You will indeed find great options for a weekend escape to some pretty European destination. But once autumn makes its entrance, bringing shorter days and incredible foliage, there are plenty of unmissable destinations for stunning autumn in Europe.
Most of these places are perfect destinations at any time of the year, but during fall is when they will have a particular charm to them.
It might be hard to decide on which destination to choose for your next autumn in Europe getaway, but let me tell say you won’t regret booking a trip to any of these places.
Autumn in Europe bucket list destinations
Of course, there’s never a wrong time to visit Paris. However, for me, the shoulder season (both spring and autumn) is the best time of the year, especially when it comes to visiting a place like Paris.
Voted as one of the most romantic towns in the world, the fall foliage gives it an extra twist and makes it even better, if that was even possible.
Imagine strolling the cobbler stone streets hand in hand with your significant other, stopping by in the Jardin du Luxembourg park to take some pictures you will always remember with that rusty background.
Once night falls, sip on some French wine with the Eiffel Tower as your background and a cozy little blanket on your legs to keep you warm.
When to go: October to November
The first time I visited London was on a rainy November, and I don’t regret it. It was one of my first-time weekend getaway in Europe, and I have fallen for London hard. So hard that I’ve been back several times ever since.
Autumn in London is pretty strange from someone coming from a less humid and colder climate. The weather is pretty cold, windy, and rainy. But the colors the city will enchant you with are worth it.
Make sure to have an umbrella with you, a jacket for cold weather, and your camera to snap some charming pictures to bring back home.
Even better, when you have the time, take a day trip to the Cotswolds and let yourself seduced by some of the most magical places in the British countryside.
When to go: September to the middle of November
One of the most charming European capitals, Vienna is a place many might want to see during winter, especially for its famous Christmas Market. However, Austria’s capital shouldn’t be missed during autumn either.
Plan to spend at least 2 days in Vienna and stroll through the colorful streets. Imagine al those iconic palaces and their tremendous gardens transformed in the soft fall light, surrounded by some of the best orange and yellow foliage.
When to go: Mid-September to the beginning of November
Still one of the hidden gems of Europe, Romania’s capital is a perfect starting point for discovering some of the most stunning Europe foliage.
Having lived in Bucharest for more than 30 years, I’ve learned to love it and its surroundings a lot more especially as fall comes. The northern part of the city transforms itself and I always love strolling around on the streets with city names (in Dorobanti area) or the Kiseleff Boulevard.
When you have more time, it is so easy to take a day trip and explore the wine road just a few kilometers outside of town. This is where you will be welcomed not only by great views but also by delicious wine – during harvest season.
Of course, an even better idea would be to go all the way and spend one week in Romania driving around some of the most picturesque landscapes around Brasov, see the Dracula castle in Bran, and the Moeciu area.
When to go: September to mid-November
Bavaria’s capital holds a special place in my heart and it will never leave it. I’ve first seen Munich during winter and came back one year later and spent a few weeks in late October.
I must admit that’s when I’ve finally fallen for the city and its amazing landscapes. We had rainy days, but also some stunningly perfect sunny warm days. I was working next to the English Garden and every morning and evening I would enjoy the trip from where I stayed at the office.
Every little corner of this surprisingly beautiful town charmed me with its colors, and I would take a book and something to eat and spend hours in the Nymphenburg gardens.
On top of that, Munich’s location offers you access to some of the most stunning locations in the middle of nature and pretty small towns in Germany you will love. Day trips are so easy to organize and will leave you wanting more.
When to go: September to early November
Maybe one of the most romantic cities in Central Europe, Budapest is one city you will want to see during the fall. I would go back over and over again, and I have seen it both during spring and autumn, but I would always choose the later for my next trip.
The view you get from the top of the Citadel, the garden surrounding Vajdahunyad Castle, a stroll along the Danube river, these are all things you shouldn’t miss on a sunny autumn day in Budapest.
Make sure to bring your umbrella and a scarf, but don’t worry about the weather being too cold. It is just right for a perfect weekend getaway.
When to go: mid-September to late October
Lisbon is one of those destinations in Europe where you will go for some autumn and winter sun. Add in also the stunning fall colors and you’ll understand why Lisbon is a perfect destination for autumn in Europe.
The vibrant and multicolored capital of Portugal will charm you with its tiles, bridges, food, and fado music. Climbing up and down the streets will be delightful and the days are sunny and bright to the beginning of December.
When to go: November
Florence and the Cinque Terre, Italy
You must never say no to a trip to Florence. But if you want to plan a romantic getaway together with your significant other, you must go during autumn.
I’ve been at the beginning of November and it has been a delightful escape. The city’s brown buildings are even more complemented by the yellow and orange trees and foliage.
And when you want to make the best out of your vacation, plan for a day trip from Florence to the Cinque Terre. The villages won’t be packed with tourists and you’ll be able to stroll around and explore every little corner of these colorful Italian gems.
Explore Tuscany during the wine season and taste some of the world’s best wines, or just drive around and make some unforgettable memories.
When to go: October and November
Salzburg is such a charming little town, perfectly set for an unforgettable visit during autumn. Imagine the sight of the Hohensalzburg Castle in between yellow, orange, and red.
Stroll through the old town and be blown away by the impressive gardens of the Mirabell Palace. Don’t miss out on seeing the house where Mozart grew up, and let yourself seduced on the “Sound of Music Tour”.
When to go: September to early November
Lake Bled, Slovenia
When you don’t want to see this incredible fairy tale destination in Europe during peak season, come here in autumn and let yourself seduced by the stunning foliage.
This is a location torn out of a story no matter the season, but those orange vibes reflected in the deep blue crystal lake will be worth it.
When to go: mid-September to October
Europe’s gem, Zurich is one of the most expensive towns in the world, but still one of the most charming.
Imagine waking up with a lake view, strolling along the Bellvue, drinking a coffee in one of the local coffee places, and just relaxing a bit.
Climb the Linderhof hill and take some beautiful pictures with the colorful city. If you feel like spending some time in a museum, see the Renaissance Revival palace and its collection of historical artifacts, or the Grossmünster.
When to go: September to late October
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