Easter weekend in Europe

Easter Weekend in Europe 2018

Hop on a ferry and shake off the cobwebs at one of this year’s most refreshing spring events by spending your Easter weekend in Europe. The whole family will love these colourful Easter celebrations, so take a look at some of the best events to get yourself into the spring spirit.

Dutch Heritage Weekend – Keukenhof, near Lisse, Netherlands

If there could be just one destination to celebrate the delights of spring during an Easter weekend in Europe, then the 15th century ‘Garden of Europe’ would be it. Keukenhof is open for just two months of the year, but during that time it packs in plenty of events to make the most of that stunning window.

Among the Hello Spring! event and the Fairytale Festival, one local favourite is the Dutch Heritage Weekend. There you can expect traditional tulips, old-Dutch bicycles, smoked herring and plenty of shenanigans to entertain the whole family – plus a visit from the Easter bunny on the Sunday and Monday.

How to get there

Dutch Heritage Weekend runs from 30 March to 2 April 2018 in Keukenhof, near Lisse. The gardens are a 50-minute drive from the port of Rotterdam, or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take advantage of the country’s flat roads and take the 50km journey by bike.

While you’re there…

Stop off in Leiden, a charming historic town known as the birthplace of Rembrandt, and home to the Museum de Lakanhal which houses many of his paintings along with works by the other Dutch Masters.

Easter and Spring Markets in Colmar 2018 – Colmar, France

The old city of Colmar is so magical you’ll swear you’ve stepped into Toyland – and its Easter and Spring Markets are sure to leave you buzzing like a spring bee.

Here, painted flower boxes are piled with the season’s brightest blooms, over 70 exhibitors sell wares ranging from colourful origami to locally made bread, and, of course, there are plenty of Easter egg hunts for everyone to enjoy.

How to get there

The Easter Market and Spring Markets 2018 are free to enter and take place in the Place des Dominicains and the Place de L’Ancienne Douanne from the 29 March to 15 April, 10am to 7pm daily. From the port of Calais, Colmar is a 6h30m drive through quaint French towns and rolling hills filled with spring colours.

While you’re there…

Why not try the Alsace Wine Route? One of the oldest in France, the 170km trail through the vineyards of 70 villages can easily be tackled in its entirety by car, or broken into smaller segments by bicycle.

Rostock Easter Market 2018 – Rostock, Germany

Easter weekend in Europe: Rostock in Germany
The Markplatz, Old Town Market Square, in Rostock

It may take a little longer to get to than other European destinations, but this jigsaw town in northern Germany is a pantone paradise – with the centre’s gabled facades all painted in bright hues. And where better to get the most out of those long spring evenings than wandering beneath these wondrous buildings during your Easter weekend in Europe?

Rostock Easter Market takes place across the long weekend, with 80 stalls and plenty of shows in the town, as well as ‘the largest Easter egg in the entire Hanseatic City’ for everyone to decorate.

How to get there

Rostock Easter Market 2018 is a free event running from the 23 March to 8 April. Wednesday is Family Day, which will see discounted prices across activities and events. Rostock is a 6h30m drive from Rotterdam, crossing through the heart of the Netherlands and up past Hamburg.

While you’re there…

Stop off at Schwerin Castle, a gargantuan storybook castle from the 10th century. Its immaculate gardens and stunning art rooms offer a whole afternoon’s exploration.

Inspired to spend your Easter weekend in Europe? Book one of our ferry crossings today and head off on a break full of colour!