Winter is not known as a travel season because most of the time it gets too cold to do anything but being an off-peak season, winter has its appeal. From cheaper accommodation and flight tickets, it’s the best time for you to ski! ⛷ Hot chocolates just taste better in the weather and having snowflakes falling on top of your nose would be like a scene from your favourite Christmas movie. Check out these amazing winter wonderlands we’ve listed for you. ❄️
Credit: David Hsu on Flickr
What would Japan be without Mount Fuji? Unthinkable, I would say. The snow on Mount Fuji is like the country’s national landmark. ? Big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka experience shorter winters but go deep into the mountain areas and you have a snow playground awaiting you for skiing, snowboarding and ice skating.
Credit: David McKelvey on Flickr
A winter event in the calendar that should not be missed is the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido (that usually takes place in February!), a festival that started as far back as 1950. Today, more than 2 million people all over the world come to the snow festival as the ice and snow sculptures on display become a major wintertime spectacle.
Don’t forget Kinkaku-ji, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, in Kyoto. That gold temple in the middle of the white snow is a sight to see.
Credit: The Beauty Of Japan on Facebook
The winter-themed TV drama Winter Sonata launched the K-fever in Malaysia by transporting us via celluloid to a snow-filled Korea. Nami Island is the place to go if you want to relive Winter Sonata in the flesh! ?
Credit: Nestor Lacle on Flickr
While you can have kimchi all year round in Korea, gimjang kimchi is exclusively made during winter and prepared in large quantities to last the season. And speaking of food, wouldn’t it be awesome to have the Korean hot pot during winter to keep you warm? Check out our list of halal places to go to in Korea! ?
3. New Zealand
There are two ski fields to go to in New Zealand – Queenstown and Wanaka. You can try heli-skiing, sledging, snowboarding or cross country skiing. The thing about New Zealand is, people flock the country mostly during summer and spring but somehow or rather, there is less crowd during winter so you get to enjoy the beautiful country in your own quiet time.
And guess what? The best time to see the Southern Lights is during the winter months! ?
Credit: Simon Williams on Flickr
Because of its location in the Southern hemisphere, New Zealand’s winter is in the middle of the year between June and August, which is the opposite timing to European countries. Now is the best time to visit if you want to see a white New Zealand! ??
Credit: Kathrin & Stefan Marks on Flickr
4. Niagara Falls, Canada
During winter, the majestic waterfall has glistening icicles framing it. It is said that a trip to the Niagara Falls during winter is completely different than any other season. Just look at the photos, it’s a sight unlike any other! ? Another unique factor to Niagara is the location. The waterfall also serves as a border between the United States of America and Canada. ????
Niagara Falls plays host to New Year’s Eve celebration each year. Thousands of people would congregate near the falls for a free outdoor celebration. Don’t forget to bring your camera, because a winter in Niagara is one of the best winter wonderland experiences you can have! ?
Credit: schwa021 on Flickr
Some things can only be seen during winter. In Iceland, which is covered by more than 10% of glaciers, there is a natural phenomenon known as the Crystal Caves. There are two very popular glaciers that you can explore – Vatnajokull and Langjokull. ?
Iceland’s colourful houses in the midst of a white landscape is a sight that could only be seen during winter. The rooftops are dusted with powdery white snow and the cheerful colours just greet you to remind that the cold season can also be fun.
Credit: Bill Devlin on Flickr
It is also the best time for you to catch the Northern Lights so make sure you plan ahead! ?
Winter in Iceland is said to be clear with sunlight and crisp air as opposed to dark and gloomy. And the early sunsets are a magical sight to behold ❤️✨
6. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA
Credit: James Marvin Phelps on Flickr
The major attraction at this national park is the Bryce Canyon. Despite the name, the rock formation is not a canyon, it is a collection of giant natural amphitheaters!
Bryce Canyon is famous for hiking, horseback riding and ATV tours. During winter, cross country skiing and sleigh rides are available. The dramatic contrast between red/orange and white just make this canyon extra special during winter. I think the snow makes it look a lot less angry! ?
Credit: Juan Rubiano on Flickr
This list would not be complete without Switzerland. ? One of the best places for a magical winter, Switzerland is most synonymous with its alpine snow and world class skiing resorts.
Credit: Imagine Communications on Flickr
One of the key experiences you can have during winter in Switzerland is the 8-hour Glacier Express that takes you from Zermatt to St. Moritz. ? It’s the slowest express train in the world but all for a good reason and that is to let you see the Alps through narrow valleys, tight curves, 91 tunnels and across 291 bridges.
Credit: Kosala Bandara on Flickr
The scenery here in Switzerland during winter, is EVERYTHING. ❤️
The City of Love turns into the City of Fairy Lights during winter. ?
Credit: T W I N K A on Flickr
The ski resorts in France are world famous and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Be mesmerised with the sight of the iconic Eiffel Tower covered in snow.
Credit: Yann Caradec on Flickr
At night, Paris just lights up with Christmas decorations and lights. The Christmas markets are also interesting as you can find trinkets, soaps, food, glass items, pullovers and every other thing imaginable to decorate Christmas with. ✨
Credit: Cécile Leducq on Flickr
9. New York City, USA
I’m a little bit biased when it comes to New York despite not having been there (yet). I imagine the city would give you a cosmopolitan feel to your winter vacations, being a huge and bustling city after all. For those who prefer to be in a winter wonder-city, New York is your best bet. ?
There are still places to go and things you can do during winter in New York. The city has many outdoor skating rinks like the Wollman Rink in Central Park - a classic winter activity to do in New York!
Credit: alh1 on Flickr
You can also bundle up and head to the New York Botanical Garden or the museums, or walk down the famous streets in New York and enjoy the meticulously prepared window displays of legendary department stores like Saks.
Our final winter destination is Germany. The European old style buildings look as much alive in winter as much as it is in summer. From beautiful cathedrals, frozen lakes, Christmas markets and amazing architecture, Germany offers you its unique winter wonderland experience. ?
Credit: Guillén Pérez on Flickr
The Black Forest in Germany looks exceptionally surreal with snow. Aside from the usual skiing and other winter sports activities, you can hike under the pine trees for a different kind of experience in winter. ?
Credit: Till Westermayer on Flickr
A winter vacation is not necessarily a cold and miserable experience - I reckon it would be a nice change from our tropical climate! One of the perks about travelling during winter is you get to enjoy the scenery with less crowd. Just remember to be prepared to face the challenging weather with our tips on how to get ready for your winter vacation, bring some Vitamin D supplements and enjoy the snow! ?❄️