The Ultimate Winter Destinations Around The World (2023)

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When the days get shorter and a chilly breeze starts to blow, many of us dream of pristine snow-covered landscapes, cosy mountain retreats, and thrilling winter activities.

Whether you’re a seasoned skier searching for the next great slope or someone seeking a fairy-tale winter escape, the world is full of mesmerising winter destinations that promise unforgettable experiences. We have found the best winter vacations with snow.

From the ethereal beauty of the Northern Lights in Lapland to the iconic ice festivals of Harbin, our ultimate winter destinations guide showcases the best winter travel spots across the globe where you can truly enjoy the beautiful snow.

We share 25 of the most beautiful winter destinations that should be on every traveller’s winter wonderlands bucket list.

If you’re looking to explore the very best of winter wonderlands, you’re in the right place. Get ready to bookmark your favourites, pack your bags, and embark on a the most beautiful winter destinations that’ll warm your heart. Here are some of the best winter holidays around the world.

Photo by Benjamin Suter on Unsplash

25 Best Winter Destinations Around The World

1. Lapland, Finland

Lapland is home of the indigenous Sámi people and reputed residence of Santa Claus. Tourists can witness the famous Northern Lights, go on husky sledding rides, or stay in glass igloos for a unique experience.

2. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is a great place to witness the Northern Lights. You can take tours to relax in geothermal pools, and experience a unique Icelandic culture.

3. Whistler, Canada

Whistler is recognised as one of the top skiing destinations in the world, it offers a vast ski terrain and a vibrant village atmosphere.

4. Zermatt, Switzerland 

Zermatt is known for the iconic Matterhorn and excellent ski slopes. It is a picturesque mountain village with world-class accommodations and dining.

5. St. Moritz, Switzerland

St. Moritz is another renowned ski destination, St. Moritz also hosts the “White Turf” horse races on its frozen lake.

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

6. Niseko, Japan

Niseko is located on the Hokkaido island of Japan. Famous for its powder snow, Niseko offers a unique skiing experience combined with Japanese onsen (hot springs) and cuisine.

7. Aspen, USA

Aspen in Colorado is a popular high end ski resort destination for skiing enthusiasts, celebrities, and anyone looking to experience winter in style.

8. Bergen, Norway

Bergen is a stunning, picturesque coastal city known for its beautiful fjords, Bergen is also a gateway to Norway’s winter activities such as 

9. Harbin, China

Harbin is renowned for its incredible ice festival where huge, illuminated ice sculptures are displayed.

10. Prague, Czech Republic

While not a ski destination, Prague in winter is magical with its snow-covered historic buildings, Christmas markets, and the festive atmosphere.

11. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is known for its grand winter balls, Christmas markets, and charming snowy landscapes.

12. Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø is located above the Arctic Circle, it’s one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.

view through fir trees of turqouise coloured lake and snow covered mountain
xPhoto by Andreea Chidu on Unsplash

13. Banff and Lake Louise, Canada 

Banff is a town set in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, these destinations offer stunning snowy landscapes and a variety of winter activities.

14. Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so it is winter here when it is summer in the northern parts. Known for winter sports and the beautiful Southern Alps.

15. Chamonix, France

Chamonix is nestled at the base of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, Chamonix is a hub for mountaineering and skiing.

16. Bariloche, Argentina

Bariloche is another Southern Hemisphere destination, known for its beautiful lakes, mountain scenery, and winter sports.

17. Tallinn, Estonia

The medieval old town of Tallinn turns into a fairy-tale setting during winters, complete with a delightful Christmas market in its main square.

18. Budapest, Hungary

Besides its historic and architectural marvels, the city of Budapest offers outdoor ice skating at the City Park Ice Rink, near the Vajdahunyad Castle. The thermal baths are also a wonderful way to warm up during cold winter days.

19. Rovaniemi, Finland

Often called the official hometown of Santa Claus, this place is magical during winters. Tourists can visit the Santa Claus Village and also experience the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi.

20. Gulmarg, India

Situated in the Himalayan ranges, Gulmarg is famous for its ski resorts and the world’s second-highest operating cable car called the Gulmarg Gondola. It provides some of the best skiing terrains in Asia.

21. Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Anchorage offers an array of winter activities from dog sledding to ice fishing. The city’s proximity to natural wonders, like the Northern Lights and national parks, makes it a winter haven.

22. Sapporo, Japan

Famous for its annual Sapporo Snow Festival which showcases massive and intricately detailed snow and ice sculptures, drawing visitors from all over the world.

23. Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

Fairbanks is one of the best places in the U.S. to witness the Northern Lights, and visitors can also enjoy the hot springs in the chilly weather.

24. Val d’Isère, France

Part of the Espace Killy ski area, Val d’Isère is one of the most popular and advanced ski destinations in the world.

25. Oulu, Finland

A lovely winter destination for those interested in ice swimming, traditional saunas, and experiencing a winter wonderland atmosphere.

As the winter season draws near, the world transforms into a magical expanse of sparkling snow, shimmering ice, and enchanting festivities.

From the breathtaking Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle to the powdery slopes of the Alps, every destination we’ve explored offers its own unique slice of winter wonder. This list captures some of the most iconic winter destinations and the best places for snow. 

Whether you’re journeying to a far-off land or exploring a winter haven closer to home, embrace the beauty, serenity, and adventure that winter travel brings. Here’s to cosy moments, exhilarating escapades, and memories that last a lifetime. Safe travels and warm wishes for your winter travels.

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