If your summer’s been a washout there’s still plenty of time to soak up some autumnal sun with these eight fantastic destinations, where the sun is pretty much guaranteed through the fall and winter season.
Dubai is tipped to be THE number one destination for incredible holiday prices deals this autumn! And fast becoming the international capital of the world with a huge 13.7% increase in yearly tourist numbers, Dubai is the Middle East’s most happening vacation destination right now and is pictured above.
From hosting the yearly shopping festival to being home to the world’s tallest building, Dubai has a lot to offer. Top must do things in Dubai should definitely include; a tour of the famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper, an adventurous ride of the desert sand dunes in a 4×4 that ends with a feast of traditional Arabic dishes, a trip to the Atlantis, a day at the famous Dubai Mall (consistently voted a top shopping destination), a dinner at the 7 star hotel, Burj Al Arab and a lazy day at the Jumeirah Beach. Things to keep in mind; Dubai has pleasant weather during the latter part of the year so is ideal for autumn and winter breaks, away from the blistering summer heat.
The Big Apple is a perennial tourist destinations thanks to great weather in the autumn and spring and also the relatively low flights costs, making New York a great budget destination too, whether you’re a solo traveller. or part of a group. When in New York, invest in a day pass which gets you around and about on the local buses since taxi’s can be quite expensive. Must see places in New York are definitely The Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island, The Empire State Building, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Depending on how much time you plan on spending here and your budget, you can include a visit to the Rockefeller Center or choose to dine at some of the famous New York restaurants like the Artisanal or the Jean Georges on Central Park. You can also book a tour on one of the many New York cruises with dinner. Also on your must-see list should be a TV and movie set tour, such as Sex and The City hotspots (one for the ladies) and The Sopranos (one for the gentlemen). Wear comfortable shoes at all times as long lines are pretty common in New York.
At the beating heart of Turkey, where East meets west, lies Istanbul; hot and happening and rich in ancient culture and history too. Oh and throw in the fact that budget airlines fly here aplenty and the fact that the accommodation is cheap and you’ve got the perfect autumn-sun destination!
Start off your trip in Istanbul by booking a ferry ride at the Bosphorus. Snap away at the houses and mansions that surround the Bosphorus and take in all of Istanbul in a ferry. Next head to the Topkapi Palace (pictured above), the home of the Ottoman Empire Sultans and spend at least a few hours here exploring the many holy relics, structures, mosques, halls, courtyards and gardens.
Since Istanbul is famous for 17th century Muslim architecture, do not forget to head to the world famous Blue Mosque to enjoy Muslim architecture at its best. Take in the peace and ambiance of this beautiful building to unwind and relax before heading off to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Istanbul is fairly affordable but taxis are expensive, so book a hotel close to the metro or tram. All metros and trams stop by the famous tourist destinations so a simple map will help you get around fairly easily. To enjoy Istanbul’s local food, visit the Taksim Square.
Hong Kong is definitely one of the most amazing places tourists can enjoy on a budget coupled with mild year-round weather (although the summers can be incredibly humid). Top things to do while in Hong Kong whether you only have 24 hours or a week; lazily stroll the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade for a spectacular view of Hong Kong’s skyline and the nightly sound and light show, visit Victoria Peak and then head to the Hong Kong Park, the Aviary and the Botanical Gardens, visit the island of Lamma and catch a boat onto Sok Kwu Wan, a beautiful settlement full of seafood restaurants, take a boat further up to visit the Tin Hau Temple that was built in the early 1800’s! To experience modern Hong Kong life head to Causeway Bay and for some traditional food experience, pick from the many tea restaurants all over Hong Kong. Fast food in Hong Kong is cheap, as is the local tram but hotels are expensive. Look for tourist apartments for short term rental.
Beijing has been voted as the second best value city in the world! The Forbidden Palace is definitely THE place to start off your trip in Beijing. This beautiful and colossal palace was once home to the Chinese Emperors and has hundreds of halls, rooms, courtyards, gardens, dining areas and courts waiting to be explored. Next head to the parts of the Great Wall of China that fall into Beijing, and use the lift up to the famous Badaling area or the Mutianyu; head down the steep steps or use one of the rentable sleds!
On your must-do list for Beijing includes; a rickshaw ride through one of the traditional alleys of Beijing, a visit to the Temple of Heaven, the Temple of Confucius and the Lama Temple, a visit to the WangFuJing shopping street and a trip to the Beijing Zoo, home of the beautiful panda. Finish off the trip with some scrumptious Peking duck at the Quan Ju De and a stroll at the gigantic Beijing Olympic Park. Be prepared for long queues and double check prices before paying especially at road side stands.
The forever sunny town of Cape Town in South Africa has everything, from top fashion brands to exotic wildlife to beautiful landscape to breathtaking beaches. No vacation here is ever enough to fully enjoy this beautiful piece of heaven on earth but the must do list of Cape Town includes, a crazy shark diving adventure at Gansbaai, a picnic at the spectacular Table Mountain, a ferry ride to the Robben Island and a visit to the V and A waterfront.
There are thousands of other things to do in Cape Town like hiking, bird watching, golf, whale watching and shopping, so plan in advance to manage time. Hotels in Cape Town are quite expensive, try to book in advance to find an affordable room or opt for town house rentals that are cheaper. Taxi’s and car hire is also expensive so opt for day tour buses.
Autumn and springtime are the best times to explore Rome in Italy, as many other tourists have returned home so the sites are a little quieter. There are also more deals around, the accommodation is cheaper and the weather is a little cooler; perfect for a walking tour of the fantastic historical sights, in fact Rome is the perfect year-round city break destination!
Rome cannot possible be enjoyed and explored in one just vacation. But there are some parts of Rome that should truly be enjoyed, even if you have just a few days here. These include a trip to The Colosseum (pictured above) and Arch of Constantine, a ride on the “hop on and hop off Rome bus tour”, a lazy walk through the Roman Forum, an exploration of the Trevi Fountain and a day at the amazing Villa Borghese photo gallery. If your time in Rome is too short, invest in one of the many Roman tours so you can see as much of Rome as possible!
The capital city of Greece, Athens, remains a firm favourite especially for a fall vacation; the air is cooler and the hordes have departed. Must-see Athenian sights include The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion, the Monastiraki Flea Market, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Mount Lycabettus and the National Archaeological Museum are just some of the places that make it to the top best places to see in Athens.
If you have a month or so off to enjoy Athens, add a few ferry rides to the many Greek islands, a fun day strolling through the tiny streets of Agra-Athens full of artists, shops, galleries and cafes in the and a visit to the Plaka.