Spring has well and truly sprung, and with the Easter bank holidays coming up April is the perfect opportunity to get away from it all for a short break. From cities in full bloom to beach resorts where it still feels like summer, allow us to provide some inspiration for your April break.
Best city breaks in April
These city destinations are at their best in April, so pack your walking shoes and get ready to do some serious exploring.
Average temperature: 31°C
One part goody-two-shoes, one part serious party animal – Singapore is a truly unique destination. Over the space of 50 years it’s transformed from a colonial backwater to a financial powerhouse, its skyline filled with high-rise hotels and iconic skyscrapers like The Sail at Marina Bay.
In April the wet season is drawing to a close, so the city’s torrential downpours are less frequent. Once you’ve graced a few rooftop cocktail bars at the chic riverside area, re-ground yourself with a visit to Little India, the Chinese quarter and Kampong Glam – the Malay-Arab quarter. In these neighbourhoods you can use all your senses to truly discover the city’s unique cultural mash-up. Bonus, you can eat like royalty for under a tenner: no mean feat in the world’s most expensive city.
Queue with the locals in Maxwell Food Centre – a popular hawker centre with a variety of tasty street food stalls to choose from, including the famous Tian Tian Chicken Rice.
Where to stay in Singapore
Stay at the Marina Bay Sands resort for a taste of the high life (rooms from £391), which dominates the cityscape like a chunk of Stonehenge catapulted into a gleaming steel and glass future. You don’t need to empty your pockets to stay by the river though – Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium has still got the views and slick design, but charges a more reasonable £95+ a night*.Browse Singapore hotel deals
Best time to book flights to Singapore: 12, 13 or 18 weeks before departure, saving 4% on average flight prices from the UK to Singapore.Find flights to Singapore
Durban, South Africa
Average temperature: 26°C
Combining Zulu, Indian and European influences, this beach-side city truly embodies South Africa’s ‘world in one country’ mantra. Often overlooked in favour of chic Cape Town and buzzing Jo’burg, all the locals know Durbs is hot in April. As its early autumn in South Africa, the winter rains have tailed off and the skies are nothing but sunny blue.
Breathe in the incense and spices at Victoria Street Market or rent a bike for a trip along the Golden Mile, watching the surfers and kiteboarders tackle the Indian Ocean waves. If you fancy a dip yourself, there’s no need to worry about great whites as the beaches are protected by shark nets. If you fancy getting up close with the predators, you can book in for an underwater dinner at Ushaka Marine World. For a more authentic meal, you’ll need to head to a streetfood stall for some bunny chow – a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with fiery curry.
Durban’s big claim to fame is the Phoenix Settlement to the north of the city (open Monday to Saturday, free entry), where Mohandas Gandhi began to spread his ideas on non-violent protest. Fancy going further afield? Hire a car and take the two hour drive to uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park – home to South Africa’s highest mountain range. Unsurprisingly there’s some great hiking, rock climbing and fly fishing in those hills.
Where to stay in Durban
There are some great value deals to be had in Durban. Spend your holiday by the waterfront at the family-favourite Balmoral Hotel (doubles from £36* per night) or give yourself a little upgrade by staying at the luxurious Hilton Durban Hotel (doubles from £99* per night). Also on the waterfront, it has a stunning rooftop sundeck. Previous guests really sing the praises of the continental breakfast, so make sure and add it to your booking.Browse hotel deals in Durban
Best time to book flights to Durban: 20 weeks before departure, saving 7% on average flight prices from the UK to Durban.Find flights to Durban
Average temperature: 17°C
April in Milan is an al-fresco dream, with restaurants and cafés reopening their terrazos for the upcoming summer season. Make like a local by perching at a table, sipping your way through espressos while watching the world go by.
Fans of couture should make a beeline for the Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Rectangle) – bounded by Via della Spiga to the north and Via Montenapoleone to the south. This is the beating heart of the city’s shopping scene, and a veritable who’s who of high-end designers. For an edgier, less extortionate vibe, go to Zona Tortona – a former industrial district southwest of the centre that’s now home to lots of hip indie boutiques.
After emptying your wallet, soothe your spirit by checking out some of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces – most notably Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. This is in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, but be sure to pre-book your ticket if you want to catch a glimpse of the painting. Another unmissable sight can be found on the roof terraces of the Duomo di Milano – a prickly porcupine of a cathedral with 135 spires. On a clear day, views stretch all the way to the Alps.
Where to stay in Milan
Though Milan has a pricey reputation, there are good options if you’re looking for a budget hotel but don’t want to stay in the sticks. Ibis Styles Milano Centro has access to the subway at Lima station and is about 10 minutes walk from Milano Central station, with doubles from £69*. Alternatively, stretch your funds further for a stay at the more traditional, 3-star Lancaster Hotel, with personalised service and a generous breakfast.Browse Milan hotel deals
Best time to book flights to Milan: 9 weeks before departure, saving 15% on average flight prices from the UK to Milan.Find flights to Milan
Average temperature: 18°C
The new kid on the old Eastern Bloc, Bucharest is fast-becoming one of Europe’s hippest hangouts. Warm weather and spring festivities make Bucharest a fun place to visit in April, as the city gears up for Orthodox Easter towards the end of the month.
Start by taking the Guided Free Walking Tour, which gives you some background on the city’s most famous sights – such as the statue of Vlad the Impaler, the Memorial of Rebirth and the sprawling Palace of the Parliament. The latter was built by Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, and is now the second largest administrative building in the world.
If the sun is shining, take a relaxing amble along the leafy lanes of Cișmigiu Park, which is in full technicolour bloom at this time of year. Grab a pew by the outdoor chess tables to watch the old boys battle it out – cigars in one hand, pieces in the other. If it’s raining, seek shelter in Carturesti Carusel: one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops.
Start preparing your trip now with our top ten things to do in Bucharest.
Where to stay in Bucharest
Your pennies will go further in Bucharest, with good-quality hostels like Umbrella Hostel offering cute wooden-clad dorms, triples, twins and doubles, all for under £25 a night. Even a 5-star treat at Epoque Hotel – complete with hot tubs, rooftop bar and massage therapies – can be had from £150 a night.Browse Bucharest hotel deals
Best time to book flights to Bucharest: 6 weeks before departure, saving 14% on average flight prices from the UK to Bucharest.Find flights to Bucharest
Best beach breaks in April
Summer’s still a couple of months away, so pack your bags and head to these paradise destinations for your fix of sun, sea and sublime fruit-based drinks.
Providencia Island, Colombia
Average temperature: 31°C
Treat your sense of adventure while indulging yourself with a voyage to the Colombian island of Providencia. Once a base for English pirates, this remote island takes a bit of work to reach – you need to take a tiny twin-prop plane from nearby San Andrés island, already a two hour flight from Bogota. It’s worth the trip, however, as this stress-free destination is the ideal place to unwind.
Stay in a cosy posada (B&B) and swim in the ‘Sea of Seven Colours’ which shimmers in shades of turquoise, emerald and royal blue, or simply lounge on the sands of Almond Bay. If you want to be more active, rent a sea kayak and visit the neighbouring islets and rocks of Santa Catalina. It’s also worth visiting the intriguingly named Morgan’s Head and, er, Morgan’s Buttocks. Famous privateer Captain Henry Morgan is said to have buried treasure around these parts.
Tip: avoid the morning tours to Crab Cay and come after noon to claim your own idyllic stretch of sand.
Where to stay in Providencia
As you might expect, most Providencia hotels are located on or within a short walk of the beach, with many clustered on the west coast. Grab a beachside cabin at Cabanas Agua Dulce (from £47* per night) near Freshwater Bay or head further south to South West Bay Cabañas (from £70* per night) for your own private balcony and hammock, as well as access to a crop of restaurants and bars great for sunset cocktails.Find hotel deals in Providencia
Best time to book flights to Colombia: 10 weeks before departure, saving 6% on average flight prices from the UK to Colombia.Find flights to San Andres Island
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Average temperature: 22°C
The Canary Islands are a reliable choice for spring sunshine. Grab a direct flight to Fuerteventura, the second largest of the Canary Islands. With glorious summer approaching, there are fewer visitors than on neighbouring Tenerife.
The north shore is often compared to Hawaii, and the village of Corralejo is surfer central with seven miles of golden beaches backed by shape-shifting dunes. Once you’re done with the bucket and spade, there’s a world of rocky wilderness to discover inland. This has more in common with Africa’s Saharan coast – which is just 50 miles away.
Be sure to sample the local Majorero goat’s cheese and try the tapas at Bodegón Don Carmelo in old Betancuria village near the west coast. Their large menu features the Canarian specialty, papas arrugadas: ‘wrinkly potatoes’. These are new potatoes boiled in salt water until they turn dry and their skins wrinkle, served up with a spicy sauce.
Pack more into your itinerary with our top picks for Fuerteventura.
Where to stay in Fuertventura
If you’re heading for laidback Corralejo, you can find a family apartment at Atlantic Garden Beach Mate for less than £50* per night. Beautiful gardens, two swimming pools – one with Balinese-style lounge beds – and a fitness centre mean there’s plenty to do even when you’re not relaxing on the nearby Playa Vistas Lobos. If you really want to treat yourself, try the H10 Tindaya on Costa Calma with rooms starting at £70* per night. As well as five swimming pools, this all-inclusive hotel also has kids clubs, adult activities and a luxurious spa.Find hotel deals in Fuerteventura
Best time to book flights to Fuerteventura: 6 weeks before departure, saving 14% on average flight prices from the UK to Fuerteventura.Find flights to Fuerteventura
Koh Samui, Thailand
Average temperature: 32°C
Visit Koh Samui in April and you’ll come under attack from locals with (water) guns. During Songkran, Thai New Year, people celebrate by holding water fights. In this hot weather you really won’t mind. When you’re not busting out the super soaker, enjoy taking strolls along the island’s endless stretches of palm-fringed beaches – they produce an incredible two million coconuts a month!
Samui is a popular tourist destination so you’ll find plenty of home comforts. There are also enough aromatic street stalls, family-run restaurants and Buddhist temples to provide a sense of location – especially in the south and west. Join the locals in their festive meditation at the Big Buddha Temple before strolling back along the causeway for a sundowner at one of the many restaurants lining Big Buddha Beach.
Where to stay in Koh Samui
There are several hundred resorts and hotels on Koh Samui, so narrow your choice by choosing which beach you want to be beside. Do you want a peaceful hideaway? Taling Ngam on the southwest coast has some good-value resorts like Am Samui, where you can pedal around one of the island’s quieter shores using one of the complimentary bicycles. The town of Mae Nam is a good place to look for backpacker accommodation.Browse Koh Samui hotel deals
Best time to book flights to Koh Samui: 12 and 16 weeks before departure, saving 4% on average flight prices from the UK to Koh Samui.Find flights to Koh Samui
Best events in April
There’s always something going on somewhere, and we’ve put together our pick of the best – and quirkiest – April events from around the world.
Tulip Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Average temperature: 12°C
Step in to spring with a riot of colour in Amsterdam: the whole month is dedicated to celebrating the world-famous Dutch flower, its rich history and eternal beauty. Take the short flight from the UK to the Dam and wander along the canals, around museums, hotels and public spaces and you can’t miss the thousands of precious petals adorning every building, walkway and bicycle. For a full list of participating venues pick up a map from the ‘I Amsterdam’ visitor centre at Amsterdam Centraal station to start your tulip hunt.
Where to stay in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s canals are lined with quirky houseboats, and some of them are available to rent – a great addition to any bucket list. Houseboat Ark Van Amstel has two bedrooms and incredible views of the river. It’s just a short stroll from the historic centre, too. If you’re looking for cheap, cheerful and totally sociable, book a bed in the Flying Pig Youth Hostel – one of Amsterdam’s most famous places to stay. As well as a great social scene and budget beds, staff are on hand to help you book tours and tickets.Browse Amsterdam accommodation
Best time to book flights to Amsterdam: 22 and 24 weeks before departure, saving 16% on average flight prices from the UK to Amsterdam.Book flights to Amsterdam
Kanamara Matsuri, Kawasaki, Japan
Average temperature: 17°C
Oo er, missus. This festival of the phallus is surely one of the month’s more unusual tourist draws. But what could be more appropriate to spring than celebrating fertility? On the first Sunday in April, gigantic penises are paraded through the streets of Kawasaki on portable shrines, watched by spectators in penis costumes, wearing penis hats, snacking on penis lollipops and, well, you get the idea.
The festival centres on the Wakamiya Hachimangu shrine, which attracts kimono-wearing cross-dressers from across Japan. So roll up your sleeves and join in the radish-carving contest. Straddle one of the large wooden penises and smile for the camera. Raising money for HIV research and awareness, it’s all in an excellent cause.
To get here, fly to Tokyo’s Haneda airport and take the train (around 50 minutes).
Where to stay in Kawasaki
This coastal city is full of business hotels if you want a no-frills, no-messing stay for the night during the festival, such as Hotel Sunroute Kawasaki. Kawasaki Nikko Hotel is also a good pick, right next to the train station.Browse hotels in Kawasaki
Best time to book flights to Tokyo: 22 weeks before departure, saving 7% on average flight prices from the UK to Tokyo.Book flights to Tokyo
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Louisiana
Average temperature: 26°C
This is where it all started, the birthplace of modern music. A melting pot of African and western musical influences, New Orleans is where jazz emerged in the late nineteenth century. These days, the city’s Jazzfest is bigger than ever: a massive house party with world-class acts performing at fairgrounds and countless venues around the city centre.
Jazz is still the main event, but you’ll also find blues, rock, funk, folk and a whole lot of other genres. Stuff your face with specialities like Cajun jambalaya and slow-cooked cochon de lait po’boy (a pork sandwich sold in a zillion variations at the festival). Grab a Sazerac (America’s first cocktail, with cognac and absinthe) and get down and boogie ‘til dawn.
Where to stay in New Orleans
Shuttle transport is available to most hotels, including the Sheraton New Orleans. If you’re on a budget, look for pocket-friendly, central hotels like French Quarter Suites and stay close to the action.Explore New Orleans hotel deals
Best time to book flights to New Orleans: 29 weeks before departure
Saving: 10% on average flight prices from the UK to New OrleansBook flights to New Orleans
Walpurgisnacht, Mount Brocken, Germany
Average temperature: 9°C
In Germany’s Harz region, would-be evils from around the land congregate on the last day of April to cosy up to the dark lord before flying off to Mount Brocken. Back in pagan times, those on the light side were busy making fires and dancing like maniacs to drive out the ne-er-do-wells, all to make ready for the Queen of Spring. These days…well, not much has changed.
Don your fancy dress and get ready to twirl around the maypole but remember your thermals for the mountain weather! Fly in to Hannover airport and set up base camp at Schierke (70 km from Hannover) for treks to Brocken, or take the slightly longer two-hour trip to Thale to educate yourself on local rituals at the Walpurgishalle museum (Hexentanzplatz 3).
Where to stay in Harz
The Harz region is populated by small towns and villages, rather than cities. If you’re heading for Schierke, the Waldschlößchen Schierke is well-located for exploring the Brocken, next to the Harz National Park, or you could pitch up in Wernigerode, one of the most central towns in the Harz region, home of the fairytale Wernigerode Castle and a good base for day trips.Find hotels in Herzberg am Harz
Best time to book flights to Hannover: 24 weeks before departure, saving 24% on average flight prices from the UK to Hannover.Find flights to Hannover
More spring holiday ideas below…
Pastel pink cherry blossoms in Japan, blankets of bluebells in the UK and cute baby deer in Canada – we’ve put together a round-up of the most life-affirming places to go and things to see as nature springs back into life.
As the snow starts to melt, these cities – and their pavement cafés – start to come back to life. If you’re looking for a new place to check off your travel bucket list, these under-the-radar destinations are well worth a peek.
Craving some heat along with your culture? Jet off to these southern cities where the sun shines year round and get your vitamin D fix early.
Keep it closer to home with our roundup of the best British destinations for a spring holiday. From camping in Cornwall to strolling the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, there’s something for every type of traveller in our list.
Weather data provided by Weather2Travel.
*Updated October 2018. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.
*Skyscanner looked at 250 million exits on flights over a three-year period to make the data as robust and accurate as possible. Our overall results should be considered as a guide for travellers. While Skyscanner has identified the average flight prices and best time to book, there will never be one date where it can guarantee that flight prices will be at their cheapest. However, there are clear trends we can see that are useful to show travellers.