The Best European Cities to Visit in October (2023)

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It’s shoulder season in Europe in October, so why not make the most of the quiet streets and take a European city break with Culture Trip?

Richard Collett

20 Sep 2022

In Northern Italy, you can explore Roman ruins and medieval castles without the crowds – while Istanbul is resplendent in its autumnal glow throughout the month. Lisbon and Porto never sleep – even in autumn – while Southern Italy is flaunting the last of the season’s sun. Best of all is Tbilisi, where the autumn harvests see the city packed with fresh, local goods – along with more varieties of wine than you ever knew existed. Here are the best European cities to visit in October on one of our incredible trips.

1 . Rome, for exploring the ruins without the crowds

(Video) BEST PLACES to TRAVEL in EUROPE in OCTOBER | Holiday Destinations October

You’ll find many of the best European cities to visit in October are located in Northern Italy. Sure, it won’t be as sunny as summer, but the streets of Milan and Pisa will be far less crowded – and if it does rain, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and museums. There’s a lot to see in the north, but this 10-day group tour helps you to see all the urban highlights.
Explore the ruins of Rome by bicycle, visit wineries and medieval cities in Tuscany and see the art and Renaissance palaces of Florence. You’ll also visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Cinque Terre and Lake Como – before ending the trip with lasagna and Parma ham in Milan.

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2 . Istanbul and Antalya, for ancient civilizations and Mediterranean sun

Visit Istanbul in October and you’ll miss the big summer crowds and the fierce summer heat as you draw into its glorious autumn. The grounds of the Topkapi Palace are resplendent in autumnal colours – while sights like the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque aren’t quite so busy as they can be earlier in the year. But there’s much more to see over the Bosphorus. Istanbul is your gateway to Asia – as well as Europe – so, why not join this 12-day group tour? After exploring Istanbul, you’ll travel to see ancient Anatolian civilizations in Ankara, before you’re off hiking in Cappadocia – where conditions are perfect in October. You’ll finish up the trip in Antalya – Turkey’s top Mediterranean city – and soak up the last of the sun or take a dip in the Mediterranean before heading back home.

(Video) 5 Countries You MUST Visit In October In Europe

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3 . Porto and Lisbon for wine tasting in the crisp October sun

With temperatures hitting highs of 22C, October is the ideal time to enjoy the autumn sun and skip the crowds in Portugal’s cities – yet there’s always the challenge of choosing between rivals Porto and Lisbon when you’re planning a Portuguese escapade. In the north, Porto is home to 15th-century medieval architecture, baroque churches and impressive palaces that are all recognised for their historical significance by Unesco. Meanwhile, in Lisbon, you have those iconic yellow trams to ride, custard egg tarts to devour and glorious Atlantic beaches to explore. Why choose, when you can have both? Join this nine-day group tour, where you’ll start in Porto – before adventuring to the Douro Valley, Comporta and beyond to Lisbon.

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(Video) Best places to visit in Europe in October

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4 . Tbilisi, for embracing the Georgian harvests

October is harvest time in Georgia and far from being just a rural event, the cities are flooded with fresh fruit and produce from the villages – and there’s plenty of Georgian “supras” to celebrate. The Georgian capital, Tbilisi, is a satisfying place for foodies in autumn – where you can experience the culinary delights of the Dezerter Bazaar, as well as cheese-breads and local wines at the start of this nine-day group tour. After eating your way through Tbilisi, the trip moves into the Kakheti region – you’ll learn how to cook and drink Georgian-style here as the harvest is brought in around you. The tour moves into the Caucasus mountains – where you can work off all the food hiking to remote mountain villages and valleys – before returning to soak in Tbilisi’s sulfur baths at the end of an epic trip.

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(Video) 12 Best European Fall Destinations

5 . Naples and the Amalfi Coast for the last of the summer sun

October might just be the best time to visit Italy’s cities. You’ll miss the scorching summer heat – but don’t worry, it’s still going to be very warm. Best of all, you’ll miss the summer crowds. Our top pick in October is Naples – the birthplace of pizza and home to some of Italy’s tastiest pasta, pastries and parmigiana. Join this 10-day group trip to Southern Italy and you’ll start with a culinary tour in Naples before exploring the Amalfi Coast – in October, you’ll have entire stretches of coastline to yourself. You’ll visit wineries and valleys, before visiting Puglia’s most historic cities at the end of the tour. In Otranto, you can see an 11th-century cathedral – while in Lecce, you’ll admire the baroque palaces of a city that’s often claimed to be the Florence of the South.

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(Video) 10 European Cities to Visit This Fall

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way.That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories:Epic Trips,Mini TripsandSailing Trips.Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Tripsare deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. OurMini Tripsare small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longerEpic Tripsinto a manageable 3-5 day window. OurSailing Tripsinvite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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