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Why Visit Europe?

Europe, the world’s second-smallest continent, is a fascinating and diverse haven of cultural, historical, and geographical significance. With over 3.9 million square miles and 44 countries in its bounds, you don’t have to travel far within the continent to hear different languages, experience distinct cultures and traditions, and witness amazingly varied landscapes.

Some of the world’s most-visited destinations are in Europe, like Paris, Rome, and London. These long-standing cities are filled with breathtaking architecture and historic landmarks that draw travelers in by the millions. From the ancient Greeks and Romans to the creative rise of the Renaissance, there isn’t a part of Europe that hasn’t been touched and transformed by the pages of time.

Europe’s sightseeing is unmatched as an enduring hub of art, science, religion, and philosophy. Today, it’s the quintessential destination for world travelers who want to experience substance and depth by touring and exploring its iconic cities.

A field of various colors of flowers during the spring season as one of the best time to visit Europe, where traditional windmills can be seen on the side of the lake.

Andrij Vatsyk/Shutterstock

When Is the Best Time to Visit Europe?

The best time to visit Europe is during spring (April to June) and fall (September to October). During these less-busy shoulder seasons, Europe’s weather is truly delightful and ideal for the world-class sightseeing many travelers come to do. Crowds are smaller, prices are lower, and conditions are perfect for a classic European tour.

There are a number of benefits of visiting Europe during the enjoyable spring and fall shoulder seasons:

  • Mild weather: Europe’s climate varies widely by the region and altitude, but overall, spring and fall are when you’ll find the best weather with mildly warm temperatures that don’t venture into hot or cold extremes. Strolling through its famous, historic cities is never better than during these balmy, inviting months.
  • Smaller crowds: Sightseeing in Europe can be idyllic and educational or a chaotic nightmare, depending on how many tourists are in the city when you visit. Smaller crowds are the norm during the spring and fall seasons, making these the perfect time to visit popular destinations and attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, or Buckingham Palace.
  • Lower prices: Trips to Europe are more affordable during the less-busy spring and fall shoulder seasons. Demand drops for flights and hotels, bringing lower prices than during the busier summer season.

Spring and fall are both great for a visit to Europe. Here’s how you can make the most of your time during each season:

  • Spring: European springtime is typically sunny and mild with a little rainfall. Flowers and gardens burst into bloom and green spaces hum with life. It’s a prime time for checking out the Netherlands’ massive tulip fields, visiting famous sites like the Eiffel Tower or Sagrada Familia, and trekking through the Swiss Alps.
  • Fall: Fall in Europe sees weather that’s cool to warm, mostly pleasant, and rarely interrupted by rainstorms. It’s an ideal time for visiting France’s vineyards during the harvest, hanging out at Oktoberfest in Munich, or taking in the colorful fall foliage across the Scottish Highlands.

If you’re looking for things to do around the continent during the spring or fall, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Southern Europe: Visit the warm beaches of Spain, wander through the colorful villages of Cinque Terre in Italy, explore islands or historic landmarks in Greece, check out the ancient ruins of Rome, or hike and enjoy the scenic Amalfi Coast.
  • Northern Europe: Visit the historic cities of London, Paris, and Rome for sightseeing, eat and drink your way through Amsterdam, explore the stunning fjords of Norway, or see the northern lights in Iceland.
  • Central Europe: Visit the breathtaking castles and historic squares of Prague and Budapest, explore the Black Forest in Germany, tour medieval sites and landmarks in Switzerland, or suit up and go skiing in the Alps.

While summer can be a magnificent time to visit Europe with even warmer temperatures and little rain, it’s the busy peak season and can feel congested with tourists and long lines. Spring and fall represent the best of both worlds with nice weather, some rain, and smaller crowds that lead to lower prices.

Climate in Europe

Summer Season Climate
Summer Season in Europe

Summer in Europe can be scorching hot (like in Southern Europe), pleasantly warm (Central Europe) or balmy and enjoyable (like in the UK and Northern Europe). Expect temperatures between 77°F to 95°F in the south, but may peak between 59°F to 68°F further north around Scandinavia or in the UK. In the south, beach days are nice and it's a fine time to visit museums and air-conditioned spaces indoors. Elsewhere around Europe, summer is great for sightseeing, attending festivals, and spending time outdoors in green spaces.

Rainy Season Climate
Rainy Season in Europe

There's no true rainy season in Europe, but precipitation varies by the region and country. Many European countries experience a heavier period of rain between October and March. These late fall and early spring months may bring additional showers and storms, but many are short-lived and won't interfere with sightseeing or outdoor plans too much.

Winter Season Climate
Winter Season in Europe

Winter in Europe can be snowy and frigid or mild and cool, depending on how far south you go and what your altitude is. Higher altitudes and cities further north in Europe experience colder, snowier winters that hover between 32°F to 41°F on average. Indoor activities like museums, galleries, dining, and movies are popular in these areas, along with winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Further south, countries like Italy, Greece, and Portugal get through winter with temperatures around 41°F to 59°F. In these warmer regions, sightseeing, parks, and outdoor recreation are popular in the winter months.

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AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief