Autumn in Europe is arguably the best season to go. The leaves on the trees have turned golden browns and deep reds, the main rush of tourists has died down, and the scorching summer has passed, making it the perfect climate to explore.
Whether you head here for the scenery, or for one of the many festivals that occur during this season, the tricky question is where exactly should you go?
The most beautiful Autumn destinations in Europe
In no particular order, here’s a list of the most popular European areas to travel to in autumn.
Known for its undeniable beauty all year round, Bavaria is unsurprisingly an extremely special place during autumn, too.
Fairy tale castles surrounded by rows of golden trees sit proudly amongst mountain peaks tipped with snow. Miles of picturesque countryside connect small towns of cosy pubs and lively music. Jaw-dropping views can be seen from all directions.
September is the best time to visit Bavaria. The chances of warm weather are still high but most of the tourists have left already, meaning the prices for hotels start to go down again. If you’re visiting Munich during autumn, make sure to travel during this time to avoid sky rocketing prices in October due to the Oktoberfest.
Although Austria is beautiful all year round, the scenery in autumn is particularly breath-taking.
September to October is really popular amongst adventurers.
Cyclists and walkers can admire the alpine views and calm lakes whilst the weather is at its most pleasant. And small towns take in their last guests before closing up for winter.
Although it can get chilly in the evenings, temperatures stay between 14-19 degrees centigrade in the day, perfect for treks around the Alpine lakes.
If opting for more of a city break however, Vienna has plenty to offer during the autumn months, minus the crowds.
Austrian wine is at its finest during this season, and wine hikes around the city allow tourists and locals to visit the best vineyards in the area. Sampling the produce is a must of course, alongside offerings of traditional Austrian delicacies.
For those opting out of the wine hikes, the parks around the city completely transform as the leaves change colour to reveal a fiery spectacle.
Much like Austria, the beauty of Italy attracts tourist’s year in and year out. But there’s one particular element of Italian culture that attracts people more so than the beautiful views, and that is Italian food.
Autumn in Italy means delicious food. Piedmont in particular offers Italy’s best wine, cheese, and truffles.
The White Truffle festival takes place in between mid-October to mid-November, making autumn the busiest season here.
This, alongside miles and miles of copper and red fields, has led the locals to claim Piedmont as the most beautiful part of the world during the autumn months.
If you do plan to visit during this season, make sure you book at least 9 months in advance. Hotels get snapped up fast!
As a country that is heavily made up of forests, mountains, and lakes, Slovenia is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to spend autumn in Europe.
Due to its small size, it’s perfectly possible to visit a few different regions within Slovenia to experience the different levels of autumn.
For the more intense golden and red colours of autumn, the mountain regions are the first to change colour. Disappearing lakes start to emerge again and waterfalls start to make an appearance in mountain areas that have been dry for months.
The Mediterranean coast however, will stay green until the very end of autumn. Locals swim in the sea in this area sometimes right until the end of September.
The small sea-side towns are the perfect place to visit during this time of the year, due to the crowds having died down and the school holidays having come to an end.
Apart from the fact that Amsterdam’s canal streets turn completely golden with autumn foliage, there’s so many events happening at this time of the year.
One thing that attracts tourists every year, is the many museums dotting the city. During the autumn months Amsterdam’s cultural season is in full swing
Exhibitions, concerts, jazz gig’s, DJ’s and much more can be enjoyed during this time. Amsterdam becomes the dance capital of the world with 120 venues taking part in one of the biggest dance events in Europe. It’s also prime film festival season, where any film fan will find something to watch.
If you prefer a quieter scene, museums all across the city open their doors until 2am for Museum night. One ticket will get you access to over 50 museums, all hosting workshops, tours, performances, and much more.
Perhaps you really want to go the extra mile though… there’s even a famous marathon that takes place in autumn in Amsterdam, where you get to run straight through the Rijksmuseum!
Best get training now though, it’s a tough one.
One of the most popular destinations in Europe in autumn is Copenhagen.
Tourists gather round every year for one night in particular. Kulturnatten, or “night of culture’. This is an entire night of free events for everyone.
You can see anything from music performances, theatre productions, arts and crafts, and much more. Kulturnatten returns this year on the 11th October and is a huge event famous across Copenhagen, so make sure you book soon!
In the day, stroll through the beautiful winding pathways of Frederiksberg Have gardens. Pause on the bridges to take in the views, and maybe even pay the viewing point a visit to watch the elephants in Copenhagen Zoo.
Arguably everyone’s favourite event of autumn is Halloween, and Copenhagen definitely goes all out for this.
The famous Tivoli gardens are a must see at night around Halloween. Stroll through the Halloween shops, spy the creatures in the trees, and see who can pick out the biggest pumpkin in the largest pumpkin growing exhibition!
Copenhagen truly captures the beauty of autumn in Europe.
Berlin celebrates 30 years since the fall of the Berlin wall in 2019, and the anniversary of course falls in autumn.
Head to Berlin between the 4th-11th November and expect to find free open air exhibitions across the seven most historical sites in the city, including the Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz, and the East side gallery.
3D projections of historical recordings will take you back in time to the fall of the wall, and there’s even a concert scheduled at the Brandenburg gate.
Take a free walking tour around the city to see how one of the most exciting European cities has transformed from its dark past. Walk around Berlin’s main attractions such as the Berlin wall or Checkpoint Charlie, or take a more tailored tour of the Nazi era by visiting the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen Memorial.
In between historical tours, indulge in delicious, hearty delicacies such as Currywurst and Sauerbraten and finish off with traditional apple strudel before heading to one of the many beautiful parks in one of Europe’s greenest cities.
London is a wonderful place to explore all year round, but it’s arguably at its height of beauty during the autumn months.
Hyde park transforms into a fiery wonderland of oranges and reds. Leaves crunch underneath your feet whilst you walk in the crisp air through serene parks and gardens.
Woodland areas and parks are transformed into enchanted forests and magical outdoor cinemas, and the excitement of bonfire night brings firework displays to watch all over London.
Countless bars and restaurants across the city offer a vast array of foods from across the globe, and in turn offer lots of food and drink festivals to take advantage of.
London’s cocktail week takes part at the start of October and festivals such as the Tower of London food fest, taking place in September, shouldn’t be missed.
All of the destinations in this article are definitely a must see in autumn in Europe, but there’s something very social about Edinburgh during this season.
The quiet cobbled streets, magnificent castle, renown literary events and autumn festivals offer something for everyone.
September brings free open days to Edinburgh’s most famous buildings, with behind the scenes tours and talks. This famous event makes Edinburgh a popular destination for those wanting to travel on a budget.
October becomes slightly livelier with Edinburgh’s own version of Oktoberfest. And the international storytelling festival takes over bars and restaurants across the whole city.
Towards the end of the month one of the most haunted cities offers Halloween entertainment for all. Spectacular parties, underground bars, horror festivals, and ghost tours are among the many activities on offer during this season.
To round off the autumn festivities, visit the Sanhuinn Fire festival at the end of October for fiery music and dance performances. Then of course, don’t miss the magnificent bonfire displays towards the beginning of November to celebrate bonfire night.
How to Plan your Autumn trip?
There’s definitely more than enough to choose from for your European break, but make sure you’re organised enough to grab tickets to the most popular festivals and events way in advance. If you don’t, you’ll be paying a lot of extra money to book last minute!
Here’s a couple of articles to help you get the best prices for your entire trip.