Fall – the time of year when the temperature is perfect for walking without having to sweat, and crowds in city sidewalks and parks are dwindling. It is when airfare and hotel prices are more agreeable for every pocketbook.
From the River Neckar in Tubingen and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to the scenic wineries outside of Lisbon, here are 5 best European cities to visit in fall:
The medieval university city is charming and incredibly alluring. There are plenty of narrow cobblestone alleys that lead to the lively Marktplatz (market place). The Marktplatz is surrounded by medieval half-timbered buildings occupied by old bookstores, cafes, bakeries, and wine bars.
A walk to Schloss Hohentubingen (castle) is a must. This castle still holds a fragment of its 13th-century city wall. At the castle, you get views of the fall foliage and the cityscape. Another popular stop is at Eberhardsbrucke bridge to admire the manmade islet known as Platanenallee. The Platanenallee (Plane Tree Avenue) is lined with 200-year-old planar trees and picturesquely bordered by Neckar River and a row of half-timbered houses.
The city’s biggest draw is the punting boat – unique to Tubingen.
More information: Places of Interest of Tubingen
Lisbon offers more than just a city tour. You’ll have lots of sunshine to enjoy the parks, beaches and pools in this capital city of Portugal – in fact, an average of 290 sunshiny days per year! Plus, Lisbon is only an hour’s drive to the olive groves, vineyards, and cork oak forests of Portugal.
If you travel southeast you will get to the village of Azeitão, the gateway to Portugal’s historic winery like Jose Maria da Fonseca and the cutting-edge winery called Quinta da Bacalhôa. Or drive an hour and a half to the rolling hills and laid back villages in the region of Alentejo, the epicenter of cork production. More than 50% of the world’s cork bark is produced here. If you are there in September, join the grape stomping festival while olive-picking is available in October and late fall.
Lisbon is served by almost 50 airlines from around the world.
More information: Lisbon
Prague is beautiful year round but in fall you get a different perspective of the capital and largest city of Czech Republic. You’ll want to head over to Petrin Hill Observation Tower (Prague’s Eiffel Tower) for views of fall foliage and the cityscape. Or join a beer tour with Eating Prague Tours for a Brews and Views Beer Tour to enjoy the view at Prague’s most spectacular beer garden and more.
Those looking for entertainment may want to attend one of the fall festivals in Prague like the Strings of Autumn and AghaRTA Jazz Festival. The Strings of Autumn has nine concert evenings, a weekend for children (Strings for Children), and festival of talents.
Whitby is located 252 miles from London and 47 miles from York. This ancient seaport in Yorkshire Coast is bordered by quaint fishing villages, steep cliffs, and the large North York Moors National Park.
Fall is the best time for whale watching in Whitby. Whale watching cruises are available from Whitby from late August to early November. Along the harbor, you can spot minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and porpoises. If you are lucky, humpback whales may appear too.
The Whitby Abbey and St. Mary’s Church graveyard is the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is also the home of the bi-annual Whitby Goth Weekend in November.
More information on things to do in North York Moors and Whitby
Pisa’s iconic Leaning Tower needs no introduction, and a trip there wouldn’t be complete without a photo of you “pushing” the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There are many historic monuments in Pisa that you can visit year-round. But in fall, according to Around Tuscany, you can indulge in the food festivals in Pisa. Here is a short list of fall festivals:
- Wine festival – October 18
- Dolcemente Pisa – November 22 and 23
- White Truffle Fair in San Miniato, a town 50 km from Pisa – November 15,16, 22, 23, 29, 30, December 6 to 8
- Pisa Food and Wine Festival – December 12, 13 and 14
Information: 5 Things to Do in Pisa off-season