high season: mid-June to mid--September
low season: November to March
shoulder season: April to mid--June, mid-September to October
Weather InformationTemperatures vary by country, ranging from sub-artic to temperate or even sub-tropical climates. Northern countries and mountainous areas can see heavy snow in the winter, while countries on the southern coast can experience sunny days nearly all year-round. In the very north, daylight diminishes enough during the winter that the northern lights are clearly visible. July through August can be extremely hot in some areas, and January through March can be cold and rainy with shorter days.
Crowd InformationIn general, summer is the busiest time, while winter (with the exception of ski areas) is the least busy. Christmas markets during December attract crowds, particularly in Eastern Europe. Also, events such as summer music festivals and school break periods like Christmas and Easter can bring a surge of travel akin to high season. It's best to check with each country's tourist information providers for annual events and holidays.
Closure InformationDepending on the season, some destinations shut down altogether, with some restaurants and hotels closing in resort areas and some museums and attractions limiting hours.
When to SaveEurope is typically more expensive during the summer and cheaper during the winter (except in ski areas), with prices usually dropping more dramatically around November. Spring and fall offer price breaks as well, but not as significantly as the winter.
When to BookDetermining when to book can be difficult as most airlines constantly change their prices according to supply and demand. However, for some European countries, particularly in the east, booking six months or more to get a decent fare is recommended. For others, especially popular western countries such as Germany and those in the U.K., it's advised to book two to three months in advance or wait until the last minute. In general, for airfare and hotel, it's always best to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability, especially for high season travel.
Information provided by the European Travel Commission