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Summer may have bid a fond farewell to the UK, but September marks the start of autumn - season of bright crisp sunshine, and cosy evenings in front of a roaring fire. Autumn is also a great season in which to take a cheeky city-break - with the perfect temperature for active sightseeing, and of course, far less crowds than during the height of the summer season. Here are five of the best autumnal destinations:

Paris

Paris is arguably the most popular European city break, and it is a city that really does come into its own in the autumn. With classic sights including the Eiffel Tower and the Musee D’Orsay to explore, plus a packed calendar of cultural events, you will find plenty to entertain you. A highlight of any trip to this beautiful city is a river trip at night, where you will be able to admire Paris as night falls in all its lit-up finery.

Vienna

Vienna has a magical atmosphere in the run-up to Christmas. Mid November sees the opening of the charming festive markets and in December several stylish balls are held across the city - tickets are already on sale for and they are not to be missed. Vienna is famous for its fabulous array of architecture - St. Stephen’s cathedral, the State Opera House and the Hofburg palace to name just a few highlights. Autumn is a truly delightful season in this stunning city.

New York

It’s hard to think of a better destination to do your Christmas shopping than New York. This city, without doubt is one of the best shopping destinations on the planet, offers so much more besides, and fall is the perfect season to explore. Ice skate at Rockefeller centre, take a horse and carriage through Central Park - this is a city that is well supplied with all the best traditional seasonal activities. And a visit to the city would not be complete without a trip to Broadway to take in a show - although you may find it tricky to narrow down your selection from the huge number on offer.

Florence

Florence is a brilliant city to visit at any time of year, but October offers an ideal sightseeing climate - with temperatures hovering at a steady 20 degrees. A weekend is not nearly enough time to ‘do’ Florence - with its vast array of beautiful piazzas, epic architecture and fabulous shopping, but for a great start to your break, get a water taxi from the airport to the city itself. The views are mesmerising - you will feel like you have stepped into a Renaissance painting.

Budapest

There is plenty to keep you occupied during an autumnal city break to beautiful Hungarian capital. Cruise down the Danube, admire the architecture or explore the ancient castle quarter - however you choose to spend your time you will soon discover that this is a city with a uniquely timeless atmosphere. Don’t forget to swing by the vast Parliament Building and take a tour around the famous Hungarian State Opera House. If time allows, you could even watch a ballet or opera in these amazing Neo-Renaissance surroundings before hitting one of the many great restaurants, bars and club that characterise the city after dark.

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