Europe is a continent that is easy to travel year round, but even with that easy, it doesn’t mean that all of Europe is best experienced year round. Here are a few tips I’ve learned during my current trip in Europe that will help you consider a few extra factors when planning your trip.
1. Europe does some Spring cleaning too
Many cities want their buildings to look squeaky-clean when the high season (summer) comes. Sure, why not? But this means that before the summer, they must scaffold the buildings to be able to repair or clean them (in addition to the common long term projects). Spring is the best time to do this since it is not too cold and it is still not high season.
This means that most of your pictures of the most beautiful sights will have the not so good-looking scaffold in it too. Well, this is part of the price of traveling in a cheaper shoulder season.
2. There are many ways to get to the same place
One of the great things about traveling through Europe is the ease of traveling around. No matter from which city to which city you hop, chances are that there is more than one way to get there – trains, budget airline, car share, car, hitch hiking, buses, etc.
Still, as you know, Europe is big! If you travel overland, it is good that you understand the amount of time it takes to go from point A to point B. I wrote this post where I share all my tips to travel Europe by train with Eurail passes.
3. Weather is a big factor in your experience, as well as seasons
There is no point in going island hopping in Croatia during early spring or winter. It’s simply too cold and you wont enjoy the beautiful beaches. Same thing applies to all other outdoor activities in their respective season and country.
In order to enjoy the most of the things you want to do, make sure you go in the appropriate season.
Also, many cities in Europe are like open-air museums. Try to avoid them during the rainy season, or else you will feel really disappointed and blame the city for it – saying that it sucks!
4. North vs. South, East vs. West – all different budgets
Where you go in Europe has a big effect in your budget. As a general rule, northern countries tend to be more expensive than the southern countries. Same thing applies to Western Europe being generally more expensive than Eastern Europe.
Of course, it is more complicated than this, but it is just a general rule.
Also, many cities in Europe are highly underrated (especially in Eastern Europe. Like Budapest, Bratislava, and others.) Going there will probably give you a great experience for much less.
5. Great festivals year round are a pro and con for travelers
Europe is well known for its countless festivals. This is good since you can plan your trip to coincide with several of these festivals, but at the same time, it can be an inconvenience if you’re not interested in such festivals. Finding accommodation can be a harder task, prices go up, and the city will be ridiculously full of tourist.
Always check the city’s calendar of activities to know when to be there or when to avoid it.
What other tips do you recommend?