• 25 June 2020

When is the best time to visit Europe weather-wise? Well… when is the best time to have a piece of chocolate or a leisurely nap? The answer is obvious. Always! The continent of Europe is a rather large place so it spans many different longitudes and weather zones.

Anytime is the best time to visit Europe. It all depends on where you’re going.

Below you can see the average temperatures of the different parts of Europe and we’ll also include some season handy travel tips for your European holiday! It’s also important to know the differences between peak season (summer), low season (winter) and shoulder season (spring & autumn) when planning when to travel.

Summer vs Winter vs Spring and Autumn

As a general rule of thumb, summer in Europe equals perfect weather. But it also means lots of crowds (meaning long lines) and an exodus of locals. In terms of budget, it has high accommodation prices. Winter means freezing temperatures and short days. Your budget will be lower here, as you have affordable rates on just about everything. The downside? Lots of closed attractions. Spring and autumn are probably the best times to travel. Shoulder season has fewer crowds and better prices. The weather isn’t too hot or cold. Just right for a holiday of exploring!

Planning a trip to Europe? Use this handy tool to look up the weather averages by destination.

Beautiful colours of autumn in Eastern Europe.

In Western Europe, you’ll find Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Average temperatures per season:
Summer (June – August): High 24°C, Low 14°C
Autumn (September – November): High 14°C, Low 7°C
Winter (December – February): High 5°C, Low 0°C
Spring (March – May): High 14°C, Low 5°C

As stated before, summer throughout Europe is delightfully warm but extremely busy. Paris is crammed to the hilt during June and August. Tourists folk flock here for summer sun, to stroll Parisian neighbourhoods and visit attractions in good weather. Even though you’ll experience mostly sunny days, July is Paris’ rainiest month! Remember to pack a poncho or umbrella. Also, keep in mind that Bastille Day takes place in July.

The off-season is much quieter and less expensive. But not in cities like Berlin and Brussels. They are big international business centres, thus they are busy at this time of year. This means accommodation prices and flights will not be more affordable. Many tourist-oriented attractions and shows close down over the winter months. But some cities, like Vienna, show their best when the temperatures drop. This is a great time to see opera and listen to choirs! You could also visit exciting travelling exhibitions at big museums.

Alps in Austria over winter
Winter view of a lakeside village in the Austrian Alps.

Eastern Europe includes Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia.

Average temperatures per season:
Summer (June – August): High 25°C, Low 14°C
Autumn (September – November): High 13°C, Low 5°C
Winter (December – February): High 0°C, Low:  -6°C
Spring (March – May): High 14°C, Low 4°C

Eastern European summers are warm! Sometimes cities like Moscow even experience intense heatwaves. These heatwaves can drive the locals out of town. Make sure not to forget your sunblock!

Travel Tip: Carry a small travel umbrella to protect you against unexpected summer showers. Lightweight slacks and long summer dresses are your best bet. Shorts can limit your access to certain Orthodox cathedrals and religious attractions. Residents escape the heat by making use of their cities’ green spaces, or they get-together at local watering holes.

Visiting Eastern Europe in the wintertime? Be sure to make the most of the limited daylight hours. Certain sites remain open during this time of year but tend to close when the sun goes down. Note – this is earlier than you think. But, most of the larger cities still cater to the sightseeing crowds. Not the small towns though, they go into hibernation mode in the coldest months. Be sure to check ahead of time – the attractions you want to see might not be open during your vacation.

Beach season on the French Riviera!

Southern Europe, where is it? Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, and Spain.
Travel Tip: Croatia, Greece and Italy have the warmest weather in Europe year-round.

Average temperatures per season:
Summer (June – August): High 30°C, Low 17°C
Autumn (September – November): High 20°C, Low 10°C
Winter (December – February): High 7°C, Low 0°C
Spring (March – May): High 18°C, Low 7°C

Summer in Southern Europe means lots of locals and tourists on holiday. They all make their way here to enjoy the incredible climate. If you don’t enjoy big crowds or long queues, rather take the road less travelled. Find those hidden spots… For instance, the beaches along the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece are just as beautiful as those on the isles of Santorini. Perks? Not as overcrowded. Similarly, certain day-trip destinations are best enjoyed in the evening. Especially the day trips in Madrid and Florence. They are quieter because most of the day-trippers have already finished up for the day. You should try to sleepover and enjoy the local flavour in new spots after the sun goes down!

Travel Trip: Shoulder season in Mediterranean Europe (France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece) can actually be busier and more expensive than summer. This is because the weather is a bit more temperate. Don’t bargain on fewer crowds and better prices during this time of year. Torn between going in spring or autumn? Southern Europe is generally greener in spring, and a bit dry in autumn. Hikers should go in autumn, as the best Alpine trails are still covered in snow in spring.

Winter in southern Europe is actually a treat! Big cities like Madrid, Rome and Athens are uncomfortably hot during summer. This means many restaurant and bar owners escape the heat to cooler climates. So, you can ski to your heart’s content throughout the low season. And you’ll have your pick of awesome eateries, exhibitions and special events.

Related: Experience the culture, cuisine and centuries worth of history on a trip to southern France, Spain and Portugal.

Beautiful, sunny weather in London, England
Beautiful, sunny weather in London, England.

Where is it? Northern Europe consists of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Finland, Sweden and Russia are some of the coldest countries of Europe – pack plenty of layers and waterproof boots!

Average temperatures per season:
Summer (June – August): High 22°C, Low 13°C
Autumn (September – November): High 11°C, Low 6°C
Winter (December – February): High 1°C, Low: -4°C
Spring (March – May): High 11°C, Low 2°C

Summer is the best time to visit Scandinavia, Britain and Ireland. It doesn’t get as crowded as Southern and Western Europe. Weather needs to be on your side when planning your Northern Europe trip. Scandinavia can get extremely cold! It’s best to plan your travels around their short tourist season. If you don’t like the cold, your trip should fall between mid-June to late August.

Winter in Northern Europe is very cold! But then again, these countries are prepared. They all have central heating and loads of indoor attractions. You can plan day trips to museums and theatres. The warming meals and wintertime charm will also make for a memorable cultural experience. Can you brave the cold and possibly a blizzard or two? If you can, you will be rewarded with the best winter travel experience in Northern Europe. You can experience the local feel without the touristy interruptions.

Winter in Europe is charmingly festive!

Outdoor ice rink in the middle of winter. Budapest, Hungary.

This should give you a good idea of when to travel Europe – depending on the type of holiday you’re looking for. Just make sure you are prepared for anything. The weather in Europe can be very unpredictable! But, half the fun of travelling is being surprised and caught a little off guard, isn’t it? Questions about the weather conditions in a particular country? Get in touch with our awesome client service department. They can make the unpredictable a little more bearable!

Questions & Comments

  1. you forgot to mention Canary Islands for year round fantastic weather!!

  2. I’m from Germany but I live in the far north so I basically have a Danish climate. Can you please put Northern Germany in the Northern Europe section?

  3. Really, UK trip is good to visit in between June-August season. June is the perfect time for you to go and see one of the legendary location Britain.

  4. Hi,
    – Does this say that Paris “clears out for much of July and August “,
    and that it
    is “crammed to the hilt during June and August ” ?
    ( My confusion regards August ) .

    I don’t see Romania in the groupings .


    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Michael! Thank you for highlighting this. Typo on our end! June – August are the warmest weather in Paris and also the busiest. Even though the locals head out of town for the summer holidays, tourists from all over the world flock to Paris for a summer holiday. If you want to visit Paris in a less crowded time, rather head over in shoulder season – April to mid-June or September through to October. As for Romania, it’s not one of our travel destinations (yet, anyway!), but it falls in the Eastern Europe bracket. Weather and climate is similar to that of Hungary and Serbia.

  5. We are going to in 24 th December in franc, sees, Italy and Vatican. Please tell me the temperature

  6. My daughter and I are taking a 1 month trip to Europe Starting Sept 3rd, 2017 through Oct 1st, 2017. our 1st stop will be a week in London, 2nd week Paris, 3rd week Spain and last stop Italy. What will the weather be like in all these areas?


    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Carol! The weather starts cooling down in September as autumn arrives. You will most probably have chilly evenings and early mornings in London, but warmer weather in Spain and Italy. Make sure you pack a variety of clothes. Also remember your poncho or umbrella. France is known to get rain in September/October.

  7. This is our first trip to Northern Europe and In terms of clothing & shoes what do we need to bring the whole month of September?

    • Expat Explore says:

      September is the start of autumn in Europe. The weather can be a bit cooler – especially early morning and at night. Make sure you have both cooler and warmer clothes packed. In terms of shoes the most important thing is that they are comfortable. On the Northern Explorer tour has quite a number of walking tours and of course you will explore in your own time. So, in short: Comfortable walking & and options in your suitcase that will work fine
      for warmer days and cold, rainy days.

  8. Hi I’m going on your Europe 12 days tour in May of next yr can you tell me what the weather will be like .and any good tips on what to pack.thanks

  9. I’m planning a trip to southern Europe and I’m trying to figure out the best month for me between November or February, can you please recommend the best month and what clothes to tak

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Ana, it really depends on what experience you are looking for. In December you can experiences a European Christmas with snow, lights, mulled wine and Christmas markets, while in November the weather can be a bit warmer and city streets quiet (and the cost of travelling lower). I’ve asked our team to get in touch with you with more detail!

  10. We are going to Venice Rome and Milan in the last week of October can you please let us know the weather at that time?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Teresita, Italy can still be nice and warm in October, especially Venice. But early mornings and evenings can cool down quite a bit. Be sure to pack for warmer and cooler weather!

  11. Looking at your 10 day tour Europe highlights end Oct 18. Will we see lovely snow scenery? The autumn looks pretty but still want to see snow covered alps. Best time to come?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Lynda! Autumn will be nearing its end in most of Europe in October month, but you’ll definitely see snow-capped alps in Switzerland. About 2 years ago we experienced a particularly cold and winter and encountered snow in Germany early October. But it’s never guaranteed and depends largely on the seasons of the particular year. If you really want to see snow, we recommend you take a Christmas and New Year trip with us – Find our more here>> https://expatexplore.com/multitour_pages/europe-christmas-new-year-tours/

  12. Hi, I am going on the Europe Escape tour that starts on Nov. 13th. What should I expect the weather to be like while on this tour? Thanks in advance!

  13. Hi!
    We’re planning a European tour this Feb. 26, 2018 to March 15, 2018.. does it mean that we can experience winter and spring? Or just winter? Thanks..

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Tracy! It will depend on what area in Europe you plan to travel to. Some areas in Europe, especially the southern countries, experience spring earlier than other countries. In Spain, for instance, you can enjoy warmer weather and spring festivals in March. Even though the weather can still be cool (but not cold), it can be some of the best months to visit. Find out more here: https://www.tripsavvy.com/march-in-spain-weather-and-events-1644265 Someone from our sales team will be in contact with you to answer any questions you might have.

  14. Hi. We are planning to go on a European tour in the middle of July for 2 weeks. We intend to go to London, Paris, Italy, Croatia and Greece. Can you please advise what the weather will be like during that period? Thanks.

    • Expat Explore says:

      London will be High 22°C and Low 13°C, temperate days but pack a light jersey in case. In Paris you can expect High 24°C and Low 14°C. Your true summer heat will be in Italy, Croatia and Greece! You can expect some very hot days – High 30°C and Low 17°C. Here’s a helpful article with some packing tips for your summer vacation >> https://expatexplore.com/blog/warm-weather-travel-pack/

  15. Hi, my husband and I will be going for our honeymoon trip in eastern Europe countries which cover czech republic, austria, slovokia, hungary, poland from 16th feb 2018 – 28th feb 2018.
    May I know the how is the weather and what kind of attire should be bring?
    is it rainy season too? Please advise. Thanks.

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Kaini! Congratulations and what an exciting trip for a honeymoon :) You will be in Eastern Europe during winter so you can expect a High of 0°C and Low of -6°C. In short, you will need to snuggle up. Here is an article on a few packing tips >>https://expatexplore.com/blog/packing-tips-for-cold-weather-travel/

  16. Is it suitable for a europe tour in feb for my one yearboy

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Shweta, unfortunately our minimum age is 10-years – our tours involve a lot of walking so it will be difficult with a very small child.

  17. Hi,I am plan to traveling to Europe next year june?which country is suitable to travel in Europe and how about weather at there?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Lynn,
      June to August in Europe is known as High Season (which means you can expect wonderful summer weather but the downside is quite a few crowds). Any destination in Europe will be a great destination during high season. You can take a look at the Multi-country Europe tours we provide – each one as great as the next >>https://expatexplore.com/multitour_pages/europe-multicountry/

  18. What will the weather be like in the month of December? I’m going on a European tour for 12 days and I will be staying in England afterwards until Christmas Eve.

  19. I am traveling to Europe from 20 Apr to 10 May next year…what would be the weather like?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Vaz, It all depends on which parts of Europe you’ll be visiting. April to May is Spring and ‘shoulder season’ in Europe (which means less people at the tourist attractions & often cheaper prices). You can expect temperatures of 4°C to 18°C, so you would need light jackets. Here are a few things you can look forward to during shoulder season in Europe: https://expatexplore.com/blog/visit-europe-in-the-spring/ Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions here >>https://expatexplore.com/contact-us/

  20. Best time to visit Romania and Bucharest, the capital of the country is spring and summer. From April we will have about 20 degrees Celsius and the weather is just fine. In June is perfect. In July is too hot, yet there are evenings and mornings when visiting Bucharest at leas, is a pleasure. As for the rest of the country, climate is quite the same as in the capital, maybe a little cold at night in the mountains.

  21. We’ll be renting a car for 10 weeks starting in September and plan two drive around Europe. After about two weeks stay in each country starting in Germany then on Italy, Spain and then return rental car in France. We’ll then take the Eurostar to London for a flight back home. What’s the driving condition in those countries I mentioned?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Romi, that sounds like a wonderful trip! September is a great time for a road-trip because it’s known as shoulder season (less tourists and at times lower prices), the weather will be cooler as the season rolls into Autumn. A good idea might be to download an app that allows you to save maps offline – making the navigation easier. The countries you’re travelling to drive on the right-hand side of the road and you’ll find the roads in good condition with border posts as you drive between the countries.

  22. Hi, I am planning for solo trip to UK, France, Italy in November this year. Can you please advise the weather and will there be rain during November?

    Thank you.

  23. Hello! I’m from the Caribbean and I’m considering a trip to London, Italy, France around the 24th March. Can you help me to get prepared weather-wise

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Sharon,
      Spring is from 1 March till 1 June so your temperatures will start warming up but it would be a good idea to keep a light jacket close by as temperatures may not have risen completely. You’ll be looking at temperatures around 16 degrees Celsius. (Coming from the Caribbean, this may be quite chilly for you).

  24. Hello,
    My friends and I are planning a trip at the end of the summer. August 25 – September 8th to be exact. Countries visiting: UK, Amsterdam, France, Italy and Spain. Length: 2 weeks.
    first question: What order should we go to these countries?
    second question: how’s the weather during these dates?

  25. The temperatures are in fact more higher in reality , for example , today (18/02/2018) here in the northern Portugal (southern Europe) it is sunny and it is 18 degrees Celsius , last summer/autumn there were several days with temperatures. Around 35 degrees Celsius (from 25-40 )

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Joao,

      Thanks for the insider info! The weather can be so unpredictable at times and that’s why we try and give the averages.

  26. Info re weather possibilities Dec 2 through Dec 12 from Rome to Barcelona during a cruise. Types of clothing to bring etc

    • Expat Explore says:

      In Rome, you can expect a Low: 4 degrees Celsius and a High: 13 degrees Celsius. In Barcelona, you can expect a Low: 6 degrees Celsius and High: 14 degrees Celsius. So, it won’t be freezing but it could be quite chilly (be sure to pack a jacket and trousers).

  27. Absolutely failed to mention Romania in any of the groups. Last time I checked Romania was a European country!!

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Milena, thanks for the message! We don’t travel to Romania (yet) but of course it falls in the Eastern Europe grouping. If you’re wanting to find out about the temperatures – it will be similar to that of Hungary and Serbia.

  28. Favourable weather to visit Europe!

  29. I want to travel to Amsterdam by 26 of March before Easter, what will the weather be by then and what should i expect

    What kind of cloth should I pack while coming

  30. Hello ~ I am planning a trip for my elderly parents and me to Europe. My Father is fascinated with Scandinavian countries (travel when days are longer) but would like to include a few other European countries – nature bound with picturesque views. Could you please suggest a high level itinerary? Would prefer very much to avoid colder climates.. Thanks

  31. Im planning a trip to Europe around August and im a bit worried about the expenses. Unfortunately, thats the only time I could go. Do you have any smart tips on how to find cheaper accomodations and train tickets that wont hurt my bdget as much?

  32. Deety SAIKUMAR says:

    I want to travel Western Europe countries in sept 2018 and unable resist cool temp. Pl advise me

  33. Crusing thru Ireland (Dublin/Belfast), Denmark,Scotland and Norway in late May.

  34. Maxim Lawrence Peter says:

    Very Nice place.

  35. Hello! What is the chance of snow interrupting flight travel in countries like Ireland, England, Scotland, and Germany during the month of January?


    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Bree, Unfortunately there’s no way to confirm whether flights will be affected or not. However, this should not prevent you from traveling as these countries are equipped to deal with ‘bad weather’.

  36. Zamiel HubertsAustin Chadwick says:

    Thanks for the tips. Europe is one of the best places to travel with during vacation.
    You can experience lot of new things and meet new friends.

  37. Nicole Begay says:

    Europe is truly astonishing with its best places that adapts almost all season. Hoping to visit Eastern Europe soon.

  38. Hi there! I am planning a trip to Paris, Italy and the Greek Islands May next year to escape the cold Australian winter. I’m wanting to see the sights in Paris is this a good time to visit? What are the crowds like at sight seeing venues? Also would the water in the Greek Islands still be nice and warm to swim in?

  39. My husband and I are going on our 2nd river cruise in August.
    Sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest, and wonder what average temps we can expect

  40. Definitely gonna go to Southern Europe on a summertime.

  41. Hi,I am plan to traveling to Europe October – November 2018 ? i would like to go France/spain/Greece/Nederland/german/Italy, it is suitable to travel in and how about weather at there?

  42. Hi! We are a group of friends planning to go on our first Euro trip (no specifics yet) but we are concerned of when is the better time to go, do you reckon February or March? We’re ok with winter sights but we fear there may not be alot to do when its winter? Thanks.

    Great article btw! :)

  43. We are joining the Istanbul tour on Sept 2019 but you did not mention about when is the best of Turkey’s weather. Is Sept month good weather so we would know what type of clothes to bring. Thanks

  44. Hello, I am from the Philippines and Me and my husband have chosen to travel to Istanbul 10 day trip on September 2019. Would it be warm that month because we are seniors and you did not mention Turkey’s weather. Thanks

    • Guest Explorers says:

      Hi Recy

      Thank you for your message, how fantastic that you have chosen to travel with us!

      Please click here to get an overview on what the weather is like in Turkey.

  45. Hi, I am planning for a East European trip (Prague and Vienna) in the month of feb. Is that the good time to visit as it will be very cold. Also little reluctant about the relatively short daytime we get during winters which can affect major visiting places.
    Just a small help about this would be great.

    Btw great article.

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Vab, We believe anytime of the year is always a great time to travel. We’ve got a great article here to respond to some of the concerns you have regarding travel during winter. We hope to welcome you on board soon!

  46. Hi, We are travelling to Europe from India from 18-31 May 2019. We would like to see 4-5 countries. Can U pls suggest us which would be best places,

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Anusha,

      How fantastic that you would like to see Europe with us!

      Please contact us at info@expatexplore.com for more information.

      Alternatively, you may view our multi-country European tours here, departure dates and prices will be listed.

      Hope to see you aboard one of our European tours soon!

  47. Anuradha Taparia says:


    I am planning for Amsterdam, Budapest, Italy,Croatia & Greece in the month of October.
    Is it a best time to visit ?
    Please update ASAP..

    • Hi Anuradha,

      It depends on the type of weather you would prefer, October is Spring/Fall time so if you’re looking for great weather it is a great time to visit.

      Hope to see you travelling with us soon!

  48. Betty McQuay says:

    Any winter trip in the South of France ?
    Betty McQuay

    • Hi Betty, thank you for showing interest to discover the South of France with us. Our Sales department will be in touch with you shortly to avail options to you.

  49. Kia ora! I’m heading to Europe in April 2020 and am going to either start in Spain and work my way up and around to Greece, or vice versa. I will be returning home around September. Could you recommend the best end to start at based on the weather, pricing and crowds?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Kira

      Thank you for your message.

      The best time to visit Greece is definitely September, days are beautiful mild not to hot though it will be summer, very bright. You are travelling in the perfect months from April to August/September.

      Should you need anything please do not hesitate to contact us .

      Kind Regards.

  50. Hi, I am from the UK and it’s worth mentioning that in places like coastal areas of Norway and Iceland have a problem with rain more than they do with the cold weather.

    • Julita Smit says:

      Hi Leah, thank you so much for your comment! You’re quite right about rain being more of a concern – we’ll definitely add a note.

  51. Nitika Bajaj says:

    Is it better to visit Belgium or Eastern Europe during March

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