17 Best April destinations in Europe for 2017

Since 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.

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

The 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.

Antalya, Turkey

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

While 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.

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

April 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 16 in 2017, 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.

Florence, Italy

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

Since 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.

Split, Croatia

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

You'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.

Paris, France

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

Fortunately 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.

Nice, France

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

The 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.

London, England

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

The 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.

Barcelona, Spain

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

Speaking 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.

Madrid, Spain

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

As 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.

Malaga, Spain

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

There 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.

Lisbon, Portugal

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

Lisbon 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.

Prague, Czech Republic

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

As 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.

Budapest, Hungary

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

If 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.

Athens, Greece

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

As 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 after Easter, but they start filling up quickly after that.

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.

Valletta, Malta

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

If 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.

Interlaken, Switzerland

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

While 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.

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