Spring is finally here! It’s so nice to walk outside and immediately feel that change in the air we’ve all been waiting for. We had such a mild winter here in Central Europe and it looks like the nice weather is continuing into April. It’s already in the low 20s with higher temps coming next week, perfect for a European getaway.
The Best Places to Visit in Europe in April
While it’s tempting to head to the warmer weather on the Med, I feel like it’s a bit of a wasted trip as the water will be absolutely freezing. So while the crisp, cool air and few tourists would be nice, taking advantage of the beautiful water would be out of the question.
Instead, I suggest a city break where the spring flowers are in bloom and life is returning after the winter slumber. But which are the best places to visit in Europe in April? Of course, there are loads of possibilities but below are my recommendations for European cities to visit this year.
As a former Budapest resident, I can assure you springtime in Budapest is lovely. Gellert Hill is covered with blooming trees, the cafe terraces are starting to open up and the crisp air is a nice contrast while relaxing in one of the famous hot thermal baths. I suspect the forecast of sunny and 24 degrees is a little unusual for the first week of April but I’m not complaining.
Read my full travel guide to Budapest to give you ideas on where to go and if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, be sure to check out this comprehensive neighbourhood and hotel guide. If you’re travelling on a budget, this list of free things to do might help.
Amsterdam is brilliant at any time of the year but I like to visit in April to take a day trip to Keukenhof, the famous tulip festival. If you go in late April you can also stick around for King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day), a crazy day of celebrations which is basically one huge street party taking place on 27 April, 2019.
Unfortunately, the chance of good weather in Amsterdam in April is low but you can use those grey days to visit the city’s renowned museums like the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum or something more unusual like the Houseboat Museum. iAmsterdam is a great resource for planning a trip.
If you prefer to spend your holidays in Eastern Europe, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Baltic States. The entire region is fascinating and more beautiful than you might imagine. Riga in particular is well known for having one of the largest Art Nouveau neighbourhoods in the world.
You won’t need many days to visit tiny Riga and you probably won’t feel the need to head outside of the old town but you can find plenty to do, spending your days cafe hopping through the cobblestone streets and hitting up the cool bars during the night.
While Riga may not be my personal favourite of the Baltic capitals it’s much loved by others and I can’t deny it’s a cool place for a weekend break, especially if you’re on a budget. If you want to visit the three Baltic States on one trip, here are a few ideas for visiting Tallinn and Vilnius.
I suggest reading Ferreting Out The Fun for more detailed info on visiting Riga.
Paris is famous for a lot of things but on top of my list of things to do is picnicking in the gorgeous parks in spring. I always loved visiting little bakeries and cheese shops to put together a baguette sandwich then finding a spot enjoy it with a glass of wine. The city spends millions each year on gardening which isn’t surprising when you consider the massive tulip flower beds in the Luxembourg Gardens and Parc Monceau or the more discreet sculpted gardens like the Palais Royal or Jardin des Tuileries.
Choose from my top 5 Paris parks or you could take the train 20 minutes out of the city to see the fields of cherry blossoms at Parc de Sceaux.
Paris is hands down my favourite spring destination. This complete list of day trips from Paris will give you plenty of ideas for places to visit if you want to get out of the city.
Naples has a reputation for being a dodgy city and in some ways I’m sure that’s a fair assessment but that’s part of what makes it a compelling place to visit. It’s interesting to see what Italian life can be like for those outside of the wealthy north and how it’s almost like being in a completely different country.
Don’t forget to indulge in the Neapolitan specialties like pizza margharita, buffalo mozzarella, pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans), pasta e piselli (pasta with peas), sartu di riso and parmigiana di melanzane (eggplant pie).
Consider day trips to Sorrento, Capri and Pompeii if you have time.
April is a nice time to go to Naples as it can get stinking hot in the summer and it’s probably a little too quiet in winter. You might also consider a road trip through Tuscany in April.
If it’s warmth you’re looking for, southern Spain and in particular Andalusia has some of the warmest spring weather in Europe though not too hot for travelling. There are plenty of places where you could base yourself, Seville, Cordoba, Granada plus you could visit Gibraltar and even take a quick trip over to Morocco.
If you’re planning a trip to Seville in April, consider visiting during Seville Feria de Abril (Seville Fair) a week-long fair/party. In 2018 it took place in April but the date has now shifted to May. You can get more information on visiting Seville here.
I’m currently following some travel bloggers on Snapchat who are in Athens and visiting all the historic sites. I’m surprised to see there are plenty of other tourists around this early in the season. I’d say if you want a relatively stress free visit and at least a chance of seeing the sights without mass tour groups blocking the views then you might want to visit sooner rather than later in the season.
Where to Go in April: The Best of Europe in the Spring
Where else to go in April? There are so many other fantastic places to go at this time of the year. You don’t have to book in advance, you can get last minute cheap flights and hotels. It just takes some time and searching the right sites. For example, if you’re looking for flights, start with Google Flights and click on ‘Explore Destinations’. Or if you know where you want to go, select your departure and arrival cities but search flights using the calendar view.
For last minute accommodation, I recommend staying in an Airbnb apartment. Airbnb is quick and easy to book and is suitable for short weekend trips or longer stays. If you’ve never used Airbnb before, sign up with my link to get a discount on your first stay. Even if you’re not sure about Airbnb, it’s free to sign up and start searching. Click here to have a look.
If you’re not sure about Airbnb (which I highly recommend), you can always use Booking.com for places to stay.
Cheap Flights from London & Berlin
It’s not too late to book trips to any of these destinations for an April holiday. Some example flights (one-way) for you:
London to Budapest: £19 – 9th April – Wizz Air
London to Eindhoven (for Amsterdam): £20 – 12th April – Ryanair
London to Riga: £15 – 18th April – Wizz Air
London to Paris: £45 – 20th April – Eurostar
London to Naples: £15 – 12th April – Ryanair
London to Malaga: £25 – 12th April – Ryanair
Berlin to Athens: €30 – 13th April – Ryanair
More European Travel Destination Ideas
Still looking for inspiration for travel in Europe? Read some of my previous posts in this series.
- January: 5 Wintry Weekend Breaks
- February: Where to Go to Avoid Getting SAD
- March: Cosy Destinations
- April: The Best of Europe in the Spring
- June: The Balkans
- December: 11 Cities with Snow
- Europe by the Season: 2018 Edition
- Where to Travel in Europe in 2019
This post contains affiliate and referral links for places to stay in Europe and Airbnb.17