Top 5 Locations For Autumn City Breaks

Got some annual leave to use up? Autumn is the ideal time for a long weekend away, you’ll miss the busy summer rush, find cheaper bookings and enjoy more bearable temperatures. Before the stress of the festive season hits, take a Friday off and jet away for an autumn city break. 

Short flights and lots to see, here are our top 5 locations for an autumn city break.


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Bordeaux was our second stop after busy London, and that was incredible contrast for sure. Just 20 minutes away from the city of Bordeaux, you can find hidden paradise, spa-hotel Les Sources de Caudalie, surrounded by its own vineyards and lake-filled gardens beside the estate of Château Smith Haut Lafitte. There is a phenomenal feeling of peace and tranquillity, very romantic place. Walking around estate and vineyards, I noticed beautiful roses 🌹 at the end of each vine row. Later I found out that roses can prevent grape vines from diseases. Bordeaux is all about wine, you can visit most famous chateau for degustation, or just stop by and explore the estate, without any appointment, because winemakers are very welcoming. Each time Le Labo – Rose 31 perfume takes me back to Bordeaux 🌹 @lessourcesdecaudalie #lessourcesdecaudalie #caudalie #bordeaux #travel #lelabo #lelabo31

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Picture this- The weather is just cool enough for you to wear your favourite jacket, the leaves are browning as you sit under a blanket sipping wine. Sounds dreamy right? Little more than an hours flight away from London, Bordeaux has all the excitement and culture of Paris, with a quieter, more intimate feel. Bordeaux is obviously a hotspot for wine, so book in a tour of Château Pape-Clément, the oldest vineyard in the area with 30 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. 

Or if you want to be able to remember your trip, take in your surroundings in a stroll along the river or around the beautiful Jardin Public, housing their natural history museum and botanical garden. Soak up the gothic sights of the Bordeaux Cathedral, standing tall among streets that feel straight out of Beauty and the Beast. 

It’s not just because of their vineyards that Bordeaux is called the French California, head to the beach and you’ll understand the reasoning. If the weather permits, take the journey out to the coast at Arcachon to catch a glimpse of the surfers while eating moules-frites and ice cream far better than any you’d get at a British seaside. 

Far calmer than Paris, Bordeaux is the ideal autumn city break for a much-needed getaway to break up a stressful month. 

What we’d be wearing

Channel effortless French-girl cool by keeping it minimal. We’d be wearing blue straight leg jeans, our softest white T-shirt and an oversized coat. Adopt the romance of the setting into your outfit by opting for a classic top handle handbag like our favourite french icons.


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For a busier weekend packed full of culture, head to Spain’s artistic hub. Bilbao is a must-visit for any art lover as not only is the Guggenheim building a piece of art in itself, but it houses some of the most iconic works ever made from artists including Rothko, Basquiat and Warhol to name a few. Gallery-hop around the city checking out the Guggenheim, Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts and Sala Rekalde Contemporary Art Gallery, all within walking distance of one another. Autumn is the ideal time to visit to eliminate the guilt of spending your days indoors, wandering around a gallery all-day. 

Once you’re full up of culture, head to Plaza Neauva to fill up on food. Make your way around the monumental square grazing on pinchos and sipping sangria without the need to hide from the burning summer sun. Or meander around the Mercado de la Ribera, an extensive food market in a beautiful art deco building that overlooks the Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s medieval quarter.

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Casco Viejo is not only a place to enjoy the nightlife, but also a place for you to get lost during the day! But don’t get too lost! Haha according to my guide @roquaresma, while walking in the small streets and wander through the shops in the old buildings, make sure to keep in the red tile streets – they are the most touristic ones! There is a lot see and eat around there! I couldn’t check everything, but my research pointed the following places as a must go: @royale for cookies, @ayminegra for ice cream and @danilosjazzclub for the best jazzbar!! Robi, I would love if you could share more of the hidden places with us 🙂 📍 Panamá City, 🇵🇦 – 27/09 . . #vls_panama #vls_panamacity #vls_food #panama #panamacity #ciudaddepanama #cascoviejo #cascoviejopanama #girlpowertravel #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #thetravelwoman #girlswhotravel #travelgirls #dametravelers #viajerasnomadasdigitales

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What we’d be wearing

The last thing you want in a gallery is a big bag. We’d be packing the essentials into a cross body bag for minimum fuss when you’re taking in the sites. Also handy to hide the food baby from all those patatas bravas. Go for a statement piece in a seasonal snake print or bold red, and let the bag do all the talking for you.


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Purple sky💜 #lalaland

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Rome in the summer is difficult. In a city that demands a lot of walking, the summer sun demands a siesta, making the autumn a perfect time to truly explore and see all the sites at a more comfortable temperature. Rome is jam-packed with culture and history planning centuries, from mythological times to the renaissance and beyond to maybe the biggest cultural moment of our time; the Lizzie McGuire movie. While you could spend weeks here, a long weekend seeing the most iconic sights is just what you need during a hectic work period.

The best tip for a perfect Roman holiday? Don’t try to do too much. Rome moves slowly, embracing the dolce vita through calm, easy days. Resist the temptation to do and see everything, instead, plan to do one big thing per day. The Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Vatican City are all musts, so plan in advance for all of these, giving yourself plenty of time to wander and take in all the beauty and history.

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Meu par ♥️

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But make sure to leave plenty of time for aperitivo. There are few things greater than dressing up and heading out for the evening in a European city, and the Romans take their evening meal seriously. An Aperol Spritz to start with and a coffee and a Limoncello to finish sandwich a big meal ate slowly over several hours. There’s a reason why Eat Pray Love begins in Italy, indulge!

What we’d be wearing

Embrace Italian style as you wander its streets. We’d be opting for a long-sleeved maxi dress and trainers, covering you for the modest dress code of Vatican City and keeping you looking chic. Paired with a belt bag big enough to hold your phone, card and a map, and you’re sorted. The lighter the better for swanning around this mythic city.


There’s no need to travel far, relaxing weekends and new adventures are closer than you think. Dubin is a prime example, full of rich and varied culture, and less than an hours flight away. The land of rebellion and Guinness and art, Dublin is the perfect location for an autumn city break spent wandering cobbled streets and stumbling upon something great.

Yes, go to the Guinness Storehouse,  go to Trinity College, go to Kilmainham Gaol. But leave as much time as possible for simply wandering the city. Say hi to the statues on O’Connell Street, indulge in some classic Irish comfort food, dip in and out of vintage shops. Lovers of literature can see the sites made famous by James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, lovers of history can see the locations of the Irish revolution, and lovers of alcohol can enjoy all the traditional pubs serving proper Irish whiskey, beer, gin or even an Irish coffee. 

Finish off your day of exploring in Temple Bar, the city’s eclectic riverside neighbourhood. Housing pubs, bars, vintage shops, galleries and more, this little neighbourhood is bustling and exciting. For something more relaxing, head to the Irish Film Institute for a movie and a meal and their restaurant, or embrace the night time with some pub grub soundtracked by a traditional Irish band. Whatever you’re after, you can definitely find it in Dublin.

What we’d be wearing

The one downside of Dublin is that you might not be able to escape the rain, so dress warm. We’d opt for a trench coat in case of showers, and a bucket bag to hold a little umbrella just in case.


The perfect autumn city break, Munich is at its best in the later months framed by brown leaves and a slight chill. It might not immediately come to mind when you’re contemplating city breaks, but Munich has a lot to offer, being a city full of unexpected treasures.

Best way to see the city? By bike. Rent out a bike for the day and cycle around the streets taking in the sights of Michaelskirche, Marienplatz, St Peter’s Church, the Bavaria Statue and Nymphenburg Palace. Make sure to hit Marienplatz at either 11 am, noon or 5 pm to see the Glockenspiel cuckoo clock’s carousel of figures dance. Head to the English Gardens if you want an escape from city life. An expansive park, the English Garden has statues, temples, beer gardens and even river surfing to discover. If you need a really chill weekend, there’s nothing stopping you from spending days walking around a park.

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#NymphenburgPalace: the bold, the beautiful, the #Bavarian – #Luxury #residence amongst Bavaria’s finest #architecture, #garden and #palaces 🗞➡️ . #travel #luxurytravel #wtm #travelmood #luxuryguide #travelinspirations #beautifulplace #travelguide #placetovisit #wonderlust #TravelDiary #TravelLife #TravelTips #Travelgram #bucketlist #traveltip #travelogue #magazine #worldtravel #worldtravelmagazine #langham #germany @TheLanghamHotels @NymphenburgPalace . 🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽🔽 🔸Download the #WorldTravelMagazine App today: Apple Appstore ➡️ Google Play ➡️ . Follow us on our social media pages! . 📌 Follow 👉 Instagram @WorldTravelMagazine 📌 Follow 👉 Facebook @WTravelMagazine 📌 Follow 👉 Twitter @WTravelMagazine 🔸 🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼🔼

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Alternatively, go looking for Munich’s cool underbelly. Vintage Love, Cat with a Hat, Alva-Morgaine; Munich has some amazing vintage shops, full if eclectic piece and old designer treats. Treat yourself to some retail therapy, then treat yourself a Bavarian feast of beer and pretzels. Head to Paulaner Nockherberg for a stein in their iconic beer garden that’s a favourite with tourists and locals alike, so you know its good. 

What we’d be wearing

For a bike ride, a backpack is ideal. We’d be styling a mini backpack with wide-leg culottes and a jumper, the perfect outfit for a day of exploring.


Written by Lucy Harbron

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert