10 Best Coldest Countries in Europe for Winter Lovers

Norway

Norway

If you are looking for a country in Europe with the slightest changes in climate, and the coldest temperatures, look no further than Norway. Located on the coast of Northern Europe, this country is flanked by Russian territory to its East and North and Swedish territory to its West. You won’t find any beaches here- instead, you will be greeted by glaciers and jagged mountain ranges stretching to Finland.

Norway has the 2nd lowest average temperature out of all European countries, with a winter high of -6°C and an average of -10°C. Norway is considered Europe’s most tourist-friendly country with hundreds of interconnected sights, attractions, and museums to experience. Admission to the most popular destinations is free for citizens and tourists alike.

Don’t forget to visit the famous Geirangerfjord and its waterfalls (where you will need a camera), the Lofoten Islands, which are a chain of breathtaking islands in Northern Norway, and lastly, an excursion to the city of Bergen, home to over 300-year-old wooden buildings.

Iceland

Iceland

Next on our list is the country with one of Europe’s coldest countries, ideal for ice climbers as it is full of glacial ice formations. If you have ever gazed upon the ocean’s waves from the summit of a glacier, then you know what wonders those ice formations can bestow upon your eyes. When hiking and climbing across these glaciers, be sure to make a special stop at Thingvellir National Park where Iceland’s parliament was founded almost 1,300 years ago.

Iceland is a country with plenty of glaciers, the largest of which is Langjokull, which covers about 55 square miles. With only 110 kilometers long, Iceland’s coastline was not more than five kilometers when the Vikings settled here in the 9th century. Over the centuries, man created many more islands off its coasts, which you can now see during your Iceland vacation. Don’t forget to visit the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon that occurs during polar nights.

Finland

Finland

It is hard to pick a favorite from Finland’s stellar geographical features; it is the only country in Europe to be surrounded by three seas. You will find some of the world’s longest gravel beaches, glistening waterfalls, and picturesque mountain ranges throughout all of Finland. The most popular destinations are located on the west coast, but you can also experience all the beauty of this stunning country if you spend time in its capital.

The average temperature in Helsinki can drop below -20°C in the coldest months of December to February. As autumn descends in Finland, you can enjoy some of Europe’s best autumn colors, all the way from the heart of Lapland to its cities and towns. One of the best places to see these spectacular fall colors is at Korvatunturi National Park. Finland is also famous for its winter sports, with world-class skiing resorts all around the country.

The sauna is an important part of the Finnish culture and tradition. Most Finns visit a sauna as frequently as they visit their local supermarket. If you want to experience a traditional sauna, make time to visit the town of Savonlinna, Finland’s oldest city, which is home to 3 UNESCO sites.

Switzerland

Switzerland

Things to visit in Switzerland during winter include:

  1. The lakes.
  2. The Swiss Alps (the highest mountain in Europe).
  3. The hot springs.
  4. Numerous ski resorts.

If you prefer adventure over bland winter landscapes, then you should visit this country during winter. You can ski down the slopes of Mount Titlis, with snow-capped mountains on both sides. Most of Switzerland enjoys a moderate climate, but some places experience extremely cold temperatures that can drop below -30°C during December and January.

You should visit the capital of Switzerland, Bern, which is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. The country is also famous for its watch-making industry and has some fine museums that house the most expensive watches in existence. When it comes to food, the chocolate industry is popular here.

Estonia

Estonia

You will find many forests in Estonia, and it is home to the most lakes in Europe. It has preserved its cultural heritage through national folklore, folk songs, and dances that are still practiced today, which you can experience during your winter vacation. The average temperature drops to -9°C during December, with temperatures dropping as far as -23°C in January. The country has a high mountain range, which is located at the very center of the country. The highest peak in this range is the Suur Tammeka, which is 2297 meters above sea level. Estonia’s northern coast features some of the world’s most picturesque waterfalls, which you will be able to see when visiting this beautiful European destination.

What makes Estonia remarkable is its forests, and in winter, you can enjoy some of the best skiing in Europe, untouched by commercialism. Most of Estonia’s ski resorts are located on the country’s northern coast, one of the best places to experience the famous Northern Lights. I would advise you to avoid the winter rush to the slopes because, during peak season, you can expect long queues and high prices.

Lithuania

Lithuania

During winter, Lithuania is a great place to go for those who love the outdoors. Located in the southern part of the Baltic Sea, this country was once part of the Soviet Union and had some wonderful architectural structures and monuments that reflect that time. However, Lithuania is more famous for its heydays as an important trade center for salt during medieval times. Today it has a unique architecture that was influenced by both Europe and Russia. 

Visiting Lithuania, you should visit Vilnius, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. You can also ski in some of the country’s greatest mountain resorts, and there are several hot springs located in this country. The average temperature here drops to -7°C in December and -15°C during January.

Latvia

Latvia

If you prefer a country with a large variety of winter activities, then you should visit Latvia. Located in the Baltics’ eastern part, this country is well known for its great number of lakes, forest reserves,, and bogs. During winter, you can also see the Northern Lights in this country. Several ski resorts offer a wide range of activities, from downhill skiing to snowboarding.

The average temperature in Latvia drops to -1°C during December, with temperatures falling as low as -18°C in January. The climate here is dominated by cold winters, and spring usually starts with warm weather and rain showers.

Poland

Poland

Poland is the second-largest country in the Baltics, and you can find many wonderful things to discover in this amazing European destination. The country is recently known for its famous beer called Pilsner Urquell or Pilsner Lager, which comes in various colors.

In winter, Warsaw hosts a traditional winter festival called Krakow Beer Festival, and festive lights cover the countryside during Nowa Roha, which is held between November and January.

In the winter, the country experiences average temperatures of 1°C and in January, as low as -17°C, although there are days when it can go down to -20°C.

Germany

Germany

Germany is probably one of the best-known countries for winter sports and entertainment. The country has a long history of winter sports, and the best-known place for winter activities is the Bavarian Alps. You can find a large number of winter resorts in the region and great ski slopes and snow parks.

In February, the largest sled dog race in the world takes place in Oberhofen in Bavaria, and every year more than 1,000 sled dogs take part in it. Other places to visit in the winter months are Munich, Stuttgart, and Berlin, and you can also discover all of their amazing Christmas markets. The Christmas markets are wonderful places for family fun and have an amazing atmosphere. During Christmas, the German capital is also wonderfully decorated and has a great atmosphere.

Sweden

Sweden

Sweden is a country with a beautiful, often harsh climate. The Scandinavian peninsula has far more hours of sunlight in the winter months than any other place in the world. The winter skiing season here is very long, and there are many places for all levels of skiers. There are also many ski resorts with facilities for beginners and experts alike. Another winter highlight is the chance to spot some of the Northern Lights dancing above you if the sky is clear enough. 

As fishing is incredibly popular in Scandinavia, whether it be for salmon, trout, or cod. There are more lakes species, and every year the number of fishing licenses issued in Norway increases by almost 25 percent. Cod is the most popular species with anglers, and 80 percent of the cod caught in Norway is found outside of coastal waters. Cod from Norway was once only salted and dried, but now also get smoked to create a product called “Skrei” meaning “fresh” cod.