Our favorite time of the year to travel in Europe is during the winter. As the weather gets colder, the Christmas markets come to life, snow begins to fall, and it’s the perfect time to throw on cozy sweaters, puffy coats, and winter boots and wander through cobblestoned back alleys. It’s developed into a bit of a habit, actually: after just a few trips, the idea of Christmas without Christmas Markets just feels empty, meaningless, and devoid of calories. But it can overwhelming to try and come up with a Europe itinerary when there are so many amazing places to visit! So we’ve created not one, but TWO detailed 2-week itineraries so you can make the most of your winter holidays in Europe. Just call us Santa Blogs! … Get it? The 2-week Northwestern Europe itinerary takes you from Copenhagen to Bremen to Amsterdam to Bruges to Brussels, and The Central Europe itinerary takes you from Vienna to Hallstatt to Cesky Krumlov to Prague. From Christmas Markets to castles, these itineraries have your winter holidays covered.
When we stepped off the plane in Copenhagen on a brisk December afternoon, we weren’t sure what to expect. We’d seen pictures of Europe in the winter, which had given us high expectations of fairytale castles dusted with snow, Christmas Markets filled with good cheer, and random carolers stumbling around drunk off of pudding or whatever like a scene from a Dickens
Well, not only is Copenhagen the EXACT vision of that European Christmas dream that we had been unrealistically hoping for, but it’s somehow EVEN BETTER. There are the canals of Nyhavn dotted with colorful tall, thin houses, adorned with wreaths and pine boughs. A Christmas Market around every corner, wafting the tantalizing smells of gløgg and sizzling bratwurst and fluffy aebleskiver. Hygge floating around giving imaginary air-hugs in droves. Copenhagen is a holiday dream come true!
Searching for Copenhagen castles, we found many group tours that were way out of our budget! But where there is an expensive group tour, there is usually a cheaper, self-guided DIY way. Here’s how to see Frederiksborg Castle and Kronberg Castle (the setting of Shakepseare’s Hamlet) in one day! Visiting the Copenhagen castles is one of the best and cheapest day trips from Copenhagen.
Winter in Copenhagen, Denmark is a Christmas dream: hearty stews, warm spiced wine, crackling roasts, and festive Christmas Markets cover the city. Danish food is at its best during Jul (Danish Christmas). From sweet pickled herring to apple pancake puffs, the holiday food in Copenagen is unique and absolutely delicious.