27. Venice, Italy
Why you should go: During the summer, the crowds in Venice can be downright overwhelming; the winter months are much more civilized. And there’s something romantic about floating over the misty canals, taking in the near-empty landmarks, and warming up in historic hotels. But from February 15 through March 3, Venice’s annual Carnevale brings the city back to life.
Why it’s a steal: Fly to Venice for a median airfare of $661 between December and March, and book a hotel room for an average nightly rate of $196, which is 19 percent cheaper than in the fall.
Where to stay: A short walk from piazza San Marco and Ponte di Rialto, The Splendid Venice sits between a few of the most central canals (you’ll arrive via private water taxi). By far, the hotel’s best spot is its rooftop terrace, where you can take in panoramic views of the city. Rooms start at $198.
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