Europe

25 European Destinations Fantastic in the Fall

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Europe’s Best Places in Autumn

Whatever time of the year you visit Europe, you are certain to have an unforgettable experience, but make no mistake, each season on the travel calendar here has its standout destinations. For those heading over in autumn, the good news is that the list of great fall destinations in Europe is a very long one, as the continent puts on an exceptional seasonal show full of festivals, fall foliage, harvest celebrations and—if you go to the right places—warm & sunny weather. The best autumn European destinations range from Scandinavian capitals and ravishing stretches of German riverside to Spanish cities, romantic Romanian towns and plenty of places in between. Click on the slideshow to see some of the best places to go for a fall trip to Europe in 2022.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Brasov, Romania

Tucked into the heart of Transylvania (yep, that Transylvania), Brasov is home to an atmospheric Old Town full of cobbled lanes and appealing architecture. Take the switchback stroll—or funicular ride—to the top of Mount Tampa, which overlooks the town in order to survey the city and surrounding Carpathian Mountains in all their autumn glory. Then, since it is fall and you are in his neck of the woods, take the short day trip to see Bran Castle (also known as “Dracula’s Castle”), a place where fact and fiction combine to create an eerie-yet-enchanting day out.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Bavaria, Germany

This beautiful region of southeastern Germany is a year-round standout, but in fall each year it plays host to the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich and eye-catching foliage in its alluring alpine foothills. The latter makes visiting the region’s famous fanciful castles (Neuschwanstein Castle & Hohenschwangau Castle) near the town of Fussen an unforgettable autumn experience.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Piedmont, Italy

This region of northwest Italy is often overlooked by travelers, but those who make it here quickly discover that it offers up just as sweet a sip of the Italian good life as destinations further south. Renowned for its food & wine, autumn is the best time of year to enjoy the local Barolo wine and the hidden treasure of the local forests: the white truffle. Alba, Asti and villages on their outskirts are great bases to enjoy the best of the region, but you won’t go wrong in cosmopolitan Turin, either.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is one of Europe’s most beguiling medieval towns, which also helps make it one of the continent’s most popular destinations. The crowds thin a bit in autumn tough, while its hidden courtyards and serene parks all get splashed with vibrant seasonal color, a pretty display of foliage that also looks spectacular reflected in Bruges’ moody, atmospheric canals.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Seville, Spain

Seville sizzles in the summertime, with its temperatures regularly topping 100 degrees. Things start to cool off in autumn, with pleasant temperatures in the 70s and 80s prevailing through much of October and November. Take advantage of this to score some late-season sun while also exploring this gorgeous & historic city in comfort. You’re sure to love learning about all the cultures that came together to make the city so special in addition to indulging in the local passion for great food, sherry wine and flamenco.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Croatia Ends Pandemic-Related Entry Requirements

You’re certain to fall for this region of northern Croatia after a trip in autumn. Spend time exploring its largest city Pula—which includes a fantastic Roman amphitheater—before making for one of the atmospheric hill towns like Motovun that are famed for their rustic charm, winemaking heritage and gastro delights.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Georgia

More and more people are making the trip to Georgia, a nation in the Caucasus known for its fascinating culture, breathtaking mountain scenery and sensational food & wine. Soak in the atmospheric old streets and bustling restaurants of Tbilisi (perhaps catching the Tbilisoba Festival if you’re there in early October) before enjoying the fruits of the harvest in the Kakheti wine region or doing some swimming on the Black Sea Coast, which stays warm through autumn.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Best Places for Adventure Travel

You haven’t truly seen Lake Bled until you’ve seen it bathed in soft autumn light, surrounded by a collage of colorful leaves. Take in the view of the lake and its storybook island from above at Bled Castle, before heading down to the lakeside to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate or coffee alongside a slice of famous Bled Cream Cake.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Europe’s Best Places in Autumn

Admire pretty fall colors reflecting in the water below you on a canal cruise or above your head during a stroll through the Vondelpark. Or, just sit at a cafe on the Canal Belt, watching the world cycle by, blowing orange and brown leaves into the air as they pass by. Regardless of how you spend your days here, you’re going to be smitten with the The ‘Dam during autumn.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Canary Islands, Spain

They may be a part of Spain, but the Canary Islands sit in the Atlantic Ocean—much closer to Morocco than Madrid—and that far-flung location has gifted them with an “eternal spring” climate. Visit to enjoy warm and sunny days all autumn long while also experiencing quintessentially European culture across the islands’ cities, villages, beach clubs and houses of high cuisine.

a castle on top of a grass covered field with San Gimignano in the background

Local Living Tours

From the backstreets of Florence to the rolling hills of the cypress tree-covered countryside, Tuscany is a treat in the fall. Wine and food harvest events abound all over the bucolic region (this is the season of mushrooms and chestnuts), with its “wine roads” coming alive with those sampling the seasonal flavors. In hill towns like San Gimignano and Volterra, autumn offers the chance to walk the narrow streets with slightly fewer crowds.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Krakow, Poland

The nation’s historical capital and arguably its most fetching city, Krakow comes into its own during the “The Golden Autumn of Poland”. That’s the name for a stretch of fall beloved by Poles as the perfect part of the season when it’s still warm but not hot outside and the countryside comes alive with brilliant color. See the city’s sights or just simply relax on Krakow’s magnificent market square in the warm glow of the golden autumnal sun.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Hungary

From the stately facades and bridges of Budapest to the lovely town of Tokaj and its surrounding wine region, Hungary is an awesome place to be in autumn. Soak in all the grandeur and sightseeing in Budapest before soaking in one of the city’s famous thermal baths, which are even more special when there’s a chill in the air and steam rises up over the pools. Then, head out to Eger or the aforementioned Tokaj to taste Hungarian wines at the source during harvest time.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

The Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

This swath of Switzerland is home to arguably the country’s best combination of quintessentially “Swiss” alpine culture and mountain scenery. Located in the highlands outside of the country’s capital of Bern, here you will find high mountain destinations and hiking locations still open through autumn before the cold arrives. Rest assured, the Swiss take to the trails all autumn long as the season lacks the crowds of summer and the snowed-in pathways of springtime.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Loire Valley, France

The Loire Valley is one of France’s most romantic regions and seeing its collection of chateaux against a backdrop of brilliant fall color is one of the country’s best travel experiences. Cheverny. Chambord. Villandry. They all dazzle this time of year.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

The Middle Rhine, Germany

Meandering from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea, the Rhine River’s run through the continent includes many scenic stretches, but this section (also known as the Rhine Gorge) is easily the most idyllic. Base yourself in a dreamy little town like Bacharach or Boppard in order to cruise the Rhine during the days on the convenient scenic cruising vessels—admiring the foliage and castles that tower over the river along the way—and spend evenings dining and downing the local wine.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Barcelona, Spain

The sun is still out, the temperatures are still idyllic and there are slightly fewer fellow tourists competing for a selfie spot with you in front of the La Sagrada Familia church. Enjoy days on the city’s urban beaches or exploring the city’s fascinating art & architecture and your evenings dabbling in the sensational dining and nightlife scenes.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Sweden, Norway and Denmark Have Ditched COVID-19 Restrictions

Autumn in the Swedish capital is a win-win proposition. If the sun is out and the temperatures are mild, fully explore the city including the ferries that explore the cute islands of the Stockholm Archipeligo. If the weather feels pre-wintry, just stay in a cafe reading a book, sipping a warm beverage while practicing the art of Swedish “coziness”.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Sample Sicilian Street Food

Sicily’s biggest city stays warm all autumn long, making it the perfect place to spend lazy afternoons dining al fresco followed by sessions of sipping espresso while crunching on a cannoli or two. Palermo will stimulate all your senses with a dizzying array of buildings across a range of architectural styles—many elegantly fading—that reflect the city’s rich heritage and history under numerous empires. Then, strike out for one of the nearby coastal resorts for some beach time.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Nice, France

While the palms lining the famed Promenade des Anglais won’t be changing colors, you won’t mind one bit as you soak up the autumn sun on the sand in the unofficial capital of the French Riviera. Temperatures here stay mild through October while the city buzzes all autumn long with events and festivals.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Ireland

After a summer of sunshine and showers, Ireland still retains its emerald appearance into fall, but you get the added bonus of seeing some colorful foliage added into the mix, too. Explore the cultural delights of Dublin before making for the countryside and castles, and remember that if you get unlucky with the weather, the misfortune just becomes an excuse to retreat to a pub for a pint of stout by the fireplace.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Lisbon, Portugal

You may notice a cool breeze in the air during fall in this lovely city, but the breeze will be much appreciated after scaling some of Lisbon’s famed hills. The other plus side of the walk? You’re certain to find yourself near one of the city’s beloved miradouros, a network of viewpoints that offer sweeping vistas of the skyline. If you the weather is especially warm when you visit this autumn (not out of the question), then make for the nearby seaside town of Cascais for a day at the beach.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul will excite you during any season, but there is just something special about the sunny days and crisp nights of fall. Shop in the bazaars and tour the Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia before sipping tea along the Bosphorus with local fishermen. Then, walk the famous Istiklal Caddesi shopping street and pick up a bag of roasted chestnuts—a cherished delicacy of the Turkish autumn.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

The Lake District, England

The summer crowds have mostly melted away, meaning you might just have some of those gorgeous English lake views all to yourself. Climb to the top of the challenging-yet-manageable fells or explore sights relating to renowned children’s author Beatrix Potter by day and spend your night dining resting your feet at the region’s outstanding restaurants and snug pubs. Tip: the general rule of the Lake District is the further north you go in the park, the more solitude you’ll find.

food, 25 european destinations fantastic in the fall

Greece To Require Pre-Travel PCR Test Taken Within 48 Hours

October is the grand finale of the tourist season on Greece’s whitewashed Cyclades Islands and what a sweet send-off it is. Thinner crowds and 70-something days are the rules through most of the month, with the water in the sea staying warm from all the sun it soaked up during the summer. Whether you head to white-washed, Insta-famous Santorini and Mykonos or dig deeper for an off-the-beaten-path getaway on an island like Folegandros, you’re in for the time of your life.

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