September in Europe brings cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and cheaper prices, making it a perfect month to explore all this region has to offer. Up in Northern Europe or the mountains, September brings crisp, cool air and the start of the changing leaves, while Southern Europe still has long, warm days, perfect for relaxing on the pristine beaches.
Whether you want a weekend city break, a charming mountain retreat, or one last beach vacation before winter, September is the perfect time for a European vacation.
There is no better time of year than September to visit the magical city of Rome when the heat and humidity of July and August have eased. The quieter shoulder season is perfect for visiting popular destinations like the Vatican or the Colosseum, and there is never a bad time of year to fill up on delicious Italian delicacies.
Those with a little more time in Italy should consider heading north from Rome to Florence or Venice or south to Sorrento or Naples.
Split is often overlooked by the far more popular Croatian city, Dubrovnik, but is an ideal choice for a September vacation. It is the second-largest city in Croatia and sits along the beautiful coastline of the Adriatic Sea.
September is a wonderful time to visit as it will be a little cooler in the historic streets and far less crowded. For sweeping views across the city and bay, try climbing the bell tower of St Domnius Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world.
Krakow is a wonderful hidden gem and is known to be one of Europe's best travel bargains, as it is still surprisingly cheap to visit. It's a beautiful historic city with a gorgeous Main Market Square right at the heart of downtown. Sitting on the square is the iconic 14th-century Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica and the 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall.
By September, the heat will have dropped, but the fresh produce will still be out in the local markets, making it a wonderful time to visit this former Polish capital city.
September is seen as the last month of the summer season in the Greek Islands, so it is a perfect time to catch some deals and avoid the scorching heat and busy crowds. With more than 200 islands, visitors to this region are spoiled for choice.
Santorini is one of the most popular for first-timers to the region, and it's not difficult to see why with its stunning lake caldera, whitewashed buildings, and black sand beaches. Corfu is also a popular choice, with its pastel villages, rolling olive groves, and some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Less well-known Sifnos is also an excellent choice for foodies, with its famous revitháda (baked chickpeas) and mastello (lamb with red wine and dill).
Budapest is another city that is great to visit in September when the temperatures have dropped, as many of the cheaper hotels don't have air conditioning. There are so many great sights to see and activities to do in this lovely capital city. For a unique view of the city, take a sightseeing cruise down the river or visit Margaret Island in the middle of the river Danube.
Budapest also hosts a number of fun festivals in September, including the Jewish Summer Festival, which highlights Jewish movies, music, art, and literature, the Fois Gras Festival, where visitors can sample a variety of foie gras from local producers or the Budapest International Wine Festival where visitors can sample local Hungarian wines.
Another city with an abundance of festivals in September is Galway in Ireland. The most popular is the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, which is the second most famous Irish festival after St. Patrick’s Day.
The event is filled with fun oyster-related activities, including oyster eating competitions, oyster opening championships, and oyster cooking demonstrations. Smaller parties and contests are scattered throughout the city, and folk musicians perform on stages across the city throughout the festival. For foodies, Galway is one of the best places to experience in September.
Seville is a beautiful year-round destination, with its beautiful baroque architecture, stunning Seville Cathedral, and gorgeous Plaza de España. September is a particularly interesting time to visit because of the Feria de Pedro Romero Bull Fighting fiesta. Throughout the day, people pour into the streets dressed in traditional bullfighting costumes, and it all ends with a bullfight in the main plaza.
Switzerland is a breathtakingly beautiful country, and for first-time visitors, Interlaken is a perfect base for seeing some of the best scenery central Switzerland has to offer. Interlaken - meaning 'between lakes' - lives up to its name and is set between two stunning lakes, Thun to the west and Brienz to the east.
There are so many activities to do in or around the lake, including sailing, windsurfing, paragliding, horseback riding, and golf, and the town is a perfect base for exploring further up into the mountains. September in Interlaken brings fewer crowds, and cooler temperatures for hiking but still warm enough for lake activities.