*What’s a honeymoon without a crazy, once in a lifetime experience? In the quest to making my honeymoon a trip of a lifetime, I set out to give the term ‘winter wonderland’ a new meaning. I voyaged through the snowy-Eastern Europe and here’s how in my opinion, Europe in January isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Best Time To Visit:
The best time to visit Eastern Europe is the early fall or spring months (May, June and September). The pleasant weather and low hotel rates make it a favourable time. I personally am a sucker for winters and I’ve always wanted to experience a white winter, so for me, this was a win-win.
Also during December, January & February, There are plenty of exhibitions, festivities and fairs around the same time owing to the influx of tourists. Also, the cities transform into a winter-wonderland. Just like the white-snowy castle pictures you see on Instagram!
Here are some experiences that made my trip the most beautiful one and if you’re taking the Prague- Salzburg- Vienna- Budapest tour.
- Experience a beautiful snowfall with bae
January is the time to witness snowfalls every now and then. Walk through the streets as you experience something so romantic and beautiful. I wasn’t at all prepared for this snowfall and was just buying myself caps, and the moment we turned around from the shop, the landscape was completely white and there was heavy snowfall happening behind me. My husband made sure he captured this moment for me!
2. Click pictures in a white-snowy landscape
Whether it is continuously snowing or now, around this time of the year, you’ll find vast landscapes covered in snow and it’s a great time to get those ‘honeymoon-goals’ take pictures! I’ve always seen the Pinterest and Instagram pages about winter wonderlands and have wanted to be in those pictures. Well guess what? Prague made this dream come true.
3. Cruise over the popular Charles Bridge
Take a 1-hour cruise over the Charles Bridge and get to learn more about the city’s history. Choose to sit in the cosy inside or stand out and enjoy the view. I am usually not a fan of informative cruise rides and find them really boring, but at this point it was so chilly outside, that the cruise was actually a saviour from the cold. We sat and warmed ourselves with a glass of wine and witnessed some beautiful architecture on our way. (Still not a fan of cruise rides!)
- Re-live moments from ‘The Sound Of Music’ with your better half
The most popular and award winning movie ‘The Sound Of Music’ was filmed in Salzburg and you can get to see a completely different season around January than the one shown in the movie. Well I grew up singing songs like “Do Re Mi” and “my favourite things” while in school and so for me, this trip was more like nostalgia. Our entire bus was humming the songs from the movie and all I could remember was my school days! The sets too, were above beautiful.
2. Picture some of the most beautiful victorian architecture
The winter season makes the already picturesque victorian buildings appear even more beautiful. Scenic pathways lit up during the evenings make the city a traveler’s delight. This picture I took while we were crossing a city bridge and the temperature had dipped to as low as -8 degrees. Clicking a picture was impossible in the cold, but this view was so beautiful, I couldn’t hold back.
- Travel back in time at the Sconbrunn Palace
The palace is a landmark from renaissance and a great place to visit if you and your bae are a fan of history. Visit the palace and get to watch galleries, art and some interesting pieces of Mozart’s life. This tour was like going back to history class in school where we were taught about Renaissance and Mozart. It was just like the Buckingham Palace tour where they show you around the entire palace.
2. Explore winter markets to shop & eat
Around winter, there are special winter markets doting every street and by-lane. You’ll find a number of street food trucks lined up or small cafes stringed together where you can shop at or grab a quick bite. You should definitely try out the local sausages! I loved all of them. Also, if you only have chicken, its difficult to find it, as they mostly have pork and beef sausages.
- Warm yourself up at the thermal spa & baths
The cold outside sometimes can be a bit overwhelming and what can be better than a hot thermal bath? Budapest is known for its hot springs that are used for various medicinal baths and spas. The Gellert spa is the oldest and biggest and a great tourist attraction. Soak yourself in the indoor or outdoor pools with bae or choose to take a sauna or steam together. And if you’re lucky, you can even catch a “sparty” at one of the baths. I made sure my husband and I go to the hot pools, the sauna and the steam together!
2. Capture the entire city from a viewing spot
Visit the Gellert hill to view the entire city from atop. The city looks gorgeous in a blanket of white snow, and you can get some great pictures of the view from this spot! But since its situated at a height, this spot can get extremely cold to stay over for long. The view however, is completely worth it.
3. Live a fairy tale at the Buda Castle
The Buda castle is a place that is straight out of the fairytale book you read in childhood. The castle is surrounded by the Fisherman’s Bastian where you can grab a coffee. This is the most Instagrammable place of all! This has fairly been the most favourite part of my entire trip. I have been eyeing this picture of the castle on my Instagram feed for quite some months and to get to actually see it in person is a different thing altogether. This castle is straight out of a fairytale. I stayed here for half an hour only staring at this beauty and taking pictures until I froze myself and had to rush back into the car.
- Make sure to layer yourself in multiple sweaters, socks and gloves to avoid falling sick at all
- If you need extra warmth, you can call up your hotel concierge to get you extra heaters in your room
- Euros is a widely accepted currency across all the cities, however its best to convert them into Czech Koruna in Prague (1€ + 25.55 CZK) and Hungarian Forints (1€ = 321 HUF) in Budapest
(1€ = 80.95 INR)