Best European Cities to Visit in October: Stunning Fall Foliage, Fewer Crowds, and More Fun

Bell   |   3 October 23

October is the perfect time for a Europe city break with fewer crowds, stunning scenery and cozy fall vibes. Here are my absolute favourites you should visit this year!

I often find that October is such an underrated month for travelling to Europe. We all know of “European Summer“, but I urge you to consider fall as the perfect time for city getaways in Europe.

Whether you are looking to soak up some residual warmth in the South of Europe, such as Montpellier and Barcelona, or experience the picture-perfect fall vibes in Prague and Bruges, Europe has it all. Here are my absolute favourite places to visit in October in Europe:

Best Europe City Breaks This October

Prague, Czechia

Prague in October - traveloffscript
Prague in October city view - traveloffscript

Prague is the perfect destination for your October getaway. Lots of stunning fall foliage, the most incredible architecture around every corner and tons of history and ghost tours to take for those looking to ring in the spooky season. 

Don’t miss: The Astronomical Clock located in Old Town Square provides a little show every full hour from 9 am to 11 pm. I would highly recommend taking a tour that includes this highlight as every minute detail of the clock has meaning and history, it’s truly incredible.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest in October - traveloffscript

Budapest is one of my absolute favourite cities in Europe and for good reason. It is affordable, there is so much to do and explore and the nightlife is one of a kind. 

I highly recommend trying one of the “free” city tours (you tip what you think it’s worth at the end) – Budapest has incredibly rich history. I personally didn’t even know that Buda and Pest have entirely different personalities and were two completely separate towns until 1873

Don’t miss: The Ruin Bars of Budapest are only one facet of Hungary’s rich history and a must-visit if you ever find yourself in the city. The trend originated in Szimpla Kert, located in the Jewish Quarter which was left abandoned and in ruins after World War II. What started as a small experiment when the first bar opened in the early 2000s, quickly turned into THE hub for young people to meet. Nowadays, the ruin bars of Budapest are one of the biggest tourist attractions. 

Montpellier, France

Montpellier in October - traveloffscript

I spent three weeks in Montpellier on a language course last fall and it was a blast. Montpellier is usually still warm in October and there are beautiful beaches when the weather allows. On top of that, the city has these gorgeous old, cobblestone streets with murals around every corner. 

Montpellier also has so many delicious restaurants and bars that often span into the winding streets. The atmosphere in the evenings is one of my favourite things about this city.

Don’t miss: I would highly recommend scheduling in time to visit Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, the UNESCO World Heritage Site located a 45 minute drive from Montpellier. The medieval city is an absolute highlight and there are public buses that go there if you don’t have a car.

Florence, Italy

I could write poems about Florence, I love the city that much.  From some of the most famous art pieces to breathtaking architecture to delicious food, Florence will steal your heart.

October is the perfect month to visit as tourist numbers are finally declining but the weather is still very mild. On top of that, you won’t have to climb the gorgeous vantage point Piazzale Michelangelo in the 40° summer heat (trust me, it’s not fun).

Don’t miss: Florence has some of the best Italian ice cream I have ever tried. There are a bunch of delicious Gelaterias right by the river that are an absolute must-try while there. 

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona in October - Sagrada Familia - traveloffscript
Barcelona in October - view over the city - traveloffscript

If you enjoy art, architecture, gorgeous views and delicious food, Barcelona is the city for you. Gaudi’s work alone makes this city one of a kind and we haven’t even talked about the gorgeous beaches, some less than hour away from the city. 

Barcelona also has some of the mildest temperatures in October, with an average of 24°.

Don’t miss: Head to Mirador de la Farma, right by Park Güell, for incredible city views and my favourite sunset spot over the city. It’s a bit of a steep climb, so bring a flashlight for the way down!

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges’ entire city center has been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO, based on the preservation of its historic architecture from medieval times. It particularly points out that the city is testamony of the “brick Gothic architecture” at the time. 

Either way, the city is worth a weekend getaway. From beautiful architecture to medieval cobblestone streets to many delicious dishes with a Flemish touch, Bruges makes the list of one of my favourite places in Europe. 

Don’t miss: Bruges can get expensive pretty quickly, from accommodation to food. I highly recommend using AirBnb for accommodation and booking your dinner reservations at some of the city’s cheaper eats early

Is it worth visiting Europe in October?

October is often referred to as “shoulder season“, the time between peak and off-season . In Europe it can also mean the time between the summer and winter seasons, where you can’t really lie on the beach to tan but also can’t do any winter sports yet.

It is a great time for visiting Europe as cities are significantly less busy and locals will have a little more time for you. It also isn’t as cold yet, especially in early October, and you can experience some amazing fall foliage

It’s also a great time for budget travel as accommodation and flight prices fall drastically from September. 

Top Tip

Many hotels bring down their prices in October and it is usually worth booking directly with them to get the best deal. If you can’t book through the website, contact them via email to try and score an even better deal!

Weather in Europe in October

Average temperatures range from 15°C in central Europe to 20-25°C in southern Europe. 

While temperatures will vary significantly from country to country, October is usually when a final heatwave hits Europe and you can expect warm days (I like to call them T-shirt weather days).  I would recommend packing a windproof jacket for those colder days or even a puffer vest for some additional warmth when required. 

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Hi, I'm Bell

Bell from Travel Off Script

My blog is here to show you that there isn’t one correct way to travel the world. Together, we can figure out what that means for you. Learn more about me here!

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