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Best places to enjoy the autumn colours this fall
Destinations & Inspiration

Best places to enjoy the autumn colours this fall

Ellena Morgan
By Ellena Morgan - 11 minute read

As many of us say good­bye to the hot days of sum­mer, we’re look­ing for­ward to the cool­er weath­er of autumn – and most impor­tant­ly, the stun­ning colours that come with this lumi­nous sea­son. Fall’s palette of reds, oranges, yel­lows and gold are sweep­ing across much of the world right now, mak­ing for one of nature’s most daz­zling spec­ta­cles. It’s a great time of year to enjoy a home swap, so we’ve col­lat­ed the best places around the world to see incred­i­ble autumn foliage (includ­ing a cou­ple of our top South­ern Hemi­sphere options for the months of March to June)!

Lon­don, England

Lon­don is a great city to vis­it at any time of the year, but it offers a real­ly excep­tion­al city break for fall. It’s a huge­ly green city, with almost as many trees (8.3 mil­lion) as there are peo­ple! Ben­e­fit­ting from a host of incred­i­ble parks where you can enjoy the autumn foliage – includ­ing Hyde Park, Regents Park, Kew Gar­dens and the ancient wood­lands of Hamp­stead Heath – you’ll find plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties to crunch in the leaves! These are only a hand­ful of the open spaces that are avail­able in Lon­don, so check out the best parks in Lon­don to find your near­est autum­nal spot.

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Lon­don has a host of parks to enjoy in Autumn

Asheville, North Carolina

If you’re after an out­door hol­i­day this fall, then Asheville is the per­fect choice. Nes­tled in the Blue Ridge Moun­tains, you’ll wit­ness some of the pret­ti­est scenery in the Unit­ed States, where the moun­tains turn a stun­ning array of yel­lows and oranges thanks to the beau­ti­ful Hick­o­ry and Dog­wood. This is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for hik­ers, but it’s also the per­fect spot for any­one look­ing to do a road trip. Known as the Blue Ridge Park­way, it’s one of the most pic­turesque routes you can take – our top sug­ges­tions would be to stop off and vis­it the pic­turesque Mabry Mill, and hike up to the idyl­lic pic­nic spot of Bea­con Heights.

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Blue Ridge Park­way is a great road trip to enjoy in fall

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Edin­burgh’s medieval archi­tec­ture looks incred­i­ble in Autum­nal colours

Edinburgh, Scotland

The com­bi­na­tion of bright red autumn foliage against a back­drop of medieval archi­tec­ture makes Edin­burgh a mag­i­cal city to vis­it in autumn. Aside from the beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al scenery, it’s also a great time to vis­it as the school sum­mer hol­i­days and the world-famous fringe fes­ti­val will have both come to an end, mak­ing it a much qui­eter month to take in Scotland’s cap­i­tal. Once you’ve soaked in all that the city has to offer, we’d rec­om­mend head­ing north into the wilder Scot­tish High­lands. Here you’ll find a more ethe­re­al expe­ri­ence, with dra­mat­ic hills and val­leys, which are home to the colour-coor­di­nat­ed gin­ger high­land cows!

Kyoto, Japan

Known for its tow­er­ing bam­boo forests and cher­ry blos­soms in spring, Kyoto is also a great place to vis­it in fall. Like most of the North­ern Hemi­sphere, Japans autumn sea­son is rough­ly from mid-Sep­tem­ber to ear­ly Decem­ber, where it’s a pleas­ant tem­per­a­ture to enjoy out­door pur­suits whilst enjoy­ing the scenery. Ready to immerse your­self in local tra­di­tions? Then take part in Momi­ji­gari’ (which trans­lates as autumn-leaf hunt­ing’), where locals search for maple leaves in the crisp autumn air.

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Enjoy the stun­ning red maple leaves in Kyoto in fall

Cape Town, South Africa

We can’t for­get our South Hemi­sphere friends in this arti­cle on autumn leaves! Cape Town in South Africa is the per­fect spot to enjoy autum­nal vibes from late March to late June. From the orange hues over Table Moun­tain to the vast vine­yards in near­by Stel­len­bosch which turn vibrant shades of orange and yel­low, autumn is a great time to vis­it this gor­geous region. Ben­e­fit­ting from com­fort­able tem­per­a­tures with stun­ning scenery guar­an­teed, we’d sug­gest mak­ing the most of vis­it­ing the many near­by winer­ies dur­ing off-sea­son’.

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The vin­yards in near­by Stel­len­bosch are well worth a vis­it when in Cape Town in March-June

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Neuschwanstein Cas­tle in Bavaria looks mag­i­cal in Autumn

Bavaria, Germany

If you’re after rich autumn foliage, Bavaria in fall looks like some­thing out of a fairy-tale. Enjoy a tru­ly mag­i­cal expe­ri­ence hik­ing through the Ger­man Alps against a back­drop of dra­mat­ic, medieval cas­tles. It’s also a great time to take in the views with a stein of beer in hand, as autumn in south­ern Ger­many also coin­cides per­fect­ly with Okto­ber­fest in Munich. Home to some incred­i­ble parks where you can take in the autum­nal foliage while par­ty­ing like a pro, this city offers the most excep­tion­al leaf-crunch­ing and beer-drink­ing opportunities.

Banff, Cana­da

Along with cool­er weath­er, fall in Banff brings strik­ing colours to the sur­round­ing foliage, which forges a beau­ti­ful con­trast against the turquoise waters of the region’s stun­ning lakes. The most impres­sive are the larch trees, which as one of the only conif­er­ous trees to change colour, turn a bright sun­shine yel­low. We’d rec­om­mend vis­it­ing Emer­ald Lake (and pack­ing a swim­suit for the ther­mal springs!) to see this spec­ta­cle in all its glory.

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Stun­ning yel­low larch trees are incred­i­ble to see in Banff

Bruges, Bel­gium

When it comes to a great autumn city break, you can’t get much bet­ter than the pic­turesque medieval town of Bruges. With mass­es of trees lin­ing the insane­ly pret­ty canal, take a mean­der along the walk­ways with a Bel­gian hot choco­late in hand, whilst admir­ing the travée bour­geoise archi­tec­ture that the city is so well-known for. Much of your vis­it will inevitably be spent sim­ply explor­ing the city and the views – with our favourites being Grote Markt, Belfort Tow­er and Boni­facius Bridge.

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Bruges is the per­fect Autumn city break

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Queen­stown is a great place to enjoy the out­doors dur­ing the Autumn season

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queen­stown in New Zealand’s South Island is the per­fect stop for autum­nal scenes from March to June. Ben­e­fit­ting from the most incred­i­ble scenery, spend­ing times out­doors will almost cer­tain­ly be your num­ber one pri­or­i­ty when you’re in the area, so we’d sug­gest vis­it­ing the stun­ning Lake Wakatipu and Skip­pers Canyon. If all that hik­ing works up a thirst, then pay a vis­it to one of the 200 vine­yards in Ota­go to fin­ish off a mar­vel­lous day of tak­ing in the autumn foliage.

Seoul, South Korea

Fall is one of the most pop­u­lar times to vis­it Seoul, South Korea’s cap­i­tal city, and it’s not hard to see why. With crisp blue skies and mild tem­per­a­tures far away from the high humid­i­ty of the city’s sum­mer months, it’s the per­fect time to see the city burst­ing with bright oranges and yel­lows. We’d rec­om­mend vis­it­ing the Changdeok­gung Palace, which is home to over 26,000 trees (and over 100 species) in the gar­den alone. If you want to get out­side the city, you’ll find Bukhansan Nation­al Park just a short-dis­tance from the city cen­tre, which is filled to the brim with trees of every colour in fall.

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Seoul is full of amaz­ing foliage to see in fall

Ice­land

Although you’ll have less day­light on your side, vis­it­ing Ice­land in fall is a great choice for not only see­ing incred­i­ble autumn foliage, but also for a good chance of wit­ness­ing the north­ern lights – win win! Although Ice­land might not have many trees, this small coun­try does have plen­ty to offer in terms of stun­ning yel­low, orange and red-hued foliage against an even more stun­ning sculpt­ed back­drop of moun­tains, lava fields and glacial waters. But be quick to catch it, as autumn in Ice­land comes ear­ly! You’ll find these autumn colours as ear­ly as the first weeks of September.

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Trees aren’t the only amaz­ing foliage you can see in fall, Ice­land is home to incred­i­ble glass­lands and shrubs

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Enjoy a wine tour lat­er in the year whilst enjoy­ing the sea­son­al colours

Tuscany, Italy

Tus­cany in fall might not be an obvi­ous choice, but it’s a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to avoid the swel­ter­ing heat of peak sum­mer – plus see­ing the rolling hills in orange hues will make you feel like you’re liv­ing in a real-life Renais­sance paint­ing! With the hordes of tourists gone, autumn will also present you with the per­fect chance to vis­it some of Tuscany’s many incred­i­ble cities such as Flo­rence, Siena and Pisa. Pair an autumn city break with wine tast­ing, and we think we can all agree that this is the per­fect getaway.

Ams­ter­dam, The Netherlands

There’s nev­er a bad sea­son to vis­it Ams­ter­dam, how­ev­er there’s some­thing mag­i­cal about cycling along the city’s canals and through Von­del Park when you’re sur­round­ed by autum­nal leaves. Home to over 400,000 trees in its city cen­tre, Ams­ter­dam is a great spot to enjoy fal­l’s most vibrant colours. We’d rec­om­mend explor­ing the amaz­ing gal­leries the city has to offer, before grab­bing a take­away cof­fee and sit­ting canal-side to indulge in a lit­tle peo­ple watch­ing. Make sure you pack an umbrel­la, as the months of Sep­tem­ber and Octo­ber can be unpre­dictable, which means you may face a rain show­er or two dur­ing your stay!

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Enjoy tak­ing in the autumn leaves along Ams­ter­dam’s canals

New York City, USA

What’s bet­ter than New York around Christ­mas? Actu­al­ly, it’s New York City in autumn. Nes­tled in-between the swel­ter­ing heat of sum­mer and the freez­ing (albeit mag­i­cal) snowy win­ter, autumn in New York is the ide­al sea­son to explore this metrop­o­lis. Unlike our more rur­al rec­om­men­da­tions, the sheer con­trast between the autumn leaves and the strik­ing, shiny sky­scrap­ers is enough to take your breath away. Grab a cof­fee and wan­der around Cen­tral Park to soak up the chang­ing foliage, and we guar­an­tee you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Nora Ephron movie. For an extra-spe­cial treat, feast your­self sil­ly at the San Gen­naro Fes­ti­val in Lit­tle Italy, and pay a vis­it to the spooky Hal­loween Town.

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New York makes a great city break in fall

Prague, Czechia

Autumn foliage against the ter­ra­cot­ta rooftops of the Czechi­a’s cap­i­tal Prague is a sight to behold. Often the city expe­ri­ences high­er tem­per­a­tures in autumn, so this is a great chance to enjoy warmer tem­per­a­tures with­out the crowds that come with peak sum­mer trav­el. If you’re feel­ing ener­getic, we’d rec­om­mend tak­ing a hike to Hrubá Skála and Valečov Cas­tle ruins in the north­east of Prague. This day-long hike takes you through fields and forests, pro­vid­ing breath-tak­ing views over the autumn foliage and ancient ruins. If you’d pre­fer to stay more cen­tral, then mean­der along the leafy walk­ways up to at the his­toric fort and view­point Vyšehrad, where you can enjoy stun­ning views over the medieval town centre.

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Prague is a great spot to enjoy Autumn colours

These are just a few rec­om­men­da­tions on the best places to enjoy the autumn foliage, but there are so many more great des­ti­na­tions we could men­tion! From rur­al get­aways to city breaks, let us know if there are any hid­den gems we’ve missed, and we’ll add them to our round-up of the best places to vis­it this fall.