There are so many reasons to love Europe in Autumn. The leaves turn beautiful hues of orange and red, the cold starts to set in, and there’s a certain magic in the air.
But of course, every country, region, and even city has something different to offer during this time.
So whether you’re looking for a reprieve from the crowds, wanting to see the natural beauty of fall colours, or looking to stay in the warmer regions during this time, Europe has a fall destination for you.
And if you’re wondering where that is, this is the guide for you! I’ve put together all my favourite European destinations, which I think are particularly worth visiting in autumn, between the months of September, October and November.
So what are you waiting for? Here’s where you should consider heading to Europe in the fall!
- 1 Autumn in Europe for Natural Fall Beauty
- 2 Escape the Crowds in Europe in October
- 3 Best European Destinations to Visit in the Fall for Warmer Weather
Autumn in Europe for Natural Fall Beauty
For many, autumn is their favourite time of year, and it’s easy to see why. The autumnal colours, cosy clothing, and even the flavours being served at restaurants take a spicy turn.
If you’re wanting to enjoy the natural beauty that Europe has to offer in the fall, here’s where you should be headed.
Walking around the historic old town without loads of other tourists taking pictures completely changes the experience.
The trees and vineyards turn a wonderful red colour and start to drop their leaves making for some unique scenes to photograph.
There are so many great things to do in Split, but one of its many pluses is that it’s a great base for exploring the surrounding area.
There are plenty of day trips you can take from Split to the surrounding region so you can further appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
If you’re a nature lover, then visiting the five islands and the Blue Cave from Split is a not to be missed activity.
Krka and Plitvice are also very close by and definitely worth a visit. Be sure to visit Krka Waterfall if you’re looking to get some phenomenal photos and marvel at nature.
Lake Bled is a stunning lake in northwestern Slovenia. It’s located just 55 kilometres from the capital city, Ljubljana, so it’s very easily accessible.
During the autumn months, the lake is surrounded by beautiful yellow, orange and red foliage making it even more stunning than usual.
Although Lake Bled is growing in popularity, it’s still relatively unknown compared to many other European destinations. And unlike many other popular destinations, this one is the furthest thing from overrated.
Take a tour of Lake Bled and visit the iconic Our Lady of the Lake Church located on an island in the middle of the lake.
This totally unique experience is only enhanced by the beauty of the autumn leaves falling and shrouding the lake in wonderful hues.
Tuscany in Italy is filled with celebrations during the fall because it’s harvest time in the picturesque wine region. The vines turn all kinds of warm hues, making for beautiful scenery.
If you want to visit Tuscany for the festivals, September is when you’ll be bombarded with wine celebrations.
But if you’re a foodie, be sure to visit during October and November when you can enjoy food festivals containing a selection of olives, truffles and chestnuts.
The weather in Tuscany during autumn is mild and pleasant. It doesn’t get too hot or too cold, just be sure to pack warmer clothes for the nighttime.
You’ll also notice a distinct lack of crowds during October and November, even in the more popular destinations like Florence and Pisa. This means you’ll be able to explore quaint Tuscan towns without hoards of other tourists.
Apart from the stunning autumn foliage that graces the landscape in Scotland during autumn, there are a few other reasons to visit during this time of year. For nature lovers, the wildlife you can spot during fall is a major bonus.
Red Deer, Barnacle Geese, Swans, and Grey Seals are all easily spotted during this time of year.
And of course, you can’t visit Scotland without taking a tour of the famed Loch Ness, which is made even more beautiful surrounded by autumnal colours. Scotland is by far one of the best places to visit in Europe in October.
Scotland also experiences a harvest period during September, October and November. So indulge in freshly made jams or fresh fruit. Or get a little fancy and dine on newly harvested oysters.
This landlocked state in Germany is the largest of the states and provides a colourful yet quiet experience this time of year. Tourist season is over, leaving the region to enjoy some peace and quiet.
The weather is fairly mild during fall, so you can explore the beautiful landscape without weather interruptions. In fact, it’s a great time to go hiking.
The Bavarian Alps provide the perfect place to get out into nature and enjoy the scenic landscape up close. Bavaria is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Germany.
While you’re in the region, explore some of the old towns and cities to get a real feel for the area. Taking a Bamberg walking tour is always a favourite and you’ll learn about the history of the city.
Escape the Crowds in Europe in October
Many of Europe’s most popular destinations tend to quieten down during the fall. This provides a fantastic opportunity to see some incredible landmarks, crowd-free.
Rome is iconic and is listed among the first cities to appear on any decent European bucket list. In autumn it’s the perfect city for a weekend getaway.
It’s a very Instagrammable city, with photo opportunities around just about every corner. But taking these photos gets easier during fall when there aren’t dozens of other tourists trying to do the same.
You’ll get to enjoy low-season prices, a noticeable lack of crowds (which is a rare thing in Rome), and streets lined with autumnal trees.
While you’re in the city, visit iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, Pantheon, and the Roman Forum. At these landmarks, you’ll learn the complex history of the area and about the fall of the Roman Empire.
But you should also take time to enjoy the simple things, indulging in delicious street food and wandering the cobbled streets, getting to know the city on a more personal level.
As one of the most popular cities in Europe, you’ll never find London anything but crowded. But during the fall, it’s a lot less crowded than it is during its busy seasons.
This means it’s easier to find a place to stay in London than at any other time of year.
Beautiful autumn leaves are not hard to find in London, so look no further than Richmond Park, the Royal Parks, Chelsea Embankment, and Kynance Mews.
Although you can come across autumnal leaves around many street corners in London, those places put on a particularly spectacular show during the fall.
There are a few other highlights in London during this time. In October you can visit museums at night, or enjoy Bonfire Night in early November when the sky will be lit up with fireworks.
There’s a myriad of food festivals that take place in London in the fall so be sure to keep an ear out for those too if you’re a foodie.
There’s something extra special about the romantic city over water that makes it stand apart from the rest. And it’s not just the fact that it’s interconnected by waterways rather than roads.
Venice is equally as magical during the fall, and the lack of crowds make it even more endearing.
During autumn, Venice starts to get a little reprieve from the heat. The waterways (which can smell quite a lot in the hotter months) start to smell a little fresher than they did in the busy season.
Apart from taking a mandatory gondola ride through the picturesque waterways, there are a few other places you need to visit to make your trip complete.
Visiting Doges Palace and Marks Basilica is a must as you’ll learn about the history of Venice and see some stunning architecture along the way.
The capital of Hungary is usually decorated with throngs of people. But fall in Budapest is a little different. Many of the tourist groups go home, leaving the wonderful city in peace, and ready for you to explore at your leisure.
Everyone knows that Budapest is at its most beautiful when seen from the water, so take a cruise to see the majestic city all lit up.
Doing this during the nighttime is more effective than during the day, just be sure to dress warmly as the wind chill factor on the water can make it quite cold.
Taking a guided tour of the city is a great way to get to know the area and learn all about its history. Having a local to show you around is always better as you’ll learn about all the city’s secret hidden gems.
Amsterdam gains even more magic during the autumn months. The picturesque canals and beautiful streets of Amsterdam are lined with autumnal leaves, while bars and restaurants light their fire to increase the cosiness.
You can start to feel the chill in the air, but it’s not yet quite as cold as their winter months.
Because cycling is a very popular form of transport in Amsterdam, it only seems fitting that you take a bicycle tour around the city during your time there. You’ll learn about the history of the city, and see it’s many hidden treasures.
Cultural season is in full swing during fall, so take advantage and visit all the cultural celebrations and festivities on offer.
If you visit during October you’ll be in the city for all the Halloween celebrations, and Amsterdam does Halloween right!
Epically romantic Paris. It’s famed for all things love and romance, and when you get there you’ll find out why.
In fall, the city is sprinkled with autumn leaves and the volume of people on the streets is considerably lower than during the city’s busy season.
Take a visit to the Paris Royal Gardens and see stacks of autumn leaves littering the ground. During autumn, it’s easier to feel like a local in Paris, and act like one too.
Take a leisurely stroll through the city streets, pick up a baguette from a local coffee shop and watch as the locals go about their days.
Of course, you’ll need to make a few visits to the city’s most iconic landmarks. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris should be amongst these.
Best European Destinations to Visit in the Fall for Warmer Weather
For sun worshippers and those who love the warmer weather, autumn in Europe can be a daunting time of the year. I totally get it, I’m the same.
However there’s no need to worry. Plenty of European destinations stay fairly warm during the fall, so here’s where you should be headed during that time.
For those of us that love the heat, heading into a colder region wouldn’t be our first choice. Going to Barcelona during autumn means you don’t have to compromise.
Known for its art and culture, as well as brilliant architecture, there’s no shortage of things to do while you’re there.
Barcelona is another very cyclable city, so taking a city highlights bicycle tour is a wonderful idea. Visiting the famed Sagrada Familia is also a must while you’re there.
If you’re an art fan be sure to pop into Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya for the cultural experience of a lifetime.
Of course, Spanish wines are an absolute treat, and what better time to appreciate them than during harvest season. Take a wine tasting tour or tapas tour to sample some of the best that Barcelona has to offer.
Rather than experiencing autumn, Andalusia experiences something often referred to as it’s second spring.
It’s actually a much welcomed season in the region as the sweltering heat gives way to a much milder warmth. For those who love to be warm, it’s a great place to be during autumn.
There are so many beloved attractions in Andalusia, but if there are any you’re going to make a special trip for, these should be the ones to look out for.
If you’d like to experience Andalusia from a slightly different perspective, then head out on the water for a catamaran tour during the day or at sunset. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins as they’re quite abundant in the area.
Greece is an epic holiday destination at any time of the year. But fall particularly brings out the best in this country.
The sweltering heat dies down and the hoards of tourists head home, leaving Greece a mild weathered country recuperating from the busy season.
One of the best places to visit in Greece during autumn is Meteora. Highlighted by orange leaved trees, it truly makes a picturesque scene.
There’s also a stack to celebrate in Greece during these three months. It’s wine harvest season, as well as olive harvest season, so be sure to get involved in all the celebrations and festivities.
And seeing as Greece is still very warm during the fall, head to the beach and have the white sands all to yourself. You might bump into a local or two, but for the most part, the beaches are often fairly quiet.
The Canary Islands are one of my favourite places in Europe, and I have considered moving there for the fall and winter on multiple occasions. White and black sand beaches await you at this paradisiacal and warm vacation destination.
The Canary Islands are an island archipelago that provides great weather all year round. In autumn, the nights tend to be a little chilly, but the days are just a few degrees cooler than that of the summer months.
Around this time of year, the Atlantic ocean reaches its warmest temperature of the year (around 20 degrees), making it ideal for those wanting to take part in water sports.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, take a camel ride to the Dunes of Maspalomas, which can be excruciatingly hot in the summer months.
As one of the oldest cities in France, Marseille is a historical gold mine of beautiful landmarks and stunning architecture.
The weather in Autumn is fairly mild with temperatures in their twenties during September and October. However, it cools down quite significantly in November.
Taking a tour with a local who can show you around the city is the best way to discover Marseille. If you’re a foodie, then France is an absolute paradise. Taking a culinary tour of Marseille is also sure to be a great experience.
Final Thoughts on Autumn Breaks in Europe
As you can see, Europe is an absolute treat in the fall. Less crowded streets, beautiful autumnal colours and many destinations are still fairly warm. There’s simply no reason not to travel during this season.
Pack your bags, and have your camera on hand, fall in Europe is about to present the adventure of a lifetime.
The lack of crowds, mild weather and perfect scenery make this time of year a great time to travel to many wonderful destinations in Europe.
Have you been to Europe in autumn before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
In this guide I listed all my favourite destinations, which I think are worth visiting in Europe in the fall. I hope you find it useful in planning your own European autumn break!