As resident Californians, other than watching nostalgic Christmas movies and inhaling peppermint bark the only way we can get a real (read: cold and snowy) Christmas is to travel! So for the past few years, we’ve been escaping to Europe in the winter seeking snow, cold, short days, and warm comfort food. After just a few trips, the idea of Christmas without Christmas Markets just feels empty, meaningless, and devoid of calories. The one problem with our Christmas in Europe habit is that it’s … er, not exactly cheap. So, we strap on our packs, book some hostels, and go backpacking! In this post we’re laying out all of our favorite, field-tested essentials for backpacking Europe in the winter, from gear to clothing. Here’s everything you need to stay warm, healthy, and happy on your trip, so you can spend less time stressing and more time drinking glühwein and stuffing your face with lebkuchen. Mmmm….
Hallstatt, Austria is a beautiful little village and UNESCO world heritage site nestled in the Austrian Alps. Hallstatt, Austria is a fairytale come to life. I’ve been dreaming of visiting this magical village ever since I first saw a picture of it, and I knew instantly that I wanted to visit in winter. I’m a mountains & snow girl, and there’s nothing more snowy and mountainy than a village on a lake in the Alps, right? We needed an excuse to share all of the stunning photos we took during our visit to Hallstatt in the winter, so we’ve compiled our favorites into one photo-heavy post – plus all the details you need to plan your own trip to Hallstatt, of course! Get ready for some drool-worthy winter wanderlust fuel. Also, swans.
25 Hours Hotel is a carnival themed boutique hotel in the heart of Vienna, Austria. Located in the Museum Quarter, Rathaus, and and Old Town, the location can’t be beat. The rooftop bar is a local favorite hangout, and a restaurant on site serves the most incredible breakfast buffet we’ve EVER had, ever. At incredibly reasonable mid-range prices, 25 Hours Hotel is the best boutique hotel in Vienna!
Český Krumlov is a medieval town & UNESCO World Heritage located in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. There’s so much to discover in this gorgeous fairytale village! Here’s 14 reasons why it’s well worth it to take a trip to Český Krumlov this winter – and everything you need to know for your visit.
As budget travelers, we always look for a good hostel in each destination we visit. We’re happy to report that we found a gem in Vienna, Austria. Hostel Ruthensteiner is the oldest hostel in Vienna, and is considered one of the best hostels in Europe.
We fell head over heels in love with Europe in the winter last year. We decided there was nothing more romantic than exploring cobblestone streets and Christmas Markets together in the snow, walking in hand in hand both because it’s disgustingly cute and also to avoid slipping on ice and falling (we are both extremely clumsy). So when it came time to decide where we wanted to travel to for Christmas this year, it was a no-brainer. Prague is one of the most stunning cities in Europe, with the added bonus of being budget-friendly AND having Christmas Markets that stay open after New Years. Here’s our massive guide to visiting Prague in the winter!