Fall is without a doubt one of the best seasons to explore Europe. Not only do prices on airfare and accommodation drop at this time of year, temperatures are most comfortable for city discovery (in some cases you can still swim in the Mediterranean too!), and best of all - summer crowds have died down and local life is back to normal. Athens, Valletta, Lisbon and Dubrovnik are four of our favorite cities to explore during the fall – here’s why!
Known as the cradle of western civilization and democracy, many visit Athens to pay their respects to the incredible Acropolis, but along the way this pulsating city reveals its truly sophisticated, yet simplistic and raw aura, making it one of Europe’s most fascinating and multidimensional cities. Thanks to the 2004 Olympic Games, the city renovated many of its structures, landscaped several of its public spaces, set aside pedestrian streets, and completed a subway system that is both an engineering and aesthetic marvel. Athens is an ever-expanding city whose unique high energy is second to none and genuinely contagious!
Why We Like It: For more than 140 years, the Hotel Grande Bretagne has represented the essence of luxury accommodation in the heart of Athens. Just a short walk from the city’s highlights, we can’t get enough of the flavors and Acropolis view from the GB Roof Garden Restaurant.
Rightfully described as an open-air museum, Malta is a country small enough to explore over a weekend
. Valletta, the historical capital of the Knights of Malta, is a charming amalgamation of past and present, a truly unique (and easy) destination to explore as a city break. Named Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2018, this capital glows in is enclosed towering bastion walls surrounded by the clear Mediterranean Sea. Here the sun shines for more than 300 days of the year and it’s often t-shirt weather even during the winter. Relish in Valletta’s amazing sunshine, indulge in its authentic experiences, and enjoy its exceptional local cuisine during the fall with fewer crowds!
TrueTrips Recommended Hotel: The Phoenicia
Why We Like It: Sitting just a stone's throw from Valletta's most famous attractions, this exquisite luxury hotel harmoniously marries tradition with warm Maltese hospitality and modern amenities. Be sure to enjoy an afternoon drink, local pastries and stunning views at the Palm Court Lounge.
Once home to some of the world’s greatest explorers, Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and Europe’s second-oldest capital. Built on seven hills – Castelo, Sao Vicente, Sao Roque, Santo Andre, Santa Catarina, Chagas, and Sant’Ana – Lisbon has a rich history, a vibrant contemporary culture and impressive natural beauty. Home to various UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most charming and picturesque capitals, and you will surely enjoy wandering through its narrow-cobbled streets, and exploring its impressive monuments, museums, and cultural treasures.
TrueTrips Recommended Hotel: Memmo Principe Real
Why We Like It: Home to one of the city’s most breathtaking views from its Cafe Principe Real, this five-star boutique hotel is located in the heart of one of Lisbon’s most charming neighborhoods.
Known as the 'pearl of the Adriatic' and situated on the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik today is one of Europe’s most iconic cities. Ruled over the years by the Byzantines, Venetians, Hungarians, and then finally the Ottoman Turks, once Croatia became an independent nation, Dubrovnik became the center of Croatian culture. After decades of devastation from the Croatian War of Independence, Dubrovnik was quickly repaired and has become a chic Mediterranean destination. The old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a jewel on its own; featuring beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, as well as monasteries, palaces and fountains. Lose yourself in this renewed city that offers a perfect blend of past and present, relax at one of the pristine beaches and relish in the emerald blue waters of the Adriatic.
TrueTrips Recommended Hotel: Villa Dubrovnik
Why We Like It: This elegant property stands atop rocky cliffs at one of the most magical spots on the Dalmatian Coast. The building's stark white architecture beautiful contrasts the emerald green waters of its pristine private beach.