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Wondering where to go in Europe in February? February travel isn’t just winter wonderlands and cheesy Valentine’s Day trips. ‘Romantic’ cities like Paris, Amsterdam and New York are probably what spring to mind, but I’d personally save them for any other month if you can. Well, unless you like an overpriced, cheesier than Doritos kind of break.
If you want to get away in February but want to avoid the clichés, there are plenty of others destinations to enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of them…
You basically have two options when it comes to travelling in Europe in February. The first is to make the most of the low season and tick places that can get super busy (or unbearably hot) in the summer months off your Europe bucket list. With the peak season not yet started, it’s a great time to visit the tourist-y destinations you might want to avoid once the crowds arrive.
The other option is to visit some of Europe’s more hidden gems – yes, they do exist! Not only will you get things to yourself, but you can have a much more authentic experience while the summer tourist season is far from everyone’s minds.
In this post, I’m sharing a mix of both types of places. And you might just be surprised at how great February can be for travel…
Why go: Tbilisi might just be the most underrated city in Europe. In fact, Georgia may well be the most underrated country in Europe.
Tucked away between the Caucasus mountains and the Black Sea, Georgia is still a relatively undiscovered jewel. I lived in Tbilisi for a month in 2018, and it was an incredible city to spend time in. I knew very little before I arrived and was blown away by how much there is to see and do in Georgia. The amazing food and incredible landscapes – all just a short drive from the capital – were a nice surprise, too.
If you like visiting up-and-coming destinations and want somewhere that has it all, visit Tbilisi.
Why visit in February: Tbilisi is a great city break all year round, but it does get hot in the summer. The metro system makes it easy to get around whatever the weather, and the February weather is mild and sunny. Plus, the famous hot baths will be even more enjoyable when it’s cooler outside.
Why go: Bucharest is another European city that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. From its fantastic food scenes to the eclectic entertainment on offer, it’s hard not to enjoy Bucharest. Add to that the city’s mix of old architecture and young, lively crowds, and it’s a city that’s full of fun and wonder all year round.
Why travel there in February: You don’t need good weather to enjoy Bucharest, and you’ll avoid the crowds if you don’t mind a chillier trip. The food in Bucharest is worth visiting for on its own, but many of the city’s other attractions are enjoyed under cover. From beer halls and the now-famous Car to the Palace of Parliament and many churches, there’s very little need to spend time outdoors.
Why go: No list of the best places to go in Europe in February would be complete without one skiing destination. Europe has some of the best ski resorts in the world, and many of them are scattered around the French, Italian, Swiss and Austrian alps.
Saalbach sits in the latter, just an hour and a half’s drive from Salzburg. Nestled in a chain of impressive mountain villages, Saalbach takes skiing seriously.
Why visit in February: If you want a full schedule of events to go with your skiing, you should probably visit Saalbach in January. But if you want to enjoy the best of the snow without the biggest crowds, wait until February.
Why go: For the food!Food isn’t the only reason to visit Dusseldorf, but it’s a little-known secret that this small German city does well.
Dusseldorf isn’t known as a foodie destination, but it really should be. From the best Japanese cuisine in Europe to innovative sweets and local liquors, there’s a lot to enjoy in Dusseldorf. And your taste buds will thank you for it.
Why travel in February: And since food can be enjoyed at any time of the year, there’s no need to wait to the warmer months to enjoy it! Plus, I seem to be able to eat more when it’s cold outside… so that means you can enjoy more of it, right?
We visited Dusseldorf in June but it totally felt like winter. With heavy rains, there wasn’t much chance to go outside – but there didn’t need to be. All the best bits were indoors anyway.
Why go: London’s the kind of place that most people don’t need convincing to visit. From West End shows and museums to international cuisine and British tradition, everybody visits for a different reason. So, instead, let’s talk about why it’s a good place to visit in February.
Why visit in February: There’s never a time that London isn’t busy, but February is about as close as it gets. With the Christmas chaos over but the summer season still far away, it’s a great time to visit if you don’t mind taking a risk with the weather. Given that the weather is always unpredictable, you may even get lucky!
It’s also Fashion Month. If you like fashion, art or exhibitions, there’s always heaps of events put on to coincide with London Fashion Week. You don’t need to be part of the fashion elite to enjoy them, but they don’t usually stick around for long. And if you’re not into fashion, there’s pretty much an (indoor) exhibition or museum to suit every interest in London.
Why go: Like many cities in Europe, one of the best ways to enjoy Madrid is to simply walk around and get lost.
Why visit in February: Unlike other cities, however, Madrid has a scattering of things to see all over. If it’s cold outside, an excellent restaurant, indoor market or museum is never far away. Simply pop into the next spot for churros and hot chocolate or pick up some tapas at a local market. If the weather gets too bad, pop in to sample a restaurant’s menu del dia (menu of the day). Or, you could enjoy a glass of wine or two and some serious people watching in a market like Mercado San Miguel.
Madrid is a huge city so it’s best to pick one neighbourhood to explore and then branch out. Check out this super detailed post on where to stay in Madrid to find the best neighbourhood for you.
P.S. Enjoyed this post? Pin it for later so you always have ideas for where to travel in Europe in February: