With ski season around the corner and Christmas just weeks away now, we’ve rounded up six of the best snow-capped city breaks for a winter getaway.
1. Oslo, Norway
Oslo is Scandinavia’s most expensive city, but you can enjoy one of the world’s most breathtaking sights for free. It’s one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, and it is possible to see the Aurora Borealis most nights during the winter and you can enjoy the heart-stopping light-show free, courtesy of the northern night skies.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
Chocoholics who have an afternoon to spare during their Swiss ski break will want to make a beeline for the Lindt Chocolate Factory where you’ll be treated to a tour and then plied with free chocolate samples before you leave.
3. Geneva, Switzerland
Tuck some hot chestnuts into your bag and then brace the crisp air and explore this civilised city by bike – you can “hire” some bicycles for free. There are plenty of cosy cafes for lunch and although Switzerland is more famous for its chocolate and watches than coffee, Geneva has a thriving café society and the café cremes are delicious.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
Picturesque and a delight to explore, work your way along Copenhagen’s charming streets, admire the contemporary art, or stroll along the wintery canals that wind their way through the city. If walking isn’t for you, you can explore the city’s bike paths with a free bicycle – the City Bikes scheme offers visitors free urban bikes to help you whizz around the sites. Just leave a small deposit and pick it up when you return the bike.
5. Stockholm, Sweden
There’s no better way to pass a chilly winter’s afternoon than by enjoying a spot of ice skating in Stockholm. From now until March, you can practice your Dancing on Ice moves the Kungstradgarden Ice Rink to a backdrop of music before an early evening glass of mulled wine to warm you up before night sets in.
6. Helsinki, Finland
Sip on a hot chocolate, wrap up warm and take a stroll around Helsinki’s three Christmas markets. Santa’s home city goes all out for Christmas, with strings of lights decorating Helsinki’s buildings, statues and narrow cobbled streets. Where to stay? Timeshare company Holiday Club Resorts Finland are the specialists here, and offer a choice of beautiful local resorts.