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Planning a new year getaway? Here are the top destinations to visit in January.

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Planning a new year getaway? Here are the top destinations to visit in January.

In Europe, there are so many destinations that you can choose from for your January escapades. From skiing to a sunshine destination, there is no reason for you to stay at home for the winter months at all. Take a look at the top 5 European destinations below that you can visit this January:

1. Rome, Italy

There are two airports that give you quick access to Rome, Ciampino and Fiumicino. Both have great transport options into Rome and you can be in the centre of Rome in under an hour from either of them.

Rome itself is a metropolis of wonder. Offering a mix of ancient Roman ruins nestled between high-end shops, it truly is an incredible destination. There’s a reason it is an entrant on so many bucket lists. The coffee and food options are unrivalled, so it’s hard to go wrong with whichever dining establishment you end up in.

Wandering through the streets is awe-inspiring, and it’s impossible to turn a corner without being amazed at the diversity in front of you. Even on a short weekend trip, it’s very easy to fit all the best places into your trip. Make sure to at least visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Vatican City, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Roman Forum. One benefit of visiting in winter is that there are fewer crowds to contend with. Just check opening times and advance ticket requirements for the places you want to see as these vary somewhat.

2. Berlin, Germany

If you’re a history lover, then Berlin is the destination for you this winter. Fly into Brandenburg or Tegel airport as the gateway to the famed crossroads of the Cold War. Today, Berlin is still an amazing mix of East German and West German infrastructure.

There are numerous art museums, the Stasi Museum, the Topography of Terror, the German Spy Museum, remnants of the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, and Brandenburg Gate to explore. The entire city is a melting pot of living history, but it’s also littered with restaurants, parks, and a really efficient Ubahn (subway) system. If you’d prefer to walk, Berlin is incredibly walkable between the main sites too. A walk down Unter den Linden is perfect, if not just for the architecture, Berlin cathedral, river views, and other key tourist hotspots like Alexanderplatz and the Brandenburg Gate at each end.

3. Val d’Isere and Tignes, France

Skiing options are plentiful in the winter months across Europe. The Val d’Isere and Tignes resort area is a family-friendly option that is also well-suited to any age demographic. The quickest airport to transfer to the area is actually Geneva airport in Switzerland, but you can also fly into Lyon airport in France just as easily.

The ski terrain provides an excellent mix of beginner to advanced terrain. Ski passes provide access to over 300km of terrain across the Val d’Isere and Tignes ski areas, which are connected by the Tommeuses chairlift. As an added perk, courtesy of the high altitude of this resort, snow conditions are exceptional. So, this is the ideal destination for all snow-lovers who want to hit the slopes this winter.

top destinations to visit in January

4. Seville, Spain

If you’re chasing some sun instead in January, then Seville is a good option for higher temperatures than a lot of the rest of Europe at this time of year. It’s also got some of the most stunning architecture on offer, with the old city being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are palaces and mansions to explore at your leisure too. Or you can keep busy by entering any number of the art galleries and museums that this Andalusian city boasts. At the very least, you’ll experience some of the finest tapas on offer from this vibrant city. And, perhaps after dinner, you’ll even be tempted to watch a world-famous flamenco show here. Truly a wonderful city awaits you in this citrus-tree-lined location.

5. Riga, Latvia

This city is a delightful winter destination if you love old-town cities like Prague or Warsaw. It’s also still a bit more off the mainstream track. It can be bitterly cold in the Baltic State, so do make sure to take some layers to keep you warm on your adventures.

The old town is lined with pubs and restaurants, as well as some fine buildings and cobbled streets. A unique place to visit is the House of the Blackheads. The Brotherhood of the Blackheads was an association made up of wealthy and unmarried merchants of German descent. And, they definitely have an iconic building right in the centre of this beautiful city.

Escape the city to visit nearby destinations like Sigulda to see some beautiful castles and national parks. The trains are basic, but they are cheap and efficient, and the views out to the snow-covered Latvian countryside are truly unbeatable.