10 best cities to visit in winter

CNN  — 

Cold rains, icy sidewalks and gray skies can make winter travel a trial. But hot drinks, snowy slopes, frozen lakes and crisp, blue skies full of fresh air? That’s the kind of winter we can all wrap our mittens around.

And winter actually seems to bring out the best in some cities. In no particular order, here are 10 around the world that make for a great cold-weather destination:

1. Prague, Czech Republic

With its snow-capped spires and cobbled, winding streets, Prague is a fairytale city that remains relatively tourist-free in winter.

The stunning architecture looks even prettier under a sheet of snow, with one of the most beautiful areas being the old town, with its turrets and Romanesque vaults. Gas street lamps have been reinstalled throughout the city center, adding a romantic hue to evenings. Cafes here are ideal for escaping the bitter cold.

Choco Cafe is a great place to take a breather from intense winter sightseeing in the Old Town,” says travel blogger Girl in Czechland. “It’s full of comfy chairs and sofas and they have more than a dozen kinds of hot chocolate, which is so thick you can practically stand a spoon up it in it.”

Where to sleep: The Alchymist Grand Hotel & Spa is a five-star, fairytale-like hotel in the middle of the city’s old town.

The Alchymist Grand Hotel & Spa, Tržiště 19, Prague 1; +420 257 286 011

From $299 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com