Here’s Why Winter Is the Best Time To Visit These 4 European Capitals

Here’s Why Winter Is the Best Time To Visit These 4 European Capitals


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Many destinations in Europe are world-class destinations at any time of the year, but did you know there are some that make even better winter destinations?

There are 4 European capital cities that you’ll definitely want to add to your winter trip list.

A winter trip to these culture and history-packed capitals will bring decent weather, lower prices, and of course fewer crowds.

Back view of young woman with hat she's take a picture by smartphone at Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Rome architecture and landmark copy

Aside from being connected via multiple direct flights from many U.S. Airports, these capitals are popular spots, and planning a trip to them is easy.

The European capitals of Athens, Rome, Madrid, and Lisbon are all incredible to visit any time of year, but winter is the best.

If you have read anything about summer travel this year, you might already know that these cities have also seen record crowds recently. 

A female tourist with her back turned, wearing a hat and backpack, walks down a street in the historic center of Madrid. Hiking tourism in Spain. Concept of Spanish tourism and culture.

This past summer, for example, Europe and especially the cities of Athens and Rome saw jam-packed tourist sites, not to mention tourists misbehaving, such as climbing statues and defacing ancient property.

So, for those of you who skipped a trip to these cities this summer, well done.

Why not enjoy them in the winter instead, when you are much less likely to be elbow-to-elbow with others? 

People walking by the tram line in the cener of the city in Lisbon

Note: Christmas and New Year’s will be busy in all these cities, yet the endless festivities and beautiful decorations might lure you here anyway. Aside from the holiday itself, don’t forget about Europe’s famed Christmas markets, which are bustling in these cities throughout December. 

If you don’t mind crowds and higher prices, then the holiday time might be for you, but if you are looking for quieter and cheaper times, skip this time frame and head to these cities after the New Year. 

Beautiful view to the Parthenon Temple at the Acropolis of Athens, Greece, with thick snow and blue sky during winter

Here’s Why Winter Is the Best Time To Visit These 4 European Capitals:

Athens 

As the most popular tourist destination in Greece, Athens sees millions of visitors each year. While summer is hot and unbearably crowded, once the weather starts to cool down, it becomes one of the country’s best places to visit. 

Remember that the weather can be unpredictable, with December having an average daily temperature of 54 degrees. As long as you plan accordingly, then you can visit the vast array of important artifacts and sites here and warm up with a steaming helping of Greek food when done. Winter is mostly the locals here, and aside from Christmastime, there are few other visitors. 

And if you are looking for an awesome day trip take the train about 4 hours north to experience the stunning Meteora, where the monasteries sit on rocks jutting up into the sky. 

@sandiaworldwide Why Athens is the perfect winter weekend getaway. #greece #exploregreece #athens #akropolis #nomadlife #lovelife #behappy #dowhatyoulove #greeklife #worldisbeautiful #worldismyhome #locationindependent #greekexperience ♬ Zorba The Greek – Kostas Papadopoulos

Rome 

Italy’s capital, Rome, lies in the center of the country, but the climate is often representative more of the south than the north. With a climate that is generally mild, winter is often sunny and clear, and although it can be a bit crisp, you will find that walking around to visit all the sites will warm you up in no time. 

Aside from the Christmas week, Rome is pretty quiet in the winter. Typically jam-packed places such as the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps, and the Colosseum see much fewer visitors in the winter, giving you lots more space to spread out and explore. 

A visit to Rome in the winter is enjoyable, and once that winter sun dips beyond the horizon, set yourself up in some wonderful restaurant to enjoy soul-warming pasta and pizzas and warm up with some wine. 

@dorinatiba Your daily reminder to book that ticket 🌞✈️ #rome #traveltok #winter #digtalnomad #solotravel #italy #visitareroma #discoveritaly #igersroma #igersitalia #italytiktok #roma #italia #italytravel #ig_italia ♬ original sound – Gabriele Rossi 🎹

Lisbon 

Portugal’s trendy capital city of Lisbon is another city that is a great place to check out in the colder winter months. While you might get a bit of rain, bring a cute umbrella and consider it an accessory. The city’s coldest temperatures arrive in January, but even then, it’s a pleasant average of 55 degrees. 

The activities here are much more enjoyable in the winter, even if you do have a bit of rain. There are a fraction of other tourists vying for the best spot for everything, so popular choices such as Tram 28 are much more fun at this time of year.

Lisbon has loads of indoor activists to take advantage of as well, including museums such as The Fado, The National Azulejo Museum, and the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT). Don’t forget a day trip to the charming town of Sintra, another place that is jam-packed in summer and much more calm in winter. 

@marysherb I’m absolutely in love with portugal and people here #lisbon #portugal #travel #lisbonportugal ♬ Golden – Harry Styles

Madrid 

First things first, in the winter you can find other destinations in Spain with much better weather than Madrid.

As the city is the highest capital on the continent, the winter weather tends to get cold, cloudy, and possibly a bit snowy. So, as long as you are prepared for the potential to see such a beautiful city with a little dusting of snow and an average temperature of around 46 degrees, you will have a great time. 

Now, all that being said, you are likely to have crisp blue skies and many sunny days on a winter trip to Madrid, giving you great weather to explore the many cultural highlights of the city, and of course without the record crowds to contend with. 

Take a winter stroll in the city’s Retiro Park, enjoy the Botanical Gardens, or wander the famous food markets (Mercado San Miguel is a favorite), and sit inside the endless tavernas enjoying tapas and vermouth. 

@homeandawaywithus Part 1 of our winter city trip to Madrid #citybreak #cityguide #travelvlog #spain ♬ Evergreen – Richy Mitch & the Coal Miners

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