Without the crowds you’d find in summer, winter is the perfect time to experience the real Paris. You can enjoy a café crème or chocolat chaud at one of the city’s many stylish cafes, or visit the Louvre without having to fight your way through crowds. You’ll also enjoy lower rates at hotels and discounted or even free admission to several museums.
Paris can be cold and rainy in the winter, but there are so many indoor activities in the city this shouldn’t be a problem. If you find it chilly you might want to browse some of the city’s fantastic fashion shops to pick up some stylish winter attire.
TravelStarter tip: Find and book tours and entertainment using Viator.
Special Note: We are heartbroken and our prayers are with all of the victims and with their families in Paris. We would like to encourage everyone to show their love and support by not avoiding but by embracing Paris. Visit Paris this holiday season and show your support for the beautiful city.
Lapland has almost a mythical reputation. It’s the land of reindeer, the northern lights, and of course Santa Claus. It’s an ideal place to visit if you want to experience a true winter wonderland.
Lapland is the home of the Sami people, and covers the northern tips of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Snow can last here for as long as 200 days of the year, which makes reindeer sled and skis the most practical ways to get around.
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a sleigh ride, seeing the northern lights or visiting where Santa lives, Lapland is the place to go.
TravelStarter tip: Find a cheap flight to Lapland using comparison site Kayak.
Montreal is another great winter destination for those who aren’t afraid of the cold. The city averaged 5°F (-15°C) this February, but that didn’t stop people enjoying the 10-day MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival, which is one of the largest winter festivals in the world. MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has a busy program of gastronomy, performing arts and light displays. In 2016, the festival will be held from February 18 to 27. The festival concludes with the Montréal All-Nighter, during which museums, theatres and restaurants across the city stay open all night.
Besides the festival there is plenty to do in Montreal in the winter. The city’s annual snow carnival, the Fête des Neiges is great for kids and anyone who wants to try different snow games. The carnival will be held from January 16 to February 7, 2016.
TravelStarter tip: Get a cheap last-minute hotel deal using Hotel Tonight.
4. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is beautiful at any time of the year, and winter is no different. This huge freshwater lake on the border between California and Nevada is surrounded by mountains and forests, making it one of the most stunning natural landscapes in the US.
In winter this landscape is transformed into a snow-covered paradise for skiers, snowboarders and ice skaters. After an action-packed day in the snow, you can enjoy an evening meal at one of the many excellent lakeside restaurants. Even if you’re not into skiing or snowboarding, the incredible winter vistas will make the trip worthwhile.
TravelStarter tip: Find the best way to get to and around Lake Tahoe with Rome2Rio.
5. Key West
Finally, this is a destination for those who have had enough of dark days, cold winds and snow. Key West is a small island right at the southern tip of the Florida Keys. The island is one of the hottest places in the US during the winter. It has a tropical climate, and winter here is completely different to winter in New York or San Francisco.
It’s pretty easy to get to Key West from the rest of the US, making it an obvious destination for winter sun. For that reason, it’s best to book early to get the best deals. If the cold, dark winter gets you down, a week or two of sun, sea and sand on Key West should banish the winter blues and leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
TravelStarter tip: Make sure you bag the best seat on the plane by using SeatGuru.
We hope our list inspired you a little and you are excited to start planning your winter holiday.