Autumn is a wonderful time to travel. Crowds are less, prices are cheaper and the weather can be lovely.
10 Places for an Autumn Weekend Getaway in Europe
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Take a drive on the Romantic Road this fall, and stop in charming Rothenburg ob der Tauber. A medieval walled city on a hilltop, Rothenburg is filled with history. Take a walk around the town on top of the city walls for amazing views of the valley and the red rooftops.
Get ready for Halloween with a visit to “Dracula’s Castle” formally known as Bran Castle, in the Carpathian mountains. Be sure to also visit cities and towns like Sibiu and Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fall colors abound in beautiful Romania.
Want to make summer last a little longer? Then head to Madrid for nice temperatures that allow you to enjoy a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe even in autumn. There is much to see in this beautiful city, including world class museums and beautiful parks. But I say go there for the food. Spend your evenings tapas hopping at the many bars, restaurants and cafes in every neighborhood.
Douro Valley, Portugal
Fall means harvest time, and harvest time means wine! Visit the Douro Valley on a weekend trip from Porto and hike, dine, taste wine and even go on a traditional rabelo boat. The Douro is beautiful in autumn as the grape leaves turn a fiery red. Follow our guide to getting there from Porto, without a car!
Antwerp is a wonderful city to visit any time of year! The center of Antwerp is a great place to wander. Discover the cute brick buildings and duck into alleyways and turn down small cobbled streets. Grote Markt, the main square, is surrounded by beautiful monumental buildings such as city hall and several guild halls. Shop, eat and drink Belgian beer. What more could you want from a weekend getaway?
The region of Istria is shared by three countries: Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Visit the Croatian section this fall for a special treat – truffles! Plan your visit around the Zigante Truffle Days festival which takes place from September to November. While you are there, be sure to go on a truffle hunt in the Motovun Forest, or at least enjoy the meal afterward.
This autumn, explore the Peloponnese region of mainland Greece. There is a lot to discover. Visit the Archea Olympia, the site of the original Olympics. Check out the ruins of Mystras. Visit the Mycenae acropolis. Stay on the beautiful Monemvasia island. Autumn is the perfect time to visit this area. Crowds are much thinner and the weather is cool. In fact, you might have the sights all to yourself like we did in November.
Scotland isn’t exactly known for it’s sunny, warm weather any time of year, and autumn is no exception. But what Scotland lacks in sunshine it makes up for in beauty. Visit the city of Edinburgh and check out the famous castle on the hill and then explore the lovely Old Town. While you are there, take some time to explore the nearby county of Fife, just across the Firth of Forth.
A popular summer destination, the beaches of Puglia enjoy lots of sunshine and hordes of tourists. But visit in the off season and discover quiet towns and villages where you can stroll until you get tired and then eat scrumptious meals washed down with delicious wine. Speaking of wine, don’t miss the local wine festivals in November.
Rotterdam has been referred to as the Brooklyn of the Netherlands but I like to call it the Berlin of the Netherlands instead. Compared to other Dutch cities, Rotterdam has a cool edgy vibe. Visit for a weekend in fall to enjoy the many museums and eateries this port city has to offer.
What are your favorite things about fall?