Europe in the Fall

5 European cities to visit this fall

I do much of my traveling in the shoulder seasons to avoid crowds and high prices.  I enjoy the cooler temperatures when I am meandering through new places, learning my surroundings, dining at outdoor cafes, people watching and taking photos.  There are many perks to traveling in the spring, fall and winter – not only do you reap the benefits of cheaper rates and less crowds but also there are a ton of special/traditional events, festive decorations and you can witnessing the change of seasons. 

If you could go to 5 European cities this fall where would they be?  

Mine are:

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Amsterdam: Visiting in October is prime because September the rates are still high and tourist still linger and in November the weather gets nasty with wind gusts up to 50 mph. 
 But October is quite nice offering mild weather and the fall colors are an attraction in themselves.  

Also, cultural season starts in September so you will arrive to a wide variety of theater, music, opera, dance productions and more to entertain yourself inside.   You always can wander the canal lined streets and sit under the beautiful changing trees or outdoor cafe (weather permitting).  
And, if you can imagine what celebrating Halloween would be like that is reason in itself to go.  The locals each year throw an unforgettable costume party and the theme this year is the “underworld”….this party is not to be taken lightly, the costumes will be movie set quality so come prepared!

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Rome: There is something magical about the city of seven hills, my last visit I fell in love and have dreamt of the city ever since.  I am not sure if the magical feeling comes from the city’s roots or the lingering ghosts of the Colosseum.  But one thing is for sure, when you sit at a trattoria in the city center you will feel that extra something in the air that makes you feel alive.  

When you visit Italy in the fall you arrive in time for olive harvest and vino novello (young wine).  The temperatures have dropped,  the crowds are gone and the fall gourmet of chestnuts, fresh pressed oils and porcini mushrooms will decorate your plate at local restaurants.  Also, on a nippy day when visiting Rome you can head over to the hot springs outside of the city then head back refreshed for an immaculate dinner with wine to pair.  
So when I get to visit Rome again in the fall, I will soothe my soul in the hot springs, wander the streets and stop to partake in fall goodies such as wine and chestnuts at local trattorias.  

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Lisbon: All I have to say is color.  That is why I want to visit this Portuguese city along with the warm and friendly people who call here home.  I am obsessed with the colorful tiles that adorn the buildings, street cars, homes and businesses.  My dream home would come straight out of Lisbon!

Lisbon practically shuts down in August and do not want to visit in the summer so fall it is.

Colors and design stimulate me in a way that nothing else does. It gets my juices flowing and makes me want to be great at everything, they make me want to create and explore – they inspire me.  This city would be absolutely perfect for me to live in.  The beaches are only 20 minutes away from the city center and rumor has it that the locals here are some of the kindest people in the world.  

What else could you want?

Istanbul: I am dying to go to the Grand Bazaar!  Again, my senses would be overloaded with all the beautiful color and my favorite style in the world is bohemian so needless to say I would go bat sh*t crazy in the bazaar.  

I would probably go in November to try and get as far away from tourist season as possible. Why?  Because the merchants are going to be hungrier for patrons at the bazar and so more willing to slash prices.  Also, there will be no lines to get into the Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia.  Maybe even get an upgrade at the hotel for free 🙂 

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Rhodes: Visiting in October is ideal because the temperatures are still in the 70’s and the water temperature is still inviting.  Also, discounted rates everywhere since the tourist season is over.  I have been here once via a cruise through the Greek Isles and every time I see a photo of the island some of my most fondest memories of life come rushing back.  Rhodes is fantastic anytime of year but who doesn’t like to get discounts?

I swam out to this with my girlfriend but chickened out and jumped off the second tier instead!

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