Are you looking for the best places to visit in Europe in Autumn 2023? With the weather still being gorgeous, numerous events happening, and exhibition openings, the shoulder season is the most beautiful time of the year to travel. Add to that most of these destinations are less crowded than in Summer, and you get a great excuse to plan your next trip. I’m a huge fan of Autumn travel, so here are Culture Tourist recommendations for the best places to visit in Europe in Autumn 2023.

Best places to visit in Europe in Autumn 2023

When considering the places to include in this list, I tried to include larger and smaller towns, regions and places that are usually crowded at other times of the year. I also looked for some special events happening in Autumn at these destinations to make your visit even more enjoyable.

Read more: 15 Best exhibitions in European museums in Autumn 2023

Florence, Italy

Florence is the capital of the Italian Renaissance and home to numerous fantastic masterpieces of architecture. So many talented artists like Dante Alighieri, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo or Filippo Brunelleschi lived and worked there. Its museums and churches are treasuring world-class artworks.

Being one of the most popular places to visit in Europe, Florence is great to stay in Autumn when it’s less crowded. The San Luca Festival is organised in Florence in mid-October, making it a great excuse to visit that beautiful city.

Read more: 10 Cultural spots to visit in Florence

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is one of the most famous places in Croatia. Being so popular, it’s almost impossible to enjoy visiting it during the busy Summer months. That’s why visit Dubrovnik in Autumn!

With its massive city walls, picturesque stone houses and historic old town, Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. It’s a relatively small town, so spending a weekend there is enough time to explore that lovely place. Dubrovnik is a must-see place for any art enthusiast, filled with unique and exciting history and home to some great museums.

Read more: Weekend guide – Two days in Dubrovnik

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

As someone who lived in Amsterdam, I can tell you the city is the most beautiful in Autumn. The infamous Dutch weather is still beautiful, the days are long, and you can enjoy exploring the city at your own pace. Museums like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum or Rembrandthuis Museum are less crowded than in Summer, so you can enjoy observing the artworks like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Vermeer’s painting in the Rijksmuseum without being surrounded by many people.

September and October are also when many festivals and open-air events are happening in Amsterdam, making it one of the best places to visit in Europe in Autumn 2023.

Read more: Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary

Stockholm, Sweden

Beautiful historical architecture and its location on 14 islands surrounded by the sea make Stockholm such a fascinating town. It’s a green city, so visiting Stockholm in Autumn is lovely when its trees change colour. Djurgården Island is where most of Stockholm’s museums are located, with the Vasa Museum being one of the most famous. From strolling around the Gamla Stan to enjoying Fika time, be sure to put Stockholm on your list of the best places to visit in Autumn 2023.

Read more: My travel diary – Four days in Stockholm

Basel, Switzerland

Basel has a long history and massive affection for arts and culture. However, it’s also a modern architecture and business hub. That great combination of old and new appearance and north and south in its attitude gives the city a great relaxed and laid back vibe. Being known as the Cultural Capital of Switzerland, Basel is a beautiful place for anyone interested in art and culture.

Although wandering around its streets provides a beautiful trip back to history, Basel didn’t get stuck in it. The city is young and alive. Not only with its fantastic modern buildings that were designed by some of the most famous contemporary international architects. But also by its residents living a Mediterranean lifestyle north of the Alps.

Read more: Basel Travel Guide

Vorarlberg Region, Austria

With its beautiful nature and fantastic culture, Vorarlberg Region is gorgeous to visit any time of the year. However, Autumn is when many music festivals are organised in the region.

The westernmost part of Austria is home to stunning nature, picturesque towns and villages, fantastic culture and museums, numerous excellent restaurants and friendly locals. I enjoyed every moment of my trip to Vorarlberg and fell in love with that beautiful region. If you’d like to explore that corner of Austria, visit it this Autumn. Bregenz is the capital of the Vorarlberg Region, so it’s good to start your trip in that town.

Read more: What to see in the Vorarlberg Region

Valencia, Spain

One of the oldest cities in Spain, Valencia, is filled with art, beautiful architecture and cultural sites. It’s the third-largest city in the country and one of the largest ports in Europe. Although a big city, Valencia has the charm of a small town. It has a long history. Valencia was founded by the Romans as their colony in 138 BC and was under Islamic rule between the 8th and 13th centuries. That could still be felt in some of the architecture in the city centre. But also in decorative ornamentation on its sidewalks and buildings.

From strolling through Turia Gardens, drinking Agua de Valencia, and trying local food at Mercado Central to enjoying art at many museums in Valencia, this city has something for everyone.

Read more: 10 Things to do in Valencia for cultural tourists

Ille-de-France, France

Paris is the first destination many people choose to visit when visiting France. However, the region around it, Ille-de-France, is equally mesmerising. The Seine-et-Marne area is famous for its Fontainebleau Forest and villages like Barbizon and Moret-sur-Loing. They were popular among the Impressionists living in Paris, who captured them in numerous artworks.

Because of its beauty and serenity, the region is still popular among Parisians and travellers from all over Europe. With beautiful nature, fascinating history and numerous cultural sites, like Fontainebleau Palace, the Ille-de-France region is a great place to visit in Autumn 2023.

Read more: Ille-de-France travel diary

Karlsruhe, Germany

Karlsruhe is a German town with an exciting history, beautiful architecture, many cultural sites and numerous parks. That lovely town could be easily explored on foot, making a perfect weekend break in Autumn 2023.

Karlsruhe is a town located in southwest Germany in the region called Baden-Württemberg. Because it’s situated at the edge of Schwarzwald Forest, it offers a perfect combination of cultural travel in the city and active tourism in nature. It’s also placed very close to the Rhine River and the border with France.

Read more: What to see in Karlsruhe

TRANSROMANICA sites in Slovakia

If you are looking for a destination that’s still a hidden gem in Europe, visit the TRANSROMANICA sites in Slovakia. TRANSROMANICA is the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, connecting and highlighting Europe’s most beautiful Romanesque sites. The sites on this route in Slovakia are Bíňa, Diakovce and Spišská Kapitula. A journey around these locations will transfer you back to the Middle Ages.

With the beautiful nature surrounding these places, Slovakia is gorgeous to visit in Autumn. Watch my video below to get a bit of its atmosphere.

Read more: Exploring the TRANSROMANICA sites in Slovakia

Istria Region, Croatia

Istria is located in the westernmost part of Croatia, close to the border with Italy and Slovenia. It’s the largest peninsula in Croatia, so most of its towns are on the Adriatic coast. However, the inland is equally impressive, so be sure to visit some places there, too. They are home to Istrian churches with fantastic medieval frescoes, so be sure to explore some of them during your visit, too.

Some of the best places to visit in Istria are Pula, Rovinj, Brijuni Islands, Poreč or Motovun. In the early Autumn, the sea is still warm to swim in. You can join some of the olive harvests in Istria in late October and November. All of that makes Istria one of the best places to visit in Europe in Autumn 2023.

Read more: Istria Travel Guide & The best places to visit in Istria

With so many beautiful places to travel to, this guide to the best places to visit in Europe in Autumn 2023 will help you plan your trip.

Do you have any trips planned in Autumn 2023? Let me know in the comments!