Winter wonderland in the city: Cosmopolitan sights transformed

Heavy snowfall has blanketed all of Britain and beyond over the past few days. Hushed into stillness, the backdrop of rain has subsided, leaving a white winter wonderland in the world's brightest cities.

And while these weather extremes can instill a sense of tranquility – from the peaceful parks to the secluded city streets – travel chaos has struck out all over the world as a result. Cities have experienced everything from grounded planes, Eurostar mayhem to gridlocked motorways.

But if you take just a moment to admire the scenic views and transformed sights, it’s hard not to be taken aback by the natural beauty of these snow-sprinkled cities. From magical symbolic landmarks in Paris to snowballs flying in London's Hyde Park, view the gallery below for snow-filled images over the years in the likes of Rome, Beijing, Amsterdam and New York.

New York is no stranger to snow, receiving an average of 28 inches each year. The towering city skyline is transformed by a sweeping of white snow around Christmas and New Year. And as you can imagine, there's no place more magical than a snowy Central Park, as seen here in an image of the Bethesda Fountain / Rex Features 

Last year Rome experienced snow for the first time in 26 years. While the city looked beautiful, temperatures reached as low as -36c.The Italian capital is normally subject to a warm climate but due to the unexpected extremes, tourists weren't allowed to visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, the former home of Rome's ancient emperors 

Last year, Moscow saw the heaviest snowfall in November in over 50 years and currently Eastern Russia is so cold that temperatures have dropped to an incredible -50C. The weather is so extreme that traffic lights have recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk 

Walking through Paris is romantic enough, but with the snow that has settled this week and last, the City of Light appears all the more magical under its snow-covered blanket. Take a stroll down the Champs-Elysées, experience a wintry tour of the Eiffel Tower, or glide along the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. Despite these beautiful landmarks newly decorated, the recent snow in Paris has caused major disruptions with the Eurostar and inconveniences during Paris Haute Couture Week 

Fresh white snow has covered the historical buildings of Amsterdam this year. Sounds have dampened, canals frozen and bikes stranded in the once vibrant city. Now a peaceful, picturesque air surrounds the Netherlands / Rex Features 

China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. People have made the most of the abundance in snowfall however at the International Ice Assemblage Sculpture Championship in Harbin, China / Rex Features 

Even Milan has witnessed heavy snowfall in recent years. The fashion capital experienced severe interruptions to transport services and power supply services in 2012. Meanwhile, the city's most famous landmarks such as the grand cathedral, La Scala Opera House and the Sforza Castle looked absolutely breathtaking in a light scattering of snow 

London has experienced heavy snowfall and a bitterly cold start to the year. As a consequence, the first signs of snow this year has made travel by Tube, road and air extremely difficult / Rex Features 


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