It’s that dangerous time of the year again, when the last days of summer have been counted (autumn officially started on September 23rd) and we are all at risk of drifting into an ugly post-summer-depression. But alas, there is travel, and escaping this monotony does not necessarily mean having to run far and long to escape the dropping temperatures entirely, but could just mean going somewhere, where the new season is particularly enjoyable.

A place like London, for example. Say what you will about London’s weather (it doesn’t actually rain that much) – compared to the icy temperatures one can expect in certain places across continental Europe, the British Isles are actually rather pleasant year-round. While Londoners enjoy a mild average of 13° Celsius degrees in October and 10 in November, the folks over in Germany are looking at a solid 5° less than that. Even though London makes for a great city break at any time, there is hardly a more romantic, fashionable, fun, cozy and exciting city to celebrate the beginning of the season upon us. Here are our top five reasons why you should travel to London in autumn. Tip: Read til the end to find out how you can go to London soon without spending a single penny!

1) The most romantic time of year

A smart person once said love doesn’t grow with the time spent together but with the experiences shared. And what better experience can you think of than a romantic weekend in London? Picture this: you and lover are strolling along the river Thamse, their arm tightly wrapped around you. It’s early evening, you’re looking out across the water, marvelling at the lights of London’s skyline sparkling brightly as boats criss-cross from side to side. Sigh…

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It’s just cold enough to snuggle up a little more than usual but not so cold to have your nostrils freeze (not a good look in this romance set-up). Add in some brown leaves paving your walk along the riverbank and the scene might as well be cut right out of a Hugh Grant movie. Sound good yet? To go all in for romance, opt for a river cruise and snuggle up in the back of a tour boat, or even book a dining cruise experience to see the city lit up from the water.

2) Shop for your winter wardrobe!

The thing we love most about having seasons in Europe, is definitely that they give us a great excuse to renew our wardrobe four times a year! And London is by far THE best place to do that. Not only does everyone there look super stylish without even trying (or investing a month’s rent in clothes), there simply is nothing you couldn’t find in the British capitol. The high streets of Central London are bursting with the biggest flagship stores out there – Topshop anyone? – or, if you are into designer clothes, you will find stores for just about every label.

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The real reason why London is made to shop til you drop, though, is that this is the ultimate Mecca for vintage clothing. With prices as low as £10 for some of the most beautiful vintage dresses you’ll ever own (take that as an example, German vintage stores!), it is actually worth flying to England just to stock up on fake fur coats, boots and dresses for the holidays or simply a stack of warm jumpers to make it through the cold season.

3) Concerts! Parties! Events!

Like the next girl we do love summer. But as with everything in life it’s not all roses. Many bars, clubs, event series, theatres and other venues go on a seasonal break and that can suck, to say the least. I mean, we get it, everybody needs a break every now and then, but all at once? Come on! The good news is they all come back in autumn, making this the best time of year to find out about the coolest parties or new clubs, see premiers of amazing plays or simply take a chance and choose a live performance going on at any random pub. Want to know what’s on? Have a peak at Londonist to get inspired and up to date.

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If you like your culture paired with eye candy, we can highly recommend the Shakespeare’s Hamlet play which premiers on October 15 at the Barbican Centre, the play is also live broadcast to cinemas across the city (and country) on October 15 and 22.

4) Pub culture at its best

When thinking about English pubs in London, we remember those glorious Sunday roasts with our girlfriend gang, going down so well with a nutty ale or a warming Hot Toddy. Spending a few hours in a pub should be on your London bucket list either way, but doesn’t it feel much less like a guilty pleasure when stepping into the cozy bar means escaping the creeping cold or maybe even a quick shower (it’s London after all)? Whether you come here alone or with a friend, nowhere else in London is it easier to make instant friends. If not over beers at the bar, then definitely at the pool table. Gone are the days when everyone spread out outside on the pavement, you finally get to snuggle again over those 10 seats at the bar! The city boasts some of the greatest pubs of the country – here are ten of them. Cheers!

5) Parks, glorious parks

Right now, is also the perfect time to see the leaves change in the parks. One of our favourite places in London to enjoy a long walk under changing trees is Hampstead. Not only is this beautiful North London village dotted with cozy cafes and green alleys, it is also the home of Hampstead Heath, quite possibly one of the most beautiful oases of green in Europe. The city views from Parliament Hill are some of the best one can get and combined with all those shades of yellow, orange and red in the trees, this makes for a prime photo op.

Dying to experience London in autumn but no cash to do it? We have just the thing for you! Visit London are currently running a competition where they are giving away an awesome trip to London for 2 people. The prize includes return flights, hotel accommodation and tickets to various museums and shows – two tix to see Benedict Cumberbatch perform Hamlet live on stage are included too. Get in there and enter the draw! The competition ends October 3rd.

Good luck – and have fun in London!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Visit London