Cool nights, crisp mornings, and the reds, golds, and browns of the falling leaves are telling us it’s time to say goodbye to summer and prepare for the winter months ahead. It also signals the beginning of my favorite travel season (read about it here).
With October only days away, now is a great time to revisit some of my fall favorites. Each offers something unique to the new or returning traveler, and all offer free or inexpensive opportunities for exploration.
Start in Old Town, wander through Grassmarket, and up Victoria Street. Walk through Princes Street Gardens, Greyfriars Cemetery, and the Museums of Scotland. Explore the closes and wynds along the Royal Mile on your way from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood. If you’re feeling up for a hike, the views atop Arthur’s Seat are must-see.
Lake Como and The Dolomites, Northern Italy
In the Dolomites (Italian Alps), take a chair lift to the top then take in the panoramic views before following the trails back down. Stay in one of the many hotels nestled high in the mountains to have the full Alpine experience. Lake Como offers amazing boat rides to each of the lakeside towns. Be sure to wander the cobblestone streets of Varenna and Bellagio – smaller and quieter than Como – then settle in for dinner overlooking the water.
Prague, Czech Republic
Check out the Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock. Stroll across the Charles Bridge that connects Old Town to Lesser Town, giving yourself plenty of time to browse the art and souvenirs. The open-air Havel’s Market (Havelske Trziste) is the most famous one in Prague and site of an incredible Christmas Market. It’s a great place to find fresh food, mulled wine, and art.
Visit St. Stephen’s Basilica, Dohany Street Synagogue, and the Hungarian Parliament building for art, architecture, and history. Explore Buda Castle and Heroes Square then wander through the Great Market Hall (also called Central Market Hall) for souvenirs and lunch – maybe even a cooking class! Budapest is sometimes called the City of Spas, and no trip is complete without a soak in the outdoor pools of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
Hike to the top of Mont Royal for incredible views of the city. Make the time to explore the McGill University campus and the Underground City. After walking through the historic neighborhood of Old Montreal, be sure to stop at Notre Dame Basilica to marvel at its interior.