5 Winter Destinations You’ve Been Dreaming Of All Year

Dust off the cold weather gear and book that long awaited VTL trip!

By R Lee        11 December 2021

With 18 VTLs (vaccinated travel lanes) currently in place, most of which head northwards, outbound travellers will be spoilt for choice.

Here are our five winter picks to enjoy the great outdoors, marvel at European architectural masterpieces, indulge in seasonal winter dishes, and if you’re lucky, frolic in fluffy snow.

South Korea

South Korea is always a popular destination, with its mind-boggling array of street food, endless shopping streets, and K-pop culture balanced with historical sights. Couples can work in a visit to their favourite K-drama film locations like the tree-lined avenue in Nami Island, to reenact the scene from Winter Sonata – imagine how Insta-worthy the pictures will look with snow falling all around.

Meanwhile, families travelling with their young ones in tow will be able to keep them entertained at places like Lotte World, or head further afield to Incheon for a luge ride, temple visit, and jam-making session.


Depending on which coast you choose, the main airports to fly into are San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Must-visit attractions in San Francisco include Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge but if the mountains are calling, head northwards to Oregon to hike or ski in the lush Mount Hood National Forest.

If snazzy museums and being a city slicker is up your alley, head instead to New York City. There, go on the iconic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour, or explore one of the many museums the city is home to. Should time permit, there is also a trip up to Niagara Falls from Manhattan, where great photo ops of the majestic waterfalls abound.


Already known as the fashion capital of the world, flying into Paris would mean spending a few days in the city hitting up luxury boutiques and speciality stores, and indulging in a Michelin-star meal or two. Round off the Parisian jaunt by snapping Instagram-worthy photos of the Eiffel Tower and the iconic Arc de Triomphe, before popping by the Louvre to say hello to Mona Lisa.

Then head towards Lake Annecy and the French Alps (Chamonix-Mont-Blanc) after to experience the picturesque French Alps. Family-friendly activities up in the majestic, snow-capped mountains include beginner ski lessons, snow tubing, husky sledding, and whizzing down the 1,300m-long Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster.


Base your explorations of Germany from Munich, starting with the Marienplatz, which has been Munich’s central square since the city’s founding. Popular with shoppers for its stores, boutiques and restaurants, Marienplatz is the focus of festivals – although its Christmas markets have been cancelled again this year, due to the pandemic. After you’re done shopping and eating, clamber up some 300 wooden steps up St Peter’s Church tower, from where you’ll be able to take in the panoramic view of the city from above.

Not to be missed is a day trip up to the Neuschwanstein Castle, said to be the inspiration behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. During winter, the enchanting castle is covered in snow, making the visit even more magical.


A trip to Italy will surely warrant a visit to Rome and awe-inspiring attractions like the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain. Heavily visited in the summer, these must-visits are less crowded during winter. Also less crowded are the wineries, and oenophiles will be able to savour the season’s grape harvest, usually done in September and October.

Bustling Christmas markets are also a must-visit, and these can be found in both major cities and outlying villages. Make sure to partake in hearty Italian cuisine, ranging from risottos with black winter truffle and ribollita (vegetable soup) to polenta and panettone. Top it off with a slice of panettone and a glass of vin brulé (Italian mulled wine). Eccellente!

SAFRA Members receive 5% off Klook activities with min. spend $50 (capped at $10) and 10% off first-time bookings on the KKday app. For more information, go to www.safra.sg/promotions/safra-and-servicemen-11b/klook and www.safra.sg/promotions/safra-and-servicemen-11b/kkday

VTL requirements can change at short notice; keep yourself updated at safetravel.ica.gov.sg/vtl/requirements-and-process. For advisories for travellers departing Singapore, check for updates here at safetravel.ica.gov.sg/departing/overview.

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