Dive into the allure of Springtime across the continent with my guide on the best Easter city breaks in Europe. From the timeless beauty of Rome, where the Pope’s Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica resonates through European history, to the enchanting streets of Paris adorned with Easter blooms, this blog unveils the top destinations to celebrate the joyous season.
So, whether you travel to observe the culture of Easter as a curious traveller, seek spiritual reflection or just happen to be looking where to go in Europe in April, you will find the perfect Easter holiday destination in this guide.
Best Easter City Breaks in Europe
Everyone knows that Belgium is renowned for its incredible chocolate…and what place could be better to head for the Easter celebrations to indulge in egg treats than the capital city of Brussels?
Brussels is packed with chocolate shops on every corner and at Easter time you will be amazed by the creations that can be made with the delicious treat. The city is so well-known for its chocolate that chocolate tours are one of the most common activities for tourists!
The Grand Place is just one location that you HAVE to visit on your trip as the shop windows display some of the grandest chocolate rabbits, eggs, and chickens that you have ever set eyes on!
You also can’t miss out on the Easter parade that barrels through the square during the festivities with music, characters, and dancing all spurring the crowds. If you’re travelling with children (or even if you aren’t!) you should find which locations are carrying out Easter egg hunts to partake in. They usually occur in the many parks across the city and anyone can take part!
With a large portion of the population practicing Catholicism and other denominations of Christianity, you will find many services occurring across Brussels on Easter Sunday should you wish to attend a Mass or sermon.
Grand Place in Brussels © Charlotte of The Geo Room
Croatia is predominantly a Catholic country so a majority of Croatians celebrate Easter as per the Catholic religious calendar. Do note that all shops and markets are closed on Easter.
Easter is considered the beginning of the season in Dubrovnik. It is a popular destination and gets very crowded in July and August. So, this is a good time to visit Dubrovnik. There is an Easter Fair held in the city which is great for local products and souvenirs.
The weather is not as warm as summer, though. But that might be good for walking the walls of the old town. Dubrovnik old town is surrounded by thick high walls and walking the walls is one activity that cannot be missed. You get lovely views of the Adriatic Sea and the old town itself. We visited Dubrovnik at the end of the 2 weeks in Croatia trip.
You can also take the cable car up the Srd Hill. There is an old fort up the hill waiting to be explored. But the best part of this cable car ride is the stunning views of the city and the ocean that lies beneath your feet. The bars and cafes come alive each evening in the old town.
Fort Lovrijenac in Dubrovnik © Shweta of Zest In A Tote
Easter is such a special time to visit the stone jewel of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, Trogir. After a cold and sleepy winter, Easter marks the start of spring and a new tourist season. The weather during this time of year is typically sunny and warm enough for just a light jacket, which means the cafes will be filled with townspeople practicing their daily coffee ritual.
For Easter, locals prepare baskets filled with small portions of ham, Easter eggs, spring onions, radishes, and bread to be blessed by the priest. On Easter morning, baskets in hand, everyone heads to mass at the town cathedral, one of the best places to visit in Trogir, greeting other neighbours and acquaintances along the way.
After mass, it’s common to mingle on the town square where there are sometimes performances by the local folklore group. Finally, everyone heads home for Easter breakfast and makes sure to get a bite of the food that was blessed at mass. Many families also play egg tapping, where they tap their Easter eggs against each other’s to see whose egg is the strongest — it’s a light-hearted competition that adds to the festive spirit!
Visit Trogir at Easter © Olivia of Inspired by Croatia
Olomouc is a great place to spend Easter in Europe. The city celebrates with many events, as well as a unique Easter market that is specific to the Czech Republic. Olomouc is a small city, the former capital of the Moravia region. It is very beautiful, with Baroque and Renaissance architecture, as well as many pretty squares. It is still a hidden gem, undiscovered yet by the masses of tourists.
There are plenty great things to do in Olomouc, especially over the Easter time. Visiting the market, which takes place in the Upper Square of Olomouc, is one of them. Here you will find traditional food, decorations, as well as the typical willow twigs decorated with colourful ribbons, which are part of the Easter Pomlázka tradition. Boys make these twigs and whip the legs of girls, which symbolises good luck and health in the following year. The more girls they visit, the more ribbons the twigs will have.
The city of Olomouc also gets decorated during Easter, with decorative eggs and ribbons. One of the streets you must visit, for their gorgeous decorations, is Šemberova. The community here is very tight and everyone decorates their house for Easter.
Visit Olomouc at Easter © Joanna of The World In My Pocket
Prague comes alive at Easter time when the city focuses on celebrating the return of the Spring season with several markets available around the city.
The largest is the market located in Old Town Square. This square is charming already with stunning architecture and wonderful sites to see including the Town Hall, Tyn Church and the famous astronomical clock. But for three weeks around Easter, visitors can wander the square that has been festively decorated with birch tree branches, ribbons, and spring décor.
Many wooden huts are set up within the square housing vendors where you can shop for beautiful gifts including hand-painted eggs, chocolates, handicrafts, and decorated cookies.
While there, you can enjoy treats such as Medovina – a warm honey wine, traditional sausages, and the famous chimney cakes. All can be savoured while watching folk concerts and school groups perform on the centre stage.
This is a magical place to visit for the Easter holiday season and will be well enjoyed by all.
Prague at Easter © Kim of Explore Your Bucket List
While London is well-known for its Christmas charm, the city also brims with excitement during Easter. The four-day bank holiday weekend at the capital is often packed with events and activities for all ages, turning the city into a vibrant Easter playground.
From guided walks exploring the city’s history to sporting pursuits in little-known parks, there’s no shortage of things to do in London over the Easter break. The city’s churches, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Southwark Cathedral, offer a range of services to celebrate the season. For families, venues such as Hampton Court Palace (known for Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt, among other things) and Chelsea Physic Gardens host delightful Easter trails. Various gardens and public parks host spring fairs, while music fills busy squares and the likes of Royal Albert Hall alike.
London’s food scene also shines during Easter. From traditional Sunday roasts – complete with vegan and vegetarian options – to last-minute shopping at the city’s top chocolate shops, there’s something for every palate. And let’s not forget the city’s bustling pubs — The warmer weather brings Londoners out in droves, with sunglasses perched optimistically on their foreheads as they fill out the outside tables and terraces. This infectious atmosphere, combined with the city’s stunning spring beauty, makes Easter in London truly special.
With so much on offer, it’s clear that London is one of the best European cities to visit for Easter. Whether you’re seeking tradition, fun, food, or adventure, you’ll find it all in this exciting metropolis! And whatever you do, don’t leave it without trying Cadbury Cream Eggs and Hot Cross Buns!
Hot Cross Buns at Easter in London © Goya Galeotta
Bordeaux is known as the wine capital of France, but over Easter, it becomes the chocolate capital. Everything revolves around chocolate, Easter Eggs, and Les Cloches de Pâques (the Easter Bells).
According to French tradition, it’s actually the Easter Bells, and not the Easter Bunny, who delivers the eggs for the children to find.
Some of the best chocolate shops in Bordeaux provide the eggs for the different hunts that take place both in and out of the city. One of the most fun is the annual Roll’easter, an Easter Egg hunt on rollerskaters, held in Darwin in the Bordeaux metropole.
Every year, Kfé Des Familles organise a traditional hunt in the Bacalan neighbourhood of Bordeaux, where children are split up according to age.
And for the adults, there is a focus on pairing wine with chocolate. What’s not to enjoy? Château Léoville-Poyferré and Hasnaâ Chocolats have collaborated to create a wine and chocolate tour at the chateau that pairs the two together for you to try, along with a gift box to take home.
Bordeaux at Easter © Kylie of Life in Rural France
Nice, France is a fantastic place to celebrate Easter (Pâques in French). The city in Southern France has festivities in both religious and cultural practices. This creates a unique and immersive experience for visitors.
One of the highlights is the grand religious procession that takes place through the historic streets of Nice. There are ornate floats, adorned with flowers – it truly is an incredible sight. Through the procession, participants carry religious icons, a nod to the devoted spirit of the city.
For those seeking a more religious experience, attending the Easter Mass at the iconic Nice Cathedral is an experience. This grand cathedral is the centrepiece of the Catholic religion in the area. Old Nice also has 9 churches within a square mile, all offering Easter services.
Beyond religious observances, Nice offers several activities during Easter time. The iconic Promenade des Anglais becomes a hub of lively festivities, with street performances, live music, and parades. Visitors can indulge in the festive atmosphere while exploring local markets, where traditional Easter treats like “Pain Bénit” (blessed bread) and chocolate eggs can be found.
Travellers can also take a quick (15 to 30-minute) train ride to Cannes or Antibes to experience Easter weekend, which stretches observances from Thursday to Monday.
Nice at Easter © Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes
France is famously a secular country, but Easter is still celebrated there, and Paris is a great place to be over the Easter weekend.
For church enthusiasts, you could catch an Easter concert at one of the many spectacular churches in Paris, including the astonishing Sainte-Chapelle. This 13th-century Gothic church has colourful stained-glass windows and a beautiful midnight blue ceiling, strewn with gold stars – it’s a magical place to visit.
Paris in Spring is famously gorgeous, with flowers and cherry blossoms blooming all around the city. But over the Easter period, there are some extra special treats.
And for children, there are easter egg hunts at several of the city’s parks and museums, including the Rodin Museum and Musée de Montmartre.
Finally, the patisseries of Paris will be full of yummy Easter chocolate. You can find eggs and bunnies, but there is also a French tradition to have chocolate fish and bells.
The fish relates to a tradition where children stick a paper fish (Poisson d’Avril) on the back of someone else as an April Fool’s joke. The bells (Cloches Volantes) are from a legend that on Good Friday, the church bells fly to the Vatican in Rome and back again on Easter morning, having carried away the grief of those mourning Jesus.
À la Mère de Famille is a wonderful chocolate shop where you can choose from many fancy Easter treats.
Easter in Paris © Martha of May Cause Wanderlust
With vibrant and culturally rich traditions for Easter, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is a perfect destination to visit during Easter. The city transforms into an atmosphere of joy, happiness, and spiritual significance. One of the main celebrations of the city during Easter is the Sameba, a festival celebrated in the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi. The cathedral hosts religious services and processions that are very popular among the locals and tourists. Religious people participate in the midnight Easter service.
The city hosts many colorful and joyous events on Easter Sunday. Even though many places across the city have these events, Rike Park especially becomes a festive hub where families get together to participate in various activities. There are Easter egg hunts, traditional dances, and folk performances for guests to become part of the Georgian traditions.
Easter is enjoyable for foodies as Tbilisi’s local markets are a feast with many traditional Georgian Easter foods and dishes. They are unique and delicious. You should try the Paska, colored eggs, and Churchkhela (the eastern dessert).
Chronicle of Georgia monument © Raksha of Solo Passport
One of the more underrated and coolest places to visit in Europe for Easter and a highly under-the-radar destination in Germany is the city of Bayreuth, located in Franconia, Northern Bavaria.
Those who have heard of Bayreuth, probably have heard about its’ renowned music and opera scene, is home to composer Richard Wagner who built the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, a specially designed opera house for the performance of his works that holds an annual festival each year.
Beyond the Festspiehlaus, Bayreuth is also home to another opera house, one of the most beautiful and famous opera houses in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Margravial Opera House. Both of which survived heavy bombing during WWII.
Beyond the incredible cultural scene here, Bayreuth continues the Franconian tradition of easter fountains, which you can find all over the city known as Osterbrunnen. The Osterbrunnen tradition includes decorating the sources of water around the city as a celebration of water, fertility, and springtime which are known as the essentials of life.
This tradition started in the early 20th century in Franconian Switzerland and spread throughout the region. Many are decorated with flowers, eggs, and other festive decorations that stay up from Good Friday to about two weeks after Easter. It’s really fun to wander the streets of Bayreuth, stopping in their incredible breweries like Maisel’s Bier-Erlebnis-Welt, a brewery famous for its wheat beer worldwide and is even one of the top wheat beer producers in Germany between visiting the brightly colourful and decorated Easter fountains!
Bayreuth at Easter © Megan of Bobo and Chichi
Athens is one of the most historic cities in Europe and one of the most hospitable.
Easter in Greece regularly falls on a different weekend than most non-Orthodox countries, as it follows the Julian calendar. This means there are a few different “Easter” experiences to be had in the city – visit during western Easter and enjoy the fact that all venues are open as normal, or visit during Orthodox Easter and immerse yourself in the Greek’s enthusiastic celebrations.
A quiet weekend in April, when western Easter is being celebrated, can provide a unique experience to enjoy Athens in a quieter environment but still with the warm weather.
Visiting Athens during Orthodox Easter is a unique experience. The weekend-long celebrations start with the Midnight Resurrection Services in the Orthodox Church, where the congregation holds a funeral procession with candles. The city celebrates with fireworks and music, a celebration of the resurrection best experienced in the Plaka or Monastiraki in Athens. Sunday is the feast day, and you expect to find traditional food such as roasted lamb and Easter bread.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Acropolis © Jamie of Travel Addict
Corfu Town, Greece
Looking for one of the best cities in Europe to celebrate Easter? Head to Corfu Town! This Ionian gem is well-visited for its complex history and stunning landscape and is one of the best places to celebrate Easter in Greece!
Easter is the most celebrated holiday of the Greek Orthodox Church and provides an excellent way to witness local Greek culture. While the festivities occur across the city, Liston Square is the centre of events.
One of the most exciting days of the Holy Week is Good Friday. This day is marked with decorated Epitaphs paraded through the streets alongside musical performers. These festivities begin in the early afternoon and end late at night.
Meanwhile, Easter Saturday witnesses one of the most unique celebrations by Corfiots. Acknowledging the First Resurrection, large clay pots are thrown out of balconies and windows on the festive streets. This is a representation of removing bad luck and promises future good fortune.
Easter Sunday is quieter, with locals spending quality time with their families. On Sunday, delicious feasts are prepped with several local dishes. The cuisine for Easter includes roasted lamb, egg-lemon soup, red eggs, and various wines.
Corfu at Easter © Tamara of My Elated Odyssey
One of the best places for an Easter getaway in Europe is Budapest, which boasts distinct Easter customs, colourful festive fairs and gorgeous city architecture.
Head to Vörösmarty Square located a 10-minute walk from St Stephens Basilica, which hosts the Easter Festival. Here, you’ll be able to fill your belly with hearty Hungarian food. Easter Saturday marks the end of the forty-day Lent, which gives another great reason to gorge on traditional food consisting of braided bread loaves, slow-cooked ham, and boiled eggs. Other foods to try include langos, comforting goulash soup, and sweet trdelnik.
Kids can decorate their eggs, and the whole family can take part in an Egg hunt.
In the evening, go on a river dinner cruise to admire the Hungarian capital from a different perspective, eat more Hungarian food and watch the folk show.
If you have a spare day, rent a car in Budapest and explore the nearby wine region – Etyek, or go hiking at the Rám-Szakadék.
Budapest at Easter © Mal of Renting A Car In Europe 101
Enniskerry in County Wicklow, Ireland, is a magical place to celebrate the Easter holiday in Ireland. This small Irish town is nestled just outside of Dublin the countryside of County Wicklow. In 2021, it was a filming location for Disney’s “Disenchanted” movie.
The best place to celebrate Easter in Enniskerry is at Powerscourt Estate and Gardens. You can stay in the beautiful hotel, and then enjoy breakfast followed by an Easter egg hunt for children.
Ahead of Easter Sunday, there is typically a procession on Good Friday from St Mary’s Church to St Patrick’s Church of Ireland.
On Easter Sunday, families often celebrate with dinner featuring a roast leg of lamb. If you’re just visiting, head to the Avoca in Kilmacanogue, where you can try traditional Irish dishes in their cafeteria or the more upscale Fern House Cafe. Powerscourt Hotel, along with other hotels and pubs, typically serves Easter dinner to locals and visitors alike on Sunday to celebrate the holiday.
If you want to extend your trip, there are plenty of things to do in Wicklow to keep you busy. You can hike in Glendalough, visit an Irish beach, or see the thought-provoking granite statues of Victor’s Way.
Powerscourt Gardens, Enniskerry, © Amber from Amber Everywhere
Bologna is one of Italy’s hidden gems. During Easter, the city and surrounding hillside come to life with beautiful wildflowers and greenery. It’s one of the most beautiful times to visit Bologna.
Known as Italy’s foodie capital, it’s no surprise that locals in Bologna have a traditional feast for Easter lunch. Typically, Easter lunch includes a Bolognese classic, lasagna made with ragu and bechamel sauce. This is followed by a meat dish that is usually made of lamb or rabbit. Finally, for dessert, rice cake is served – a classic from this region.
On Easter Monday, a unique local tradition takes place where residents take part in a scenic walk up to the Sanctuary of San Luca on the Guardia Hill overlooking Bologna. The walk takes you up the longest portico in the world and is a way for people to socialize and get outside over the long weekend.
If you are visiting Bologna over Easter weekend, plan for many shop and restaurant closures. Some restaurants may be open for Easter lunch, in which case, you should book ahead a few weeks in advance.
Streets of Bologna © Jenoa of The Travel Folk
Easter is a special time of year in the Tuscan city of Florence and is celebrated over five days starting the Thursday before Easter Sunday and finishing on Easter Monday.
During this long weekend, you can find chocolate eggs and dove-shaped cakes in the Florentian bakeries and sweet shops.
On the first day of Easter, which is known as Holy Thursday, the Catholic churches open their doors and welcome visitors to their altars to commemorate missa in coena Domini (in memory of the Last Supper). Churches remain open until midnight and are decorated brightly with colourful flowers and plants.
There are religious processions that parade through the city centers the following days on Good Friday and Saturday.
The Saturday of Easter Weekend is the most iconic Easter event in Florence takes place. It is known as the Scoppio del Carro, (“Explosion of the Cart”) in English. A 30-foot tall antique cart is brought to the Piazza del Duomo in the morning, and around 11 am, the Archbishop of Florence will light a rocket shaped like a dove which will set off a 20-minute firework show. This tradition dates back over 350 years and is a special event for more Florentines and visitors.
Another highlight of being in Florence during Easter is that most of the museums in Florence will be open, including Easter Monday. This is a great thing to do if you’re in Florence with kids, or in a group of adults. Even museums that are usually closed on Mondays, are typically open especially for Easter on Easter Monday. Check the museum websites for special hours over Easter.
With iconic activities and special treats, Florence is a great place to observe and celebrate Easter. Buona Pasqua!
Florence Italy © Kristin of Tiny Footsteps Travel
On the occasion of the Easter holiday, Italians have the opportunity to do something they don’t usually do: brunch.
In Rome, the hearty Easter Sunday breakfast brings the whole family together. The meal includes lots of hard-boiled eggs, some simple donut-shaped cakes, or “ciambellone,” salami of various kinds, and fried lamb chops. For the little ones, parents purchase chocolate eggs. The ciambellone must be strictly homemade. There is also a savoury version of the cake, which contains cheese and bits of ham: it is the “Easter pizza,” very different from the ordinary pizza.
To fully experience the religious atmosphere, if you are in Rome on Easter Sunday, you could attend the Pope’s Mass in person. The mass takes place at St. Peter’s Basilica at 10 am. Admission is free, but you must reserve a place in advance by contacting the Prefecture of the Papal Household in the month preceding the event. Immediately after the Mass, at noon, the Pope blesses the faithful from a balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
Please note that the Vatican Museums are closed on Easter Monday.
Young adults look forward to Easter Monday, when, by tradition, they gather with friends for a BBQ. Young Romans for the occasion usually take a day trip to Lake Bracciano or the Castelli Romani area. Contemporary Italians, although mostly baptised Catholics, are not observant.
Older people are the most devout. On the Sunday of the week before Easter, they attend a neighbourhood mass where the priest distributes blessed olive branches. The faithful then distribute the olive branches among other “less observant” family members.
Rome at Easter © Lisa of Rome Travelogues
Easter in Riga is a vibrant blend of Christian and pagan traditions. After the long, cold, and dark winter, the city begins to burst with life as springtime arrives, and the Easter festivities begin.
The celebrations of Lieldienas, or Easter, typically fall on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. Like other places that celebrate Easter, the date can range from 22nd March to 25th April.
During Easter his period sees Riga transform into a hub of festive activities. You’ll experience religious processions, as well as traditional customs that are deeply rooted in both Christian beliefs and ancient pagan rituals.
One of the largest Easter events takes place at Lucavsala Recreation Park. The Open Air Museum also hosts traditional Latvian Easter events that provide a glimpse into the country’s heritage.
Children either take part in colouring eggs or do egg hunts and traditional foods are eaten. The holiday feast often includes dishes like pīrāgi, a kind of bacon pastry, and mazgājmaize, a rye bread soaked in water and baked. Apart from the Easter festivities, there are plenty of things to add to your Riga itinerary. These include exploring the city’s stunning historical centre – which has UNESCO Heritage listed status, as well as lively markets – set in an old zeppelin hangar – the Riga city market is one of the biggest in Europe. Riga is also home to one of the most concentrated areas of Art Nouveau-style buildings which is also worth exploring.
Livu Square in Riga © Becki of Meet Me In Departures
Valletta, the capital of Malta, stands out as one of the best places in Europe to celebrate Easter, offering a unique blend of tradition, culture, and religious significance. The city’s historic charm and narrow winding streets create a picturesque setting for Easter festivities. Valletta’s rich Catholic heritage is showcased during this time, with processions and religious events that attract visitors from around the world.
The week leading up to Easter is marked with statues depicting biblical scenes being paraded through the streets. Both locals and visitors come together to witness and participate in these age-old rituals. St. John’s Co-Cathedral also plays a central role in the celebrations, so is well to visit here.
Apart from the religious events, Valletta also offers a vibrant atmosphere with its lively markets and traditional Maltese cuisine so it is worth booking a tour to explore the area. You can also easily reach other epic parts of Malta from Valletta like Victoria and Rabat. Hiring a car is the best way to get around but public transport is so great, you will have zero problems exploring!
Valletta at Easter recommended by Lowri of Many Of The Roads || Photo © Pexels
During Easter, Kotor, Montenegro, becomes a lovely destination where Orthodox and Catholic communities harmoniously celebrate their respective traditions. As each faith celebrates Easter a week apart, it’s a 2-1 for Easter and a very important national holiday.
This stunning scenic walled town, nestled in the Boka Bay, is steeped in religious and cultural activities and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Catholics converge on St Tryphon’s cathedral and Orthodox at the Church of St. Nicolas right in the heart of the old town.
Nature enthusiasts can venture up the serpentine path to the San Giovanni Castle, also known as Kotor Fortress, where the panoramic views of the bay serve as a breathtaking backdrop for the Easter festivities.
After the ascent, visitors can indulge in a feast that reflects the town’s diverse heritage, with Orthodox and Catholic families sharing succulent roasted lamb and sweet “pogača” bread and hunting elaborately decorated Easter eggs.
The blend of religious observances, communal feasting, and outdoor adventures in the mild spring weather make Kotor an ideal Easter getaway, offering a taste of Montenegro’s diverse cultural and natural mountains and sea beauty.
Kotor Fortress. Montenegro © Morgan of Crave the Planet
Amsterdam is one of the best European cities to visit for easter. At this time of year, tulip season springs to life in the Netherlands. This draws in millions of visitors hoping to experience the beautiful blooms for themselves.
Tulip fields such as Keukenhof, The Tulip Experience, and The Tulip Barn are a must-see while exploring the area. Although Keukenhof is overrun with tourists, it’s one of those spots that everyone should visit at least once. Afterward, you can head to lesser-known fields for a more relaxed environment.
If you’re travelling with children, easter is one of the best times to visit the Dutch capital. This is especially true if the little ones love animals.
On Easter Sunday each year, zoos open up their doors for easter fun-focused activities. For example, they often organise egg hunts and meals surrounded by wildlife and animals. How cool does that sound? Lastly, exploring Amsterdam in spring brings a lot of charm, incredible memories and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Why not check it out for yourself?
Amsterdam at Easter © Lauren of Pack & Paint
Visiting Krakow at Easter means enjoying one of Europe’s most picturesque cities at an extremely special time of year thanks to Poland’s rich Catholic heritage.
Easter Monday is known in Poland as Wet Monday. Poles playfully splash water on each other but it’s mostly kept at home.
You can count on eating tons of great food, mostly from the market at the Market Square, walking around the Old Town in awe, checking out a church or two, and enjoying the laidback vibe.
The Easter market in Krakow held typically for two weeks leading up to Easter Monday, is awesome for foodies, offering dumplings, sausage, and grilled cheese. Wash it down with beer from barrel-shaped stalls.
Krakow’s Wawel Castle is closed during Easter Sunday and Monday but you can still walk through the courtyard and enjoy the atmosphere.
While in Krakow, you don’t have to shy away from jumping on the most popular day trip – to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It closes only on Easter Sunday.
Krakow at Easter © Veronika of The Travel Geekery
The Algarve in Portugal is one of the sunniest places in mainland Europe and its capital city, Faro is a fabulous Easter break destination. The small city boasts a traditional charm with its tiled buildings and medieval churches. All enhanced during Easter’s processions. Listen to Fado performances and eat all the traditional Easter food while exploring the city’s main attractions like the cathedral and Arco de Vila.
To explore the beautiful Ria Formosa Natural Park, go hiking, Like the Ludo Trail, or join one of the many Faro boat tours taking you to the barrier islands. But don’t forget to try traditional Easter cakes like Pão-de-Ló and Folar da Páscoa (which is sweet in the Algarve as opposed to the north where it’s savoury.) You will also find chocolate easter eggs everywhere.
On Easter Sunday, make your way to Loulé where you will experience one of the biggest Easter Processions in the country.
Ria Formosa Natural Park © Linn of Amused by Algarve
Funchal [Madeira], Portugal
Easter in Madeira unfolds like a vibrant tapestry of traditions, enticing every curious traveller to witness the island’s unique blend of religious and cultural celebrations.
In predominantly Catholic Madeira, Funchal, the capital, is a focal point for festivities.
Commencing with the Lord’s Last Supper Mass on Holy Thursday, immerse yourself in the captivating processions that feature ornate flower-laden floats, traditional costumes and hymns when the iconic Church of Our Lady of Monte hosts an unforgettable Good Friday procession. On Easter Sunday the atmospheric Church of São Pedro offers a religious experience with an Easter vigil.
Embrace the spirit of the season with traditional Madeiran dishes like ‘Carne Vinha d’Alhos’ and ‘Bolo de Mel,’ showcasing the island’s culinary prowess.
Madeira is a must-visit location with its breathtaking mountain landscapes and colourful festivities that weave Easter celebrations into an unforgettable travel experience.
Are you asking yourself “Is Lisbon worth visiting for Easter?” Absolutely yes. Lisbon is a wonderful place to spend easter with sunny, mild days. The Portuguese celebrate with religious processions and religious rituals throughout the week, though not as prominent as in other cities like Braga.
Most of all, it is about the food in Lisbon. Most families gather at home over large meals of roasted lamb, but you can enjoy typical Easter dishes at any traditional restaurant in the city. Make sure you try the typical Easter treats, like coloured almonds, and chocolate eggs, and not to mention the Pão-de-Ló, a delectable Easter cake.
If you want to attend mass, make it the Easter Sunday morning mass in Lisbon’s Sé Cathedral. It is also very popular to listen to Fado performances during Easter in Lisbon.
When visiting the city, make sure you see the main attractions like the Sao Jorge Castle overlooking the city from one of the 7 hills, walk the corridors of Jeronimos Monastery, and climb the Belém Tower.
Lisbon at Easter © Linn of Brainy Backpackers
Easter is one of the most important holidays of the year in Romania. Each part of the country has its own traditions, and Sibiu is a great place to visit to experience them.
Sibiu is one of the most beautiful cities in Transylvania. It sits at the foothills of Fagaras mountain range, which you can see on a clear day from the city centre. It is relatively a small city, with a walkable old town famous for the Big and Little Squares, and the Bridge of Lies.
The celebrations start on the Sunday before Easter, which is called the “Flower Sunday”. If your name is flower-related, and there are quite a few in Romania, this would be your name day. On the Big Thursday, people go to church to mourn the death of Jesus, whilst on the Friday they return here to “pass under the table”. This symbolises the burial of Jesus in the ground and his resurrection from the ground. And it is exactly what you think, passing under a table, in the church.
On the Saturday before Easter, people go to church again at midnight, to “take light”. The Romanian chief of church flies every year to Jerusalem and brings the light – in form of a candle, to share among all churches in the country. At midnight, the priest of every church holds a ceremony and shares the light from that candle to everyone gathered in the yard. People then come back home with the lit candle, to bring the resurrection of Jesus in their houses.
The big Easter dinner takes place on the Sunday. It is a feast, with traditional Romanian dishes such as red eggs, sarmale, roast pork, and cozonac, where the entire family is invited around a big table.
On Easter Monday, in Sibiu, boys go around girl’s houses and spray them with perfume. This comes from an old tradition, where boys used to pour water over girls on this day. It symbolises the “watering of a flower”, to blossom and be healthy in the new year.
Sibiu, Romania at Easter © Joanna of The Romania Cookbook
Looking for a fun-filled Easter activity in Glasgow? Join the Elder Emo Easter Egg Hunt, a one-of-a-kind event that promises a great party in the city centre of Glasgow.
Experience the charm of Glasgow during the off-peak season, when the city is less crowded and you can truly appreciate its beauty. Glasgow Hop on the hop-off bus tour allows you to discover the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the Riverside Museum.
With a variety of museums to choose from, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Easter craft activities. In Scotland, Easter is also a time when people come together to enjoy a variety of delicious traditional dishes. Easter meals often feature lamb as the main dish. Roast lamb is a popular choice, and it is typically seasoned with herbs and served with a side of vegetables and potatoes. One of the best places to indulge yourself in tasty lamb is the Drake restaurant located at Lynedoch Street in Glasgow.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery © Paulina from the UK Every Day
The beautiful city of Ljubljana is a real insider tip for an Easter trip. In the Slovenian capital, you can expect a truly beautiful Easter celebration, with a wonderful mix of vibrant tradition and festivity. The city’s cobbled streets are beautifully decorated, and the markets are in full Easter mode. On a holiday there are so many things to do in Ljubljana and on top you can enjoy a unique and very joyful Easter atmosphere.
It is interesting to visit on Palm Sunday when it is customary to take colourful decorated palm or olive branches to church for blessing. These can be bought beforehand at the large market in Ljubljana. You can also buy beautifully painted Easter eggs to decorate your home at this market.
On Easter Sunday, be sure to attend the solemn Easter Mass at St. Nicholas Cathedral. This beautiful cathedral is located right in the Old Town, on Dolničarjeva Street. After the Easter mass, people usually meet with family and friends. Some restaurants also serve a traditional Slovenian Easter snack with boiled eggs, ham, spicy horseradish and the slightly sweet bread called potica.
Ljubljana in Spring | © Places of Juma
One of the best places to celebrate Easter in Europe is Malaga. Despite being known for its beaches, Malaga is worth visiting for its traditional events like Easter too.
Easter, known as Semana Santa in Spanish, is a huge celebration in the city as well as the rest of Southern Spain. It starts on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) and finishes on Easter Monday (Lunes de Pascua).
The streets of Malaga’s city centre fill up with locals and tourists wanting to see the religious processions that run day and night during Easter week.
Religious sculptures on beautifully decorated floats are carried by men who belong to brotherhoods. However, others take part in the procession by following it during the entire route.
The atmosphere is unique – the smell of incense and the sound of the drums are part of the experience. For those who love food, there are some traditional Easter dishes to try, like Torrijas (similar to French Toast) and Potaje de vigilia, a stew made with chickpeas, cod, spinach, and hard-boiled eggs.
Malaga at Easter © Cristina of My Little World of Travelling
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Santiago de Compostela, in the north of Spain, is an exciting place to spend Easter. This city marks the end of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year from all over the world. It becomes even more mystical during Easter.
Every day, there are concerts in churches and religious processions. Members of different brotherhoods walk the streets carrying images, wearing habits and cones covered with cloth on their heads. They walk dragging chains barefoot and playing drums. Witnessing this spectacle is indeed like traveling back in time to the medieval period, as these traditions have been maintained in the same way since the 17th century.
Throughout these days, visitors enjoy a particular gastronomy marked by traditional sweets such as fried milk, bread rolls and “passion” chocolates. Cloistered nuns sell ancestral almond pastries made to order, which they deliver through the convent turnstiles. These secret recipes have been jealously guarded by them throughout the centuries.
The weather in Santiago de Compostela is also pleasant, with an average temperature of 16°C (61°F) between the last week of March and the first week of April.
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela © Sara of I Go To Spain
Beautiful Seville in southern Spain is one of the most famous European destinations for Easter.
The Holy Week and Easter in Spain are popular religious and artistic events. Spectacular religious Holy Week processions in Seville are the most famous in Spain.
The Holy Week parades go along the streets of Seville from Palm Sunday to Easter. Seventy religious brotherhoods (members of different Seville parishes) parade in the processions from their parish churches to the Cathedral of Seville during the Holy Week.
Gigantic and beautifully decorated floats (called tronos) with scenes of the Passion of Christ and Sorrowful Mary are carried in the processions. The barefoot Nazarenos in distinctive robes and pointed hoods covering their faces and the mourning women in black accompany the thrones while the mournful ‘saetas’ music follows the processions. The most spectacular procession of the Holy Week in Seville happens on the night from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday.
This kind of Holy Week celebration in Seville dates back to the Middle Ages. So, head to Seville for Easter to see some of the oldest and most famous Holy Week celebrations. And don’t forget to try Flores Fritas, the crunchy cookies traditionally prepared for Holy Week in Seville!
Seville at Easter © Milijana of World Travel Connector
Bern is the capital of Switzerland famous for its magnificent architecture and the gorgeous Aare River. Bern is a perfect place to celebrate Easter if you happen to be in Switzerland during this time.
When it comes to Easter celebrations, Bern is a fun place to be. Every Easter, a typical Swiss “Eiertütschete” or egg tapping, takes place in Old Town Bern on Kornhausplatz. During the event, participants tap their eggs against their opponent’s and whoever cracks the opponent’s shell, gets to win. Dozens of the games take place on the square, and those who win advance forward.
Bern has one of the most cheerful celebrations with many participants and observers. All you need to do is boil and colour your eggs and find another person who wants to challenge you.
This fun event is open for participation to everyone, and according to historic records, it was first mentioned in the 19th century, by Hans Eggimann, a well-known Bernese architect and painter.
You can also check the local calendar for Easter events like Easter egg hunts, and traditional Easter markets.
Bern at Easter © Daria of The Discovery Nut
A festive destination to visit during Easter is in Switzerland, specifically to Lugano in the Ticino canton.
Easter celebrations in Lugano are usually held for the whole Easter weekend in the city centre. These celebrations include a large Easter market, a treasure hunt at Parco Ciani, local folk and Alphorn music and street entertainment. There are also a few guided tours to explore the city of Lugano on foot.
The city during Easter weekend is usually a warm one, with temperatures between 17°c and 24°c. Great for those wanting some Easter sunshine too!
For delicacies, Lugano is one of the Italian-speaking cantons of Switzerland, so the treats and goodies during Easter are very much inspired by Italian cuisine. A delicious tradition to eat is the Colombe di Pasqua, the Easter doves. These are sweet yeast pastries that all local bakeries sell leading up to Easter. Alternatively, you can try a polenta or risotto dish. Those living locally also like to enjoy the long weekend to get up into the mountains for a hike. Lugano is surrounded by many, such as Monte Tamaro and Monte San Salvatore. Discover also these Spring activities In Lugano for an enjoyable Easter Weekend in Ticino.
Lugano at Easter © Zoe from Together In Switzerland
PIN FOR YOUR EASTER HOLIDAY IN EUROPE