If you’re dreaming of a picture-perfect city break or historical getaway that won’t break the bank, look no further. Booking.com has draw up a list of magnificent old towns filled with old-world charm and exquisite beauty, but are most affordable in autumn, so stroll down cobblestoned alleyways and experience living history in the enchanting old towns.
1. Nurnberg, Germany
With its medieval architecture, enormous red-roofed castle and many historic sites, Bavaria’s second biggest city is a cozy, down-to-earth alternative to its big sister, Munich. Explore German history in the railway museum or the Germanisches National Museum, which also houses the world’s oldest globe.
When to go: Prices in Nurnberg are at a fairly stable low between September and November. If you go in September you can also catch the annual autumn Folk Festival and to find prices up to 40 percent more affordable than the most expensive time of year.
2. Kotor, Montenegro
The old town of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved medieval towns in the Adriatic. Climb the fortress of San Giovanni for a dramatic view of the old town or take a boat trip to the iconic “Our Lady of the Rocks”, a Roman Catholic Church perched on a tiny islet in the Bay of Kotor.
When to go: Avoid the crowds and the cruise ships by going outside of the tourist season of July and August. Prices are 50 percent more affordable starting in November, when you can still expect to get some great sunny days.
3. Pendleton, Oregon, USA
Known for its iconic woolen plaid shirts and proud home to one of the world’s top rodeos, Pendleton is a living example of an old Wild West frontier town. Take a history tour of the town’s bootlegging past, visit the iconic Woolen Mill or get a native perspective of the town’s settlement history Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.
When to go: the high season runs from July to September, culminating in the Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo. October is a great time to go as accommodation prices drop around 25 percent when compared to the most expensive month, and for those wanting to explore Walla Walla Valley wine country in the middle of the grape harvesting season.
4. Bergamo, Italy
Located in Lombardy, the heart of Bergamo is composed of an old wall core known as Citta Alta, which is encircled by massive fortifications. Wander around the 16th-century Venetian city walls, which are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or take the historic funicular to catch some great panoramic views of the city. Lombard cuisine is of the hearty kind, so perfect for those colder autumn days.
When to go: The low season starts in November, with accommodation prices roughly 20 percent more affordable than the most expensive time of year.
5. Oatlands, Tasmania, Australia
Oatlands is a quaint historic stop on a round-trip around Tasmania. One of Tasmania’s oldest settlements, visitors are taken straight back to the early 19th-century, when European settlers build the 138 stone buildings that still make up the iconic townscape. Take a self-guided tour around the high street and do not forget to pay a visit to the Callington Mill, Australia’s only fully operational colonial windmill.
When to go: It’s no surprise that prices are highest in Australian’s summer (December, January) but go in the shoulder season (October, November) to get prices that are on average 20 percent more affordable than the most expensive time of year.
Text and photos courtesy of Booking.com