Best Time To Visit Europe And 11 Best Europe Destinations in 2023
When Are The Travel Seasons And The Best Time To Visit Europe?
In some ways it’s difficult to say what the best months to travel to Europe are as it really depends on what you are after. Generally speaking going during the drier more comfortably warm periods is what a lot of people would prefer. However others may prefer to go outside peak travel season for a quieter more personal ambiance, or for a specific event. The tips below should hopefully give you an idea of the best time of year to plan your travel in Europe.
Europe and its wide range of culture, history and stunning landscapes is a ultimate dream destination for many travellers. You can read my 14 Best Holiday Destinations In Europe To Visit article if you need some ideas on top places to visit in 2023. The best weather is during the summer months between June and September, which are great for enjoying the warm weather during outdoor activities. Picture al-fresco dining, strolling down historic streets or having a walk surrounded by gorgeous countryside. However this is also the peak season when much of Europe sees tourists arriving to enjoy this time for exploring.
So if you are like me and prefer to choose a quieter time to explore with fewer crowds, go during the shoulder season. This is generally late spring April to mid-June, and early fall September to October. This will provide a hopefully less hectic Europe experience as the weather is still lovely and tourist attractions are still open. December is a magical time to visit Europe for lovers of Christmas decorations and fairytale Christmas markets who should plan to visit during late December. Skiing enthusiast will probably look for the best skiing season in Europe which is between December to April.
When Is The Cheapest Time To Go To Europe?
As with all popular tourist destinations, traveling across Europe can be expensive during the peak times. The cheapest time throughout Europe is during the off-peak season. This low off-season is typically over late fall from September to November, and over the winter months of December to February. This excludes the Christmas festive period especially in parts of Northern Europe and Western Europe with people looking to experience the magical European Christmas markets. Although you wont get the warm weather, it’s the best time for a visit in Europe if you’re looking to explore Europe on a budget.
What Is The Best Time And Cheapest Time To Travel To Europe’s Best Destinations?
The following information will hopefully help you in picking the best time to visit 11 of the top places to visit in Europe.
Best Times to Visit Austria
Austria is famous for castles, palaces, culture and gorgeous alpine landscapes. See my Austria photo gallery for an idea of what awaits you. The best time to go to Austria is during June to August (summer months), when the weather is warm and the stunning scenery are in full bloom. This is a good time of the year to visit if you enjoy hiking, or strolling around to explore cities like Vienna and Salzburg. However, plan for December to April (winter months) if you are looking for the best Europe slopes to do some skiing. It’s a great time to visit if you want to try the famous Austrian ski resorts.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit
For travelers looking for a more budget-friendly trip to Europe, the off-peak seasons will be the best time to explore Austria. The cheapest time to visit is during October to November (late fall) and March to May (spring). Although the weather in Europe during this period can be a little cold, it can also be relatively mild. It’s a great time to benefit from cheaper accommodation costs, and better access to tourist attractions with fewer crowds around you.
2. Czech Republic
Best Times to Visit the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is popular for historic sights, fairy-tale castles and of course a well known part of Europe to taste great beer. See my Czech Republic gallery to help your planning. The best time to visit the Czech Republic is during May (late spring) and September to early October (early fall). Places like Prague are meant to be explored on foot so the mild weather during these periods makes it a good time to visit. June till September (summer season) are great for outdoor adventure activities, festivals and events, but can be crowded, especially in popular tourist locations.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit the Czech Republic
For people wanting to enjoy the Czech Republic without breaking the bank, try planning a visit during December to February (winter period). This is the cheapest time to explore the Czech Republic, but keep clear of Christmas and New Year weeks in particular as are quite expensive. Accommodations prices are lower which helps to make it a great time of year to plan a trip to Europe on a tighter budget. Be aware that it gets very cold at this time, but with a warm coat, hot mulled wine or hot chocolate you will be fine. This period is a great time of the year to enjoy the beauty views of a snow covered Prague.
Best Times to Visit Denmark
Denmark is known for its colourful houses, links with fairy tales, and vibrant healthy culture. The best time to visit Denmark is from June to August. The warm weather during this summer period is lovely for exploring outdoor attractions like Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. The longer Scandinavian summer daylight hours is an additional bonus as it makes it easier to see more places during the day.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit Denmark
Travelling to Denmark during November to March (late fall to early spring) is generally the cheapest time to go. The normal exceptions of Christmas and New Year weeks apply, but flights and accommodation are more affordable. Although it means that the weather is colder, the benefits of lower costs and fewer tourists provides an opportunity to get a less busy experience. Do bear in mind that some attractions may be closed over the winter months so do check as part of your planning. Although not as cheap, travellers may also want to explore Late August to mid-September as it’s also the time prices start dropping. During this period the weather is still fairly warm and nice for touristy things.
Best Times to Visit France
France is associated with visions of romance, visiting spectacular monuments and vineyards, and delicious food. See my France gallery for some examples of the wonderful Parisian life. The best time to visit France is between April to June (spring season ) and September to November (fall). The milder weather makes it a great part of the year to see places like the French Riviera, and the wine regions of Bordeaux. The summer months of June to August are also a very popular time of year to visit France. This however means that you should expect crowded beaches and long queues etc for the most popular attractions. And of course the winter season during December to March is a great time across much of Europe for ski enthusiasts, including the French Alps. You can also enjoy beautiful Christmas markets in places like Paris and Strasbourg.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit France
The cheapest time if you are looking to enjoy the sights of France without having to pay a lot is December to March (winter months). This excludes the Christmas festive season which as you would expect is peak season in Europe. The weather is obviously colder so not as ideal for areas like Normandy and Brittany. Travel and accommodation prices particularly in cities, are more reasonable, and the lovely French cafes aren’t crammed with people. It is also great for visiting some of the most popular city tourists attractions without endless queues.
Best Times to Visit Germany
Germany is a must-visit in Europe with history, fairytale castles, palaces, and cultural activities like Oktoberfest and Christmas Markets. The best time to visit Germany is during May to June (late spring) and September to October (early fall). The weather is milder and more pleasant for exploring places with smaller crowds and slightly lower prices than the peak season. Mid-September to early October is the time to visit Munich to experience the famous Oktoberfest. The peak summer months of June to August has good weather but prices and crowds are high bringing it’s own challenges for visiting places. December of course offers the wonderful magical charm of Christmas markets in places like Nuremberg and festive decorations everywhere.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit Germany
For travelers looking to plan a budget-friendly trip to Europe, the cheapest time to visit Germany is during November to March. But keep away from the Christmas and New Year period as it is a popular high travel season with very high costs. Accommodation and travel costs are generally lower, and crowds are less of a problem, so there is more opportunity to enjoy attractions. Although the temperature is low, this period provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the magical snow covered landscapes, and warm indoor German hospitality.
Best Times to Visit Italy
Italy is one of the best cities to visit in Europe for culture, history, natural scenery, food and fashion. The best time to visit Italy is between April to May (spring) and September to October (early fall). This period offers a good combination of milder temperatures, smaller crowds and lower prices compared to the peak season. This is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities in places like Rome, Venice and Tuscany. You can see some examples of why you should visit Rome in my Italy gallery. However if you are looking for beach destinations travelling during the peak summer months of June to August will be better, although much busier.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit Italy
The cheapest time to visit if you want to experience the charm of Italy without breaking the bank, is November to March (winter). But stay clear of the busy and expensive Christmas and New Year weeks. Although it’s chillier, especially in northern areas like Milan and Turin, travel and accommodation costs are great value. This period is a great time to check out the historic sites with fewer crowds and shorter queues. It’s also less stressful in getting into the many lovely top Italian restaurants waiting to serve you delicious Italian food.
Best Times to Visit the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a picturesque part of Europe with its lovely canals and bridges, windmills, tulips fields and lots of culture and art. The best time to visit the Netherlands is between April to May (spring) with the mild weather and colourful blooming tulip fields. This is a great time to see beautiful flowers in places like Kersenbloesempark and Keukenhof Gardens. June to August (summer) is also very pleasant but more crowded with tourists and locals enjoying the many events and festivals taking place.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit the Netherlands
Travelling to the Netherlands in November (late fall) when the weather is still mild, and December to February (winter) is the cheapest time to visit. This excludes the more expensive Christmas and New Year weeks which for obvious reasons sees many tourists travelling to enjoy the Christmas markets. Although the winter months can be more chilly, you will benefit from lower crowd levels and more affordable accommodation and travel costs. You are therefore more likely to get that more intimate, quieter and less rushed experience on your journey.
Best Times to Visit Portugal
Portugal is famous for lovely coastal views, beaches, delicious food and wonderful music. You can see some examples of wonderful places in my Portugal gallery. The best time for you to visit Portugal is during March to May (spring) and September to October (fall). Travelling over these months offers lovely mild weather and fewer crowds than the peak summer season. This is ideal for strolling around sights like Belém Tower in Lisbon or for visitng the Algarve coast. The hotter summer months of June to August are perfect for beach lovers but come with higher prices and more tourists.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit Portugal
As with most European cities, budget conscious travellers to Portugal will find that November to March (winter) is the cheapest time to visit. During this period accommodation and travel costs are low, and the lower crowds means you can have a better experience visiting the various attractions. Unlike other parts of northern Europe which have quite cold winters, Portugal due to it’s southern location tends to enjoy milder temperatures. It’s therefore a good option for people interested in an affordable trip to Europe who aren’t keen on colder weather.
Best Times to Visit Spain
Spain conjures up images of delicious food, stunning architecture, sun-kissed beaches and leg tapping music. Have a look at my Spain gallery for ideas of what to see when you visit Barcelona. The best time to travel to Spain is during April to early June (spring) and September to November (fall). This is a lovely period where the mild weather makes wandering around to see different attractions much more comfortable and pleasant. June to August (summer) are peak season months as people flock to the coastal areas and beaches, and prime cities like Seville and Barcelona. Although the weather is hot, summer offers more options for attending festivals like the Bonfires of San Juan in Alicante and San Fermín bull-running event.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit Spain
The winter off-season period between November to March is the cheapest time to travel to Spain. Accommodation and travel costs are much lower which is great for budget conscious travelers, and crowd levels at attractions are more manageable. The exception to this are the Christmas and New Year weeks which see high tourist numbers and high costs. The winter temperatures in Spain especially in the coastal areas are generally more mild than in more Northern European countries. This means that Spain is a great option for people who want lower travelling costs but also don’t want to be in a cold environment.
Best Times to Visit Turkey
Turkey is a unique European country with an exotic mix of asian and European culture and food, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. My Turkey gallery will give you an idea of some of the many wonderful sights in this stunning country. The best time to visit Turkey is during April to May (spring) and September to November (fall). The weather during these periods is milder and much more pleasant compared to heat of the summer, and so perfect for visiting places like Cappadocia. June to August (peak summer) is as you would expect a draw for people looking to enjoy the coastal areas and beaches around Turkey.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit Turkey
For travelers looking to explore Turkey without incurring high travel and accommodation costs, the cheapest time for visiting is November to March (winter). However avoid the Christmas and New Year weeks if you are budget conscious as this can be expensive. Although the weather is cooler than in some Southern Europe locations, travelling is more pleasant in some ways with fewer crowds and distractions. It also provides a wonderful chance for a different perspective of Turkey, for example seeing a snow covered Cappadocia landscape.
11. United Kingdom
Best Times to Visit the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom or UK, is widely known as a country with rich history, palaces, picturesque towns, and beautiful countryside. See my United Kingdom gallery for some of the wonderful sights you can see if you travel to the country. The best time to visit the UK is during April to June (spring) and September to November (fall). The weather over these months is pleasant and mild and therefore great for enjoying the city sights or gorgeous English countryside and national parks. I love the summer months of June to August in the UK because of the warmer weather, and also because of the long daylight hours. The additional daylight hours allows you to visit and enjoy more places especially if you enjoy hiking in beautiful landscapes.
Cheapest Off-Season Times to Visit the United Kingdom
If you are planning a trip to the UK, the cheapest time to visit is between December to February (winter). With the exception of the Christmas and New Year festive weeks, accommodation and travel costs tend to be lower. Likewise tourist numbers are lower meaning much easier access to the various top attractions like Windsor Castle or the historic Roman Baths. Like other Northern Europe countries, winter can be cold, but there are many indoor activities to keep people entertained including palaces, museums and theatre shows.
Final Thoughts On The Best Time To Visit Europe
As you can see there are many options for people who want to visit one or more of the top countries in Europe in 2023. When you visit depends on your personal preferences for 3 things. The type of things you want to do, how much you want spend, and whether you are after a quieter less crowded experience.
The summer months of June and September are ideal for people looking for warm weather and the most choices of things to do. However, you need to recognise that this comes with higher costs and more crowds. For people who want warm weather but lower prices, aim for the shoulder season of April to mid-June (spring), and September to October (early fall). Budget conscious travellers will want to look at planning a holiday to Europe in December to February.
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