Move Over, European Summer: This European Hotspot Is Perfect For Visiting In The Fall

It seems people are prioritizing travel more than ever, and European summers seem to be one of the most sought-after experiences travelers are seeking. If you had serious FOMO while scrolling through your Instagram and TikTok feeds seeing people bask in the European summer sun, don't worry. There's something to be said about traveling to this popular continent in the fall. Best of all, while so many European nations are crowded, hot, and overpriced in the summer, some of the top Euro hotspots are way more enjoyable in the fall. Nearing the top of that list is Croatia.

Croatia has seen its fair share of growth in popularity this past year. With Game of Thrones, Mamma Mia, Succession, and several other major television shows being filmed throughout the country, tourists have been drawn to see these filming locations in person. The biggest issue with the increase in tourism is the increase in crowds,. There were even rumors earlier this year that Dubrovnik was banning roller suitcases to avoid tourist disruption, though the Croatian National Tourism Board has since clarified this is a request, not a ban. If you've always wanted to visit Croatia but don't want to deal with an excess amount of people, nor sacrifice good weather, this country makes for a great European fall escape.

Prices. crowds, and weather in the fall

While Croatia has gotten a little more expensive in recent years, namely Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia is still affordable compared to other parts of Europe and is certainly possible to visit on a budget. To best set yourself up for financial success when visiting Croatia, you'll want to avoid visiting in the summer, as accommodation and other tourism-related prices are greatly elevated.

For context, July 2023 brought in 4.8 million travelers to Croatia, which is more than the country's population of approximately 4 million. You can only imagine how busy popular tourist sights such as Diocletian's Palace in Split and Old Town Dubrovnik, where Game of Thrones was filmed, get with such amplified crowds. In September 2022, those numbers were nearly slashed in half, with an estimated 2.2 million Croatian arrivals. Naturally, because of this, crowds have dissipated, even more so if you choose to head off the beaten path, as opposed to major tourist spots.

The weather in Croatia's fall is arguably more enjoyable than the summer. In peak summer, the heat averages a sweltering 88 degrees Fahrenheit in certain parts of the country. In September, the weather is still warm, but a bit more enjoyable, with an average of 77 degrees Fahrenheit in cities like Dubrovnik and Zagreb, and 73 degrees Fahrenheit along the Adriatic Coast, one of the world's most beautiful coastlines.

What to do in Croatia in the fall

Aside from major sites and pristine national parks like Krka National Park and Plitviče Lakes National Park, there is plenty to do in the fall in Croatia. Foodies will want to put Croatia at the top of their list for a fall getaway. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board hosts the annual Good Food Festival in October, where feasts include rosé wine tastings at sunset, traditional Croatian meals, and even a dinner prepared by a Michelin Star Chef. 

If you're looking to enjoy Croatia's beautiful coastlines, don't assume fall is too chilly to do so. Croatia has over 40% of the world's charter fleet and more than 1,200 islands. Because of this, this Eastern European nation makes for a prime sailing destination. For boating enthusiasts, September and October are some of the best months to get out on the water. There is an average of 15 hours of sunlight, and charter prices are drastically lower, sometimes up to 50% lower than summer months. Croatia is also home to several regattas, a word with Venetian roots that essentially translates to a boat competition.