The season of falling leaves is upon us again bringing Halloween, Bonfire night and hints of Christmas right to the forefront of our thoughts. Bikini season is officially over and any plans of socializing outside are swapped for cosy nights in by the fire. Did someone just say hot chocolate?
Although, you might be surprised to hear that the drop in temperature is the single reason why autumn is the season for city breaks. The mild autumn climate means fewer crowds and shorter queues to the most popular tourist attractions all over the world.
Welcome to a visit to the Eiffel Tower without the long stand in the cold, and to a city break that lets you feel what it’s really like to be a real local instead of just another tourist…
The city with more bicycles than people might just have to be your next stop if you fancy getting away from the rush and the crowds, not to mention this is the next best way to explore the town: hop on a bicycle and ride freely through the brilliant colours of red and orange in the leaves that scatter the paths and discover the city’s perfect autumn setting.
Denmark’s capital doesn’t do Halloween half-heartedly and you can see this for yourself by visiting Tivoli Gardens and witnessing its transformation into a Halloween Wonderland.
You’ll be hit with the Zombie dance show, a haunted hotel and pantomime theatre. Tivoli will even be kitted out with 2,000 pumpkins, bales of straw, spiders, scarecrows and magical creatures, all accompanied with a sinister atmosphere.
You could even choose a horse-drawn carriage to hop on whilst you get your best photos of Copenhagen’s many green spaces and parks in passing; Autumn with your own chauffeur!
Two words: wine and cheese. Hungary’s top tourist spot embraces autumn in the right way with an annual new wine and cheese festival! Visit the majestic setting of Vajdahunyad Castle in the middle of the City Park in the final few days of November.
Fill your tastebuds with the award-winning wines of Hungary and some bites of cheese to compliment, or if that’s not your thing then embrace the culture with concerts and programmes to watch and take part in.
If you don’t already know, Budapest is a walking city so the autumn weather creates an idyllic centre for your exploration of your surroundings. Why not make use of the time of year that has the least tourists and get a ticket to visit Europe’s only permanent big top.
The Capital Circus of Budapest has everything you’d expect from a circus including acrobats, big cats and daredevils on horseback. Spend a beautiful autumn day at the circus equal with the greatest festivals of the world and with some of the best and most successful circus productions from all over the world!
Who doesn’t love some unexpected sunshine? Even when dark winter days are only round the corner Stockholm lets you soak up the sunshine, so make the most of this while it stands! Find the perfect hiking trail where you can camp overnight without the need for any high tech sub-zero gear, but with the perfect view of the city in all its warm autumn colours.
Sweden’s 29 National parks and 4,000 nature reserves will give you plenty of space to explore and why not use a day in the fresh air for some seasonal apple picking? Stockholm has an international film festival in October too and a ghost walk on the city’s cobblestone streets…
The 90 minute adventure will take you round the city and teach you the legends, secrets and ghosts of Stockholm’s past. There’s nothing like some haunted stories to give you a fright in the lead up to Halloween…
Get into the seasonal spirit in a non-spooky way by tasting the traditional autumn foods at the markets: breads, marmalade and vegetables. And you won’t be short of fun activities to do either like crafting, pony riding and visiting cosy taverns that capture the essence of Stockholm’s charming autumn.
France’s capital might seem like the perfect city break in the summer when the sun is shining just so you can dine al fresco and your tourist selfies outside the Eiffel tower are rain-free, but autumn is when Paris’ fairs, festivals and most important wine events all come to life…
The 3rd Thursday of November is when the young red vin de primeur Beaujolais Nouveau is released onto the market in a frenzy of promotion, buying and drinking. The nationwide festival releases a wine only 6-8 weeks old (so it’s intended for immediate consumption!)
Take your chance to combine your curiosity of France with your love of chocolate at the Salon du Chocolate yearly trade fair for the international chocolate industry! It’ll feature chocolate statues, free tastings, chocolate fountains and a fashion chocolate show at Paris Porte de Versailles.
Why not branch out and pop to another French autumn event with the International Contemporary Art Fair: it showcases work from more than 180 international galleries and 3,000 artists. Who says October has to make you jump out of your skin?
Not all your city breaks need to be a plane ride away, head somewhere closer to home for an autumn getaway with the Cotswolds: possibly the cutest cottage-based area for a cosy yet scenic weekend!
The postcard-pretty villages will replace the exciting nationwide festivals and annual stalls and the grand array of manor houses and gardens will be the basis of your snaps for the photo album, but let’s appreciate autumn in England. Take a stroll down the lakeside trails and choose a log cabin over a hotel: enjoy the wood burners and the outdoor fire pit in a secluded spot that’s a perfect break.
Immerse yourself in the history at one of the many Cotswolds’ Museums and with ‘Wolds’ meaning ‘gentle hills’, you can expect a peaceful and serene getaway to a picturesque landscape of hidden river valleys and distinctive market towns and villages!
Those were the 5 ultimate destinations to visit in autumn: Copenhagen for a Halloween haven, or Budapest if what you want is all things cultural and circus-based, Stockholm for a mix of spooky trails and scenic hikes to get that dreamy autumn view, Paris should be your next stop if you want an arty autumn this year with a side of wine, and it’s the Cotswolds for a wonderfully British cosy getaway with views of green for days.
Where is your favourite place to visit in Autumn? Where are you headed this year? Have you visited any of these places during Halloween? Leave us your thoughts!
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