Autumn is a great time for a European city break – it’s generally cooler and less crowded than it is in summer, but the winter chill has yet to arrive. Here are some ideas for interesting places for you to visit this autumn.
Copenhagen is a beautiful, compact city which is really enjoyable to explore, especially on crisp autumn days. One of the best ways to get to know the Danish capital is by bike – there are cycle lanes and bikes for hire all over the place. You can hunt for vintage bargains at the flea markets which take place at this time of year, and when the temperature drops you can find a cosy cafe and enjoy some famous Danish hygge.
Kraków is Poland’s former royal capital and is a fascinating place to visit. Highlights include Wawel Hill, the seat of Polish royalty for more than 500 years, and the historic Main Square, which is Europe’s largest market square and has an excellent craft market in the Renaissance building at its centre. The city’s Jewish quarter is evocative – most of the 65,000 people who lived there before WWII died in the Holocaust. Be sure to visit Oskar Schindler’s Factory, on the outskirts of Kraków, where 1,200 Jews were saved from the Nazis during WWII, and which is now an excellent museum about life in the city during this period.
Lisbon is built on seven hills overlooking the Atlantic, and is a gorgeous, ornate city. The Portuguese capital has some marvellous vintage wooden trams and funiculars as part of its public transport system, and they are a great way to get around, especially on some of the steeper streets. If you’re after an excellent foodie experience, head for Time Out Lisboa, a gourmet food hall which is housed in an old market building and offers high quality Portuguese specialities.
Reims is a handsome city in the Champagne region of France. For hundreds of years French sovereigns were crowned in the city’s vast Gothic cathedral. The city was seriously damaged in both world wars, but carefully restored afterwards. Reims is home to some of the world’s top champagne houses, such as Verve Clicquot, Lanson and Taittinger, and many of them offer tours. You can reach Reims by train from London via Paris in under four hours.
Rome is an ancient city with layer upon layer of history, but it buzzes with modern life. The Italian capital is home to world-famous sites such as the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel and the Trevi Fountain, but it’s also a wonderful place to relax in a cafe or explore the shops and markets. As is true for most places in Italy, Rome is also a great foodie destination.
Over to you
Which city would you like to visit this autumn? Wherever you go, be sure to have comprehensive travel insurance!