Spring Break or Summer in Europe

Hello, my wife works in a field where we can onl travel during Spring Break (last 2 weeks in March) or in the Summer months. Just wondering when the best time to go to Paris and Amsterdam would be out of those two? Thanks!

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3582 posts

Unless you want a colder, winter-type trip (nothing wrong with that), definitely summer. The earlier the better, for avoiding the potential heat and crowds. Maybe fly into Paris and out of Amsterdam...

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

If you want to see tulips, then go to Amsterdam during Spring Break. The Keukenhof Gardens are only open from mid-March through mid-May. Just be aware that this makes spring a peak time for Amsterdam hotels - book early. Otherwise, it depends on what kind of weather you want. I found Amsterdam cool and damp in April 2012, and even though it wasn't that cold, I had to wear multiple layers just to be comfortable. A coworker of mine hates traveling when it's not really warm, and she would have been miserable. On the other hand, coming from the Pacific Northwest, you may find summer in Paris and Amsterdam to be too hot, and will be more used to their spring weather.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1356 posts

hi, i was in Paris and Amsterdam in late March of last year but it appears i got lucky with the weather since it was sunny or overcast in both places. i hate crowds so that is why i choose march to do my travels. Im going back to Europe in Sept so i will see how lucky i get again. just an fyi, if all youre going to do is to see the big cities, Amsterdam and Paris, you maybe fit in something in between since Amsterdam is fairly compact and almost everything is w/in walking distance. just a thought. happy trails.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2699 posts

Hi, If you detest the oppressive heat and the humidity, I suggest the time of Spring Break. If you want to avoid any chance of being cold, which March still can have such weather, choose the summer. I rather put up with the oppressive heat. Normally, Amsterdam is cooler than Paris.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

If you choose spring, stay south (Greece, southern Spain, southern Italy). The more into summer, the further north you should go (e.g. Scandinavia in July through August only).

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

Some years (like last), March can be warm and sunny, others (like this year), can be cold and overcast. It doesn't usually get to hot in Amsterdam during the summer, but Paris can scorch. Personally, I would always rather put on more clothes to keep warm than sweat through my clothes in the heat. Obviously, the popular museums in Paris will be much more crowded in the summer. Probably in Amsterdam as well. And as previously noted, they only open Keukenhof to the public for a few weeks in the spring.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

You just never know with the weather, though. I went to Paris in July of 2011 and it was always rainy and never more than 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. We took two days to go to Saint-Malo in Bretagne and it was sunny and a bit warmer there. I had to go to the English Channel for sun. As soon as we pulled back into Paris on the train--rain. That being said, the summer is more likely to have nice weather than March, so the question is whether you want a better chance of nice weather or to avoid crowds. Paris was certainly crowded that July. I didn't find it unreasonably so, but then, I live in a big city myself.

Posted by Bob
Gettysburg, PA
1364 posts

Cooler temps, less crowds & less costs for air, lodging & sometime even food in March versus summer.