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Best time to visit Europe

Visiting Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many so it is important it is done in the best way possible. Let Skyscanner help you decide which is the best time for you to visit Europe based on the places you want to visit and things you want to do. Our comprehensive guide will give you all the details you need on the various seasons Europe sees and help you build exciting itineraries around them. Read on.

Europe’s splendor has often been an inspiration for writers and poets.  Age-old stone cottages and cobblestone streets set amid verdant hills and emerald lakes make for perfect, postcard-like memories for everyone travelling to the gorgeous continent. Whether you are travelling as a couple, family or even solo, Europe promises you a trip of a lifetime – a trip that will always warm up your heart and light up your face when thought of.

While Europe is a year round tourist destination, you can plan your vacation better if you know the best time to visit based on the countries you are visiting and the activities you plan to do. Ideally, the most favourable time to visit Europe weather-wise is the summer season that lasts from June to August. However, if you want to experience Europe’s cheery Christmas celebrations amid soft, white snow, plan your trip during the winter months of December, January and February. Those looking for the best bargains on flights and accommodation can plan their trip during spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). Let us sketch out for you the five seasons Europe experiences.

  1. June to August

Imagine sunny skies, warm ocean waters, absolutely no dearth of activities and the freedom to wear whatever you want without the fear of freezing! That’s Europe for you during the summer months of June, July and August. However, since these three months are tourist magnets, make sure you book your desired flights and hotels in advance. With exciting outdoor activities taking place at every corner of the continent, and various festivals adding vibrancy to the atmosphere, Europe is truly at its best during these months.

Best countries to visit: Greece, Spain, Belgium, France, Portugal and Italy

Noteworthy festivals: Tour de France, La Tomatina (Spain), San Fermin festival (Irunea/Pamplona, Spain) and various music festivals such as Tomorrowland (Belgium), NOS Primavera Sound (Porto – Portugal) and Rock in Roma (Italy).

Tips: Some countries in the continent experience heat waves in summer when temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsius so it is the best to not step out during daytime if you are stuck at one of those places to avoid exhaustion.

  1. September to November

The autumn season is the perfect time to grab the best hotel deals and enjoy sightseeing without crazy crowds. Also, the stunning autumn foliage is the ideal backdrop for Insta-worthy photos. With the average temperatures ranging between 8 and 15 degrees Celsius, you will be able to get a flavour of European winter without hampering your itinerary. Make sure you pack light cardigans and jackets.   

Best countries to visit: Czech Republic, Scotland, Slovenia, Turkey, Poland, Germany and Hungary.

Noteworthy festivals: Oktoberfest (Germany), Costume drama (Slovenia), Wine and song (Czech Republic) and Halloween celebration (Romania).

Tips: Autumn is the perfect time for you to chat with the locals and do things as they do. So, make sure you smile, talk to them and learn something valuable about the country you visiting. Also, it would help if you could learn some basic words of the local language to help you have a basic conversation.

  1. December to February

While European winters ooze romance and give everything a fairy-tale sort of feel, they are generally not the best months to travel. That’s because travelling is difficult, you cannot step out without heavy woolens and many attractions are closed. However, if you want to see the continent covered in soft, silver snow, it is the perfect time. It is also the ideal time to ski, enjoy Christmas and New Year celebrations, and view the famed Northern Lights.

Best countries to visit: Switzerland (make sure you take an iconic trip in the Glacier Express), Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Austria and Slovakia.

Noteworthy festivals: Amsterdam Light Festival (The Netherlands), Horizon Festival (Andorra), Momentum Ski Festival (Switzerland), Altitude Comedy Festival (Austria), Ljubljana Dragon Carnival (Slovenia), New Year’s Dive (The Netherlands), Vinterjazz (Danmark) and Snow Bike Festival (Switzerland).

Tips: Consider the shorter days while planning your itinerary and carry boots, thermals, sweaters and chapstick!

  1. March to May

Just like autumn, the spring season also is a convenient time to travel to Europe – the weather isn’t extreme, costs are low, not too many tourists and most attractions are open. The temperatures range from 2 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius. Fragrant flowers and sunny weather make for the perfect photo ops. If you want to enjoy Easter celebrations, make sure you plan your trip around the festival.

Best countries to visit: Iceland, Norway, Croatia, Monaco and Bulgaria.

Noteworthy festivals: Sónar Reykjavík (Iceland), Amsterdam Tulip Festival (The Netherlands), Snowbombing (Austria) and Lost & Found Festival (Malta).

Tips: Make sure you carry a decent camera to capture those amazing blooms.

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You now know everything about Europe’s weather and the best time to visit the various countries in the continent, it is time to go ahead and book that trip! Book your flights, hotel or rent a car with Skyscanner today. You can do all of these on our mobile app too.