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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.
Riverside warehouses Gdańsk, one of Poland's best winter destinations © Tomasz Guzowski/Shutterstock
3. Druskininkai, Lithuania
Find old world charm in Druskininkai. Set in Dzukija forest, close to Grutas Park, this traditional health resort is snowy for most of the winter. Its modern spa specialises in natural cure treatments and soothing mineral mud baths. And 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
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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
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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Dubrovnik's Winter Festival offers an alternative reason to visit Eastern Europe in winter © Martin Seperic/Shutterstock
10. Stary Smokovec, 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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