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Europe in January - Is It Worth It?

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Hello fellow travelbugs,

Just thought I would poll the readers to find out if it is worth taking a vacation through Central Europe this coming January/February. With my work schedule, it appears the best time for me to take a vacation will be in January, and at the latest early February. Unfortunately, with the new client I have (contract work), I don't foresee Spring/Summer being an option. Plus, truth be told, I haven't gone to Europe in 2013, so I'm dying to go as soon as possible.

I know there can be a certain romance to Europe in the Winter - snow covered mountains, Christmas markets (Prague), and hearty meals by the fireplace all sound wonderful. But let's be realistic - am I going to waste my vacation?

Here is my temporary itinerary: London > Paris > Luxembourg (always been obsessed with this country, but I've read it pretty much shuts down between November-March) > Vienna > Prague. I know the Christmas market in Saint Charles Square in Prague runs until January 14th, so perhaps I could see that.

I plan on traveling via rail so I can see the countryside. My last two trips to Europe have been Cruises (Northern Europe last June, and Southern Europe/Mediterranean last October), so I wanted to do something different this time.

I live in California, but grew up in Michigan/Ohio, so I am familiar with snow and cold temperatures; not to mention I lived in Calgary for two years in my early twenties. The idea of beach/Caribbean is not as appealing to me.

I don't ski, but am not opposed to spending a few days in Austria/Switzerland in a ski chalet/resort.

Please be realistic - I can take it! :) I understand sightseeing will be limited to how much cold I can take, and I probably won't be indulging in hours-long walks around the city center.

But then again, it would finally allow me to wear my 3/4-length wool pea coat, and scarves I've bought in Europe!

What have YOU done in the Winter in Europe? I would love to hear your stories, and any itinerary suggestions are also welcome. I plan on 14 days for my trip, including airfare to and from Los Angeles; 15 days if necessary.

Thank you in advance for all of your replies. I love this site, and the community of travelers.


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