As the summer comes to end, people start returning to work and school, the crowds disperse and the way becomes clear for you to enjoy some fantastic post-summer holidays, from great British city breaks, to European adventures after the rush, and more exotic journeys to where the summer sun still shines.
Best for British cities
September’s actually a good time to visit London, largely because the heavier crowds of the summer have begun to disperse, even though the weather will not have declined too much. As a result, some of the capital’s best tourist destinations are somewhat more accessible. Museums are a good choice: London is blessed with some of the very best in the world, especially the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern and the British Museum. There are also plenty of hidden gems, like Wilton’s Music Hall, a restored Victorian music hall in Tower Hamlets that hosts performances and concerts, and two atmospheric bars. For a taste of the old-fashioned London that’s sadly disappearing, head into the East End and find a traditional pie and mash shop, with a side of jellied eels, the cockney classic.
Who would have thought, just twenty years ago, that Liverpool would be the proud host of a UNESCO World Heritage site? Once underappreciated, Liverpool is now recognised for the friendly, diverse, and dynamic city it has always been. Pier Head and the Albert Docks provide the heritage: the former is the site of the ‘Three Graces’, a row of iconic Liverpool landmarks, while the latter has been extensively redeveloped, and now hosts museums and restaurants. You’ll find the Beatles Museum, dedicated to the city’s most famous sons, and the oldest Chinatown in Europe. Better yet, in September the football season has only recently kicked off, so you can cap off your trip with a visit to Everton or Liverpool, before the two clubs’ seasons go into their inevitable declines.
Best after the crowds
Typically, visitors to Bavaria will probably stay fixed on Munich. Why not? After all, it’s the city of beer, bratwurst and Oktoberfest. But, in September, it might be a better idea to visit some of Bavaria’s hidden gems, including cities like Augsburg and Nuremberg and the walkable mountain landscapes in the south of Germany’s largest state. Augsburg is a beautiful medieval city, offering up Roman ruins, the birthplace of playwright Bertolt Brecht and the Augsburger Puppenkiste, an iconic puppet theatre that elaborately dramatises fairy tales. Nuremberg, meanwhile, has a well-preserved old town with intact city walls and the best gingerbread in the world. After all that, make sure to try the beer.
Campania has an enormous variety of things to see and do, including the beautiful scenery of the Amalfi Coast, the stunning resort island of Capri, and the vibrant and dynamic city of Naples, home of the world’s favourite dish, pizza. One of the very best things you can do in Campania is a day trip to Pompeii. It’s an incredible, unique place. Though ruined, enough of the city is still intact to really evoke the feeling of walking through a living, breathing, town, with houses, shops, theatres, and even a brothel still recognisable. The artefacts, and the human bodies preserved by the volcanic ash add an eerie, haunting element, especially with Mount Vesuvius looming above you in the distance. With an average temperature of around 21.5 °C, it’s still a fantastic, and less busy, time to visit.
Best for long summers
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water and clean sandy beaches make Nha Trang one of the most luxurious tourist destinations in Vietnam. It’s lively and exciting, with a host of resorts, bars, clubs and restaurants to enjoy. Opportunities for sailing, surfing and swimming are abundant on the coast – some tour companies will offer junk trips to secluded beaches that will be even better for it – as well as cycling, hiking and rafting in the countryside surrounding the city. There is a necklace of islands surrounding the city that offer fantastic opportunities for snorkelling and diving; one of them hosts the Vinpearl resort and water park, accessible by cable car across the bay. Elsewhere, you can find the historic Po Nagar towers, a complex dating back well over a thousand years to the Cham civilization that once ruled this part of the world.
Looking to travel on a different month?
Po Nagar, Champa Temple – image by katiebordner via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Liverpool – image by barnyz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Pompeii – image by Mark Vuaran via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Henkerhaus, Nuremberg – image by Anne Barber (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Jazz – image by James Petts via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Musiciennes et danseuses dans l’Egypte pharaonique (British Museum) – image by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Steingut – image by Shawn Harquail via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Hòn Chồng, Nha Trang, Feb/2013 – image by Khánh Hmoong via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)