The Greatest Cities in Europe for an Autumn Break

The Greatest Cities in Europe for an Autumn Break

Autumn isn't a time most people consider taking a break but it's a good time to get away if you'd like to avoid the crowds. As the evenings draw in and the weather's less kind to us taking a break from the UK to one of the warmer European nations is a good idea. Getting time away from work is always easier during the autumn too and you can expect a lower airfare if you choose to fly to Europe. You could follow the sun to Spain or take a trip to a cooler climate like Switzerland. You could take a two-week break or only stay away for a long weekend. There's a lot of choice out there.

Bilbao, Spain

Let's start with the obvious places to head to – a warmer European city. Bilbao in northern Spain hits a high of 24 degrees and a low of 11 on average each October but the weather is not the only reason this Spanish port city is worth visiting. The vineyards of rioja are beautifully colourful in autumn and there's plenty of culture elsewhere too. The Guggenheim Museum's permanent collections include work from the likes of Robert Wotherwell, Yves Klein and Andy Warhol, all of which can be enjoyed without the crowding you'll expect during the summer.

Lugano, Switzerland

Look for local cuisine and enjoy wines from Ticino during the traditional Lugano Autumn Festival and you'll be happy you chose Switzerland for your autumn break. Walk through the autumn markets where locally produced food and handmade crafts can be bought. You'll find local musicians, including folk bands and if you like your culture a little less active, take a guided tour of the city during which you'll be shown the wonderful landscape and beautiful architecture that make this southern Swiss region unique.

Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk is a beautiful city. This port city on the Baltic coast consists of the main town that was reconstructed after the Second World War but you'll find a lot of architecture that was undisturbed during the war including the 17th-century Neptune Fountain with a bronze statue of the God of the Sea. The Long Market is the other reasons why Gdansk should be on your shortlist. This traditional market street contains some of the city's best architecture and boasts street entertainment that you won't find anywhere else.

Bordeaux, France

If you want an autumn trip highlighted by great food and wine, head to Bordeaux. This port city is the main hub of wine-growing in the region but when you're done exploring the vineyards of Saint-Emilion, you can take to the beach in Arcachon if you're happy taking to the sand in temperatures that are expected to top out at 19 degrees during the autumn months. This city's cosmopolitan flair puts it on par with Paris but it's lively markets and spectacular architecture tip the balance in Bordeaux's favour.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

Consider whether you’re interested in food and wine or culture and architecture.

Our Notes

  • Lugano in Switzerland enjoys a high of 17 degrees and lows of 9 in autumn.
  • The Italian-speaking Ticino region of Switzerland offers a mix of cultures that relates closely to Italy’s northern Lombardy region.
  • The Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André is one of the highlights of Bordeaux.

What Do They Say on Other Sites

“One of the best 'old street' in old town!” (Vic186338 reviewing Gdansk’s Long Market on Trip Advisor)

“It’s hard to say what part of the tour was better: the tour of the quaint medieval village of St Emilion, the visit to the exceptional vineyards and wine cellars…” (nicolebZ2963MO reviewing Bordeaux on Trip Advisor)

Any thoughts? Let us know your comments!

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