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Europe In Autumn Is Less Crowded, Less Expensive, And Just As Fun

Matthew Brumley
We found rooms in February at Prague's Boscolo Hotel for about $110 USD per night.

The last time Matthew Brumley was in Prague, we talked about the city itself. It has an incredible history, astonishing architecture, and great food. But Brumley says there’s a lot outside Prague worth seeing, too. And the best time to do it is in the fall.

Bohemia and Moravia

Bohemia is centered on Prague. The region full of rolling hills is famous for castles and villages, carp ponds, and, of course, beer.

Moravia is to the east. Here, you’ll find wine country, along with paths and forests you’ll find throughout the country. The Tatra Mountains are farther away, along the border between Slovakia and Poland, but reachable if you use Prague as a base. 

“There’s some great skiing and hiking,” Brumley said.

Autumn Calm

Brumley has been guiding trips in Europe for about 25 years, and he says there’s no better time to visit than the fall.

“You can stroll through these towns, you can walk across the Charles Bridge, without bumping into 100,000 people,” he said.

This is the time when the locals feel most at home, Brumley said.

“I just spoke to a young woman here and she said when she’s in Prague in the summer months, she doesn’t even feel like it’s her town.”

The best season to do this is Oct. 1 through mid-May. Stay away from Christmas and the New Year, when the rates go up.


It’s just like Seattle here in the winter, Brumley says. You’ll find days in the Fahrenheit 30s and 40s, and drizzly or sometimes snowy conditions. It's chilly, but not bitterly cold. So if you're looking for a warm escape, this isn't your trip. But if you're looking for a chance to admire architecture, go on walks through cities and towns, and sip Pilsener by the fire, pack your bags.

Getting There

Brumley flew from Seattle to Amsterdam, and then to Prague.

“You can find flights this time of year for $1,000,” Brumley said. “In the summer months those same flights would be $1,600 or $1,700.”

Meals are cheaper. Hotels are cheaper. We searched for February and found a room at the Boscolo Hotel, where Brumley is staying, for $110 U.S. dollars per night.

“And on top of it,” Brumley says, “you’ll have the place to yourself.”


"Going Places" is our weekly exploration of travel topics. Matthew Brumley is the co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions on Bainbridge Island, which provides small group travel to clients including knkx.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.