Autumn Getaway: The Best European City Breaks
Fancy a holiday where you don’t have to deal with the blazing heat, crowded tourist spots and inflated summer season prices? Does the idea of cooler climates, fewer people and a more affordable holiday sound more appealing? Look no further than an autumn weekend break in Europe, as we take a whistle-stop tour of some of the best continental destinations for an off-peak break.
When you’re talking about weekend getaways, it’s difficult not to include this continental jewel. So much has already been written about the City of Light, and for good reason. Its glorious neoclassical and Second Empire architecture has been meticulously maintained since Napoleon III transformed a cramped city of dark winding alleys to a glorious capital of vast avenues - most notably the Champs-Élysée – making a simple stroll in Paris a genuinely magical experience. Renowned cuisine, the world’s best museum in the Louvre, breath-taking scenic walks along the Seine and a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower to cap it off - Paris is a city everyone should experience.
Prague is one of the cheapest capitals in Europe, and there’s no better place to get value for money for an autumn weekend break. At a balmy 16°C average temperature in September, it’s also a welcome refuge from the chill approaching Ireland’s shores. The Czech capital was once part of the Kingdom of Bohemia, whose people championed a laidback lifestyle that the modern city residents have embraced as their own. Everything moves at a leisurely pace here, especially when there are fewer crowds to navigate through. Spend the day relaxing in one of the many cafés that dot the city’s untouched Old Town Square, then cross the iconic Charles Bridge on your way to see Lobkowicz Palace and finish your evening with a local Pilsner in the beer capital of the world.
Nestled in the Tuscan countryside, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance is a must-see for connoisseurs of culture. The Uffizi and Accademia galleries house some of the most famous works of art in European history, while the city possesses an effervescent energy supplied by the creative people who flock here from all parts of the world. Florence is quite an intimate city when compared to the urban sprawl of Rome and Milan. Which means the pace of life is considerably slower and you can spend an afternoon sampling a gelato while watching life pass by in one of its many piazzas. Florence has enough to delight any visitor for days on end, but if you decide to venture further afield, Siena and Pisa are two beautiful nearby towns to explore.
The partially walled-off crown jewel of Croatia is essentially one large UNESCO World Heritage site, with every nook and cranny steeped in history. It’s little wonder that Game of Thrones chose to film in the town’s wonderfully maintained medieval streets. If you’re feeling adventurous, trips outside the confines of the city can include an island-hopping boat trip on the Adriatic coast or taking a cable car up to Mount Srdj to catch a stunning birds-eye view of the city. A little closer to town is the Banje beach, which will have fewer tourists than in the summer season while still boasting pleasantly warm temperatures. With its rich heritage, vibrant nightlife and picturesque surroundings, the Pearl of the Dalmatian region is a truly unique place to visit.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Do any of these autumn breaks have you feeling wanderlust? If so, make sure you have peace of mind while travelling with AIB’s range of Travel Insurance options.
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