Traveling in Europe during winter with kids can be a magical experience, filled with shared discoveries, laughter, and cherished souvenirs. For in the end, it’s not just about the places you’ll see or the things you’ll do; it’s about the memories you’ll make. Memories that will remind you of the charms of a European winter and the irreplaceable joy of experiencing it with family.
Winter holidays are an opportunity to introduce your kids to new cultures, traditions, and experiences. From cities that provide children-centric activities to quaint towns that offer a tranquil retreat, Europe is brimming with spots that promise an unforgettable family experience.
Nestled amidst the Pennine Alps, the charming town of Zermatt stands as a testament to Switzerland’s breathtaking beauty and commitment to preserving nature. With the majestic Matterhorn as its backdrop and car-free cobbled streets, Zermatt offers families an unforgettable winter retreat.
Zermatt, with its harmonious blend of nature, adventure, and culture, encapsulates the spirit of a Swiss winter. As families ski down its slopes, hike its trails, or simply marvel at the Matterhorn from their hotel balconies, they are reminded of the simple joys of life. In Zermatt, every snowflake holds a promise of wonder, and every moment is a memory waiting to be cherished.
Nestled at the foot of the Alps, this Austrian city, known globally as the birthplace of Mozart and the backdrop for the classic film ‘The Sound of Music,’ is a winter wonderland that promises a perfect family holiday.
In December Salzburg’s Christmas markets light up the heart of the city. The Christkindlmarkt, set up in the squares of the Old Town, with the aroma of mulled wine, roasted almonds, and freshly baked pastries filling the air, families can shop for unique crafts, decorations, and toys. Little ones can join in various kids’ activities, from gingerbread decorating to candle making.
Salzburg’s blend of cultural richness, snowy adventures, and festive atmosphere makes it an irresistible destination for families. It captures the essence of European winter holidays: joyous, serene, and filled with moments that’ll be cherished for a lifetime.
The Alsace region, nestled between the Vosges mountains and the Rhine River, is the picturesque embodiment of a European fairy tale. With half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and the scent of mulled wine wafting in the air, Alsace, especially during winter, is like stepping into a Christmas card.
Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Europe, the Christkindelsmärik. Founded in 1570, this market transforms the city into a twinkling wonderland. The giant Christmas tree at Place Kléber and the ice skating rink nearby make it a favourite spot for families.
Colmar, on the other hand, is renowned for its well-preserved old town and canals. During winter, it hosts multiple Christmas markets, each with its own theme. Children will particularly enjoy the ‘Little Prince’ market, inspired by the beloved French story, which offers fun rides and games.
The Alsace region, with its blend of German and French cultures, provides a unique and mesmerizing winter experience. Its commitment to keeping traditions alive, combined with its child-friendly activities, makes it a top choice for families. As you walk hand-in-hand with your loved ones under the twinkling lights, with carolers singing in the background, Alsace ensures that the spirit of Christmas is felt in every heartbeat.
The capital city of Hungary, straddling the majestic Danube River, Budapest sparkles especially bright during the winter months. With its historic baths, grand architecture, and enchanting festive markets, Budapest offers families an immersive experience into the heart of Central European culture.
Budapest, with its harmonious blend of relaxation, recreation, and rich history, provides families with a winter holiday that’s both enchanting and enriching. As the Danube mirrors the city’s shimmering lights and the aroma of traditional Hungarian chimney cake fills the air, families find themselves in a city that celebrates winter in all its beauty.
Deep in the southwest corner of Germany lies a region that has inspired countless fairy tales, myths, and legends – the Black Forest. With its dense evergreen trees, mysterious valleys, and quaint villages, the Black Forest during winter is nothing short of a snowy wonderland, offering families an escape from the urban hustle and a deep dive into nature and folklore.
The Black Forest in winter invites families to disconnect from the digital and reconnect with nature and each other. Whether it’s listening to the tales of the forest, sledging down a hill, or simply enjoying a slice of cake by a roaring fire, the Black Forest ensures that winter memories made here last a lifetime.
When thinking of winter destinations in Europe, Spain might not be the first to come to mind. However, the city of Granada, nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is a delightful exception. Merging the warmth of Spanish culture with snowy peaks and historic landmarks, Granada offers a winter experience that’s uniquely its own.
As you wrap up in warm scarves and stroll through the cobbled streets, with the soft strumming of a Spanish guitar in the distance, Granada reminds you that winter isn’t just about cold, it’s about warmth too – the warmth of culture, history, and shared family moments.
Europe in winter is a land of enchantment, with its snow-covered landscapes, festive markets, and heart-warming traditions. Traveling with kids, however, requires a bit of extra preparation to ensure that the journey is comfortable, safe, and enjoyable for the entire family. Here are some invaluable tips for families gearing up for a European winter adventure.
Packing Essentials for Cold Weather
Layering is Key: Instead of packing bulky clothing, focus on layers. Start with thermal inner wear, followed by a t-shirt or sweater, and top it off with a waterproof and insulated outer layer.
Warm Accessories: Woollen or thermal hats, gloves, and scarves are essential. Ensure that the gloves are touchscreen compatible, so kids can still use their devices without exposing their hands to the cold.
Footwear: Waterproof boots with a good grip are a must, especially if you plan to walk in snowy or icy areas. Pack multiple pairs of warm socks to keep your feet cosy.
Portable Hand Warmers: These small packets can be a lifesaver on particularly cold days. They’re lightweight, easy to pack, and can provide warmth for hours.
Organize Your Trip in Advance
Apply for Schengen Visa on Time: The closer the winter holidays, the busier it gets in the Consulates and Embassies. We advise applying at least 3 months in advance of your trip. It will be a lot faster and easier to use the professional help of visa experts of The Visa Services. Remove the visa stress off your shoulders and focus on other aspects of your trip.
Book Hotels and Lodgings: Be sure to book your stay well ahead of your travel, before everything is booked out.
Organize Air Travel: Europe is one of the most popular places to travel for winter holidays, and it is one of the busiest times of the year for the airlines.
A European winter is not just a season; it’s an experience. The air is crisper, the lights a tad brighter, and the sounds of laughter and carols resonate a bit more deeply. With a bit of planning and the right approach, you can ensure that your European winter holiday is as smooth as it is memorable.
Contact The Visa Services to learn more about how to get a Schengen visa for families with kids.
A: It’s advisable to book accommodations and popular activities at least 3-4 months in advance for the peak winter season. This ensures availability and often provides better rates.
A: Yes, Europe has several scenic winter train routes that are family-friendly. The Glacier Express in Switzerland and the Santa Claus Express in Hungary are two popular options that offer breathtaking snowy landscapes and are a hit with kids.
A: Yes, many winter destinations, especially those popular for snow sports, offer rental options for winter clothing and gear. However, for comfort and fit, it’s often recommended to bring your own essential clothing items.
A: While it’s not essential, knowing basic phrases can be helpful and appreciated by locals. Many Europeans, especially in tourist areas, speak English and other languages.
A: The best time to visit Europe for winter festivities is from late November to the end of December when Christmas markets are in full swing. However, for snow-related activities, January and February might be more suitable.