Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! April is almost here – bring on spring! I’m working with many clients who are planning 2022 and 2023 trips across Europe. While the crisis in Ukraine and continuing pandemic protocols are top of mind, travelers are anxious to get trips planned and on the calendar. Rome, Paris, and London are at the top of the list, but there are plenty of other iconic cities to consider.
If you’re thinking that 2023 will be the year for you to get back to Europe, I encourage you to consider April for fewer crowds, favorable availability/rates, and temperatures conducive to sightseeing. You might encounter rain and some chilly days, but less congestion is well worth a few sprinkles. If Easter falls during your vacation week, it’s a toss-up. You may encounter crowds and higher prices but also may experience some special festivities.
Note – if you don’t want to wait until 2023, I recommend October-early November 2022 for some European cities.
Here’s a list of five European cities from which you can base an April vacation… read on for the scoop!
Prague, Czech Republic
The “city of a hundred spires,” Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. In fact, there are almost 1,000 spires that dot the skyline. It’s considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and has a rich history dating back to the Romanesque era, 1000 AD. Prague flourished during the Gothic and Renaissance periods and was the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors. After World War I, it became the capital of Czechoslovakia, and in 1933 Prague became the capital of the new Czech Republic.
The historic center of Prague is a UNESCO world heritage site. When in Prague, you’ll stroll over the medieval Charles Bridge which runs over the scenic Vltava River. After exploring the Old Town Square and historic streets lined with awe-inspiring architecture, you’ll quench your thirst with a draft of Pivo (beer) which the locals claim to be the best in the world. The history and modern culture come together to make this city a must-visit for people who love Europe.
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: If you’re already intrigued, you can schedule a chat with me here: www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact.
Once the stomping ground for artistic giants like Gaudi, Picasso, Miro, and Dali, the beautiful seaside city of Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city of architectural treasures, boundless culture and art, culinary excellence, passionate soccer fans, and vibrant nightlife.
World-famous sites are at the top of sightseeing lists like the unique Sagrada Familia – the basilica that famed architect Antoni Gaudi combined elements of Art Nouveau, Catalan Modernism, and Spanish Late Gothic design. You can take a tour of Barcelona that combines land, sea, and air experiences. You’ll ride to Montjuic Mountain on an electric bike and then take a panoramic cable car ride for a birds-eye view of the city below. At the top of the mountain, you’ll stroll around Montjuic Castle and the Olympic Ring and then feel the wind in your hair as you ride your bike down to the water. A boat will take you on a tour of the coast and breathtaking views of the city from the sea.
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: For hotel options with the perks check this out: Best Of The Best Hotels and Experiences.
Like Prague, Vienna is a capital city and dream destination for lovers of European history and architecture. Known as the City of Music and the City of Dreams, Vienna offers stunning historical buildings (including palaces, cathedrals, and museums), gorgeous gardens, and cultural experiences.
A bit of a hidden gem, The Spanish Riding School is one of the finest institutes for classic dressage in the world. It was built during the Hapsburg Monarchy and has stood ever since. Equestrians must visit this exceptional place.
Vienna celebrates coffee house culture so plan to hit a few of the traditional coffee houses when you need to take a break from sightseeing!
Portugal is such an incredible country, and although a relatively short flight from the New York City airports, it’s still a hidden gem for European travel. Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city, and the center is quite compact for touring. Explore with a private guide who will teach you about the city’s history, including the Great Earthquake, cultural influences, and revolutions. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as you trek the cobblestone streets.
You’ll find some incredible sightseeing in the environs of Lisbon. It’s surrounded by beautiful villages, particularly in the Sintra region. The palaces, monuments, and gardens have WOW factor. At Cabo da Roca, you can see the sparkling Atlantic Ocean at the westernmost point of mainland Europe.
Portugal is one of the hottest destinations for river cruises through the verdant Douro Valley, and Lisbon is a perfect place to begin or end your vacation.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When I think of the colors of springtime, my mind travels to the tulip fields of the Netherlands. For anyone who loves flowers, this experience must be on your travel bucket list.
Amsterdam is famed for its bicycle life, canals, museums, and narrow, gabled houses. As the ‘Venice of the north,’ you’ll leisurely cruise the web of canals through the city. Love a festival? The locals celebrate spring, and the April event calendar is chock-full of celebrations of art and culture, historical holidays, and even a festival for beer lovers. In the evening, hit W Amsterdam’s hip rooftop bar with amazing views.
Inspired? If you’re dreaming of a trip to Europe, here’s the link to schedule a chat with me www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact
Wishing you and your family continued good health,