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Autumn in Europe: 11 best destinations to visit

Autumn leaf in Battersea park

Europe summer gets all the hype, Europe winter is all the rage with its Christmas markets and holidays, but Europe in autumn might just be one of the most underrated travel destinations, period.

Fall, in general, is arguably the best season in any country with four seasons; it’s the perfect mix of comfy temps, good food, beautiful nature and just a more relaxed and happy vibe. If you combine that with the wonder that is Europe, and the off-peak appeal of the season, there’s nowhere else we’d rather be. So, without any further ado, here are our the top destinations to visit in Europe in autumn:

1. Munich, Germany

Quite possibly the biggest and best fall festival in the entire world, Oktoberfest is something you have to do at least once in your life, whether you love beer or not. With giant pretzels and pork knuckles, performances, roller coasters, parades, beer tents, markets and everything else that makes Munich so amazing, there’s a dirndl or lederhosen with your name written all over it.

Do it: for just over two weeks from late September to early October

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2. Paris, France

Seeing a city by night always gives us such an interesting perspective, but once a year, Paris hosts a night festival that takes its beauty to a whole new level. From 7pm to 7am on Nuit Blanche, the city comes alive with lights, arts and music, and with the Métro open for the whole festival, you can explore by moonlight all night long.

Do it: the first Saturday of October

 

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3. Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

‘Tis the season of skeletons, so while there’s never a bad time to take a trip to this little town on your way to Prague in the Czech Republic, the fall season brings an extra element of creepiness to the Sedlec Ossuary. This bone church in Kutna Hora is ornately decorated with tens of thousands of human skeletons and is one of the most popular and unique sites in the country.

Do it: all fall long

 

4. Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Plitvice is a stunner 24/7, 365 days a year, but there’s just something about the contrast between those bright yellow, orange and red leaves and the piercing turquoise water that makes for unbeatable photos.

Do it: September – late October

 

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5. London, England

If you can remember, remember the fifth of November then you can make sure you’re in London for their annual Bonfire Night, in celebration of a failed plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. This is now an annual excuse to celebrate in Britain and the night is always filled with bonfires, fireworks, food, parties and entertainment.

Do it: every year on November 5th

6. Germany again (but for a different reason)

There are few days less magical in the fall than Thanksgiving, and the German harvest festival Erntedankfest takes all of your favourite Thanksgiving elements and adds that German flair. Think turkey and honeycomb feasts combined with fireworks and parades, drinks, music, markets and tractors. What better way to immerse yourself in German culture with the locals, give thanks for our crops and make the most of those stretchy plane pants at dinnertime?

Do it: the first Sunday in October

7. Algarve, Portugal

Flannel weather isn’t a thing in Portugal until very late in the year, so there’s no better place to get a dose of fall sunshine and beach time than in the Algarve. The average temp during the fall remains around 20°C, so you’re still entitled to at least a few good beach days in the south.

Do it: for as long as you can brave the water temps

8. Ireland

You may not have received the memo, but Ireland is the self-proclaimed birthplace of Halloween, and to celebrate, they’re introducing the first-ever Púca festival for 2019. If Halloween is your thing, we can think of no better way to spend it than at this new festival, enjoying an Irish twist on the best music, food and fear of the season.

Do it: October 31st – November 2nd

9. Austria

Nothing says fall like a cozy stay in a cabin or Gasthof with a roaring fireplace, a warm hot chocolate and some fresh country air. When you can combine that with stunning mountain strolls and a paraglide or two, you’ve really got it made. Cozy up to cuffing season and enjoy the Austrian ski region before the snow hits, and fill your fall with quality self-care.

Do it: all fall long

10. France

Before fall was PSL season, it was apple season, and regardless of what the trendy kids are drinking, apples will always have our heart in the fall. Get the best of this fall fruit, combined with the culinary skill and class of France as you eat your way through Apple and Cider festivals in Normandy. Picture yourself wandering the orchards, eat endless apple tarts and washing it down with warm cider (or apple brandy). Plus, the region is famous for cheese as well, so you might as well enjoy as much of that as you can while you’re there…

Do it: mid October – mid November

11. Italy

A leather jacket is pretty much a universal fall wardrobe staple, so why not pick one up as a lifelong souvenir from the best leather craftsmen in the world? It’s not like you can’t buy a leather coat in the summer in Italy as well, but when you can try it on without sweating uncontrollably, and comfortably break it in as you stroll around the city in the evenings, it just feels like the right time.

Do it: all fall long

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