10 best winter destinations in Eastern Europe

Jonathan Bousfield

written by
Jonathan Bousfield

updated 17.12.2021

Discover winter destinations in Eastern Europe. Prepare for freezing temperatures and look forward to frosty cities, frozen rivers and snowy ski resorts. Take a look at our 10 top wintery destinations.

Looking for year-round inspiration? Read up on the best countries for summer in Europe.

1. Lake Bohinj, top of Slovenia's winter destinations

Ringed by alps and snow-filled meadows, Lake Bohinj is beautiful in winter. You'll find it in Treglav National Park, an hour's drive from Ljubljana.

Visit for lake skating and downhill or cross country skiing at nearby Vogel ski resort. Go exploring round charming local villages, famous for their fruit brandy. And wake up to great views at Hotel Bohinj right on the lake.


Lake Bohinj in Slovenia becomes a spectacular winter skating rink © Marko Crncevic/Shutterstock

2. Gdańsk, Poland

Discover atmospheric, winter Gdańsk. This great northern Europe port is known for dramatic medieval warehouses and gothic churches. Take long winter walks on Sopot beach. And to really immerse in the mood, stay at Zefiro Ogrody in Old Town Gdańsk.

Gdansk old town and famous crane at amazing sunrise. Gdansk. Poland

Riverside warehouses Gdańsk, one of Poland's best winter destinations © Tomasz Guzowski/Shutterstock

3. Druskininkai, Lithuania

Find old-world charm in Druskininkai. Set in the Dzukija forest, close to Grutas Park, this traditional health resort is snowy for most of the winter and offers the best things to do in Lithuania. Its modern spa specialises in natural cure treatments and soothing mineral mud baths. And the vintage Art Hotel is the perfect place to stay.


Aerial view of the Dzukija forest in Druskininkai, Lithuania © Mantas Ore/Shutterstock

4. Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade is lively all winter and particularly good fun at Christmas and New Year. Visit for riverside bars, restaurants in Skadarlija and the city's hip Savamala district. Snowy weather makes Belgrade prettier, so go exploring and don't miss the Kalemegdan Fortress. Stay at Hotel Villa Panorama in the city centre.


Belgrade, Serbia looks its best with a coating of snow © MarkoF/Shutterstock

5. Krkonoše, Czech Republic

Join locals in the Krkonoše mountains for winter activities. Set in Krkonoše National Park on the border of Poland, it's an area that's popular with Czechs but low on tourists. If you're tempted to ski here, try the resort town of Špindlerův Mlýn and stay at Hotel Soyka.


The Czech countryside looks picturesque in the snow © Richard Semik/Shutterstock

6. Budapest, Hungary

Enjoy Budapest in winter with a soak at the historic Szechenyi Baths. Then cosy up in the city's grand vintage cafés or feast on hearty Hungarian food. Budapest's wonderful for Christmas shopping too, and a stay at Budapest NH City puts you at the heart of everything.


Warm up in wintery Budapest with a soak in Szechenyi Baths © Majicphotos/Shutterstock

7. Tallinn, Estonia

Try Tallinn for a winter weekend break. The weather's literally Baltic and Tallinn's snowy towers and spires look magical. Book a break at Citybox Tallinn and enjoy outdoor ice skating, Christmas markets, traditional Estonian food and a charming, laid-back festive atmosphere.


Tallinn's fairy tale spires look enchanting when dusted with snow © Anatoli Styf/Shutterstock

8. Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia

Explore Ohrid for a mix of winter enchantment and fascinating history. North Macedonia's ancient capital sits on Lake Ohrid and is busy in summer. Come winter, you'll have peace to discover the city's cobbled lanes and many churches. Try to book Hotel Belvedere on Lake Ohrid

Winter landscape of Ohrid Lake, North Macedonia

The shores of Ohrid Lake take on a new character in winter © Mrotchka/Shutterstock

9. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a very different city during winter. With far fewer tourists, the Old Town feels peaceful. There's a much more authentic atmosphere. And although temperatures are mild, it still feels like Christmas thanks to plenty of quaint local traditions.

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Snow at the opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik winter festival, Croatia

Dubrovnik's Winter Festival offers an alternative reason to visit Eastern Europe in winter © Martin Seperic/Shutterstock

10. Stary Smokovec, Slovakia

Cross-country skiing is one of the best things to do in Slovakia. Ski in Stary Smokovec, the Eastern European resort in the High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia. It's a quietly elegant resort known for Belle Epoque hotels, half-timbered pensions and a romantic railway station.

Poprad Airport is conveniently close to Stary Smokovec. And if you feel like a ski break, think about staying at Hrebienok Resort. Then catch the electric train to Hrebienok ski slopes and make time for fun sledging on Jakubkova Llúka.


Train ride through High Tatras mountains in Stary Smokovec, Slovakia ©Shevchenko Andrey/Shutterstock

Inspired to take a winter trip? Take a look at our pick of the best places to visit in winter – for sun and snow.

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