While most people visit Europe during the summer, there’s something about the crisp air of spring that makes plenty of destinations in the Old Continent a whole lot better. Other reasons to visit Europe in the spring include lower prices for travelers and fewer crowds in major destinations. Rest assured, it is easy to visit Europe during this time of the year.
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The Best Cities in Europe to Visit in Spring
From cities that are blanketed in cherry blossoms to beach destinations that are usually packed at any other time of the year, here are some of the best cities to visit in Europe in the spring away from the crowds.
1. Bonn, Germany
Set in Germany, Bonn isn’t exactly a hub for tourism compared to places like Berlin or Cologne. However, spring brings a wonderland of cherry blossoms that make this city worth a trip.
Back in the 1980s, cherry blossoms were planted all over Bonn as part of a redevelopment program, and they continue to blanket the city once spring arrives.
The ultimate places to see the trees in full bloom are the Nordtrads neighborhood, Maxstraße, Michaelstraße, and Dorotheenstraße. You’ll want to be sure to make it your mission to cover all of them during your visit!
2. Seville, Spain
As the capital of the Andalucia region in Southern Spain, Seville had to make the list of the best cities in Europe to visit in spring. It is one of the best places to visit for history, stunning architecture, and delicious food and wine.
This Spanish city sees beautiful sunny weather pretty much year-round. However, during the spring, temperatures are mild and ideal for walking around and exploring Seville. Not to mention the entire Andalucia region is host to plenty of fun festivals you can include on your itinerary!
Seville may look like any other city in Spain at first glance. However, its streets are full of incredible architecture that depicts all the different cultures that have reigned the city throughout the centuries. Mudejar architecture is probably the most interesting to see here, as it showcases the prevalence of Muslim influence during the Islamic rule of Spain.
3. Stockholm, Sweden
While Sweden may not be the first place that pops to mind when you think of cities in Europe to visit in spring, Stockholm, its capital, is actually one of the best places to be during this time of the year for its beauty!
Not only is Stockholm an incredibly exciting city year-round, but during the spring months, the entire city is blanketed in pastel hues. This happens when cherry blossoms begin to bloom.
One of the best places to see them is at Kungsträdgården. This is one of the oldest parks in the city and is located right behind the Royal Palace.
If you happen to be visiting Stockholm in lake April, Kungsträdgården is host to Körsbärsblommans Dag. This festival celebrates cherry blossoms and both locals and tourists are welcome to take part!
4. Colmar, France
Located in the Alsace region in northeast France. Colmar is a picturesque little town filled with colorful houses and incredible waterways. These are what earned it the name of La Petite Venise or Little Venice, in reference to the popular Italian city and its iconic gondolas.
It’s the perfect place to take motorized rowboat tours down the waterway. This waterway is lined with the prettiest quaint house and buildings, which, in turn, boast perfectly trimmed shrubbery.
A stroll through the charming town’s cobblestoned streets is also a pleasure. There are nice dining options and cafes along the way as well as an extraordinary market where you can find all kinds of goodies and the perfect gifts to take home. Be sure to try the tarte flambee during your visit!
During the spring, especially around Easter, Colmar also hosts plenty of spring markets. These outdoor events are a great way to sample local wine and cheese and other treats representative of the region’s culinary history.
5. Lagos, Portugal
Lagos is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and for good reasons. It is considered the gateway to the Algarve region in southern Portugal. Spring breaks are a wonderful time to visit in order to avoid the huge crowds and scorching temperatures that happen in the summer.
Beach hopping is one of the great things to do in Lagos. However, you’ll also enjoy spending a few hours checking out its unique historical attractions. You can also go on hikes in search of secluded stretches of sand to call your own (make sure to hike up to the picturesque sea stacks of Ponte da Piedade!).
6. Zug, Switzerland
Zug is nicknamed “the cherry country of Switzerland”. This may very well clue you in on why it’s such a great spring destination to visit in Europe!
Although small, Zug is absolutely gorgeous and is located right next to a lake. Its location makes it as idyllic as it gets and also offers plenty of opportunities to head out on an adventure in nature.
During the spring months, tons of cherry blossoms bloom all over the streets in Zug. So much so, that they become blanketed in them, making a stroll through the city an absolute treat and the best way to enjoy them.
As if that weren’t enough, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails on the outskirts of town. Here you’ll get to spot even more of them while also getting to enjoy the picture-perfect nature that surrounds this Swiss gem.
7. Murcia, Spain
Murcia sees over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year and warm water on its beaches. This makes it one of the best cities in Europe to visit in spring if you would rather avoid the chilly temperatures that cities further north see during these months.
This Mediterranean city is a true gem. Despite its location in coastal Spain, it’s not nearly as visited as more popular places in the Costa Calida region. This is a bonus as it means crowds will be almost non-existent!
The city boasts a pretty rich history. There is plenty of architecture that dates all the way back to the Bronze Age as well.
During your visit, you’ll get to spend hours on end enjoying some serious beach time, strolling through centuries-old streets while admiring historical buildings. Don’t forget to get your fill of tapas and sangrias at the many bars that dot the city center.
8. Paris, France
Even though it may sound a bit cliché, a trip to Paris is always a good idea. During the springtime, it truly is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe!
Come spring, Paris is blanketed with fresh flowers. This adds a variety of colors to a city that is already world-renowned for its striking beauty. There are literally flowers everywhere – on building facades, balconies, and even on major attractions! A day spent in the city can be the perfect spring day!
Spring also means mild temperatures. These temperatures make it a great time to stroll through the city’s neighborhoods without having to deal with the crowds from the summer months.
As a bonus, if you happen to be visiting Paris in May, you can also enjoy a very special time in the City of Lights that is known as “Nuit des Musee”. During this time, plenty of major museums and galleries open their doors during the evening. Doing this gives you the chance to experience them in a very unique way, and with fewer tourists!
If you find yourself in Paris during the spring and want to escape the city, don’t miss these day trips from Paris by train!
9. Riga, Latvia
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is incredibly underrated but it makes for the ideal spring destination in Europe. Once April creeps in and sunny days start to become a thing again, the city really comes to life!
You’ll see people spending time outside enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather. This is the season for the cherry blossom trees, making it one of the best times to enjoy the gorgeous city. A great place to admire the blossoms is Uzvaras Park!
Aside from simply sitting at a café people-watching, one of the best things Riga has to offer is its historical sites. St. Peter Cathedral, the House of the Blackheads, the Three Brothers, and the Corner House are all attractions you can visit in the city center.
10. Prague, Czech Republic
Even though it’s still relatively chilly, Prague makes for a perfect destination to welcome the season.
Temperatures can still be cool, but the skies are usually sunny. This makes days perfect to walk around and explore the many attractions the city has to offer.
Its streets are simply lovely and you’ll have a wonderful time enjoying the many things to do in Prague. Activities such as walking over Charles Bridge, checking out Prague Castle, and admiring St. Vitus Cathedral. Don’t miss the Prague Astronomical Clock, and walking around Old Town Square, sans the crowds.
Moreover, Prague is a wonderful city no matter the time of the year. The pleasant weather brings in a truly unique festival that is perfect for those who prefer the fall season – Walpurgis Night, or Witches’ Night.
This festival may sound like something that should be taking place in October, but it’s actually a spring thing in Prague! The event is based on the tradition of burning the image of the goddess of winter in order to bid the colder months farewell. All over the city, you’ll find huge bonfires, live music, and plenty of food to celebrate the date!
Book Your Flights – You can find discounted fares using sites like Momondo or Skyscanner. If you want to keep an eye on discount fares, we suggest signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights, a daily newsletter with flight sales around the world.
If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. It’s nice to have a space where you can relax before your flight.
Book Your Accommodation
We regularly use Expedia.com and Hotels.com to find lodging when we travel. It’s a great way to compare vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.
If your family knows they want to stay in a vacation rental, we recommend looking at VRBO and Plum Guide.
Book Your Transportation
For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. We tend to use Hertz simply for the quality of service. If you need airport transfers, we recommend Welcome Pickups.
When traveling in Europe, we use AutoEurope to make our bookings. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. Europcar is another option.
Book Your Tours and Travel Photos
We regularly used companies like Viator and GetYourGuide to book tours when we travel. Both have great communication and a large variety of activities that work for all ages. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.
If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City. Both are worthwhile investments.
Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities. The former teacher in me loves their tours. For unique, curated activities, check out Headout.
One of our favorite things to do annually is taking photos with Flytographer. They have photographers around the world and we’ve used them on four separate occasions. This is our favorite travel souvenir.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
With the state of travel these days, it’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. We always travel with insurance and would recommend SquareMouth, Travelex, or Medjet as good options. And if you want to compare different insurance options, use Travel Insurance Master or World Nomads to find the best policy for your group.