Europe is cold in the summer, which means that in the winter...well, there might not be an accurate adjective for that. While it's true that prices tend to be lower throughout the continent during the winter season, it's more difficult to enjoy time outdoors in many countries. Of course, if you limit the scope of your trip to seeing these five spectacular art destinations throughout Europe, you won't need to worry about cold air nipping at your nose.
The Lyon Biennial
As its name suggests, the Lyon Biennial occurs every other year, and showcases some of the most amazing artists from France, around Europe and around the world. If you do come this winter, you'll enjoy a theme of La Vie Modèrne—Modern Life. The Lyon Biennial not only features incredible art from more than 28 countries around the world, but is in close walking distance to many of Lyon's best hotels.
Budapest's Bath Houses
Who ever said art had to hang in a museum? In Budapest, Hungary architecture steals the show. If you're visiting during the brutal Hungarian winter, you'll want to warm your soul not only with a hearty plate of goulash, but with a dip at one of Budapest's traditional bath houses, whose constructions are, well, works of art. Whether you follow the crowds toSzéchenyi Baths, or ask your Budapest hotel receptionist about his or her own local recommendation for beautiful bath houses in Hungary, you can kill two birds with one stones here.
Open-Air Museums in Athens
The good news? Athens doesn't have much of a winter, thanks to the moderation effects of the nearby Aegean and Ionian Seas. The not so great news, in the mass media this is, is the continuing Greek financial crisis, but the art on offer in the birthplace of Western civilization is thankfully more timeless than its monetary woes.
One way to combine both of these convenient facts on a winter art trip to Athens is by enjoying some of Athens' open-air museums, which are far less crowded during the "colder" months. No matter which central Athens hotel you stay in, enjoy a quieter ambiance at artists hot spots like the Acropolis Museum, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion, to name just a few.
Winter Stars of Dresden
A stunning city on the banks of the Elbe River, built largely in the flamboyance image of the Saxon Emperor Augustus, the German city of Dresden is stunning all on its own. During the first week of January, however, the city takes it up a notch with Winter Stars of Dresden, an annual art competition that showcases independent art from all around the world amid the snow and ice that make Dresden in winter such a magical place to be. The festival takes place right in the heart of the Old City, with many of Dresden's finest hotels just steps away.
Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport
Much love to the Danes, but it's unlikely that you'd want to find yourself anywhere in Denmark in the winter, except maybe on a connection at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport, which is incidentally the only thing to do in Kastrup, save for staying at a Kastrup airport hotel. The airport's construction notwithstanding, you can enjoy several art installations in the terminal, chief among them Jens-Flemming Sorensen's fountain in Pier C.