Easter is one of our favourite times to travel and this is why we decided to compile a list of the best Easter holiday destinations in the world.
We love to travel during Easter for many reasons. First of all, Easter is in spring and the latter is by far the optimal season to plan a trip. Spring means long days, warm weather and nature looking prettier than ever. Also, we love to travel at Easter because this is one of the best opportunities to get acquainted with the traditions and customs of the destinations we’re visiting.
In this list, we have included our very own most favourite destination for an unforgettable Easter vacation, which is Bologna in Italy. All other destinations on this list are suggestions by our travel blogger friends who were kind enough to share with us their own favourite places to visit at Easter. Enjoy!
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The featured image was kindly provided by and belongs to Gabi of The Tiny Book.
21 Best Easter Holiday Destinations
1. Bologna, Italy
Italy is by far one of the best Easter holiday destinations. Not only because it’s, well, Italy, which means splendid weather, mouthwatering food, exceptional art and superb nature, but also because it is a country with centuries-old Christian traditions that are worth checking out.
We spend our Easter holidays in Italy almost every year. One of our favourite places to go for Easter is Bologna, the largest city in the stunning Emilia Romagna region and the country’s indisputable food capital. Bologna is a historical city with many treasures to discover and a unique laid-back feeling, so worth a visit any time of year. However, it is at Easter that Bologna becomes all the more charming.
During the Easter holidays, locals and visitors alike come together to fill the streets of the historic centre with laughter and joyful vibes. People buy for themselves or as gifts the traditional Colomba, a delicious Easter cake in the shape of a dove, as well as chocolate eggs of all sizes. On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, almost all churches hold Easter masses and processions.
Easter Sunday is more of a family affair in Italy with people staying at home to spend quality time with their loved ones. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for visitors, though. On Easter Sunday, you get to have Bologna almost to yourselves. So grab your cameras and start wandering around the tranquil Italian city while snapping the best shots of your entire trip.
The ultimate highlight of spending Easter in Bologna, though, takes place on Easter Monday (Lunedi dell’Angelo or Pasquetta in Italian). On this day, locals and tourists as well as nuns and monks from all over the world flock to St Luke’s Sanctuary to pay their respects to the saint or even have a lovely picnic on the grass around the church.
The Santuario di San Luca is built atop a hill overlooking the city. To get to the top, one needs to walk (or should I say climb) a beautiful 4km portico, the longest in the world. It is no piece of cake but the views from the top to Bologna and the surrounding countryside are spectacular. So, if you want to celebrate Easter in Bologna like locals, adding St Luke’s Sanctuary to your itinerary is an absolute must.
2. Malaga, Spain
By Joanna of The World In My Pocket
In Spain, especially in Andalucia, Easter is celebrated with many festivities and processions that last for an entire week. The processions start in Malaga 7 days before Easter, with hundreds of Brotherhoods taking over the city’s streets, carrying religious statues on their shoulders. Each church in Malaga has their own processions which depart on a particular day during the Holy Week towards the main Cathedral in the city and then back. There are around 40 processions.
If you are travelling to Malaga on a budget, you should know that watching the Easter processions is one of the free things to do in Malaga during the Holy Week. Some processions are more spectacular than others, with people taking part in them wearing the traditional capirote – a tall cone covering their faces. They also wear black and purple belted robes. The women who follow in the procession wear black clothes and lace veils.
Whilst you can reserve a seat in the front row for about 60 euros for the entire week (you need to do it months in advance), for a free view of the procession head over to the Tribuna de los Pobres (The Poor People’s Tribune), which is located on Calle Carreteira and which has great views towards the processions. Do go early to catch a seat.
Processions usually start at around 2PM, with some ending in the early hours of the morning. The men are carrying large floats covered with flowers and candles, depicting different sculptures of Jesus and Virgin Mary but also giant thrones.
Some of the most spectacular processions are Los Gitanos (the gypsy community is joining in with traditional dances and songs), Las Penas (Virgin Mary’s cloak is made out of fresh flowers), La Paloma (white doves fly along the procession), La Esperanza (the heaviest float weights 5 tonnes), Las Servitas (an evening silent procession in which lights are turned off on the streets it passes by).
A fun fact you should know is that pretty often the local born Antonio Banderas joins the big events in Malaga. This year, he turned on the Christmas lights. So, by attending the Easter processions you might get a chance to see him.
3. Berlin, Germany
By Sarah of Fernwehsarah
Spring and especially Easter is a great time to visit Berlin. While the summer months can get really crowded with tourists, Berlin is not too busy during Easter.
There are a lot of events in the city at any time but Easter brings the Easter Knights Festival in Spandau. In 2020, the event will run from the 11th of April to the 13th of April at the citadel. There’ll be a historic market with medieval music, lots of food stalls and dancers, jugglers and fire spitters. If you visit, you definitely have to try some traditional German flat sour bread and drink some German beer.
The festival costs 12€ entrance for adults (9€ if you come historically dressed!) and it includes the entrance into the citadel’s tower and the museum. There’s also a family ticket for 30€ that is valid for two adults and two children and it’s 100% worth the fun.
Since you are already in Berlin, make sure to check out other typical things to do in Berlin such as visiting Alexanderplatz, Brandenburg Gate and Gendarmenmarkt, doing a Berlin bunker tour and dining in the TV Tower too. After all, your waiting times at these top sites will be much lower than in the summertime.
You may even be able to get a spot to visit the Reichstag’s Dome for free without having to apply weeks in advance. Oh and just in case you get hungry again – there’s a big spring market on Alexanderplatz during Easter with lots of traditional German food and drinks!
4. Taxco, Mexico
By James of Travel Collecting
Taxco, a small hillside town in central Mexico, is one of the most interesting places in the world to experience Easter. The town, with its steep cobblestone streets, ornate churches and silversmith and silver markets, is worth a visit any time of the year. However, at Easter, it becomes truly unique. The week before Easter is the Semana Santa (Holy Week) and it is celebrated in a very particular way in Taxco.
An old Catholic tradition is to pay penitence for your sins and this has taken hold in a serious way in Taxco. The Holy Week starts simply enough on Palm Sunday with a procession of large crowds of people holding small figures made of palm fronds.
Each subsequent day, there are processions through the narrow streets in which statues of the main biblical characters are carried from churches in the surrounding villages through the streets. The processions are designed to represent enactments of scenes from the days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection.
However, the most fascinating thing is the accompanying daily and nightly processions of penitents. Hooded men, stripped naked to the waist and wearing baggy black pants, carry large bundles of thorny sticks on outstretched arms. Other hooded penitents whip themselves with thorns until their backs are large bleeding wounds.
Women, covered in lace veils, stagger bent over, with chained legs, holding candles. More men drag heavy chains and carry enormous crosses, stooping deeply under the weight. Boys wave smoking incense until the air is thick with smoke. The daily processions are gruesome displays of penitence that the locals participate in every year. It is off-putting and fascinating at the same time. It is definitely a unique Easter experience!
5. Stellenbosch, South Africa
By Campbell & Alya of Stingy Nomads
Stellenbosch, a small town in the Winelands region of South Africa, is the perfect place to go during the Easter holidays. The area is famous for its great wines, fine restaurants, breathtaking scenery and several wildlife experiences. There are many things to do in Stellenbosch at Easter weekend. It’s just difficult to choose where to go and what to do.
Many wine estates arrange special Easter activities like wine and chocolate eggs pairing, Easter markets, special menus, Easter egg hunts for children, etc. Easter weekend in Stellenbosch is filled with activities for both adults and their kids. Searching for paper Easter eggs that are hidden in the animal farm among cute bunnies running around in the grass is one of the children’s favourite activities. At the end of the hunt, the collected paper eggs can be swapped for edible chocolate marshmallow eggs.
For adults, there is a wine hunt at Ken Forrester Estate. The task is to find three hidden Easter bunnies during the tasting. The winner gets a free bottle of wine. Chocolate and wine pairing is quite a popular tasting option at many farms but for Easter, some places like Spier Wine Estate offer bubbly wine and chocolate egg pairing.
Local markets always prepare something special for the holiday. For instance, Route 44 weekend market offers egg hunts, egg decorating and special Easter menu. Some places go even further and arrange special theme parties for Easter. For instance, Alice in Wonderland or Gretel & Hansel versions. Regardless of age, everybody will be able to find a great way to spend the Easter weekend in Stellenbosch.
By Ellis of Backpack Adventures
One great destination to visit during Easter is Uzbekistan. They do not celebrate Easter as we know it, but they have their own spring festival called Nowruz. This Zoroastrian tradition goes far back to the ancient Persian civilisation and is celebrated all over Central Asia. This festival is all about the new year and the beginning of spring. There are striking similarities with the Easter holidays suggesting that both had the same origins.
One tradition during Nowruz, for example, is that the family gathers around a table with several symbols including brightly coloured eggs. For visitors to Uzbekistan these private rituals at home are hidden from view. What you will see are the elaborate festivities on the streets, including national game competitions, folk music and dance performances. It’s a time when people are out and about to enjoy the warmer temperatures.
Easter is thus a joyful time to visit Uzbekistan. It also happens to be the best time to visit the country if it comes to the weather. The cold winter days are gone, but the summer heat hasn’t started yet, allowing you to explore the Silk Road cities in comfort.
The mosques and madrassas in cities like Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara bring you back to the times when traders with their camel caravans passed through. Their legacy made Uzbekistan rich in history and culture. Nowadays the friendly people are still welcoming to foreign travellers that want to explore the beauty of their country.
7. Crete, Greece
By Gabi of The Tiny Book
It is a great idea to visit the Greek islands during Easter since it’s the most important celebration in the Orthodox calendar. If you go to an island as big as Crete, you will witness what a heartfelt celebration Easter is there and no matter where you stay in Crete, Easter is an experience you will never forget.
Preparations begin five weeks before Pascha (Easter in Greek) on Clean Monday (or Kathara Deftera). This day marks the start of Lent. For 49 days many people avoid meat, fish (seafood is allowed), eggs and dairy. Megali Evdomada is the week that leads up to Easter. During this period, people attend daily church services while kids and moms dye eggs in red (a colour that reminds of the blood of Jesus). In every home, baking is at its best.
The traditional Easter sweet of Crete is Lychnarakia, a delicious small round pie filled with myzithra, a local creamy goat cheese. Good Friday is an important mourning day which culminates at night with the Epitafios, Christ’s funeral procession along the streets.
On Easter Saturday, Cretan villages are alive with activity. Children go about gathering wood to prepare a bonfire to burn outside the church after the night service. Right before midnight, all lights in church are turned off to mark the death of Jesus. Then, at the stroke of midnight, the priest announces that Jesus is risen (Xristos Anesti) and the Holy Flame is lit. All candles held by the congregation light one after the other as people share the flame. It’s a very moving moment.
As the bells of the church toll, the celebration begins. The bonfire burns while fireworks crack in every corner of the island. This also marks the end of fasting. Finally, on Easter Sunday, families and friends gather to share the Easter table. In Crete, it’s a joyful celebration in which everyone eats, drinks, sings and dances.
8. Seville, Spain
By Chrysoula of Travel Passionate
If you’re seeking somewhere cultural and memorable for your next Easter break, why not choose a destination that really celebrates this festival in style, with street parades and ceremonies? Semana Santa, aka Holy Week, in Seville is one of the largest celebrations in the country with the whole town coming together in remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Taking place in the week leading up to Easter, Semana Santa features grand processions of effigies of Jesus, depicting the story of The Passion Of The Christ. These processions last around 12 hours, with sombre, devout locals carrying the floats through the streets to the sound of angst-ridden acapella songs.
Another striking feature of Santa Semana is the nazarenos, a group of robed participants who walk through the city repenting their sins. While their white robes are fairly non-descript, their pointed white hoods (capirote) make them look as though they are part of the KKK! Fear not though, there is no connection between the two groups.
Women also wear their own interesting headpieces during this festival but, instead of pointed hoods, they adopt exquisite black lace veils known as La Mantilla. Witnessing these festivities is a truly unforgettable experience and while the processions are quite sombre, they are still very moving.
9. Wroclaw, Poland
By Karolina of Lazy Travel Blog
With its vibrant traditions and beautiful architecture, Wroclaw is probably one of the best Easter holiday destinations. One of the best times to visit Wroclaw in Poland is during one of its most important occasions, Easter. It is here that Easter is taken so seriously that a glimpse at the festivities can be considered a must-visit attraction on top of its collection of hidden dwarves, bridges and gothic architecture.
The week before Easter, you will witness the creativity of the Polish people as they fill the city with palms in preparation for Palm Sunday, which is 7 days before Easter. In a country where it is too cold for palms to grow, it is quite fascinating to see how, with faith and ingenuity, people make artificial palm trees made of native trees like box, willow, yew and olive, which suddenly take over the city of Wroclaw.
If you arrive during this week, you can probably watch people make them or perhaps find out the winner of the annual artificial palm competition. On Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, you will find lines of people outside the church, waiting to have their baskets of food blessed in preparation for Easter Sunday’s first meal.
On Holy Sunday, aside from the well-wishing and blessings that occur around the table during this time, the meal is made even more special by the food. From the Polish Rye Soup and a beautifully decorated dessert pie called Mazurek, all forms of traditional dishes are passed around the table. As this is usually done in a family setting, the best way to experience this is by booking an Easter package at one of the hotels in Wroclaw.
The next day, Easter Monday, before leaving Wroclaw, feel like a child again by joining a tradition called Śmigus Dyngus, a day of public water fights. So, remember to pack that water pistol in preparation for an authentic Easter celebration in Wroclaw.
10. Cartagena, Colombia
By Adam of Cartagena Explorer
Colombia’s most popular destination, the city of Cartagena de Indias, is located on its Caribbean coast. It was once a major trading port in the Spanish Empire and is perhaps most well-known for its colonial era walls and fortifications and charming architecture. Easter makes for a nice time to visit. The weather is warm all year round, so if it’s not quite beach weather in your neck of the woods, it will be in Cartagena. As a predominately Catholic country, the pretty colonial era churches also have masses and Easter celebrations.
However, one of the neatest Easter traditions in Cartagena are the traditional homemade sweets. Throughout the weeks leading up to Easter, you’ll find stands set up around town and in malls selling these traditional sweets. All of them are made from fruit typical to the coast. There are usually a number of tables set up right around the city’s iconic Clock Tower.
My personal favourite is the jalea de tamarindo which is like a sweet and sour cream with the seeds of the tamarind. You’ll also find sweets made with coconut, mango, pineapple, guava and even some from vegetables like Ñame, a root plant somewhat similar to sweet potato.
Trying some of these sweets in addition to the great seafood always on offer in Cartagena is the best reason to travel to Cartagena during Easter. Do note that the city tends to get crowded, so you’ll want to decide where to stay in Cartagena and book well in advance.
11. Krakow, Poland
By Veronika of Travel Geekery
Easter as a Christian tradition is best celebrated in countries where the majority of people are Christian. That makes Krakow and basically the whole of Poland an ideal Easter break destination. Visiting Krakow for Easter will give you the fair share of Easter markets and church masses. The main square, Rynek Glowny, is the liveliest spot during Easter. However, it never feels crowded since it’s so large!
The best thing to do at Krakow Easter markets is just to stroll around and eat your heart out. For instance, try the Polish version of stuffed dumplings called Pierogy. If you’re a meat eater, you’ll find plenty of sausages (called Kiełbasa) to choose from. Flush it down with Tyskie beer, an original Polish brand. Other than food and drinks, the markets feature handicrafts, so you can buy cute handmade souvenirs to bring back home.
In 2020, the Easter markets are put up 2 weeks before Easter and will stay open until Easter Monday. Whether you’re religious or not, the atmosphere in churches during the Easter masses is wonderful and everybody is welcome to visit. Masses are usually held twice a day during the Easter holiday. You can find the exact schedule near each church’s entrance.
12. Paris, France
By Lena of Salut From Paris
When thinking about a good location to spend Easter, Paris should be high on everyone’s list. It’s the time when spring is holding France’s capital in a tight hug. All parks are in bloom and the terraces are full of colour. Life finally happens outside again. Easter – Pâques in French – is peak season for everyone with a sweet tooth.
Famous Parisian chocolatiers like Pierre Hermé or Patrick Roger offer special Easter creations of their high quality chocolate. Those are more like pieces of art than chocolate and even if you’re not keen on spending crazy dollars on sweets, they are worth checking out. Don’t be surprised though to find many in the shape of a bell. In France, it’s not the Easter Bunny that brings the chocolates, but the Easter Bells (cloches)!
The bells hide chocolates, even in many public parks. The biggest chocolate hunts take place in Parc André Citroen, Parc de Buttes-Chaumont or the Jardin d’Acclimatation. They are very popular Easter events for children and a must attend when visiting Paris for Easter. But Easter in Paris is not only an event for the little ones. It’s also the best time to attend a classical concert. The concerts hosted at the stunning Sainte Chapelle are legendary. But be quick as they sell out fast.
13. Sicily, Italy
By Annabel of Smudged Postcard
There are many wonderful reasons to visit Sicily at Easter. The weather is delightful. Not too hot for sightseeing but warm enough to dine al fresco and enjoy time at the seaside. However, the most significant reason to visit Sicily at Easter is to witness one of the many fascinating festivals which take place across the island.
Some of the most well-known festivals take place in the island’s capital, Palermo. The most popular town in Sicily, Taormina, also has an Easter procession. However, visitors should also consider going off the beaten path to locations such as Trapani in the west and Enna in the centre of the island.
Although a long drive from both Palermo and Catania (the two main airports in Sicily), Enna is definitely worth the drive. During Settimana Santa, processions take place through the town culminating at the Cathedral. Locals in sombre outfits parade through the streets and shops are filled with seasonal delicacies.
Of course, Sicily at Easter is a delight even for visitors whose interests in religious festivals may be minimal. There are incredible Ancient Greek and Roman ruins to explore and the stunning clifftop town of Taormina is at its best in spring before it is filled with tourists later in the year. The best way to visit the many interesting parts of the island is to do a Sicily road trip.
14. Amsterdam & Keukenhof Garden, The Netherlands
By Darek of Darek And Gosia
Every year, Easter trips are becoming more and more popular. This is a great opportunity to relax and have a great time with your loved ones. Where is the best place to spend Easter holidays this year? We believe it’s Amsterdam! The city is interesting and it is really worth visiting in early spring. There is a lot to choose from, so you certainly won’t be bored. This old and beautiful city where different cultures and nationalities mix seamlessly has become a unique place that is unlike any other in the world.
If you love flowers, no doubt the best time of year to visit Amsterdam will be Easter. It should be remembered that flowers in the Netherlands begin to bloom very early. The whole of April and sometimes even earlier, you can admire tulips and hyacinths of various colours and shades and enjoy their beautiful scent.
Make sure to book a trip to Keukenhof Gardens too. It’s totally worth it! Every year, a growing number of people decide to give up the traditional form of celebrating Easter, setting off on a journey that can provide a lot of amazing great new experiences. Are you one of them? If yes, then don’t think any longer. Book a trip to Amsterdam and spend the most colourful Easter ever!
15. Ephesus, Turkey
By Rai of A Rai Of Light
During the festivities of Easter, many of the country’s historical churches and shrines offer a special service. Referred to in Turkish as Paskalye, the date of this holiday was first deliberated in Turkey’s Iznik region at the First Council of Nicaea, where Christian Bishops assembled way back in 325 AD. The highlight of this period is celebrating Easter at the House of the Virgin Mary in the ancient city of Ephesus, with a history and culture going just as far back.
Many consider it an honour to celebrate the religious significance of this day and the resurrection of Jesus in the very home where his mother spent her final days. The House, a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos in Ephesus, holds special services throughout the Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday. You can look forward to the Great Vigil of Easter service with the Lighting of the Pascal Fire and two services of the Mass of Resurrection.
Other historical churches with celebrations include the Church of St. Mary Draperis and the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Istanbul, but no matter where in the country you go there is bound to be an Easter service of some sort.
16. Zaragoza, Spain
By Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
Zaragoza, the capital of Aragón, is a largely underrated destination in Spain, both during Semana Santa (Easter week) and at other times of the year. It offers a beautiful basilica, a fantastic bar and restaurant scene and far fewer crowds than Seville and other more popular cities.
While in the past few years the local government has made efforts to attract tourists to the city’s Semana Santa celebrations, this has been mostly aimed at domestic tourists. If you venture here, you’re unlikely to see many other foreigners, making Semana Santa in Zaragoza a very authentic Spanish experience.
The oldest and most important procession here is the Procesión General del Santo Entierro or General Procession of the Holy Burial. It leaves from the Iglesia de Santa Isabel de Portugal on Good Friday and all 25 of the city’s brotherhoods participate. It’s the longest procession in all of Spain.
But if you can’t make it for Good Friday, don’t worry, about 50 processions are held throughout the week. Other major ones include the Procesión de las Palmas (Palm Procession) on Palm Sunday, the Procesión de las Lágrimas (Procession of Tears) on Holy Tuesday and the Procesión del Encuentro (Procession of the Meeting) on Holy Wednesday.
In the latter, one brotherhood carries a float with a statue of Jesus carrying the cross, while another carries a float with a statue of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary. The two brotherhoods cross paths at midnight in Plaza del Pilar, allowing the two statues to meet. Symbolically, this represents the moment when Jesus saw his mother on his way to Calvary.
The most distinctive feature of Zaragoza’s processions is the booming sound of the drums that accompany them. There are about 16,000 members of the brotherhoods and about 4,000 drums. That’s one for every fourth participant!
17. Copenhagen, Denmark
By Derek and Mike of Everything Copenhagen
One of the best times to visit Copenhagen is for an Easter trip. The city slows down a bit for the actual holiday, but there’s still plenty to do as any Copenhagen spring guide will tell you. During Easter, you should head to Tivoli Gardens for family fun.
The beautiful amusement park in the shadow of Copenhagen’s City Hall is full of lush landscaping and all the traditional rides, games and excitement. At Easter, there are extra kids’ activities and events that celebrate the spring opening of the park. The best of these is an Easter egg hunt across the entire amusement park.
Adults should make sure they sample the annual Easter beer. It’s brewed by the Danish beer company, Tuborg and called paskebryg (Easter brew). You can find it at most pubs, restaurants and grocery stores. In fact, for Easter Sunday, you could have one over brunch because most Copenhagen restaurants remain open during the holiday. It’s easy to find a traditional Danish Easter meal and celebrate with locals over brunch.
While Denmark is a mostly secular country, there are many churches where you can visit for an Easter service. The largest denomination is Lutheran and there are some beautiful churches in Copenhagen to consider. For a fun twist, you can head to the Church of Our Saviour, also known as the spiral church. There you can climb the church’s gilded spire where they’ve built an exterior staircase around the spiral tower atop the church. On a clear day you can see across the Sound to Sweden!
18. Sardinia, Italy
By Iris of Mind Of A Hitchhiker
If you’ve ever baked bread, you know it’s not so easy to shape the dough into something recognizable. Then when it comes out of the oven it is usually some shapeless blob. It still tastes great, though. Sardinia is an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea where they’ve hacked the conundrum of making bread into remarkable shapes.
To show off their master baking skills, they often bake an egg along with the intricate bread designs (Sardinian: coccói cun s’ou). The meaning of the egg in the bread wreaths is the arrival of spring and the fertility that comes with it, which has Pagan origins. You probably guessed it. The bread represents Christ. For the same reasons, Sardinians will also bake a similar kind of bread called coccói de is sposus for a newlywed couple.
I was very impressed with the loaf in the picture. I found it at a market in Alghero in northwest Sardinia during the final days of Easter. Apparently, the designs even get much more elaborate than this. The pretty city of Alghero itself also gets dressed up for Holy Week (Chida Santa). Almost every day there are processions with Christ statues and reenactments, with joyous celebrations towards the end.
Lots of places and businesses will be closed during the holiest days, so make sure you’re not too dependent on shop owners and restaurants. Your hotelier or host will likely have good tips on when and where to go for the processions. Make sure to also try other Sardinian sustenance like fregula, seadas, malloreddus and the best regional wines while you’re on the island. During Easter, Sardinia can still be quite cold and wet, so pack for the forecast. You’ll be planning a return trip to the island during a different season in no time!
19. Rome, Italy
By Kieren of Got My Backpack
Rome is quite literally the Holy Grail when it comes to places to visit at Easter. Experience week-long celebrations from Palm Sunday, when Pilgrims flock to St Peters Square with huge palm leaves, right through to Easter Monday which sees families mark the occasion with an outdoor picnic.
The main event takes place on Easter Friday with a huge candlelit procession to the Colosseum (known as Via Crucis) which has been a regular occurrence since the 18th century. The procession is led by the Pope himself along with a giant burning cross to guide the way. Whilst this event attracts pilgrims from all over the world, even for non-believers it’s still an incredible experience.
A traditional Easter dinner in Rome is Abbacchio a Scottadito. This is essentially crispy lamb ribs served with artichokes. You’ll notice that most restaurants will be serving it as specials across the week. Also look out for Colomba, a traditional Italian Easter cake which has been fermented for over 30 hours. Easter Monday is also a huge deal in Rome. With most of the shops still closed, locals head to the parks outside the city to enjoy a big picnic with their families.
The only downside is that Rome can be extremely busy during Easter, especially as the holidays of European schools fall during that period too. You should also watch out for certain attractions being closed on bank holidays, such as the Vatican Museums.
20. Moscow, Russia
By Yulia of That’s What She Had
If you ever thought that getting a time machine to keep celebrating your favourite holidays is a cool idea, I’ve got good news for you. The only thing you need to do is buy a plane ticket to Russia. Easter in my homeland is celebrated a week or two later than in the rest of the world. This happens because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the Julian Calendar, while Roman Catholic and protestant churches use the Gregorian Calendar.
If you visit Moscow for Easter, you can witness a service at one of the beautiful Orthodox churches. It’s best to choose a smaller neighbourhood church than a popular one like the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Even though the latter can accommodate up to ten thousand people, getting in on a big holiday is almost impossible. Mind you, the service starts the evening before and goes on all night long. And, unlike in Catholic churches, there are no benches inside. One has to stand for hours.
Not to sound shallow, but my favourite part of Easter is all the food. First of all, there are brightly-coloured eggs. Once everyone picks an egg, friends and family members hit each other’s eggs. If you manage to break another person’s egg but yours remains intact, you win. Although there are no prizes to win but pride.
Then there’s kulich, Easter bread covered in sugar icing. And, of course, paskha, a cottage cheese cake. While traditionally Easter is celebrated at home, many people nowadays choose to have a celebratory breakfast or brunch at a restaurant. Many Russian restaurants in Moscow have a special Easter menu on the day, with creative takes on kulich and paskha.
21. Strasbourg, France
By Elisa of France Bucket List
Strasbourg in Eastern France is the capital of the historical region of Alsace and also the capital of the French Region of Grand Est. Its good connections to Paris or Frankfurt by train, interesting history and beautiful heritage make Strasbourg an excellent destination for a weekend getaway during Easter.
Explore the Grand Ile, Strasbourg’s historical center, with the main tourist attractions such as the Gothic Cathedral or the picturesque quarter of La Petite France. This was the tanners’ neighbourhood. It is home to little water channels and it stills keeps its traditional and colourful architecture.
You can also taste the traditional cuisine. The Alsatian cuisine is hearty, with strong influences from Germany and wide use of pork, potatoes and fresh cream. There are some popular, yummy dishes like the choucroute (sauerkraut) or the flammekueche that you just cannot miss.
Apart from the tourist attractions that can be seen all year round, people visiting Strasbourg during Easter will also find Easter specific activities. Of course, there are the religious services in the Cathedral and other churches in the city but also the Easter Village with food, music, children’s entertainment and the traditional egg hunt.
Last but not least, if you can extend your trip to Strasbourg for one day or two, don’t hesitate to hit the road to visit a couple of fairytale villages in Alsace. You can also visit some of these villages on day tours from Strasbourg.
Ready to plan a trip to one of the best Easter holiday destinations?
We hope we managed to inspire you to plan an Easter getaway with all these amazing Easter vacation ideas. After all, Easter is the ideal time to plan a short (or longer) trip when you have a full-time job. By taking advantage of the Easter weekend, you can enjoy more time travelling while using up less paid vacation days.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your perfect Easter escape now!
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