Shorter queues, cherry blossom and plenty of excellent weather: the shoulder season of springtime is one of the best times to visit Europe in the entire year. Escape to historic attractions without the crowds, marvel at the tulips at their very best, and see the sights that make the continent such a worthwhile destination for yourself. Here’s your ultimate guide to the very best spring destinations in Europe you should consider for your next getaway!
Pretty all year round, Bergamo is best enjoyed in the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) thanks to intense heat during the summer months. Head to this pretty little Italian city in the late spring to ensure that all attractions will be open and that you can still avoid the crowds that inevitably flock here later in the year. And with one of the largest international airports in Italy just half an hour from the city centre, Bergamo makes for the perfect city break without breaking the bank!
Read more: Our one week in Northern Italy Travel Guide.
The fairytale town of Hallstatt in Austria is almost too pretty to be real. Almost! Picture perfect at any time of the year, the Austrian city really comes to life during springtime when the cherry blossom is blooming and a glass mirror lake reflects the entire scene back at you. Camera at the ready!
There’s only one word for Amsterdam in Spring, and that word is ‘tulips‘. While Amsterdam is always worth a visit, this is especially so in and around April when the iconic flowers are in full bloom. Head to Amsterdam in the springtime to visit the city with fewer tourists around and to enjoy the beauty of canals surrounded by greenery.
Read more: 10 Reasons to Visit Amsterdam.
After a chilly winter, Spring in Sweden is a welcome break from the harsh weather and colder months. In order to maximise the amount of spring greenery you’ll see in the Swedish capital, make sure to visit from April onwards. Highlights of visiting Stockholm include the Bergius Botanical Gardens, cycling paths, and hiking trails up and out of the city.
Bustling and busy, although there is never any guarantee of good weather when it comes to the UK, spring is a great time to visit England’s capital, London. Mews streets are always worth a wander down when the wisteria comes out, and spring blossom is abundant in the city’s many expansive parks (Regent’s Park and Hyde Park to name but a few). Head to England’s capital in the spring for fewer queues and generally cheaper prices when it comes to accommodation costs.
Greek islands are always worth a visit and Paros is no exception. Filled with history, great food and a horizon filled with the endless expanse of the ocean, this Greek island is best visited earlier in the year, and before the intense heat of the summer months. Head to Paros in late spring to experience a sea warm enough to swim in and plenty of pretty greenery against the backdrop of a Greek paradise.
Daffodil fields, spring blossom and oodles of green space: Düsseldorf makes for the perfect weekend getaway for those wishing to experience nature in a city environment. There are cherry blossom trees everywhere you look, and the ‘longest bar in the world’ (the nickname for the old town of the German city owing to its abundance of pubs and bars in a small area) in the heart of the city. Head to Kaiserswerth to see the ruins of a castle and to one of Duesseldorf’s many museums if you want to soak up a little culture.
Sun, sun, sun, and more sun. If you want to visit one of the very best Spring destinations in Europe and be guaranteed some good weather, then you need to look no further than the Spanish city of Seville. Filled with Roman ruins, pretty architecture, and plenty of Spanish cuisine, you can’t go wrong by heading to the vibrant city ASAP. And in April, the Feria de Abril is held; a spring festival that’s perfect for those wishing to experience Spanish culture on a deeper level.
Located on the fringes of Lac Lemond, Lausanne is a pretty Swiss city best known for its involvement in the Winter Olympics. Head to the centre of the city, and you’ll find what is purportedly the most beautiful example of Gothic architecture in Switzerland in the form of Lausanne Cathedral, plenty of unique museums, and stunning views onto the snow-capped Alps that dominate the area.
Read more: Most Beautiful Places in Switzerland.
If you’re looking for a beautiful and cultural city break, then head to Dublin this springtime. After bad weather throughout much of the winter, there’s finally the chance for some sunny rays in the Irish capital. Added to the sunny weather, you’ll find a city bustling with activity. After all, there’s St Patrick’s day to be celebrated, a Music festival by the name of ‘MusicTown’ to attend, and plenty of other cultural festivals to enjoy (think literary, dance, and flower events).
As one of the most underrated European capitals, Bucharest often misses out on much of the press it deserves in favour of nearby capital cities of Budapest and Sofia. If you want to head a little further off the beaten tourist track this spring, then consider a visit to the Bucharest capital. Highlights of Bucharest in the spring include all of the new year’s greenery, walks through the city’s expansive parks, and the chance for some warm(ish) weather.
Read more: Best Things to do in Bucharest, Romania.
The pretty seaside city of Porto enjoys moderate temperatures all year ’round, meaning that it makes for a perfect weekend escape throughout all seasons. However, with spring in Porto, comes warmer and drier weather than in the winter, as well as fewer tourists than in the summer. Spring also announces the arrival of longer days, meaning that terraces across the city are open and ready to welcome those wishing to enjoy a beverage outside.
The stunning university town of Pavia is located just south of Milan and is well worth a visit. Filled with cobbled lanes, plenty of pizzerias and a Duomo Da Vinci himself had a hand in designing, you can’t go wrong by dedicating a couple of days to explore every inch and little alleyway of this ancient settlement. After all, one of the very best times to visit Pavia is in the spring when the blossom is out and birdsong fills the air.
Searching for spring blossom? Perhaps you want to snap some pretty photos, or maybe you merely want to see what all the hype is about when it comes to searching for cherry blossom trees in Europe. Whatever the reason, you must head to the charming Germany city of Bonn. Best known for its Beethoven House (the composer was born here), the west of Rhine city even boasts avenues planted with cherry blossom trees (particularly in the Nordstadt neighbourhood).
Visit the city of love in the spring and you can expect to find cherry blossom and other flowering plants around nearly every corner. Of all the best spring destinations in Europe on this list Paris may well be my favourite (and not just because I’ve actually lived there!) While ‘Paris is always a good idea’ no matter what the season, there’s no denying that it’s a lot easier to visit the city’s best attractions with fewer tourists around…
The city of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, has long been famous thanks to its Little Mermaid Statue, stunning architecture and colourful portside views. Head to Copenhagen during the spring in order to experience flea markets, food stalls, and more cherry blossom than you could ever wish for.
Full of history and by the sea, the Northern Polish town of Gdansk is filled with museums, 17th-century lookalike Dutch-style architecture and all the pierogis you could ever ask for. Head to Gdansk if you’re a history buff, or simply because you’re searching for a hidden gem of a city that’s easy to reach from central Europe. Plus, fancy seeing more castles this year? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place! Malbork Castle is located just an hour’s train ride from Gdansk and is the largest castle in the entire world (by land area!)
Read more: Malbork Castle Easy Day Trip from Gdansk.