10 Instagram-Perfect Places You Must Add To Your Winter Bucket List

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These ten destinations are a montage of surreal, cinematic landscapes. Some mountains are carpeted with alpine meadows. The others, dusted with snow. Some lakes are impossibly blue, some jewel-toned and changing colours, keeping in sync with the sun. In some towns, the glaciers glisten in the morning and in some the night skies are etched with a dancing curtain of lights. And each one of these panoramas are an Instagrammer's ultimate utopia.

Come, let's delve into these breathtaking lands that'll have you rethinking your next travel plan.

#Bern – 1,082,440 photos

Credits: xmax88

Photo of Bern, Switzerland by Sonalika Debnath

Switzerland's capital city is a slice of paradise enwrapped by snow-dusted mountains. Bern's Unesco World Heritage-listed Old Town, traversed by cobblestoned alleyways, make for some of the most memorable walking trails. And the red-roof decked homes lined up like rows of matchboxes, are interrupted every once in a while by 16th-century fountains and rustic cellar shops. Serving up the best of Switzerland, Bern has something for every kind of traveller.

Top experiences: Boasting of a plethora of museums, definitely visit Einsteinhaus – Albert Einstein's erstwhile home, where he brought to life the theories of relativity; take a free guided tour of the magnificent Swiss House of Parliaments or Bundeshaus (Federal Palace of Switzerland); take a walk around Zytglogge – the clock tower at the heart of the old town; have a picnic at the parks of Rosengarten and the hillside Gurten.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹71,958 onwards during the month of May. Book in advance and fly to Bern from Mumbai to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹8,764

Where to stay: City Hotel Metropole (₹5,878) and Hotel Waldhorn (₹7,839). For more options, check here.

#Aspen – 935,040 photos

Credits: John Fowler

Photo of Aspen, CO, United States by Sonalika Debnath

This jewel of the American West is planted in Colorado's Rocky Mountains and is a thriving ski resort town. The hamlet offers skiing and other adventures such as snowboarding across the three regions of Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, and is crowded with plush homes of the rich and famous.

Top experiences: If you're travelling during the winter season, engage in any of these thrilling activities – sleigh rides, sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and of course, skiing; if you're visiting Aspen during summers, these are a few of the options – mountain biking, hiking, golfing, gondola rides to the top of the Aspen Mountain, white water rafting, fly-fishing, mine exploration and hot air balloon rides.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹61,681 onwards during the month of February. Book in advance and fly to Denver from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹4,795

Where to stay: St Moritz Lodge (₹3,831) and The Inn at Aspen (₹9,676). For more options, check here.

#Tromsø - 768,516 photos

Credits: Johannes Groll

Photo of Tromsø, Norway by Sonalika Debnath

North of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is a postcard-perfect paradise. Your best bet to witness the surreal drama of the Northern Lights, the city is encompassed with frost-laden fjords and rocky snow-capped peaks. Centuries ago, Tromsø sustained numerous arctic expeditions and in the present day prides itself for having a buzzing nightlife.

Top experiences: Visit the Arctic Cathedral and the Tromsø Museum for a taste of the polar city's past; go church-hopping from Ishavskatedralen to the Carmel Monastery; established in 1877, take a guided tour of the Mack Brewery; go for a cable car ride across Tromsø for spectacular views; book yourself a fjord excursion via car or bus; the adventurous kind can go whale-watching; definitely chase the Northern Lights via the numerous tours the arctic city offers.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹52,929 onwards during the month of January. Book in advance and fly to Tromso from Mumbai to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹716

Where to stay: Hotel St-Elisabeth (₹6,887) and Solhov (₹2,972). For more options, check here.

#Chamonix – 611,675 photos

Credits: websiteproud

Photo of Chamonix, France by Sonalika Debnath

This quaint village in the French Alps has something for everyone – families, adventure enthusiasts, explorers and people who simply want to relax. Away from bustling Paris, this splendid ski destination envelopes you in its heady French charm and a little European flair.

Top experiences: Dotted with museums, visit the valley's House of the Alpage (Maison de l’Alpage) showcasing an eclectic mix of agriculture and landscapes in Servoz; learn a little about the art of mountaineering and the minerals sourced from the Mont Blanc Valley at Espace Tairraz - Crystal Museum; travel on one of the retro tram carriages – Anne, Marie or Jeanne, on the Tramway du Mont-Blanc; ride up to the Aiguille du Midi and take in the 360° view of all the French, Swiss and Italian Alps from its laid-out terraces; explore brand new vistas through dogsledding with the handsome huskies; take the Mont Blanc Panoramic cable car and travel to Helbronner in Italy; try the local fare of crozets (buckwheat pasta) from the Savoy region or rosti, a farmer’s dish from the Swiss region of Valais and end with a pot of the iconic Alpine fondue.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹38,039 onwards during the month of May. Book in advance and fly to Geneva from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹4,743

Where to stay: Hotel Le Chamonix (₹4,516) and Mercure Chamonix Les Bossons (₹5,281). For more options, check here.

#YosemiteNationalPark – 596,214 photos

Credits: Jota Lao

Photo of Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass Road, CA, United States by Sonalika Debnath

This United States national park sits on the western Sierra Nevada of Northern California. A canvas of unadulterated wilderness, Yosemite's granite cliffs, waterfalls and crystal clear streams are a photographer's ultimate delight. Known across the globe for its biological diversity, sequoia groves, gargantuan mountains and glaciers, it was established as a World Heritage Site in 1984.

Top experiences: At 2,424ft, the Yosemite Falls are the sixth largest in the world and a must visit; rising up to 4,737ft above the valley floor, hike up to the granite formation of the Half Dome; camp at the Tuolumne Meadows that's teeming with the rare plant species of Ross’s sedge, lodgepole pine and dwarf bilberry; embark on a three-hour long hike up to the Lembert Dome that rises 800ft above the Tuolumne Meadows; go rock-climbing across the El Capitan stretching around 3,000 feet from base to top.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹51,267 onwards during the month of February. Book in advance and fly to Los Angeles from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹2,462

Where to stay: Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort (₹1,883) and Yosemite Westgate Lodge (₹5,130). For more options, check here.

#Zermatt – 400,215 photos

Credits: Joao Branco

Photo of Zermatt, Switzerland by Sonalika Debnath

Planted on the Italian border, the charming mountain village of Zermatt offers unhindered views of the majestic Swiss Alps. With an elevation of 5,310ft, Zermatt is located at the foot of Switzerland's highest peaks – Matterhorn. Boasting of a glut of winter sports, this resort town is completely devoid of cars.

Top experiences: Take the lifts up to little Matterhorn or Breithorn – the easiest to access among all of the Swiss Alp peaks; experienced trekkers can embark on the Monte Rosa trail with the highest altitude being 15,203ft; get yourself ski lessons from Zermatt's numerous ski schools; go snowboarding across the frosty slopes; indulge yourself with a helicopter-sightseeing tour across the town.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹35,596 onwards during the month of July. Book in advance and fly to Zermatt from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹6,732

Where to stay: The Matterhorn Hostel (₹1,981) and Residence Patricia (₹5,283). For more options, check here.

#YellowstoneNationalPark – 314,870 photos

Credits: Amy Hamerly

Photo of Yellowstone National Park, WY, United States by Sonalika Debnath

Spread across the US states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the Yellowstone National Park is dotted with outlandish geothermal formations. The park's wondrous terrains sustain over 60% of the world's geysers and pits that spew technicolour hot springs. The park is also thronged by an array of wild animals such as the moose, bison, elk and wolves.

Top experiences: Make a beeline for Castle Geyser – the cone-shaped volcanic park that erupts every 10 to 12 hours reaching up to 90ft in the air; visit the fantastical Grand Prismatic Spring that happens to be the third-largest hot spring in the world; 7,000ft above sea level, head to the Yellowstone Lake – America's biggest body of water whose floor is home to a few hundred canyons, geysers and hot-springs; make sure to go to the Minerva Terrace that is a series of multihued icy travertine steps.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹61,681 onwards during the month of February. Book in advance and fly to Wyoming from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹2,527

Where to stay: Motel 6 Jackson (₹3,441) and Brandin' Iron Inn (₹4,481). For more options, check here.

#Bled – 306,285 photos

Credits: 12019

Photo of Bled, Slovenia by Sonalika Debnath

Located in northwestern Slovenia, the quaint town sitting by Lake Bled is straight out of a fairytale. Though extremely popular with honeymooners, the resort town of Bled is also flocked by backpackers throughout the year.

Top experiences: Take a walk down to Castle Bled. Once home to the Romans, it offers spectacular views of the emerald hued Lake Bled; have one too many portions of the delectable Kremšnita Cake; rent a small boat and go on a romantic trip across the length of the lake; slide down hills via the auto-controlled sled of the Straža Ski Slope; take a hike up to the Pokljuka peak; visit the surreal area of the Vintgar Gorge, that's only 4km away from the lake.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹44,400 onwards during the month of May. Book in advance and fly to Bled from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹2,754

Where to stay: Guest House Mlino (₹3,215) and Rooms Jerman (₹3,674). For more options, check here.

#CeskyKrumlov – 179,914 photos

Credits: peter89ba

Photo of Český Krumlov, Czechia by Sonalika Debnath

The town of Český Krumlov lies in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic and is deluged in historical monuments and stories. A microcosm of Prague at first glance, the Unesco World Heritage Site is crowded with castles crafted using Renaissance and baroque architectural styles.

Top experiences: A visit to the Český Krumlov State Castle and Chateau complex is a must, owing to its Castle Museum, the six-storey Chateau Tower, the Chateau itself, Baroque Castle Theatre, Chateau Garden and the Gothic Wenceslaus Cellars; decked with Bohemian antiques and geological fossils, explore the Regional Museum; go rafting down the Vltava River; take a haunting walk through Czech Republic's last graphite mine.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹41,210 onwards during the month of March. Book in advance and fly to Prague from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹3,642

Where to stay: Penzion Krumlov (₹3,444) and Hotel The Old Inn (₹6,406). For more options, check here.

#Grindelwald – 149,836 photos

Credits: Ludovic Fremondiere

Photo of Grindelwald, Switzerland by Sonalika Debnath

At a lofty 3,392ft, the picturesque village belongs to the canton of Berne in Switzerland. Perched on the Bernese Alps, Grindelwald sustains a total of seven mountain communities. Its swathes of alpine meadows sidle up to the dizzying peaks of Eiger and Wetterhorn rendering it into a perfect ski resort town.

Top experiences: Take a gondola ride from Grindelwald up to the peak of Schwarzhorn; hike the six-kilometre long Eiger trail that will take you across some of Switzerland most cinematic landscapes; board one of the cheery red trains from Grindelwald Grund for Kleine Scheidegg to reach Jungfraujoch – the saddle connecting you to the shimmering Aletsch Glacier; on a sunny day drive up to Bachalpsee, wherein the shimmering lake reflects the peaks of Schreckhorn, Wetterhorn and Finsteraarhorn making way for some cinematic photographs.

Flights: Round-trip fares start from ₹71,958 onwards. Book in advance and fly to Bern from Mumbai to get the best price.

Daily budget: ₹8,735

Where to stay: Hotel Wetterhorn (₹3,352) and Gasthof Panorama (₹6,076). For more options, check here.

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