frozen snowy trees and park bench

Enjoy a Real Vacation to Northern Europe in January

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Even though it may be cold in January, the first month of the year offers many excellent vacation destinations.  Let’s see what Europe has to offer this January.  Sure, it will be cold as we discussed in our last article.  But Europe is warmed by the Gulf Stream so it is a lot less cold considering its very northern latitude.  So, where should we go in Europe this January?  Europe is a big continent with a great deal of diversity so it will take a series of articles to cover all of the top January vacation ideas.  In this article, we will begin with the three northernmost countries in Scandinavia.

These countries are Norway,  Sweden, and Finland.  Temperatures in January in the populated areas run very close to freezing by both day and night with daytime temperatures a bit above freezing.  You might experience more rain than snow but snow is more likely.

Norway: Tromso and Oslo

This small village in the far north of Norway features the Arctic Light Festival every January.  In 2020, the festival will run from January 24th to February 4th.  There is a full range of entertaining events at this festival and you have a good chance to see the Northern Lights.

Norway also offers single day tours of the famous Norwegian fjords.  There are fjords close to Oslo the capital city so you can easily make a day trip out of it.  Oslo is similar in many ways to all European capitals.  It has a rich history spanning many centuries and you can still see the cultural development from pagan tribes to modern, liberal society.

Oslo has both beautiful outdoor areas and great museums so you can get as cold as you want to be and then go into a great museum where you will both warm up and learn fascinating things.

Polse is a kind of Norwegian hot dog that is made of beef and pork and is served on a flatbread made of potato, flour, and milk.  Norwegians eat this sausage by the ton!  Winter is also a great time to sample Norwegian whitefish and of course pickled herring.


If you are a hardy soul, you should take an organized tour to Sweden’s Lapland.  There you might see the Northern Lights but you will certainly have a chance to go dog sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling.

By the way, while it is safe to drive yourself to the northern regions of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, it is not a good idea to do so in the winter.  Take an organized tour to the north instead.  These tours are run by true professionals.  You’ll have a great time and you’ll stay much safer than you might be on your own.

Skiing is a great winter sport throughout Sweden.  Downhill skiing requires mountains and Sweden has many ski resorts dotting the landscape.  In addition to having many mountain ski resorts, you are never far from the ski in Sweden.  There are places where you can ski in the mountains and look out at the sea at the same time!

Stockholm, the country’s capital city, is situated on some 15 islands at the western edge of what is known as the Stockholm archipelago.  The archipelago has about 30,000 islands both big and very small.  You can explore the islands by ferry or auto.  Being both near the big city yet somewhat isolated, these many islands provide travelers a wonderful combination of big city sophistication and the quaintness we associate with out of the way places.

Stockholm, itself, is a large, modern city.  Like in Oslo, you can go into the many excellent museums and art galleries or sit down for hot tea.  Stockholm is very cosmopolitan so you can enjoy a wide range of entertainments, food and drink, parks, and the charm of what European cities do best: combining the old with the new.  You can walk through the old town district and then enjoy the abundant modern architecture.  Buying a hop-on-hop-off ticket in January in Stockholm is a great way to avoid long walks in the cold and simply to warm up when you need to.


As with the other northern Scandinavian countries, Finland offers organized trips to the far north where you might see the Northern Lights, the sun will not rise at all in certain weeks and then when it does start to rise again as winter continues, the sun only peeks above the horizon for a short period of time each day.  This is quite a phenomenon for people who are used to having day and night every day!

Helsinki is just a long ferry ride from Stockholm.  As well as being situated for one day trips by ferry to nearby locations, Helsinki has the reputation of being the ‘boring” Scandinavian capital but that is a gross misrepresentation of the city.  Helsinki is also situated on a large archipelago of islands.

Helsinki is the most under-rated of the three northern Scandinavian capitals but it has a lot to offer travelers, even in the heart of winter.  You can easily spend several hours in the fortress of Suomenlinna which has museums, guided tours, and much more.  The only way to get there is buy water bus or ferry.

Helsinki boasts two great cathedrals: the extraordinarily ornate Uspenski Cathedral and the Helsinki Cathedral.  Both cathedrals show the distinctive Russian influence of the 19thcentury.  Helsinki also features many excellent museums, galleries, and concert venues.

At night, when it gets really cold, people go indoors to pubs, coffee shops and restaurants to warm up and absorb the uniquely Finnish vibe.

Church Concerts

Europe in general is in what some call the post-Christian era.  The fantastic churches are still well-maintained and you can visit them as you wish.  Many concerts are held in churches as otherwise they wouldn’t be used at all.  You might have to walk around the cities to find out what concerts are being played in which church.  Every large city has tourist information office that can help you set an itinerary and, of course, there is the internet.

A Real Vacation and a Virtual Casino

We hope that we have given you the idea that you don’t have to while away the winter months indoors at a land based casino.  You can have a great weekend or even week-long vacation even in the coldest months of winter!  Europe is a great place to enjoy some winter vacationing.

And you can always get some gaming pleasure simply by accessing the Jackpot Capital on your mobile.  Happy winter vacationing and happy gaming at Jackpot Capital casino.

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