Girls’ getaways happen all year round, but one of our favourite times of year to go on a girls’ getaway is 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 12 European destinations to go on a wintertime adventure with your girlfriends!
1) Lapland, Finland
Lapland, Finland, is my number one winter girls’ getaway destination on 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 by 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 cosy 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 its best sets this experience apart from the rest. Everything about this accommodation is Instagram-perfect!
2) Hallstatt, Austria
Picture perfect Hallstatt, Austria, is a wonderful winter destination for a girl’s 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 Hallstatt Salt Mine, taking in the view of 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 enjoy 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 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 Hallstatt 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 from 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 Tallinn becomes even prettier as snow fills the streets and Christmas trees are set up against every building.
The Christmas Market opens in 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 Tallinn
- 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 is located in City Center, a neighbourhood in Tallinn, and is near the airport and by the sea.
- 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 it 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 the 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 restaurant 1221 Restorans (pictured below)
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Riga:
- Pullman Riga Old Town – Set in a former stable from the 18th Century, this hotel is incredibly luxurious. Rooms feature park or atrium views, LED smart TVs, rain showers or bathtubs, and luxury toiletries!
- Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga – Featuring an on-site spa and sauna as well as complimentary bathrobes and slippers, this hotel is only steps away from the Riga Dome Cathedral, 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 indulgent 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 and 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 the 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 Reykjavik:
- Room With A View Hotel – Simple rooms that feature balconies and as the name states, good views! It is a great choice due to its ideal central location.
- Hotel Borg by Keahotels – Creative Art Deco rooms overlooking the historic Asuturvollur Square!
- Canopy By Hilton – Rooms have a minimalist Icelandic design but are 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 6.5 km.
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 ringing the bell 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 makes 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 it’s 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 favourite (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 an 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 Borough 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 an 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
Related Post: London As A Local: the Best Non-Touristy Things To Do
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 Place de la Cathedrale market, 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 an onsite dining and spa experience.
Related Post: 12 Magical European Christmas Markets
9) Austrian Alps
No European winter girls’ getaway 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, a fun party town with affordable lodging, and Salbaach Hinterglemm, where you can find 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 and 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 made a special request with Forsthofalm hotel)
- Take your morning yoga session to the snow. Some hotels offer yoga classes right there in 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. You and your friends can learn to ski or snowboard with an in-house ski school.
- Hotel Kendler – Close proximity to the ski lifts and a winter garden makes this a perfect choice for enjoying the Austrian Alps.
Related Post: 8 Tips For Travelling The Swiss Alps On A Budget
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 Christmas.
Time your trip for New Year’s to celebrate 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 – This is an exceptional choice with breathtaking views of Edinburgh Castle.
- Kimpton – Charlotte Square – This hotel is decorated beautifully and 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 rooftop 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.
11) Cologne, Germany
German Christmas markets are considered among the best in Europe and Cologne boasts arguably the best one in all of Germany. In fact, there are seven different Christmas markets within the city.
The market located at the imposing gothic Cologne Cathedral is at the heart of the celebration. Here, you can warm up with some mulled wine and find vendors selling everything from handmade German wooden toys to ceramics and sweet treats.
The city also boasts a Christmas market called “Christmas Avenue”. My opinion of Cologne is also swayed by its Lindt Chocolate Museum on the Rheinau harbour near the old town. Several small Christmas stalls flank the entrance, but inside you can sign up for courses and chocolate tastings. I highly recommend indulging in one of the decadent cakes and mint-flavoured hot chocolate on offer at the museum’s Grand Cafe.
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Cologne
- Visit the Lindt Chocolate Museum; there are several small Christmas stalls flank the entrance, but inside, you can sign up for courses and chocolate tastings.
- Experience the ultimate chill at Cologne’s IceBar with this entrance ticket. Sip on drinks surrounded by ice sculptures while keeping warm in a provided jacket, pair of gloves, and hat.
- Join a brewery tour to experience Cologne’s famous brewing culture and old town. Discover the city’s exciting, humorous, and bizarre legends while tasting delicious Kölsch.
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Cologne:
- Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne – This luxury hotel offers guests access to a full-service spa, a buffet breakfast and a free daily manager’s reception.
- Cologne Marriott Hotel – Located just a short walk from the Cologne Cathedral and the Chocolate Museum this is a great centrally located hotel, ideal for staying at when visiting a Christmas Market.
- Eden Hotel Früh am Dom – With 78 rooms, this hotel is a great place to stay for couples, girls or families for a Christmas Market getaway. The hotel is also located close to Wallraf Square and Hohe Strasse.
12) Vienna, Austria
Vienna’s Habsburg splendour is only enhanced during the Christmas season. With more than 25 Christmas markets to explore, you will have a lot to choose from. The most popular markets are located near historical landmarks such as the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace or the Christmas and New Year’s Market at the Schönbrunn Palace.
At the festive market stalls of Vienna, you can find handcrafted gifts and freshly baked traditional Christmas cookies like vanillekipferl, which are Austrian crescent-shaped cookies flavoured with almonds and vanilla. Additionally, you can try your hand at crafting your own gifts at the market by the City Hall, which offers Christmas cookie-baking and candle-making sessions.
Top 3 Girls Getaways Activities In Vienna
- Experience the world-renowned Viennese String Ensemble performing a classical music concert in an architecturally magnificent church with impeccable acoustics.
- Explore the magnificent world of Swarovski Crystal in Vienna. Enjoy Champagne while admiring the store’s light art installation on a guided tour of Crystal Worlds.
- Take a day trip from Vienna to Hallstatt and marvel at the alpine scenery, serene lakes, small villages, and magnificent mountain peaks. Experience breathtaking views of the town from the Skywalk.
4 and 5* Rated Hotels In Vienna:
- Hotel Imperial – Located close to Vienna Music Society and Albertina, this hotel has 138 rooms with a mix of twin rooms, king rooms and one-bedroom suites.
- Austria Trend Parkhotel Schönbrunn – This hotel is located in the Hietzing neighbourhood of Vienna, close to the Schönbrunn Zoo, Schönbrunn Palace and Mariahilfer Street.
- SO/ Vienna – This family-friendly luxury hotel is close to St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace.
Winter Girls Getaways Wrap Up
There you have it, our top 12 destinations for a fun winter girls’ getaway! Was your favourite included in the list? Let us know your picks for the best European girl’s 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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