Fall in Eastern Europe: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

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 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. Since it's an off-peak travel time, you'll find decent prices on accommodations and flights as well, along with fewer crowds.

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. The mornings are refreshing with mist lingering over city-center waterways and the streets quiet while other travelers sleep in. The whole family is sure to have a good time, as you can find events ranging from tennis tournaments to cultural and arts festivals taking place in the main Eastern European cities and other areas.

Eastern Europe Weather in Fall

If you're looking for a time to travel when the weather is most conducive to enjoying your trip, autumn is the time to do it, with typically warm weather, 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.

The potential for beautiful weather is still present, so expect leftover summer warmth during the days if you travel in early September. Towards the middle of October and into November, colder temperatures begin to appear. Mornings and evenings will almost certainly be chilly, even when the sky is clear. The climate differs depending on where you are going so do your research before you go. To have an idea about how much rain to expect, Moscow typically has 8-10 rainy days from September through November, while Prague has between 6 and 7 days with rain during those months.

Average October temperatures:

  • Moscow, Russia: The average maximum temperature is 48 degrees Fahrenheit/9 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 37 degrees Fahrenheit/3 degrees Celsius.
  • Warsaw, Poland: The average maximum temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit/13 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 41 degrees Fahrenheit/5 degrees Celsius.
  • Prague, Czech Republic: The average maximum temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit/13 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 39 degrees Fahrenheit/4 degrees Celsius.
  • Krakow, Poland: The average maximum temperature is 56 degrees Fahrenheit/13 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 39 degrees Fahrenheit/4 degrees Celsius.
  • Bratislava, Slovakia: The average maximum temperature is 59 degrees Fahrenheit/15 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 42 degrees Fahrenheit/6 degrees Celsius.
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia: The average maximum temperature is 59 degrees Fahrenheit/15 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 44 degrees Fahrenheit/7 degrees Celsius.
  • Budapest, Hungary: The average maximum temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit/16 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 46 degrees Fahrenheit/8 degrees Celsius.

What to Pack

For Eastern Europe, what to pack depends somewhat on which part of the fall season you'll be traveling and where you are going. In general, for a September journey you might just need a sweater for chilly moments, but if you take a trip around November, you'll need long sleeves, sweaters, and jackets. Either way, it's a great idea to bring layers, and comfortable shoes are always a traveling must. If it gets really cold, a scarf is a great addition to a cozy outfit.

Krakow, Poland
WIN-Initiative/Getty Images

Fall Events in Eastern Europe

From music and arts festivals to sports tournaments, Eastern Europe has something to entertain everyone in the fall.

  • The Kremlin Cup International Tennis Tournament: Founded in 1990, this became the first international professional tennis tournament in Russia. It will be held indoors for nine days in October at Moscow's Krylatskoe Ice Palace.
  • Warsaw International Festival of Contemporary Music: This event has been going on for over 60 years and takes place over several September days. Expect music, theater, composer workshops, and more entertainment.
  • Warsaw Film Festival: See some world-class films at this event which started in 1985 and spans more than a week in October. Some beloved Polish films are in the spotlight and you'll learn about the latest trends in world cinema.
  • Four Cultures Festival: In Poland, celebrate how over time the city of Łódź has become a convening place for Polish, Jewish, Russian, and German cultures through this event featuring film, music, theater, and visual arts.
  • Prague Autumn International Music Festival: Orchestras with renowned conductors from around the world play classic compositions at this festival which has been impressing people since 1991. Shows take place in September and October.
  • Bratislava Coronation Days: Honor the city's past in September through through theater performances, cultural events, concerts, and period music and games.
  • World Press Photo Exhibition is on display in Budapest in September and October. It's a traveling show of award-winning news photos; winners were chosen among almost 79,000 photographs from 129 countries.

Fall Travel Tips

  • September through November are the off-peak months of the year, so you'll have nice weather conditions and prime flight and accommodation prices, and sometimes lighter crowds. Booking in advance is always wise, however.
  • It's often cheaper to travel by bus or train once you are in Eastern Europe. Buy international train tickets in the country you are departing from; some trains are slow, so request the quicker-speed trains.
  • If you'd rather a professional show you around and you would enjoy the company of other travelers, book a group tour with a reputable company before you go. Free or donation-based walking tours have become really popular across Eastern Europe, so keep an eye out for those fun ways to learn about history and culture.
    Red Square in Moscow
    Linda Garrison
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