All Articles 13 best places to see autumn foliage in the world: Kyoto, Vermont, Paris, and more

13 best places to see autumn foliage in the world: Kyoto, Vermont, Paris, and more

A collage featuring a Japanese lady in a kimono appreciating colourful maple trees in Kyoto; the Seine River and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; and an aerial view of a road surrounded by autumn foliage in Stowe, Vermont
Image: Magicflute002/Getty, Darrell Gulin/Getty, Marchello74/Getty (from left to right)
Michelle Neo
By Michelle Neo13 Sept 2023 6 minutes read

Break out your favourite sweater—the cosy season is here. With it brings cool weather, exciting autumn festivities, and a dazzling kaleidoscope of reds, yellows, and oranges. If you’re excited to see nature’s fireworks, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to see autumn foliage around the world.

Before you go, remember to pack waterproof shoes and an umbrella or raincoat. These essentials will help you stay dry as light showers may happen anytime.

1) North Conway, New Hampshire, United States

Scenic view of the Kancamagus Highway surrounded by colourful autumn foliage in North Conway, New Hampshire
Image: Gordon T/Tripadvisor

Best time to go: Late September–mid-October

With miles and miles of colourful autumn leaves, New Hampshire is undoubtedly one of the best places to see autumn foliage in the U.S. It’s typically the most vibrant at the start of October—we recommend using this autumn foliage tracker to know when to catch the peak foliage.

While the bigger cities are just as scenic, you’ll get excellent autumn foliage views in North Conway. Located at the edge of the White Mountains, the picturesque town is a popular destination for hikers and road-trippers hoping to catch the autumn leaves. Climb up to Cathedral Ledge, hit the trail to Diana’s Baths, or take a drive on the Kancamagus Highway. Whichever you pick, you’re in for an unforgettable treat.

2) Kyoto, Japan

Travellers taking photos of vibrant red autumn leaves at the iconic Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan
Image: Kaori/Tripadvisor

Best time to go: Late November–early December

Kyoto isn’t just a prime spot for cherry blossoms. In autumn, Japanese maple and ginkgo trees explode with vibrant red and golden leaves, creating an eye-popping spectacle.

Take part in momijigari (Japanese for ‘autumn leaf hunting’) at famed autumn foliage spots like Arashiyama, Kyoto Botanical Gardens, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Go early on a weekday to beat the crowds.

If you prefer some peace and quiet, head to Kyoto’s lesser-known attractions like Shinnyodo Temple and Bishamondo. Alternatively, join this half-day E-bike tour to uncover more hidden gems with breathtaking autumn foliage.

3) Bern, Switzerland

A female traveller checking out Bern's Old City from the Rose Garden, a park on a hill
Image: Museimage/Getty

Best time to go: Mid–late October

Autumn brings an irresistible charm to this Swiss city. Nestled between sandstone buildings and narrow alleyways, you’ll find pops of delightful autumnal colours. Use this nifty autumn foliage map to track the seasonal changes in Bern and the rest of Switzerland.

Roam around the Old City to hunt for autumn leaves, or hike up to the Rose Garden. Perched on a hill, the park offers an amazing vista of the Aare River. Go at sunset for extra wondrous views.

4) Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Lush greenery and beautiful autumn foliage at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, a historic hotel in Quebec City, Canada
Image: LSOphoto/Getty

Best time to go: Late September–early October

It’s easy to fall in love with Quebec City during autumn. Leaf-peeping spots are almost everywhere, from the Plains of Abraham to La Promenade Samuel-De Champlain and the iconic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Check out this autumn foliage tracker to know when it peaks.

For an outdoorsy autumn adventure, go hiking or mountain biking at Vallée Bras-du-Nord, an hour’s drive from the city centre. Or check out other spots like the picturesque Les Marais du Nord and Montmorency Falls. You can explore the latter with this small-group tour.

5) Gdańsk, Poland

A couple strolling down a tree-lined path with golden leaves in Oliwski Park in Gdansk, Poland
Image: BlaenavonMan/Tripadvisor

Best time to go: Late September–early October

Autumn in Poland is an exceptionally special time. For a brief period, the crowds dissipate, warm sunny weather lingers, and leaves begin to turn into shades of gold and rust. Locals call this window Złota Polska Jesień, or the ‘Golden Polish Autumn’.

One of the best places to experience this occasion is Gdańsk, a historic port city that was meticulously restored after World War II. To see autumn foliage, explore the 25-acre Oliwski Park in Oliwa—the city’s leafy district—or Jaskowa Valley Park, near Jaskowa Dolina Street.

If you have more time, visit the nearby seaside town of Sopot. You can relax on Sopot Beach, which is flanked by gorgeous autumn leaves.

6) Seoul, South Korea

Travellers enjoying the vibrant autumn foliage at Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea
Image: JuanMarco31/Tripadvisor

Best time to go: Mid–late October

From Olympic Park to Seoul Forest and Namsan Park, there’s no shortage of autumn foliage spots in Seoul. Head to Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, where the blazing autumn foliage adds a bright splash of colour to ancient Korean architecture.

Make the most of your trip with this full-day tour that’ll take you to three other must-see autumn foliage spots: Seoraksan National Park, Nami Island, and the Garden of Morning Calm. Expect lush greenery mixed with rich autumn colours.

7) Bruges, Belgium

Scenic view of a red church and fiery autumn foliage at Minnewater Lake in Bruges, Belgium
Minnewater Lake, also known as the Lake of Love
Image: Allou/Getty

Best time to go: October

With charming medieval buildings, tree-lined canals, and cobbled streets, Bruges is a great spot for a fairytale-like vacation. Wander around the old city centre and St Bonifacius Bridge to admire the brilliant autumnal colours, or join this guided boat trip for stunning views from the water.

Travellers also recommend Minnewater Lake, where a picturesque church is surrounded by lovely autumn foliage. If you’re up for an adventure, rent a bike and cycle to Damme, a nearby Belgian town. Its paths have rows of trees with yellow leaves that glow in the autumn sun.

8) Stowe, Vermont, United States

Aerial view of the town of Stowe, Vermont, surrounded by lots of colourful autumn foliage
Image: BackyardProduction/Getty

Best time to go: Late September–mid-October

Fun fact: Three-quarters of Vermont is covered in forest—many of which are maple trees. Thanks to this, the New England state explodes with vivid autumnal colours, making it one of the best places to see autumn foliage in the U.S. Use this New Hampshire prediction map to track the foliage.

Though it’s famed as a ski town, Stowe is a fabulous spot to embrace the season. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the Stowe Recreation Path or Moss Glen Falls. And if you’re driving, the Stowe Mountain Auto Toll Road up to Mount Mansfield is particularly scenic.

9) Osaka, Japan

Scenic view of Osaka Castle with golden autumn leaves in the foreground
Image: 道中双六/Tripadvisor

Best time to go: Mid-late November–early December

Jaw-dropping autumn foliage is just about everywhere in Osaka, both in the city and the outskirts. You can’t miss top spots like Osaka Castle Park and Midosuji Street, a popular boulevard lined with golden ginkgo trees.

For a quieter experience, visit Hoshida-Enchi Park and stroll along the suspension bridge, high above a cloud of stunning autumn colours. Minoo Park—a 30-minute train ride away—is another great option. There, you’ll find the Waterfall of Mino, surrounded by beautiful autumn leaves.

10) New York City, New York, United States

Scenic view of autumn foliage and boats on a lake at Bear Mountain State Park, an hour's drive from New York City
The lake at Bear Mountain State Park
Image: Ccari01/Tripadvisor

Best time to go: Late September–late October

Autumn is a magical time to visit New York City. Not only are the crowds more manageable, but this world-famous destination is painted with incredible autumnal colours. Check this autumn foliage map to catch its peak.

Some of the best places to see autumn foliage within NYC are Roosevelt Island and the iconic Central Park, where thousands of trees shift from green to red, gold, and orange. You can explore more breathtaking spots on this bike tour.

Make time to venture outside NYC too. You’ll see spectacular autumn foliage on this Hudson River cruise, and in Bear Mountain State Park—just an hour’s drive away. The family-friendly park offers lots of hiking trails, shaded picnic groves, and a lake with boats for rent.

11) Paris, France

Travellers cruising down the Seine River on a ferry, with the Eiffel Tower and golden autumn foliage in the background
Image: Eva-Katalin/Getty

Best time to go: October–early November

Autumn is a glorious time to visit Paris, whether it’s for a short city break or a week-long getaway. The air is crisp, the crowds are gone, and the city glows with vibrant colours. Best part: You’ll have about 10 hours of daylight to enjoy it all.

Top autumn foliage spots include Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Tuileries, and the Seine River (best seen on a guided cruise). But lesser-known attractions like Bois de Vincennes and Père-Lachaise Cemetery are worth exploring too.

While you’re here, don’t miss the annual Grape Harvest Festival in Montmartre. You can taste all kinds of wines amongst stellar autumn foliage.

12) El Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina

Panoramic view of the Perito Moreno Glacier flanked by beautiful autumn foliage near El Calafate in Patagonia, Argentina
Image: Pintai Suchachaisri/Getty

Best time to go: Late March–April

Autumn brings an otherworldly vibe to Patagonia. Imagine dramatic icy landscapes framed by clouds of fiery red, orange, and yellow leaves. Those are the epic sights you can expect at Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Park.

To see the unique autumn foliage, we recommend staying at El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. Book a guided tour to the glacier, or this full-day trip to Torres Del Paine. The good news is that the summer crowds are gone, so you can enjoy the captivating views without jostling for space.

13) Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand

A small boat at the edge of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand
Image: Creative Media Productions NZ/Tripadvisor

Best time to go: Late March–late April

There are many ways to experience Queenstown’s dreamy autumn foliage. You can catch a glimpse of it on this extreme jet boat ride along the Shotover River, or soak up the views at Queenstown Gardens—loved by many for its sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains. Wine lovers can also visit vineyards tinted with red and yellow leaves on this Central Otago wine tour.

Feel like celebrating the season? Drive or cycle over to Arrowtown for its annual Autumn Festival. The small town buzzes with lively concerts, street performances, and pop-up markets.

Michelle Neo
Michelle (or Mich, as she prefers) aspires to eat every type of bread in the world, cuddle friendly dogs, and find rocks to climb—in no specific order.