10 Best Beach Destinations to Visit in Europe in 2021

Adriatic Sea


Best Beach Destinations to Visit in EuropeBest Beach Destinations to Visit in EuropeBest Beach Destinations to Visit in EuropeBest Beach Destinations to Visit in Europe

Seduced by the exotic tropics, it’s easy to forget that some of the best beach destinations in the world may only be a short flight away from home. Europe boasts miles of pristine coastlines, Caribbean-like beaches, secret coves, quaint fishermen villages, and charming islands.

With so many amazing holiday spots picking one can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to go, check out these 10 best beach destinations in Europe.

1. Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos knows exactly how to blend centuries of fascinating history with holiday-time decadence. This sunny Greek island inspires with a variety of beaches and pristine sceneries, postcard-perfect sixteenth-century windmills to admire at sunset, splendid Cycladic architecture and legendary nightlife.

From sunbathing to windsurfing or beach partying from dusk to dawn, you can find everything here. Some of the most noteworthy beaches include chic Psarou, Paradise Beach, and Ornos Bay.



2. Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Ayia Napa is one of Cyprus’ most popular destinations, and undoubtedly one of the best beach destinations in Europe. Expect a mesmerising white sand coastline, crystalline waters sparkling in turquoise hues and plenty of tourist facilities.

Ayia Napa’s most iconic place is Nissi; popular among water sports lovers, Nissi Beach is a 500-meter stretch of brilliant white sand that boasts a myriad of sunbathing places as well as a lively clubbing scene. Quite busy in summer, this place shows off its quainter side in spring and early autumn, when there aren’t too many people around.

Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa

Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa



3. Corsica, France

The fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean, Corsica has merged its Italian nonchalance with its French sophistication. Amazing but often neglected, it awaits you with pristine golden sand beaches, dazzling views, and enchanting coastal towns and villages.

Corsica might be the perfect place if your idea of summer holiday is relaxing on quiet beaches. From the Caribbean-like Palombaggia to stunning Roccapina, this island is the ideal destination for families or newlyweds looking to stay away from the crowds.



4. Sicily, Italy

Another scenic, slow-paced destination, Sicily is much more than one of the best beach destinations in Europe. Its history spans over several millennia, impressing with well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins.

The mainland is home to stunning beaches, beautiful towns, and Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna. Cefalù, Syracuse, Trapani, and Taormina are just some of the most charming seaside towns on the main island. If you don’t want to get bored, island-hopping in Sicily’s Aeolian Islands could be an exciting alternative.

Sicily, Italy

Sicily, Italy

5. Comino, Malta

Malta is one of the most underrated beach destinations in Europe. Yet, this small nation has a lot to offer.

One of the most attractive places here is Comino, a small island that surprises its visitors with a splendid turquoise lagoon. Smartly called the Blue Lagoon, this is one of the most stunning beaches in Europe. It impresses with warm waters and peaceful vibes, especially in the off-season.


Book yourself a sightseeing boat tour where you’ll get to see the Blue Lagoon, Sea Saves, go snorkelling and see other incredible parts of the beautiful Maltese coast.

Blue lagoon Comino island Malta

Blue lagoon Comino island Malta




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6. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Neighbouring Morocco, the Spanish Canary Islands stand among the few year-round beach destinations of the Old Continent. Each island in the archipelago has its own personality, but from all, Lanzarote is by far the most impressive.

Characterised by its volcanic hills, Lanzarote surprises with a variety of secluded beaches, white sand coastlines, and the shell-shaped Papagayo Beach.

Sun-soaking apart, if you love diving, expect to be impressed by Museo Atlantico, Europe’s first underwater museum.

Turquoise ocean water on Papagayo beach, Lanzarote

Turquoise ocean water on Papagayo beach, Lanzarote

7. Ibiza, Spain

Showcasing a blasting clubbing scene, Ibiza is by far the wildest isle in the Mediterranean. But there is much more to it than just the nightlife. Long stretches of beaches and hidden coves, such as Cala Blanca, give you just the right spot where to soak in the sun or practice scuba diving.

The crescent-shaped beach of Cala d’Hort offers picture-perfect views over the distinctive Es Verde cliff and invites you to take a break on its golden sand beach.

For a more peaceful night out, Café del Mar could be a great choice for sipping a good drink while admiring the sunset in a chilled out atmosphere.

Aiguas Blanques Agua Blanca Beach

Aiguas Blanques Agua Blanca Beach

8. Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal

Portugal is renowned for its beach destinations, including Porto Santo located near Madeira. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean about 620 miles away from the mainland, the island is another of those perfect year-round beach destinations in Europe.

Dazzling beaches, remarkable scenery, stretches of fine sand, and plenty of snorkelling sites are just some of the reasons to come. Refreshing Madeira wine is another.

Besides beaches, Madeira and Porto Santo also offer numerous hiking opportunities, exquisite tropical gardens, and a lively cultural scene.

Beaches in Porto Santo

Beaches in Porto Santo

9. Hvar, Croatia

Another place that knows how to blend swimming and sun-soaking activities with history, culture and good wine is Croatia. Hvar is one of the most popular destinations, a small resort island situated in the Adriatic Sea.
Its beaches boast an intense scenic beauty; secluded bays surrounded by pine forests and cliffs, offer the perfect relaxing place.

Admiring rich history, trying out the local cuisine and wine in the many restaurants and cafes, and strolling along winding streets are just some of the things that can fill your time when you’re not at the beach.

Waterfront of Hvar island

Waterfront of Hvar island



10. Sardinia, Italy

The second largest island in the Mediterranean, the Italian Sardinia is another tropical-like destination much closer to home than you would expect. Alluring Costa Smeralda is Sardinia’s summer hot spot since the ‘60s. But the island’s coastal beauty doesn’t end here.

Hidden coves and beaches, including the enchanting Pink Beach in Budelli, will give you plenty of spots for your Instagram-worthy holiday picture.

Beaches aside, Sardinia also awaits with hiking spots of wild beauty, quaint villages, and exquisite culinary delights.

Sardinia beaches

Sardinia beaches

If you’re travelling from the UK here are some popular companies where you can book package holidays which include your flights, accommodation and transfers:

You’ll find more options further below should you plan to book everything separately, or you are travelling from non-UK.
Note that we get a commission should you book via our links.


Be it a stylish Caribbean-like beach holiday or a few days of non-stop partying and water sports adventure, the best beach destinations in Europe can spoil you with choices. Just pick your favourite places and start planning the summer getaway of your dreams. You may also be interested in seeing our suggestions of the best beach destinations to visit in Asia.

Roxana Bikfalvi headshotRoxana Bikfalvi headshot

Article by:

Roxana Bikfalvi

Professional Writer

Roxana is a London-based freelance writer and editor with experience in lifestyle and travel sectors. She’s in love with Italy, good food, and exquisite wine. When she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her exploring new and exciting destinations. [Read full bio].   

We recommend the below options to book your hotels, activities, flights and other transport:

Please note that we get a small commission if you purchase via our referral links. We use this to invest in new content and improving this website.

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let this_location = null;

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} else if (this_banner[‘location’][‘method’] && this_banner[‘location’][‘element’]) {
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} else {
this_location = document.querySelector(this_banner[‘location’][‘element’]);

if (this_location){
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The 22 Best Places to Visit in December (IN THE WORLD)


In need of an end of the year holiday and looking for the best places to visit in December? We got you covered! Whether you are seeking warm or cold, Christmas cheer or beach time, Europe or Africa we are delving into our favorite places to travel to during December.

Being a winter snow bunny, December is my favorite time of the year to travel. If it involves Christmas and holiday cheer it’s even better. There is something about being cozied up, next to a roaring fire with a hot cappuccino in hand.

If you’re looking to escape all that nonsense don’t worry! There are plenty of travel destinations listed here that will have you reaching for a bathing suit, sunglasses, and a cold drink.

Best Places to Travel During December

Florence, Italy

Things to do in Florence

Florence, Firenze, is the capital of Tuscany and a highlight of any trip around Italy. You have to add this city to your Italy itinerary if it’s not already. The city is famous for its world-class cuisine, museums, works of art, and surrounding countryside. The architecture in Florence pulls you in and begs for you to get lost in its historic heart.

History nuts will go nuts as Florence is known for being the birthplace of the Renaissance period and packed full of treasures. Say “hello” to David! When you walk the narrow cobbled stone streets it appears as if little has changed over the centuries with marble basilicas, dark chapels, gas lanterns, and enchanting frescos. You really have the opportunity to get lost in time.

It’s one of the best places to visit in December since the streets are alive for the holiday but the weather is still comfortable.  December is the beginning of winter in Italy, and the average temperature drops to 13°C nationwide. You’ll need a packable down jacket, but all around it’s still a nice time to visit a famous city without the crowds.

Innsbruck, Austria

Things to do in Innsbruck

There aren’t many cities in Europe quite like Innsbruck. It’s coined itself the title “Capital of Alps” and easy to understand why once you set foot in the city. Flanked by the impressive Nordkette mountain range that towers over the city nature never feels far away.

It’s the only city where you can ski, explore a grand palace, window shop, and savor a strudel all in one day. Making it the perfect place to visit in December – espeically around the holidays. No one doest Christmas markets like the Austrians!

There are plenty of things to do in Innsbruck with the Austrian Alps and a city rich in history. In many ways, it’s everything we love about Austria all packed into a modern city and historical city. We love the fact that you can be in a beautiful medieval old town and then within minutes places you in the heart of the Alps with cowbells ringing and fresh Alpine air.

Tallinn, Estonia

most beautiful cities in Europe

Tallinn is one of the most well preserved old towns in all of Europe and well worthy of a stop in December. There are many sights to see in Tallinn and to make the most out of a trip we recommend at least two days. However, we were able to have a fun time with only a day.

You can head to the buzzing Christmas market with folk dancers in December. The closer to Christmas the more lively it gets! Eat your way around the Medieval old town, check out the beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, walk the city walls, ice skate, and more! The city center is very compact and easy to walk around.

Hokkaido, Japan

Furano Ski Resort

Hokkaido is Japan’s Siberian north. Home to some truly polar temperatures that plunge way below zero, Hokkaido is home to prime snowboarding and skiing as much as some of the wildest, most remote slices of nature to be found in Japan.

If you are wondering when the best time to visit Hokkaido is, it’s December through March (if you love powder that is).

Winter has its full grip on Hokkaido right now. Snow will be falling a lot – pretty much everywhere – blanketing the countryside and mountains.

It’s in mid-December that the ski season starts up again. Places like Furano, and local resorts around Sapporo, open their doors for the skiers and snowboarders among you.

The air is dry, and the rainfall is at its lowest level in December. Gloves, hats, and scarfs become a must once again, as the average high flatlines at about 3°C. Our tip? Head to onsen (traditional Japanese hot springs) to warm up.

Saint Lucia, Caribbean

This is Jade Mountain

For North Americans, the Caribbean is one of the most sought after places to holiday in December. Breezy temperatures, sunshine, and beautiful water make it an ideal destination for those looking for a suntan rather than frostbite.

One of the best places to visit in the Caribbean is the stunning island of Saint Lucia. This country in the West Indies is regarded as one of the most beautiful islands to visit in the Caribbean. It’s the perfect travel destination for the holidays, but be forewarned – rates are at their highest around this time.

Venice, Italy

Is Venice worth a visit

Love or hate Venice there is no denying its popularity. It is the most beautiful historic city on the planet, but it is also besieged by tourists, except in the winter.

The sinking city is a network of 118 islands connected by bridges. Buildings here are old and if you manage to get away from the crowds it feels as if you’ve stepped back five centuries. It is surreal and after several visits, we love Venice.

In our opinion, Venice is best visited in the shoulder and offseasons. December is a great time to visit Venice, we went around Christmas (when the above photo was taken) and barely experienced any crowds. The canals of Venice are notorious for harboring a lot of waste and in the summer the smell can get pretty bad; however, in the cooler months there are fewer tourists, less waste, and the smell is at bay. If you were to ask us Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, except in the summer months.

Lagos, Portugal

Praia do Camilo - Best Beaches in the Algarve

Portugal is a year-round destination where vacationers and locals can be found body-surfing, parasailing, deep-sea fishing, water skiing, and surfing. We spent November and December based in Lagos in search of the best beaches in the Algarve and enjoyed every sun-kissed day to the fullest.

The coastline around Lagos has some of the tastiest waves, cleanest water, and most dramatic landscapes. To top it off Lagos boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine each year! We spend November and December here and only had TWO rainy days. Not only are the beaches around Lagos fabulous, but the town is small, walkable, and sculpted by traditional architecture.

We would spend many days walking around Lagos watching old Portuguese men play chess, enjoy their coffee, and soak in the sunshine without the crowds in December.

Vienna, Austria

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Vienna, Austria

Vienna has been voted the most liveable city in the world several times over and it’s known for its abundantly happy citizens. It’s a wonderful city full of historic buildings and palaces. Most notable is the Habsburgs Palace a stunning example of Baroque architecture and awe-inspiring gardens. Vienna opera house is known for being one of the best in the world, and don’t forget to try the famous Sachertorte (chocolate cake).

Vienna also host fabulous Christmas markets during the month of December which only gets better and better as the holidays roll around. In our opinion everyone should experience Vienna during the winter at least once in their lives!

Helsinki, Finland

Senate Square Christmas What To do Helsinki

There are few cities in Europe that feel as forward-thinking as Helsinki. The Finns have pushed into the modern era and embraced design, food, and art. No place is this more evident than in Finland’s capital. It’s a marvelous city that delighted us with plenty of things to do.

For such a modern city you never seem to be too far away from nature, though. The city features a marvelous amount of green space as it’s spread out across a series of islands in the Baltic Sea. When you add in the cities delicious restaurants and Finn’s clear affinity for having a good time you have a brilliant mix. The Finns know how to live life with, “kalsarikannit,” a word to describe sitting at home in your underwear drinking with no intention of going out – that made us laugh.

Helsinki is a wonderful city to explore full of things to do and delicious food to eat. We spent a week here around Christmas time and could not have had a better time exploring a city. Helsinki may not be your typical European city break destination, but it is well worth a special trip to Finland.

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg Most Beautiful Cities in Europe

The city and country embody many quintessential European cities and countries. It’s a great place to visit in December as the Christmas cheer is everywhere. We were lucky enough to visit during the Christmas season and catch one of the first snowfalls of the season and even take part in Luxembourg’s wonderful Christmas markets.

Luxembourg City is a mix of the old and new with highrises rising all over the city, and a pleasant old town located in the heart of the city. It’s a melting pot of nationalities and you’ll often hear English on the streets as many foreigners come to work for banks and tech companies based in the city. It brings a pleasant expatriate vibe to vibe to the city and adds to its character.

Cape Town, South Africa

things to do in cape town 2020

If there is one city in the world I am dying to return to, it’s Cape Town. It’s a city too beautiful for its own good. Where one can get easily lost in the depths of nature and still have dinner at any sushi, tapas, or bistro they want at night. There are so many things to do in Cape Town, it’s hard to optimize your time there unless you have a full year. We spent two months there and felt we barely scratched the surface of what the city has to offer.

We like to think we hit many of the tourist hot spots, and were still able to delve a little deeper into the city. With activities like climbing the iconic table mountain to sipping some delicious Pinotage while overlooking the tip of Africa, Cape Town will enchant you. If you find yourself in the South African city, don’t tell me because I will be jealous, have fun!

December in South Africa means Summer, at least the start of it. Being the holiday season and all, it’s a time for tourists to visit the country.

Cape Town has barely any rain, blue skies, lots of sunshine, and rising temperatures; the daytime average is 25°C. It’s a good time of year to hit the beach; the Atlantic Ocean is about 19°C in December, so you could be laying out on the sand and swimming on Christmas Day!

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Alleys of Chefchaouen

In northwest Morocco, situated in the beautiful Rif Mountains, is Chefchaouen. “Chaouen” as locals call it, is a small city that is renowned for its entrancing streets of blue. Besides the blue streets, Chefchauoen is a popular tourist destination for its hashish, grown prolifically all over the region.

We went to Morocco’s blue city to get away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities in Morocco. We had seen the photos online detailing all the shades of blue, and just knew we had to get to this Moroccan town.

It really is as amazing as it looks on the internet! Most people wander around and take photos in the town, but there is also some good hiking through the Rif Mountains.

December is one of the coolest months of the year… in Morocco, obviously. As far as Decembers go, we’re into the idea of a mild one like this. If you’re looking for winter sun, it’s a good time to visit the country!

Visiting Morocco in December is not really about the beaches and coast, Morocco in December is about seeing the sights and exploring a bit of nature.

Banff and Canmore, Alberta Canada

the prestigious Melbourne Cup

Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. Have you logged onto Instagram lately? In case you missed it Banff, Alberta has been the hot place to go for the past few years. Imagine vast mountains, beautiful blue lakes, and a charming Canadian small town. If it sounds like the perfect place to spend Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring that’s because it is!

Banff is also surrounded by Mt. Norquay, Banff /Lake Louise, and Banff Sunshine to form SkiBig3. In the winter this whole area turns into a skier or snowboarder version of heaven. We spent a few weeks here mountain hopping around the Rockies in 2018 and have since moved to Canmore and called it home (so there is no way it wouldn’t make this list). Seriously, it’s that good and is definitely one of the most beautiful towns to visit during the winter.

However, keep in mind that it is COLD. The average temperature, if you were wondering, is about -4°C; so yeah, it’s frigid. After dark, it plummets to -10.

Expect snow and fog and only a few hours of sunshine a day. However if you like cold weather activities and skiing and snowboarding it’s now full swing in December. The crowds don’t hit the mountains until the holidays so if you arrive anytime between December 1-22 you can expect pretty quiet and powdery runs.

Banff and Canmore get busy around the holidays – it’s one of the most popular places in Canada so book your holiday early!

New York, New York

travel destination

On the ground, gritty New York may not be the most beautiful city and there is no doubt plenty of ugly spots. Take a few rides on the New York subway and you’ll see plenty of the ugly. However, there is no skyline in the world more iconic than New York with its architectural feats, bridges, and Central Park.

It’s next to impossible to not be amazed by the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, Grand Central Station, One World  Trade Center, New York Public Library, Chrysler Building, and the Statue of Liberty — the list could go on. New York’s restaurants, bars, street food, museums, concert venues, art galleries, and neighborhoods are all world-class.

There is no shortage of things to do in the city that never sleeps. It’s a city that assaults your senses and paints a vibrant tapestry before your eyes.

Around the holidays is, in my opinion, when the city truly shines. There is special holiday cheer in the air. The shops, coffee shops, and general vibe in the streets are so magical. There are Christmas markets, and parties, and then, of course, the lighting of the tree in Rockafeller Center. It’s a city one must visit sometime in their life.

Melbourne, Australia


Melbourne is one of the most exciting cities to visit in Australia. The buzzing city has nightlife, a great food scene, festivals galore, and outdoor activities. It is tough to hate on the city and brings people in from all over the world. I will never regret booking a spontaneous flight to Melbourne years ago just to go to the prestigious Melbourne Cup.

People often make their way straight to Sydney to see the Opera House on their trip to Australia, but in my opinion, Melbourne is the better option as it has less of that big city feel. There may not be snow here during the winter, but it’s summer in Australia making it the perfect place to visit in December if you are after a warm escape!

Queenstown, New Zealand


Queenstown is an amazing city/town in New Zealand’s South Island. It’s one of the most visited spots in the country and one of the main places everyone seeks to live in. The town sits on Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by the Southern Alps. If you are lucky enough to score yourself a lakeside Airbnb rental you’ll have uninterrupted views of ” The Remarkables,” the mountain range around the lake.

Queenstown is dubbed the adventure capital of the southern hemisphere, and is where you will find a wide range of travelers getting an adrenaline high. Bungee jumping, paragliding, and canyoneering are all common things to do in Queenstown. The city also serves as a jumping off point to the Milford Sound and Lake Wanaka.

Like in Australia, December means it’s summer in Queenstown. You can expect pleasant temperatures and long hours of daylight! It’s another one to hit up if you are after a warm place to travel to in December for some adventure.

Lech Am Arlberg, Austria

Alpine Air

If we were to pick one of our favorite ski resort towns in Europe it would definitely be Lech Zurs Arlberg. The village ambiance is tough to beat in the winter months due to a wide selection of boutique hotels all intimate in size due to strict ordinance laws. You won’t find any mega hotels or foreign investment in this former farming village.

It’s all distinctly Austrian with restaurants, hotels, bars, chalets, and B&Bs run by local families. Everything in the village is modern and luxurious but understated so you won’t be completely gobsmacked here. This charm is what continues to draw regulars from around the world year after year.

Narvik, Norway


Norway in the winter is what fairytale books are made out of. Especially the more north you head. We found a fantastic winter home in Narvik where we could spot the Northern Lights and go snowboarding all in one day.

The first night of our tour outside of Narvik included a dog sled at night led by head torches and the Aurora Borealis above us. Our second night was followed up with the Northern Lights over the city of Narvik from atop the ski hill. Both experiences are ones to remember forever!

If you plan to see the Northern lights in Northern Norway I’d advise you to rent a car in order to guarantee your chances. Northern Norway is largely coastal and is comprised of a mix of mountains and islands. The result of the unique landscape and the sea create very localized weather and unpredictable weather.

Narvik is also where you can visit Narvikfjellet, one of Norway’s most famous ski resorts. Off-piste riding is a major draw for Narvikfjellet as their brand new gondola provides access to some big terrain with views of the fjord down below.

Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy


This is the jewel of the ski and winter scene in the Trentino region. It’s a well-known resort that is famous for hosting many Italians looking for solid skiing, dining, and relaxation in a very posh environment. In fact, it still holds on to its claim to fame as the summer vacation spot of Austrian Royalty and Princess Sissi. The town is a beautiful little gem set at the base of the Dolomites and has all the charm of a mountain town.

The town is nearly car-free and it’s easy to take an evening stroll after a day on the slopes. We spent our evenings window shopping while checking out the 19th-century architecture with a cappuccino in hand. Charming wooden homes line the streets at the foot of the Dolomites. It is easy to see why the resort town is well cherished in Northern Italy and a great spot to travel to in December.

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Wengen - Jungfrau

The little mountain village provides perfect access to two ski areas and numerous hiking trails. High above Grindelwald lies to the Bernese Alps, and a famous mountain face. That mountain is Eiger’s notorious North Face – yup the clothing company you have probably heard of is named after a mountain in Switzerland.

The village has a long main road and plenty of accommodation options to handle a large number of tourists that make the journey up the valley from Interlaken. The village lacks the charm that the surrounding villages have such a Gimmelwald, Murren, or Wengen, but it does provide amazing access to the mountains – great for skiers and those after a solid European winter holiday.

Zermatt, Switzerland


Zermatt in the winter time can only be described as a magical winter wonderland. This chocolate box alpine village, under its blanket of snow, is set against the backdrop of the iconic Matterhorn and is a must on anyone’s Swiss itinerary. Whether you’re into skiing or not, you can’t help but fall under the charm of this beautiful village. It will enchant you with its little back roads, its traditional and modern chalets, its lack of traffic (it’s a car-free village) as well as the restaurants and shops that line the main street.

Skiers are spoiled for choice with the kilometers of slopes on offer. A trip up to the Klein Matterhorn or a journey on the train to the Gornergrat is a must for non-skiers. There is a lively après-ski scene and an abundance of restaurants catering to all tastes from traditional Swiss fayre to Japanese, Chinese, Italian and more. It is also a great resort for families visiting Zermatt although it does come with a hefty price tag.

Malbun, Liechtenstein

Malbun, Liechtenstein

We’ve been on a mission to explore some of the smallest countries in the world. It’s what recently brought us to Luxembourg and took us through Swaziland last year. On our grand tour of the Alps, we visited Austria and Switzerland so it only made a chance to stop by the country sandwiched right in between the two. Liechtenstein has an area of just over 160 square kilometres making it the fourth smallest country in Europe with a population of only 38,000 people!

Malbun is a small town in the alps that is great for a winter vacation in Europe. It’s here you can enjoy the best things to do in Europe in the winter – snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and fondue dipping! We even went for a winter walk in the woods with llamas!

We spent two full days in Liechtenstein and thought it was the ultimate place for families looking for winter travel during the month of December. The mountain and town are big enough to have some fun in, but also small enough to let children run wild and free!

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Beautiful European Cities you should visit

Avatar - Suzanne Jones - The TravelbunnyBy Suzanne Jones – The Travelbunny

Hoping to head to Europe in 2021? Me too! Check out these epic northern European cities for history, culture and food and add them to your travel wish list. From beautiful Copenhagen to Cologne in Germany, Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris and Reykjavik.


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    Most Popular Travel Searches During the COVID-19 Lockdown

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    Where to Go in December: The Best Places to Travel

    Anglican Church

    The following destinations are ideal to visit in December. At the top of the list you’ll find spots that are currently welcoming U.S. travelers and therefore likely to be open next winter. We are updating this list as information develops on low-risk travel, but the pandemic is causing many and frequent changes, so click to Ask Wendy before planning anything.

    Please also see our Covid-19 travel coverage, including which countries are open to U.S. travelers.

    (Don’t miss the rest of our “Where to Go When” series on the best destinations for every month of the year. If you’re wondering when’s the best time to book your destination to get the best value for your dollar, see our “Where to Book Now” series.)

    Joshua Tree National Park, California

    Joshua Tree National Park

    Joshua Tree National Park is ideal for hiking, and it’s convenient to Palm Springs. Photo: Visit California/Myles McGuinness

    It can get cold at night in December, but the days in Joshua Tree are sunny with temperatures in the 60s (versus 110 or more in summer), making it ideal for hiking, with no crowds in sight. The park has two very distinct ecosystems: the low desert of the Colorado and the high desert of the Mojave, each with its own flora and fauna. The Mojave section also has some impressive granite monoliths and rock piles. Palm Springs is less than an hour away, so you won’t have to rough it while exploring the park—unless you want to.

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    Skiing in the Rockies

    A chair lift brings skiers to top of ski slopes of Deer Valley Ski Resort, near Park City and The Canyons

    Many families head to the slopes over the holidays. Photo: Shutterstock

    Many families head to the slopes over the holidays. With the right travel specialist in your corner, you can have your equipment delivered straight to your rental house or condo, skip the lift lines, ski with a private instructor, and even have an already-decorated Christmas tree and a fridge stocked full of holiday provisions waiting for you when you arrive. Read these reviews of past holiday trips to the slopes in Colorado, Utah, and beyond.

    Ask about a ski trip in the Rockies

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Luxury Skiing in the Rocky Mountains.  

    Oahu, Hawaii

    Hawaii - Kaneohe Bay, Oahu

    Oahu is beautiful, but can get crowded during the holidays; the right planner will know how to avoid them. Photo: Shutterstock

    November through March is the best time to see whales off the coast of Oahu, especially on the west side of the island. Lots of families descend on Hawaii for the holidays, so you need a savvy trip planner to steer you away from the crowds: someone who can arrange private hikes with a local guide, charter your own catamaran for a snorkeling trip or sunset sail, or book you an exclusive tour of Pearl Harbor.

    Ask about a trip to Oahu

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Oahu.  


    The Reefs, Southampton, Bermuda

    During the holidays, Bermuda’s beaches aren’t the only things the island has to offer. Photo: The Reefs, Southampton

    Don’t let the warm temperatures fool you: Bermudans go all out for the holidays, with elaborate decorations on homes and businesses, the aroma of gingerbread in the air, and a Christmas Eve candlelight service at St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Anglican church in the western hemisphere. The humidity is low, the temperatures are warm enough to have dinner al fresco, the golfing is excellent, and the 2- or 4-person microcars available for rent make it easy to get around the island.

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    The Caribbean before the Christmas rush

    turquoise ocean at Cap Juluca in Anguilla

    The window between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a time for off-peak rates in the Caribbean islands, such as  Anguilla, pictured. Photo: Belmond Cap Juluca

    While the Caribbean is hugely popular for holiday trips, few people travel there between Thanksgiving and Christmas—specifically, from the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to the Thursday or Friday before the peak Christmas rush. During that period you can enjoy substantial savings (four nights for the price of three, seven nights for the price of five) and your chances of an upgrade are good—if you book through a Caribbean specialist with clout.

    Ask about a trip to the Caribbean

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guides to the Best and Worst of the Caribbean and Finding Your Perfect Caribbean Island Resort

    A private yacht charter off Belize’s Caribbean coast

    a yacht is anchored at Sergeant's Caye off the shore in Belize with yellow kayak on sand

    Belize is known for its ultra blue ocean waters. Photo: Absolute Belize

    Many sailing spots in the Caribbean become so jam-packed with boats in high season that you have to anchor by midday to find a good spot. Not true in Belize—known for its world-class snorkeling and diving and crystal-clear Caribbean waters in 100 shades of blue—where our Trusted Travel Experts can put you in your own private yacht at all-inclusive rates that come to less than $400 per person per night. Your first-rate Belizean captain will take you to toes-in-the-sand beach bars, jaw-dropping snorkeling sites, and fishing spots where you can catch your own dinner. Here’s my firsthand report from a December trip on a private yacht off the Belizean coast.

    Ask about a sailing trip in Belize

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Belize.

    Belize’s jungle and beaches

    boy jumping in to ocean from a high dock in Belize

    Belize offers a mix of water and land adventures. Photo: Wendy Perrin

    Belize makes for an ideal land-based getaway too: Nonstop flights to Belize take off from several U.S. cities that are only about three hours away. Once you’re there you can explore world-class coral reefs, hike to spectacular waterfalls, visit Mayan ruins, learn to scuba dive (as Wendy’s son did), fish for 100-pound tarpon (which kept her husband busy), and laze beside sparkling Caribbean waters.

    Ask about a trip in Belize

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Belize.

    Mexico in early December

    Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

    Mexico City is full of cool architecture and museums (like the Museo Soumaya, pictured), delicious food, and historical sights. Photo: Billie Cohen

    Much of Mexico is ideal in December, after the rainy season has ended; if you go early in the month, you’ll avoid the peak holiday-season rates that kick in around December 18. On the Pacific coast, the landscapes are still ultra-tropical green, and the ocean is bathtub-warm (80s), with exceptional clarity for scuba diving and snorkeling.

    Ask about a trip to Mexico

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guides to Mexico City, Riviera Maya, and Puerto Vallarta.

    Cabo for the holidays

    chaise lounges overlooking infinity pool and blue ocean in Cabo San Lucas Mexico

    This luxe,10-bedroom, staffed villa in Cabo is safe and private, with sweeping ocean views from almost every room.

    The party never stops in Cabo–but it certainly reaches its peak in late December, when holiday revelers fill the streets in Cabo San Lucas and artsy types head to San Jose del Cabo. (Of course, if you prefer a more serene getaway, our Trusted Travel Expert can book you into a private villa, and even stock the fridge so you never have to leave the property.) With the large selection of hotels and villa rentals in Los Cabos, you can often find reasonably priced options for the holidays as late as November, or even into December.

    Ask about a trip to Los Cabos

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like this. Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Los Cabos Villa Vacations.

    Costa Rica in early December

    Rio Celeste Waterfall photographed in Costa Rica

    The crowds disappear from Costa Rica during the first two weeks of December. Photo: Shutterstock

    Costa Rica is a perennial favorite over the holidays, with good reason. But if you can get away during the first two weeks of December, you’ll avoid the crowds, enjoy the transition from rainy to dry season when everything is still lush and green, and pay low-season rates.

    Ask about a trip to Costa Rica

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to Costa Rica Luxury Eco-Travel.

    The Galapagos, Ecuador before the holidays

    View of two beaches on Bartolome Island in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador

    December through March is the ideal time for snorkeling in the Galapagos. Photo: Shutterstock

    The water is warmest in the Galapagos archipelago from December through March, so that’s the best time for swimming and snorkeling (even though it can be a bit rainy). While Christmas and New Year’s weeks are some of the most sought-after travel dates of the year, cruises during the first week in December are often a bargain since demand is low.

    Ask about a trip to the Galapagos

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to the Galapagos.

    The Amazon and Bahia, Brazil

    Beautiful Trancoso beach near Porto Seguro in state of Bahia, Brazil

    Trancoso and the state of Bahia, Brazil. Photo: Shutterstock

    December is the best month of the year to combine Brazil’s coastline and rainforest, as the weather is ideal in the states of Bahia—home to Trancoso, a gorgeous beach town with an internationally acclaimed party scene that starts to heat up over New Year’s—and Amazonas. Bahia is sunny and pleasant, and the Amazon is at the end of its dry season, so there are beautiful beaches along some rivers.

    Ask about a trip to Brazil

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guides to Five-Star Brazil and the Brazilian Amazon.

    The Maldives before the holidays

    overwater bungalow at Joali resort in the maldives

    Brook’s water villa at JOALI Maldives had more than 1,000 square feet of interior space, plus a sizable deck with a private infinity pool and steps down to the water. Photo: Brook Wilkinson

    European vacationers drive up prices from Christmas through Easter, but in early December you’ll find a sweet spot of lower hotel rates and ideal weather: Temperatures are consistently in the high 80s year-round, but during this period there is almost no rain or wind, so the water is calm for snorkeling and diving. Here’s my dispatch from a successful trip to the Maldives during Covid.

    Ask about a trip to the Maldives

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to the Maldives.


    zebras in Kenya savanna

    Early December is Kenya’s shoulder season. Photo: Julian Harrison

    Early December is the shoulder season in Kenya—after the Great Migration and at the tail end of the rainy season—so lodge and camp rates are a bit lower. Prices are at their peak over the holidays, but the days are more dependably dry. Read reviews of our travelers’ trips to Kenya last December and January, during the pandemic.

    Ask about a trip to Kenya

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    camel trek through the Sahara Desert, Morocco.

    Wendy and family took a camel trek through the Sahara Desert on their trip to Morocco.

    Late December is one of the busiest times of year in Morocco. If you’re planning a trip over the holidays, we can connect you with a travel specialist who knows how to circumvent the crowds a deliver the best possible experience during peak season. Keep in mind that temperatures plunge after dark at this time of year, making it tough to get a good night’s sleep on a foray into the Sahara.

    Ask about a trip to Morocco

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    Nicaragua mountains

    Nicaragua. Photo: TPS Dave/Pixabay

    From December until mid-February, the country is lush and green, there is no rain, and the breezes keep the temperatures in the high 80s during the day.

    Ask about a trip to Nicaragua

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to Nicaragua.


    heart shaped cookie from famous Striezelmarkt in Dresden Germany. It says Merry Christmas in icing

    A cookie from Dresden’s Striezelmarkt says “Merry Christmas.” Photo: Truffle Pig

    Christmas markets sprout up all over the country this month, and from the smallest towns to the biggest cities they’re a great place to mingle with locals, learn about regional handicrafts, and sample seasonal delicacies. Depending on the venue, you can find anything from medieval reenactments to outdoor concerts. But they’re usually at their prime once darkness has set in and the fairy lights are out in full force (which means there’s also time in the day for museum visits and city touring before indulging in the market flurry). Some travelers skip dinner altogether for a smorgasbord of yuletide samplings at the wooden market huts!

    Ask about a trip to Germany

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to Bavaria.


    Christmas in Paris. Photo: David C. Phillips

    Christmas in Paris. Photo: David C. Phillips

    Christmas/New Year’s is one of the prettiest times in the city, which is already beautifully lit even before the seasonal lights go up. Just be aware of holiday closing times, expensive set menus in restaurants on Dec 31, and the sheer difficulty of getting around the city that evening.

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    Red Square at night, Moscow, Russia

    Red Square at night, Moscow. Photo: Dan Weisberg Photography

    People don’t think of Moscow for winter, but it’s such a wonderful time to be there. The weather is no worse than what you’d find in New York City, and the huge advantage is the people—or, really, the lack of people! No masses of tourist buses descending on the Kremlin, no huge lines for museums (of course, our Trusted Travel Expert will help you skip all museum lines anyway), and no crazy crowds in Red Square. Something magical happens in Moscow in the off-season: It actually becomes more approachable and less intimidating. (Plus, December falls in the heart of the theater season, so for culture vultures this is the best time to visit.)

    Ask about a trip to Moscow

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to Moscow.

    Thessaloniki, Greece

    white tower of Thessaloniki, Greece

    Thessaloniki, Greece. Photo: Pixabay/EmiliaMaghiar

    Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city, and a fascinating palimpsest of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Jewish heritage. In December, Thessaloniki’s streets come to life with festive decorations and colorful lights. Divide your time between historical sightseeing, holiday shopping, and sipping a hot beverage in a cozy café.

    Ask about a trip to Greece

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    Mendoza, Argentina

    Vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina

    Mendoza, Argentina, is famed for its vineyards. Photo: Cavas Wine Lodge

    December is an ideal time to visit Mendoza: The grapevines are alive, and the backdrop of the majestic Andes after the winter snows makes for dramatic scenery. Wine season is in full swing, and there’s a beer festival in Godoy Cruz during the first week in December—a four-day street party with live music and heavy partying. (Christmas and New Year’s, though, are high season for hotels, and the wineries close on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.)

    Ask about a trip to Mendoza

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to Mendoza.


    Wat Arun Ratchawaram The Royal Thai Consulate Rattanakosin Town Hall skyline of Bangkok at night

    Bangkok has some of its best weather in December: lower temperatures and less humidity. Photo: Shutterstock

    Late October (when the rains end) through February is an exceptional time to visit the northern part of Thailand, from Sukhothai through Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The King’s Birthday, on December 5, ushers in the festive season (Christmas and New Year’s certainly aren’t traditional holidays here, but many Thais celebrate them anyway) and cooler, less humid weather. In general, the beaches are blissful from the end of December through March. Mid-November through January see the lowest temperatures and least humidity in Bangkok.

    Ask about a trip to Thailand

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    Siem Reap, Cambodia in early December

    West gate of Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia

    West gate of Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo: Ethan Crowley, ABOUTAsia Travel

    If you must travel with the busloads of Chinese and Korean tourists in the cooler dry season (which runs from November to March), try to do so during the first two weeks of December for far fewer crowds and great hotel deals.

    Ask about a trip to Siem Reap

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to Angkor Wat and Siem Reap Without the Crowds.

    Rajasthan, India

    The market in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

    The market in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. Photo: Billie Cohen

    December is a fun time to be in Rajasthan (though a busy one—this is peak season). The weather is cooler—something to relish, as it means long explorations into the bazaars, wonderful walks around the forts, and a chance to explore the villages on foot without overheating. Evenings are spent wrapped in beautifully decorated Rajasthani shawls and blankets as you dine outside by a fire. The winter light is beautiful, particularly in the villages, making this an ideal time for travelers with a passion for photography.

    Ask about a trip to Rajasthan

    You’ll be marked as a VIP and get a trip like thisLearn more in our Insider’s Guide to Rajasthan.

    New Zealand

    Stingray Cove, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

    Stingray Cove, Bay of Islands, New Zealand—just one place where you might find flowers blooming in December. Photo: Stephen Western.

    In the first two weeks of December (before the madness of the holiday season begins and rates go up), you can see newborn lambs dotting the hillsides all over the country. New Zealanders love their gardens, so flowers are blooming everywhere too.

    Ask about a trip to New Zealand

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    Other Good Options This Month

    Click on any of the destinations below to find out why December is a good time to go.


    North America

    Disney World, Orlando


    Central and South America





    Austria: Christmas Markets

    England: London apartment rentals

    France: Paris apartment rentals

    Italy: Sicily feast days and food festivals

    Norway: winter activities

    Portugal: Lisbon

    Russia: St. Petersburg

    Turkey: Cappadocia and Istanbul



    India: south and central regions

    Indonesia: Bali’s rainy season deals

    Myanmar’s tropical areas

    Nepal’s lower elevations

    Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City and the south


    Africa and Middle East

    United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi


    Australia and Pacific

    Fiji: Deals




    Africa Cruises

    Antarctica Cruises


    We’re here to help

    If your goal is an extraordinary trip when the time is right, go to Ask Wendy. We know which trip-planning specialists have up-to-the-minute intel for your destination and can minimize your risk and maximize your experience. Check out Real Trips Right Now to see the difference that this makes.


    Be a safer, smarter traveler: Sign up for Wendy’s weekly newsletter to stay in the know. And read real travelers’ reviews of Wendy’s WOW List and use it to plan your next trip.


    17 Best April destinations in Europe for 2021

    Antalya Airport

    AsiaSince most of Europe is so far from the equator, most of the famous cities are still a bit chilly in April. Still, April can be one of the best months of the year to visit the busiest and most popular cities here. Temperatures are warm enough for enjoyable sightseeing, yet the crowd sizes are much smaller than you’ll see starting in May and June.

    Those looking for a warm-weather destination in April should be thinking about Asia or the Caribbean. Even so, Europe (more or less) does have a couple places warm enough for a bit of April sunbathing, and those are listed on top.


    Notable April, 2021 holidays in Europe

    • March 28 through April 5 – Holy Week/Semana Santa (Spain, Philippines, Latin America)
    • April 4 – Easter
    • April 25 – Liberation Day – Public holiday (Italy)

    COVID-19 situation

    As of the December-2020 edit of this article, the COVID-19 situation is pretty bad through most of the world although the vaccines should be available soon for some of us. Many travel destinations on the list below are closed to those from outside of the regions, but quite a few are now getting ready to accept visitors. Needless to say, you’ll want to check the most current information for any destination before you book. There is actually good news and you can see it in our best destinations for Americans and Canadians during the COVID crisis.

    Europe’s only two April beach destinations

    Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

    • April avg high: 72F/22C
    • April avg low: 61F/16C
    • April avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

    AthensThe temperatures above may not look like sunbathing weather, but most April days in the southwest corner of Tenerife are a bit warmer than this and the beaches can get pretty full. The Canary Islands are the only warm-weather April destination that is officially in Europe, and that’s only because these islands off Africa are part of Spain.

    Flights into Tenerife, which is the largest of the Canary Islands, are quite reasonable from the colder parts of northern Europe. And hotels here are quite a bargain as well, at least compared to the Caribbean or Mediterranean. You’ll mostly find Brits, Germans, and Nordic folks here, and in April it’s mostly the older generation.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €56 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €78 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €18 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Tenerife
    >>>Tenerife prices and travel tips

    Antalya, Turkey

    • April avg high: 71F/22C
    • April avg low: 51F/11C
    • April avg precip: 2.4″/6.0cm

    Canary IslandsWhile part of Turkey is actually in Europe, Antalya is technically well into Asia. This historic Mediterranean town starts filling up with northern Europeans and Russians in April, and there is usually really nice sunny weather most of April that is warm enough for some sunbathing.

    Flights into Antalya Airport are quite cheap, and the area even has an abundance of all-inclusive hotels along stretches of sand in both directions from the city center. Hotels within the historic center are excellent value, and Antalya is a very worthwhile cultural destination in addition to having pleasant weather this time of year. In 2020 the entire tourim industry in Turkey is struggling as the government has become unpopular practically around the globe. Check the news though because tourists seem to be totally safe and things should be cheaper and less crowded than in recent years.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €18 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €26 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €20 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Antalya
    >>>Antalya prices and travel tips

    The destinations below at least have decent April weather, and plenty to see this month

    Rome, Italy

    • April avg high: 64F/18C
    • April avg low: 47F/8C
    • April avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

    CannesApril is another ideal month to visit Rome because it’s usually warm enough for all sightseeing, but still early enough in the year that crowds are not out of control yet. That changes a bit around Easter, which is on April 12 in 2020, as the city fills up and the Vatican has big events. If you are coming during that week it’s important to book early.

    The rest of the month is even more pleasant, and hotel prices are still modest compared to what they’ll be starting in June. The outdoor attractions such as the Coliseum and Ancient Rome can be brutal when the summer heat arrives, so this kind of weather is ideal in several ways.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €64 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €77 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €26 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Rome
    >>>Rome prices and travel tips

    Florence, Italy

    • April avg high: 66F/19C
    • April avg low: 46F/8C
    • April avg precip: 3.1″/7.8cm

    caribbeanSince Florence is only a bit north of Rome, it has generally the same pleasant weather in April. This is the heart of Tuscany and starting in April it’s warm enough to start exploring some of the vineyards and lovely hill towns in this area, not to mention the fantastic sights in Florence itself.

    Nearly everyone visits Florence on their way to Rome or from Rome, and the train only takes about two hours between them. It’s best to fly into Rome and head north or fly into Venice and head south. You can get cheap flights into the Pisa Airport, or visit it on a day trip.

    Speaking of the north, Venice is still fairly chilly in April, but it’s absolutely worth a visit if you have an extra day or two.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €72 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €95 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €25 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Florence
    >>>Florence prices and travel tips

    Paris, France

    • April avg high: 60F/16C
    • April avg low: 46F/8C
    • April avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

    costa del solFortunately for all of us, Paris has a milder climate than you might expect. April is obviously not a warm month in the City of Lights, but it’s fairly pleasant weather for sightseeing, with usually very little rain. Starting in May you’ll notice crowds getting larger and larger, so April is a very good compromise with acceptable weather and modest crowd sizes.

    Hotels in Paris are pretty good bargains as well, especially if you book a place in more of a tourist neighborhood than a business neighborhood. Flights into Paris are still good deals as well, so this can be a good place to start or end a longer tour of Europe. You should consider a Paris Pass if you intend on hitting many of the top attractions in only a few days.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €85 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €107 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €32 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Paris
    >>>Paris prices and travel tips

    Nice, France

    • April avg high: 62F/17C
    • April avg low: 50F/10C
    • April avg precip: 2.7″/6.8cm

    EasterThe Mediterranean city of Nice is quite crowded all summer and fairly dead in the winter, so April is a good compromise month for a visit. The temperatures are warm enough for a long stroll along the beach or through the outdoor markets in the center of town, and chilly enough that you’ll be able to show off some of your favorite outerwear.

    Nice has plenty going for it by itself, but it’s also a very short train ride (20 minutes or so) from Cannes in one direction and Monaco in the other. So this is an excellent base for trips around the French Riviera, with lower hotel and restaurant prices than some of those more famously expensive spots that you can easily see on day trips.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €93 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €145 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €19 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Nice
    >>>Nice prices and travel tips

    London, England

    • April avg high: 55F/13C
    • April avg low: 42F/6C
    • April avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

    FranceThe weather in London can be lousy at any time of the year, and at least April is warm and usually dry enough that you can do everything that you want to do. London is one of those cities that is so crowded in July and August that some people regret visiting then, so actually a visit in April can be far more peaceful and enlightening.

    Another plus is that flights to London can be pretty good bargains in the shoulder season like this. London hotels and hostels are also offering rates that are far lower than you’ll see in summer. You can also take the Eurostar train to Paris in a bit over two hours, and then begin a European tour from there.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €69 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €134 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €23 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for London
    >>>London prices and travel tips

    Barcelona, Spain

    • April avg high: 64F/18C
    • April avg low: 47F/8C
    • April avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

    MadridSpeaking of cities that feel insanely crowded during summer, Barcelona is now another one, so visiting in the fringe months can be far more enjoyable. Since the architecture is the most notable thing about Barcelona, it’s a place where you’ll want to spend quite a bit of time outdoors. April is warm and dry enough to be able to enjoy your visit, even more so than July when it’s so hot that you have to seek shade on a regular basis.

    First time visitors to Spain might not realize how different Barcelona and Madrid are from each other, and that there is a high-speed train that connects the cities in about three hours. It’s highly recommended to spend 3 or so days in each city if you can. Hotels here are pretty good value in April as well.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €64 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €97 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €28 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Barcelona
    >>>Barcelona prices and travel tips

    Madrid, Spain

    • April avg high: 64F/18C
    • April avg low: 45F/7C
    • April avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

    mykonosAs mentioned just above, the ideal plan is to visit Madrid and Barcelona as a pair, with about 3 nights in each. Madrid is a more formal and typical large capital city, but it’s also filled with interesting sights along with great food and nightlife.

    Those starting a longer Europe tour can fly into Madrid and then take that train to Barcelona, and then another train to Paris from there, or a different train along the Mediterranean coast. You can also take a night train to Lisbon from Madrid, which is an adventure on its own.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €45 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €78 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €24 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Madrid
    >>>Madrid prices and travel tips

    Malaga, Spain

    • April avg high: 70F/21C
    • April avg low: 51F/11C
    • April avg precip: 1.6″/4.0cm

    northern EuropeThere are actually days in April where it’s warm enough for sunbathing in the Malaga area, which also includes the Costa del Sol towns to its west. But even if you don’t come for sunbathing, you’ll at least get nice weather with almost no rain. Many Brits and Nordic people live here all year round, but the main tourist season doesn’t really begin until late May.

    Some of the towns in this area are filled with hotels, but others have far more short-term apartment rentals, so it’s good to check both options. The actual city of Malaga has a historic center that is more interesting than you might expect, so there is more to do here than just walk around in the nice weather.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €58 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €89 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €18 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Malaga
    >>>Malaga prices and travel tips

    Lisbon, Portugal

    • April avg high: 67F/19C
    • April avg low: 53F/12C
    • April avg precip: 2.6″/6.5cm

    SwitzerlandLisbon has one of Europe’s best climates any month of the year, and April is obviously no exception. Being on the southwest coast as it is, the city gets warm gulfstream breezes that keep it nicer than the inland cities on the same latitude. Lisbon is another ideal city to fly into for the start of a tour of Europe, as you can get to Madrid or many other Spanish cities quite easily on your way towards France.

    Portugal’s remoteness seems to help keep visitor numbers lower than they deserve, and that helps keep prices modest as well. Hotels and hostels here are good deals most of the year, and the quality is surprisingly good even in the lower price ranges.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €39 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €79 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €18 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Lisbon
    >>>Lisbon prices and travel tips

    Split, Croatia

    • April avg high: 63F/17C
    • April avg low: 51F/11C
    • April avg precip: 2.5″/6.3cm

    travel destinationsYou’ve likely heard of Dubrovnik, which is the most famous tourist town in Croatia, but Split is actually a better stop for many people. The historic town centers are very similar except that Split’s is larger than Dubrovnik’s walled city, and Split is a bit older as well. Dubrovnik is also a busy cruise port, which is another reason to avoid it unless you are on a cruise yourself.

    Split is also a good transport hub in Croatia as the train stops here near the ferry port, which can get you to one of the nearby islands. Apartment rentals called “sobes” are more popular here than normal hotels, and usually cheaper as well. This area is also overcrowded in summer, so April is a nice month to be able to see everything and still have decent weather.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €30 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €50 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €12 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Split
    >>>Split prices and travel tips

    Prague, Czech Republic

    • April avg high: 57F/14C
    • April avg low: 38F/3C
    • April avg precip: 1.5″/3.8cm

    TurkeyAs a city nowhere near the coast, Prague has pretty chilly winters, so April is really the first month of the year when temperatures are pleasant enough for a visit. Fortunately Prague normally gets almost no rain in April either, so as long as you bring a jacket or sweater you can probably leave the umbrella at home.

    One reason why Prague is a recommended city in April is that it’s another one that can feel so insanely crowded in July that it’s unbearable. It might feel a bit cold in April here, but it’s still far more pleasant than battling the monstrous crowds in summer. Hotel prices are good bargains this time of the year as well.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €45 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €67 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €19 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Prague
    >>>Prague prices and travel tips

    Budapest, Hungary

    • April avg high: 61F/16C
    • April avg low: 43F/6C
    • April avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

    Antalya AirportIf you read the description of Prague in April, it’s pretty much the exact same story for Budapest in April, but the weather here is a bit warmer. Budapest doesn’t get quite as crowded as Prague does in summer, though it can also be quite hot here so July and August are not ideal times to come in any event.

    Those who are doing a tour of Europe that includes both Prague and Budapest will probably want to stop in Vienna in between, and perhaps even the lovely small town of Cesky Krumlov. Buses can be more frequent than trains in this part of Europe, usually with lower prices and similar travel times as well. Budapest is one of Europe’s great bargains, as it is always near the top of the Europe Backpacker Index list of the cheapest tourist cities on the continent.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €35 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €73 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €8 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Budapest
    >>>Budapest prices and travel tips

    Athens, Greece

    • April avg high: 68F/20C
    • April avg low: 49F/9C
    • April avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

    AsiaAs you can see above, Athens has a very pleasant April climate, which is ideal for the type of sightseeing you’ll do here. The main attractions are outdoors in this historic city, so a visit in summer can be problematic in the brutal heat. Many people visit Athens for a few days and then head to one of the nearby islands by ferry from the cruise port here of Piraeus. Most of the islands are pretty dead until at least after Easter, and it’s slow through the middle of May.

    There are a couple of smaller islands that are close enough to Athens for a day trip visit. If you really want to also visit an island you might consider Santorini, Mykonos, or Rhodes. Those all have airports and towns that are going all year round, although still quite slow outside of the summer months.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €39 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €61 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €13 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Athens
    >>>Athens prices and travel tips

    Valletta, Malta

    • April avg high: 64F/18C
    • April avg low: 54F/12C
    • April avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

    AthensIf you don’t care much about sandy beaches and are just looking for a European island destination with pleasant weather in April, then consider Malta. The only proper beaches are a long way away from the main towns, but still the weather is good enough in April to spend plenty of time outside and even relax on the rocks that serve as beaches in the best areas such as Sliema.

    Valletta is actually the small and historic capital town that is a charming place to spend a day or two, but if you are coming for longer than that you’ll probably want a hotel in Sliema or farther west along the coast. The nightlife here is quite good, especially for those who enjoy cheap beer and wine. English is the main language, so it’s one of the easier places to visit in southern Europe.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €47 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €71 for two people

    >>>Check hotel deals for Valletta
    >>>Valletta prices and travel tips

    Interlaken, Switzerland

    • April avg high: 57F/14C
    • April avg low: 38F/3C
    • April avg precip: 3.4″/8.5cm

    Canary IslandsWhile it’s still fairly cold in April, and very cold at the higher altitudes, Interlaken is really an all-year destination. The area is home to perhaps Europe’s two most scenic spots in the Jungfraujoch railway and the Schilthorn observation deck, and those can be good any time of year as long as you don’t get unlucky with a foggy day.

    In winter this is a ski area and in summer this is the hiking and trekking capital of Switzerland. April is kind of an in-between month where you might be able to do both of those things. It’s best to plan your activities at the last minute, once you know what the weather will be like at the time.

    • Good 3-star hotels in April from €79 for two people
    • Good 4-star hotels in April from €131 for two people
    • Hostel dorm beds in April from €26 per person

    >>>Check hotel deals for Interlaken
    >>>Interlaken prices and travel tips


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