With the spring flowers in bloom, sunnier skies and longer days, travelling over the Easter break is a beautiful time of year to go exploring. We’ve rounded up eight great places to visit for the holidays—some urban, some tropical and some over-the-top. Whether it’s a long weekend for two or a family break, one of these destinations is guaranteed to put a spring in your step.
1. Rome, Italy
While you don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy Easter in Rome, it’s probably especially meaningful if you are! As home to the Vatican and one of Europe’s most Catholic countries, Italy celebrates Easter with great feasts and the churches are filled with people. Keep in mind most museums will be closed on Easter Sunday and Monday so head to Trevi Fountain or the Spanish steps after church, instead.
Where to stay: Gran Meliá Rome Villa Agrippina
The historic Gran Meliá Rome is within walking distance to many attractions and offers panoramic views of the Eternal City. Hard to miss the Easter service when you’re just five minutes from the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica!
2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tulips, tulips and tulips. Did we mention tulips?
Flower enthusiasts will love this city in the spring: visit the Keukenhof Gardens on bikes, or meander through the Hortus Botanicus and the floating flower market. This is a very child-friendly city, with lots of green space and interesting museums.
Where to borrow: LENA fashion library
This concept tackles the issue of textile waste without sacrificing luxury (or the fun of shopping). “Check out” quality vintage and designer clothing and return after borrowing, just like a library book, or you can buy the clothes if you love them that much.
3. London, England
Go for afternoon tea at the Dorchester or go horseback riding in Hyde Park. Join an Easter weekend service at one of the more beautiful churches or cathedrals, such as Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral or St Martin-in-the-Fields. Or, of course you may just want to shop at Harrods, Harvey Nicks or Selfridges!
Where to read: Persephone Books
This serene bookstore is named after Zeus’s daughter in ancient Greek mythology. Persephone books ” … are intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written and are chosen to appeal to busy people wanting titles that are neither too literary nor too commercial”.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Japan might seem like an odd choice to celebrate Easter, being that the country’s main religions are Shinto and Buddhism. What you go for during spring is the amazing display of cherry blossoms—or sakura—which are Japan’s unofficial national flower. Grab your loved one and find a spot for a hanami romantic picnic under the trees at Ueno Park or Shinjuku Gyoen.
Where to stroll: Omotesando
This avenue of high-end and quirky shops and cafes is especially verdant in the spring. Explore the backstreets and don’t forget to look up. There are no fewer than 14 architectural and award-winning beauties lining the sky and creating a stunning backdrop for an afternoon stroll.
5. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is a top-10 European cultural destination for travellers because it’s welcoming and safe. Enjoy a Mozart piano concerto, a Wagner opera or delight in the Vienna Boys choir at the Imperial Chapel. The best way to enjoy Easter in Vienna is to stroll through one of the many Easter markets in the city.
Where to listen: Musikverein’s Golden Hall
Music and opera aficionados will marvel at the splendour of this hall of the arts. The Musikverein was inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1870 and is famous for its New Years concert of the Vienna Philharmonics.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is the capital city of this Central Eastern European country and known for being romantic—perfect for spring. This city loves Easter and has a wonderful Easter market at the Old Town Square that starts on April 1st and lasts for three weeks. There are strict rules about what vendors can sell at the Easter markets—you won’t find any tacky magnets here, but only quality and culturally appropriate goods.
Where to shop: Old Town Square
Hand-painted Easter eggs, embroidered lace and yummy foods of all kinds can be found at the Town Square Easter markets. This square dates back to the 12th century and from here you visit the Old Town Hall Tower and Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church and St. Nicholas Church.
7. Siargao, Philippines
This tropical island paradise, 800 kilometres southeast of Manila, is accessible via a flight to Cebu and a ferry ride. What makes it so special is that it’s not that easy to get to but it’s definitely worth it! Easter is a very important holiday in the Philippines, which is largely a Roman Catholic community.
Siargao is a popular spot for the in-the-know surfing crowd, but if you’re not interested in catching some waves, you can island hop to Naked and Daku. Go caving or paddle boarding on the Sugba lagoon, a dreamy enclave with a natural beauty that will blow your mind.
Who to fly: Flight Centre
It will be busy, but beautiful, so book ahead Flight Centre travel agents have literally tested these waters for you already. Get your dedicated agent to create a bespoke vacation for you or just hop on a flight to Siargao or one of its many destinations.
8. Dubai, UAE
Dubai is one place that can morph into pretty much anything you want it to be. Over Easter, this already-over-the-top glitzy and futuristic city-state holds surreal Easter egg hunts in fake snow at the Ski Dubai complex. Not just bunnies here though: camels carry visitors to farms celebrating Easter in the middle of the desert.
Where to go with the family: The Atlantis
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai guests enjoy unlimited access to Aquaventure Waterpark, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, and a free afternoon at Atlantis Kids Club. There are five restaurants to choose from for Easter brunch, afternoon tea or dinner, and the Easter egg hunt features 50,000 eggs. You won’t go home with an empty basket here!
If the Atlantis is out of your price range, you’ll be just in time for the grand opening of the “Upscale-Casual” Zabeel House and Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah Al Seef collection.
Oh, The Palm—it just gets better and better. How would you like to step in a cab miserable and step out knowing you’re heading to Dubai?
Written By: Adriane Rysz