Winter in Europe things to do and see

WE ARE VISITING OUR SON IN THE UK FOR CHRISTMAS AND CONTINUING ON TO EXPLORE AMSTERDAM, COLOGNE, MUNICH, NUREMBERG AND SALZBURG FOR TWO WEEKS. WHAT ARE THE MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THESE CITIES AND WHAT CLOTHES AND SHOES SHOULD WE TAKE? I HAVE NO IDEA HOW COLD IT MAY BE.

S. GAVIN, CASTLE HILLS

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, Cologne Cathedral, Schloss Nymphenburg​ and the Residenzmuseum​ in Munich, Kaiserburg​ Castle in Nuremburg and Hohensalzburg​ Castle in Salzburg all rate as highlights on your itinerary, but you can find plenty more wonderful advice on each of these cities if you go to the Traveller website (traveller.com.au) or the Lonely Planet website lonelyplanet.com and key in your destinations in the search box. You could also go to the national tourism websites for Germany, the Netherlands and Austria and find more of the same. 

It's going to be seriously cold, between minus 5 and 2 degrees in Salzburg and only slightly warmer in Amsterdam. Typically in northern Europe, you'll be going from freezing temperatures outdoors to overheated interiors, frantically shucking off clothes in restaurants and shops. It makes sense therefore to dress in layers, with a bottom thermal layer, shirt and trousers, jumper or fleece and a coat or parka on top. Wool is my favourite but no matter how many clothes I take I'm always caught napping by how cold it is in Europe and I end up buying more. If this happens to you, January should be a great time to buy, with sales of winter gear and smart and desirable fashions that you won't see back home.

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