The end of summer season marks the end for the most of travellers and backpackers, because you know, it’s time to go back to work, to university and all of other day-to-day routines. But personally, I love to travel more off-season for many reasons. Prices are much lower, there are not as many tourists which means less crowded places and sights and my favourite – temperatures are perfect! Yes, the weather might be a bit unstable, but walking around the city under hot sun is ten times worse (at least for me :D). Let’s see which places are the best to visit during October!
1) Edinburgh, Scotland
Scottish capital may not be among the warmest cities on this list but it will definitely warm your hearts. And if you are lucky enough to pick the dates with promising forecast, then you for sure have hit the jackpot! Edinburgh has quite a lot of green areas which means that all of those mesmerising green parks turn to autumn rhapsody of colours during October. Don’t miss Princes Street Gardens situated beneath the famous Edinburgh Castle, but be sure to visit them during the day as the gardens close after 6pm. Quite unusual festival is being held in Edinburgh during October – we’re talking about International Storytelling Festival which lasts for 12 days and gathers people from all over Europe to celebrate storytelling and cultural diversity. On the other hand, Edinburgh has its own version of Oktoberfest at the end of the month so the locals can combine it along with Halloween. Sounds fun, isn’t it?
2) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam can be as tricky with weather as Edinburgh is, but temperatures are slightly higher in Dutch capital during this time of year. Bringing umbrella won’t be of much use because it rains literally for 10 minutes then it stops for few hours then rains again. So, the best solution to that pesky rain is reusable rain poncho which can be bought in practically any store in Amsterdam for €1-2. Amsterdam is by far one of the “leafiest” cities in Europe which means you’ll probably find yourself stepping on those crunchy leaves while strolling through the streets by the canal. There are so many events happening during October in Amsterdam that you will wish to stay there for entire month. If you are more art-oriented, make sure to check out the exhibition about Marilyn Monroe held in Nieuwe Kerk church. The exhibition will show the details of her life and career and how she influenced culture over the past 90 years. Amsterdam is also well known for its annual Halloween Festival which begins at Dam Square with parade in masks through the city center. After parade, people head to Westergasfabriek for a massive “spooky” party.
3) Lake Bohinj and NP Triglav, Slovenia
Yes, Lake Bled may be the most popular lake in Slovenia, but Lake Bohinj is much more peaceful and there are a lot of other things to do as well. For starters, you can rent boats and kayak and do your own tour around the lake. If you prefer walking, you can follow hiking trail around the lake which has a total length of 12 kilometres. Only 4 kilometres from Lake Bohinj is located Savica Waterfall, an amazing attraction which you definitely shouldn’t miss. There are around 400 steps to get to the top of the waterfall, so it might be a bit tiring but it sure is worth the view. Lake Bohinj is actually part of the only national park in Slovenia – National park Triglav. Triglav is a perfect family trip if you want to spend some quality time in nature but also have fun. For instance, you can try paragliding over Lake Bohinj – now that’s something memorable!
4) Munich, Germany
If there’s one thing that Munich is famous for in October, that’s without a doubt – Oktoberfest. It is the world’s largest beer festival – funfair held from late September to the first week of October and it attracts more than 6 million people from all over the world. Locals like to call it the Wiesn, after the local name for Theresa’s Meadow where the tents are placed. To give you the impression of how big this festival is, the amount of consumed beer goes over 8 million litres! But, besides beer and bratwurst, there are numerous attractions for both the old and the young. Some of the most familiar attractions are Riesenrad (a giant ferris wheel) and Olympia Looping (the world’s largest five-loop rollercoaster). “Marstall” is among the bigger tents and it is the first tent that visitors will enter. Every evening the Oktoberfest band plays festival classics in this tent. Apart from Oktoberfest, Munich is really beautiful in autumn, especially English Garden, the city’s largest park. And if you miss the real Oktoberfest, you can always visit the museum dedicated to the festival! Want to plan a trip to Munich? Check out our suggestions in the post below and have an unforgettable weekend getaway!
5) Perugia, Italy
What if I told you that there’s a legit 10-day festival dedicated solely to chocolate? Sounds pretty amazing to be true, but the funny thing is… that it is true indeed! Every year during October Perugia organises one of the biggest international festivals of chocolate called Eurochocolate. The first festival was held in 1994 and it’s been an annual tradition ever since. More than million visitors attend the festival where “i cioccolatieri” from Europe gather to present their unique chocolate sculptures. The visitors have the opportunity to taste these chocolates and buy souvenirs such as liqueurs, bricks, batteries – all made of top class chocolate! But of course, Perugia is much more than that. It’s an excellent example of how cities in Italy used to look like during Middle Ages. Its well-preserved city center will take you back to the Renaissance in an instant!
6) NP Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Now this is a magical place at any time of the year, but in autumn this national park in Croatia gets a special vibe. Not only is the entrance ticket far cheaper than in the peak season but there’s also a lot less people. Croatia has a rather thankful climate in October so you shouldn’t worry about occasional showers. Even though it is off season, it’s maybe better to avoid weekends as it can get crowded with tourist groups. Waterfalls and lakes in this park are just mesmerising and the water is so clear that you can even see fish swimming. How cool is that? Also, some tips before planning a trip – stock up on food and drink as the prices in park restaurants are way too high. And you’ll need plenty of water too, because there’s really a lot of hiking and exploring to do! Below you can check out a thorough guide about National Park Plitvice Lakes and how does it look like to visit it during autumn.
7) Malta, Comino and Gozo
Imagine going on a vacation in October wearing t-shirt, sunglasses and flip-flops – well, that’s what you can expect in Malta. Sunny island on the very south of Europe is for sure worth the visit…off season! During summer prices and temperatures go up and Maltese sun can really be strong. On the other hand, temperatures in October rarely go under 23°C. Actually, you can still go to the beaches. Hit the beach in Birzebbuga in the southern part of Malta. It is a man-made sand beach and around the bay there are many cafes, bars and restaurants where you can try some of the local specialties, such as pastizzi or famous Maltese rabbit stew. Don’t miss to visit the other two islands of Malta, Comino and Gozo. Comino is best known for its Blue Lagoon which is packed with tourist during summer, but in October is perfect. Crystal clear blue sea, wild nature and mild sun – what else do you need? Though Gozo is much smaller than Malta, it has a lot to offer. It is less crowded and thus suitable for those who want to enjoy a relaxing trip. Visit the Cittadella in Victoria, a fortified city built atop one of Gozo hills. Interestingly, only a few families live inside the citadel today. And the fans of popular Game of Thrones series should definitely pay a visit to the Azure Window (at least what’s left of it) where some of the iconic scenes from the series were shot. (Khal Drogo’s and Khaleesi’s wedding).