7 City Breaks Perfect for Exploring When It’s Chilly Out
By Jacob Sullivan
The year is drawing to a close but there’s still time for one more city break!
It’s not really autumn anymore and it’s not quite yet winter. And while that means the cold is coming and the exhaustion that comes with the last minute shopping and family dynamics of the holiday season is drawing near it also means that some of the most exciting cities in the world are perfect for a visit now. They still have the colours of autumn, it’s not yet too cold to explore outside and inside, plus it’s offseason which means no crazy crowds of tourists!
Poland in autumn is a wonderland. Gdańsk is especially perfect for taking in the sights whilst wrapped up warm on a brisk but sunny autumn day. Most of the main attractions for tourists are within walking distance of the city centre. A few highlights include the medieval port crane Żuraw over the river Motława, walk along to the Long Market (Długi Targ) to visit the Golden House and the Green Gate buildings.
KAYAK Insider Tip: While walking the promenade is certainly bracing, you will want to spend some time indoors as well. While there is a lot to see in Gdańsk, we recommend the ECS Museum (Europejskie Centrum Solidarności). This fantastic museum tracks the history of Poland’s bloodless revolution that deposed the communist regime and fought for solidarity and human rights for every citizen. The exhibitions give you an in-depth understanding of the Solidarność movement, a revolution that helped shape the 20th-century yet is sadly overlooked in many history books. Some extra points of interest are that the Solidarność movement was started by Lech Wałęsa, who actually has his office in the museum and that the industrial design of the building itself, located in the shipyards, is half architectural marvel and half a memorial to the workers right that first fanned the flames of solidarity.
KAYAK Insider Tips: If it’s older masters you’re after and fancy taking in as much as possible, purchase an Amsterdam City Pass and head to Museum Square where the Amsterdam City Card grants you free access to can see Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum, works from the De Stijl movement at the Stedelijk Museum, and sunflowers at the Van Gogh Museum.
3. Paris – Avoid the Crowds while Seeing the Sights
Wandering the streets of Paris is wonderful at any time of the year, but as we cross from autumn to winter the streets hold a different sort of romanticism. While the natural light and colours of the tree-lined streets in late autumn make wandering from place to place a joy, it’s indoors that the city really comes to life. Go classic and explore galleries and museums like The Louvre and Centre Pompidou, sip hot chocolates at Angelina, or enjoy the stunning window displays already unveiled for the winter season in Paris’s department stores, all without the crush of summer holidaymakers or the influx of tourists visiting Paris over Christmas.
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It’s a good idea to take a raincoat with you if you’re heading to Lisbon in November, but in October you can still expect temperatures to remain in the twenties. Either way, the reason for heading to Lisbon is because you can really enjoy the city itself without being affected by the brutal summer sun. Now you can really take in the architecture and streets, visit museums without the crush of sweaty guests, relax in restaurants without bumping elbows with the adjacent table and take part in the legendary Lisbon nightlife the way the locals do it.
Due to Rome’s mild weather, the peak tourist season lasts all the way until the end of October. This means that if you are planning a late autumn/early winter trip to Italy’s capital, unimpeded by tourists then November is the best month to go. Especially if food is one of the draw cards for heading to Italy as the autumn seasonal menu will be in full effect – this is especially good news for artichoke fans, as it’s the official artichoke season and you will find amazing artichoke-based locals dishes done alla Romana.
KAYAK Insider Tips: If you are also travelling on a budget it’s worth noting that state museums and archaeological sites are free on the first Sunday of the month (Nov. 5th), and the Vatican museums are free on the last Sunday of the month (Nov. 27th).
Hungary’s capital is positively aglow in the month of November. The summer crowds have dissipated leaving the cities cosy cafes, eclectic museums and green spaces free for travellers to roam around without fighting for space. Dip into the iconic Széchenyi Baths, one of the largest spa baths in Europe with 15 pools, it’s indoor and outdoor thermal baths are the perfect way to soothe your sore legs are a long day of sightseeing.
It’s almost cliche to talk about how beautiful New York City is in autumn or fall, if you’re going full Yank. Central Park is always busy no matter the weather, so head to Brooklyn Botanical Garden where you’ll less likely to be bumping into people with selfie sticks and you can see some authentic fall foliage. Afterwards, congratulate yourself for being walking outside with a seasonal autumn beer at the iconic Brooklyn Brewery.
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Note: These rates are based on search queries made on KAYAK.co.uk on October 9th, 2017. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.