Some dread the summer season ending, but come autumn when the air turns crisp and the leaves change colour we’re reminded of what a spectacular time of year it is. Europe in particular is brimming with cities that thrive in the cooler months; fewer crowds, hearty cuisine, and historic architecture that glows at golden hour, here are six beautiful cities to travel to this autumn.
Hygge. The word or lifestyle craze–used to describe a mood or atmosphere of cosiness and warmth–saturates our social media feeds as the cooler weather rolls around. Experience ‘hygge’ in all its authentic Danish glory with a visit to the beautiful city of Copenhagen this autumn. By day, cosy up indoors at one of the many trendy coffee spots before heading out and exploring the colourful Nyhavn merchant harbour. Tivoli Gardens, a must-visit, come alive this time of year with seasonal celebrations that rival other European traditions. Expect spooky, Halloween-themed rides and activities until 4 November then come Christmas, the festivities roll in with wooden chalet markets, decorations and local holiday delicacies.
Where to Stay: Nimb Hotel. Opening in 1909 and an incredible showcase of Moorish architecture, this intimate, 38-room, 6-restaurant boutique hotel is just a stone’s throw from the Tivoli Gardens. Book a stay with Total Management Travel to receive an upgrade on arrival, daily breakfast, early check-in/late check-out, plus a hygge package consisting of a book and seasonal gift.
Prague, Czech Republic
Like many European cities, the Czech capital of Prague is awash with tourists in July and August. But once the weather cools and autumn sets in, trust us when we say the charming cobbled streets are much more pleasant to navigate. The air is light, temperatures are crisp, and the orange-hued ancient architecture shines a little brighter in the season’s golden light. Head to Petrin Hill for sprawling views over the city, stop by the John Lennon wall, or meander along the foliage-lined Vltava river. Fill your days with traditional Czech food: rich heavy and perfect for autumn.
Where to Stay: BoHo Prague Hotel. Located just moments away from Prague’s charming Old Town, the luxurious BoHo Hotel features 57 elegant rooms and suites, a bright atrium restaurant, fitness studio, plunge pool and steam room. There’s also a dedicated team of staff on-hand to assist with dining and theatre reservations or city tours.
A city at the heart of the most significant events in history, Berlin’s iconic sites are great to explore in autumn when the crowds dissipate. The perfect place for a quick city break, most major attractions can easily be ticked off in a few days. Walk the East Side Gallery, the world’s largest open-air gallery stretching a section of the former Berlin Wall; stop by the Brandenburg Gate, one of the city’s most striking symbols and the place where crowds flock to ring in the New Year; visit the local markets and peruse the bounty of fresh seasonal produce, or for the days you can’t tolerate being outdoors, head to Museum Island for a spot of history, arts and culture.
Where to Stay: Das Stue. Located in Berlin’s diplomatic quarter, behind the stately architecture and modernist facade, a luxurious boutique design hotel awaits. There are 78 guestrooms, a grand three-storey library, Michelin-starred dining, and a luxurious spa with treatment rooms, indoor swimming pool and gym. Book with Total Management Travel and receive an upgrade on arrival, daily breakfast, $100 USD food and beverage equivalent, early check-in/late check-out and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Step back in time with a trip to the medieval, fairy-tale city of Bruges. Once more populated than London, this romantic and charming destination comes to life in autumn. Often referred to as the Venice of the North, Bruges is home to tree-lined canals, gothic architecture, cobblestoned streets and historic town squares. It’s small and compact, making it easy to explore the sights on a fleeting weekend trip. Visit the Belfry of Bruges, a medieval bell tower at the city’s centre, rug up and cruise the canals by boat, or get comfortable and indulge in the country’s famous chocolate offerings.
Where to Stay: Hotel De Orangerie. Located at the edge of canal, this luxury hotel is housed in a former 500-year convent and features just 22 well-appointed guest rooms.
A history-rich city that bustles year-round, the autumn and winter months in Budapest promise plenty of activities for culture-seeking travellers. Alongside what’s usually a packed calendar of festivals and concerts celebrating art, wine and music, there are also plenty of sights dotted across the city that are worthy of a visit. Divided by the Danube River, the Hungarian capital was formerly two cities known as Buda and Pest. Head to Buda Castle for sweeping views of Pest; take in all the incredible architecture, including the landmark Parliament building; fill up on local Hungarian cuisine, hearty, warming dishes that go hand-in-hand with the cooler temperatures. And if it’s of interest, a visit to the famous thermal baths and ruin bars also offer a unique insight into the city’s history and local way of life.
Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Budapest. A five-star hotel at Budapest’s historic centre, The Ritz-Carlton is within easy reach of city’s most notable landmarks and expertly mixes at-home comforts with premium hospitality and amenities. Features include 171 guest rooms and 29 suites, a number of drinking and dining destinations, and spa. Book with Total Management Travel and receive upgrade on arrival, daily breakfast, $100 USD equivalent food and beverage credit, early check-in/late check-out and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Where the summer months bring soaring temperatures that border on unbearable, the autumn season revitalises the city. You can still expect warm weather (18-25°C) and sunny days with the odd spot of rain and fog, but instead of hoards of tourists expect shorter queues, seasonal wine, cultural events and leafy, golden-hued parks. Make sure you visit Guadi’s incredible work at Guell Park, La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló, and immerse yourself in the city’s foodie scene that flourishes in autumn with fragrant flavours and pop-up stalls on every second street corner.
Where to Stay: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. Set in the heart of Barcelona, this luxury hotel is a stylish retreat within reach of the city’s most notable landmarks and attractions. Book with Total Management Travel and receive upgrade on arrival, daily breakfast, one bottle of wine and a selection of tapas for two at Banker’s Bar, early check-in/late check-out and complimentary WiFi.