Summer tends to be the undisputed travel season, but autumn trips can bring all sorts of delights to the traveler who can swing it. Cultural festivals abound as European vacationers come back home to celebrate them, while the departure of tourists means that many attractions become cheaper and less crowded. Food delights in fall flavors, and the turning colors of leaves adorn city sidewalks. A chance to get up close and personal with locals, see Europe in full red and orange splendor, and save money while doing so- what’s not to love? Plan your European travel in the fall with these tips to make the most of your experience.
if you want vacation weather and daytime hours. While the north sees blustery winds and short days, the south can be pleasantly warm well into the fall- you might even find it preferable to summer’s heat. Cordoba, Palermo, and Nice all have more temperate and even some summer-like conditions in the early fall season, and only dropping into the 50°F/10°Crange in November.
Coordinate with festivals
There’s no better way to get to know a city’s character. For example, Oktoberfest in Munich is inimitable, but if you’re there take a day to explore the city as well. Start perhaps in the Alter Botanischer Gardens, where fall colors have taken over and give a lovely new ambiance to the park, or the Deutsches Museum, for some history and science to add context to culture. Other festivals we like in the fall include Festes de la Mercè in Barcelona (Sep 20th-24th) and the Salon du Chocolat in Paris (Oct 30th– Nov 3rd).
Food takes on a whole new character in autumn, as local chefs can make use of the abundant harvests and seasonal products (mushroom lovers, rejoice). If you’re a foodie, this is the perfect time to take advantage of some of our Featured Trips like ‘Uncovering Rome one Bite at a Time’ or ‘Tasting Granada‘.
Some general tips
- Before you go ahead and book tickets, you might want to consider purchasing two one-ways. Often, round trip ticket prices are calculated based on the peak season departure date, even for the off-season ticket, which will cost you.
- When packing, think layers, and think waterproof. It will add bulk to your bag, but you’ll wish you had it if you’re drip drying in a café in Dublin. If you decide on an umbrella, it might be worth purchasing upon arrival as they can be tricky to take through airports.
- Be aware of schedules; many popular attractions run reduced hours outside of peak travel season, and the shorter days will close up several nature-oriented activities.