The combination of colder temperatures and your dwindling supply of annual leave make the final three months of the year the ideal time for a short city break. Here are some places more suited to an autumn stroll than a stifling summer slog.
The excitement of going to the airport to begin a holiday can be tempered by security queues and long transfers. Travel by train instead to escape the hassle and spend more time enjoying your holiday. A Eurostar break to Brussels will plonk you straight in the city centre. Famous for its beer and great food, the home of mussels is a great gourmet destination. Get your bearings in the magnificent Grand Place, Brussels’s main square and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is within easy reach of many of the city’s other attractions. Thousands of pubs will keep even the most enthusiastic beer aficionados happy and you can take a tour of a working brewery at the Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze.
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 begin to ease. Take a gondola ride through one of the Renaissance city’s legendary canals, sip a delicious peach Bellini on one of the 400 picturesque bridges, visit the Piazza San Marco and its famous basilica, and sail down the Grand Canal to admire its 16th- and 17th-century palazzi (palaces). For a cheap and fun way to get around, try the city’s vaporetto (water buses).
Moscow is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to city breaks, but Condé Nast Traveller thinks the city is "enjoying a new gilded age" due to its post-communist wealth. The introduction of low-cost easyJet flights next spring is setting the city up to become a more accessible and wallet-friendly destination for tourists. During autumn, the city’s parks are filled with colour, while temperatures are not so low they make venturing outside a seriously chilly prospect. History buffs can visit the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments and see statues of old Soviet heroes, while architecture fans will be impressed by the older stations on the efficient metro system. A highlight of any trip to the Russian capital should be seeing an opera or ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre, the historic venue that hosted the 1887 premiere of "Swan Lake".
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