Beautiful city breaks for the spring
After a long winter of hibernation indoors we are all longing to feast our eyes on something new. We picked the best cities in Europe to really enjoy the beauty of spring, mild days, and the awakening of nature.
Spring in Milan starts early, and it is a good idea to combine time outdoors with some of the cultural wonders of the city. Start your cultural journey at the historic Sforza Castle, which houses several museums, including art collections and historical artefacts. After exploring the castle, step into the vast Sempione Park just outside. Enjoy a leisurely walk through beautifully landscaped gardens, have a picnic or just relax by the pond.
If riding a bike is your thing, rent one and explore Milan's Navigli district, known for its picturesque canals and trendy atmosphere. Make sure you visit the Vicolo dei Lavandai, a historical area that used to house the city’s laundry houses. Now the quarter is a cute destination with many canal-side cafes and restaurants.
You could also head to Parco Nord, Milan's largest park, for a refreshing outdoor escape. The park offers green spaces, walking trails and recreational areas. Adjacent to the park is Hangar Bicocca, a contemporary art space. Explore the outdoor installations and sculptures that seamlessly integrate art with the surrounding environment.
Finnair flies to both Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate, so you can pick the one with a better schedule or location for you.
Before the heat of the summer lands on Nice, you should make the most of the more intense outdoors activities. A great option is a hike up the Colline du Château to enjoy the panoramic views of Nice. In spring, the hill comes alive with colourful flowers in bloom. If the weather is warm enough, it's a perfect spot for a picnic with a view.
Outside the city Mont Boron's lush forest trails offer breathtaking views of the French Riviera. There is a loop trail of around five kilometres, that is moderately challenging. Some parts of the hike offer very beautiful vistas of both Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer.
If you would rather do something less sporty, visit Cimiez Monastery Gardens. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds and visit the adjacent Musée Matisse for both the art and the atmospheric building.
Spring is the perfect time to visit Ljubljana’s Botanical Garden when the flowering plants offer a riot of colour. The garden is almost 2.5 hectares and showcases diverse, some rare, plant species, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts.
If you are a fan of treasure hunting, visit the flea market at Breg, a picturesque area along the Ljubljanica River. The market typically opens on weekends and offers a wide range of vintage objects, antiques and handmade crafts. Local food vendors often set up stalls too offering snacks and refreshments.
For a completely different vibe, discover the alternative side of Ljubljana at Metelkova Mesto. This autonomous social and cultural center, established in the early 1990s in a former military barracks complex, hosts art exhibitions, concerts and outdoor events. The area is also known for its fabulous street art.
Finnair offers direct flights to Ljubljana starting on 1 April 2024.
For a serene springtime experience in Zurich, ascend Lindenhof, a hilltop park nestled in the heart of Zurich's Old Town. Revel in panoramic views of the city and the Limmat River. You could also bring a little picnic to enjoy sitting on one of the ancient walls protecting the park.
For a more vibrant scene, delve into the avant-garde spirit of Zurich's Kreis 5 district, celebrated for its dynamic street art. Meander through streets adorned with murals and graffiti and make sure you visit Frau Gerolds Garten, an inventive urban oasis boasting greenery, cafes and art installations.
As the weather gets warmer in Geneva, embark on a culinary adventure at the biweekly food market in Carouge. Stroll through stalls filled with fresh seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses and delectable pastries. The surrounding area and its architecture are worth seeing too.
A great way to see Geneva is hopping on a boat. Book a place on one of the boat tours crisscrossing Lake Geneva and revel in the panoramic views of the Alps and the cityscape. If the weather is fine and you sit on the deck, you will get plenty of sunshine too.