Winter Wanderlust: 5 Magical Snowy Escapes

Winter, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Czech Republic
Pack your bags and fly off to these chilly destinations for a holiday break worth remembering

Dust off that Moncler winter coat and fish out those Timerblands in sartorial prepartion for one of these Bazaar-approved, magical snowy city escapes.  Scroll your way through our top places to visit this winter, as suggested by Skyscanner's expert travel travel team...

1. St Petersburg, Russia

You'll need to do a pre-emptive photo cull to make enough space for the endless snaps you'll want to take amidst the stunning Baroque architecture, golden palaces and iconic landmarks. Bazaar reccomends the Church of the Savior Contrary, Alexander Garden and St Isaac’s Cathedral. If you need an afternoon off your feet, book a canal cruise along some of the 300km of waterways that criss-cross the stunning city.

Where to say: In the city's oldest establishment, of course. The Belmond Grand Hotel Europe boasts opulent Art Nouveau interiors with magical stained glass windows.

From Dhs581.

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2. Bern, Switzerland

Bern Switzerland

Dubbed 'The Most Instagrammed City in Winter', Bern is a far more relaxed affair than most capitals – think less hustle-and-bustle, and not a towering skyscraper in sight. Instead, enjoy a more laid-back setting with meandering and medieval townscapes. The city is home to several renaissance buildings, twinkling festive markets and pretty antique arcades surrounded by the winding Arne River to complete the serene view. And that’s not all – the entire Old City (Altstadt) of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Think perfectly preserved architecture, prehistoric fountains, and don’t miss the famous Clock Tower and Bern Minster cathedral.

Where to stay: Equipped with a smart terrace and minimalistic design interiors, Am Pavillion B&B offers a great value stay with extra points for the stylish ambiance. 

From Dhs511.

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3. Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Austria

It’s not hard to see why this Alpine gem was used as the setting for the Sound of Music. Painted in pastel, sugar-candy hues, the elegant Baroque buildings against the white-tipped slopes sketch a dreamy view. Bursting with so many beautiful spots, this compact city is easily explored on foot, so kick things off at the peaceful Mirabell Gardens and Palace, which feature in the film. Then cross the River Salzach to visit Mozart’s birthplace on Getreidegasse, the old city’s main thoroughfare, where the composer lived from 1756 to 1773.

Where to stay: Nestled in the charming rural village of Elixhausen, the four-star Romantik Hotel Gmachl is just a 15-minute shuttle bus from town. Not only does it boast sweeping views of the Alps, the hotel also has a super swish spa where you'll find Bazaar whiling the hours away.

From Dhs790.

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4. Sapporo, Japan

Sopparo Japan

Sure, Japan is known for its jaw-dropping springtime scenes, when every tree is awash with pink cherry blossoms, but visit in winter and you’ll see a different side to the Far East escape. With its mountainous snowscapes, steaming hot springs, colourful festivals, warm up with a hot beverage and authentic street eats in between exploring the city of Sapporo. If you're travelling in February, the region plays host to two festivals: the Snow Festival and 

Where to stay: Watch the city light up and the markets fill with locals and tourists alike from your room in the 32-storey Hotel Emisia Sapporo.

From Dhs265.

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5. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Czech Republic

The quirky Czech capital is blessed with more than its fair share of fairy tale attractions. The quintessential Prague experience invites a stroll across Charles Bridge, a visit to the bustling Old Town Square and the gleaming white façade of St Nicholas Church. On the other side of the square, climb the Old Town Hall Tower before exploring the old cobbled lanes where you’ll stumble upon ancient chapels, hidden courtyards and tourist-free bars.

Where to stay: Engulfed in rose gardens and offering breathtaking views of the city from its top floor restaurant, Prague's Golden Well Hotel is the perfect choice for a snow-filled honeymoon or weekend getaway with friends. 

From Dhs720.

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Winter, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Czech Republic

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