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Thinking of vacationing in the winter? Europe is surely the place to be

If your ideal winter vacation is a place with heaps of snow and extremely cold weather, then Europe is your destination to be.

travel Updated: Jan 29, 2017 10:11 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Collin Rodrigues
Hindustan Times
People ride the London Bus (Istock)

Winters in Europe is known to be too cold, where temperatures drop below zero degrees. However, that is exactly what many tourists, who plan to travel to Europe during this time of the year, looks forward to experience. We take on a tour to London (UK), Paris (France) and Brussels (Belgium), and give you an insight as in why it is the best time to flock to these destinations, and experience its winter charm.

Tower Bridge in central London ( AFP )

London calling
Though Christmas and New Year is the best time to travel to London, the place will continue to attract tourists during winters. The city boasts of many popular tourist attractions. London has the famous ‘hop on hop off’ bus service, which takes you to most of the tourist attractions of the city. Some popular attractions here include Madame Tussauds, Tower of London, Sea Life London Aquarium, St Paul Cathedral, Kensington Palace, The London Eye, The Shard and the Thames River Cruise, Tower Bridge, among others. Considering its winter time, queues to most of these places would be shorter.

Eiffel Tower seen from the Seine River Cruise ( Istock )

The city of love
From London, you can catch a train to Paris. The ride can surely turn out to be the best train journey of your life. It will take you more than two hours to reach your destination. On the way, you will cross picturesque countryside, vast uninhabited open spaces, hills, lakes and lush green patches. The train will halt at Paris’s Gare du Nord station. If you can’t speak French, you will have to resort to sign language to communicate with people.

If you want to ask for help, preferably approach the young local crowd, as majority of them speaks and understands English. Paris has a vast metro train network, mostly underground, which takes you almost everywhere in the city. So, if you disembark at the right station, every major landmark in the city can be reached on foot within a few minutes. Considering cab rides are expensive, metro is the most economical mode of travel in Paris.
Temperatures in Paris during this time hover around 5 degree Celsius.

You might encounter long queues and huge number of tourists at every major attraction in the city. Considering it’s chilly during this time of the year, spending a lot of time in the open can get difficult for you. If you have heard from people that the city is expensive, well, you have heard the truth. In fact, there isn’t much difference in the prices of food sold on the streets and restaurants.

If you are in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is surely going to be on top of your ‘must visit’ list. Most people visit the tower at night as about 336 light projectors and 20,000 light bulbs makes it look magnificent. The tower’s observation decks give you a view of the Paris’s floodlit bridges, churches and other landmarks. In the night, the Seine River Cruise is a popular attraction. The hour-long cruise starts at Pont Neuf and takes you past the Louvre museum, Place de la Concorde, Pont Alexandre III Bridge, Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral. A running commentary on the cruise gives you information as you sail through the Seine River.

The buildings of the Grand Place of Brussels are illuminated during the winter ( Istock )

Relax in Brussels
You can go to Brussels from Paris by bus, which will take you around four hours to reach. Your trip to Brussels would be incomplete without seeing the bronze sculpture of Manneken Pis. Grand Place, Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, and Atomium are some of the other attractions in Brussels, which are popular among tourists

Cool tips

1. Do not forget to carry proper winter clothes

2. Google Maps is a must, especially in places where English is not the spoken language

3. Consult your doctor and carry first-aid medicines because you can’t buy medicines without a prescription in Europe

4. In winter, the sun sets around 4.30pm in Europe, so plan your day accordingly. The streets are almost deserted once it’s dark.

First Published: Jan 28, 2017 19:04 IST