Amazing Places to Experience Winter Charm

Austria, Salzkammergut, view of Hallstatt and Dachstein over lake Hallstaetter See at sunrise in winter
Austria, Salzkammergut, view of Hallstatt and Dachstein over lake Hallstaetter See at sunrise in winter

This winter, take a trip to some of the most charming places on earth… The stunning landscape of Austria, the twinkling Northern lights of Finland and the scenic beauty of Amsterdam are all amazing places to experience the magic of winter. Check out our Diners Club Privileges after you arrive.

Austria

A Central European German-speaking country known for a magnificent natural landscape and cultural gems, Austria is a winter must-do. Start your journey by flying to Wien-Schwechat Airport, where after arrival, you can take a breather at the Jet Lounge—a stylish oasis with comfy chairs and full amenities. After gathering your thoughts, begin your exploration by touring Vienna—city of music, culture and royal history.

Although it might be chilly in winter, Vienna is over-equipped with museums, cafes and art galleries to warm you up from the cold. Take the CAT directly from the airport to the city’s center. Find refuge from the cold at the Baroque Hofburg Palace, then check out the world’s largest Klimt collection, including “The Kiss,” at the Belvedere, view the former Hapsburgs collection at Kunsthistoriches Museum, and learn about the enigmatic Mozart at the composer’s former residence, Mozarthaus. Get some exercise by hitting the ice rink at Ice Dream in front of the Viennese Rathaus, and warm up with a cup of hot mulled wine. For a classy Viennese evening, attend the opera at Volksoper or a classical concert performed by one of the city’s many orchestras.

Das Tyrol

Located in the city center, on Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna’s longest shopping street, Das Tyrol is just steps away from Vienna’s main sights and museums. Diners Club members enjoy an automatic upgrade to “Loved” membership status and valuable benefits in The Club, the Small Luxury Hotels of the World loyalty program.

After your cultural excursion Vienna, take in the fresh mountain air in Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and the setting for the film, “The Sound of Music.” Take a train from Vienna south to Salzburg, about a two-hour ride, and enjoy a wide range of winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding or sledging. Visit some of the famous Christmas markets in town, stroll around Old Town and skate to your heart’s content on Mozartplatz or Bergheim Skating Rink.

Hotel Sacher Salzburg FINAL

Hotel Sacher Salzburg

Located on the banks of the river Salzach, the Hotel Sacher Salzburg was built in 1866, the same year Salzburg joined the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This elegant, historical hotel has catered to many famous guests, including Sir Karl Popper and Placido Domingo. Antiques, oil paintings and crystal chandeliers recall a grand past, and a restaurant serving Austrian cuisine supports an atmosphere of heritage.  Diners Clubmembers enjoy a complimentary one-year Leaders Club membership (valued at $150).

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Finland

Finland is the northern most country in Europe and one of the coldest places on earth, with winter temps reaching as low as -25 degrees Celsius (-13 degrees Fahrenheit). Fly to Helsinki Airport and chill out in the Aspire Lounge to recover from your flight. Take the memorable Lapland Express, a Helsinki-Rovaniemi high-speed train that takes about 13 hours. There is only one train departing per week per route, so plan ahead. In similar fashion to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Orient Express, the Lapland Express is journey onto itself. Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, is situated on the Arctic Circle. Cross the Arctic Circle into Santa Claus Village and partake in a wide array of winter activities, such as: sightseeing by snowmobile, reindeer safari by night, dog sledding and ice climbing. One of the highlights of Lapland is seeing the beautiful Northern Lights (Aurora borealis), which can be viewed from inside a thermal glass igloo.

Amsterdam

Known for its artistic heritage, intricate canals and Golden Age legacy, Amsterdam transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months. Cozy pubs, winter events and light displays make winter a great time to visit the Dutch capital. Not to be missed is the fourth annual Light Festival (November 28, 2015 – January 17, 2016), an elaborate display of more than 35 large-scale installations by international light artists that can be enjoyed by boat and walking routes. Other winter highlights include: Christmas markets, brown cafes (traditional Dutch pubs), ice skating, 50 museums, as well as a wide range of indoor activities. The capstone of Dutch culture is gezelligheid (coziness) and winter is no exception to this rule.

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The Dylan

Experience the finest Amsterdam has to offer by staying at The Dylan, a boutique hotel located in a former 1600s theatre on the well-known canal Keizersgracht. Exquisite features to be savored at this hotel include: a stylish ambiance mixing glamour and simplicity, a one-Michelin-star restaurant, Vinkeles, serving French-inspired cuisine created by Chef Dennis Kuipers; and a unique location just steps away from the city’s elegant Nine Street shopping district. Diners Clubmembers enjoy an upgrade to “Loved” membership status in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World program (valued at $150).

Experience the magical landscape and cultural attractions of Austria, Finland or Amsterdam this winter. For all offers in these countries, click on our Diners Club Privileges site and click on “Austria,” “Finland” and “Netherlands.”

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