Best Destinations to Visit From the UK This September
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If you haven’t yet had a summer escape, now is the perfect time to go. Many of Europe’s beaches, islands and lake destinations are still warm and sunny, but much less busy after the August high season. Flights and hotels are more reasonably priced (and British Airways has more off-peak award availability) as the crowds die down, but you’ll still come back with a sun-kissed glow on your shoulders thanks to the mild, sunny weather much of Europe still sees throughout the month.
While a hop over to Asia or the US could make for a wonderful September holiday (check specific regions to steer clear of countries/regions/states affected by typhoon, hurricane or monsoon season), be careful with organizing trips to the Caribbean and Central America as September is the most active month of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Here are the best places to visit from the UK in September.
Although Ryanair uses Bergamo’s Orio al Serio airport (BGY) as one of their largest bases in Europe, British Airways will be flying between the the airport and London Gatwick (LGW) six times per week starting September 1, 2019. Redemptions will be the same as flying to Milan (MXP) (4,000 off-peak/4,500 peak in economy, 7,500 off-peak/9,000 peak in business) thanks to reward saver flight redemptions.
Although you’ll find more hotel options in Città Bassa, the lower part of the city, Città Alta is the area to explore, particularly the medieval town set on the hilltop closed in by Venetian walls, known as Cinta Muraria. The best way to arrive from the low city to the historic center is to take the funicular. Once you’ve wandered the cobblestone streets to see sights like the Piazza Vecchia, the bell tower and the Duomo, stroll around the city walls to see the modern city and beyond below. Evenings should be spent at the Giro Mura, a pop-up festival with food, cocktails and live music that runs throughout September in the Parco Sant’Agostino, perched on the edge of a hill in the high city.
Bergamo is already the perfect spot to spend a weekend away, but if you have more time, combine the charming town with a visit to the cosmopolitan city of Milan, just an hour away by bus. Romantics can visit nearby Verona, the famed city of Romeo and Juliet or one of Italy’s famous lakes, like Como, Garda, or the lesser-know refreshing waters of Iseo or Maggiore.
You may not realize from the name, but Oktoberfest, Germany’s famous beer festival, often begins in September. This year, the event starts September 21 and runs through October 6, meaning you can actually spend more time yelling ‘prost’ and cheers-ing giant beer mugs in the month of September than October.
And Oktoberfest isn’t just for beer aficionados. The event features a few family days, with discounted attractions and rides, concerts and even religious celebrations.
If you’d prefer to visit before the beer-inspired celebrations commence, the city is relatively quiet at the beginning of September. Plan to take advantage of mild weather to explore the English Garden, Munich’s largest park, or try your hand at river surfing along Munich’s Eisbach wave. Watching the surfers may be just as fun (or even more) than surfing yourself!
Stay at the Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor, which opened its doors in early 2019, complete with 227 rooms and a rooftop bar (20,000 points for an award night). And don’t miss checking out the hotel lounge’s nod to German snacking: the golden statue of a pretzel.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is an Asian destination that sees great weather in September — so there’s likely no need to worry about a typhoon or monsoon cramping your holiday plans. The month marks the start of fall for the city, so plan to visit the hilly streets of Bukchon Hanok Village or the Seoul Forest, which has five different parks.
Try to catch some of the rituals and celebrations for Chuseok (Harvest Moon) the South Korean version of Thanksgiving meets Day of the Dead (Sept 13). Traditional foods are served and locals honor deceased loved ones on this important date. Heading over in late September will let you experience the Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival, which refers to one of the three kingdoms that governed South Korea in BC times. The festival, which takes place in Olympic Park, has dancing, music, traditional food and more (Sept 27-29).
Stay at the newly renovated Grand Hyatt Seoul (from 15,000 Hyatt points per night), which relaunched their 615 rooms and suites back in May, with more natural light and all the latest technology offerings as well as some traditional Korean decor details. If you stay at the Four Seasons (or even if not), make sure to pay a visit to the 12th floor to dine at the new Akira Back, a Japanese and Korean fusion restaurant run by chef Back, that opened in mid-2019.
Paris is always a good idea. But September in Paris is the best idea, really. The French city sees pleasant weather, but without the intense heat that descended down on the city in the earlier summer months.
Travellers have many arrival options — and TPG UK even tested them to see which one is quickest. Spoiler alert: as it turns out, flying British Airways won. Using Avios between London and Paris is cheap and easy too (4,000 off-peak/4,500 peak in economy, 7,500 off-peak/9,000 peak in business). If you’re low on points, you can arrive nonstop via Vueling, EasyJet or Air France. And, even though it took a whole six minutes longer during TPG UK’s race to the Eiffel Tower, taking the Eurostar is still a solid plan — and may be faster in many other situations, especially during inclement weather.
Fashionistas can catch up on all the new fall styles by shopping around the city, as well as spotting style icons and influencers dressed to the nines rushing around the city for Paris Fashion Week (Sept 23-Oct 1). And, if your dream home would be styled as a chic Parisian pied-à-terre, gain inspiration by checking out Paris Design Week (September 5-14).
Versailles is an ideal day trip to take from the capital city. Besides visiting the town and of course, the famous Palace of Versailles, you can still catch the musical fountain shows at the Gardens of Versailles, as well as fireworks on Saturday evenings during the month of September.
Matera is one of the two 2019 European Capitals of Culture. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and still somehow a bit of a hidden gem in southern Italy, perhaps because it’s not as easy to reach as other Italian hotspots like Rome or Florence.
But you can fly to Bari (BRI) from London nonstop on budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet, as well as British Airways (6,500 off-peak/7,500 peak in economy and 12,750 off-peak/15,000 peak in business). From there, it’s about an hour drive to Matera.
The city, which has been carved out of calcarenitic rock atop a hill, is simply stunning. The Sassi district is where you’ll discover the ancient caves. These cave dwellings, which date back to Paleolithic times, were once home to some of Italy’s poorest residents, but are now turned into boutique hotels, art galleries and more, waiting and ready for tourists to explore them.
Pick up a Matera passport to enjoy some of the events happening in September, from photo and sound art exhibitions, pipe organ, trumpet and orchestra concerts, walking tours, photography exhibitions and more. A passport with access to any of the events during 2019 is €19 (about £17) and a day pass is €10 (about £9).
Atlanta is often spared many of the hurricanes and severe storms that hit the southeastern US, so if you’d like to visit the region in September, your trip should be low-risk. Plus, ‘Hotlanta’ is much less hot and humid in September than the previous summer months. A walk through Piedmont Park is a great way to enjoy the nice weather, and if rain does strike, visit the High Museum of Art. The Of Origins and Belonging, Drawn from Atlanta exhibition explores themes like heritage and belonging, featuring pieces by Atlanta-based artists like Wihro Kim and Dianna Settles (through Sept. 29).
The city has a number of different types of events during the month of September, from the Decatur Book Festival (August 30 – September 1) that kicks off Labor Day weekend to the Taste of Buckhead, a food and drink festival (September 19), to the Beltline Wine Stroll, a walk that ends in a wine tasting (September 28).
Visitors can fly nonstop on Virgin Atlantic or British Airways. Keep in mind that British Airways names the dates September 7-30 off-peak in 2019, meaning you could score an off-peak award ticket to Atlanta from London for 16,250 in economy, 32,500 in premium economy or 62,500 in business class.
Plan to stay at the Moxy Atlanta Midtown, which opened in early 2019, known for its playful, youthful ambiance (25,000 points per night). The Marriott property has 155 guestrooms featuring unique design touches like throw pillows stating “I woke up like this” and hammock-style chairs hanging from the ceiling.
Featured photo of Matera, Italy by luca micheli / Unsplash.
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