Europe in the autumn offers visitors a more relaxed experience than the frantic pace of the tourist-filled summers. The kids are back at school, Europeans are back at work and the continent returns to its normal routine. This provides the perfect opportunity for visitors wanting to immerse themselves in the authentic cultures of some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.
The sights of Barcelona are almost impossible to enjoy properly during the summer months due to the city’s immense popularity with tourists. Later in the year visitors can enjoy a more authentic, localised experience, and feel more relaxed and at home as the locals get back to their regular routines. The sun still shines brightly on this fascinating city well into the autumn months, so walking around and enjoying the fabulous outdoor cafes and the multitude of interesting attractions is still a very viable option. Check out the Gaudi House Museum for something really unique.
This is another city which enjoys late summer sunshine well into October without the crowds. Budapest is a beautiful Baroque city that is fantastic to visit at any time of year, but autumn is the time when it celebrates its rich gastronomic tradition. There is a wide variety of festivals celebrating everything from music, food and wine to foie gras. Take a trip up Buda Castle Hill on the amazing 19th century funicular and enjoy a spectacular view of the city and the River Danube which dissects it.
Dubrovnik is a wonderful destination for warm autumn sunshine. Temperatures here are high enough later in the year to extend your summer wardrobe for a few more months and sunbathing and swimming are still inviting options. There’s still plenty going on in the autumn, with a wide range of music and food festivals going on all around the city. Discover the city’s routes with a leisurely walk through the famous Old Town which dates back to the 16th century.
For those of us who enjoy good food and wine there is no better choice than this fascinating area of one of the most interesting and beautiful countries on earth, and being the harvest season, the autumn is a great time to go there. This is a time of food festivals and local producers gather together to show off local delicacies including chestnuts, mushrooms, truffles and chocolate. If wine is your passion, head to the vineyards for lazy afternoons sampling the best the region has to offer. The capital Turin is home to Europe’s best Egyptian Museum (yes, Egyptian).
If history is your thing and you enjoy great food and drink, take a trip to Athens this autumn. Even later on in the year, the sun shines brightly on this historically fascinating city, and the only problem you will face is deciding which of the amazing sights you should see. Have a wander around the back streets and you will find quiet cafes and friendly people alongside a whole host of amazing smaller historical sights you will not find in any guide book. If you’re feeling energetic, take a hike up the Parthenon and enjoy wonderful views of the city.