If you’re looking for a winter wonderland to escape to this Christmas, here are the top five snowiest cities in Europe.
Christmas is always more festive with a sprinkling of snow. So whether you love making snowmen or want to sit by a roaring fire and watch the flakes fall outside, being somewhere snowy at Christmas time is sure to bring a smile to your chilly face.
With UK winters potentially snow-free from 2040, travelling further afield might be the only way to see some snowflakes over the festive period.
Holidu has rounded up Europe’s top five snowiest countries based on the average amount of snow days per month during winter, so you can wrap up warm and enjoy the festive feel.
5. Helsinki, Finland - 16.5 days of snow per month
Drifting into fifth place is the Finnish capital of Helsinki with 16.5 snow days per month. If you want to embrace the outdoors, get yourself a ‘pulkka’, a type of sleigh you can buy all over the capital. Sinebrychoff Park is a popular destination for sledgers, with some great hills to slide down.
When you’re suitably chilled, make like the locals and head to a sauna to warm up and unwind. There are lots of saunas to choose from, including the famous Löyly, which features three heated saunas, a restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool if you’re feeling especially brave.
If you’re lucky enough to visit in the depths of winter, you can even take a stroll on the frozen Baltic Sea. Join the locals as they ice skate, ski and drill holes for fishing.
4. Turku, Finland - 16.75 days of snow per month
Also in Finland, Turku is the country’s oldest city. Sat on the southwest coast, it’s packed full of medieval castles which date back to the 13th century.
One of the most unusual ways to explore the city is on your ice skates. In winter, the Aura River which snakes through the city completely freezes over, so you can skate or stroll along it to visit different sights.
If you’re in the mood for something cultural, pay a visit to the Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Museum, which combines modern art and ancient artefacts under one roof.
3. Erfurt, Germany - 17.25 days of snow per month
In third place sits the small city of Erfurt, the capital of the German state of Thuringia. If you’re looking for a quiet winter getaway, with a population of just 213,000 people, this could be the place for you. With 17.25 snow days per month, the city is home to lots of unique Medieval architecture, including the Cathedral of St Mary’s where Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, was ordained in the 8th century.
Krämerbrücke bridge, with its picture postcard buildings is a great place to take your winter holiday snaps, while the Church of St. Severus is a Gothic church with five naves to explore.
2. Vilnius, Lithuania - 18.5 days of snow per month
Skiing into second place is Vilnius in Lithuania, with an average of 18.5 days per month. As the country’s bustling capital city, Vilnius is famous for baroque architecture in its historic centre, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.
If you want to get in the winter spirit, the ski resort of Liepkalnis is just 5km outside of the city and offers some stunning views over Vilnius.
And if you’re more culturally minded, why not visit the Lithuanian National Museum of Art to discover the country’s rich art history, or for something more contemporary, look out for the city’s unique range of street art as you explore on foot.
1. Tallinn, Estonia - 20.5 days of snow per month
Ploughing straight into the number one spot with 20.5 days of snow per month is the city of Tallinn in Estonia. The country’s capital and cultural hotspot (or should that be coldspot?) is very romantic in winter. Its old town of Kesklinn is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe - it looks especially beautiful when blanketed in snow.
If winter sports are your thing, the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds become an activities centre in winter with snowboarding, skiing and ice skating on offer.
Or if you’d like to explore the city’s history, pay a visit to St Olaf’s Church, which dates back to the 13th century. The spire has been struck by lightning around 10 times though, so make sure to visit on a clear day.
The next five snowiest cities in the study were:
6. Kyiv, Ukraine - 16 days of snow per month
7. Kaunas, Lithuania - 16 days of snow per month
8. Grenoble, France - 15.5 days of snow per month
9. Riga, Latvia - 15.5 days of snow per month
10. Innsbruck, Austria - 15.5 days of snow per month