There’s never a bad time to travel…but April might be one of the very best months to see the world. Summer comes early in southern Europe, meaning you can take a short-haul flight to soak up the sun; while in northern Europe, flowers are blooming, café tables are pulled outside, and the days become lighter and brighter. And, in the mountains, skiing is still possible.
Further afield, some of the most beautiful places in the world are at their most dazzling in spring…and by travelling at this time of year, you’ll also avoid the UK’s customary April showers.
Because Easter usually falls in April, many people avoid travelling, believing it’ll be expensive – but as long as you avoid the school holidays, there are still plenty of deals to be found.
So, if you’re dreaming of a spring getaway, we’re here to inspire you. Here are 14 of the best travel destinations to visit in April.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Are you thinking about a short-haul holiday, and perhaps a city break? Lisbon is an excellent choice. Less than a three-hour flight from the UK, the temperatures in April hover around 20°C, the days are long and sunny, and the characterful streets aren’t yet jam-packed with tourists. Europe’s westernmost capital has everything you need for a city break, and you can easily spend a whole week here.
The city beautifully juxtaposes old and new. The steep hills and cobbled alleys are served by ancient trams that rattle along and, in the historic cafés, it’s easy to think you’ve stepped back in time. But the new museums, sleek metro lines, and vibrant waterfront are wonderfully modern. Intriguing hidden corners, bustling markets, and an excellent food scene make Lisbon even more appealing.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s long-haul travel – and if you’ve ever dreamed about going on a safari, Zambia is a top choice for April. Zambia is a less popular safari destination than its neighbours Botswana and Tanzania, partly due to the quality of the roads and pricey packages. But if you can get a good deal (and don’t mind a bumpy road), you’re in for an adventure.
If you want to see lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, and buffaloes, South Luangwa National Park has one of the highest densities of big game in Africa, and you won’t have to share the view with many other vehicles either. The Zambia-Zimbabwe border is also home to Victoria Falls – the largest waterfall in the world by volume – and, in April, views of the cascading waters are truly dazzling.
April marks the end of the rainy season in Bolivia, and it’s one of the best months to visit Uyuni Salt Flat, the country’s most famous attraction. As the world’s largest salt flat, the sight of these vast bright white plains is awe-inspiring at any time of year – but, in April, when the blinding plains are still partly submerged in water, it looks like you’re gazing out onto a seemingly-endless mirror.
There are many tours you can take to the flats, and most take you past smoking volcanoes, deserts dotted with gnarled trees, and flamingo-speckled lagoons. The capital, La Paz, pulses with energy, and the fascinating street life and compelling cultural energy have a way of drawing you in. You can learn about Bolivia’s history in museums, admire colonial palaces and plazas, and sample tasty street food.
Cuba is one of the most unique places in the world. In this captivating country time seems to have stood still: 1950s Cadillacs clatter past dilapidated colonial buildings, locals dance in the street and smoke thumb-thick cigars, and rum and salsa are the country’s lifeblood. You’re in for the best type of culture shock whenever you go – but April is the best month to visit.
At this time of year, the weather is balmy but not too hot (it rarely goes over 29°C), the days are long and sunny, and the crowds have dispersed. You can explore Havana at your leisure, chatting with the friendly locals, taking salsa lessons, and snapping photos of vintage cars and ever-present images of Che Guevara. The beaches here are dreamy too, with turquoise seas and powder-white sand.
5. Zermatt, Switzerland
If you’re hoping to ski this spring, your best bet is Switzerland. Zermatt is beautiful in April and, if you travel there via the Glacier Express, the views are simply sensational. You’ll shuttle through flower-filled meadows, along green valleys, and past picturesque Alpine villages…just don’t forget to bring your camera!
While Zermatt is expensive in peak season, it’s more affordable in April (as long as you don’t go during the Easter holidays!) and the slopes and lifts are far quieter. With bright blue skies and temperatures of around 10°C, it’s just warm enough for lunches on the sunny terraces. But, there are still plenty of snow-covered mountains and the resort has machines to make extra snow too.
6. Paris, France
Paris is famously a wonderful place to visit in spring. In April, the city is warming up, the flowers are in full bloom, the trees along the Seine are no longer bare, and the chic locals are shrugging off their winter coats. Peak season for tourists is still a couple of months away, so you’ll be able to get a seat at the many stylish pavement cafés – and the queues for the main attractions aren’t too off-putting.
To soak up the spring-like feeling, head to the 5th and 6th arrondissements, where you can stroll in the pretty Jardin des Plantes and Jardin de Luxembourg, before losing yourself in the Latin Quarter. If you’re there at the start of April, you can also catch the Paris Marathon – or, if you’re so inclined, you might want to visit the iconic Foire du Trône funfair, which is France’s oldest funfair!
7. Florida, USA
Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. Mild and sunny throughout the year, it’s at its best in spring and autumn, where the long, warm – but not scorching – days provide countless opportunities for adventure. From May onwards, the humidity and showers can be oppressive so, if you’re hoping to visit the Everglades, you’ll likely be joined by millions of mosquitoes.
However, in April things are different, and if you’re planning to cruise through the mangroves and spot alligators, there’s no better time. Florida’s idyllic beaches are also still pretty quiet at this time of year and, in Miami, prices are considerably cheaper than in summer. You can enjoy exploring Miami’s art district, visit the famous theme parks, and relax on the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.
8. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam can still be chilly in April, but if you want to immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of this iconic city, it’s worth wrapping up for. Spring is peak tulip season, and the Amsterdam Tulip Festival is celebrated throughout April. The whole city pops with vibrant bursts of colour, Keukenhof Gardens is at its most brilliant, and in the countryside the tulip fields are lit up in rainbow tones.
April is also the time of year when canal boat rides become pleasurable again and you can take a tour of the city via its labyrinth-like waterways. If you’re there for 27th April, you’re in for a treat – as this is King’s Day, a national holiday where millions of locals dress up in bright orange and head out to the streets and canals to party. There are also fabulous flea markets where you can pick up bargains.
9. Borneo, Malaysia
If you’re interested in wildlife and have always wanted to trek through rainforests like an intrepid adventurer, why not go to Malaysia this spring? In particular, the beautiful exotic island of Borneo, which is famous for being the home of the orangutan. Seeing these intelligent, gentle apes in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and April is the best month to visit.
Rainy periods hit Malaysia at different times and, in the tropical forests, you can always expect a few showers. However, April is one of the driest times to explore Borneo, which makes hiking through the rainforests and spotting endangered orangutans a much easier and more enjoyable experience. The dry season also means you can spend lazy days relaxing on the pristine beaches of northern Borneo.
10. Crete, Greece
Spring is a wonderful time to visit the Greek islands. It’s the last month of low season, so the last chance to relax on beaches or stroll through white-washed towns without throngs of tourists. If you want to soak up some sun, your best bet is Crete – because, as the southernmost of the islands, it’s also the hottest and prices are much lower during shoulder season.
With temperatures hovering around 17°C, it’s warm enough to enjoy the beach or take advantage of the pleasant temperatures and do some hiking. The mountains are truly stunning in April and you can visit traditional villages and sample delicious cuisine in local tavernas, many of which produce their own cheese and wine. Meanwhile, coastal cities like Rethymno make the perfect base.
11. Toronto, Canada
Canada is known for its long, bitter winters, and its biggest city, Toronto, can certainly feel pretty bleak in the darkest months. But, by April, the city is shaking off the last of the winter chill and, as it thaws, candyfloss-coloured cherry blossoms burst forth. The weather is still unpredictable (it’s best to pack for all seasons!), but with temperatures around 12°C, it’s mild enough to enjoy exploring.
If you’re looking for a culture-packed city break, Toronto is one of the best destinations in all of North America. Known for its exceptional museums, you can spend days learning about the city’s history – and there are all kinds of film festivals, art shows, and events happening in April too. With plenty of quirky little indie shops, cosy cafés and innovative restaurants, getting to know this city is a real joy.
12. Istanbul, Turkey
If you’re fond of tulips and flower festivals but don’t fancy braving the Amsterdam weather, we’ve got good news. The Turkish capital of Istanbul also holds its own tulip festival and, in April, this already colourful city is turned into a kaleidoscope of vibrant tones. It’s warm enough to sit outside under the sun and explore the city before the flood of tourists in May.
Istanbul is a captivating city that’s like nowhere else in the world. It’s a place where East meets West; Greek, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman, and Byzantine influences can be seen; and daily life merges tradition with modernity. April is the ideal time to explore at your own pace, visiting ornate mosques and palaces, browsing the famous Grand Bazaar, and feasting on the fragrant local cuisine.
13. Madeira, Portugal
Nicknamed the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’, Madeira is stunning at any time of year – but it’s in April when this volcanic island really bursts into bloom. It might not be hot (average highs are around 18°C), but it’s the perfect temperature to explore. Madeira is known for its mesmerising natural environment and landscape, and hiking is the ideal way to see the most beautiful scenery.
Trek through lush green forests, along precipitous cliff paths, over rugged volcanic peaks, and along the flower-filled levadas this island is famous for. As you walk, keep an eye on the deep blue ocean all around you, as whales and dolphins are often spotted in the waves. Whale-watching and swimming with dolphins are popular activities in Madeira, so if you want to get up close and personal, you can!
14. Seville, Spain
As the capital of sunny Andalucia, Seville is gorgeous in all seasons – but while summer sees an influx of tourists, springtime is still pretty quiet. Plus, in April, the ancient alleys are scented with sweet orange blossom and, with temperatures of around 24°C, wandering the streets or sitting outside a café is a blissful experience. This is the ultimate Spanish city break for spring.
Aside from its atmospheric Roman ruins, elaborate Moorish towers, gorgeous parks, and infectious energy, Seville has even more to offer in April. The Feria de Abril is held a fortnight after Easter, and this week-long festival is a whirl of colourful costumes, flamenco dancers, and clashing castanets. Seville is also the birthplace of tapas, so you won’t be short of mouthwatering food to try!
Whether you’re looking for a culture-packed city escape, a sun-soaked tropical holiday, or a chance to explore new and awe-inspiring landscapes, April is a great time to travel.
From the surreal sight of the vast Bolivian salt flats to the sweltering Borneo rainforest, and the characterful canals of Amsterdam to snow-capped peaks of the Swiss mountains, there’s a destination to suit every preference…and almost any budget.
As long as you avoid the Easter holidays, April is a pretty cheap month to travel, so if you want to get more from your money and avoid the crowds, why not start planning a spring break for next year?
Have you been to any of these destinations? Are you thinking about taking a trip in April – or do you have other recommendations for places to visit in spring? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.