Autumn in its full technicolour glory is one of the most beautiful times of the year. I think of going for crisp walks with the trees turning gold and orange making streets and cities “glow” as the sunlight filters through the leaves.
As we usher in nights of staying in by the fire with a glass of wine, this time of year is perfect for a short city break as the swell of summer tourists begins to dwindle. So here is my personal pick of timeshare city break destinations for the new season…
After a hot and busy summer, Paris comes alive again in the autumn. If art is your thing, the Autumn Festival kicks off on September 13, sparkling with music, dance, film and theatre. Or you could head to the numerous world-class exhibitions at the Mussee D’Orsay or the Louvre.
Foodies will adore the Montmartre Wine Harvest, a tradition since 1934 that runs from October 9-13. Montmartre is – unusually – a vineyard right in the heart of Paris and the festival celebrates the arrival of new wine causing a five-day party with plenty of stalls where you can taste, try and buy local products.
Vienna is magical in the run up to Christmas with markets opening on November 16 and running through the festive period. You’ll find yourself walking around the endless stalls enjoying roasted chestnuts, traditional gingerbread and finding gifts. If you fancy a bit of glam, December is known as “ball season”.
Grab yourself a ticket on the National Tourist Office website and attend one of the hundreds of balls that take place across the city. Similarly, spend the evening relaxing with a glass or two of wine – it would be rude not to as Vienna is the world’s largest wine growing capital city!
3. New York
With the thought of all those presents needing to be bought in the run up to Christmas, where better to be than in one of the best shopping destinations in the world! Here you’ll be amazed by the incredibly huge department stores such as Macy’s, or head to SoHo to find some more unique gifts. To see some of the autumnal scenes at their most beautiful, head to Central Park where you’ll be engrossed in rich colours made famous in films such as Autumn In New York or TV’s Sex In The City, where you can enjoy long walks escaping the bustle of Time Square.
Florence stays mild right through October and you’ll find yourself enjoying temperatures of 20 degrees while sightseeing. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the famous sights with its copious Renaissance architecture and lively piazzas.
Make sure you get along to the Galleria dell’Accademia to the works of great artists as well as the Boboli Gardens, which is home to a collection of sculptures dating from the 16th century. To end a busy day, head to one of the many bars and restaurants where you can sit out in the warmth and admire the city in all its seasonal glory.
Book yourself on to a cruise along the River Danube, which will give you ample opportunity to see some of the most iconic landmarks such as the Liberty statue at the top of Gellert Hill, the prestigious Hungarian State Opera House with its Neo-Renaissance architecture and the stunning Hungarian Parliament Building. To rest your feet after a long day take a trip to one of the city’s thermal baths where you can spend hours soaking in the natural springs or book yourself into the spa for a few treatments.