European weather in April
Spring is popping up all over and Middle Europe starts to take on some colour and feel more comfortable. The weather is still unpredictable and it’s chilly up north, so, if you have a choice head for Europe south of Belgium – except for those who want to get seriously ripped who should head for Amsterdam for April 30th festivities, or sooner.
n. b. major tourist locations are likely to be overcrowded/ overpriced/ overbooked around Easter.
Italy: Sicily, Taranto have extravagant pre-Easter parades. And on Easter Sunday it’s Florence‘s turn.
Spain: Seville. Feria de Abril, a week long party, traditional dress, parades, dancing and wild parties.
Also Holy Week (Semana Santa), hundreds of pointy-hat parades, singing. The date depends on Easter, of course.
Netherlands: Amsterdam. The totally mad ‘Orange day’ (Queen’s Birthday) is on April 30th. And it’s daffodil season too, but may still be chilly.
Russia: St Petersburg. Music Spring, International classical music festival.
Also see European Festivals or Arts Festivals for suggestions, information and dates.
Sightseeing/culture in reasonably comfortable weather conditions
Spain: with the exception of the north, Spain is generally warm and pleasant in April. Visit the magical Moorish cities of Seville (esp. for Feria de Abril 7 day party at the end of April), Cordoba and Granada before they get uncomfortably hot. Barcelona too is a lively, interesting city, though it can be a little chilly in April. Swimming in the Mediterranean in winter is not on yet, nor is the sad, overbuilt coast that is now dedicated to sod-the-culture, we want sun, sea and sangria tour groups.
France: The Côte d’Azur should be warm and sunny. Cannes, Nice, Menton, Monaco, St. Tropez – and the little towns such as Eze, St Paul de Vence – are all attractive and even interesting if you work at it.
The Mediterranean is not swimmable by normal folk though ice-plunging Russians may enjoy it. There may still be some skiing possible nearby but snow quality will be declining. More Alpes-Maritimes ski info.
North and southwest France will be a bit chilly and the Mistral wind will still be tormenting Provence tourists.
Italy: Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Sicily (n. b pre-Easter parades) are excellent cultural targets, while Amalfi takes good care of those who need a scenic uplift. Venice is getting warm and Florence has an especially colourful Easter procession.
Greece: April is fine for Athens and the south; it’s getting warm and crowds are acceptable. Greece is loaded with sights, ruins and landscapes (e. g. Meteora). The islands are gorgeous, though the north is chilly, the Med’s still too cold for swimming and most of the ferry systems are inactive. . . so fly!