16 Best Places to Visit in September (in the WORLD)

best places to visit in september

September is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s also my birthday month, which means we are always on the lookout for the best places to visit in September.

I’ve spent birthdays recently in Greece, Ireland, and South Africa. All fantastic with great weather.

September is one of the best times of the entire year to travel. Kids and families are back to school, and the summer crowds are dying down. Yet, the weather is still warm throughout much of the world.

In places where it’s getting cooler it typically means autumn. And we all know what autumn means – amazing colors! There are so many great places to visit in September it’s very hard to narrow them down, but here are a few of our favorite destinations.


The Best Places to Visit in September


Galway, Ireland


Enjoying the Galway Oyster Festival
At the Galway Oyster Festival

This Irish city is the fifth largest in the country and a major vacation destination for those visiting Ireland. It’s drawn us back three times, and we know we will be back again in the future. If I had to choose when to travel to Galway it would be in September. The large tourist numbers from the summer will dwindle and the average temperature sits around 14°C – a very comfortable temperature. It’s the perfect time to go find a hand-knit Irish sweater and parade the streets.

While all of Ireland is great in September, I particularly love the vibe of Galway. It’s known as “The City of the Tribes” and feels much more Irish to me than Dublin. There’s also the world-famous Galway Oyster Festival in Sept3ember, which is a fantastic time, see our whole blog post on it here!

After Galway consider heading north to areas like Clifden for less city and more nature.


Namibia


best places to visit in september

Namibia is surely one of the least populated places on the planet and a great destination in Africa. There is no country more stirring than Namibia for dream desert landscapes. Its name even comes from the world’s oldest desert that covers much of the country. No country on earth can compete for the type of natural beauty that awaits travelers in Namibia. You can find towering red sand dunes, dead tree valleys preserved in time, and utterly unique wildlife.

Elsewhere you can find massive canyons and rock formations at Fish River Canyon, Damaraland, and Spitzkoppe as the Naukluft Mountains rise out of the desert sand dunes. Namibia does not end there as the East stretches into the endless plains of the Kalahari and the Caprivi Strip turns into an oasis of floodplains and rivers teaming with wildlife.

Namibia is one of the best places to visit in September because it is at the height of the dry season now. Wildlife in Etosha National Park and around the country will make way for the rare rivers and water holes, giving you a fantastic chance to grab your safari camera and spot some safari animals.


Turkish Coast


Cameron Diving
Enjoying our Turkish Gulet

Summer starts to fade around Europe come September, but it’s not gone yet in Turkey, making it one of the best places to visit in September. Along Turkey’s Lycian Coast the water is still warm and the sun is still almost always shining. It’s the perfect time for a peaceful gulet cruise in and out of bays along the rugged cliffs.

By September, most of the summer crowds will have departed, but shops and storefronts remain open and ready for business. That means you can still sip your Turkish coffee on the beach without tons of people nearby. Come October, many shops will begin to close for the season, so enjoy this area while it lasts!


Madeira


best places to visit in september

While things start to cool off a little in September, it’s still by no means cold in Portugal this month. It’s actually one of the best times to visit Portugal: top tourist sights, as well as beaches, are much quieter. You could even get a pretty good deal on accommodation since September is pretty much out of season.

Temperatures are, on average, hovering around 26°C in September. The island of Madeira, which can see high tourist numbers in the summer is now relaxed and still blooming. Madeira International Airport is well connected with mainland Portugal and a short flight away. Once you arrive you’ll be able to find lavishly decorated churches, beautiful valleys, and exotic blooms in September.


Borneo


best places to visit in september

September is one of the best times to visit Borneo. With plenty of fruit this time of year it means the orangutans swing down from their trees and enjoy the sweet delights. If you’ve always wanted to see these beautiful creatures a jungle tour is in order!

Borneo is said to be Eden. Lush rainforests, rivers, mangroves, waterfalls, and hidden mammals await you here. It’s rich in biodiversity and is where you can come for a true adventure. The sad reality is that much of the forest has been destroyed by the cultivation of palm oil, but tourism conservation projects strive to protect it.


Queenstown


best places to visit in september

September means it’s spring on New Zealand’s South Island. Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, lies at the bottom of the island and provides visitors with green valleys and epic snow-capped peaks during this time of year.

It’s a great time to head to the Milford Sound and admire all the stunning landscapes. Afterwards head into town and enjoy the outdoor patios with a local Pinot Noir.


London


best places to visit in september

London really needs no introduction, we’ve visited three times over the last five years, and every time fall in love. The Houses of Parliament, the red double-decker buses, and the dome-helmeted policemen, to name just three of its many icons, are recognized around the world. With its two thousand years of history, from a small Roman settlement to the capital city of the largest empire the world has ever seen, London oozes history from streets big and small.

September is a fantastic time to visit London. Summer is coming to a close, but London still offers visitors plenty to do and see. Plus there are some great festivals come September. Days are warm during September, it’s a sweater weather and hot latte type of city escape.


Greek Islands


You honestly can’t ever go wrong with a trip to the Greek Islands. We’ve been multiple times, and I personally think the best time to visit Greece is in September.

It’s still warm, but the ‘worst’ of the heat is over, with only the islands furthest south still being fairly hot. The average temperature, countrywide, is 29°C.

It’s not just the non-stifling heat that makes it a pleasant time to visit – the tourists are mostly gone, making it a nice, almost crowd less time for a vacation. We were in Milos, Naxos, and Paros last September for the month and it was honestly like extending our summer!


Canadian Rockies


best places to visit in september

You know we probably love Banff any time of year. However September is one of the best times to visit. The summer crowds are dying down a bit, plus come end of September you may get the chance to see the larch trees change their colors.

Things do begin to cool off slightly in September, but it’s still relatively warm… for Banff, that is. The average temperature for this month is around 18°C, but nights – as always – can feel quite cold, especially at night.

As mentioned, there are generally fewer tourists than during the summer months, but you will still have people visiting for Labor Day and in late September chasing the larches. There are still plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy now. Hiking is still in full swing before the snow really falls in late October and November. Weather can be changeable, so make sure you check the forecast before you head out on an adventure (and be prepared with waterproofs and a down jacket).


Western Cape


things to do in cape town 2020

September means even more spring in the Western Cape. Flowers bloom across the Western Cape. Temperatures creep up. All is well with the world.

That said, things can still be pretty chilly early in the morning and at night, so a jacket and/or a sweater is a good option. Cape Town hits daytime averages of 14-16°C. The upside is that clear blue skies are pretty much a given.

It’s one of the best time to visit the Western Cape, go see the boulders beach penguins, climb Table Mountain, and do just about anything. Enjoy some wine in Stellenbosch admiring the spring weather, or head to Hermanus where whales can be spotted almost daily!


Sicily


best places to visit in september

With the European summer crowds gone, Italy is a great destination to visit in September all around. But heading south to Sicily is a fantastic option – the average sea temperature is still 24°C. Beaches are less crowded, but the water is still clear blue and tempting all for a swim.

I still remember enjoying the Sicilian beaches on September 28th! September is off-season enough to get great deals, but still busy enough where everything will be open and you’ll be able to meet plenty of other travelers.


Hokkaido


best places to visit in september

While it still may be slightly too warm throughout most of Japan, Hokkaido is actually perfect temperatures in September.

In the north of Hokkaido, this is when the trees start to turn into the fiery fall foliage that’s so famous in Japan – the so-called koyo (literally ‘Red Leaves’), which is the fall equivalent to cherry blossom.

It’s still around 18°C in Hokkaido, and it can still get up to the mid-20s. We’d say this is one of the best times to visit Hokkaido: crowds disperse, the weather’s still good.


Asheville


where to travel in september

 A city that’s well known across the country for its charismatic charm, breweries, grand estate, waterfalls, and the scenic Appalachian Mountains. Asheville is beautiful any time of the year, but the best time to visit is definitely in the fall. During this time all the leaves change splendid colors of burgundy, orange, and yellow. It’s truly a sight to behold. However you won’t be alone, be prepared for a crowded road as ten’s of thousands “leafers” are in search of the stunning fall colors.

One of the best things to do is take to the road and spend a few hours exploring one of America’s most scenic drives. The 469-mile scenic road passes right through Asheville and makes for a fantastic place to road trip. I’d recommend starting in the afternoon after a morning hike to catch it in the evening light. Or you can make a full day out of it touching on hundreds of trails and various viewpoints that are located along the beautiful road.


Andes


best places to visit in september

September is shoulder season in Peru. Summer vacation around the world has ended, so you’ll get to enjoy all the nature and history of the country without the crowds of the previous months. Lima is seeing some more spring-like weather and a bit more sun, but it’s still pretty misty, with temperatures in the mid to late-teens.

Lake Titicaca and Cusco see highs of 20°C; with clear days, it’s a great time to visit: it’s still dry, sunny, and beautiful, but with fewer crowds. This is easily one of the best times to visit Peru if you want to go to the mountains and Machu Picchu (though Cusco can be a little cloudy in September). 


Zanzibar


Zanzibar Beaches

Cool, but starting to get warmer, September is a lovely, relaxed time of year to visit Zanzibar. There’s usually a slight breeze, but the seas remain calm – and warm (26°C) – so diving is a good option if you’re visiting in September. 

In particular, the ocean around Mafia Island – with visibility of about 25 meters – is terrific for spotting whale sharks. Being such a great time to go to Zanzibar, naturally, it’s pretty popular this time of year; in fact, it’s even busier than normal, but if you don’t mind some crowds it’s definitely a fun time!


New York City


best places to visit in september

Everyone knows that New York is one of the best places to visit in September. Heck, there’s even a movie about it! Autumn in New York means cool sweater weather temperatures.

Leaves are changing, and there is a joyous feeling in the air. It’s much better than summer in NYC where everything is hot and sticky! If anyone were to ask when the best time to visit New York City is I would definitely recommend September.


Plan & Pack for Your Trip in September


Travel Insurance

We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage

SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. See our full review here!


AllBirds
Travel Shoes

If you’re wondering what travel necessities to bring around the world then good walking shoes should be your top concern.


Traveling in Italy
Kindle Paperwhite

I love real books, but for traveling it can be easier to carry a lighter and more compact item like a Kindle. Plus, then you can download new books on the go!


Best Travel Water Bottles
Waterbottle

Please consider purchasing a travel water bottle before your trip! We hate to see one time use plastic bottles ending up in the ocean. The tap water is so good here – seriously please don’t be one of those tourist that buys plastic water bottles in Italy. It’s a waste of money and plastic!


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