Where is best to go on holiday in August? Jade Perry, Content Manager for lastminute.com, has shared the top destinations for this month as well as a host of great deals. Locations include Vienna, Dubai, and London – so all you need to decide is where to go.
Now here’s a city with incredible history, impressive architecture and bucketloads of culture. With its spectacular museums and galleries, stunning parks and gardens and a world-famous coffee culture, Vienna is a great place for a city break with a slightly slower pace of life. September is the perfect time to visit. The summer crowds disappear but summer is far from over, with highs of 21°C throughout the month.
What to eat
Whether you’re after luxurious restaurants or casual eateries, Vienna is foodie heaven. Thanks to its international population, there’s also a great variety of cuisines. You’ll find everything from Italian to Indian, from Portuguese to Japanese.
For traditional Viennese dishes like Wiener Schnitzel or Tafelspitz, head to Puerstner or Gasthaus Rebhuhn. If you’re after fine dining, you’re spoiled for choice with 10 Bib Gourmand restaurants and 12 Michelin-starred restaurants.
You can’t leave the city without visiting a Viennese coffee house such as Café Weimar, Café Central or Café Landtmann. These cafes are central to Viennese culture, with many 19th century authors writing and socialising in these spots. Don’t forget to order a dessert with your coffee – Sachertorte, a Viennese chocolate cake, is a must.
For something a bit more grab and go, head to Fenster Café, a tiny café that serves coffee out of a window. Try the ‘cornettocino’ – a cappuccino in a waffle cone! How’s that for zero waste coffee?
What to see and do
The galleries and museums in Vienna are some of the best in Europe. Belvedere is a must for art lovers – this gorgeous 18th century palace has a world-famous collection that includes the work of Egon Schiele, Helene Funke, and of course, Gustav Klimt. This is where you’ll find his iconic painting The Kiss.
For a taste of history, take a stroll around the stunning Schönbrunn Palace, where the Habsburg family used to spend their summers. It’s worth bringing the incredible history of this UNESCO-protected palace to life with a tour guide. The Hofburg (another palace!) is also a must for history buffs. It served as the Habsburg’s winter residence and is only a 20-min drive from Schönbrunn.
If you’re looking for something a bit more off the beaten track, what about a visit to Schmetterlinghaus? This art nouveau greenhouse is filled with hundreds of different kinds of butterflies, offering a beautiful tropical escape right in the middle of the city.
For a great view of the city, visit the Riesenrad, Vienna’s giant ferris wheel inside Prater amusement park. Or better yet, head to the Danube Tower, Austria’s tallest structure, which offers a 360° panoramic view of Vienna.
4* The Levante Rathaus Apartments – room only
2 nights, departing 13th September, flight + hotel, from £99pp
5* InterContinental Hotels VIENNA – room only
2 nights, departing 24th September, flight + hotel, from £189pp
3* Ibis Wien Mariahilf – room only
3 nights, departing 27th September, flight + hotel, from £149pp
With its iconic skyline, incredible history, extraordinary theatre and world-famous museums, London makes a fantastic city break any time of the year. But there is something particularly magical about the city in September. Summer holidays are over, which means there are fewer crowds, but the sun is still out, making it a great time to explore. September is also festival season in London so there’s something to do practically every day of the month.
What to eat
London is undeniably one of the best cities in the world for foodies. No matter how many times you’ve visited, there’s always something new and delicious to try.
Borough Market is one of the best places to start for first-timers – here you will find incredible dishes from around the world, from Israeli to Italian, Singaporean to Spanish, Japanese to Jamaican. Mercato Metropolitano, Camden Market and Southbank Centre Food Market are also great places to go to scratch that street food itch.
If fine dining is more your thing, you’re also spoiled for choice. There are an impressive 66 Michelin-starred restaurants in the capital, with some of the slightly more affordable ones being BRAT, Leroy and The Ninth. And of course, you can’t leave without trying the local grub. Poppie’s Fish and Chips and Golden Union are some of the best chippies you’ll find in Central London.
What to see and do
With fewer visitors in September, now is your opportunity to see the main attractions without the crowds. For a quick tour, start in Trafalgar Square, then walk The Mall to Buckingham Palace. From here, head to nearby Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. You can then cross Westminster Bridge for a ride on the lastminute.com London Eye. Here you will find incredible, unrivalled views of the city. Try to time your visit with sunset if you can, it makes the landscape even more phenomenal.
Once you’ve seen the highlights, what about getting involved in some of the events? September is packed with festivals including London Fashion Week, London Design Festival, Open House Festival and London Podcast Festival. There are also some great music festivals for every taste: Wireless, BBC Proms, Mighty Hoopla and Wide Awake, to name a few.
As well as the multitude of amazing shows in the West End, there’s also outdoor theatre to enjoy in September. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has two shows running through September – Carousel and Dragons and Mythical Beasts. And of course, there’s Shakespeare’s Globe where you can see some of the writer’s most loved plays under the stars. Both Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night are running throughout September.
Keen on visiting some of London’s world-famous museums and galleries? The British Museum, National Gallery and Museum of London are some of the best. If you’re travelling with kids, the Natural History Museum and Science Museum are also fantastic. The best part? They’re all free.
4* Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge – room only
1 night stay, 19th September, hotel only, from £119 per room
5* Tower Suites By Blue Orchid – room only
1 night stay, 23rd September, hotel only, from £119 per room
4* Nhow London – room only
1 night stay, 27th September, hotel only, from £89 per room
If you’re after sun, sea and extravagance, Dubai is the spot for you. This futuristic city is known for its stunning skyscrapers, brilliant beaches and incredible innovation. With average temperatures of around 33°C in September, it’s the perfect spot if you’re looking for sunshine.
What to eat
When it comes to food, Dubai does not disappoint. As well as great Emirati food, there’s a range of other cuisines to enjoy thanks to the city’s international population.
For authentic local food, you can’t go wrong with Al Fanar, Siraj or Aljalboot. Be sure to try the famous machboos – a popular rice and meat dish. If you love Middle Eastern food, it’s also worth taking a foodie tour while you’re here to learn more about the local cuisine. For dinner with a view, Dubai’s only revolving restaurant Al Dawaar is a must. This international buffet restaurant has something for everyone with European, Indian and Arabic food.
What to see and do
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is a must-see on any trip to Dubai. The observation deck (on the 124th floor!) is the best place to see the city’s incredible skyline, particularly at night when the city shines.
This is not the only building in Dubai breaking records – the Dubai Mall is another one for the books. This is one of the largest malls in the world, with over 1,300 shops as well as a cinema, an aquarium, a haunted house and two theme parks.
Another must-see in Dubai is the Palm Jumeirah, a huge man-made island shaped like a palm tree. From water parks to beach clubs to spas, there’s plenty to do and see here. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even skydive over the island and get a bird’s eye view.
Beyond the glitz and glamour, there are also some great historical and cultural activities to enjoy. Wander Al Fahidi Historical District for a glimpse of traditional life in Dubai, or alternatively, try something completely new, escape the city and join a desert safari. Here you can enjoy a traditional Arabic barbecue, go dune bashing, sandboarding and camel riding.
5* Canal Central Hotel – room only
5 nights, departing 18th September, flight + hotel, from £579pp
4* Riu Dubai – All Inclusive
7 nights, departing 12th September, flight + hotel, from £859pp
5* Amwaj Rotana Jumeirah Beach – Breakfast included
7 nights, departing 26th September, flight + hotel, from £779pp