These 6 European Cities Are Perfect for Spring Break

Explore stunning cities on your next spring break with these can't-miss Spring Break destinations.

Spring break is the reward we give ourselves for getting (mostly) through winter, so you want to make it count.

After all, summer is still a few months away. In many regions, there’s still no guarantee it won’t snow again in April (or even May). But for one or two lovely weeks in March or April, we have a chance to skip town, get some sun, and remember what it feels like to roll up our sleeves.

Give the traditional spring break vacation a boost this year and go beyond the predictable beaches you’ve visited before. Take a hop across the pond — Europe makes a perfect Spring Break destination! Here are six European cities with the right blend of culture, sun and fun for a perfect spring break.

1. Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain. Photo: joaquinaranoa/pixabay

Barcelona, Spain. Photo: joaquinaranoa/pixabay

Sparkling blue Mediterranean waters and a blend of modern and historic designs you won’t find anywhere else in the world,¬†plus¬†a thriving foodie scene, magnificent art museums and fun-loving nightlife. Yes, it’s Barcelona. Surrounded by low mountains (which offer fantastic views of the city below) Spain’s eclectic cultural capital has all the youthful panache of a Spring Break town along with fine dining, elegant hotels and incredible museums. The city is great for biking and walking, with historic districts and a beguiling blend of Neoclassical and Modernist architecture. Start planning with a Barcelona vacation package.

2. Athens

Narrow streets and ancient buildings in Athens. Photo: Shutterstock

Narrow streets and ancient buildings in Athens. Photo: Shutterstock

When you need sun and sea, Greece is there for you. Just add a fresh and delicious local cuisine, affordable accommodations and the history of civilization, and you’ve got Athens, one amazing spring break destination. Of course you’ll want to explore the ancient ruins of the Acropolis, and spend hours in the National Archaeological Museum, where many of the priceless statues and treasures of the Parthenon are now safe from the elements. But you’ll also love long lunches at sidewalk cafes in the ancient Plaka district, where cars have been banned from the narrow streets, and reminders of classical Greece are so prevalent, it’s been dubbed “the neighborhood of the gods.” Get started with an Athens vacation package.

Mykonos, Greece. Photo: Shutterstock

Mykonos, Greece. Photo: Shutterstock

Need more beach? Add on a day or three in Santorini or Mykonos, just a ferry-ride away. Or really indulge in the Mediterranean lifestyle with a visit to Crete.

3. Rome

Rome’s hot summers make peak travel season steamy. Spring break in Rome lets you skip the sultry summer temperatures — and some of the lines at museums and attractions, too. Even when Rome fills up for the Easter holiday, you can always find quiet streets to meander and historic churches to discover. From the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, to the spectacular collections of the Vatican Museums, Rome’s three thousand years of history gives you plenty to see on your spring break. And leave some time for relaxation, as well. Soak up the sun from a sidewalk cafe and forget winter ever happened as you sip a cappuccino. Isn’t that what spring break is all about? View our Rome vacation packages and build your own trip here.

Read more:

How to Spend One Week in Rome

10 Free Things to do in Rome


Spring break is the perfect time to discover Rome's neighborhoods, like Trastavere. Photo: Shutterstock

Spring break is the perfect time to discover Rome’s neighborhoods, like Trastavere. Photo: Shutterstock

4. Nice

Southern France begins to warm up in March, and the region’s winter rains begin to diminish. Spring blooms brighten Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais, and while you’ll want a jacket to keep away a chill from the coastal breeze, it’s still a delightful time to visit. Nice is beautiful inside and out, with stunning Belle Epoque and Art Deco architecture, and the world’s largest collection of Chagall artwork.

Spring is the perfect time to explore Nice.

Spring is the perfect time to explore Nice. Photo: Shutterstock

It’s the perfect combination with must-see cities and regions from Paris to Provence. Try this Paris, Provence and the French Riviera itinerary for a true escape from the ordinary on your next spring break!

The mountaintop fortress of Eze, near Nice. Photo: jpgruesen/pixabay

The mountaintop fortress of Eze, near Nice. Photo: jpgruesen/pixabay

5. Lisbon

The capital of Portugal looks the part of historic European city, but it’s so much more than a collection of cathedrals and museums. Lisbon is famous for a dynamic food scene and thirsty all-nighters.

If you’re looking for a night out with no last call, this is your kind of city. When you’re not enjoying a fantastic meal, you can take in the city’s famous views — settled atop seven hills, Lisbon is rich with landscapes and panoramas. In the cobblestoned Alfama district, you can wander narrow medieval lanes with a charming village feel, and don’t forget to take a ride on the distinctive yellow trams.

Explore Portugal and neighboring Spain with the best travel style for you, like tours, self-guided driving vacations, or a stay in the city.

Looking over Lisbon. Photo: Shutterstock

Looking over Lisbon. Photo: Shutterstock

6. Amsterdam

Decidedly cooler than the Mediterranean, sure, but when better than spring to visit the Netherlands? While March is chilly and some tourist attractions won’t open their doors until April, Amsterdam is much quieter before the heavy crowds of summer descend. You can still walk along the canals and enjoy an outdoor cafe; you’ll just want a sweater. Enjoy Amsterdam’s cafes and museums, and discover the city’s world-famous canal houses.

And don’t forget about tulips — the flower fields outside Amsterdam begin to bloom in mid to late March, depending on the season’s weather.

Amsterdam's famous canal houses. Photo: Shutterstock

Amsterdam’s famous canal houses. Photo: Shutterstock

If you really want to see the famous flowers, schedule your spring break for mid-April. That’s when the magnificent fields and planned gardens typically peak with floods of dramatic color. For an even more delightful European spring break, just add Paris.

Read more:

5 Essential Tips for Visiting Amsterdam

Quick Guide: Amsterdam Canal Houses

Plan Your Own Spring Break

Plan a spring break vacation easily with Virgin Vacations’ tours, pre-built vacation packages and customized vacations. You can build your own vacation with your choice of cities, add connections by air or rail when available, and even add tours and day-trips all in one place! Click here to get started on your next vacation.