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Autumn can be one of the best times to travel in Europe. Destinations can be much quieter after the summer, meaning fewer queues and often cheaper prices. As well as cities and urban destinations, rural places such as national parks are fantastic to visit during this time of year when nature starts transforming into a mix of stunning colours. For those that love photography, this can be the prime time to take photographs, as you’ll have incredible colours which can be combined with shorter days making it easier to catch the best light at sunrise or sunset. If you want to travel this autumn but need some ideas on where to go then keep reading. Here are top places in Europe to visit this Autumn.

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1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a beautiful park located in North Croatia near Zagreb. It’s the countries oldest and first national park and also a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. What makes this place so special is the 16 lakes contained within the 300km2 park, which are an incredible colour. When visiting in the Autumn you can enjoy various paths and routes that are available allowing you to maximise your visit and enjoy the park from different angles and perspectives.

Plitvice Lakes National Park- CC0 (Pixabay)
Plitvice Lakes National Park- CC0

2. Santorini

Santorini is a popular island off the coast of Greece. It’s famous for its beautiful sunsets and picturesque architecture. As you can expect this destination is extremely popular during the summer months, so head here early autumn for a quieter and more peaceful scene. End of September to October you’d be looking at temperatures of around 21-24 degrees centigrade. Places do shut down towards the end of October so visit late September/early October for more to do.

Santorini at sunset - tom-grimbert-unsplash
Santorini at sunset
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3. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a perfect autumn city. All around the city are fantastic parks, some of which provide perfect vantage points down towards the city – which is great for photography. Prague being such a great destination also gets extremely busy during the summer months and also at Christmas, so autumn makes for a slightly quieter time to visit.

Mariánské hradby, Trams, Autumn, Prague
Prague in the autumn

4. Bohemian Switzerland National Park

Not far from Prague is Bohemia Switzerland National Park. This park is stunning and a great place to go hiking and also explore the fabulous Edmund Gorge. Reasons, why this destination is so good for the autumn, is because you’d get to hike in cooler and more comfortable temperatures, and you’d also get to see the wonderful colours that will be emerging.

Edmund Gorge in the Fall, Bohemian Switzerland
Edmund Gorge in the Fall, Bohemian Switzerland

5. Vienna

Vienna is one of Europe’s most stunning cities and is often voted one of the best cities to live in. As well as this it’s also a great place to visit and when visiting you’ll find plenty of autumnal treasures. Such as Schönbrunn Park with its wonderful tree tunnels, Kahlenberg with vineyards overlooking the city, as well as many other wonderful outdoor spaces.

Kahlenberg, Autumn in Austria
Scenic views in Kahlenberg during the autumn

6. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is like something from a fairy tale and has been used in movies such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Spaceballs and The Monuments Men. The location is nothing short of spectacular and all around the castle are scenic mountains and breathtaking landscapes. What makes this spot even better is that there’s even a bridge that provides the perfect photo perspective.

Neuschwanstein Castle - Germany - johannes-plenio-262802-unsplash
Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany – CCO
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7. Malta

Malta is a small island in the Mediterranean and comes with plenty to do, from exploring the historic city of Valletta to swimming in the glorious Blue Lagoon. When visiting in the Autumn and at the end of September and into October you’d be looking at temperatures around 21-24 degree centigrade.

Malta in the summer - CC0 (Pixabay)
Malta in the summer – CCO

8. Bled

Lake Bled in Slovenia is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. This charming spot is located a short distance from Ljubljana and makes for a great day trip or longer visit. During the autumn months be sure to hike up the surrounding mountains for epic views, as well as relax along the waterside to soak up the scenery. For photographers and on a quiet day you may be lucky to get perfectly still water, which will give you wonderful reflections of the island church and mountains in the distance.

Lake Bled, Autumn - neven-krcmarek-157763-unsplash
Lake Bled, Autumn – By Neven Krcmarek – CC0

9. Hallstatt

Hallstatt is one of the most famous and popular places to visit in Austria. It’s a destination that could be visited at any time of year, such as for gloom and snow in the winter, fantastic greens in the spring and summer, or a multitude of colours during the autumn (such as seen below). When visiting Hallstatt you could come for a day trip, such as from Salzburg, or even consider staying the night (but it’s not cheap).

Hallstatt Lake, Austria in the summer
Hallstatt Lake, Austria in the summer

Mike Clegg

Editor-in-chief at travelanddestinations.com
Mike is the primary author of Travel and Destinations. He is from the UK but spends most of his time travelling to new places and then shares his pictures and experiences through Instagram and this blog... [Read full bio]
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