8 Most Beautiful Winter Destinations To Visit From Around The World
By: Pinki Wed, 13 Jan 2021 4:58 PM
Winter celebrations brighten up the darkest months of the year all over the world, and some locations are particularly picturesque during this time. From Amsterdam to Queenstown, here’s a collection of our favourite escapes that are popular with both domestic and international travellers.
# Munich, Germany
Bavaria’s capital enjoys four glorious seasons, giving travellers who need any excuse to return at least three good reasons. Winter is especially enjoyable in Munich, as centuries-old traditions are played out across the city. The Christkrindlmarkt in Munich’s Marienplatz is the place to go for handcrafted mugs filled with steaming mulled wine, elaborate gingerbread houses and artisanal children’s toys carved from wood.
# Shirakawa, Japan
The village of Shirakawa, in the Gifu prefecture of Japan, has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site, in part for the traditional architecture of its houses. The minka building style includes vertiginous thatched roofs, which prevent collapse in the event of heavy snowfall during winter. Shirakawa has some of the heaviest snowfall in the world, with an annual average of more than 30ft (9.1m).
# St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg in Russia doesn’t need the help of the elements to make it worth a visit. Home to the Mariinsky Theatre, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia and countless other cultural gems, the city is fantastic all year round. In the winter months, the St Petersburg takes on a frosted beauty and bustles with seasonal events. Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on 6 January and is a time for gathering with family and friends.
# Harbin, China
Harbin is known as the coldest among China’s major cities and it has embraced its moniker of Ice City with gusto. Every year it plays host to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, the largest snow festival in the world. The festival is spread over two areas on either side of the Songhua River, from which giant blocks of ice are taken to be used as sculptures.
# Kitzbuhel, Austria
Kitzbuhel is a medieval town that’s world famous as a ski resort. It also has miles of flat plains around the town, so it’s an Alpine paradise during the winter months with lots of cross-country skiing terrain. Just over an hour from Innsbruck, the state capital of Tyrol, Kitzbühel draws visitors for the beauty of its snowy streets and the quality of its Christmas market.
# Yosemite National Park, USA
To truly witness the changing of the seasons, little beats a visit to a national park blanketed in snow. The Yosemite National Park is one of those magical places and is the perfect spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Visitors can stay in the Yosemite Valley or in the huts that have not been cut off by the snowfall across the vast national park. More than the shifts in meteorology, it is the seasonal changes in the flora and fauna that exert its pull on winter visitors.
# Alcazar de Segovia, Spain
The Alcazar de Segovia in Central Spain has at one time been a fortress, a royal palace and a prison. It is also said to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, but fortunately for the public, in its current incarnation, it is a museum open to all. Designed to mimic the bows of the ship, the Alcazar is striking all year long. Come winter and come snow, however, and it turns into the fairytale castle it inspired.
# Ceský Krumlov, Czech Republic
Dating back to the 13th century, Ceský Krumlov is in South Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. The castle, one of the largest in the country, and old town are a Unesco World Heritage site. Beyond the delights of the city, which include the castle’s baroque theatre and a traditional brewery, Ceský Krumlov is only a short distance from the Šumava National Park, which is always a delight in winter.