Travel to Europe: Why Spring is the Best Time to Visit the City’s Sights

Summer travel often steals the show, but if you want to see the sights without the crowds, you can’t beat Europe in the spring, writes Sarah Pollok

We know that Europe and summer go together like Aperol and sunsets, but if you prefer a holiday without the massive crowds, scorching temperatures and high prices, April and May are the perfect time to visit.

Here are a few towns that bloom bigger and brighter than others during this slow season.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

If you’re looking for a city that thrives in spring, Europe’s greenest and most livable capital is a good place to start. With flower baskets hanging along cobblestone streets, emerald bushes lining the edge of charming canals, and large parks filled with trees and flowers, Ljubljana (pronounced loo-blee-yana) comes alive in April.

After walking among the flowers of Grajski gric park, exploring Ljubljana Castle and taking a canoe on the canals, the natural beauty of Lake Bled, Postojna Caves and the mountain town of Radovjica are all within a hour.

Seville, Spain

Spain is a fan favorite for those traveling through Europe, and if you’re there in the spring, Seville is the city to visit. Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the country, the land of tapas, oranges and flamenco is full of things to see and do.

April is a particularly special time as you can witness two of Seville’s biggest celebrations. The month begins with street parties and art installations for Holy Week (an important time in the Christian calendar) followed two weeks later by the Feria de Abril. Traditionally, the multi-day celebration was a time to trade cattle, but has since evolved into a festive carnival full of food, dancing and fancy costumes.

Lisse, Netherlands

With spring comes the season for soft, colorful flowers and few places are better to see them take over a city than in “the flower shop of the world”, Lisse. Nestled between Haarlem and The Hague, this small town in the Netherlands is overrun with stunning flowers every March, especially in the famous Keukenhof Gardens.

Also known as the “Gardens of Europe”, the 32-hectare garden is an incredible spectacle that attracts millions of visitors in just 8 weeks. Numbers have been capped this year due to Covid-19, so if you want to see fields teeming with vibrant Dutch tulips, you’ll need to plan ahead.

For the best tulips in the world, go to Lisse.  Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30
For the best tulips in the world, go to Lisse. Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30

Tuscany, Rome

In another corner of Europe, the Italian region of Tuscany takes on color with its own type of flower, the humble poppy. For the best views, head to the UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia region, where verdant hills dotted with cypresses and quaint farmhouses are streaked pink and red with hundreds of thousands of small flowers.

And don’t be surprised if you see it featured in a restaurant dish or two during a meal. Even better, you can enjoy the beautiful Italian countryside before the summer heat sets in.

Tuscany is beautiful any time of the year, but especially in the spring.  Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30
Tuscany is beautiful any time of the year, but especially in the spring. Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30

Dublin, Ireland

If you’re looking for an old-fashioned good time, Dublin is the perfect place for spring. The popular capital does not wait for summer to organize a festival. The festivities begin with the famous St. Patrick’s Day Festival, a four-day affair in mid-March with a packed schedule of food, arts and more.

Meanwhile, Late May features Bloom in the Park; Ireland’s largest garden festival, taking place over 28 acres in beautiful Phoenix Park. In between are weeks of events celebrating everything from music and food to comics and theater.

Zürich, Switzerland

Switzerland may be a world-class winter destination, but the mountains and lakes take on a whole new beauty when they start to melt. In Zurich, April marks the return of longer days and warmer weather; a time when you can enjoy weekly farmers markets, beautiful hiking trails and lakeside picnics.

The end of winter is celebrated in the city with an annual four-day spring festival called Sechselauten. Scheduled for April 14-17, 2023, the festivities include colorful parades, performances and the lighting of a bonfire topped by a snowman named Boogg. Legend has it that the faster the fire reaches the snowman’s head, the better the summer will be.

Zurich is known for its breathtaking winters, but it's just as pretty in the spring.  Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30
Zurich is known for its breathtaking winters, but it’s just as pretty in the spring. Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30

Vienna, Austria

In the heart of Europe, Vienna is a popular place for all travelers and although it is beautiful at any time of the year, the Austrian capital is particularly pretty in spring. More than 400 types of roses are blooming in the Volksgarten, public parks are blooming with fresh cherry blossoms, and the famous orangery at Schönbrunn Palace is starting to bloom.

A cultural buzz also blossoms in April as people are drawn to the streets by the warmer weather and Easter markets. If you’re visiting in May, plan your trip to see the beloved Genussfestival in Stadtpark; a multi-day event dedicated to the best of traditional Austrian food and drink.

Summer can be a popular time to visit Europe, but spring is the best time for these cities.  Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30
Summer can be a popular time to visit Europe, but spring is the best time for these cities. Photo / Unsplash For Trav August 30

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