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A special type of magic descends over cities in winter. Festive markets spark into life, snow falls on bustling streets and Christmas decorations twinkle among the city lights. Here we share four winter adventures that celebrate cool culture cities, and they may not be where you’d expect…

Best for Christmas Markets

Stockholm & the Baltics

Tallinn in WinterTallinn in Winter

You’ll visit Sweden, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania on this Baltic adventure, exploring traditional Christmas markets as you go. Meandering through this magical corner of Europe, you’ll see fairytale old towns and capital cities. Guests love relaxing in the crisp, clear air as they sail across the Baltic Sea before heading onwards to historic Riga.

Best for Art on a Grand Scale

Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Harbin Ice and Snow FestivalHarbin Ice and Snow Festival

In northeast China, artists from all over the world compete to craft the most fantastical sculptures from ice, snow, and lights, resulting in one of the most breathtaking winter sights humans can take credit for. China in itself is incomparable during this season with its stunning cities, temples, the Great Wall and more – all under the intoxicating cover of winter.

Best for fairytales and storytelling

Winter in Transylvania

Transylvania in the WinterTransylvania in the Winter

Transylvania feels like how other parts of Europe might have felt decades ago – still steeped in rich tradition. The architecture, particularly when dusted with a layer of snow, looks like a scene from a storybook and mountains provide the backdrop as you explore traditional Christmas markets, Saxon villages and medieval castles.

Best for iconic architecture

Moscow to St Petersburg

Moscow in winterMoscow in winter

This week of winter culture will take you to Russia’s most notable sights, along with its less-explored gems. As well as Moscow and St Petersburg, we stop in Novgorod, Russia’s oldest city. With fewer tourists and an authentic vibe, winter drapes a romantic veil over one of the country’s most important destinations.

View more cultural winter holidays below.