The extended Easter weekend is coming closer, are you already in the mood for some hearty “Osterjause”? If you would rather seize the chance to escape for a little bit and to enjoy the first warmer spring days, we have put together our favorite places for a weekend trip within Europe. Depending on where you a located, you can reach all those spots either by plane, (night) train or even with your own car.
Our first destination of choice, especially if you want to unwind after a stressful period of time, is Copenhagen, or also the capital of Hygge. Although Hygge is not particularly linked to Easter, it’s the cornerstone of everything in Denmark, and it means to relax and to have fun. Hygge also stands for doing nothing, so try to go with the flow in Denmark and try to take a break from your busy daily routine.
Copenhagen is the ideal destination for a weekend trip, as it is compact and easily navigated, which means that visitors can experience a lot in a relatively short time. It’s a city that is both historic and hip and it is packed with fantastic things to see and do .
For art lovers, we recommend checking out the great national art gallery Statensmuseum for Kunst. There, you will find collections of both Danish and international painters. Currently, you can for instance visit the first solo exhibition in Denmark by acclaimed South Korean artist Haegue Yang. In Double Soul, you can experience an extensive selection of her enticing work.
Besides great artworks, Copenhagen also has some stunning architecture worth checking out. A good start is always Rundetaarn, Europe’s oldest observatory tower and easy to find when you’re exploring the city. To get to the top, you’ll need to spiral all around the tower itself. Make sure to stop in on some rooms along the way, where you can also find various art exhibitions throughout the year. When you’ve finally mastered the ascend, you’ll get rewarded with a lovely view over the city.
For the castle lovers among you, make sure you don’t miss out on visiting Rosenborg Castle, a stunning royal castle in the middle of the city with 400 years of history.
What about some Hygge in Copenhagen?
If you prefer a warmer climate for your Easter break, why not go to Croatia and visit its vibrant capital Zagreb? It is undoubtedly a quite busy place to experience Easter, but there are also a lot of activities to do, so you won’t get bored! At the famous cathedral, you’ll find for instance a massive hand-painted Easter egg exhibition, so if you’re on the hunt for colorful pictures, you definitely came to the right place. There is also an Easter fair taking place at Ban Jelacic Square, where you find stalls in the style of wooden houses offering all kinds of delicious goodies.
Our two favorite museums to visit in Zagreb are the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Broken Relationships.
In the Museum of Contemporary Art, you’ll find a vast selection of the works of modern painters, architects and sculptures on an exhibition space of around 1,500m2. They describe themselves as a living place of creation, display, interpretation, and preservation of contemporary art in all its forms.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is a quite curious one. As it is already in the name, the whole museum is dedicated to heartbreak and broken relationships. It’s a space created with the sole purpose of treasuring and sharing heartbreak possessions. It is interactive, so you can contribute as well! You can either send particular items that still haunt you from a past relationship or you can even share your break up story if it helps you in the process of progressing and healing.
For more glimpses into Zagreb, we also offer numerous audio guides, that help you to discover the city. By walking through the city, you’ll learn a lot about its history and about its urban legends.
Explore Zagreb with our audio guides!
Budapest is also one of our favorite locations for a weekend getaway! During Easter, one of the most popular places to go to is Budapest Easter (or Spring) Fair. It takes place at Vörösmarty Square which you might already know as the location of the annual Christmas market. The Easter market is worth visiting as the market’s wooden huts offer a great selection of little arts and crafts souvenirs, handmade pottery, and baskets.
Another place to be at Easter is scenic Buda Castle. Then, the Buda Castle Easter Festival (Budavari Husveti Sokadalom) takes place. Its festivities incorporate concerts, dance shows, many family-friendly activities and of course local Easter foods such as the traditional milk bread (kalács). Our favorite way to get up to the castle is with the castle funicular, but you can of course also be active by climbing up the stairs.
As usual, our tip for our favorite museum can’t be missing, so we want to recommend a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum’s collection consists international art (and of course, Hungarian art as well), including all periods of European art and comprises more than 100k pieces! There are six departments to choose from: Egyptian, Antique, Old sculpture gallery, Old master paintings gallery, Modern collection, and the Graphics collection, so make sure you allocate enough time for your visit.
If you want to take a break from sightseeing and exploring, make sure you visit on of the thermal baths Budapest is well-known for! The Szechenyi Baths are the most famous thermal baths and are frequented by visitors from all around the world. There, you can find a total of eighteen indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms and sauna, so afterwards you should really be feeling reinvigorated.
Budapest is always worth a weekend trip.
Last but not least we also want to recommend a gem in the west of Europe for your weekend trip, Porto in Portugal. The inhabitants of Porto take the Holy Week festivities pretty serious and some devout locals even take tours to the city’s main historical churches such as the Sé do Porto Cathedral, the Church of São Francisco, Igreja da Trindade in case you want to join them and also marvel at the cathedrals.
If you are not the biggest fan of visiting churches, we still think you should visit Iglesia de los Clérigos and climb up Clérigos tower. From up there, you will have the best view over Porto’s skyline and the Douro River, we promise.
One of Porto’s top museums and also the oldest museum in Portugal is the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis, where you can find a superb collection of paintings, ceramics, sculpture, engravings, jewelry, and much more from over the centuries. There are also fine paintings by Portuguese artists such as Aurélia de Sousa, António Carneiro, Silva Porto, and many more.
If you want to soak in the warm spring air, enjoy a lovely afternoon stroll along the Douro river after exploring Old Town Porto and maybe enjoy a coffee or a drink there and soak in the way the light dances on the buildings along the river. For a different perspective, you can also hop on the Douro River Taxi and appreciate the view of the city from the water.
You also have to try Pão de Ló (an amazing wheat cake with a lot of eggs)and Folar (cornbread with sausage inside) during your weekend trip to Porto.
What about enjoying the sunset in Porto?
We already wish you an early Happy Easter and hope you enjoy your Easter vacation, no matter if you spend it at home with your family or around Europe traveling and exploring new places. For more cultural travel destinations in spring, we recommend our blog post about our five favorite destinations for cultural travel.
Featured image: fab.peixoto