Spring and early summer is the ideal season to explore Europe. During the off-season you’ll enjoy cooler weather and fewer crowds. See below for our recommendations on where to go and which tours to take in the springtime!
Spring really highlights Holland’s charms. The driest season of the year (but always bring a raincoat and umbrella – it’s still Holland!), it’s ideal for exploring traditional villages, canals, and beautiful architecture. Tables and chairs start to appear outside little cafes along the canals. Strawberries are the perfect springtime fruit to enjoy, or you can sample some white asparagus – it’s called “white gold” for a reason!
From April to May you’ll have the chance to see one of Holland’s most famous sights – millions of tulips stretching out across the country’s bright, flat fields. The most popular attraction is the Keukenhof garden, with over 7 million tulip bulbs. If you need to book a hotel though, do so early – you won’t be the only visitor wanting to see the blooms!
To really get into Dutch culture, you can also join the locals in the national celebration of King’s Day on the 27th of April. Put on your best orange clothes to participate in this festive tradition dating back to 1885, and toast the King with an Oranje bitter, an orange liqueur!
In France, Spring is known as “printemps” which translates as “first weather.” Everything feels fresh and lively. Markets overflow with the first spring harvests – cherries, rhubarb, apricots, and the Melon de Cavaillon, a specialty melon featured in several French dishes at this time of year. Fields and towns alike are alive with new flowers, for example the poppies in Provence!
With cooler weather and fewer tourists, it’s the perfect time to sip a coffee at an outdoor cafe and enjoy the lively Spring buzz of the streets without the crowds that summer will bring.
Should you find yourself in Paris in May, you can enjoy the “Nuit des Musee” (Night of the Museums) when some of the best galleries and museums open their doors for free to give visitors the unique experience of a nighttime visit. Other cities offer similar evenings.
Spring is perfect to avoid the sweltering heats and heavy crowds that can hit this beautiful country later in the year. It’s warm enough to get seriously involved in Florence’s delicious Gelato Festival in late April or sit outdoors to enjoy the city’s impressive Easter firework displays of Scoppio del Carro. In April, Rome celebrates its birthday with its own fireworks and parades.
The change of season is celebrated with vibrant festivals decorated with spring blooms and showcasing Italian classics like lemons and tomatoes. It’s also the season where artichokes, the heart of many Italian dishes, come into their own – they even have a week-long festival in a village called Chiusure.