The sights and wonders of Europe are glorious at any time of year. Visiting from November through March presents us with a new perspective on the continent when the pace is more leisurely and the traditions of the Holiday Season warm our hearts.
Want to see Europe at a more leisurely time when you can see the sights, galleries and museums undisturbed? Plan a visit in the fall or winter. With cooler temperatures and fewer visitors, it's an appealing time for many travelers. You'll find good value too as prices are better in the off season.
Getting around is also easier as the cooler fall weather arrives. It's an excellent time to explore the historic old towns, museums, and galleries by day. You can still eat outside for lunch, while restaurants, bars, clubs and concert halls are there for passing the long, cool nights.
The Holiday Season sparkles throughout December when Christmas concerts and traditional delicacies are part of the festivities. The famed Christmas Markets light up the season with exceptional decorations, lights and local holiday fare. Across Europe, these markets show you timeless traditions that make the European Holiday Season extra special, and they're also the perfect place for picking up unique Christmas gifts. River cruising is an excellent way to see several Christmas Markets on one visit, a topic covered in this month's Cruising article.
How about seeing the Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland? Skiing in the Swiss Alps or relaxing at a spa with thermal baths? Winter in Europe has its own delights for getting away from it all. It's a picture-perfect scene as snowfall arrives in the north, mountain resorts come to life and ice/snow sports take over. Why not try a Swiss toboggan run, winter walking and snow cycling on a revolutionary fat bike? Europe has it covered for winter fun.
There's always a lively bar or café to stop at for warming up, and with fewer visitors in the off season, you'll feel more like a local at these cozy establishments.
So, what are you waiting for? Beat the crowds and do something rewardingly different by planning an off-season vacation in Europe!
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