12 Best Warm Places to Visit in Europe This Winter

by Jen
Best Warm Places to Visit in Europe this Winter
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Are you looking for some of the best warm winter destinations in Europe this winter? Here’s our ultimate bucket list of cool, unique, and most importantly warm spots in Europe this winter. So forget the typical destinations and let’s dive into these amazing warm winter vacations in Europe right now.

Who’s up for a European winter twist? You could roam the historic streets of Rome, savoring a gelato, with no winter jacket weighing you down. Or picture yourself basking in the mild sun on a Barcelona beach, even in December. This winter, let’s turn our backs on the freezing cold and discover the warmer, cozier side of Europe.

From hidden Mediterranean shores to gentle climates in the south, it’s time to experience a European winter that’s as warm as it is enchanting. These are the winter trips in Europe you’ll want to add to your bucket list.

Best Warm Places to Visit in Europe this Winter

Are you ready to discover the best warm places to visit in winter in Europe? This ultimate guide is your gateway to the hottest winter destinations in Europe right now. From subtropical temperatures to relaxing beaches without the crowds, let’s dive in!

1. Your Chill Winter Escape in Lisbon, Portugal

Hey, let’s talk about Lisbon! Imagine a city where winter feels like a cool autumn day, and every corner has a story to tell. Lisbon is the perfect spot for young explorers looking for a winter getaway without the freeze.

Wander through Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, with its narrow streets, cool graffiti art, and Fado music echoing from cozy bars. It’s like stepping into a whole new world.

You’ve got to check out Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. These places aren’t just Instagram-worthy; they’re packed with history. And for food? Time Out Market is the spot. It’s a food hall with everything from local sweets (pastéis de nata are a must-try) to some seriously good seafood..

And when night falls, Bairro Alto is where it’s at. This neighborhood is all about cool bars, street parties, and meeting other travelers. It’s the perfect mix of old-school charm and modern vibes.

Lisbon in winter is all about enjoying mild weather, cool history, and a buzzing nightlife. It’s the perfect place for us to escape the cold and still have a blast.

Lisbon is one of the best warm places to visit in Europe this winter.
Lisbon: Winter feels like a cool autumn day, with stories at every corner.

2. Winter Sun and Catalan Fun in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a dream in winter. The weather is mild enough for beach walks at Barceloneta without freezing your toes off. And the best part? The summer crowds are gone, so you’ve got more space to chill and enjoy.

You can’t miss the Gothic Quarter with its narrow streets and hidden squares. It’s like a trip back in time, but with cool shops and cafes around every corner. And Gaudí’s architecture? It’s even more impressive without the summer heat beating down.

For a taste of local life, hit up La Boqueria Market. It’s buzzing with energy and has some of the freshest food you’ll find in the city. Grab some tapas and a glass of sangria, and you’re all set.

And hey, Barcelona’s nightlife doesn’t slow down in winter. Check out El Raval or El Born for some of the best bars and clubs where the party goes on, no matter the season.

Barcelona in winter is all about enjoying the sun without the scorching heat, exploring without the crowds, and experiencing the city’s vibrant culture at its best.

Winter in Barcelona is dreamy—mild enough for Barceloneta beach walks sans freezing toes
Winter in Barcelona is dreamy—mild enough for Barceloneta beach walks sans freezing toes

3. A Sunlit Mediterranean Winter in Valletta, Malta

Ready for a winter that’s more about sunglasses than snow boots? Valletta, a gem in Malta, is your go-to. This city is a sun-soaked gem in the heart of the Mediterranean, perfect for those craving some winter warmth.

Valletta in winter is like a little slice of heaven. The weather? Mild and sunny, ideal for exploring the city’s stunning architecture and historical streets without a heavy coat weighing you down. Stroll along the waterfront, or wander through the city’s Baroque streets; every turn is a new discovery.

You’ve got to check out St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The views of the Grand Harbour are mind-blowing – perfect for those Insta-worthy shots.

Nightlife in Valletta is a cool mix of traditional and trendy. Rooftop bars with panoramic views, cozy pubs in ancient buildings – it’s all here, just waiting to be explored.

Insider Tip: Take a day trip to Mdina, the old capital. It’s like stepping into a medieval fairytale, and it’s only a short bus ride away.

Valletta is the perfect winter escape for those of us looking to swap the cold for some Mediterranean charm. It’s all about enjoying the sun, the history, and the laid-back lifestyle. This makes it one of the hot vacation spots in Europe you won’t want to miss.

Valletta, Malta offers winter warmth in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Valletta, Malta offers winter warmth in the heart of the Mediterranean.

4. Ancient Wonders and Winter Sun in Athens, Greece

When you picture the Acropolis, it’s all blue skies and sunshine, but the reality is scorching heat and lots of walking. Imagine exploring ancient ruins without the summer heat – it’s SO much more comfortable!

Winter in Athens is surprisingly mild. You can easily wander around the Acropolis, where the Parthenon stands tall against a clear blue sky. It’s way more chill without the summer crowds, giving you the space to really soak in the history.

Don’t miss the Plaka neighborhood. It’s like a quaint village right in the city center, with narrow streets lined with small shops and cozy tavernas. Grab a bite of souvlaki or some authentic Greek salad; it tastes even better in the cool winter air.

And let’s talk about the city vibe. Athens in winter has a more relaxed feel. You can enjoy the city’s cafes and museums at your own pace. The National Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for a deep dive into Greek history.

Athens in winter is all about enjoying its ancient wonders and vibrant culture without the summer rush. It’s the perfect mix of history, culture, and mild weather. As such, it’s one of the great winter getaways that you’ll want to experience once in your lifetime.

Exploring the Acropolis without the summer heat—far more comfortable amid ancient ruins than the scorching sun.
Exploring the Acropolis without the summer heat—far more comfortable amid ancient ruins than the scorching sun.

5. Bask in the Mild Winter Sun in Rome, Italy

Dreaming of a winter getaway that combines warm days with a journey through history? Rome’s mild winter is your perfect destination. Here, the winter sun adds a golden glow to the ancient city streets, making it ideal for exploring without the summer heat.

Winter in Rome means comfortably warm days, perfect for leisurely visits to iconic sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon.

The city’s outdoor cafes and trattorias become even more inviting. Picture enjoying a delicious plate of pasta al fresco, basking in the winter sun – Italian cuisine tastes even better in this setting.

Vatican City is a serene experience during winter, with fewer tourists and a more relaxed atmosphere. The Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica are not to be missed, offering a peaceful exploration of their treasures.

Insider Tip: Don’t miss the winter festivals and Christmas markets, especially in Piazza Navona, where the festive spirit complements Rome’s historic backdrop.

Rome in winter is an enchanting mix of pleasant warmth, rich history, and lively culture, making it an ideal escape for those seeking a sunnier winter experience in Europe.

Rome's mild winter offers warm days and a historical journey with a golden glow.
Rome’s mild winter offers warm days and a historical journey with a golden glow.

6. A Riviera Retreat in Nice, France

Ready for a winter escape that’s all about basking in the Mediterranean sun? Nice offers a retreat with its mild winter climate, perfect for enjoying the French Riviera without the summer crowds.

Winter in Nice is a dream for those who love leisurely strolls along the beach. The famous Promenade des Anglais is more serene this time of year, offering stunning sea views under a gentle winter sun. It’s warm enough for a pleasant walk, yet cool enough to enjoy without the intense heat of summer.

Don’t miss exploring the Old Town, where the narrow streets are filled with colorful buildings, quaint shops, and inviting restaurants. The winter light casts a beautiful glow over the city, making it perfect for photography enthusiasts.

For a touch of culture, visit the Marc Chagall National Museum or the Matisse Museum. These cultural gems are less crowded, allowing for a more intimate experience with the art.

Nice in winter combines the charm of the French Riviera with a comfortable, sunny climate, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a warm and culturally rich winter getaway.

Nice offers a winter retreat in the Mediterranean sun, providing a mild climate for enjoying the French Riviera.
Nice offers a winter retreat in the Mediterranean sun, providing a mild climate for enjoying the French Riviera.

7. Andalusian Charm and Warmth in Seville, Spain

Imagine a winter where you can wander through ornate palaces and orange tree-lined streets in just a light jacket. Seville’s mild winter weather makes it a perfect destination for those seeking warmth and rich cultural experiences.

Winter in Seville is all about enjoying the outdoors without the scorching heat of summer. The city’s historical gems, like the Alcázar Palace and the Seville Cathedral, are even more enjoyable when you’re not battling the usual tourist crowds.

Stroll through the charming Santa Cruz neighborhood, where the narrow streets and hidden plazas are bathed in gentle winter sunlight. It’s the perfect setting for leisurely exploration and discovering cozy tapas bars.

For a taste of local life, explore the Triana Market. It’s a vibrant spot where you can enjoy fresh produce and traditional Andalusian dishes, all in a lively, friendly atmosphere.

Seville in winter offers a delightful blend of warm weather, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene, making it an ideal escape from colder climates.

Seville's mild winter invites wandering through ornate palaces and orange tree-lined streets in just a light jacket.
Seville’s mild winter invites wandering through ornate palaces and orange tree-lined streets in just a light jacket.

8. Warm Italian Winters in Palermo, Sicily

Ciao, and welcome to Palermo! For warm places to go in winter, you won’t want to miss this one. This vibrant capital of Sicily offers a unique blend of history, culture, and pleasantly warm winter weather.

Winter in Palermo is a treat for those who love exploring without the chill. The city’s streets are alive with history, from the stunning Palermo Cathedral to the bustling markets like Vucciria and Ballarò. These markets are not just about shopping; they’re a feast for the senses with an array of local delicacies and lively atmosphere.

Take a leisurely stroll along Mondello Beach. While it might be too cool for a swim, the winter sun and sea views are perfect for a relaxing day out.

Palermo’s rich history is on full display at sites like the Norman Palace and the Palatine Chapel. The cooler months offer a more comfortable and intimate experience of these historic treasures.

Palermo in winter is an enchanting mix of warm weather, rich history, and vibrant street life, making it an ideal destination for a winter escape filled with discovery and comfort.

Palermo beckons as a warm winter destination, blending history, culture, and delightful Sicilian warmth.
Palermo beckons as a warm winter destination, blending history, culture, and delightful Sicilian warmth.

9. Your Go-To Winter Island Adventure in Crete, Greece

Fancy a winter getaway that’s more about exploring ancient ruins and less about huddling from the cold? Crete’s got you covered. This Greek island is full of history, nature, and warm hospitality, even in winter.

First off, Crete’s historic charm doesn’t pause for winter. The Palace of Knossos, a labyrinth of Minoan ruins, is way cooler (and less crowded) this time of year. Imagine having these ancient halls almost to yourself, with the winter sun casting long shadows – it’s like stepping into a myth.

Now, let’s talk food – because let’s be honest, it’s a big part of any trip. Crete’s cuisine in winter is all about hearty, comforting dishes. Picture yourself in a cozy taverna, digging into a warm plate of moussaka, surrounded by the buzz of local life.

Renting a car is the way to go. It gives you the freedom to discover Crete’s hidden gems, from secluded beaches to quaint mountain villages.

Crete in winter is an invitation to explore and enjoy at a pace that suits you, surrounded by the warmth of both the climate and the people.

Crete offers a winter getaway rich in ancient ruins, history, nature, and warm hospitality.
Crete offers a winter getaway rich in ancient ruins, history, nature, and warm hospitality.

10. A Mediterranean Winter Paradise in Cyprus

Looking for a winter spot where you can still get a tan? Cyprus is your answer. This Mediterranean island is all about sunny days, even in the heart of winter, making it a perfect escape from the cold.

In Cyprus, winter is just a milder version of summer. Beach days are totally a thing here – think lounging on the sands of Nissi Beach or exploring the rocky coves of Cape Greco under a gentle sun. It’s the kind of winter that beach lovers dream of.

The island is steeped in history and culture. Visit the ancient ruins of Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where winter’s mild weather makes for perfect exploring conditions. Or wander through the old streets of Limassol, where history meets modern vibes.

Evenings in Cyprus offer a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a glass of local wine in a seaside café or check out the nightlife in cities like Ayia Napa and Nicosia, where the party scene is warm and welcoming.

Cyprus in winter is an ideal mix of warm weather, rich history, and vibrant culture, perfect for those looking to enjoy the Mediterranean without the summer crowds.

Cyprus offers sunny escapes, even in the heart of winter, perfect for avoiding the cold.
Cyprus offers sunny escapes, even in the heart of winter, perfect for avoiding the cold.

11. A Subtropical Hidden Gem in Madeira, Portugal

Madeira isn’t just a great winter sun destination, it’s one of the hottest trending destinations in the whole of Europe. This stunning island offers a warm escape with lush landscapes and breathtaking views.

Madeira in winter is like nature’s best-kept secret. The weather is mild and inviting, ideal for exploring the island’s unique levada walks – trails alongside mini-canals that lead you through some of the most scenic parts of the island.

For a truly unique experience, take a cable car ride up to Monte. The views are spectacular, and you can even take a traditional toboggan ride back down – it’s a thrill you won’t forget.

Insider Tip: Visit the Laurisilva forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a magical place, especially in the cooler, misty winter weather.

Madeira offers a winter escape that’s all about embracing the warmth, enjoying the natural beauty, and soaking in the local culture in a more peaceful setting.

Madeira: Trending hot spot in Europe for a warm winter escape with stunning landscapes.
Madeira: Trending hot spot in Europe for a warm winter escape with stunning landscapes.

12. Endless Summers in the Canary Islands, Spain

Craving summer vibes in the heart of winter? The Canary Islands are where you need to be. These islands are blessed with warm weather year-round, making them a perfect winter escape.

Each island in the Canaries has its own personality. Tenerife boasts stunning beaches and the majestic Mount Teide, perfect for both beach loungers and adventure seekers. Lanzarote offers unique volcanic landscapes and incredible wine tasting experiences, while Gran Canaria is known for its vibrant nightlife and diverse landscapes.

Winter in the Canary Islands is all about enjoying the outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, windsurfing, or just chilling on the beach, the weather is just right – warm, but not too hot. It’s like having a slice of summer, just when you need it most.

And the culture here is as warm as the weather. Immerse yourself in the local festivals, savor the Spanish cuisine, and dance the night away in seaside bars. The Canaries are a melting pot of cultures, and winter is a great time to experience this blend without the peak season crowds.

Pro tip: Explore the lesser-known La Gomera or La Palma for a more off-the-beaten-path experience. They’re quieter but just as beautiful as the larger islands.

Canary Islands, Spain is one of the best warm places to visit in Europe this winter.
Head to the Canary Islands—a year-round warm weather paradise for the perfect escape.

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