For many travellers, autumn’s arrival opens the door to an excellent time to travel: lower temperatures, fewer crowds and beautiful colours that remind us of impermanence. So, where to? We’re taking you to some of our favourite European cities to visit during the autumn months. The hard part for you is deciding where to go.
The capital of Portugal offers visitors a wide range of things to do, from cultural hotspots that immerse you in the country’s history, to gastronomy, music, arts, and wonderful parks and gardens. Here’s a list of things not to miss when visiting Lisbon in autumn!
The Alfama District is Lisbon’s oldest area, where visitors can stroll around narrow cobblestone streets while discovering cute and cosy cafes, shops, historical buildings and a special ambience accented with the unmistakable Fado music in the background.
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, a must visit if you want to enjoy the best views of Lisbon at sunset. From the terrace and after a little hike, you’ll have a spectacular view of the Castle de São Jorge and the river.
Talking of views, if you’re not in the mood to stroll up to the castle, our NH Collection Lisboa Liberdade is not only the perfect choice for the best stay when in the city, but also has one of the best terraces in the city, bar Atico. From here, you can soak up the cityscape whilst tasting a top class cocktail from our menu designed by Diego Cabrera.
As for gardens and parks, Parque do Palácio Pena is a favourite! Less than an hour train ride away from Lisbon’s Rossio train station, this wonderful area encompasses several historical sites such as the Palácio Nacional de Sinta, de Palace of Pena and the Moorish Castle. Bring your camera out and don’t leave without capturing its magnificent gardens of vibrant beauty with an autumn tint.
There are many luscious parks to enjoy at this time of year, and our NH Lisboa Campo Grande is perfectly positioned to make the most of them, including the aforementioned Campo Grande, Parque da Bela Vista, the Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa, and much more.
After so much walking around, you’ll want something to eat! When it comes to gastronomy, Lisbon has lots of delicacies to offer. Make sure you go into a tasca and ask for sardinhas assadas (charcoal-grilled sardines), pastéis de bacalhau (cod fishcakes) or caldo verde (a soup of cabbage and potatoes). And for those who have a sweet tooth, our advice is to try the typical Pasteis de Belem from Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, the only bakery where they still work with the original recipe!
The capital of Hungary is a picturesque city, friendly to tourists and easy to get around. It is considered by many as one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals and is home to many World Heritage Sites. And did you know that the Budapest Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world? It opened its doors on 9 August 1866. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with Budapest after a few days!
Any visit to Budapest should start with a walk around its quiet streets. Let your feet take you to The Parliament, stop to admire this Gothic building with more than 350 towers and its intricate and artistic stonework. Located right next to the Danube, this building is one of the most eye-catching you’ll encounter! If you have the chance to visit it at night, be prepared to be amazed.
Another impressive landmark is St. Stephen’s Basilica. Those who appreciate architecture will be infatuated with the beautiful dome and ceiling inside the Basilica, simply stunning! Afterwards, climb the more of 300 stairs to get an incredible 360-degree view from Budapest, unmissable!
The icing on the cake will be a visit to the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden, a must for those travelling with children this autumn… Or without them! Located within Városliget Park, a short walk from our NH Budapest City, it is the home to more than 1.072 animal species and is considered a natural reserve. Have you ever fed a Bactrian Camel? Here you can! And keep an eye out for the most special animal in the Zoo: the Komodo Dragon. Our advice is to keep a whole day aside to get most out of the visit!
Last but not least, if you’re planning a visit to Budapest this year, keep in mind that starting on November 11th you’ll have the chance to visit the Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival, which some say, wins hands down against German Christmas Markets! In the lovely Vörösmarty Square, the market is located right in front of the prestigious Gerbeaud Coffee and exudes a fantastic atmosphere full of inviting sights, smells and sounds. Don’t forget to stop by the cottage-style wooden food stalls and order a Krampampuli, a traditional Hungarian punch drink, together with traditional honey cookies.
Berlin is a city that has a lot to offer but it is in autumn when it turns into a huge work of art. Can you imagine walking on an endless carpet of red and yellow leaves bordered by golden trees? That’s how it feels to walk around Berlin’s parks during this time of the year, the perfect mood for a romantic autumn stroll… You’ll have plenty of parks to choose from, as there are approximately 2.500 in the city! Some of our recommendations are the Wuhlheide Park or the fascinating Tiergarten Park, a favourite for locals and visitors alike thanks to its marvellous lakes and of course, the park’s Biergarten.
Ever heard of the Light Festival? If you happen to visit the city between the 7th and 16th of October, you’ll have the chance to explore Berlin’s famed sights and cultural attractions in a new light, like the Brandenburg Gate, the Fernsehturm, Berlin Cathedral and the Berlin Victory Column. The event that takes place every year during 10 days, and turns the city centre into a giant canvas for light and video projections where visitors can enjoy different art and music events, as well as guided LightSeeing tours.
You might also be interested to know that autumn is kite season in Berlin, another great and fun activity if you’re travelling with children! Locals fetch their colourful kites and let them fly high at the former Tempelhof Airport, right in the middle of the city. The kids will love the colours in the wind! For more family plans in Berlin, check our travel guide.
And an old German tradition to adopt while in Berlin, is visiting its Christmas Markets. Most of them start on November 21st and go to the end of December or even into the first week of January. By popular choice, the Gendarmenmarkt, located next to the German church, is considered the most beautiful and popular. Just walk around while you enjoy the cosy atmosphere, its many food and drinks stalls, and beautiful Christmas decorations. Feeling the Christmas spirit yet?
Every season is a reason to travel but autumn is the best time of the year to fully take in the beauty of this three incredible cities. Where will the Autumn be taking you?