Spring is an ideal time to visit Europe. If you are wondering where to go, this article lists the best European spring break destinations by the locals and jet-setters.
March through May is a shoulder season for the most popular European destinations. And there are many benefits to visiting these cities during this time.
The cities are awake from winter hibernation as the temperature warms up. Beautiful flowers bloom everywhere, adorning the streets and parks. The outdoor terrace seats are filled up with people enjoying the sunny days. The weather mostly stays pleasant, not too hot or cold.
Yet, the cities are less crowded with tourists before the peak summer season. It also means saving money on accommodations and time avoiding queues. Although mega tourist cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, London, and Barcelona always have some tourists, the crowd level will be much more manageable.
In spring, there are tons of seasonal festivals unique to each city. But keep in mind that many parts of European countries celebrate Easter in April (the date changes annually) and Labor Day on May 1. If you visit the cities during these holidays, note that attractions and businesses might be closed.
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Weather in Spring: March – June. Mild weather with less rain. Temperatures warm up during the day but dip at night (6-20℃ /44-69℉).
National Holidays: Easter Monday in April. Labor Day (May 1). Ascension Day in May.
Vienna is an amazing destination for a city trip year-round, but especially in spring. Following the city’s busy winter season, Vienna is nice and quiet this time, apart from Easter.
Another perk of visiting Vienna in spring is that the city’s gardens will fully bloom this time of the year.
The most beautiful place to be during springtime in Vienna is Schönbrunn castle and gardens. While the castle is magnificent, the vast gardens in the background are the true highlight. The gardens are open daily, and you can enter free of charge.
Avid walkers will love climbing up the hill towards the Gloriette, a magnificent building from the Imperial Times in Vienna. The Gloriette offers a great view over the gardens, Schönbrunn castle, and the entire city in the background.
Visitors also love the famous Schönbrunn zoo, the oldest zoo in the world. It takes a full day to see all the animals, the gardens and the castle.
Other famous landmarks visitors in spring should consider include the Stephansdom, the Karlskirche and the Belvedere Castle.
Vienna is not only known for its incredible architecture but also for its delicious, mouth-watering cuisine. Many restaurants in Vienna serve traditional Austrian meals, such as Kaiserschmarrn, Apfelstrudel, and Wiener Schnitzel.
Contributed by Sabrina Maasdam from Shades of Summer
>> Save with Vienna Pass giving access to 60+ attractions
Spring is a lovely time to visit Hallstatt, a fairytale town tucked away in the Austrian Alps. While the weather is warming up from the frigid wintertime in the charming village, you’ll still be able to enjoy snowy activities, like skiing or snowboarding and exploring ice caves, at the higher elevations in the mountains surrounding the town, especially during the earlier months of spring. Better yet, you’ll avoid the crushing crowds that flock to Hallstatt during the summertime.
There are plenty of things to do in Hallstatt. No trip to Hallstatt is complete without wandering through its Old Town, with colorful gingerbread houses perched along the banks of the sparkling Lake Hallstatt. In springtime, the flower boxes on the adorable houses will start overflowing with bright blooms.
For a different point of view of the jaw-dropping vistas of the town, rent a canoe or motorboat from one of the rental shops sprinkled on the lakeshore. Pack a picnic lunch, paddle out to the middle of the lake, and take in the stunning views of the postcard-worthy town and the surrounding Alps. If you’re lucky, you may spot swans and their springtime cygnets gliding across the lake around you.
For totally different vibes, head to Dachstein Krippenstein, an adventure park perched up in the Alps over 2,000 to 3,000 meters above sea level! Here, you’ll get to partake in snowy activities through mid-spring, like snowshoeing, exploring ice caves, and skiing. Best of all, you’ll be able to participate in a variety of winter sports with the breathtaking backdrop of some of the most dramatic mountains on the planet.
Contributed by Jessica Schmit from Uprooted Traveler
Weather in Spring: The average temperature ranges between 10℃ and 15℃ (50-59℉).
National Holidays: Easter Monday in April. Labor Day (May 1), Ascension Day and Whit Monday in May.
Bluebells in Halle Forest
From the cobblestone streets to the iconic architecture, Brussels is a fantastic destination for those who want to dip into the culture and history of Belgium.
While you can do that any time of the year, Brussels in spring has a unique appeal: the stunning bluebells in Halle Forest!
Halle Forest, located a mere 15 minutes from Brussels by train, is the most popular destination in Belgium for those wanting to see the blooming bluebells.
The flowers put on their show around mid-April and only last two weeks. However, it all depends on the weather – they might bloom a couple of weeks earlier if the winter has been mild or wait until May if it has been a frigid year. That makes it a challenge to plan a visit to this event.
While Halle Forest provides the most admirable view of bluebells in Belgium, it’s also the most popular location. You can expect to find a crowd of people, and you might not have much time to stand still and admire the flowers. If you seek solitude, you’re better off visiting one of the other bluebell forests in Belgium, such as Muziekbos or Kluisbos.
Contributed by Babe Rodrigus from Next Stop Belgium
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Weather in Spring: Mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 10 to 20°C (50-68°F).
National Holidays: Independence Day (March 1), Good Friday, Easter Sunday & Monday, Ramadan Bajram in April. Labor Day (May 1).
Sarajevo is a fascinating destination to visit in the spring. The pleasant weather makes it a great time to explore without being too hot or cold. With the blossoming spring flowers, the city is at its most beautiful.
The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in a valley surrounded by mountains. So nature is always close to the city.
Take Vrelo Bosne, for example. A public park on the outskirts of Sarajevo is home to the source of the Bosne river. It is a local’s favorite place to enjoy spring blooms.
If you have your own transport, you can also head to the mountains for more flowers. Otherwise, a new cable car can take you from the city center to Mount Trebevic for a fantastic view over Sarajevo.
If you love history and culture, there are many things to do in Sarajevo. Besides the flowers and nature, spring is the best time to experience the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene. The city presents many internationally-famed cultural events, including the Sarajevo Film Festival and the Sarajevo Jazz Festival.
Sarajevo’s charming old town allows you to travel back to Ottoman times with some of the oldest mosques and churches in Bosnia. The pastel-colored Austro-Hungarian architecture shines its timeless classic beauty in a modern city center.
Lastly, take advantage of the shoulder season in spring. The city is less crowded; the costs are generally lower. You can sit outside on the terraces to immerse yourself in Sarajevo’s unique atmosphere. So be sure to try delicious Bosnia cuisine at one of the restaurants without the crowd!
Contributed by Ellis from Backpack Adventures
Weather in Spring: Pleasant weather. Average around 15-23℃ (59-74℉)
National Holidays: Easter Sunday & Monday in April. Labor Day (May 1). Statehood Day (May 30).
One of the best Europe destinations in the spring is Zadar, Croatia. You will experience a lower crowd level when traveling before the busy summer season. You can even score cheaper accommodations.
The weather is finally warming up after the cold, rainy winters. And the abundant nature is coming back to life.
It will be warm enough to visit many beaches, although the water might not be warm enough yet to swim. Still, you can enjoy a nice beach day when it’s sunny. If you are lucky, you may have the whole place, even at the most popular Kolovare Beach. (Try this speedboat tour to secluded beaches!)
Spring is the festival season in Zadar. The annual Zadar Wine fest in late March is the biggest wine festival in the Dalamiton area. Here, you can taste wine from all over the region, join workshops to learn how to make wine, and much more!
Another thing to do in Zadar during the spring is the food festival. This event is usually held at the end of April and runs for a week. You will find freshly prepared street food in a wide variety, including fresh fish, burger joints and many plant-based and vegetarian options.
Contributed by Abbey Rae from Trips on Abbey Road
Weather in Spring: Mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 10 to 20°C (50-68°F).
National Holidays: Independence Day (March 1), Good Friday, Easter Sunday & Monday, Ramadan Bajram in April. Labor Day (May 1).
Looking for the perfect spring getaway? There is no better time to visit Prague, Czech Republic than springtime.
Many people opt to visit Prague in the summer, but this European capital gets way too crowded during summer. Why not skip the crowds and visit when Prague is at its best, with fewer tourists and gorgeous weather?
From Prague Castle to the iconic Charles Bridge to the blossoming Wallenstein Gardens, Prague has so many awesome things to do.
You can’t miss a walk up to Petřín during the spring, where beautiful blooming cherry blossoms draw locals each year. Take a snack or a full picnic and sit under the flowers to soak up the view of the Vltava River and the city below.
If you visit in spring, expect brisk temperatures around 10℃ to 18℃, depending on the month. Later in the spring, especially in April and May, expect long sunny days and flowers blossoming everywhere — making it the perfect weekend getaway!
Written by Samantha Tatro of Undiscovered Path Home
Weather in Spring: In Paris, daily highs can be around 12℃ (54°F) in March. The weather gradually warms up to 20℃ (68°F) by May. However, spring weather is somewhat unpredictable with rainfalls.
National Holidays: Easter Monday in April, Labor Day (May 1) and World War II Victory Day (May 8). French school goes on spring break sometime in April – May.
If you’re ready to swap out winter clothes for beach attire, consider vacationing in Nice, France, for your spring vacation.
This city is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway, as the weather is much warmer (mid-60s°F) compared to the rest of Europe at this time. Plus, with fewer crowds than in the summertime, you’ll be able to enjoy all that Nice has to offer without feeling overwhelmed by too many tourists.
Nice has a variety of activities to offer (like this Old Town & Castle Hill Walking Tour). Hike up to Castle Hill to enjoy breathtaking views of Nice’s bay. Or, if you need some relaxation, head to one of the many beaches and bask in the sun while listening to the calming waves of the Mediterranean Sea.
You can’t miss one of Nice’s best celebrations in spring, La Fête des Mai. The festival takes place throughout May and celebrates spring’s arrival with lots of music and dancing.
Lastly, Nice is an excellent base for a mini excursion to explore Monaco! The small country knows how to party and presents even more gorgeous views.
If you’re ready to retreat to a warmer destination and experience complete relaxation, consider planning your vacation to Nice!
Contributed by Kristin of Global Travel Escapades
Aix-en-Provence is a small French village best known as the city of 1,000 water fountains.
The weather is perfect in spring – sunny and warm, yet not too hot. You will love walking around this small village and reading a book or people-watching by one of the water fountains.
But if you want a break from meandering through the cobblestone streets, there is also plenty of good wine tasting in Provence.
Spring is the optimal time for wine-tasting tours in Provence. Unlike red wines, rosé is best to be drunk early without making it aged. So be there when the first rosé of the season becomes available.
Another benefit of visiting Aix-en-Provence in spring is to avoid the summer crowds. It helps you save on hotels and tours. Also, it will make the whole experience much more enjoyable.
Aix-en-Provence is a perfect spring escape if you are looking for a small french town. Embrace the fragrance of the fresh blooming flowers everywhere and sip a coffee in a small French cafe while soaking up the sun.
Contributed by Megan Kulluk of Peter Pan Traveler
As the days get longer and warmer, life in Bordeaux starts to bloom in spring. The spring weather is ideal, and the city is not yet crowded. Locals are spending more time outside enjoying the sun. Terraces are bustling with friends’ gatherings for a late afternoon apéro. The sun doesn’t set until 9 pm!
This UNESCO-listed city is a hidden gem, with quaint cobblestone streets and picturesque squares waiting to be discovered.
Visit the vibrant St Michel neighborhood. Admire Place de la Bourse and Miroir d’Eau that re-open in the spring after being closed through the autumn and winter. Explore the charming Chartrons, the chic neighborhood. And cross the river over to the less-visited Bastide neighborhood to witness the gorgeous sunset over the old town.
Bordeaux’s city center sprawls out. On the bright side, it is a bike-friendly city. Taking bike tours in Bordeaux is the best way to explore the city.
Your visit to Bordeaux is not complete without wine tasting. You can take a day trip to visit two world-renowned wine regions in Bordeaux: Saint-Émilion and Médoc.
Although the harvest time in the fall is undoubtedly spectacular, it is also quite an intensive working season for local vineyards. If you want to relax and soak up the environment, spring is best for leisurely walks through vineyards and sipping wine on the terrace of a medieval castle.
Contributed by Natali of She’s Abroad Again
Dreaming of Paris?
No matter which season of the year, Paris is always a good idea. But it can be overwhelming to plan your perfect trip to the City of Light. Follow my Paris itinerary to see the highlights in just four days.
Weather in Spring: Fair and bright with an average temperature of 18-26℃ (65-80℉).
National Holidays: Mother’s Day (March 3), International Women’s Day (March 8), National Unity Day (April 9), Orthodox Easter Sunday & Monday in April, Victory Day (May 9), Independence Day (May 26)
For an alternative spring break in Europe, consider the charming Silk Road city of Tbilisi. Georgia is a dream destination in any season because of its mild climate, dramatic mountains and 8000-year history of winemaking.
Magnolia, cherry and peach blossoms adorn the streets of Tbilisi, marking the official start of spring. Hiking trails re-open in the valleys and arid semi-deserts around the city, providing ample opportunities to see wild orchids, poppies, chamomiles, and more.
As a deeply Orthodox nation (the second state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion), Georgia celebrates Easter with particular zeal. In the lead-up to Sunday, families observe special rituals, such as dyeing eggs red with madder root and preparing paska, a sweet fruit cake. On Holy Saturday, everyone heads to the church for an all-night Easter Liturgy, complete with splendid liturgical chanting.
Spring is one of the best times for wine lovers to visit Georgia as vintners crack open their clay qvevri (massive clay vessels used for winemaking) to taste the previous year’s harvest. Every year, people descend to Tbilisi for the New Wine Festival and Zero Compromise, dedicated to natural wines. Both feature bottomless wine tastings, live music, and other festivities.
Tbilisi has a peaceful, upbeat ambiance in spring. Visit in April or May for the best weather. You’ll enjoy warm temperatures during the day and cool nights (perfect for cozying up at a wine bar). You will find the cobblestone streets of the Old Town are entirely free of other tourists.
Contributed By Emily of Wander-Lush
Weather in Spring: Fickle weather with occasional rain showers, temperatures ranging from 3°C to 11°C (37°F – 52°F)
National Holidays: Good Friday, Easter Sunday & Monday in April, Labor Day (May 1), Ascension Day & Whit Monday in May.
Located in western Germany, on the banks of the River Rhine, Bonn is a picturesque city once West Germany’s capital.
The city is a hub of art and music with its numerous museums, galleries, and cultural institutions. One of its most famous landmarks is the Beethoven-Haus, which celebrates the life and work of the legendary composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Bonn is also a green city with many parks and gardens, including the Rheinaue Park and the Botanical Garden of the University of Bonn. That makes the city one of the most beautiful spring destinations in Germany.
In spring, the dozens of cherry trees burst into bloom, turning the streets into a sea of pink. The Heerstraße is particularly stunning as it resembles an impressive cherry blossom tunnel.
The Old Town of Bonn cultivates various Japanese cherry blossoms, with the first blossoms appearing as early as the end of March. By mid-April, the city is awash with multiple colors, from delicate white to vibrant pink. The peak of the blooming period usually occurs within 10 to 14 days, depending on the weather, and it typically lasts until May 1 at the latest.
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Bonn as the city awakens from its winter slumber and bursts with colors. However, the weather during this time of year can be quite changeable, ranging from 3°C to 11°C (37°F to 52°F), with occasional rain showers, so it’s essential to be prepared for a range of conditions.
Contributed by Elle JJ of By Only In Germany
Weather in Spring: Comfortably warm. Temperatures reach 15℃ (59℉) in March and climb up to mid-20s℃ (70s℉) in April.
National Holidays: Good Friday & Orthodox Easter Monday in April, Labor Day (May 1)
Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Athens. The city awakens to a new life from the end of February to the beginning of March.
The temperatures are pleasantly warm, often in the 20s. As many restaurants and cute terrace cafes open their outdoor areas, it is the perfect season to dine outdoors and enjoy the most beautiful time of the year.
Also, the parks are stunning with full of spring blossoms. The flowers are blooming. And the orange trees are bearing juicy oranges.
Walking around the city, you will be amazed by the many sights from ancient buildings and magnificent temples. Visit the Acropolis this time of year without the crowds. You can avoid queues for any attraction or museum to explore the Greek capital without the stress and hassle.
For culture lovers, a visit to the National Archaeological Museum or the Benaki Museum, with its magnificent collection of Greek art, is recommended. The Archaeological Museum also has interesting exhibits on ancient times and cultures. The huge Acropolis Museum (save with this museum bundle) is unmissable and pleasantly quiet in the spring!
If you want to combine culture with shopping, the Monastiraki district and Ermou Street are the places to go, where you can find everything your heart desires!
The mood in spring is exuberant. Visit Athens in spring to enjoy this wonderful atmosphere with the happy, friendly locals instead of tourists.
Contributed by Martina of Places of Juma
Crete is the southernmost Greek island. It starts to heat up much earlier than the north, making it a perfect springtime destination.
The best thing to do in Crete is to spend time on the island’s iconic beaches, such as Seitan Limania and Balos Lagoon. It is still chilly to jump into the water, but some locals do swim. On a bright note, the beaches are not filled with vacationers yet. You can even have a beach all to yourself!
The ideal Crete itinerary includes Chania and Heraklion, with a few villages and a stop in Rethymnon. However, if you only have a short weekend and have to choose between Heraklion or Chania, decide if you want more of a beach vacation (Chania) or a history and culture trip (Heraklion).
Other activities include lighthouse hunting and stopping at the small architectural museums.
Are you looking for more than a fly-and-flop vacation? Then, visit Crete around Greek Easter, when you can see the bonfires burning Judas in effigy outside of every Greek Orthodox Church before the Easter feast with spring lamb and local wine.
The island is easily accessible by bus for the most part. You can also rent a car and travel around Crete independently.
Contributed by Stephanie Craig of History Fangirl
Santorini is one of Greece’s most iconic and beautiful islands. Thanks to fewer crowds and mild weather, spring is an incredible time to visit Santorini.
April and May are the best months as much of the island opens up for the season, starting on April 1. Greek Orthodox Easter typically falls in April, with a weekend full of celebrations throughout the island.
One of the best things to do on the island is to visit Oia. You will find white cave houses, blue-domed churches, and incredible views of the Aegean sea. This picturesque village infamously attracts massive crowds in summer. So spring is an ideal time, warm enough to enjoy a pleasant walk without the crowds.
Another popular activity is a 3-hour hike from Fira to Oia, featuring fantastic views over the Aegean sea. While the Aegean sea tends to be slightly chilly for swimming, the spring weather (on average between 13-23℃) is ideal for hiking.
Beachgoers should not be disappointed yet. It is still possible to enjoy a day out on the water in spring. Catamaran boat cruises take you around the island for incredible sights, including the Akrotiri lighthouse, red beach and the famous Santorini sunsets.
For wine lovers, spring gives another excellent reason to visit Santorini. The local vineyards boast incredible views, with the spring flowers in full bloom. Visiting Santorini wineries will make an unforgettable experience.
Lastly, if you want to visit Santorini on a budget, you will be happy to know that there are excellent shoulder-season hotel deals in the popular villages of Oia and Imerovigli.
Contributed by Amber Hunt of Get Lost in Wanderlust
Weather in Spring: As temperature rises to 20°C (68 °F) in April, so does humidity. Expect a foggy morning and a sunny afternoon.
National Holidays: Revolution Day (March 15), Good Friday, Easter Sunday & Monday in April, Labor Day (May 1), Pentecost Sunday & Monday in May/June.
Are you searching for the perfect European getaway this spring? Look no further than Budapest, Hungary. Nestled along the picturesque banks of the Danube River, Budapest offers history, culture and exciting attractions.
There’s no better time to visit Budapest than the spring season. The weather starts cool in March but increases to balmy temperatures by April. The weather is pleasant and makes outdoor sightseeing more comfortable than in summer.
Budapest offers many things to do (Save with Budapest Card). View the awe-inspiring architecture of the Hungarian Parliament Building and Matthias Church. Make sure to soak up scenic views at Fisherman’s Bastion. Szechenyi thermal baths (VIP pass), Heroes’ Square and Buda Castle are other must-see places in Budapest. Don’t miss heartbreaking memorials at Dohany Street Synagogue and “Shoes On the Danube Bank”. Finally, experience buzzing nightlife at eclectic ruin bars.
You can also catch two critical cultural festivals in spring: the Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Festival and the Budapest Spring Festival. The Sakura Festival celebrates Japanese heritage and culture in time for the gorgeous blooms. The Budapest Spring Festival is a lively two-week celebration featuring live jazz music, theater, food and dancing. It’s affectionately called the “greatest of Hungarian festivals” and is one you don’t want to miss.
Budapest is a city full of history and culture. It also offers beautiful scenery, lively festivals, impressive architecture and a plethora of activities. So, consider visiting Budapest this spring!
Contributed by Jennifer Femrite of Seeking Stamps
Weather in Spring: Still chilly but milder temperature between 3℃ and 7℃ (39-44℉)
National Holidays: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday & Monday in April. First Day of Summer (April 20). Labor Day (May 1). Ascension Day & Whit Monday in May.
Visitors looking for one of the best European destinations in the spring can’t beat Iceland.
After all, spring is the best time to visit Iceland. Not only is the weather milder, with daily highs of 44℉(6.8℃) and daily lows of 39℉ (3℃), but this time of year is shoulder season. Travelers can expect fewer crowds and better prices on hotels and flights when visiting at this time of year.
Note that spring is not a low season. There will still be crowds; however, it will be less crowded with tourists than in the high season.
Additionally, spring is the perfect time for wildlife enthusiasts who love puffins and want to see them in their natural habitat. These adorable creatures typically start arriving in April for their yearly nesting.
Spring is also a great time to make an Iceland road trip since the roads will be clear of snow. Plus, many of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls – such as Skogafoss, Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss – will be at their most impressive since snow melt increases flow rates.
If you plan your visit before the end of March, you could catch the tail end of the Northern Lights. The aurora chasers should consider visiting Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Klambratún, or Laugardalur.
Contributed by Victoria of Iceland Trippers
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Weather in Spring: Pleasant and breezy with the possibility of some rain. Temperatures range from a daily low of 5℃ to a high of 25℃ (41-77°F). Northern Italy can snow in early spring.
National Holidays: Easter Sunday & Monday in April, Liberation Day (April 25), Labor Day (May 1).
Spring is undoubtedly the best time to visit Rome. With temperatures warming up, flowers blooming, and crowds still relatively low, visitors can experience the Eternal City at its best.
The weather in Rome during spring is mild, with average temperatures ranging from 15-22°C (59-72°F), making it perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The pleasant weather also means you can explore the city on foot or by bike without worrying about the scorching heat of the summer months.
Rome in spring is less crowded than in summer. You can visit popular attractions, such as the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums and the Trevi Fountain, without waiting in long lines. Keep in mind, it is still recommended to book tickets in advance for the ticketed monuments, especially on the weekends. (Save with Roma Pass)
Spring is also a great time to enjoy the beauty of the city’s parks and gardens. For example, Villa Borghese is in full bloom during this time of year. Or, pick a range of Spring-related activities in Rome.
One of the most notable festivals in Rome during spring is Easter. As Italy is a catholic country, the locals celebrate this holiday with great enthusiasm. The Holy Week events – including the Pope’s blessing at St. Peter’s Square, the Stations of the Cross procession and the Easter Mass – attract visitors worldwide. Get your free ticket in advance to participate in the Easter festivities at the Vatican.
Contributed By Merryl of Merryl’s Travel and Tricks
Florence in Italy is the birthplace of the Renaissance. The city is filled with artistic treasures that many tourists would fall in love with Florence after their visit.
In spring, Florence enjoys sunny days with temperatures between 13℃ and 25℃. It is a perfect time to explore the numerous museums, cathedrals and landmarks on foot. Because it is also a low season, you will enjoy a more peaceful and quiet experience, whether to stroll in the town center or enter the key attractions without a long line.
If you visit Florence during Easter weekend, check out the Explosion of the Cart, an annual folkloristic event. But note that the city can be more packed for spring.
Cosimo de Medici, the wealthy and powerful ruler of Florence, commissioned artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Da Vinci and Verrocchio to make their marks on many magnificent architectures. The Renaissance masterpieces are manifested in paintings, sculptures, or architectural achievements.
Take the Duomo of Florence as an example. The city’s centerpiece is the most striking building, with the largest brick dome ever constructed in the world until today. At the Accademia Gallery, appreciate Michelangelo’s David. Visit Uffizi, one of the most prestigious art museums in the world, to see the Birth of Venus by Botticelli.
There are so many things to do in Florence that a week or two is required to complete them all. But to cover the highlights, plan a 2-day itinerary in Florence. Most importantly, remember to reserve your ticket well in advance to make the most of your short visit.
Contributed by Kenny of Knycx Journeying
>> Save with Firenze Museum City Pass to access 60 museums.
One of the best European destinations for spring is Venice in Italy. That’s when the costs-weather-crowds ratio is the best out of all the seasons.
The prices of hotels are lower, the weather is mild and pleasant, and the crowds haven’t yet peaked. And yes, some of the lowest hotel prices in Venice are in March and April; the prices go up slightly in May but are still not crazy.
When in Venice, don’t miss out on the gorgeous sunset view. A pier next to the Palazzo Grimani has the most impressive sunset view with the Rialto bridge. As the spring daytime is longer, you can stroll over for dinner after the sunset in March and April. In May, the sun sets around 8:30 pm. Naturally, you can enjoy longer days of exploring and opt for a later dinner.
Before the peak season in summer, the crowds are smaller in Venice in spring. It means more convenient exploring, whether entering the museums or taking Vaporetto.
As for the weather, it can get quite warm during the day. But it is more comfortable and humid than in summer. Better yet, almost no annoying mosquitoes yet!
Venice hosts some notable spring festivals. The first Sunday after Ascension is Vogalonga when about 1,500 boats gather in the lagoon and the canals. On Easter Monday, the city celebrates a street festival with vendors, performers and musicians.
Contributed by Kristine of Wanderlust Designers
Como in Northern Italy is renowned for its vibrant town center, picturesque Lake Como, and the majestic mountains surrounding it.
Spring is the best time to visit Como for several reasons. First and foremost, the weather during this time is pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 8°C to 18°C. Not warm enough for swimming yet, but perfect for walking through the charming streets of the Italian town and hiking in the surrounding mountains.
The blooming wisterias and azaleas flowers and trees create a beautiful sight adding to the overall charm of the place. The crowd level during this time is moderate, making exploring the town easier and going on day trips from Como to the surrounding area.
Visitors can explore historical landmarks such as the Duomo, a magnificent cathedral built in the 14th century. The Villa Olmo is an elegant neoclassical villa surrounded by a beautiful park; take a stroll through the charming cobbled streets and admire the beautiful architecture and colorful buildings in the town center.
One must-do activity is going up the Como-Brunate funicular to the small village above in the mountains. Here, you can see breathtaking views of the Como town below and the impressive mountains around Lake Como.
Another option is to take a boat tour of the lake, which offers breathtaking views of the mountains, other smaller towns and villas.
When dining in Como, visitors can indulge in delicious local specialties, including Risotto alla Milanese and polenta.
The best part about traveling to Como in spring is that you might find some excellent accommodation deals. Imagine staying in a place with panoramic views of the town and the surrounding mountains from your room at 25% less charge than in summer.
Contributed by Una of Wandernity
>> Make a day trip from Milan to Lake Como
Syracuse in Sicily (or Siracusa in Italian) is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the spring. Situated in the southeastern corner of Italy’s most southerly region, the city gets warm earlier than the rest of Europe.
However, it is not just the warm weather Syracuse offers. It boasts a UNESCO-listed old town, a gorgeous coastline, delicious local food and amazing day trips.
The Old Town, called Ortigia, is an island connected to the rest of the city by a bridge. Over 2,500 years old, wandering the ancient streets here to marvel at the historic buildings and castle is a must.
The city also offers a fantastic array of restaurants, shops, cafes and bars – don’t miss watching the sunset over the ocean with an Aperol in hand!
Undoubtedly, one of the top things to do in Sicily is to visit the Syracuse amphitheater. It is one of the largest Greek theaters ever built and can seat up to 15,000 audience members.
In May, the city hosts Sicily’s Greek Theatre festival. This unmissable performing arts festival, one of Italy’s most important classical theatre events, runs for two months.
Since its inception over 50 years ago, the Greek Theatre festival has allowed visitors to watch one of three epic classics in this city’s ancient amphitheater setting at sunset.
If you want to avoid the crowds, heading on a day trip from Syracuse is also a great idea. Top picks include the Barque beauty of Noto and the white sand beach of Fontaine Bianche.
Contributed by Steph Parker of Big World Small Pockets
Weather in Spring: The temperature stays lovely and warm at an average range of 15-23℃ (59-73℉) with fewer rainy days.
National Holidays: Feast of St. Joseph (March 19), Freedom Day (March 31), Good Friday & Easter in April, Labor Day (May 1)
Spring in Malta is a shoulder season with far less tourists than the peak summer months. Also, there are plenty of great places to visit in Malta for an ideal spring break, from exploring dramatic pre-historic ruins to adventurous boat tours.
Some of the most vibrant Maltese festivals and celebrations are held in spring. You can join the colorful processions with musical bands for the feast of St Joseph on March 19 in Rabat and Mdina. The Strawberry Festival at the village of Mgarr celebrates the delicious strawberries grown in and around Malta. You can witness the spectacular fireworks synchronized with live music at the Malta International Fireworks Festival.
The Maltese capital city of Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a long history. St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of the must-visit attractions in this fortified city. The incredibly ornate interior of the 16th-century cathedral is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Europe.
Take a stroll around the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens. You will get a breathtaking panoramic view of the picturesque Grand Harbor and the Three Cities. Don’t forget to watch the daily ceremonial gunfire at noon. You can also hire a traditional Maltese boat to visit the nearby Three Cities.
Contributed by Moumita of Chasing the Long Road
Weather in Spring: Temperatures in Amsterdam typically range from 1-18℃ (35-65°F) with a 20-30% chance of rain.
National Holidays: Good Friday, Easter Sunday & Monday in April, King’s Day (April 27), Liberation Day (May 5), Ascension Day, Whit Sunday & Monday in May.
Lisse is best known for the insanely beautiful tulips in the world-famous Keukenhof Garden. Travelers can easily get to Lisse by public transportation from Amsterdam!
The garden is open annually from late March to mid-May. April is the best month to visit the Keukenhof as the tulips will likely be in full blossom. The weather is around 15°C; you won’t be cold on a sunny day.
While walking around the garden, visitors can experience the latest tulip innovation and dutch gardening skills.
And don’t forget to rent a bike or join a cruise tour to see the flowering bulb fields in the area. Appreciating tulips and getting memorable pictures with the dutch tulip fields is an unforgettable experience!
As the tulip season can attract crowds from all over the world, it is wise to visit the Keukenhof early in the morning on weekdays. Read more tips for visiting Keukenhof in April here.
Contributed by Min of Amsterdam Travel Blog
Weather in Spring: Mild temperature from 5-15℃ (41-59℉), but it rains often.
National Holidays: Easter Monday in April, Labor Day (May 1), Constitution Day in Poland (May 3), Memorial Day (May 29).
Spring is a lively time to visit Krakow to celebrate festivals and the rich history of this beautiful city. The weather in Krakow during spring is mild, and the days are longer. The spring season in the city has fewer crowds.
Krakow hosts the Easter market in the central square, Rynek Glowny. Visitors can enjoy traditional Polish dishes and drinks with music and dance performances and purchase handicrafts, souvenirs and Easter decorations. There are also numerous processions and religious celebrations in Krakow (and all of Poland), including the blessing of the Easter baskets at churches.
Also, the city celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in March with a parade and live music. In April, the Krakow Film Festival takes place, featuring films from around the world. And May brings the Krakow Wine and Food Festival.
Besides the spring festivities, visitors will find many historic landmarks and attractions to explore. (Save with Krakow City Card!)
The Main Market Square and Sukiennice (the old cloth hall), are at the heart of Krakow’s Old Town. The Wawel Castle houses several museums and art galleries.
Krakow also has terrific restaurants serving traditional food. Pod Aniolami or Chlopskie Jadlo serve traditional Polish food. Many “bar mleczny” offer cheap yet delicious Polish food.
For those venturing out, Krakow to Auschwitz tours are a popular day trip choice from Krakow. (Book Auschwitz tour here.)
The Hotel Stary, located in the heart of the city’s Old Town, is a five-star hotel with an elegant spa and stunning rooftop views of the city.
Contributed by Diana of Travels in Poland
Weather in Spring: Sunny with a few days of rain. Temperatures in Lisbon range from 10-22℃ (50-68℉), whereas Porto and Costa Verde are cooler at 7-19℃ (45-66℉).
National Holidays: Good Friday & Easter in April, Freedom Day (April 25), Labor Day (May 1).
Lisbon is the Mediterranean capital city of Portugal. Spring is the best time to strike the perfect balance of less crowds and good weather before the peak season (June to September). You will also get to participate in spring festivals!
In April, Lisbon holds Indie Lisboa, an independent 11-day film festival. The exhibitions play documentaries, shorts and experimental films of all genres and feature Portuguese and international films. The festival has round tables, talks, and events featuring filmmakers, distributors and film critics.
Peixe em Lisboa (“Fish in Lisbon”) is an annual festival held in May devoted to seafood. Head to Eduardo VII Park to taste fish and seafood prepared in various ways by Portuguese and international chefs and restaurants.
If you prefer to visit Lisbon in spring to take advantage of the nice weather and fewer crowds, there’s plenty to keep you busy! (Save with Lisbon Card!)
Join walking tours to discover the city and Lisbon’s history. You can also head to the Praça do Comércio, a large plaza that faces Lisbon’s harbor. And go up the Rua Augusta Arch for the best views of the plaza and harbor.
Stop by Carmo Convent to see ruins from Lisbon’s devastating earthquake in 1755. Then, go to Santa Clara Flea market to find gifts to bring home and wander the beautiful neighborhood of Alfama.
Lastly, you can’t visit Lisbon or Portugal without tasting a pastéis de nata! These Portuguese custard tarts are made of puff pastry filled with egg custard. Manteigaria has the best one.
Contributed by Erin of Pina Travels
Spring is a fantastic time to visit the beautiful coastal town of Lagos in the Algarve region in the south of Portugal.
The Algarve is known for its beaches, rugged limestone cliffs, and crystal-clear water. The weather is pleasant all year round, with more than 300 sunny days.
Temperatures start rising in March, making spring a great time to spend in the ocean. To swim and sunbathe on a classic Algarve beach, visit Dona Ana beach, where limestone pinnacles stick out. For surf lessons, head to Porto de Mos.
Spring is also the season for boat tours and other water activities. Dolphin watching, kayak tours and boat excursions take place from the Lagos Marina.
Your visit to Lagos would not be complete without visiting miss Benagil cave and the famous Ponta da Piedade cape. Hiking Ponta da Piedade is recommended to appreciate the breathtaking scenery along the walking trails in moderate spring weather.
Lastly, take advantage of a pleasantly warm spring day to walk around the charming historical center of Lagos with its narrow cobbled streets, squares, restaurants and shops.
Contributed by Alya of Stingy Nomads
Sintra is a magical place to visit in the spring. The castles appear mystical in the mountain fog. The sun is warm, but the breeze is cool. You won’t have to fight the crowds when soaking up sunny days in the nearby beach towns. It is hard not to fall in love with the city in spring, with its hilly cobblestone streets, cute shops, greenery and castles.
A perfect day at Sintra in spring starts with hiking up to the Moorish Castle while it is not too hot. You can spend an afternoon meandering around the gorgeous grounds of Quinta da Regaleira.
Then, visit the colorful Pena Palace in the late afternoon to avoid ticket lines. To get to the iconic Pena Palace, you may walk, take a tuk-tuk, or hop on the Sintra Tourist Train just outside the central train station.
To satiate your appetite, grab a hot chocolate or gelato at Alba Gelato, depending on the weather. And head to Dom Pipas for a delicious authentic Portuguese lunch or dinner.
For beachgoers, the 40-minute tram ride can take you to Praia das Maçãs, a beautiful beach with various cafes and restaurants. Getting a seat on the Sintra Tram is easy in spring when it is far less crowded.
Contributed by Michelle Schomp of Passport Explorers
Weather in Spring: Temperatures rise from 5-15℃ (41-59℉) in March to 10-22℃ (50-72℉) by May. Northern Spain sees heavy rains in early spring.
National Holidays: Good Friday in April, Labor Day (May 1).
Barcelona, the Catalan capital, is an all-year-round fantastic destination. But spring is the best time to visit Barcelona.
While northern and central Europe are still covered in a blanket of snow, spring comes early in Barcelona. As it gets sunny and warm, you can sit outside on a terrace and enjoy a cool drink while marveling at the Mediterranean Sea.
The Catalonia region celebrates the Sant Jordi Festival in April, often called Catalan Valentine’s Day.
This unique Catalan holiday, dating far back in tradition, is centered around books and love. You can spot buildings decorated with red roses – such as the famous Gaudí building Casa Batlló – all over the city. Also, the book stalls in the city center invite you to take long walks.
Another highlight in spring is Semana Santa, the Spanish Easter week. This week, you can buy colorfully-decorated Catalan Easter cake, Mona de Pascua, all over the city.
If you come to Barcelona in early spring, don’t miss out on a traditional Calçotada. The fried calçots (Catalan spring onions) are a tasty traditional food enjoyed every year with friends or family. You can find many delicious restaurants participating in and around the city.
Contributed by Vicki Viaja
Spring is the time to visit the heart of Andalucia, the province of Cordoba in Southern Spain.
Cordoba does not get much attention it deserves. But the city boasts three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Mosque of Cordoba, the Historic Center and the Medina Azahara. And one UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage event: is the Cordoba Fiesta de los Patios (patio festival).
The Patio Festival is a massive patio competition in spring, where every little town and village showcases their prettiest patios with colorful pot plants, flowers, elegant fountains and decorative statues.
To take part in the patio contests, the patio must belong to a privately owned house that is inhabited. You can only imagine how much love and pride these locals put into their work in creating such beautiful spaces before opening up their impressive patios to the public.
You should spend at least one day in Cordoba so that you have enough time to enjoy the patios and visit the city’s attractions. Some incredible attractions include the Cathedral-Mosque, the Alcazar de los Reyes Romanos, the Roman Bridge, and the Jewish neighborhood and synagogue.
If you have more than a day, there are many incredible villages in Cordoba’s Subbeticas region.
The picturesque hilltop village of Zuheros boasts epic hike routes with splendid spring blooms and the Cueva de los Murcielagos. Cabra is also charming with its traditional neighborhoods of whitewashed houses and colorful pot plants hanging off the walls. The traditional hilltop village of Iznajar matches no other with its spring patios. Priego de Cordoba, the city of water, lights up as the patios open to the public.
Contributed by Linn Haglund of Amused by Andalucia
Spring is undoubtedly the best time to visit Valencia. The weather is mild and pleasant, with maximum temperatures over 20ºC on most days and night temperatures in the two digits. It’s not too hot or cold, making it the perfect time to go sightseeing, wander around the streets and squares and visit the parks.
In March, Valencia celebrates Las Fallas (special category ticket here), a 19-day celebration where the city is filled with giant sculptures and installations made from wood and expanded polystyrene. The festival ends with the burning of these structures, which is super impressive to see and memorable.
Another notable festival is Semana Santa Marinera in April, taking place in the neighborhood of El Cabanyal. Unlike other Easter festivities in Spain, this unique celebration involves several colorful processions, mournful music and eye-catching pointy hats.
Valencia in spring is not crowded, with the exception of Las Fallas. You can explore the city without bumping into many tourists, which allows a more relaxing experience.
Also, accommodations are more affordable in spring than in summer, providing you with more leeway to manage your budget. You could stay in the coveted Old Town, one of the best areas to stay in Valencia, without breaking the bank.
Contributed by Valencia Revealed
Mesmerizing Seville in Spain is among the prettiest cities in Europe. The capital of Andalusia is known for its grand architecture, lovely parks, picturesque squares, romantic streets and beautiful gardens.
But Seville gets magical in spring when approximately 10,000 bitter orange trees adorn the streets.
The orange trees bloom with a sweet and refreshing scent from mid-March for three weeks. Strolling the flowers-filled parks and square is one of the best things to do in Seville in spring.
Seville’s Magdalena square, the Alameda de Hercules square, and the Patio de Banderas square are popular spots in Seville to enjoy the delightful scent of orange trees. And the flowery Gardens of Plaza de America, the Gardens of Alcazar, and Parque Maria Luisa are some of the loveliest places to visit in Seville in spring. Add to this al fresco dining in tapas bars in Seville, and you will fall in love with the city!
Besides the magical spring blossoms, Sevill’s Feria de Abril (Seville April Fair) also happens in spring. Feria de Abril is among the most spectacular events in Spain.
Seville gets exceptionally vibrant during the one-week-long Feria de Abril. For the event, a thousand tents and an amusement park with roller coasters are set along the bank of the Guadalquivir River. Traditional flamenco music and parades of Andalusian horse carriages are essential parts of the Fair.
Sevillanos dress in elegant suits, while Sevillanas wear traditional flamenco dresses for the Fair. They socialize, sing, dance, eat, and have fun at the Fair!
Contributed by Milijana of World Travel Connector
Malaga, located in southern Spain, is a fantastic spring destination. The city enjoys mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, so it is a perfect season for outdoor activities, including sightseeing, hiking trails, day trips and cultural events.
No visit to Malaga is complete without visiting La Alcazaba fortress. It is one of the most important historic buildings in the city, offering breathtaking views.
Spring’s pleasant weather makes hiking another great activity. There are many beautiful hiking trails near the city. Montes de Malaga Natural Park is a lovely site to go for a picnic while offering diverse hiking routes suitable for all ages and levels. El Caminito del Rey is another incredible hiking trail where travelers can enjoy spectacular views of cliffs, canyons and valleys.
For those who prefer exploring quaint towns and villages, Malaga is home to some of Spain’s most beautiful whitewashed towns, such as Frigiliana.
Also, visitors to Malaga at the beginning of April can enjoy the passionate religious parades in the center of Malaga.
Contributed by Cristina of My Little World of Travelling
UK & Ireland
Weather in Spring: In London, daily highs range from 12-18°C (53-64°F) with lows from 6-13°C (43-55°F).
National Holidays: Good Friday & Easter Monday in April. Early May Bank Holiday & Spring Bank Holiday in May. Schools go on Easter holidays for two weeks.
London in the springtime is the most magical time of the year for flower lovers, with a continuous parade of spring flowers blooming across the city between March and May.
In March, swathes of daffodils and crocuses cover the lawns of London’s parks, such as St. James’s Park or Ham House gardens in Richmond.
Then, tulips spring up in April. The tulip displays in Victoria Embankment Gardens and Holland Park rival those in The Netherlands.
In mid-April, cherry blossoms start blooming, covering the streets of Kensington and Chelsea in pink confetti.
In May, the purple wisteria starts blooming, framing the charming houses of London in a purple haze. The best wisteria walk is along Chiswick Mall, with many houses boasting wisteria more than 100 years old.
There is also a wonderful hidden garden in Richmond Park called Isabella Plantation, which becomes completely pink at the beginning of May when its rhododendrons and azaleas bloom.
At the end of May, the Chelsea Flower Show is on, alongside the free Chelsea in Bloom festival, where florists deck the shopfronts out in impressive themed displays.
No matter which week you visit during springtime, some magic will happen in London’s gardens and parks.
Contributed by Hannah of Art Distance
Pembrokeshire in southwest Wales is a picturesque coastal county and one of the best European destinations to visit in spring. While Welsh weather is unpredictable, spring often sees soft sunshine and warmer days.
Featuring sprawling beaches, cliff-top walks and historic castles, Pembrokeshire has something for every interest.
Hikers can enjoy numerous paths in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, one of Wales’s three national parks. History lovers can discover Welsh myths and legends at various archaeological sites, from neolithic to medieval. Folly Farm is fun for all the family while riding the rollercoasters at Oakwood Theme Park makes for a great day out. Use one of Pembrokeshire’s coastal towns as a base for your trip and choose between Tenby, Saundersfoot and Fishguard, which boast colorful fishermen’s houses and charming harbors.
Spring is also the best time to see Welsh wildlife. Most wildlife boat trips depart Britain’s smallest city, St David’s, and go to the protected Ramsey and Grassholm Islands, where thousands of seabirds migrate to nest. Puffins can be found on Skomer Island between April and July, while other animals, such as dolphins and minke whales, can be spotted in the waters off Cardigan Bay during this time.
Pembrokeshire is easily accessible by car, with the journey from London taking around 4 hours. It is also possible to take the train to Haverfordwest railway station or use public buses connecting many towns. (Or, join this 5-Day Wales and the South West tour.)
Contributed by Lucy of Thoroughly Travel
North of mainland Scotland is a group of islands called the Outer Hebrides. The scenery and beaches are the most impressive you will find anywhere in Scotland – and probably the UK.
Many beaches, such as Luskentyre and Berneray beach, are often listed amongst the best beaches in Europe in Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor rankings, but they are nevertheless little visited.
While ferries run to several locations on the Outer Hebrides, the unique way to get there is to fly to Barra, the world’s only runway on a tidal beach. From there, you can make a road trip through the islands ending in Stornoway in Lewis.
Lewis has several beaches near Stornoway on the west coast. At a beautiful beach in Uig, you will also find the hotel (Uig Sands Rooms) and restaurant (Uig Sands Restaurant) with the best view in the Outer Hebrides. And don’t miss The Edge Café; it is worth a visit for its fantastic views out over the cliffs to the Atlantic Ocean!
While in Lewis, visit the Callanish stones; it is similar to but older than Stonehenge. And in May, you can catch the Midnight Sun music festival at Lewis Castle in Stornoway.
Spring is the best time to visit since these months have the most hours of sunshine. Also, it is before the busier summer period, so you will often have the beaches and walks to yourself. Although midges are less of a problem than on the mainland, you can avoid these dreaded little creatures altogether in spring.
Contributed by Kristin of Scotland Less Explored
Visiting Dublin in spring is undoubtedly a magical experience. The capital city of Ireland comes alive with the warmer weather.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin is like nowhere else. The entire city is buzzing with Irish pride and many events leading up to the day in March. Dublin celebrates the holiday for an entire week before a massive parade on the 17th.
Legend has it; the leprechauns can’t see you if you’re wearing green, so ensure you pack enough green. Otherwise, locals may pinch you as punishment for not wearing any green.
Even if St Patrick’s Day isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of other activities in Dublin.
You can take a River Liffey cruise for an amazing view. Or, join a Guinness Factory tour or learn more about Dublin Castle through a walking tour. Stroll through Trinity College and see some iconic architecture before visiting the beautiful Book of Kells. Grab a bite to eat and see live music at the Church, a church-turned-pub with history inside to explore.
Spring may still feel chilly, so bundle up warm to explore this beautiful city! Also, wear comfortable shoes so you can easily walk on the cobblestone streets.
Contributed by Pamela of The Directionally Challenged Traveler