Spring is an amazing time to explore the world and discover new places: the days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and many cities come to life after winter. For many, Easter weekend is a great excuse to travel abroad and have a relaxing holiday. With celebrations happening in countries around the world, there are many locations fit for a fun getaway for everyone in the family. With this in mind, here’s our list of 4 beautiful European destinations for an Easter holiday.
Colmar, located in the Alsace region of France, has a lot to offer tourists looking for an Easter getaway. Besides the standalone beauty of the city, the spring season brings out a new livelihood that isn’t seen during the colder months.
In the city squares and churches you can find musicians and concerts playing for all to enjoy. Furthermore, on the days coming up to Easter, you can watch pastry chefs decorate sweets and chocolate eggs through the bakery windows. To top it all off, Colmar has numerous restaurants for you to visit featuring delicious foods and Alsatian wines.
What makes spending Easter in Colmar truly special is the Easter markets. From the end of March to the middle of April, the city hosts two Spring and Easter markets. These markets feature over 60 different vendors. These vendors have tremendous talent, creating items such as: handmade toys, jewelry, local foods, pottery, and many different confectionery products.
Easter celebrations in Vienna are a huge cultural event. Throughout the city, businesses close for the holiday, students are off from school, and people slow down to spend time with family and friends. In addition to the leisure and free time surrounding the holiday, there are also many festivals and events for people to attend.
One of the most popular events in Vienna is the Easter market. This market has been a seasonal staple in Vienna for over 350 years. This market is open from 10am to 6pm daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Monday. Vendors at the Easter market sell toys, traditional Easter decorations, candles, ceramics, and many other products.
Also occurring around the Easter holiday is the Vienna OsterKlang Festival. This festival hosts some of music’s biggest classical performances, such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. These musical acts use their talents to tell the story of Christ and other religious tales.
After the sun sets on Holy Saturday in Vienna, musicians gather in the city streets to play hymns. While they are playing, fires are lit on the distant mountain peaks, and often have effigies of Judas Iscariot burned in them. The fires are used to symbolize the coming of spring and celebrate the religious holiday.
One other Easter tradition in Vienna is the Easter Passion Plays. These productions tell the stories of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The Passion Plays became popular in the Middle Ages as a way to tell the tales, but became forbidden by the end of the 18th century. Today, the plays are once again popular and are performed during Lent and Easter.
Keukenhof in Lisse, The Netherlands
Keukenhof, located about 40KM from Amsterdam, is the world’s biggest flower garden. Known as the Garden of Europe, the park covers 32 hectares and features the world famous tulip gardens, as well as a variety of other flowers, such as daffodils, lilies, roses, and more. Each year from October to December, approximately 7 million flowers are planted in Keukenhof.
The gardens as we know them today were established in 1949. In its first year, Keukenhof welcomed approximately 200,000 visitors, and has been growing in popularity since. In 2019, the last season that Keukenhof was open to the public before the COVID-19 pandemic, over 1.5 million people visited the park.
The park is only open for 8 weeks out of the year, starting in late March and ending in the beginning of May, making Easter a great time to visit.
What makes an Easter holiday to Keukenhof even greater is that Easter Weekend is that there are multiple shows and events put on at the park for families. In the park, you can find musicians playing live music and stunning birds of prey shows that feature owls, eagles, and falcons. Outside the park, in Lisse, you can watch the beautiful Dutch flower parade that takes place in late April annually. If you want a more unique view of the parade, you can even book a helicopter tour and get a bird’s eye view of the flowers!
From live music and performances to awe inspiring parades, everyone in the family will find beauty and springtime fun at Keukenhof park.
If you find yourself spending your Easter holidays in Seville, you’re in for a treat! The entire week before Easter, called Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is celebrated throughout the city. This tradition, which began in the 1300’s, is very sacred to the people in Seville. In fact, this week-long celebration is one of the city’s largest annual festivals; it even passes up Christmas!
Each day throughout the Semana Santa, a procession of floats occurs in the city. These floats are used to depict scenes from the bible and of the Virgin Mary, telling the stories of the Catholic faith. Also throughout the processions are people dressed in religious clothing carrying crosses and musical groups that follow the floats playing traditional music.
The processions in Seville during their celebrations can be quite lengthy. Anywhere from 300 to 3,000 people may participate in any given year, and sometimes the processions can last up to 14 hours!
Easter: A Global Celebration
No matter where you decide to spend your Easter Holiday, spring is a wonderful time to take a trip and explore new scenery and cultures. With sunny days, good weather, and beautiful landscapes, everyone will be able to enjoy spending the holiday abroad. From the delicious chocolate eggs and jaw-dropping parades through cities to the day to day beauty of Europe, Easter break is a brilliant chance to cross some destinations off of your bucket list.