Summer is over, the holiday blues has kicked in and you are sitting at your office/uni desk, getting ready for the winter. Yes, I have been there too, counting down the minutes till Christmas – the next REAL holidays. 

It’s autumn and winter is slowly coming. Despite the gorgeous nature’s colours and the still warm sunny days, this season can be a painful reality-check for most people. So, what about beating the blues and start planning a trip to one of these European cities?

European Cities to Add on Your Bucket List

Here are my favourite destinations for this cold cold season and I’m sure that booking a flight to one of these European cities will help you get over your misery straight away.

European Cities to Visit

1. Bruges, Belgium

I haven’t heard much of Bruges in the past until I saw the Colin Farrell movie “In Bruges” where I realised that there was a real hidden European city and I had to go there! Thanks to the movie and a very well played social media campaign by their tourism board, this gorgeous medieval city has become one of the favourite European destinations all-year-round, but especially in the fall when crimson and golden vines covers historic architecture in al the autumn shades.

Beautiful night in Market Square, Bruges - Belgium Beautiful night in Market Square, Bruges – Belgium.

With its 49 chocolate boutiques, a chocolate museum and a chocolate fair, Bruges is also a chocolate heaven, so make sure to stock up for your ride back home.

How to get to Bruges from Brussels: It’s an easy 1 hour drive or a 1.07 hour train journey.

2. Perthshire, Scotland 

Perthshire is one of the most glorious European cities when it comes to autumn colours. The Big Trees Country in fact is where the golden trees are reflected on rivers and lakes making you wanting to stop for yet another picture during your walks around the hills or your hike to the summit of the Highlands.

How to get to Perthshire from London: if  you have more than a weekend at your disposal, a leisurely 8-hour train ride can take you there. You can always fly to Edinburgh and catch a train from there.

3. Wicklow, Ireland

The Wicklow Mountains are stunning all year round, but in fall, there is a unique magic around that will leave you speechless and amazed. With less tourists around and the waterfalls in full spring, this is a great area for hiking, exploring the historic sites around and of course, stop for a pint or two of Guinness in one of the many pubs.

How to get to Wicklow from Dublin: You can easily be in Wicklow after a 40 minutes drive, but if you don’t own a car or don’t want to rent one, you can also catch a train that will take you there in just over an hour. 

4. Zaragoza, Spain

Luckily for now, the Aragonese capital of Zaragoza isn’t a place that features often on many travellers’ plan. The best period to visit is actually fall because of its   autumn festival Las Fiestas del Pilar, an annual festival celebrated in honour of the patron saint of the city, the Virgen del Pilar (Virgin Mary of the Pillar). Loads of events are organised during the week-long party, including shows, contests, funfairs and concerts.

Zaragoza, Spain

How to get to Zaragoza from Barcelona or Madrid: Zaragoza has a quick connection to both cities on the high-speed AVE train. 

5. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is surely the perfect all-year round destination, but in autumn, when the summer’s extreme temperature and the mild autumn winds meet is the perfect moment to take in this incredible city between continents. 

Panorama of Istanbul and Bosphorus bridge at night, Istanbul, Turkey

See also: Top 5 Romantic Things to Do in Istanbul

6. Turin, Italy 

Autumn, and particularly September and October, are peak season for food and wine in Italy. For the foodies out there, truffles, mushrooms, chestnuts  and chocolate all compete in various festivals around the Piedmont region, so if you do have time, why don’t you plan to visit them all? If you are more of a sporty person, the area surrounding the city also has dozens of walks and hikes up to the Alps so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

How to get to Turin from Milan: If you don’t own a car, the best option is a train ride. You can opt for the Eurostar (around 30€) or for Trenord trains, which take longer but it’s much cheaper (around 11€). 

7. Loire Valley, France 

For the wine-lovers out there, the Loire Valley of France offers some 185,000 acres of grapevines that stretch across the hilly valleys. The Loire Valley, also known as “The Gardens of France”  is located about 200 km south from Paris which makes it easy for a day trip from the French capital if you are strict with time.

In the area, there are about 1000 (yes, that’s not a typo: it’s one t h o u s a n d!!!!!!)  chateaux (castles), of which some are small and private, but most are huge, open to public and truly amazing! Ever seen The Beauty and the Beast cartoon? Well, Chateau de Chambord was the inspiration for the castle – totally worth a visit! 

Début de journée ensoleillée au #châteauducloslucé #loirevalley

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How to get to the Loire Valley from Paris: It will take you around three hours to get to the valley from Paris, but you can also join one of the many tours that departs from the capital. 

8. Bavaria, Germany 

Just above, I recommended the best places for foodies and wine-lovers, but here’s the best destination for beers connoisseurs. Bavaria and in particular Munich, every year host the world-famousOktoberfest, a huge beer party with attendants from all over the world.

But if beer isn’t your cup of tea (HA), maybe you will fall in love with the gorgeous views of endless Alpine forests against snowy mountains. Bavaria also has 25 historic castles, including the super famous Neuschwanstein Castle.

How to get to Bavaria from Berlin: An one-hour flight will take you to Munich from Berlin; you can also opt for a 8-hour bus ride or a 6-hour train journey. 


Which one of these European cities made your list?

#spotyourlife