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As the weather gets warmer in Europe, cities like Vienna come alive with colour and life. Explore these European spring escapes for the ultimate in beauty and culture.

Spring is a time of renewal and growth when people come out of the long winter’s hibernation and start getting excited for the warmer weather. It’s a time for inspiration, a time for excitement, and a time for exploration. While we in New Zealand are transitioning into autumn, in Europe spring is in full bloom. If you aren’t quite ready to accept the slightly colder climes in your backyard, it’s the perfect time to jump ship and head to Europe for one more week of warmth. Check out this list for a few ideas to begin planning one of your (hopefully) many European spring escapes to come.

Riga, Latvia

This important town in Latvia is well known for its architecture and rich history with classical music and an untouchable elegance. Poke through the quaint side streets in Riga on a lovely spring morning and feel yourself come alive with the happiness and casual elegance of this small European city. Spend the morning visiting the city’s medieval centre, where an assemblage of art nouveau buildings is collected. Plus, medieval architecture dating back to the 12th century is still intact, one of the reasons Riga earned World Heritage Status. Cobblestone streets mix with the bright colours of springtime blooms to create an idyllic escape for winter-weary travellers.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is Europe’s westernmost capital, and come spring, this little city is the perfect locale for tourists looking for a taste of spring. Picture-perfect hues mix with sinfully sweet warm temperatures to create a fairy-tale global city that is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. Cobblestone alleyways offer small stores and spots for exploration, while the neighbourhood of Vairro Alto is filled to the brim with creativity. Murals and hole-in-the-wall restaurants make up a majority of this small neighbourhood, but its eccentricity is a part of its charm. Outside of the city there are neighbouring towns like Sintra and Cascais that make day trips to the castle-filled towns an easy jaunt.

Vienna, Austria

Another historically important city in Europe, Vienna, Austria is an ideal escape into springtime. Known worldwide for its rich history in music from the likes of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss, Vienna holds the trophy for being the quintessential slice of Europe. From the buzzing markets overloaded with colourful and fresh fruits, to the arts, culture and music of its inhabitants to its wide, Parisian-styled boulevards, there is no doubt that Vienna is an alluring and romantic option for a quick and warm getaway.

The romance of Europe becomes almost unbearable as spring comes on to the horizon. Rich in culture, heritage, food, arts, music and more, the Continent’s cities accept visitors with boulevards of blooming buds, wild and scenic coastlines and as always, an impressive itinerary for museums and shopping. As you plan your spring escape to Europe, be sure to include an Options overseas travel insurance plan from Cover-More New Zealand with benefits including overseas medical and dental cover.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Serge.Bystro