Driving through Europe during winter

Taking a road trip through Europe will make your winter trip extra special. If you can’t make it for Christmas don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with fantastic tips on travel from Holland through to Europe from Christmas to New Year’s and up until early spring so you can still enjoy the Netherlands and neighbouring European destinations charming beauty during the colder season.

When you book with a vehicle you can drive direct to fantastic near-by destinations like Cologne in Germany. If visiting loved ones hitting the open road to destinations like Scandinavia or catching the train to Belgium is stress-free.

Winter In Germany

If food and drink are on the top of your list when it comes to holidays, the beauty of Christmas markets, drinks and evening events as well as a little family-friendly fun during the day, then driving from our port in Holland to Germany is a great way to make the most out of your trip with the luxury of being able to take all you need. Don’t stress about luggage weight restrictions, you could even take a family pet or your winter sports equipment.

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Our first recommended pitstop would be Cologne – If you like the markets of Amsterdam, or have visited London’s winter wonderland, your breath will definitely be taken away once you visit the German markets. Germany is just a short drive away from the Netherlands and is arguably one of the destinations that some consider synonyms with Christmas and winter-magic.

Cologne’s oldest Christmas market is held on the Neumarkt, the city centre market in the shopping district. You’ll fall in love with its beautiful festive decorations and of course no one could resist hitting the shops in some of Germany’s quality stores.

Try the famous German meals and drinks like glühwein (mulled wine), Cinnamon liquor and schwenkgrill (famous grilled German sausages with all the trimmings). After the Christmas period- New Year in Cologne consists of midnight fireworks display against the magical backdrop of Cologne’s cityscape. You could explore the winter magic post-Christmas as a solo traveller, there are also lots of highly recommended restaurants in the heart of the city ideal for families or couples like Restaurant Gaststaette Bei Oma Kleinmann or Amabile. Finish the night off in one of the city’s bars or clubs.

During the day, you could take a tour around Cologne and visit the gothic cathedral, the old town or take a river cruise along the Rhine. Everyone can also enjoy a trip to the Wallraf-Richartz and Ludwig museums, the zoo and the Cologne cable car for a bird’s-eye view of the city. The list of things to do is endless, some honourable mentions would be, the Roman-Germanic museum, Botanical garden and a tour of the chocolate museum.

Crossing the Border to Belgium

Belgium forms part of the low countries (Benelux) which includes the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The perfect Belgium stop-off destination would be Antwerp, this is the second biggest city in Belgium and is located just 55 miles away from the North Sea. Getting there from the Hook of Holland is straight forward, as a foot passenger you can catch the bus service straight to a main Dutch train station and from there catch connecting trains to Antwerp, or simply drive 55 miles.

Located in the Flanders region, this beautiful destination has so many beautiful buildings and landmarks, just picture it illuminated with lights during winter. Check out the array of museums, art and galleries – Antwerp attracts a lot of fashion and art lovers. A trip to Antwerp can only be complete with a taste of Belgium gastronomy such as warm waffles, French fries with local mayonnaise and chocolate.

This Antwerp isn’t an obvious pick so you can enjoy an authentic Belgium experience and seek out great local recommendations for hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs that don’t have the tourist hotspot prices to be enjoyed regardless of reason for travel.

A few other great places to visit in the New Year – Düsseldorf, Essen in Germany or Ghent and Bruges in Belgium. Try out the snowy slopes at Jever Skihalle in Neuss, just minutes from Düsseldorf it’s Germany’s first indoor hall, open year-round and is great for both beginners and advanced skiers. Enjoy the culinary scenes in Ghent and cycle the perimeter of the Old Town of Bruges, its beauty is magically especially on a crisp winters day, Bruges is also home to some of the oldest pubs in Europe!

Relax and enjoy your journey

Relax during your winter-sailing, grab a freshly prepared meal onboard and rest up in a cabin before disembarking and heading to your winter holiday destination. Avoid the queues and endless delays you get with flying.
Discover what to expect on our superferrues. Onboard services >
Drive direct from our port in Holland to several destinations. Car + driver fr. £59>
Take the train once you arrive in Holland to places like neighbouring Belgium. Rail & Sail fare >