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12 best places to visit in September

For those looking to travel and are asking "Where to go in September?", the world is your oyster. The summer crowds have thinned out slightly, yet the weather remains gorgeous and mild in more places than one. From Koh Samui and Athens to Barcelona to Beijing, check out Skyscanner's holiday guide for city breaks with amazing seasons, plus the best events in September.

Where to go in September for a sunny break?

1. Athens, Greece

Athens is one of the best places to visit in September. It is Europe’s historical capital, the home of European culture and the birthplace of democracy. September is a great time for some Mediterranean fun in the sun and exploring the city is wonderful at this time of year. For fantastic views of the city and amazing sunsets, head to the top of Mount Lycabettus. Then, head to the Temple of Zeus, the largest of its kind in Greece. Despite being 3000 years old, it puts most modern architecture to shame.

2. Toronto, Canada

Canada has a reputation for snow and ice, but Septembers are perfect for spending time outdoors. Toronto is Canada’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, and travellers can find something fun around nearly every corner. September is the time of the International Buskerfest when the streets of the city filled with music. There is also an amazing International Film Festival happening from September 8th to 18th for a flick or two.

What to do in Canada in September: Toronto International Buskerfest
When: 30 August – 2 September 2019
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St E, Toronto
Website: Toronto International Buskerfest

What to do in Canada in September: International Film Festival
When: 5 – 15 September 2019
Where: 350 King Street W, Toronto
Website: International Film Festival

3. Koh Samui, Thailand

The September sun and surf are fine as ever on this tropical jewel, and though the occasional monsoon rain will sweep through, its visit will be brief, and the air it leaves behind will be cool and refreshing. Enjoy the Koh Samui nightlife and pay a visit to one of the clubs that make this a great party town.

4. Dubai, UAE

Here in Dubai, you’ll find yourself at the tail end of the warm season, so this would be a good time to enjoy the air-conditioned indoor wonders that the people of the UAE have built in their desert oasis. With its ultramodern architectural wonders, 5 and 6-star resorts and luxury shopping, you’ll find plenty of fun in Dubai.

Where to go for an autumn break?

5. Sapporo, Japan

The biggest city in Japan’s north, Sapporo, offers plenty of urban fun but also serves as a jumping off point for adventures in some of the most spectacular nature you’ll find anywhere. The seafood here is superb, and September is when the local salmon start returning home. Eat your fill and enjoy the sights.

Where to go in September for a spring break?

6. Auckland, New Zealand

September means the springing of spring in New Zealand, and the amazing weather is perfect for celebrating outside. Enjoy the amazing natural sights seen in films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, climb volcanoes, and explore some of the other natural wonders of the world. Will it be your first time there? Get your first time tips here!

What events are happening in September?

7. Munich, Germany

Don’t let the name fool you, Oktoberfest actually kicks off in mid-September and is the party of a lifetime, so this is one of the best places to visit in September. Munich is a great little city just north of the Alps and it becomes Germany’s party capital in Autumn. Revellers can sample some of the best local brews in titanic steins and stuff themselves with amazing local food like sausages, sauerkraut and roast chicken. You can don a pair of lederhosen and enjoy the sights of local
mädchens in their traditional costumes as well. The carnival-like atmosphere is infectious and you will find yourself singing along to the traditional songs being belted out by enthusiastic Muncheners.

What to do in Munich in September: Oktoberfest
When: 22 September – 7 October 2019
Where: Various places in Munich
Website: Oktoberfest

8. Barcelona, Spain

The party continues well into autumn in Barcelona, and fun-seekers might enjoy a visit during September. La Mercè, an annual festival held in the city, is actually an official holiday from all the way back in 1871. This massive and colourful festival is the absolute climax of Barcelona’s event schedule. La Mercè features Castellers, or human towers. Standing on the shoulders of their compadres, the Castellers stack themselves higher and higher, until they tower above the throngs of revellers below. On the nearby streets, fire-spewing dragons accompanied by dangerous devils march through the streets and scare the people with lots of pyrotechnics. Also in September, Piknic Electronic Festival features local and international DJs and producers, showcasing all forms of electronic music.

What to do in Barcelona in September: La Mercè
When: 20 – 24 September 2019
Where: Barcelona
Website: La Mercè

9. San Francisco, USA

September seriously has some of the best weather of the year in San Francisco, and happily, it’s also when Ghirardelli holds its annual Chocolate celebration. Featuring fun, food and free samples, what’s collected all go to non-profits, so you can eat your sinful sweets guilt-free. Meanwhile, over in Chinatown, locals will be celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival, and the historic streets of the neighbourhood will transform into a colourful walk-through bazaar, filled with food and entertainment.

What to do in San Francisco in September: Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
When: 7 – 8 September 2019
Where: Ghirardelli Square San Francisco, CA
Website: Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival 2019

10. Tokyo, Japan

Japan is the land of festivals, and September is no exception. In Mid-September, tourists can enjoy the Meguro Kumin Matsuri, or Meguro Sun Festival, one of the largest held in the city’s Meguro ward. The festival consists of food, regional delights from around the country, taiko drumming, and lots more traditional fun. We don’t need to tell you how much Tokyo has to offer outside of this festival, and the warm weather continues through the end of September, so you will enjoy sunny days and warm nights as you wander the byways of Old Edo. A little tight this September? Explore Tokyo on a budget!

What to do in Tokyo in September: Meguro Kumin Matsuri
When: 16 September 2018 (2019 date TBD)
Where: 1-25-8 Meguro, Meguro- ku, Tokyo 153-0063
Website: Meguro Kumin Matsuri

11. Brisbane, Australia

People looking for something a little cooler would be advised to head to the southern hemisphere to beat the heat, and Brispane is a great choice. Despite the inverted seasons, subtropical Brisbane has excellent weather this time of year. You can also enjoy whale-watching, as majestic pods of humpbacks come to frolic in Moreton Bay. When you’re not out whale-watching, you can hit the town for shopping and culture, or head further afield to enjoy the bounties of the Queensland countryside.

What to do in Brisbane in September: Whale-watching in Brisbane
When: June – November every year
Where: Moreton Bay
Website: Brisbane Whale Watching Tours

12. Beijing, China

Beijing is the perfect place to enjoy the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most important festivals on the Chinese calendar. Enjoy munching moon cakes, visit the Forbidden City and enjoy all this vibrant capital has to offer. Beijing is good for the entire family, for friends and for solo travellers.

What to do in Beijing in September: Mid-Autumn Festival
When: 13-15 September 2019

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Updated in March 2019. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.