September is here and the end of summer is upon us. Pretty soon it will be goodbye sun-drenched days by the pool or on the beach and hello to jumpers, crisp mornings and amber coloured foliage. School begins again and it’s back to business as normal, right? Well, if the idea of autumn leaves you longing for summer holidays don’t fear, we have five phenomenal city breaks that are even better this season than during the sweltering summer months. These world-class European cities each offer visitors something different, but what they have in common is their undeniable autumn allure. A holiday to anyone of these captivating cities is enough to make you re-think your preference for summer.


Granada

granada spainWith plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures hanging on until late October, the balmy city of Granada is the perfect city break for travellers looking to escape the dreary days of a UK autumn. Resting at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is typically acclaimed as the crowning glory of Spain's romanticised Andalucia region. And while for many, Granada will always invoke idyllic images of flamenco, fiestas, troubadours and bullfighters, the 21st-century city is so much more than the sum of its a parts. Wander through the stunning grounds of the Alhambra, a Moorish medieval fortress complex that houses ornate royal palaces equipped with their own extraordinary gardens, fountains and reflecting pools. The Alhambra is definitely the city’s most famous landmark, and is sure to leave a lasting impression. Get lost along the maze of narrow cobbled streets in the Arabic quarter, known as Albaycin, while exploring the countless shops and sidewalk cafes, perfect for enjoying some authentic Andalucian tapas. Gardens in Genaralife Palace Gardens in Genaralife Palace Top view of Granada in eveningHighlights: Within the Alhambra the lush Generalife gardens are showstopper, and other notable attractions include the Royal Chapel of Granada and the beautiful Monastery of Saint Jerome. The highlight of any visit to Granada is undoubtably a flamenco show. Here, you will witness the drama and passion of the iconic dance unfold on stage. Flamenco is always spell-binding performance and an experience that will leave you speechless. Temperature: Average high temperature is 21°C. What to expect: Granada is juxtaposed between its ancient Moorish past and its present, so expect to be swept up in the city's beautiful relics while still being confronted with modern day reminders like graffiti. It's a wonderful city for history buffs, foodies and travellers looking for a quieter holiday.


Munich

Munich SkylineMunich really comes to life during the autumn months, thanks to the city’s boisterous Oktoberfest celebrations. The annual folk festival kicks off September 16th and ends the first week in October. The main attraction here of course, is the beer, or as it’s known here, ‘liquid gold’ which is sold by the litre here. Enjoy tasting beers from some of Bavaria’s best and oldest breweries including Augustiner, Paulaner, Spaten-Franziskaner and Lowenbrau. Outside of Oktoberfest, Munich offers a host of classical architecture and museums in its bustling downtown as well as breathtaking Alpine scenery beyond the city limits. Munich's Oktoberfest Munich's Oktoberfest Highlights: The stunning Englischer Garten, the regal 18th-century Nymphenburg Palace and the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle. Also, don't miss out on the Viktualienmarkt, a massive open air farmer’s market with a great atmosphere where you can snack, shop and eat all day. Temperature: Average high temperature 14°C What to expect: Dense crowds of rowdy beer-lovers will pack the city during Oktoberfest, so those seeking a quiet holiday will want to look elsewhere. If you do plan on attending Oktoberfest or visiting Munich in September or October, be sure to book accommodation and any restaurant reservations as soon as possible.

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Zurich

ZurichPraised as one of the world’s most liveable cities, Zurich has an abundance of attractive features in its arsenal. For starters, the city wears many hats; from being a fast-paced financial hub to a centre of artistic expression and innovation, Zurich blends old-world refinement with hip, modern trends. Spend your days wandering the city’s old town and taking in the local sights, such as the exclusive shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse and the Swiss National Museum. After the sun sets, indulge in Zurich’s insatiable nightlife that offers over 500 pubs, clubs, restaurants and music venues. Snuggled between Lake Zurich and the Uetliberg Mountain, Zurich’s stunning natural surroundings mean there are also plenty of outdoor adventures to be had. Highlights: Zurich-West is the city’s trendy epicentre of art, culture, design and food; and Burkliterrasee is a scenic vantage point over the lake. Temperature: Average high temperature  14°C What to expect: Expect to be charmed around every corner in this buzzing international city where the ‘locals’ come from every corner of the globe. Expats and students from all over the world call Zurich home, so don’t be surprised to hear a cornucopia of different languages being spoken. Thanks to the city’s banking connections, means that Zurich is one of the priciest in Europe, so expect to pay top dollar for everything. A strong art scene and lively nightlife round out Zurich’s stunning natural beauty and cultural appeal.

For airport transfers to Zurich, click our page.


Rennes

medieval houses in Rennes FranceRennes is the capital of the pastoral region of Brittany, but this French city is a far cry from the bustling and refined streets of Paris. Touted as a warm and welcoming place for foreign visitors and expats, Rennes feels more like a small town rather than a mid-size metropolis. With a rich historical heritage and thriving arts and culture scene, it has plenty to explore on a crisp autumn day. Highlights: Don’t miss the Museum of Fine Arts inside a stately 18th-century palace, the photo-worthy medieval half-timbered houses in the city centre, the Rennes Cathedral, the sprawling Lices food market and the lush gardens in Parc du Thabor. Temperature: Average high temperature 17°C What to expect: As a well-known university town, you can expect a lively and youthful atmosphere in the city, especially in the city’s many pubs. Rennes also offers visitors loads of medieval charm, and you’ll feel like you’re walking through the pages of a history book as you explore the cobbled streets in the centre of downtown.


 Antwerp

beautiful square in Antwerpen old town. BelgiumWe think it’s impossible not to fall for Antwerp, Belgium’s captivating second-largest city. The port city’s attractive architecture is a startling contrast of medieval, Flemish Renaissance, neo-Gothic, industrial and modern buildings. Its checkerboard of building styles reflect the city’s storied history. Bursting with world-renowned art museums that house works by master painters like Antwerp’s own Rubens, Antwerp is perfect for art aficionados. Antwerp is a trendy city that is great for 20-somethings looking to make friends thanks to its exploding fashion industry, thriving cafe and beer culture. Nachtegalenpark in Antwerp Nachtegalenpark in Antwerp Highlights: Without a doubt Antwerp is a shopping mecca, so don’t miss the excellent shopping around Schuttershofstraat and Graanmarkt. Enjoy Antwerp’s strong cafe culture with a cup of coffee in some of the city’s best cafes such as; Zeppelin, Witzli-Poetzli, Caravan, Cafe Beveren and Hopper Cafe. You can’t leave Antwerp without sampling Belgian beer so stop by Paters Vaetje, which has more than 100 different beers to choose from. If you need a break from the busy city streets, there's no better escape than a walk through Antwerp's forested Nachtegalenpark. Lastly, indulge in a heaping plates of frites, Antwerp’s culinary claim to fame. (Other than chocolate of course!) Temperature: Average high temperature 15°C What to expect: Beautiful surroundings, stylish locals and a vibrant, eclectic atmosphere make Antwerp a winning combination of cool and collective. It’s a fun city for wandering thanks to its eye-catching facades and funky neighbourhoods.

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