Best time of the year to visit Central Europe

Samantha Barbagallo  ·  1 / 7 / 2017

Central Europe is a beautiful part of the world, and no matter what season you visit, we are confident you'll have a great time. There is no doubt, that with each season there are Pros and Cons. So what is the best time of year to visit Central Europe? Our useful guide will help you plan what season to plan your next European adventure in!

What is the best time of the year to visit Central Europe?

WINTER

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Mid-November to Mid-December

Weather Overview:

Unless you are coming from a cold climate, this time period will probably feel more like winter than autumn to you. Snow is possible, and you will probably get some rain. If it is rainy, it can be quite unpleasant, but there is always a cozy cafe or pub nearby.

Pros:

  • Christmas Markets! Most open somewhere between mid-November to early December
  • Crowds are light (except in and around the Christmas Markets)
  • The cities are festively decorated
  • Airfares are cheap, as are hotels (see exception below)
  • You'll really appreciate warming up in all the cozy cafes and restaurants, or sipping a hot cup of cider or sweet wine in the Christmas Markets

Cons:

  • Bare trees, usually without snow
  • The weather is quite cold, and quite unpleasant if it rains heavily
  • The days are very short, getting dark before 5 PM
  • Cobblestones may already be icy, particularly in the evenings or mornings
  • Some hotels increase prices on the weekends due to Christmas Markets
  • Some attractions outside of the major cities are closed

Late December to Early March

Weather Overview:

It’s cold. Expect snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, but also be prepared for the possibility of rain. Often it will be cloudy but you will probably get some sparkling clear days as well. Rain is more likely towards the end of February into March, however, sunny days become more frequent. 

Pros:

  • Christmas Markets are usually open until Christmas or New Year's
  • Europe can be at its most beautiful when it's covered by a fresh coat of snow
  • It's one of the least crowded times of year (at least after New Year's)
  • Lines are short or non-existent (after New Year’s)
  • It's the most affordable time of year (again, after New Year's)
  • You'll really appreciate warming up in all the cozy cafes and restaurants 

Cons:

  • It's cold!
  • You will sometimes be walking on icy cobblestones
  • The days are short
  • Some attractions, especially outside the major cities, close for the winter

SPRING

Budapest_Spring

Mid-March to Early May

Weather Overview:

The weather at this time of year is really luck of the draw. It can vary quite a bit. If you are really unlucky, you may even still get a bit of snow, but on the other hand, you might get pleasant weather in the 60s Fahrenheit (upper teens Celsius). You will probably get some rain, but you will likely get beautiful, sunny days as well. Towards the end of April and beginning of May the weather can be extremely pleasant. 

 Pros:

  • It starts to turn green (more so in Austria and Hungary than in the Czech Republic and Poland)
  • It's still not crowded, although crowds start to build in April/May
  • It is still very affordable
  • Days are getting longer

Cons:

  • It can be cold and wet
  • Most of the spring greenery does not arrive until early or mid-April
  • Some lesser-known attractions, especially outside the major cities, are closed or only have limited visiting times
  • Hotel prices usually jump higher in April 

Mid May to Early June

Weather Overview:

Weather-wise, this is one of the best times to travel. The weather is warmer, a fair bit of sunshine is likely, and the days are long. On the other hand, it does frequently rain.

Pros:

  • The countryside is green and verdant and covered in flowers
  • The daylight lasts long into the evening (you'll have some daylight until nearly 10 PM)
  • The weather is usually warm and pleasant

Cons: 

  • There are relatively frequent rain showers and thunderstorms
  • High season prices
  • Crowds are fairly heavy

SUMMER

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Mid-June to August

Weather Overview:

The weather is warm and often sunny. It's the true summer of Europe, and if you like swimming or sunbathing, this time of year will be your only chance. The countryside is green and beautiful, if not quite as colorful as it was in the late May and early June.

Pros:

  • Beautiful green countryside and golden fields
  • Days are still long (daylight until 9 PM or 10 PM)
  • The weather is usually pleasant (in the 70's and low 80's Fahrenheit, 20's Celsius)
  • Hotel prices in some cities usually drop a bit in July and August (because business travel slows down so much)

Cons:

  • It can sometimes get quite hot (in the 90's Fahrenheit, low 30's Celsius)
  • Airfares are high
  • Crowds are fairly heavy
  • Rain is still fairly common

September

Weather Overview:

On average, this is central Europe's most pleasant month. Although sometimes summer drags into the first week of September, highs are typically in the 60's and 70's, the air is crisp, and there is a touch of color in the trees. Rain is also less frequent than in the summer.

Pros:

  • The countryside is still green and beautiful
  • The weather is usually pleasant and rain less likely than usual
  • The sun usually shines and the air is perfectly crisp
  • Beer and wine festivals are frequent

Cons:

  • It can still rain
  • Hotel prices jump up quite a bit
  • Crowds are still fairly heavy

FALL

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Early to Mid-October

Weather Overview:

The weather significantly cools in October, and the trees become colorful. If it's sunny (slightly better than a 50% chance on any given day) you should get delightful autumn weather, but if it’s rainy or cloudy, it can already be quite cool.

Pros:

  • Fall colors
  • A good chance of getting nice weather
  • Crowds thin out considerably

Cons:

  • If it rains or is cloudy the weather can already be unpleasant
  • Hotel prices are still high season prices

Late October to Early November

Weather Overview:

Similarly to early October, it's really a question of whether it is cloudy and or rainy (your chances of sunny weather on any given day are still about 50%). On the other hand, the trees are at their most colorful at the end of October and are still colorful into the beginning of November.

Pros:

  • The height of Fall colors
  • A decent chance of getting pleasant weather
  • Crowds are much lighter, especially in November
  • Hotel prices drop in November
  • Airfares usually drop

Cons:

  • If it rains or is cloudy the weather can be wintry cold
  • Hotel prices are still usually high until the end of October
  • Some attractions outside of the major cities are closed

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

The BEST thing to do on a sunny afternoon in Prague
Best Christmas Markets In Europe
Jewels of Central Europe - Prague, Vienna and Budapest

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