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Autumn in Europe is a magical time of year to visit. The natural landscapes become even more beautiful as the leaves change color, and you can still enjoy sunny and mild days without the summer crowds. It’s the perfect time of year to plan a hiking trip!
Having lived in Europe during the fall, specifically in the charming city of Lisbon, I can personally vouch for how magical this season can be across the continent.
From the historic streets of Munich to the peaks of Switzerland and the bustling city life in London, each place offers its own unique autumnal charm.
Given that there are so many incredible places to experience in Europe during this season, I wanted to create a guide that covers it all. That’s why I’ve also asked some of my favorite travel bloggers to contribute their top autumn destinations.
Whether you’re an adventurer looking to hike through colorful forests or a culture enthusiast wanting to experience Europe’s fall festivals, there’s something here for everyone.
Best Places for Autumn in Europe
1. Fussen, Germany
One of the best destinations to spend Autumn in Europe is Füssen, a charming city in southern Germany.
The Bavarian architecture and cobblestoned streets give Fussen an old-world charm all year round, but during Autumn, the streets become even more picturesque with the combination of fall colors against the brightly colored buildings.
Just outside of Fussen is Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. You can rent bikes from town and ride them up to the castle, which makes for the perfect day trip.
Along the way, you’ll pass by turquoise lakes and lush forests full of fall foliage. Neuschwanstein looks magical any day of the year, but the autumn colors bring the beauty to another level.
And if you visit Fussen during fall, you can time your trip to attend Oktoberfest in Munich before, as it typically goes until early October. It’s only a two-hour scenic train ride from Munich to Fussen, so it’s an ideal destination to visit after all the festivities.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Recommend by Veronika of Travel Geekery
Prague never loses its magic, but imagine its roofs and spires surrounded by the earthy shades of autumn, basking in the afternoon sun. It’s a sight that’ll stay imprinted in your memory, as well as, ideally, captured on your camera.
Prague is a relatively green metropolis which means the fall foliage decorates the whole city. There are many parks to walk through and admire the colorful trees, but the best ones come with a view.
The Riegrovy Sady Park has a perfect spot to picnic with the far sight of Prague Castle. The Letná Park even features a beer garden with a view. It’s amazing at sunset since you can see the whole of Prague lit up by the setting sun.
Havlíčkovy Sady Park may offer an ordinary view of the city, but it boasts a few ginkgo trees, which turn the brightest yellow you could imagine.
Apart from sightseeing and strolling through parks, Prague has many cultural events taking place in autumn. If you get tired of walking, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate at one of many Prague’s cafés – from old school to sleek and modern ones.
3. Granada, Spain
Contributed by Linn Haglund of Andalucia Hiking
One of the best places to visit in autumn is the historic city of Granada in Spain’s Sierra Nevada.
The historical center is full of charm, and you get the most stunning views of the Alhambra wrapped in autumn colors from the popular Mirador de San Nicolas.
Talking about the Alhambra, autumn might just be the most beautiful time of the year to visit the Moorish fortress, palace, and gardens with the yellow and orange leaves playing with the fresh flowers.
Don’t miss out on the grand cathedral of Granada, the ancient Roman Baths, getting lost in the streets of the Albaicin neighborhood, eating tapas, and drinking sangria. Head to the neighborhood of Sacramonte for a flamenco show to soak in some culture.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, there are also a whole lot of amazing hikes in Granada. Try out the famous canyon of Cahorros de Monachil, which features waterfalls and hanging bridges – including one of Spain’s longest at 63 meters!
4. Interlaken, Switzerland
Recommended by Trijit Mallick from Budget Travel Buff
Located at the heart of the Bernese Alps, Interlaken is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Autumn. The weather during fall is perfect for exploring outdoor adventures in Interlaken. This charming Swiss town is surrounded by pristine lakes in central Switzerland which is just a 2 hours train journey from Zurich.
You can see the green forests change color and turn into yellow, orange, and red as the foliage crackles underfoot. The view is incredible when the chilly wind makes the colorful leaves float in the air. You will be surprised that not only the trees but the vines too change color.
There are plenty of hiking trails in Interlaken to enjoy the fall foliage. Wear your hiking shorts and explore the Spiez Vineyard Sensory Adventure Trail and enjoy the stunning view of Lake Thun and the peak of the Niesen.
Spend a romantic evening with your sweetheart and take a stroll along the shores of Lake Thun. The clear blue sky and cooler Autumn air will help you to recharge your batteries before winter arrives.
4. Turin, Italy
Recommended by Nat Deduck of The Best Of Turin
Fall in Turin is stunning. No doubt it’s one of the best destinations in Europe to admire the Autumn colors and enjoy the mild weather.
It’s one of the warmer places in Europe during October, perfect for exploring the city on foot while admiring the red, yellow, and copper colors that turn the city into a kaleidoscopic carpet.
The boulevards, parks, and rivers promenade are magnificent, almost like a surreal place with so much color and nature.
Turin is famous for its royal past. It was the first capital of Italy, the city and its surrounding houses over ten royal residences and palaces from the Savoy Dynasty that are UNESCO heritage sites.
The Autumn months are perfect for visiting these palaces, walking around the gardens, and checking out the many expositions that happen there.
Autumn is the perfect season for hikes on the hills surrounding the city or even venturing yourself to the high altitude walks in the Italian Alps for travelers interested in nature.
Turin’s location is perfect; in 30 minutes or a bit more, you are in the mountains, exploring the colors of nature and feeling the freedom of being in the wild.
With so much going on during the Autumn, the best hotels in Turin tend to be fully booked quickly. So you better book your accommodation in advance. Our suggestion is to find a place to stay near Valentino Park, the Royal Palace, or by the Po river, so you can see the autumn colors from your hotel window.
5. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Recommended by Martha from May Cause Wanderlust
Lake Bled in Slovenia is a stunningly beautiful destination at any time of year, but in Autumn, its striking landmarks are wonderfully framed by the reds, oranges, and yellows of falling leaves.
Those gorgeous landmarks include a serene, teal-colored lake surrounded by the tall mountains of the Julian Alps. The peacefulness of the lake is protected by not allowing any motorboats on the lake.
In the middle of the lake is a tiny island, topped by the steeple of a church that you can visit via a man-powered gondola called a pletna. And to top it up, overlooking the lake is an ancient castle high on a clifftop. It looks like something out of a fairytale!
There are many things to do in Lake Bled, including walking a path around the island, a hiking trail up to a viewpoint, or simply enjoying the spectacular scenery from the lakeshore.
6. Bruges, Belgium
Recommended by Jen of Glasses and Boarding Passes
Bruges is an enchanting town in northwestern Belgium that is perfect for a visit in autumn!
The historic city center is so well preserved that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the cobblestone streets are even more charming when the leaves change color.
The best part of a trip to Bruges is just meandering through the city streets. For a panorama view of the city, climb the 350 steps to the top of the historic belfry.
Make sure to visit the most famous view in Bruges, the Rozenhoedkaai View, which will give you that perfect postcard photo. Then, wander through Minnewaterpark for a peaceful walk with the swans. Plus, in autumn, the trees and ivy will be beautiful shades of red and orange.
Don’t miss the other highlight in Bruges – the food and beer! Visit Le Trappiste to sample a flight of Belgian beers, Chez Vincent for delicious frites, and The Chocolate Line for some creative chocolates.
7. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Contributed by Jenifer from The Evolista
Autumn is an ideal time to visit Croatia. Most people take advantage of the beautiful coastline, the temperate weather, and the fact that the crowds have finally thinned. It’s a great time to spend 3 days in Dubrovnik where you can walk the historic medieval city walls, enjoy the nightlife in Old Town, or hop on a ferry to the nearby island of Lokrum.
Use Dubrovnik as a jumping-off point for a Croatian road trip, and make sure to include Plitvice Lakes National Park in your itinerary. October showcases peak fall colors in the oldest and largest National Park in Croatia.
Plitvice NP is set up as an immersive experience with wooden pathways that let you meander through this area overflowing with cascading waterfalls and 16 lakes. You choose different marked paths to see the upper and lower sections. A 2-day visit to Plitvice is recommended as there are so many miles of hiking trails.
Other places to visit on your fall road trip include the capital city of Zagreb, Autumn festivals in the wine region of Slavonia and finally Split before you possibly island-hop over to Hvar.
8. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Zoe of Together In Transit
One beautiful place to experience fall in Europe is the idyllic city and surrounds of Luxembourg.
With the capital city of Luxembourg surrounded by nature like a hidden gem, it’s the perfect place to combine city life with nature in the Autumn colors.
The city of Luxembourg is a great place to visit, with many restaurants having outdoor areas with heaters and a cozy atmosphere.
The lower valley passing through the city is full of beautiful large trees and a little river, perfect for a nature walk less than 5 minutes from the busy shopping streets above.
If you truly want to walk among the freshly fallen Autumn leaves, head to some of the best hiking locations, such as the Mullerthal Trails. These routes are a short 30mins to 1hour journey by public transport from the city center, depending on where you start.
Each of the three main trails offers something special, such as unique rock formations, old wolf caves, picturesque waterfalls, and romantically framed rivers.
Make sure to bring suitable hiking or walking shoes with you, warm clothing, and a waterproof jacket. In Autumn, the city and surrounding nature areas can get pretty wet among the falling orange leaves.
9. Lapland, Finland
Megan of Megan and Aram
There are many places to visit in Europe during Autumn, and one place often overlooked is the Arctic. And specifically, Arctic Finland.
While Finnish Lapland and its largest city, Rovaniemi, receive its fair share of visitors during the winter months, the autumn season might just be its secret weapon!
Fall is the best time to view the northern lights in Finland. The displays are often at their most powerful, and the temperatures are more comfortable, allowing for an easier experience when on a tour to find them! In addition, Lapland northern lights tours are cheaper during this time of the year, and there is almost always availability.
Another perk of visiting Arctic Finland in the fall is that you can still hike a bit. The summer mosquitoes are gone, and you can have the forests to yourself. The bogs are filled with cranberries, and the trees are a deep shade of warm hues.
Some of the most spectacular places to visit in Arctic Finland during fall are the national parks. If you are based in Rovaniemi, you can rent a car and travel to Pyhä-Luosto National Park to embark on some beautiful autumn hikes.
10. New Forest National Park, United Kingdom
By Mal from Raw Mal Roams
The New Forest National Park, situated in south-eastern England, is one of the best UK destinations to visit in the autumn.
If you come in early autumn, you will be able to enjoy the gorgeous heathlands that turn pink and purple at that time of the year.
In October, the New Forest turns into a spectacular display of golden and red colors making forest walks extra special.
Some of the best walks to enjoy the autumn foliage are the Bolderwood trail with beech and oak trees and the Blackwater Tall Trees Trail with a collection of trees from around the world.
The New Forest is renowned for its rich flora and fauna, particularly the New Forest Ponies that inhabit the park and can be spotted in pastures during the autumn.
When visiting the New Forest, don’t forget to pay a visit to Lyndhurst, which is located in the heart of the park and is an excellent lunch spot boasting many traditional tea houses.
11. Dublin, Ireland
Contribution by Laura of Live Adventure Travel
Dublin is a great destination to visit all year round, however, there is something special about the city in the Autumn time. The streets are filled with a red, orange, and yellow hue, and the days are getting colder and shorter.
The famous worldwide Autumn tradition, Halloween, originated in Ireland. Therefore, Dublin is the perfect destination for those who love to dress up and play Halloween pranks.
One of the best things to do in Ireland’s capital in the Autumn time is go on one of the beautiful Dublin Walks. Take a stroll along Dublin’s Grand Canal and watch as the Autumn leaves fall onto the glass-like water.
St. Stephens Green is also one of the best places to see fall colors in Europe, without having to travel too far out of the city.
The Autumn months are a great time to visit some of the city’s more popular attractions like the Book of Kells or the Guinness Storehouse as there are far fewer crowds.
12. Highlands, Iceland
Recommended By Victoria J. Yore of Follow Me Away
One of the most beautiful places to experience fall in Europe are the Highlands in Iceland! Fall is truly one of the best times to visit Iceland and the perfect time to see the Highlands.
If you look at a map, the highlands are the remote middle area in the center of Iceland. They are wild with rustic nature but are only accessible for a short time of year.
Visiting in autumn is the last chance you have before they are inaccessible into winter. The highlands will turn a gorgeous golden-brown color in the fall and are a must-visit.
There are so many things to do, and one of the best is to go hiking in Thorsmork valley. The views of the braided rivers below are just incredible.
When you are done hiking, you can spend the night in glamping tents called “Volcano Huts” at the base of the mountain and enjoy being in this stunning remote landscape with the crisp air all around you!
13. Alsace, France
Recommended by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
Many tourists flock to the Alsace region in France in winter to get their fill of Christmas markets, but one completely underrated season to visit the Alsace is during autumn.
The larger towns like Strasbourg, Colmar, and Mulhouse are stunning with their fairytale houses and cobblestones streets. In autumn they are not as busy, making it the perfect time to visit without the crowds. There are lots of beautiful green spaces in them for you to sit and enjoy the fall colors. You may even find a local restaurant where you can enjoy the view with French cuisine.
For the best fall foliage in Europe, take a drive up to one of the smaller towns like Ribeauville or Eguisheim, all the way up to Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg. The winding roads through the forest are full of magnificent colors. The drive will take you from fields of grapevines as far as the eye can see, to the beautiful lush Vosges Mountains that look over them.
You can also take one of the easy hikes in the mountains from one of the closer towns. Some people may choose to do longer more challenging hikes within the Vosges, but please make sure you seek advice about the mountains from locals before you undertake them.
Recommended by Cassie of Cassie The Hag
From historic towns to mountain valleys, there are many amazing ways to see Autumn leaves in Montenegro.
This beautiful Balkan country is also home to several glacial lakes, giving ample opportunities for photographers to get reflective shots with fall colors transforming the landscape.
Visitors after a relaxing getaway won’t want to miss the old town in Kotor – the medieval architecture and old walls look over the scenic Bay of Kotor.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful locations in Montenegro is Durmitor National Park. The Autumn colors at Tara Canyon are particularly stunning.
While rafting trips may be over by the time you visit in Autumn, you can still enjoy the area from an even better vantage point – looking over the incredible Durdevica Tara Bridge or even from the 1050m zipline!
Biogradska Gora National Park is possibly the best place to see Autumn foliage in all its colorful glory. This woodland area is home to the dense virgin forest and Lake Biograd – a reflective lake.
Lake Skadar is another stunning option in its own right and more easily accessible from the capital Podgorica.
15. Lisbon, Portugal
If you’re a digital nomad like me, Lisbon should be at the top of your list for autumn destinations in Europe. I lived in this captivating city during the fall, and it’s easily one of my favorite spots for remote work during this time of year.
While much of Europe starts to cool down, Lisbon enjoys warm temperatures well into October. This makes it perfect for walking around and exploring the city’s historic neighborhoods, beautiful parks, and stunning viewpoints.
Lisbon is renowned for its cafe culture, offering endless cozy spots to set up your laptop and enjoy a cup of coffee. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional Portuguese pastel de nata or a modern vegan treat, you’ll find a cafe that suits your vibe.
One of the best things about visiting Lisbon in the fall is the reduced number of tourists. You can enjoy popular spots like Belém Tower and the LX Factory without the usual crowds, making your experience more authentic and enjoyable.
The mild weather allows for a variety of outdoor activities. Whether it’s a trip to the nearby Sintra castle or hiking along the coast, you have plenty of options for nature escapes.
FAQ: Autumn in Europe
What are autumn months in Europe?
In Europe, autumn typically spans from September to November
What is the temperature in Europe in autumn?
Temperatures in Europe during autumn can vary widely depending on the region, ranging from mild to chilly, approximately 10-20°C (50-68°F).
Is Europe nice in the fall?
Absolutely, Europe is stunning in the fall! The landscapes transform with vibrant colors, and many cities host cultural events and festivals.
What season is it in Europe in October?
October falls within the autumn season in Europe.
What month is autumn in France?
Autumn in France is generally from September to November.
Is October a good time to visit Europe?
Yes, October is a fantastic time to visit Europe. The weather is generally mild, and you’ll encounter fewer crowds compared to the summer months.
Is Europe cold in October?
October in Europe can be mild to chilly, depending on the region. Northern Europe tends to be cooler, while Southern Europe is milder.
Is London pretty in the fall?
Absolutely, London is beautiful in the fall. The city’s parks come alive with autumn colors, making it a picturesque time to visit.
Do leaves change color in Europe?
Yes, one of the most enchanting aspects of autumn in Europe is the changing leaf colors. From vibrant reds to golden yellows, the foliage transforms.
Final thoughts: Where should you spend autumn in Europe?
From the fairy-tale castles of Füssen, Germany, to the vibrant hues of the Highlands in Iceland, Europe in autumn is nothing short of magical. Whether you’re looking to capture the perfect fall foliage photo in Prague or experience the rich history of Granada wrapped in autumn colors, there’s a destination for every kind of traveler on this list.
Don’t forget, autumn is not just about the scenery; it’s also a season rich in cultural events and festivals. So, why not time your trip to coincide with Oktoberfest in Munich or explore the Halloween traditions in Dublin? And for the adventure seekers, there’s no shortage of hiking trails, whether it’s in Interlaken, Switzerland, or the remote landscapes of Arctic Finland.
So pack those cozy sweaters, grab your camera, and get ready to experience Europe like never before.
Planning a trip to Europe? Check out these posts!
- Montafon Austria Adventure Travel Guide
- Why You Should Visit Mellau Austria
- Pros and Cons of Living in Ireland as a Digital Nomad
- 8 Reasons To Love Solo Travel in Ireland
- 10 Amazing Day Trips From Dublin To Go On
- Living in Portugal vs Spain: Which is Best for Digital Nomads?
- 11 Cheapest Places to Live in Portugal
- Top Things to do in Lisbon Portugal
- Pros and Cons of Living in Spain
- 15 Cheap Places to Live in Spain
- 35+ Fun Things To Do In Tenerife Besides The Beach
- Living In Tenerife As A Digital Nomad
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