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14 Best Cheap Places to Visit in September

Written by Joni Sweet
Sep 2, 2020

Did your summer vacation wipe out your travel budget, but not your wanderlust? Don't fret - there are plenty of cheap places to visit in September that will allow you to keep exploring the world without spending a fortune.

You'll have the acclaimed temples of Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia to yourself in September. Caribbean lovers can enjoy the picturesque beaches and parks in Curacao without worrying too much about hurricanes this time of year. Sicily, Mexico City, and Budapest are also some of the best places to visit in September for low-cost cultural escapes.

For more ideas on budget-friendly travel this fall, check out our list of the best cheap places to visit in September.

1. Mexico City

Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City

Mexico City is a bargain for travelers who want great weather and tons of things to do in September. The temperatures that month typically range from 12 to 24 degrees Celsius - all you'll need is a light jacket to stay comfy while sightseeing around this vibrant city. Since it's low season, you can enjoy all the city's famous sites, sans the crowds.

Plan to spend at least half a day exploring Zócalo, one of the top tourist attractions in Mexico City. It's where the Mexican constitution was proclaimed in 1813 and remains one of the world's largest squares. From here, you can easily visit the Templo Mayor, Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Place.

Make your trip to Mexico City even more vibrant by exploring the city's artistic heritage. Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum and her preserved home, La Casa Azul, along with its lush gardens. Check out Museo Mural Diego Rivera, where one of the namesake artist's most famous paintings, Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park, is on display.

Travelers should also devote ample time in their itinerary to the Palace of Fine Arts, a cultural landmark that contains work from some of the most important artists of the Mexican muralism movement.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Mexico City: Best Areas & Hotels

2. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Cod

The coastal vacation destinations along the northeast coast of the United States are notoriously expensive during the summer, but come fall, prices in Cape Cod drop tremendously. Wait until after Labor Day to book your trip to up your chances of scoring a deal on hotels.

While it may be a little too chilly for a dip in the sea in September, you can still enjoy the beauty and chilled-out atmosphere of the top beaches on Cape Cod, such as Head of the Meadow in Truro or Race Point Beach in Provincetown.

The fall is also a lovely time of year to explore Cape Code's 114 miles of bike paths, which take tourists through postcard-worthy towns, near lighthouses, and along the coast. You can rent bikes from shops in Provincetown, South Dennis or Brewster.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Cape Cod: Best Areas & Hotels

3. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat

The bargains you can find in Siem Reap in September come at a cost: lots of rain. However, traveling to Cambodia during the monsoon season can be a blast for tourists looking to avoid the crowds that typically throng Siem Reap's top tourist attraction, Angkor Wat.

No waiting in long lines for stairs or competing for the perfect photo, you'll feel like you have the UNESCO World Heritage Site to yourself. Just be sure to pack plenty of durable rain gear to protect you during a downpour, and if the rains get to be too much, take your archeological exploration indoors to the Angkor National Museum.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Siem Reap: Best Areas & Hotels

4. Curaçao

Diving into the clear waters of Curaçao

Hurricane season keeps many tourists away from the Caribbean (and rightfully so) during the summer and fall. But if you're eager for a tropical getaway, consider booking a trip to Curaçao this September. Most travelers don't realize that the island, which is part of the Leeward Antilles, is located outside the Hurricane Belt, and prices tend to be within reach in September.

You'll certainly spend lots of time soaking up the sun on Curaçao's brochure-worthy beaches, like Grote Knip, Cas Abao, and Playa Kali.

The destination also offers a variety of sightseeing opportunities, as well. Check out Curaçao's famous candy-colored houses from the Queen Emma Bridge. Touring the Blue Room Cave is one of the top things to do on the island. You can also hike through nature preserves, like Christoffel National Park and Shete Boka National Park.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Curacao

5. Orlando, Florida

Lake Eola in downtown Orlando

With the kids back at school, attractions around Orlando empty out in the fall. Travelers can find great rates on hotels and enjoy significantly shorter lines at places like Disney World, SeaWorld, Legoland, and Universal Studios in September.

Even though summer is mostly behind you by September, it certainly doesn't feel that way in Orlando. Temperatures that month range from 74 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, the city has plenty of places to cool off. Beat the heat at water parks like Disney's Typhoon Lagoon; Volcano Bay at Universal Studios; or Wet 'n' Wild, one of the first water parks in Florida.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Orlando

6. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Palace of the Argentine National Congress, Buenos Aires

Treat yourself to an affordable trip to Argentina this fall, when spring is just ramping up in the Southern Hemisphere, and hotel rates are relatively reasonable in Buenos Aires. Temperate weather (think: lows around 11 degrees Celsius, highs climbing to about 18 degrees Celsius) makes September an ideal time to explore the country's European-inspired capital.

If your travel budget allows, book a hotel room in the trendy neighborhood of La Boca. It's a convenient jumping-off point to explore the top attractions in Buenos Aires, including the Caminito Street Museum, Recoleta Cemetery, and the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve.

Leave plenty of time to bask in the relaxed atmosphere of the city's cafes with a café en jarrito bien caliente (a steaming cup of coffee cut with milk). After dark, slip on your dancing shoes for a night of tango.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Buenos Aires

7. Hawaii

Aerial view of the Na Pali Coast on Kauai

In between summer vacations and warm-weather getaways to escape from winter, September can be a sweet spot for travelers looking for a deal on Hawaii. Expect sunny, warm weather with only the occasional passing shower - the perfect climate for enjoying the state's pristine beaches, majestic volcanoes, and sprawling golf courses.

So which Hawaiian island should you visit in September? Oahu, the most populated Hawaiian island, is a smart option for travelers on a budget, since you wouldn't need to buy an inter-island flight. Tourists with a little extra cash to burn might consider going to Maui, the second-largest Hawaiian island, which has plenty of fantastic resorts and golden beaches.

For even more epic nature, consider venturing to the Big Island or Kauai, where you can visit waterfalls, hike volcanos, and watch wildlife.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Hawaii

8. Budapest, Hungary

Parliament Building reflected in the Danube River in Budapest

Craving the culture and attractions of Europe, but not the high prices of autumn? Budapest is the answer. The Hungarian capital, considered to be the "Paris of the East," sees a drop in both crowds and prices come September, when the summer vacationers have gone home.

Budapest brims with tourist attractions steeped in culture and history. You can see many of the most important monuments and museums from the medieval era at Castle Hill. Tourists can also enjoy a leisurely stroll down the cobbled streets near the Parliament Building, and get panoramic views of the city from the dome of St. Stephen's Basilica.

When you're ready to wind down, head to the iconic Széchenyi Thermal Bath for a long soak in therapeutic hot spring water.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Budapest: Best Areas & Hotels

9. Barcelona, Spain

View from Park Guell in Barcelona

Another cheap place to visit in September is Barcelona. The Spanish city gets far fewer crowds in early fall than it sees during the summer, and hotels and airlines adjust their prices accordingly.

Take a look at the September events calendar for Barcelona, and you'll wonder why more tourists don't plan their trips to Spain this time of year. The city hosts its largest street fiesta, La Merce, in honor of the Virgin Mary for a week in mid-September, giving travelers a chance to see the famous castellers build their human towers. (Bonus: It's free!)

Even if you miss La Merce, you can still take part in neighborhood celebrations throughout Barcelona during the month of September. Poblenou hosts a major festival, complete with a fireworks display and artist studio tours, in the early to middle part of the month.

Tourists can see bands from around the world perform live during the Barcelona Acció Musical, which coincides with La Merce. Travelers visiting in late September can also experience Festa Major de la Barceloneta, a multi-day event in Barcelona's traditional fishermen's neighborhood, with cannon firing, Catalan traditions, and concerts.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Barcelona: Best Areas & Hotels

10. Sicily, Italy

Greek theater ruins in Taormina, Sicily

With tourist season coming to a close and weather that's nearly as nice as it is in the summer, Sicily is one of the best places to visit in September if you're looking for a deal. It's arguably the best time of year to experience the sights in Sicily without navigating through major crowds.

One of the top things to do in Sicily is sightseeing around well-preserved archeological sites from the ancient world. You won't want to miss Agrigento's Valley of Temples, the Eastern Temples at Selinunte, or Villa Romana del Casale in Enna. Get even more historical context for these attractions at Palermo's Archeological Museum.

After traveling back in time, bring your trip to the present by enjoying one of the most important parts of Sicilian culture: the food. Tuck into local ricotta-filled arancini, tangy caponata, pasta alla Norma, and stuffed sardines at relaxing outdoor restaurants around the Mediterranean island.

11. Chefchaouen, Morocco

The blue city of Chefchaouen, Morocco

September, Morocco's shoulder season, offers travelers the best bang for their buck on vacations to the blue city of Chefchaouen. By early fall, the scorching summer temperatures have fallen to balmy levels, usually in the mid-20 degrees Celsius, and the summer tourists have left.

Don't expect to fill your days in Chefchaouen hopping from attraction to attraction. The top thing to do in this labyrinthian city is simply wander around the medina alleyways and appreciate the rich azure architecture. Adventures by foot can continue with a hike in the nearby Rif Mountains, an ideal way to spend the day if you want more nature on your Moroccan getaway.

12. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dream of spending a few days at a high-rise resort overlooking renowned Copacabana beach? Plan to visit Rio de Janeiro in September, when many hotels offer surprisingly decent rates on accommodation, considering the pleasantly warm weather.

It's the perfect time of year for all the quintessential things to do in Rio. Climb to the summit of Corcovado to see the 30-meter-tall statue of Christ, known worldwide as a symbol of the city. Take a cable car 394 meters up to the top of Sugarloaf. And get some nature therapy among the 2,000-plus species of orchids at Rio's Jardim Botânico.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro

13. Kerala, India

Houseboat in Kerala, India

The tail end of September is an opportunistic time of year to visit Kerala on a budget. The monsoons are dying, yet high season is still weeks away, so prices are favorable. The South Indian destination's tranquil backwaters offer the unique chance to float down lazy rivers on traditional thatched-top houseboats.

Take a day trip to Athirappilly Falls to see the stunning waterfalls surge from the recent seasonal rains. And if you're feeling creative, head to the port city of Kochi. It's the heart of Kerala's art scene.

14. Austin, Texas

Texas State Capitol building in Austin, Texas

With many travelers waiting until Austin City Limits in October to make their way to the capital of Texas, the city is ripe with deals on hotels and things to do in September.

The "Live Music Capitol of the World" has performances at local venues on Rainey and Sixth streets every night of the week. You can also chow down on the city's signature cuisine (barbecue), shop for vintage clothing on South Congress, and see what artistic masterpieces are on exhibit at The Contemporary.

Austin is sure to win you over any time of the year - even more so when the spirited city is at its most affordable.

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