10 places to go in Europe in spring 2019

Looking for inspiration on where to head to this spring? Explore our selection of Europe's top places to visit during this rejuvenating season, from cool Copenhagen to atmospheric Seville and the timeless Italian lakes. Here is our guide of places to go to in Europe in Spring.
Lago Maggiore, Italy: Photo: Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich/Shutterstock
Lago Maggiore, Italy: Photo: Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich/Shutterstock

Discover our list of the 10 best places to go this spring

  1. The Italian Lakes
  2. Zadar, Croatia
  3. Thessaloniki, Greece
  4. Seville, Spain
  5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  6. Reykjavík, Iceland
  7. Paris, France
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark
  9. Budapest, Hungary
  10. Ljubljana, Slovenia

1. The Italian Lakes

Set among the southern foothills of the Alps, the Italian lakes extend over four different regions of northwest Italy: Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino and the Veneto. The most famous trio are stately Maggiore, where snowcapped peaks form a dramatic backdrop to the enchanting Borromeo Islands; beguiling Como, where mountains plunge into the deep waters and picturesque villages cling to the slopes; and vast, diverse Garda, similar to a fjord at its northern end and resembling a sea to the south. In addition, there are also a number of smaller, peaceful lakes dotted among the valleys. Visit the region in spring as part of Insight Guides' Enchanting Italian Lakes trip to stay ahead of the crowds.

The breathtaking Lake Como, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock


2. Zadar, Croatia

Move over Dubrovnik and Split, there are new Croatian hotspots in town. Zadar, in northern Dalmatia, is one to watch. It has an old town that is spectacularly situated on a peninsula, while recent installations on the seafront make for a truly interactive experience. The Sea Organ, for example, consists of a series of stone steps leading into the sea, with underwater pipes creating ambient sound effects. While the Greeting To The Sun, consisting of 300 multi-layered glass plates, creates an intricate light show from sunset until dawn. Discover the rich culture and history of Croatia's stunning southern region on Insight Guides' Croatia's Dalmatian Coast trip

Fosa harbour in Zadar, Croatia. Photo: Shutterstock


3. Thessaloniki, Greece

Following the exemplary regeneration of its waterfront, the vibrant northern Greek port of Thessaloniki is enjoying an ongoing renaissance. Roman, Byzantine and Turkish buildings bear witness to the city’s convoluted history, while the region’s Macedonian heritage is apparent at the well preserved nearby archaelogical sites of Philippi and Vergina. Thessaloniki’s Ottoman White Tower marks the beginning of its revitalized 3.5km-long waterfront, which offers a cycle path, numerous shaded gardens and panoramic sea views. Nearby bars and restaurants buzz with life, while the city is within easy reach of Halkidiki’s three peninsulas which encompass some of the finest beaches in Greece.

St. Paul's Church in Thessaloniki, Greece. Photo: Andrei Bortnikau/Shutterstock


4. Seville, Spain

The Spanish city of Seville isn't just about oranges, flamenco and bullfighting. The atmospheric capital of Andalucia, set on the banks of the River Guadalquivir, is of major historical importance. It is home to Europe's oldest royal palace still in daily use, the Alcazar, as well as the the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Enjoy a tapas crawl through the old Jewish quarter of Barrio Santa Cruz. Take in panoramic views of the city from the top of the Torre de los Perdigones, and experience Seville's sultry nightlife. This Spanish gem won't disappoint, especially if you visit as part of Insight Guides' Simply Seville trip.

Seville's fabulous Feria de Abril (spring fair) takes place from 4–11 May in 2019. 


Plaza de Espana, Sevilla. Photo: Shutterstock 

Spring is the perfect time to visit Seville. Photo: Shutterstock


5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Canals, bicycles, tulips... Amsterdam seems made for spring. A walk, boat tour or bike ride along the canals that weave through the city are all great ways to discover it. Enjoy a coffee, a beer or a smoke in one of the city's myriad, varied cafés and coffee shops, explore the green expanses of the Vondelpark, and enjoy world-class art collections and exhibitions in the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.


Picturesque traditional Dutch houses and bridge on the Reguliersgracht canal in Amsterdam. Photo: ShutterstockTraditional houses lining the Reguliersgracht canal, Amsterdam. Photo: Shutterstock


6. Reykjavík, Iceland

Iceland’s compact capital city, Reykjavík, generates abundant quirky culture and is within easy reach of dramatic frozen landscapes and exhilarating adventure activities. Plentiful wildlife watching opportunities include whale spotting, with regular departures leaving from Reykjavík to spot white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and humpbacks. Famous Icelandic natural attractions are within easy reach of the city in ‘the Golden Circle’ including the awe-inspiring Gullfoss waterfall, the natural amphitheatre that housed the Viking parliament at Þingvellir – Thingvellir National Park, and the spouting hot springs at Geysir. Reykjavík's numerous thermal pools offer the chance to relax as you experience the therapeutic benefits for the mind and body that are an integral part of the nation’s culture. 

Gulfoss (Golden Falls) waterfall Iceland. Photo: Max Topchii/Shutterstock


7. Paris, France

Paris in the spring. It's so obvious and yet we couldn't leave it out! Such is the French capital's charm that it can't be beaten as a spring destination. You can enjoy the sunshine in the city's main parks such as Tuileries and the Luxembourg or sample less well-known green spaces including the impressively planned Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Sit outside a café and people-watch with the bohemian crowd in the Marais or sip coffee like the existentialists at Les Deux Magots and the Café de Flore in St-Germain. Whatever you do, Paris at this time of year is a delight.

Typical Parisian street. Photo: Shutterstock

  

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is a breath of fresh air – an eco-friendly city located on the coast. You'll be struck by two things as you stroll through the compact Danish capital: how neat and well-designed everything is, and how many people pass you riding a bicycle. The Danes cycle in their thousands: men in suits, mums with babies in cart extensions, people cycling with pets... so why not join them? Copenhagen's parks are well worth exploring on a sunny day – take a stroll through Kongens Have, Frederiksberg Have or the 19th-century amusement park of Tivoli Gardens.

The stunning Copenhagen City, Denmark. Photo: ShutterstockCopenhagen, Denmark, is a perfect spring city break destination. Photo: Shutterstock


9. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest has a lot to offer. First, it's a spa city, so you can experience thermal springs and beauty treatments in wonderfully decadent surroundings. It is also a city of culture. The banks of the Danube and the Castle district of Buda are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spring affords longer evenings in which to play chess at Szechenyi Baths, stroll over to Margaret Island in the middle of the river, or wander around the cobbled streets of Buda, from where you can enjoy the best views of the striking Parliament building.


Evening view of Danube River in Budapest. Photo: ShutterstockEvening view of Danube River in Budapest. Photo: Shutterstock


10. Ljubljana, Slovenia

The River Ljubljanica, crossed by elegant bridges and lined with weeping willows and open-air cafés, flows through the heart of Ljubljana's Old Town, lending an air of informality to the cobbled streets and Baroque buildings, while the whole scene is presided over by a majestic hilltop castle. Isn't it time you paid a visit to Slovenia's capital?

Spring is a great time to visit Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana. Photo: Shutterstock


Ready to plan a spring break in Europe?

Our local experts can help organise wonderful trips to destinations around Europe for you. Simply get in touch with us to share your ideas for the trip and let us know exactly where and when you would like to travel. We will then create an itinerary especially for you, which can be amended until you're totally happy with every detail before booking.


Updated 23 January, 2019