Marvellous choices for city breaks in March

If you're not sure how to spend the Easter bank holiday, why not go on a springtime escape to one of these destinations? It's always a good idea to go on city breaks in March and April, when the weather is getting warmer but prices are still low and crowds are still thin. Don't forget to book a holiday letting for convenient self-catering facilities and plenty of comfy space for you and your travel buddies.

Explore Krakow's mesmerising medieval core

A budget-friendly destination all throughout the year, Krakow especially makes for an enjoyable Easter city break since there are fewer visitors in spring. The city's UNESCO-listed historic centre is fantastically well preserved, and the medieval buildings are really a sight to behold. Rynek Glowny is Europe's largest market square, next to which stands St Mary's Basilica. This 13th-century church boasts stunning baroque interiors, and its Veit Stoss altarpiece is a national treasure and the largest Gothic altarpiece in the world. Kazimierz, Krakow's pre-war Jewish quarter, is now a buzzing area with trendy bars, boutiques and art galleries. Meanwhile, Wawel Hill is the site of the Royal Castle and Cathedral, where many Polish monarchs were crowned as well as buried.

Check out the springtime cherry blossom season in Tokyo

Tokyo city breaks in March and April are very popular because these months comprise cherry blossom, or sakura, season. If you're going to jet off to the Japanese capital, you may as well do it when blankets of delicate pink blooms add a gorgeous layer to Tokyo's already arresting cityscape. Just remember that throngs of other travellers – including many from other parts of Japan – will also visit Tokyo in the spring, so you'll likely be contending with a slew of selfie sticks in prime sakura-spotting sites such as Shinjuku Gyo-en and Ueno Park. It's worth it though, especially when you're also getting the chance to visit Japan's time-worn temples, explore hip districts like Shibuya and sample the scrumptious local fare. To ensure that you'll arrive in time to see the sakura, you can look up cherry blossom forecasts online before booking your flights and holiday rental.

Visit Valletta for historic sites and watery adventures

Malta's capital city, Valletta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a goldmine of baroque architecture. The Upper Barrakka Gardens overlook the harbour and are a popular spot for photography, while the National War Museum is located in historic Fort Saint Elmo at the tip of the peninsula. You can also visit the 16th-century St John's Co-Cathedral, which looks quite unremarkable on the outside but features intricate interiors, as well as Caravaggio's famous painting, 'The Beheading of St John the Baptist'. There are plenty of seaside activities to be enjoyed in Malta, of course, and you can make the hour-long drive to Cirkewwa ferry terminal and catch Comino-bound boats for snorkelling in the Blue Lagoon. Or, you can opt to visit buzzing beach areas like Golden Bay and Mellieha Bay.

Touch down in San Jose for a fun Costa Rica city break

Sure, San Jose isn't necessarily one of the big-hitting destinations in Costa Rica. That said, even if you're flying in for rainforest adventures in Monteverde or beachside bliss in Jaco or Tamarindo, it's still worth spending a couple of days in the Costa Rican capital. Top attractions here include the 19th-century National Theatre of Costa Rica and the pre-Columbian Gold Museum. In atmospheric Barrio Amon, you'll find colourful, historic mansions that now house a modern mix of restaurants, galleries and offices, while Barrio Escalante's restaurants, bakeries and bars serve up a slice of foodie paradise. April is at the tail end of Costa Rica's dry season, so you can expect excellent weather and lower prices that are no longer in the peak season range.

Create lovely springtime memories in Crete

The largest of Greece's islands offers pleasant spring temperatures hovering around 20 degrees, though you'll need to put on extra layers in the evenings. Heraklion, Crete's capital, is a great option for a city break in March and April, when the mercury's already rising but the peak-season crowds haven't arrived yet. Attractions in the city include Heraklion Archaeological Museum, one of the biggest of its kind in the country, and the Bronze Age settlement of Knossos. If you want a Crete city break with easy access to beautiful, unspoilt beaches, set your sights on Sitia, the island's easternmost city. Sitia also has its share of archeological sites, plus a small, charming harbour and Europe's largest natural palm forest on Vai Beach.