Best Places to Visit in Western Europe

France: Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Manchester

Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Malaga

Germany: Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne

The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Rotterdam

Belgium: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp

Best time to Visit Western Europe

Top destinations: Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam

High Season Shoulder Season Low Season
Nov Mar – Apr May – Sept
Jan – Feb Oct Dec

TIPS

Paris is quieter in summery July and August. A good time to visit.

In big cities, some business hotels offer big discounts in summer

Closures: Locals flock to the Mediterranean coast in summer. In France and Italy, many businesses are shut. – Daylight hours: Winter days are shorter.

But, winter is a peak period in some parts: Christmas is wonderfully festive. Ski resorts at their busiest. Many winter festivals.

Closures: The shoulder season in Switzerland is generally quiet. Some hotels and cable cars are closed. Always check the attractions’ websites and book in advance.

Mini Peak Seasons: Oktoberfest (Germany) / Fasching / Queen’s Day (Amsterdam) / Christmas Markets

Peak Season vs Low Season – What is the Best Time to Go?

It depends what makes your ideal holiday.

The off season travel months are generally the cheapest time to visit any destination. There’s a good chance that hotels and attractions offer discounted prices.

In contrast, the best month to experience a destination also tends to the busiest, so you have to contend with more crowds and longer queues at attractions. But peak season is the peak for a reason, so there’s many things at their best – such as weather, opening hours, events etc.

If your calendar is pretty open, then shoulder season is a great time for independent travellers. Between peak season and off season, the ‘shoulder’ months give you the best of both worlds.