Are you planning a spring break in Europe? Check out the best guide to spring break destinations in Europe, from Italy to Russia and everything in between.
Europe is the perfect place to visit in Spring as the weather starts to warm up but the heat is not intense and the towns and cities are not flooded with tourists.
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- 1 The Best Spring Break Destinations in Europe
- 2 Strasbourg, France
- 3 Paris, France
- 4 Provence, France
- 5 Athens, Greece
- 6 Crete, Greece
- 7 Istanbul, Turkey
- 8 Lake Bled, Slovenia
- 9 Cinque Terre, Italy
- 10 Matera, Italy
- 11 Rome, Italy
- 12 Alghero, Sardinia
- 13 Lake Como, Italy
- 14 Costa del Sol, Spain
- 15 Tenerife, Spain
- 16 Oxford, England
- 17 Bourton-on-the-Water, England
- 18 Dublin, Ireland
- 19 Scotland
- 20 Budapest, Hungary
- 21 Kotor, Montenegro
- 22 Iceland
- 23 Algarve, Portugal
- 24 St Petersburg, Russia
- 25 Vienna, Austria
- 26 My BEST Travel Resources
The Best Spring Break Destinations in Europe
24 travel bloggers came together to compile a list of their favourite spring destinations in Europe.
Elisa, Travel France Bucket list
Strasbourg is a great place to visit in spring. Located in Eastern France, not far from the border with Germany, the capital of Alsace and the Grand Est region has beautiful architecture, interesting museums, and a good choice of hotels and restaurants.
Also, Strasbourg is an excellent base for exploring the picturesque villages of Alsace and other exciting sites nearby on a day trip.
In spring, the temperature in Strasbourg is ideal, before it gets too hot in June. Also, spring is a quiet time to visit the city before the summer crowds arrive.
The list of best things to do in Strasbourg includes the gothic cathedral of Notre Dame de Strasbourg, the picturesque neighborhood of La Petite France, the European neighborhood, the History Museum of Strasbourg.
If the weather is good, climb up to the tower of Notre Dame for the best view of Strasbourg. When the sky is clear, it is possible to see also the Black Forest in Germany! Spring is also a good time for a boat tour through the Ill River or a bike tour.
Strasbourg is well connected with Paris by TGV trains (count on taking it 2 hours from Gare de l’Est) and many cities in Germany, like Frankfurt or Manheim. For your stay in Strasbourg, I recommend the Hotel Cathédrale, with great views of the impressive monument.
Lena, Salut from Paris
You will find a city that is full of excitement. Life is happening outside and you can feel how Paris wakes up from a long hibernation. If you are lucky enough to visit Paris during springtime, do it like the Parisians: enjoy a glass of wine on a terrace or take a sunny afternoon walk along the Seine.
If you are visiting Paris in April, you’ll find the city in full bloom. Expect beautiful Magnolias that are transforming the Jardin du Palais Royal into a pink sea and the perfect cherry blossom photo motive at the beautiful bookstore Shakespeare & Company.
And don’t forget about all the sights! The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and all the other famous landmarks in Paris are of course worth a visit no matter the season. However, taking a cruise on the Seine is a special highlight in spring, both due to the sunny weather and the especially nice view you have from a cruise ship on Paris.
When traveling to Paris, most visitors are dreaming of a hotel near the Eiffel Tower. But to share an insider tip: the area around Paris most famous sight is not that interesting. For experiencing an authentic Parisian atmosphere, the Marais or Saint-Germain-des-Près are great areas to stay in Paris.
Patricia, Ze Wandering Frogs
The region of Provence in the South of France is probably one of the best places to visit in Europe in the spring. Why? Because the weather features moderate temperatures with high chances of sunny days. The summer crowd is absent. Wildflowers are blooming. What’s not to like?
Provence is packed with things to do and for all expectations. City dwellers will enjoy cities like Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and Nice, which are good hubs to start your Provence explorations. History buffs will head to Avignon and Arles to explore sites dated back to the Romans. Food enthusiasts will savor Mediterranean cuisine, including the famous bouillabaisse and ratatouille.
Outdoor adventurers will love hiking in the Alps or ride horses in the Camargue wetlands. Water sports fanatics are in for a treat: scuba-diving, kiteboarding, and sailing are popular activities in the Mediterranean Sea, while white-water rafting and kayaking can be done in numerous rivers and lakes like in the Verdon Gorge.
Any Provence itinerary should include at least one of the Luberon villages; many considered some of France’s most beautiful villages. Stop at Roussillon, famous for its ochre mountains, or at the nearby perched village of Gordes for the Vaucluse hills’ incredible views.
The best way to visit Provence is to rent a car for more flexibility to explore at your pace. Don’t over-plan your trip, but make for some downtime to soak in the beauty of the landscape.
Spend the nights in budget camping, or treat yourself to unique lodging like the Moulin de Maître Cornille windmill, a Medieval castle, a houseboat, or a floating cabin at the Domain Coucoo Grands Cépages in the heart of the vineyards of Châteauneuf du Pape.
Chrysoula, Athens and Beyond
Springtime is one of the best times to visit Athens as there are blue skies, sunshine, and daily temperatures averaging 16ºC. Athens is at its best with scarlet poppies and daisies growing at the foot of the archaeological monuments. Exploring the archaeological sites is fun, as is walking up Lycabettus Hill to admire the view and strolling amongst the pine trees of Philopappou Hill.
March is carnival time and everyone is in a festive mood for the seven days of parades and parties. Monday 15 March, is Green Monday when everyone enjoys a vegetarian picnic in the sunshine. It marks the start of the 40 days of Lent when most people will be observing the fast. It is a tradition for everyone to fly kites on Green Monday and the local shops have plenty – the acrobatic ones are particularly challenging!
Enjoy the springtime weather by hiring a bicycle and finding your way to Mikrolimano, a small harbor close to Pireaus, known for its excellent fish tavernas. There are plenty of seasonal dishes to sample in Athens and a visit to a bakery will tempt you with Easter biscuits and Halva. – a delicious semolina sweet.
The easiest way to travel to Athens is to fly. There are many flights from regional airports all over Europe. Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is situated 40 minutes from the city center and there are regular trains ( Metro Line 3) to Syntagma Square.
The Elia Ermou Athens Hotel is a stylish and comfortable hotel and conveniently situated just a short distance from the Metro station.
Annabel, Smudged Postcard
Crete is a fabulous island to visit at any time of year but springtime is particularly special. The meadows and hillsides are awash with colour – wildflowers are everywhere. The weather is warm but not so hot to make sightseeing hard work. There are some excellent attractions on the island which are worth exploring including the archaeological site of Knossos.
If you visit Crete at Easter, there are special traditions – roasted lamb, painted eggs and special Easter biscuits. The bars and restaurants of Chania and Rethymnon are packed with locals rather than tourists at this time of year.
Spring is a great time of year to explore the outdoors in Crete. There are some incredible hikes on the island including some beautiful gorges which are best visited outside of the summer heat.
If you’re visiting Crete with kids, spring is the best time to go. The sea might not be warm enough for a dip, but it’s perfect weather for playing in the sand and enjoying the sunshine.
Spring in Crete lends itself well to a road trip – the landscape is lush and there is still snow on the mountaintops so it’s a very scenic time of year to visit. Flying into Chania in the west and Heraklion in the west is a good way to make the most of what the island has to offer. Accommodation in spring is cheaper than in the summer months and restaurants are not as busy.
Milia Mountain Retreat is a particularly special place to stay offering traditional Cretan hospitality, excellent cuisine and traditional accommodation in an outstanding setting.
Roxanne, Faraway Worlds
Once the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire, Istanbul has a storied history spanning thousands of years. With distinctive Ottoman architecture, historical mosques and churches and modern restaurants and bars, Istanbul is a vibrant and lively city, encompassing both Eastern and Western cultures.
Spring is an especially lovely time to visit the city – the local parks are filled with flowers, the weather is pleasant (and not as hot and humid as it gets later in the summer), and the main tourist attractions are relatively uncrowded. It’s a perfect time to visit the famous Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque sites and the grounds of Topkapi Palace are especially beautiful this year.
While you’re in the city, be sure to head to the Grand Bazaar, one of the most visited sites in the world. During shoulder season, it’s slightly quieter, however it will still be bustling with a range of stores. The nearby Spice Bazaar is also enchanting with a large range of spices and food products. Just be sure to avoid the Spice Bazaar just before festival days as it can get incredibly crowded! Otherwise, visiting is a wonderful experience for visitors of all ages.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Istanbul, the old town is very convenient to the majority of the tourist sites, while areas south of Taksim offer great food and shopping options. If you’re looking for a luxurious option and don’t mind splurging a little, try Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, a 19th century Ottoman Palace in the romantic Beşiktaş area.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Tom & Zi, Craving Adventure
Lake Bled in Slovenia is one of those fairy tale-like destinations that you see in pictures and then think to yourself “This can’t be real!”. Well, we can assure you that it is most definitely real, and while Bled is a great destination any time of the year, it makes the most perfect spring break destination in Europe because spring is when it is at its most colourful.
Bled is world-famous for its mesmerizing lake and stunning surrounding scenery. In the middle of this alpine lake surrounded lies a tiny island with a shining white church on top of it. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and high above on the cliffs next to the lake sits a medieval castle overlooking it all.
Lake Bled can easily be visited as a day trip by car or bus from Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. One of the best things to do in Bled is to take a traditional Pletna boat ride to the island.
These flatbottom boats are rowed similarly to the gondolas in Venice, except that the oarsman of a pletna boat uses tho big oars to row the boat.
Another great option is to go paddle boarding on the lake and then take a dip in its refreshing water, or to simply walk around the lake and enjoy the incredible scenery.
When it comes to places to stay in Bled there are many great options. If you’d like to stay in style then Villa Bled is for you. This historic villa on the shores of the lake used to be the summer residence of former president Tito, and it is pure luxury.
More on a budget? Then The Best Hostel is a great option. Even though the name might raise some questions, it actually is the best hostel in Bled, especially when it comes to value for money. They offer both comfy private rooms and rooms for, a big courtyard garden in the sun and all the facilities you need for a very good price.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre is one of the best places to visit during spring in Europe. Cinque Terre is a region in Italy that consists of 5 towns along the coast. These towns are Manarola, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Monterosso al Mare.
What makes these towns special are their small colorful houses that look beautiful and the many viewpoints. Furthermore, there are lots of hiking routes through nature leading you from one town to the next. These things also make that there are a lot of photo spots in Cinque Terre
During spring it is great to visit Cinque Terre as the temperatures are milder, so you are better able to enjoy the beauty of the place. When you are going to several towns, you can do so by a short train ride or by boat. The train is the fastest way to travel of these.
The Cinque Terre Card is very convenient to buy when you are visiting Cinque Terre. With the card, you can do an unlimited amount of train rides and you get access to many of the hikes of Cinque Terre.
This is very convenient to have. Cinque Terre is easy to get to and the easiest method is by train. You can either come from Genoa or from Pisa via La Spezia by direct train. A great place to stay in Cinque Terre is La Polena Camere Vernazza – Suite vista mare, which has an amazing view of the sea.
Margherita, The Crowded Planet
The whole of Southern Italy is a wonderful Spring destination, and there’s a place that should be included in everyone’s itinerary – Matera.
It’s one of the oldest cities in the world, permanently inhabited since the Paleolithic. Matera’s claim to fame are the wonderful Sassi, entire neighbourhoods of cave homes dug into the calcareous rock.
Up until the post-war period, entire families with their animals lived in these dwellings, but they have since been restored and turned into holiday rentals, hotels and homes for residents, with all mod-cons. Staying in a Sassi is a must – we recommend Fra i Sassi, a wonderful apart hotel with scenic Sassi views and tasty breakfasts.
There are also plenty of cool things to do in Matera, and spring is a wonderful time to visit as the weather is dry and sunny, and not too hot, making it perfect to go on a walk or hike.
You could spend the entire day (and even more than one day!) wandering the Sassi in search of the best views, or drive to the nearby Parco della Murgia Materana, just 10 minutes away from the city, offering wonderful sunset views.
Another experience worth checking out is the Silent City tour, led by artists and actors, which will take you on a journey around the Sassi through different eras, inviting you to explore with all your 5 senses and carry out a series of creative tasks.
Matera may seem hard to reach, but it’s actually quite easy – it’s less than an hour away from Bari airport, and there are regular shuttle buses taking you right to the city centre.
You don’t need a car, actually it’s better not to have one, as parking in the Sassi is a nightmare. Plan to spend at least 3 days to really absorb the atmosphere of this magical place!
Claudia, Strictly Rome
Rome is a great place to visit year round, with so much to offer to visitors. Go in the spring though, and you will find it in full bloom and walking along the Tiber River – from where you can get impressive views of the city and some of its most impressive sites – will be a real treat.
There is no shortage of places to visit in Rome, and you will have enough to keep entertained for a week or even more. Unmissable landmarks include the Colosseum – make sure to get tickets in advance for that as they only allow a limited number of visitors per time slot; the nearby Arch of Constantine; the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill (tickets are included in that for the Colosseum).
Walking back to the Historic Center of Rome, make sure to pass by the Altare della Patria in Piazza Venezia: it was built in honor of the first king of unified Italy. From there, it’s a stone’s throw to Largo di Torre Argentina, where you will be able to visit a beautiful archeological site that is also a cat sanctuary.
Other places that you must visit are the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo from where you can reach the Pincio Terrace and Villa Borghese gardens and museum (it’s one of the best art galleries in Rome); Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona – one of the nicest in Rome together with Campo de’ Fiori.
Rome is also a great starting point to visit the Vatican, with the breathtakingly beautiful St. Peter’s Square and Basilica (walk all the way up the Dome for one of the most impressive views of the city) as well as the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
The Eternal City has a fantastic food scene – best enjoyed in Testaccio, one of the nicest neighborhoods in Rome; and in the Jewish Ghetto, where you can taste Roman Kosher cuisine. For the best nightlife head to Trastevere. Finally, for incredible street art Quadraro is your best bet.
You won’t have a shortage of good places to stay in Rome. If you are a first timer and wish to limit the time spent commuting or using public transportation, Monti, Prati and the Historic Center are all good areas to stay. In Monti, New Generation Hostel Santa Maria Maggiore and 47 Boutique Hotel are both excellent options.
Rome is well connected to the rest of the world via two airports: Fiumicino serves main airlines as well as some budget airlines and is connected to Rome Termini Station via a direct train; Ciampino is a hub for budget airlines.
Claudia, Strictly Sardinia
Alghero is one of the most unique small cities in Sardinia. Located on the northwestern coast, it’s famous for the fact that locals speak Catalan – indeed for a long time Alghero was under Catalan influence. A fantastic summer holiday destination, Alghero is great year round and has a lot to offer.
Go in the spring and you will enjoy lovely, warm and sunny days perfect for a walk at the beach – Le Bombarde and nextdoor Lazzaretto beaches are the most popular, but Mugoni is also a lovely and more local spot and offers great views of Capo Caccia, a promontory that is best visited right before sunset (sunset views from there are simply spectacular!) and where you will find a series of nice hiking and easy walking trails.
Not far from Capo Caccia you will find the access point to the Neptune Caves, among the most beautiful cave systems in Sardinia. You will have to walk down (and then back up!) more than 600 steps to get there, but it is worth it as the cave is spectacular. But if you are not up for the effort, simply opt for a boat trip there departing from Alghero tourist harbor.
For more nature, you can go hiking and biking in Porto Conte Park. If you fancy visiting an archeological site, head to Nuraghe Palmavera, one of the best kept nuraghe on the island. And if you want to go wine tasting, Sella & Mosca, one of the best wine producers in Sardinia, is at a stone’s throw.
The city itself is gorgeous: a maze of narrow cobbled alleys, beautiful plazas, churches and lots of lovely boutique stores make it perfect for a walk. For the best sunset spot in Alghero head to the Bastioni – the views over Capo Caccia nearby are fantastic.
The best restaurant in Alghero is by far Nautilus – mind you, it’s expensive but worth every penny. Aigua is a nice guest house in the center of town.
You can easily reach Alghero by plane from Italy and Europe, via regular and budget flights. The airport is located in Fertilia, a 10 minutes drive from the city.
Lake Como, Italy
Sasha, The Alternative Travel Guide
Spring is the perfect time of the year to visit Lake Como in northern Italy. The air is filled with calmness, and one does not want to worry or rush.
Mountain landscapes of Lake Como framed by fluffy clouds are sources of inspiration for writers, artists, and movie directors.
First of all, I recommend visiting the city of Como, the center of Como’s province.
Walking the streets of Como old town in spring, when wisteria and orange trees are in bloom, is a pure delight.
There are many medieval sights, towers, churches, and beautiful squares to visit. And of course, the city is full of restaurants with delicious local cuisine that is an attraction in itself.
Do you think pizza and pasta are too boring? In Como, pizza and pasta are art and completely different from the fast food we are used to.
Probably everyone who has been to Italy has long been convinced that Italy’s Italian cuisine is the most delicious. How about a pizza with artichokes made in a traditional oven in a family-run restaurant? Spring in Como is the season for strawberries that go well with the local ricotta cheese.
There is a funicular in Como that will bring you to the top of the Brunate mountain, and from there, you can admire the views of the Lake Como.
Besides Como city, I recommend visiting towns and villages located on Lake Como. To do this, you will need to take a private boat or a public ferry.
Cernobbio boasts one of the few Art Nouveau marinas on the lake. From the pier, you can see the Villa Erba, which now houses the congress center. A little further, you will see Villa d’Este, a luxurious villa with a magnificent park that looks directly onto the lake. Many famous people, singers, movie stars, and politicians have visited this villa.
I stayed in the town of Como, at the Palace Hotel. The hotel is a lovely old building located right on the lakeshore. It is 5 minutes away from Duomo and the city center with its pedestrian streets, shops, and cozy restaurants.
Costa del Sol, Spain
Linn, Andalucia Hiking
One of the most popular spring destinations in Europe, is Costa del Sol, Malaga’s coastline in southern Spain. With long beaches, beach bars, beach towns, cheap drinks, and sun 320 days a year, it is a great place to spend warm spring days.
Not only is it more relaxing than the hot summer months, but it is also the time of year where you can do everything this part of the country has to offer.
Go hiking in the mountains overlooking the coast and explore some of the most astounding coastal views. Some of the best places to go for this is Sierra de Mijas above Fuengirola with Pico de Mijas and Pico Puerto Malaga boasting 360 views showcasing the coast from Malaga to Gibraltar, and even Africa on a clear day.
Travel a bit further down the coast to Sierra Blanca, and you can enjoy the views from Cruz de Juanar and La Concha hike. Above Nerja, you can climb the unforgiving peak of El Cielo or Malaga’s highest peak, La Maroma. Spring is also a great time of year to discover all the tapas bars in Malaga or visit the caves in Nerja.
Purple flowers are blooming in the cities and villages along the coast, leaving a sweet scent wherever you go, and though you might find it a bit too cold to go swimming (or not), spring definitely makes for ice cream.
Malaga airport is well connected with the rest of Europe so it is easy to find flights and from there you can take the train or bus to your destinations, though the best mode of transport to get around everywhere you want is to rent a car. In Malaga, stay at Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro.
Steph & Lewis, Book It Let’s Go!
Tenerife is a great springtime destination in Europe and is cheap and easy to fly to from the UK and other European destinations. Tenerife has year-round sunshine with the temperature in spring staying around 23 Celsius during the day, at night the temperature drops to around 16 Celsius so you may need a light jacket especially by the coast.
Tenerife is not just a beach destination, if you are looking for something more adventurous there are tours for whale watching, jeep tours of Mount Teide, snorkelling with turtles or even scuba diving at one of the many dive sites on Tenerife.
Hiring a car is the cheapest way to get around as taxis can be very expensive. This also allows for exploration of the island and is a great way to visit the quaint mountain villages.
Most visitors to Tenerife stay in the south of the island such as Playa de las Americas or Costa Adeje. Both areas have great beaches and many hotels from budget self-catering to 5* all inclusive.
There are many restaurants to eat out in which are reasonably priced and lots of choice for cuisine from Spanish, Italian and English to Chinese, Indian and Greek. A great tip is to look for restaurants that have a ‘Menu Del Dia’ which usually has 3 course of tasty Spanish cuisine and includes a glass of wine for a set price.
Vanessa, East End Taste Magazine
Oxford in the United Kingdom is a beautiful destination to visit in springtime. One of the main reasons is Oxford is famously known as the cycling city, where many of its residents to and from their destinations within the city.
Oxford is also home to one of the most distinguished universities in the world. If you visit in the spring, you may get the chance to see the students dressed in their famous robes for their graduation ceremony.
Oxford is just 45 minutes to a one hour’s train ride from London. During your visit, you must take a guided tour of the many colleges that make up the University of Oxford. Coordinate your group or private tour directly with the Visitors Information Centre on Broad Street. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you must check out Christ Church where many of the films Hogwarts scenes are shot.
For dining, check out both Victors and Gee’s. Victors is located at the Westgate, a brand new shopping center. Victors is a ‘Hamptons inspired’ restaurant that has a gorgeous interior with wisteria blossoms. Their sushi spread and small plates are a must!
Gee’s is set in Oxford’s iconic Victorian Glasshouse. They have a terrific all-day Mediterranean menu that includes scallops, a wild mushroom and burrata pizzetta, risotto, and more. Should you wish to visit Bicester Village after your meal, there is a bus stop just a few steps away on Banbury Road.
For staying overnight, one of the best choices is The Bear Hotel in Woodstock, just twenty minutes away from the city center. The Bear is a historic 13th century coaching inn in the heart of the Cotswolds and is located just around the corner from Blenheim Palace.
A cozy dinner or afternoon tea at The Bear is always a great idea! To get back to Oxford’s city center, simply take the bus from Woodstock which takes about twenty minutes and only costs one pound.
Annisa, London Travellers
Bourton on the Water is a rural English village situated in The Cotswold, also known as ‘The Venice of the Cotswold’. The River Windrush is what attracts visitors to the area every day. Children usually splash their feet about in cold water from the river.
The best time to visit is in spring and summer where people would sip coffee. drink a pint of beer or eat fish and chips by the River Windrush.
It’s better to get there by car, especially on a day trip from London. There’s a car park just outside The Model Village, although it’s small, it’s just a walking distance to the town. It takes 2 hours to drive but the journey is worth it because you’ll get the chance to see the beauty of the green English country sides along the way.
You’ll drive through English forests and sometimes may spot some deer. You’ll see farmers tending to their farms and their cottage in the middle of nowhere. You’ll also see sheep and cows grazing as you drive by.
The village is always busy with visitors around the UK and there are so many activities you can do while you’re there, but the attraction is the River Windrush. It’s great for a family with young children.
The more you walk further into the village, you’ll feel at peace away from the noisy town and busy roads. You’ll also see many beautiful English cottages made from honey coloured rubble stones dating as far back to the 10 – 12th Century. You can take Instagram worthy photos here too.
The best hotel is The Chester House Hotel. Located near the River Windrush, The Chester House Hotel is B&B and it’s made from more than 500-year-old stones. It’s got a modern feel to it and it’s just a short walk away from the river, The Model Village and Birdland Park and Gardens.
Although the Model Village and Birdland Park and Gardens are great attractions to visit, it’s the beautiful English cottages and the small and quirky medieval shops scattered around the village by the river that must be taken special attention to.
Don’t miss the town of Bibury, a 15-minute drive away. Bibury is another small area consisting of rivers, rural shops, The Swan Hotel and the Catherine Wheel for tradition English pubs.
Bourton on the Water does have a postcard perfect feel to it.
Cath, Travel Around Ireland
A great spring destination in Europe is Dublin, Ireland. With the very wet and cold weather of winter starting to recede, the city becomes a warmer, brighter place, although don’t pack away the warm and waterproof coats just yet, you might still need them.
One of the main reasons to visit Dublin in spring is to enjoy the St Patrick’s Day festival and parade, held on the 17th of March every year. A celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, this is one of the biggest festivals dates in the calendar for the Irish.
A 5-day festival in the city culminates with the every growing St Patrick’s Day parade through the city center. Bands, artists and dancers from around the world flock to the city to take part.
Spring continues into April and May in the city and the weather becomes ever brighter and warmer. As well as St Patrick’s Day, other festivals in the city include the Dublin Bay Prawn festival, the 1916 Easter rising commemorations, and the Dublin Dance and International Literature festivals.
Dublin can be reached by plane or ferry, or by train/car from Belfast. It is a city that has plenty to offer visitors no matter your interests. It can also serve as a gateway for a longer visit in Ireland.
If you enjoy nature, head to the coast or the Phoenix Park, one of the largest walled city parks in Europe. History fans will enjoy the many museums (most of which are free), Dublin Castle or a visit to Kilmainham Gaol. Literary fans should visit the James Joyce Centre, the Book of Kells in Trinity College and the Chester Beatty Library at Dublin Castle. And foodies will be in heaven with the many cafes and restaurants across the city catering to every palate.
Whether you have 3 days in Dublin or longer, you will find plenty to fill your time and you might even come away thinking you needed more. Make sure to plan your time in the city well, pre-book tickets in advance for popular places such as the Guinness Storehouse and bring an empty bag to fill with souvenirs.
Dublin has accommodation to suit every budget from hostels to 5-star hotels. One of the best places to stay in Dublin on a mid-range budget is the Jury’s Inn Hotel in Christchurch, which gives easy access to the city centre and is close to the Guinness Storehouse.
Try to book something on the southside of Dublin (Dublin 2 or 4) as the northside can be slightly unsavoury at night.
Kat, Wandering Bird
Scotland is one of those incredible places where the more you see, the more you want to explore. Whether you only have a weekend or are planning a 3-week Scotland road trip, you’ll be left wanting more.
It has a wonderful mix between stunning scenery, intriguing history and friendly people. One of the best reasons to visit in Spring is the nature. So many animals are starting to get out and explore again- there’s always something to see.
Another huge bonus is that the ‘midge’ season hasn’t started yet, which makes travelling, camping and walking around so much more pleasant.
One of our favourite things to do in Scotland, especially in the Highlands, is hike. There are multiple trails and walks (guides are available from the tourist offices if you’d like one), or you can just turn up and explore wherever you fancy. Be aware of the weather, which can change very quickly. Some of the hikes are for more experienced walkers only- so do a little research before you head out.
If you enjoy being outdoors, you must visit the Cairngorms National Park. The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the UK and National Geographic voted it one of the top 20 places to visit IN THE WORLD. It contains mountains, valleys, castles, distilleries and watersports- something for every outdoor lover.
If hiking isn’t for you, Scotland has much more to discover. There are castles, historic battlefields, breathtaking beaches and some beautiful cities, including Edinburgh.
If you are visiting Edinburgh, stay at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, which overlooks Edinburgh Castle.
Sophie, Sophie’s Suitcase
Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe in Spring and 3 days in Budapest is just the right amount of time to spend in this amazing city.
The iconic 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest, and it is also where you will find the funicular which runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town.
You can wander around the city in spring and visit the Budapest History Museum, which traces city life from Roman times onwards and Trinity Square which is home to 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fisherman’s Bastion. This is one of the best viewpoints in Budapest!
There are so many things to do in Budapest including, Szechenyi Thermal Baths, Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Chain Bridge, Shoes on the Danube Bank, Vajdahunyad Castle, Liberty Statue and Cave Church Inside Gellert Hill.
For recommendations on where to stay in Budapest, check out Hotel Clark, located on the edge of the River Danube, below the Old Town. It is a new hotel, with a lot of style and flair. The bedrooms are all tastefully designed, with black and grey tones being the basis for their luxurious style.
An adults-only hotel, Hotel Clark exudes elegance from its lobby to the trendy bedrooms, and is a perfect choice for a spring break in Budapest, especially due to its easy reach of all the main sights of this popular city.
Kami, My Wanderlust
Kotor, the beautiful and popular town in Montenegro, is best visited in the springtime. The weather is already good enough to spend all your time outside yet there are still rather few tourists around (unlike in the season, when the cruise ships arrive and the place is overcrowded) and you can easily enjoy the place.
The town is known for its location at the end of the fjord surrounded by dramatic mountains – it is best admired from the fortress (getting up there is a bit tiring but so worth the view). But there are more great things to do in Kotor!
Wander around the charming old town with winding narrow lanes and beautiful palaces, head to the nearby town Perast with the unique artificial island where you can visit Our Lady of the Rocks church or go for walk along the Bay of Kotor to enjoy splendid views of the area.
Kotor is such a beautiful place that it feels like a treat just to be there. Getting to the town is easy too, there are direct bus connections from all the places in Montenegro as well as from Dubrovnik in Croatia.
If you are flying for your holidays in Kotor the nearest airports are Tivat, Dubrovnik, and Podgorica. When looking for accommodation aim for a place within the Old Town walls to feel the vibe of the place.
One of the recommended places is Palazzo Drusko, located in the 600 years old building that used to belong to one of the noble families of Montenegro.
Sylvie, Travels with Eden
Iceland is by far one of the best places to visit in Europe during the Spring months. You’ll still find cold weather and plenty of ice and snow, but it’s not too cold and you can enjoy the sights surrounded by amazing scenery.
Flights to Iceland run directly from most European cities as well as from Canada and the USA. Iceland is also a good stopover en-route to Europe from North America.
Most visitors to Iceland base themselves in the capital Reyjavik and go on trips to explore the country from there. The best place to stay is Centre Hotels Plaza, set right in the heart of Reykjavik nearby the concert hall and art museum.
There are so many activities to choose from in Iceland. The Blue-Lagoon spa is world-famous for its mud-clay properties. Guests can relax in the geothermal heat just miles from Reyjavik.
The most popular tour is the golden circle tour where visitors can take in the main sights of Iceland in a day including Thengvillir national park – a UNESCO world heritage site where you can stand between the tectonic plates of Europe and North America.
Nearby, you can visit Gulfoss Waterfall and be amazed at the sheer size. Next stop is the Geysir Geothermal area where you can see currents emerging from earth’s surface in the form of mini-explosions.
If you don’t fancy a bus tour, many people decide to hire a car to see Iceland at their own pace. The south coast of Iceland is also a must-visit.
You can take in the sights of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, fascinating waterfalls and the black beach of Vik. In the evenings, Reyjavik has a fantastic nightlife as well as some odd national-delicacies to try.
Nichola, Family Hotel Expert
The Algarve is a great location for spring. The weather is balmy and often sunny even if the evenings get cooler. The colour during this season is wonderful. Fragrant, white blossom from the almond trees abound as does orange blossom and plenty of flowers.
It’s the perfect time to enjoy the many outdoor pursuits that this region is known for including golf and horse riding. Without the heat of the summer burning down it’s possible to really get out and enjoy the countryside.
One of the loveliest places to visit is the Ria Formosa Natural Park with gorgeous walks through to the sea. It’s a great place to spot wildlife which are much more visible in the months outside of the main tourist season.
The best way to get around is to fly in to the main airport, Faro and hire a car because although there is some public transport it’s not as easy to navigate as some areas, particularly out of season.
Many of the great Algarve family resorts are open throughout the year so it’s possible to still get a fantastic stay and often at a fantastic price. Try Pine Cliffs for spectacular views across the ocean and an indoor pool for enjoying no matter what the weather is doing.
St Petersburg, Russia
Ellis, Backpack Adventures
St Petersburg in Russia is a lovely spring destination in Europe. It’s a season often overlooked by travellers to St Petersburg, because it is still relatively cold. A pity, because there are many reasons that spring is in fact a great time for sightseeing in Russia’s former capital.
Spring is the time when St Petersburg leaves the dark and long winter behind itself. Days are getting longer again, the sun returns and people are going out and about. Spring in St Petersburg means a succession of popular festivals that brings the whole city in a celebratory mood.
First of all, there is Maslenitsa. The festival that marks the start of spring with a week long program of festivities centered around eating pancakes. Then comes Easter with its elaborate rituals and traditions that are celebrated with much fervour in the city’s orthodox churches and monasteries. At last, May brings street parades and parties on labour day, victory day and the city’s birthday on the 27th of may.
Spring in St Petersburg has so many events that it is easy to forget the city’s major attractions. St Petersburg offers a variety of things to do. Shopping along the famous Nevski prospekt, visiting one of the cities museums, wandering around the canals or be impressed by the extravagant palaces that once belonged to the Romanov tsars. St Petersburg has something for everyone.
You might still need to bring some warm clothes, but spring is a rewarding time in St Petersburg. With less tourists you will have most attractions to yourself and prices are cheaper. Getting to St Petersburg is easy as there are plenty of international flights that fly directly to St Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport including some budget airlines.
Alternatively one can visit St Petersburg by ferry or train. Ferry passengers can sometimes even visit St Petersburg visa free. Trains run from St Petersburg to Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki. St Petersburg has a wealth of places to stay from backpacker hostels to boutique hotels. Airbnb is also a good option to find budget accommodation.
Nina, Lemons and Luggage
When looking at the best spring destinations in Europe you should consider Vienna, the capital of Austria. Known as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, it’s the perfect destination if you appreciate beautiful architecture and love going to museums.
Vienna may be on the more expensive side but definitely offers incredible value for it. From the various museums dedicated to the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to gorgeous churches, and numerous vegan restaurants in Vienna, the Austrian capital has a lot to see and do.
Getting to Vienna is super easy as the city has its own airport which is well-connected to the city center. But you can also take the train or bus from nearby cities like Bratislava or Budapest. There are abundant accommodation options in Vienna, such as the beautiful Hotel Nestroy which includes amenities like a gym and a sauna.
One of the best ways to enjoy the spring in Vienna is in its many lovely parks. From the beautiful Stadtpark with several monuments, the Rathauspark which houses native as well as exotic trees, to the Volksgarten which is known for its many roses, these parks will definitely make you appreciate visiting Vienna in the spring.
The very walkable Old Town of Vienna is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an absolute must during your stay. Going for a stroll through this part of the city will have you marveling at all the incredible architecture that dates back centuries. So if the weather is too good to spend your time in museums let the Old Town be the place that takes you back to the Imperial days of Vienna.
In fact, Vienna can feel like a gigantic museum with all the historical buildings, such as the city’s most famous landmark, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or the fabulous Hofburg palace which is home to the Imperial Apartments and other museums.
Avoid the temptation to see Vienna on a boat tour across the Danube river. These tours are overpriced and don’t provide the best views. If you want to spend time by the Danube it’s better to take a walk along its canals where you can even spot some great street art.
Before you leave Vienna make sure you get to see a classical music concert. The nickname City of Music is a well-deserved one. But to save some money opt for the standing rooms at the Vienna State Opera where tickets can be as cheap as €3!
As you can see, Vienna is definitely worth a visit with all the things it has to offer. Whether you spend your trip picnicking in parks, strolling along the beautiful boulevards, or learning more about Austria’s history in the various museums, you certainly won’t get bored.
Thank you to my fellow travel bloggers for contributing to this post on the best spring break destinations in Europe. Please make sure you check out their blogs.
Let me know in the comments your favourite spring destinations
My BEST Travel Resources
Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro
Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.
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