Almost one year ago I made a list of the cities I’d love to visit specifically in the winter. Most of the choices involved spending winter in Europe. However, I was in a very different place in my life during that time. First of all, I wasn’t living in Europe! Now that I am, I can stop saying “what if” to many of the cities I’d like to spend my winter in Europe, and actually start planning!
Here is my list of what I’d like to do and see this winter in Europe as I continue my expat journey in this part of the world. If you’re interested in finding out, keep reading.
1. See the Christmas tree and Duomo in Milan
I’m honestly not sure what to expect from Milan. Milan is a popular destination when people want to spend winter in Europe. Or really any time of year since it’s so dang cheap to fly into. However, most people say that it’s kind of boring. My time this year in Milan will be brief, but I am going to make sure to see the Duomo at night, in all its beautiful glory, along with the large Christmas tree.
2. Explore Christmas markets around France
When I think of winter in Europe, one of the images that comes to mind are Christmas markets. France is known for having amazing Christmas markets, especially in Strasbourg, but also within the famous Paris. It’s going to be hard to fit it into my travel plans this year, but if I can attend even a smaller, lesser known French Christmas market, I’ll be happy.
3. Spend New Year’s Eve in Prague
This is actually happening! After going back and forth a million times, I finally bit the bullet and purchased my flight to Prague. I was hesitant because the flights in and out aren’t the cheapest, accommodations are expensive and I’m not sure what my next stop will be after. But for some reason I was being pulled to spend my New Year’s in Prague. Check!
4. See the Colosseum covered in snow.
Now, I know snow around Christmas time isn’t a guarantee in Rome. However, one item that I had to include for my winter in Europe bucket list is seeing the Colosseum covered in snow. Have you seen pictures of it, it’s amazing! Sure, this could be swapped for nearly every sight in Rome: the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona. All I know is that winter in Europe isn’t complete until I experience the quintessential white winter wonderland in the Eternal City.
5. Visit Christmas markets in Barcelona.
As I mentioned, winter in Europe and Christmas markets go hand-in-hand. However, like most people I don’t really think of Spain. For me, Christmas is all about cold weather and snow. I likely won’t have either in Barcelona. However, as an expat in Barcelona, I do want to experience what each season is like, even just a bit. So while most of travels during the holidays will be out of Spain, I’m looking forward to experiencing December in Barcelona.
6. Attend a holiday show at an opera house.
I won’t pretend I’m a huge theater geek. But I’ve been to a couple of Broadway shows and musicals and really enjoyed the experiences. Thus, I hope I can add another holiday show to my list as I spend my winter in Europe. Preferably The Nutcracker or Swan Lake and preferably in Italy or France. Can I make it happen this year? Only time will tell.