Autumn in Budapest: feasting, festivals and the great outdoors

Autumn’s golden light sets Budapest glowing– leaves in City Park blush scarlet and the white turrets of Fishermen’s Bastion gleam beautifully under the late afternoon light, while the setting sun burnishes the waterfront Parliament building, a kaleidoscope of architectural styles. But the change of seasons brings much more than colour to Hungary’s capital. A freshness in the air makes you long to linger in warm outdoor baths, wine cellars and gritty ruin bars. The summer crowds have ebbed away, so you’re free to roam parks and museums without fighting for space. From seasonal events and inspiring sights to the city’s quirky side, here’s how to explore the best of Budapest in the autumn.

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Day trips from Rīga

There’s plenty to see and do within striking distance of Latvia’s capital, whether you’ve forked out for a hire car or not. Here’s our top five destinations within 90 minutes’ driving time of Rīga.

1. Jūrmala

The most obvious day-trip destination, Jūrmala is simultaneously the closest to Rīga, the easiest to reach by public transport and the most famous of the five on our list. Latvia’s premier beach resort has been fascinating the fashionable set since the heyday of the Russian Empire. It’s actually not just one town, but a long string of little seaside villages that long ago bled into a continuous sprawl of holiday homes. It was awarded city status in 1959.

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Bay of Kotor

From piracy to paddleboarding: on the trail of maritime Montenegro

Lord Byron famously called Montenegro’s coastline the planet’s ‘most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea’. Not surprisingly, visitors are lured to its blonde beaches studded with fishing villages, glitzy marinas and buzzing old towns. But following this trail also uncovers the fascinating heritage of seafaring Montenegro – from Venetian seamen’s palaces and tales of Ottoman-era piracy to summer festivals celebrating the locals’ relationship with the sea.

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