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THE BEST OF EUROPE IN THE WINTER

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2961 Kinderdijk, Netherlands
When waterways in the Netherlands freeze into glittering paths, overjoyed residents take to the ice. Visitors can buy or rent a pair of noren (traditional long-blade skates) to glide across town or take part in one of the country’s dozens of...
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Horní Bečva, 756 57 Prostřední Bečva, Czechia
We could not have imagined a winter wonderland as picturesque as the one in Pustevny. Tucked away in Northeastern Czech Republic’s Beskedy Mountains, we arrived at night by car to this mini ski village of gingerbread houses. We stayed in the cozy...
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Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
It's an unforgettable experience: Getting up at the crack of dawn in mid-winter, walking through the large municipal park on the Pest side of town, checking in to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath (mostly with Hungarian pensioners because tourists...
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Römerberg, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
There’s no better way to experience the festivities of the holidays than Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Germany, and Frankfurt's is particularly beautiful. The markets take place usually in the center of the town, and you'll find all...
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Finse, 5719 Finse, Norway
Finse, an easy-to-miss railway stop high in the mountains on the popular Bergen-to-Oslo train route, draws hardy urbanites year-round. The town offers access to some of the most remote and beautiful alpine hiking territory in southern Norway...
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1 Hamilton Pl, Mayfair, London W1J 7DR, UK
At the Arch Bar and Wellington Lounge in London's Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel, high tea is served without the tea. Order the Poor Man's Punch if you fancy gin and you may find you can never go back to drinking alcohol from a tumbler. Arriving...
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Marienplatz 1, 80331 München, Germany
I would compare Marienplatz to the Grand Place in Brussels, but with a Bavarian twist. The square in Munich is almost as large, and its town hall just as impressive. A beautiful destination for lovers of architecture. While the square itself is a...
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Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France
While "haughty" may be be a little extreme, this imposing building, Paris's City Hall, stands very proudly, indeed, in the heart of the 4th arrondissement's Marais district. Not only does Hotel de Ville serve as seat of Paris's government, but,...
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Gornergrat, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
A trip up to the Gornergrat provides the best view of the Matterhorn without ripping a huge hole in your wallet. For less than 10 Francs, we were able to ride the lift up to Gornergrat and see one of the most spectacular views. At the top there is...
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Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin, Germany
The Barn is a bucolic coffee bar in the Mitte district that boasts top-quality coffee (from Copenhagen's famed fair-trade Coffee Collective) and a local-food ethos, inspired largely by the owner's formative years in rural Germany and his mother's...
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102 Rue de Provence, 75009 Paris, France
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The Eiffel Tower decks and Sacre Coeur Montmartre overlook Paris, but they are so crowded. One has to fight for a picture of the gray rooftops and spires of the Parisian skyline. The rooftop cafe at the Printemps department store in Paris has all...
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Teufelsberg, 14055 Berlin, Germany
Teufelsberg was occupied by the Americans and the British during the Cold War and served as a listening station. Consider this hill and these abandoned structures one giant hearing aid. It was used for listening to Soviet, East German, and other...
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What's not to like about Museumplein? In summer, it's as chill as Vondelpark, with picnickers playing instruments and getting high on the lawn. Add more grass and the field becomes stoners' heaven as well as a magnet for art aficionados. The...
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Donkere Gaard 8, 3511 KW Utrecht, Netherlands
“Are you up for a little bike ride? To start the real Dutch experience?” My friend Lisa’s text reads. I see it while riding the train from Schipol Airport to Utrecht, the start of a week with two close friends. I love real travel experiences, but...
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Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4BP, UK
I'm partial to the old-school charm of the afternoon tea at Brown's Hotel, with its dark wood paneling, the piano, and overstuffed setees underneath the window. Perfect for a fall or winter afternoon. The tables are as they should be, low and...
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V Kotcích 516/15, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
One drizzly December day I came across this intrepid soul teaching archery to a knot of bored preteens in the Czech Republic. I couldn't put my finger on why, exactly, but the scene very much seemed to belong in a tenth story from "Nine Stories."...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
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Dantes Plads 7, 1556 København, Denmark
We stood like a pair of Hemingway’s cats in the thin Scandinavian rain to photograph the oxidized lions washed dark at the front of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. A rainy day is always a good day to see a museum and the Carlsberg, the brainchild of...
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Sundsvall Ö, Sweden
To navigate the snowy wilderness of Sápmi (Lapland) in northern Sweden, the indigenous Saami people have long relied on sleds pulled by reindeer or dogs. Travelers with Mountain Travel Sobek will learn from locals how to steer a reindeer sled and...
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Rue du Soleil, 73440 Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, France
A feeling of exclusivity prevails at Cheval Blanc. The hotel is situated in the mountain garden at the highest altitude of France’s Courchevel ski resort, anchored to the ground by the Dior and Louis Vuitton boutiques at its base. Fur, velvet, and...
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Prom. des Anglais, 06000 Nice, France
On a warm winter morning, the soft light of the French Riviera is streaming into the Cours Saleya Flower Market in the old section of Nice. Just a block back from the Mediterranean Sea, long rows of vendors are selling African daisies, violet...
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Kammenstraat 81, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Imagine listening to classical music while surrounded by the art and architecture of a former Augustine monastery. At the AMUZ concert hall in Antwerp, Belgium, you can do just that. AMUZ is home to the Laus Polyphoniea concert series each summer....
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Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix, France
France's Chamonix Valley is one of the most scenic places on the European continent. It's a narrow river valley which houses everything from rock-climbing centers to pulsing bars and pubs, and on both sides of the river the peaks of the French...
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Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København K, Denmark
When you think of a royal palace, you usually think of one set building. In Copenhagen's case there are actually four distinct buildings which surround a large central square. Why four? Apparently, because it was originally inhabited by four noble...
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The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder PH3 1NF, UK
There may not be a lovelier place to golf than Scotland, and Gleneagles resort has one of the most impressive backdrops for a game. The hotel, located on 850 acres in the Perthsire countryside, has three championship golf courses and is home to...
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6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 Paris, France
Ohhh, if these walls could talk, the things they would have to say! The café Saint-Régis, located on the quaint and quiet island of Ile Saint-Louis, just a few meters from Notre-Dame, is one of those cafés that make Paris what it is. Professional...
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Calle del Mondo Novo, 5801, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
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As the winter solstice approaches, the light in Venice becomes diffuse. Multistory buildings cast the city in deep cold shadows that allow the canals to reflect the clear blue sky. It's the off-season. Many shops will close after Christmas until...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
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Rennweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Star architect Zaha Hadid’s first work in Innsbruck was the soaring Bergisel ski jump which opened in 2005. Two years later, the four stations she designed for the Nordkettenbahn hybrid funicular line took architecture to new heights, literally...
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To be honest, the Middle Eastern country of Jordan has a lot of "wow" moments. Among all of them, though, one of my favorite experiences was walking through the massive desert known as Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum has been inhabited by Bedouins for...
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Croatia
Waterfalls on a stormy day.
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381 01 Český Krumlov, Czechia
Cesky Krumlov is located in southern Czech Republic and has a delightful town bound by an oxbow in the Vltava River. Opposite the town lies Cesky Krumlov Castle, which allows the visitor to experience an "on top of the world" view over the...
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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
This must-see spot in Normandy is a little city on an island just off the coast that gets cut-off by the tide on a daily basis. At the peak of the town (is nice walk up!) is the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel where you can see a view for miles, once...
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Sockenvägen, 122 33 Stockholm, Sweden
On All Saints’ Day (Helgons dag), people come out in full force with thousands of candles, flowers, and other mementos in hand to pay respect to departed loved ones and honor the dead at Skogskyrkogården (“Woodland Cemetary”), one of Stockholm's...
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Kalabaka 422 00, Greece
Meteora means "suspended in air" in Greek. The town of Meteora, about a 5-hour drive north of Athens in Thessaly, Greece, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site: six Greek Orthodox monasteries built on enormous rock pinnacles that rise up to...