Europe: the perfect mix of culture, history, architecture, cuisine and so much more! There’s a reason a vacation throughout Europe is a bucket list experience for a lot of travelers. And even though every season has its own perks, in this article, I’d like to share the perfect itinerary across Europe in spring. Get ready for a trip you won’t forget!
Keep reading to know more about the best European cities to visit during spring and discover my best planning, budget-friendly and transportation tips! Don’t waste your time and follow the guide 🙂
Table of Contents
- Why should you visit Europe in spring?
- 5 tips for a smooth trip across Europe
- How to find cheap train tickets in Europe?
- How to find cheap flights in Europe?
- Europe travel: what cities to visit?
- 1st stop: Brussels
- 2nd stop: Bruges
- 3rd stop: Paris
- 4th stop: Amsterdam
- 5th stop: the Dutch tulip fields near Amsterdam
- 6th stop: Budapest
- An alternative stop to wrap up your trip in Europe
- Europe in spring: summary map
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Why should you visit Europe in spring?
There are many reasons to visit Europe during spring. But here’s my personal top 3 :
- Temperatures are getting milder in the northern cities.
- Temperatures are still pleasant (but not too warm) in the southern cities.
- And last but not least… Cherry blossom trees in bloom everywhere!
I could add that it’s usually both easier and cheaper to find affordable accommodation and plane tickets off season, July and August being very popular months for tourists in Europe.
5 tips for a smooth trip across Europe
- Stay at least 2 to 3 days in the same area: if this is your first time, 3 days per destination are a must! This way, you’ll be able to take the time to do a couple of activities off the beaten path and to stroll through the streets and enjoy the city outside of tourist attractions.
- Research which activities require early booking so you don’t get disappointed once there.
- Travel by train as much as possible as it is usually faster, cheaper and overall easier. By the way, I’ve organized the itinerary below in the most efficient order!
- Quality over quantity: don’t try to rush and tick as many spots as possible off your bucket list, this is the best way to miss out on the best that each city has to offer.
- Plan your exact itinerary: you’ve come to the right place, keep reading!
How to find cheap train tickets in Europe?
Omio is a great tool that helps you find the best fares all over Europe. It compares the different companies and routes available for you and suggests the best options.
What I like about this platform is that it labels the results by category: fastest or cheapest. That’s a simple feature that makes it easier to find the best value for money and a good compromise between speed and comfort.
How to find cheap flights in Europe?
If you wish to travel on a budget in Europe, you’ll be able to find plenty of low cost flights. Here are a few tools that will help you find the best deals!
- Omio: On top of bus and train tickets, Omio also helps you find the best flights in Europe.
- Air Hint: flying on a budget is about to get so much easier! Air Hint is a very handy flight price predictor that tracks the price fluctuations per airline, destination and route to recommend the best time to book a flight. Type in your airport of departure and arrival and Air Hint will let you know in one click whether or not there’s a high price drop chance.
- Sky scanner: this is probably one of the most popular flight comparator out there! What I love about it is that it allows you to select “search everywhere” to find the best deal. That’s very useful if you don’t have a specific destination in mind.
- Ryan Air flight finder: similarly to Sky scanner, if you select “anywhere” as a destination with this tool, you can find the cheapest Ryan Air flights in Europe on the dates that suit you.
And don’t forget to research flights in incognito mode!
Europe travel: what cities to visit?
Before I share the exact itinerary as well as the best cities to visit across Europe in spring, I’d like to say a word about the criteria that I used to gather up this bucketlist itinerary:
- Time savvy
- Budget friendly
- Easy to book and organise
To make things as easy as possible, I’ve listed the following cities in the right order so you don’t need to waste time figuring it out yourself.
1st stop: Brussels
Why visit Brussels in spring and why is it a good idea to start your trip there?
If you look at a map of Europe, you’ll notice that Belgium is actually very close to many cities of interest. This is therefore a great starting point for your European getaway! In 2 hours or less, you’ll be able to reach several major cities for a reasonable budget. Remember when I mentioned earlier that you should definitely travel by train?
Good to know: Brussels has two main airports:
- Charleroi South for low cost airlines. Bus shuttles will be waiting for you next to the main entrance all day and most of the evening/night, and will take you to Brussels in about one hour.
- Brussels Airport in Zaventem for international flights. You’ll be able to reach the city centre by bus or train until midnight. Otherwise, taxis are also available.
Brussels in spring
Unlike Paris, Brussels is not particularly known for its cherry blossom spots. However, as a local, I can guarantee that some of them are definitely worth your time. Curious to discover Brussels’ best spring photo spot? I got your back!
- Belgium: 25 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Brussels
- Brussels in One Day: The Only Walking Itinerary You’ll Need
- The Best Instagram Spots in Brussels for First-Time Visitors
- Brussels’ Best Food: 5 Signature Treats You Must Try in Belgium
2nd stop: Bruges
If you’re into architecture, history and/or photography, you certainly don’t want to skip Bruges and its canals during your European trip! In just one hour from Brussels Central station, you’ll be able to discover one of the best preserved medieval architectural gems in Europe.
Chocolate lovers won’t be mad either!
Why should Bruges be on your bucket list?
- Very easy to reach from Brussels by train
- Surprising and unique
- Perfect for a day trip
Here are two other posts that will help you discover Bruges:
- The 9 Best Photo Spots in Bruges
- The Best Options to Travel from Brussels to Bruges
- Guesthouse Bonifacius: Review of the Best Luxury B&B in Bruges
3rd stop: Paris
Every year between March and May, Instagram is literally flooded with cherry blossom pictures of Paris. Honestly, I can’t complain! Spring in Paris is definitely a wonderful experience.
Some of Paris’ most popular landmarks also put on their pink coats during the spring months. The best time to visit Paris in spring is late March for magnolia trees and early-mid April to be able to enjoy the most photogenic cherry blossom trees.
Why visit Paris in the spring?
- Better weather (in theory)
- Stroll through the streets and enjoy the famous “terraces”
- Springtime offers a unique point of view of the City of Lights
4th stop: Amsterdam
Why Visit Amsterdam in spring?
- Cherry blossoms, tulips and even wisteria!
- Higher chances of good weather
- The possibility to visit the city by bike
Utrecht, Rotterdam, Zaanse Schans (and its famous windmills), The Hague, etc. are also great day trip ideas from Amsterdam if you have enough time. However, if this is your first time in the Netherlands and you have limited time, the day trip you should go for is a no-brainer, which brings us to the next stop!
Why does it make sense to visit Paris before Amsterdam in spring?
From a time management perspective, Brussels > Amsterdam > Paris makes more sense. Indeed, the journey from Brussels to Amsterdam takes about 2 hours whereas the journey from Paris to Amsterdam takes 3. However, visiting Paris before Amsterdam and the flower fields makes more sense during spring if you’d like to admire both the cherry blossoms trees in bloom in Paris (early April) and the tulip fields in the Netherlands (mid April). It’s all about priorities, but in my opinion, these activities are a must during springtime!
5th stop: the Dutch tulip fields near Amsterdam
Why visit the Dutch tulip fields in spring?
Spring is not only the best season of the year to visit the Dutch tulip fields… It’s also the only one! The best time to visit the tulip fields is mid April till early May, in any case before harvest.
As for tulip fields, it’s important to know that the fields are not located directly in Amsterdam. However, it’s pretty easy to reach the Bollenstreek – the tulip region – with public transportation: either by bus shuttle from Schipol airport or by train from Amsterdam Centraal, the main train station.
Why visit the tulip fields near Amsterdam?
- Unique experience
- A nice break away from the hustle and bustle of the city
- The Tulip festival
- Possibility to visit it by bike
Is Keukenhof worth visiting?
The famous Keukenhof gardens are located in Lisse, one hour from Amsterdam. I recommend you book your tickets in advance; Keukenhof welcomes thousands and thousands of visitors each year, so you definitely don’t want to miss it for lack of planning.
However, if you have limited time in the area, you could skip Keukenhof altogether, rent a bike for the day and discover the area in 4 wheels. This is by far the best decision I made while in the area of Lisse. Where to rent a bike? Keukenhof Gardens’ main parking area!
How to visit the tulip fields in Holland respectfully and still get good pictures?
Check out Fam Flower Farm’s website to book a tulip field visit!
Tulips are fragile flowers! It’s therefore completely forbidden to enter the tulip fields without the owner’s consent. Every year, thousands of tulips get destroyed due to trespassing and not applying common sense. Don’t forget that it’s someone’s way to make a living.
6th stop: Budapest
Budapest totally caught me by surprise during my first visit. It’s definitely not as popular as other European capital cities such as Paris, Amsterdam or Rome, but it’s equally as beautiful! In just 3 days, I totally fell in love with its stunning architecture and streets. Of course, the lovely spring weather made it even better!
Why visit Budapest during spring?
- Less crowds
- Mild weather, perfect for long walks
- Stunning architecture
- One of Europe’s most overlooked gems
If you’d like to know what to do in Budapest, have a look at this article. I initially wrote it as a photography guide but it’s actually a great sightseeing itinerary as well:
Turning your memories into a travel book, how does that sound?
An alternative stop to wrap up your trip in Europe
Rome obviously needs no introduction. You could visit the Eternal City 10 times and still find new things to see and do. It’s literally impossible to get tired of it. If you have enough time to squeeze in a couple of day trips, Rome is also a great idea as you’ll be able the reach the following destinations in around 1 hour:
- Florence in 1 and a half hour
- Tivoli in 1 hour
- Napoli in 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Orvieto in 1 hour and 15 minutes
Why visit Rome in spring?
- Many day trip options
- Lovely weather, sunny but not too warm
- The stunning rose garden (Roseto di Roma) is open
- Overall a less crowded, even if Rome is always a very popular destination
Europe in spring: summary map
It’s time to wrap up! I hoped you found this blog post about the best places to visit in Europe during sprintime useful! If you have any questions, feel free to follow and DM me on Instagram @rosesandpostcards