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Ask Approved: Our Top Picks for Must-Visit City Parks in the United States
There’s no doubt about it: New York City’s Central Park is impressive. An 840-acre slab of green space, right in the heart of Manhattan. But while Central Park may be the most famous of urban parks, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one worth visiting. From San Francisco to Boston, some of the United States’ most metropolitan areas are also home to some of the country’s most breathtaking bits of nature. Excluding the all-too-obvious Central Park, here are our favorites.
30. Dolores Park, San Francisco, California
Located in the Mission District’s sunny microclimate, just two blocks from the iconic Mission Dolores, this San Francisco park is a long-standing favorite amongst Bay Area locals. In recent years, foot traffic has bloomed with roughly 7,000 to 10,000 people flocking to Dolores Park on a sunny weekend day.
The city’s Recreation and Parks department notes that the nearly 16-acre park is “one of San Francisco’s most popular parks” and serves as “the vibrant heart of its equally vibrant, culturally diverse neighborhood.” With stunning views of the city, off-leash dog areas, playgrounds, tennis courts and plenty of green space to unroll a beach blanket on, Dolores Park is an all-occasion hangout spot.
29. Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
Located in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., this park dates back to 1890. In fact, Rock Creek Park was just the third national park established by the United States government, following in the footsteps of Yellowstone and Mackinac National Park. In autumn, the valley puts on a stunning foliage show — all within miles of the National Mall.
In total, Rock Creek Park encompasses roughly 2,000 acres, and all that acreage is filled with equestrian and hiking trails, sports venues, an amphitheater, an outdoor concert venue, a golf course, a planetarium, a picnic area and more. Cultural and historic landmarks are also scattered throughout the park, with the most notable being the water-powered grist mill, Pierce Mill.
28. World’s End, Hingham, Massachusetts
Okay, so admittedly some people might consider this one a bit of a stretch. Technically, the ominously named World’s End isn’t located in Boston proper. Instead, it lies just across Boston Harbor in Hingham, Massachusetts. That means this park offers some of the best views of the Boston skyline and Emerald Necklace.
In 1889, renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was asked to design a residential subdivision on the peninsula. As such, the park includes carriage paths — though no homes were ever erected. Composed of drumlins — elongated hills formed by the movement of glacial ice — World’s End offers sweeping grasslands and nearly five miles of tree-lined trails.
27. Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia
Occupying 30 acres of Savannah, Georgia’s historic district, Forsyth Park is perhaps best known for its fountain in the park’s north end. Added in 1858, the fountain is similar to the one located in Paris’ Place de la Concorde — probably because Parisian urban planning was all the rage at the time of the park’s construction.
Featured in films like Cape Fear (1962) and The Longest Yard (1974), the fountain’s water is dyed green each St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the city’s Irish heritage. In addition to the iconic fountain, Forsyth Park contains numerous walking paths, play areas for kids, various courts and fields and the Fragrant Garden for blind visitors.
26. LeBauer City Park, Greensboro, North Carolina
Although Greensboro’s LeBauer City Park is a mere four acres, it cost a whopping $10 million — a gift from the will of the late Carolyn LeBauer, for whom the park is named. The park’s project coordinator remarked that the new space, located near the city’s cultural center, history museum and public library, would serve as “an anchor for the cultural campus.”
Perhaps the most stunning — and recognizable — feature of the park is the Janet Echelman sculpture titled Where We Met . Hailed as the largest outdoor art installation in the Southeast, the grant-funded sculpture looks like a net of colors, measuring 200 by 130 feet, and is suspended over the park’s main lawn. Although the sculpture is made of various stronger-than-steel polyethylene compounds, it was inspired by the city’s vibrant textile industry.
25. Scioto Audubon Metro Park, The Metro Parks, Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio’s, Metro Parks are made up of 19 sprawling urban parks in and around the city. In total, the Parks encompass a staggering 27,500 acres of both land and water and touch over seven counties in Central Ohio. Chock full of trails, educational facilities and land for resource management and recreational activities, the parks system is diverse.
Although all of the parks have a unique vibe, the most metropolitan of them all is the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, which is located near Downtown Columbus in the Brewery District. As a major stopover for bird migration, the park features wetlands, in addition to a climbing wall, trails and an old water tower that melds the natural and manmade.
24. Container Park, Las Vegas, Nevada
Located in Downtown Las Vegas — the old Vegas — this park is part of the city’s ongoing effort to revitalize some off-the-Strip locales. Built using around 30 shipping containers and 41 modular cubes, the park is filled with kid-friendly play areas and 39 boutique shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Although it spans just 19,000 square feet, which doesn’t feel like a whole lot in the ever-expansive desert, Downtown Container Park certainly makes an impression. That impression is, in part, thanks to the reclaimed shipping containers — and thanks in part to the 55-foot-tall steel praying mantis sculpture at the entrance.
23. The Lawn on D, Boston, Massachusetts
Located on the city’s thriving waterfront, Boston’s Lawn on D bills itself as “an unforgettable venue that’s full of life.” In a sense, the Lawn has rebranded itself — more of a gathering place than your typical park. The outdoor venue boasts a pavilion, tons of green space and quite a few innovative features.
In addition to solar-powered phone chargers and food trucks, the Lawn on D provides visitors with lounge chairs, interactive art exhibitions, bocce, table tennis and free Wi-Fi. Perhaps the most recognizable (and Instagrammable) element of this South Boston staple, however, is the light-up swings, pictured here. Ever-popular, the installation, called Swing Time , is a set of swings “outfitted with solar-powered LED lights that change color when swung at varying speeds and heights.”
22. Maggie Daley Park, Chicago, Illinois
This 20-acre park is located near the shores of Lake Michigan in northeastern Grant Park and connects to Chicago’s Millennium Park via a pedestrian footbridge. Named after the city’s former first lady, the park was built where the Daley Bicentennial Plaza once stood.
In remaking the park — a process that took two years and $60 million — the city created an ice skating ribbon, climbing walls, children’s play area (complete with water features) and a garden that honors cancer survivors. One of the most stunning features of the park? The Enchanted Forest. The interconnected network of footpaths is flanked by upside-down trees and archways and features a mirror maze.
21. White River State Park, Indianapolis, Indiana
Covering 250 acres of Indianapolis, White River State Park is also in one of the city’s seven cultural districts. The park boasts the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indianapolis Zoo, beautiful gardens, sports and entertainment venues and even an IMAX Theater.
The area on which the park now stands was revitalized in the 1980s, when the good people of Indianapolis realized the Indiana Central Canal, which was never properly finished, was just sitting there, partly dug. Soon enough, the area was restored, becoming the multi-faceted park it is today. Originally, folks behind the project wanted to add something special to the park to complement the city’s skyline. Although plans for what was dubbed the Indiana Tower were drawn up, it was never built.
20. Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Featuring public art and historic homes, Fairmount Park is split into two sections — the oh-so-creatively named East Park and West Park. The Schuylkill River bisects the two sections, which together compose an area totaling a whopping 2,052 acres. As Philadelphia’s first park, Fairmount is also rich in history.
Originally, the park was divided into three sections: South Park, known for its gardens; Old Park, which encompassed several estates; and West Park, the area that contained the Philadelphia Zoo and played host to the Centennial Exposition — also known as the 1876 World’s Fair. That means it was on the grounds of Fairmount Park that such iconic items as Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, the Remington typewriter and Heinz Ketchup first debuted.
19. Queen Kapi’olani Regional Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
Known as the largest and second-oldest park in Hawaii, Queen Kapi’olani Regional Park is located in Honolulu near Kuhio Beach Park. Named after the Queen consort of King David Kalākaua, the park contains everything from soccer fields to archery ranges and hosts international rugby and lacrosse tournaments annually.
The Honolulu Cricket Club, also nestled in the park, is noted by Guinness World Records as being the oldest sporting club in the Pacific, dating back to 1893. Beyond its natural beauty and incredible vistas, the 300-acre park lures locals and tourists alike thanks to attractions such as the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Shell, an outdoor concert venue.
18. Falls Park on the Reedy, Greenville, South Carolina
In downtown Greenville’s historic West End district, outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves mesmerized by Falls Park on the Reedy, so named for its location on the Reedy River. Known as the birthplace of Greenville, the park was officially founded in 1967 when a local garden club reclaimed 26 acres of green space that’d previously been used by textile mills.
Featuring public gardens, the wall from an 18th-century grist mill, public art and even a restaurant, Falls Park offers visitors a unique mix of history and nature. Of course, the park’s namesake is also its most striking feature: The falls are made even more impressive thanks to the Liberty Bridge, a 355-foot-long suspension bridge that curves around said falls.
17. City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans’ 1,300-acre public park is reportedly the 20th-most-visited urban public park in the country. To put its size in perspective, City Park is roughly 50% larger than Central Park. Other stats? Well, the park is the 48th oldest in the United States, dating back to 1854 — although some of its residents are even older.
Known for housing the world’s oldest collection of mature oak trees, City Park’s oldest oaks are over 600 years old. That’s a lot of rings. Unfortunately, hurricanes have posed a huge threat to the green space: In 1949, one of the two “dueling oaks,” which derived their name from the fact that men would literally duel each other beneath the trees back in the 19th century, was decimated by a storm.
16. Theodore Wirth Regional Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Shared by the city of Minneapolis and the suburb Golden Valley, Theodore Wirth Regional Park is the city’s largest green space. The park was named after the former superintendent of Minneapolis parks, who served in his position for 30 years. Although Minnesota is the land of a thousand lakes, Theodore Wirth Regional Park contains just one lake, Wirth Lake, and one pond.
Its original 66 acres grew to a whopping 759 acres — and, now, it even contains two golf courses. As part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, the park also links the Chain of Lakes area with one of the state’s larger parkways. On the grounds, sharp-eyed visitors can spot a plaque that marks the 45-degrees latitude line, which demarcates the halfway point between the North Pole and the equator.
15. Zilker Park, Austin, Texas
Situated at the juncture of the Colorado River and Barton Creek, Zilker Park is made up of roughly 350 acres of green space that were donated to the city of Austin by a wealthy benefactor in 1917. The park’s size makes it a fitting venue for large-scale events like the ever-popular Austin City Limits Music Festival.
As more and more tech companies set up hubs in the city, Zilker is quickly becoming city-dwellers’ go-to escape. Filled with hiking and biking trails, Zilker Park also features sports fields, picnic areas, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum and the Austin Nature & Science Center. Looking to soak your feet after a long trek? Barton Springs pool offers public swimming — and a lovely look at Austin’s growing skyline.
14. Lands End, San Francisco, California
After the Gold Rush in California, entrepreneurs designed the Cliff House — a resort for the wealthy — on the very edge of San Francisco. Every Sunday, a horse-drawn stagecoach carried visitors from downtown San Francisco to the Pacific’s shores at Lands End. Eventually, millionaire Adolph Sutro built a steam train to transport guests and constructed an enormous bathhouse on the beach.
These days, a version of the Cliff House still stands, but the Sutro Baths are ruins of a bygone era. Situated right at the mouth of the Golden Gate, Lands End is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and offers views of San Francisco’s most iconic bridge. The old rail beds have been turned into hiking trails, allowing visitors to explore the rugged coastline, public art installations and more.
13. Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s Lincoln Park takes up an impressive 1,200 acres, bordered by Lake Michigan as well as quite a few of the city’s neighborhoods — Edgewater, Uptown, Gold Coast, Lakeview, Streeterville and, of course, Lincoln Park. The park’s Lakefront Trail offers up a scenic 18-mile-long stretch that’s perfect for joggers, strollers and cyclists alike.
During the summer months, the park’s beaches are a popular destination. And, during the winter, folks only pop up on the sandy shores to snap a cool picture or two of the city’s skyline. For those who’d rather not lounge on the lake, Lincoln Park also offers a nature boardwalk, conservatory, history museum and zoo.
12. Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California
Located in Los Angeles, Griffith Park is an impressive 4,310 acres, which means it’s one of the largest urban parks in North America and the second-largest urban park in the state after San Diego’s Mission Trails Preserve. Although it’s more rugged than Central Park, Griffith Park is almost as iconic, especially when it comes to filming locales.
One of the most iconic movie moments filmed at the park? In The Terminator , Arnold Schwarzenegger arrives in 1984 and emerges from the Griffith Observatory. (Nice night for a walk, eh?) We could go on about the park’s movie connections, but there’s so much more to it than that. With equestrian trails, hiking paths, a zoo, an art museum and a train enthusiasts’ club with connections to Walt Disney, Griffith Park is certainly one of the more unique places on our list.
11. Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri
Although it opened in 1876, Forest Park hosted two of its most significant events in its history in 1904 — the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Summer Olympics. At 1,326 acres, locals have dubbed the park the “Heart of St. Louis” and, as such, it features quite a few big-name attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum and the St. Louis Science Center.
About two decades ago, the park began a restoration project that ended up totaling $100 million. This pricey facelift improved Forest Park’s landscaping and habitats, such as meadows, a variety of ponds, wetlands, prairie land and freshwater streams, all of which provide a wonderful home for migratory birds and animals. One of its most iconic features? The Jewel Box, an Art Deco-style greenhouse.
10. The Gathering Place, Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Gathering Place stretches over 100 of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s, precious acres. Thanks to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and 80 other private contributors, the largest private donation — a whopping $465 million — to a public park in America’s history was made to this unique green space. According to Thrillist, the chairs at The Gathering Place cost a whopping $5,500 apiece.
The vision? “A Park For All.” That means the organizers of The Gathering Place were keen on putting diversity and equality first, meaning the park and its many features value accessibility. From playgrounds and lawns to wetlands and a skate park, this park is clearly the Place to be. In fact, National Geographic listed it as one of the world’s 12 most mind-bending playgrounds, while Time magazine dubbed it one of The World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2019.
9. Balboa Park, San Diego, California
Home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park covers 1,200 acres of open spaces, gardens, paths, museums, restaurants and theaters. Dating back to 1835, the site of the present-day park is one of the oldest areas in the country to be dedicated solely to public recreational use. But that’s not where its rich history stops.
In 1915–16, the park hosted the Panama–California Exposition and, two decades later, it housed another world’s fair — the California Pacific International Exposition. As is the case in cities the world over, these fairs were the cause of several of Balboa Park’s most recognizable landmarks, including the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue, and the Botanical Building (pictured), which houses the park’s beautiful gardens.
8. South Mountain Park, Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix’s South Mountain Park wins the title of largest municipal park in the country — and it nabs a spot on the list as one of the largest urban parks in the world. Encompassing a truly astounding 16,283 acres, the mountainous park is chock full of desert vegetation and the native chuckwalla, a large lizard that loves arid climates.
The park was established in 1924 when President Calvin Coolidge sold the city the park’s then-13,000 acres for a mere $17,000. Although a bit of suburban sprawl flanks the park land, visitors are still utterly transported to a place that feels anything but metropolitan. With over 58 miles of trails, a 1,000-foot-tall lookout point and a landmark known only as Mystery Castle, South Mountain Park is definitely worth a visit.
7. Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York
As we’ve previously noted, Central Park is great and all, but, if you find yourself on the other side of the river, we highly recommend Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Situated near quite a few popular neighborhoods, including Park Slope, Flatbush and Prospect Heights, the park encompasses an impressive 526 acres, making it the borough’s second-largest public park behind Marine Park.
Laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also helped design Manhattan’s Central Park, Prospect Park opened in 1867. The nearby Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are all located just outside the park’s grounds, but this green space still has a lot to offer, from a zoo and outdoor concert venues to a Quaker cemetery. In fact, the park boasts the borough’s largest remaining forest and its only lake.
6. Forest Park, Portland, Oregon
If you still have time to kill after checking out Portland’s oh-so-tiny Mill Ends Park, we highly recommend Forest Park, which stretches an impressive eight miles across the city’s hillsides. Unsurprisingly, this scenic stretch offers quite the view of the Willamette River and makes the park one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves.
Covering 5,100 acres, the park is mainly composed of second-growth forest and features over 70 miles of trails. Thanks to civic leaders back in 1860s who wanted to preserve the woods near the city, the Olmsted brothers — sons of the prestigious Frederick Law Olmsted — were brought in to develop a plan for Forest Park. Thanks to these early conservation efforts, more than 122 bird species and over 60 mammal species enjoy the park alongside human visitors.
5. Falls Park, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
While South Dakota is certainly known for national parks and your typical natural sprawl, folks don’t always associate city life with the state. Likely, visitors think of the Black Hills and the sacred Tunkasila Sakpe Paha , or Six Grandfathers Mountain , formation. But, as the park’s name suggests, it is centered around a beautiful splay of falls on the Big Sioux River.
There’s no admission fee to see the 123-acre park’s namesake. The falls themselves cascade 100 feet over the state’s famous black rock formations. And if that isn’t enough for you, other highlights include tons of outdoor sculptures, an observation tower and even the remains of the old Queen Bee Mill, which was built in the late 1800s.
4. Gas Works Park, Seattle, Washington
With just 19 acres under its belt, Seattle’s Gas Works Park may not be as large a green space as some of the other public parks on our list, but it has a lot of personality. And by that we mean it would play really well on your Flickr account. Home to the Seattle Gas Light Company’s old coal gasification plant, the park brings urban decay right to the shores of Lake Union.
The plant operated for a good 50 years before shuttering in 1956 and, by 1962, the city scooped up the land with plans to give it a second life as a public green space. Richard Haag, the landscape architect behind Gas Works, won an award for design excellence, highlighting the way in which cities have the ability to meld the old and new — the manmade and the natural.
3. Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan
Located in the Detroit River, this 982-acre island park is owned by the city of Detroit — though it’s situated quite close to our Canadian neighbors. After Grosse Ile and Fighting Island, Belle Isle is the third-largest island in the river — and it’s the largest city-owned island park in the United States. Both a cool and very specific feat.
A quick drive across the MacArthur Bridge will land visitors on the isle, which is home to an aquarium, a conservatory, a golf course, a nature center and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. If you choose to swim along its half-mile stretch of beach, you’ll most likely spot the island’s Coast Guard station and Detroit’s Yacht Club. But our favorite landmark on the island is the William Livingstone Memorial Light, the only marble lighthouse in the United States (pictured).
2. High Line, Manhattan, New York
Built on a disused section of the New York Central Railroad line known as the West Side Line, the High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated park that runs from the Meatpacking District (a few blocks below 14th Street) through Chelsea and to the West Side Yard on 34th Street. In the old days, freight trains got into so many collisions with traffic on 10th and 11th Avenues that the area was nicknamed “Death Avenue.”
Now, the High Line, which opened in 2009, is considered a remarkable feat of contemporary landscape architecture. Filled with plant and animal life, it’s becoming its own ecosystem — and, certainly, anything but another Death Avenue. This park in the sky welcomes over five million visitors each year, and it nabs such a high spot on our list for inspiring countless other cities in the United States to reclaim abandoned infrastructure in order to create public spaces.
1. The Presidio, San Francisco, California
In 1776, Spain gained a foothold in California and colonized the area, setting up a military base — or presidio — right on the San Francisco Bay. Later on, the United States used the area as an army base, building barracks, hospitals and weapons stores. In 1989, Congress voted to end the Presidio’s status as an active military installation, and by 1994 the National Park Service took over the land.
Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio is one of the world’s largest national parks situated in an urban setting. In addition to offering camping sites, extensive trails, public art and unbeatable views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the park is also home to many businesses, from nonprofit organizations and private residences to restaurants and museums. With an eye toward ecological restoration; honoring the Ohlone and Costanoan people who lived on the land before colonial invaders ; and reclaiming abandoned infrastructure, the Presidio proves just how amazing it is to have a national park folded into one of the country’s most iconic cities.
Honorable Mention: Mill Ends Park, Portland, Oregon
Okay, so this park doesn’t involve any hiking — nor can you sunbathe or fire up a grill. Instead, Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon, is one of those bucket list-type attractions. And why’s that? Well, at two feet across — with a total area of 452 square inches — this little circle of a spot is the smallest park in the world.
Given its unique distinction in 1971 by the Guinness Book of Records , Mill Ends Park was initially meant to be the site of a new light pole. When construction came to a standstill, Oregon Journal columnist Dick Fagan planted flowers in the hole and dubbed it Mill Ends. Now, tourists flock to the median strip near the Willamette for a chance to spot this record-setting park.
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Best destinations to visit this autumn in Europe
Autumn is the perfect time to meet people and get off the beaten track.
Best European destinations to visit this autumn
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If you are lucky enough to be able to discover Europe at any time of the year, autumn is really THE perfect season. The main European destinations have just lived their high season, the streets are quieter, real life resumes on the streets of the most beautiful destinations in Europe . Autumn is the perfect time to meet people and get off the beaten track.
Off tourist season, you will also enjoy the best hotels at the best price , fewer queues for your best activities in Europe , more places in restaurants, fewer people on your photos, in short autumn is certainly the best time of the year to discover Europe .
Take your pick from our selection of the best destinations to visit in autumn and send us your photos via social networks!
This Autumn treat yourself to memories for a lifetime. Treat yourself to the great outdoors. Discover one of Turkey's greatest tourist treasures : the Cappadocia .
Its wind-sculpted fairy chimneys in the "Love Valley" but also the Goreme National Park and its cave constructions make Cappadocia one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Over the centuries, cave villages but also castles, sanctuary, have been dug by man in the rock of the Cappadocia region. These are real underground cities, invisible to the naked eyes, just waiting to be discovered. Do not miss to fly over the region in a hot air balloon and visit Ulchisar Castle , ranked among the most beautiful castles in Turkey .
How to get there: Book your flights to Kayseri (1 hour by car) as well as your accommodation and your tours and activities in Cappadocia . We advise you to stay in Uchisar, an emblematic village of Cappadocia.
Where to stay: “ Hermes Cave Hotel ” offers spectacular views of Uçhisar.
Andalusia - Spain
If summer can be a little hot in Seville , even if the “Guadalquivir River” cools the days and nights, Sept-Oct-Nov are ideal months to visit Seville.
Seville , the capital of one of the most beautiful regions of Spain, is a European destination of extreme beauty; it is located in the south of Spain . One of its treasures, the Alcazar , is classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Discover Seville; its climate is perfect throughout the year. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle, book your holiday at the best price in Seville during the low season, for example in Autumn .
Book your flights to Seville, your accommodation in Seville as well as your activities and tours in Seville such as a " Seville: Live Flamenco Dancing Show Ticket ".
How to get there: Book your flights to Sevilla and your transfer .
Where to stay: “ H10 Casa de la Plata ”. With bar, terrace and views of the city.
Italy is the preferred destination for travellers from all over the world and Florence is the preferred destination for travelers looking for the most romantic destinations in Europe , the best cultural events in Europe and the most beautiful museums in Europe .
Come and discover in the quiet of an autumn day, the Uffizi Gallery, the Michelangelo's David and the Florence Duomo.
Book your flights to Florence your accommodation in Florence as well as your activities and tours in Florence as a " Florence: Chianti Wineries Tour with Food and Wine Tasting " and stay in one of the Best Destinations to visit in Autumn .
During your stay do not miss to visit the Best Hidden Gems in Italy , Best Beaches in Italy , Most Beautiful Castles in Italy , Best Nature Wonders in Italy , Best Ski Resorts in Italy as well as the Best Places to visit in Italy and Best Things to do in Italy !
How to get there: Book your flights to Florence as well as your transfer .
Where to stay: " Relais Piazza Signoria " just a few steps from the Uffizi Gallery.
This fall discover one of the most beautiful destinations in Andalusia, Granada and its mythical castle classified among the most beautiful castles in Spain .
This is probably one of the most beautiful traces of the Muslim presence in Andalusia. Surrounded by lush vegetation, this majestic palace is the symbol of the city of Granada. Behind this monumental palace is the snow-capped mountains of Sierra Nevada.
Book your flights to Malaga, the nearest airport (1 h 30 drive), your accommodation at the best price and your tours and activities in Andalusia such as an " Alhambra, Gardens and Alcazaba guided tour ".
How to get there: Book your flights to Malaga (1h30) and your transfer .
Where to stay: For a royal stay, book your room at the " Alhambra Palace " located just outside the Alhambra's ancient walls.
5. Plitvice Lakes
During Autumn this unique place in the world, awarded the title of best national park in Europe , is just magical! The autumn colours make Plitvice Lakes one of the best destinations to visit in Autumn in Europe . If you had to visit only one place in Croatia this is certainly the Plitvice Lakes.
If possible, visit the park during the week, there is much fewer people than during the weekend. According to your capacities you will choose a « two hours », « four hours » or « six hours » ride . Do not worry about the way back, there are shuttles that will bring you back to your starting point.
During your stay do not miss to visit the best hidden gems in Croatia , Most beautiful Beaches in Croatia and Best Destinations to visit in Croatia .
Book your flights to Zadar or Zagreb (2h by car) as well as your accommodation in Croatia and your tours and activities in Croatia such as a “" From Zagreb: Plitvice Lakes and Rastoke Day Trip ".
How to get there: Book your flights to Zagreb or Zadar (2h by car) as well as your transfer.
Where to stay: " Hotel Degenija ". All rooms have an en suite bathroom with a tub.
6. San Andrés - Tenerife
Canary Islands - Spain
Far from the crowds of the high summer season (in July and August the Canary Islands are full of Spanish families) and far from the crowds of the high winter season (December-March which are full of travellers from the North of the Europe), October is the ideal month to visit Tenerife .
San Andres is a charming village just a few kilometres from Santa Cruz of Tenerife on the Canary Islands. San Andres is not just charming, it is also the oldest village on Tenerife island.
Book your flight tickets your accommodation at the best price in Tenerife as well as your activities and tours in Tenerife today for a dream holiday on the Spanish islands.
Need more inspiration? Discover the best beaches in Spain , most beautiful hidden gems in Spain , Best Places to Visit in Spain and Best things to do in Spain .
How to get there: Book your flights to Tenerife and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Iberostar Heritage Grand Mencey ". Guests can relax in the hotel's Bar Casino or in the lobby bar.
A riot of tastes and colours, where the wish to celebrate the beginning of the autumn season in the company of friends in front of a good glass of wine and tasty local gastronomical products is always enticing.
The traditional Lugano Autumn Festival is returning, bringing the streets and squares of the old city centre to life. For three days, during the first week of October, visitors will be able to discover local cuisine and try excellent wines from Ticino at the various grottos spread throughout the city streets.
The autumn market selling local food products and handicrafts is also not to be missed. To add to the festivities, there will be plenty of musical entertainment offered by various folk bands. Finally, there will also be a free guided tour on offer to discover and admire the beautiful architecture and landscapes of Lugano.
Book your flights , your accommodation as well as your activities and tours in Lugano and enjoy your stay in one of the most beautiful cities of Switzerland.
Need more inspiration? Discover the Best Christmas Markets in Switzerland !
How to get there: Book your flights to Lugano or Milan Malpensa (1h by car) and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Hotel Splendide Royal ". Located on Lugano's Lakeside main street.
Climb the hills of Budapest and watch the river, the Parliament, the warm colours of the trees in the landscape and make you feel like you are alone in one of the most romantic cities in Europe .
Enjoy the best activities in Budapest like a sightseeing cruise or enjoy the best of Budapest with the Budapest card; dozens of activities await you in the capital of Hungary. The Central Market Hall, the Budapest Opera House, the Castle Hill, everything is quieter in autumn in Budapest.
Book your flights , your accommodation in Budapest as well as your activities & tours in Budapest as a " Budapest Evening Sightseeing Cruise With Unlimited Prosecco " and enjoy the sweetness of life of one of the most beautiful European destinations to visit in Autumn .
How to get there: Book your flights to Budapest and your transfer .
Where to stay: " InterContinental Budapest " enjoys an excellent location on the banks of the Danube next to the Chain Bridge.
Considered one of the best destinations to visit in Turkey , Bodrum is also ranked among your best destinations to visit in October in Europe .
Located in the south-west of Turkey , bordered by the Aegean Sea, Bodrum is a perfect destination for beach lovers, gastronomy, scuba diving and wine. This incredible city, dedicated to relaxation and leisure, is also called the Turkish Saint-Tropez .
During your stay in Bodrum, be sure to visit Bodrum Castle. It is ranked among the most beautiful castles in Turkey and was built with the stones of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Need more inspiration? Discover the Best Beaches in Turkey , Best Hidden Gems in Turkey , Best Places to Visit in Turkey and Best Things to do in Turkey .
How to get there: Book your flights to Bodrum-Milas Airport (located 30 minutes from your swim in the sea).
Where to stay: “ Yalikavak Marina Garden Hotel ” features a wide green garden.
Spring Summer Autumn Winter. Porto is a sublime city to be discovered at all seasons of the year. Just a ray of sunshine to illuminate the colorful houses of Ribeira, to warm the casks of Porto wines that sleep in the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia.
The second city of Portugal has nothing to envy in Lisbon and many travellers have fallen in love with the charms of Porto. Autumn is a perfect time to discover the Douro valley and its vineyards classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Book your flights to Porto, your accommodation in Porto , your transfer as well as your activities and tours in Porto as a Douro Valley tour with wine tasting or a Delicious food tour in Porto . You will love the autumn in Porto.
How to get there: Book your flights to Porto and your transfer .
Where to stay: “ PortoMoments " located in the wine cellars district.
Have you ever dreamed of visiting Venice ? Autumn is the perfect time to visit one of the most romantic destinations in Europe .
During your stay in Italy do not miss to visit the Best Hidden Gems in Italy , Best Places to Visit in Italy , Best Things to do in Italy , Most Beautiful Castles in Italy as well as the Best Ski Resorts in Italy and Best Christmas Markets in Italy to discover the very best of Italy !
Book your flights to Venice, your transfer , your accommodation in Venice as well as your activities & tours in Venice as a " Venice: Private Gondola Ride Along Grand Canal " " for a perfect stay in one of the Best Destinations to visit in Autumn in Europe .
How to get there: Book your flights to Venice and your transfer .
Where to stay: “ H 10 Palazzo Canova ". Located on the Canal Grande.
Alentejo - Portugal
In recent years Comporta, a peaceful "Freguesia" located 1h30 from the Portuguese capital Lisbon , has become the landmark of nature lovers, restaurants and trendy cafes, all in a bohemian, artistic and 100% natural spirit.
Here, the fishermen of the villages, farmers, craftsmen, and international stars like Madonna, Philippe Starck, Christian Louboutin rub shoulders. Treat yourself to a stay of pure relaxation and take advantage of its long beaches, craft shops, boho-chic shops, waterfront restaurants and hotels facing the risières.
Even less crowdy in September and October, Comporta is one of the Best Destinations to visit in Autumn .
Book your flights to Lisbon, your transfer, accommodation in Comporta , as well as your tours and activities such as a " Horse Riding on the Beach with Wine Tasting ".
How to get there: Book your flights to Lisbon and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Spatia Comporta " is one of the best 4-star hotel in Comporta.
The arrival on Motovun is spectacular . You have a view of the hills and vineyards that make the reputation of Motovun, a high-perched village with a tradition of very good wine and food.
As you will see everywhere in Istria, there is a strong influence of Italian culture. Moreover, the street names are often written in Croatian and Italian , it is true that we are close to the borders of Slovenia and Italy.
Motovun as Groznjan are in the green part of Istria, more humid, perfect for truffles but also for vineyards.
Need more inspiration? Discover the Best Beaches in Croatia , Best Hidden Gems in Croatia as well as the Best Places to Visit in Croatia .
Book your flights to Rijeka as well as your accommodation in Istria and your tours and activities in Istria as a " Truffle hunting tour "
How to get there: Book your flights to Pula Airport (50 min by car).
Where to stay: " Winery & Design Hotel Roxanich " has a restaurant and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool.
Gdansk is a perfect European destination for the autumn . More and more travelers are amazed by the beauty of this city.
There is no other place like Gdansk a city of courage, freshness and freedom. Gdansk is a thriving center of culture, science, sports and entertainement. Discover Gdansk in autumn for an unforgettable experience.
Book your flights to Gdansk, your accommodation in Gdansk as well as your activities and tours in Gdansk for a 5-star stay in one of the Best Destinations to visit in Autumn.
How to get there: Book your flights to Gdansk and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Puro Gdansk ". Located in the centre of Gdansk.
15. Bordeaux & Saint-Emilion
Elected most beautiful destination in Europe, Bordeaux is a city that will leave you olfactory tasteful, visual and unforgettable memories. This city which is now one of travellers’ favourite destinations in search of authenticity will offer you an exceptional stay where history, gastronomy, human warmth, the smile of the inhabitants but also the vineyards of Saint-Emilion, the beaches of Arcachon , will make you fall in love with Aquitaine. one of the most beautiful regions in France.
Bordeaux is traditional, contemporary, classical, underground and cosmopolitan. It has nothing to envy to Paris and autumn is an ideal season to discover this city and its vineyards.
During your stay do not miss to visit the Best Hidden Gems in France , Best Castles in France , Best Beaches in France , Most Amazing Nature Wonders in France as well as the Best Places to Visit in France and Best Things to do in France .
Book your flights to Bordeaux, your transfer , your accommodation in Bordeaux as well as your activities & tours in Bordeaux as a " Bordeaux: Saint-Emilion and Medoc Full-Day Wine Experience ".
How to get there: Book your flights to Bordeaux and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Mama Shelter Bordeaux ". Situated in the real heart of Bordeaux.
Robert Wotherwell, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, the greatest artists await you in autumn at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao .
Avoid long queues and crowded rooms, in autumn everything is quieter in Bilbao. The permanent collection of the museum offers you incredible artworks which you can enjoy in the tranquility of a soothed museum room visited only by privileged few.
If you prefer landscapes to museum artworks, no problem, the vineyards around Bilbao have beautiful colours in autumn. Treat yourself to a visit to the vineyards of the Rioja or a full-day tour of Bilbao.
During your stay discover the Best Beaches in Spain , Best Castles in Spain , Most Beautiful Secret Destinations in Spain , Best Things to do in Spain as well as the Best Places to visit in Spain .
Book your flights to Bilbao, your accommodation in Bilbao as well as your activities & tours in Bilbao as a " Bilbao: Basque Food Tour With Guide " and discover one of the Best Destinations to visit in Fall in Europe .
How to get there: Book your flights to Bilbao and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Grand Hotel Domine ". The Guggenheim Museum is 200 m away.
Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, The Montserra Royal Basilica, the most beautiful treasures in Barcelona await you in autumn to offer you a unique experience in one of travellers’ from all over the world favourite destinations.
Book your flights to Barcelona, your accommodation in Barcelona as well as your activities & tours in Barcelona as a " From Barcelona: Costa Brava Kayak Tour ". Avoid long queues and enjoy this time to visit the surroundings of Barcelona like the beautiful cities of Girona or Sitges .
During your stay do not miss to visit the Best Hidden Gems in Spain , Best Castles in Spain as well as the Best Beaches in Spain , Best Christmas Markets in Spain and the Best Ski Resorts in Spain .
How to get there: Book your flights to Barcelona and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Mercer Hotel Barcelona ". Highly rated for its very comfy beds.
Edinburgh , the capital of Scotland , is a very lively destination. It is ideal to celebrate Christmas time, the New Year or in summer with its many festivals. Edinburgh is especially beautiful in Autumn when the sun, sky and nature agree to offer you landscapes that take your breath away.
In addition to having a magnificent city for yourself, you will also enjoy hotels at the best prices and fewer people to enjoy the best activities in Edinburgh like a visit to Edinburgh Castle or a Loch Ness tour for the most courageous ones.
Need more inspiration? Discover the Most Beautiful Castles in Scotland , Best Hidden Gems in Scotland , Best Places to visit in Scotland , Best Beaches in Scotland as well as the Best Things to do in Scotland .
Book your flights to Edinburgh, your transfer , your accommodation as well as your activities and tours in Edinburgh as a " Edinburgh: Loch Ness & The Scottish Highlands Tour ".
How to get there: Book your flights to Edinburgh and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Motel One Edinburgh " for its perfect location.
If the winters are mild in the city of 7 hills, the falls are even softer and pleasant.
Fall under the spell of the capital of Portugal, one of the best European destinations for a city break in autumn . Travellers around the world love it and visit it by hundreds of thousands in summer.
Enjoy the beauties of this amazing city out of the tourist season, out of the crowds. Get the best activities in Lisbon and enjoy fewer people mean less queue. Take advantage of the time you will win to visit the surroundings of Lisbon such as the castle of Sintra or the vineyards of the Alentejo.
During your stay make sure to visit the Best Beaches in Portugal , Best Hidden Gems in Portugal , Best Places to Visit in Portugal , Best Castles in Portugal as well as the Best Things to Do in Portugal .
Book your flights to Lisbon, your accommodation in Lisbon , as well as your activities and tours in Lisbon as a "" Lisbon: Guided Day Tour of Sintra ".
How to get there: Book your flights to Lisbon and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Torel Palace Lisbon ". Located on a hill in the heart of Lisbon.
Amsterdam is one of the most romantic destinations throughout the year and especially when the trees along the canals dress up in their warm autumn colours . This city visited every year by millions of travellers is quieter in that time of year. You will pass unnoticed and will not be considered a tourist but a resident of Amsterdam.
Stroll through the beautiful little clothes designer shops and bookshops in Amsterdam. Book your flights, your accommodation in Amsterdam as well as your activities and tours in Amsterdam like a Dinner Cruise .
Need more inspiration? Discover the Best Hidden Gems in The Netherlands , Best Beaches in The Netherlands , Best Christmas Markets in The Netherlands as well as the Best Places to Visit in The Netherlands and Best Things to do in The Netherlands .
How to get there: Book your flights to Amsterdam and your transfer .
Where to stay: " Sofitel Legend ". Stay in the heart of Amsterdam.
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Best places to visit in October in Europe
Looking for the best places to visit in October in Europe? Here's our top suggestions for city breaks and warm autumn holidays in Europe in October to avoid the summer crowds.
Best places to visit in Europe in October
Beaches – greece and cyprus, city breaks – rome, athens, bratislava, berlin, cultural events – munich , natural wonders – iceland.
Why visit Europe in October?
October is a great month to visit destinations in Europe. With fewer crowds than in the summer months, and better prices, October is the best shoulder season month to see some of the most famous sites.
It's also a pretty good month when it comes to weather in the southern countries. Parts of Greece in particular are still nice and warm, and I've comfortably swum in the sea more than once in October in Greece .
In this travel guide, I've laid out a few suggestions on places you might like to consider visiting in Europe in October. These are split between city breaks, October holiday sun breaks, and places to visit for special occasions.
Let's take a closer look at what the weather can be like in Europe at that time of year first.
What's the weather like in October in Europe?
October is one of those months when you really notice the North / South divide in Europe!
Up in the North, Stockholm can experience it's first snowfalls toward the end of the month, whilst in the south, people splash happily in the still warm waters of the Peloponnese.
You must keep in mind though, that nothing is guaranteed. Just because last year people experienced great weather at the end of October in Greece doesn't mean the same will happen this year. Also, one week in October can vary wildly from another.
Typically speaking though, the further south in Europe you are, the warmer the weather will still be in October. The further North in Europe, the wetter and colder it will be.
Why is October cheaper than August to vacation in Europe?
This all comes down to the school holidays, combined with cultural trends.
Pretty much every school in Europe is closed for the summer holidays in August. In addition, some factories have enforced breaks during this period as well. The French even have a term for it – Les Grandes Vacances.
The result of all this, is that pretty much all of Europe decides to hit the beach and go on holiday at the same time! So, in August, prices shoot up as hotel spaces become rarer.
October is completely different. The prices have come back down, and there are fewer people around. For those of us fortunate to be able to choose the time of year to take their vacations, it makes October a nice choice.
Best October City Break Destinations in Europe
The cities I've listed here are popular tourist destinations no matter what time of year you visit. However, many of them are a lot busier in the summer months due to the monster cruise ships that pull into port every day.
In October, the cruise ship traffic is down, and the peak tourist traffic has take a downward turn. Whilst somewhere like the Acropolis is always going to be relatively busy, the crowds in October are nothing compared to those of July and August.
Athens in October
This is the city where I currently live, and so I can confirm that October is a great time to visit! You might need a light jacket to sit out at night for your evening meal, but hey, you can still sit outside, right?!
October is definitely a good month to experience not only the ancient sites in Athens, but also its contemporary vibe. There's a lot happening in these months, from art exhibitions to music festivals, and it's pleasant to feel the seasons changing.
I've a full guide here: What to do in Athens in October .
If you are staying for a few nights, you might also consider these day trips from Athens .
Not sure if you want to go to Athens? Check out my reasons to visit Athens which should persuade you otherwise!
If Athens doesn't appeal, Greece has more fantastic cities to enjoy. Try Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Nafplio or Ioannina instead!
Find out more: Festivals and Events in Athens .
Rome in October
Some people actually consider October to be the high season in Rome. This is because the temperatures are more bearable, which makes checking out all the places to see in Rome so much more pleasant!
So, whilst accommodation prices might not be much lower, you will find it's a nice time if year to wander around the streets of Rome, visit the must-see archaeological sites, and soak up the culture.
Want to make the most of your time in Rome? More here: Vatican and Colosseum Tours in Rome .
Florence in October
Florence is similar to Rome, in that the high temperatures have lessened, and it's far more pleasant to walk around the city and enjoy the riches dating from the Renaissance era.
You are likely to find hotel prices in Florence lower than in August, and also slightly fewer tourists making it a perfect time to visit. If you're already visiting Italy in October to see Rome, it's certainly worth adding Florence into your travel itinerary.
More here: Things to do in Florence .
Bratislava in October
Bratsilava might not be as warm in October as some of the other European cities already mentioned, but it somehow seems more charming in the autumn months.
Perhaps it's the way the leaves change on the trees, the comfort of an extra layer of clothing, or simply the sights of this beautiful city on the Danube.
It might not fly high on the wish list of places to visit in Europe, but Bratislava has enough to see and do for at least a couple of days, and will give you an indication that Europe isn't just about those ‘famous' cities and countries.
More here: Bratislava in a day
Barcelona in October
In all honesty, any time of year is a good time to visit Barcelona! However, the advantage of October, is that those peak tourist numbers have faded away, and the temperatures are a lot nicer.
By the way, if you are seeing a pattern here with the temperatures in October in Europe good!
Sure, you might need a light jacket to go strolling down Ramblas at night, but what a city to explore!
More here: Things to see in Barcelona .
Paphos in October
The southern country of Cyprus is blessed with nice weather in October (more on that later!), and a city where there are plenty of things to do.
Although there is an element of tourism overload in Paphos, as indicated by the numerous places to eat and drink catering to a largely British crowd, it shouldn't detract from why people went there in the first place.
Mainly, there are archaeological wonders, history, great food, and good weather. October is a perfect month to visit Paphos.
More here: Top things to do in Paphos
Dubrovnik in October
Personally, I have mixed feelings about Dubrovnik in Croatia, but I know it's a must-visit bucket list getaway spot for many. As such, you might want to consider it as one of your October destinations.
During this month, the cruise ship numbers have lessened, and that makes a big difference to the amount of other tourists wandering around the city.
Game of Thrones fans will also enjoy walking around the city walls, and the lower temperatures make the entire experience more enjoyable than in August!
Porto in October
The southern European countries seem to come into their own in autumn, and this is certainly the case with Portugal. Porto, in particular, is a great European getaway destination in October.
In terms of weather, Porto has a rather agreeable 20 degrees as its average daily high, with lows of 12 degrees meaning you might want to take a jacket for the evening.
In terms of what you should do when there, you can check out my guide here on things to do in Porto . You should also note that October is the tailend of the grape harvest and wine making. You could consider taking a day trip out to a winery along the Douro valley.
Rhodes in October
Readers looking where to go in Europe in October might like to consider a city break in Rhodes Old Town. It's one of the most beautiful cities in the world thanks to its medieval castle walls, and its historic value has earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
In addition to the charming town itself, staying in Rhodes Town also gives you easy access to nearby beaches to enjoy a few last warm swims of the year.
Thanks to its southerly location, the weather stays nice and warm right through to the end of October in Rhodes !
Best Autumn Sun destinations in Europe in October
If you're after some late sun, the opportunity to top up your tan one last time, and swim in the sea, these countries in southern Europe are the best for sun in October.
Greece in October
Obviously, I have to start this section about Greece, as I am currently living here! I've enjoyed some great October weather here over the last four years, and the sea temperatures have been warm enough to swim in both the Peloponnese and Crete in October.
The photo above was taken mid October 2017 in the Peloponnese.
I'll be upfront and say that no one can predict the weather these days, but it sure is a lot warmer in Greece in October than it is in dreary old London!
If you've got the time available, and want to soak up some autumn sun, Greece could be a very nice choice.
More here: Crete in October
Also check out: 25 Amazing places to go in Greece
Cyprus in October
With a slightly more southern location than Greece, Cyprus stays warmer for longer. It's been an autumn and winter destination for Brits for a long time. In fact, my parents are off to Cyprus in early November for a couple of weeks!
The country has a good mix of things to see and do. So, if you have bad weather one day, you could take a tour or visit a museum or two. On good days, head on down to the beach and relax!
More here: Excursions from Paphos in Cyprus
Malta in October
Another reasonably southern country located near Sicily, Malta makes another good choice for some autumn sun. In all honesty, I don't think that Malta has the best beaches in the world, but they're good enough when compared to dodging rain clouds in Birmingham!
There's also plenty to do in Malta . From visiting some of the oldest temples in the world, to strolling around the walls of Venetian defences, Malta is an appealing destination in October.
More here: A guide to sightseeing in Malta
Special Occasions and Festivals in Europe in October
You might also want to plan a short trip or vacation in October in Europe around the following festivals.
Oktoberfest in Munich
There can't be many people who haven't heard of Oktoberfest! Beer lovers from around the world flock to Munich in Germany during late September and early October to enjoy a beer or two in a fun atmosphere.
It's the world's largest beer festival, and every year over six million people attend. If sampling a little Bavarian culture sounds like your thing, give it a go!
More here: Oktoberfest
Concurs de Castells
This festival is officially held every two years (even numbers) in Tarragona, Spain. This festival revolves around human towers, and their competing teams. It's hard to put into words – check out the video below!
October is the start of the Northern Lights season in the northern countries. One popular place to catch them, is Iceland. Fingers crossed for a clear night, and you'll be rewarded with an almost spiritual experience at this time of the year!
More here: Reykjavik in 2 days
You might also be interested in: Best places to go in Europe in November and best time to visit Europe . Want more destination ideas? Take a look at my Europe Bucket List .
Pin these October European destinations for later. Check out my blog for more travel tips and guides!
Best European Destinations October FAQ
Readers who plan visiting Europe outside of the tourist season often find that an October trip is a great month to travel. Some of the most frequently asked questions they have include:
Where to go in Europe in October?
Some of the best places to visit in October in Europe are Cyprus, Malta, Greece, and Germany. Each of these destinations offer a unique experience, and you're sure to enjoy yourself no matter where you go.
Which European cities are best in October?
Some of the best places to visit in October in Europe are Munich, Tarragona, Reykjavik, and Athens. Each of these destinations offer a unique experience, and you're sure to enjoy yourself no matter where you go.
Which country has stunning autumn foilage?
One of the best places to visit in October in Europe for stunning autumn foliage is Germany. The leaves in the northern part of the country turn shades of yellow, orange, and red, and it's a beautiful sight to behold. If you're looking for an autumn getaway, Germany should be at the top of your list!
Are the Greek islands popular destinations open in October?
Yes, the Greek islands are popular destinations open in October. Many of them offer warm weather and a great atmosphere for tourists. You'll be able to enjoy the beaches, explore the cities, and take advantage of the culture and history on offer.
Thinking of taking a winter sun destination after visiting Greece in October? Read this guide to the warmest places in December in Europe
Dave is a travel writer who's been living in Greece since 2015. In addition to writing this guide on where to go in Europe in October, he's created hundreds of travel guides to countless European destinations.
Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond:
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The 9 European destinations you need to visit this autumn
Summer is drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean holiday season is over. Here’s where to go for the perfect autumnal break in Europe
With summer travel losing its sparkle , we’d argue autumn is actually the best time of year to travel in Europe . You can still catch some warm weather without being uncomfortably hot, the tourist crowds are abating and the foliage puts on a spectacle. In this shoulder season, Europe has something for everyone. Scotland satisfies leaf-peepers with russet forests, northern Italy prepares an autumnal food feast and Crete has late summer sunshine for those not ready to welcome winter just yet. These are the best places to visit in Europe this autumn for warm weather, culture and seasonal festivals.
Rebecca Ann Hughes is a travel writer based in Venice. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines and check out our latest travel guides written by local experts.
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The best autumn breaks in Europe
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Best for: beautiful streets
Lisbon may be built on lung-busting hills, but it’s well worth packing your walking shoes. Stroll the Baixa district downtown for wide boulevards, monumental squares and elegant tiled townhouses, which were built after a devastating earthquake in 1755. Then hike up the steep streets of the Alfama district, home to historic, pastel-coloured buildings and small squares crowded with cafés. Soak up the city in golden hour as you watch autumn’s early evening sunsets from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia or the Miradouro das Portas do Sol, viewpoints that overlook the city’s red-roofed houses and the River Tagus glinting beyond.
2. Crete, Greece
Best for: late-season sun
Those not ready to relinquish summer just yet should look to Greece ’s largest island Crete . In autumn, the crowds have departed but the temperatures remain balmy and the sea is still like a warm bath. The west and south coasts of Crete are not as over-developed as the east, so you’ll find tucked-away tavernas grilling seafood and keeping the raki glasses topped up. If you tire of lazing on crowd-free beaches, the mild autumn weather makes for comfortable hiking. In the east of the island, you can follow part of the extensive E4 hiking route from pano (upper) Zakros through the lush Zakros gorge, passing the archaeological remains of the once-sumptuous Minoan Palace of Zakros.
3. Budapest, Hungary
Best for: atmospheric views
Instead of chasing the late-season sun, embrace the onset of winter in the bohemian, culture-rich city of Budapest . The Hungarian capital is in its element in the autumn months when mists create moodily atmospheric views across the River Danube – take a river cruise in the evening to see the soaring neo-Gothic parliament lit up in the fog. If you visit the historic Art Nouveau thermal baths like Széchenyi, you’ll sit in 35C water which envelopes you in steam as it rises into the cool air. After visiting the hilly Buda side with its grand castle and richly carved Matthias Church, warm yourself with paprika-spiced goulash in a bread bowl.
4. Perthshire, Scotland
Best for: leaf-peeping
The country of Perthshire, Scotland ’s gateway to the Highlands , is one of the best places in Britain for brisk walks through vibrant autumn leaves. Head to the Hermitage, a stretch of forest that was once an eighteenth-century pleasure ground for the Dukes of Atholl, now owned by the National Trust. Delve into the 33-acre forest along the four-mile signposted route for some of the tallest giant Douglas firs in the country and the thundering Black Linn waterfall. Look out for red squirrels scurrying between the flame-coloured foliage.
5. La Langhe, Italy
Best for: autumnal food
Le Langhe is a hilly area in Piedmont, a region in northern Italy . In the autumn months, the vine-carpeted hillsides explode in bronze and orange foliage which, shrouded in morning mists, make for some pretty beautiful views. This is also the season of the prized white truffle, a pungent fungus that can sell for hundreds of euros a gram. It’s sniffed out by talented dogs and their owners in the dense woods. From October to December, the city of Alba hosts an international white truffle fair where you can eat dishes like cheese fondue and buttery pasta flavoured with the lauded truffle. Pair it with the region’s renowned full-bodied wines like Barbaresco and Barolo. Squisito.
6. Istanbul, Turkey
Best for: vibrancy and culture
Straddling two continents, Istanbul is a bright, buzzing city layered with thousands of years of history. In autumn, the weather is pleasant without being too hot, so you can sightsee or shop without breaking a sweat. Take in Istanbul’s grand buildings, from the glimmering golden dome inside Hagia Sophia – built in 537 AD as a church and converted into a mosque under Ottoman rule in the fifteenth century – to the sweeping Bosphorus Strait lined with lavish palaces. Swap grandeur for charm in the Çukurcuma neighbourhood crammed with antique shops, vintage boutiques and pocket-sized cafes.
7. Lower Saxony, Germany
Best for: Halloween spirit
The 100-kilometre-long Harz Witches’ Trail winds through the Harz mountains from Osterode to Thale in Germany ’s Lower Saxony region. The area is steeped in myth and folklore, and when you hike the route in autumn all the spooky legends seem to come alive. Smoke curls from the chimneys of crooked, half-timbered houses, the forests darken and the fog settles in the deep canyons. The route takes you through woods, along the atmospheric Bode Gorge, past Germany’s largest wooden church and up the 1,142-metre-high Brocken peak.
8. Perugia, Italy
Best for: a seasonal festival
Each year in autumn, the Italian city of Perugia is filled with the sweet, fragrant aroma of chocolate. From October 13-22, the capital of the Umbria region plays host to the biggest chocolate festival in the world, EuroChocolate . This year is its 30th anniversary and it’s set to draw nearly a million visitors. Sweet-toothed travellers can gorge on everything from chocolate-covered fruit, chocolate liqueur, giant slabs of nutty chocolate and chocolate moulded into cameras, tools, shoes and paintbrushes. There are chocolate art displays – recently there’s been an igloo constructed from 3,600 kilograms of chocolate bricks – and chocolate sculpting competitions.
9. Zermatt, Switzerland
Best for: early-season skiing
Those who can’t wait for ski season to begin can head to the slopes around the Swiss village of Zermatt in autumn. In the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn, you can ski down a continuous 21-kilometre-long run that arrives straight into the flower-bedecked Alpine village of Zermatt. The season gets underway in earnest in November when the place is often blanketed by real snow thanks to its high altitude. If the weather is too warm, a powerful snow canon ensures the ski slopes stay open. You might have many of the ski runs to yourself, as the crowds only begin to descend from February onwards in this part of Switzerland .
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12 European cities that are best experienced in the fall
I know, I know — those Instagram photos your friends and colleagues have been posting from Mykonos all summer have created some serious fear of missing out. But trust me when I say that many of Europe's most desirable destinations are actually much more pleasant in the fall.
After a series of sweltering heat waves spread across southern Europe this summer, autumn will finally bring some relief as the temperature drops. In the fall, you rarely have to jostle past hordes of tourists, or line up and wait to get that perfect photo — something that will be especially true this year.
Plus, since Europeans tend to travel in the summer, you're going to experience the cities more authentically now that their residents have all returned from vacation. Not to mention the fact that cultural offerings increase while the cost of flights and hotel rooms decreases as the days grow shorter.
Whether you want to spend your European holiday getting cultured, relaxing at the beach or exploring the countryside, here are 12 destinations that are best experienced in the fall.
Porto and the Douro Valley
Lisbon usually steals the spotlight, but Porto in northern Portugal is drawing more travelers. Many go to admire the beautiful azulejo tiles, learn about the city's rich history, and sample delicious Portuguese food and wine.
In Porto, visitors should spend some time strolling around the historic center and the Douro River, which is lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. Then, cross the river to visit one of the historic Port wine cellars, like Graham's Lodge, the preferred cellar of the British royal family. Porto is also a great jumping-off point to visit the scenic Douro Valley, the wine region known for terraced vineyards that cascade toward the river.
To stay in the heart of the city center, book a room at Maison Albar Hotels — Le Monumental Palace, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Then rent a car and drive to the Douro Valley, where you should base yourself at the luxurious Six Senses Douro Valley (rates start at $868 per night).
Amalfi Coast, Capri and Ischia
Jutting out into the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy's most picturesque and iconic destinations. It's also one of the most crowded, especially in the peak summer season. In the fall, after most tourists leave, you can soak up the beautiful landscapes and lifestyle with fewer crowds and more affordable rates.
The three main towns to visit are Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, and it's a good idea to spend a day exploring each of them. There are plenty of smaller, lesser-known towns as well. In fact, between the Amalfi Coast and the nearby islands of Capri and Ischia, you could spend a week exploring the area and still not see everything. Just keep in mind that most of the top hotels close at the end of October.
Related: Here's why fall is a great time to visit Italy in 2023
The best new place to stay in Amalfi is the Anantara Convento di Amalfi , which is perfectly positioned overlooking the town and within easy walking distance of the historic center (rates from $445). The coast is also home to a few Leading Hotels of the World members, including Le Sirenuse in Positano (from $845 per night), Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi (from $555 per night) and Palazzo Avino in Ravello (from $647 per night). Want to spend a night on Capri? Book a room at the buzzy new Hotel La Palma, a member of the prestigious Oetker Collection (from $749 per night).
Who says that summer is the only time to visit the Greek islands? Fall brings pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and more affordable airfares and hotel rooms.
There are 200 inhabited islands in Greece, so you have plenty of options. If you're not sure where to start, Variety Cruises offers a handful of itineraries in Greece; the small ships depart from Athens and hop around the Cyclades and other islands. Or you could base yourself on a larger island like Crete, which has everything from ancient ruins to beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. In September and October, it's generally still warm enough to swim.
Marriott Bonvoy members will find some great options, including Cosme in Paros (from 88,000 points per night), Mystique in Santorini (from 96,000 points per night) and Blue Palace Elounda in Crete (from 70,000 points per night), all of which are members of the Luxury Collection. Also in Crete is Cretan Malia Park, which is offering a series of wellness retreats this fall (rates from $172 per night).
Although Munich draws crowds for Oktoberfest every fall, Berlin offers more cultural attractions and events. The German capital has a range of activities to suit every taste, from highbrow entertainment like opera performances to techno raves and everything in between.
This fall, the city will welcome Fotografiska Berlin, a new outpost of the Swedish photo museum. There's also the new Deutschlandmuseum and the Cold War Museum. Two exhibitions will be dedicated to the work of Edvard Munch. Go in October to see the Festival of Lights or in November for the Jazz Festival.
Book a room at the luxurious Hotel de Rome, a Rocco Forte Hotel housed in a historic bank building in east Berlin (from $404 per night). Or, redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for a room at the Provocateur, a member of Design Hotels in west Berlin (rooms start at 30,000 points per night).
Romans use the term "l'ottobrata romana" to describe how lovely the city is in October when the summer heat has subsided and the climate is warm but mild.
Visiting archaeological sites like the Colosseum and Roman Forum is much more pleasant when you don't have to battle the crowds and the heat in the sweltering summer sun. If you've already seen those, you might want to visit the Sacred Area of Largo Argentina, where Julius Caesar was assassinated; it recently opened to the public for the first time.
Related: 10 exciting new hotels to check out in Rome
While Rome's most famous dishes are available year-round, it's worth seeking out seasonal specialties featuring ingredients like porcini mushrooms, pumpkin and squash. It's also a great time of year for a daytrip to the Castelli Romani, where you can visit vineyards and taste the famous porchetta di Ariccia.
If you have Marriott Bonvoy points, you can use them at the W Rome (rooms start at 79,000 points per night in October) or the sleek new Rome Edition (from 78,400 points per night).
Aside from great weather, you'll find exciting cultural programming in Istanbul this fall. Of course, if it's your first time, you should definitely visit Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia (be sure to go outside of prayer times) and the Grand Bazaar. The Blue Mosque recently emerged from a years-long restoration, so now is an ideal time to admire its famous dome.
Related: How to spend 1 day in Istanbul
The city's best hotel — Ciragan Palace Kempinski, built as an Ottoman sultan's palace — is a Leading Hotels of the World member, so Leader's Club members can earn and redeem points there (rates start at $513 per night). If you have World of Hyatt points, you can use them at the Park Hyatt Istanbul in the posh Nisantasi district, which is full of designer shops and chic restaurants (rates start at 20,000 points per night). Members of Le Club AccorHotels should book a room at Raffles Istanbul, which boasts some of the largest rooms and suites in the city (from $523 per night).
Everyone loves Paris in the spring, but there's something magical about strolling through the Jardin du Luxembourg and the city's other parks when the leaves change colors.
And a few cultural attractions are adding new sparkle to the City of Light. The Maison Gainsbourg will open on Sept. 20 in singer Serge Gainsbourg's former home. It will have a cafe that becomes a piano bar by night. In November, the Musee National de la Marine (dedicated to promoting maritime heritage) is scheduled to open. And it might be worth taking a daytrip to Versailles to see Marie Antoinette's private quarters, which debuted recently.
Related: Paris Pocket Guide: What to see, do and eat in the City of Light
One of the best points redemptions you can make in the city is the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, from 35,000 points per night. Marriott loyalists can also find great value at the Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel which has rooms from 107,500 points per night. For more inspiration on where to stay in Paris, check out TPG's favorite hotels in Paris .
Though you might think of Dubrovnik as a summer destination, it's still warm enough to go to the beaches through the end of October. Plus, without the onslaught of tourist crowds, the city is quieter and more enjoyable. You can stroll through the historic center, take the cable car up to Mount Srd for panoramic views of the city and even visit an oyster farm in the nearby town of Ston.
Adriatic Luxury Hotels has 12 hotels in Dubrovnik, so whatever vibe you're looking for, you can find it at one of their properties. The Hotel Bellevue, renovated in 2019, has direct beach access and rooms from $156 per night. There's also Hotel Excelsior — the city's most iconic hotel — and Villa Orsula, which exudes Old World charm (rates from $872 per night). As part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Hotel Excelsior accepts reservations with Hyatt points (from 35,000 per night).
"Madrid is amazing all year long, but fall can be especially beautiful. The autumn foliage in the Retiro Park is a medley of colorful hues and the city's wine culture is even more alive than usual as it's harvest season throughout Spain," TPG writer Lori Zaino, who has lived in Madrid for 15 years, said. "Weather is often mild and sunny through early November, and by the end of the same month, Madrid is already all lit up with holiday decor, ringing in the chillier [temperatures]," she added.
Madrid has plenty of points-based hotels, including the Westin Palace, which starts at 49,000 points per night and the new Thompson Madrid , which is a great use of Hyatt points (from 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night or $400). A luxe option is the Mandarin Oriental Ritz , which reopened in 2021 and is one of the city's most historic hotels (rates from $922 per night).
Everyone talks about tulip season in the Netherlands, but autumn is just as lovely. Amsterdam's canals take on the golden hue of the Dutch master paintings you can admire at the Rijksmuseum. If there's a chill in the air, cozy up in one of the city's many brown cafes for a beer and a shot of genever. And don't miss the apple pie at Cafe Winkel 43.
Leader's Club members can earn or redeem points at the Conservatorium Hotel, a design masterpiece inside Amsterdam's old music conservatory (from $812 per night), or Hotel de L'Europe, a grand dame established in 1896 by the Heineken family (from $693 per night). There are options for Marriott loyalists too, including the hip Sir Adam Hotel, a member of Design Hotels; points redemptions are available from 35,000 points per night on off-peak dates in September, October and November.
Outdoorsy types will love Ticino, Switzerland' s only Italian-speaking canton. The towns on the Swiss side of Lake Maggiore have scenic hiking trails with a long history of attracting hippies and nudists. You're not likely to see them in the picturesque town of Ascona, where cobblestone streets are lined by casual restaurants, cafes and shops, though. It has a more classic Old World vibe. You can also take a boat over to the Brissago Islands, home to a stunning botanical garden.
After a day of hiking in the mountains, relax at the Hotel Eden Roc, a member of Leading Hotels of the World. It has a midcentury modern design that will make you wonder if Don Draper is about to check in. The pool overlooking the lake with its yellow umbrellas looks like something out of a Slim Aarons photograph. Rates from $353 per night.
As the days get cooler and shorter, Danes start to focus on hygge — that untranslatable concept that prizes comfort and coziness. And what better way to experience hygge than to cozy up with pastries and a cup of coffee at Copenhagen's best bakeries?
Bageriet Benji, opened by a Noma alum, and Collective Bakery, by the team behind one of Copenhagen's best coffee roasters, are just a couple of the best bakeries in town. But there's so much more to do in Copenhagen than eat and drink. The city is the 2023 UNESCO World Capital of Architecture and offers events ranging from exhibitions to open houses.
Check into the sleek Nobis Hotel, a member of Design Hotels (with rooms available for 53,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night in October), or the Hotel d'Angleterre, the city's grand dame and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, which has rooms from $835 per night.
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Where’s hot in Europe in October
By Laura Fowler
October is the clever traveller's favourite time to go on holiday. The high-summer crowds have melted away, but in much of Europe the sun is still shining and the days are still warm. Prices are often more affordable in this shoulder season, too – from Italy to Spain via the Greek islands. These are our favourite places to visit that are hot in October, or read more about where to go on holiday in October: 31 top destinations .
Summer lingers longer in Cyprus than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. Down in Europe ’s southeastern corner, this all-year-round island is on a latitude with Morocco and Iran and consequently, October days are properly hot and sunny – around 28ºC even at the end of the month and into November. Airlines also fly direct from the UK year-round, so it’s a brilliantly easy and affordable option for a beach holiday in October half term when prices for its increasingly smart seaside resorts plummet. Its year as Capital of Culture in 2017 got the UNESCO World Heritage city of Paphos sharpening up its act in terms of modern arts and cultural offerings, and there’s antiquity and legend to be unearthed in the island’s ancient ruins.
Where to stay: On a shore outside Paphos, the Almyra is the chic younger sister to the island’s original five-star Anassa. Its whitewashed terraces overlook the sea, there’s an extensive spa, and its concierge can arrange immersive experiences revealing the real Cyprus. Plus earlier this year it opened a contemporary beach club Antasia on the nearby sandy beach of Kato Paphos.
On autumn days when the Sirocco blows across from the Sahara, hot and dry, Sicily swelters. Residents of its towns and cities leave the sultry Baroque streets and head to the nearest sandy shore to swim. Those days aside, temperatures still average 24ºC by day, and nights rarely get cold. The lidos are quieter in autumn if you favour drinks delivered to your sunbed. As for those wild white stretches of sand and the protected coastal parks – Selinunte and Vendicari, for example – you may find yourself alone on them. On an island where food and drink are exalted, autumn is just about the most important time of the year. As well as various local harvest festivals, the big shebang is La Vendemmia: grape harvest. The flavours of October : light fresh whites, musky just-dug truffles and porcini with linguine, Mount Etna honey drizzled over local cheese.
Where to stay: For wine, food and beaches , La Foresteria on the Planeta wine estate in the southwest is a superb place to stay. Vineyards stretch away from your lavender-scented terrace and towards the sea, and Selinunte is a 15-minute drive.
The birthplace of Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and all western civilisation, Crete is a myth made real. Greece ’s biggest island has heavenly beaches, bays of electric blue, fertile slopes, and a summer stretching from April until the end of October. Wise the traveller who comes in autumn, when days are still mainly sunny and warm, and the sea temperatures high enough for swimming. You can wander the ancient temples and the Palace of Knossos crowd-free, and do as locals do, eating at family-run restaurants in the hillside villages – the island’s food scene is starting to be talked about.
Where to stay: Mirabello Bay and the spiffed-up fishing village of Elounda are where you’ll find Crete’s numerous smart five-star resorts , among which Daios Cove guarantees good times for families. For couples or individuals seeking peace and the best beaches, Cabanon Concrete Retreat has two Corbusier-inspired cabins in the northwest.
While autumn paints the hills of Tuscany gold, and brings rain to Milan , down in the toe of Italy the little-visited region of Calabria is still basking in sunshine for most of October, with temperatures bobbing around 23ºC. Calabria also has some of the best beaches in all of Italy: silvery sandy shores, clear blue waters of the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas. They say the further south you go in this country, the friendlier the people, and its seaside villages and hilltop towns offer a warm welcome and a laidback vibe that’s like an Italy of long ago.
Where to stay: Set in gardens of palms and Mediterranean pines, five-star Villa Paola is the prettiest shell-pink and white villa on the edge of the seaside village of Tropea.
This curiously British outpost in the Mediterranean has long been popular for bucket-and-spade breaks – it’s hot, it’s got beaches, they serve chips and speak English, for goodness’ sake. History lovers have always known that Malta is a lot more than that, with its fascinatingly complicated history – it’s been taken over by Arabic, Italian and British occupations over the years, each civilisation leaving its own traces behind. In recent years Malta has started to garner attention for its culture and food scenes. And the capital, Valletta, is one of the most beautiful harbours anywhere in the world.
Where to stay: Iniala Harbour House , which opened in 2020, is Malta’s swishest hotel. Its fine-dining restaurant Ion has already won a Michelin star for its inventive dishes served on a rooftop terrace with knockout views over Valletta’s Grand Harbour.
Something curious happens to Ibiza in October. Following an unsettled September, when sweltering days roll suddenly dark with thunderstorms, and despite its location in the northwest of the Mediterranean, October invariably settles into an Indian summer on the island which has become a year-round destination for anyone seeking wellness , walking, beach time and good food, rather than parties. ‘Half term is always heavenly on the island – it’s around 26-28 degrees,’ says Ibiza fixer Serena Cook of Deliciously Sorted, who lives here year-round. ‘October is one of my favourite months. The longer season is much more pastoral and intimate and soulful.’
Where to stay: The superlative new Six Senses Ibiza opens year-round from March 2022; and so does family-friendly Hostal Casbah on Playa Migjorn on neighbouring Formentera.
7. Bodrum Peninsula
Locals will tell you that October is their favourite time on the Bodrum Peninsula, where the golden sunlight glitters on waters glassy-flat around inlets and islands. The Aegean is like a bath, warmed all summer. The days are hot and ripe for exploring Turkey ’s forested coast by boat or by jeep. The food, which has always focused on the local and seasonal, is exceptional in autumn when the bounty of harvest combines with the freshest fish and seafood. And though it’s quiet, you can always find a sunset buzz.
Where to stay: Macakizi has been the chicest seaside hotel in the region since it began life as a pousada in the 1970s, and hosted Mick and Bianca and made Bodrum a destination on the social summer circuit. Now it’s a tumbling-down-the-hillside cluster of rooms garlanded with bougainvillaea, the coolest beach club and a beautiful international crowd dancing through the warm autumn nights.
Deep down south in the Dodecanese, Rhodes is still hot in October, and airlines still fly direct to the Greek Island holiday favourite. Days are mainly dry, hot and sunny, with temperatures around 26ºC right through to November , with cooler evenings, though the sea remains invitingly warm. Too often dismissed as a package holiday destination, Rhodes still has pockets of charm – enough for Jackie O and Aristotle to swing by on their honeymoon and dine beneath the grapevines at Mavrikos, in the mosaic-stone lanes of old Lindos.
Where to stay: In the cobbled backstreets of UNESCO World Heritage -listed Rhodes Old Town, Marco Polo Mansion is a colourful boutique B&B with antique iron four-posters, a delightful courtyard restaurant and a bohemian vibe.
9. Cadiz and the Coast of Light
On Andalucia ’s Costa de la Luz – Coast of Light – the creamy-white harbour city of Cadiz dazzles. It has fire and passion in its soul, cooking and flamenco dancing. While tourists tread furrows to neighbouring Seville , Granada and Cordoba , the sherry bars of Cadiz remains overlooked, but its authentic spirit makes it an appealing alternative for Spainophiles wanting to dig a little deeper. It’s also in a plum position for heading to the costa’s white-sand beaches stretching down to Tarifa and exploring the region’s pueblas blancas . Of these, Vejer de la Frontera is an absolute gem, with its artisan boutiques, a cutting-edge food scene with influences from Morocco across the strait, and a burgeoning collection of gorgeous little places to stay.
Where to stay: The beautifully designed Plaza 18 in Vejer de la Frontera is one of Spain’s loveliest hotels; while its sister Hotel Madreselva is on the coast looking out towards Africa .
For many Lanzarote is the loveliest of the Canary Islands , where you can find sheltered sandy bays out of the wind or great stretches of beach for surfing and windsurfing. There are dramatic volcanic interiors for walking, and art and architecture in the legacy of island son Cesar Manrique, including the incredible cactus garden at Guatiza. October is still summertime on the year-round island of Lanzarote, where temperatures hover around 27º to 28ºC and there are more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
Where to stay: Eco-friendly Finca Malvasia , with its four rooms set around a central pool, is set among the vineyards and volcanic hills of the central wine region of La Geria, but Famara beach is only a 10-minute drive away.
11. The Algarve
Despite being on many travellers' radars for some years now, the Algarve – tucked into the south of Portugal – has held onto much of its untouched magic. Of course there are mega-resorts and beach clubs, but much of this region still feels off the beaten track. In October, temperatures skim an average high of 23ºC, which makes for perfect beach days and tolerable sea swimming. Take it slow in tiny Portuguese villages (don't miss Cacela Velha) or head to lively beach restaurants – we love beach shack Vila Joya Sea.
Where to stay: Casa Mae is a cute, pastel-hued guesthouse with a gorgeous pool, sea-view rooms and beautifully designed interiors.
12 Best Places to Visit in Europe in October for Stunning Fall Foliage
By Caitlin Morton and Claire Baranowski
There are benefits to visiting Europe during each season: Those white sand beaches in summer, those snow-covered Christmas markets in winter. But we're particular fans of visiting the continent in the autumn. Why? Fewer tourists and lower prices—plus some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the entire world. Whether you're looking for a cozy weekend retreat, are desperate to breathe in some fresh mountain air, or just want to wander the streets of major cities without running into hundreds of other tourists, here are 12 of the best places to visit in Europe during the autumn months.
This gallery was originally published in October 2015. It has been updated with new information.
Colors, colors, colors— Edinburgh gives New England a run for its money when it comes to the leaves turning vivid shades of gold, russet, bronze, and crimson against a backdrop of evergreen Scots pine. After crawling through the city's many restaurants and sipping a glass (or three) of whisky, warm yourself up with a walk up to Arthur’s Seat and survey the splendid city below.
Get the shot: One of the best places to take in the autumnal beauty is the Royal Botanic Garden.
Loire Valley, France
France's Loire Valley, located a few hours south of Paris , might be one of the most idyllic spots in all of Europe—especially in the fall. The region's vineyards and forests display the full spectrum of autumn colors, which you can enjoy while sipping a glass of dry white wine.
Get the shot: If you can swing it, plan your visit around the Autumn Flower Fest at Château du Rivau (Oct. 26-27), where visitors can enjoy gardens filled with chrysanthemums, against the backdrop of one of the prettiest castles in the Valley.
Paris makes our list because there’s hardly a bad time to visit—it feels more authentic come September, though, as the locals are back from their own vacations. The city’s favorite pastime, people watching from pavement cafes, isn’t ruled out, either. The colder weather makes for the perfect excuse to swing by Angelina for a take-away cup of their famous hot chocolate.
Get the shot: Strolls around legendary parks (such as Jardin du Luxembourg ) are enhanced by the glorious foliage and crisp air.
According to Traveler contributor Ashlea Halpern, this fall is the best time to plan an art-filled trip to Serbia's capital , namely because Marina Abramović (considered by many to be the greatest performance artist of the last century) has taken over Belgrade's Museum of Contemporary Art. While you're in town, don't forget to enjoy the weather in one of the city's many public parks and buy some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor.
Get the shot: Take a stroll around Kalemegdan Park and the Belgrade Fortress, overlooking both the Sava and Danube Rivers.
Tuscany's rolling hillsides and vineyards get a second life during the fall, when the landscapes transform from green to varying shades of ochre. Autumn, too, is the time for harvest festivals all around the region—don't miss the San Miniato Truffle Festival if you visit in the three weekends of November). Meanwhile in Florence , the crowds start to thin out in October when it gets a bit chilly. However, there’s so much to explore indoors—the museums , churches, shops—that the weather needn’t be a big factor at all provided you dress warmly.
Get the shot: Book a stay at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa , which overlooks the ever-changing colors of the mountainous Serchio Valley.
Autumn festivals abound in Budapest , from wine, art, horse-racing, and music events to quirkier options celebrating foie gras, sausages, and "chimney cakes" (a traditional Hungarian pastry). Fall is an ideal time for sightseeing, as summer here can be scorching, so make sure you take in the city's most famous sites, like City Park and Heroes' Square. Budapest’s dozens of thermal baths are extra fantastic when the weather is chilly, too.
Get the shot: The Castle Hill area (known as Várhegy) offers some of the most impressive views of the Danube—particularly from the terrace and seven towers of the Fisherman's Bastion.
Bruges is yet another city that comes into its own in the fall. This fairytale Medieval city of cobbled alleyways, church spires, and turrets seems even more romantic in the fading afternoon light. And Bruges is more than just a feast for the eyes—make sure to indulge in the town's signature handmade chocolates, which somehow taste even more delicious and comforting when the temperatures drop.
Get the shot: Pick a canal—any canal. The trees lining the city's waterways turn vivid shades of red, orange, and yellow and are reflected beautifully in the water.
Berlin sports gorgeous autumnal foliage, and more than a few travel-worthy events. A highlight in October is the annual Festival of Lights (Oct. 11-20), when light and video projections are cast onto some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral. Another reason to visit post-summer? Typical German fare (think sausage, stews, and soups) is rich and hearty, perfect for warming the body and soul.
Get the shot: The parkland around Zoologischer Garten is perfect for foliage-spotting walks.
Barcelona is now so popular that some feel it has a theme-park vibe in the summer. Come fall, however, cooler temperatures revitalize the city, and cultural events and festivals begin (don't miss the city's epic Jazz Festival beginning in late October). There is a chance of rainy days and morning fogs coming in from the sea, but the queues at the iconic attractions—such as Sagrada Família —are finally manageable. Make sure you sample some panellets, the traditional marzipan pastries that are eaten only in the fall.
Get the shot: Aside from its colorful amusement park and neo-Gothic cathedral, Tibidabo (the highest peak of the Collserola Mountain Range) affords all-encompassing views of the city and surrounding forests.
With temperatures in the 65-degree range, you will hardly need more than a jacket in the fall—and the sea is likely still warm enough for swimming. Dubrovnik is a cultural treasure trove, too, especially the Old Town with its baroque churches and aristocratic palaces. Bonus: This season also comes with classical music, film, and food festivals, including the Good Food Festival (Oct. 14-20) and Dubrovnik Film Festival (Oct. 15-20).
Get the shot: Take the cable car up Mount Srđ to get sweeping views of the Old Town, Adriatic Sea, and mountainside foliage. (You can even see straight into neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.)
Lisbon ’s sunny and mild Mediterranean climate means you'll be greeted with near-perfect weather in the fall (average temps range from the mid-60s to 70s). There’s an increased chance of rain, but don’t let that deter you—in exchange, competitive hotel rates mean you can stay in one of the city’s charming historic hotels without breaking the bank. This is the season for roasted chestnuts, so grab a bag from a street vendor to snack on as you visit the sights.
Get the shot: Head to the tree-filled neighborhood of Principe Real for some colorful foliage, plus some of the city's best shops and restaurants .
The Bavarian Alps
An autumn trip to southern Germany is about so much more than Oktoberfest. We'd argue that fall is the best season to visit the Bavarian Alps, when the weather is perfectly cool and the mountains transform into a technicolor dreamscape. The season is prime for outdoor enthusiasts as well, with areas like Berchtesgaden and Lake Tegernsee lending themselves to some epic scenic hikes.
Get the shot: Situated in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, Schloss Elmau features six spas, five restaurants, and even a classical concert hall—plus some of the best views around.
Prague, Czech Republic
There’s a Czech term for an Indian summer ( babí léto ), which bodes well for the possibility of warm days stretching to November. The low angle of the sun bathes the city in a romantic golden light, and there’s also dazzling foliage in the public parks. Mushroom pickers congregate in Kunratice Forest, a short journey away from the city; and typical Czech fare—cabbage, pork, and potato, accompanied by beer—is definitely best-suited to colder weather.
Get the shot: Take a stroll along the tree-lined Vltava River, which runs through the center of town.
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Home » Europe » 23 Best Places To Visit In Europe In October (2023 Review)
23 Best Places To Visit In Europe In October (2023 Review)
Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Nicole
October is the best time to visit Europe if you wish to avoid busy summer crowds, enjoy excellent weather, find killer deals on accommodation and flights, and explore interesting and beautiful places with stunning fall colors. But, where should you go? Where are the best places to visit in Europe in October? Here are 23 fantastic European destinations that include big and small cities, stunning beaches, breathtaking mountains and charming towns.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you buy something through my site. This helps me run my website and produce the articles that I hope you find helpful.
In case you are curious about other amazing destinations to visit Europe around this time of year, please see:
- 23 Best Places To Visit In Europe In September ;
- 22 Best National Parks To Visit In Europe in September ;
- 20 Best Places To Visit In The UK In September ; and
- 24 Best Beach Holidays in Europe In September .
- 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe In November ; and
- 20 Best Honeymoon Destinations In Europe In November .
- 24 Fabulous Fall Destinations In Europe .
Alternatively, if you are looking to travel in October because you want to avoid extreme summer heat in Europe, then consider these suggestions 24 Best Places To Visit In Europe For Mild Summer Weather .
There are amazing spots in Europe to watch the sunset. For some suggestions, check out 28 Best Places In Europe For Most Beautiful Sunsets .
For those of you who definitely need to travel in October but are open to other destinations, here are 22 Best Places To Visit In The USA In Octobe r and 21 Best US National Parks To Visit In October .
Best Places To Visit In Europe In October
I asked some of the best travel bloggers and industry experts where the best places to visit in October in Europe. In this article, I highlight their recommendations and include important information such as how to get there, where to stay, the expected weather, any special annual events or festivals, and the best things to do.
By Nesrin from Kevmrc
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a colorful and lively city with a Mediterranean atmosphere and an extremely rich cultural heritage. October lands squarely in the autumn months, but apart from the sunsetting earlier than the summer months, you can hardly tell that fall has arrived. The climate remains mild and the sun still shines bright.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy Lisbon. You can explore the beautiful alleys and gardens, lounge by the banks of the Tagus River, climb the city’s hills and lookouts, or eat delicious food at countless cafes and restaurants. You’ll love going from neighborhood to neighborhood on the famous yellow streetcars with locals, soaking up the atmosphere of the city along the way.
Lisbon is also full of history and stunning monuments, such as the Belem Tower, a 16th century fort and the impressive Cristo Rei, a 360 feet or 110 meter Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to Jesus Christ. Inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, it was built in 1959 to thank God for sparing Portugal from the horrors of WWII. You can go to a viewing platform 262 feet or 80 meters and see spectacular views of Lisbon. In addition, make sure you take a ride on the Santa Justa elevator, a beautiful Neo-Gothic elevator opened in 1901.
Fall is the perfect season to visit Lisbon for a European holiday. There are fewer crowds and it hosts many events and festivals. The most famous of them is the Rock’n’Roll Marathon, a 42km-race from Cascais to Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio that usually takes place on October 15th. Alternatively, you can go wine tasting at the Wine Fair held at Campo Pequeno, or attend the Doc Lisboa, the city’s international film festival .
Unlike many other European cities, Lisbon has very mild and pleasant weather in October. It rarely rains, and you can expect average temperatures between 60.8°F and 77°F.
Best Way To Reach The Destination
Lisbon is easily accessible thanks to its’ international airport located only 25-30 minutes away by bus or metro.
Best Place To Stay
Nesrine says, “The Portugal Boutique Hotel is a nice hotel perfectly located in Lisbon city center with nearby transport. Rooms are comfortable and spacious, and the staff helpful.”
By Una from Wandernity
October is the best time to visit Dubrovnik for a fall vacation. It’s still warm and sunny, but high season is over. This means that there are fewer crowds at the popular places and better prices for accommodation , tours and restaurants.
Dubrovnik is remarkable. It has magnificent architecture (featured in the hit television show “Game Of Thrones”) and a beautiful location on the banks of the Adriatic Sea . It’s a great place if you enjoy walking tours of historic sites, hiking to explore natural surroundings, or relaxing on a beach or poolside.
One of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is to enjoy its Old Town. There are many famous and exceptionally beautiful buildings quite close to each other, including the walls that encircle the Old Town. Built in the 14th and 15th centuries and later completed in the 17th century, the walls run uninterrupted for approximately 6,360 ft (1,940 metres). They are considered to be amongst the great fortification systems of the Middle Ages. In 1979, the old city of Dubrovnik, including the wall, became an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For nature lovers, take the cable car to ascend to Mount Srd. It offers panoramic views of the city, the surrounding sea and the islands.
Dubrovnik is also a great home base for a day trip to surrounding countries and islands. Popular tours are to Montenegro , Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Dalmatian Islands. And, of course, if you are a fan of Game Of Thrones, there are numerous walking tours that you can take to visit the most famous filming locations.
The average high temperature in Dubrovnik in October is 70°F, with the possibility of daytime temperatures reaching mid 70s in early October. It’s mostly sunny but can expect 8 days with some rain.
Dubrovnik has its own airport 20-minutes drive from the city.
Una says, “Scalini Palace is a great place to stay in Dubrovnik. It is located in the Old Town with many attractions within walking distance – including cafes, historic buildings, and beaches. It offers a spa area free of charge to the guests.”
By Elena from The Athenian Riviera
Athens, the capital city of Greece, is the perfect place to visit in the fall for a European getaway. A city jam-packed with cultural and historical attractions, Athens is brimming with creative energy, vibrant nightlife and a fantastic culinary scene.
As summer crowds fade, visitors can explore all the historical wonders that Athens has to offer without jostling for space or lining up. Consider visiting the Acropolis, the ancient citadel perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking Athens. It contains the Parthenon and other notable buildings dating back from the 5th century BC. It forms the greatest architectural and artistic complex from Greek Antiquity to the world.
Alternatively, spend the day in the coastal part of Athens on the dazzling Athenian Riviera which is dotted with beautiful beaches and seaside restaurants. For a memorable sunset, head towards the southernmost tip of the Attica region and witness the magic from the Temple of Poseidon, after which end your evening with a delightful meal overlooking the Saronic Gulf.
Athens is also a gateway to the Greek islands and an excellent base to enjoy a day trip to popular mainland destinations like Delphi, the famous archaeological site of the ancient oracle and Nafplio, the first capital of the modern Greek state.
The temperatures in Athens in October are comfortable with low of 59°F and high up in the mid 70s°F. It should only rain a few days during the month.
Athens shares an excellent connection with major European cities and the rest of the world. There are daily flights that fly into Athens International Airport. The drive from the airport to Athen’s city center takes approximately 35-40 minutes, depending on traffic.
Elena says, “Athens offers an excellent choice of boutique hotels, luxury international chain hotels, serviced apartments and budget hotels, all located in close proximity to the capital’s main attractions. Visitors who wish to enjoy the beachfront location can opt to stay in the areas of Vouliagmeni and Glyfada which can be easily accessed from the airport.”
By Cristina from My Little World Of Travelling
Located in the south of Spain , Cordoba is an underrated destination in comparison to other Andalusian cities such as Seville or Malaga. However, the city has many incredible things to offer – from incredible historic sites to delicious traditional dishes such as salmorejo and flamenquin .
Cordoba’s main attraction is the Mezquita, a cathedral that was formerly a mosque and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Mosque was constructed in the 8th century when Cordoba was the capital of the Muslim-controlled region. It was expanded multiple times including adding a minaret. However, in 1236, it was converted to a cathedral and by the 16th century, it had added a Renaissance cathedral nave and transept into the center of the building. It is a remarkable building to discover.
Another important historic building that you can’t miss during your trip to Cordoba is Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, a beautiful medieval palace-fortress that was the royal residence of the Christian monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Initially built in the 14th century, it has magnificent courtyards and gardens to explore. It forms part of the Historic Center of Córdoba and was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994.
October is the best time to travel to Cordoba if you want fewer crowds and pleasant weather (maximum of 77°F and minimum of 54°F). Try to avoid summer since it is very hot, crowded, and difficult to sightsee.
The nearest airport to Cordoba is Seville airport, but you can fly to Granada or Malaga airports as well. All the cities are well-connected by coach and train . If you’re driving, Seville is only a 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Cordoba.
Cristina says, “If you are looking for a place to stay in Cordoba, NH Collection Amistad Córdoba is an excellent option. The hotel is located in the beautiful Jewish Quarter, a few footsteps from Cordoba Synagogue, Casa Andalusí and other attractions. In addition to this, the hotel offers beautifully decorated rooms, incredible facilities like a swimming pool, and an Andalusian patio inspired restaurant.”
By Krisztina from She Wanders Abroad
If you’re looking for one of the best European cities to visit in October for an amazing trip, look no further than Budapest . This stunning city is located on the banks of the Danube River and is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe. In addition, Budapest is also known for its delicious food and vibrant nightlife. October is a great time to visit as there are fewer tourists and it is less expensive than during the peak summer months.
One of the best things to do in Budapest is walk around the city center and marvel at the beautiful buildings. One of the places that you shouldn’t miss is the Hungarian Parliament Building. This imposing structure was inspired by Vienna’s City Hall and completed in 1902. It is the largest building in Hungary and a dominant presence on the Danube.
Another must-see attraction is the Buda Castle. This iconic castle sits on top of a hill overlooking the city and offers some amazing views. First built in 1265 for the Hungarian kings, it now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum.
For another spot with impressive views of Budapest, head to nearby Fisherman’s Bastion. Originally, built in 1700, this fortress offers some of the best views of Budapest from its Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces- it’s truly a photographer’s dream.
Hungary is also famous for its food, so make sure to try out some of the local dishes while you’re in town. Some must-try dishes include goulash, langos, and paprikas chicken. And of course, no visit to Budapest would be complete without enjoying a few beers at one of the local pubs, such as Szimpla Kert or Gozsdu Court.
Last but not least, you should experience one of the thermal baths. There are a few different baths to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with Szechenyi Baths or Gellert Baths.
The weather in Budapest in October is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s a good idea to pack a few layers for when the temperatures dip down in the evening.
Budapest’s international airport is only 16km, so it’s an ideal destination for a long weekend .
Krisztina says, “In terms of where to stay in Budapest , the city center on the Pest side (districts 5, 6, 7) is the most popular area but you can find some amazing hotels on the Buda side as well. Hilton Budapest offers an incredible panorama view. If you’re looking for an affordable , centrally located hotel, check out Hotel Memories Budapest.
By Jen from Dabbling In Jetlag
Located at the foot of the Vosges Mountains in eastern France, lies the charming city of Colmar. Here you’ll find vibrant half-timbered medieval-styled buildings, captivating museums, and traditional Alsatian food.
Stroll down the cobble-stoned streets and admire the colorful buildings. The most picturesque can be found near Little Venice on the Rue des Écoles bridge and the Rue Turenne Bridge. Alternatively, for a unique view, ride in a gondola along the Lauch River. You’ll approach the city from a different angle while a tour guide details the history of Colmar.
For history buffs, the Musée d’Unterlinden is an absolute must. Touted as the best museum in Alsace, this former convent now houses artifacts and artwork from prehistorical to contemporary times.
Of course, no trip to Colmar would be complete without eating a Tarte Flambée. This regional specialty consists of a thin crust topped with a creamy sauce, lardons, onions, and cheese cooked in a wood-fired oven. Given its popularity, you can find this delicious treat in nearly every restaurant. But, for the tastiest ones, head to the Farmer’s Market on Rue des Écoles.
While Colmar is a year-round city, October is the best time of year to visit for an European getaway. The weather is pleasant and there is beautiful fall foliage. This combined with the brightly colored buildings make for some spectacular scenery, to say the least.
Average temperatures hover in the low to mid-60s. It rains around 9 days and the sun is almost always shining.
Colmar is easy to reach with the closest international airport, EuroAirport, only a 45-minute drive away.
Jen says, “In October, you’ll have your choice of hotels. Hotel Saint-Martin is a great option if you’re looking for something centrally located that doesn’t cost a fortune.”
By Jaclyn from My Resting Beach Face
Florence is one of the best destinations to visit in Europe and a fantastic city break . It is filled with art, food, history, wine tastings, and spectacular sightseeing. In addition, October is one of the best times to visit as the weather is lovely and mild, and there are no longer the crazy crowds found in the summer months.
One of the best parts about traveling to Florence is that you can walk everywhere and get lost in the side streets. You may end up in a restaurant having limoncello and eating a Florentine steak while listening to Frank Sinatra. Alternatively, you may even end up with a bottle of wine while watching the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo. No matter what you do, you will feel at home and at ease, and have a trip that will truly rejuvenate your soul.
There are some amazing things to do in Florence. First, go to the Boboli Gardens. Established by the Medici family in the 16th century, it is located behind the Pitti Palace, the former main seat of the Medici Grand Dukes. It is a vast green park that is also an outdoor museum. Considered the first and most important example of an Italian garden, you will find statues, grottos, fountains, and a terraced 18th-century pavilion, all surrounded by trees.
Next, explore the Uffizi Galleries, which houses an enormous collection of sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to Modern day. Afterwards, walk nearby to the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge over the Arno river, with shops crammed together from one side to another.
Finally, climb to the top of Brunelleschi Dome in Florence Cathedral. It was built in the 15th century, is the largest masonry vault in the world and took 16 years to build.
Average high temperature in Italy in October is 69 degrees Fahrenheit with lots of sunny days. However, it can quickly turn to rain. Expect around 9 days with some rain.
Fly into the Florence international airport. It is 16 minutes by car, or take a taxi or public transportation.
By Kerry from Vegg Travel
Munich, Germany (Bavaria’s capital) is one of the best places to visit in Europe in October. It is not just that Munich is an incredible city throughout the year, but in the fall, you can take part in the world-famous Munich Beer Festival called Oktoberfest .
Imagine a huge fairground filled with beer tents, stalls, and rides for all ages, not to mention as much delicious German food that you could eat. It’s truly a sight to behold. Weekends are very busy and you should make a reservation to guarantee a spot. You can’t go all the way to Munich and not dance on a table with a stein of beer in your hand! Oktoberfest typically occurs from late September to early October.
Munich city centre is also alive with festivities . There are many traditional Bavarian bars and Beer Houses packed full of people enjoying the celebrations. Beyond Oktoberfest, Munich offers beautiful architecture and landmarks.
If you’re going with your partner, there’s nothing more romantic than Munich in the evening. Be sure to take an evening stroll through Marienplatz, the town hall that has been the center of the city since 1158. It is also home to The Rathaus (City Hall) and famed Glockenspiel Clock Tower. If you time your visit right, you can even catch the Glockenspiel show where little characters ring the bells several times a day.
The weather is still mild (57 / 53 degree Fahrenheit) and often warm with sunny days, but it cools down at night. You can expect around 8 days with some rain.
Munich International airport is well connected to the city centre where you can get buses or the metro to Theresienwiese station for Oktoberfest.
Kerry says, “Consider staying outside of the centre for affordable accommodation. The NH Munich German Kaiser is a great place to stay that is also an easy travel distance to the festival.”
By Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please
Istanbul is one of the best places in Europe for a vacation and October is the best time of year to go. Turkey’s biggest city is well-known for being the place where the East collides with the West. The city straddles the Bosporus Strait which means Istanbul lies in both Europe and Asia . However, it is the European side of the city that offers so much to visitors.
The Sultanahmet district is home to the majority of Istanbul’s famous sites and where you will spend the majority of your time when visiting Istanbul. While you could spend weeks in the Sultanahmet district and not see it all, 4 days in Istanbul should give you a good flavour of what the area has to offer.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the district is the majestic Hagia Sophia – built way back in the 6th century AD, this active mosque is certainly one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
The same can be said for the neighbouring Blue Mosque, arguably Istanbul’s most famous piece of architecture. The Ottoman-built Mosque is adorned with thousands of beautifully crafted blue tiles, contributing to it’s unofficial name.
After exploring the Sultanahmet district, you should then head towards the Grand Bazaar for a wonderfully chaotic introduction to life in the city. The sprawling streets and alleyways of the Grand Bazaar are brimming with impressive sights, smells and sounds. It really is an assault on the senses and an experience that cannot be missed. If feeling brave, make a purchase from one of the stalls and try to out-negotiate the vendor.
Every October, Istanbul is also home to the amazing Akbank Jazz Festival. The 10-day music festival engulfs the city and features artists from all around the globe, playing at a number of different venues.
The days are longer and drier than later on in the year and thankfully, not as swelteringly hot as in the peak of summer. The average temperature in Istanbul in October is 68°F, making it the ideal temperature for exploring the city on foot. You can expect around 6 days with rain.
The city is also served by two major international airports, with the Istanbul Airport being the best-suited for visitors to the European side of the city. It takes roughly 50 minutes to get from Istanbul airport to the heart of the Sultanahmet district.
Ben says, “If you’re looking for a luxury stay in Istanbul, then the AJWA Sultanahmet is certainly for you. The newly built hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the Blue Mosque and is decorated throughout in an authentic Ottoman-style.”
Izzy & Phil from
October is one of the best times to visit Norfolk in England for an amazing holiday. From the huge skies, vast beaches and rolling sand dunes of the North Norfolk Coast, to historic Norwich and the beautifully tranquil Norfolk Broads, there’s plenty to see and do in this idyllic corner of the United Kingdom. Take a road trip along Norfolk’s enviable coast line, with some of the best beaches in the east of England. You’ll find traditional seaside resorts , huge expanses of wild and raw beach and nature reserves dedicated to the rare and unusual species found here. In October, the beaches will be deserted and the birds migrating, which makes for an incredible spectacle. Pop into medieval Norwich for historic architecture, fantastic independent shops and a thriving foodie scene, showcasing the best of local produce, like Cromer Crab and award winning English wine. Norwich Market, the oldest outdoor market in England, has a great selection of stalls selling produce from the region – for a traditional treat head to Ron’s for the best fish and chips around! In October, Norfolk Restaurant week starts and is a great time to check out the best of the county’s restaurants! From Norwich, head east on a day trip to the Norfolk Broads, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, for woodland autumn colours, low sun bouncing off the Broads and rivers, and peaceful boating, all without the large summer crowds.
Norfolk is the driest county in Great Britain, so expect some rain but not much over 8 days. It will be around 58 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll have clear and crisp days, the perfect time for walking and bird watching.
To get to Norfolk, fly into London Stansted and drive, or get the train, to Norwich. It will take around two hours.
Izzy & Phil say, “Stay at The Georgian Townhouse in Norwich, a laid back hotel with a lively bar and restaurant, just outside the city centre.”
Crete, Greek Islands
By Annabel from Smudged Postcard
Crete is a large island rich in history and culture with a distinct cuisine. There are fabulous beaches, interesting harbour towns and pretty mountain villages to explore.
October is a perfect time to visit. Most tourists have already departed so that hiking and sightseeing are more enjoyable with less intense summer heat.
One of the most significant attractions in Crete is the ancient Palace of Knossos – the capital of Minoan civilisation. It is located just outside the island’s capital of Heraklion. On the eastern side of Crete is the former leper colony of Spinalonga Island – a fascinating but sobering place to visit. The southern side of Crete has some remote coastal villages which are ideal for visitors looking to get away from the crowds.
Many tourists coming to Crete enjoy hiking in the mountains and gorges. The 10 mile Samaria Gorge is the most well-known but there are other beautiful less visited areas as well.
Crete is the most southerly of the Greek islands so it maintains a mild year-round climate. In October, Crete has an average high of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea has been warmed by the long hot summer, so it is the perfect time for swimming. Rainfall does increase in autumn with 6 days with rain, but the main rainfall tends to be over the winter months.
There are two international airports in Crete. Heraklion International Airport or Kazantzakis Airport (HER) is located in the northeastern part of the island. Chania International Airport or Daskalogiannis (CHQ) is found in the northwestern part of the island. Alternatively, fly to Athens and take the high speed ferry 6.5 hours.
Annabel says, “Crete lends itself well to a road trip. The island is large so it’s worth hiring a car to explore the coastal regions, the mountains and some of the less easy to reach areas.
Chania is a good base in the east for day trips. If you’re visiting Crete with kids , the Ammos Hotel is the perfect place. Otherwise, the Casa Delfino Hotel is located in the old town and is ideal for couples.”
By Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer
Brussels bears the joint crown of being both the capital of Europe and Belgium. This cosmopolitan city has everything you expect in a European city : a vibrant cultural scene, fantastic restaurants and a long list of monuments to visit. As an added benefit, it is small (ish) and very walkable. Spending two-days in Brussels will give you ample time to get a feel of this underrated European capital.
When visiting Brussels, you will want enough time to stroll across the Grand Place (main square) to see the golden façades on the typical gabled houses. It will literally take your breath away. The main square houses the town hall (can be visited upon appointment) as well as the Belgian Beer Museum (worth a visit to try the beers).
Meander through the cobblestone streets, named after various food items – remnants of the many markets that were held in this area – and go on the hunt for Manneken Pis (the little peeing man) before diving headlong into one of the many chocolate stores or waffle stands (delicious!).
October is a good time to visit Brussels. Average temperatures in October is around 58°F. Summer-like temperatures tend to stick around until late September. Expect around 9 days of rain. That being said, make sure to always bring a packable rain jacket as the weather in Belgium is volatile.
Brussels is well connected to most large cities with multiple international flights landing daily in Brussels International Airport. To get into the city, simply hop on the direct train from the airport and get off at Brussel Centraal.
Caroline says, “Stay on the Grand Place in the boutique hotel, Cocoon, which offers magnificent views over the square at affordable prices.
Sao Miguel, Portugal (Azores Islands)
By Katja from Globetotting
High season in the Azores falls over the summer months but with the warm weather come the crowds. If you’re keen to visit these volcanic islands when it’s a little quieter then it is one of the best destinations to visit in Europe for an October getaway.
Sao Miguel is the largest, most populated and most volcanically active of the nine Azores Islands, the Portuguese archipelago that sits in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The island is famous for its dramatic landscapes, its blue and white hydrangeas and increasingly, for its adventure activities.
Some of the best things to do in Sao Miguel include visiting the Lagoa das Sete Cidades (the Sete Cidades lakes). These two lakes – the Green Lake and the Blue Lake – look like separate bodies of water but are in fact one lake divided by a bridge. A handful of viewpoints offer visitors spectacular views.
Ponta de Ferraria is another must see spot. The westernmost point of the island is characterised by a dramatic volcanic coastline. It is home to a natural ocean swimming pool that’s heated by geothermal water from a sulphurous hot spring.
Daily temperatures average around 71F, with some days reaching 76F. It rarely falls below 69F during the day in October, but may be in the low 60s at night. Bear in mind, however, that the weather in the Azores can be erratic no matter what time of year you visit. Bring a rain jacket and be prepared for some rain on 7 days of the month.
Sao Miguel is home to the main international airport for the Azores, João Paulo II Airport (PDL) at Ponta Delgada.
Katja says, “The town of Furnas is the oldest tourist destination in the Azores and the centre of the island’s geothermal activity. Make sure you try ‘cozido’ while here, a traditional Portuguese stew cooked underground by volcanic heat. Stay at the Furnas Boutique Hotel while here.”
By Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe to visit in October – the summer crowds have lessened, the temperature is lovely and mild, and autumn colors are everywhere.
Of course, on your visit, you must go see the Eiffel Tower, but don’t miss walking along the River Seine that runs past the Tower, or visiting the stately Arc de Triomphe. Make sure you leave time to climb up to the top of the Arc to enjoy the spectacular views over Paris!
As part of your fall Paris itinerary , you should explore the parks and gardens all over Paris to observe the changing leaves. The Jardin de Tuileries is a popular choice by the Louvre. It has a forested area in the middle of the garden with a beautiful fall foliage display. But you should also visit some of the less well-known parks like Monceau or Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
Montmartre is an absolute must when visiting Paris in the fall. In particular, Rue de l’Abreuvoir can be stunning in fall, as the ivy-covered buildings turn a vibrant red, making a beautiful contrasting color to the cobblestoned street.
Ready to relax or warm up? Grab coffee or hot chocolate at a cafe. Cafe culture is strong in Paris, and sitting outside a cafe, at a little table, watching the world go by, while sipping on a hot drink in the brisk air, just doesn’t get more Parisian.
Stay at the Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche – this charming hotel is in the heart of the vibrant Latin Quarter, just a couple minutes from the Jardin de Luxembourg.
Weather in October is generally pleasant but getting brisker, with average highs running from 56 F to 66 F, depending on what part of the month you visit. You have about an equal chance of sun or clouds during the beginning of the month, with increasing cloudiness as the month goes on.
Fly into Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), which is about 30-45 minutes from the center of Paris. You can take a taxi, uber, bus, or the metro to get into town.
Stephanie says, “Stay at the Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche – this charming hotel is in the heart of the vibrant Latin Quarter, just a couple minutes from the Jardin de Luxembourg.”
The A lgarve, Portugal
By Alya from The Algarve Family
The Algarve, a sunny region in the south of Portugal is one of the most beautiful places in Europe and a perfect place in October for a weekend getaway . The weather is very pleasant and there are fewer tourists than the peak summer months. As a result, the beaches are less crowded, accommodation prices are lower, and there is no need to book everything months in advance.
For a beach holiday in October, Lagos, Albufeira, and Vilamoura are the best towns in which to stay. All three towns have stunning sandy beaches, charming old towns, beautiful marinas, many restaurants, and cafes. In addition, there are many fun things to do in the area such as boat tours, hiking along the cliffs, kayaking or stand up water boarding. Watching dolphins or visiting the Benagil Cave are the two most popular boat tours in the southern Algarve.
Western Algarve and its wild Vicentina Coast is a perfect place for a surfing holiday in October. One of the small towns such as Sagres, Arrifana, Praia de Odeceixe, or Carrapateira offer great waves, unspoiled sandy beaches, and breathtaking views. Overall, the West Coast sees significantly fewer tourists. In addition, western Algarve is a perfect place for a cycling trip or a multi-day walk following the spectacular Fishermen’s Trail of the Rota Vicentina.
In October, the Algarve is warm, not blazing hot like in the summer, with very little rain. Average daily high temperatures in southern Algarve are between 73°F and 77°F.
The best way of getting to the southern Algarve is to fly to Faro Airport. There are many direct international flights to Faro from Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, and several other countries. It’s easy to get from Faro to Lagos , Albufeira, and Vilamoura by bus, train or car. It takes between 30min. to one hour.
Alya says, “There are several campsites close to the West Coast beaches e.g. São Miguel campsite near Odeceixe or Sarrão campsite in Aljezur.”
By Or from My Path In The World
Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, is one of the best budget-friendly European destinations to explore on a mid-week escape that has something to offer every traveler. There are beautiful historical landmarks, fascinating museums, and a thriving culinary and nightlife scene.
You’ll find dozens of things to do in Warsaw , but the top place to visit is the Old Town. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was reconstructed after WWII, but it is still alive with history. It includes the colorful Old Town Market Square, the Royal Castle, the Barbican, some beautiful streets and alleys, and much more. Take your time and stroll around or join a walking tour.
Next, head to the unusual Praga district, which was the least damaged during WWII. It’s quite quirky and hipster. You’ll find incredible murals, cool cultural spaces, unusual museums (like the Neon Museum and the Vodka Museum), and more.
If you’re visiting on a rainy day, warm up at one of Warsaw’s cute cafes with a cup of decadent hot chocolate. Alternatively, visit some incredible museums, like the Uprising Museum, the Chopin Museum, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
In October, when the average temperatures are 10°C-18°C (50°F-64.5°F) by day and 6°C-11°C (43°F-52°F) by night, you’ll also be rewarded with beautiful fall foliage in Warsaws’ parks. Some days are sunny, and some can be rainy, but in comparison to Polish winters, the weather is pleasant.
Getting to Warsaw is fairly easy as international flights arrive daily at the Warsaw Chopin Airport, which is only 10 km (about 6.2 miles) from the Old Town. A taxi can take you there in less than 25 minutes, and a bus ride will take 40-50 minutes.
Or says, “Stay centrally at Oki Doki OLD TOWN , which is housed in an 18th-century building in the Old Town.”
Fuerteventura, Spain (Canary Islands)
By Paulina from UK Everyday
Fuerteventura, known as the Island of Eternal Spring, is one of the best holiday spots to visit in Europe in autumn. Located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of from southern Morocco, it offers great weather all year round. Moreover, it is the oldest of all the Canary Islands.
The best things to do on the island include exploring the sandy beaches of Fuerteventura . Corralejo Sand Dunes Natural Park offers miles of beautiful beaches and amazing ocean views. You can drive through the park and admire the incredible landscape. Alternatively, you can choose to spend the day enjoying one of the incredible beaches, such as Playa del Moro, Playa Alzada or Playa Larga.
There are a few annual events in Fuerteventura in October. One of them is Fiesta de la Virgen del Rosario on the first Sunday of the month. There are religious processions and music concerts, varying between accordion recitals to heavy rock. In addition, there are dancing competitions and a padel contest, a Canarian game that is a cross between squash and tennis.
Another interesting event is the swimming race from Corralejo to Isla de Lobos. It is 7km round trip but there are also two shorter distances for all those who want to experience this unique crossing.
October is the best time to visit Fuerteventura if you love swimming. The sea temperature is 72°F and the highest between August and October. Also, the average daily temperature of 74°F makes it a great place to escape the autumn months in Europe. There is very little chance of rain.
Fuerteventura International Airport is 40 minutes drive from the Corralejo Sand Dunes Natural Park.
Paulina says, “If you would like to stay near the National Park, book accommodation in Corralejo. It is one of the most popular tourist towns in Fuerteventura. AVANTI Lifestyle Hotel is just a few steps from the beach. Its’ close location to Port of Corralejo will allow you to easily book a boat trip to Lanzarote or the small island of Lobos.
By Isabelle from Issy’s Escapades
Rome – the Eternal City, birthplace of the Roman Empire and custodian of countless pieces of priceless art – is one of the most famous cities in the world. That also makes it one of the most popular places in the world to visit too. That makes it difficult to find a time to visit Rome when it’s not mobbed by tourists and when the weather is still pleasant. However, October is one of the best times to visit for fewer crowds and beautiful weather for a fantastic European trip.
There are three things that should make it on any Rome itinerary . First, is the staggering Colosseum and nearby Roman Forum. It’s highly worth booking a tour to explore the history and hear the stories of these popular destinations. Try to book a tour that includes the underground of the Colosseum. Recently opened to tourists, you learn what happened ‘behind the scenes’ at major gladiatorial spectacles.
Second, is the Vatican. While actually existing as its own entirely separate state within the city of Rome, a visit is essential. The Vatican Museum houses vast collections and are absolutely astonishing, as are some of the pieces held within Saint Paul’s Cathedral. A must-see at the Vatican is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
Third, is the Borghese Gallery and Borghese Gardens. The gallery houses one of the most important collections of art in the world. It is home to some of Bernini’s most famous sculptures. Moreover, it houses an impressive collection of Caravaggio masterpieces.
Average temperatures in October ranges from a 72°F falling to around 50°F at night.
Getting to Rome is a cinch, due to its popularity. It has two internationalairports – Ciampino and Fiumicino – and depending on your point of origin, you may not have a choice into which you will fly. Both are located a little outside of the city center. Accordingly, you will require either public transport or a taxi transfer to reach downtown Rome.
Isabelle says, “In terms of where to stay to get the best out of your time in Rome, consider Tree Charme Parliament Boutique Hotel. It is a stylish 3-star that’s located a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona. This places guests right in the heart of Rome’s centro storico.”
By Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler
October is the perfect time of year to visit the delightful city of Galway, Ireland. The city is like a little sister of Dublin , but located on the west coast. The ocean provides a gentle breeze and mild weather throughout the year. Visiting in the autumn months means fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation.
There are plenty of things to do in Galway . Live music can be found on most corners and in restaurants. Galway’s personality is reflected in its music, so enjoy it as you stroll through the streets of the city. Make sure to take some time to wander through the Latin Quarter and down Quay Street. There are lots of shops and pubs in the area; just choose one that calls out to you.
You’ll find the history of the city scattered around. Galway Cathedral, Lynch’s Castle, and the Spanish Arch all offer a glimpse into days gone past. Head down the Long Walk, which is lined with colorful houses along the water. Sometimes, you can spot ducks and swans here too.
In October, you’ll find a number of festivals in the city. The Baboro International Arts Festival for Children, the Galway Races, and the Galway Jazz Festival are memorable events worth exploring in October.
Galway’s friendly personality, walkable cobblestone streets, and charming B&B’s make it a great destination in Europe during the fall season.
Average high temperatures in Galway is 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Expect rain around 13 days so pack a rain jacket.
Most people arrive in Ireland through Dublin airport. It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Dublin to Galway through the beautiful countryside. However, Shannon Airport is only a little over an hour’s drive south of Galway.
Pamela says, “For a great place to stay, check out The Residence Hotel. The atmosphere is traditionally Irish and they have an in-house bar featuring live music nightly.”
Lake Bled, Slovenia
By Noel from This Hawaii Life
One of the most beautiful places in Europe to visit in October would be Lake Bled in Slovenia. Less than a two hour train ride from the stunning capital city of Ljubljana , the urban landscape quickly turns into rolling countryside, agricultural farms, pastures and dense forests.
The Lake Bled area is a popular all year round destination for locals and visitors alike, but in late September and early October, the landscape is spectacular with beautiful fall foliage. Ablaze with vivid colors of orange, red and yellows from the local trees and shrubs around the lake, you can enjoy a stunning walk on a paved path around the lake. You can even take a short boat trip to the Church of the Assumption on an island located in the middle of the lake.
Visit Bled Castle for stunning views of the Lake Bled below and then tour the historic castle. Alternatively, stop at Bled city and take a ferry ride or your own boat trip around the lake area.
For more adventure, you can hike in the local mountains, do some rock climbing or trek up into the hill areas for more spectacular views of autumn colors. For nature lovers, head up to Vintgar Gorge for a stunning walk along the river.
Night time in October is cool, around 40s. Daytime is a lovely comfortable temperature in mid 60s to 70s so being outdoors and exploring the trails around the lake area is ideal.
Fly into Ljubljana International Airport. It is less than a 30 minute drive to Lake Bled.
Noel says, “If you want to stay for a nice getaway, there’s plenty of lodgings and Air BnBs located in Bled city and surrounding towns for you to escape and enjoy nature at its best here in Slovenia.”
Cagliari, Italy (Sardinia)
By Dan from Urban Abroad
Sardinia is a fantastic beach holiday destination to visit in Europe in October. Not only because of fewer crowds and lower prices offered during shoulder season but also for the pleasant sun and warm temperatures. Think beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and ancient history fused with the opportunity to explore Cagliari, the capital city of the island.
Cagliari is normally the launchpad for most travelers to the island and accordingly, you will find many things to do . For example, visit Bastione Saint Remy, a popular landmark which offers a large terrace for breathtaking views of the island and the Mediterranean sea. It was built between 1896 and 1902 with a neoclassical architectural style. Sunsets are spectacular here.
If you prefer to visit an indoor attraction, head to Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari which showcases unique artifacts thousands of years old.
You can expect to find sun and warmth throughout the month of October. Temperatures range from a min of 59°F at night (13.7°C) to a max of 74°F during the day (23.1°C) Also, it is warm enough to swim in the ocean.There is extra wind during the autumn months so you can enjoy some of the more adventurous water sports during this time of year.
You can fly into Cagliari Airport from mainland Italy or other European countries . The best way to arrive to the city center from the airport is by train, which takes less than 10 minutes.
Dan says, “Be sure to visit the La Marina district, a vibrant neighborhood that is perfect for people who are fond of history and culture. For lodgings in the same area, consider Hotel Regina Margherita, one of Cagliari’s finest hotels. It is a luxurious retreat located 350 yards from the center of Cagliari and features modern and spacious rooms.”
By Kimberley from Stuffed Suitcas e
For the northern region of Portugal, October is the culmination of the wine harvest season. Wineries all throughout the Douro Valley will be wrapping up their harvest, and the wine grape leaves will start changing from summer greens to golden fall colors. It is one of the reasons why October is the best time to visit Porto and the Douro Valley on a European vacation.
Most visitors can reach Porto easily, and touring the city offers you a chance to see classic Celtic Portuguese architecture. You can wander narrow alleyways while admiring historic royal palaces and beautiful Portuguese tile work. Wine drinkers will want to take a day trip to the Douro Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, for wine tastings. Enjoy wine tastings in addition to the classic Port wine tastings for which the area is famous.
The weather in October in Porto and the Douro Valley is lovely and mild. The rainy season won’t have started quite yet. You’ll have daily highs around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and lows around 55 degrees.
When planning a trip to Portugal , international travelers can easily find flights to Porto as it’s the second largest city in the country. You can rent a car and do a road trip to Douro Valley, but be mindful that many of the roads are narrow and driving in Portuguese cities is not for the faint of heart. You can easily tour Porto without a car. Perhaps, hire a private tour guide for a day trip or transfer for your visit to the Douro Valley.
Kimberley says, “Staying in Porto offers plenty of accommodation options in the heart of the city. However, if you’re looking for a luxury stay just outside of the main city. Vila Foz offers an upscale stay with amazing meals and views of the Atlantic.
Within Douro Valley you can splurge and stay at the 5* Six Senses Douro Valley Hotel & Spa. Alternatively, you can stay in the main town of Pinhão at the historic luxury Vintage House Hotel.”
By Patricia from Ze Wandering Frogs
Provence is famous for its lavender fields, but the French region has more to offer than just the beautiful violet flowers. In the Luberon area, charming villages are everywhere, and the city of Manosque is one of the must-see places. The old town traces its history back millennia, where old houses high in colors line the narrow streets.
Enter the city by stepping under one of the 13th-14th century high tower gates, Porte du Soubeyran or Porte de la Saunerie. Then, visit the12th-century Saint-Sauveur Church featuring Romanesque and Gothic style. Admire the Black Madonna” inside the Notre-Dame-de-Romigier. Then, stop at one of the numerous cafés to take in the quaint atmosphere. Don’t forget to taste savory Provence cuisine. No wonder Manosque is a favorite stop on any Luberon itinerary ! Manosque is also a great starting point to explore nearby small town of Valensole. Better known for its lavender fields in the summer, the small village is worth visiting in its own right, thanks to its cute plaza, water fountain, and authentic French village life. If you are looking to experience the great outdoors, head to Lake Sainte-Croix, about one hour away from Manosque. There, you can go for a drive along the Verdon Gorge or go for a challenging hike along the river.
While there won’t be any lavender, October is still a great time to visit, with mostly sunny days and temperatures averaging from upper 40°F in the morning to mid-60°F in the afternoon. Moreover, there will be none of the usual summer crowds, making the visit a more enjoyable experience.
Manosque is one hour away by road from Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, or from Cannes and Nice about two and half hours away. If you are flying internationally, Nice and Marseille might be the better options.
Patricia says, Those interested in spending the night around Manosque can check the famous Hôtel Le Pré Saint Michel, known for its lovely settings.”
If you have the opportunity to travel to Europe in October, then grab it! There is something for everyone. Whether you love to explore historic sites in major European cities, or prefer a quieter laid back vacation on beaches or in the mountains, October is a great time to visit. Not only will you get beautiful weather but you will not be fighting the crowds so you can enjoy your pleasures.
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Best October European Destinations in 2023
By: Author Kate O'Malley
Posted on Last updated: September 30, 2023
Home >> Europe >> Best October European Destinations in 2023
We’ve always been advocates of shoulder season travel, especially in Europe. We believe one of the best times to travel to Europe is during the autumn months. Europe in October is especially beautiful and the weather is still pleasant. We’re going to share the best October European destinations to visit.
The shoulder season of autumn is the perfect time to experience the best of Europe.
Table of Contents
Quick Guide to the Best October European Destinations
- Slovenia – Beautiful Fall Foliage, Castles & Wine Festivals.
- Croatia – Autumn Foliage, Old Towns & Late Season Island and Beach Getaways.
- Italy – Lakeside Beauty & Culinary Celebrations.
- Southern France – Indian Summers, Beaches, Good Food & Outdoor Activity.
- Transylvania Romania – Beautiful Fall Foliage, Castles, Local Legend & Halloween at Dracula’s Castle.
- Gdansk Poland – The “Golden Autumn”, Medieval Castles, Amber Treasures & Golden Delights.
- Wachau Valley Austria – Weinherbst ( Wine Autumn), Hiking, Cycling & Ancient Abbey’s.
- Budapest Hungary – Elegant City in Golden Hues, Thermal Spa’s & Autumn Festivals.
- Český Krumlov Czech Republic – Fairytale Towns & Autumn Beauty.
The Hottest Places to Chase the Autumn Sun
- Madiera, Portugal – Balmy Days, Rugged Coastlines & Madiera Wine.
- Cyprus – Stunning Beaches, Ancient Ruins & Unique Experiences.
- Malta – Mediterranean Climate, History & Sophisticated Culture.
Why Visit Europe in the Fall
There are literally hundreds of amazing things to do in Europe , but mid to late September is one of the best times of year to visit Europe . After the high season of summer has finished, the crowds have thinned, and travel rates have dropped.
There are many scenic outdoor opportunities with stunning autumn foliage and local festivals celebrating everything from beer to truffle hunts to wine harvests. And for the sun worshipper, there are still plenty of warm weather getaways in Europe right up into November.
Stay Safe While Travelling in Europe: We’ve got you covered with The Best Travel Safety Tips & Anti Theft Travel Guides so you can relax while you travel.
When are the Autumn Months in Europe?
Autumn in Europe is from September to November, with the peak fall month being October.
October is a great time to travel to Europe. It is when the fall foliage colours are at their best and the peak summer season crowds have left for the year. It is also when you will find many of the best autumn festivals in Europe.
Best Fall Destinations in Europe
Here are just a few of the best October European destinations to visit to experience the most beautiful fall foliage. Celebrate the harvest and the change of the seasons or chase that last bit of sun before winter.
The capital of Slovenia, the delightful city of Ljubljana was voted the Green Capital of Europe in 2016 thanks to the beautiful traffic-free, pedestrian-friendly old town along the banks of the Ljubljanica River.
During the autumn months, the city comes alive in a show of autumn colour and festivals.
The renowned Slovenian Wine Festival, the Vinarium Festival – Lendava Grape Harvest and, the Old Vine Festival; a culinary and cultural tribute to the oldest vine in the world. These are just a few of the culinary celebrations that might sway you towards this tiny city.
Festivals of Light to Welcome the Winter Nights
In late autumn when night starts to fall in the late afternoon, the city shines with The Festival of Night and Fiery Ambiences.
Fiery art installations ignite corners of the city creating a magical ambience and a delightful night walk of the city. Visitors are encouraged to make their own lanterns and illuminated hats at workshops around the city.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
For one of the most enchanting scenes in Europe, head to Bled, only a short drive from Ljubljana. Lake Bled is one of the best October European destinations due to it having one of the most spectacular displays of autumn foliage you will see anywhere in the world.
The Alpine lake has the only island in Slovenia, world-renown for its natural beauty, legend, and supposed restorative powers. Take in the spectacular scenery from the heights at Bled Castle before taking a traditional handcrafted Pletna boat to Bled Island to visit one of the most beautiful churches in the world .
Legend has it if you climb the 99 stone steps to the Assumption of Mary Church you can ring the church bell and your wishes will come true.
Visit Slovenia on a Croatia to Italy Itinerary: Tour Croatia and Slovenia from Dubrovnik to Venice on a two week Croatia tour starting in Dubrovnik, finishing in Venice .
Croatia has become the hottest destination for summer travelers and who could blame them. What most travelers don’t know is Croatia’s climate and coastal waters stay warm through October and sometimes as late as November. The climate makes Croatia one of the best October European destinations.
The best time to visit Croatia is the shoulder season months of May and June and September and October, autumn being our favourite.
Enjoy late season swimming and kayaking in the Adriatic, some of the most spectacular fall displays, and indulge in Croatia’s hottest attractions without the crowds.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Croatia’s most well-known natural wonder, Plitvice Lakes, is a chain of 16 lakes filled with vivid blue water linked by a series of waterfalls. Water flows from one lake to the next over tufa barriers built up over time.
Plitvice Lakes is one of the best places to visit in October in Europe as it is the height of autumn when the fall foliage colours accentuate the beauty of the natural wonder.
18 km of wooden pathways skirt their way around the edges of the lakes and across many of the waterfalls which make experiencing Plitvice Lakes easy for any fitness level.
It would typically take six hours to explore all the lakes so take advantage of the parks boat services across some of the larger lakes. A boat ride across the lakes also offers the best view of the brilliant display of colour.
Plitvice Lakes Tour Recommendation
Take a full day Plitvice Lakes tour from Split or Trogir with transfers, national park entry and a guide. Get full tour details here .
Dalmatian Coast & Croatian Islands
Make the most of the mild Mediterranean autumn weather and head to the Dalmatian Islands, one of the best places to visit in September in Europe. From late September through to mid-late October, you can expect pleasant sunny days ideal for swimming and enjoy all the tourist facilities without the crowds.
Islands such as Hvar and Korcula offer a laid-back atmosphere set amongst picturesque vineyards, olive groves and historic old towns.
You will find some of the best food and wine on the islands such as local seafood and Korcula’s famous white wines.
Dubrovnik & Split
Dubrovnik and Split are the two most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. Tourists flood the famous old towns on the coast during the peak season of summer when temperatures and tempers sometimes flare.
Late September to late October is the best time to visit Dubrovnik and Split. The temperatures are mild, and the crowds have thinned, making visiting more enjoyable.
The weather is still pleasant to dine alfresco of an evening and the chance of enjoying the waters of the Adriatic is still possible.
There is something special about Italy in autumn, it has to be one of the best October European destinations places to visit. As the temperature drops, the crowds recede, and the countryside comes alive with colour.
Autumn is also an exceptional culinary time in Italy. Autumn is when some of the best produce arrives in the markets and a celebration of the harvest season runs through the country.
Lake Como is a delight at any time of the year, but autumn is a perfect time to visit. Milder temperatures, lower humidity and the best bit – fewer crowds and better travel deals.
The fall colours accentuate the beauty of the lake, locals are also more relaxed, and there is still plenty to do as the temperatures start to drop.
Related: Best Places to See in Northern Italy
You’ll find plenty of festivals and events happening in the towns around the lake from wine and food festivals, art, ballet, and opera.
Or, settle in with the locals and enjoy an aperitvo as the sun sets over one of Europe’s most glamorous destinations.
Like most places, autumn in Liguria signals milder temperatures and fewer crowds, but that’s not the only reason to visit the Liguria region of Italy in the fall.
Unless of course, your primary destination is the famed Cinque Terre , who unfortunately like Venice has fallen victim to over-tourism especially in the spring-summer months.
Related: 20 Northern Italy Cities And Towns You Must Visit
Porcini Mushroom Season
Autumn in Liguria is a time to celebrate the Porcini mushroom; a delicacy celebrated through September and October.
Each town in Liguria has a unique recipe to do justice to these coveted morsels, and there are many festivals to celebrate the porcini and chestnut season.
The Wine Harvest
The wine harvest is also reason enough to visit Liguria in the autumn. See the ancient harvest rituals in vineyards scattered throughout the region and sample some of the famous wines from this relatively small wine region such as the Cinque Terre DOC, produced on the cliffside vineyards behind the five famous villages. Or, red wines from the Dolceacqua region produced from the indigenous Rossese grape, which thrives at altitudes of up to 1600ft.
You Might Also Like: More Reasons to Visit Liguria Italy
Italy’s autumn harvest celebrations reach full fever in Alba where the regions prized white truffle is honoured each autumn.
However, this autumn destination must be considered with caution as the truffle celebration has grown to epic proportions.
Alba’s Fiera del Tartufo has been running for close to 90 years, crowds of visitors descend upon Alba for the chance to taste the town’s culinary treasure.
The shoulder seasons are the perfect time to visit Rome. Read our Rome Travel Guide with a 3 Day Rome Itinerary . We’ve also got you covered with the best things to do in Rome for free .
More than half a million visitors flood the town over the six weekends of the festival. As the crowds grow each year, more gastronomical events are added to the festival schedule.
So while this is an Italian autumn destination of note, one should be well prepared as this is the time of year when crowds in Alba reach their peak. This festival alone makes Alba one of the best October European destinations.
The Alba Truffle Festival – Fiera del Tartufo runs from 6 October – 25 November.
France is unique any time of year, but southern France spoils us with sunshine until late in the autumn season.
It may be the Riviera region in the South of France or the mountain region of southwest France’s Pyrenees. Either way, there are plenty of good reasons to head to the southern areas of France in the fall, and beautiful weather is just one.
Ariege Midi Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is no more beautiful than in autumn. The Ariege region of the Midi Pyrenees enjoys a relatively mild climate all year around which means you can expect autumn temperatures as high as 25 ℃ right into late October and sometimes November.
August is perfect for hikers where high walks in the Pyrenees are still accessible without a special permit. Birds are also migrating across the Pyrenees which makes autumn a great time for birders to visit the area.
Art & Photography
A popular destination for artists and photographers any time of the year but autumn brings the Pyrenees a soft and distinctly golden light with early morning mists perfect for capturing the magnificent landscapes.
Much like Italy, autumn is a bountiful season in the Ariege. Foraging for wild pears, apples, walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and, mushrooms is a favourite way to enjoy the mild weather and sunny days.
There are also numerous festivals to celebrate the regions local produce including fig and hazelnut festivals as well as the two-day Fête de la Pomme in the medieval town of Mirepoix.
Ariege is also a great base for day trips to Toulouse and Carcassonne.
Read More About Ariege and the Midi Pyrenees
Read More About Carcassonne
South of France French Riviera
The South of France is one of the best October European destinations for those who cling to that last glimmer of summer. Until late October, it is possible to enjoy warm sunny days, even swimming on the Riviera.
The summer crowds are long gone so you can enjoy the beaches, get a table at the good restaurants, and visit popular attractions with ease.
The days are warm and evenings cool but the shorter days of winter have not quite arrived in the South of France in autumn. The colours of fall may come late, but there is plenty to celebrate in the region beyond the beaches with wine harvests, and of course, indulging in the mushroom and chestnut season.
Autumn in the South of France is for indulging, exploring and long alfresco lunches in the sun.
The heavily wooded valley’s of Transylvania is often associated with dark foreboding tales of creepy castles and mythological counts. A place of dark magic where the sun never quite shines.
In stark contrast, the real Transylvania is a fairytale destination with unspoilt medieval landscapes of rolling hills, meadows of wildflowers, and ancient oak forests.
Imposing gothic castles and ornate palaces dot the mountainous region, and quaint cobblestone towns and villages such as Brasov and Sibiu will surprise you.
In autumn, Transylvania becomes one of the best October European destinations due to it having the most brilliant display of colour. It would be hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful in the world.
Stay at Prince Charles’ Guest House
Transylvania is so beautiful even Prince Charles fell under its spell after the fall of communism. He now owns numerous properties in the region, one of those properties is a guest house in the hamlet of Zalanpatak.
The retreat offers guests a very comfortable all-inclusive experience of Transylvania’s pristine wilderness, and the rates are surprisingly reasonable. You can find out more about Prince Charles’ Transylvania Guest Houses here .
Visit the Cities of Transylvania
In Transylvania’s main cities such as Sibiu and Brasov, you’ll find no shortage of cultural events in autumn. Outdoor concerts, opera, arts, ballet and of course, harvest festivals.
Halloween at Dracula’s Castle
From a royal guesthouse to the prince of darkness; for the dark tourist, there is always the prospect of Halloween at the infamous Bran Castle; the home of Dracula.
Transylvania is a fascinating mix of natural beauty, history and local legend. Romania is also one of Europe’s cheapest destinations, so it’s one of the best value fall destinations in Europe.
Read More About Bran Castle the Home of Dracula
People have said Gdansk is where they have seen the most beautiful autumn of their lives.
There is a small window of the year when summer has finished, and winter will approach quickly. In Poland they call it the “Golden Autumn”. The sun shines brightly in the days and the cooler evenings leave a slight morning frost.
The City of Gdansk
There is no more beautiful city to experience Poland’s “Golden Autumn” than Gdansk. Meticulously restored after being flattened in WWII, Gdansk is a city associated with courage and freedom. A thriving and progressive centre of culture, science, sports and entertainment.
Amongst the charming cobblestone streets, you can discover the prized amber Gdansk is famous for and warm yourself with the golf flecked liqueur Goldwasser made in Gdansk since the 16th-century.
Day Trips From Gdansk
Once you have finished exploring the delightful medieval town of Gdansk, take a day trip to the medieval fortress of the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork.
Then, experience the grounds of Rzucewo Castle in all its autumn glory. Built in 1840; the castle houses a hotel and a fantastic restaurant that’s perfect for lunch after exploring the grounds.
Gdansk is a delightful city at any time of the year, but holds its place as one of the best October European destinations due to its autumn being an unforgettable experience.
Consider a Cruise through the Baltics: Visit Gdansk Poland on a Cruise Through the Baltic Region.
Wachau Valley, Austria
The loveliest stretch of the Danube, the wine terraced hills of the Wachau Valley, west of Vienna was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for its physical beauty and cultural importance.
Wine Season Festivals
Known for its rolling hills, vineyards and fortresses, it is in this most spectacular stretch of the Danube, central Europe’s largest and most significant series of events around wine take place in Autumn. Lower Austria celebrates a special season from late August until late November known as Weinherbst – Wine Autumn.
Hiking, Biking & Celebrating
Whether hiking through the golden terraced hills, cycling the Danube Cycling Path , visiting the famous Gottweig and Melk Abbey’s, or enjoying wine cellar festivities the Wachau Valley is a stellar Autumn destination.
The scenic beauty and temptation of the regions world-renowned wines are just the beginning of what the Wachau Valley has to offer, and you’re only an hour from the beautiful capital Vienna.
Experience one of the best October European destinations in the Wachau Valley on a Danube River Cruise .
The pearl of Eastern Europe, Budapest, the beautiful Hungarian capital has much to offer visitors during the autumn season. Budapest is a very walkable city so is a joy to explore.
Scenic Budapest Hills
Head to the Fisherman’s Bastion for excellent views across the city. Enjoy the autumn vistas from the Budapest hills overlooking the Danube, and the iconic Parliament building.
Budapest Thermal Spa’s
Or, simply indulge in one of Budapest’s medicinal thermal spas. With 118 thermal springs around the city, it is no wonder Budapest is dubbed the “City of Spa’s”. Taking the waters in Budapest is one of Hungary’s most civilised ritual age-old traditions.
Autumn Festivals in Budapest
With pleasant temperatures, Budapest’s cultural calendar is busier than ever in the fall with a diverse mix of dance, music, theatre, and food festivals.
In September you can enjoy the Budapest International Wine Festival and the Budapest Pálinka and Sausage Festival. In October the Café Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival and the New Wine and Cheese Festival in November.
Read More About The Cities of the Danube
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
There is no doubt about the charm of visiting Prague in the fall. The City of A Hundred Spires is set in golden hues begging to be explored unencumbered by the peak season masses. But the real jewel in the Czech Republic’s autumn crown is the fairytale town of Český Krumlov.
Bohemia’s quintessential fairytale town, Český Krumlov is a true medieval treasure. Clusters of gabled roofs punctuated with medieval spires encompassed by the Vltava River, Český Krumlov, is a picture-postcard on any day.
Scenic Old Town & Country Vista’s
However, autumn is when the medieval town takes on a whole new mystique and beauty. From the highest point in the Castle Garden, you can enjoy the spectre of autumn’s beauty. Admire sweeping views of the postcard-worthy town and surrounding countryside as you meander down the hill through the Český Krumlov Castle and Chateau complex.
By early October, peak season is well and truly finished so Český Krumlov can be enjoyed without the crowds that seem to engulf the tiny city through the summer months. Český Krumlov is truly one of the best October European destinations.
Local Fare and Artisan Microbreweries
Spend a few days and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Southern Bohemia. Indulge in spectacular local food and some of the Czech Republics best microbreweries.
Český Krumlov’s Autumn Festivals
You may even catch one or two of Český Krumlov’s autumn festivals such as the Festival of Baroque Arts, the International Environmental and Natural and Cultural Heritage Film Festival or, the Český Krumlov Waterman Marathon at the top of the canoe season on October 10.
Much like Romania, the Czech Republic is one of the cheapest European country’s to visit so is an excellent value destination.
For the Sun Lover – The Hottest Places to Travel in Europe in November
When the peak of Autumn has finished, there are still a few pockets of Europe that can offer one last chance to bask in the sun for the year.
These are just a few of the hottest places to travel in November for one last summer fling. Want more sun? we’ve got more glorious European winter sun destinations here .
Madeira Islands, Portugal
Madeira, the autonomous region of Portugal off the north coast of Africa is where many go to escape the cooler weather.
With a climate similar to the Mediterranean or coastal California, the waters of the Atlantic help moderate the temperature meaning the island never suffers extreme weather, hot or cold. Expect balmy days in the low to mid 20’s ℃ / 70’s ℉ and sea temperatures of about the same.
Thanks to the temperate climate, Madeira is the perfect destination any time of year. As the temperature cools off a little in November, so do the tourists. In November, you can still expect plenty of sunshine but best of all, lower rates. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Portugal , it’s not surprising Madeira keeps winning the title of Best Island Destination in Europe
Take the Views from Monte
For some of the best views take the cable car up to the Monte neighbourhood. At 600 metres above sea level, you can enjoy magnificent views of the sea and the steep sprawling hillside dotted with white-walled and red-roofed houses.
Ride a Traditional Wicker Toboggan
From the upper terminal in Monte, take a two-kilometre hair-raising wicker toboggan ride down the hill. A tradition dating back to the 1800s and a truly Madeiran experience and one of the more unusual things to do in Madeira .
Enjoy Beaches & Nature Treks
Away from the city, you’ll find beautiful black volcanic sand beaches, the world’s largest laurel forest and some of the most spectacular nature treks in Europe. Hiking in Madeira is also very popular not just for the stunning landscape but for the interesting Levada walks.
Discover The Best Places to Visit in Madeira Beyond Funchal Old Town
The Shoulder Seasons are the Perfect Time to Visit Portugal’s Cities.
Read our Porto Travel Guide with over 50 things to see & do.
Plan a One Day Lisbon Itinerary . Perfect for a layover day on your way to Madeira or Porto
In the Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus is the perfect late autumn escape and just a little warmer than Madiera.
With temperatures in the mid-high 20’s ℃ / 70’s ℉ and warm Mediterranean sea temperatures; sunbathing and swimming in November are delightful prospects in Cyprus.
Archaeological Ruins & National Parks
Aside from the stunning beaches, Cyprus is famous for; the cooler days make exploring the many archaeological ruins more comfortable than in the peak of summer.
It’s also the perfect time of year for exploring the Akamas Peninsular or hiking the Troodos mountains.
Culture & Cuisine
It’s not all-natural beauty in Cyprus. Soak up the culture and more importantly, Cyprus hospitality and fresh local seafood.
Unique Travel Experiences
For something different, tick off two countries in one city. Cross the border in Nicosia from the Greek Cypriot south to the Turkish north.
Or, from November to March you can enjoy a spectacle of pink when Flamingoes migrate to the salt lakes of Larnaca for the winter.
Read More About the Best Things to do in Cyprus
Read More About Crossing the Border in Nicosia
Boasting a similar climate to Cyprus, Malta is the best-kept secret of the Mediterranean, especially in the milder months. The beautiful capital of Valletta calms after the peak season, and the islands most beautiful beaches breathe a sigh of relief again for the year.
A Small Island Brimming With Culture
Malta may be a small island nation but it is brimming with some of Europe’s finest Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture. Enjoy world-class museums and galleries and Malta’s growing coffee and cocktail culture.
Spend an evening at Europe’s third oldest working theatre; The Manoel Theatre with performances by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, ballet evenings, piano recitals and plays.
Idyllic Beach Destinations & Island Hopping
Take a short ferry to Gozo, Malta’s sister island. Head to one of the many waterfront restaurants at Xlendi Bay for lunch or enjoy a day on Gozo’s beaches.
Hiking on Malta
Cooler days are great for hiking adventures in the island’s countryside where stunning coastal views are almost guaranteed. You may see the Sea Squill in bloom, the first flower in Malta after the hot summer months.
Malta is the perfect autumn combination of Mediterranean climate and sophisticated culture to match some of Europe’s bigger cities.
Are You Ready To Plan Your Fall Trip To Europe?
Depending on what you’re looking for, Europe has so many fabulous fall destinations. If it’s scenic autumn displays, harvest festivals and gastronomical delights or that last swim for the year.
These are just a few of the best October European destinations but it’s certainly a good start.
Spending Longer in Europe?
Discover Unique Things to do in Europe in Winter
Find Out Why Calvià Mallorca Makes a Great Low Season Getaway
16 of the Best Places to Visit in Europe in October
09/10/2023 by Kristin Leave a Comment
If September got away from you too fast and you missed out on these European destinations , no worries! There’s something for everyone on this list of the best places to visit in Europe in October, as it’s another stunning month to venture around this part of the world. The summer crowds have dwindled, the fall foliage is in full swing, and many spots offer that perfect “not too hot, not too cold” climate. Let’s jump in!
Table of Contents
1. Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre in October is a dream. The summer throngs have left, giving you more space to wander through the colorful villages. It’s still warm enough to hike the iconic trails but cool enough that you won’t be drenched in sweat. Plus, the Mediterranean still holds onto its summer warmth, just right for a refreshing dip in the sea. One of the best ways to take advantage of the stellar weather is to head out for a snorkeling and kayak tour , which will give you a mesmerizing view of the Cinque Terre coastline.
Cinque Terre is one of the many places in Italy that are wonderful to visit this time of year. Find more inspiration for your Italian adventure here !
2. Salzburg, Austria
Visiting Salzburg in October is like stepping into a living postcard. The historic Old Town, with its well-preserved baroque architecture, is even more charming in the glow of autumn colors. Imagine walking along the Salzach River, while red and gold leaves crunch under your feet. The crowds have thinned out from the summer rush, making it an ideal time to visit Mozart’s birthplace and the Hohensalzburg Fortress . The cafés offer cozy corners where you can enjoy Sachertorte and hot coffee, providing a snug atmosphere that is quintessentially Austrian.
I’ve only ever visited Austria in the winter, so I’m keen to get back and see what fall is like there!
3. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
There are plenty of locations in Croatia that deserve a spot on your itinerary, but the foliage in Plitvice Lakes National Park during October cannot be left out: it is like an artist’s palette of oranges, yellows, and reds. The weather is generally mild, but bring a light jacket, because it can get chilly in the evenings. The summer crowds have diminshed, giving you the serenity you need to appreciate this natural beauty.
One of the best ways to see the park if you’re in a hurry is by joining a full-day tour , but if you have more time to spare, there are plenty of places to camp there . Just make sure you bring layers to keep warm at night!
4. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn is a fantastic October destination for history enthusiasts. With fewer crowds, you can truly delve into the medieval architecture of its Old Town. The crisp temperatures make it a great time to explore museums and enjoy traditional Estonian dishes like mulgipuder .
Whether you’re heading to Tallinn for a weekend or a few weeks, don’t skip the chance to visit Lahemaa National Park , where you’ll see some of Estonia’s most beautiful fall foliage.
5. Cornwall, England
Cornwall offers a quieter but still stunning experience in October. While you might not want to brave the waters for a swim, the coastal walks are invigorating. Take a journey through Tintagel Castle, said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, without the throngs of tourists to disrupt your reverie. Cornwall is also a fantastic destination around Halloween, as the town puts on several elaborately spooky events .
One of the most unique ways to enjoy Cornwall is to go on a tour of the filming locations of the show Poldark , which takes you to some of the most beautiful sites in the city. Even if you’ve never seen the show, it’s a cool way to enjoy the best of Cornwall.
6. Transylvania, Romania
Speaking of Halloween, October is the perfect time to visit Dracula’s homeland. Transylvania is absolutely captivating, with its misty mountains and medieval castles. The weather is cool and enjoyable, perfect for exploring without a horde of tourists. You might think that Transylvania would be popular around Halloween for its spook factor, but it’s surprisingly quiet this time of year.
Get into the spirit of all things mysterious with a tour of the ancient Bran Castle , or a visit to the famous Dracula House . Don’t worry, though: the legends of vampires in Transylvania aren’t actually part of Romanian folklore and didn’t arise until after Bram Stoker’s Dracula came out.
7. Ghent, Belgium
In October, Ghent offers a cozy, fairy-tale ambiance. The medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and enchanting canals seem almost enchanted against the backdrop of autumn foliage. Visit Gravensteen Castle and indulge in Belgian waffles as the air starts to cool.
Head out on a crisp fall afternoon for a boat ride through Ghent’s medieval center if you can. This is one of the best things to do this time of year, because the ancient buildings are surrounded by trees in peak fall colors.
8. Cappadocia, Turkey
October is an excellent time to visit Cappadocia, particularly for hot-air ballooning . The weather is milder, so you can still catch the gorgeous views without the extreme temperatures of summer. The winters here can be brutal as well, so visiting in the fall (or spring!) is ideal.
The best thing to do in Cappadocia is hike and explore. Here you’ll find ancient cave churches, underground cities, and impressive rock formations called “fairy chimneys” that give this Turkish paradise a whimsical feel.
9. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is vibrant and interesting any time of year, but October holds a special place in my heart because of the crisp weather, epic events, and autumn hues. Each October, the city hosts its Festival of Lights, when monuments, landmarks, streets, and squares become dazzling displays of color. You can also catch Berlin’s Food Week , which is a delight for foodies.
The weather might require a light jacket, but that doesn’t stop Berliners from enjoying their city. Museums and galleries become even more appealing places to spend your time. I used to live in there, so make sure to check out my guide to Berlin , which has loads of cool things to do!
10. The French Riviera
The Côte d’Azur still enjoys lovely weather this time of year. With the summer tourists gone, the region takes on a more relaxed and authentic feel. It’s the ideal time for a leisurely exploration of Nice, Cannes, and the small villages that make the French Riviera so charming. One of the best ways to start out your adventure is to go for a road trip along the coast. You can also take it to the next level and do so on a three-wheel-vehicle tour !
11. Lapland, Finland
I visited Finnish Lapland in the winter and absolutely loved it, but it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re sensitive to the cold, October is a much better time to visit, as it’s a magical experience with far fewer tourists compared to the winter months. Still, pack accordingly.
October is the peak of the northern lights season in Lapland. If you want to increase your chances of getting the best view of the aurora borealis, I highly recommend a tour that takes you to various locations . Another can’t-miss activity here is experiencing a Finnish sauna ( a delicious three-course dinner is included here ).
12. Prague, Czechia
Prague in October evinces a mystical aura. The weather is cold enough to enjoy traditional Czech comfort food and the famous hot wine. Tour the awe-inspiring splendor of Prague Castle , or walk the Charles Bridge in the early morning mist. Prague is also full of mysticism, so imagine spending your Halloween on a ghosts and legends tour through the Old Town. Now that’s the way to take full advantage of spooky szn!
13. Lake Bled, Slovenia
October is when Lake Bled becomes a fairytale setting, with the surrounding trees displaying their vibrant fall colors. I’m sure you’ve seen the dazzling photos of the lake in the summertime, but autumn is just as beautiful, and there aren’t nearly as many tourists milling about. It’s chilly but not freezing, ideal for a boat ride to Bled Island.
Potentially the coolest thing to do here is to take a transparent-kayak tour at night . You’ll get to see the twinkling lights of castles from the water, which is truly a sight to behold!
14. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon remains sunny in the fall season, and it’s the best time to explore the city’s hills, as the temperatures are mild. The crowds are smaller, but Lisbon’s charm is fully present. Don’t miss out on a guided walking tour of the city or a food and wine tour to delight the senses in this vibrant European cultural hub.
15. Madeira, Portugal
For a more offbeat destination, try Madeira. The island’s exotic gardens are still in bloom, and October is the peak season for tuna and marlin fishing. After visiting the Azores , I found myself itching to see another Portuguese island destination like this one. This full-day tour looks amazing and includes some of Madeira’s most exciting attractions, like volcanic pools and impressive waterfalls.
16. Oslo, Norway
Last but not least, October in Oslo is all about embracing the coziness of fall. The city’s parks offer stunning autumnal hues, and there’s still enough daylight to explore extensively. Summer is peak tourism season in Oslo, so visiting in the fall is ideal for travelers who are into a more low-key atmosphere. Plus, it’ll be warm enough to enjoy a bike ride (as the locals do!), so check out this guided bike tour.
You’ve probably guessed already that I love visiting places during shoulder season to avoid crowds, and Europe is no exception. Sure, European summer is gorgeous, but October offers more comfortable temperatures, thinner crowds, and a healthy dash of enchantment.
Before you head to one of these best places to visit in Europe in the summer, make sure to check out my packing list for visiting Europe in the fall.
Which destination will you choose?
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38 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in October + Hidden Gems 
Last updated: October 18th, 2023
If you’re wondering where is hot in October in Europe, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for a lively city break, a peaceful nature retreat, or an island brimming with beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Europe, even in autumn.
This article is about all the most stunning and captivating warm places in Europe in October. You’ll not only learn about the best things to do in each of these destinations, but also special festivals and events taking place in October, as well as insider tips for planning your trip.
You might also be interested in: 🏝 38 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in November 🎄 38 Prettiest Warm Places in December in Europe
Disclosure : This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you . You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy .
🌍 Where is the Warmest Place in Europe in October?
The hottest place in Europe in October is Tenerife in the Canary Islands (Spain), with an average temperature of 68°-79°F (20°-26°C).
October is actually the best time to visit the Canary Islands, as you’ll avoid the high season crowds of November to March, and temperatures are not unbearably hot like in the summer.
Spain is the hottest country in Europe in October, with plenty of spectacular cities on the mainland to enjoy the warm October sun, too. You’ll find more details about visiting Tenerife and Spain in October inside this guide.
😎 Where is Hot in Europe in October: Overview
Here’s a quick summary of where is warm in Europe in October. These are just a few of the destinations mentioned in this guide, but they stand out for various reasons.
- ☀️ The warmest place in October in Europe: Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
- 🎉 The best warm place in Europe in October for festivals : Tbilisi, Georgia
- 🏝 The best warm beach destination in October in Europe: Sardinia, Italy
- 🏙 The best warm city break in October in Europe: Seville, Spain
- 🧗🏻 The best warm place in October in Europe for adventure : Madeira, Portugal
- 🐵 The best warm place in Europe in October for wildlife : Gibraltar
☀️ 38 Best Warm Places in Europe in October
⛲️ warm places in october in europe – cities, 38. rome, italy.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 53°-72°F | 12°-22°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 7
☀️ Why visit in October: There’s no better month than October to admire the vast history and rich culture of Rome . Extremely crowded (and hot) in the summer, the Eternal City sees a warm and mild October with much fewer tourists and lower accommodation prices.
⛲️ Admire fountains: Rome is a city full of beautiful fountains. From the world-famous Trevi Fountain to the lesser-known Fountain of the Frogs, these structures decorate every piazza (public square in town). Don’t miss the Fountain of the Leaky Boat in Piazza di Spagna!
🌅 Catch a breathtaking sunset: The Terrazza del Pincio inside Villa Borghese offers the most magical views of Rome at sunset. Talented musicians there provide the perfect soundtrack to a surreal view of the Eternal City. Try to spot famous landmarks from there — you’ll find a few!
🔥 Insider Tip: While Centro Storico is the best area to stay in Rome for first-time visitors, consider the neighbourhoods of Testaccio or San Lorenzo if you’re a returning visitor eager to experience the more local side of Rome (and the most authentic restaurants in town).
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Otivm Hotel (⭐️ 9.0) | Tree Charme (⭐️ 8.9)
Read more: The Best 3-Day Rome Itinerary + Tips From a Local
37. lisbon, portugal.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 59°-73°F | 15°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 8
☀️ Why visit in October: Portugal’s charming capital gets very crowded in the summer. In October, though, Lisbon sees a lot fewer tourists and its authentic beauty shines through. It’s also a lot more pleasant to climb all the hills in town in the mild autumn temperatures.
🏰 Explore UNESCO sites: The neighbourhood of Belém is filled with spectacular UNESCO sites. Don’t miss the majestic Belém Tower (which looks even better without the high season crowds) and the Jerónimos Monastery, which features unique Portuguese Gothic architecture.
🎶 Get lost in music: Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood of Lisbon and is characterized by picturesque cobbled streets and a charismatic vibe. It is also where traditional Fado music was born, and you can catch many spectacular performances in restaurants and bars there.
🔥 Insider Tip: On the highest peak of Lisbon lies the lesser-known Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Be sure to head there to enjoy a spectacular view of the city without the crowds! This is definitely one of the best free things to do in Lisbon .
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel da Baixa (⭐️ 9.5) | Tivoli Oriente Hotel (⭐️ 8.6)
36. Seville, Spain
🌡️ Average October temperature: 57°-79°F | 14°-26°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Seville is the cultural heart of the Andalusia region of Spain. In October, it boasts stunningly warm weather minus the scorching heat of the summer or the high-season crowds of April to June. There’s truly no better time to visit this stunning city.
💃🏻 Catch a flamenco show: Seville is considered by many as the birthplace of flamenco, a style of Spanish folk music that involves the guitar, singing, and dancing. Head to one of the many tablaos (flamenco venues) in town to get a glimpse into this traditional folk art.
🧿 Admire art & architecture: There are several places in Seville that are known for their remarkable history and architecture, which includes a mix of Renaissance and Mudéjar styles. Don’t miss Plaza de España, Casa de Pilatos, the Royal Alcázar, and the Seville Cathedral.
🔥 Insider Tip: Seville is also deemed by many as the birthplace of tapas. Don’t leave town without sampling the absolute best tapas at Espacio Eslava , a locals’ favourite.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla (⭐️ 9.0) | Hotel Ateneo Sevilla (⭐️ 9.3)
Read more: 3 Days in Seville: The Perfect Seville Itinerary + Map
35. ljubljana, slovenia.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 44°-61°F | 7°-16°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 9
☀️ Why visit in October: With its rich medieval history, luscious landscapes, and impressive Renaissance architecture, Ljubljana is one of Europe’s finest cultural offerings. In addition to lighter crowd levels at major attractions, October sees fall colours beginning to appear.
🧿 Revel in architectural beauty: Explore the city’s impressive Baroque and Vienna Secession buildings, and admire the more modernist, post-WWII architecture in the city centre. Visit the iconic Triple Bridge, and head to Vurnik House for tricolour motifs and psychedelic patterns.
🌳 Relax in gorgeous green spaces: With Ljubljana’s sweltering summer season behind, the dropping fall temperatures are perfect for a stroll around the city’s green spaces. Some of the most popular ones are Zvezda Park, Park Tabor, and Ljubljana Botanical Gardens.
🔥 Insider Tip: Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city from Nebotičnik ’s top floor terrace. Standing 13 stories tall, it’s a perfect (and free!) place to watch the sunset over the Old Town.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: uHOTEL (⭐️ 8.7) | Adora Hotel (⭐️ 8.9)
34. Monte Carlo, Monaco
🌡️ Average October temperature: 59°-68°F | 15°-20°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 6
☀️ Why visit in October: A playground for the rich and famous, Monte Carlo is an extravagant resort city-state boasting over 300 days of sunshine yearly. Temperatures drop only slightly in autumn, allowing visitors to explore the casinos and beaches in town without the crowds.
🃏 Try your luck at slots: The ostentatious Monte Carlo Casino personifies the city’s lavish reputation. Stroll through the marble atrium and admire the towering onyx columns of the gaming rooms. From slot machines to blackjack, there’s plenty to keep you entertained here.
⛵️ Sail the seas: Head to Port de la Condamine, which never fails to have several amazing vessels on the water. Although most are owned by Monaco’s wealthiest residents, tourists are welcome to charter a yacht or rent a boat to explore the beautiful surroundings.
🔥 Insider Tip: You may not be here for the epic Formula One races in May, but car fanatics will enjoy the vintage Car Collection of HSH the Prince of Monaco , which displays over 100 antique cars.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Metropole Monte-Carlo (⭐️ 8.9) | Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel (⭐️ 8.7)
33. Athens, Greece
🌡️ Average October temperature: 59°-73°F | 15°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 3
☀️ Why visit in October: Steeped in history and brimming with culture, Athens is a real Balkan gem. However, it’s usually way too crowded and unbearably hot in the summer. In October, most tourists will have gone home, rooms are cheaper, and local culture shines through.
🏛 Step back in time: The world-famous Acropolis is the crown jewel of Athens. This ancient citadel houses the Parthenon and ruins of other important temples. Step back to the 5th century BC and get a fascinating glimpse into Ancient Greece and Greek mythology.
🥘 Taste local delicacies: No trip to Athens is complete without trying the best gyros and souvlaki in town. Join the Original Gourmet Food Tour of Athens and let a local foodie take you to the most authentic places for superb Greek pastries, cheese, and traditional dishes.
🔥 Insider Tip: There are plenty of cool places to enjoy live music in Athens. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, or traditional Greek music, you’re bound to find a bar in town putting on a good show. Be sure to stop by Cafe Avissinia on a weekend to catch talented musicians performing!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Electra Metropolis (⭐️ 9.1) | Palladian Home (⭐️ 9.0)
32. Dubrovnik, Croatia
🌡️ Average October temperature: 59°-72°F | 15°-22°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 7
☀️ Why visit in October: Dubrovnik is a picturesque Balkan town brimming with history and culture. In the summer, it’s usually swamped with tourists. October not only offers milder and more bearable temperatures, it’s also when you can sightsee in relative peace and quiet.
🏰 Explore ancient city walls: The impressive 1,940 meters-long Walls of Dubrovnik that encircle the Old Town offer spectacular vistas throughout its path. There are 6 fortresses built along these walls; be sure to stop by Fortress Lovrijenac for unbeatable Adriatic Sea views.
🌅 Catch an unbelievable sunset: You might never come across a sunset as epic as the one from the top of Srd Hill. To get the, take the Dubrovnik Cable Car . From the top, you’ll see jaw-dropping views of the Old Town, the Adriatic Sea, and the numerous surrounding islands.
🔥 Insider Tip: Taste some delicious seafood on the charming terrace of Fish Restaurant Proto ; it’s the best place in town to have fish!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Prijeko Palace (⭐️ 9.1) | Hotel Dubrovnik Palace (⭐️ 9.1)
31. Porto, Portugal
🌡️ Average October temperature: 53°-70°F | 12°-21°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 10
☀️ Why visit in October: Porto is a very scenic historic city that usually sees large crowds of tourists, especially in the summer. In October, fewer crowds and shorter queues at attractions make Porto a lot more pleasant to explore. Stunning fall foliage also adds to the charm.
🧿 Get lost in ceramic tiles: A defining characteristic of Porto is the white and blue azulejos (traditional ceramic tiles) on its many churches and buildings. Admire this stunning colourful art at Igreja do Carmo, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, Porto Cathedral, and São Bento Station.
🌉 Catch a spectacular sunset: No trip to Porto is complete without taking a romantic stroll on Luís I Bridge at sunset. From there, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the city’s ancient colourful buildings next to the Douro River. It’s hands down one of the best vistas in Europe.
🔥 Insider Tip: You can’t leave Porto without tasting delicious pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). There’s a sea of pastéis de nata shops around town, but the best one is the Nata Lisboa chain.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Torel Avantgarde (⭐️ 9.0) | Hotel Dom Henrique (⭐️ 8.4)
30. Barcelona, Spain
🌡️ Average October temperature: 62°-73°F | 17°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 6
☀️ Why visit in October: Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain , and you can enjoy it in October without the summer tourist crowds. From artsy explorations to seasonal festivities, there are plenty of fun things to do there under the balmy autumn sun.
🎨 Admire Gaudí art: Renowned architect Gaudí has designed some of the most unique pieces of modern architecture, and most of them are scattered all around Barcelona. Aside from the famous La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, don’t miss Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.
🎃 Bask in the festivities: Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city, which means you’ll find plenty of Halloween events put on by clubs and bars around town. Note that scary costumes are the norm here. For a different kind of party, don’t miss Oktoberfest in Plaça d’Espanya.
🔥 Insider Tip: Enjoy a remarkable 360° view of the city from Bunkers del Carmel. For another spectacular panorama, visit the amusement park on Tibidabo, the highest peak in town.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Arts Barcelona (⭐️ 8.4) | Vincci Gala (⭐️ 8.9)
29. Zürich, Switzerland
🌡️ Average October temperature: 46°-59°F | 8°-15°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 9
☀️ Why visit in October: Looking for a city break surrounded by nature? Look no further than Zürich. In October, this picturesque town offers mild weather perfect for hiking in the nearby mountains, stunning fall foliage sceneries, little to no crowds, and affordable room prices.
🏞 Enjoy spa with a view: One of the most scenic spots in Zürich is the Hürlimannbad & Spa . October is the perfect time to bathe in the thermal waters and enjoy various massages there. Don’t miss this spa’s rooftop pool, which offers stunning panoramic views of the city!
🍫 Go on a chocolate tour: Zürich is home to endless artisan chocolatiers, traditional confectionaries, and chocolate museums. Take a delicious Swiss chocolate walking tour to explore the city’s sweetest corners and taste the best handmade local chocolate.
🔥 Insider Tip: Switzerland is famous for its watchmaking industry. Experience a watchmaking workshop at the Beyer Watch Museum in Zürich to get an insight into local culture.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Scheuble (⭐️ 8.7) | Ruby Mimi Hotel Zurich (⭐️ 8.4)
28. Nice, France
☀️ Why visit in October: Situated on the sunny French Riviera, Nice effortlessly blends vibrant Mediterranean culture with classic French cuisine for an unforgettable vacation. In October, the weather there is still warm enough for beaches while the tourist crowds have mostly left.
🏖 Enjoy fun in the sun : Nice is home to over 35 beaches, and October’s milder weather allows you to enjoy them without sun damage and overcrowding. Grab a cocktail and sun lounger before putting on a wetsuit and diving into the glittering waters of the historical Ruhl Plage.
🏰 Soak up the historical vibes: The Old Town of Nice is adorned with narrow cobblestone streets and red-roofed houses. Step back in time at the colourful Place Rossetti and the aristocratic Palais Lascaris. In the evening, hit the quirky Le Shapko club for energetic jazz.
🔥 Insider Tip: Fans of Orthodox churches should head slightly off the beaten track to find the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, one of the most impressive ecclesiastical buildings in Nice. It’s just around the corner from popular attractions but is often missed.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel de France (⭐️ 9.0) | Hotel Villa Rose (⭐️ 9.0)
Read more: 10 Days in Europe: 25+ Epic Itineraries + Budget Trips
🏝 hottest places in europe in october – islands, 27. corfu, greece.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 57°-73°F | 14°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 7
☀️ Why visit in October: Corfu is a picturesque Greek island with turquoise waters, lush green landscapes, and a rich local culture. In October, the summer tourist crowds will have left, allowing the island to reveal its authentic beauty. Plus, it’s still warm enough for beaches!
🏝 Enjoy fantastic beaches: Corfu’s pristine coastline stretches for about 135 miles (217 km) and is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in Greece. Don’t miss the beautiful turquoise water of Palaiokastritsa Beach or the stunning coves of Canal d’Amour beach.
🥘 Experience local culture: Corfu is surrounded by idyllic mountain villages that showcase authentic traditions you won’t find in other parts of Greece. Explore the picturesque villages of Lakones, Pelekas, and Vatos to taste local cuisine and learn about ancient traditions.
🔥 Insider Tip: Head over to Nikos Family Taverna for some authentic local food and traditional dance performances.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Joseph Apartment (⭐️ 8.9) | Acanthus Blue (⭐️ 9.6)
26. Ibiza, Spain
🌡️ Average October temperature: 59°-73°F | 15°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Ibiza is an exciting party city known for its dazzling nightlife. You can enjoy it in October without the unbearable crowds, scorching summer heat, and inflated prices. With bustling bars, boutiques, and miles of balmy beaches, this vibrant hub has it all.
✨ Marvel at a light festival: Every October, Ibiza hosts the annual Ibiza Light Festival , where artists transform the entire historic old town (Dalt Vila) into an animated light show. Visitors can pick up local treats, participate in workshops, and listen to music from Ibiza’s top DJs.
🛍 Indulge in retail therapy: The hippy markets of Las Dalias boast over 200 unique stalls, which are infinitely more pleasant to browse without the onslaught of summer tourists. Enjoy live music, taste artisanal goods, and relax in a nearby tapas bar without breaking a sweat.
🔥 Insider Tip: Ibiza’s large clubs begin to close during October. For a few nights of decent nightlife, visit the city at the start of the month to catch a few closing parties.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel La Torre del Canonigo (⭐️ 9.4) | Aguas de Ibiza (⭐️ 8.5)
25. Santorini, Greece
🌡️ Average October temperature: 62°-72°F | 17°-22°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Want to enjoy a top Greek island without the crowds? October is the perfect time to visit Santorini. Its dreamy beauty is more pleasant to enjoy without the tourist masses, the weather is still warm enough for beaches, and hotel prices are reduced.
💙 Admire blue domes: The picture-perfect village of Oia in Santorini is characterized by a sea of whitewashed buildings with blue-domed roofs. Photo opportunities abound here. Strolling the cobbled alleys next to these buildings, you’ll also get marvellous Mediterranean views.
🏝 Explore unique beaches: There’s no shortage of fantastic beaches in Santorini , but there are some that truly stand out. Head to the Red Beach to admire picturesque red cliffs met with shimmering blue water. Don’t miss the beautiful black sand Perissa Beach, either!
🔥 Insider Tip: Looking for romantic experiences in Santorini? Book a sunset dinner in Oia with romantic sea views, catch a film at the dreamy Open Air Cinema Kamari , and enjoy wine tasting at the beautiful Venetsanos Winery.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Santorini Main Square (⭐️ 9.2) | The Museum Project Oia (⭐️ 9.0)
24. Sicily, Italy
🌡️ Average October temperature: 57°-78°F | 14°-26°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Looking for a European beach vacation in autumn? Sicily is the answer. October is the perfect time to visit this dreamy Italian island. The weather is very warm, you can hike without the scorching summer sun, there are barely any crowds, and room prices are a bargain.
🏝 Enjoy the beaches: Sicily is brimming with gorgeous beaches, and fortunately, the October sun is still warm enough for you to swim in the crystal-clear waters! Don’t miss the dreamy white sand beach of San Vito lo Capo and the unique waterside cliff of Scala dei Turchi.
🥘 Taste all the street food: The Sicilian capital of Palermo is brimming with exquisite street food to try, from the well-known arancini and cannoli to more unique local specialities like sfincione (Sicilian pizza) and brioche con gelato. Be sure to take a street food walking tour !
🔥 Insider Tip: October is one of the best months to hike Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, as you won’t have to deal with the insane crowds of the summer. Note that to reach the highest craters of Etna, having a tour guide is required.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Etna Royal View (⭐️ 9.5) | Palermo Inn Boutique (⭐️ 9.2)
23. Mallorca, Spain
🌡️ Average October temperature: 59°-73°F | 15°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 6
☀️ Why visit in October: Mallorca is a dreamy Balearic island in the Mediterranean and one of the best beach destinations in Europe. Visiting in October is perfect; the weather is still balmy enough for a swim in the sea, and the summer peak season crowds have gone home.
🌊 Enjoy beach fun: Mallorca boasts more than 300 beaches, and October is the perfect time to enjoy them without the crowds. Go snorkelling and sunbathing at Es Trenc, the most beautiful beach on the island. There, you’ll find powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters.
🐿 Explore cool caves: Venture deep underground into some of the most fascinating cave systems on the island. See spectacular stalactite formations and illuminated subterranean lakes in Cuevas del Drach (Dragon Caves) and Cuevas dels Hams (Caves of Ham).
🔥 Insider Tip: Mallorca is home to 70 wineries, and you can enjoy wine tours and tastings via the Binissalem DO region wine route, which encompasses 14 wineries and several towns.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: GPRO Valparaiso & Spa (⭐️ 8.5) | Castillo Hotel Son Vida (⭐️ 9.1)
22. Sardinia, Italy
🌡️ Average October temperature: 57°-73°F | 14°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Few places are as glorious in October as the island of Sardinia. Its warm beaches with turquoise waters are devoid of crowds, temperatures are mild and much more bearable than in the summer, and several cultural festivals take place during this time.
🎉 Enjoy a village festival: Every weekend from September to November, Autunno in Barbagia takes place in Sardinia. This festival is all about showcasing the island’s culture and ancient traditions, such as how local bread and pasta were once made, ancient crafts, and more.
🏝 Enjoy the beaches: In the summer, it’s hard to even find space on Sardinia’s beaches to sunbathe, but October brings a perfect mix of tranquillity and warm temperatures. Don’t miss the gorgeous white sand and crystal clear waters of Capriccioli Beach in Costa Smeralda!
🔥 Insider Tip: October is an amazing time to hike in Sardinia without the scorching heat. Don’t miss the stunning trails in Gennargentu National Park and Gulf of Orosei!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Palazzo Doglio (⭐️ 8.9) | Villaggio Turchese (⭐️ 8.7)
21. Valletta, Malta
🌡️ Average October temperature: 64°-77°F | 18°-25°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Malta’s capital of Valletta is a dynamic hub of history and culture. It’s also one of the sunniest cities in Europe. In October, you can enjoy the festivals and beaches there in splendidly warm weather, and the massive summer crowds would have left too.
🎉 Enjoy a nocturnal festival: Every October, the streets of Valetta are lit up for the Notte Bianca celebration, a spectacular nocturnal festival. Museums, restaurants, and cafes stay open far past closing time, and piazzas and shopping streets are ripe with local entertainers, impromptu flash mobs, and delicious street food stalls.
🏰 Witness history & architecture: Step inside St. John’s Co-Cathedral and admire its opulent Baroque interior and flamboyant decorations. Then, explore the monumental Grandmaster’s Palace for a glimpse into the lives of the Knights of Malta, who built several forts in the area.
🔥 Insider Tip: Don’t miss the Upper Barrakka Gardens for panoramic views of the city and the Grand Harbour. If you look hard enough, you’ll even spot the town of Birgu on the horizon!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Ursulino Valletta (⭐️ 9.5) | 66 Saint Paul’s & Spa (⭐️ 9.2)
20. Canary Islands, Spain
🌡️ Average October temperature: 64°-79°F | 18°-26°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 2
☀️ Why visit in October: The breathtaking Canary Islands are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and beach loungers. October is the perfect time to visit them as you’ll avoid the peak season of December to February, the weather is absolutely glorious, and hotel prices are a bargain.
🐬 Experience marine life: Wildlife-spotting opportunities abound in the Canary Islands. Take an unforgettable whale and dolphin watching tour in Tenerife; observe these adorable marine creatures in their natural habitat before snorkelling with turtles on a secluded bay!
🌋 Chase the volcanoes: The dormant volcanoes of Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote offer other-worldly landscapes that resemble Mars. This park cannot be explored on foot, but you can see and learn all about its unique geology on the Volcanoes of Timanfaya Tour .
🔥 Insider Tip: The island of Fuerteventura offers amazing stargazing opportunities thanks to its low light pollution. Some of the best places to lay down a blanket and gaze at the constellations are Corralejo Natural Park, Morro Velosa Viewpoint, and Mirador Sicasumbre.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Royal River & Spa (⭐️ 9.4) | Lani’s Suites de Luxe (⭐️ 9.8)
🌿 Warmest Places in Europe in October – Nature
19. gibraltar (british overseas territory).
🌡️ Average October temperature: 62°-73°F | 17°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Situated on Spain’s southern coast, Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory with a unique blend of the two cultures and plenty of wildlife. In October, you can soak up the sun there without the crowds of January and February (the high season).
🐵 Meet wild monkeys: Did you know that Gibraltar has the only wild monkey population in Europe? Visit the famous Apes’ Den in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve to spot a whole troop of Barbary macaques. Beware: it is strictly prohibited to feed these cute creatures. They’re also pretty wild and do bite. Watch your belongings as they’re quite the troublemakers!
🐬 Spot cute dolphins: Dolphin-watching is an unmissable activity in Gibraltar, and you can combine it with a fantastic cable car ride , too. Dolphin-watching tours take place in the Strait of Gibraltar, where you can see 3 species of these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.
🔥 Insider Tip: While you’ll find plenty of English food in Gibraltar, be sure to try the calentita, a traditional Gibraltarian dish. It’s an oven-baked dish that looks similar to a dark flour pizza and contains chickpea flour, olive oil, and seasonings.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: The Eliott Hotel (⭐️ 8.3) | Sunborn Gibraltar (⭐️ 8.7)
18. Algarve, Portugal
🌡️ Average October temperature: 59°-73°F | 15°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 4
☀️ Why visit in October: The Portuguese region of Algarve is filled with epic landscapes and sandy beaches. This region is recognized as a surfer’s paradise, and October offers stunning weather for catching the waves, fewer crowds, and great bargain rates in hotels and resorts.
🏄🏻♀️ Catch the waves: Why is Algarve a surfer’s paradise? Due to its position in the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a guarantee you’ll see waves 365 days a year. Few destinations on earth can guarantee this! Hit the dazzling waters of Arrifana Beach or Amado Beach for top-tier waves.
🏜 Admire rock formations: Head to Praia da Marinha, a breathtaking beach surrounded by steep cliffs and incredible rock formations. Ponta da Piedade has more spectacular rock formations to see up close. Lastly, don’t miss the jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind Benagil Cave.
🔥 Insider Tip: There’s a secret waterfall called Pego do Inferno near the town of Tavira. It’s around 10 ft (3 m) high and has crystal clear waters underneath that you can swim in.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: 7 Styles Apartments (⭐️ 9.6) | Villa Monaco (⭐️ 8.9)
17. Cinque Terre, Italy
🌡️ Average October temperature: 55°-68°F | 13°-20°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 15
☀️ Why visit in October: Cinque Terre is a string of picturesque seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera. This outdoor haven is perfect to explore in October, when summertime’s tourists will have gone home. Plus, the cooler temperatures allow for more pleasant hikes.
🌿 Hike a gorgeous trail: The best way to explore Cinque Terre is via the 7-mile (11.3 km) Sentiero Azzurro hiking trail, which offers sweeping cliffside views and links all the five villages. Enjoy stunning sunsets, scenic beaches, and the most magnificent coastal views.
📸 Get a postcard photo: The most postcard-worthy viewpoint in Cinque Terre is from the walkway below Nessun Dorma Restaurant in Manarola. From there, you’ll see the epic facade of this colourful village built on the cliffside, next to the sea. It’s an absolutely magical sight.
🔥 Insider Tip: Each of the five Cinque Terre villages has its own unique charm. When deciding where to stay in this region, note that Manarola is best for romantic vibes; Monterosso al Mare is best for beaches and families, and Corniglia is great for some peace and quiet.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: La Torretta Lodge (⭐️ 9.3) | SoleMare (⭐️ 9.1)
16. Ohrid, North Macedonia
🌡️ Average October temperature: 44°-64°F | 7°-18°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 11
☀️ Why visit in October: Ohrid boasts untouched natural beauty and mild autumns with plenty of sunshine. In October, the exodus of summer tourists will make this resort destination feel more laid-back; yet popular attractions, boutiques, and restaurants remain fully open.
💒 Marvel at unique wonders: The Church of St. John at Kaneo is the crown jewel of Ohrid. Concealed by lush forestry and perched high above sea level, this landmark overlooks the beautiful Lake Ohrid and provides unbeatable panoramic views of its surroundings.
🥘 Sample local cuisine: The nearby fishing village of Trpejca is renowned for its peaceful pebbled beaches and excellent food. Stop by Taverna Mrestillshte to enjoy a plate of belvica (a fish local to Lake Ohrid) or the mouthwatering gjomleze (a layered, crepe-like pie).
🔥 Insider Tip: Be sure to catch a sunset by the Ohrid waterfront. You’ll get a breathtaking snapshot of the Old Town and Samuel’s Fortress gradually lighting up in the dusk.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Lakeview Apartments Ohrid (⭐️ 9.7) | Villa Klia (⭐️ 8.8)
🌡️ Average October temperature: 52°-61°F | 11°-16°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 10
☀️ Why visit in October: Andorra is a cultural melting pot that remarkably blends natural beauty with bustling boutique shopping. October offers pleasantly mild temperatures for exploring, and the city’s indoor springs prove the perfect tonic for cooler autumn evenings.
🌿 Be one with nature: Andorra is situated among the southern peaks of the Pyrenees Mountains, meaning it’s an amazing hiking destination. Enjoy stunning untouched nature and beautiful sceneries of mountains and lakes in Andorra’s three nature parks: Comapedrosa Valley, Sorteny Valley, and Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley.
🛀🏻 Relax in a spa centre: Did you know that Andorra is home to one of Europe’s largest spas? Spanning over 18 floors, the Caldea Spa in Les Escaldes is a sprawling spring complex that offers relaxing thermal baths, outdoor swimming pools, and various massage treatments.
🔥 Insider Tip: Boasting VAT rates of just 4.5%, Andorra is a veritable haven for shoppers. Barrel through the quaint boutiques on Avinguda Carlemany, and don’t miss the famous Pyrénées Department Stores.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Les Closes (⭐️ 8.5) | Eurostars Andorra (⭐️ 8.1)
14. Madeira, Portugal
🌡️ Average October temperature: 52°-62°F | 11°-17°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 12
☀️ Why visit in October: The archipelago of Madeira is bursting with natural beauty. Its lush rainforests, sea cliffs, and mountain ranges make for incredible outdoor adventures. October offers the perfect mild weather for exploring without the chaos of the summer crowds.
🌿 Explore the levadas: Madeira is famous for its scenic levada (irrigation channel) walks. These paths have some of the most breathtaking views on the islands. Don’t miss the Levada do Moinho to Levada Nova hike, the Bica da Cana – Pinnacle hike, or the Lagoa do Vento hike.
🌋 Swim in a lava pool: Madeira’s fascinating geology resulted in several volcanic pools that visitors can swim in. Relax in the Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools surrounded by surreal black basalt rocks. The Doca do Cavacas Gomes Pools are also great spots for bathing.
🔥 Insider Tip: Madeira has a vibrant food scene. Be sure to try Cozido à Madeirense, a famous local stew with salted pork, vegetables, and sweet potatoes. Another popular local dish is açorda, a bread soup with poached egg and garlic.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Quinta Jardins do Lago (⭐️ 9.7) | Hotel Baia Azul (⭐️ 9.1)
13. Positano, Italy
🌡️ Average October temperature: 66°-77°F | 19°-25°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 7
☀️ Why visit in October: Positano is a breathtaking beach town nestled in the Amalfi Coast of Italy. In the summer, the crowds there can be unbearable. October allows you to see the real beauty of Positano without the chaos, and the seawater is still warm enough to swim in.
🚤 Take a scenic boat tour: Positano is insanely picturesque, and the best place to soak up the views is from the water. While you already get a fantastic panorama just by swimming in Spiaggia Grande, taking a boat tour to Capri and Sorrento is another great way to marvel at the stunning coastal landscapes.
🌿 Enjoy an epic hike: The Path of the Gods is one of the best hikes in Italy and runs between Nocelle (a short bus ride from Positano) and Bomerano. This easy hike takes you through some truly breathtaking coastal views, and it’s perfect to do under the milder October sun.
🔥 Insider Tip: Planning to drive to Positano? Be sure to look up your accommodation on Google Street View. The roads in town are so narrow that it’s very hard to do a U-turn if you miss your stop; you can be forced to go 15 mins the wrong way before you can turn back!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Casa Passalacqua (⭐️ 9.8) | Casa Dama (⭐️ 9.4)
Read more: 36 Famous Landmarks in Italy to Visit
12. azores, portugal.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 61°-72°F | 16°-22°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 9
☀️ Why visit in October: Sitting in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Azores is one of Portugal’s most untouched natural areas. This stunning archipelago is perfect to explore in October, when the weather is pleasantly warm, and the peak tourist crowds of the summer are gone.
🐳 Spot large grey whales: October is prime time for whale watching in the Azores, as it signals migration time for the humpbacks. Hop on one of the many designated boat tours, which also come with stunning views of Pico Island and the limitless cliffs of São Jorge.
💒 Soak up history & culture: Admire the well-preserved colourful buildings of the UNESCO Site of Angra do Heroísmo, the cultural heart of Azores. While you’re there, get a fascinating history lesson at the Angra do Heroísmo Museum and meander down the quaint Rua da Sé.
🔥 Insider Tip: Be sure to stop by São Jorge Island for a taste of the delicious São Jorge cheese. Created with a trademarked recipe, this cheese is slightly spicy, buttery, and tangy. Don’t miss the lava plains and hiking trails on the island, either!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Furnas Hotel Thermal & Spa (⭐️ 9.2) | Hotel Verde Mar & Spa (⭐️ 8.8)
💎 Hot Places in Europe in October – Hidden Gems
11. mostar, bosnia and herzegovina.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 53°-72°F | 12°-22°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 8
☀️ Why visit in October: The Balkan jewel of Mostar is an unforgettable fairytale destination that’ll transport you to another world. October is the ideal time to visit; the weather is warm but not scorching hot, accommodations are cheaper, and the peak summer crowds are gone.
🔮 Cross a fairytale bridge: Venture across the picture-perfect Stari Most (Old Bridge) to experience Mostar’s magical vibes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even dive from the bridge! Head to Lucki Most (a nearby bridge) to get the best photo angles of this bridge.
🧿 Browse the bazaar: Wander through the cobbled lanes of Kujundžiluk (Old Bazaar), which is brimming with souvenir stalls. Colourful, vibrant, and filled with handmade trinkets, this picturesque bazaar is perfect to explore in October, when it’s not jam-packed with tourists.
🔥 Insider Tip: The best views of the city can be found on the minaret of the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque. There, you’ll get 360° views of Mostar and the iconic Stari Most bridge. It’s not the easiest climb, but it pays dividends!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Shangri La Mansion (⭐️ 9.5) | Guest House Goa Mostar (⭐️ 9.3)
10. Kotor, Montenegro
🌡️ Average October temperature: 50°-72°F | 10°-22°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 14
☀️ Why visit in October: Nestled in the Dinaric Alps, Kotor is a charming Balkan wonderland with historical vibes and spectacular natural beauty. In October, the weather is still warm enough for a beach holiday, while the crowd levels dwindle hugely, giving you free rein.
🏰 Explore the city walls: The impressive Kotor City Walls offer the most spectacular views in town. Climb the 1,350 steps to the top of these well-preserved walls, which date back to the 9th century. You’ll come across many churches, historical gates, and bastions along the way.
🌿 Hit the trails: Connecting Kotor with the neighbouring villages of Cetinje and Njeguši, the Ladder of Kotor is a hike that offers spectacular views of the Bay of Kotor and the Old Town. Along the way, you’ll also spot historical gems like the medieval Chapel of St. Ivan.
🔥 Insider Tip: Keep an eye out for felines in Kotor. Not only are they everywhere in the Old Town; there’s also an entire museum ( Cats Museum ) dedicated to them!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Apartments Bella Vista (⭐️ 8.6) | Hotel Forza Terra (⭐️ 9.1)
Read more: 3 Weeks in Europe: 15 Perfect Europe Itinerary Ideas
9. berat, albania.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 50°-73°F | 10°-23°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 9
☀️ Why visit in October: Dotted with iconic Ottoman buildings and sweeping landscapes, Berat is one of Europe’s best hidden gems . Visiting in October means you’ll avoid the unbearable summer heat and the bitter winter cold, making it an ideal time to explore.
🖼 Admire unique architecture: Berat is often referred to as “The City of a Thousand Windows” due to the distinctive rows of Ottoman houses dotted across its sloping landscape. See the windows stacked up in the Gorica and Mangalem neighbourhoods before heading up to Berat Castle for unbeatable city views.
🏞 Praise Mother Nature: Explore the best of Berat’s natural beauty by visiting the stunning Bogove Waterfall and hiking up Mount Tomorr for breathtaking views. Don’t miss the Osumi Canyon for fascinating rock formations and a dip in the surprisingly tepid azure waters.
🔥 Insider Tip: Berat is regarded for its top-tier winemaking, and there are several wine tours to take in town. The best one is Nurellari Winery , which also serves artisanal cheese and olives as accompaniments!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Rezidenca Aurel (⭐️ 9.8) | Hotel Borklad (⭐️ 9.6)
8. Sofia, Bulgaria
🌡️ Average October temperature: 41°-62°F | 5°-17°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Bulgaria’s capital of Sofia is a multi-cultural city steeped in history, traditions, and nightlife. October is the perfect time to visit; the crowds of summer will have died down, giving way to rock-bottom prices and more space in the exciting local clubs.
🗿 Immerse yourself in history: Sofia is known for blurring the lines between the past and present with its enduring Roman, Green, and Ottoman architecture. Visit the ancient Church of St. George Rotunda and admire Alexander Nevsky Cathedral for a taste of Ottoman history.
💃🏻 Learn local folk dance: Experience the best of Bulgarian folk dancing at a “Horoteka” (a place where a traditional “horo” is danced!). With most Horotekas blasting regional folk music and serving delicious glasses of Rakia, it’s an unbeatable cultural experience.
🔥 Insider Tip: Sofia has a buzzing night scene, so if you’re in the mood for some fun, head to Once Upon A Time Biblioteka for great music, delicious food and cocktails, and a gorgeous setting. In fact, this romantic place is great even for just an afternoon tea!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Best Western Plus Expo (⭐️ 8.7) | 5 Vintage Guest House (⭐️ 9.3)
7. Paphos, Cyprus
🌡️ Average October temperature: 61°-79°F | 16°-26°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 3
☀️ Why visit in October: Paphos is a coastal city in southwest Cyprus filled with art, culture, and historical wonders. In October, the weather is still perfectly warm for the many beaches in town, and sightseeing becomes a lot more pleasant without the summertime crowds.
🗿 Step back in time: The Kato Paphos Archaeological Park is a great place to learn about the history of Cyprus, as it houses an array of ruins from the Middle Ages and Roman Empire. There, you’ll also find the Tombs of the Kings, an underground maze of tomb chambers that date back to the 4th century.
🏝 Enjoy glorious beaches: Beach lovers are spoilt for choice in Paphos. This city’s coastline is brimming with turquoise waters and sandy shores. October is warm enough for swimming in the beautiful Blue Lagoon. For a buzzing beach resort and to partake in watersports, don’t miss the stunning Coral Bay.
🔥 Insider Tip: Be sure to grab a meal with a fantastic sea view at Tsiakkas Tavern .
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: The Ivi Mare (⭐️ 9.3) | Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos (⭐️ 9.2)
6. Tbilisi, Georgia
🌡️ Average October temperature: 50°-68°F | 10°-20°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 5
☀️ Why visit in October: Once a major Silk Road trading post, Tbilisi is a multicultural city home to eclectic architecture, rich history, and exquisite food. In October, you not only avoid peak season and extreme heat; there are also plenty of cultural events taking place in town.
🎉 Celebrate the city’s birthday: Every first weekend of October, Tbilisi celebrates the annual Tbilisoba, which marks the city’s birthday. This is the biggest festival in town and the perfect opportunity to soak up local culture and upbeat atmosphere. Expect lots of folk music, dance performances, traditional food, fireworks, and of course, wine.
🛀🏻 Unwind in a bathhouse: Tbilisi’s picturesque Old Town is home to the unmissable blue-tiled Orbeliani Bath House. Beyond its breathtaking facade lies many mineral-soaked sulphur baths open for visitors to relax in. Be sure to get a scrub massage while you’re there, too!
🔥 Insider Tip: Georgia is known for its mouthwatering cuisine. Don’t leave Tbilisi without tasting some khinkali (meat soup dumplings) or khachapuri (a local cheese bread).
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Art Nebula (⭐️ 9.6) | Wine Symphony Boutique Hotel (⭐️ 9.1)
5. Sighisoara, Romania
🌡️ Average October temperature: 37°-61°F | 3°-16°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 12
☀️ Why visit in October: Nestled in the fairytale region of Transylvania, Sighisoara is one of the most colourful medieval towns in Europe. While summer offers ideal temperatures for sightseeing, October is just the right time to visit before the wintery cold starts settling in.
🌈 Get lost in a sea of colours: Sighisoara looks like a fairytale rainbow town. Almost every building there boasts a vibrant colour, and photographers will find it hard to take a break. Stroll down Strada Tamplarilor and Strada Turnului to see rows of rainbow-coloured houses.
🧛🏻♀️ Discover Dracula legends: Sighisoara is the hometown of Dracula (Vlad the Impaler). To hear his real story, head to Mystical Transylvania , a museum that, unlike many tourist traps in town, actually provides real insights into his life. Learn about his troubled past and discover why Romanians might not find him as evil as he may appear to be.
🔥 Insider Tip: No trip to Romania would be complete without indulging in a plate of papanasi , a traditional national dessert that’s essentially a fried cheese doughnut.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Casa Adam (⭐️ 9.7) | Hotel Central Park Sighisoara (⭐️ 9.1)
Read more: 60+ Fairytale Destinations: The Most Magical Places on Earth
4. prizren, kosovo.
🌡️ Average October temperature: 46°-64°F | 8°-18°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 12
☀️ Why visit in October: Prizren, the historical capital of Kosovo, is a charming city full of spectacular mountain views, hiking trails, and fascinating Ottoman history. In October, the sunny but mild weather is perfect for hiking and exploring, and tourist crowds are minimal.
🏰 Explore an ancient fortress: Prizren Fortress may not be as visually impressive as it once was, but it’s an important part of the city’s Byzantine history. Constructed in the 6th century, this iconic fortress boasts old ramparts, winding defence corridors, and 360° views of Prizren.
🥘 Savour local specialities: Prizren is full of impeccable restaurants that serve delicious grilled meats, stuffed peppers, kebabs, and bureks (stuffed pastries). Indulge in a hearty plate of ćevapi (traditional skinless sausage) in Schadervan Square and head to the Hasi region for flavoursome mountain dishes.
🔥 Insider Tip: Visit at the very beginning of October to catch the Kosovo Architecture Festival , which offers architectural tours in Prizren and interesting workshops for history buffs.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Prizreni (⭐️ 9.3) | Hotel Tiffany (⭐️ 9.4)
3. Belgrade, Serbia
🌡️ Average October temperature: 48°-64°F | 9°-18°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 6
☀️ Why visit in October: Serbia’s cultural capital of Belgrade is an underrated destination that offers plenty of October sun. The vibrant city’s expansive parks showcase a gorgeous range of colours in autumn, and the pleasant temperatures are perfect for a quiet stroll around town.
🎵 Lend an ear: October is the month of music in Belgrade. Every year during this month, the city hosts the beloved Jazz Festival and Belgrade Music Festival (BEMUS). Welcoming performers from around the globe, both festivals promise a vibrant explosion of sound.
🏛 Go museum-hopping: Belgrade has over 40 museums that offer great insight into local history and culture. Get a history lesson at the popular Museum of Yugoslavia , discover modern science at the Nikola Tesla Museum , and don’t miss the Museum of Roma Culture.
🔥 Insider Tip: The International Belgrade Book Fair takes place every October and it’s a great opportunity to find unique titles and mingle with locals. Offering books in several different languages, you’re bound to pick up a title that piques your interest!
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Prezident Palace Belgrade (⭐️ 9.8) | Sky Hotel (⭐️ 9.0)
2. Yerevan, Armenia
🌡️ Average October temperature: 48°-72°F | 9°-22°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 4
☀️ Why visit in October: Nestled on the picturesque Hrazdan River, Armenia’s capital city offers an amazingly scenic and cultural break. While summers there are unbearably hot, in October, Yerevan sheds its infamous summer haze to offer tourists unspoiled views of the city.
🏯 See a giant stairway: The impressive Yerevan Cascade is the icon of the city. This imposing limestone staircase is surrounded by fountains and hosts a fascinating art museum. Climb the 572 steps to the top of the structure to enjoy sweeping views of Mount Ararat.
💒 Get lost in culture: Yerevan is brimming with history and culture, boasting impressive art galleries, grand Soviet-era buildings, and ancient churches. Marvel at the ruins of the 7th-century Zvartnots Cathedral, and head to ArtMix Gallery for a slice of local culture.
🔥 Insider Tip: Every October, Armenia hosts the much-anticipated Areni Wine Festival in the village of Areni, a pleasant day trip from Yerevan. Over 100 types of traditional wines are presented at this festival for visitors to sample, along with an assortment of national dishes.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Grand Hotel Yerevan (⭐️ 9.0) | Hotel National (⭐️ 8.9)
1. Baku, Azerbaijan
🌡️ Average October temperature: 53°-66°F | 12°-19°C 💧 Average rainy days in October: 4
☀️ Why visit in October: Baku is a unique city with a distinct ‘East meets West’ cityscape. It’s also home to a gorgeous coastline. October is the best time to visit this destination as the extreme heat of the summer will have cooled down to a pleasantly warm breeze.
🏞 Soak up the views: The best place to admire Baku’s gorgeous coastline is Highland Park, situated on top of a long flight of stairs. From there, you can enjoy the most breathtaking views of Baku, the surrounding Caspian Sea, and the iconic futuristic Flame Towers.
🌋 See mud volcanoes: Gobustan National Park is a very popular day trip from Baku, and it’s home to a third of all the mud volcanoes on earth. Get up close and personal with these tiny volcanoes; some of them even have mud bubbling inside. The mud actually contains minerals healthy for the skin, so use a bottle to bring some home with you!
🔥 Insider Tip: The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku has a very distinctive architecture, but don’t just stop there for a photo. Inside, centuries of history are broken down into engaging visuals. It’s genuinely one of the most captivating and educational museums out there.
🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Four Seasons Baku (⭐ 9.4) | Shah Palace Hotel (⭐ 8.6)
Read more: 27 Best Places to Visit in Baku, Azerbaijan
🔥 travel tips for hot places europe october.
Now that you know about the best places to visit in Europe in October for sun, here are some essential travel tips to help you make the most of your trip.
🧥 Bring layers: Although the destinations in this guide experience warm weather in October in Europe, that doesn’t mean temperatures will stay consistently warm throughout the day. It also gets much colder at night, so bring warm layers and check that your hotel has heating.
🔮 Pre-book in advance: October is shoulder season for many European destinations in this guide, but the shoulder season is loved by many. Expect some crowds in certain popular places, and book hotels, restaurants, and flights in advance to snatch the best deals.
🚤 Check activity availabilities: While all the destinations in this guide are very tourist-friendly in October, some activities might operate at reduced hours or limited dates after the peak season of summer. Double-check water activities especially to avoid disappointment.
🌟 More Tips for Warm Europe Countries in October
- ✈️ Find the best flights around Europe with Skyscanner
- 🛡️ Get reliable travel insurance from World Nomads
- 🚖 Book your private transfer from the airport to your hotel with Expedia
- 🏡 Find the best accommodations on Booking.com
- 🧔🏻 Get the best tour guides via Get Your Guide , Tiqets , or Viator
- 🚗 To rent a car for road trips, get the best deals on Rentalcars.com
- 🎒 Pack a bathing suit cover-up , a water-proof phone case , and durable hiking boots
- 📚 Read Lonely Planet Europe and some dreamy travel quotes for more inspiration
- 📸 Bring the best photography gear (including these must-have Sony lenses !)
🌸 Hot Places in October Europe: Final Thoughts
I hope this article has given you tons of inspiration about where to soak up the hot weather in Europe in October. From the dreamy islands of the Mediterranean to the hidden cultural gems of the Balkans, the possibilities are endless.
If you’re planning a longer trip to Europe, you might also want to read about the best 10-day Europe itinerary and the perfect 3-week Europe itinerary . Don’t forget that there are also tons of remarkable hidden gems on the continent!
I hope you were inspired by these warm places in Europe in October!
For more travel inspiration and European destinations, discover: 🏝 38 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in November 🎄 38 Prettiest Warm Places in December in Europe ☀️ 34 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in January 🏞 34 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in February 🌸 38 Prettiest Warm Places in Europe in April 🚗 10 Days in Europe: 25+ Epic Itineraries + Budget Trips 🚊 3 Weeks in Europe: 15 Perfect Europe Itinerary Ideas [+Hidden Gems!] 🇪🇺 28 Best Hidden Gems in Europe: Epic Secret Spots You Must Visit
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As a full time vanlifer I found this a really informative page and one I’ll use when off travelling again from the UK. Thank you.
Terrific article. I’ve traveled a great deal, it’s hard to find info that’s truly useful and unique, with places I’ve not been and may not have thought to consider. Thank you!
This has inspired me to travel to every one of these, I feel a yearly October trip will be necessary! Thank You !
So glad to hear this, Kim! 🙂
This guide is amazing! Had to show some love and appreciation. Thank you!
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Welcome to my travel + photography blog!
I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer who's been on the move since age 6. With this blog, my goal is to provide you with invaluable tips to help you plan epic trips to both popular and unpopular destinations, and to photograph them the way you'd want to. Happy Travels! :)
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