• 22 February 2023

Visiting Europe in spring is one of the best things you can do! This is because spring is an amazing time to travel. The weather is getting warmer, days are getting longer and there is plenty of daylight for loads of sightseeing! Additionally, it’s also shoulder season (the straddling months between high season and low season) for most European destinations. This means cheaper accommodation and flights! The other huge advantage of travelling in spring is shorter queues. What’s not to love?

Furthermore, Europe comes alive in springtime. As the cold subsides, the European nations head outdoors to celebrate. Here at Expat Explore, we love celebrating spring festivals in Europe. Take a look at some of the spring highlights the continent has to offer:

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London

Location: England
The first Chelsea Flower Show was in 1862 and was known as the Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place in London from May annually. This year, visit between 22 – 27 May and be dazzled by colourful flowers, innovative garden designs and amazing horticultural exhibits! Once you’re done, stick around to explore and enjoy the festive atmosphere around Chelsea.

King’s Day

Location: The Netherlands
The date marks the birth of King Willem Alexander.

The Dutch celebrate some of their biggest and most important holidays in spring. Dress in orange and help the locals celebrate their king with street markets, live music and brightly decorated boats on King’s Day (known locally as Koningsdag) on 27 April!

Related: Find out everything you need to know about the festive Dutch holiday with our handy King’s Day celebration guide.

Prague Spring Festival

Location: Czech Republic
Spring brightens up the beautiful city of Prague.

Fans of classical music and opera will be dazzled by the Prague Spring International Music Festival. Running from 12 May – 2 June 2023, this historic music festival features top soloists and orchestras from all over the world.

Palm Sunday & Easter Week at the Vatican

Location: Rome, Italy
Crowds gather at St Peter’s Basilica on Easter Sunday.

Rome is the top European destination for Easter week, or Settimana Santa, which starts on Palm Sunday with a special mass said by the Pope in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City. On Good Friday there is a Papal Mass at the Vatican in Saint Peter’s Basilica; in the evening the ritual of the Stations of the Cross, or Via Crucis, is enacted near Rome’s Colosseum. Further religious celebrations unfold throughout the week.

The Fallas of Valencia

Location: Spain
The term “Fallas” refers to the celebration and the monuments burnt during the celebration.

Springtime in Spain is a time of loud and colourful celebrations! From March, the Fallas of Valencia takes over the city’s streets with plenty of festive fanfare. Streets are filled with oversized, colourful statues, live performers and all manner of merriment as the city’s various ‘barrios’ (areas) are pitted against each other to put on the most spellbinding show. This year’s festival is taking place from 1 – 19 March 2023.

Brussels City Parks

Location: Belgium
Spring brings colour to Brussels!

Brussels has an incredible array of gorgeous parks, woods and green spaces that burst into bloom come spring. Don your daypack, put on some comfortable shoes and set off on foot. There are endless ponds, gently sloping hills and blooming flower beds to discover in this city.

Oslo Medieval Festival

Location: Norway
Traditional festival takes you back in time to the period when Oslo became Norway’s capital.

The Oslo Medieval Festival usually takes place in May and takes you back in time to the period when Oslo became Norway’s capital. The festival has a genuine medieval atmosphere and a large market with visiting European artisans and makers. Think wandering jugglers, jesters, musicians and beggars; historical plays; longbow shooting and concerts with medieval songs and instruments.

Keukenhof Gardens

Location: Netherlands
In 1949, a group of 20 leading flower bulb growers and exporters decided to use the Keukenhof Castle estate to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs – thus, the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park.

Keukenhof Park has over 7 million flower bulbs planted annually! Known as ‘the garden of Europe’, the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens attract thousands of visitors from all over the world each year. Travellers come from far and wide to see the flowery spectacles. In 2023, visit between 23 March and 14  May.

Hamburg DOM, Hamburg

Location: Germany
Hamburg DOM is the largest fair in Northern Germany and the longest-running fair in the whole of Germany.

The annual Hamburg DOM is one of Germany’s most sought-after annual events. This year it takes place in spring between 24 March – 23 April. It’s the biggest public festival in Northern Germany and takes place three times a year. This family-friendly affair has something for everyone – vintage carousels, high-tech roller coasters, special events, fireworks, food trucks for days. Everything you want for a rollicking good time, and more!

Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Location: France
The Jardin du Luxembourg or the Luxembourg Garden covers 22.5 hectares and is known as the biggest park in Paris.

Spring is the time of new life! Paris definitely starts to come back to life in spring. Not only do the gardens bloom, you will also find the locals back out on their terraces, drinking tea and soaking up the sun’s rays. Go down to the stunning Luxembourg Gardens for a picnic and some people-watching. Or just take a nice leisurely stroll around the garden to escape the busy city!

Excited yet? You should be! Exploring Europe in spring is nothing short of magical. Plan your trip to coincide with the gorgeous spring shoulder season and enjoy the continent at its most vital.

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