Girls Getaways happen all year round, but one of our favourite times of year to go on a girls getaway is in winter. And there is nothing quite like a weekend getaway in Europe with your girlfriends during the coldest season of the year!
Think cosy evenings with cups of mulled wine, sitting around a fire or in a glass igloo looking up as the Northern lights dance above you, or days out exploring Christmas Markets and wandering the pretty streets of a European city as snow falls around you.
There are so many fabulous winter girls getaway destinations and in this article, we round up our top 10 European destinations to go on a wintertime adventure with your girlfriends!
1) Lapland, Finland
Lapland, Finland is my number one winter girls getaway destination in this list because it offers so many activities for a girlfriend group. I went to Finland a few years ago, flying into Helsinki and then making my way up to Ivalo and Rovaniemi to stay in a glass igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort and in an ice hotel at the Arctic Snow Hotel.
Lapland would be a great couple or family vacation but it really is a great girls’ getaway destination because there are so many fun activities to do with friends, many of which can be accompanied with a glass of mulled wine!
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Lapland:
- Sip champagne under the stars in one of the outdoor hot tubs at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
- Go out Aurora hunting. Witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a must do whilst in Lapland.
- Head out on a Wildlife tour. This Eco-Certified Wildlife park is home to the only polar bears in Finland!
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Lapland:
- Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – This incredible resort comes with a choice of a cozy wooden chalet complete with a fireplace and private sauna, or a glass igloo for the ultimate Lapland experience!
- Arctic Snow Hotel – Complete with heated floors, an ice bar and 3 on-site restaurants these igloos are a perfect choice for exploring Lapland.
- Arctic Treehouse Hotel – Nordic design at is best sets this experience apart from the rest. Everything about this accommodation is Instagram perfect!
2) Hallstatt, Austria
Picture perfect Halstatt, Austria is a wonderful winter destination for a girls trip especially during the festive season when the snow falls and the Christmas Markets open up.
There are plenty of activities in and around the town, including skiing and mountain activities, visiting the Halstatt Salt Mine, taking in the view Rudolphs Tower & Skywalk and at Five Fingers Lookout and taking a wooden boat out onto the lake (summer months only May-September).
But with this town being so picturesque you will be happy to just wander around the market square area and enjoying the colourful traditional architecture.
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Hallstatt
- Adventure into the Dachstein Ice Cave
- Go on a Halstatt Walking Tour with a photographer
- Enjoy a lakeside dinner at one of the many restaurants near the water
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Hallstatt:
- Heritage Hotel Halstatt – This historic hotel is made up of carefully renovated buildings that perfectly combine the traditional design yet with all the modern amenities. The location is so central you can easily explore the best of Hallstatt on foot.
- Seehotel Grüner Baum – This hotel has stunning panoramic views of Halsatt Lake! With such a historic atmosphere, this hotel has even been the backdrop for many films!
- Naturchalet Höflehner – A gorgeous holiday home large enough to sleep 7. Located only 300m to the nearest Ski Lift, you and your girls can hit the slopes straight away after a night relaxing in this gorgeous home.
3) Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is the country’s cultural hub situated close to the Baltic Sea. In the winter months, the pretty town of Tallin becomes even prettier as snow fills the streets and Christmas trees are set up against every building.
The Christmas Market opens late November in the old town square next to the Tallinn Town Hall. Surrounding the square you will find restaurants with cosy seating inside and outside, with heaters and fur blankets. Having a mulled wine overlooking the square is the perfect way to end your day after sightseeing with your girlfriends in the city!
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Tallin
- Set sail on a sunset cruise with a delicious dinner!
- Take a walking tour of the old town
- Go out on the town and bar hop stopping at Infusion Mixology Bar and the cosy Furry Owl Bar, then end the night at one of Tallinn’s many nightclubs!
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Tallinn:
- Schlössle Hotel – The Leading Hotels of the World
- Savoy Boutique by TallinnHotels – Featuring Art Deco interiors and even a dedicated art floor filled with pieces inspired by the location. Located in the old town, you simply can’t go wrong with the Savoy Boutique.
- Tallinn City Apartments – Old Town Suites – These colourful apartments come with all the essential amenities. There is also a shared sauna and is located in the Centre of Tallinn.
4) Riga, Latvia
Riga, Riga, Riga. If you are anything like me, you and your friends will fall in love with this Latvian town. Colourful buildings, small boutiques, cosy restaurants, beautiful churches and a very traditional Christmas Market make this my favourite city in the Baltics.
Home of the first Christmas Tree, you won’t be short of things to do with your girlfriends in the city during winter. A handful of activities include enjoying the Christmas Markets, visiting all the churches, heading to the top of Latvian Academy of Sciences Panorama Observation Deck to get a view over the city, wandering through the central park and getting lost in the pretty old town streets.
The best thing is that Riga is very affordable and AirBnBs are a great choice if your group wants to stay in the old town area close to the markets which I would recommend.
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Riga
- Take in the view over all of Riga from St Peters Church
- Explore the town by bus on a two day Hop on – Hop off tour!
- Have lunch at Riga’s most Instagrammable restaurants 1221 Restorans (pictured below)
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Riga:
- Pullman Riga Old Town – Set in a former stables from the 18th Century, this hotel is incredibly luxury. Rooms feature park or atrium views in addition to LED smart TV’s, rain shower or bathtub and luxury toiletries!
- Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga – Featuring a on-site spa and sauna as well as complimentary bathrobes and slippers this hotel is only steps away from the Riga Dome Cathederal, an ideal location to explore Riga.
- Grand Palace Hotel – The Leading Hotels of the World – Only a short walk to major sights and shopping centres. The interior decor is simply indugent and the perfect place for you and your friends to spend time relaxing.
5) Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the gateway to all the amazing natural sites that Iceland has to offer. Fly into the city with your girlfriends and use this as a base to explore the country, or alternatively spend a few days and then hire a car to get around the see everything Iceland has to offer.
Highlights in the country include Jökulsárlón glacial lake, Gullfoss Falls, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, Kerio Crater lake, Hallgrimskirkja cathedral, Reynisfjara black sand beach, seeing the northern lights and so much more. There are so many things to do in Reykjavik so make sure to book a long week or week in the country!
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Reykjavik
- Lounge around in geothermal seawater of the Blue Lagoon. Prices start at ISK 6,990 (roughly USD 60) for entry, with options for longer access and spa treatments. You can even stay at The Retreat Hotel at the Blue Lagoon!
- Golden Circle Full Day Tour stopping at the southern waterfalls, geysers and the point where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet
- Visit Magic Ice, a sub-zero experience where you can visit ice sculptures and enjoy a drink at the ice bar
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Reyjavik:
- Room With A View Hotel – Simple rooms that feature balconies and as the name states, good views! A great choice due to it’s ideal central location.
- Hotel Borg by Keahotels – Creative Art Deco rooms overlooking the historic Asuturvollur Square!
- Canopy By Hilton – Rooms have minimalist Icelandic design but located right in the centre so you can explore right from your doorstep.
6) Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is located in the Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia and adjoins the town of Bled. Located around 35 km from Ljubljana international airport and around 55km from Ljubljana itself, the lake can be visited as a standalone trip or paired with a weekend in the city. There are plenty of day trips from Ljubljana to Lake Bled if you prefer to just spend one day.
There are lots of activities in and around Bled, but most of the fun happens by the lake. There are plenty of hiking trails to stunning viewpoints, or you can simply walk or bicycle the circumference of the lake which is roughly 6.5KM.
Get out on the water by renting a traditional wooden boat or ‘pletna” from the lakeshore for 10 Euro and row yourself to the Assumption of Mary Church located on the small island in the lake. Alternatively, you can kayak, or paddleboard around this area.
Once you reach the island you can listen to the church bell and even ring it yourself. Legend has it that if you ring the bell it will make your wishes come true!
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Lake Bled
- Visit the northeast part of the Lake to enjoy thermal waters, which also supply some of Bled’s hotel swimming pools. Or enjoy the thermal waters together with a spa day at one of Bled’s luxury hotels.
- Kayak or go river rafting around the lake and then picnic on the shore
- Take a day trip to Vintgar Gorge, a beautiful 1.6km gorge where you can view the waterfalls, cascades and pools from a variety of platforms and wooden bridges.
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Lake Bled:
- Grand Hotel Toplice – Small Luxury Hotels Of The World – This hotel is located on the shore of Lake Bled with incredible panoramic views of the Lake and Mountains. Here you are only steps away from the hiking and cycling trails around Lake Bled.
- Villa Bled Hotel – A former president’s home, this hotel is dripping with decadence. Every single corner of the Villa is beautiful and decorated to the highest standard.
- Hotel Park – Sava Hotels & Resorts – Overlooking the Lake and Julian Alps, only a short distance from Ski Slopes make this a great choice for Lake Bled.
7) London, United Kingdom
London, the capital of England, is a hub of activity and it’s not hard to understand why its included in our top 10 winter girls getaways. London comes alive in the winter season, and whilst it may be known for bad weather, it doesn’t rain all the time and you can enjoy lovely blue sky days in December and January if you are lucky!
There are far too many girls’ trip ideas for things you can do in London, and having lived there for 15 years rounding the best ones up is hard, but be sure to read some of our favorite (non-touristy) things to do in London for ideas! London also has a great Christmas Market at Winter Wonderland which you can see in the photo below.
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In London
- Have afternoon tea at one of London’s many hotels, such as The Savoy, Mad Hatters Tea at Sanderson, The Mayfair Hotel. For a even quirkier experience enjoy afternoon tea on a classic route master bus with panoramic views of the city!
- Head to many of the incredible Sunday markets. Make sure to check out Bourough Market for the best street food or head to Columbia Market for the freshest flowers!
- For Harry Potter fans, head out on a Harry Potter guided walking tour to discover all of the famous locations.
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In London:
- St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel (Kings Cross St Pancras) – Complete with a dedicated tea lounge, what could be more British?! Complete with a celebrity chef, this hotel doesn’t fall short of luxury.
- St Martins Lane Hotel (Covent Garden) – Stay within the famous Covent Garden. With cafes and cute shops around every corner this is such a ideal location!
- Belmond Cadogan Hotel (Chelsea) – What could be more decadent than Chelsea!
- Read our Ultimate Guide To Londons Best Neighbourhoods and Hotels For Every Budget
8) Strasbourg, France
A winter girls getaway in Europe should almost certainly include a Christmas Market or two, and Strasbourg, France would be the place to start.
The city which is located in the Germanic-influenced Alsace region holds the title of the oldest Christmas market in France. The markets in Strasbourg have a history of dating all the way back to 1527!
Once in Strasbourg, you can visit the largest Christmas Market located at Place Broglie, the Christkindelsmärik. Second, you can explore the market at Place de la Cathedrale which offers a beautiful backdrop and small wooden chalets selling traditional handicrafts. And finally, make your way to Place Kléber where you will find the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Strasbourg
- Enjoy a spa day at Hammam El Traditions
- Take a cruise around the canals and see the city from the water
- Take a full-day wine tour around Alsace in a fun vintage VW Bus!
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Strasbourg:
- Sofitel Strasbourg Grand Ile – Located only a 5 minute walk from the beautiful Cathedrale and a beautiful terrace to enjoy breakfast!
- Garrigae Villa La Florangerie – This hotel offers a free bike service making exploring Strasbourg a breeze!
- Hotel & Spa Regent Petit – Set in a 17th Century converted mill and offers onsite dinning and spa experience.
9) Austrian Alps
No European winter girls getaways list would be complete without a ski trip and one of our favourite spots in Europe, the Austrian Alps. There are plenty of skiing areas and I have spent time in both Obertauaren, which is a fun party town with affordable lodging, and Salbaach Hinterglemm where you can find some more luxury options.
Every day you can get out on the slopes, and then relax with a glass of Aperol Spritz, champagne or a hot chocolate with girls friends, followed by an evening in the spa!
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In The Austrian Alps
- Visit the Austrian Alps during March and time your trip with the Skicircus Saalbach White Pearl Mountain Days between March 15th – 30th. Every day you can enjoy live music and DJs performing at different venues around the mountain.
- Request a special champagne breakfast on the snow from your hotel (we did ours a special request with Forsthofalm hotel)
- Take your morning yoga session to the snow. Some hotels offer yoga classes right there on the snow!
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In The Austrian Alps:
- Forsthofalm Timber Hotel – A gorgeous Eco-friendly hotel with direct access to the slopes. The Sky Spa offers 360 views and has everything from herbal saunas to a vitamin bar.
- Hotel Alpine Palace – This hotel has its own wine cellar and culinary restaurant. With an in-house ski school, you and your friends can learn to ski or snowboard.
- Hotel Kendler – Close proximity to the Ski lifts and a winter garden makes this a perfect choice to enjoy the Austrian Alps.
10) Edinburgh, Scotland
My final European girl’s getaway winter destination is Edinburgh, Scotland. Beautiful year-round the city is as magical as other European destinations during the Christmas period.
Time your trip for New Years to celebrate at one of the most famous celebrations in the world, Hogmanay. This is a three-day celebration with activities happening throughout the city, including street parties and live concerts. You can find out more on This Is Edinburgh.
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Edinburgh
- Go shopping in Multrees Walk for luxury shops, the Grassmarket for gift shopping, Princes Street for high street chains and Thistle Street and William Street for a variety of unique designer labels and specialist shopping.
- Head to a chocolate factory for a day of chocolate tasting and making!
- Enjoy delicious cocktails and music at Angels Share followed by a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Edinburgh:
- Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian – With breathtaking views of Edinburgh castle, this is an exceptional choice.
- Kimpton – Charlotte Square – This hotel is decorated so beautifully it adds so much to your experience. Every room and detail is so well thought out, it really is one for the bucketlist!
- The Edinburgh Grand – The roof top terrace provides some of the best views over the city. Apartments are a great choice when away with your friends, with all the amenities this hotel has so much to enjoy.
Winter Girls Getaways Wrap Up
There you have it, our top 10 destinations for a fun winter girls getaway! Was your favorite included in the list? Let us know your picks for the best European girls getaway destinations for winter!
We hope that this article has inspired you to go on a winter girls getaway in Europe. If you have any questions or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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We Are Travel Girls Founder Becky van Dijk of BeckyvanDijk.com
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Ivana Split says
These sound like great travel destinations.
We Are Travel Girls says
Thanks so much for reading Ivana – hope you get to some of these destinations in 2020!