Give the Gift of Travel: Cities Where Winter Rules
Whether you’re into cozy fires or bustling festivals, there’s a certain magic about the winter that other seasons can’t match. To help you decide how to spend the colder months, we’ve found the places around the globe where winter is king, so you and your loved ones can lean into that magic, from the best light displays to the best mulled wine. And now, the IHG® Cyber Sale gives you the chance to save 20% on the best flexible rate at participating hotels, with opportunities to save even more when you’re an IHG® Rewards Club member. To make picking your place easier, we’ll even tell you the best hotel to stay at in every winter-loving city. So pack your cold-weather gear and get ready to have a seriously chill time.
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Montréal is pretty much the heart of winter activities, and with everything from skiing to snowboarding, it’s easy to see why. When in Québec’s largest city, spend some time in nature, starting with Mont Royal Park after a snowfall. Mont Royal’s summit offers some spectacular views of the city, and its slopes are prime stomping grounds for those looking to go sledding, snow-shoeing, or cross-country skiing. If you’re visiting Montréal in mid-January to early February, check out the local winter festivities, like Fete des Neiges and Igloofest, or get to know the city a little better at any time on an Old Montréal walking tour. If your favorite way to explore a scene is to try its cuisine, take part in the Mile End Montreal Food Tour to sample some of the best local fare.
CYBER SALE PROPERTY TO BOOK:Holiday Inn Montreal Downtown Centre Ville
Ah, Amsterdam. With its beautiful tulip fields and scenic canal-biking tours during the warmer months, it gets even better during the winter. Its secret: Amsterdam is pretty temperate during the holiday season. With less snow to worry about, visitors can comfortably take advantage of walking around the city and taking part in local activities, like the Amsterdam Light Festival. During December and January, the city turns into a beautiful outdoor light sculpture garden and can be enjoyed both on land and on the water via the famous canals. If you’re more into indoor activities during the winter, check out Our Lord in the Attic, a museum made up of two canal houses and a secret attic church, where visitors can step back in time and learn more about Amsterdam’s intricate history.
CYBER SALE PROPERTY TO BOOK:Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam
While Edinburgh is known for its Fringe Festival in August, the winter months are when the whole city looks true to its medieval heritage. For some fun out in nature, take a walk through the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which, from November 22 through December 29, features acres of festive and spectacular light displays (even prettier during a light snowfall). Pro tip: If you really want to get into the winter spirit, go ice skating at St. Andrew Square. When you need some warming up, head over to tour Edinburgh Castle, the city’s most iconic 12th-century structure, and learn all about Scotland’s rich history. From there, take a walk down the Royal Mile, where more museums and shops await, like the Museum of Edinburgh, the Museum of Childhood, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse (for those who are into the royals).
CYBER SALE PROPERTY TO BOOK:Kimpton Charlotte Square Edinburgh
If you want to take in some arts and culture during the snowy months, head to Dresden. Here, you can enjoy various galleries and museums while touring the city during a light snowfall. We recommend starting at the Dresden Royal Palace, where you can check out the world-famous Green Vault (which houses the largest treasure trove in Europe) and other historical exhibitions. Then, head over to the crown jewel of Dresden, Frauenkirsche, a church that has some spectacular lights and architecture to marvel at, especially on holiday evenings. You’ll get an appreciation for the church’s historical significance; it was partially bombed during World War II, and the ruins were left as a protected monument. And for lovers of all things stage and theater, the Semper Opera House has a full calendar of performances, as does the Dresden Philharmonic.
CYBER SALE PROPERTY TO BOOK: Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz
While most people go to Warsaw for the nightlife, Gdańsk in the snow looks like the setting of a fairytale. In the Kashubian countryside, you can embark on a picturesque sleigh ride, or for a wilder experience, tie a smaller sled to the sleigh and be pulled around the forest (in addition to favorites like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, of course). For would-be members of the Polar Bear Club, test your grit and go for a winter swim in the Baltic Sea. If you’d prefer to stay in your cold-weather duds, take a stroll down Main Street and marvel at the colorful building facades while choosing which restaurant you want to try first. History buffs should check out the European Solidarity Centre to get the full lowdown on the country’s anti-communist opposition, or the Amber Museum, where you’ll find beautiful amber art and specimens housed inside a former prison tower. With so many activities to keep you busy, Gdańsk will be your winter home away from home.
CYBER SALE PROPERTY TO BOOK: Holiday Inn Gdańsk - City Centre, Poland
Sevierville, Tennessee, USA
When you think of a winter wonderland, Tennessee doesn’t usually come to mind. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that over in Sevierville, its proximity to nature means there’s plenty to do during a snowfall. For lovers of the great outdoors, hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a prime way to take in some of the amazing views, especially when it snows. Plus, during winter, the trails are quiet and peaceful -- perfect for relaxing in nature. For a more aggressive outdoor experience, snow sports like skiing, tubing, and ice skating are big at Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski mountain. Once you’ve gotten the adrenaline rush out of your system, either head over to the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community to shop local artisan items or take a gorgeous drive through the Winterfest lights display in Pigeon Forge. Then, end your day by drinking some mulled cider beside a cozy fire. It’s really the perfect winter getaway.
CYBER SALE PROPERTY TO BOOK:Holiday Inn Express Pigeon Forge – Sevierville