The Best City Breaks for September

September is a marvellous month for a city break, when all the school-holiday crowds have gone home. We’ve looked at some of our favourite city-break destinations in Europe and further afield, each paired with a relaxed experience within easy reach - somewhere to recharge your batteries after a busy few days of sightseeing.

New York and Upstate New York

Canary-yellow taxi cabs, the Chrysler Building, Central Park… The sheer number of icons squeezed onto this tiny spit of land make it a destination you’ll never tire of. And there are now more reasons than ever to visit New York – lots of alfresco dining spaces and open-air culture, whale-watching boat trips direct from Manhattan, Little Island on the Hudson River in the Meatpacking District, brilliant shopping and wonderful food. 

Upstate New York has several tempting options: The Catskills with their autumn colours (best September–October), the Hudson Valley, Niagara Falls, The Adirondacks and Saratoga Springs. Choose one or hire a car and set forth on an unforgettable road trip.

Rome and Sardinia

When it comes to history, Italy’s capital is up there with the best. ‘The Eternal City’ boasts almost 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture, with ancient ruins such as the Colosseum and the Forum standing as a lasting testament to the power of the former Roman Empire.

A quick hop away, Sardinia is best known for is shimmering Costa Smeralda or ‘Emerald Coast’ on the north-east coast, with picture-perfect bays and upscale resorts popular with super-yachters.

Paris and the Loire Valley

Art, fashion, culture and some of the world’s very best food – the French capital has it all. There are more major sights here than can even be touched on, but part of the charm of visiting or revisiting the city is simply ambling along its wide boulevards, cobbled alleys and riverbanks, stopping at cafés to people-watch as you refuel in style.

Beyond Paris, the castles of the Loire are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Home to the French court for a century and a half, the region also has stunning landscapes including vast old hunting forests still full of stags and wild boar.

Amsterdam and Utrecht

The ‘Venice of the North’ is a wonderfully cultural city centred on it its Rijksmuseum national museum: a vast storehouse of art, crafts and history. Other highlights are the Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House Museum and the Anne Frank House, but simply wandering or cycling around the canals is a must.

Half an hour away by train, Utrecht used to be Netherland’s cultural centre and has a gorgeous ancient city centre to explore. It’s in the province of the same name, where the lovely Vechtstreek region also has many vestiges of the Dutch Golden Age.

Reykjavik and Thingvellir National Park

The Icelandic capital is a beguiling mix of culture (don’t miss the Viking exhibitions in the National and Saga Museum), great shopping and dining, and natural wonders, from the Nauthólsvík geothermal beach to the iconic nearby Blue Lagoon spa.

It’s also handy for visiting the Golden Circle, a triumvirate of incredible natural sights – Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. The first is where Iceland's national assembly, later a parliament, was founded and is one of the few places in the world where you can walk between continents, in the Mid-Atlantic Rift.

Budapest and Eger

Largely a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hungarian capital offers an enchanting combination of Turkish-style baths, Roman remains, Gothic and Baroque architecture, elaborate Secessionist façades, caves full of stalagmites and stalactites, and boating on the Danube.

Just 100km north-east, Eger is best known for its wines but also has an impressive castle where locals held off the Turks in 1552.

To book your September city break, get in touch today. You’ll benefit from full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.

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