23 Best Europe destinations in September of 2018

In many ways, September is the single best month for a visit to Europe. Only the northernmost cities are getting cool this time of year, and nearly every other city has arguably their best weather of the year. Better still, the crowds of July and August are home again, so you can enjoy the mild weather with smaller crowds.

Hotels in most cities are also cheaper starting in September, so you can stay longer or get a nicer place than you would have in summer. Below are our best recommendations for places to visit in September. If this is your first trip to Europe you may also be interested in our recommendations for best first-time Europe itineraries of your own.

Below you'll find

  1. Europe's 4 best September beach destinations
  2. Europe's 19 best city destinations

Europe's 4 best September beach destinations

Costa del Sol/Malaga, Spain

  • September avg high: 82°F/28°C
  • September avg low: 65°F/18°C
  • September avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

The beach weather in Spain's famous Costa del Sol is even more pleasant in September than it is in August, and crowds are smaller as well. In other words, if you can push your sunshine holiday to September, you'll be far better off and you'll be rewarded with lower hotel and apartment rental rates as well.

The chance of being rained on is almost zero, but it's still crowded enough to be fun and lively. Since so many people are forced into holidays in July or August, those who can go in September are the big winners.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €116 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €122 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €31 per person

Algarve/Faro, Portugal

  • September avg high: 80°F/27°C
  • September avg low: 64°F/18°C
  • September avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

The southern coast of Portugal is known as The Algarve, and pretty much the entire description of the Costa del Sol above applies here as well. This area is not known as much of a party destination as many of Spain's beaches, but it does have excellent stretches of sand and also a few spots that are idea for windsurfing and such.

Generally speaking, things in Portugal tend to be a bit cheaper than in Spain, although not much. Another possible benefit is that English is more widely spoken than in some of Spain's less popular beach areas.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €70 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €120 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €13 per person

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • September avg high: 82°F/28°C
  • September avg low: 70°F/21°C
  • September avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

The Canary Islands has nearly perfect weather all year round, but it can get a bit hot in July and August. So by the time September rolls in, things are cooling off a bit and getting back to that warm and dry climate that it's so famous for.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and the best choice for English speakers as well. The area around Los Cristianos in the southwest corner is packed with hotels and resorts to the point that it feels like Holiday City. Most things here are cheaper than on the mainland as well, which is one reason why many northern Europeans come for a month or more at a time.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €53 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €72 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €11 per person

Antalya, Turkey

  • September avg high: 89°F/32°C
  • September avg low: 66°F/19°C
  • September avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

Geography buffs and pedants will be quick to point out that Antalya isn't technically in Europe, and they are obviously right. However, Antalya is easy to reach and packed with European holidaymakers so we feel it's worth mentioning here. This is another place where July and August are hotter than most of us prefer, so September is more ideal.

Cheap flights from all over Europe are streaming into Antalya from April through October. This area is also one of Europe's cheapest all-inclusive destinations, with small hotels and resorts charging absurdly low prices for a room, 3 meals, and unlimited drinks.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €17 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €28 for two people

19 Best destinations in Europe in September

Rome, Italy

  • September avg high: 79°F/26°C
  • September avg low: 60°F/16°C
  • September avg precip: 2.7″/6.8cm

Rome is another southern city that is so hot and humid during much of July and August that September is a much better month in almost every way. As you can see above, the temperatures are almost perfect all day and night, and you shouldn't be seeing much rainfall.

Those on longer visits to Italy should consider heading south from here for a stop in Sorrento, which is a bit south of Naples. It's the perfect base to visit that city as well as Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. If you only have a week or so in Italy, head north from here to Florence and Venice.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €62 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €93 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €24 per person

>>>Rome prices and travel tips


Florence, Italy

  • September avg high: 80°F/27°C
  • September avg low: 58°F/14°C
  • September avg precip: 3.1″/7.8cm

Florence tends to be the second stop for most people on a first visit to Italy, whether they start in Venice and come south, or start in Rome and head north. This is the heart of Tuscany and one of the art world's most important cities, so the food and museums here are top notch.

Another good reason to stop in Florence is that it tends to be a bit cheaper than Rome and noticeably cheaper than Venice. Florence is also less crowded and more mellow than the other two, so it's generally more pleasant and less hectic. Spend 3 nights here if you can, and you might consider a half-day trip to Pisa, which takes only 1 hour each way by train.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €70 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €118 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €23 per person

>>>Florence prices and travel tips


Venice, Italy

  • September avg high: 75°F/24°C
  • September avg low: 58°F/14°C
  • September avg precip: 2.6″/6.5cm

If you read about Venice you surely know its reputation for being insanely crowded. September is one of the busier months, but it's still worth coming for a day or two because it's beautiful and you just won't see anything else like this anywhere else in the world. Other cities have even more canals, but none look like this.

Venice can be expensive when it comes to hotels, but it's also small enough that just one or two nights should be enough for most visitors. Also, since it's always so crowded most people get a bit sick of walking in large groups that two days seems more than enough.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €85 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €175 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €30 per person

>>>Venice prices and travel tips


Split, Croatia

  • May avg high: 77°F/25°C
  • May avg low: 65°F/18°C
  • May avg precip: 2.7″/6.8cm

When it comes to Croatian cities, Dubrovnik, is far better known. But Split is the better choice for most people and September is an ideal month to visit. This area is stuffed with northern Europeans all of July and August, and it's a bit hot during those months as well. This is another place where September is more comfortable and much cheaper than summer.

Another reason to like Split is that it's far easier to reach than Dubrovnik. The train actually comes to Split, and it's a major hub for the many buses that carry people all over Croatia. There is also a busy ferry port here that takes people to the nearby holiday islands, or even Italy.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €50 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €58 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €9 per person

Paris, France

  • September avg high: 71°F/22°C
  • September avg low: 57°F/14°C
  • September avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

Interestingly enough, Paris is very quiet in August since half the office workers are away, and it gets really lively again in September. Hotels will be full so it's best to book as far in advance as you can. All of the restaurants and galleries will be open again though, so it's very much worth coming even with the crowds.

Paris is so beautiful that it's worth visiting no matter what time of year you are coming to Europe, and September is definitely one of the nicer months. If you are planning on visiting the Louvre, the Orsay, and taking the hop-on, hop-off bus plus the Seine River cruise in the evening, you should look into the Paris Pass.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €90 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €123 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €26 per person

>>>Paris prices and travel tips


Barcelona, Spain

  • May avg high: 78°F/26°C
  • May avg low: 62°F/17°C
  • May avg precip: 3.4″/8.5cm

Barcelona is yet another city that is both hot and packed with tourists in August, so September is the ideal month to visit. This city has become so popular in recent years that they have suggested somehow restricting visits. Even so, it's still very pleasant as long as you don't spend your whole stay walking up and down the Rambla.

Hotels here are getting a bit expensive as well, so booking early is best for the most choices. And as long as you are in the area, it would be a shame to not also visit Madrid (below) since the high-speed train between them only takes 2.5 hours.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €82 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €112 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €18 per person

Madrid, Spain

  • May avg high: 79°F/26°C
  • May avg low: 59°F/15°C
  • May avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

Being smack in the center of Spain, Madrid feels hotter than Barcelona in July and August, so September is a much better time to visit. As we discussed just above, the high-speed train between the two cities takes only 2.5 hours, and it's reasonably priced if you book at least a few weeks in advance.

If this is your first trip to Spain you really owe it to yourself to visit both of these huge and very different cities. Madrid is obviously the capital so it contains the Royal Palace and many more formal buildings and museums. The food is also quite different, although both are known as late-night party cities.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €44 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €78 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €24 per person

Lisbon, Portugal

  • September avg high: 79°F/26°C
  • September avg low: 63°F/17°C
  • September avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

If you are heading to Barcelona and Madrid in September, you should also seriously consider adding Lisbon to that trip. You can get here by an overnight train, but honestly it's probably better to fly, which can also be cheaper as well. Lisbon is very different from Barcelona and Madrid in many ways, and it's also refreshingly a bit cheaper than them as well.

Another reason to visit Portugal is that English is more widely spoken, so it's a bit less stressful for new travelers who might not speak Spanish well. This city has a gorgeous setting famously on 7 hills, and the food is worth the trip itself.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €41 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €89 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €15 per person

>>>Lisbon prices and travel tips


Interlaken, Switzerland

  • September avg high: 67°F/19°C
  • September avg low: 49°F/9°C
  • September avg precip: 3.8″/9.5cm

If you are sure you want to visit Switzerland and you are unsure of exactly where to go, you probably want to start with Interlaken. I wrote an article called where to go in Switzerland on a short visit to help first-time visitors figure out the best places to see the amazing Alpine views, and also where to avoid (the cities mostly). Summer is actually the rainy time of year in the Alps, and by September you'll get fewer rainy days and even shorter storms.

The big attractions here are the cable car up to the Schilthorn observation deck and the train up to Jungfraujoch, which is the highest train station in Europe. Hotels in these areas are packed in September so it's best to book well in advance if you can, especially if you want to stay at one of the few hotels in the amazing little farming village of Gimmelwald. If you want to visit a second place in Switzerland to admire the unusual beauty, Lucerne is your best bet.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €76 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €187 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €44 per person

>>>Interlaken prices and travel tips


London, England

  • September avg high: 66°F/19°C
  • September avg low: 53°F/12°C
  • September avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

The London weather is definitely a bit nicer in July and August, but it's still pretty nice in September and it doesn't actually rain that much. If you are planning a trip to Europe in September, you should definitely include London on your itinerary, and just be thankful that it's reasonably warm.

Most visitors to the UK just stop in London for a few days before they leave the island, but there is obviously a LOT more to see here, even in September. The second highlight for most people is Edinburgh, which can be reached by an affordable high-speed train if you book at least a few weeks in advance. Here are some of the other best England, Scotland, and Wales itinerary ideas.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €112 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €125 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €27 per person

>>>London prices and travel tips


Berlin, Germany

  • September avg high: 66°F/19°C
  • September avg low: 51°F/11°C
  • September avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

Berlin is definitely one of Europe's trendiest destinations these days, and for good reason. In September it can be a bit cool here, but still plenty nice enough to enjoy both the indoor and outdoor attractions, including a pleasant cruise along the River Spree, which takes you by most of the most important buildings in this huge city.

Another great thing about Berlin is that it's one of the cheapest large capital cities in Europe. Hotels, food, drinks, and attractions here seem quite reasonable even compared to Munich or Hamburg. The nightlife here is legendary as well, and pretty much everyone you encounter will speak English surprisingly well.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €69 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €88 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €33 per person

>>>Berlin prices and travel tips


Salzburg, Austria

  • September avg high: 68°F/20°C
  • September avg low: 50°F/10°C
  • September avg precip: 4.0″/10.0cm

If you can't make it to Switzerland's excellent (and very expensive) Alpine destinations, you should at least try to make it to Salzburg. The September weather is still very pleasant, so you'll have a chance to get outside of town on a bus tour to see those famous rolling hills featured in the Sound of Music film.

The historic town center of Salzburg is worth the trip by itself, as it's almost perfectly preserved and gorgeously nestled at the base of a hill with a castle on top. The city is also famous for being the home of Mozart, and it holds several large classical music festivals to go along with that.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €132 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €174 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €21 per person

>>>Salzburg prices and travel tips


Vienna, Austria

  • September avg high: 69°F/21°C
  • September avg low: 53°F/12°C
  • September avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

One of Europe's grandest cities, Vienna has pleasant weather in September, and it's also the start of the famous culture season here. This is a city with huge and ornate buildings, but also opera houses and symphony halls. During summer there isn't much going on, but in September all of the artists are back to work.

This is an excellent stop to combine with Salzburg because they are connected by a fast train and they are so very different from one another. Hotel prices here can seem a bit high in the central ring, so booking in advance is advised for the better places. This isn't much of a party city, however.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €66 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €72 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €16 per person

>>>Vienna prices and travel tips


Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • September avg high: 64°F/18°C
  • September avg low: 51°F/11°C
  • September avg precip: 3.2″/8.0cm

Similar to London, Amsterdam has pretty dreadful weather almost all year long, so that's not why you come here. That said, September is still a fairly pleasant month, and the crowds are a bit lighter after the busy summer months as well.

Hotels in Amsterdam have become very expensive in recent years, especially if you want something nice within the canal rings. Book early if you can in order to get a well located place at a reasonable rate. The most famous attractions including the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum are always crowded, so arrive early in the day if you can.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €88 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €149 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €20 per person

>>>Amsterdam prices and travel tips


Bruges, Belgium

  • September avg high: 64°F/18°C
  • September avg low: 55°F/13°C
  • September avg precip: 1.5″/3.8cm

If you want to get a taste of Belgium and you are in the area, it's probably better to spend a few hours in the center of Brussels around the Grand Place (main square) and then hop back on the train and take it one hour to Bruges, which is otherwise more interesting. This place will remind you of Amsterdam with its 16th Century architecture, but it's quieter and more gentle.

Bruges is compact enough that you can see the highlights in two days or so, but it's also pleasant enough that you might want to stay 3 or 4 nights. Hotels here are also more reasonable than in Brussels or Amsterdam, so it's a good place to relax for a bit if you are on a longer trip.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €84 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €100 for two people

>>>Bruges prices and travel tips


Krakow, Poland

  • September avg high: 67°F/19°C
  • September avg low: 50°F/10°C
  • September avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

We consider Krakow to be Europe's best travel bargain. It's lovely, pleasant, historic, and almost absurdly cheap. The reason Krakow isn't more popular is that it's not close to any other popular cities so you really have to want to come here, and few people get here by accident.

The hotels are very good bargains for Europe, but the food, drinks, and entertainment are also very reasonably priced considering how nice and interesting the city is. As sad as it may be, you don't want to miss Auschwitz, which is a very interesting half-day bus tour leaving from central Krakow.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €38 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €63 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €12 per person

>>>Krakow prices and travel tips


Prague, Czech Republic

  • September avg high: 67°F/19°C
  • September avg low: 50°F/10°C
  • September avg precip: 1.6″/4.0cm

September is a very pleasant month in Prague because the temperatures are nice and the crowds aren't quite as ridiculous as they are from June through August. This is another one of those cities that is so crowded in summer that some people ask themselves why they came at all. In September it's still crowded, but not nearly as bad.

The majority of visitors to Prague just visit for a few days and then leave the country. If you've got a bit more time on your hands and you want to see something wonderful that many people have never heard of, head to Cesky Krumlov, which is 3 hours away on a scenic bus ride or train. It's lovely, quiet, and even cheaper than Prague.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €40 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €63 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €18 per person

>>>Prague prices and travel tips


Budapest, Hungary

  • September avg high: 72°F/22°C
  • September avg low: 53°F/12°C
  • September avg precip: 1.7″/4.3cm

Budapest is another city that is usually more pleasant in September than it is in August, partly because many of the less expensive hotels here don't have air conditioning. You'll get warm days, cool nights, and usually almost no rain at all. This is another “grand” city that might remind you of Vienna or Prague, but of course has its own long and fascinating history.

Another of Budapest's best features is that it's one of the cheapest major cities in Europe. As long as you don't need a river view from your hotel room, you can get a lot for your money here. Food and drinks are also moderately priced in the non-touristy places, and the nightlife is famously interesting as well.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €47 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €71 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €19 per person

>>>Budapest prices and travel tips


Istanbul, Turkey

  • September avg high: 77°F/25°C
  • September avg low: 60°F/16°C
  • September avg precip: 1.7″/4.3cm

Even though Istanbul isn't as hot in the summer as you might expect, it's still nicer in September than in August. This is one of the world's greatest and most historic cities, and as of now it's an incredible travel bargain. More good news is that every other place in Turkey is even cheaper than Istanbul, so you might want to do a little tour including Cappadocia and Antalya if you can.

Hotels in Istanbul are good value, even in the busy Sultanahmet neighborhood where the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque are standing next to each other, along with most other famous sights. Do your research if you are thinking about buying a rug. Aside from that you'll get a lot for your money here.

  • Good 3-star hotels in September from €23 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in September from €34 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in September from €8 per person

>>>Istanbul prices and travel tips




Leave a Comment

    Name (required)
    Mail (will not be published) (required)