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Top 5 Europe Winter destinations

Our top choices for winter in Europe!

Planning a Eurail trip this winter? Good idea! Europe’s winter scenery is beautiful, there are fewer tourists than during peak summer months, and there’s an infectious festive spirit that spreads out across the continent. If you need some help planning your Eurail itinerary, here are five amazing countries to include.

 

Destinations

1. Austria

TOP 5 Europe Winter Destinations | Skiing people and moving cable cars above them in Kitzsteinhorn, Austria

Why go?

The main reason to visit Austria during winter is its stunning winter scenery. The nearby Alps are a haven for cost-effective winter sports, and the rest of the country looks majestic covered in snow. Bigger cities in Austria take on a new look and feel during winter months. Many, like the capital Vienna, are among the most festive destinations on the continent in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year.


 

How to get there

Austria has a comprehensive train network, including the high-speed Railjet network that runs between major cities. There are also regular regional trains that can connect you to many smaller towns and villages.

 

2. Germany

TOP 5 Europe Winter destinations| Mom with kids shopping at Christmas market in Germany

Why go?

If you’re looking for pre-Christmas celebrations, make sure you include Germany on your winter Eurail itinerary. No-one does Christmas markets as well as this rail-friendly country, and most cities, towns and villages get in on the festivities. The scenery in Germany is also superb in the winter months, which earns them their rightful place in our top 5 Europe winter destinations.


 

How to get there

Germany’s rail network is comprehensive and efficient. It’s quick and easy to get across the country by rail using high-speed and regional trains. There are also easy connections by rail to all neighbouring countries.

 

3. Switzerland

TOP 5 Europe Winter Destinations | Portes De Soleil ski resort in Switzerland

Why go?

Switzerland is a fantastic year-round destination, but it takes on a whole new look and feel in the winter months. Fondues, hot chocolate and log-burning fires dominate the indoors, and outside the snow covered Alps make this the perfect place for winter sports. If you’re not up for skiing or snowboarding, go for the views, the scenic train rides and the food of this remarkable winter wonderland.


 

How to get there

Switzerland has a highly efficient rail network that will get you through the country with ease. Trains connect to all neighbouring countries, and many offer the best scenic views on the continent.

 

4. Sweden

TOP 5 Europe Winter Destinations | Aurora borealis in Sweden

Why go?

Sweden can get frigidly cold in winter, and in the far north the sun is but a distant memory for months. However, this only contributes to the ultimate winter experience that you'll never forget. The major cities handle the cold and snow with Swedish charm and efficiency. But it’s in Lapland where most of the winter magic happens — there you’ll find the perfect conditions to view the legendary Aurora Borealis.


 

How to get there

Sweden has a good rail network, but keep in mind that it is a large country with vast distances between major cities. If you’re looking to go all the way north, catch a train to Abisko. Your best bet is the overnight train from Stockholm which requires an advance reservation.

 

5. Spain

TOP 5 Europe Winter Destinations | The street where Gran via and Alcala street meet in Madrid, Spain

Why go?

Spain can get overcrowded and seriously hot during summer. That's why it's worth considering touring the country in winter, when there are fewer tourists. Though you risk some days of rain, and the beaches are generally a bit too cold for lengthy stays, the weather is usually mild and there are endless indoor opportunities to explore. Museums, architecture, stunning landscapes and famous nightlife make most cities a hive of activity, even outside of the busy peak seasons.


 

How to get there

Spain has a fast and efficient rail network that fans out from the capital Madrid. It’s easy to reach most cities and many smaller towns and villages by rail. Though most high-speed trains require advance reservations, this ensures that you will get there quickly and efficiently.