20 Places Perfect for September Travel

Go Global By Stefan Zechner August 2, 2016

The month of September evokes thoughts of back-to-school and returning to the daily grind. But while most people wind down their vacationing and settle back into their normal routines, you can enjoy traveling amidst smaller crowds, superb weather and post-peak rates.

Whether you’re seeking adventure travel, a romantic excursion or a stateside weekend trip, our round up of can’t-miss September destinations has something for you.



october fest celebration
The opening events of Oktoberfest actually occur in the last two weeks of September, making it the perfect time to experience all that Munich has to offer.

Average Weather: 48 – 66 degrees, 15 days of rainfall

What to do:
• Indulge in steins of beer and fresh pretzels inside Oktoberfest tents
• Take a bike tour through the English Gardens and Bavarian Parliament building with a break at the Chinese Tower biergarten
• Beat the crowds to the state-owned Hofbräuhaus am Platzl beer hall
• Enjoy the sites at Marienplatz central square
• Watch the river surfers at Eisbach
• Stroll through the Viktualienmarkt, the city’s oldest farmer’s market, dating back to 1807
• Witness the opulence of the Wittelsbach family at Residenz Royal Palace and Nymphenburg Palace

Cinque Terre

italian coastline

Translating to “five lands,” these fishing villages just north of the Tuscan border are part of a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site.

Average Weather: 59 –75 degrees, 6 days of rainfall

What to do:
• Capture pictures of the famed colorful houses at Punta Bonfiglio lookout point
• Walk through an abandoned railway tunnel to reach the secluded, clothing-optional Guvano Beach • Sign up for a half-day excursion to the wineries in Groppo, a tiny village above Manarola
• Take in views around the bell tower at Piazzale Papa Innocenzo IV square
• Visit the hilltop botanical garden at Riomaggiore
• Climb the Scalinata Lardarina in Corniglia
• Dive into the Mediterranean during a boat tour through Cinque Terre’s coves
• Hike along the coastline trails between villages


notre dame and the saine river

After closing down almost entirely during the month of August, Paris comes back to life in September as shops re-open and the city’s residents return from their summer vacations.

Average Weather: 54 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit, 11 days of rainfall

What to do:
• Visit Mona Lisa at the Louvre
• Climb or have a picnic outside at the Eiffel Tower
• Take a day trip to Versailles Palace
• Check out the Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs-Elysees, and the Arc de Triomphe
• See the looks at Fashion Week
• Sit in the Jardin du Luxembourg in the Latin Quarter
• Enjoy an evening cruise on the Seine river
• Catch a ballet at Palais Garnier


zurich lake from above

Some of the best festivals, cultural events, and weather reaches Zurich in September.

Average Weather: 50 – 66 degrees, 19 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Take a boat around Lake Zurich
• Tour a chocolate factory
• Walk the famed Bahnhofstasse shopping street
• Take in views from the top of Uetliberg Mountain
• Watch a movie and observe the crowds at the Zurich Film Festival
• Visit one of Zurich’s museum late at night for “Lange Nacht,” on the first Saturday in September


rome italy skyline

Plan to spend more than a weekend in Italy’s capital after it’s cooled down from the August heat.

Average Weather: 59 – 80 degrees, 6 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Visit the ancient Roman classics like the Pantheon, Colosseum and Roman Forum
• Cheer on one of Rome’s two soccer teams at the Stadio Olimpico
• Wave to the Pope at the Vatican
• Marvel at the Sistine Chapel • Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain
• Spend Sunday morning perusing the Porta Portese flea market
• Count the Spanish Steps
• Try authentic Italian pasta and local street food


cliffs of moher

With lush green landscapes, medieval architecture, and idyllic country charm, the Emerald Isle offers plenty to see and do in September.

Average Weather: 48 – 62 degrees, 6 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Support the arts at Dublin Fringe Festival
• Pour a pint at the Guinness factory
• Head to Galway for the world’s longest running Oyster Festival at the end of September
• Walk along the Cliffs of Moher
• Kiss the Blarney Stone
• Tour a Gothic castle
• Enjoy a bit of craic, or fun, at a local pub

La Rioja

San Vicente de la Sonsierra Spain

Spain’s most famous wine region, tucked between Navarra, Castilla y Leon, and the Basque country, will show you a different side of the Iberian Peninsula.

Average Weather: 56 – 72 degrees, 8 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Talk to the locals at outdoor cafes and bars along Calle del Laurel in capital city, Logroño
• Schedule a vineyard or bodega tour, sampling the famous reds of the region
• Stomp grapes, run with the bulls, and party for 24 straight hours at the San Mateo Harvest Festival
• Day trip to the Suso and Yuso monasteries and the Mansilla village ruins


city center krakow poland

Poland’s second city experiences a renaissance when the students return to college, livening the streets at night.

Average Weather: 48 – 66 degrees, 14 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Tour the Jewish District and see Oskar Schindler’s factory museum
• Get a history lesson in Wawel Cathedral’s burial chambers
• Fill up with a pierogi “palette” at the van Gogh-themed Pierozki u Vincenta
• Take in the palaces, churches, and Cloth Hall art at Rynek Glówny town square
• Take a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau
• Have a picnic at Planty Park
• Breathe in pollution and allergen-free air at the Wielickza Salt Mine

North America

Yellowstone National Park

national park waterfall scenary

Nature lovers have long rejoiced the unspoiled natural beauty that can be found throughout Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Average Weather: 37 – 68 degrees, 11 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Watch geysers like Old Faithful erupt
• Spot wolves, grizzlies, bison, eagles, moose, and more in their natural habitat at Hayden and Lamar Valleys
• Go fishing or boating on Yellowstone Lake
• Hike six miles to the top of Mount Washburn
• View the deep red oxidizing rocks, waterfalls and impressive landscapes along the North Rim Trail at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
• Wade in the Boiling River, where hot spring water meets the Gardner River
• Gaze at the rainbow algae surrounding the Grand Prismatic Spring

San Francisco

san francisco california attraction

The fall is often warmer than the summer in the city of rolling hills.

Average Weather: 55 – 71 degrees, 2 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Head to Battery Spencer in Marin County to get a postcard-worthy photo of the Golden Gate Bridge
• See how prisoners lived at the Alcatraz Island, the penitentiary turned museum
• Climb to the top of Twin Peaks for a great city view
• Catch a film screening, take a tour or visit exhibits and lectures for the month-long architectural and design festival, Architecture and the City
• Ride the famous cable cars
• Pack for a picnic at Dolores Park
• Hike through the redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument

New York

high line park, chelsea

The cultural scene peaks as the weather cools and locals return from summer weekends out of the city.

Average Weather: 60 – 78 degrees, 10 days of rainfall
What to do:
• View the city from the top at the Freedom Tower or Top of the Rock observation decks
• Spot celebrity styles at during Fashion Week in early September
• See cutting-edge movies at the Film Festival towards the end of the month
• Hop on the Staten Island Ferry for a free close-up look at the harbor
• Grab a pizza to enjoy in Central Park, Bryant Park, or Washington Square Park
• Spend an afternoon at the High Line, an abandoned railroad track turned elevated park
• View masterpieces from all over the world at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
• Head to Brooklyn to sample from over 100 local and regional vendors at Smorgasburg

New England

new england fall colors

Fall foliage ushers in the best season for Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Average Weather: 42 – 84 degrees, 12 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Tour America’s oldest steam-powered cider mill in Old Mystic
• Walk the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston
• Pick your own pumpkins and apples at farms throughout Rhode Island
• Take in all the Americana of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge
• Go for a hot air balloon ride in Burlington
• Take pictures of the leaves from the top of Mount Greylock
• Go for a hike or ride a bike at Acadia National Park


vancouver canada skyline

Explore the urban and natural wonders at the western edge of Canada and you’ll see why Vancouver is such a popular filming location.

Average Weather: 50 – 66 degrees, 10 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Walk along the paths at Stanley Park
• Take a scenic ride on the SkyRide gondola at Grouse Mountain
• Relax on the sand and watch the volleyball players at Kitsilano and Point Grey beaches
• See a performance against a natural backdrop at the Shakespeare Festival
• Visit the fresh produce and local craft stalls at Granville Island Public Market
• Taste samples at Canada’s first microbrewery, Granville Island Brewing
• Trek over the Capilano Suspension Bridge 230 feet above the beautiful river
• Enjoy the greenery at VanDusen Botanical Garden, Queens Elizabeth Park, and Vanier Park

Africa & The Middle East


elephant on a safari

September is peak wildlife viewing season in East Africa and Kenya experiences little to no rainfall during this time of year.

Average Weather: 52 – 79 degrees, 5 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Witness the wildebeest migration at Massai Mara National Reserve
• Snorkel among the coral reefs at Mombasa Marine National Park
• Relax on the white sandy beaches of Diani Beach
• See the monuments at Uhuru Park and Gardens
• Watch baby rhinos and elephants take mud baths at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi National Park
• Go rock climbing at Hell’s Gate National Park

South Africa

whale watching

Newborn animals in the savannah and whales along the coast are easiest to spot during September, but give yourself time to experience the city culture too.

Average Weather: 48 – 68 degrees, 12 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Whale watch along the coast
• Visit the District Six Apartheid Museum
• See Cape Town from above at Table Mountain
• Safari at Kruger National Park game reserve
• Take a ferry to Robben Island, the site of Mandela’s imprisonment
• Eat dinner with a view at Camp’s Bay beachfront
• Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach
• Experience the southern tip of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope
• Attend an authentic braai, or barbecue

South America


woman walking on edge peru

Clear and sunny days make September the perfect time to visit Machu Picchu and other Amazon destinations. Fly into Cusco and venture from there.

Average Weather: 39 – 68 degrees, 6 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Wander through Cusco’s historical center and Plaza de Armas
• View the paintings on display at Cusco Cathedral
• Take pictures of the Incan salt pans at Salinas de Maras
• Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
• Tour the Sacred Valley
• Explore the ruins at Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay


quito skyline

Popular among backpackers and nature lovers for years, it’s time that everyone enjoys the mountains, jungles, and cultural attractions that Ecuador has to offer.

Average Weather: 46 – 66 degrees, 11 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Explore the old town in Quito
• Hike through Cotopaxi National Park to the Cotopaxi Volcano
• Learn all about sculptor and painter Oswaldo Guayasamín at the museum inside his former home
• Swim with sea lions at the Galápagos Islands
• Shop for ceramic, textile, and craft souvenirs at Otavalo Market
• Go whitewater rafting, paragliding, or bridge swinging at Banos, the adventure capital of Ecuador
• Try surfing at Montanita Beach

Santiago de Chile

santiago de chile air tram

Santiago is at its prettiest in September when warm breezes push out the winter fog and the fauna comes in full bloom.

Average Weather: 43 – 67 degrees, 6 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Check out the view from Cerro San Cristóbal
• Visit the museums in Parque Quinta Normal, especially the Museum of Memory and Human Rights and the Museum of Natural History
• Explore an artisan’s village at Los Domínicos
• Enjoy access to free, outdoor art at Santiago’s Sculpture Park
• Try salsa dancing or watch the pros at dance clubs like Havana Salsa
• Pick up authentic Chilean cuisine like a local at the Mercado Central and La Vega Central
• Hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding on a day trip to the Andes
• Stroll through Barrio Lastarria at night for a bohemian experience

Asia & the Pacific


the great wall of china

Northern China is one of the best places for fall travel; especially the capital city, which enjoys sunny days and mild temperatures in September.

Average Weather: 57 – 79 degrees, 7 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Tour the imperial palace inside the Forbidden City
• Hike through a modern wonder at the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu or Badaling
• Explore the current Summer Palace, the lakeside retreat or royalty, and the Old Summer Palace ruins in Yuanmingyuan Park
• Take a relaxing walk through Beihai Park
• See contemporary art in the 798 Arts District
• Visit Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven
• Experience reflexology at one of the many Liangzi Foot Body Massage Centers


orangutan in the borneo jungle

One of the driest months of the year, September is a great time to visit the beaches and rainforests of Borneo.

Average Weather: 73 – 91 degrees, 15 days of rainfall
What to do:
• See the Sultan’s palace at Istana Nurul Iman
• Watch the turtles on Lankayan Island
• Do some shopping at the Lok Baintan Floating Market in Banjarmasin
• Visit the famous orangutans at the Tanjung Puting National Park or at the rehabilitation centers in Sarawak and Sabah
• Spot pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, and saltwater crocodiles along the Kinabatangan River
• Celebrate Malaysia Day with the locals on September 16th