The Best Fall Travel Destinations in Europe

When it comes to great fall travel the United States has some stiff competition from across the Atlantic. Cooler temperatures, fewer crowds and and a little festival known as Octoberfest draw visitors across the continent. From Glasgow to Budapest a few of my fellow bloggers share their best fall travel destinations in Europe.

The Best Fall Travel Destinations in Europe

Budapest, Hungary

Lance and Laura Longwell of Travel Addicts

For us, the fall means travel.  Kids are back to school.  It’s shoulder season.  The weather is still good and prices are cheap.  One of our top picks for the fall is Budapest, Hungary.  There are some amazing airfare deals to Budapest this fall.  Known as the Paris of the East, Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  But the real reason to travel there is for a dip in the city’s many thermal baths.  From the early days as a Roman outpost, Budapest has welcomed visitors with natural hot springs to soak and relax.  There’s nothing like visiting the grand Gellert Spa or the massive Szechenyi bath complex, dipping into the hot waters for a few hours before coming out into autumn’s chill.  Afterwards, head to a Hungarian eatery to fill up on goulash or the local delicacy of Mangalica pork.  There’s no doubt about it, Budapest is the place to be this fall!

The grand bathouses of Budapest make the HUngarian capital an ideal destination for fall travel.


Gemma and Craig of Two Scots Abroad

Oh you’ve been in Edinburgh? That’s no surprise. But have you been to Glasgow? Glasgow is in our opinion Scotland’s best city. And since we never get the sun anyway what better time to visit than in autumn.
Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place and that means hats off to the green space in Scotland’s biggest city. There are parks in every neighborhood and with all of that rainfall the trees and plants are lush green.  By fall they are beginning to turn burnt orange, crisp and fall of the trees. Get your boots on; you just can’t beat the noise of those leaves crunching!  Some of the nicest parks in Glasgow are The Botanical Gardens in the West End, which is attached to the Kelvin Walkways, Queens Park and the ducks in the South Side and Glasgow Green where on a nippy day you can pop into the brewery for a pint to warm up by the fire.

Another reason that Glasgow is fun in fall is because Scots like to drink! If it’s raining outside, who cares? We’ve got booze to keep us warm. Glasgow’s night scene is electric and it gets the best music acts from around the world for entertainment. If tea is your tipple of choice then the Rennie Macintosh tearooms may be your cup of well, tea!

Glasgow is one of the best cities in Europe to visit in autumn. www,


Paris, France

Sharon Gourlay of Where’s Sharon?

Paris is a great place to visit at any time of year but fall is a particularly a great time. The weather is more pleasant than in winter and there is a big drop in tourists compared to summer. This means that attractions are less crowded and everything is cheaper. It’s a win-win! We loved Paris as there is just so much to do. We recently spent a whole month there and had something to do every day and still had to leave things out. From some of the world’s top museums, such as the Louvre, magnificent churches, such as Sacre Coeur, to the beautiful Versailles.Don’t forget to take the time to just hang out. My biggest highlight of Paris was just mingling with the locals, going to the local boulangerie, checking out the beautiful boutique shops and having a cider and crepe and the local creperie. Paris is one of a kind!

Great anytime of year, Paris is especially lovely in the fall


Pam Garner of Lost But Making Good Time

I LOVE Munich in the fall! Growing up in Houston, TX, we joke that the only seasons we have are “almost summer”, “summer”, “still summer” and christmas. I have to admit I’ve felt like I was missing out on fall. The crisp cool weather, the many colored leaves that I saw in pictures online. I went to Munich in the beginning of October. True it was for Oktoberfest but what’s amazing about Munich are it’s parks! Walking through Englischer Garten was fantastic. Cool air, beautiful trees. Leaves falling. I wanted to make a pile of leaves and jump in it! And then you could go from having a hot chocolate to a beer. Munich is a fantastic destination to experience for fall.

Autumn's colors and a little party known as Octoberfest draw thousands to Munich each fall


Yours truly, The Casual Travelist

There is plenty to entice you to Salzburg anytime of year but this medieval alpine town is particularly charming in the fall.  The hills come alive with shades of crimson and sienna and the chill in the air makes traditional Austrian favorites like apple strudel and cafe melange taste that much better. It’s harvest time in nearby wine areas and I highly recommend you give sturm a try. This fizzy, young wine is available only in the fall and is beloved by locals and visitors alike.


Great any time of year Salzburg is especially charming in the fall



Where are your favorite fall destinations in Europe? Please let me know in the comments!




55 Comments on “The Best Fall Travel Destinations in Europe

  1. Even though I’ve been to all five listed cities, Budapest is one of my favorite European cities + it’s much cheaper than most of the European cities, not to mention the most delicious Hungarian cuisine. Nobody should skip that city.
    Anca | Globaloud recently posted…Koh Kradan: La isla bonitaMy Profile

  2. These all sound like great ideas. I rarely travel abroad in the fall due to my work schedule, but the last time I was in Italy, it was in November, and it was a great time to be there. The trees were beautiful and the weather was perfect, plus it wasn’t crowded!
    Jenna recently posted…4 Finds in Sacramento & Links for Your WeekendMy Profile

  3. I do think Paris would be a great place to go in the fall, when the temperatures are a bit cooler and the crowds are gone! Wish I could be there now!
    Tami recently posted…Mysterious MilanMy Profile

    • I typically go to Europe in May or September/October- weather is typically good in most places and fewer crowds.

  4. I love your choices for fall travel destinations, but truth be told Europe is gorgeous in fall all over. I’m headed there myself next week.

    • Thanks for participating, I definitely need to make my way up to Scotland 🙂

  5. That was a nice surprise. I’ve already seen enough posts about fall road trips in the US to do me for one year and you pulled out all the stops and picked my favorite scenery spots! 😉 Well done. I’m hoping to make it to Oktoberfest one fall. Ever been?
    Melody Pittman recently posted…Cruise Port- Volos, GreeceMy Profile

  6. My cousin is actually in Glasgow now. Budapst looks amazing! I have to go back to Paris because when I did go it was in winter with terrible snow fall.

  7. I’ll second Glasgow, Scotland. I spent an entire fall there years back and it was truly wonderful.

    Fall really is the best time to visit Europe. We’re making our way through Slovenia and Croatia right now and it’s seems to be the perfect time. It’s not crowded, the weather is good (but not hot) and almost everything is still open. The prices are great to boot!
    Alana recently posted…Ireland Travel Costs: Spending BreakdownMy Profile

    • I keep hearing great things about Scotland, I definitely need to make my way there.

  8. Such a perfectly timed post! I’m headed to Austria next month, and we were trying to figure out the best towns to visit. Adding Salzburg to the list!

    • Hmmm, another vote for Glasgow. I definitely need to take a harder look at Scotland.

    • Croatia is definitely on the radar, the scenery and the food look amazing!

  9. Thanks for so many so beautiful pictures! I really enjoyed diving into their atmosphere! To answer your question: I am living in Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany – a city situated in the utter south west, close to France and Switzerland – and our area here is one of the most liked for fall vacations by tourists, especially German ones. There are plenty of possibitlities to do hiking as it is Black Forest area, in winter one can ski and you can go to excursions to Colmar (France) or Basel/Zurich (Switzerland). Bad weather times can get enjoyed also as there are several hot spring resorts in the area, one in the city, another one in Baden-Baden, which is close (1 hour). And if you like “laid back luxury” you will find plenty of restaurants and first class hotel running wellness centers to enjoy yourself.

    • Thanks for stopping by Katharina, I’m glad you enjoy the pictures! It sounds like you are spoiled for choice with things to do near Freiburg. I’m of German descent and I definitely need to come explore Germany.

  10. Hi
    I have just come back from Europe this fall. It was so beautiful with the ever changing colours of the leaves. Went to Wien, Praha, Dresden, Nurnberg, Bamberg, Passau, Munchen, Garmich- Partnenkirchen, Munchen, Salzburg, Zell am See, Ljubljana, Piran, lake Bled, Maribor, Wien and Budapest.
    Budapest was just stunning and definitely one of the most beautiful cities of the world, my favourite along with Dresden and Zell am See . Wien and Praha were up there with Budapest for the colours and best cities. But all the places i visit were just a spectacular in their own way and since being in the Fall/Autumn just made it more spectacular with the ever changing leaves of yellow, orange and red. Another bonus was the lesser crowds and most places weren’t overrun by tourists and the weather was near perfect in the 5 weeks i was there from 3rd Oct to 5th November. Maybe i was lucky with the weather too. So many great memories.

    • Wow Peter, it looks like you had a pretty spectacular trip through Germany and central Europe (including some of my personal favorites of Vienna, Prague and Salzburg). I agree that the changing leaves and fewer crowds really added to the enjoyment of my own trips.

      • Thanks for your reply. Glad you have seen those places. Europe is so beautiful. Vienna is so elegant and so is Prague. But Budapest is the real stand out and lives up to its nickname of tbe Pearl of the Danube. All places have a wonderful atmosphere and beauty but autumn is the real stand out with the changing leaves. My other favorite is Piran on tbe coast of Slovenia. It almost like a mini Venice minus tbe tourist crowds.Slovenia is a beautiful peaceful country with lots of natural beauty with caves, gorges with rivers running through in Triglav national park. Cheers peter

  11. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Paris many times in my life, thanks to having a french aunt, and I can honestly say I still haven’t seen everything this beautiful city has to offer. There are so many historical sites, architectural beauties, delicious restaurants, and charming people to encounter here, that I honestly do not believe one person can see it all in one lifetime. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Great list! I would also add Warsaw to this list. I think that this city is quite underrated, but definitely worth visiting. There are many amazing places for everybody – from historic monuments and museums, to cozy and romantic restaurants. One of my favourite spots in Warsaw is actually one of their amazing restaurants – the Akademia Restaurant. They specialize in Polish cuisine but in modern, European version – so delicious!

    • I’ve heard Warsaw is wonderfully charming, I’d love to check it out!

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