By Jennifer Leavy
The holidays are over, but your vacation doesn’t have to be! January is considered the off-season in most European cities, but with fewer tourists and better prices, it’s the best time to go.
If you’re not sure where to get your next passport stamp, check out these four European winter wonderlands, where food, magic, and Instagram-worthy panoramas happen.
Visit Vienna, Austria
The birthplace of Marie Antoinette and home to Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna is known for its rich arts scene and a treasure trove of historical landmarks.
What better way to spend a cold, snowy day in January than strolling through majestic Baroque palaces, filling up on schnitzels and strudels, or unleashing your inner child on the rides at the Prater amusement park?
Don’t forget to treat yourself to some warm, rich Sacher-Torte — a local chocolate cake that’s a famous Viennese specialty!
Take a City Break to Salzburg, Austria in January
The hills are alive! If you’re not into Vienna’s busy city life, then escape to the countryside in Salzburg — just a two-hour train ride from Vienna.
Known for being the location of the beloved film The Sound of Music, Salzburg is brimming with medieval hilltop castles, charming cathedrals, and stunning alpine vistas.
In January, you’ll feel like singing when you see the snow-capped peaks and pure white meadows surrounding the town!
Enjoy Exploring Budapest, Hungary In January
One of the most picturesque (and affordable!) cities in Eastern Europe, make sure to cross Budapest off your travel bucket list this January.
Cruise along the Danube River and snap some shots of the Parliament Building, a breathtaking Gothic giant that is the city’s most famous landmark.
You can also travel back to medieval times in Trinity Square, or go bar-hopping at electric pubs around Old Town.
And last but certainly not least,
Escape to Interlaken, Switzerland
Although not without its share of sightseeing opportunities, Interlaken is more known for being the European capital of extreme sports, making it the perfect destination for travelers in January.
Enjoy jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Swiss Alps with an adrenaline rush as you go snowboarding, skydiving, or paragliding (just to name a few!).
From soaring snowy peaks to glistening glacial lakes, and with the world’s best chocolate, you’ll end this experience of a lifetime feeling like an Olympic gold medalist.
If you want to explore even more of Europe, check out our 10 Best Countries to Visit in Europe for Students for more inspo!