Fragrant gardens, warm temperatures, and stunning landscapes are just a few reasons why many flock to Europe in the spring. However, with the vast amount of places to see, it can be difficult to pinpoint the best locations during this season. If you’re on the search for some of the best places to visit in the spring in Europe, you can check out these top destinations listed below. They are not only beautiful during this time of year, but will help you to immerse yourself into the European culture even more.
Why Spring is the Best Time to Visit Europe
Any time during the year is a great time to visit this continent, but the spring is especially one of the best times. The frigid air of winter has practically vanished meaning that you can get around more easily and do more things without freezing. Also, many activities closed during the winter, like boat rides, start back up again, so you’ll find a wide variety of options you can choose from during your stay.
The one best thing about the spring though is that it tends to be much less crowded compared to the summer season. This means you can get around popular sites without problems and explore more of the area without having to accommodate large crowds.
Best places to visit in Europe during spring
Wander Through Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands
Keukenhof is a stunning garden located in Lisse, Netherlands. Also known as the Garden of Europe, it serves as one of the world’s largest flower gardens due to its 7 million planted flower bulbs. The colorful flowers are planted in unique patterns so when they bloom, they will amaze you with their designs. These designs are based on the theme the garden chooses for the year so there’s always something new to see.
The garden is also home to Tulpomania which is located at the Juliana Pavilion and features hundreds of famous Dutch tulips, including the rare black tulip. You can learn more behind the history of these flowers as well as the significance they have had on Dutch culture.
A Cruise to the Norwegian Fjords
These winding waterways pass through massive cliffs providing you with breathtaking scenery. While many think winter is the best time to visit the fjords, the spring is just as nice. Because the temperatures aren’t as frigid, the fjords are more colorful so you’ll see flowers, houses, and the stunning designs in the cliffs that surround you.
Go Hiking in Cinque Terre
Situated on the edge of the Italian Rivera, the Cinque Terre features pastel-colored homes built into the edges of the local cliffs. This section in Italy is home to five unique villages you can explore during your hikes: Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Corniglia, and Riomaggiore.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site features numerous hiking paths with tunnels carved into the nearby cliffs that take you to the local beaches, cafes that serve fresh seafood, and shops that sell exquisite wine. You’ll also find that there are no cars driving around the island (they have been banned) so you can take a hike peacefully through the villages without problems.
You might be interested in One day in Cinque Terre.
Walk the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is a long pilgrimage route (it runs over 500 miles) that extends across Europe and eventually ends at the Tomb of St. James in Spain. The rocky paths along the route will take you by stunning landscapes across Europe that most often don’t get to see. You’ll discover local farms, bridges, bubbling brooks, and ancient structures along the way. While the route is very long, it is considered to be an easy path to venture down and takes about a week to fully walk. You can tour the route yourself or sign up for a guided tour that will take you down the route with a professional who can point out interesting things along the way.
Tour the Gardens of England
England is known worldwide for its magnificent gardens and the springtime is the perfect season to experience them. You’ll find a handful you can visit, like the Biddulph Grange Garden and the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden.
There’s also the renowned Royal Botanic Garden, also known as Kew Gardens, which is a World Heritage Site and is home to hundreds of unique flowers and plants. You can even stop by one of the many horticulture talks held throughout the day which dive deeper into the history of certain plants, some of which include guided tours around the grounds.
The blazing Mediterranean sun, ancient archeological sites, and exquisite cafes are just some of the reasons why Athens is ideal to visit during the spring. You’ll find plenty of museums to visit, like the Acropolis Museum and the National Archeological Museum. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can take a hike up to the Monastery of Kaisariani. This hill towers over the city and looks over a fragrant forest.
Athens is also home to some of the best sunset views in the world. One of the best places to capture some photos or to just enjoy the dazzling colorsof the sun setting is at the top of Areopagus Hill.
Spring also means large amounts of fresh seafood is in the local markets and restaurants. You can try a variety of mouthwatering Greek dishes during the spring like Plaki or fish soup.
Check out: Things to do in Athens, Greece.
Lake Como, Italy
Situated in Northern Italy, Lake Como is home to majestic landscapes and villas making it a great place to visit during the spring. The Alps tower over the lake and because it’s spring, many trees and flowers are blooming – all of which combine together to create a stunning backdrop.
While in Lake Como, you can venture to Villa Carlotta which is built next to the lake and is filled with numerous pieces of historic artwork. You can also take a walk over to Varenna, a village filled with numerous medieval buildings.
This section in Italy is also known for its delicious culinary side. You can sign up for a food tour during the day which will take you to local markets filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and to cafes where you can try cheese, wine, and other goodies.
A trip to Lake Como wouldn’t be complete without a boat ride around it. You’ll find many boat tours you can take that will give you an interesting tour of the lake and the surrounding area.
You might be interested in: The best towns to visit in Lake Como.
As the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily offers numerous things for you to do. You can explore the ruins of Doric temples, hike up volcanoes, go snorkeling, or try some fresh citrus fruit. If you’re looking to just relax, you’ll find numerous beaches on the island you can sunbathe on or go swimming at. One of the best beaches in Sicily you can venture to is Mondello which is known for its light blue water, palm trees, and beautiful villas. Sicily is packed with unique things to do and the spring is one of the best times to experience it.
The spring is a great time to visit this romantic city. Besides the iconic Eiffel Tower, you’ll find numerous of other unique places you can visit in France’s capital during the spring. The Louvre is an excellent museum to explore and is home to over 35,000 pieces of art. The Luxembourg Gardens are also starting to bloom this time of year and are a great place to stroll by fragrant flowers or have a picnic. You can also stop by one of the many historic sidewalk cafes in the city and sit outside under the trees while enjoying a cup of coffee and a buttery croissant. This time of the year in Paris is also perfect for a food tour as many fruits and vegetables are in season.
Check out my Paris itinerary for 7 days.
See the Julian Alps and Lake Bled in Slovenia
Slovenia is home to many incredible natural wonders that any guest to the country should see, like the Julian Alps and Lake Bled. You can take a boat ride down the Soča River to get close-up views of the Julian Alps or visit Lake Bled to explore castles and try their famous Bled Cream Cake. You can also rent a kayak to take a relaxing day trip through the lake to get unique views of the surrounding area. Biking is also a popular thing to do in the spring as many pathways have thawed out from the cold winter and are now lined with stunning flowers. Many of these paths will also take you up hills so you can get amazing panoramic views of the land and lake below you.
You might also like: Things to do in Lake Bled.
Springtime in Europe is one of the best times to visit this continent for many reasons. Not only are the temperatures balmy, but Europe bursts into dazzling colors and offers numerous activities for you to do that can’t be done anytime else during the year. If you’re considering visiting Europe during this season, definitely keep the destinations mentioned above in mind. No matter where you decide to visit, you’ll be able to experience Europe to the fullest while enjoying the beautiful spring atmosphere.