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Autumn is the Time for City Breaks

Autumn has arrived, here are our favourite destinations for city breaks this season

Famous for its beautiful Gothic architecture and spired skyline, the Czech Republic’s quirky capital is a historic post-communist city split by the Vltava River and linked by the 14th-century statue-lined Charles Bridge. The city is often extremely hot and very crowded in the summertime, but travellers can find relief in the milder temperatures and thinner crowds from September onwards. Take a boat trip on the Vltava, see the changing of the guards at Prague castle, visit the Astronomical Clock and Gothic churches of the city’s gorgeous cobbled Old Town, ride the funicular railway to Petrin Tower and pop into a beer hall for a traditional brew.

Morocco’s most famous city is a labyrinth of alleyways at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains. Brutally hot in the summer, Marrakesh cools off somewhat in the autumn, but temperatures generally remain in the high 20s, making the Jewel of the South a perfect location to eke out the last of the summer. Head to the Djemaa el-Fna and the city’s market streets to buy anything from fashionable handbags to saucepans to traditional carpets, and take in the surrounding donkey carts, potion-sellers and snake charmers. Medina highlights include fabulous food, cobbled lanes, exotic palaces and bursting bazaars.

One of the world’s most romantic cities, Venice is beautiful throughout the year, but it comes into its own in the autumn when the massive summer crowds ease. Take a traditional gondola ride through the gorgeous Renaissance city’s legendary canals, sample some delicious Italian food and wine, visit the Piazza San Marco with its famous basilica and sail down the Grand Canal and admire its 16th- and 17th-century palazzi (palaces). For a cheap and fun way to get around, try the city’s vaporetto (water buses).

Kraków is one of Poland’s most interesting cities, and there’s no better season to discover why than autumn, when travel companies cut prices as the fresher weather rolls in. Now a World Heritage Site, many of the city’s beautiful historic buildings, palaces, churches, monuments and artworks made it through the Second World War. Besides Kraków's vibey restaurants, bars and clubs, famous highlights include Wawel Castle and the Stare Miasto (Old Town) with its domes, Gothic churches, Baroque spires, alleyways and famous main market square. Also worth a visit are the old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, which was once a separate town, and Leonardo da Vinci's painting, Cecilia Gallerani.

Ready to go? Here are some of our best city break deals.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, London
Thursday, 23 September 2010
See more Tips from
Maire Bonheim