Best European Destinations in Autumn

Best European Destinations in Autumn

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In Autumn, the days turn shorter and the leaves turn amber.
Summer is long gone and winter holidays are still far away.
We sit amidst falling leaves, listening to the breath of autumn combing through our hair.
So where do you go – adventurer, tourist, explorer – as we approach Autumn ?

 

In this article, you’ll find a few of our personal as well as our fellow travelers’ favorite destinations in Europe during Autumn.

 

1. MÜLLERTHAL REGION, LUXEMBOURG

By Mei and Kerstin

 

 

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Our favourite autumn activity in Luxembourg is to wander through the Mullerthal Region – or Mëllerdall in Luxembourgish. This region, also called Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland because of its unique sandstone rock formations, hilly landscape and picturesque waterfalls, offers more than 110 km of hiking trails and cycling routes.

 

On an autumnal day, there’s nothing more magical than getting up at dawn to watch the sun rising amid the morning mist and revealing the hilly landscape of the Mullerthal. The hiking paths often lead us through colourful woods where we pick up chestnuts and catch falling leaves. Afterwards, we ideally wander to one of the several quaint old towns of the region, such as Beaufort, Larochette or Bourglinster where we discover medieval castles hidden behind fall foliage.

 

In autumn, when the tourists are all gone, we also love to spend some time in Echternach, the oldest city of Luxembourg. When strolling through the narrow cobblestone streets, we’re always surprised by the abbey’s lovely chimes which take us back to the city’s past. To explore more of Echternach’s history, we visit the museum of prehistory, the Gallo-Roman villa, the Romanesque basilica, or just sit around the marketplace to explore the spectacular facade of the former Denzelt courthouse.

2. PARIS, FRANCE

By Mei and Kerstin

 

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Paris in autumn: what a delight! Tourists are gone, locals are at work. In the early morning have a stroll through the Champ de Mars, breathe in the autumnal air, watch the joggers jog and the city dogs play. High above you, a maid is cleaning the windows of a Hausmannien’s apartment. You hope she won’t fall out of the window, then suddenly notice the golden color of the fall foliage reflecting in the tall windows. In the reflections you also see a piece of the Eiffel Tower.

 

You approach the Iron Lady, its tip still plunged in the morning mist, and see no waiting line to travel up to its top. 20 minutes later, you find yourself 115 meters higher, looking down from the tower’s second platform. Not far away, you recognize the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais, standing face to face along the Champs Elysées. A bit further away, there’s the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre, where you’ll soon have a soupe à l’oignon to warm you up in this fresh autumn day.

 

And further on your right, you now spot the Panthéon in the Latin Quarter. You close your eyes and can almost hear the rustling leaves, golden, amber and red, crushed under your feet as you stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg towards the Odéon. And soon you’ll arrive at the Seine, where you’ll pick up a book at one of the bouquinistes, or perhaps at Shakespeare & Co. right across the Notre Dame…

 

So much to do, so much to see… this is Paris in Autumn. A quiet day, full of colorful leaves and little surprises.

3. MADRID, SPAIN

By Sonia from Ticking the Bucket List Travels

 

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The tourists are gone. The summer heat has eased. There is a nip in the air, but the sun shines bright. Days are not long, but perfect to enjoy a sunset followed by a warm soup for supper.  This is Madrid for you in autumn.

 

The city’s famous Retiro Park dons a thousand shades of green, yellow and brown, and is perfect for an afternoon picnic. The Prado Museum has locals and school children who are proud of their cultural heritage. The sunset at Templo de Debod casts hues of pinks and purples, ideal for a glass of fine Spanish wine. A plate of steamy paella tastes even better when the night breeze is cool, especially in the quadrangle of Plaza Mayor. Madrid, in fall, is all about admiring nature and chatting with the locals. It’s about long walks and picnics… and enjoying life, one breath at a time!

4. AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

By Marta from Learning Escapes

 

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Amsterdam is magical in the autumn. The city is famous for its inner network of historical canals and whimsical architecture and the autumn envelops them in bright shades of yellow and red foliage. The temperatures start to drop at this time and you need to wrap up in scarves and gloves. But if you are prepared, this is a wonderful time for sightseeing or photographing the city.

 

Autumn is a great time to escape the crowds. In this season, you can see Amsterdam through the eyes of a local, something often not possible during the busy tulip season and the summer months.

 

The autumn is a quiet time in Amsterdam in terms of number of visitors, but a very dynamic one for local festivals, exhibitions and cultural events. At this time, music and cinema festivals abound and from the end of November the city lights festival brightens up Amsterdam’s nights with light displays all over the inner canal circle.

 

My favourite way to enjoy the city at this time of the year is taking long strolls along the canals and taking refuge from the temperamental weather in one of the many Amsterdam’s museums and ‘brown bars’, bars with wooden interiors that are part of the Dutch tradition.

5. ROME, ITALY

By Katy from Untold Morsels
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Visit Rome in autumn when the crowds start thinning and the leaves are changing color. It’s the perfect time to explore the Eternal City.

 

Rome is a city to walk and wander in, and the crisp sunny days of autumn lend themselves to sightseeing. Take a stroll around the centro storico and enjoy the atmosphere. At this time of year you won’t have to fight your way through people to take your photo of the Trevi Fountain. And the lines at the Colosseum and Vatican are manageable.

 

My favourite thing about Rome at this time of year are the chestnut sellers on street corners and the seasonal produce at the market at Campo de’ Fiori. Look out for truffles that arrive in late autumn. Eating is always a big part of any visit to Rome. In November, the conditions are right for an afternoon gelato in the sunshine, followed by a hearty Italian pasta dinner with wine. Bellissimo!

6. LONDON, UK

By Jeanette from Traveling Honeybird

 

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London is a fantastic city to visit just about any time of the year. But it’s best in autumn, just as the leaves are turning and the weather is cooling down. Now I’ve been in London when the weather is hot, over 29 degree Celsius, the people are melting, the tube doesn’t work and it’s really not a lot of fun whatsoever.

 

In autumn, you can pleasantly walk around, through marvellous places like Hyde Park or Trafalgar Square. There’s no need to take the Tube, as the mild weather is perfect for exploring the town on foot. Being that it’s slightly off-season and the Christmas crowds haven’t swamped in as yet, you have extra space to enjoy a coffee and the Christmas decorations. It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a pub lunch and an afternoon of exploring, without freezing your toes off.

7. MALTA

By Ruben and Rachel from Gamin Traveler

 

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Malta is indeed one of the most exquisite places that we have traveled to, and it’s our favorite destination in Europe for autumn. It’s our favorite particularly for this season, because there are fewer tourists and you can enjoy its beautiful places more peacefully, without worrying about a big crowd in every place you’ll go to. Plus, we get cheaper and better prices for everything!

 

Despite of being a tiny country, there are a lot of things to do in Malta – from visiting the old town of Valletta where you can see impressive churches and cathedrals, to going to beaches to swim, relax, or watch the sunset. We recommend that you rent a car in Malta if possible. A road trip in this amazing country will really fulfill your travel goals as you can move around the island with more freedom, and you’ll be able to reach most of the places without so much hassle.

 

Our favorite part of Malta is the northern part, where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, like Mellieħa Bay and Armier Bay. Both beaches have clear, blue waters that you’ll surely love! It’s also totally worth to visit Gozo, an island just 5-10 kilometers north of Malta. You can go there by riding a ferry for just 20 minutes. Once you reached Gozo, relax in Ramla Bay and Hondoq Bay, the two most beautiful beaches on the island. Ramla Bay is known for its red sand and clear waters, while Hondoq Bay is known as a sandy, pebbly beach with clear, blue waters. You shouldn’t skip Comino Island as well, where you can swim in the Blue Lagoon’s calm, crystalline water.

 

Malta is truly a paradise for travelers that anyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. We totally recommend this experience to everyone!

8. TIRANA, ALBANIA

By Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey
Tirana, Albania © Onceinalifetimejourney

 

Tirana in Albania is one of the least visited yet most colorful cities in Europe. Since the fall of the totalitarian regime that had the country and the city in darkness and isolation for over 40 years, the city has exploded in an expression of art and street murals.

 

While the summer months see a few tourists, in autumn, the city is devoid of any foreigners and basically taken back by the locals. Being not too far from the sea, located 45 minutes from the Roman city of Durres, Tirana is not yet very cold and the long days of sun are a great time to explore the city’s many street installations and art on foot.

 

Make sure to look out for the rainbow buildings on Uilson Square and the many wall murals in the Blloku district.

9. NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, GERMANY

By LeAnna from Well Traveled Nebraskan
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany © Well Traveled Nebraskan

 

Very few places in the world are as magical as a real life Cinderella Castle. Neuschwanstein Castle, in Southern Germany, is a sight to be seen in any season, with its boasting spires, towering facades and mountain foothills set as its backdrop.  A trip to the castle is a must no matter what month you are traveling in Germany.

 

However, the castle in the fall is simply stunning. Not only do you get the beautiful Bavarian fall colors popping out at base of the looming castle itself, but take a hike through the gorge below and be treated to the fall foliage all around you. No matter which direction you turn, you’ll be greeted with oranges, reds, yellows, and shades of greens you thought only could exist in a painting!

 

As you walk the castle grounds and breathe in the cool, fall air, you’ll think you are a prince or princess yourself and wonder if you’ve been transported to a fairy tale after all.

10. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

By Lizzie & Dave from Wanderlust & Life

 

 

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One of the most beautiful places to visit in November has to be Prague. For starters, the temperatures are relatively mild, ranging from 3 to 8 degrees Celsius. But what really makes it the perfect autumn destination has to be the crimson leaves falling from the trees. And with the backdrop of the city’s architectural delights, this creates an enchanting world. The view from Prague Castle for instance is even more magical in autumn, particularly as you gaze down across to the red roofed homes and even redder tree leaves.

 

As you roam the streets with the crisp air hitting your face and a cup of mulled wine in hand, it is hard not to feel like you have stumbled into some sort of a fairy tale. An absolute must at this time of year is to make sure you wake before sunrise and head towards the Charles Bridge. Here, with only a handful of other spectators you will witness the night sky turn from black to a range of pinks, until finally settling on a shade of blue for the day. There is nothing more beautiful, and afterwards you can reflect as you sit in a café warming yourself with a cup of coffee and some fresh pastry. All in all, Prague in November is an incredible experience and we would certainly recommend it to anyone.

11. SARDINIA, ITALY

By Claudia from My Adventures Across The World

 

 

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A top destination in the summer, Sardinia actually is a fantastic place to visit in any season. If the beaches are best enjoyed when the days are long and the temperatures hot, they are wonderful to see, walk and even to laze on for a few hours in the fall. Indeed, the coast of Sardinia is blessed with mild temperatures throughout the year. If it is cold weather that one is after, the mountains are within easy reach: they get heaps of snow every winter, and the atmosphere there is cozy and special.

 

With such beautiful mountains and nature, one of the top things to do in Sardinia is hiking. This is one of the activities that can be best enjoyed in the fall, during October and November when the days are still pleasant and warm. November is also a great months for cultural and traditional festivals. November 1st is Su Prugadoriu day in Seui: the festival lasts 3 full days, though 1 November is the peak day. It is a very traditional, local way to celebrate the day of the dead with local specialties such as culurgiones (a homemade pasta filled with potatoes, mint and pecorino cheese and served with grated pecorino); local wines; traditional music and costumes.

 

If this was not enough, there is the myriad of archaeological sites scattered around the island. The most famous one is Su Nuraxi of Barumini, the only UNESCO site of Sardinia. There’s also a bunch of Roman and Phoenician sites, such as Nora, at around 45 minutes drive from Cagliari, the island’s main city. Speaking of cities, other than the gorgeous capital Cagliari, it is worth visiting places such as Alghero, Bosa, Castelsardo – with all the tourists gone, they retain their unique character!

12. INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND

By Stephanie from A Global Educator 

 

 

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Interlaken is beautiful at any time of the year. But in autumn it is absolutely stunning! It is perfectly positioned – situated between two brilliant blue lakes (hence the name Interlaken) and amongst world-famous mountains.

 

I fell in love with Switzerland and have travelled there four times in less than a year. It’s a place where you can wander for hours on end and still be in awe of the location you are in. During November, Interlaken is slowly moving between summer heat towards the brilliant winter months, displaying the snow-capped mountains in the near distance. It is the perfect time of year to take hikes and participate in any outdoors activities before they are closed for the winter.

 

If you’re anything like me, although I do love the beauty of the snow, I can’t stand being cold. Interlaken in November gave me that awe-inspiring winter scenery, while still being warm enough in the day time to adventure. Interlaken has a wonderful mixture of outdoor activities for the adrenaline junkies and those wanting a slower paced adventure.

13. ISTANBUL, TURKEY

By Clemens from Travellers Archive

 

 

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The city of Istanbul in Turkey is the perfect place to spend a weekend in November. First of all it has tons of things to see from the Hagia Sophia church to the blue mosque, from the grand bazaar to the Galata bridge, from the Golden Horn to the Taskim sqare. Not to forget the beautiful areas of Karaköy und Kadiköy, besides all the tourist areas of Sultanahmet.

 

To get an idea of Istanbul, you will need at least 3 days. Why in November you ask? That’s for several reasons. The end of the year is also the end of high season, which means that you will have most of the big sights all to yourself. Another good reason is that it’s not as hot as during the summer period, when sometimes it’s too hot to move. My recommendation: bring a light jacket and jump on a ferry boat (to Kadiköy) for example. You will be rewarded with the best views of the city.

14. TUSCANY, ITALY

By Faye and David from Travel with little one
Tuscany, Italy Photo by Travel With Little One
Tuscany, Italy Photo by Travel With Little One

 

Tuscany is amazing to visit at any time of the year. But if you’ve come to see its classic landscapes, autumn is probably the best time to visit the region.

 

Late October and early November are when the best of the autumn colours emerge, and early morning mists fill the valleys of Tuscany. One of the best areas to see the classic Tuscan landscapes is around the Val d’Orcia to the southeast of Siena, especially around the town of San Quirico d’Orcia. This in particular is a photographer’s dream.

 

October and November are a great time to visit Tuscany also because of the seasonal harvests. This is the time of the olive harvest, and also truffle-hunting season. And the best time of the year to eat fresh porcini.

 

Autumn is also a great time to visit much of Tuscany because the crowds tend to fall away by October, not returning until the spring. Accommodation prices tend to fall, except close to events like the Truffle Festival in San Miniato. The weather still tends to be warm as well, still holding up around 15°C in the daytime.

15. EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

By Gillian from Scotland Bucket List

 

 

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When people plan a visit to Edinburgh, they generally tend to opt for a trip during the world famous August Fringe Festival or the renowned Hogmanay celebrations (New Year). However, I can tell you that a trip during the month of November is a great option.

 

For a start, the city is less crowded, you can get much better deals on accommodation and there’s a surprising number of events on. Enjoy the fantastic Bonfire night celebrations around the 5th November and we strongly recommend the fireworks display at Hopetoun House. Get into the festive spirit with a visit to the Christmas market which starts mid-November (and runs for 6 weeks!). You can also time your visit for the big Christmas light switch on ‘Light Night’ where the town comes to life with lights, choirs and fireworks – a must-see. There is an amazing Winter Light Trail on at the Royal Botanic Gardens where you’ll be mesmerized by the decorations, lights and magical atmosphere.

 

And of course, round off the month on the 30th November with a celebration of St Andrews Day, Scotland’s national holiday! Historic Scotland usually offer free tickets to many of their attractions across Scotland – this is handy if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh Castle!

16. MADEIRA, PORTUGAL

By Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl

 

 

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Most people have their holiday in Madeira during the summer months. However, if you can take some time off in autumn I suggest you visit the island in November instead. The temperature is pleasant and you can avoid the crowds by going in the less popular autumn months. This will not only save you time not standing in long queues but money as well. Prices are generally lower off-season.

 

There isn’t much rain in autumn, so it is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Madeira is a hiker’s paradise. There are many levada walks you can choose from. Levadas are the island’s irrigation system that became popular among hikers during the years. The temperature in November will be perfect for going hiking, as you won’t be too hot or too cold. You will most likely have the trails all to yourself, which is important especially on a hike like the 25 Fontes, where the path next to the levada is really narrow, making it difficult for people to pass next to each other when they are heading to different directions.

 

Don’t miss the hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, as it has gorgeous views along the way, and you can experience what it is like walking above the clouds. After an exhausting day of hiking, you can head to Funchal and treat yourself to some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. It is a popular snack in the autumn months.

17. KRAKOW, POLAND

By Julia from Small World This Is
Krakow, Poland Photo by Small World This Is
Krakow, Poland Photo by Small World This Is

 

November in Krakow is a great time to visit the city, because it is right before the Christmas rush and it’s usually not snowing yet, especially in the early part of the month. The fall foliage in the Planty, the park that surrounds the Main Square, is stunning and makes for a great backdrop for scenic walks in this historic part of town.

 

The colder weather of November means plenty of opportunities to duck inside a café for a hot chocolate or a fruit tea and embrace local café culture where you can linger a few hours and not feel rushed. On November 1st and 2nd, the entire city celebrates All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day, where cemeteries like Cmentarz Rakowicki (the final resting spot of a number of famous Poles) are illuminated with hundreds of candles placed on the graves of loved ones and is definitely a sight to see.

18. ANDALUSIA, SPAIN

By Emily from Wander-Lush 

 

 

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Andalusia – the region of Southern Spain that takes in Seville, Granada, Malaga and Cordoba – is by far my favourite part of the country. A big part of the reason I love it so much is the climate: warmer temperatures and low rainfall make Andalusia perfect for outdoor activities year-round. By November, temperatures in Andalusia have started to drop, but conditions are still ideal for visitors. This is exactly when I visited a few years back as part of a road trip across Spain.

 

Autumn is shoulder season, which means you can find some great deals on hotels and tours at this time of year. It also means shorter queues for the Alhambra and Cordoba Mesquita- two of Andalusia’s finest attractions. In Andalusia’s biggest city, Seville, it’s still warm enough to dine al fresco at the many outdoor cafes and restaurants. Foodies take note: November is the start of the mushroom season and mosto grape juice season in Andalusia, when the local wine starts flowing and chefs take advantage of all that awesome autumn produce.

 

Even on Andalusia’s Costa del Sol, temperatures are still warm enough to warrant an ocean swim or stroll along the beach. Up in the Las Alpujarra mountains, meanwhile, snowflakes start to dust the white villages. There are a number of great festivals to check out in November as well, including All Saints Day (Tosantos) on November 1st, and later in the month, Dia de Santa Catalina – an Andalusian festival that sees locals pack up for picnic lunches in the countryside.

19. WALES, UK

By Sophie from The Wanderful Me

 

 

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Filled with vibrant autumn colors of oranges, reds, yellows, and greens, Wales is one of the best destinations to explore when the last months of the year roll around.

 

While the small, yet underrated country is a deep green throughout most of the year, the forests and rolling landscapes come to life in the Fall! As you stroll through the Welsh countryside, you’ll not only uncover the beautiful colors but picturesque mountains, thundering waterfalls, undiscovered castle ruins, and teeny tiny little Welsh villages, where a pub and a pint is calling your name.

 

But wait, it gets better! Wales is particularly great to wander about during this time because as a country with more sheep than people, you get to have the breathtaking autumn colors all to yourself. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? This is what makes it one of the best autumn destinations in Europe.

20. PARMA, ITALY

By Michelle from Greedy Gourmet
Best European Destinations in November: Parma, Italy. Photo by Greedy Gourmet
Parma, Italy. Photo by Greedy Gourmet

 

If you are looking for one of the best destinations in Europe during autumn, then Parma in Italy is the place to go! First of all, Italy in November is very tolerable. It’s not scorching hot and not too cold. Although, since Parma is located in the northern part of Italy, you might need to take a light jacket with you. Best of all, Parma is located between two other amazing Italian cities, Bologna and Verona, which are just a short drive away!

 

The main highlight of going to Italy in th autumn months is that the tourists are gone! Those of you who have visited Italy before during the high season know just how valuable it is not to have street flooded with tourists. Hence, Parma in autumn is the perfect European destination!

 

The city of Parma is a charming and historic that has stood since ancient antiquity. It is popular for its architecture, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, music and my favourite – prosciutto di Parma! Just imagine indulging on some of the world’s best produce. It’s probably the best place for foodies as well as culture lovers.

 

Hence, autumn is the perfect time to visit, not only for the weather but also because you have the Parma ham festival. Taking place for a few days in September, participants have the opportunity to taste different types of Parma ham. During this time, you also have access to some of the production site. In addition, you also have the Verdi festival, which is perfect for opera and music enthusiasts! The program runs throughout September to October and is filled with an amazing selection of concerts.

21. TBILISI, GEORGIA

By Liza from Trips Get 

 

 

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One of the best autumn destinations in Europe is Tbilisi in Georgia. The weather in Tbilisi in October is amazing. In November it’s usually a bit colder, so you won’t be able to wander around in a T-shirt anymore, but the weather is still warm and pleasant, in case you want to escape Northern Europe, for example.

 

Georgia is also a foodie paradise. You might have never heard of Georgian cuisine, but it’s a must-try for all! It’s so tasty and unique. Best dishes to try in Tbilisi are Khachapuri, Khinkali, Phali and Kharcho soup. There is also quite a bit of sightseeing you can do in Tbilisi – I totally recommend taking a walking tour to learn more about the history of the city and take a ride in a funicular, so you can see the entire Tbilisi in front of you.

22. ALGARVE, PORTUGAL

By James from Portugalist 

 

 

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Although most people visit the Algarve during summer, autumn is actually one of the best times to visit this part of Portugal. The Algarve’s southerly location means the weather is usually mild to warm. November temperatures are often still in the early twenties Celsius, which is much more tolerable than the high thirties that are common in the heart of the summer.

 

While you may not feel like jumping in the Atlantic Ocean, that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to visit the Algarve’s many spectacular beaches. It’s still warm enough to spend a couple of hours at the beach, or walking along one of the many coastal walking trails that can be found in the region.

 

November is definitely a quieter time on the Algarve, at least when compared to the summer, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening on the Algarve. Feira de São Martinho is a big event in the Portuguese calendar, and is marked by a fair, live music, roast chestnuts, and wine. This isn’t an event that most tourists know about, so it’s worth attending if you get the chance.

 

The Rota do Petisco, a tapas crawl around Portimão, usually takes place in November as well. This is one of the Algarve’s best gastronomic events, and a fantastic opportunity to sample all of the different types of petiscos found in Portugal.

23. CHAMPAGNE REGION, FRANCE

By Elisa from World in Paris
November Best European Destinations - Champagne Region, France. Photo by Worldinparis
Champagne Region, France. Photo by Worldinparis

 

One of the best day trips from Paris is a road trip to Champagne. The French wine region of Champagne, France, is a great destination to visit all year but it is especially beautiful in October – November when the rolling hills are covered by reds, yellows, and browns.

 

As most of us know, Champagne is famous for champagne. Whilst many of us may call sparkling wine Champagne, the fact is sparkling wine from this region is the only sparkling wine that can be technically called Champagne. However, this wine region in France is also perfect for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and lighter, less fruity whites.

 

There are many places to visit in Champagne, but if you are a champagne lover we recommend starting with Epernay, the cradle of Champagne. Epernay is crossed by Avenue de Champagne, also known as “the most expensive avenue in the world”. This is because this famous Avenue is lined with the headquarters of many legendary Champagne houses including Pol Roger, Mercier and Moët & Chandon which have millions and millions of bottles of champagne stored in the subsoil of this avenue. Don’t leave Epernay (or the Champagne region in general) without visiting one of these grand Champagne houses and the champagne tasting which comes with it!

24. LAPLAND, FINLAND

By Kylie from Our Overseas Adventures

 

 

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Lapland in Finland is the perfect place to visit in November as it’s a great destination to get into some early Christmas spirit! The cute little town of Rovaniemi is known as the official home of Santa Claus and contains Santa Claus Village where you can post a letter from Santa’s Post Office, cross the Arctic Circle and get up close with reindeer and husky. Nearby is Santapark Arctic World – a Christmas theme park where you can meet the real Santa Claus, decorate cookies with Mrs Gingerbread and visit the Ice Princess in her -10 degrees Celsius cavern under the Arctic Circle.

 

If the outdoors is more your thing then there’s still some hours of daylight left in Lapland to take a visit to the stunning Pyhä-Luosto National Park to experience the absolute vastness and stunning nature of Lapland. Depending on the weather patterns you should be able to experience reasonable snow in the area. Once you’re done with the great outdoors, head inside to a cosy restaurant to experience some traditional Finnish Northern cuisine – hearty reindeer meatballs anyone?! Later on in the evening wrap up warm and head outside and look skywards, you may be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights as this is one of the best parts of the world to spot the stunning aurora borealis.

25. LOMBARDY, ITALY

By Maria and Rui from Two Find A Way 

 

 

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Italy is one of Europe’s most visited countries, but most tourists stick to the best known cities and regions. Even though these areas are famous for a good reason, there is much more to see and explore in Italy – places where you can fully enjoy Italy’s history, stunning nature, and charm without the never ending lines and ridiculous prices.

 

Lombardia is mostly known for its capital, Milan, but there’s so much more to explore! In November you’ll get to explore the beautiful autumn foliage without crowds or confusions. Milan is a good base to explore the region, but if you’re looking for something more alternative, we absolutely recommend Bergamo. The city itself is full of history and delightful attractions, and it also serves as a great base to explore nearby areas, our favorite being the mountains and the Lake Como area.

 

In November the weather is still quite nice, and very appropriate to wander around the cities, and also do some hiking in the region! If the weather is ever a problem, Italy’s delicious cuisine will surely be there to warm you with amazing dishes. If you’re thinking of going, here are some things you must know before you visit Italy.

26. ISTRIA, CROATIA

By Kayla from Nylon Pink

 

 

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Fall is arguably the most beautiful time to visit Croatia. This is because the colors of the world are painted in those lovely autumn hues we treasure: orange, red, gold and yellow. Plus, the local hotels are on their decline for the travel season, meaning you get a great rate on your stay.

 

You will have an easier time getting car and hotel arrangements as there are fewer people coming in. The daylight hours tend to get a little shorter around this period, so keep that in mind as you travel. Istria is blessed with lovely moderate temperatures, so you will have no trouble getting by with a light jacket as you go around.

 

Even if the weather does get a little bad, you can check out one of the great sights nearby. We liked Novigrad, specifically the good food and the beautiful St. Pelagio and St. Maxim’s Parish tower!

27. BELGRADE, SERBIA

By Allison from Sofia Adventures

 

 

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Belgrade is a wonderful autumn destination, especially in the months of October and November. Belgrade’s weather is more temperate than cities in Eastern Europe farther up north, such as Prague or Krakow, where the fall can be quite chilly. In fact, autumn days in Belgrade are usually warm and sunny with the occasional cloudy day.

 

There are so many cool things to do in Belgrade: interesting street art, fantastic coffee shops, interesting museums, and tons of history. It’s also a great destination for architecture lovers as you will find a wide range of styles including Baroque, Art Nouveau, communist, and modernist all in one city. Don’t miss checking out the Kalemegdan Fortress, which overlooks the confluence of two major rivers: the Danube and the Sava. The Belgrade waterfront is open all year round with tons of delicious restaurants with beautiful views over the water. Cafés with outdoor seating are open well into the autumn, often providing blankets for your lap or heating lamps so you can stay cozy outdoors.

 

Belgrade has great nightlife with people partying into the early morning hours – even on cooler nights! In fact, you can party on a river boat (called a splav) even in November! Not far from Belgrade you can enjoy Fruska Gora National Park, which turns orange in autumn and has delicious wines you can try that were recently harvested earlier in the fall. Don’t miss bermet, a unique dessert wine strictly from this region!

 

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Best European Destinations in Autumn © Travelwithmk.com

Best European Destinations in Autumn © Travelwithmk.com

Best European Destinations in Autumn © Travelwithmk.com

 

 

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Travelers - Storytellers

Travelers at heart, Mei and Kerstin have been roaming the world together since 2002. Expats for over a decade, they used to live in Bordeaux, Paris, Athens, and San Francisco. Now back in their country Luxembourg, they continue to travel whenever they can, despite their full-time job. Their travel stories are meant to make you leave your couch and explore the globe.

25 Responses

  1. Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions
    | Reply

    This is such a varied list and I love that you got some national capitals as well as smaller towns. It’s getting me in the spirit of fall even as we technically are entering spring here in the Southern Hemisphere! Something about visiting Krakow during the autumn really catches my interest. I’m assuming the majority of tourists would be aiming to go further south during this time of year and would hopefully leave a place like Poland a little less crowded.

  2. Umiko
    | Reply

    One thing in common, these beautiful destinations see less crowd in the autumn. How lucky to be able to visit around this time. I would like to visit Neuschwanstein Castle at this time. It looks magical! Tuscany looks like the Smokys at this picture.

  3. We love to visit Europe in the Autumn and are so sad to miss it this year. I am sure Madrid is awesome in the autumn when the temperatures drop a bit. What a lovely view you got of autumn colours. Malta was absolutely on our travel plans for this year. And great to have it in the autumn with smaller crowds. Looks like we need to plan a longer stay. What a great list. So many great options for new places to visit in the fall. One year!

  4. Jeff Albom
    | Reply

    There are so many places to visit in Europe and your list is a great compilation. I have not been to Europe in autumn but I think my favourites would be the locations nearest the Mediterranean. Malta, Spain, Italy, and Portugal would be my picks.

  5. Emma Riggs
    | Reply

    Great compilation of places to visit during the autumn time. I’ve never even made it to that part of the hemisphere, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin when it comes to which place for which season. The castle in Germany was definitely a stand out for me!

  6. Melissa
    | Reply

    Definitely agree with this list…but I’d make Paris closer to winter that way you get the seasonal change and the holiday decorations 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, Paris is very beautiful around Christmas, but it’s less crowded in autumn. 😉

  7. Maggie McKneely
    | Reply

    I’ve actually never been to Europe in the Fall! I live in Virginia, and the fall colors here are beautiful, but I’d love to see one of those old European cities against the backdrop of changing leaves.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      If you love Virginia in the Fall, you’ll certainly love Europe in autumn too! 🙂

  8. Lance
    | Reply

    Autumn is my favorite season to travel anywhere. As everyone has said, the crowds are smaller and the cooler air always makes for more pleasant sightseeing. How pleasant to stroll the streets of Rome while eating some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. Now the secret is out. Fall is the time to travel.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes! Autumn is definitely the best time to travel around Europe especially if one is looking for colorful landscapes without the crowds! 😉

  9. 100cobbledroads
    | Reply

    We have been going to Europe every fall since the last 10-12 years. I think its the best season to travel anywhere. The weather is wonderful and the colors are so rich.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Glad to know that you guys have been exploring Europe in autumn! That’s a very wise decision. What’s your favorite destination so far?

  10. trimmtravels
    | Reply

    My favorite time to travel is in the fall and Europe is gorgeous at this time of year. I can absolutely vouch for Amsterdam in November. I got an awesome photo in front of the iAmsterdam sign with orange leaves in front of it and it wasn’t highly crowded either! Malta is a place I really want to go so maybe I’ll try to plan that one for next fall. And I wish I had visited Rome in November and NOT in July like I did!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh we’d love to see your photo of the iAmstersam sign amidst fall foliage! We were in Amsterdam in December and it was so crowded that we didn’t even get to take a picture of that sign! And yes we can imagine how crowded it must have been in Rome in July! :/

  11. Bernie Jackson
    | Reply

    So many great suggestions! It’s good to see Madrid there as an autumn option; it really is so beautiful at that time of year, as is Amsterdam (although that’s normally a December trip for us). Tirana is a completely new destination for me, and I love the art that’s shown here. That’s certainly an addition to my list.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      We also love Amsterdam in December, but it’s less cold in autumn. 🙂 Discover more Fall destinations in parts 2 and 3 of this article!

  12. Lara Dunning
    | Reply

    These all sound like excellent ideas for fall travel and I enjoy traveling in the off-season as you get more of a local vibe and few crowds make it more pleasant. I’d love to go back to The Netherlands, and visit Malta.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, the shoulder seasons are definitely the best time to visit Europe. Which parts of the Netherlands did you visit last time?

  13. Candy
    | Reply

    I haven’t yet to visit Europe during Fall and there are so many great options. Malta stood out to me the most. I love the suggestion of renting a car and driving around to the beautiful beaches.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, there are many great Fall destinations in Europe! And Malta is high on our bucket list too. Read our part 2 and part 3 posts for more destinations! 😉

  14. Carolina Colborn
    | Reply

    They don’t compare to New England Fall, right? We are in Paris right now and our friend who is a local says the officials have been trying to find a cure to the blight that’s striking deciduous trees that contribute to fall foliage.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh they have tree blights in Paris now? How unfortunate! We really hope they’ll find a cure real fast, because the colorful fall foliage makes Paris so stunning in October and November!

  15. Great list – I am heading to Dublin and Berlin in November. But love your list. I will keep in mind for next year.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh awesome! We visited Berlin last May, and would love to know how it is in November!

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