Europe is one of the densest continents a traveller can visit. Move two hours in any direction, and you’re likely to hit an entirely different country – or at the very least, a culturally different region.
The only problem is that Europe can be prohibitively expensive, especially in the high season between June and August. A fair compromise, therefore, is to see the continent in the fall. Its splashes of coniferous and deciduous forest turn a bright amber colour. Its culinary traditions pack in the bright flavours and move on to heartier dishes. And the slight chill in the air can be revitalizing.
If you’re crafting the perfect fall trip to Europe, consider the tips below.
Diversify Your Itinerary with Natural Beauty and Urban Charm
Every good itinerary needs balance. You want to see the unspoilt natural features, but not at the expense of culturally rich urban centers. You want the hustle and bustle of a brisk city, but not at the expense of fresh air and sunshine.
As you devise an itinerary, consider the entirety of what Europe has to offer. Head to Italy’s Lake Como to bask in the fall sunshine and refreshing water, then tack on nearby Milan for a gastronomical urban tour. Wade into the brambles of Germany’s Black Forest before trekking to Zurich or Strasbourg for some Swiss/French excitement. Especially in fall, European cities feel bright and cheery – liberated from the throngs of summer tourists.
Pack for Versatility
European autumns are a grab-bag of different climates and weather events. You might experience unseasonably hot days in Spain or bone-chilling cold in Belgium. And try as you might to evaluate the long-term weather forecast, it’s almost impossible to tell when the rain might hit.
Planning for European fall weather requires versatile, travel-specific clothing like the travel clothes from Unbound Merino. Merino wool is sweat-wicking and breathable enough to keep you cool on hot days. But it’s also fast-drying and insulating for those cold, wet days. It’s the ideal clothing choice for fall.
Don’t Forget the Festivals
As you center your itinerary on cities and nature, consult a guide to European fall festivals. The continent hosts several diverse, culturally important festivals between September and November: Paris’ Nuit Blanche, Seville’s flamenco Bienal and, of course, the uber-popular Oktoberfest in Munich.
Try to work at least one of these festivals into your itinerary. At their best, European festivals are exhilarating, wildly uninhibited and charged with a true sense of community.
Take the Train
The last tip for crafting the perfect fall trip to Europe is to give up the rental car, forget those Ryanair flights, and just take the train. Unlike driving, taking the train is a passive, quiet way to see the landscape. And unlike flying, it’s a relatively eco-friendly way to travel (without frustrating airport lineups and delays). Grab a coffee and a window seat, and enjoy the passing trees, timeworn villages and majestic rivers. You can consult this link for a handy guide to buying train tickets in Europe.
With the right itinerary, a versatile wardrobe and a few train tickets in your hand, you’re on your way toward the perfect fall trip to Europe. As the French say, bon voyage!