Europe in Spring: The Destinations You Won’t Want to Miss
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Spring is well and truly upon us, and if you have the travel bug, then what better time to go and where better than Europe.
Not only are the air fares cheaper than in peak summer months, but the hotels offer discounted rates with greater availability. If you need any more incentive than this to jet off to the cultural capitals of the world, then what could be more beautiful than France’s fields ablaze with daisies, lavenders and poppies, or miles of unspoiled Dutch tulips spanning from horizon to horizon.
By May the cold blustery days have given way to warm dappled sunshine and the streets are once again filled with lively locals lingering in side walk cafes or strutting down the boulevards and promenades. There’s no better way to sample real European Culture than to mingle with these locals, something which just isn’t possible in summer months when the rising temperatures cause the max exodus to the coastline to begin.
If music’s your thing then the concert series are in full swing, as well as a variety of jazz and blues festivals held between April and June. If you’re more into art then, once again, many special art collections are available to the public now and closed during peak months. Now that you know why, here’s our four selections of top spring destinations in Europe.
Before the summer crowds pour into this otherwise sedate area, spend some time with the vibrant and friendly village locals and participate in a slew of old-age spring festivities that crop up all over the area. These vary greatly from medieval style crossbow competitions, to luck carrying cricket and cart explosions. They really do have it all!
Want something more modern? Then what better way to immerse yourself in vibrant culture than checking out Fabbrica Europa in Florence. It’s Florence’s contemporary arts festival in May, and this year the theme is exploring the cultural islands that makes Europe so rich.
In Spring, Prague is illuminated by blooming flowers of all colors, shapes and varieties. From Magnolia trees to Cherry blossoms, nothing enhances this city’s natural beauty like spring, and it’s not only the flowers that are springing into action! Once the warmer months come around the city explodes with life and cultural offerings. Don’t miss the world famous Prague Spring Music Festival (May 12 – June 3), which offers three whole weeks of opera, chamber concerts and symphony orchestras. Not into music? Then browse the Easter markets selling an array of local arts and crafts littered across the Old town square during April. More of a foodie? Attend the annual Czech Beer Festival (May 17 – June 2) and sample the wonders of their craft ales and paired foods.
When you think of Holland one of the first thing that pops into your head is flowers! It’s something that the country does better than anyone else. And it does it best in spring. Amsterdam offers a unique edge on the classic flower market. Forget regular stalls, think boats! During warmer months the Singel, Amsterdam’s main canal is afloat is colored barges displaying every flower imaginable. From roses, to tulips and gladioli they have it all.
If you would rather see your flowers wild than cut, Holland’s got you covered there too! Simply travel a couple of kilometers out of the city and you are in the midst of some of the largest flower fields in the world. Spring here means only one thing: The Tulip Festival. This offers an array of organized activities such as walks through the fields, cycling routes, tulip garden shows, photography competitions. There is something for everyone!
Who can resist the allure of Paris? It is beautiful any time of year, but never more so than in spring. The longer hours of day light, the improved weather, and the budding plants lift everyone’s mood. Even the grumpy waiters have a certain charm. Especially if you try a simple bonjour or parlez-vous anglais?
The French are once again coming out of hibernation and able to do what they do best: fritter away the afternoons outdoors. From lazing on park benches to sitting in one of Paris’s famed cafe terraces, the french are never more amiable or at ease than in these mild spring months.
Become a Parisian and amble through the plethora of gardens and parks available in Paris. One of our favorites is the garden at the Musée Rodin. Not only does the house itself have a wonderful art collection, but the gardens are filled with sculptures, such as The Thinker. Another alternative is the Luxembourg Gardens, which are an oasis in the middle of the bustling city. It’s the perfect place to sit and relax on the green lawns or on one of the benches dotted in idyllic locations.