Fall is a special season. When the leaves turn red and yellow, people also turn to be more relaxed. Throughout Europe there are many beautiful places that are particularly worth a weekend trip in autumn. In a short fall weekend getaway, you can feel this particular vibe, where winter announces itself and nature transforms its appearance. Whether you want to shop, enjoy nature, feel history or try the regional and seasonal cuisine.
Europe in the fall
One of the best countries to visit in fall is Spain, especially the South coast. Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol invite you, to escape wet fall weather and get some sun. With a lot of sun hours and beach weather until mid of October, this place really rules if you want to stay close around in Europe. Prices are moderate and the food is incredible. Lots of influences in history formed a diverse and rich culinary portfolio.
Autumn city breaks
Another plus is that flights in autumn* are quiet cheap, because it is off season. You can make good deals and experience the places less crowded than during the summer months.
Here are 28 recommendations of the most beautiful places around Europe for an autumn getaway.
Paris is magical any time of year, but autumn might be my favorite. The crowds of spring and summer have mostly dissipated, so churches and museums are mostly frequented by locals enjoying the passing of high tourist season. While spring and summer breaks often leave visitors unable to get more than a passing glance of the most famous sites of Paris, autumn brings a calm that allows visitors to drink in the charm of the city, leaving plenty of time to linger in the many cafes.
Autumn is typically also a welcome change from the oppressive heat and humidity common through the warmer months. The leaves are beginning to turn along the Seine and the crispness in the air is perfect for settling in over decadent meals and fresh pastries.
When visiting Paris in autumn, be sure to take lengthy strolls through beautiful St. Germain, usually overtaken by other visitors. Grab warm crepes and chocolat chaud, and leisurely stop by famous works of art – and maybe even have them all to yourself.
A place I try to visit every time that I have a weekend off is Malta. I lived there in the past and I am always happy to return visiting friends. Despite it being a small island, I am always experiencing something new in the places that I already saw so many times, making every time a special time.
I like in particular the autumn period. First of all, it is the shoulder season of the peak period, so that the main attractions like Valletta or the best beaches are not as packed as in the months before. The weather is also more clement, as temperatures are warm, but not as during the summer. Until late October you can also have nice swims in the sea while you were almost freezing the day before.
So take a low-cost flight to Malta, rent a car, and tour the island, you will have plenty of things to see and do in a weekend, from culture, to beaches, to good food, to wild nightlife.
If the combination of fall foliage, countless museums, exquisite architecture, and the most exciting coffee (and desserts) culture sounds dreamy to you, then Vienna is the autumn destination for you.
The perfect spot to enjoy fall foliage in Vienna is the Schönbrunn park and gardens where the orange, yellow, and brown tones emerge in all their glory. When you feel like warming up a bit and absorb some culture and history, go to one of the city’s museums like the Museum of Art History (the Kunsthistorisches Museum) or visit a historical landmark like Vienna’s State Opera.
If you prefer warming up with a cup of coffee, Vienna has more than enough palace-like coffeehouses where you can indulge Viennese coffee and some apple strudel (or other delicious cakes).
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Fall is one of the most magical and enchanting seasons in Amsterdam. During this time, the leaves on the trees that line the canals turn golden and fall to the ground, and the cafes and restaurants become cozy and intimate. When the leaves fall off the trees, all the stunning Amsterdam houses are exposed, and you are then able to see them along the canals without the trees int the way!
There is also a ton of fun events that take place in the fall in Amsterdam. One of the biggest is the Amsterdam Dance Event, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the world to enjoy the electronic music scene in the dance capital of the world.
More so, in the fall the city hosts its annual museums night which allows visitors to party and explore the various museums in the city until 2 in the morning. Finally, the multiple cafes in the city start offering tasty and unique warm drinks and treats to enjoy while admiring the city.
Amsterdam in the fall is an experience you do not want to miss.
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
The Bohemian region of the Czech Republic is a delight to visit during autumn. The crowds are receding and the weather is warm but no longer hot. Popular tours and shows are at their fag end but still ongoing. And you’ll find cheaper accommodations than if you came during summer.
Český Krumlov, a town in the South Bohemian Region, is my recommended destination, even more so than the Czech capital, Prague. The town is compact, cosy and easily covered in a weekend.
The Český Krumlov castle is also one of the prettiest I’ve seen, and the best part is, you can stroll inside any time of the day or night; the grounds are always open. The town also has the quaintest stores and eateries. It’s very own beer and wines too! It’s a Unesco World Heritage Site and truly a warped-in-time-fairy-tale-land.
Text by Carly of Papers and Airplanes
Rome is known for its history, food, and shopping. It’s a beautiful city filled with ancient landmarks, delicious cuisine, and unique goods. When travelers think of visiting the Italian capital, they often imagine eating Gelato and sipping on a spritz in the hot summer sun. However, there are many benefits to visiting Rome in autumn.
First, since most people tend to visit during the summer, there are far fewer tourists in the city in the fall. This means shorter lines, quieter monuments, and less crowded city streets.
Second, the weather is very pleasant in Rome during autumn. The stifling heat of the summer has subsided, but the chill of winter has yet to arrive. Cue sunny days and mild temperatures perfect for exploring the city.
Third, depending on the time of the season, you could be treated to some lovely fall colors, particularly if you take a stroll through the Villa Borghese gardens.
Finally, that classic Italian cuisine is all the more enjoyable in the fall — simply imagine yourself enjoying a steaming bowl of cacio e pepe outdoors with a light chill in the air.
Between the fewer tourists, mild temperatures, fall colors, and perennial pasta dishes, Rome makes for one of the best destinations in Europe for an autumn weekend trip.
Text: Paulina on the road
One of my favorite places to visit during autumn is the capital of Spain: Madrid. Whereas it is suffocatingly hot during the summer months, this vibrant town still boasts nicely warm temperatures during the fall months.
As there are loads of parks in Madrid, you’ll be blessed to enjoy gorgeous autumn foliage while going for long walks. On top, the city is less crowded and that means that you’ll enjoy Madrid in a more authentic way.
After your long walks in the parks of Madrid, there is no such thing as going for tapas or “chocolate con churros”. You can find the best tapas bars next to the parks or in the city center near “Sol” square.
As Budapest in Hungary is a walking city, it is a fantastic place to visit in Autumn, especially in October, as it still has long sunny days and less rain than is characteristic of its summer. Its average temperature falls in between 18–25°C at this time and there are also fewer crowds of people, which is great for taking in its changing autumn leaves at your own pace and enjoying the cute tranquil cafes along the way.
Several activities also take place in October, such as Octoberfest and the Contemporary Arts Festival, so you won’t be without things to do. Visiting a bit later in Autumn? No problem! Go for a dip in its thermal baths (Széchenyi Thermal Baths is one) to warm up nice and quick!
Text: Sophie by Bitten by the bug
The in-between seasons are a great time to visit Brussels, as the peak of tourist season is over and a certain degree of peace has returned to the Belgian capital.
When visiting the main tourist attractions, you’ll be able to take beautiful photographs without other tourists photobombing in the background. You might even get to visit Maison Dandoy (Brussels’ most famous waffle place) and Frietland (one of the most popular places for fries) without having to wait in line.
Although there is no 100% guarantee -we’re talking about Belgium after all- the weather is generally quite enjoyable in Autumn. With average temperatures between 8 and 14 degrees Celsius, the weather is great to wander around the city exploring its many sights.
In order to get a real “Autumn experience”, check out the Brussels parks where trees are showcasting their most beautiful shades of orange and yellow. Do you want more? Then head to the Sonian Forest, a 4,421-hectare forest at the southeast edge of Brussels, for a long walk in nature while taking in the charm of Autumn
Text by Erika’s Travelventures
Georgia in autumn is a beautiful, off-the-beaten track destintation. The trees are turning brilliant shades of yellow and orange, and the best place to see them is heading to the town Mestia in the Svaneti region.
Mestia is a small town surrounded by mountains and forests, and has a glacial-fed river running through the middle of it. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the fresh autumn air, eat delicious Georgian cuisine, and relax in homey mountain lodges. For visitors that are into hiking, there are several day-treks and multi-day treks that are accessible from Mestia. These treks will take you to glaciers, lakes, and incredible viewpoints of the surrounding mountains.
Autumn is the best time to go trekking in Mestia, because the weather is cool and the colorful foliage is incredible. The local homestays and mountain lodges are also not too crowded this time of the year with local and foreign tourists.
Text: Lia from The nomadic panda
The South of Spain is filled with beautiful attractions and picturesque towns that are usually only seen as fleeting day trips from Seville. The city of Granada warrants a longer stay.
With its rich cultural background, tapas and authentic Spanish music around every corner, a weekend away here will leave you whimsical and immersed in the ‘Real Spain’.
Granada’s most famous attraction is the magnificent Moorish Alhambra castle. Decorated intricately with Arabic designs and tile work, this is a must visit when in you’re in Andalusia. If you visit during autumn, you will find the temperatures much cooler and you can explore the magnificent palace garden changing color without the scorching summer heat.
There’s also less tourists around but be sure to book tickets ahead of time. After exploring the Alhambra, wander through the narrow streets of the Albaycin and make your way to one of the many tapas bars, some still offering them for free.
One of your evenings should be spent in a gypsy cave in the mountains, watching a traditional flamenco performance. Don’t forget to buy souvenirs at the old Alcaiceria (market), to remind you of your trip to Granada when you are back home.
One of the most picturesque regions of Europe is Transylvania. Transylvania is beautiful in any season, but in autumn it offers a colorful experience or a mystical one. On sunny days, you can admire the fortified churches of Transylvania (UNESCO heritage site) framed by the hills colored in all shades of red, orange and yellow.
Autumn puts a special glow on this fairy-tale landscape. On cloudy days, the mist covers the traditional villages and the place becomes full of mystery. These days will remind you that Transylvania is known to be home of the famous vampire Dracula.
For a weekend escape you can land in Bucharest and after 4 hours driving you will reach Brasov, a well-preserved medieval city. On the way, you can visit Peles castle and Bran castle. From Brasov go to see Viscri, a forgotten village that keeps the charm of old times.
One weekend is enough to get a general idea about the place and to make you want to come back and stay a longer time.
Text: Italian Trip Abroad
Europe is full of beautiful places to travel to, but there are many countries underrated with some of the best cities. Personally, the most known location where to spend an autumn weekend trip are well known, but some others need to just to be promoted because cosy, less touristy, cheapest.
Warsaw, Poland is one of those hidden gems, outside of the Tourists Radars. You can reach the city from many airports in Europe, making it the perfect destination even just for a weekend.
Not many people know that Warsaw is the birthplace of Frédéric Chopin, the famous Polish composer. Warsaw can connect art and culture into a romantic atmosphere. This largest city in northeast Europe is ideally for the winter and autumn seasons, giving to the last one the most impressive scenarios. Yellow, Orange and Red colours of the leaves fulfil the parks and the main roads.
Warsaw is worth a visit, because of the atmosphere in between the old communist past and the attempt of the young generations to approach the new Europe. The main attraction that can give you this idea is the Palace of Culture and Science, the Pałac Kultury i Nauki in Polish. This building stands right in the centre of Warsaw, and for many years has been the second-highest building in Europe, with its 238 metres. You can visit the top of the building and admire the surroundings, drink a nice cup of tea, that is always a good idea in the stiff Polish autumn.
Walking through the streets of Warsaw will make you feel special. Many people love to seat on the benches on the side of the streets, which are automated to play the music of Chopin. Visit Warsaw in autumn will be a cheap trip abroad, that can be romantic, cultural or relaxing too.
Text: Backpack Adventures
Sarajevo in Bosnia is the perfect destination for a weekend trip in Autumn. The summer heat is over, but temperatures are still pleasant. It is still possible to go hiking in the nearby mountains that are more beautiful than ever with the autumn colours.
Sarajevo is one of the most multicultural cities in Europe and it is where east meets west. That’s why it is such a fascinating city. Some parts of Sarajevo let you travel back to Ottoman times while others to the Austro Hungarian empire.
Because Sarajevo is not a big city, a weekend is enough to get a good feel for the city. You can walk through the old town, visit one of the interesting museums about the war in Bosnia or take the cable car up to Trebevic mountain to see the abandined bobsleigh track from the 1984 winter olympics or a beautiful view over the city.
Douro Valley, Portugal
The Douro Valley in Northern Portugal is arguably one of the most spectacular wine regions of the world. With its beautiful rolling hills, vineyards growing up the sides of the steep slopes and a flowing river to add to the mix, it’s easy to see why! Located a short 1.5-hour drive from Porto, the Douro Valley makes an excellent choice for a weekend break in Europe. It’s also possible to catch the train that runs daily leaving from the São Bento Railway station in Porto.
Why would you choose to visit the Douro Valley in the autumn? In my opinion, this is the best time of year! With temperatures around 24°C during the day and mostly sun, what more could you ask for? To top it all off, the colours of the landscapes become truly breath-taking as the seasons begin to change.
Yellows, oranges and reds light up the vineyards making this wine region even more impressive than usual. With great weather and incredible views, the Douro Valley is the perfect autumn destination for any wine lover!
There are a number of different towns to stay in the Douro Valley. I chose to stay in the lovely village of Lamego however Peso da Régua or Pinhão are also great options to consider when booking your accommodation.
While Florence, Italy is stunning at any time of year, it is a particularly amazing destination to visit in the autumn. With low-season hotel rates, cooler temperatures and cruise ship crowds nowhere in sight, the fall is the perfect time to visit Florence.
Spend your weekend browsing the Uffizi Gallery, wandering through Boboli Gardens, then catching sunset at Piazza Michelangelo.
Another reason to visit Florence in the autumn – it’s truffle season in Tuscany. As if the food in Italy isn’t already good enough year-round, you’ll find truffle-inspired cuisine on menus throughout the city. Indulge on a meal at il Santo Bevitore, or even go on a truffle hunt in the countryside to get the full experience.
Salzkammergut region in Austria is mainly known as a summer destination but this shouldn’t stop you from visiting this Austrian region in Autumn!
The area of Salzkammergut offers some of the most stunning landscapes and breath-taking views in the whole of Austria. In fact, with nearly 200 amazing hiking trials an autumn weekend trip to Salzkammergut region will be a great way to see some of them! The Salzkammergut area is among the most popular regions in Austria, especially for all hiking and adventure lovers!
It is also known as home to many amazing day trips – make sure you visit at least a few of the below attractions:
- Stairway to nothingness
- Dachstein Skywalk
Personally, we think that this is the most beautiful region in Austria! If you visit the Salzkammergut area in October, as we did, you will love it too!
It is autumn. The town square that used to be filled with tourists is now delicately quiet. There are no more children running around with ice cream in their hands and big smiles on their faces. However, this only brings out more of the charm of Krakow, a popular tourist destination in Poland, especially the summers. Say goodbye to the photos photobombed by unwelcomed strangers.
The trees that used to be leafy green are starting to become golden brown. The whole city looks like it is covered with a layer of gold. It is breath-taking wherever you go, but especially the Wawel Royal Castle.
In addition, there are many events that happen in the Autumn. For example, the most important Polish holiday, the Polish Independence Day, is on November 11. It is a great way to spend a weekend there and learn more about the complicated Polish history.
Text by Christina from Travel 2 next
Located on the shores of Lake Zurich, this lovely city has stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Zurich is a city for walking and the temperature in autumn makes it the best time to explore Zurich’s Old Town and to cruise the lake.
Even though the weather can be unpredictable, it’s fun huddling in a charming café sipping hot chocolate and indulging in sweet treats. In autumn, the leaves turn golden and the outdoor playground that Zurich is cantered around becomes a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities like hiking, biking and walking.
One of the popular things to do in Zurich in autumn is to take the train up to Uetliberg mountain, where there are walking trails, panoramic views of the city and a lovely restaurant where you can sip Swiss wine while admiring the view of Zurich below.
London, the UK
London is one of the best places in Europe for an autumn weekend trip. While London is great to visit almost anytime of year, it’s particularly nice in the fall. In the fall, London isn’t quite as grey and dreary as it gets in the winter, but you also don’t have to put up with the crowds of the summer. I visited London last October and found it to be the perfect mix of decent weather and no crowds. It feels like more of a local’s vibe!
You could find enough to do in London to last you weeks but with only a weekend, you’ll still have lots of time to pack in some London favourites.
- Start by visiting a few of London’s highlights like Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
- Walk around Kensington Gardens, visit 21B Baker Street (if you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan) and do some serious shopping on Oxford Street.
- For history and art buffs, check out the British Museum, the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and so many others.
- With a weekend, you’ll still have time to fit in a night at a West End show and a spot of afternoon tea.
London has something for everyone!
Copenhagen, Denmark is a great destination for an autumn weekend trip. The Danish capital has comfortable temperatures and plenty of fun events to keep you busy. Copenhagen locals stretch the outdoor weather as long as possible. I love autumn in Copenhagen because cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars keep outside seating the whole season. Even if it’s a little chilly, they supply you with blankets and heat lamps to warm you up.
There are a lot of outdoor events in the autumn like Copenhagen Culture Night. It’s an event the second Friday in October where the city’s museums and other cultural attractions are open all evening. Passes can be bought to attend all participating locations and the city is bustling all weekend.
Another can’t-miss attraction is Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens. There you will see the beautiful landscaping and amusement park rides transformed for Halloween. While it’s beautiful all year long, the spooky Halloween magic of Tivoli helps make Copenhagen a great autumn destination. Find out for yourself!
Devon, the UK
Devon in the south-west of the UK is insanely beautiful during autumn. This county in the country is home to some medieval cities and some very beautiful villages which are beautifully decorated with maple leaves during autumn. This part of the country is warmer than rest of the UK and get some good sunshine too.
Moreover, it has some perfect green locations and beautiful national parks which get even prettier during the autumn season. As there are plenty of outdoor places in Devon, a weekend can be perfectly spent. Yellow, red, fallen maple leaves all around makes the place looks more beautiful during autumn and it is the best time to explore the countryside in Devon.
Oxford, the UK
The city of Oxford in England is the perfect destination for a weekend holiday in autumn. While it’s a lovely place to visit all year, the autumn months bring beautiful, colorful leaves and bright red ivy to the hallowed halls of the University of Oxford as well as throughout the rest of the city.
Oxford is also perfect to visit in the autumn because the crowds of summer tourists have left and the city begins to feel more like itself again. It has all the same attractions as a summer here, but with less people and a more intimate feel. You can (and should) still visit the popular Christ Church College of Harry Potter filming fame, stop by the free and impressive museums like the Ashmolean, and enjoy a pint at one of the local spots like the Turf Tavern.
But if you are looking for a particularly autumnal experience, then you should also stroll through the University Parks, where you’ll find hundreds of trees all turning to brilliant shades of red and orange. Coupled with a picturesque pond and the River Cherwell that flows nearby in the Parks, Oxford becomes an idyllic and unforgettable place to take a weekend trip in autumn!
Malaga is a perfect getaway in autumn. September is probably the best month a year to go there as it is still warm temperatures and perfect beach days without the crowds. Also, it is not too hot to explore the beautiful city of Malaga.
Top spots you should visit while in the city are the stunning cathedral, the Alcazaba and the Castle of Gibralfaro, which gives you the best views of Malaga city.
Malaga has great shopping and is packed with restaurants where you can have tapas and a drink.
There are also numerous day trips you can take from Malaga to small white villages, impressive river walks, caves, and some of the best beaches in Spain.
Crowds flock to Dubrovnik over the summer months, one of Europe’s most popular summer destinations. The attraction of the old city on the edge of the crystal clear Adriatic Sea draws in thousands of visitors from all over. However, the most magical time to visit Dubrovnik is after the crowds have gone and when the summer heat has settled into autumn sea breezes.
Accommodation becomes easier to find, restaurant tables more available and the city walls can be walked with space to spare. The beaches are less populated but the water still warm and getting out on a kayak is so very tempting. If you visit closer to winter you can also enjoy the start Advent festivities. Christmas markets, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, sausages, and delicious donuts are all there to be savoured.
Getting to Dubrovnik is very easy with direct flights from cities over Europe. Avoiding the busy summer months and choosing Autumn is by far the best time to visit this gorgeous medieval city and makes for the perfect weekend getaway.
Text by Rayner En Route
Autumn in the Swedish capital of Stockholm bursts to life in fabulous colours of orange and gold as the leaves change colour. A visit to Skansen, a giant open-air museum exploring traditional Swedish life has a beautiful must-visit Autumn fair.
During the last weekend of September, the fair brings a flavour of the 1900s with characters in period costume, stalls selling yummy produce such as homemade marmalades and fun old fashioned games. To get into the feel of all things haunted during Halloween, take a ghost walk exploring the gorier parts of Stockholm’s rich history.
Autumn season is also a prime time to go apple picking at nearby orchids such as Edeby Gård in Drottningholm or Rosenhill in Ekerö.
So for glorious colours, autumn festivals, and a quieter time to visit all of the cities museums away from the prime tourist season, Stockholm is an incredible place to visit in Autumn.
- Hi, I am Susanne. Good food, history and travelling are my passion. I write about it whenever I can. Thanks for reading this article.