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The Best Places to Travel in Europe in February

Updated July 20, 2017

If you want to avoid the crowds and save some money and you don't mind cold, wet weather, February can be a good month to visit Europe. February is the off season, and rates for hotels, airfare and attractions go down. There are fun things for tourists to do throughout Europe in February.

Northern Europe

Northern Europe is usually especially cold and snowy during February, and the daylight hours dwindle the farther north you travel. Visiting places like Norway and Sweden may limit your outdoor activities. But if you are a winter weather enthusiast, these countries can be dazzlingly beautiful in February, with activities like dog sledding, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing available. Best of all, February is one of the best months to see the northern lights.

Middle Europe

Middle European countries, like France and Germany, will likely also have winter weather conditions during February, but the temperatures should not be prohibitive to travel. January through March offer the best snow season of the year, so February marks the midpoint of prime ski season. The five mountain ranges in France provide diverse opportunities for winter sports. They are the Alps, the Jura, the Vosges, Pyrenees, and the Massif Central. Skiing may also be available on Corsica, although conditions there are unpredictable. In France sports enthusiasts can downhill ski, cross-country ski, or snowboard.

France also has yearly sales--or Les Soldes--in February when there are great deals to be had. Sales are regulated by the government, with two large sales each year: one in summer and one in February. The sales last about five weeks, with discounts ranging from 30 to 70 per cent off. The steepest sales occur toward the end of Les Soldes.

In Germany in February, expect cold, rainy or snowy days. But if you're a vampire fan, travel to Heidelberg for their Vampire Ball. The famed Berlin International Film Festival--called Berlinale--is held in Berlin in February. If you can score one of the 150,000 tickets sold to the public each year, you can spend lots of time warm indoors viewing more than 350 films.

Southern Europe

Travel to southern Europe for more temperate weather during February. Although still rainy and cold, places like Italy and Spain will likely be more comfortable for the traveller. Northern Italy offers fine skiing opportunities in February in the Alps and the Dolomites. Dress warmly and cities like Venice and Florence should be comfortable for tourists. Early February is Carnevale in Venice, when revellers don elaborate masks and parade through the streets and canals. Southern Italy tends to be more mild in February, so visitors will be comfortable in Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and Sicily. with fewer crowds and cheaper prices. Just be sure to pack a rain coat or umbrella for those rainy days.

Spain can be rainy and cold in February in Northern Spain, like Madrid, but the rest of the country is typically pleasant. Southern Italy offers the beautiful and historical cities of Seville and Barcelona. In Seville, visit the Alcazar, the royal palace, and dine on tapas in the city centre. In Barcelona, wander La Ramblas--the promenade of shops and vendors. Don't miss the fantastical Gaudi architecture throughout the city.

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About the Author

Gail Chandler is an editor, writer and avid blogger with more than 10 years' experience. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online mediums. Chandler holds a master's degree in creative writing and publishing from the University of Baltimore.