cultural/sightseeing choice is still limited in February,
one of the two worst months in the Eurozone.
North and middle Europe are usually either cold, wet and grey, or
cold, white and dark, with daylight in increasingly short supply
as you move north.
On the upside, tourists are also in short supply, many cities add
interesting lights to their streets, and indoor entertainment is
The best bets are to head down south or get some colour in via a
wild Carnival somewhere.
n.b. Carnival locations are likely to be crowded/ overpriced/ booked
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There are pre-Lent Carnivals all over Europe in January/February/March
depending on the date of Easter, see festival links above. Some
of the best are:
#1 for colour has to be Venice.
But also Viareggio, Italy's maddest event with parades sporting
huge puppets among the kaleidoscopic folk, revelry of all sorts
and fireworks of course...but only on successive Sundays.
Binche Carnival (very strange and colourful) 3 days, near Brussels.
Carnival (huge, wild, colourful and long) 3 weeks.
Cologne, and Munich Carnivals (both mad), 5 days
La Tamborrada, San Sebastain and other excellent Carnivals at Sitges(Gay).
Austria: Vienna Opera Balls, (elegant
and expensive), the Thurs before Lent.
Also see European
Festivals or Arts
Festivals for suggestions, information and
sightseeing/culture in reasonably comfortable weather conditions
with the exception of Madrid(cold)
and the North(wet), Spain is generally warm and pleasant in February.
The best bet for a dry cultural experience is in the south, visiting
the magical Moorish cities of Seville,
Cordoba and Granada, where the days are warm and the nights coolish.
Barcelona too is a lively,
interesting city, though it can be a little chilly/wet in February.
Swimming in the Mediterranean in winter is no fun, nor is the
sad, overbuilt coast that is now dedicated tosod-the-culture,
we want sun, sea and sangria tour groups.
The southern part of Italy has generally mild winters with blue
skies, so Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum
and Sicily are excellent cultural targets, while Amalfi takes
good care of those who need a scenic uplift. Venice
is chilly, damp and foggy, but has an interesting, spooky quality,
and goescompletely barmy during the stunning seven day Carnival
All over, but especially French,
Alps, Pyrenees, Austria.
on canals if it's cold enough (once every few years)
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