7 European cities to visit in February

Traveling during the winter season; it’s not just cheaper and less crowded, it also gives you the opportunity to see a city from a different perspective, a wintery one! These cities are great for a February escape

It’s not a secret airfare is less expensive in the low season. February is one of the cheapest months for traveling Europe; Hotels and tour agencies that are normally overflowing with tourists, now offer discounts to make a living during the winter season.

All destinations listed below are excellent European cities to visit in February, however, you could apply this post to the majority of the winter season as well.

 

How to book cheap tickets in February

As I have mentioned before, there is more to booking cheap flights than just being on time. Within Europe, I always use sites that give an overview of the different airlines and I prefer searching within a month, without having to put in the exact dates. Skyscanner is a great example of that.

CheapOair and OneTravel don’t have that option. They do, however, provide the choice to select the ‘nearest airport’ option, which compares prices between different airports. What I also like about them is that they have nice promo codes and coupons, like 30% off flights within Europe (EUROPE30 – expires December 30, 2017).

 

How to book cheap hotels in February

Hotels, hostels and B&B’s can be a bit more affordable during the off season, unfortunately this isn’t the case everywhere.

Booking last-minute can save you money if you don’t mind having to search for a decent room. I have done this numerous times: I booked my stay on the day of travel while getting discounts up to 50%. Not every hotel does this, so know your favorite pick might be gone or still hopelessly expensive.

Check your dates here!



Booking.com

 

Airbnb

For long term travel, it doesn’t hurt to turn to Airbnb for some fine negotiating. Especially close to your travel dates, Airbnb hosts rather fill their apartment for a discount than having it empty.

When you approach a host, make sure to tell them you like their place a lot but that it’s out of your budget. You could send something like:

Hi (name),

As of right now I am looking for a place to stay for (time) in (place). I came across your apartment and I really like it! I especially like that it’s so light, it was really what I was looking for in an apartment for a long-term stay.

Unfortunately, your place is above my budget. Is there a way to get a discount if I stay there longer than a few days?

Many of them will tell you no, which is fine. You’re just waiting for one to accept your offer (or someone who comes with a better offer for you.).

 

7 EUROPEAN CITIES TO VISIT IN FEBRUARY

 

1. Porto

Porto – and Portugal in general – is the place to be during the winter season in Europe. The ever so charming city has lots to offer, even in the off season. Climb the steep streets in search of gorgeous architecture or street art, have a port tasting and enjoy the Portuguese cuisine to the fullest!

When I visited Porto in February, it was around 16 degrees Celsius with quite a bit of rain. I didn’t mind, as an umbrella was sufficient for walking through the city. I also gave me the perfect excuse to find the nearest bar and order a jar of sangria. The last day was amazing – 18 degrees Celsius and blue skies!

Although the weather can be quite unpredictable in Europe, going to Portugal minimizes the chance of having a winter climate on your trip.

Porto is easy to get to when you’re in Europe already. Low cost companies like Ryanair fly to Portugal often from many cities on the continent. My (direct) flight with Ryanair cost me €30.

 

On your bucket list

  • Take a stroll along the Douro river.
  • Taste port (duh!)
  • Visit the enchanting Livreiro Lello
  • Sleep in the Rizoli Cinema Hostel. Every room has a different movie theme.

More: 10 Reasons to Visit Porto

Tip: When all else fails because of rain, sit in one of the many little bars and drink sangria. That’s how I survived.

2. Leiden

cities to visit in february

It doesn’t matter when you go, Leiden, with all its canals, cozy pubs and friendly students, is a must visit! It’s also the city I used to live in and I am very proud of it.

During the winter months the canals tend to freeze over, inviting the entire city to put on their ice skates and dance around on the thick layer of ice. Sometimes entire pubs move over to the canal and people will sit down to have a beer, without a care in the world.

Leiden is a place for people who like to visit museums, marvel at art and get lost in the maze of the old city center.

On your bucket list:

 

Read more:

7 Things I Will Miss About Leiden

Where To Eat In Leiden

3. Brasov

cities to visit in february

This one is for die hards and die hards only! Many of you know that Brasov is one of my favorite Romanian cities. During the summer it can get quite hot (up to 30 degrees in the mountains is no exception), but during the winter it’s the other way around.

My friend Alex, who lives in the Brasov area, has seen temperatures drop to -30 with ease. Although this sounds like a horror vacation, there are actually a lot of people who find it interesting enough to pay it a visit. Also, Brasov is a great place to go skiing!

When you enter the Schei district, a historic part outside of Brasov’s city walls, it looks like time has stood still. School close and people lay down their normal work because of the weather conditions. If you like an authentic vibe and loads of snow, this is the place for you!

On your bucket list:

  • Go Skiing at Poana Brasov
  • Listen to the huge organ at the Black Church
  • Go up mount Tampa for amazing views on the city
  • Visit the Schei district for an authentic, Romanian feel
  • Sleep at Casa Reims (they have the best omelets ever!) or Hostel Boemia, only the best hostel in the area.

 

Read more:

21 Tips For Visiting Brasov and Beyond

Exploring the Schei District

 

4. Stockholm

Another rather cold, but nonetheless interesting one is Stockholm. During the summer the city is very popular with all kinds of tourists but during the winter it’s rather empty. A reason for that is of course the climate and the fact that it gets dark very early. Many tourists associate it with depression, but actually I found it to be very charming and cozy.

When I visited Stockholm, we had sunny days with the bluest skies. It was also -7 degrees Celsius. When you pack smart, it doesn’t matter that it’s a little colder. In the end, you don’t notice the cold, you notice the lack of tourists, which is amazing!

On your bucket list:

  • Go on a traditional Fika
  • Spot reindeer at open air museum ‘Skansen’
  • Explore Gamla Stan
  • Visit a viking bar

5. Berlin

cities to visit in february

While most cities take a step back during the winter, Berlin stays busy as always. This city never sleeps, not even in February. When it snows in Berlin, the entire city goes out to enjoy. Because of the many, many things to do in Berlin and the amazing public transport, even wintery situations won’t seem like a big deal on your city trip!

On your bucket list:

  • Check out the colorful part of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery
  • Spend a day at museum island
  • Eat currywurst

Read more: 22 Things To Do In Berlin That Should Be On Your Bucket List

6. Sarajevo

One thing my hotel receptionist kept talking about is winter in Sarajevo. Being there in August, wiping sweat of my forehead as my main activity, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like. A fact is that the Sarajevo areas are actually very useful when it comes to winter sports and activities, making it a lesser known but pretty cool skiing spot for everyone who likes their holiday a bit different.

Sarajevo is a must-see destinations anyway. The old center with its vibrant feel and chaotic little streets is what most tourists come for. There is, however, a whole other world out there (including the hills around the city) for you to enjoy.

On your bucket list:

  • Smoke shisha in Old Town
  • Go skiing just outside the city
  • Visit the Sarajevo Museum 1878 – 1918
  • Eat at Karuzo, the only veggie/ vegan restaurant in the country. (Dženetića čikma)

7. Seville

One of the warmest cities of Europe in summer and a proper escape in winter: Seville has it all! With temperatures around 17 degrees Celsius, you can start to get used to spring again. The south of Europe does experience a lot of rain during the winter months, but because it’s Europe and the weather is quite unpredictable, you could also have a carefree 20 degrees holiday. You never know!

Seville is known for its Moorish influences, which you can find mostly through architecture, and the legendary Don Juan.

On your bucket list:

  • Eat Tapas
  • Explore the Giralda cathedral
  • See a flamenco show

Can’t get enough of Europe? Get the Lonely Planet Europe Edition here!

It’s always a struggle to find the perfect European spot in winter, there’s simply too much to do! February seems like the forgotten month but personally it’s one of my favorite times to travel! Got inspired? Let me know how your trip was! Did I miss a fun destination? Be sure to let me know by leaving a comment! Happy travels!

 

*These links contain affiliate links. I use them to fund my travels. Booking through these links won’t cost you anything extra but it will help me to bring you more travel stories.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Andrea
    January 12, 2015 at 22:12

    Never thought of traveling in February! I even having reading week! Might consider going to Sevilla? Thanks for sharing and opening my eyes to both new destinations but a new travel time period

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      January 12, 2015 at 22:14

      You’re very welcome! Let me know how it works out for you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Corinne
    January 13, 2015 at 07:01

    I like how you have cold and warmer weather destinations. I love doing both, depending on my mood! This winter we will head to Paris and London during the winter…chilly, but fun!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      January 13, 2015 at 11:35

      Thanks Corinne! I like both as well. Especially because you can see and do much more when it’s colder. Have fun on your trip!

  • Reply
    Roaming Renegades
    January 16, 2015 at 12:26

    Sarajevo is somewhere we are hoping to visit this year. Travelling in February can be really rewarding, the snow makes everything so much more beautiful and most places will be cheaper and quieter! We have visited Amsterdam and NYC in feb and although pretty cold we had a fantastic time!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    February 2, 2015 at 20:49

    All great suggestions! Winter and the snow makes each town all the more charming (perfect the romantic month that is February!)

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