European tourism is limited in January, unless you're intent on primarily indoor culture, you don't mind
the cold or you head south.
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
Some European cities have colourful New Year celebrations (e.g.
Edinburgh Hogmanay, Paris street parade), or super-value January
sales (e.g. Paris, London).
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La Grande Parade de Paris, 1st
London, The New Year's Day Parade,
1st January, not wonderful.
New Year's Eve, Hogmanay, 29th Dec-2 Jan. Edinburgh
International Circus Festival.
New Year Concerts, January - early March, Vienna
Russian Winter Festival in St
Petersburg, early January.
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 often warm and pleasant in January.
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 may
well be chilly and/or wet in January.
The southern part of Italy has generally mild winters with blue
skies, so Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum
and Sicily are excellent cultural targets and the weather is likely to be fine, while Amalfi takes
good care of those who need a scenic uplift. Venice
is chilly, damp and foggy, but has an interesting, spooky quality,
enhanced by the lack of tourists (and relatively welcoming locals).
All over, but especially French,
Alps, Pyrenees, Austria.
on canals if it's cold enough (once every few years)
& Paris (the Sales; big
stores like Harrods start their sales around Jan 5th, but some
begin just after Christmas)
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