Going on vacations is probably the most sought-after activity by people across the globe. The first step of any holiday planning is deciding where to go. After hours of researching and arguments with your spouse, you finally decide on a mutually agreeable place. Then comes the best time to visit the place. Of all the places on the planet, Europe stands on top of most holiday-goers’ bucket list. Its stunning mountains, architecture, and natural beauty bring millions of tourists throughout the year.
June to September will be the best time to visit Europe. The climate will be warm, and you can chill alongside the water at the fantastic beaches or take a stroll through the various historic places across the continent. Europe has over 45 countries with climates ranging from sunny to snowy winter. In northern parts like Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and in the UK, the weather is cold from December through March with a lot of snowfall.
The best time to visit eastern Europe is during the shoulder season. Down south you have France, Italy, Portugal, Greece etc. which will have sunny weather throughout the year. Rains are frequent in winter. These parts, for instance, Spain, will have some of the hottest summers around July and August. This time is perfect for attending a lot of events, musical concerts and a lot of sale is put up for shoppers. If you are the adventurous type, it will be the best time to explore the countries on road trips, go on hikes and other adventure activities.
If you love snow and would like to enjoy the cold weather, then wintertime would suit you best.
TRAVEL BIT: The very famous Northern Lights are best seen during the winter season.
Remember, there will be no possibility of the same weather across all the regions at any given time. If the south is warm, then the northern part will have altogether different weather. Hence you must plan your trip accordingly.
June to August is the best season to visit Europe if you wish to travel to a lot of places for sight-seeing. The days are usually long, and the party scene is higher. A lot of fun activities take place during this season, which in turn brings in a lot of crowds. Famous cities like Rome, Paris and Amsterdam have tens of thousands of tourists from all over the globe. In such situations, it would be advisable to book in advance the tickets for main tourist attractions and other key monuments. You can save the waiting time and focus on enjoying the experience.
The other aspect of travelling during peak season is the cost. Most places will be expensive, and hence, it is always better to book your hotels, rentals and flight tickets well in advance to save some cash. Worst case, it will help you from being sold out.
After all that, the continent is undeniably beautiful and the best time to visit Europe for a honeymoon.
Some of the key events you need to look out for during this time are:
The Istanbul Music Festival in Turkey – This festival is among the top music festivals in the world. Almost 600 local and international artists perform at these festivals which has some big names in opera, classical and ballet music.
The Bordeaux Wine Festival in Bordeaux, France – If you love wine, you can’t miss this place. One of the world’s best wine is produced at this place and takes place in mid of June. You can taste the diversity of wines from the Bordeaux and Aquitaine regions and take a tour of vineyards and other wine workshops.
Wimbledon in London, England – The July month brings you the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. For sports lovers, this event must be at the top in your itinerary.
The San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain – The most controversial annual bull-running festival in Spain is held in July. Make sure you are at a safe distance to watch the bulls running, which usually takes place on the second day of the festival.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland – The three-week festival will feature a unique collection of known and unknown artists and takes place in August. You can enjoy comedy, theatre, musicals, operas and other dance events and exhibitions.
The Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy – This arts festival brings renowned musicians and artists and takes place in August over nine days. Music, art, cooking workshops and some amazing food and Tuscan wine will give you an experience of a lifetime.
Along with other festivals like the La Tomatina, this will also be the best time to visit Europe for honeymoon couples if you love the hustle and bustle of the peak season.
TEMPERATURE RANGE: 14 to 20 degree Celsius.
TRAVEL STATS: The count of Indian applicants for Europe alone touched one million in 2018.
November to March brings you a completely different side of Europe. For solo travellers and people who want to take their time exploring different countries, this season will be the best time to visit Europe. Also if you are a little tight on the budget, the winter season is the cheapest. The main tourist attractions will have lesser crowds, and you can experience the awesomeness of Europe leisurely. Keep in mind though that most places which are buzzing with activity in summer will be invariably quiet or even closed. Hence you must be wise in making your plan.
Winter brings you the experience of Christmas, and you get to experience Christmas markets, ice hotels, skiing activities and other snow-based events. Most people in India, especially the southern part, would have no experience with snow. Hence this would be the best time to visit Europe from India if you are a snow lover. There is no way you come to Europe and not see the Northern Lights. You just have to make sure you have your woollens packed.
Other key events include:
Sinterklaas Parade in Amsterdam, Netherlands – Santa Claus is usually known to Dutch children as Sinterklaas and marks the beginning of the Christmas season around mid-November.
The Rome Jazz Festival in Italy – One of the most popular events in Rome takes place in November. Italian musicians including other international musicians perform in the Auditorium Parco della Musica.
Lyon Festival of Lights in Lyon, France – The popular Festival of Lights takes place over four days in December. Some remarkable lighting displays occur throughout the city in honour of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Every house in Lyon will place candles along the outside of the windows of their homes.
Bonfire Night in London, England – It was the time when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the House of Parliament. London’s skies light up to celebrate this tradition that dates back to early 17th-century.
Weihnachtsmarkt in Koblenz, Germany – The Christmas markets and festivals take place in the Koblenz market around the end of November. It functions until a few days before Christmas, and almost 100 decorated stalls are set up which sell traditional German cuisine and beverages and other goods. Concerts and performances occur throughout the festival and are one of the best things to see in the season.
Christmas Markets – The Christmas markets are in many locations throughout Europe in December. Innsbruck and Vienna, Birmingham, Brussels, Bologna, Copenhagen and Norway are some of the places where you can find these markets.
New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a stunning display of fireworks across Europe. The parties are remarkable and last well into the night. You will find a fun event to attend wherever you are. London, Paris, Vienna, Edinburgh, Rome and Prague hosts some of the best events for New year.
TEMPERATURE RANGE: -5 to 5 degree Celsius.
April to June and September to November are off-seasons. If you are flexible and don’t have kids (because you need to plan around their holidays), this will be the best time to visit Europe. The weather is good, tourists are less, and you can spend more time in each location.
Also, the flight tickets will be cheaper, reasonably priced hotel rooms and other expenses like car rentals or city tours will be priced low. You need to keep in mind that weather is unpredictable during this time of the year, and hence, you must have warm and cool clothes at your disposal. This will also be the best time to visit Europe from India as kids usually have their schools off during the April-May summer vacations.
Some key events:
Tulip Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands – This is one of the most popular spring festivals which occurs during April. Over half a million rare and colourful tulips can be found in the gardens of museums, homes, institutions etc.
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany – Taking place in September and running through October, almost six million people from across the globe join the party and drink loads of beer, eat heaps of sausage with other game attractions and amusements.
Cannes Film Festival, France – The most glamorous of all film festivals taking place in May, film enthusiasts must make it a point to attend the Cannes and catch a glimpse of their favourite movie stars and film previews.
Eurochocolate in Perugia, Italy – The biggest chocolate festivals is hosted for ten days in October. You can taste chocolate from around the world and participate in cooking classes along with other exciting activities.
Regata Storica di Venezia in Venice, Italy – The historic Regatta the most spectacular event taking place in Venice. The city’s reliance on boating and waterways is heightened in this event and takes place on the first Sunday of September. Four different races happen, which involves different types of boats. The gondola is not to be forgotten, which is a race along the Grand Canal. Food, drink and music are to be found in plenty.
This will also be the best time to visit eastern Europe, which is usually overlooked by most travellers. It is comparatively cheaper in the eastern parts, and you have some exciting things to do if you know where to look. Romania has striking medieval architecture and some amazing national parks in Poland.
QUICK FACT: There are some beautiful inland lakes and some of the best hiking activities in the Baltics.
TEMPERATURE RANGE: 5 to 12 degree Celsius.
Public transportation and other services are much less frequent in winter like Greece and Italy’s Adriatic coast, which are summer destinations. In places like Scandinavia, freezing weather prevents transportation from running at all. August is dull in smaller cities and towns in places like France and Italy because many businesses go on vacation during this period. Based on all these factors, you can decide which is the best season to visit Europe and experience the wonders it throws at you.