It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or how you celebrate. A stunning winter scene can always brighten up the darkest and coldest months. Need ideas for picturesque winter wonderlands to check out? From Québec City to Harbin, here’s a collection of our favorite winter escapes!
1. Québec City, Québec, Canada
For more than 50 years, the city of Québec has hosted the Québec Winter Carnival, which over one million people visit each year. This carnival runs from February 5-14 and offers a variety of cultural events, such as ice sculpting, canoe races, and even a masked ball.
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
If you love outdoor winter experiences, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a great place to go. You can go snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or even take a sleigh ride or dog-sled tour! Jackson Hole is also home to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the National Elk Refuge, all of which offer incredible winter tours.
3. Vail, Colorado, USA
Vail, Colorado, is the perfect destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. For those who don’t want to stay out in the cold, there are also plenty of shopping opportunities, as well as spas and a nature discovery center for kids.
4. Rovaniemi, Finland
Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland, is the Official Hometown of Santa Claus. At Santa Claus Village, you can meet Santa Claus and cross the Arctic Circle every day of the year. There are plenty of other activity options here, too, including visits to the Article Circle Husky Park, Lapland snowmobile safaris, and nighttime Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) tours.
5. Salzburg, Austria
The baroque architecture in Salzburg is always stunning. In the winter, the views get turned up a notch, and Mozart’s birthplace becomes a must-visit. It’s especially popular among those who love winter sports or want to take a tour of the famous Christmas markets.
6. Bled, Slovenia
Bled, Slovenia, is home to an incredible glacial lake, and in the middle of this lake sits Bled Island. Bled Island is home to a 17th-century gothic church and Bled Castle. Both buildings are beautiful and fairytale-like, especially when they’re surrounded by snow and ice.
7. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
The town of Český Krumlov and its 13th-century State Castle (one of the largest in the country) are both Unesco World Heritage sites. Český Krumlov is a fun and exciting place to visit in the winter. The castle even features a baroque theater and traditional brewery to keep you entertained during your stay.
8. Shirakawa, Japan
Located in the Gifu prefecture of Japan is the village of Shirakawa. This Unesco World Heritage site features houses built in the Minka style, complete with special thatched roofs that protect against collapse from heavy snowfall (a must since Shirakawa receives some of the heaviest snowfall in the world).
9. St Petersburg, Russia
A true winter wonderland, St Petersburg, Russia, is filled with seasonal events all throughout the coldest months of the year. During your stay, you can visit the Mariinsky Theatre, experience a performance by the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, and much more.
10. Harbin, China
Harbin is one of China’s coldest major cities. It’s known affectionately as “Ice City.” Every year, Harbin hosts the world’s largest snow festival, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. To create their sculptures, artists use giant ice blocks taken from the nearby Songhua River.