The beginning of winter brings out the kid in all of us. The first sign of snowfall makes us want to throw on a cozy sweater and catch snowflakes with our tongue or make a hot cup of cocoa while sitting by a fire. Wintertime is also one of the happiest times of the year thanks to the holiday season. It's magical!
While some people enjoy taking their vacations in summer, others may prefer the winter months. After all, there are so many glorious places in this world that have iconic sites come winter. From skiing in the snowy mountains to roaming the European Christmas markets to looking up at the Northern Lights — wintertime is a great time to take a vacation.
Before winter comes around, take a look at these 10 destinations that just may make your winter dreams come true.
10 SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
The city of Salzburg has been captured in many movies thanks to its amazing scenery. On the border of Germany along the Eastern Alps, you can visit Salzburg, Austria. With a population of over 150,000 people, Salzburg is filled with a wonderful combination of traveler and locals.
As the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for everyone's favorite musical, The Sound of Music, there's plenty of history to learn and Sound of Music tours to take. There's also some great shopping if you're looking for holiday trinkets.
9 BANFF, ALBERTA, CANADA
Found in Alberta, Canada, Banff is a stunning, quaint town most known for their national park. More importantly, their Lake Louise is one of their main attractions due to the gorgeous color blue it exudes.
Banff is a great winter destination for skiers due to it being more of a resort town. It was even the location of the 2014 Alberta Winter Olympics!
8 LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA
Not too many people choose to go to California to get their "winter fix." If anything, most people travel to California to get away from the snow. But over in Lake Tahoe, it's in the northern part of the state, meaning the temperature is lower than its southern part.
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In the winter, Lake Tahoe transforms into a perfect winter-sport destination, with over 10 skiing and snowboarding spots. You can snowshoe throughout the mountains, you can go sledding, there are spas to unwind at, and there's even a Winter Fest.
7 BIG SKY, MONTANA
In the Southern parts of Montana, with the Rocky Mountains as the only backdrop you'll ever need, is Big Sky.
With just over 2,000 people calling Big Sky home, it's more or less a destination for winter travelers. Snowboarding and sledding are cool, but at Big Sky you can also go dog sledding, ice skating, ice fishing, and take winter expeditions to see a different side to Yellowstone Park (which isn't too far away).
6 ALTA BADIA, ITALIAN ALPS
Let's be honest, it doesn't take much convincing to get someone to drop what they're doing to go to Italy. In the winter months, Italy lovers should try visiting Alta Badia.
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Found in Northern Italy Ala Badia is a resort town found in the Italian Alps. You're going to find great winter sports areas but you're also going to be able to eat some amazing food with unexplainable sites. Just imagine cozying up around a fire with a glass of red, staring at a snowy mountain!
5 ROVANIEMI, FINLAND
It does not become more of a Winter Wonderland than in Rovaniemi, Finland. After being almost obliterated after the second World War, Rovaniemi has built itself back up and is now an amazing winter getaway. It's also known as the official home of Santa Claus! How can a person, couple, or family not want to spend the holiday season in Rovaniemi!?
The city also plays up this fact, so there's a ton to see and do. You'll even be able to see the Northern Lights on clear nights! It's a wonderful place to get to know the locals and see where the locals hang out on their chilly nights. Just remember to dress warmly — this is where Santa lives, after all!
4 PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Looking for a historical place to visit this winter? Check out Prague! Found in the Czech Republic, this historic city is filled with thousands of people from all over.
You can roam the snowy St. Charles Bridge, you can visit the many Christmas markets spread out around the city, and you can warm up by eating some warm goulash in the city's Old Square. You can even take a beer bath in Prague's Beer Spa!
3 ABISKO, SWEDEN
Abisko is a very small village in Sweden that doesn't even have 100 people living in it, which makes it a great place to visit for introverted travelers.
You won't have to worry about traffic jams or long lines in Abisko, but you will find Abisko National Park and Sky Stations. And if you're not sure where to stay in such a small, outdoorsy location — try their iconic ice hotel!
2 COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
Copenhagen is definitely larger than most of the cities we have on this list, but it doesn't mean it should be missed. As the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen transforms into a magical winter getaway for all come winter.
There are hot saunas you can visit to stay both warm and relaxed. you can go ice skating at their outdoor public rinks, you can visit enchanted castles, and you can eat delicacies from local markets!
1 ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND
We can have a winter list without adding Switzerland, can we!? Zermatt can be found in Southern Switzerland and only has a population of around 5,000 people. It's the ultimate winter resort town and it's calling your name.
Besides the normal skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing activities, you can even stay in an igloo-village!