Each season in Europe offers a different experience for travelers. Fall is one of the region’s two shoulder seasons, and it combines the advantages of both high-season and off-season travel. The fall season’s length varies among countries, but it generally lasts from about mid-September to early November. Here are a few reasons to consider planning your trip to Europe in the fall.
Photo via Flickr by flavouz
Many travelers choose to take their vacations during the summer months when the weather in Europe is sunny and warm, which means July and August are the busiest times of year to visit. During the summer, you can expect long lineups at most well-known attractions, restaurants are often packed, and hotels book up quickly. Fall is a more peaceful time to visit, with crowds starting to thin out in September and shrinking even further continuing into October.
Keep in mind, however, that because there are fewer tourists in the fall, some local businesses have shorter hours or close completely. Most places stay open as usual, but it’s best to check in advance if you have your heart set on a particular attraction or activity.
Fall is one of the cheapest times of year to travel to Europe, offering more affordable prices compared to the summer high season. It’s easier to score cheap deals on tours and find more reasonably priced hotels. You’re also more likely to snag low-cost flights to Europe in the fall. Flight prices in the fall are often better than even the spring shoulder season, when many families travel to Europe for spring break.
While specific weather conditions vary from country to country, general fall weather trends across the continent are fairly predictable. Temperatures are usually mild, with the humidity of the summer dissipating throughout September and October. Many travelers prefer these pleasant fall temperatures to the scorching heat of the summer.
That said, fall in southern Europe can still be quite hot, with temperatures averaging in the 70s and 80s in September. In northern Europe, however, fall temperatures can dip as low as the mid-30s at night. There’s a higher chance of rain compared to the summer, particularly in the north, but many fall days are sunny and comfortably cool.
Photo via Flickr by pthread1981
Europe is home to various festivals throughout the year, but a number of particularly exciting events take place in the fall. Oktoberfest is easily Europe’s most famous fall festival, with over 6 million beer drinkers from around the world flocking to Munich to celebrate. The Paris Autumn Festival in September is another highlight, with theatre productions, dance and music performances, visual arts exhibitions, and film screenings at venues across the city.
Check out chocolate-themed exhibitions and indulge in free samples at Perugia’s Eurochocolate festival in October. Enjoy four days of circus acts, fireworks, and parades at Barcelona’s largest annual festival, Festes de la Mercè, in September.
Discover why fall is one of the loveliest times of year to explore Europe.