Summer has long been lauded as the best season to travel as you get to see the sights and hear the sounds of people frolicking in the sun with plazas, squares and natural wonders all lit up with natural light. Spring breakers head to the beach whilst many families go to the country but here we contest that Fall is also awesome what with mottled light, beautiful colors on the trees and pumpkin spiced everything!
For those looking at heading to Europe, it can be a real treat in its cooler months as cities become completely different places with shadows creating a different atmosphere and festivals celebrating holidays shaking up the whole experience. Here we look at 11 of the best places to visit there in the fall.
1. London – England
The British capital has long been a hotbed for tourists as they flock to see the history and modernity of a city that has aways pushed the boundaries forward but take a trip to the areas outside of the center of the capital and you may find more wonder in the fall than in the summer. Britain is notorious for its rain and cloudy weather but this is quite often over emphasized and glorious fall days which are chilly but filled with sunlight are the perfect time to visit the fringes of the city.
Head to the South East area of Greenwich, famed for its naval history, and stroll through the glorious Royal Park that has an observatory at the top that offers up a vantage point where you can see over the Old Royal Naval College, now the University of Greenwich, across the Thames and towards Canary Wharf. Head South West for the Chiswick lantern festival during certain months or go further West to enjoy the Royal Gardens of Kew as the foliage changes into bursts of bright yellows and dark reds.To the North is Hampstead Heath which is wonderful for a stroll whilst all wrapped up in a cozy overcoat. Just don’t go on about ‘fall’ as they’ll have no idea what you’re on about. The Brits call this season ‘Autumn’.
2. Dubrovnik – Croatia
A Southerly city in Croatia, Dubrovnik is famed for its old town that has baroque churches and an aristocratic palace to explore whilst the season brings classical music and food festival to the city so that much revelry can still be had during these months but don’t go expecting it to be cold like much of the rest of Europe as temperatures are likely to be in the 65-degree Fahrenheit range.
The sea is likely still warm enough to swim in if you’ve had enough of looking around the cultural treasure troves that are available to explore.
3. Berlin – Germany
Think of typical German fare (sausage, stews, soups etc.) and you’ll realize that it is perfect for the colder months as you fuel up on delicious dishes and head out into the city that contains the stunning Zoologischer Garten that will be in a period of transition, aflame with gold and reds of the leaves that are falling to the floor as well as full of exotic and wonderful animals.
In October, famous landmarks, such as Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral, are lit up in a festival of lights that illuminates some of the capital’s most gorgeous and historic monuments.
4. Lisbon – Portugal
The Mediterranean climate of Lisbon makes it sunnier and milder than many other places at this time of year so you can amble amongst the cities charming and historic streets and parklands quite comfortably but now with the added bonus of it being chestnut season where the street vendors sell them roasted by the bag as a great walking snack.
A hilly, coastal capital, there is plenty to see and do outdoors for those looking at getting some leg work in.
5. Prague – Czech republic
Cheap, well-brewed beer and great company are what the Czech Republic is renowned for and its capital is hardly short of either of these as the low angle of the sun bathes it in a warm golden light. Many public parks and walks make for beautiful scenery but a short trip out to the Kunratice Forest will see a conglomeration of mushroom pickers making the most of the seasons foraging.
Fantastic native dishes filled with cabbage, pork and potato also contribute to the feeling of warmth and hospitality at chillier times.
6. Bruges – Belgium
A fairytale city filled with medieval wonder, cobbled alleyways and tree-lined canals that reflect the changing color of the leaves in the water, it becomes almost magical in the early morning mists that rise through the streets and tiny alleys. Look up and you may even be able to spot the church spires and turrets poking through the fog as well.
If it does get too cold for you, though, it is well worth popping into one of the many shops that sell the handmade chocolates that the city specializes in.
7. Budapest – Hungary
Summer can be a little too intense in Budapest as it scorches the city but fall offers up a wealth of opportunities to get out and about with festivals of food, wine, art, music and horse-racing all abound during the season whilst pastries and sausages are a great way to keep warm or, failing that, a turn in one of the many thermal baths.
With a castle district that becomes alive with the colors of fall, it is a magical city to be in when the trees begin to shed their leaves.
8. Barcelona – Spain
Because of its hugely successful soccer team, sandy white beaches and artsy cathedrals and galleries, Barcelona is ridiculously popular in Summer and has a bit of a theme park feel to it with all the gawping crowds and screaming children. Head to there when it’s cooler and you get a calmer, more cultured vibe as festivals and events are more prominent.
The marzipan treats of panellets are only available during the fall and the sea mists from the coast make everything a little bit more mystical.
9. Edinburgh – Scotland
The greenery of Scotland is a contrast in itself as the deciduous plant life show vivid hues gold, russet, bronze, and crimson whilst the evergreen scots pine set a backdrop of permanent green to this change. The Royal Botanical Garden is a perfect place to see this whilst a walk up to Arthur’s Seat , where you can see the city from above, will warm you up.
The cafe where the first Harry Potter novel was written is also a great place to get away from the cold and not too far from the magnificent castle.
10. Florence – Italy
Another extremely popular place to visit in the summer, the crowds will thin in October, which is a shame in some senses as the museums, churches and shops remain just as magnificent if not more so/ Autumn is the time for wonderful harvest festivals all over Tuscany and not just in stunning Florence.
If nearby the region in November, it may well be worth getting to the San Miniato’s truffle festival.
11. Paris – France
What is more romantic than snuggling close together for body heat in the city of Romance as the iconic Eiffel tower is lit up and the canals shimmer in the low light? We reckon not much. Take a stroll through the beautiful gardens of Versaille or the Jardin du Luxembourg or head to one of the beautiful boutique cafes to do some people watching.
Rain and cold just offer up the chance to head into iconic art galleries like the Louvre or places like the Notre Dame cathedral.