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From New York to Tokyo

Amazing autumn destinations

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What could be better than a city trip in autumn? The bustle of summer is gone and temperatures are much more pleasant. Pack your bags and head to the airport; you don't want to miss these three fantastic destinations!

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New York City

New York City

The perfect season

Autumn in New York is magical. Although there is no bad time of year to visit the Big Apple, as soon as the leaves in Central Park begin to change colour in September, the city perks up. After the relatively quiet and slow summer months, New York City wakes from its slumber with a fabulous selection of festivals, new Broadway shows and lots of events. There is nothing like a brisk autumn stroll around the Jackie Onassis Reservoir as you admire the skyline through the colourful trees. 

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Fall City Trips 04 New York 2 Governors Island

Governors Island

Island with a view

For a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline, catch the ferry to Governors Island. The tree-covered island is only open six months a year and this year will be the first time it will remain open until the end of October. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak up the magnificent autumn colours, set against the backdrop of the city. Rent a bike and cycle along the star-shaped Fort Jay and Castle Williams or watch Lady Liberty from one of the 50 hammocks.

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Fall City Trips 05 New York Open House Bg
Gould Memorial Library - Jessica Bruah

Open House Weekend

Secrets of the city revealed

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Met Opera - Nicolas Lemery Nantel

Many of New York's landmark buildings open their doors to the public during the yearly Open House Weekend in October. Take a look inside some of the historic highlights, architectural masterpieces and New York’s most famous attractions that are otherwise off limits to visitors. This is an enjoyable way to pass the time and a perfect indoor activity for that occasional autumn shower.

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Tokyo

Tokyo

The metropolis at its best

Japan’s autumn colours start in the north and then gradually make their way south. So the best time to admire the seasonal splendour differs from city to city. Tokyo’s colours don’t emerge until later in the year. The metropolis looks its absolute finest from mid-November until mid-December, when the parks and gardens become a palette that ranges from soft yellow to bright red. 

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Icho Namiko

A golden tunnel

One of Tokyo’s most stunning autumn locations is Icho Namiki, also known as Ginko Avenue. The wide avenue runs through the temple grounds of the Meiji Shrine, one of the largest Shinto shrines in Tokyo, and is surrounded by carefully landscaped ginkgo trees (Japanese temple trees). By mid-November these trees start turning bright yellow, transforming the avenue into a golden tunnel. After enjoying this amazing colour display, stop for a well-deserved coffee break at one of the many trendy cafés along Omotesando Street, Tokyo’s 5th Avenue. 

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Fall City Trips 08 Rikugien 0 Wide

Rikugi-en

Tea and maple trees

The Rikugi-en Gardens are Tokyo’s autumn hotspot. These classic Japanese gardens are lined with maple trees, famous for their intense red colour in autumn season. The serene setting of this lovely park makes it easy to forget that you are in the middle of a huge city. Surrounded by maple trees, the Tsutsuji Teahouse with its classic Japanese bridge is a delightful spot to unwind over a cup of tea.

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As soon as the sun sets, the trees are beautifully illuminated, making Rikugi-en a popular destination for a romantic evening stroll. 

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Lisbon

Lisbon

Chasing the sun

Not ready for autumn yet and in need of some more sunshine? Then head to Lisbon! The temperatures in Europe’s most western capital are very pleasant in September and October. Sometimes it’s even warm enough to squeeze in a few days at the beach. And those steep hills in town are much easier to climb once the blistering summer heat has faded. 

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Silk Club

Silk Club rooftop bar

Cocktails with a view

Built on seven hills, Lisbon is a city with fabulous views, which makes its rooftop bars the prime spots to grab a drink. One of the trendiest rooftop patios is the Silk Club in the Chiado District. Here the cocktails and fusion cuisine are almost on par with the view. In the minimalist interior, the resident DJ spins tunes to keep the crowd going until the early morning. Be sure to dress up and reserve ahead of time. 

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Fall City Trips 10 Lissabon Sintra 0 Wide

Sintra

Portuguese palaces

Only a half-hour drive from Lisbon you will find Sintra: a mystical region packed with castles and country estates, set amidst lovely parks and forest. In the autumn, when the leaves change colour and fog shrouds the mountains, it feels like stepping into a fairytale. This is where the wealthy Portuguese built their villas and country homes and the result is an impressive architectural collection. 

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One of the most famous buildings is the Quinta da Regaleira. The garden of this mysterious hotel is a maze of underground passages, waterfalls, stairs and a stone well with a spiral staircase that disappears dozens of metres into the ground.

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