When planning a winter city break you have some great options, whether you are looking for a winter sun holiday with sandy beaches and relaxation, or a chance to visit famous museums and monuments without the tourist crowds you inevitably have to cope with in the height of summer.
Below, we look at :
Paris is a great city destination at any time of year for those looking for romance and culture. During the winter months, the queues for attractions are often shorter and you can explore at a more leisurely pace. You can either take a guided tour of some of the more popular attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Gothic masterpiece which is Cathédrale Notre-Dame or the Louvre, or strike out on your own to find some of the many museums and galleries here.
The oldest area of the city is Cite Island, on the Seine River. Here you will find the some of the oldest buildings in Paris along with les Arenes de Lutece, a Roman Arena. During the winter, ice skating rings appear at the Montparnasse and the Hotel de Ville.
Find great designer shops at the Marias as well as the many boutiques and concept stores throughout the city. There are also some great markets, such as the Porte de Clignancourt, Marché aux Puces de Vanves and St Ouen flea market. There are also many speciality markets including a book market and a stamp market.
Paris is famous for its jazz scene and there are plenty of venues where you can enjoy live music from local talent as well as internationally renowned artists. Alternatively, enjoy the best of cabaret at the Moulin Rouge. Getting around Paris is simple by Metro or bus. Taxis are also readily available.
St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg in Russia is a magical place to visit in winter. Made up of many islands connected by ornate bridges, it is a perfect romantic setting. There are many galleries and museums here, including the State Hermitage Museum, which is a stunning collection of art housed in the palace once occupied by the Romanov Tsars, rulers of Russia.
Soak up some culture at the Mariinsky Theatre, home to the Kirov Ballet and Opera Company, either enjoy a live performance or simply take in the beautiful interior. Visit the Mendeleev Museum, the building where Dmitry Mendeleev compiled the periodic table of elements. You can see the study where he worked and some early drafts of his completed work. The city’s oldest monastery is the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. It is still a working Russian Orthodox Monastery and many famous Russian figures are buried here.
For an escape from the winter chill, Miami is an ideal city break with plenty to do for couples, groups and families. With over fifteen miles of sandy beaches, it is great for those who want to relax in the sun.
For the more active, there are plenty of water sports such as surfing, jet skiing and sailing. You can also take a tour of the famous Cape Florida Lighthouse, which is located in Bill Baggs State Park.
Miami is also famous for its shopping, the most well known being Miracle Mile, although there are many others. If you are looking for great family days out, then Miami has many options. Miami Metro Zoo allows you to experience exotic animals from Australia, Africa and Asia as you would on a safari. Instead of cages, the animals are enclosed by a system of moats in the 300 acre park.
At Miami’s Seaquarium, close to Biscayne Bay, you can visit sea turtles, seals, sea lions as well as see performances by resident dolphins and killer whales.
The stunning city of Dubai is a great winter break due to its warm weather and great architecture and is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. This is a shopper’s paradise, with huge malls providing much more than shopping and restaurants. The Dubai Mall also plays host to an ice rink, a theme park, a children’s world, an aquarium and live entertainment. The Mall of the Emirates boasts a ski slope and a snow park for children.
Along the beach front in the Dubai Marina lies the Jumeirah Beach Walk, where you can enjoy shops, restaurants and cafes. This, along with water parks, public parks with children’s playgrounds and aquariums, make this a great locations. Thrill seekers can try desert surfing or skiing, or take a camel ride or tour of the desert. If you want to find out more about Dubai’s history, visit the Dubai Heritage and Diving Villages.
Australia’s capital city, Sydney, is a great destination. With a year round warm climate, winter is a great time to visit. Among the great beaches here, Bondi Beach is the most popular, with sunbathing and water sports such as body boarding and surfing.
The iconic Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are must see stops during your visit. Go on a Bridge Climb tour for fantastic views across the City. Alternatively, visit Sydney Tower, which is 260 metres above street level.
The botanic gardens are well worth a visit, an oasis of calm in the city centre and a great way of finding out about local flora. There are also fascinating wildlife centres here as well as museums, theatres and galleries. Along with great shopping opportunities, fantastic food and a great night life, Sydney offers something for everyone making the long haul flight well worth it!