Europe in October is a magical time for a vacation, with many reasons to visit in autumn rather than other seasons. One of the main advantages is the pleasant weather. In October, the summer heat has subsided, so temperatures are usually mild and comfortable. This is ideal for exploring cities on foot and enjoying outdoor activities.
Another reason October is a great time to visit is the smaller crowds. Many popular tourist destinations experience a decrease in visitor numbers compared to the peak summer season. This allows for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience as you soak in the beauty and history of each city.
In this guide, you’ll find all the best European cities to visit in October, along with ideas on what to do while you’re there. Whether you’re exploring historic landmarks, enjoying art exhibitions, or savoring local cuisine, each city offers a distinct experience.
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1. Florence 🇮🇹
Florence, also known as the “cradle of the Renaissance”, is a captivating city situated in Tuscany, Italy. Its rich history, magnificent art, and stunning architecture attract travelers from all over the world.
October is an ideal time to visit Florence for various reasons. The weather in this period is pleasant, offering a respite from the hot summer months. October also marks the beginning of the cultural season in Florence, with a plethora of events, festivals, and exhibitions. Moreover, October is a delightful time for food enthusiasts to visit Florence. Harvest season is also in full swing, providing plenty of fresh produce and luscious local wine to enjoy.
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Florence in October
When visiting Florence in October, there are several must-see places that you shouldn’t miss. One of the top attractions is the Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo. Its magnificent dome and stunning architecture make it a must-visit. Climbing to the top of the dome offers breathtaking views of the city.
Another famous spot is the Uffizi Gallery. This renowned art museum houses incredible masterpieces by artists like Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. You can immerse yourself in the world of art and witness stunning paintings and sculptures. And if you want to see Michelangelo’s famous statue of David, head to the Accademia Gallery!
Don’t forget to explore the Palazzo Pitti, a grand palace that once served as the home of the powerful Medici family. It now houses several museums and galleries where you can marvel at more remarkable artwork. For more inspiration, don’t miss these essential things to do in Florence either!
2. Lisbon 🇵🇹
Lisbon, the sunny capital of Portugal, has some of the best weather in October in Europe. Daytime temperatures hover around 23°C, making it a fantastic autumn destination. As the peak tourist season winds down, the city becomes less crowded, allowing visitors to enjoy its treasures at leisure.
October also marks the start of the cultural season in Lisbon, with many events, festivals, and exhibitions. The “Festa de Lisboa,” also known as Festas de Santo António, celebrates the city’s patron saint with lively street parties, parades, and traditional dances. This festive atmosphere adds joy and conviviality to the already captivating city.
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Lisbon in October
When visiting Lisbon in October, there are several attractions that you shouldn’t miss. One of these is Belém Tower (Torre de Belém). This iconic tower is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of Lisbon. It offers stunning views of the Tagus River and the city’s coastline.
Located near Belém Towe is the magnificent Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery). This building showcases Manueline architecture and houses the tombs of significant historical figures, including Vasco da Gama.
While not in Lisbon itself, a visit to the enchanting town of Sintra is also recommended. Here you can explore the fairytale-like Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Castelo dos Mouros (the Castle of the Moors). Check out this guide on visiting Lisbon with kids if you’ll also be exploring with your children!
3. Munich 🇩🇪
Munich in October means beer halls and folk festivals, especially Oktoberfest! As soon as the mayor taps the first barrel of beer, Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest begins. This bucket-list experience takes place from mid-September until the first week of October. You could still experience the tail-end if you visit Munich at the beginning of October.
In October, Munich experiences pleasant autumn weather, with mild temperatures and colorful foliage. This creates a picturesque backdrop for exploring the city’s parks and gardens. It’s the perfect time to take long walks and enjoy Munich’s natural beauty.
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Munich in October
Munich provides attractions for all kinds of visitors, whether they’re interested in fairytale castles or football stadiums! Fans of FC Bayern will jump at the chance to tour the FC Bayern Munich Allianz Arena. This can be done as part of this city tour, which includes many other top sights in Munich.
If you’re visiting Munich with children, you may like to explore the SEA LIFE Munich Aquarium to see a number of different shark species. You can also travel back in time with the help of virtual reality at TimeRide Munich.
Munich is also the ideal base for visiting one of the most spectacular castles in the world: Neuschwanstein! This breathtaking castle was the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland. It looks particularly enchanting when surrounded by fall foliage.
4. Warsaw 🇵🇱
If you’re after cheap places to visit in Europe in October, you can’t go past Poland’s capital city of Warsaw! With temperatures around 13°C, Warsaw is starting to get cooler but the city takes to autumn brilliantly. As the cold settles in, the cozy bars welcome chilly locals and travelers alike.
October is also a great time to indulge in Warsaw’s culinary delights. You can savor traditional Polish dishes like pierogi (dumplings), bigos (hunter’s stew), and delicious pastries. Another reason to visit Warsaw in October is the cultural events and festivals that take place during this time. Experience the Warsaw Film Festival, or attend concerts, exhibitions, and theatrical performances that celebrate the city’s artistic scene.
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Warsaw in October
October in Warsaw offers a range of activities and attractions to enjoy. One of the top highlights is exploring the historic Old Town. Take a stroll through its charming cobblestone streets and admire the colorful buildings. Don’t miss the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, dedicated to the famous Polish composer.
Keep warm by sampling some local booze at the Polish Vodka Museum, or join a local cooking class (which also includes some liqueur tasting) if you want to learn how to make delicious pierogi for yourself!
Another highlight when visiting Warsaw is the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. This fascinating historical museum presents over 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland. It allows visitors to explore past and present Jewish culture, as well as discover the dramatic fate of Jews imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto.
5. Paris 🇫🇷
One of the best European cities to visit in October is Paris, France’s romantic capital! In October, Paris showcases its autumn colors, creating a stunning setting. The city’s parks transform into a tapestry of vibrant hues as the leaves change. It’s a beautiful time to walk through the city enjoying the serene atmosphere and capturing stunning photos.
Food lovers will be delighted by Parisian cuisine. You can indulge in delicious pastries like croissants and pain au chocolat, or savor French classics such as escargots (snails) and coq au vin (chicken in wine sauce). Don’t forget to visit the local patisseries and boulangeries as well!
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Paris in October
Paris offers a wealth of cultural experiences year-round, and October is no exception. You can visit world-renowned museums like the Louvre, home to the iconic Mona Lisa, or the Musée d’Orsay, which houses a stunning collection of Impressionist art. In October, you can also enjoy cultural events, such as art exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.
October is also a great time to explore Parisian neighborhoods and iconic landmarks. Take a romantic cruise along the Seine River, visit the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views of the city, or explore the charming streets of Montmartre.
6. Lugano 🇨🇭
Located in southern Switzerland, Lugano is a charming city known for its stunning lake views and vibrant culture. In October, the weather remains good enough for cable cars and cog railways to be operating, so outdoor adventures are still on the table. The summer crowds have also dispersed, allowing you to discover Lugano’s beauty at a more relaxed pace.
Lugano is nestled on the shores of Lake Lugano, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. In October, the landscape transforms into a canvas of vibrant autumn colors. Lugano’s Autumn Festival begins in early October, which sees local street markets open till late. Sample some local gastronomy and wines to keep warm on your off-season lake escapade!
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Lugano in October
The best way to visit Lugano in October is via a day trip from Milan, with stops at Lake Como and Bellagio as well. For art and culture enthusiasts, Lugano offers a range of museums and art galleries. Lugano is also known for its jazz festivals and music events, adding a lively touch to your visit.
Exploring Lugano’s Old Town, known as the “Citta Vecchia,” is a must. The narrow cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and charming squares create a delightful atmosphere. Visit the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, stroll through the Piazza della Riforma, and discover the local boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.
7. Amsterdam 🇳🇱
Perhaps the most beautiful Autumn Europe destination is the Dutch capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. This city contains many gorgeous parks and fascinating museums for getting out of the cold. Amsterdam’s cozy cafés also provide the perfect retreat in October. You can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate (opt for Chocomel!) or enjoy Dutch specialties like stroopwafels (caramel-filled waffles) and bitterballen (savory meatballs).
Prices in the Dutch capital can skyrocket during summer. But October brings with it off-season hotel rates, shorter lines at attractions, and fewer tourists unwittingly attempting suicide on the bike lanes. Honestly, it’s the best time to visit Amsterdam before the dreariness of winter sets in!
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Amsterdam in October
Aside from wandering along the pretty canals and enjoying the fall foliage, there are more than enough museums and art galleries to fill your days in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum houses a remarkable collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, providing insights into the life and works of the iconic artist. The Rijksmuseum is another must-visit, showcasing Dutch art and history, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer.
October in Amsterdam also offers a range of cultural events and festivals. The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals, attracting renowned DJs and music enthusiasts from around the globe. Architecture aficionados will also not want to miss out on these fascinating landarks in Amsterdam either.
8. Prague 🇨🇿
Prague is alive throughout October with food and art festivals. Highlights include the Prague Coffee Festival and the luminescent Prague Signal Festival, which features light installations all over the city. In Troja Botanical Garden there’s also an annual pumpkin exhibition to enjoy. This culminates with a pumpkin parade on the 31st!
Halloween in Prague is particularly atmospheric, with many bars and nightclubs holding parties. Halloween carnivals, story readings, markets, and workshops for children also invade the city streets. A candle-lighting ceremony in honor of the dead takes place in the Prague Castle gardens at dusk on the 31st as well.
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Prague in October
The unrelenting beauty of Prague makes it one of the best places to visit in October, despite the cold nip of winter. Outdoor attractions like the Astronomical Clock and Charles Bridge are always open to the public.
If the weather is getting a bit too chilly for you, head inside the mind-bending Illusion Art Museum for amazing photos and up the top of the Žižkov Television Tower for stunning views over the city.
9. London 🇬🇧
London is an exciting city to visit, and October is a particularly fun time to explore its charms. One of the best things about London in October is the lively atmosphere. The city buzzes with energy as locals and visitors enjoy the autumn season. You can join in the excitement and feel the vibrant pulse of the city.
Shopping enthusiasts will also find October an ideal time to explore London’s bustling markets and famous shopping districts. From trendy boutiques in Covent Garden to the world-famous department stores on Oxford Street, you can indulge in retail therapy to your heart’s delight!
🌟The Best Places to Visit in London in October
October brings mild and pleasant weather to London. It’s a great time to explore the city’s iconic landmarks, such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London. The comfortable temperatures allow for leisurely walks and outdoor activities without being too hot or too cold.
October is also synonymous with Halloween, and London embraces the spooky season with enthusiasm. You can join ghost tours, visit creepy locations like the London Dungeon, and even participate in Halloween-themed events, like the SAW Escape Experience!
10. Tenerife 🇪🇸
If you’re looking for the warmest place in Europe in October, look no further than the Canary Islands! Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands. It’s also a fantastic destination to visit, especially in October. Tenerife boasts stunning landscapes, and October allows you to appreciate them to the fullest. The island’s beautiful beaches offer an ideal setting to soak up the sun and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters.
Furthermore, October in Tenerife offers a range of festivals and events to immerse yourself in the local culture. The Canary Islands Music Festival features performances by renowned artists and musicians from around the world. You can also experience traditional celebrations, such as the Romería de San Andrés. This is a festive pilgrimage with colorful parades and traditional costumes.
🌟The Best Places to Visit in Tenerife in October
One of the main advantages of visiting Tenerife in October is the delightful weather. The island enjoys pleasant temperatures, with warm days and mild evenings. It’s the perfect climate for enjoying outdoor activities like Siam Park, Loro Parque, and Aqualand Costa Adeje.
The island is also home to Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site dominated by the towering Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain. You can take a cable car ride up the mountain for breathtaking views or explore the park’s hiking trails.