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The Best European Cities to Visit in September

Whether you’re planning a city break over a long weekend or an extended break, September is a fantastic time to travel in Europe. Book your place now with one of these TRIPS by Culture Trip.
Joel Rabinowitz
10 Dec 2021
Temperatures are still pleasant, but not as swelteringly hot as they are in the middle of summer, and the crowds are smaller than in peak season. From Lisbon and Porto, in the far west, to Istanbul and Tbilisi, in the far east, we’ve selected the top destinations in Europe to visit in September with TRIPS by Culture Trip.
1. Tbilisi, for diverse cultural influences and ancient sulphur baths
Georgia’s location at the juncture between eastern Europe and western Asia is reflected in the eclectic combination of architectural styles in the capital, Tbilisi, with traditional Georgian, Byzantine, Moorish, Soviet and Art Nouveau buildings all on display. As part of this nine-day adventure, our local insider will take you on a walking tour of the old quarter, followed by a lunch of khachapuri – cheese-filled bread, which is considered Georgia’s national dish. Delve into the past at the Museum of Georgia, shop for fresh ingredients at the Dezerter Bazaar, and discover how to cook authentic Georgian cuisine in a cooking class in a local home. After several days of exploring rural parts of the country, you’ll return to Tbilisi and wrap up your trip with a visit to the ancient sulphur baths.
From$1369Next available from5 May 2022
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2. Lisbon and Porto, for culinary treasures and architectural jewels
If the thought of custard tarts, fine wines, hearty sandwiches and delicious soups has you salivating, you’ll be in your element in Lisbon and Porto. As well as being dream culinary destinations, these exuberant Portuguese cities feature some of Europe’s most impressive architectural masterpieces, such as the Gothic-style Jeronimos Monastery (in Lisbon) and the neoclassical Bolsa Palace (in Porto). You could easily enjoy a city break in either, but Culture Trio’s nine-day Northern Portugal adventure allows you to experience the best of both – including a foodie-themed walking tour of Porto and a visit to the historic Belem area of Lisbon. Expect daytime temperatures of around 20-25C when visiting in September – ideal for sightseeing and still comfortably warm enough to soak up the sun on nearby beaches.
From$2859Next available from21 May 2022
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3. Palermo and Syracuse, to learn all about authentic Sicilian cuisine

Sicily can be scorching in the summer months, so September, when temperatures drop to around 22-25C, is a very sensible time to go. The island has a proud culinary heritage, heavily shaped by mainland Italy, Greece, North Africa and the Middle East, with arancine (stuffed rice balls, coated in breadcrumbs) and caponata (an aubergine-based stew) among the classics. There’s no better way to discover Sicilian food culture than by strolling through the rambunctious markets of the capital, Palermo, and taking part in a cooking class – which you can do on Culture Trip’s 10-day Sicily adventure. The trip also includes a visit to Syracuse, a city renowned for its ancient Greek and Roman ruins, and an atmospheric old town on the island of Ortigia, characterised by ornate, honey-coloured baroque architecture.

From$2969Next available from15 May 2022
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4. Rome, Florence and Milan, for historical landmarks and gastronomic delights

Home to iconic landmarks including the Colosseum, the Parthenon and the Trevi Fountain, Rome deserves a place on every traveller’s bucket list. Florence, meanwhile, brims with resplendent Renaissance architecture and art, and Milan flies the flag as Italy’s fashion capital – also boasting a majestic, Gothic-style cathedral. Culture Trip’s 10-day Northern Italy adventure takes in the best of all three cities, including a cycling tour of Rome, dinner at the excellent Ristorante Al 34, a walking tour of Florence and a gastronomic journey through Milan, with an opportunity to try mondeghili (Milanese meatballs) and melanzane parmigiana (aubergine baked with cheese and tomatoes), among numerous other specialities. September, when the dense summer crowds have dissipated and the weather is still pleasant enough to dine outside, is an opportune time to go.

From$3789Next available from14 May 2022
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5. Istanbul and Antalya, for magnificent architecture and beautiful beaches

Whether floating down the Bosphorus between two continents and admiring dazzling structures such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, or wandering between the stalls of the Grand Bazaar in search of sumptuous street food and aromatic herbs and spices, Istanbul is a true feast for the senses. It’s where you’ll start off on this 12-day ultimate Turkey adventure, absorbing the city’s blend of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and modern Turkish influences, before venturing inland to the capital, Ankara, and through the heart of the spectacular Cappadocia region. You’ll end up by the coast in Antalya, Turkey’s premier beach destination, which, in September, is one of the most reliably sunny spots in Europe, with temperatures hovering around 25C on average.

From$2189Next available from28 May 2022
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