The Little City experts handpicked selection of the best cities to visit in winter with family!
Winter can be a wonderful time of the year for a city trip.
At this time, you will find yourself wrapping up in cozy scarves and woolen hats to go explore the busy city streets of the Northern hemisphere but if you do, you will be rewarded with magical atmospheres, buzzing restaurants and wonderful museums visits!
This is our selection of the best cities to visit in winter with your family.
New York City, USA
New York is a wonderful city to visit most times of the year but it is never as magical as over the Christmas season.
NYC in December is an extravaganza of lights, window displays, shopping opportunities and music. The cheer fills the air and even the most jaded travellers feels transported into a Christmas movie: the city is just that magical!
For kids, the city is like an immense playground.
Bring them skating at the Rockfeller Center for the quintessential NYC winter experience, treat them to a trip one of NYC’s most incredible toy shops and make sure you get to the top of one of the city’s iconic skyscrapers.
For a special Christmas stay, consider staying at the wonderful Ritz Carlton Central Park.
If you can’t make it to NY for Christmas, don’t despair, the city has much to offer also outside the festive seasons. In January and February, NYC is cold but its many museums offer entertainment for all ages: get hold of the New York Pass for significant savings.
The capital of Iceland may not seem an obvious choice for a winter trip, but Reykjavik is surprisingly pleasant to visit in winter.
It is not nearly as cold as many people imagine and it offers something truly spectacular: the option of seeing the Northern lights and their magical shows!
The best way to explore Iceland in the winter months is to get a home base in Reykjavik centre and take your time to explore the city itself and its surrounding area.
If you have kids, make sure you visit the Perlan museum, the city’s most child-friendly attraction, and climb to the top of the Hallgrímskirkja, a wonderful vantage points for views over the city.
For a bucket list item, add a day trip along the Golden Circle and then wrap up very warm for an evening adventure chasing the northern lights. None in the family will ever forget them!
For a special stay, consider the Icelandair Reykjavik Marina hotel, in the perfect location for both city exploring and day trips
London is lots of fun any time of the year but we are particularly fond of London during the Christmas season. In December, lights illuminate the city’s long evenings and cozy interiors invite you to warming cups of tea accompanies by deliciously buttery biscuits.
London at Christmas will spoil you with an endless list of actives on offer.
The city has several Christmas markets, ice rinks and of course glorious shopping opportunities for all budgets. Treat your kids with a trip to the food and toy hall in Harrods for the most extravagant findings.
Outside of the Christmas season, London has a lot to offer too.
January/February see the celebrations of Chinese New Year, the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia and these are also great months to visit the city’s world-class museums, more accessible at these times thanks to the thinner crowds.
With so many options, London truly is one of the best cities to visit in winter with kids!
If you are looking for a winter escape that mixes city exploring with a skiing adventure, then look no further than the lakeside city of Geneva, Switzerland.
Located in a wonderful natural position on Lac Leman and at the footsteps of gorgeous Alpine peaks, Geneva has much to offer to those braving its chilly winters.
City explorer will love the city old town dating back to medieval times, an extravaganza of small streets and the ancient building now hosting private homes, interesting museums and gorgeous boutiques.
Christmas lovers will enjoy its small yet pretty Christmas market where they will find a small ice rink and treats for all ages.
Generous servings of delicious Swiss hot chocolate will keep children of all ages happy and help keep you warm!
If you love skiing, Geneva offers many options and day trip opportunities to beautiful slopes just outside the city limits
Paris is always a good idea but Paris in winter is a great one especially if you want to mix traditional city exploring with a trip to magical Disneyland Paris.
During the Christmas season, festivities are in full swing in Paris and the city dresses up with decorations and even Christmas markets in many beautiful neighbourhoods.
Shopping and window-shopping opportunities abound in this season and the famous Parisian galleries flaunt decorations so extravagant they become a must-see as much as the city’s famous museums!
If you are planning a trip to Disneyland Paris, this is a wonderful time of the year too.
The land of magic becomes even more magical during the festivities but January and February are also great for a family visit: with fewer crowds, enjoying Disneyland is even easier at this time of year, and this is when you get the best deals too!
For more ideas on where to travel at Christmas time, don’t forget to check out our City Travel with Kids Podcast Christmas special. Or if you prefer some winter sun, check out these perfect family-friendly city break ideas that are a little bit warmer!
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