Check out our best off-season picks!
Travelling to some of our favourite destinations in the off-season months comes with many benefits, from better hotel prices to shorter queues and less crowds. Here are five of the best places to enjoy the quieter months at.
New York gets hot and hectic in the summer months. From October onwards, you can enjoy a far more relaxed and authentic version of the city – while also making the most of the best cultural season! On Broadway (and off-Broadway), most shows open in September and the best offering is available through to December. This autumn looks to be exciting with many previously unseen musicals and plays opening. The New York Theatre Guide is your best friend when planning a theatre trip to the city.
Another great draw in New York during the autumn off-season is the wonderful holiday vibes. From Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas, New York does holidays beautifully. The city is flooded with decorations, amazing window displays, as well as seasonal treats from pumpkin spice lattes to Christmas pretzels. If you are in town in late November you might even catch a glimpse of the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade – although if you don't like crowds, you might want to avoid it.
When in Europe it’s already quite chilly in October, in Dallas, you can enjoy lively mild weather all the way to early December. In the summer, the heat can get quite overwhelming. There is also a dip in tourist crowds from September to November, which means that hotel prices are at a much more comfortable level and discounts are easy to find.
Autumn is also event season for Dallas. One of the key events to visit is the huge Texas State Fair from 30 September to 23 October that lets you enjoy all that is Texan, from rodeos to live music, in one place. If you want to enjoy something a bit more cultural, autumn is a great time to visit the city's popular museums, as the queues are getting shorter. Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Centre are fabulous places to start.
Lisbon also enjoys the combination of lovely weather, less crowds, and cheaper hotel prices in October and November. The temperatures tend to be perfect for outdoorsy activities. There are several great hiking and mountain biking trails near the city to make to most of. You could, for example, plan a route around Palácio de Sintra and Castelo dos Mouros, or head out to enjoy the breathtaking seaside scenery of Cabo da Roca.
Autumn is also the time of events and celebrations in Lisbon. There is the Lisbon Marathon, and the Lisbon International Film Festival for example. Somewhat surprisingly Halloween is also a very big thing in Lisbon and costume parties are everywhere at the end of October. The Portuguese start Christmas early too. From November you can enjoy many seasonal festivities from Christmas concerts to markets selling seasonal treats.
While autumn in Milan can be a bit rainy, in all other ways it is the perfect time to visit. The prices of hotel rooms drop significantly right after fashion week in September, and many of the very popular art and culture sights can be seen without queuing for hours. Now is a good time to visit Il Duomo or see the Last Supper, for example.
Fashion lovers will also love autumn in Milan. The freshly finished fashion week means that brands have just refreshed their offering in all the shops and the window displays tend to be at their most glamourous too. Because the season has just changed even the outlets around the city tend to have a lot of new stock. Make sure you have space in your suitcase when you arrive.
The capital of hygge knows how to make autumn the cosiest it can possibly be. The obvious hotspot to experience this is Tivoli, where the summer crowds make way for locals enjoying a night out. The strings of fairy lights, cups of mulled wine, and autumnal decorations will get anyone in a hygge mood. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, the park is also full of fun, spooky attractions.
14 October is the best time to be in town for all culture lovers, as Kulturnatten or Culture Night is being celebrated with tons of exciting events in museums, theatres and libraries. This autumn also brings special treats for art lovers as Arken Museum of Modern Art showcases the star of surrealist art Leonora Carrington and in Louisiana you can see the works of modern art's giants; Andy Warhol, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman and Yves Klein.