Best places to visit in October 2020
Our top destinations to spend the middle of spring in.
Spring has sprung and to celebrate surviving the winter blues, we're eyeing these top destinations to travel this month.
It's also the end of the school holidays (yay? boo?) so if you haven't yet given the kids a treat, you can find yourself a last-minute break before the term commences again.
Where will you go?
The 5 best places to visit in October
1. Best budget destination: Bali
Australians flock to Bali like a moth flocks to a flame, and in October, you'll find the island boasting idyllic dry and warm weather conditions.
Flights to Bali can start as low as $115 each way on budget carriers like Jetstar making it an inexpensive break. These prices are correct as at the time of writing.
- October weather. 27-31℃, dry season
- Top October events. Agni Hotra Fire Ceremony, Bali Vegan Festival and New Kuta Golf Biggest Anniversary Tournament.
2. Best city to visit: Beijing
It's not too late to tick the Great Wall off your bucket list for 2018, and with cool temperatures and minimal rainfall, October is the time to do just that.
As a nation, October is one of the best times to visit China. This is not only for its weather but because of cheap off-peak prices and to catch celebrations like National Day on 1 October.
- October weather. 8-18℃, autumn
- Top October events. National Day (1 October 2019)
3. Best for beaches: Fiji
Set your clocks to Fiji time this month as you unwind on its pristine beaches and adopt its relaxed way of life.
Whether you're cruising to the island or flying in, October to November flourishes with affordable accommodation, clear skies and a small crowd of holidaymakers who know October, not December, is when to place your bum on Fijian sand or surf the gnarly waves.
- October weather. 26-30℃, dry season
- Top October events. Live At Cloud 9.
Image: Jane Gillings, The Pearly Gates, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2016. Photo Cyde Yee
4. Best for events: Sydney
The largest public sculpture festival in the world, Sculpture By The Sea, welcomes its 20th anniversary on Bondi Beach this year. If you've got a spare weekend, it's well worth the trip for a day wandering the beach, playing with life-sized sculptures and soaking up the spring sunshine.
Naturally, it's not the only event running this October with Good Food Month and the end of Art and About Sydney ready to entertain and delight all the senses.
- October weather. 21-26℃, spring
- Top October events. Sculpture By The Sea (24 October - 10 November 2019), LaVazza Italian Film Festival (17 September - 16 October 2019), Good Food Month (throughout October) and Oktoberfest in the Gardens (26 October 2019).
5. Best surprise destination: The Himalayas
October is officially all about crossing your bucket list items off. And if walking the Great Wall wasn't enough for you, try trekking the Himalayas.
October marks the beginning of hiking season and with most trails starting to open up. Tours through Nepal can start from as little as $679 per person for a 7-day experience with G Adventures but can build up to a trip of 21-days.
- October weather. 26-35℃, autumn
- Top October events. Dashain (8 October 2019) and Tihar (25-29 October 2019).
The best of the rest:
Best places to visit in Europe in October
- Greece. The summer crowds have gone back home, but the sun's still out. For some beach time, head to the island of Kos where daily highs can sit around 26ºC in October.
- Prague, Czech Republic. October is an ideal time to visit. Not only have the crowds thinned out, but you're also in for a month full of festivals, including the SIGNAL Light Festival (10 - 13 October 2019) and Designblok (17 - 21 October 2019), the largest design and fashion show in Central Europe.
- Germany. Autumn is showing its true colours and the month is full of festivities. Catch the tail end of Oktoberfest at the start of the month or head to Ludwigsburg for something quirky and traditional – the largest pumpkin festival in the world.
Best places to visit in the USA in October
- Hawaii. Weather-wise, October sees consistently sunny days and a little rain. The swell is just starting to pick up for the surfers and the water is usually around 26.5ºC, which is great for a swim.
- Manchester, Vermont. Famous for the brilliant fall foliage that peaks in October, Manchester is a top spot to see the colourful show.
- Albuquerque, New Mexico. Picture the sight of over 500 hot air balloons of all different shapes and sizes taking off at dawn. The International Balloon Fiesta (pictured, 5 - 13 October 2019) is on at the most beautiful time of the year in New Mexico, so get your cameras ready.
Best places to visit in Asia in October
- Taiwan. The month of October is that sweet spot when the southwest typhoons have been and gone and the typhoons from the northeast have yet to arrive, so there's a low chance of rain and lots of sun to look forward to.
- South Korea (pictured). This month you'll find near-perfect weather, the beautiful changing of the leaves and a whole slew of events including the Busan International Film Festival (3 - 12 October 2019) and the Jinju Lantern Festival (1 - 13 October 2019).
- Hong Kong. The rain is mostly gone, so you'll get to sightsee with clear skies and days that are not too hot. National Day is celebrated on 1 October and is culminated with a massive fireworks show.
Best places to visit in Thailand in October
- Chiang Mai (pictured). If you want to avoid the rain that is likely hitting most of the country, then Chiang Mai is a safe bet. You'll find much less rain here, cooler temperatures and fewer crowds as the peak season is yet to begin.
- Bangkok. While you're still in the rainy season, it does start to retreat by mid-month. It's worth a shower or two, though, to take part in the many festivals including Awk Phansa (13 October 2019) and the Kin Jay Vegetarian Festival (28 September - 7 October 2019).
- Mae Hong Son. You can expect much less rain than in the previous months as well as moderate temperatures, making sightseeing a lot more pleasant than in the south. The Chong Para Festival is also on this month.
Best places to visit in Japan in October
- Kyoto. In October, you'll find some of the best weather of the year and a calendar full of events such as the Kurama Fire Festival (22 October 2019) and the popular Jidai Festival (22 October 2019).
- Hokkaido. If you're travelling around Japan in October, this is one of the few places to see some dramatic autumn foliage. Another highlight is the Hokkaido Food Festival, which is a celebration of regional flavours.
- Nagasaki. Undoubtedly the most famous festival in the city, the Nagasaki Kunchi (pictured, 7 - 9 October 2019) is hundreds of years old. Arenas and streets are filled with dances and shows designed to showcase the unique culture of the city's various districts.
Best places to visit in the UK in October
- Nottingham. The UK has some unique customs and traditions and Nottingham in October gives you a huge serving of that quirky taste with its variety of festivals. Check out the Goose Fair (3 - 7 October 2019), Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival (9 - 12 October 2019) and the Hockley Hustle (27 October 2019).
- The Cotswolds (pictured). Get ready for lunches in charming pubs with a fireplace roaring and bracing walks among the stunning fall foliage. In October, you also avoid the crowds of the peak summer period and still get to enjoy pleasant weather.
- Edinburgh. The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (18 - 31 October 2019) is all about traditional entertainment and attracts bards from Scotland and around the world.
Best places to visit in Italy in October
- Rome (pictured). After a scorching summer packed with tourists, Rome finally starts to cool down. For a taste of the traditional, schedule in the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi (4 October 2019) and for a more avant-garde experience, check out the Romaeuropa Festival on all month.
- Perugia. If you're a chocolate fan, the Eurochocolate Festival (18 - 27 October 2019) is one not to be missed with chocolate tasting and workshops from makers around the world.
- Alba. Love it or hate it, there are few things more decadent than the white truffle. The International Alba White Truffle Fair (5 October - 24 November 2019) is definitely one for the foodies.
Top October events
- Oktoberfest. Even though Oktoberfest starts in September, it runs through the first half of October. You don't even have to be in Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest as numerous destinations around the world host their own parties.
- Labour Day. NSW, ACT and South Australia celebrate Labour Day on 1 October 2018 with a public holiday. While not an event, it is a day off and often welcomes local events within city centres.
- Good Food Month. Specifically a Sydney event, Good Food Month is an annual gastronomic celebration that overtakes the city throughout October. This year, the event runs from 5-22 October.
- Halloween. 31 October is Halloween and is a day of tricks, treats and parties.
The best time to travel in October
Outside of the school holidays, which ends on the 7 October for much of Australia October is relatively quiet for travellers making it low season and a great time to travel.
The best time to travel is then mid-end October as kids are back in school and, if you're planning to travel around Australia, the weather will be warming up.
October is also a quiet month for international travel as again, it's outside of the major school holiday period. Being that period between the summer break for the Northern Hemisphere and Christmas, people tend not to take leave during this month, preferring to save it for the Christmas holidays.