12 Best Winter Vacation Destinations in the World

Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by Cody Livingston

Discover the best places to visit in winter for 2024! Explore our best places to visit in winter in the world where you can soak up the sun and escape the cold. Get tips and insights to plan your perfect winter escape.

Are you tired of the winter chill and dreaming of white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and warm sunshine? Look no further! We have compiled a list of the best places to spend winter months that promise a perfect escape from the cold. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey to the warm places in January & February, including the Maldives, Dubai, Barbados, Australia & South Africa. 

WINTER SUNSHINE HOLIDAYS: Best Places to Visit in Winter in the World

Winter is the perfect time to escape the cold and embrace the warmth of some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. People usually send us queries about what are the best winter sun destinations! So, here is the answer:

1. Maldives: best winter vacations for couples

Winter in Maldives
Winter in Maldives

The Maldives is a paradise on Earth known for its crystal-clear waters and overwater bungalows. It is certainly one of the best warm places to visit in December, January, & February. With a tropical climate year-round, you can escape the winter blues and relax on stunning beaches or explore the vibrant marine life through snorkeling and diving. Here is the additional information regarding Maldives, one of the best winter sun destinations!

Best Time to Visit: November to April is the best season to book flights to Maldives from London and claim a vacation here. However, this is the peak travel season. So expect exorbitant prices on flights and accommodations. A Pro-tip: Visit the lesser-known islands for a crowd-free vacation to this affordable winter vacation!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Snorkeling and diving in crystal-clear waters.
  2. Overwater bungalow stays for a romantic retreat.
  3. Explore the local culture on inhabited islands.
  4. Sunset cruises with a chance to spot dolphins.
  5. Indulge in fresh seafood at beachfront restaurants.

2. Dubai: best winter sun destinations

winter in Dubai
Winter in Dubai

Dubai, one of the most visited winter vacation destinations in January & February,  is a dazzling city in the United Arab Emirates, offering a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. Consider the city of the Future, Dubai tops the list of best warm countries in to visit during winter! Enjoy the warm weather while exploring iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, shopping in world-class malls, or taking a desert safari.

Best Time to Visit: November to March is the best time to visit this sunny winter destination as the weather keeps it mild and pleasant to hunt the outdoor activities. A Pro tip: Try to get flight tickets from London to Dubai at least 60 days ahead of the planned holiday to avoid inflated prices! But if you’re looking for a winter destination on a budget, Dubai might not be the answer!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Burj Khalifa: Visit the world’s tallest skyscraper.
  2. Desert Safari for thrilling dune bashing.
  3. Explore Dubai’s Old Town and heritage sites.
  4. Dubai Desert Resorts.
  5. Shop at extravagant malls and traditional markets.

3. Barbados: beautiful winter destinations

winter in Barbados
Winter in Barbados

One of the most beautiful winter destinations is this Caribbean nation! Barbados, one of the best winter vacations near the USA, is a Caribbean gem with its white-sand beaches, lush gardens, and vibrant culture. Visit in the winter for pleasant temperatures and festivals like Crop Over, where you can immerse yourself in the local music and dance.

Best Time to Visit: December to April is considered the ideal time to visit the Island nation as the weather keeps on the milder side. A Pro-Tip: Try to book accommodations & air tickets to Barbados in September-October, as the tickets are relatively cheaper in the shoulder season.

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Relax on stunning beaches like Crane Beach.
  2. Visit historic sites like St. Nicholas Abbey.
  3. Savor Caribbean cuisine at local eateries.
  4. Snorkel and swim with sea turtles.
  5. Attend lively festivals and local events.

4. Switzerland: Best winter destinations in Europe

Winter in Switzerland
Winter in Switzerland

Switzerland transforms into a winter wonderland during the cold season. It is undoubtedly one of the best winter destinations in the world. Enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating in the Swiss Alps. Don’t miss visiting charming Christmas markets, exploring picturesque villages like Zermatt, and indulging in Swiss chocolate.

Best Time to Visit: Late spring to early autumn (May to September) and then from December to February. Let’s just agree, that Switzerland is an evergreen destination, and let alone Europe, it is one of the best winter destinations in Europe! You can get direct flights to Switzerland from Heathrow!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Explore the picturesque Swiss Alps.
  2. Visit charming cities like Zurich and Lucerne.
  3. Take a scenic train ride on the Glacier Express.
  4. Enjoy Swiss cheese and chocolate tastings.
  5. Go hiking or skiing in the stunning mountain lands.

You may like to read it: Best 10 New Year Destinations to Visit in 2024

5. Costa Rica: winter destinations on a budget

winter in Costa Rica
Winter in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s dry season makes it a perfect winter escape. Explore lush rainforests, visit volcanoes like Arenal, go zip-lining through the canopy, take a dip in hot springs, and spot diverse wildlife in national parks. It is also one of the best winter vacation destinations for couples.

Best Time to Visit: December to April is considered the best time of the year to visit this rainforest nation due to the presence of less moisture and moderate temperature. There are ample flights from London to Costa Rica and can be booked easily. For hotels, we would suggest booking a jungle villa to sit close to nature!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Discover diverse wildlife in national parks.
  2. Experience thrilling zip-lining adventures.
  3. Relax in natural hot springs near Arenal Volcano.
  4. Surf on the Pacific coast.
  5. Explore the lush rainforests and waterfalls.

6. New York: best winter vacations USA

winter in New York
Winter in New York

New York is a destination that falls under the category of “best winter vacations with snow”. While it may be cold, New York City is magical during the holiday season. Skate at Rockefeller Center, admire holiday lights on Fifth Avenue, watch the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve, and explore world-class museums and theaters. New York is certainly one of the best places to start the year with and to visit in January. 

Best Time to Visit: New York is an evergreen city just like Switzerland! So, we would recommend it in winter, autumn, summer and when not! Enjoy Christmas and New Year in one of the best winter vacation destinations. London has brilliant connectivity with a large number of flights to New York!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Witness the magic of the holiday season in NYC.
  2. Ice skating at Rockefeller Center.
  3. Visit world-class museums like the MET and MoMA.
  4. See a Broadway show.
  5. Stroll through Central Park and enjoy winter views.

7. Prague, Czech Republic: best winter destination

winter in Prague
Winter in Prague

If you prefer a European escape with a charming winter ambiance, Prague is one best winter destinations in Europe! This fairytale city comes alive with its historic architecture, cozy cafes, and enchanting Christmas markets. Sip on hot mulled wine and explore the stunning Prague Castle. The city turns into one of the best places to visit in January.

Best Time to Visit: April to June & then October to February is the best time to visit Prague to enjoy the best of this old castle town.

 5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Explore the fairytale-like Old Town Square.
  2. Visit Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.
  3. Enjoy a cruise on the Vltava River.
  4. Try traditional Czech cuisine and beer.
  5. Discover the city’s rich history and architecture.

8. Budapest, Hungary: warm countries to visit during winter

Winter in Budapest
Winter in Budapest

Another European gem, the winter vacation destination, Budapest boasts its thermal baths, which are particularly inviting in the winter months. Visit Széchenyi or Gellért Baths to soak in the warm waters while enjoying panoramic views of the city. Don’t forget to explore Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge.

Best Time to Visit: April to June & then October to February is the best time to visit Prague to enjoy the best of this eastern city! Fly to Budapest to enoy the best of winters in this Europe’s best winter vacation destination!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Relax in the famous thermal baths.
  2. Admire the stunning Parliament Building.
  3. Explore Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion.
  4. Take a Danube River cruise.
  5. Try Hungarian goulash and pastries.

9. Australia: winter vacation destinations

winter in Australia
Winter in Australia

For those looking to experience summer in the midst of winter, Australia is your go-to destination. Explore the Great Barrier Reef, laze on the golden beaches of Sydney, or venture into the unique landscapes of the Outback. Australia has some of the best Islands like Lord Howe, Kangaroo & Moreton Island to spend lavish vacation days!

Best Time to Visit: December to February is the best season to visit Australia as it’s sunny and summery out here in Down Under! Flights to Australia and ample and frequent from London!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Explore the Great Barrier Reef.
  2. Visit Sydney’s iconic landmarks.
  3. Explore the Outback and Uluru.
  4. Go wine tasting in the Barossa Valley.
  5. Enjoy the beautiful beaches along the coast.

10. South Africa:

Winter in South Africa
Winter in South Africa

South Africa offers a diverse range of experiences, from wildlife safaris in Kruger National Park to wine tasting in the Cape Winelands. The summer months in South Africa provide pleasant weather for exploring its natural beauty. 

Best Time to Visit: September to February is the best time to visit this southern summer world. You can even get the best affordable flight to Cape Town, South Africa!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Go on a safari in Kruger National Park.
  2. Visit Cape Town and Table Mountain.
  3. Explore the Garden Route’s scenic beauty.
  4. Taste South African wines in Stellenbosch.
  5. Discover the vibrant culture in Johannesburg.

11. Amsterdam, Netherlands: best winter destinations Europe

Winter in Amsterdam
Winter in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is not just about tulips and canals; it’s a city that radiates charm year-round. In winter, the city transforms into a wonderland with its illuminated canals, ice-skating rinks, and cozy Dutch pubs. Visit the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House for a cultural fix.

Best Time to Visit: April to September and then January to March is the best time to book flights to Amsterdam!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Cruise along Amsterdam’s canals.
  2. Visit the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House.
  3. Explore the charming Jordaan neighborhood.
  4. Enjoy Dutch pancakes and cheese.
  5. Bike through the city’s bike-friendly streets.

12. Thailand: affordable winter vacations

winter in Thailand
Winter in Thailand

Thailand’s tropical climate makes it a perennial favorite for winter vacations. Explore the bustling streets of Bangkok, unwind on the pristine beaches of Phuket, or embark on a spiritual journey in Chiang Mai. Thai cuisine is a highlight not to be missed.

Best Time to Visit: November to February is the best time to book flights to Thailand and vacation. However, it is advisable to book flights well in advance because Thailand is very much in demand all the time!

5 Best Things to Do:

  1. Explore the temples of Bangkok.
  2. Relax on the pristine beaches of Phuket.
  3. Visit the ancient city of Ayutthaya.
  4. Experience the nightlife in Pattaya.
  5. Enjoy street food and traditional Thai cuisine.


Each of these warm destinations offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and adventure. Whether you prefer beach relaxation, exploring historic cities, or embarking on thrilling outdoor activities, you’re sure to find your ideal warm getaway in 2024. So, start planning your trip, and escape the winter chill for a while!

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