Nomad's Travel Picks: Where to Go in September 2023
6 places to travel to this September
· 6 min read
As summer fades and autumn arrives with its colorful palette and mellow vibe, September offers the perfect opportunity for keen travelers to venture out and explore the world. The high-season crowds have thinned, prices have mellowed, and the weather often still feels like a late-summer gift in many places. With that in mind, let's discover the best places to travel in September.
September in Santorini is nothing short of a dream. The summer hordes have dissipated, leaving the magical sunsets over the Aegean Sea, white-washed buildings, and blue-domed churches for the enjoyment of savvy autumn travelers. With fewer tourists, better prices, and a calm, warm atmosphere, Santorini in September promises an unforgettable Greek island experience.
The weather is warm enough for you to visit the island’s distinctive black sand beaches, or to take a boat trip to the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. The temperate evenings, meanwhile, are perfect for savoring local delicacies in Fira's cliffside restaurants while witnessing breathtaking sunsets. The wine harvest is in full swing, making it an excellent time to visit the local wineries for a taste of the famous Assyrtiko wine.
Come September (usually on the third Saturday of the month), one of the highlights of Santorini is the IFESTIA, a festival that celebrates the volcano eruption that changed the landscape of Santorini. The Ifestia Festival consists of a series of artistic events dedicated to the volcano, and a major highlight of the festival is the light and fireworks show that re-enacts the famous eruption.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town welcomes spring in September, bringing a delightful spectacle of blooming wildflowers and vibrant colours to the region. This period is ideal for exploring the city's renowned botanical gardens, like Kirstenbosch, which brims with a dazzling display of local flora. The climate is pleasantly warm, ideal for outdoor activities. Hike up Table Mountain or take the cable car to the top for panoramic views of the city, coast, and Robben Island.
In the city, cultural attractions like the District Six Museum and Zeitz MOCAA offer enriching experiences, while culinary tours will introduce you to Cape Malay cuisine's unique flavors. As the vineyards in the Cape Winelands awaken, a winery tour is also highly recommended.
September also aligns with the tail-end of whale-watching season, when southern right whales migrate to the warmer waters around the Cape. Not to be missed is a visit to Hermanus, a town just a couple of hours' drive from Cape Town, which is renowned for some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.
Seoul, South Korea
September in Seoul is a fascinating time as the peak summer heat subsides, ushering in the pleasant fall season. The crisp air and milder temperatures of September make this month an ideal time to explore Seoul's diverse attractions. Explore the bustling street markets like Namdaemun and Myeongdong, visit tranquil spaces such as Namsan Park, or have a picnic by the banks of the Han River.
The city is awash with the beautiful hues of the autumnal transition, creating a picturesque backdrop for sightseeing. Visit the ancient royal palaces like Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, where the majesty of traditional architecture is highlighted by the vibrant fall colors. Stroll along the iconic Cheonggyecheon Stream, and enjoy Seoul's modern and traditional mix as you meander through Insadong's alleys, filled with traditional tea houses, shops, and art galleries.
Chuseok (mid-Autumn) this year is on 29 September, and the 3-day Chuseok holiday runs from 28 September to 30 September. Although smaller family shops might be closed for this significant holiday, tourist attractions and significant chains will still be open! And to celebrate Chuseok, most of the major tourist attractions will have special events that give you a chance to also experience the celebrations of one of the most important festivals on the Korean calendar! You can witness locals in traditional Hanbok attire, performing ancestral rites, and partaking in folk games. Food lovers shouldn't miss out on the chance to sample seasonal specialties during this period, like Songpyeon (half-moon rice cakes) and freshly harvested fruits.
New York, USA
September in New York City is nothing short of magical. As summer's heat fades, the crisp fall air ushers in a season of renewed vitality. The city's iconic parks, such as Central Park and Prospect Park, start to show the first signs of autumnal color, offering scenic spots for picnics, leisurely walks, or bike rides. The weather is perfect for exploring the city's landmarks, from Times Square's neon extravaganza to the Statue of Liberty's majestic gaze. Ascend to the top of skyscrapers like the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center for breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape.
Early September brings the excitement of New York Fashion Week (7 - 13 September), where the city pulses with the glamour of high fashion. Broadway shows are back in full swing, and music lovers can catch a concert at Madison Square Garden. Or head to Central Park to catch the tail end of the SummerStage 2023.
For art aficionados, New York's world-class museums, such as The Met, MoMA, and the Guggenheim, offer endless opportunities for exploration. In terms of cuisine, the city continues to live up to its reputation as a melting pot, with a myriad of food festivals celebrating international culinary delights. With its vibrant cultural scene, diverse food options, and captivating sights, September in New York City provides an unforgettable travel experience.
While Spain is beautiful throughout the year, there's something special about Barcelona in September. The summer heat has abated, making it the perfect time for exploring this cosmopolitan city, from the artistic genius of Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia to the bustling energy of La Rambla.
What sets September apart in Barcelona is La Mercè, the city's biggest annual festival held in honor of the Patron Saint of Barcelona, Our Lady of Mercy. This year, the festival is held from 22 to 25 September. The city comes alive with numerous events including traditional Sardana dances, human tower (Castellers) performances, parades of giants (Gigantes), and a spectacular fireworks display that incorporates music and light, known as the Piromusical.
In between the festivities, don't forget to indulge in Barcelona's culinary scene, from fresh seafood paella to tapas served in local bodegas. And with the vineyards nearby entering their harvest season, a wine tour can be a rewarding experience. And for some of the less-touristy things to do, check out our guide to Barcelona.
September in Cairo, Egypt, presents an optimal blend of mild weather and cultural exploration, providing travelers with an immersive experience in this cradle of civilization. The scorching summer heat subsides during September, making sightseeing more comfortable, especially for visits to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, iconic symbols of Egypt's ancient history.
Embark on a journey through time as you explore the Egyptian Museum located in Tahrir Square, housing the world's most extensive collection of Pharaonic antiquities. Stroll through the winding alleys of Islamic Cairo, where historical mosques like the Mosque of Muhammad Ali and the Sultan Hassan Mosque reveal the city's rich Islamic heritage. Here, you can also find the bustling Khan El Khalili Bazaar, a traditional marketplace teeming with spices, jewelry, and handcrafted souvenirs.
September also offers a chance to experience the vibrant nightlife of Cairo. Enjoy a traditional meal in a floating restaurant on the Nile, while absorbing the illuminated cityscape. For a quieter experience, a sunset felucca ride along the Nile is incredibly peaceful and picturesque. Also, the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of Nayrouz on 11 September, the Coptic New Year's Day, providing a unique cultural insight.