Schedule Europe Trip for Best Seasons, Values
A journey to Europe is the holiday of a lifetime. Limitless sites and attractions are waiting throughout the continent. The prices and the weather are the major elements in deciding the prime travel periods.
A good compromise is to choose the period before and after the busy summer season, because the weather is mostly good and prices are lower. Southern Europe also offers a nice experience in the winter, with reasonably mild weather.
If nice weather is important to you, the winter is one of the worst times to see northern Europe. Gray, wet and cold weather is common December through February. And daylight is in short supply, so evenings will be spent primarily indoors.
However, winter travel offers the best prices. Italy or Greece would be good choices if you are limited to a winter vacation.
There are some other benefits to winter travel. Winter festivals and New Year’s are exciting times in Europe. Cities such as Paris are beautiful when decorated for the Christmas holidays. New Year’s eve in Paris is exciting, with parties, festivals and night life. Several other countries have holiday events and festivals as well.
The biggest benefit of winter travel is that you will see fewer other tourists. Your experience will be more authentic, seeing European life without the crush of people.
Early spring finds most of Europe still chilly and wet, especially in the north, so streets are uncrowded. Though not great for swimming, the weather is fine for outdoor tours and sightseeing. Budget-minded travelers will like the cheaper prices for airfare and hotels.
May and June are among the best months to visit most European countries. The weather is warm on most of the continent and it’s still uncrowded. There are a variety of festivals and cultural events throughout Europe in May and June. Because the tourist season hasn’t started into full swing yet, you can get good deals on accommodations and plane fare. An added benefit is few lines at most tourist attractions and plenty of room on tours and in restaurants.
Once schools let out, Europe quickly becomes crowded. The summer months are very busy and hotels get booked quickly. Because of the demand, everything is more expensive in the summer. Tourist destinations are very crowded and you will wait in lines at many attractions.
Northern Europe, with its good weather and smaller crowds, would be a good option for summer travel. Whatever season you choose, there are more than enough attractions to provide a great European holiday.