23 Must-Visit Destinations in Europe in Fall

amsterdam in fall
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Whether you’re seeking gorgeous fall foliage, a city break without the crowds, or a bit of autumn sun, Europe in fall is a great time to visit. As the crowds wane and the weather gets a little bit chillier, festivals take place all over the continent and the scenery is just beautiful!

Here are some of the best places to go in Europe in fall!

Where to go in Europe in Fall

Amsterdam, Netherlands

A canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe in the fall
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Recommended by Sam at Sam Sees the World

Amsterdam is stunning travel destination year-round; however, in the fall months, the scenery changes, and its beauty is only amplified. This makes it one of the best places to visit in Europe in fall.  The leaves on the trees change to a beautiful golden color, cafes throughout the city bring out their blankets, and the streets become less busy with tourists. More so, the atmosphere becomes cozy, warm, and romantic.

Beyond the beauty of Amsterdam in fall, this time of year brings a ton of exciting events to the city. The first is the Amsterdam Dance Event. This is a week-long music event that attracts all the biggest DJ’s in the world to host events and parties in over 150 venues across the city. Another great event is the film festival which showcases hundreds of movies of all genres. Whether you prefer independent films or mainstream films, you are sure to find one that meets your movie tastes.

Finally, in November Amsterdam hosts a unique event called Museum Nacht. This event lasts for one-night, and during this time multiple museums around the city are open after hours for parties, exhibitions and late-night explorations. This is one of the most popular events of the year, so be sure to get tickets in advance. 

Amsterdam is one of the best destinations in Europe in fall and its beauty and events should not be missed. 

Barcelona, Spain

A girl looking out at a birds-eye view of Barcelona, Spain
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Recommended by Vicki at Vicki Viaja

Barcelona is beautiful in every season. But one of the best seasons to visit the Catalan capital on the northeast coast of Spain is the fall. In contrast to other cities in Europe in fall, Barcelona has a pleasantly warm climate even in fall and there is also sunshine almost every day.

Most tourists prefer to visit Barcelona during the summer months. This is another great reason to visit Barcelona in the fall. Fewer tourists lead to cheaper rates and shorter waiting times as you see the incredible sights on your Barcelona itinerary.

Depending on the weather, it may even be possible to have a beach day in the fall. After the sun warms the waters of the Mediterranean throughout the summer, the water is still relatively warm, even in the fall, perfect for a little refreshment. But even if you don’t want to swim anymore, the temperatures are definitely warm enough to enjoy a cool Cerveza or a delicious Catalan wine outside on one of the terraces.

Moreover, in the fall, one of Barcelona’s most important festivals will take place: the Mercè Festival. For this festival, the whole city seems to be on its feet and is celebrated everywhere throughout the whole city. As you can see, there is hardly a better time to visit Barcelona.

Brussels, Belgium

the grand place in brussels, belgium
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Recommended by Sophie by Bitten by the Bug

As the days grow shorter and colder, Autumn marks an end to the abundance of outdoor activities that thrived during summer. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do anymore in Brussels. On the contrary, this shoulder season is great for sightseeing as the crowds are gone and you’ll have a more relaxed experience while exploring the historic city center of Brussels, which is one of the best free things to do in Brussels. This makes it one of the best destinations in Europe in fall.

Make sure to visit Grand Place, Manneke Pis, Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Bourse, the Palace of Justice, the Royal Palace… In Autumn, the sun sets around 7:30 PM, so make sure to be at Mont des Arts by that time to enjoy a magnificent sunset and a splendid view over Brussels.

Autumn is also marked by the yearly museum nocturns, which is a great opportunity to discover some of Brussels’ best museums at the discounted price of only 4 euros. Every Thursday evening, from mid-September to the beginning of December, various museums are open from 5 PM to 10 PM. You can check the full program online.

Personally, I would especially recommend the Coudenberg museum to explore the remnants of the former palace, the Basilica of Koekelberg for a fantastic panoramic view over Brussels and the Horta Museum for a fine sample of art nouveau.

Chisinau, Moldova

A pathway lined by trees in Chisinau, Moldova
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Recommended by Ellis at Backpack Adventures

Chisinau in Moldova is probably one of the least visited capitals in Europe. Some would say it is boring, because there are no obvious tourist attractions. However, Chisinau is a pleasant and fascinating city, especially if you love Soviet architecture, delicious food and great wine.

Fall is one of the best times to visit Chisinau. Temperatures are pleasant with the summer heat gone and there is excellent weather. But, most of all, Chisinau’s parks turn into a red and gold colour spectacle with the autumn colours. This is when the city is at its most beautiful.

Chisinau is full of parks and what I loved most about Chisinau was how many trees there were. It is a great city to walk around in and most things to do are around the main square with the triumphal arch and nativity cathedral. You will also find some of the best restaurants here with traditional food and great quality Moldovan wine.

And Chisinau is just the beginning. The city is a great base to make some wonderful day trips into the lovely country side of Moldova. You can visit some of the largest wine cellars in the world,  ancient orthodox monasteries and if you are really adventurous the unrecognized country of Transnistria. The countryside is just as beautiful with the autumn colours. It’s definitely one of the best destinations in Europe in fall!

Exeter, UK

A girl going down hidden steps in Exeter, England
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Recommended by Nabiha at Verses by a Voyager

Exeter, a small, lovely city in the south-west of the UK is a medieval town which gets incredibly beautiful during autumn. As this part of the country is warmer and drier than rest of the UK, autumn gets even prettier, making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in fall.

Exeter is a lush green city with a lot of trees and greenery having yellowish, red leaves which can be seen all around. During autumn, their fallen leaves present a beautiful English sight, especially on sunny days. In the autumn season, yellowish-red maple leaves give a very beautiful vibe to the area.

The best place to enjoy the autumn in Exeter is the University of Exeter which has one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. There are many trees on the campus which present a typical autumn scene during this time of the year, making the area a treat to watch. The university has some very beautiful spots which are secluded and less crowded and are a perfect place to witness the autumn in the city.

Exeter is an ancient city built next to the River Exe. The area around the river gets very lively and beautiful during the autumn season and lunch at this place is a must while enjoying the English autumn.

Iceland

A waterfall in Iceland in the fall
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Recommended by Stephanie at Sofia Adventures

I adore visiting Iceland in the fall because you get to see this magnificent country without having to deal with any of the crowds you find in Iceland in the summertime! Imagine pristine black sand beaches, famous churches, and iconic natural wonders – and having them practically to yourself! A perfect destination for Europe in fall.

Yes, there are other tourists there (and you won’t be alone all the time), but there are far fewer than during the high season. We have been able to picnic on the beaches of Reynisfjara with just a dog to keep us company, wander through museums without another soul in the gallery, and (best of all) score better tour and accommodation deals in shoulder season.

My favorite things to do in Iceland in autumn include exploring the country’s funky capital city of Reykjavik with its amazing modern architecture and great cuisines and taking day trips from the city to the Golden Circle and along the southern coast on Iceland’s Ring Road. Another highlight is a visit to the Blue Lagoon. While it’s great any time of year, it’s especially wonderful land mysterious in the fall. 

If you go, make sure to pack layers! We found ourselves to have misjudged how windy and cold it would be, and buying extra clothes in Iceland to fix our mistake was not cheap!

Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Isle of Skye in Scotland, Europe in the fall
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Recommended by Kat at Wandering Bird Adventures

Scotland is one of the prettiest places in Europe in fall, and the Isle of Skye is one of the prettiest places in Scotland!

The scenery is spectacular anyway, but the added colours of the Fall leaves, combined with the backdrop of the sea and Scottish Highlands is just magical.

This is by far the best time to visit- the huge crowds from summer have gone, but the days are still warm enough and there’s enough sunlight to make the most of them. 

It’s easy to get to Skye- there’s a road bridge or a ferry. Both are open throughout Fall. We chose to arrive by ferry and leave by road! 

Most restaurants, cafes and bars remain open in Fall, so after a day exploring you can relax and unwind.

You’ll be able to get closer to the main attractions- some of them you might even have all to yourself!

There are so many things to do on Skye- breathtaking waterfalls (including the famous Fairy Pools which you can swim in!), mountains to hike in every direction, a gold cave you can go into (seriously!), whiskey tastings and distillery tours and beautiful castles you can explore inside and out. 

If you’re visiting for the first time, this Isle of Skye itinerary (with map!) will help you plan your perfect trip. 

The Italian Lakes

Maggiore in the Italian Lakes in the fall
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Recommended by Katy at Untold Italy

Visit the northern Italian lakes in fall to enjoy their natural beauty in relative solitude. Surrounded by mountains and lush green countryside, the shimmering lakes are a popular year round destination. But, once the summer crowds depart and the leaves start to turn, they come alive with harvest activities and festivals. This makes the Italian Lakes one of the best destinations in Europe in fall.

In the east, Lake Garda is home to picturesque lakeside villages like Sirmione. Visit the pretty walled town and Scaligero Castle jutting out into the lake. The nearby ruins of a Roman villa Grotte di Catullo are best explored in the crisp days of autumn. Afterwards you can warm up and rejuvenate at the town’s famous thermal baths. In early November the Garda con Gusto food and wine festival is the perfect place to sample local cuisine and culture. 

Lake Como is famous for its lavish villas. Wander the celebrated gardens at Villa Carlotta and admire the fall foliage before taking the ferry over to Bellagio for a hearty lunch or dinner. The dishes of the lake region suit the fall climate with an emphasis on pasta, wild boar stews and polenta. Paired of course with delicious local wine.

At Lake Maggiore you can visit the lovely town of Stresa and take a boat ride to Isola Bella and its seasonal gardens. Or you might like to ride the funicular up the nearest peak Mottarone for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. From here you can see the boats on the lake bobbing on the water with stunning autumn leaves as a backdrop. 

Lavaux Vineyards, Switzerland

The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces in the fall
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Recommended by Wendy at The Nomadic Vegan

These vertiginous terraced vineyards that look like they are about to slide right down into Lake Geneva are a wondrous sight at any time of year, but they are at their best in autumn, when the leaves on the grapevines turn different shades of red, yellow and gold. The perfect spot to visit in Europe in fall.

It was monks who built the first terraces here some 1,000 years ago, and delicious wines have been produced here ever since. Swiss wines, such as the white Chasselas grape variety, are highly regarded in Switzerland but are rarely exported, so a trip to the vineyards may well be your only chance to taste this local specialty.

The Lavaux vineyards are located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, between Lausanne and Montreux, and they also make an easy day trip from Geneva. Lavaux is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest contiguous vineyard region in Switzerland. The best way to experience this unique landscape is on a hike through the vineyards. 

My favorite walk in this area is from the medieval village of St. Saphorin to Lutry. Both villages are easily accessible by train. The 11-kilometer trail takes about 3 to 3.5 hours to complete. Of course, it could be considerably longer if you stop for tastings at some of the vineyards along the way!

On the other hand, if you want to keep going, there’s actually a 32-kilometer footpath that leads all the way from Lausanne-Ouchy to the Chillon Castle, another must-see sight in the area.

Lisbon, Portugal

The main square of Lisbon, Portugal
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Recommended by Michelle at Intentional Travelers

Lisbon, Portugal is a stunning, colorful city and one of the most affordable you’ll find in Western Europe. It’s no wonder tourism is booming there. 

Due to the large crowds during peak season and a pleasant climate through most of the the Fall, the ideal time to visit Lisbon is mid Fall. We had the pleasure of staying in the city for six weeks during October and November.

Wandering the streets is a great way to see Lisbon, but take extra caution if there’s rain. Many sidewalks and roads are made of a slick cobblestone, add to that the series of hills the city is built on. So step carefully when it rains, but otherwise, the weather is usually nicer than many parts of Europe in fall.

Lisbon has a number of historic attractions, from unearthed Roman ruins to public elevators, street cars, and plazas. The city is sprinkled with gorgeous scenic viewpoints (miradouros) overlooking the red roofed buildings and river. And nearly every street boasts colorful tiled walls (azulejos), both historic and modern, not to mention a plethora of murals.

On top of the sights, Lisbon is a fantastic place to eat as well. Seafood is top notch and the ubiquitous pasteis da nata custard pastries are not to be missed. 

London, England

Big Ben and bridge in London, England
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Recommended by Cora at Inside Our Suitcase

London, England is a fantastic place to visit year-round, but we particularly love visiting in fall for a couple of reasons, these include; reduced wait times at major attractions and cheaper accommodation when compared to the summer months, more predictable weather conditions than other seasons alongside an incredible outdoor atmosphere as the leaves begin to turn brown and fall. It’s a great spot to visit in Europe in fall!

Some of the things we’d suggest doing in London during fall are; 

Visiting a traditional English pub, where you can sit in front of the crackling open wood fire and dine on some delicious traditional English cuisine such as toad in the hole, or a Sunday lunch. 

Being Halloween season, fall is the perfect time to head out on a haunted walking tour of London or even explore one of the many historic, medieval castles.

Watch the huge bonfire display across the river Thames. Bonfire Night is also known as Guy Fawkes night dates back to 1605 in which Guy Fawkes plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and assassinate the protestant King James I to replace him with a Catholic head of state.

Stroll around one of London’s incredible parks (Hyde Park is my personal favourite), watch out for wildlife including ducks, squirrels and foxes, watch as the leaves fall from the trees and smile as you see kids out collecting conkers. If it’s been a dry 24 hours prior to your visit you could even take along a picnic too. 

Madrid, Spain

A square peaking through an archway in Madrid, Spain
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Recommended by Paulina at Paulina on the Road

One of my favorite places to visit in Europe in fall is definitely the capital of Spain: Madrid! Not only is it well connected to most airports in Europe and the most important ones throughout the world, but on top, it is one of the best places in Spain for winter sunshine. 

Indeed, the summers in Madrid can be suffocatingly hot, but during fall the temperatures go back to normal again. Indeed, don’t be surprised to find still temperatures above 20°C when visiting Madrid.

Some of my favorite things to do in Madrid during fall are long walks in the parks. Who would have thought that Madrid is a great place for autumn foliage too? During fall, the most important park of Madrid, El Retiro, get incredibly colorful as its trees turn red, orange and yellow. Make sure to book an hotel in the city center, the best neighborhood to stay in Madrid as it’s close to the main attractions. 

After long walks in the parks of Madrid, I recommend having some “churros con chocolate”: it’s warming and tasty at the same time. On top, it is considered one of the traditional food from Madrid. At night, I recommend watching a vibrant flamenco show in a “tablao” restaurant.

Munich, Germany

A square in Munich, Germany
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Recommended by Maura at Travel Kiwis

Munich in fall has one of the most famous festivals, Oktoberfest. Since 1810, the folk festival Oktoberfest has enthralled not only the citizens of Munich but also the many tourists who flock to Munich, making it one of the most popular destinations in Europe in fall.

Make sure to be there for the Wiesn Lords parade with the city mascot, Münchner Kindl leading the way for the Mayor’s carriage, bands, and beer wagons.

Even if you aren’t a beer drinker, it’s also your chance to join the celebration by wearing the traditional Bavarian costume — lots of fun.

The event is held from the middle of September to the beginning of October for 16-18 days in Munich’s Theresienwiese (gigantic fairground).

But if you are looking for something a little different, then the guys and gals who surf The Eisbach river in the English Garden will have you captivated.  Their skill level on this tiny space is impressive.

And for culture, make sure to visit the Deutsches Museum. It is the world’s largest science and technology museum. Not only is the building impressive, but people can also enjoy its many exhibitions. The museum is open daily making it one of the best things to do in Munich.

And only a short trip away from the inner city is Nymphenburg Palace where you can wander among the beauty of the trees of Munich in the fall. 

When you love everything German, enjoy beer, bratwurst, and bretzels, Munich is the city to experience.

Perthshire, Scotland

A lake reflecting the clouds and autumn color trees in Perthshire, Scotland
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Recommended by Elizabeth at The Fearless Foreigner

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Scotland during autumn. Perthshire county in central Scotland is one of the best places to see the colorful fall leaves. The region is known as “Scotland’s Big Tree Country”. With more than 200,000 acres of woodlands you can bet that you will be surrounded by vibrant leaves. Along with the spectacular scenery, the temperature during autumn is typically perfect for hiking alongside all the trees. 

The small town of Pitlochry in Perthshire is an ideal spot to base yourself to explore the region. Of course with all the foliage, you will want to get out and about. There is an easy circular walk that starts and ends right in Pitlochry. It crosses a couple of bridges and takes you to the Pitlochry Hydroelectric Dam and Fish Ladder. The visitor center offers information on the dam and the salmon. 

Perthshire is full of more hiking trails of various lengths and difficulties. Some routes like the Queen’s view take you to lookout points. Others, like some in Faskally woods take you around lochs (lakes). 

Also within Faskally woods you can visit the Enchanted Forest. For about a month every autumn the forest becomes even more magical with a light and music show. The event is becoming more popular every year, so make sure to buy tickets early. 

There are also a few distilleries, museums and theaters in the area. With so much to do and the stunning scenery, Perthshire is the perfect region to head for an autumn getaway. It’s a must-visit for Europe in fall!

Provence, France

An ancient hillside town in Provence, France
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Recommended by Nadine at Le Long Weekend

While most holiday-goers flock to the South of France in the summer months, there’s a lot to be said for visiting in the shoulder seasons. And while spring delivers fields brimming with flowers, and a feeling of awakening after winter, it’s Autumn when the region really shines. Provence is one of the most beautiful places in Europe in fall!

The bright blue skies typical of the region persist right through to November, and under them, you’ll find the most beautiful collage of ochre hues. The vines are still sporting their crimson leaves, the plane trees turn yellow with the turn of the seasons, and the hills are all shades of orange.

It’s a beautiful time to visit, as the villages are still alive with a daily hum, but not overridden with visitors. You can visit the beaches without having to park miles away, and all the main tourist attractions are still open, before some close their doors in the winter months. It’s also a great time to travel to the region on a budget, as many deals can be found on accommodation in Provence, and the French sales season is in full swing.

There are also plenty of things to do in the fall, such as hiking the incredible trails around the region, visiting the museums in Aix or Avignon (many of which have free entry on the first Sunday of the month), and partaking in the various wine festivals that celebrate the year’s harvest.

Rila Mountains, Bulgaria

People hiking in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria, Europe in the fall
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Recommended by Roshni at The Wanderlust Within

Hikers, spa goddesses and culture vultures can all appreciate one of Europe’s most overlooked mountain ranges. Only 70km from the capital of Bulgaria, the Rila mountains extend over 2400 square kms and are home to some of the Balkan’s highest peaks, including Mount Vihren (2,914m) and Mount Musala (2,925m). They’re also one of the best destinations in Europe in fall.

Rila’s landscape is characterised by sunken valleys, alpine meadows, granite peaks and nearly 200 glacial lakes. Many of the mountains are connected by hiking trails and seasonal mountain huts (summer/autumn only). These make the logistics of conquering the Rila summits much simpler, but the steep ascents still require a good level of fitness.

Autumn is the best time for trekking in order to escape the sub-zero temperatures, which freeze the mountains for much of the year, and it is a wonderful time of year for photography as the entire landscape turns a beautiful warm yellow hue. On top of that, there are numerous natural hot springs found throughout the region which are perfect for relaxing and resting weary legs for hikers and non-hikers alike.

The mountains also cater for history buffs as the iconic Rila Monastery is nestled deep in Rila’s alpine forests. This 10th century Orthodox Church is famous for its colourful architecture and beautiful fortress like exterior that will stop anyone in their tracks.

Rome, Italy

A birds-eye view of Rome at sunset
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Recommended by Andrea at One Savvy Wanderer

Rome should be at the top of the list when considering the best travel destinations in Europe in fall. Not only is Rome less crowded with tourists in the fall (like all European cities!) but the weather is actually the perfect temperature for sightseeing. Since the weather is mild in the fall, travelers don’t have to worry about the potential for snow and can instead enjoy comfortable temperatures in the mid-60’s. 

When visiting Rome in the fall, be sure to enjoy the popular tourist attractions without the large crowds that typically exist in the summer. Some of the main Rome highlights include visiting the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and the Vatican. The best part is that the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon are all free to visit.

Other things to do in Rome include attending a football (ie: soccer) game at Stadio Olimpico, visiting the cat sanctuary located in ancient Roman ruins or having dinner and drinks in Trastevere, the best neighborhood in Rome

Rome’s central location also make it very easy to take trips to other Italian cities like Siena, Florence and Venice, especially with the high speed trains that connect many of the popular cities.

Soriano nel Cimino, Italy

A castle and hillside town in Soriano nel Cimino, Italy
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Recommended by Annalisa at Travel Connect Experience

As the summer fades, most of the Italians fly back from the beaches and the mountains to their boring jobs in the big towns. Fall often feels like a melancholic transition phase, but it becomes rather attractive if you spend it in the village that has made it the high point of the calendar, that is Soriano nel Cimino.

Sometimes called only “Soriano”, the tiny town rises on the slopes of Mount Cimino in Central Italy and can be visited on a day-trip from Rome. Each year, from May to September, Soriano’s dwellers spend their free time making all the preparations necessary to host the memorable Chestnut Festival, which is always happening on the first and second weekend of October, in tune with chestnut trees’ harvest season. This celebration makes Soriano a great destination in Europe in fall.

During the celebration, the town’s historical center is adorned with banners and drapes, and the locals dressed in rich, handmade Medieval-style clothes proudly parade showing their families and horses. You will see flag-throwing and battles performed, all combined with the reminiscing sounds of drums and trumpets. Immersed in this magical experience, you will dream of time-traveling and find yourself walking through Soriano’s walls at the time when the Orsini Castle where built.

Besides enjoying the festival and the local specialties like porcini mushrooms, you can visit the castle or drive to the near, majestic beechwood to fill your eyes with fall’s colors. At the entrance of the forest (toll-free), you’ll find a trail to the top of the mountain, a romantic, secluded restaurant, and a mysterious, gigantic stone. 

Slovakia

Fall trees in Slovakia
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Recommended by Chris at Trip & Trail

Europe in fall is a great season to travel if not the greatest (here’s why) but truth is that in some places, this period of change looks far more spectacular than in others. One of the countries with beautiful and vivid fall foliage is Slovakia in Eastern Europe.

Slovakia is a country with pristine natural beauty and the fact that forty percent of its surface is covered with forests, means that one has many opportunities to admire the brilliant colors of fall. One of the best places to do this is in the region of Banska Bystrica in the south foot of Low Tatras. Somewhere around the middle of October, the broadleaf forests there, change from their usual green into the brightest yellow, orange and even purple colors nature has to offer; dressing the hillsides with a colorful mosaic before the leaves drop entirely, marking this way the coming of the heavy Slovak winter.

One of the most beautiful places to see the foliage is north of the city of Brezno near a small village called Myto pod Dumbierom. From there you can hike the forest trails that go north, which is probably the best way to enjoy it. Hiking is one of Slovaks’ most favorite activity and the vast network of trails around the country is perfectly signed and maintained. Cycling is another great way to meet Slovakia’s backcountry. An abundance of what they call penzions—small B&Bs in every village will make your trip easy and keep you close to rural Slovakia. Last but not least, don’t waste the chance to visit the numerous medieval castles and ruins which are many times surrounded by gorgeous forests.

Trieste, Italy

The ocean and town of Trieste, Italy
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Recommended by Michela at Rocky Travel

Trieste in Italy is the easternmost coastal city at the border with Slovenia and one of those lesser-visited places of Northern Italy that fully embodies the Italian landmarks and flair. You can ideally add to your itinerary when visiting Venice or Europe in fall.

The city offers a wealth of things to do from visiting its heritage sites and beautiful castles, to promenade walks, boat trips, to hiking trails to tasting its multicultural cuisine.

Fall is the best time of the year to visit Trieste and go hiking in its beautiful Karst hills when they get painted of gold and red nuances. There are many walks that you can right on the town hills with the Napoleonic Way or the Rilke trail that stretch out to the Duino Castle.

Moreover in fall an important event takes place in October; The Barcolana, with 50+ sailing boats is the biggest sailing race in Europe that attracts people from all over the world.

I used to live in Trieste and loved it. I always enjoy re-visiting Trieste, either on day-trip or for a few days, it is also the perfect getaway to and extended trip to nearby Croatia.

Tyrol, Austria

Cows during the Almabtrieb in Tyrol, Austria
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Recommended by Linda at Travel Tyrol

There are many reasons to visit the Austrian Tyrol in the autumn, but the best one is to attend an Almabtrieb when the cows are brought home from the mountains after the summer. These cattle drives, often accompanied by harvest festivals, are an age-old tradition in Tyrolean villages and mean that Tyrol is a great destination for Europe in fall.

An Almabtrieb is a Thanksgiving of sorts. The farmers are so thankful that their cattle survived the summer up in the mountains that they adorn them with colourful headdresses and big bells hanging from embroidered collars for their “homecoming”.

Villagers await the farmers and their cows with lots to eat and drink after their long trek down the mountain. In some villages, the Almabtrieb coincides with the annual harvest thanksgiving. Wagons are beautifully decorated with produce. They form part of a procession including the brass band and villagers in traditional dress.

Some of the best-known Almabtriebe are the ones in Reith im Alpbachtal, Mayrhofen and Kirchberg. They are geared at showing off the best Austrian traditions to visitors. However, you’ll find many more low-key Almabtriebe in the villages of Tyrol in September and October.

Not only can you visit Almabtriebe and harvest festivals in Tyrol in autumn, but it’s also an excellent time for hiking. There are literally thousands of easy to moderate hiking trails crisscrossing the valleys and mountains. One that boasts particularly beautiful autumn foliage is the Tiefenbach Gorge not far from Reith im Alpbachtal if you want to attend the Almabtrieb there.

Valencia, Spain

the city of arts and sciences in valencia, spain
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Recommended by Laura at Travelers Universe

If you’re looking for a destination to get a last-minute tan, Valencia is just perfect. Summer tends to linger here until the end of September, sometimes even mid-October, with nice temperatures and plenty of sunny days. This means it’s one of the best spots in Europe in fall!

This makes sightseeing truly enjoyable since some places like the City of Arts and Sciences don’t have much shade and in the scorching summer sun, they can be pretty much a challenge to visit.

Now it’s true that Valencia isn’t the place to see fall foliage. Leaves barely turn yellow towards the end of December. But it’s a wonderful place if you want to escape the autumn drizzle and cold that engulfs so many other parts of Europe in fall.

On top of that, autumn is just perfect for getting great hotel deals, as prices drop once the school year starts. This means that the best hotels in Valencia are reasonably priced once more and you can stretch your budget further.

The old town, with its winding alleys, crumbling buildings, and fancy palaces is the perfect place to enjoy an agua de Valencia (a local cocktail) on a terrace. But don’t forget to also visit the many museums and even the cathedral – it hosts the Holy Grail!

Versailles, France

a statue and golden gates of versailles, france
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Recommended by Elisa at World in Paris

Versailles is a great place to visit in Europe in fall. A Paris to Versailles day trip is very easy to do independently and you will love Versailles! This “royal” city is dominated by the Versailles Estate, composed of different buildings, gardens and a big park. In Versailles, everything was built around the king and the beautiful houses that you can see today near the castle once belonged to the King’s personnel.

The Château de Versailles is the most famous castle in France, the place where the last kings of France lived for two centuries. Apart from its luxury interiors and spectacular artworks, the Palace is a very important part of the history of France, from King Louis XIV to the French Revolution.

However, we suggest visiting Versailles during the autumn especially for the gardens which surround the Palace and the Park of Versailles. These French-style gardens and the park around the Grand Canal were designed by André Le Notre and they are even more amazing with the autumn colors.

Versailles Gardens and the Park can be visited independently from Château de Versailles. Actually, you can decide to visit only the Gardens and the Park it will be a wonderful day trip anyway! The Park is always free to visit while the French-style gardens need a ticket until October 29. After October 29, the Musical Garden shows end and everything is free to visit in Versailles (except the buildings).

The Gardens are a great place to explore on foot. They are decorated with beautiful fountains, grooves, and classical sculptures. The Park, instead, is best visited by bike to get the most out of it because it is really huge! In autumn, it is still warm enough to consider a picnic by the Grand Canal followed by a boat ride along the canal just like during the French Kings’ time!

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Going to Europe this fall? Find all the best spots to add to your Europe itinerary with this ultimate bucket list of Europe destinations and places to visit in Europe in fall/autumn! #travel #europe #travelinspiration
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MY FAVORITE TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES

Booking Flights: The first place I turn when I’m searching for flights is actually just Google Flights - it’s great to figure out what sort of routes are available. Then, I check Skyscanner and Kiwi for deals. I also love Kiwi for its destination: anywhere feature!

Transportation: I love Omio for figuring out the cheapest way to get from one place to another, and Trainline for booking train tickets within Europe.

Accommodations: I absolutely love Booking.com for finding great hotel deals. After you stay a certain number of nights, you get Genius discounts! For hostels, Hostelworld is my go-to, and I use Airbnb occasionally as well (click here for $40 off your first booking!)

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Tours: I always check Urban Adventures for great day tours of cities first–I’m obsessed with them! GetYourGuide and Viator are also great options. For multi-day tours, I highly recommend Intrepid.

Camera Gear: I use a Sony Alpha A6300 camera with an 18-105 mm lens and a 35 mm lens. My tripod is the MeFoto Backpacker Air and I loooooove it! I also use a DJI Mavic Air and a GoPro and which allow me to capture everything my regular camera can’t.

8 thoughts on “23 Must-Visit Destinations in Europe in Fall”

  1. Another great guide to places to visit during Fall! I’ve got to say that the UK does get very beautiful.. I can’t even imagine Italy, making me dream right now!

  2. I’ve only been to 5 of these so luckily I still have a lot of places to explore! I especially love the section on Valencia – I’m a sucker for wanting a tan at all times of year, hahah.

  3. We are hoping to head to Barcelona in November if I can manage the travel. I’m hoping it will be less crowded and more enjoyable since it sounds like it’s just frantic most other times of the year.

    I think Paris, Berlin and Luxembourg are some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in the fall (mid-October).

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