You’ll find many of the best European cities to visit in October are located in Northern Italy. Sure, it won’t be as sunny as summer, but the streets of Milan and Florence will be far less crowded – and if it does rain, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and museums. There’s a lot to see in the north, but this nine-day Rail Trip helps you to see all the urban highlights. Explore the ruins of Rome, visit wineries and medieval cities in Tuscany and see the art and Renaissance palaces of Florence. You’ll also visit foodie capital Bologna, Parma and Lake Como – before ending the trip with in Milan.
Visit Istanbul in October and you’ll miss the big summer crowds and the fierce summer heat as you draw into its glorious autumn. The grounds of the Topkapi Palace are resplendent in autumnal colours – while sights like the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque aren’t quite so busy as they can be earlier in the year. But there’s much more to see over the Bosphorus. Istanbul is your gateway to Asia – as well as Europe – so, why not join this 12-day group tour? After exploring Istanbul, you’ll travel to see ancient Anatolian civilizations in Ankara, before you’re off hiking in Cappadocia – where conditions are perfect in October. You’ll finish up the trip in Antalya – Turkey’s top Mediterranean city – and soak up the last of the sun or take a dip in the Mediterranean before heading back home.
October is harvest time in Georgia and far from being just a rural event, the cities are flooded with fresh fruit and produce from the villages – and there’s plenty of Georgian “supras” to celebrate. The Georgian capital, Tbilisi, is a satisfying place for foodies in autumn – where you can experience the culinary delights of the Dezerter Bazaar, as well as cheese-breads and local wines at the start of this nine-day group tour. After eating your way through Tbilisi, the trip moves into the Kakheti region – you’ll learn how to cook and drink Georgian-style here as the harvest is brought in around you. The tour moves into the Caucasus mountains – where you can work off all the food hiking to remote mountain villages and valleys – before returning to soak in Tbilisi’s sulphur baths at the end of an epic trip.
October might just be the best time to visit Italy’s cities. You’ll miss the scorching summer heat – but don’t worry, it’s still going to be very warm. Best of all, you’ll miss the summer crowds. Our top pick in October is Naples – the birthplace of pizza and home to some of Italy’s tastiest pasta, pastries and parmigiana. Join this 10-day group trip to Southern Italy and you’ll start with a culinary tour in Naples before exploring the Amalfi Coast – in October, you’ll have entire stretches of coastline to yourself. You’ll visit wineries and valleys, before visiting Puglia’s most historic cities at the end of the tour. In Otranto, you can see an 11th-century cathedral – while in Lecce, you’ll admire the baroque palaces of a city that’s often claimed to be the Florence of the South.
Central Europe is best explored by train, multiple cities and countries at a time, which is why we created our 10-day Berlin to Budapest Rail Trip. With a local guide to show you the ropes, and high quality accommodation to keep you well-rested, this is no scruffy teenage summer abroad. We’ll start with a blend of old and new in Berlin, before shooting off to Prague by train. We’ll explore the beautiful old town, Charles Bridge and a local craft beer brewery before moving on to sophisticated Vienna. Take in the beautiful architecture, learn about the city’s musical heritage and chomp down on schnitzel before catching the train to Bratislava. Slovakia’s capital is an underrated gem, with gorgeous medieval architecture, and makes for the perfect stop before our final destination, Budapest, where you can have a well-earned soak in the city’s thermal baths.