‘If you’re in the market for a short break after all the madness of Christmas, these are five amazing winter holidays for January 2020…’
Les and I have just come back from a break in Tbilisi and loved everything about Georgian capital. Despite the chilly temperatures, the city looks beautiful year-round and there’s plenty to see and do. Accommodation is reasonably priced and eating out is cheap. It can be slightly more difficult to catch a flight in the usual UK’s cheap flight network, but you can easily fly to Eastern Europe or Athens on a budget airline and then connect to Tbilisi.
Top sights: Liberty Square, Tbilisi Cathedral, Old Town Architecture, Mother of Georgia statue.
If you’re looking for winter holidays for January 2020 with some sun, a trip to Jerusalem doesn’t usually require hats and scarves. The city is split between old and new, and both have lots to offer. The newer parts of the city have lots of bars and there’s a great coffee culture. The old city contains some of the most important religious sites in the world, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount. Jerusalem is a great city to explore on foot as it’s much smaller than Tel Aviv and not quite as steep as Haifa.
Top sights: The Western Wall, Temple Mount, Mahane Yehuda Market.
It’s impossible to think of winter holidays and Christmas time without thinking of Germany. After all, the country’s festive markets are legendary. Instead of heading to Berlin or Frankfurt, why not take a break in Stuttgart instead?
Stuttgart is known for its lush green spaces, which surround the city. It’s also world-famous for the manufacture of Mercedes and Porsche. Although cold in the winter, there’s plenty of cafes and bars to visit to keep you warm during your time in the Baden-Wurttemberg capital.
Top sights: Ludwigsburg Presidential Palace, Mercedes-Benz Museum, Fernsehturm Tower.
Cluj-Napoca is the capital of the Transylvania region and the second biggest city in Romania. Cluj is a university city, but don’t let that put you off. It’s not all loud parties and drunk students. In fact, it’s anything but. It does, however, have excellent bars, coffee houses, and restaurants, and prices reflect the fact that it has a high percentage of students.
Cluj-Napoca is a pretty sizeable city, but its public transport is excellent and there’s a whole lot to see and do. An evening down by the colourful, light-changing fountains outside the Cathedral of the Assumption is time well spent.
Top sights: Old Town, Central Park, St Michael’s Church.
Although Bern is the capital of Switzerland, it’s much less famous than its counterparts in Zurich and Geneva. The centre of the Old Town (Allstadt) is a UNESCO Heritage Site and sits on the bed of the river Aare. Perhaps the city’s most famous claim to fame is the fact that Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity whilst living in the Bern’s Kramgrasse. He also worked at the local patent office, but that’s not quite as exciting. As you would expect, Einstein’s former residence is now a museum and attracts curious visitors from across the world.
Bern is in the enviable position (for tourists) of being a capital city which is more compact and less travelled than many others. It’s a great place for a bit of quiet relaxation and exploration after all the madness of the festive season.
Top sights: Einsteinhaus, Berner Munster (Bern Cathedral)
Where ever you decide to head to in January 2020, have a great trip.