Summer may have drawn to a close, but the beginning of autumn is when some destinations are at their peak. Read on for inspiration on where to spend a September vacation.
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EXPLORE / CULTURE
South Korea is an ultramodern but deeply traditional corner of Asia and an absolute joy to explore.
Seoul, South Korea’s bustling capital, is forward-thinking but also deeply traditional where cutting edge design and K-pop music exist alongside UNESCO world heritage sites and traditional markets. From Changdeokgung Palace to Bukchon Hanok Village, from Myeongdong shopping district to Bukhansan National Park, you will be enthralled by all Seoul has to offer.
No trip to Seoul is complete without sampling its local delicacies. For all manner of Korean snacks head to Gwangjang Market, one of Seoul’s oldest and largest traditional markets, most famous for its street food. Foodies descend here for the bindaetteok (mung-bean pancakes), Korean dumplings and boribap (mixed rice and barley topped with vegetables). The city’s plethora of top eating spots will enable you to enjoy a host of irresistible flavours. From noodles to rice dishes to barbecues, there is something for every palette.
As much as Seoul will captivate you, there is so much to see and do beyond the dynamic capital. A major attraction for the curious amongst us is the 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile long Demilitarized Zone established as a buffer zone between the warring communist north and capitalist south in the 1950s, separating North and South Korea.
For photographers and nature lovers, mountainous Gangwon-do provides spectacular natural parks and scenic landscapes. Seoraksan National Park is one of the country’s most beautiful national parks with dense forest full of plunging waterfalls, ancient temples and an abundance of wildlife.
Moving south from Gangwon-do is Gyeongju, capital of the Silla dynasty for almost a thousand years. The Gyeongju historic areas contain a remarkable concentration of outstanding examples of Korean Buddhist art and the remains of temples and palaces.
Jirisan National Park to the west is South Korea’s largest national park offering some of Korea’s best hiking opportunities. If Jirisan has left you seeking more outdoor adventures, the island of Jeju will hit the spot. Here you can hike the volcanic cone of Hallasan, walk through the lava tubes of Manjanggul and cycle around the perimeter of this beautiful and unique island.
If the buzz of city life is calling once again, Busan, Korea’s second city, should not be overlooked. Known for its fantastic seafood, majestic mountains and miles of beaches, Seoul’s laid-back little sibling is full of surprises.
If the above doesn’t convince you that South Korea should be on your travel bucket list, we don’t know what will!
Your TripMapper travel itinerary app will help you plan for and budget for this epic SK adventure!
Best time to visit Seoul (weather): September to November, when temperates are mild and rainfall is generally low.
EXPLORE / NATURE
Epic sand dunes, extraordinary desert-adapted wildlife and a rugged coastline littered with rusting shipwrecks. Namibia, where the ocean and desert collide, is a destination like no other. From canyon trekking to cheetah tracking, dune-climbing to star-gazing, it’s a playground for adventurers.
Start your adventure in the most iconic landscapes of the Namib Desert, a photographer’s paradise. The towering sand dunes at Sossusvlei are an awe inspiring sight. Close to Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, is a white clay pan dotted by dark, dead camel thorn trees. The black trees, the bleached-white pans, the rusty-red dunes and the blue sky make for postcard worthy images.
To the south of Sossusvlei is the startlingly beautiful Fish River Canyon, one of the world’s largest canyons. For those up for a challenge, the multi-day hike will be an unforgettable experience. Strange geological formations, reed-fringed pools, spiky quiver trees and incredible sunsets will delight those who trek this incredible, but intense, trail.
For a predominately arid country, Namibia boasts one of the greatest wildlife populations in the world. In Etosha National Park springbok, gemsbok, zebras, blue wildebeest, lions, cheetahs and leopards congregate at waterholes. The breath-taking mountainous region of Damaraland is home to an assortment of desert-adapted wildlife such as elephant, rhino, zebra and lion. In the south of Damaraland, the rocky outcrops of Twyfelfontein feature an extraordinary collection of hunter-gatherer engravings, considered to be some of the best-preserved etchings on the continent.
Swakopmund is a centre for adrenaline-pumping activities, from sand boarding down the huge dunes just outside of town to quad biking in the desert or sky diving. South of Swakopmund is the lagoon at Walvis Bay where pelicans sweep over the dunes to the sea and hundreds of rose-pink flamingos gather in the Walvis Bay lagoon.
On the west coast of Namibia, where the Atlantic Ocean clashes with the dune and desert landscape the wild and remote Skeleton Coast represents a completely different side of the country. Here the Atlantic Ocean clashes with the dune and desert landscape. This strip of coastline earned its named from the treacherous fogs and strong currents that forced many ships onto its uncharted sands. The golden beaches are littered with whale bones and the rusted hulls of stranded ships.
The TripMapper travel itinerary app will be the perfect companion for your Namibia travels!
Best time to visit Namibia (weather): May to September (the dry season).
Find out more: Visit Namibia
The Scandi cool vibe permeates Copenhagen! With a wealth of history, top eateries, cutting edge Danish design and plenty of waterways to explore, it's little wonder that Denmark's capital regularly tops world liveability lists.
If you want to travel around the city like the locals, two wheels is best (find suggestions for bike routes and bike hire here). Cycle past the colourful facades at Nyhavn; wander at the beautiful fairy-tale like Rosenborg Castle; sample some local seasonal ingredients as you pass a trendy bistro; and make a stop or two at some of the city's fantastic galleries and themed museums.
For those who would love to learn a little more about how the Danish nation came to be the National Museum of Denmark will hit the spot. Join the Vikings on an adventurous raid, see the world's largest collection of Viking age treasures and follow Denmark's story, from the first cultural traces right up until the present day.
If you are into art and design, you'll be spoilt for choice! Copenhagen may be small, but it has a thriving art and design scene. Denmark's largest art gallery, SMK, has an outstanding collection of Danish and international art; Kunsthal Charlottenborg is home to international contemporary art in a former palace; find a wealth of modernist, mid-century Scandinavian design at the Dansk Møbelkunst showroom; and the V1 Gallery located in Copenhagen's Meatpacking District displays a range of artworks in all mediums.
Another great way to see Copenhagen's iconic sights is by exploring its waterways. On a canal tour you will discover Copenhagen’s harbours, iconic landmarks and learn about Denmark’s history. If you'd rather be the captain of your own ship, hire your own kayak or boat. The GoBoat even has a picnic table so you can enjoy the Danish delicacies you picked up at the TorvehallerneKBH food hall whilst watching the city drift by.
If the Danish delights left you wanting more, we don't blame you! Copenhagen is on every foodie's radar! A must on your Copenhagen travel itinerary must be a reservation at a 'New Nordic' restaurant. With a focus on pure, fresh and simple, yet innovative food, it is a movement which has put Copenhagen on the culinary map.
Best time to visit Copenhagen (weather): Year round but you will avoid the large crowds if you visit in May, early June or September.
Get your itinerary started! If you need a little inspiration, or just a helping hand to get your Copenhagen itinerary started, check out TripMapper's interactive itinerary below. Simply click the 'Copy this Itinerary' button to take it into your TripMapper account and then customise it to make your own!
Trip itinerary app by TripMapper
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Editor's note: There are still some restrictions on travel due to COVID-19. Please check the latest guidance before booking and departing and always follow local health guidance. TripMapper is not affiliated to any third party mentioned or linked to in this blog. Linked third party websites are not under TripMapper’s control, and TripMapper is not responsible for their content.