Eastern Europe in Autumn

Why the best time of year to visit is in the fall

Fall is one of the best times of year to travel to Eastern Europe because the autumn weather maintains a touch of warmth, though the hottest days are left in the past and rain is often more scarce than it is in springtime.

Though nights can get chilly, the brisk air creates a perfect excuse to savor a hot meal near an outside heater on a restaurant terrace or find an inviting pub to relax in until it's time to return to the hotel, and the mornings are refreshing with mist lingering over city-center waterways and the streets quiet while other travelers sleep in.

If you're looking for a time to travel when the weather is most conducive to enjoying your trip and the crowds are less dense, autumn is the time to do it, but make sure to check Eastern Europe's weather forecast before packing for and setting out on your trip to this area of the world.

  • 01 of 08
    Warm Fall Light in Prague
    Resident on Earth/Flickr/CC BY-SA

    For many travelers who are able to visit the Czech Republic in the fall, Prague in September has the most appeal when the number of visitors is reduced significantly, though the potential for beautiful weather is still high.

    Those who travel during this month will find it possible to take day trips to nearby attractions without dealing with unpleasant weather. Strolls in the dusky evenings—especially on Castle Hill, where a view of the city's red rooftops and “thousand spires” can be seen—allow the city to be savored.

  • 02 of 08
    Luis Davilla/Getty Images

    Fall in Budapest is all about the flavor of the city: enjoy a piping hot bowl of goulash soup to relish Hungarian chefs' special knack for paprika-seasoned dishes; sample wine at bars whatever the hour and gain an appreciation for this industry that is steadily growing despite setbacks of the past; and take part in the turn-of-the-century specialities of historic cafes that pair well with steaming cappuccinos.

    If you're traveling to Budapest in autumn, you'll find a much more relaxed vacation than one taken during the busy summer and winter tourist seasons, so don't hesitate to take it easy in this beautiful Eastern European city.

  • 03 of 08

    Bratislava in Autum

    Bratislava, Slovakia

    Travelers to Bratislava in the fall will be welcomed by vendors selling roasted chestnuts and coffeehouses with open doors. Though cold weather approaches, Bratislava carries on with a market selling local goods, and buskers will play for a few coins. The evening may call for attending a performance at the Slovak National Theater, but remember to pack a few warm layers as nights in autumn can get quite brisk in this region.

  • 04 of 08
    Krakow, Poland
    WIN-Initiative/Getty Images

    If you're visiting Krakow in the fall months, you're in for one of the most exciting times of the year in this Polish city. Though some tourists remain, obtaining a seat at a restaurant on the main square is easy, and you're more than likely to share your meal with a bunch of locals rather than fighting other tourists for a spot.

    Main Market Square stays lively with outdoor concerts and events, and students and tourists mix in the throng of the city streets when evening sets in and classes let out. Visit Wawel Castle or shop at the Market Hall for an extra special treat this time of year.

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  • 05 of 08

    Warsaw in Autumn

    Warsaw, Poland
    Max Pixel/ CC0 Public Domain  

    Warsaw's historic center is lovely in the golden light of fall evenings, providing plenty of gorgeous photo opportunities of the ancient sites and attractions scattered across the city.

    Stroll in one of its parks or gardens to catch the last blooms of the season, or check out a bit of the culture of the city by tuning into a Jazz concert, taking part in Jewish cultural events, or even visiting a circus during the fall seasonal festivals.

  • 06 of 08

    Moscow in Autumn

    Red Square in Moscow
    Linda Garrison

    Visit Moscow during September to enjoy the fading heat of summer when outdoor attractions, such as Sparrow Hills, the Novodevichy Convent, and Red Square are more pleasant to visit, especially since you won't be fighting as man crowds to see these popular Russian attractions.

    Moscow's winter weather takes hold early, however, so if you travel towards the end of October or in November, prepare for temperatures that dip below freezing, and be sure to pack many layers to accommodate for the rapidly changing weather.

  • 07 of 08

    Ljubljana in Autumn

    Ljublijana, Slovenia
    Beraldo Leal/Wikimedia/CC BY 2.0

    Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital city, will welcome you during the fall months, but when chilly weather prevails, pop into one of the many charming cafes in the town's historic area, and warm up with a mug of hot coffee and a pastry.

    Alternatively, visit a museum or Ljubljana Castle to become more familiar with the city's history and cultural heritage, or check out one of the many cultural events that take place in the public squares of Ljubljana before winter truly takes over and drives its citizens indoors.

  • 08 of 08

    Dubrovnik in Autumn

    Dubrovnik Old Town Croatia Franciscan Monastery
    MaxPixel Free

    Temperatures in Dubrovnik don't drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit until December, so though you'll need a sweater or a jacket if you'll be doing sightseeing or strolling after dark, the weather remains mild throughout most of the autumn days.

    Tourists will enjoy walking the old town's walls or a glass of Croatian wine as the sun sets over the Pearl of the Adriatic, and there's plenty of special events this time of year as citizens celebrate the end of tourist season and the beginning of the fall harvest.