I planned to visit Vienna at this time of the year but searching the internet, most of people do not recommend traveling to central Europe at this time since it is too cold and showery. The following factors are important to me:

  • long days
  • warm weather (or at least not cold and rainy/snowy)
  • Open sights and monuments (not closed for the Christmas holidays)
  • Not too crowded

I read somewhere that Barcelona would be a good choice, is it true? What are my other choices? And what about Bruges?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark Mayo, Karlson, mindcorrosive Sep 20 '14 at 19:26

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Vienna in the winter can be a breath taking experience. I would actually say ALL european cities are worth visiting in the winter – user141 Sep 20 '14 at 8:34
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    @mindcorrosive: There is this very same question with nine upvotes which is still open, why is my question off-topic then? – Gigili Sep 21 '14 at 7:56

Generally speaking, in the winter, the further north you go, the shorter the days are so Bruges is even worse than Vienna in this respect (night might fall a bit earlier in Vienna because it is in the same time zone as Bruges, despite being much further east, but the sun also rises earlier and the days are definitely longer).

In coastal northern cities like London, Amsterdam or Hamburg you might certainly experience bad weather (rain and grey skies) but December is not the coldest month of the year and the temperature should still be above freezing. Cities further inland like Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Prague, etc. are going to be colder, even as far south as Sofia or Ankara.

Christmas lighting and customs are in any case something to enjoy even in colder places but if warm weather is important you will have to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if Bruges in OK to you then most of northern Europe should be too.

Barcelona will certainly have longer days and somewhat warmer weather than either Bruges or Vienna (although it might not be terribly warm). Other options in the south are Seville, Granada, Lisbon, Rome, Naples, Athens or Istanbul. Warmer still, you might want to consider Malta.

If you plan to stay until New Year's Eve, one interesting thing in Central Europe (definitely in Germany but I believe also in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, etc.) and the low countries are the fireworks people light at midnight (not a big municipal firework or something like that but private fireworks literally everywhere).

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    I subscribe to this. If you want long days and warmer weather head as south as possible. Spain would be a good choice, especially Barcelona, it's an absolutely wonderful city - but the not crowded part is not really fulfilled there. – Raul Rene Sep 20 '14 at 9:50

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