits of people after WWII. If you arrive a bit before the 22nd, you will get to see the Christmas Ornaments bazar where you can buy a wide range of contemporary Finish design including plates, jewelry and accessories. After that you will get the more traditional market with about 120 stalls with a Santa’s hut where you can leave a message in the guestbook and tell him what you wish to get for Christmas.

Also in terms of food, nearly all the restaurants during this time add a special Finish Christmas food menu which allows you to try it anytime during your trip virtually everywhere.

Enjoy the best cheap hotels in Helsinki with these superb options!

→ Click here to book your stay in Helsinki, Finland!

Italy: Venice

In Venice, they say romance is best served chilled. While this beautiful city will steal your heart during any given season, Venice’s winter are something else. Before even talking about the city, one of the best things about the Venetian winter is the lack of tourists. At the end of high season, Venice’s residents fill the streets again, and you get to experience La Serenissima in its most authentic form.

During winter, the mist gives the canals a new look, and the empty streets allow you to experience a naked Venice. Gondola rides also enjoy much less traffic, and you also finally live the city’s true nightlife. Without the hordes of tourists cramping every inch of them, Venice’s local establishments offer you a more relaxed and romantic setting.

Additionally, at this time of the year plane tickets and hotels are at its lowest: now you have all reasons to visit Venice during the holidays!

Looking for a remarkable yet affordable hotel in Venice? Why not check out these lovely hotel deals?

→ Click here to book your stay in Venice, Italy!

When planning your European winter vacation, log onto Trekeffect to plan your trip and share it with your friends!

-Mariya Tugayeva

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

Book your accommodations

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Book your flight

Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world.  They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.  

Don't forget travel insurance

Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.

     - World Nomads (for everyone below 70)

     - Travelx Insurance (for those over 70)

Looking for the best companies to save money with?

Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!

Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported. 

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Maria Tugayeva
Mariya is a Marketing guru and writer, with a world experience from living and growing up in different countries. Her work quote is: "In a word: pleasure. It's like, my pleasure in other people's leisure." -Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Trainspotting
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