10 Best Fall Destinations in Europe: Why You Should Visit Europe in Autumn
Europe is a continent that offers a variety of experiences and attractions for travelers of all kinds. Whether you are looking for culture, history, nature, or adventure, you will find something to suit your taste and budget. But when is the best time to visit Europe? While each season has its charm and advantages, many travelers agree that fall is the ideal time to explore this diverse and beautiful region. In this article, we will show you why fall is the best time to visit Europe, and we will recommend you some of the best fall destinations in Europe that you should not miss. From sunny beaches to cozy cities, from ancient ruins to modern art, from delicious cuisine to festive events, these destinations will make you fall in love with Europe in the autumn season.
The 10 Best Fall Destinations in Europe
In the Fall, the weather is cool, fewer tourists, and many festivals and events in Europe. Below are 10 destinations that have all the above criteria and affordable prices but are not big destinations familiar to international tourists. They are considered the “hidden gems” of Europe for tourists preparing to travel in the Fall.
1. Split, Croatia
Split is Croatia’s second-largest city, located along the Adriatic coast. It’s famous as a destination that blends antiquity with beaches and vibrant nightlife. While the tourist city of Dubrovnik attracts more visitors, Split offers a more affordable Croatian experience.
The city’s cool weather in the fall allows visitors to comfortably stroll on the Planka harbor or on the marble walkways in Diocletian’s Palace, which houses Roman ruins dating back to the 4th century.
1.1. Split Attractions
- Diocletian’s Palace: A Roman-era fortress that covers almost half of the old town. There are the palace’s main attractions, such as the Peristyle Square, the Cathedral of St. Domnius, and the Temple of Jupiter.
- Riva seaside promenade: A long and wide walkway that stretches along the harbor. There are many restaurants, bars, and ice cream parlors along the Riva, where you can taste the local cuisine and relax in the sun.
- Marjan Hill: A forested park that rises above the city. Marjan Hill offers many trails for hiking, biking, and jogging, as well as scenic viewpoints, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
1.2. Suggested Place to Stay in Split
En Route Hostel is a modern and stylish hostel located in the center of the city. It offers dorms and private rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and lockers. The hostel also has a common kitchen, a lounge area, and a terrace. In addition, the hostel is close to many attractions, such as the Diocletian’s Palace, the Riva, and the ferry port.
2. Porto, Portugal
Porto is a northern coastal destination in Portugal and is an alternative suggestion if visitors are too familiar with the capital Lisbon. This area has much cheaper accommodation than the capital Lisbon, and many hostels for young people. Porto has ancient buildings with colorful tiles lining the winding streets of the old town. Enjoying local wine under the gentle autumn sunshine is a suggestion when coming to this place. No doubt this city is one of the best fall destinations in Europe.
2.1. Porto Attractions
- Clerigos tower: A baroque-style bell tower that is the symbol of Porto. The tower was built in the 18th century and is part of the Clerigos Church. The tower is 76 meters high and has 225 steps to reach the top.
- Porto Cathedral: The oldest and most important church in Porto. The cathedral was founded in the 12th century and has Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. The cathedral has a magnificent façade, a rose window, a cloister, and a silver altar.
- Livraria Lello: One of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello is a must-see for book lovers and Harry Potter fans. The bookstore was opened in 1906 and has a neo-Gothic style. The bookstore is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling, who lived in Porto in the 1990s.
2.2. Where to Stay in Porto
Nice Way Porto Hostel is a cozy and friendly hostel located in the heart of Porto. It’s close to many attractions, such as the Clerigos Tower, the Porto Cathedral, and the Livraria Lello. The hostel offers dorms and private rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and lockers. Additionally, the hostel has a common kitchen, a lounge area, and a terrace. Nice Way Porto Hostel is popular among young and social travelers who want to have fun and meet new people.
3. Sicily, Italy
As one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, Sicily offers visitors a “true” Italian experience at much more affordable prices than Rome, Venice, or Florence. Besides, the mild weather, cheap airfares, and deserted beaches in the Fall are also plus points for tourists to choose this place for their autumn trip. Surely, Sicily is one of the best fall destinations in Europe that will bring you a special travel experience.
3.1. Sicily Attractions
- Pretoria Square: A large and elegant square in the historic center of Palermo, also known as the Square of Shame for its nude statues. The square features a monumental fountain with sculptures of gods, animals, and mythological scenes.
- Monreale Cathedral: A stunning example of Norman architecture and art. The Monreale Cathedral is one of the most visited sites in Sicily. The cathedral was built in the 12th century by King William II. It is famous for its golden mosaics that cover the walls and ceilings.
- Teatro Massimo opera house: The largest opera house in Italy and the third-largest in Europe. The Teatro Massimo is a magnificent building that dominates the Piazza Verdi in Palermo. The opera house was inaugurated in 1897 and can seat up to 1,300 spectators.
3.2. Where to Stay in Sicily
Verdemare Hotel is a cozy and charming hotel located in the seaside town of Avola, near Syracuse. The hotel offers rooms and apartments with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and balconies. The hotel also has a garden, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. Moreover, the hotel is close to the beach, the nature reserve of Cavagrande del Cassibile, and the historic center of Avola.
4. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest has many ancient architectural works, historical monuments, and bustling nightlife. In particular, this city is considered “one of the reasons to visit Hungary” and has “the most attractive” costs in Europe. Flights here are also cheaper than many other destinations such as Paris or London. The Hungarian capital is cold in winter but the temperature in the Fall is still very pleasant, suitable for an evening of walking outdoors or sitting in a cafe.
4.1. Budapest Attractions
- Thermal baths: Budapest is famous for its thermal baths, which are natural hot springs that have been used for centuries for their healing and relaxing properties. Some of the most popular ones are the Gellért Baths, the Széchenyi Baths, the Rudas Baths, and the Király Baths.
- Heroes Square: The largest and most impressive square in Budapest. Heroes Square is a monument that commemorates the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian state and honors the national heroes. The square features a 36-meter-high column with a statue of the Archangel Gabriel, surrounded by statues of the seven Magyar chieftains who founded Hungary.
- Parliament Building: The most iconic building in Budapest. The Parliament Building is a stunning example of Neo-Gothic architecture that stands on the banks of the Danube. The building was completed in 1904 and is the largest and most expensive parliament building in the world. It has 691 rooms, 20 kilometers of stairs, and a 96-meter-high dome. The building houses the Hungarian crown jewels, the Holy Crown of Hungary, and the National Assembly.
4.2. Suggested Hotel in Budapest for Your Stay
Avenue Hostel is located in the heart of the city, near Oktogon Square, where you can easily access the public transport, the nightlife, and the main attractions. Avenue Hostel offers a range of options for travelers, from dorms to private rooms, all with free Wi-Fi, lockers, and linen. You can also enjoy the free breakfast and the discounted dinner meals with a minimum 3€ bar spend. Avenue Hostel has a friendly and social atmosphere, with a common kitchen, a lounge area, a terrace, and a bar. You can also join the events and activities organized by the hostel, such as pub crawls, walking tours, and yoga classes. Avenue Hostel is a great choice for travelers who want to save money and have fun in Budapest.
5. Dublin, Ireland
The Irish capital blends old-world charm with modern vibes. There are popular eateries, traditional pubs, bars, and even high-end restaurants. Surely, Dublin is one of the best fall destinations in Europe. Many people love the place when visiting it.
5.1. Dublin Attractions
- Phoenix Park: The largest enclosed public park in Europe, Phoenix Park covers more than 700 hectares of green space, woodlands, and lakes. Particularly, the park is home to many attractions, such as the Dublin Zoo, the Wellington Monument, the Papal Cross, and the Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland.
- National Museum of Ireland: The National Museum of Ireland is a group of four museums that showcase the history, culture, and natural heritage of Ireland. The museums are:
– Archaeology, which displays ancient artifacts and treasures;
– Decorative Arts and History, which exhibits furniture, ceramics, silver, jewelry, and military uniforms;
– Natural History, which houses a collection of animals, fossils, and skeletons, including the famous Irish elk;
– Country Life, which explores the rural life and traditions of Ireland.
- Trinity University Library: The largest library in Ireland and one of the most impressive libraries in the world. Trinity University Library is a must-see for book lovers and Harry Potter fans. The library was founded in 1592 and has more than six million volumes, including the Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow, and the Book of Armagh, which are ancient manuscripts that illustrate the gospels. The library also features the Long Room, a stunning hall that houses 200,000 of the oldest books, and a harp that is the symbol of Ireland.
5.2. Suggested Place to Stay in Dublin
Jacobs Inn Dublin is the only purpose-built hostel in Dublin and is right in the heart of the city center. Within walking distance of loads of Dublin tourist attractions, such as Temple Bar, Croke Park, the 3Arena, and O’Connell Street, Jacobs Inn Dublin is the most accessible hostel in Dublin. The rooms are en-suite and include dormitories and private rooms. In the mornings, Jacobs Inn Dublin offers breakfast for an additional charge. Every day, there is a free guided walk of the city from the reception. Other facilities at Jacobs Inn Dublin include a common room, along with laundry and luggage storage. You can also enjoy the rooftop terrace, the friendly staff, and the great craic at Jacobs Inn Dublin.
6. Krakow, Poland
As one of the most famous and attractive destinations in Poland, Krakow attracts visitors with its well-preserved medieval quarter, close to Auschwitz concentration camp, a famous European historical site where many Jews had to die because of genocide under Nazi Germany.
However, Krakow is still relatively affordable compared to much of Western Europe, according to reviews from The Travel. A meal at milk bars and bakeries only costs a few dollars. Daily costs here are only a fraction of those in Paris or London.
6.1. Krakow Attractions
- Main market square: The largest medieval square in Europe, the main market square is the heart of Krakow’s old town. The square is surrounded by historic buildings, such as the Cloth Hall, the Town Hall Tower, and the St. Mary’s Basilica.
- Wawel Castle: The former residence of the Polish kings, the Wawel Castle is a majestic complex that overlooks the Vistula River. The castle dates back to the 10th century and has a mixture of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.
- Schindler Factory Museum: A museum that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews during the Nazi occupation of Krakow. The museum is located in the former enamel factory where Schindler employed the Jews.
6.2. Where to Stay in Krakow
Dizzy Daisy Hostel is a cozy and affordable hostel located in the center of Krakow, close to many attractions, such as the main market square, the Wawel Castle, and the Schindler Factory Museum. The hostel offers dorms and private rooms with free Wi-Fi and lockers. Additionally, the hostel has a common kitchen, a lounge area, and a garden. The hostel is popular among young and social travelers who want to have fun and meet new people.
7. Marseille, France
Being one of the best fall destinations in Europe, Marseille, located on the Mediterranean coast, offers a comfortable, affordable experience with flea markets and popular restaurants serving delicious dishes from southern France or North Africa. France’s oldest city is filled with history, from ancient ports to elegant 18th-century architecture. The pleasantly warm climate that lasts until the end of October makes coastal walks perfect.
7.1. Marseille Attractions
- Notre-Dame de la Garde: A Roman Catholic basilica that stands on a hill overlooking the city and the sea. The church was built in the 19th century in a Neo-Byzantine style and features a golden statue of the Virgin Mary on its dome.
- Palais Longchamp: A monumental building that was constructed in the 19th century to celebrate the arrival of water from the Durance River to Marseille. The pavilion houses the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Natural History. Whereas, the wings contain a botanical garden and a zoo.
- Vieux Port: The old port of Marseille, where the city was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC. It is the heart of the city and a lively place to enjoy the views of the boats, the fish market, and the surrounding buildings. You can also take a ferry to visit the nearby islands.
7.2. Suggested Place to Stay in Marseille
Premiere Classe Marseille Est – La Valentine is a budget-friendly and comfortable hotel located in the east of Marseille. It’s close to the A50 motorway. The hotel offers rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. The hotel also has a 24-hour reception, a buffet breakfast, and free parking.
8. Belgrade, Serbia
The capital Belgrade is often off the radar of most European tourists, making it more affordable than other capitals.
Local dishes such as ćevapčići sausage and stuffed cabbage make dining an enjoyable and affordable experience for most visitors. Belgrade at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers offers beautiful riverside walks, allowing visitors to enjoy the cool autumn weather. The city is also a top backpacker destination in Europe.
8.1. Places to Visit in Belgrade
- Belgrade Fortress: A historic and cultural complex that overlooks the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. The fortress dates back to the 3rd century BC and has witnessed many battles and sieges.
- Skadarlija: A bohemian and artistic neighborhood in the old town of Belgrade. Skadarlija is known for its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and traditional restaurants.
- Nikola Tesla Museum: A museum dedicated to the life and work of Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor and scientist who was born in Serbia. The museum displays some of his original inventions, such as the induction motor, the Tesla coil, and the remote control.
8.2. Where to Stay in Sicily
Hostel Play is a modern and cozy hostel located in the center of Belgrade, close to many attractions, such as the Belgrade Fortress, the Skadarlija, and Republic Square. The hostel offers dorms and private rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and lockers. Moreover, the hostel has a common kitchen, a lounge area, and a terrace. The hostel is popular among young and social travelers who want to have fun and meet new people.
9. Thessaloniki, Greece
The city of Thessaloniki, located on the Thermaic Bay, offers visitors cultural and historical experiences as interesting as the capital Athens, but the cost is many times cheaper. Thessaloniki was once an important center under the rule of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. Therefore, it is a place where the architecture and culture of all three dynasties blend. Combined with beautiful beaches and many cheap flights, Thessaloniki is considered the hidden gem of Greece and one of the best fall destinations in Europe.
9.1. Thessaloniki Attractions
- White Tower: The most recognizable landmark of Thessaloniki. The White Tower is a cylindrical stone tower that was built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. It was used as a prison and a place of execution, and it was painted white to symbolize the liberation of the city from the Turks in 1912. Today, it houses a museum that showcases the history and culture of Thessaloniki.
- Aristotelous Square: The main square of Thessaloniki. Aristotelous Square is a spacious and elegant plaza that faces the Thermaic Gulf.
- Galerius Gate: Also known as the Arch of Galerius. The Galerius Gate is a monumental arch that was erected in the fourth century to commemorate the victory of the Roman emperor Galerius over the Persians.
9.2. Suggested Place to Stay in Thessaloniki
Stay Hybrid Hostel is a new and innovative hostel that offers a range of options for travelers. The hostel has dorms, private rooms, and apartments with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and lockers. Additionally, the hostel has a common kitchen, a lounge area, a rooftop terrace, and a bar. Its location is in the center of the city, close to many attractions. For example, the White Tower, the Aristotelous Square, and the Galerius Gate.
10. Valencia, Spain
Valencia is a city that blends tradition and innovation, culture and entertainment, history and art. This third-largest city in Spain offers a sunny, breezy Mediterranean atmosphere and lower costs than Barcelona or the capital Madrid.
10.1. Valencia Attractions
- Science and Arts Complex: A futuristic architectural masterpiece that houses a museum, an aquarium, a planetarium, an opera house, and a garden.
- La Lonja de la Seda: A Gothic-style edifice that was built in the 15th century as a center of commerce and trade. It is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Beaches: Sunny and sandy beaches where you can relax, enjoy water sports, and visit the Marina of Valencia.
- Central Market: One of the largest and oldest markets in Europe, where you can taste authentic paella and other local delicacies.
10.2. Suggested Place to Stay in Valencia
Red Nest Hostel is a cozy and affordable accommodation in Valencia. So, you can check out the Red Nest Hostel, a funky and friendly hostel located in the heart of the city. The hostel offers dorms and private rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and lockers. Besides that, the hostel also has a common kitchen, a lounge area, a terrace, and a bar. The hostel is close to many attractions, such as the Cathedral, the Plaza de la Reina, and the Plaza de Toros.
Fall in Love with Europe: The Best Fall Destinations in Europe
As you can see, Europe has a lot to offer in the fall season. You can enjoy the stunning scenery, the pleasant weather, the lower prices, and the rich culture of this amazing continent. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, a romantic escape, or an adventurous trip, you will find a destination that matches your preferences and expectations. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book your tickets to one of these best fall destinations in Europe. You will surely fall in love with Europe and have an unforgettable experience.
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