Are you planning a city break this autumn? This is perhaps the best time of year to visit major European cities. Most places have fewer tourists in the streets, which means that the locals take over the stage. Prices are therefore usually lower, and city life becomes more authentic.
According to Countryaah, most of these cities are capitals of European nations. Here are ten suggested destinations for this fall’s city break.
In the canal city of Amsterdam, over 400,000 trees have been planted, making the city one of the greenest in Europe. All the greenery naturally transforms into a colorful and beautiful setting in the autumn. The period from September to November is therefore the best time to travel to Amsterdam for a weekend trip. The cafes, bars and restaurants are screwing up with more notches, the museums are less busy (50 of them are open at night on a weekend in November), and the festivals are in line. Bring horror-filled joy with you when the Halloween festival kicks off, then there is “horror” all over the city. Amsterdam also has many film festivals in the autumn, including the documentary film festival IDFA, On The Roof Film Festival, Metro Movies and the children’s film festival Cinekid. Autumn is also the time to taste the many bok keels (bokbier or bock) that the Dutch brew.
Taking a quick trip in the autumn to Copenhagen is extremely easy for us “mountain monkeys”. Although this is the northernmost of the cities we recommend, the climate is still nice there if you do not travel too close to Christmas. It can be a good idea to add the city break in Copenhagen to the days between mid and the end of October. Then the Danes have a traditional autumn holiday (check the calendar for exact dates, they change annually). During the autumn holidays, there are many festivals and events both indoors and outdoors, both for adults and families with children. A good example is the Culture Night, an annual event that includes more than 250 museums, libraries, churches, parks and theaters. The amusement park is also very nice to visit in the fall, especially when it’s Halloween.
Autumn in Barcelona is far less humid and hot than summer, and therefore the inhabitants wake up more to life. You see it in the streets. Suddenly there are more locals than there are tourists. The sky is still blue, and the temperature is comfortable. On the cultural front, the starting shot is fired for a number of events in the autumn. Some of these are regular, annual features, such as the Barcelona Jazz Festival, which this year is being held for the 50th time. In recent years, this festival has had a kind of offshoot, the gospel festival that starts as soon as the last jazz tones have been played. Autumn is otherwise a great time to see the monuments and sights that are packed with people or during the year, perhaps especially the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and the Gaudi House Museum.
One of the main reasons why Berlinis a huge city in extent, is the large number of parks and green areas. In addition, trees are planted along many of the prettiest streets. This gives the city a phenomenally beautiful setting when the colors change in the autumn. Just think of walking along the Unter den Linden boulevard when the linden trees are yellow and red. Autumn is also a great time to go to cafés, and in Berlin you will find many of the best in Europe. If you have children or people who are young at heart with you, this autumn’s city holiday should be spent here. For example, go to the disused airstrips at Tempelhof and look at all the kites that fly there, or buy one yourself and take part in the fun. In October, the Harry Potter festival is held in the Babelsberg film park, while from the end of September to the middle of October, the light festival “Berlin Leuchtet” is held.
Together with spring, autumn is the best time of year to visit Prague . Then the temperatures are neither too high nor low, and in the autumn months the city is not as overcrowded with tourists. Prague is rightly called the “golden city” because of its many gilded towers and spiers. They appear even more beautiful when autumn colors the many trees and green areas in the city. Autumn is also the right season to treat yourself to a strong diet and delicious beer, something you will find more than enough of in Prague’s thousands of pubs. In addition, many music and culture festivals are held in September, October and November. It often goes into jazz and classical music, something the Czechs really have a knack for.
In Rome, it is usually crowded with tourists, but the number drops drastically in the autumn. This is the best time to see the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and not least, the Vatican City with St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Church and the Sistine Chapel. Italian food is never to be despised, and of course everything tastes best during the harvest period. From the end of September until Christmas, many food and wine festivals are arranged. This is also the period when many specialties are served in the restaurants, including dishes containing exclusive truffles. In October, the famous film festival as well as the traditional antique markets that take place on the weekends are also arranged.
The Austrian capital is really nice to visit at any time, with a stable and pleasant climate almost all year round. Autumn is still best for several reasons. The number of tourists is naturally lower, and thus the prices of accommodation and experiences you should get with you also fall. Austria is also a significant wine country, and in the autumn the best bottles come to the table. In Vienna , there are many events in the fall, such as the Lange Nacht Der Museen, the night when all the museums are open. One of the funniest things to see is the Halloween party at Prater, Vienna’s legendary amusement park. The visitors dress up as zombies, ghosts, witches and so on, and drive the carousel until the cramp takes them.
The medieval city of Bruges is transformed into, if possible, even more beautiful in the autumn. The colors that are reflected in the canals and on the facades of the historic buildings make the stay a very special experience. If you want a romantic city break in September to November, Bruges is definitely among the cities that should be considered. Chocolate in all its forms is a Belgian specialty, and in the autumn it is served liquid and hot in all cafés, and in the rolling stalls you will find along the cobbled streets. Bring a cup on board one of the canal boats, and experience Bruges at its best and most beautiful.
Many people choose Munich as a destination for this autumn’s city break because of Oktoberfest. The festival is the largest in the world of its kind and attracts more than 6 million visitors every single year. However, Munich is so much more than Oktoberfest. In the autumn, the many of the city’s parks and green areas come into their own, and the temperature invites exploration. Inside the pubs, the atmosphere is good, and you mingle with Bavarian specialties, especially on the beer side. From Munich, the trip is also short to the beautiful castles of Bavaria (about 30 in number). There are food and wine festivals in the autumn that are very special.
If you go to Istanbul in the autumn, you will avoid both the often extreme heat of summer, and the cold and hard winds that can ravage the city in winter. The capital of Turkey is located on two continents, with a European and an Asian part. The meeting point between several cultures makes its mark on the city, with districts that are totally different from each other. Bring good shoes and experience the cozy streets, often with delicious smells from bazaars and restaurants you pass on the way. Autumn is also the time for festivals in Istanbul, as well as the main season for wine, fish and other seafood.