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Great Countries to Visit in the Fall

There is no time like fall for exploring some new places, a cup of hot coffee in hand, and donning your favorite scarf. Whether it is doing some leaf-peeping, taking part in some fall traditions, or enjoying somewhere with a bit of a nip in the air, fall is arguably the best season for travel. For those on a budget, traveling off-peak also means saving a few bucks, and you might even be able to explore some locations with fewer tourists about too.

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01Belfast, Northern Ireland

There is no better time to explore the setting of Game of Thrones than in the fall. Just before winter grips, Belfast has a heartening nip in the air which means tourists can explore the neighboring Black Mountain in relative comfort. There are also several not-to-be-missed cultural events in Belfast, for example, the CS Lewis Festival. There's nothing quite like curling up in a pub by the fire after a day out visiting the archaeological site of Beaghmore Stone Circle as the leaves turn orange in the trees.

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02Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhvan Canal Maremagnum / Getty Images

Danes will tell you there is no better time for “hygge” than fall. Getting cozy in the colder months is something Danish people are specialists at – making Copenhagen the ideal fall destination. There are some spectacular places to visit in and around Copenhagen in the fall – for example; you can check out the crown jewels in Rosenberg Castle, go for a walk in Vestre cemetery, or check out the botanical gardens at the center of the city.

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03Lisbon, Portugal

People watching the sunset in a viewpoint of Lisbon in Autumn

Lisbon is the perfect fall getaway for those of us who would rather wear some shorts and sandals than a scarf and a pair of boots. The usual tourist spots, Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery will still be open, with fewer tourists milling around than in the peak summer months. There's also nothing quite like dashing around in the traditional yellow trams before stopping off for an espresso and a pastel de nata.

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04Ontario, Canada

Person paddling on a lake LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

Maples, birch, and Tamarack set the skyline ablaze with crimsons, oranges, and yellows in Ontario in fall. Leaf peepers will delight at the scenery alone, but there are lots of fun excursions to get up to in Ontario as well. For example, travelers can check out the wineries on the Niagara Peninsula, go and visit the traditional Mennonite community at the Harrison-Minto fair or get a beach to yourself in the Great Lakes.

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05Edinburgh, Scotland

Sunset over Edinburgh Allan Baxter / Getty Images

The weather in Scotland is famously temperamental - but if you pack your umbrella, fall is a wonderful time to visit their capital city. With a huge amount of indoor and outdoor activities to fill your itinerary, Edinburgh really is one of the best places for art and culture, and entertainment no matter the weather. Visitors can take in the changing colors in the Royal Botanical gardens or lose themselves in some of Edinburgh’s museums. Halloween is also huge in Scotland, and Edinburgh gets into the festivities in full swing, join in by going on a ghost tour or visiting the Edinburgh dungeon.

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06Paris, France

Pont de la concorde at dusk spooh / Getty Images

Paris brings romance every day of the year, but arguably the city really comes into its own in the fall. After Parisians return from their August vacations, the city comes alive, and the nickname “city of lights” becomes apparent as the nights become shorter. The Parisian gardens, such as the Jardin du Palais Royal, become adorned in fall colors which you can appreciate from the neighboring terraces with a cup of café crème and a croissant to warm you up.

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07Seville, Spain

Castle on hilltop corradobarattaphotos / Getty Images

Fall really is the best time to explore Seville. With slightly lower temperatures and the wonderful trees in Park Maria Luisa and Plaza de España to admire, the city is magical in the fall. With fewer tourists, it is also the best time to try some of the local cuisine away from the summer crowds – for example, gourmet markets like Lonja del Barranco are great ways to get a tasting palette of the city.

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08Utrecht, Netherlands

"Canal and the Dom Tower in the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands by night." sara_winter / Getty Images

The best way to explore Utrecht is by boat. In fall, this means you can admire the majestic changing trees up close on the water. If you get a little chilly, there are plenty of cute bars, cafés, and restaurants you can pull up to in the transformed wharf cellars in the city. Beautifully traditional, don’t skimp on the town either. The best way to discover is by renting a bike and popping into the wonderful antique shops in the town.

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09Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich skyline sborisov / Getty Images

Zurich is the perfect blend of city and countryside, and in fall, travelers can enjoy wonderful cultural activities as well as hikes and food festivals. There is no better way to appreciate the changing colors of the city than a walk up to Waid or the top of the Uetliberg at sunset. Zurich’s museums and cultural events, such as the Zurich Film Festival, also offer a great escape if there is ever a rainy day on your trip.

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10Kyoto, Japan

Japanese temple rooftops

The oldest city in Japan, Kyoto, is known as the best place to see fall foliage. Some of the best places to appreciate these fall colors are in the cities famous temples & shrines. Kyoto also comes alive in fall with a number of cultural festivals for you to enjoy.

Murat Taner / Getty Images

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