You are currently viewing Backpacking Through Europe: Winter Edition

At first, the idea of backpacking throughout Europe during the winter doesn’t seem very appealing. Winter brings frigid temperatures, fewer days, and the closure of several attractions. It is also wise to get travel insurance if your flight or train is delayed due to bad weather. Still, there are several significant benefits to traveling throughout Europe during the winter. The weather being chilly is not catastrophic. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing,” goes the phrase of the wise traveler. Take a look at these reasons to think about wintertime backpacking throughout Europe!

1. The Winter Scenery

Paris, France

The Luminous Eiffel Tower is adorned with snowflakes. The breathtaking Colosseum is framed by streets covered with snow. A realĀ GermanĀ village has icicles hanging from the eaves. The sound of tires crunching under Scandinavian cold roads.

When Europe is dressed for winter, it may often resemble a scene from a fairy tale. Wintertime may make certain cities seem even more picturesque. Even though certain attractions may be closed throughout the winter, cultural activities tend to occur during the off-season. There are more performances at the opera, the theater runs at full capacity, and the Mediterranean isn’t as scorching in the winter.

2. Fewer Travelers Are Visiting

Rome, Italy
Suppose you’re planning a winter backpacking trip to Europe. In that case, you’ll quickly notice the difference: no need to wait in line for two hours to see the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. By planning your trip during the winter, you may escape the hordes of visitors that descend upon popular destinations throughout the summer. Compared to the peak tourist season, wintertime offers a unique opportunity to see European cities in their more authentic form and their inhabitants’ ordinary daily lives.

3. Save Money on Everything

Hallstatt, Austria
Less foot traffic means lower costs. This also applies to the cost of lodging and flights. The absence of demand causes prices to fall, in the simplest terms possible. The change may not be as noticeable in major cities because of the constant influx of tourists. In contrast, smaller towns vying for an influx of winter visitors would almost certainly have steep discounts available to you.

4. Seeing the Northern Lights

Northern Lights, Europe
Since winter days are shorter, nighttime hours are longer as well. One of the best reasons to go backpacking in Europe during the winter is the increased likelihood of seeing the spectacular Aurora Borealis, more often known as the Northern Lights since the evenings are longer and darker. Northern Scandinavia, and sometimes Scotland, are the greatest European locations to see the Northern Lights. The ideal circumstances to see the breathtaking Aurora Borealis are clear evenings with a chilly, crisp temperature.

5. More Options Are Available to You

Backpacking in Europe in the winter is great. You won’t have to worry about finding a place to stay because fewer people will be there. Rooms at hotels are often reserved months in advance of the summer season. That isn’t the case in the winter, so you have more leeway in your itinerary planning. With more time on your hands, you may afford to be impulsive and stop wherever the road takes you or even extend your vacation by a few days. Further, there will be many more last-minute bargains and far fewer crowds at all the popular eateries.

6. Seasonal Dishes for the Winter

Swiss winter food, Europe
Traditional cold-season cuisines have evolved in response to the chilly winter weather, with regional variations throughout Europe. Fondue and raclette are two delightful French and Swiss appetizers made with bread and several types of warm cheese. During the winter, roasted chestnuts are a staple snack for the Germans and even certain Slavic nations. People from the Southern Mediterranean region never even consider eating their rich, creamy winter sauces in the summer (because it’s just too hot to consume anything so fatty).

7. What to Bring on a Winter Backpacking Trip Through Europe?

Winter hiking attire

A few professional packing recommendations that will make your travel to Europe in the winter simpler and more pleasant are an essential part of this article.

First, layers are your savior, like a wardrobe’s Swiss Army knife. To avoid feeling like a walking icicle, starting with a base layer that wicks away moisture is best. Next, layer on a nice sweater or fleece for midsection warmth. Finally, wrap yourself in a waterproof and windproof jacket. This combination is like a holy trinity of comfort in the dead of winter.

Since we’re talking pants, bringing one or two pairs of high-quality thermal leggings or long johns is more space-efficient than cumbersome pants. Also, put on a pair of tough, multipurpose trousers that can withstand some winter abuse.

Waterproof boots are an absolute need because wet socks dampen a person’s spirits. Thick socks may also be used as emergency hand warmers, so bring a few pairs.

Essential accessories are a scarf, gloves, and a thick cap. These goods are designed to be utilitarian, not only fashionable. With these, you can put the finishing touch on your winter ensemble.

Instead of folding your clothing, roll them. This is a pro tip. It’s like playing Tetris with your bag to reduce creases and maximize space.

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