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European Vacations in October


The Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria.

The Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria.


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European weather in October

European tourism start going downhill in October, days get noticeably shorter, wind get chillier and cool people drift south, though autumn colours are superb.


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France: Nancy Jazz Festival, early Oct, 2 weeks.
Nationwide, La Semaine du Gout (Tasting Week) - teaching peopleto appreciate good home cooking with public tastings, exhibitions, street parties.
Paris, Salon du Chocolat - every possible aspect of the brown wonder-drug is explored at this big celebration in Port de Versailles. Three or four days in late October.

Germany: Berlin Festival (music of all sorts, drama, art) early Sept-mid Oct
Munich's Oktoberfest beer frenzy, mid Sept - early October

Ireland: Wexford Opera Festival - a small but perfectly formed showcase for rare works by famous composers in the tiny Theatre Royal (evening dress required!) and around the town. Late November -early October.

Hungary: Budapest Autumn Music Festival - all sorts of arts, music, drama, dance, exhibitions, poetry and kid's stuff. Mid to late October.


Also see European Festivals or Arts Festivals for suggestions, information and dates.


Sightseeing/culture in comfortable weather conditions

Spain: Spain is generally warm and pleasant in October. The best bet for a dry cultural experience is in the south, visiting the magical Moorish cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada, where the days are warm and the nights coolish. Barcelona too is a lively, interesting city, though it can be a little chilly/wet in October. Swimming in the Mediterranean in October is no fun, nor is the sad, overbuilt coast that is now dedicated to sod-the-culture, we want sun, sea and sangria tour groups.


Portugal: Perhaps a bit wet, but often warm with blue skies in October. Try the pleasant old-fashioned atmospheres of Lisbon, Sintra and Evora.


Italy: The southern part of Italy has generally mild winters with blue skies, so Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Sicily are excellent cultural targets, while Amalfi takes good care of those who need a scenic uplift. Venice is chilly, damp and foggy, but has a terrific mysterious quality, enhanced by the lack of tourists (and relatively welcoming locals), and spectacular Florence will be relatively uncrowded too.


Turkey (esp. Istanbul. More or less Europe!)


Greece (esp. Athens, Peloponnese peninsula, Meteora)


France (Paris)


Belgium (esp. Brussels)


UK London's Museums and Art Galleries are exceptional, in English and free! A great experience in any weather.


Austria (Vienna)



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