Seasonal City Breaks
The best cities to visit during each season
Many of us plan holidays based on the seasons, be it a hot beach destination for summer or a snowy event-packed holiday for winter. But which cities are the best to visit during each season?
In the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons run as follows:
Spring: March, April, May
Summer: June, July, August
Autumn: September, October, November
Winter: December, January, February
By analyzing the most popular cities in the Northern Hemisphere on factors such as weather, events, affordability, and popularity across each season, we will reveal the best cities to visit during each season of the year.
Spring - March, April, May
Rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and regrowth
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands - 7.07/10
The Netherlands takes the top spot for the best city to visit in spring, with Amsterdam earning a 7.07/10 seasonal rank. Ranking third on Euromonitor’s list of 100 most visited cities worldwide, Amsterdam offers a reasonable average hotel cost of $117.80 per night.
Spring in Amsterdam is all about flowers and blooming. Enjoy Keukenhof in March, Amsterdam’s tremendous themed flower festival and one of the world's largest flower gardens, or the Tulip Festival in April, which sees the city fully decked out in blossoms.
2. London, England - 7/10
London during spring can be quite chilly, with an average temperature of 9.6°C and regular showers, however, London is one of the most popular places to visit during spring. London saw the highest volume of searches for “things to do” during the spring of all cities on this list.
There are 12 main events in London during spring, including the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race which sees two of the UK’s most prominent universities go head to head in the River Thames, and the London Marathon, which attracts around 80,000 runners each year.
3. Prague, Czech Republic - 6.62/10
Prague earns third place for the best city to visit during spring, with a seasonal rank of 6.62/10. With an average of $72.12 for a hotel, Prague is popular for holidaymakers and the city sees the most searches for springtime out of all cities.
The Prague Spring International Music Festival, held in the beautiful Rudolfinum concert hall, is a classical music festival which takes place each year. Symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles gather from around the world to perform at this festival.
Summer - June, July, August
Optimism, happiness, idleness, and love
1. Rome, Italy - 7.04/10
The capital city of Italy ranks as the best place to visit during summer. Rome has an ideal average temperature of 24.37°C during the summer months and a respectable average hotel cost of around $118. Rome earns a seasonal rank of 7.04/10 for summer.
During June, Romans celebrate numerous religious events including Corpus Domini, the Feast of St. John, and Saints Peter and Paul Day. During the last two weeks of July, the Festa de Noantri is enjoyed, which centres around the Feast of Santa Maria del Carmine.
2. Paris, France - 6.79/10
The second best city to visit during summer is Paris. Paris is the most visited city in the world and has a milder average temperature for summer at 18.97° C.
There is plenty to do in Paris during these months. Most notably, July marks the end of the Tour de France in Paris. Competitors from all over the world cross the finish line of this world-famous bicycle race in Paris and parade the Champs Élysées, which is often labelled as the world’s most beautiful avenue.
3. Athens, Greece - 6.69/10
Ranking as the third best city break for summer is Athens. Here the city presents the opportunity for some ideal sunbathing, with an average temperature of 26.73 °C and an average rainfall of just 7.33mm over summer. Athens also offers some of the more affordable hotel stays with an average cost of $84.14 a night.
Athens – Epidaurus Festival runs across the summer period and features the great works of ancient Greek playwrights such as Sophocles and Aristophanes, performed at epic venues including the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus.
Autumn - September, October, November
Plenty, ripening, harvest, and abundance
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands - 7.25/10
Amsterdam takes another top spot, ranking the highest for city visits in autumn, with a 7.25/10 seasonal score. Euromonitor ranks Amsterdam as the 11th most visited city worldwide and there are 16 exciting annual events to take part in during the autumn months.
There is a series of dance and music festivals running throughout autumn in Amsterdam, including The Dutch Theatre Festival, Amsterdam Fringe Festival, and the Red Light Jazz Festival, alongside a number of film festivals.
2. Paris, France - 7.21/10
Paris scores 7.21/10 for its seasonal score in autumn, making it the second best city to visit during these months. Paris is also the most searched city in autumn, with 197,500 annual searches.
In October, Paris’ Galleries, performance spaces, museums, and studios open their doors for the all-night Nuit Blanche cultural festival, offering free admission to all. Whilst November sees the moving Armistice Day Ceremony located at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
3. London, England - 7.11/10
London ranks third as the best city to visit in autumn with a seasonal score of 7.11/10. London is one of the most popular cities during autumn according to Google searches, with the highest volume of searches for things to do.
Events in London during autumn include the Chelsea Antiques Fair, Thames Festival, and the Trafalgar Square Festival. October also features the opening of Parliament, where the Queen rides from Buckingham Palace to the House of Lords in a royal coach.
Winter - December, January, February
Calmness, festivity, tranquillity, and spirituality
1. Paris, France - 7.39/10
Having hit second place twice, the City of Love finally hits the top spot in winter with a seasonal score of 7.39/10. The average temperature drops to a biting 4.57°C, but that doesn’t stop travelers and locals from enjoying the city.
Enjoy some holiday shopping at the traditional Christmas Markets all over Paris in December or watch the Grande Parade down Champs Élysées in January. The parade boasts a spectacular brass band, colorful floats, and festivities during the day-long New Year's Day celebration.
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands - 7.18/10
Amsterdam earns itself a 7.18/10 seasonal score for winter through its popularity and event-packed season. Wrap up on your next trip to Amsterdam though, as temperatures drop to a low average of 4.23 °C over winter.
December marks the start of one of the leading light art festivals in the world, Amsterdam’s Light Festival, where the canals are awash with illuminating artworks against the photogenic backdrop of the city.
3. London, England - 7.14/10
Coming in third for the best city to visit during winter is London, with a seasonal score of 7.14/10. London is the 8th most visited city to visit all year round, and winter can be a great time to see England’s capital.
Every year, Norway gives Britain a fir tree as a salute for Britain's support for Norway during World War II. This tree is placed in Trafalgar Square and concerts are scheduled at intervals during its lighting. London’s Christmas tree is the world’s most famous.
The most visited 100 cities rank was taken from Euromonitor. Only Northern Hemisphere cities that appeared on this list were used in this report.
City popularity was taken as the total volume of searches for the City + Relevant Season (eg. London Summer) over the last 12 months. Searches for things to do were recorded as the total volume of searches for Things To Do In + City (eg. Things To Do In Amsterdam) over the last 12 months and split into the relevant seasons (eg. searches from December 2021, January 2022, and February 2022 were combined to give the totals for winter). All search data was taken from Google Keywords.
Average temperature and average rainfall data were taken from climatedata.org. Averages for each season were calculated using data from the three months in each season.
Average hotel prices were taken from Kayak as the average cost of a one weeknight stay. All data was originally in GBP, and all currency conversions were taken on 19/7/22 using Google Finance.
The number of events in each city was retrieved from individual sources and split between the four seasons. A list of all sources used can be found here.
All data was retrieved between the 10th and 20th of July.