This year, it’s a European kind of spring. We’re laying out the coolest spots in Europe to travel this season.
Spring is one of the best seasons to explore Europe’s best city escapes. From lounging on the beaches of Greece to exploring the seaside town of St. Andrews. With winter gone and sunny days ahead, there are plenty of European destinations where spring means something far more adventurous than you could ever imagine.
Check out one of these must-visit places in Europe for your Spring 2020 vacation.
Once the winter layer thaws and spring shows itself, Krakow becomes a symbol of renewal. The cultural capital of Poland, Krakow is home to a walk-worthy Old Town and plenty of Polish charm. With sunshine and longer days, Krakow feels like a completely different city once the weather warms up. From the River Vistula to the Wawel Castle, Krakow has no shortage of sights to be seen. Gothic architecture in the form of the Krakow Cathedral shed light on a lineage of artisanship. If you’re there between May and June, you may even catch the film festival, which takes place each year alongside a number of other culturally enriching activities. Unlike the snowy months when the city is covered in snow, spring in Krakow boasts blooms of every shape and color.
There are a lot of reasons why southeastern France’s very own Provence is best in spring. For one, the lavender fields roll on with beauty. Moreover, the vineyards and olive groves prove just how fruitful this region really is. Beaches with resorts, villages on the hill and energetic city vibes—Provence cannot be pinned down to just one landscape. Take a week or two and travel throughout the region. St. Remy, Carmegue and Orange are all perfect places to add to your Provincial itinerary. For a scenic day trip, head to the beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence, home of a ruined medieval castle and delicious olive oil.
Do yourself a favor by visiting the Graz this Spring. It’s the second-largest city in the country and holds enough culture and design to be recognized across the entire continent for its splendor. Modern art galleries and even an Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum will keep you busy as you venture through this urban paradise. Slightly quieter than Vienna, Graz still holds that avant-garde appeal of its sister city. Just outside the city is sprawling countryside, where you can hike Bärenschützklamm gorge and Kesselfallklamm (yes, we know those names are a mouthful). The Austrian Sculpture Park is like an outdoor museum where you can play to your heart’s content, all while seeing supreme art.
You don’t have to trek to tourist-heavy Amsterdam to see what the Netherlands has in store. Come springtime, Rotterdam is glowing with grace. Contemporary art and design envelop this city, but it’s balanced out with classic Holland appeal in the form of docks and quays. Check out Rotterdam’s Old Town, Delfshaven which once was an independent town before being annexed by Rotterdam in the 19th century. Today, many enjoy exploring the charming neighborhood filled with canals and narrow streets. The SS Rotterdam, a cruise liner from the 1950s, even has an elegant terrace where you can sip a drink in the springtime sun all afternoon. Just like everywhere in the country, bicycles are a major mode of transportation. Whether roaming by foot or wheels, you’re sure to catch the plentiful murals that dapple this European city.
Known as the Pearl of Lake Como, Bellagio is one seriously magical place worthy of a spring escape. This lovely town is the perfect mix of picturesque streets, small shops, wonderful restaurants, and gorgeous views across Lake Como. Stay at the Hotel Belvedere Bellagio and—trust us—you’ll wake up to an all-encompassing balcony view each morning. Situated alongside supremely stunning Lake Como, you can easily fill your time with boating activities. However, step into town and you’ll find some of the best coffee you’ve ever sipped and some of the best spaghetti you’ve ever twirled. Here’s a tip: you’ll find one of the most stunning views of Bellagio (walkways, mountains and water in one shot) at the very end of Salita Serbelloni at Via Guiseppe Garibaldi.
The city that has something for everyone. From rich history, world-class museums, stunning architecture, an array of bathhouses and much more. The Hungarian Parliament is one of Budapest’s most famous landmarks and a must-see for the Gothic Revival-style architecture. Located in the historic district, the Fisherman’s Bastion has an impressive viewing terrace situated in a fairy-tale setting. For the foodies, check out the Great Market Hall featuring the best local produce in a restored neo-Gothic tunnel. Top off your trip with a soak in a thermal bath for the ultimate Budapest experience. These baths are heated by natural thermal springs and even include on-site massage services. Check out Szecheny Thermal Bath, the largest medicinal bath in Europe with 21 pools. We recommend checking out more than one thermal bath as each offers a different experience.
An Aegean Sea staple, Skyros is yet another Greek island to lure you in this spring. The main town is utterly charming, with cafes and quiet neighborhoods in slender streets. Atitsatsa Bay is quite the vista, especially during those magical sunset moments. The Manos Faltaïts Folk Museum holds the secret to Skyros history, and the Monastery of Agios Giorgios takes you all the way back to the 13th century. An interesting fact about Skyros is that the island is home to one of the rarest and oldest horse breeds, the Skyrian pony, which can only be found here. Skyros is one of the most remote islands in Greece with crystal clear waters, golden sandy beaches and rugged landscapes, perfect for the outdoor lovers. Scuba divers, hikers and sunbathers alike will enjoy the natural beauty this island has to offer. Whatever you do, don’t forget to hop on a boat and see the island from the water’s vantage point.
St. Andrews, Scotland
North of Edinburgh on Scotland’s eastern coast, St. Andrews is a step back in time. This old seaside town is packed with history, charm and beautiful architecture. Play golf at one of the world’s oldest, most legendary courses (St. Andrews just so happens to have two of them). Famous for its gorgeous University, with alumni including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a cathedral that seemingly touches the sky and ruins that make you wonder how the others lived, this Scottish stop is one for the books. Stellar seafood and boutique shopping only enhance your experience, and that’s not to mention the locally distilled liquor you’ll find in town (it’s called Eden Mill—you’re welcome).
Spring’s in the Air
Wherever you are in the world, Spring is a beautiful feeling. A change in weather and scenery can elevate your mood to new heights, propelling you into the season with enthusiasm. Rich in history, architecture, music and food, Europe is guaranteed to delight your senses. Be sure to soak it all up while the season is still in full swing.