man walking through winter market at night



Published June 4th, 2019

Feeling the call of the North this Aussie summer? See how the other half are doing it by taking a trip to see Europe or North America in the wintertime. The snow will be falling and the fireplace calling! Say ‘I really can’t stay, I gotta go away’ to all your summertime commitments, because, ‘baby it’s cold outside’… over there.

Time is on your side to book for winter in the Northern Hemisphere now! Check out our ice-meltingly hot deals on flights to Europe and North America, plus save on epic winter time tours with Topdeck, Contiki and Busabout.

1. When was the last time you saw snow?

Can’t remember? Never experienced the silly fun of laying in powdery snow creating an angel? It’s time you started living! Other than romping around in the snow and building snowmen—wintertime equals skiing and snowboarding, hot chocolate (or an Irish Coffee—that’s the one with booze in it) by toasty fireplaces and actually getting to rug up in some proper winter clothing and accessories.


2. White Christmas

If you’ve been doing your Christmas down under, you’ll be all too familiar with the oppressing heat and if you haven’t got a pool or lucky enough to be by the beach on Christmas day, you’ve likely resorted to soaking your feet in a kiddy pool just to cool off. Christmas in Europe and North America on the other hand? Picture the exact opposite! Snow on Christmas means switching your cold beer and prawns out for mulled wine and a roast lunch, as you watch the outside world turn into a winter wonderland. You’ll basically feel like you’re living inside a Christmas movie. 

3. Christmas Markets in Germany

There’s enchanting Christmas markets all over Europe, but none more charming than the markets in Germany. They’ve been doing this for almost 600 years, so it’s safe to say they’ve got the wintery vibes down pat. The Dresden Christmas Market known as ‘Striezelmarkt’ is the oldest in the country and the namesake comes from it’s famous Christollen cake. Check out glittering Christmas festivities in Nuremberg, Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and more!


4. Ice skating in Central Park, New York

If you’re visiting New York in the wintertime, ice skating in Central Park is a non-negotiable. There’s actually two rinks in the park—Lasker Rink between 106th and 108th Streets, and the most famous of the two, Wollman Rink on the east side near the Central Park Zoo. You can skate from late October until early April.

5. Ski season in Austria

Sure, there’s many slopes in Europe—French or Swiss Alps, or even Italy, but Austria is regarded as being the world’s true home of skiing—and they have schnapps and schnitzel, so who’s complaining! They also do festivals well too. Check out the Snowbombing Festival in Mayrhofen for the ultimate apres ski party!

6. Glimpse the Northern Lights

Ah, the illusive Northern Lights! Timing is everything, but being in the northern parts of Europe in the peak of winter—your chances increase tenfold. For the best views of the Aurora Borealis you’ll want to head to Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Russia gets a look in too, as does Alaska and Northern Canada.


7. Canals in Venice shrouded in mist

We could choose any number of iconic European cities to see in the winter, but there’s something otherworldly about seeing mist floating above this already mysterious city. Plus, there’s less tourists here in the winter and more room for you to get acquainted with the city’s amazing architecture and lifestyle. 

8. Hogmanay Festival in Edinburgh

Choosing where to see the New Year in is a tough call. If ever there was a time to visit the coolest city in Scotland it would be to ring in the New Year at Hogmanay. The city comes alive with street processions and an epic countdown party. There’s even the option to run into freezing cold water (in a costume with an inflatable unicorn if you like) on New Year’s Day with a thousand other crazy nutters.

9. Save Money

By travelling in the off season you’re likely to save on airfares. Travelling on Christmas Day can be a good way to save, if you don’t mind telling yo’ family you’ll catch them on the flipside. Otherwise, you’re best waiting until after New Year if you really want to save. OR, book early!

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.