Updated: Dec 29, 2022
While the months of June through August are the busiest time for the travel industry, a visit to Europe in the fall is an experience like no other. From castles surrounded by fall foliage to fun seasonal events, Europe comes alive in the autumn. So if you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to bust out your cozy sweaters, cuddle up in a café with a warm beverage, or crunch on colorful leaves, it is time to book your flight to one (or more) of the following European cities that are their most beautiful in the autumn.
Should You Visit Europe In The Fall?
Visiting Europe in the fall comes with many benefits you won’t get when visiting in the summer. With fewer tourists traveling in the months of September through November, transport and accommodation prices will decrease. Additionally, wait times for activities will lessen, increasing the likelihood of you getting to peacefully enjoy a once in a lifetime experience. Of course, in many locations where tourism is one of the top industries, once the bulk of tourists leave, many businesses will close. If you want to ensure you can see everything on your bucket list, make sure to book in advance.
Depending on where you are planning to travel, weather can also pose a challenge in the fall. While the months of September and early October in Europe will likely have pleasant weather, you should also come prepared for more rain and lower temperatures. If you are planning on traveling with carry-on only, keep in mind fall clothing takes up more space in a suitcase than summer clothing does.
What Should You Pack For Fall In Europe?
As European weather in the fall can drastically vary on a weekly, daily, and even hourly basis, it is important to pack accordingly for your destination. Be prepared for the weather to change suddenly when traveling. It is important to pack layering options for your fall fun in Europe. Pack cozy sweaters or sweatshirts, a warm waterproof jacket and umbrella, jeans or other trousers, and some warm socks to wear with comfortable shoes and boots. If you are traveling at the beginning of September, the weather in Europe might be warmer, so pack some t-shirts or lighter layers and dresses or skirts if you are comfortable traveling in them.
➡️ Pro Tip: Use our Ultimate Toiletry Packing List to make packing for your fall adventure easier!
What Are The Best European Cities To Visit In The Fall?
If you’re ready to crunch on some leaves while sipping a pumpkin spice latte, head to the following fabulous cities across Europe.
No fall fun escape would be complete without a visit to the famous Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest typically begins at the end of September, making it the perfect starting or ending spot for a fall adventure in Germany. If you don’t have time to rent a car and travel to nearby spots in Germany, like Neuschwanstein Castle (just under a two-hour drive!), you will still have plenty to see and do in Munich. If drinking isn’t your thing, skip Oktoberfest and instead visit Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, Peterskirche, and more!
Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech countryside stuns in the autumn. With rolling hills and colorful trees, there are plenty of beautiful nature spots worth exploring in the Czech Republic. However, if you are looking for a city escape, Prague is the perfect place to visit in the fall. With rusted red roofs and cobblestone streets, the city of Prague feels like it was painted specifically to exist in the autumn. Climb to the top of Letna Park for an epic beer garden that will have you drinking surrounded by the best views of the city. Work off all the Czech dumplings you will eat by hiking up Petrin Hill to go to the top of Petrin Tower and then head to Vyšehrad to enjoy a pint while exploring a spooky grave.
If fall to you means spooky season, a visit to Edinburgh is a must. With a medieval fortress and rich history of haunts, a trip to Scotland may leave you a little spooked. After exploring the famous castle, enjoy a ghost or vampire tour once the sun sets. For whiskey lovers, stop into one of the many distilleries to learn more about how whiskey is made … and of course drink some as well!
With charming architecture and quaint canals, Bruges, Belgium makes for the perfect little city escape in the fall. Spend your days wandering down the cobblestone streets or book a boat tour on the canals. Just make sure to bundle up before you climb aboard! Additionally, learn more about the famous Belgium chocolate and beer scene at a beer and chocolate pairing workshop!
Italy is a culinary lovers dream, and Piedmont, Italy in the fall is the perfect place for foodies to explore. Not only does Piedmont have amazing wine, but in October, truffles, mushrooms, and chestnuts are in season. There are even many festivals surrounding these delicious foods. For wine lovers, a visit to a winery is a must to watch the start of harvest and winemaking season. Enjoy rolling fields of vines and scenic hiking trails brought to life with fall colors during your visit.
Are you a fan of the Sound of Music? In the autumn the hills of Salzburg are truly alive with not just the sounds of music, but also colorful trees. Take a tour of all the famous sites from the classic movie musical before hiking to Hohensalzburg Fortress. After, warm up with a slice of famous chocolate Sacher-Torte and cappuccino at Cafe Sacher.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
While you won’t be able to go swimming in September and October in Lake Bled, as it will be too cold, this famous site is sure to leave you speechless when it is surrounded by vibrant fall foliage. Enjoy the great outdoors while hiking around this famous Slovenian spot. While Lake Bled is usually packed full of tourists in the summer, visiting in the early fall will ensure you have tourist-free photos and peaceful paths to wander down.
Visiting Bordeaux right in the heart of harvest season is a special experience. The famous vineyards of St. Emilion, Margaux, Pomerol, and many more impeccable spots in the Bordeaux wine region make Bordeaux the perfect spot for wine lovers to fill their days visiting wineries. Visiting Bordeaux in the fall will give you the opportunity to see workers cutting grapes and winemakers starting the fermentation process. Keep in mind, that while many places in Bordeaux offer tours all year round, some smaller spots will close their doors in the fall to focus purely on the winemaking process.
➡️ Pro Tip: While in Bordeaux, try some of the region's most famous wines at any of these Best Wine Bars In Bordeaux.
As Europe cools off and signs of autumn start to pop up in the trees and air, take some time to book a vacation and explore the many gorgeous cities that Europe has to offer. With colorful views and lively beer gardens, you are sure to have a fun fall experience you will never forget!
Which city do you want to visit first? Tell us in the comments!