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If you haven’t been to Europe in the fall you’re missing out my friend!

Not only is this shoulder season with the benefit of lower prices and fewer crowds, it is also drop-dead gorgeous.

If you don’t mind the slight chilly weather in the morning and at night!

I can go on and on about the best places to visit in Europe in October, but if I had to pick only 10 it would be the following:

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN EUROPE IN FALL

1. AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Amsterdam, Netherlands

TOP THINGS TO DO

Visit Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam doesn’t lack in grand, classical museums and galleries, but Rijksmuseum is the daddy of them all.

Relax at Vondelpark. The lungs of the city, Vondelpark was, until recently, the only public park in the world where one could legally barbecue, smoke joints, and have sex.

Take a Canal Tour. One of Amsterdam’s must-do activities, which although many may think of as a cliché, is still the best way to explore the city.

See the Anne Frank Museum. This seventeenth-century canal house where Anne Frank, her family, and four others hid from the Nazis for two years before their betrayal and discovery is now a museum and educational centre.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget: $35-$50 per night

Recommendation: Flying Pig Downtown | St.Christopher’s At The Winston| Meininger Amsterdam City West

Hotels

Budget: $100-$200 per night

Recommendation: Chasse Hotel | Pension Homeland |Amsterdam House Hotel

WHAT TO EAT

Patatje oorlog for a carb-heavy treat. You can find these at any snack-bar on the street.

Stroopwafel for those of you with a sweet tooth!

2. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

best european cities to visit in winter
Copenhagen, Denmark

TOP THINGS TO DO

See The Little Mermaid

Inspired by a fairytale from the most famous children’s storyteller of all time, Hans Christian Andersen, the Little Mermaid is one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions.

Walk To The Top Of The Round Tower

Climb up to the top of the oldest functioning observatory in Europe, built in the 17th century.

Visit The Home Of The Danish Royal Family

Amalienborg Palace is a palace complex made of four identical buildings, which are the official residences of the Danish royal family.

Visit Carlsberg

Visit the location of the first Carlsberg Brewery, a Danish brewing company founded in 1847 by Jacob Christian Jacobsen. It surely is vying for the title of the most architecturally stunning brewery in the world.

Stroll Along The Nyhavn

The old harbour of Copenhagen, Nyhavn, is crowded with classy restaurants and cosy cafes. Take in the picturesque sight of colourfully renovated townhouses from the 18th century.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget: $35-$50 per night

Recommendation:Generator Copenhagen | Copenhagen Downtown

Hotels

Budget: $100-$200 per night

Recommendation: First Hotel Twenty Seven | Axel Guldsmeden | Hotel Tiffany

WHAT TO EAT

Stegt Flæsk: Voted in 2014 as Denmark’s national dish, stegt flæsk is quintessentially Danish. 

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3. EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

best european cities to visit in winter

TOP THINGS TO DO

See the Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle is the most recognizable landmark in the city, it sits atop a volcanic peak and dominates the city skyline.

Get the Scotch Whisky Experience. Across the Camera Obscura is the Scotch Whisky Experience, which is a very popular place to visit along the Royal Mile. You can take tours, masterclasses, training sessions or just enjoy some food and whisky at their restaurant.

Check out Harry Potter sites. Harry Potter fans love Edinburgh and we’ve even written an entire post devoted to Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh. It was here that J. K. Rowling wrote the entire series.

Climb Calton Hill. If you still want a good view of Edinburgh, there’s another excellent option for you: Calton Hill. You will probably notice this hill soon after your arrival to Edinburgh and visitors are often surprised to see a hill resembling the Acropolis of Athens.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostel 

Budget: $20-$30 per night

Recommendation: Castle Rock Hostel | High Street Hostel

Hotel

Budget: $90-$160 per night

Recommendation:  Salisbury Greenhotel & Bistro| Richmond Place Apartment

4. LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

best european cities to visit in winter :london

Top Things To Do

Check out the London Eye. A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic London Eye.

Visit Soho. Soho has long been known as the base of London’s sex industry. The area is now the most popular nightlife spot although there are still some sex shops dotted there.

Spend some time at Baker Street. One of the cultural staples of London is Baker Street, best known as the street that Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective Sherlock Holmes lived on.

Shop at Oxford Street. Oxford Street is not only London’s top spot for shopping but is Europe’s busiest shopping street. It has 300 shops and receives over 500,000 visitors every day.

Visit the famous platform 9 ¾. King’s Cross is known best for something else: the station that Harry Potter uses to journey to Hogwarts. Now you can visit Platform 9 ¾ in real life, in King’s Cross railway station.

Visit the royal Buckingham Palace. A trip to London is incomplete without strolling through Green Park to catch a glimpse of Buckingham Palace.

Where To Stay

Hostels

Budget: $35-$50 per night

Recommendation: Generator Hostel London | Astor Hyde Park

Hotels

Budget: $60- $150 per night

Recommendation: Park Grand Paddington Court | Publove @ White Fairy

Must-Try Food 

Fish & Chips: This one needs no introduction. If you’re in London, stop by for a good old fish and chips!

5. MADRID, SPAIN

madrid spain
Madrid, Spain

TOP THINGS TO DO

Admire the Royal Palace. It’s the largest royal palace in western Europe and has a blend of baroque and neoclassical styles.

Head to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Whether you’re a supporter of the club or not, the truth remains that Real Madrid is Europe’s most successful football team with a record-breaking 11 European Cups to their name.

Grab churros at San Gines. Perfect in winter, Spanish hot chocolate is one of the most luxurious things you’ll ever taste.

Check out the Flamenco tablaos. Flamenco is a dance that originated in Andalusia, Murcia and Extremadura, and even if it’s not strictly native to Madrid the city has some of the most famous tablaos in the country.

Visit The Prado. Prado is one of the best and most popular art museums in the world.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget: $15-$30 per night

Recommendation: Way Hostel | Ok Hostel

Hotels

Budget: $60-$120 per night

Recommendation: SLEEP’N Atocha | Motion Chueca

WHAT TO EAT

Chocolate con churros – Madrid’s most delectable breakfast (or late-night snack) can be found all winter long at street stands and in many bars and cafés. 

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Read also the best time to visit Spain.

6. ROME, ITALY

Rome, Italy

TOP THINGS TO DO

Visit the Trevi Fountain. The world’s most famous fountain, a Baroque explosion of tritons, winged horses and drinking snakes, gleams bright as the teeth of the Cheshire Cat.

Marvel at the Colosseum. The biggest amphitheatre ever built and the ultimate symbol of imperial Rome.

Lounge at Galleria Borghese. A favourite among travellers to Rome, the Galleria Borghese is half-villa and half-museum, and it has some resplendent gardens too.

Head to St. Peter’s Basilica. The epicentre of Roman Catholicism, St. Peter’s Basilica is centred in Vatican City and open daily for free.

Stop by at the Roman Forum (Foro Romano). The Roman Forum comprises much of the Ancient Rome’s most important structures, from shrines to government houses to monuments.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget: $25- $35 per night

Recommendation:Freedom Traveller| La Controra Hostel Rome

Hotels 

Budget: $80-$160 per night

Recommendation: Hotel Cristoforo Colombo| Park Hotel Ginevra

WHAT TO EAT

Supplì: Deep-fried snacks that are tasty, comforting and oh-so-satisfying.

MORE ON ITALY

7. STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

TOP THINGS TO DO

Watch the sun go down from Monteliusvägen cliff path. Be sure to end one of your days of sightseeing by watching the sun go down over the shimmering surface of Lake Mälaren.

Catch a ferry to the city’s greenest island, Djurgården. Stockholmers are obsessed with nature, and with Djurgården’s calm waterside and woodland trails. 

Dress down at Hellasgården’s lakeside sauna. It’s worth combining a trip to Hellasgården’s sauna with one of the easy hiking trails around the lake.

Drink craft beer in eco-friendly Hammarby Sjöstad. If you’re not in the mood for a beer, soak up the atmosphere for free with a stop on the curved wooden seating deck on the waterfront next to Lugnets Allé.

Play ping pong at underground games mecca Ugglan.In the heart of Stockholm’s Brooklyn-inspired SoFo district, the legendary basement venue Ugglan is where locals literally seek out fun and games during gloomy winter evenings.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget: $30-$40 per night

Recommendation: Generator Stockholm | City Hostel Central Station

Hotels

Budget: $100-$200

Recommendation: Mornington Hotel | Connect Hotel City

WHAT TO EAT

Meatballs: Try the traditional dish with mash potato, lingonberry jam and a thick gravy at Meatballs for the People in Södermalm.

8. VENICE, ITALY

TOP THINGS TO DO

Take a Ferry to Murano, Burano and Torcello. Murano, Burano and Torcello are the three most famous islands near Venice.

Visit the Bridge of Sighs. Perhaps Venice’s most famous architectural jewel, the Bridge of Sighs is situated in the city centre near the Piazza San Marco.

Go to the Venetian Ghetto. It was the world’s first ghetto (in fact the word ghetto itself comes from Italian), established in 1516 when the Venetian Republic restricted Jews to this area of the city.

Head to St. Mark’s Square. St. Mark’s Basilica is the most famous building in Venice, St Mark’s Square is the most famous piazza.

Stroll or take a Gondola ride in Canale Grande. Venice has literally hundreds of canals that connect the various islands that make up the city, the largest of which is the Canale Grande.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget:  $40-$50 per night

Recommendation: Wombats Venice | Generator Venice

Hotels

Budget: $100-$200 per night

Recommendation: Residenza La Loggia| Hotel Belle Arti

9. PARIS, FRANCE

TOP THINGS TO DO

Critique Cubism at the Musée Picasso. Home to the world’s largest public collection of Picasso’s inimitable oeuvre, it now covers almost 54,000 square feet in two buildings.

Admire the world’s greatest art collection at the Louvre. The most recognized symbol of Paris is the Tour Eiffel, but the ultimate traveler’s prize is the Louvre.

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Take in the View From the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is to Paris what the Statue of Liberty is to New York and what Big Ben is to London: the ultimate civic icon. The view from the top is equally breathtaking, although queues can be long so be prepared to wait!

Explore the Palais-Royal Gardens or head to Versailles for a day trip. 

Shop your heart out at the Galerié Lafayette. There’s something for everyone here.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget: $30- $50 per night

Recommendation: St.Christopher’s Inn Gare Du Nord | FIAP Jean Monnet

Hotels

Budget: $80- $160 per night

Recommendation: Elysees Ceramic | Hotel Des Arenes

WHAT TO EAT

Macarons and all the bread and cheese you can find. Paris is a place where you must sample local bakeries and cafeterias to get an idea of what each neighbourhood has to offer.

10.VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Cheapest cities to visit in Europe: Vienna

TOP THINGS TO DO

Marvel at the Schönbrunn Palace. The old Imperial family’s summer residence, the Schönbrunn Palace is one of Vienna’s most popular attractions.

See the Hofburg palace. The main imperial palace and winter residence of the Habsburgs, Hofburg Palace is a must-see when you’re in Vienna.

Head to the Albertina. The Albertina Museum is one of Vienna’s most impressive art galleries and houses one of the largest print rooms in the world and covers most works of art from photography through modern graphics and impressionism.

Admire the view from Danube Tower. Up at 155m, you can enjoy an unspoilt panorama around Vienna.

Ride the Giant Ferris Wheel. The Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel has been turning since 1897, affording a unique view of the city on the Danube.

WHERE TO STAY

Hostels

Budget: $30-$45 per night

Recommendation: Meininger Vienna Central Station | Westend City Hotel

Hotels

Budget: $70-$150 per night

Recommendation: Pension Hargita | Austria Trend Hotel Ananas Wien

WHAT TO EAT

Wiener Schnitzel: A thin veal cutlet, dipped in dough and pan-friend. This makes for a filling and apt meal when you are in Austria.

MORE EUROPE TRAVEL TIPS & DESTINATIONS

MORE EUROPE ITINERARIES

EUROPE PACKING LIST TIPS

If you’d like to avoid the peak season crowds, take advantage of lower hotel prices and cheaper flights, traveling to Europe in October or autumn is a great idea.

You’ll have a lot less sunny days and beach destinations are probably off the list, but you can see the best of Europe at half the price!

If you’d like a step by step trip planning guide, check out my Europe Trip Planner eBook.

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