Are you planning a trip to Europe in February and are looking for some fun winter destinations to visit!? Well, I’m more than happy to help out with that.
While many think the peak summer season of June to August is the best time to embark on a Euro trip, I’d argue that winter in Europe is where it’s at — namely, February.
It may be below-freezing in some parts of the continent, but things are heating up in others. Whether your scene is partying the night away at the carnival, hitting the snow of the Alps, or lazing under the Mediterranean Sun, a visit in February has something for everyone in Europe.
I’ve put together this mega guide to 13 incredible cities to visit in Europe in February. It’s jam-packed with winter getaway guides that may inspire you to discover a destination you never considered before.
So, what do you say? How about you pack your travel backpack for Europe, and let’s get trekking!
THE BEST EUROPEAN CITIES TO VISIT IN EUROPE IN FEBRUARY
1) BARCELONA, SPAIN
Let’s face it. Barcelona is a vibrant, fun, surprising, and exciting destination year-round and has something for every style of traveler.
In summer, the Spain average high temperature is 96.8°F (36°C) which can be very hot for some people. While still on the chilly side, Barcelona is a bit warmer than the intensely low temperatures in other parts of Europe in February – thanks to its Mediterranean location. So, you can expect a winter sun with average temperatures of 59°F (15°C).
The city is one of the best places to visit in February because there are tons to keep you busy. Spend your days enjoying the artwork of Antoni Gaudi with fewer crowds, or go bar hopping and tapas in the Gothic District. Of course, you can’t forget to revel in the Barcelona nightlife (which always happens no matter the time of the year).
WHAT’S ON IN BARCELONA IN FEBRUARY:
Barcelona Carnival (“Carnaval de Barcelona”)
When: February 8-14, 2024
Held in the week leading up to Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, Barcelona Carnival is a quintessential loud and proud Spanish celebration across this remarkable city. TimeOut calls Barcelona Carnival a week of “costume parties, traditions and general debauchery.” Kicking off on the famous central Barcelona strip of Las Ramblas, a week at Barcelona Carnival is a non-stop party.
Sitges Carnival (“Carnaval”)
An offshoot of Barcelona’s massive carnival, Sitges Carnival is held in the coastal town just 35 km south of Barcelona. The week-long carnival is a wild time held concurrently with Barcelona Carnival!
This carnival is widely considered one of the best festivals in the world. It is an explosion of music, parades, dancing, and constant partying for its 250,000 attendees. I’ve personally attended this carnival, and it’s absolutely incredible and well worth the day trip from Barcelona when it happens.
Average high temperature in February: 15°C (59°F)
Average low temperature in February: 8°C (46.4°F)
Getting there: Fly directly into Barcelona El Prat Airport from many European and international cities. To see some stunning sights, I recommend coming in by road from other Spanish cities or a high-speed train ride from Madrid to Barcelona. It takes just under 3 hours and has many services throughout the day.
WHERE TO STAY IN BARCELONA IN FEBRUARY:
The W Hotel Barcelona
There’s no more iconic accommodation in Barcelona than The W Hotel. Located right at the end of the beach, it’s a famous landmark in the city, and the rates are far more affordable in February with fewer tourists.
Price: $350+ per night
Guest Review: “Very clean, excellent location. Only place I stay when I am in Barcelona.”
Claris Hotel & Spa GL
Price: $270+ USD per night
Guest review: “Beautiful hotel, staff were so accommodating and attentive. Thank you for an amazing stay. The rooftop is stunning. Would definitely return.” – Claire, United Kingdom
2) Venice, Italy
The famous Italian “floating city” of Venice is a summer hotspot. But Venice is one of the best cities to visit in February. Why? Because this time marks the city’s most celebrated annual event – Carnival (or “Carnevale” in Italian).
Traditional Venetian masks are on full display around Venice, and the energy is fun-filled and excitable. The temperatures in the north of Italy may be considerably cooler than its southern counterparts during February. Still, the vibe down the canal side laneways and in the sprawling public squares of Venice is palpable.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN VENICE IN FEBRUARY
When: February 3-13, 2024
One of the world’s most famous annual festivals, Venice Carnival (“Carnevale”), runs for a fortnight each February and marks the onset of the Christian holiday Lent. The carnival is a colorful tradition with participants wearing beautiful Venetian masks around the streets.
There are lots of events held throughout “Venezia” for Carnevale, including elaborate masked balls. It’s a great family-friendly event the kids will love, but solo travelers and couples will find something special too.
Average high temperature in February: 9°C (48°F)
Average low temperature in February: 1°C (33.8°F)
Getting there: Fly directly to Venice Airport, or travel by train, bus, or car from many other major Italian cities and bordering countries. The drive from Rome to Venice is 3.5 hours, while Florence to Venice is 3 hours.
WHERE TO STAY IN VENICE:
There are tons of incredible places to stay around Venice, and it just depends on where you want to be. Personally, I recommend a hotel near the train station or within a few minutes walk from the iconic Piazza San Marco.
Ca’di Dio-Small Luxury Hotel
Price: $483+ per night
This cozy yet chic luxury hotel in Venice is truly vacation-worthy. With a perfect location, excellent service, and glowing reviews, you won’t forget your vacation in Venice if you stay here!
Hotel Il Moro di Venezia
Price: $74+ per night
Located just footsteps away from Venice Santa Lucia Station, this well-priced hotel will be a great home base for your stay in the city! The delicious complimentary breakfast plus the comfortable and clean rooms make this a pleasant stay.
3) Cologne, Germany
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in February, Europe’s northern city of Cologne (“Köln”) is a good place to start. It is a stunning, historical German destination on the Rhine River, famed for its cathedral and charming Old Town.
The fourth largest German city is usually home to around one million permanent city residents and is known for its “college town” aesthetic. But in February each year, an influx of Germans from other cities and international visitors mean that for one week, the charming, historical city limits swell to maximum capacity to party away the “crazy days of Carnival.”
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN COLOGNE IN FEBRUARY:
Carnival season continues across Europe in February, with Cologne Carnival kicking off a week of annual festivities. These include massive street parties, parades, and a suspension of closing times for bars and pubs across the city for the duration of the event.
The festival has technically been running in Cologne since the Middle Ages, but the massive event of today has been celebrated for around 200 years. Be prepared for a crazy, action-packed event with a German beer-laden week of celebrations across the entire city wrapping up on Ash Wednesday.
Average high temperature in February: 7°C (44.6°F)
Average low temperature in February: 1°C (33.8°F)
Getting there: Cologne Bonn Airport is a major hub for many local and international flights. Alternatively, Cologne can be reached by road 6 hours from the capital of Berlin. If you’re approaching from Frankfurt, it is a 2-hour drive.
WHERE TO STAY IN COLOGNE IN FEBRUARY:
Here are a few ideas for your Cologne accommodation needs. No matter where you stay in the city, though, I’m sure you’ll love your stay as it is one of Germany’s coolest cities!
Hyatt Regency Köln
Price: $224+ USD per night
Guest review: “Excellent location, beautiful views of the river & cathedral. Fantastic service and extremely clean. I would highly recommend a stay in this hotel. The food was exceptional. I would give this hotel 10 out of 10.” – Tanya, Ireland
Maritim Hotel Köln
Price: $117+ USD per night
Guest review: “Location is ideal for a quick weekend, very central, we never used any public transport just walked everywhere! Great staff, super helpful and lovely hotel. Rooms are big and the bed was massive! Air con was great and not too noisy, bathroom and shower were very modern” – Sarah
4) Helsinki, Finland + Arctic Circle Adventures
February in the Finnish capital of Helsinki rarely climbs above freezing, and snow commonly falls most days. If you’re a snow bunny, you’ll love this magical winter wonderland, and if you’re a winter sports fan – even better!
While Helsinki in February doesn’t have any major events, per se, it made my list because it’s a fantastic winter destination and renowned for its majestic, frozen landscape. It’s also the best place to catch a flight up to Kittilä. You can read about the trip I took there in my Flashpacking Finland post.
Here are a few more recommendations to get you started on where to travel in February if you visit Finland.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN HELSINKI IN FEBRUARY
Shop at Market Square and Old Market Hall
These traditional Finnish markets in Helsinki sell local foods and handcrafted products. Market Square is an outdoor market located by the Harbor. Don’t worry. They have a warm cafe tent! Old Market Hall offers the same experience, but inside and directly next door to Market Square.
Have a Sauna, Obviously
Saunas are a dime a dozen in Northern Europe, and Finland is no exception. Many public saunas in Helsinki have sadly closed down, but a few of the original – and the best – remain. Head to Löyly Sauna for a traditional Finnish sauna experience, with a spot to jump into the freezing Baltic Sea between sauna sessions like the locals do.
Visit a Finnish Island and UNESCO World Heritage Site:
Suomenlinna Island is one of Finland’s seven UNESCO heritage sites and is a great day trip to escape the city for a bit. After all, it’s just over ten minutes by ferry.
This island is historically significant, dating back to the 1700s, and has seen a range of wars and battles, with many historical remnants remaining. And if the cold proves too much, it also has a brewery to enjoy a pint or three.
Average high temperature in February: -2°C (28.4°F)
Average low temperature in February: -7°C (19.4°F)
Getting there: Helsinki Airport is Finland’s biggest international airport and is the primary way to arrive into the capital due to its remote location in relation to mainland Europe.
WHERE TO STAY IN HELSINKI IN FEBRUARY:
Lapland Hotels Bulevardi
Price: $215+ per night
With extremely luxurious rooms at affordable prices, you simply can’t beat the Lapland Hotels Bulevardi. It is in the city center, has amazing dining, and top-notch service, so you’ll truly love your winter getaway in Helsinki by staying here!
Marski by Scandic
Price: $118+ USD per night
Guest review: “Amazing facilities, room, location, amenities, and the staff, wow, the lady that checked me in was super helpful and kind since there was a change in my booking. Super recommended place and way better than other more expensive hotels in Helsinki.” – Daniel, Netherlands.
5) Crete, Greece
The vast island of Crete is just 160 km (99 miles) south of the mainland of Greece and is a fantastic escape from the hubbub of Athens. It also has significantly fewer visitors (even in the off-season) than the quintessential Greek islands of Mykonos or Santorini.
It’s not so much that Crete has any major events during February to plan your trip around, but more about the fact that Crete is one of the warmest parts of Europe in the depths of winter. While many parts of Europe are freezing through sub-zero temperatures, Crete offers sunny, mild weather even during their off-season.
If escaping the cold is at the top of your February to-do list, Crete is where it’s at. And filling your time should be easy, as this huge expanse of the island covers over 8,000 square kilometers and has thousands of kilometers of gorgeous coastline. Here are a few things to keep you busy.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN CRETE IN FEBRUARY:
Swim at One of Crete’s Many Beaches
Crete has over 500 beaches, and even in February, you’ll see locals and visitors splash around and enjoy the winter sun. A massive plus is that you can do this too, minus the throngs of tourists blocking the view.
The sea is also much calmer in winter compared to summer, with less intense winds, which makes February ideal for surfing in Crete.
Take Advantage of Winter Specials
In winter, prices across Crete are half the price as the same thing would cost in the booming summer months. This means you can have a luxury stay with cheap flights there and back and enjoy an endless array of dirt-cheap activities. Add to that a few queues, shorter waits in restaurants and cafes, and an overall feeling of more space.
Go Chasing Waterfalls
The landscape of Crete is primarily hot and dry, but in February, the winter rainfall of the previous months has replenished creeks, gorges, and rivers. This means the island’s waterfalls are flowing gloriously once again.
Visiting Crete in February means you’ll have a chance to see what the peak visitors don’t get to – the lush natural wonders of this ancient island. This time of year brings global canyoning fans to Crete, so give that a go while you’re at it.
The average high temperature in February: 16°C (60.8°F)
The average low temperature in February: 9°C (48.2°F)
Getting there: Crete has two major airports on opposite ends of their massive island – Heraklion and Chania. If you want to arrive in true island style, catch a 2.5-hour ferry to Crete from the Greek Islands of Santorini or Mykonos and experience other incredible island destinations along the way. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, a popular ferry route travels from Brindisi (Italy) to Crete daily and takes a full day and night.
WHERE TO STAY IN CRETE IN FEBRUARY
Domus Renier Boutique Hotel – Historic Hotels Worldwide
Price: $164+ USD per night
Guest review: “The staff treated us like royalty. The room was immaculate and warmly decorated as well as very big and designed for comfort. The location was idyllic with our view looking out over the harbor.” – Chris, Netherlands
Chic Apartment with Views of Koules Fortress
Price: $178+ USD per night
Guest review: “Fokion was extremely hospitable responding quickly to messages which was helpful to me as I booked very last minute. Fokion goes beyond just the stay, he picked me up from the port making check in very easy and also left a brochure with wonderful recommendations and information on public transport. The apartment was perfect, with an extraordinary view, making my stay at Crete even more enjoyable. I didn’t want to leave! Will definitely be returning, hopefully soon!” – Jess
6) St Moritz, Switzerland
Switzerland’s snowfields are a playground for the rich and famous in the winter months. That is why St. Moritz is one of Europe’s most esteemed winter destinations. It’s also one of the best European resort towns to visit in February, as it’s the peak season for snow bunnies.
Don’t think the fun ends at hitting the slopes for a taste of the best powder in Europe. A visit in February means a jam-packed calendar to make your Swiss Alps trip unforgettable.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN ST MORITZ IN FEBRUARY:
White Turf & Night Turf
When: February 4-18, 2024
“White Turf, a unique, exclusive, top-class event with exciting horse racing, gourmet catering, lively music, and inspiring art exhibitions, all taking place in winter sunshine on the frozen lake among the stunningly beautiful, snow-capped mountains of St Moritz.
This spectacular, major event is not just one with Champagne on ice for the rich and beautiful but an annual event where race-horse owners, trainers, and jockeys from all over the world meet up as well as being an unmissable fixture on the calendar for local people. It is thanks to the sponsors as well as the municipality of St Moritz and the local tourist board, who have been
supporting White Turf for decades, to make this top-class race meeting possible.”
Its name may be daunting, but this well-known members-only nightclub is the place to be seen in St Moritz – if you can wrangle a pass, of course!
Treat Yourself to a Swiss Spending Spree
St Moritz is all about money, money, money. So it comes as no surprise that it’s full to the brim with luxury shops. Head to Via Serlas for a Rodeo Drive style retail therapy experience in St Moritz. Jimmy, Gucci, and Louis are waiting!
Average high temperature in February: 0°C (32°F)
Average low temperature in February: -16°C (3.2°F)
Getting there: You can easily reach St Moritz from a range of European cities, but the closest major airport is Zurich Airport in Switzerland.
From here, you can drive or take the train to St Moritz. The renowned Glacier Express (Chur [Switzerland] to St Moritz and Bernina Express (Tirano [Italy] to St Moritz) heritage railway services take you through the mountains with unparalleled Alps views.
WHERE TO STAY IN ST MORITZ IN FEBRUARY:
Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
Price: $558+ USD per night
If you’ve got the budget, staying at the world-class Kulm Hotel will easily be the highlight of your February Europe getaway! With world-class views, spa treatments, and dining, you’ll fall head over heels in love with St. Moritz.
Guest review: “All first class, the staff were extremely welcoming, helpful, polite and couldn’t do enough to make our stay more perfect. Overall the hotel, staff, facilities and location were all 5 star.” – Martin, United Kingdom
7) Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland has exploded in popularity and is now a bonafide part of the European backpacking trail, despite being off the traditional beaten track.
The capital city, Reykjavik, has so much to offer the tourism industry. It’s no wonder 2 million international visitors now head there for volcanoes, lagoons, and a true sense of rest and relaxation. February is no exception despite having the coolest annual temperatures, with the Iceland average high temperature reaching just 3°C (37.4°F).
But be warned – Iceland is significantly more expensive than mainland European countries. Thankfully, a bit cheaper during a visit in February, but start saving your Icelandic króna’s now. It’s also a fantastic jumping-off point for exploring the rest of this unbelievable country. Iceland winter road trip, anyone?
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN REYKJAVIK IN FEBRUARY:
Experience the Northern Lights
November to February is the peak season to see the elusive Northern Lights of northern Europe, and Reykjavik is the ideal base to experience this popular travel bucket list item. A range of tours depart from Reykjavik, but I recommend Happy Tours. They run nighttime tours to the best vantage points most nights of the week during winter.
What sets them apart is that you sail on a traditional fishing vessel away from the city to see the northern lights at their best and clearest. This tour company also has a “sighting guarantee,” which means you can join their tour again any other night for free to try again.
Winter Lights Festival
This annual Reykjavik festival marks midwinter each February with a generous splash of much-needed color and light installations across the city. The best part is that all events have free entry, so visiting this fantastic city’s a great time.
The Blue Lagoon
“Healing waters. A subterranean spa. Gourmet cuisine. Luxurious suites. Otherworldly vistas. A universe of radiant wellbeing.”
A trip to Iceland would be incomplete without experiencing the magical Blue Lagoon! It’s one of the country’s most iconic tourist destinations and has the perfect geothermal pools to dip into during the winter.
Average high temperature in February: 3°C (37.4°F)
Average low temperature in February: -2°C (28.4°F)
Getting there: You can fly into Reykjavik’s major international airport, Keflavik Airport, from many destinations worldwide. To have a stopover in Reykjavik as part of your flight, you’ll need to be flying with their airline, Icelandair.
WHERE TO STAY IN REYKJAVIK IN FEBRUARY
Canopy By Hilton
Price: $257+ USD per night
This hotel offers the ultimate Reykjavik city experience. The Canopy by Hilton is modern, with clean rooms and stylish fittings. Located around the corner from the famous Laugavegur shopping street, you couldn’t get a better base for exploring the city and its attractions.
Hotel Reykjavík Centrum
Price: $181+ USD per night
Guest review: “The hotel was amazing. It was like an enormous dolls house from the outside and inside so bright and airy. We will stay here again must definitely.” – Paul, United Kingdom
8) Prague, Czech Republic
In my opinion, whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or autumn – I’ll visit Prague anytime in an absolute heartbeat.
The capital of the Czech Republic, there’s a reason Prague is often the favorite world city of any seasoned traveler you ask. It’s magical in the snow, breathtaking in summer, and it has so much to see and do on any given day. I guarantee you’ll walk away from Prague with memories you’ll cherish forever.
Get lost in the fairytale charm, dine like royalty, and soak up all Prague has to offer! Read my 2-Day Prague Itinerary for all of my top recommendations.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN PRAGUE IN FEBRUARY
Experience World-Class Czech Beer at the Source
Escape the nighttime winter chill and join a beer tour of Prague that will take you to some of Prague’s most legendary pubs. You’ll also get to taste some of the Czech Republic’s best brews — all capped off with a traditional Czech dinner.
Tour Prague’s Centuries-old Jewish Quarter
Josefov, Prague’s Jewish Quarter, has withstood the worst of humanity and still stands firm in the center of the city. A walking tour is the best way to really begin to understand the history of Prague’s Jewish population and the foundations of Josefov. With your tour guide, you’ll visit beautifully preserved synagogues and Jewish cemeteries — unmissable and sobering.
Cruise Prague’s Vltava River
The wind chill may be intense, but a winter cruise up Prague’s Vltava will take you past some of the city’s most beautiful architecture, including Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, and teach you so much about this epic city at the same time.
Average high temperature in February: 5°C (41°F)
Average low temperature in February: -1°C (30.2°F)
Getting there: The Czech Republic is located in central Europe, so it’s right on the popular tourist trail. Prague Airport is a central international hub you can fly directly into.
Its nearest major cities via road are all heavily trafficked destinations in their own right. Budapest (Hungary) and Krakow (Poland) are both 6 hours away. Vienna (Austria) is just short of 4 hours by train.
WHERE TO STAY IN PRAGUE IN FEBRUARY
Price: $79+ USD per night
This is my absolute favorite hotel in Prague! It’s in a fantastic location, affordably priced, and has everything you need for a comfortable stay in this magical city!
Price: $118+ USD per night
Guest review: “Location. About a 15 minute walk to old town and plenty of cafes and restaurants close by. Close to transport too. Private rooms were so clean and spacious and modern. I had the best stay. The lounge areas had activities for socialising.” – Danielle, Australia
9) Bruges, Belgium
The medieval Belgian city of Bruges is nicknamed “The Venice of the North”. It’s clear to see why, with its canals, cobblestone laneways, and ornate architecture.
February in Bruges doesn’t see extreme average temperature dips, but it’s still pretty cold. However, that doesn’t mean that Bruges slows down even for a second or that the iconic Belgian beer stops flowing.
Wandering the canals and admiring the architecture in Bruges will truly mesmerize you and will keep you coming back for more every winter.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN BRUGES IN FEBRUARY
Climb the Belfry
The Belfry of Bruges is its most famous medieval landmark. If you can climb all 270 feet of this tower, you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of the city and beyond.
Average high temperature in February: 7°C (44.6°F)
Average low temperature in February: 2°C (35.6°F)
Getting there: Luckily, Bruge is easy to reach anywhere you visit Europe. The easiest way to reach Bruge is by flying directly into Oostende-Brugge International Airport or the larger Brussels Airport. The Belgian capital Brussels is just over an hour’s train trip to Bruges, while Paris is 2.5 hours, and Amsterdam is three hours.
WHERE TO STAY IN BRUGES IN FEBRUARY
Hotel Dukes’ Palace Brugge
Price: $180+ USD per night
Guest review: “A beautiful traditional hotel with bags of character. The staff were really friendly, helpful and informative and really made me feel welcome. I also received a free upgrade for my stay as the hotel was not full (weekday stay). Everything about the hotel was stunning and made my stay very special.” – Rebecca, United Kingdom
Hotel Ter Brughe
Price: $125+ USD per night
Guest review: “Loved this hotel. We have stayed at several different places during our 12 day trip to Europe – Airbnb’s and other hotels, but this hotel by far was easily the best of the bunch. Would definitely stay there again!” – Matthew
10) York, England
The ancient city of York is one of England’s most beautiful, historically significant, and charming cities. It is famed for the enormous Gothic cathedral, York Minster, and its cobblestone streets (including the historical “Shambles”).
By February, York is just emerging from its coldest month of the year, January. Average temperatures around this time are highs of 7°C (44.6°F) and lows of 1°C (33.8°F). But don’t let that stop you. There is still lots to do here.
York may have frosty cold weather and regularly snowy in February, but that only contributes to its magical lore!
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN YORK IN FEBRUARY
Jorvik Viking Festival
York is the home of the largest Viking festival in Europe, believe it or not, and it’s well worth timing your visit to ensure you get to experience the action for yourself.
For a week each February, York’s hotels are fully booked as visitors head to the city for this Norse celebration. Expect lots of staged Viking skirmishes and combats, workshops, and markets dotting the cobblestone streets of York.
The Original Ghost Walk of York
Rug up against the freezing February night and join York’s longest-running nighttime ghost tour. Hear haunting ghost stories from the best storytellers in the business, traveling on foot to all of the places the scary tales took place. Haunting, hair raising and a hell of a good time.
Average high temperature in February: 7°C (44.6°F)
Average low temperature in February: 1°C (33.8°F)
Getting there: Manchester has the nearest major airport to York, but the United Kingdom is best explored from the ground, especially the sheer beauty of Yorkshire.
You can reach York from London in just over three hours. There are lots of train and bus services between the two cities daily. The major northern city of Leeds is also only 45 minutes from York.
WHERE TO STAY IN YORK:
Guy Fawkes Inn, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
Price: $126+ USD per night
Guest review: “Amazing atmospheric place with excellent staff. A must in York for a genuine historic lovely stay!!!” – Brenda, United Kingdom
Stroll to Historic City Centre From Refurbished Flat
Price: $130+ USD per night
Guest review: “Brian was a wonderful host, very responsive to every message. The unit is very large and spacious and very tastefully decorated and so close to town. A Spar supermarket was located just down the road and such an easy walk into town only about 5 mins. The bed was wonderful with crisp linen, big fluffy towels and amazing shower, best shower we have had since arriving in the UK and spotlessly clean.” – Jacqueline
11) Chamonix, France
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (or simply “Chamonix”) is a popular ski resort at the base of the famous Mont Blanc – the tallest peak of the Alps region.
Mont Blanc is a big draw for tourists all year due to its breathtaking views. However, in February, the snow attracts serious Alpine sports fans and is considered the best spot to ski in the Alps. With France average high temperature of just 5°C (41°F), a visit here is a must for snow bunnies.
Chamonix is located at the junction of Italy, Switzerland, and France, offering amazing accessibility on your trip to other major destinations. If breathtaking mountain views and ski slopes sound like a good idea, don’t miss out on Chamonix!
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN CHAMONIX IN FEBRUARY:
Take a Husky Ride
Dogsledding is a tradition in Chamonix and very popular. So be sure to book your place well ahead of time on a husky ride across the white snow of this majestic Alps location.
Experience Aiguille du Midi
The #1 recommended activity in Chamonix and Mont Blanc is climbing to the peaks of this mountain in the Mont Blanc region in a cable car. You’ll reach a height of 3,842m, so be prepared to be a little breathless with the altitude. But the sweeping views of the French Alps make all the huffing and puffing so worth it.
Of course, hiking these heights isn’t for everyone. If that is too challenging for you, don’t worry. There are also a few cable cars available.
Average high temperature in February: 5°C (41°F)
Average low temperature in February: -1°C (30.2°F)
Getting there: Most tourists visiting Chamonix fly into Switzerland’s Geneva Airport, which offers daily connections direct to Chamonix. Lyon Airport in France also offers a high-speed train to Chamonix.
WHERE TO STAY IN CHAMONIX:
Alpina Eclectic Hotel
Price: $113+ USD per night
Guest review: “Nice surprise. The room are stylish. The view of Mont Blanc is amazing from the balcony. And the breakfast is full of options and high quality. There is a spa where you can relax in a nice jacuzzi. Very well located. We will return for sure.” – De, Italy
Luxury One-Bedroom Apartment With Jacuzzi! (Airbnb)
Price: $159+ USD per night
Guest review: “Beyond words location and views, great studio and awesome hot tub! Giles was a great host too, we definitely recommend a visit.” – Marion
12) Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is a tourist magnet year-round. The island has mild temperatures, even in February. Being one of the warmest parts of Europe, even in the depths of winter, is just one reason Tenerife has made my list of the best European locations to visit in February.
On top of that, the Canary Islands are also beautiful. The beaches are stunning, the water turquoise, and the vibe relaxed as hell. Plus, it has one of the world’s biggest carnivals kicking off in February. You’re closer to the West Coast of Africa when you visit Tenerife, so sit back, sip a cocktail, and enjoy escaping the February chill for a little while.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN TENERIFE IN FEBRUARY:
Carnaval de Santa Cruz
When: January 12 – February 18, 2024
Another massive part of the European carnival scene, Carnaval de Santa Cruz, is Tenerife’s biggest annual celebration and is celebrated at the beginning of Lent. In fact, it’s right behind Brazil’s world-famous Carnival on the list of the world’s biggest.
Parades, parties, music, and huge celebrations are held across this beautiful island, and recent years have seen more than half a million attendees spill onto the island for the fortnight-long party.
Average high temperature in February: 20°C (68°F)
Average low temperature in February: 15°C (59°F)
Getting there: The easiest way to reach Tenerife is to fly directly to Tenerife South Airport. Luckily, many European airlines fly here.
WHERE TO STAY IN TENERIFE:
Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey
Price: $149+ USD per night
Guest review: “Our stay was exceptional. The rooms were impeccable, the decor stunning, the facilities fantastic, the staff attentive and polite. This hotel is close to faultless.” – Catherine, Netherlands
Ocean & volcano views, terrace, wifi, concierge, in Villa (Airbnb)
Price: $114+ USD per night
Guest review: Everything in this hotel was excellent. Building itself was spectacular! Pool very nice! Staff very friendly and polite! The atmospheric was brilliant for the highest comfort break. Will be back for sure! View throw our window was breath taking to the mountains garden and very clear blue sky! like from the postcard!!! – Simona
13) Innsbruck, Austria
The beautiful Alps city of Innsbruck has always been beloved by European travelers, especially during winter. The Winter Olympics have even been hosted in Innsbruck twice thanks to its epic alpine sports stage.
A more modern Austrian destination than its larger counterparts, Salzburg and Vienna, Innsbruck still has so much of the charm (and perfection) you should be accustomed to if you’ve ever been to this pristine country. February in Innsbruck is a busy time for tourism and one of the best months of the year to hit this chic city.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN INNSBRUCK IN FEBRUARY
Kristallwelten (“Crystals World”) is a massive exhibition and art experience from brand giant Swarovski. By using the brand’s famed crystals, the space has beautiful art installations, films, huge gardens, and visual experiences everywhere you look. There’s also a handy shuttle directly from Innsbruck to Wattens, where the exhibit is housed.
Alpine Zoo Innsbruck
Open daily, Innsbruck’s Alpine Zoo has achieved the title of the highest-elevated zoo in Europe. But it is also the sanctuary for over 2,000 animals and plays an important role in animal conservation. They are doing a fantastic job with a conservation job aimed at saving a (currently unknown) mouse species.
Stick around for when the church bells chime in the hour in Innsbruck. You’ll also hear a choir of the wolves of the Alpine Zoo join in, howling along with it.
Air & Style
Now in its 25th year, Air & Style is a European snowboarding competition and music festival held annually in Innsbruck. It’s the only event of its kind in all of Europe and is held for a weekend each February.
Average high temperature in February: 6°C (42.8°F)
Average low temperature in February: -3°C (26.6°F)
Getting there: You can fly into Innsbruck Airport with a series of European airlines. Alternatively, the Eurail system makes accessing the Austrian city from various locations easy. Salzburg is less than 2 hours away, Munich is less than 3 hours away, and Zurich is 3.5 hours away. The Austrian capital of Vienna is 4 hours by train.
WHERE TO STAY IN INNSBRUCK:
Price: $117+ USD per night
Guest review: “We loved the hotel! The staff were very professional and friendly. The room was lovely and included a seating area by the windows overlooking the river. The location was excellent for exploring the old town of Innsbruck. Would definitely recommend!” – Sally, Australia
AM I MISSING ANY BEST PLACES TO GO IN FEBRUARY IN EUROPE?
Now, I probably could have extended this list to 30+ different best places to go in Europe in February because I absolutely love visiting Europe during winter! If you think there are any specific cities, festivals, or events that I need to add to my list, please do let me know! I’d love to hear where you enjoy traveling!
ESSENTIAL EUROPEAN WINTER TRAVEL TIPS:
- Pack accordingly for the weather! February in Europe is an icy, bone-chilling cold you can’t escape. So excellent quality winter clothes equipped to withstand snow and ice (and a TON of thermals)are just the beginning of what you should be packing. Thankfully, European stores are equipped with clothing and footwear designed for their own plunging temperatures. So if you forget anything, you can guarantee you’ll find what you’re looking for in any major city!
- Purchasing adequate travel insurance in advance of your trip goes without saying. But, if you are taking part in winter sports, add the mandatory extras. Trust me, breaking your leg on a mountain without insurance is not only stupid, but it will set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars – at least. Even catching a winter cold could require medical treatment if you get particularly sick. Travel insurance to cover you in Europe is totally affordable and a MUST. No excuses.
- It’s pretty obvious, but be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially during big events. Huge annual carnivals like those across Europe in February are prime time for pickpockets and thieves to get busy. Channel your inner dad and wear a money belt with your belongings safely tucked away — you won’t regret it.
- Most of all, enjoy visiting some of Europe’s best city’s at this magical time of year!
LOOKING FOR SOME MORE TRAVEL INSPIRATION?
Are you still searching for where to visit in February? My travel blog is filled with helpful articles and itineraries that I’m sure you’ll love! Take a look through a few of my favorites below, and let me know what you think! Also, feel free to reach out to me with any questions!
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