Destinations / Europe

6 Affordable Autumn City Breaks in Europe and Where to Stay

In addition to cooler temperatures and stunning foliage, autumn in Europe means fewer tourists, shorter lines and off-season prices. Experience the beauty of shoulder season travel as you explore Europe’s charming medieval towns, cultural cities and coastal gems, where you can take advantage of the last bit of sun before winter.

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve handpicked the top autumn destinations in Europe and highlighted where to stay, from 5-star hotels to budget-friendly accommodation. Whether you want to attend a harvest festival in Bruges, soak in a thermal bath in Budapest or explore the Tuscan countryside, these places deliver sightseeing, adventure and seasonal fun.

Why You Should Visit Bruges

Perfect for an autumn break, Bruges is a pocket-sized medieval town with cobbled streets, charming chocolate shops and picturesque canals. It’s a lovely walking town with historic churches and world-class museums. The fairy-tale city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Best Autumn Experiences in Bruges

  • Climb 366 steps up the Belfort en Hallen bell tower for panoramic views of Bruges.
  • Sample the city’s decadent chocolates, then visit the Choco-Story museum.
  • Arrive before mid-November to join a boat trip along the canals.

Best Hotels in Bruges

Hotel Van Cleef

Photo| Hotel Van Cleef | Provided by HOTEL VAN CLEEF

Enter a world of elegance at Hotel Van Cleef, a luxury boutique hotel with a blend of modern, vintage and antique furnishings. Garden Rooms feature bespoke fittings, marble bathrooms and courtyard views, while the opulent Missoni Suite Canal has a separate seating area and beautiful canal and city views through French windows.

Start your morning with freshly-baked Belgian waffles or Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon in the Green Room or indulge in homemade scones at Afternoon Tea. At night, you can toast to views from the canal-front terrace at St. Petersburg Bar with a glass of bubbly.

Nearby Attractions

● Belfry of Bruges (600 metres)
● Basilica of the Holy Blood (500 metres)
● Markt (650 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 220 – USD 443
Guest Rating: 9.8
Address: Molenmeers 11, Bruges City Centre, Bruges, Belgium

Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges

Photo| Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges | Provided by GRAND HOTEL CASSELBERGH BRUGES

Offering a prime location near the Main Market Square, Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges comprises three historic houses blending 18th-century charm with modern luxury. Get pampered at the basement spa, which has a sauna, steam bath and relaxation room, or sit by the fireplace with a cocktail at the refined lounge area.

Superior Rooms are located in the historic part of the hotel and feature luxe bedding, coffee and tea making facilities and air conditioning. Book the Junior Suite for a king-size bed and city views or the Quadruple Family Room for two floors of living space.

Nearby Attractions

Groeninge Museum (600 metres)
● Rose Hat Quay (Rozenhoedkaai) (350 metres)
● Burg Square (120 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 144 – USD 582
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Hoogstraat 6, Bruges City Centre, Bruges, Belgium

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Budapest

Dubbed the “Paris of the East”, Budapest comprises the twin cities of Buda and Pest, where you’ll discover elegant boulevards, thermal springs and a historic castle built in 1265. Travel here in autumn to find harvest season in full bloom, as September brings fall festivals celebrating the country’s wine culture as well as cultural and religious events.

Best Autumn Experiences in Budapest

  • Soak in autumn vistas while lounging in a thermal bath at Széchenyi Baths in City Park.
  • Sample sweet treats at Gerbeaud Confectionery or traditional cakes at Ruszwurm.
  • Browse traditional Hungarian crafts and souvenirs at The Great Market Hall.

Best Hotels in Budapest

Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Photo| Corinthia Hotel Budapest | Provided by LEONARDO

One of the grandest hotels in the city, Corinthia Hotel Budapest is housed in a landmark 1896 building. Discover 5-star facilities such as an original 19th-century spa and elegant on-site eateries serving authentic Hungarian dishes. Don’t miss the dazzling fourth-floor roof terrace, perfect for indulging in creative cocktails at sunset.

Unwind in a Deluxe King with a king-size bed, LCD HD TV and complimentary Wi-Fi or upgrade to an Executive Suite for a Nespresso machine and access to the Executive Club. Signature Suites add kitchens and living rooms, while the spacious Residences feature well-equipped kitchens and washing machines.

Nearby Attractions

Hungarian State Opera House (800 metres)
● St. Stephen’s Basilica (1.6 kilometres)
● Széchenyi Thermal Baths (2.5 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 228 – USD 657
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Erzsebet Korut 43-49, VII. district, Budapest, Hungary

Continental Hotel Budapest

Photo| Continental Hotel Budapest | Provided by LEONARDO

Located in the city centre, Continental Hotel Budapest features Art Nouveau and Art Deco touches and has a wide selection of affordable rooms. Standard Rooms include air conditioning, LCD TVs and soundproof windows, while posh Suites add separate living rooms. Stay in the Junior Suite for a private balcony.

Satisfy your taste buds with a meal at ARAZ Restaurant or sip coffee at the elegant Gallery Cafe. HotelsCombined visitors rave about the hotel’s indoor and seasonal outdoor pool, while a Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna and spa with pampering body treatments offer the perfect blend of luxury and relaxation.

Nearby Attractions

● Dohány Street Synagogue (550 metres)
● Hungarian Parliament Building (2.3 kilometres)
Underground Railway Museum (1 kilometre)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 119 – USD 264
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Dohany Street 42-44, VII. district, Budapest, Hungary

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Dubrovnik

In autumn, the summer crowds and cruise ships have left Dubrovnik, which means you can walk along the imposing city walls and explore the charming cobbled streets in peace. This “Pearl of the Adriatic” is packed with elegant Baroque churches and medieval fortifications, as well as chic wine bars, inviting seafood restaurants and upscale hotels.

Best Autumn Experiences in Dubrovnik

  • Traverse Mount Srdj by cable car for panoramic views of Dubrovnik and inland Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Browse the fascinating exhibits at the Homeland War Museum to learn about Croatia’s independence.
  • Pair local Croatian wines with a cheese and meat platter at D’Vino Wine Bar.

Best Hotels in Dubrovnik

St Joseph’s

Photo| St Joseph’s | Provided by ST JOSEPH’S – ZORAN MARINOVIC

Nestled in the heart of Old Town, St Joseph’s is a restored 16th-century hotel with six stylish rooms. All rooms have kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and air conditioning, while King Suites add inviting bathtubs and his-and-hers sinks. For a spacious lounge area with a sofa, dining area and full kitchen, stay in the Deluxe Apartment.

Fuel up for a day of adventure with the complimentary breakfast, which includes the hotel’s signature green smoothie served in your room each morning. You’re a minute’s walk south of Sradun, the main pedestrian street in Dubrovnik’s Old Town, and Banje Beach is five minutes away.

Nearby Attractions

Rupe Ethnographic Museum (130 metres)
● Onofrio’s Great Fountain (140 metres)
Maritime Museum (400 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 429 – USD 518
Guest Rating: 9.9
Address: Svetog Josipa 3, Dubrovnik City Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik

Photo| Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik | Provided by LEONARDO

One of the most lavish hotels on the Adriatic, Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik has a prestigious seaside location steps from Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The hotel has welcomed the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor, who were lured in by its tranquil gardens, beautiful beach, indoor pool, glamorous spa and three on-site restaurants.

Many of the rooms feature sea and Old Town views, while they all include air conditioning, flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service. Splurge on a Deluxe Suite for Dalmatian coastline views from floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, as well as a living room and small library.

Nearby Attractions

● Dubrovnik Cable Car (700 metres)
● MOMAD Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik (120 metres)
● Old Port (800 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 183 – USD 2,057
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Frana Supila 12, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Edinburgh

If you want a quiet and mild-temperate experience in Edinburgh, visit in autumn. An ideal destination for history buffs, shopping enthusiasts and theatregoers, this historic city boasts captivating seasonal colours around in its beautiful squares, cobblestoned streets and striking Georgian architecture.

Best Autumn Experiences in Edinburgh

  • Take an autumn stroll through Princes Street Gardens or hike Calton Hill at sunrise.
  • Uncover Edinburgh’s dark history on a thrilling ghost tour.
  • Grab a pint or Sunday Roast at a traditional pub.

Best Hotels in Edinburgh

Prestonfield House

Photo| Prestonfield House | Provided by LEONARDO

Nestled on eight hectares of gardens next to Arthur’s Seat, Prestonfield House offers 5-star luxuries within a secluded country estate. Each room has antique furniture and a warm colour palette, while Suites add separate seating areas and expansive city views. For a four-poster bed, Smart TV and second guest bathroom, upgrade to the Lord Provost Suite.

Sit by the roaring fire in the baroque Tapestry Room or relax on crocodile sofas in the Yellow Room. Active travellers can play a round of 18-hole golf then refuel with a gourmet dinner at Rhubarb restaurant or indulge in afternoon tea in the rose-filled gardens or gothic tea house.

Nearby Attractions

● Holyrood Park (2.4 kilometres)
Edinburgh Castle (3.7 kilometres)
● Summerhall (2.1 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 256 – USD 573
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 1 Priestfield Road, Prestonfield, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Hotel Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

Photo| Hotel Motel One Edinburgh-Royal | Provided by LEONARDO

A budget-friendly hotel in the heart of the city, Hotel Motel One Edinburgh-Royal is about a five-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish National Gallery. Sample Scottish whisky at One Lounge, enjoy free iPad rentals at reception or stream your favourite film on your Smart TV.

Rooms also include complimentary Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities and hypoallergenic linens. All guests can enjoy a daily buffet breakfast served in the lobby before strolling the iconic Royal Mile a few streets away.

Nearby Attractions

National Museum of Scotland (550 metres)
● Camera Obscura and World of Illusions (400 metres)
● The Scotch Whisky Experience (400 metres)

Star Rating: 2.5*
Price: USD 84 – USD 138
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 18-21 Market Street, Old Town, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Florence

A drop in temperature makes exploring Florence a breeze in autumn, where you’ll have prime views of the city’s renowned artwork and iconic cathedral without the crowds. Aside from being one of the world’s greatest art cities, Florence is known for its quirky shops, fine wines, buzzing nightlife and easy access to the Tuscan countryside.

Best Autumn Experiences in Florence

  • Marvel at da Vinci’s “Annunciation” and Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” at The Uffizi Gallery.
  • See Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, “David”, at the Accademia Gallery.
  • Climb the bell tower at Duomo for panoramic city views before crossing the historic Ponte Vecchio bridge.

Best Hotels in Florence

Hotel Lungarno Lungarno Collection

Photo| Hotel Lungarno | Provided by LEONARDO

Housing more than 450 works of art, Hotel Lungarno Lungarno Collection takes 5-star luxury to another level with elegant rooms and suites, many of which include beautiful terraces. There’s a Family Room with a sitting area and twin beds, while the Executive Double Terrace River View features a spacious terrace with river and city views.

Marvel at Picasso, Cocteau, and Bueno pieces throughout the hotel, including at the inviting Picteau Cocktail Bar overlooking Ponte Vecchio. Looking out over the River Arno, Borgo San Jacopo is a Michelin-star restaurant serving exquisite meals. 

Nearby Attractions

● Giotto’s Bell Tower (800 metres)
● Piazza della Signoria (450 metres)
● Ponte Vecchio (100 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 426 – USD 7,305
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Borgo San Jacopo 14, Santo Spirito, Florence, Italy

Hotel Pendini

Photo| Hotel Pendini | Provided by BOOKING.COM

A five-minute walk from the iconic Florence Cathedral, Hotel Pendini offers a prime location and excellent value for money. Choose from double and triple rooms with period furniture, air conditioning and satellite TV or stay in a Family Suite to accommodate five guests.

A sumptuous breakfast spread is served in the Sala Strozzi, where you can see the comings and goings of the historical centre out the large windows. It’s also a space for relaxation in the evening with tea and cocktails. The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum is a short walk away.

Nearby Attractions

● Duomo di Firenze (400 metres)
● Ponte Vecchio (450 metres)
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (550 metres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 88 – USD 186
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Via Strozzi 2, Tornabuoni, Florence, Italy

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Lisbon

Portugal’s capital Lisbon is a multifaceted city with a mix of modern and old-fashioned styles. Its pastel buildings house boutique hotels, food courts and trendy hangouts. Wander the historic Alfama or explore the hilltop São Jorge Castle before indulging in cinnamon-dusted egg custard tarts at Pasteis de Belem.

Best Autumn Experiences in Lisbon

  • Hop on the yellow Tram 28 to explore the city’s narrow streets in a vintage streetcar.
  • Sample cuisine from Portugal’s most-famous chefs at Time Out Market Lisboa.
  • Learn about the city’s colourful tiles (azulejos) at the National Tile Museum.

Best Hotels in Lisbon

The Lumiares Hotel & SPA

The Lumiares Hotel & SPA
Photo| The Lumiares Hotel & SPA | Provided by THE LUMIARES HOTEL & SPA

Located in the fashionable Bairro Alto area, The Lumiares Hotel & SPA is home to inviting apartment-style rooms. You’ll find your perfect home away from home in a cosy Studio with its kitchen and living area, while extra space is provided in the one and two-bedroom apartments.

Splurge on a Penthouse apartment for a bird’s-eye view of Lisbon and a spacious outdoor terrace. All guests can enjoy the top-floor Lumi Rooftop restaurant and bar, as well as the on-site spa with a sauna, steam room and 24-hour gym.

Nearby Attractions

● Santa Justa Elevator (700 metres)
● Rossio Square (750 metres)
● Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (180 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 256 – USD 793
Guest Rating: 9.4
Address: 142 Rua do Diario de Noticias, Encarnacao, Lisbon, Portugal

HF Fénix Music

Photo| HF Fénix Music | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Music lovers will enjoy a stay at HF Fénix Music, which provides a unique hotel experience to all its guests with its vibrant music-inspired interiors. Modern rooms showcase vibrant murals and include complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and floor-to-ceiling windows. Upgrade for a furnished private terrace overlooking the city.

Bask in the Portuguese sunshine in the rooftop outdoor pool, which offers plush sunbeds and panoramic views of Lisbon. Watch the stars from the garden terrace or enjoy creative cocktails and music at the Lobby Bar, which features whimsical music-themed decor.

Nearby Attractions

● Eduardo VII Park (180 metres)
Amoreiras 360º Panoramic View (850 metres)
● Miradouro da Senhora do Monte (2.4 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 75 – USD 178
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Rua Joaquim António de Aguiar 5, Coracao de Jesus, Lisbon, Portugal

Hotel Location

Culture and Charm Combine at These Unforgettable European Destinations

Europe is full of fascinating cities with iconic cultural attractions and renowned food and art scenes, but these six destinations are particularly pleasant in autumn. With hotels to suit any preference or budget, it’s easier than ever to experience the magic of Europe while enjoying on-site restaurants, luxe day spas and nearby attractions.

Which city do you want to explore this autumn in Europe? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Charity De Souza

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.

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