4 European Vacations to Take From Philly This Spring

A balloon ride over Champagne. There’s no better time than spring for European travel. Here are our top choices from Philly. / Photograph by Pakin Songmor/Getty Images

Go with your family. Go on a whim, to try a bucket-list restaurant, or because you really deserve to sip champagne in Champagne. Whatever your reason, these experiences give you plenty of ways to take it all in. — Edited by Kristen Schott

Why Europe Right Now?

You’re not the only one who wants to jet off to Europe. “We’re seeing an uptick in clients going in the spring,” says Lux Voyage‘s Virgi Schiffino Kennedy. “Usually it’s a summer destination.” The loosening of COVID restrictions is a factor: You no longer have to deal with testing requirements when traveling to or from many European countries (or re-entering the U.S.). Airlines are increasing their flights per week, which had been limited during the pandemic. And the dollar is almost equal to the euro. “People want to take advantage of that and prepay for experiences,” Kennedy says. Regardless, she advises, buy travel insurance right away. It can cover the unexpected — like being too sick to dine at Noma. (It happened to her, but she was reimbursed thanks to her policy.) And once you’re there, travel slow: “It’s important to consider our environmental footprint, understand the culture, and be respectful.”



europe travel lisbon

A view of Lisbon with the Castelo de São Jorge in the background / Photograph by Kavalenkava Volha/iStock Photo/Getty Images

Go because you already have a layover. Stay for the views, the culture — and the month-long festival you happened on. Keep reading …



europe travel france vineyard

Champagne vineyards in Montagne de Reims / Photograph by Pakin Songmor/Getty Images

Go for the bubbles. Stay for the culinary bounty. Keep reading …



The dining room at Noma /

Go for the reservation you landed at Noma before it closes. Stay to choose your own adventure. Keep reading …



europe travel rome italy

Sunset over the Papal Basilica of St. Peter / Photograph by Nico De Pasquale Photography/Getty Images

Go for your family vacation. Stay to discover the city through the eyes of a fellow Philadelphian. Keep reading …

Not Flying Direct?

Virgi Schiffino Kennedy, of Newtown Square-based private travel concierge Lux Voyage, shares five tips on making your connections suck less.

1. Before you commit to connections, try Newark (EWR). PHL can be expensive; EWR sometimes has more affordable or direct options.

2. Be flexible. Plans can go awry, so you have to be up for an adventure. Have a long layover? If your airport is accessible by train (like Rome’s), go explore!

3. Avoid short connections. Thirty minutes between flights doesn’t leave room for unpredictability with taxiing or getting through customs. Allow an hour and a half minimum.

4. Stick with a carry-on. If you must check a bag, drop in an AirTag.

5. Splurge on a VIP greeter at international airports. They can meet you when you deplane to expedite you through customs.


Published as “European Vacation” in the March 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.