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Best Time and Season to Visit Europe: Complete Guide

Team AckoDec 13, 2022

Steeped in history, with romantic alleys, the finest foods, and the world's most spectacular historical landmarks, Europe is the perfect destination that is on every jetsetter's travel bucket list! From sandy beaches in the Mediterranean, to Bollywood-inspired Swiss mountain train trips, and cozy minimalist Nordic designer hotels in the snow, Europe has it all. Whether you're planning a romantic honeymoon or an exciting family vacation, we'll help you find the best time and seasons to visit Europe. Don't miss our exclusive section on places to go, foods to try, and hidden gems across Europe!

Best Time and Season to Visit Europe

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Best Time to Visit Europe

The best time to visit Europe is during summer. European summers are from June to September, when the weather becomes pleasant. Mediterranean countries in Europe such as Spain and Italy offer balmy weather for thrillseekers like you! Nordic countries including Norway and Sweden are magical travel destinations when the mercury rises. 

Best Season to Visit Europe

There are 3 travel "seasons" that can help you identify whether Europe will be crowded or quieter, tourist-wise, before you travel. If you want to travel off the beaten path, Europe is your destination in the off-season. Love following the crowd? Visit during peak season! And finally, if you want the perks of the peak season without the crowds, choose to travel to Europe in the shoulder season, nestled between the peak and shoulder seasons. Find out the best season to visit Europe, and plan your itinerary! 

Peak Season 

Europe's peak travel season runs from June all the way through August. The seasons, weather-wise, that fall under peak season are summer, and some of autumn. Adventurers like you from around the world choose Europe as their summer vacation destination, and for good reason. With activities and events galore, there is so much fun in the sun to be had during a European summer! 

Shoulder Season

The shoulder season when you're planning a Europe trip goes from April to mid-June, and again from September to October. Spring and Autumn are part of the shoulder season, the season just in between peak and off season. If you're looking for activities, and want to visit historical landmarks, while beating the larger crowds, the shoulder season is the ideal time to travel. 

Low or Off Season

The low or off-season spans November through March. This is the ideal travel season for explorers looking for a time to travel when historical landmarks aren't crowded, and when they can dine and sightsee at their leisure. However, winter may be the cheapest time to visit Europe, as many events, attractions, and activities are closed. Europe's winter also happens to be one of its cheapest seasons. With cozy fireplaces warming up beautiful restaurants, to indoor activities galore, there's still plenty to do in Europe!

Best Month to Visit Europe

Find out more about the best time to go to Europe throughout the year with our month by month guide. With over 50 countries, Europe has something for everything from January through December. You'll find handy tips when you plan a trip to this iconic tourist destination in this article!

Europe in January 

Set in winter, and the off-season, January is the month to dress as warm as you can. It's the ideal time to dust off your boots, warm winter jackets, fuzzy scarves and gloves, and possibly umbrellas, raincoat and rainboots to explore Europe during winter. Expect temperatures to average anywhere from -5° to 5° C (20 - 40°F) in January! Prague's Old Town is a picture-perfect place to visit in winter for its beautiful pastel-colored buildings. 

  • Temperature 

    • - 5° to 5° C (20 - 40°F) 

  • Events 

    • New Year's Day parade in London - United Kingdom

    • Carnival of Venice - Venice, Italy

    • Vinterjazz Music Festival - Copenhagen, Denmark 

  • Reason to visit 

    • Northern Lights in Norway

    • Skiing in the Alps, France and Switzerland 

    • Old Town - Prague, Czech Republic 

  • Know before you go

    • Traveling from India, you may be used to warm weather and be taken aback by how cold European winters are

    • Pack thermals/warm inner wear, coats and jackets, scarves, gloves, warm caps or hats, socks, and boots 

    • Don't forget travel insurance especially if you've never been to a place as cold as most of Europe 

    • It may be rainy too, so pack rain boots, raincoats, and umbrellas

Europe in February

While the rest of Europe is cold or rainy in February, the Mediterranean countries such as Spain offer warm adventure and fun all year round. Want to experience the busiest party in the world? Travel to Italy or Spain to witness the Carnival in full swing! If you want to soak up the sun at sandy beaches and enjoy water sports during winter, go to Madeira, Portugal. 

  • Temperature 

    • 5° C/40° F - 8° C/50° F

  • Events 

    • Tulip Festival - Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

    • Carnevale di Venezia - Venice, Italy 

    • Swarovski Kristallwelten - Innsbruck, Austria 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Pleasant temperature compared to the rest of the year. 

    • The days are sunny and the evenings are perfectly cool. 

  • What to know before you travel

    • Traveling from India, you may be used to warm weather and be taken aback by how cold European winters are

    • Pack thermals/warm inner wear, coats and jackets, scarves, gloves, warm caps or hats, socks, and boots 

    • Don't forget travel insurance especially if you've never been to a place as cold as most of Europe 

Europe in March

As the weather starts warming up across the continent, locals start to set up shop, hosting some of the finest markets and experiences in the world. If you love cheese, you have to go to the iconic "Cheese Market" that starts this month in the Netherlands. Wear green in Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day so that you don't get pinched!

  • Temperature 

    • 8° C/46° F - 10° C/60° F

  • Events 

    • Keukenhof Festival - Amsterdam, Netherlands

    • St Patrick’s Day - Ireland 

    • Cheese Market - Alkmaar, Netherlands

  • Why should you visit this month

    • As winter turns into spring, the weather becomes perfect for sunbathing and exploring 

    • Marvel at the beauty of spring, as the leaves and flowers start appearing and blooming

  • What to know before you travel

    • Keep your rain gear handy

    • Explore the great European outdoors

    • Visit the beaches in Tenerife, Spain

Europe in April

Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons in Europe. April showers bring May's flowers, so be armed with your rain gear! With spring's sun being a regular visitor, you'll get sun all day long. April comes under the low season, except for the Easter weekend.

  • Temperature 

    • 10 - 20°C/60 - 70° F

  • Events 

    • Budapest Spring Festival, Hungary

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Warmer days, pleasant evenings, beaches are fun to enjoy and it's not too hot 

Europe in May

Europe's pleasant summers start peaking from May onwards. May is the ideal month for travelers looking for a pleasantly warm European trip, with romantic evenings where you can wine and dine by yourself or with your significant other. Make sure you pack sunscreen, hats, and stay hydrated.

  • Temperature 

    • 10 - 20°C/60 - 70° F

  • Events 

    • Chelsea Flower Show - London, United Kingdom 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • May is when spring turns into summer, so you can indulge in outdoor activities and explore on sightseeing tours 

  • What to know before you travel

    • European nightlife can't be beat 

    • Dine at al fresco cafes and restaurants as you enjoy the warmer weather 

    • Book activities and sightseeing spots well in advance, as peak season starts 

Europe in June

As the mercury soars, outdoor activities start to peak in Europe. Try to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day, around midday. If you want to hit the sunny beaches, aim to go in the afternoon. Explore Europe's majestic natural landscapes, by going hiking. Soak up the sun on one of hundreds of European beaches, and enjoy Europe's summer in June.

  • Temperature 

    • 25°C (80°F)

  • Events

    • Stars of the White Nights Festival - St. Petersburg’s, Russia

    • Primavera Sound - Spain

    • Glastonbury Festival, United Kingdom

    • Isle of Wight Festival, UK 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • If you enjoy warm weather and beach vacations, this is the best time for you to travel 

  • What to know before you travel

    • Hydrate! One of the biggest dangers to travelers is dehydration when traveling to a hot destination during peak summer 

    • Wear loose, light clothing, with a hat or cap on top, that allows air to circulate around your body.

Europe in July

Summer starts peaking this month, so enjoy the pleasant European weather with outdoor activities. This is one of the best months for the adventurer, as almost all of Europe's exciting activities and events happen this month. 

  • Temperature 

    • 22°C (70°F)

  • Events

    • Ultra Europe is a multi-venue outdoor electronic music festival - Split, Croatia

    • Barcelona Beach Festival, Barcelona 

    • International Festival of Lyric Art

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Schools are out for the summer holidays, make the most of it at outdoor attractions and heritage sites across Europe 

  • What to know before you travel

    • Hydrate! One of the biggest dangers to travelers is dehydration when traveling to a hot destination during peak summer 

    • Peak season is usually more expensive for flights, accommodation and sightseeing. Book tickets in advance to avoid the rush and crowds 

Europe in August

August in Europe is the height of peak summer when the weather is pleasant across all European countries. Activities, heritage sites, and food festivals abound, so be sure to enjoy the fun that Europe offers this month. Enjoy outdoor sunshine with festivals, and museums for heritage and art in the afternoons and evenings.

  • Temperature 

    • 30°C (80°F)

  • Events

    • La Tomatina festival - last Wednesday in August 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Exciting heritage monuments to visit during the day 

    • Beautiful museums to go to in the afternoons 

  • What to know before you travel

    • Hydrate! One of the biggest dangers to travelers is dehydration when traveling to a hot destination during peak summer 

Europe in September

As summer makes way for autumn, September is the ideal time to travel to Europe. Enjoy your European holiday as locals return to their hometowns after their own summer holidays to host local music and food festivals, while basking in the pleasant autumn days and afternoons.

  • Temperature 

    • 28°C (80°F)

  • Events

    • The La Mercé Festival of Spain

  • Why you should travel this month

    • Affordable hotel and travel prices 

    • Off-season is less crowded and you can find the best deals

  • What to know before you travel

    • Enjoy pleasant weather and beautiful views across Europe

Europe in October

Autumn in Europe is magical, when summer gives way to winter in autumn. Catch the splendor of the landscape changing from green to yellows and oranges! October is for Oktoberfest across Germany, along with spectacular White Nights known as Nuit Blanche in Paris.

  • Temperature 

    • 28°C (80°F)

  • Events 

    • Oktoberfest - Across Germany

    • La Nuit Blanche - Paris, France

    • Alba White Truffle Festival of Italy - Alba, Italy

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Europe's winter begins in October, get ready to enjoy outdoor events and cooler nights

  • What to know before you travel

    • The sun still shines for around 10 hours every day, but not as aggressive as summer. Have fun night and day in October! 

Europe in November 

The best time of the year to visit Europe is in November. However, if you're traveling from India, you'll be surprised by how cold the region can be, so pack extra warm. Right in the low season, November offers you cheaper travel and accommodation prices across the continent. You can enjoy historic sites and activities with almost no crowd especially if you enjoy a leisurely trip. 

  • Temperature 

    • 26°C (78°F)

  • Events 

    • Swedish House Mafia in Finland

    • Italian Opera Season, Italy 

    • Bonfire Night, UK

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Enjoy the beautiful autumn to winter seasonal change across landscapes in Europe

  • What to know before you travel

    • Winter is almost here, make sure you pack warmer clothes, even though the sun is out for around 10 hours daily,

Europe in December

It's the most magical time of the year in Europe! A winter wonderland across many of its countries, Europe is a winter wonderland postcard. If you are a Bollywood fan, venture out to Switzerland for snow-capped mountains, a la DDLJ. 

  • Temperature

    • -1 to -3°C (30° - 40°F) 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Step into DDLJ Simran and Raj's shoes at Gstaad, Switzerland! 

  • What to know before you travel

    • Pack warmer clothes, socks, and a scarf for cooler nights that hit around 

Cheapest Time to Visit Europe

Europe's low season, from November to March is also winter in Europe. While it may be beautiful while you're bundled up in warm jackets, cozy boots, winter in Europe isn't exactly the ideal time to visit. However, winter may be the cheapest time to visit Europe. You can get to most historical landmarks faster, as there are fewer tourists than there are in summer and autumn. 

Expensive Time to Visit Europe

The most expensive time to visit Europe is also it's best time. The European summers are the holidaymaker's favorite, and runs from June to September. As the weather becomes pleasant. Mediterranean countries in Europe such as Spain and Italy offer balmy weather for thrillseekers like you! Nordic countries including Norway and Sweden are excellent travel destinations during summer. 

Iconic Travel Destinations in Europe 

When you travel to Europe, don't miss these iconic tourist destinations and European hallmarks! These are the most traveled to or visited events and destinations. 

Destination

Key Attractions

London

Big Ben

France

Eiffel Tower

Spain

Barcelona's iconic Mediterranean architecture and weather

Italy

Lake Como, Venetian Canals

Norway

Northern Lights

Germany

Autobahn for Best Driving Experience, Neuschwanstein Castle that inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle

Netherlands

Tulip Gardens, Cheese Marke

Belgium

Finest Belgian chocolates

Romania

Bran Castle that inspired Dracula

Iceland

Icelandic Glaciers, Diamond Beach

Scotland

Scottish Highlands Infamous lochs, home to fabled "Loch Ness Monster"

Portugal

Seafood and beaches in Lisbon 

Denmark

Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Switzerland

Iconic DDLJ spot in Gstaad

Bosnia

Bazaars in Mostar

Greece

Santorini and Mykonos Islands, Acropolis in Athens

Turkey

Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia

Getting Around Europe

With one of the oldest public transport systems in the world, it's convenient and easy to travel around Europe! Although it may not be cheap, you can find some mode of transport to get you around town, whether you're going to dine or explore archeological sites. 

  • Bus

  • Tram/trolley

  • Car 

  • Train 

  • Taxi/ridesharing 

  • Scooter 

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

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How many days are enough for a European visit?

Trying to squeeze the biggest holiday destination in the world into your itinerary? Ideally, you need at least 1 week to soak in the sights, smells, sounds, and experiences on your European adventure! 

When is the cheapest time to visit Europe? 

If you want to travel to Europe on a budget, the best time to visit would be during the low or off-season during winter. It's also winter so prepare yourself for extremely cold weather.

What should I wear in Europe?

Europe is a large continent with every country ranging from Mediterranean to Nordic. Dress according to the weather, to stay cool in Spain during dinner, or warm in the Swiss Alps during winter. Dress modestly while visiting religious sites such as churches, cathedrals, and synagogues.

What are Europe's COVID-19 travel rules and regulations? 

COVID-19 restrictions have eased up, but you need to be fully vaccinated to travel to any European country.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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