Trips abroad are usually booked well in advance and planned for the Summer period or for Christmas. But in fact these days it’s cheaper to travel than ever before. Flight offers pop up in your e-mail all the time and you can always check SkyScanner for any destination that you fancy and they will find the cheapest flight available for you.
Since traveling has been made so easy and affordable, why not opt for a weekend getaway for next week? Have you ever considered what a brilliant time Autumn actually is travel-wise?
We often think of Autumn as this period of earlier, darker nights and a lot of rain. But actually it’s not so! OK, there are rainy days, of course, but you do get rain during Summer as well, right? So, check your weather app, find the country with the best weather for next weekend and find yourself some flights!
Here are my top 5 destinations if you want to really enjoy Autumn. Each of these destinations has a special appeal for when nature sparks up in colour and nights get longer and cozier.
I know this one best and can thus warmly recommend it! Helsinki is of course easiest to get to and even in the capital nature is always close: a short bus ride away you can find the Nuuksio National Park, which is an enormous area of forests and lakes.
But Helsinki is just Helsinki. There are plenty of more amazing places in Finland to see during the Autumn months: the Ruissalo archipelago on the West coast, the thousands of lakes in Central Finland and obviously Lapland! Go say Hi! to the Santa Claus and leave your wish-list in person.
When going for a hike pack some coffee, sandwiches and something that you can barbecue in a hut and prepare yourself for the ultimate colour show provided by nature. Remember to take deep breaths on the way because you are in the one place on Earth that has the cleanest air available. So breathe an abundance!
Amsterdam is, of course, a charming city to visit any time of the year but there are few things about it that set it apart from other popular destinations in Europe during Autumn in particular:
Bock Beer is a special type of Dutch lager that is only available between October and February. And because Amsterdam is perhaps a bit more windy a destination due to its location, why not enjoy a plate of stamppot: a massive portion of mashed potatoes, sausages and bacon topped with cheese and gravy. What else would you need on a breezy Autumn day?
If not too windy rent a bike and cycle round the amazingly beautiful canals and enjoy the unique atmosphere and the Autumn light and colours.
If you ask me, I will always, always recommend Prague! Perhaps I’m partial because I lived in and love Prague’s little brother, Bratislava, but seriously this place has it’s very own appeal! During Summer season the city, like so many other capitals in Europe, is swarming to the brim with tourists and thus perhaps not the most pleasant travel experience.
But when Autumn arrives the tourist masses thin even though the city often maintains the 20-degree temperatures up til very late October. The atmosphere there is that of relief and relaxation and if you enjoy a nice vibe on your trips then you should definitely add Prague to your Autumn bucket list!
There is an abundance to see from history and castles to modern architecture. Climb (or take the funicular) to the Petrínská hill with a packed lunch or go for a river cruise. Shop til you drop and eat a variation of different kinds of duck dishes in one of the quaint restaurants surrounding the Astronomical clock on the Old Town main square.
Duck is a speciality in Czech Republic and Slovakia during Autumn months. They have feasts where the main ingredient in cooking is duck. If you find such a feast going on when in Prague make sure to attend!
Germany always makes me think of a fairy tale land. Maybe that’s because my favourite Disney animation is the Sleeping Beauty and the castle in the animation got its inspiration from the Neuschwanstein castle. The amazingly stunning structure stands on top of a mountain just a 2-hour drive from Munich.
I haven’t had an opportunity to visit it yet but for someone who’s as obsessed with fairy tales as me, it’s definitely on my to-do list!
The city of Munich itself is worth visiting as well, of course. It was in fact voted as ‘the most livable city in the world in 2018’ by Monocle and it is one of the biggest hubs of culture, business, art, and technology in Europe. Needless to say, the city has a bit of something for everyone.
What Munich is probably most famous for is the Oktoberfest. Despite its name, the world-famous beer festival is actually organized already at the end of September. So you missed the one this year. But if you want to attend you should book tickets for next year NOW.
In addition to quality beer and wursts Germany can offer you ultimate relaxation in the form of amazing spas. Spas are extremely popular in Central and Eastern Europe, perhaps due to their history under Roman rule. Each spa has different sorts of pools both inside and outside and they always offer an array of massages and maybe even beauty services on the side.
Last, but definitely not least, one of my ultimate favourite places on this planet: Darling Scotland. This is a dreamland, full of mystique and magic. I’m not kidding! Even my middle-aged and as-down-to-Earth-as-can-be parents noticed it; the chill, quiet atmosphere that seriously makes you think that somebody’s watching you.
Not in a creepy way! But in a way that makes you believe in fairies and little elves hiding behind tree stumps. Particularly in Autumn the magic of Scotland wakes up and that’s when you should make a castle tour in the country!
Renting a car couldn’t be easier via Discover, after which you can start the journey from Edinburgh and travel up along the coast line stopping at little towns with castle ruins looming over or near by them.
Right outside of Edinburgh you can find the ruins of Tantallon Castle and about 10-20km South from Aberdeen you can climb to the Dunnottar Castle ruins. It’s an amazing place, I recommend visiting it whole-heartedly! And a couple hour’s drive North-West from Aberdeen you can find yourself in Inverness and by the Loch Ness. You know what that means, right?
While in Scotland you’ve got to experience the pubs! I have never eaten so well as I did while living in Aberdeen; I love a good soup and the pubs that quickly became my extra living rooms, knew how to make a good puree soup! Add a pint on that and your life is complete. Especially after a windy hike to a castle, a pub dinner is everything you might ever need.
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