20 Best Places to Go in Europe for Spring Break
Cheaper flights, lower room rates, fewer tourists, and tons of seasonal activities make this the opportune time to embark on a real-life Eurotrip.
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The benefits of Europe in the spring
Spring is the perfect time to fly away to Europe—especially if you're keen on lower hotel rates and fewer tourists. It's during this window that some destinations start showcasing colorful buds while others cling to a frosty winter climate for a bit longer. The weather certainly comes into play, though it's not the determining factor for a lot of cities that don't revolve entirely around outdoors. (Insert architecturally significant buildings, must-see museums, and quaint cafes.) Whether you prefer to vacation in an idyllic village or urban sprawl, it's all waiting across the continent. Before you commit to a locale, scroll through to discover the best places to go in Europe for spring break. Find out why river cruises are Europe's best-kept secrets.
Prague, Czech Republic
Visiting Prague feels like stepping into a storybook, where Gothic churches and fairytale castles still exist. Speaking of, your first stop should be Prague Castle, built in the 9th century, it's an enduring symbol of Bohemia. We dare anyone to resist the charm of Old Town Square as the crowds gather in front of the Astronomical Clock for the animated hourly show. Other notable monuments include the emblematic Charles Bridge, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Lennon Wall. Sightseeing isn't the only basis for jetting off to Prague this spring. The City of a Hundred Spires also wins affection for its friendly locals, beer halls, traditional Czech taverns, symphonies, and bustling markets. When you're looking for a place to stay, it's hard to beat the Four Seasons Hotel Prague. Don't miss these fantasy destinations that look like they're straight out of a fairytale.
When you envision spring break, Glasgow probably isn't the first destination that comes to mind. That's primarily because this underrated port city in the western Lowlands of Scotland doesn't get the credit it very much deserves. Perched on the River Clyde, Glasgow ("dear green place" in Gaelic) lives up to its name with over 90 verdant parks and gardens. Though rain is par for the course, luckily, there are ample indoor activities to occupy your time. Spend the day bopping around cultural institutions such as the National Theatre of Scotland and then at night hit up a comedy club or music venue. Like staying ahead of the curve? This is the European travel experience most people don't know about.
Surrounded by majestic mountains and the longest fjord in Norway, Bergen is a paradise for nature lovers. Slightly longer days and rising temperatures make spring the opportune time to visit this coastal city in the southwestern part of the country. Gobble up a traditional Norwegian breakfast, before hopping on a bus to the Fløibanen Funicular where you can ride the cable car to the top for sweeping views. Perhaps that's enough high-altitude excitement for one morning. But, if you're game to journey further, start the nearly 12-mile trek to Mount Ulriken. After an action-packed hike, chow down on fresh seafood and catch a few winks at Hotel Norge by Scandic. Get the answers to the 10 things you've always wondered about hotels.
Situated at an elevation of 5,310 feet, under the shadow of the near-symmetrical Matterhorn peak, Zermatt is an epic playground in the heart of the Swiss Alps. The snowy season lasts until May, enabling skiers and snowboarders to pack in every last run. Zermatt provides heaps of stuff to do besides hitting the slopes. You'll also be able to try snowmobiling, hiking, ice skating, curling, and climbing. When you've had your fill of frosty fun, join in on the après-ski festivities, shop til you drop along Bahnhofstrasse, relish spa treatments, or warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. Here are 10 more vacation ideas for people who love cold-weather activities.
Located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, Split is the gateway to the wonder of Dalmatia—and one of the few destinations in the region that's open for business 365 days a year. A spring break trip to Croatia's second-largest city isn't going to be an island-hopping adventure like it would in the warmer months, but you can still charter a boat. There's plenty to do on dry land during the low season, too. It's particularly enjoyable to explore Diocletian's Palace and the waterfront promenade without the swarms of summer tourists. Wallet-friendly rates, shorter queues, and less congestion on public transportation are an added perk especially when you consider that Split is already one of the best budget-friendly beaches in the world.
A dynamic and modern metropolis, Berlin draws travelers from all corners of the globe. Over the years, Germany's capital has evolved from a place synonymous with pain and sorrow to a hip urban escape that brims with art, culture, and non-stop energy. Reminders of the city's complicated past—from the graffitied remnants of the Berlin Wall to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe—are ever-present and absolutely worth visiting. Want to experience a different side of Berlin? Go gallery hopping, eat street food at Markthalle Neun, wander through the diverse Kreuzberg neighborhood, or see a burlesque show.
Dublin lures history buffs and booze enthusiasts alike. A compact and walkable city, it's also super easy to navigate. Soak up centuries-old heritage at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and Kilmainham Gaol. Of course, you can't talk about Ireland's capital without mentioning Irish whiskey and stout. Jameson Distillery Bow St. and the Guinness Storehouse are legends in that department. Have some flexibility regarding your vacation dates? Consider timing your trip to the St. Patrick's Festival, a month-long celebration that culminates with the parade on March 17. Ireland for St. Paddy's might be a no-brainer, but these are 15 spring break destinations you never would have imagined.
Barcelona is an awesome spring break spot for folks who love the constant energy of a major city. Late dinners at award-winning restaurants, infamous clubs, eye-catching architecture, internationally acclaimed museums, and a cosmopolitan vibe make the capital of Catalonia second to none. While evenings notoriously stretch into the wee hours, the cultural attractions will surely inspire you to hop out of bed in the morning. From the many Modernisme landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí and his contemporaries to Sagrada Família, the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world, fantastical structures stand at every turn. Equally fascinating is the art scene. Barcelona boasts both the Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró as well as a slew of attention-grabbing galleries. These 12 spring break destinations practically cost less than staying at home.
Paris tempts travelers year-round, but it's exceptionally lovely in the spring. Pale pink blossoms envelop the manicured parks, leafy trees edge the Champs-Élysées, and sidewalk cafés buzz with a renewed sense of excitement. Take advantage of the pleasant weather with a picnic lunch in front of the Eiffel Tower, stroll along the banks of the Seine, lose yourself in the beauty of Jardin du Luxembourg, or book a patisserie-themed walking tour. Carve out a few hours to absorb the atmosphere of the très chic Left Bank district. Of course, the Louvre and the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés are requisite stops. Find out the 15 most over-hyped destinations in Paris.