15 Best Europe destinations in November of 2018

No one will be surprised to learn that Europe is getting fairly chilly in November, but there is still plenty to see and do. There is actually one place where you can still work on your tan, but most people will be better off focusing on the larger and most famous cities, and especially those in the southern countries.

Below you'll find our 14 best picks for places to go in Europe in November. The crowds will be smaller than in summer and hotels are usually quite a bit cheaper, so you can actually see more of Europe on the same money if you come this time of year. If this is your first trip to Europe you may also be interested in our recommendations for best first-time Europe itineraries of your own.

Below you'll find

  1. Europe's best November beach destination
  2. Europe's 14 best November city destinations

Europe's only decent November beach destination

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • November avg high: 75°F/24°C
  • November avg low: 65°F/18°C
  • November avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

By the time November rolls in, the entire European continent is too cold to sit on a beach and that will be the case until April. The good news is that the Canary Islands are technically part of Spain and there are cheap flights to Tenerife and the other islands all year round. November isn't scorching, but it's warm and sunny enough to work on your tan, and it's quite cheap as well.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and the best choice for English speakers as well. Head to the resort area in the southwest of Tenerife around the town of Los Cristianos for the most choices of hotels and apartment rentals. In November you'll be surrounded by northern Europeans and the local workers.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €74 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €87 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €14 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Tenerife
>>>Tenerife prices and travel tips


14 Best non-beach destinations in Europe in November

Rome, Italy

  • November avg high: 63°F/17°C
  • November avg low: 47°F/8°C
  • November avg precip: 4.4″/11.0cm

November marks the start of the low season in Rome, but this is a city that is popular all year round so you certainly won't feel alone. The days are chilly and you might get some rain, but Rome is still a great destination even in the colder months because there is so much to see and do, and much of it is indoors such as the enormous Vatican Museum.

If this is your first visit to Italy you'll probably want to head north from Rome and visit Florence and Venice (both mentioned below). But if you have more time you might also consider Sorrento, which is a bit south of Naples. It's a bit warmer in November and it's the perfect base for day trips of Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €57 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €77 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €8 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Rome
>>>Rome prices and travel tips


Florence, Italy

  • November avg high: 59°F/15°C
  • November avg low: 42°F/6°C
  • November avg precip: 4.4″/11.0cm

Similar to Rome, Florence is such an amazing destination that it's worth visiting any time of year. November is chilly and a bit wet, but even more than Rome and Venice, Florence is an indoor destination. This is one of the world's great capitals for art and you'll be indoors most of the day even if the weather is nice.

Florence is smaller than Rome so you can see the most famous sights in only 2 days or so, but you might still want to spend 3 or even 4 nights here because this is the ideal base for day trips to Pisa, Siena, and even the Cinque Terre. There are also several nearby hilltowns that are worth a look to experience something uniquely Italian.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €92 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €114 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €20 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Florence
>>>Florence prices and travel tips


Venice, Italy

  • November avg high: 53°F/12°C
  • November avg low: 40°F/4°C
  • November avg precip: 3.4″/8.5cm

Again, if you are coming to Italy for the first time in November you are going to want to spend at least one day and night in Venice even if it's a bit cool. There is no other city in the world like Venice and the smaller crowds in November will help you feel less like a herd animal.

The downside to visiting Venice in November is that it's the peak month for the Acqua Alta, which is the high-tide flooding that the city experiences. It's still possible to get around and enjoy a Venice visit in November, but it's also wise to keep track of the Acqua Alta situation and work your schedule around it.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €76 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €83 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €21 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Venice
>>>Venice prices and travel tips


Paris, France

  • November avg high: 51°F/11°C
  • November avg low: 43°F/6°C
  • November avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

Similar to Rome and London, Paris is such an amazing city that you are going to want to visit no matter which month you are visiting. Fortunately, Paris still has reasonably mild temperatures in November and not much rainfall. There will be plenty of business travelers around, but tourist numbers are lower so it can be easier to get around and see the top sights.

As long as you dress properly you can still even enjoy the excellent hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Paris in November. It's arguably the best city bus tour in Europe and it connects nearly all of the most famous buildings and attractions. It's included in the Paris Pass, so you might also want to check our review of the Paris Pass.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €155 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €158 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Paris
>>>Paris prices and travel tips


London, England

  • November avg high: 51°F/11°C
  • November avg low: 41°F/5°C
  • November avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

The good news about London in November is that it tends not to rain very hard when it does rain, so you often don't even need an umbrella. But of course it will be cool every day in November so you will need to bring some outerwear with you. As with a few others on this list, London is such an amazing city that you'll want to visit no matter the month of your trip.

London is another example of a mostly indoor city so the weather doesn't really slow most visitors down. The famous attractions such as the (free) museums and famous cathedrals are welcoming no matter the weather outside. You might even want to look at our London Pass review if you want to see the top attractions in 2 or 3 days.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €116 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €153 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for London
>>>London prices and travel tips


Barcelona, Spain

  • November avg high: 63°F/17°C
  • November avg low: 47°F/8°C
  • November avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

Being on the Mediterranean, Barcelona stays warmer than Madrid (see below) during the colder months. So November is still fairly nice and one of the better months to visit partly because the summer months have become so ridiculously crowded here. The main attraction here is the interesting architecture, and you can see all of the most famous buildings on top of the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which is included with the Barcelona Pass.

If this is your first time to Spain you are going to want to spend 3 or 4 nights in Barcelona but also then take the high-speed train (in 2.5 hours) to Madrid for 3 or 4 nights there. The cities are very different from each other and both are wonderful for tourists with excellent food and nightlife on top of everything else.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €53 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €64 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €15 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Barcelona
>>>Barcelona prices and travel tips


Madrid, Spain

  • November avg high: 56°F/13°C
  • November avg low: 43°F/6°C
  • November avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

Madrid does get a bit cool in November, but as mentioned above in the Barcelona section you are going to want to come here anyway. Madrid is of course the capital of Spain so this is where you see the Royal Palace and many other official buildings of note, as well as the Prado Museum.

The high-speed train that connects Madrid and Barcelona is fairly cheap if you book it at least a couple weeks in advance. Spain has a few of its own low-cost airlines, so flights into Madrid are pretty cheap this time of year, although booking early helps here as well.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €45 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €82 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €14 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Madrid
>>>Madrid prices and travel tips


Lisbon, Portugal

  • November avg high: 64°F/18°C
  • November avg low: 53°F/12°C
  • November avg precip: 4.2″/10.5cm

If you have ever wondered which city on the European continent has the best year-round weather, you have found it in Lisbon. The breezes off the Atlantic keep this city cool in summer and mild in winter, although it does get a bit of rainfall this time of year.

This otherwise remote city is a real gem for those who go out of their way to get here. It's a lovely city on 7 hills so views are fantastic in every direction. And the food and culture here are very interesting as well as quite different from Spain. You can take an overnight train from Madrid, but flying is probably the better option for most people.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €35 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €67 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €17 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Lisbon
>>>Lisbon prices and travel tips


Interlaken, Switzerland

  • November avg high: 46°F/8°C
  • November avg low: 33°F/1°C
  • November avg precip: 3.3″/8.3cm

The weather in Interlaken isn't exactly great in November, but it's still worth considering on your trip because this is THE place to see the most dramatic Alps views anywhere in Europe. So many people say they just want to visit “Switzerland” that I wrote an article about where to go in Switzerland on a short visit.

On the other hand, Interlaken in November is not ideal because many hotels and businesses close down between mid October when the hiking season ends and mid December when skiing season begins. There are still places open and plenty to see, but you have to plan a bit more. If you want to visit a second place in Switzerland to admire the unusual beauty, Lucerne is your best bet.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €95 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €132 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €18 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Interlaken
>>>Interlaken prices and travel tips


Berlin, Germany

  • November avg high: 45°F/7°C
  • November avg low: 36°F/2°C
  • November avg precip: 1.7″/4.3cm

Berlin has cold winters and in November the weather here is already started to become a bit annoying. Still, this is such an incredible city that it's worth dressing a bit warmer if a November visit is your best or only choice. The famous nightlife and cultural sights are all going strong all year round, so there is plenty to see and do.

Another great thing about this city is that it's cheaper than the other large cities in Germany including Munich and Hamburg. Better still, this city has become so popular and international that you can just speak in English to anyone you encounter and you'll almost always get a polite answer back in English.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €67 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €78 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Berlin
>>>Berlin prices and travel tips


Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • November avg high: 48°F/9°C
  • November avg low: 39°F/4°C
  • November avg precip: 3.0″/7.5cm

Unfortunately, Amsterdam is another northern European city that typically only has one or two good months of weather each year. In other words, if you wait until it's warm and sunny in Amsterdam, you'll be here with a billion other people in mid July. With an excellent public transport system, it's easy to get around Amsterdam by street car or even just walking.

The stunning architecture is one of the things that brings people to Amsterdam, and as long as you dress properly you'll be able to soak that all in this month. Aside from that this is a cultural capital with excellent nightlife and a thriving arts scene. That goes all year round, as do the coffeeshops and small pubs all over town.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €85 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €91 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €16 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Amsterdam
>>>Amsterdam prices and travel tips


Prague, Czech Republic

  • November avg high: 44°F/7°C
  • November avg low: 36°F/2°C
  • November avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

Prague is a city that is so crowded in summer that many people actually prefer to come when it's colder like in November, so they don't have to battle crowds every minute of the day. As you can see, it's chilly in Prague in November, but it rarely rains much as all so it's just a matter of wearing another layer.

It will still be crowded in the main squares of Prague in November, but much less so than in warmer months so it's more pleasant in general. If you want to spend a bit more time in Czechia, head to Cesky Krumlov, which is 3 hours away on a scenic bus ride or train. Cesky Krumlov is much more charming than Prague, and it's cheaper than Prague by quite a bit as well.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €30 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €37 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Prague
>>>Prague prices and travel tips


Budapest, Hungary

  • November avg high: 47°F/8°C
  • November avg low: 36°F/2°C
  • November avg precip: 2.4″/6.0cm

This part of Europe gets quite cold in winter so Budapest in November is already on the chilly side. But it doesn't rain much and this city has so much to see and do that it's worth a visit even in the cool months, when crowds are much smaller as well.

Budapest has a lot in common with Prague, but the architecture here is on a grander scale for the most part and it feels very different. This city is also one of the cheaper capital cities in Europe, so your travel fund really goes a long way here. The famous nightlife in the ruin pubs should not be missed at any time of year.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €31 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €47 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €7 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Budapest
>>>Budapest prices and travel tips


Istanbul, Turkey

  • November avg high: 60°F/16°C
  • November avg low: 47°F/8°C
  • November avg precip: 3.3″/8.3cm

November still has reasonably warm days in Istanbul so this is worth considering on any trip of eastern Europe this time of year. Istanbul itself is one of the world's most historic and interesting cities, and it's quite a travel bargain these days as well because the currency rate has gone down against almost all countries in the last couple years.

Those that have more than a few days might also consider exploring more of Turkey. For one thing, every other city in the country is at least a bit cheaper than Istanbul. And most places have even warmer temperatures in November, so it's an ideal time to explore Cappadocia or even the southern coast along Antalya.

  • Good 3-star hotels in November from €24 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in November from €28 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in November from €7 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Istanbul
>>>Istanbul prices and travel tips



71 Responses to “15 Best Europe destinations in November of 2018”

Morgan says:

Hi Roger,

My family and I want to take our first trip to Europe over Thanksgiving this November, and we’re not sure if we should do 1) Rome, Florence, Venice OR 2) London, and Paris. We will have about 9 days for the trip, flying out of LAX. I know the weather will be a bit warmer and possibly dryer in Italy, but I wanted to get your thoughts and opinions on which trip we should do. We are a family of 4 with an 11 and 13 year old. Thanks so much!

 

    Morgan,

    You summarized my main point already, which is that Italy will have nicer weather and also noticeably more daylight hours in late November. Paris is a bit better, but in London the sun will come up around 8am and the sun sets right around 4pm that time of year. I think 9 days is a great amount of time to visit Italy’s Big 3, and you might even have time for one more stop for a couple days such as Sorrento. Nine days is also slightly long for just London and Paris, although I love both of those cities and you definitely won’t get bored. I think I’d vote for Italy because of the time of year. If you were going in, say, September I’d probably vote for London and Paris, but Italy is always nice. I’m not sure how much this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Sherri says:

Hi Roger,

This article is exactly what I have been looking for, thank you! Our only time available for a 12 day trip to Europe, 1st timers, will be this November. We know it will be cooler and are fine with that, almost welcome it living in Florida. Our big cities to visit are Paris, Barcelona,but open to other suggestions. Germany is also on the list, we just don’t know how difficult travel might be between the cities and what is best to see in Germany. Can you give your ideas and a rough itinerary? Thanks so much!

 

    Sherri,

    If you have 12 days I would recommend seeing 4 total cities. You’ll want to spend 3 or 4 nights in Paris and then 3 nights in Barcelona. With the remaining 5 or 6 days you could also visit Madrid for 3 nights because it’s very worthwhile and very different from Barcelona. But if you want to visit Germany you’ve got many options so I wrote an article about where to go in Germany that I think will help. You could visit Munich and also one or two of the smaller towns mentioned in that article.

    Again, think in terms of cities rather than countries and it will become more clear. I’m happy to help more if you have other questions. -Roger

     
Zhi Hao says:

Hi Roger,

Me and my wife are going to London for 2 weeks in mid November 2018, this is our second time visit London and plan to spend only 3-4 days in London.

We are also plan to cover another 2-3 cities, so far in mind would be Paris (mainly for shopping and Eiffel tower), and shortlisted either Germany (Berlin or Munich), Austria (Vienna or Salzburg), Czech (Prague), or Amsterdam. Any tips to share for the first timer? Thank you in advance.

 

    Zhi,

    All of the cities on your list are fantastic and worth a visit. I think you have time for London and 3 or possibly even 4 other cities as long as they are easy to reach from each other. The easiest to reach and the best next stop is Paris because it’s only a bit over two hours away on the Eurostar train. From there it’s fastest and easiest to reach Amsterdam, in a bit over 3 hours on a high-speed train, so I’d do that one next.

    From Amsterdam you can get to Berlin by train in about 6 hours and then to Prague from Berlin in about 4 hours. Or from Amsterdam you could fly to Munich and then take a short train ride to Salzburg before flying home. I think doing London, Paris, Amsterdam, and at least Berlin would be my top choice and those are all pretty easy train rides to great cities. I’m happy to answer any other questions if you have them. -Roger

     
shehzad says:

Hi Roger,
i really appreciate your views and suggestion
i am planning a 14 day trip to europe in this september
i am targeting london amsterdam france switzerland
and its the first time i am travelling to europe
1) how should i divide my days between these countries
2) can you please highlight places to visit in these countries
3) please do let me about the connectivity in these countries
4) i would like to cover the most must visit places
5) please brief about the accomodation in these countries accomodation
can you please help me with best and most experential itenary
thank you.

 

    Shehzad,

    I’ll try to help.

    1) I’d do London for 3 or 4 days and then Paris for 3 or 4 days. From there you could either take a train to Amsterdam and stay about 3 days or take a train to Interlaken and spend 3 or 4 days in Switzerland and then fly from Zurich to Amsterdam for 3 days.
    2) If you look at the individual page for each destination on this site you’ll see the top attractions listed, but you might also look into a guidebook or do more research on Things to Do in (city) to see what appeals to you most.
    3) If by “connectivity” you are wondering about internet access, you’ll get free wi-fi in any hotel and it’s quite fast in these places. You can also buy a SIM card for your phone and get a data package for a few days, but it can be a bit complicated and sort of expensive. Now that Europe has laws that all SIM cards have to include cheap roaming between countries, you can probably get a SIM card in your first country for the whole two weeks. If you buy a SIM card at an airport it will often be more expensive than if you buy at a phone store in the city, although it’s usually faster and easier as well.
    4) This is the same as #2 above
    5) On each of those city pages I have a link to an article with hotel recommendations, and on those articles I discuss the different neighborhoods that are best and easiest for first-time visitors. Aside from that, I’m not a travel agent and I can’t book anything for you. I just try to help people if they have specific questions. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Bill says:

Roger, I could use your help. I am planning a trip to Europe this coming Thanksgiving. A few years ago we did a trip to Prague and Paris at the same time and it was epic. This is my wife’s second trip to Europe so I am trying to expose her to the various cultures. Rome is top of my list for the next trip. We walk a lot and the City will be exciting. The problem is the second city. We fly between City’s so distance is not really an issue. The places I have been looking at are Austria-Salzburg or Vienna, Germany because I think that culture difference would be cool. I am excited to go in off season questionable weather and all just to avoid tourists. We are in our mid 50’s so nightlife is not crucial. Do you have any ideas?

 

    Bill,

    Rome will be amazing and it’s very different from Paris and Prague. As for a second city, Salzburg or Vienna would be great choices, or you might even visit both because there are fast and frequent trains running between them. Salzburg is a beautiful and charming town at the foot of the Alps and it’s very proud of being Mozart’s birthplace. As I frequently say, the Sound of Music bus tours are really fun even if you aren’t much of a fan of the movie because the scenery they visit is really gorgeous. Vienna is very buttoned-down and it’s very different from Salzburg. The opera and the waltz events are very popular there, and the season should be going when you are there.

    In Germany I think the best options are Berlin and Munich, although they are both very different as well. Berlin is very cool and cutting-edge in many ways, while Munich is more traditional as a rich city. Munich is also the capital of Bavaria, which is where lederhosen and that traditional lifestyle is from. I think any of them could be good choices so it’s a matter of what sounds most interesting to you. If you were going in summer I would probably put Salzburg on top of the list, and it should be nice enough in late November, but it would be an easier call in summer. Vienna is wonderful if you enjoy cafes and palaces and culture more than nightlife. I hope this helps and I’m happy to answer other questions if you have them. -Roger

     
Roman says:

Planning to go Europe with my wife in November. I have seen most of Europe but my wife is going for the first time. Which cities do you think are the most appealing in November? We like to go to beaches do hikes, love diverse food not really into museums. I was thinking of Italy and Spain. Our plan is to go for 8 days.

 

    Roman,

    My top recommendations for Europe in November are in the article above, and I think Italy and Spain are both great choices that time of year. That said, I think I would choose one or the other because if you did 4 days or so in both of them you’d be rushing around and also missing things, and most of one day would be spent flying between them. Since this is your wife’s first time to Europe I would vote for Italy because I really do think it’s far more impressive for a new visitor.

    November is a good time for Italy as long as you aren’t planning on beach days (and Spain is too cold for beaches in November as well). And personally, I think Italy is in the Top 2 for European food (along with France) and I’d put Spain in the middle of the list at best. If you really want to impress her I’d focus mostly on the Big 3, which are Rome, Florence, and Venice. There are plenty of fantastic sights in all of those cities that aren’t museums, although you still might want to squeeze in the Vatican Museum in Rome because it’s pretty amazing.

    If you really prefer hikes and the outdoors to cities and culture then Spain might be a better choice, although it’s not ideal in November. Barcelona and Madrid are both very worthwhile and very different from each other, and you’d probably have time for one more stop as well. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Trista says:

We are planning to travel to Europe with our children (4 and 9 years old) this November, for about 8 days. Our children have traveled quite a bit in the states but this will be our first trip to Europe. Which cities do you think are more child/family friendly?

 

    Trista,

    I’m really glad you asked this question and I’ll try to help. Especially lately I’ve received quite a few questions from parents asking about child-friendly or family-friendly destinations in Europe, and I think it’s time to write a detailed article on that topic. Could you give me a few more clues as to what sorts of things you are looking for in a “child-friendly” destination? It would help a lot. I know for parents of infants and toddlers they are very interested in cities that have public restrooms with changing tables and transportation that is stroller-friendly and streets that are stroller friendly (rather than steep or cobble stones). And I’m guessing for parents of kids 4 to 15 they are mostly interested in cities that have sights such as natural history museums or other exhibits with hands-on displays, as well as accessible theme parks or other things that are fun for kids like boat rides or pirate ships. Are those the sorts of things you have in mind?

    Generally speaking, Europe tends to be very family oriented and they do a great job with making transportation easy for all ages and whatnot. There are a few places that lag behind, but pretty much all of the top places get so many families that they have no choice but to make it easy. However, when it comes to fun activities for kids there are some that are far better than others. For example, I think most of the attractions in Rome and Venice are quite boring for younger kids. But in London and Paris they have kid-friendly museums and boat rides and Ferris wheels and some other cool stuff. If you can tell me more about what you are looking for I will give you a more complete answer, and it will also help me write a detailed article that should help others in the future. For now, I think London and Paris could both be ideal, and they are pretty amazing in general. I appreciate any more feedback. -Roger

     
A says:

Hello Roger,

I have been reading through your replies and wondering if you could give me a few suggestions. I’m planning on travelling a few countries in europe in 10 days , between 26 november and 5th december. At the moment we have a plan for barcelona, nimes,paris and amsterdam. My first preference was italy but i always thought italy was a place to go in summer, plus apparently its the flood season in november? (read it on some website). Reading your replies, you say italy is one of the best places to visit during the europe winter. Would you recommend us to travel rome, venice and florence during 1-5th of december? We mostly want to explore the cities, so planning on being outside most of the time. Would it be raining? Please let me know what you think, would be greatly appreciated.

 

    A,

    If you are going for 10 days I would recommend visiting 3 or perhaps 4 cities at most. Nîmes is relatively small so you could see some of it in a day or two, but otherwise I would spend 3 nights in each place you stop.

    If you wanted to go to Italy instead I’m sure you’d enjoy it and 10 days there would be great. Italy doesn’t typically have a general “flooding” problem at all, but specifically in Venice there is something they call Acqua alta (high waters) and November is one of the months where the lagoon can flood the sidewalks for a few hours at a time. When it happens they put planks across the water so you can still get around, but of course it’s not great for sightseeing. And it doesn’t happen every day, as it comes and goes. I’d still visit Venice on your trip for a day or so, and hopefully most of the time it is dry.

    As for rain, almost all of Europe gets rain most of the year and it’s pretty evenly distributed. So there are no “rainy seasons” on the flat lands, although it can rain any given day. It would be extremely unlucky if it rained for most of a day or several days in a row, so you can basically just keep what you are doing and if there is rain in the forecast you bring an umbrella. All over Italy it will be dry most days in November, so it’s a good time to go. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Trista says:

When we plan a family vacation, one of the first things we consider is transportation and lodging; how accessible will everything be from where we will be staying. What type of transportation will we need during the day-train, bus, rental car. We would prefer to use public transportation in Europe so would try to find lodging within walking distance of a train or bus station, if possible.

As far as lodging, we prefer to stay in an apartment or condo, where we have a kitchen to prepare our own meals. Not only does that save a bit of money, but we love to explore local markets so our boys can try new types of food. We will occasionally eat out at a nice dinner so also try to find dining establishments where our children won’t be a bother. Because even though our boys are usually very well-behaved, I do understand some people just don’t want children around that could possibly interrupt their dinner, and we try to respect that.

As you mentioned, we also want to make sure we’re in an area that has different types of attractions, so everyone can enjoy themselves. It’s a plus if the city has a park or beach, where we can take a picnic lunch in the afternoons (weather permitting) and let the boys run off some energy. We’ve learned what works best for our family is to pick a few attractions/activities ahead of time, but keep the schedule flexible and try not to fit too much in one day.

We started traveling when our oldest was a few months old, with weekend trips just to nearby cities. Because my husband and I both just absolutely love to travel. Quite a few people have told us it’s a waste to travel with young children, because they won’t remember most of it. And we understand that. But we both feel the more they travel now, the better they will understand and appreciate the different cultures and lifestyles that they see and experience. They might not remember the details, but they will learn how diverse the world can be.

 

    Trista,

    Thank you very much for this. It was very valuable and I’m going to start my long article on family destinations in Europe soon now that I’ve seen your notes. -Roger

     
NavyaSree says:

Hello Roger,

I have been reading through your replies and wondering if you could give me a few suggestions. we ( me and my husband) planning on travelling a few places in europe in 7 days , between 2 november and 9 november. At the moment we have a plan for Big 3, which are Rome, Florence, and Venice or london and paris. which would you recommend us to travel during that time ( nov 2 to nov 7)and which would be best for one week . We mostly want to explore the cities, so planning on being outside most of the time. This is our first europe trip. Please let me know what you think, would be greatly appreciated.

 

    NavyaSree,

    Hmmm…that is a very tough call. If I had to choose the two best 7-day options for a first-time visit to Europe I would choose exactly those two you are deciding between. In other words, either one of those would be an excellent introduction to Europe and you could do the other one next time. I’d say if I have to choose one of them for you it would be Italy since you mention your desire to be outside most of the time.

    In early November you can expect Italy to be noticeably warmer than London or Paris, and you could get by with light jackets as opposed to having to bundle up more in Paris and London. You also get more hours of daylight in Italy that time of year, and that should also come in handy. I’d do about 24 hours in Venice and then 3 nights in Florence and 3 nights in Rome. Buy your train tickets as early as possible for the best fares, though it should be fairly cheap even if you had to buy them on travel day. London and Paris are both much nicer in summer months because they are pretty far north so in summer you get very long days and moderate temperatures. Summers in Italy can be quite hot, so going in the autumn should be great. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
P says:

Hello Roger

I have been reading through your responses and wondering if you could give me a few suggestions/inputs.

We family of 6 (4+2 children) from India; planning to visit Austria in the 1st week November (4th Nov to 8th Nov).

As per Accuweather it will rain occasionally on these dates so wondering how we are going to manage with kids.
Please advise if its OK to visit Salzburg (2 nights) and Innsbruck (2 nights). And how we can plan our visit there?

Our basic plan is:

@ Salzburg: 1.5 day Hop-on / orientation tour
@ Innsbruck : 1 day at Stubai , half day at Swarovski and rest of the time orientation tour.

Please advise

 

    P,

    If you are skiing then Innsbruck is great, but otherwise I find it to be kind of a dud as a tourist destination. Salzburg, on the other hand, is really lovely and interesting, so I might even spend more time there.

    As for weather forecasts, it’s usually not as bad as it looks that far ahead. In India and many other places you have a “rainy season” where it can sometime rain for days on end. Europe has rain spread around the year and if you get very unlucky it will be raining pretty hard for 4 or 6 hours on a couple of those days. But often it doesn’t rain at all, or just overnight, or it just sprinkles so lightly that you don’t even need an umbrella. If it is raining steadily you can always buy an umbrella for €5 or so from a shop or person who appears on the street with a box of them.

    In Salzburg the main things to do are to explore the historic old town and the castle above it, as well as hopefully taking a sightseeing bus around the countryside to see the amazing scenery. You should be able to keep going just fine if it’s raining for any of those things, and hopefully it won’t be raining at all. If you are skiing in Innsbruck then it shouldn’t matter and hopefully you get light snowfall instead of rain. If you are going to Swarovski Crystal Worlds then hopefully you can find a time when it’s not raining. I’m not sure what else to say other than it can rain any day of the year in Europe and the cities are quite good at dealing with it and offering shelter and indoor options. -Roger

     
NavyaSree says:

Thanks a lot for your advice . Appreciate it 🙂 Have a great day

 
liza santos says:

our agency is suggesting a travel date: Nov 9 to 25, 2018.
Places to see for Berlin, Prague,
salzburg,Ljubljana-Postojna cave Vienna, Broastos;ava. Budapest, Krakow, and Warsaw. Its our first tour in Europe based on a package tour, where there is daily itinerary of places to see and hotels are already arranged. I just want to know if i will still be seeing the place as beautiful as they are as i Know that November is already winter and my family might not see anything as places will be covered by snow (winter months).

I want your honest opinion on the travel dates.

 

    Liza,

    It will be chilly in mid November in those cities, but it’s unlikely you’ll get any snow in those cities and it might not ever go below freezing. January and February are typically the coldest months in most of Europe, although large snow storms are rare in any of those cities, believe it or not. Actually, if it does happen to snow it will be really beautiful for the first day or so, and the streets will be cleared before you can take enough photos.

    Personally I really enjoy traveling around Europe in November (although I’m not crazy about January and February in northern Europe) so I think you’ll really enjoy it. I’m sure that tour is cheaper than it would be in summer, but another advantage is that those cities will be far less crowded with tourists when you are there than in summer. It can really be exhausting when you are touring, say, a palace in Vienna, and there are 500 people right in front of you the whole time.

    The mountains, including those above Salzburg and in Slovenia, will have snow on them, and they will look really beautiful. I’m not saying that it’s the best time of year to go, but I am saying that there is plenty to enjoy and a few big advantages to going in the autumn like that. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Mary says:

Hi Roger,

My husband, toddler and I are travelling around Europe on 21st of October for 24 days. We will fly in and out of Paris from Australia. These are the cities we’re interested in seeing but we know based on time we won’t be able all of them:
France – Paris, Lyon, Nice or just Toulouse
Spain – Barcelona, San Sebastian, Seville?
Portugal – Lisbon, Porto, Lagos?

We plan on using high speed trains to get around if the max time is 3 hrs, otherwise we will fly if we can. We don’t plan on doing too much sight seeing, it will be a more leisurely holiday, strolling around taking in the views and eating lots of delicious food. We’ve been to France and just in Paris to visit friends.

Based on your experience and knowlegde, which cities would you recommend and in which order should we organise our itinerary for smooth transits? More than happy for you to suggest other cities instead of the ones we are interested in.

Thanks

 

    Mary,

    My strong recommendation for trips like this where you want to move quickly without moving TOO quickly is to stay three night in each city you visit. The travel day between cities always ends up taking most of the day from the time you pack to leave one hotel until you are moved into a hotel in the next city, so you won’t get much sightseeing done on those days. To travel every third day gives you a nice balance of two full days in each place and then the transit day. So with a 24-day trip I think you should choose 8 total cities to visit. You’ve only got 10 cities on your list, so saving two of them for a future trip shouldn’t be too tough.

    I haven’t spent any time in Lyon, and that’s mostly because it’s not really considered a tourist city. I’ve seen a few travel shows on it and it looks interesting, but there aren’t many notable sights compared to many other smaller cities and towns in France. But if you are mostly planning on strolling and eating and such, it could be a good stop and I’ve heard the food is very good. Nice is actually pretty out of the way for your trip, and those trains that go along the southern coast are pretty slow. So getting from Nice to your next stop would take a long time. Speaking of that, my rule of thumb is that if a train journey takes 5 hours or less then it’s definitely preferred over flying. If you are going to take a one-hour flight in Europe it will take you at least 5 hours from the time you leave the city center until you reach the city center in the next place. You have to factor in airport transportation times (and costs) and of course security and waiting times before your flights, and then transportation back into the city from the next airport.

    Another factor to consider is that trains are MUCH more comfortable than planes, even in Second Class, and you get pretty good scenery in most cases. One of my favorite things about traveling around Europe is to be able to check out of my hotel at 10am and then walk 10 minutes to the train station to jump on a 10:20am train, and then hop off that train a few hours later and already be in the center of the next city.

    So I think saving Nice for later probably makes the most sense, and then saving Porto or Lagos for later as well. Those Portuguese cities are close enough together that you could probably enjoy them in about two days each, although Lisbon is pretty big so I still think three nights is better. One last thing is that Madrid really is a fantastic city and it’s very different from Barcelona, so you might consider it in place of San Sebastian or Seville. I think starting in Paris and then going to the next closest city by train makes the most sense, and then fly back from Lisbon to Paris for your flight home. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Drew Robson says:

I am planning a 2 month trip to Europe starting the last week in October. The only place I have ever been is Prague. I’d love to see it all, if possible! Can you send me a suggested itenerary. My starting point is NY. I am 22 years old and on a budget but not bare bones. Thanks

 

    Drew,

    I don’t have time to type out a 2-month itinerary for you, but I will help in other ways. First off you might have a look at my main article on suggested Europe itineraries for first-time visitors. Those itineraries are meant for 1, 2, or 3 week trips with destinations grouped in logical orders so you can get from place to place pretty quickly. I think if you look at some of those you can choose 2 or 3 of the itineraries that interest you and then combine them together and then see where else you might go to connect them.

    If you are starting in October I would start in northern Europe (or at least as far north as you’ll go) and then mostly head south and west from there. The mid-December weather in Copenhagen or even Krakow is pretty chilly and the daylight hours are short, but that time of year in Spain and Portugal is still pretty nice. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Drew Robson says:

Thank you so much for your response. I will check out the article you reference here.

 
Meg Farrimond says:

Hi Roger,
I’m from Manchester, England and have travelled to all the main cities around Western Europe and was wanting to trip to somewhere in November. I was wondering if you have any suggestions of cities to visit around this time that are less touristy but also quite cheap! Sorry for the vague comment!
-Meg

 

    Meg,

    As a Karl Pilkington fan, it’s always nice to hear from someone from Madchester. My first thought on this is Split, Croatia, although it’s possible you’ve been there. They have pretty good weather in November (for Europe) and that time of year you can get a very good deal on a hotel or apartment. I’ve you’ve been to Dubrovnik then Split is similar in some ways in that the historic center is the same limestone and white marble and it’s really gorgeous. The main difference is that Split is a proper city with locals going about their days, compared to Dubrovnik that feels like an amusement park because 95% of everything within the city walls is touristy (and overpriced). Everything in Split is cheaper than in Dubrovnik, including food and drinks and such. And you can go to the islands nearby and maybe even head to Plitvice Falls National Park, although you’d want to do it on a clear day.

    Or you could go to the Algarve, which has even nicer weather. I spent a few days in a small (fairly touristy) town called Tavira and I loved it. It’s pretty crowded in summer, but I think in November it should have few other tourists. And of course if you go to pretty much any other town in that area it will be less touristy. You should be able to get a cheap hotel there in November, and food and drinks are pretty cheap in Portugal as well.

    If you really want a place that is cheap once you get there you might consider Serbia or Bulgaria. I actually lived in a town in Serbia called Nis for 5 months a few years ago and things there are VERY cheap and there are almost no tourists because there are few worthwhile attractions. But it does have a busy university so there are lots of young people, and there are city walls and a few other things to see. Sofia has more things to see and it’s very cheap without too many tourists. One problem with those is that a flight from Manchester might not be too cheap, although if the right low-cost carrier is flying there it might be very cheap. I hope some of those suggestions are interesting. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Art says:

Hello Roger,
We are planning a trip to London in December end. We have to be in London for 3 days from December 29-Jan 2, for family event.
We are a family of 3 ( 8 year old kid), we planning to do tourist stuff in London, visit Windsor castle & Stone hedge pror to family event. We wanted to visit another city for 3-4 days , which city would you recommend to see with a kid. We were thinking of Scotland- since its close to london. Your thoughts?
Based on your experience and knowledge, which cities would you recommend and in which order should we organise our itinerary for smooth transits? More than happy for you to suggest other cities instead of the ones we are interested in.
Thanks

 

    Art,

    I think Scotland would be a great choice as an add-on, except that in late December the days up there are very short. The days in London that time of year are fairly short as well, but you can still see a lot with the sun setting at 4pm. In Edinburgh the sun sets at 3:40pm and in the Highlands near Inverness it’s more like 3:30pm. Edinburgh is a cool city, but seeing the scenery in Scotland is a big part of the experience, and late December is not ideal.

    I’d instead go to Paris, which can be reached in a bit over 2 hours on the Eurostar train. It’s the easiest other city to reach from London, and it’s also one of the world’s greatest cities. They also have a Ferris wheel and kids also enjoy the boat rides on the Seine, and even the hop-on, hop-off bus tours to some degree. Buy your Eurostar train tickets as far in advance as possible for the lowest fares. I really think it’s your best choice, but if Paris won’t work for you let me know and I’ll try again. -Roger

     
Rahul says:

Hello.. its been great reading your article and the queries. I am planning a European vacation with my kids aged 4 and 3 for 5 or 6 days from the end of November to December 3. What would be great choices of destination then? Have been to Italy and Paris – so thats pretty much off the list. Been thinking of Prague especially because its supposedly a small city and the christmas markets might be fun for the kids! And living in Dubai, we are looking forward for some cold weather as well

 

    Rahul,

    For most people the idea of going to Prague in late November isn’t ideal, but living in Dubai I totally know what you mean about wanting a bit of cool weather once in a while. I think Prague would be a great choice for a trip like that, and you can see the highlights in about 3 days. For another city to visit the closest and best options are Berlin if you want a large (and fun) city, or Salzburg if you want to see some snow and beautiful mountain scenery, or you could go about 3 hours to the small and gorgeous town of Cesky Krumlov. Any of those would be fantastic for what you have in mind. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Raja says:

We are planning for Italy in first week of November for 9 days, we have shortlisted Rome, Venice, Florence, for completeness of our tour we are also planning for Milan with Lake Como or any parts of Italy from Alps will be visible better. Please suggest, thanks in advance.

 

    Raja,

    I think spending 3 days in Rome, 3 days in Florence, and 1 day in Venice is a great idea. Lake Como is primarily a place where Italians (and increasing numbers of tourists) go in summer to relax. By November it’s very quiet and less scenic because it’s often cloudy and gray. It’s a lovely area, but nothing like the Swiss or French Alps. If you’ve got 2 more days and want to see the most dramatic views I would take a train from Venice to Interlaken, with a change in Milan. You can read much more information on my Switzerland recommendations in this article.

    Switzerland is expensive though, and it’s also fairly quiet in early November, even though the views are still amazing. If you want to stay closer to Italy you might head to Lugano, which is just across the border and it should be more interesting and less quiet than Como that time of year. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Rahul says:

Thanks for the revert Roger. Have been a backpacker always. First time out for such a long haul journey with the kids. Therefore, not really confident of cramming multiple cities, due to the hassle of inter city commute. Thanks for the tip on Cesky Krumlow – certainly seems interesting!

 
Sanjay says:

Hello Roger,
Thanks a lot for the detailed description and comments.
I and my wife are planning to visit France and Switzerland during mid of November this year. Due to some prior commitments, we only have 5 days. We will be landing in Paris to start with.
Would be grateful if you could suggest an itinerary for us.

 

    Sanjay,

    Five days is pretty short for two countries, but if that’s all you have here goes. Fly into Paris and spend 3 days there and then take a train to Interlaken for your final two days. You can either take a train back to Paris for your flight home, or probably better to take a train to Zurich and fly from there to Paris, but make sure it’s into the same airport in Paris because getting between them takes time. Here is an article about where to go in Switzerland that should help you plan your time there. -Roger

     
Maura says:

Hello Roger,
My husband and I are planning on visiting my son for Thanksgiving Break- he is studying in Rome. He wants to travel somewhere for the week but we are not sure where to go. We have been to Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Tuscany. He was hoping for Greece but I think it may be too cold. We are planning for about a week. My son said today he would like someplace where we can sit and relax too. Any ideas?

 

    Maura,

    There are some other good options within Italy in case you haven’t ruled that out. The Sorrento area is fantastic for around a week because it’s an ideal place to make day trips to Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and the Isle of Capri. It’s also a really nice town and a good place to sit and relax. English is pretty widely spoken there, so it’s easier than many other places in Italy. Best of all it’s only a few hours by train from Rome, and yet it’s nothing like Rome. It’ll be on the cool side in November, but that is true all over continental Europe.

    Athens would be pretty nice in November, but the Greek islands are nearly shut down from the beginning of November through mid April, so I’d save that for another visit.

    You might consider Madrid and Toledo or Seville or Valencia, as all of those will have decent weather around then. Or you could fly to Lisbon for a few days and then head down to the Algarve area on the southern coast of Portugal. Lisbon has the nicest winter weather in Europe and it’s a really nice place that is easy on the budget and good for relaxing. Those are my top suggestions. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Sagar says:

Hello Roger,
You have a wealth of information on your site which is a boon for tourists like me.
I would like to get your advice on my first trip to Europe along with my wife.
Vacation duration: 9 Nov – 22 Nov (12 days – Two days minus for the to and fro from Tokyo)
So we have 12 days and I would like to make it a memorable trip as I would be celebrating my as well as my wife’s birthday which falls within the peiod of this trip.
Can you suggest how and where should we spend these 12 days to make the most of it.
I do not want to add my recommendations as it would dilute your suggestions 🙂
Thank you in advance.

 

    Sagar,

    I’m glad this helps. If this is your first trip to Europe, and especially for a trip with your partner, I highly suggest making Paris one of the stops. In 12 days it’s best to plan for 4 total cities, assuming you want to experience as many places as is practical. It would be rushing to do Paris, London, AND Venice, Florence, and Rome, but it could be done because Venice is small enough to enjoy in about a day and you could do Florence in two days.

    Italy is still fairly nice in November so I think it’s a good choice. So if you are willing to move fairly quickly I’d fly into London and spend 3 nights there and then take the Eurostar to Paris for 3 nights and then fly to Venice for one night and then a train to Florence for two nights and then a train to Rome for your final three nights before your flight back home, or your flight back to London for your flight home.

    If you wanted to take it a bit slower and save Italy for a future trip I’d do London for 4 nights and then Paris for 4 nights and then Amsterdam for 3 or 4 nights, or perhaps a stop in Bruges for 1 night on the way.

    Another option if you didn’t want to include London would be fly into Paris and then take a train to Barcelona and then Madrid and probably one other stop in Spain. Those are my top suggestions for a dramatic introduction to Europe for a couple, in order of preference from top to bottom. Let me know what you had in mind and I’ll be happy to help more if you need it. -Roger

     
PJ says:

Hi Roger,
You mentioned in one of your comments that you will write an article about you starting an article on family destinations. Is there a way I can access that article?
We are travelling to Paris in mid November for 12 days. We will travel with our 2 boys – 4 years and 8 years old. We were earlier thinking of going to Paris,Venice,Florence, and Rome. But now I feel that the kids may not find Rome and Venice very interesting. Our kids are full of energy but at the same time do not like too much walking if all that they are doing is looking at the historical architectures. Are there any recommendations that you can make in terms of what cities would be apt at that time of the year with kids?

 

    PJ,

    Interestingly enough, I just published that very article a few hours before you wrote this comment. Here are my 11 Best Europe destinations for family vacations.

    I actually did include Rome and Florence on the list because there are many impressive sights such as the Trevi Fountain, which are fairly close to each other. But I think the main draw of Italy for children is the food, and specifically the gelato from those little shops that are everywhere. When my parents took me to Italy a long time ago I remember how motivated I was by getting an amazing ice cream each day. That said, there aren’t as many kid-oriented sights even in Rome and Florence compared with most of the other cities on the list. And I agree about Venice, which I didn’t put on the list. It’s a really amazing thing to see, but it’s really crowded and most of the sights are churches and that sort of thing, and there aren’t even as many gelato shops. Hopefully the rest of the list is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. -Roger

     
Neetz says:

Hello Roger,
I have gone through your article a number of times now. we are still confused on where to go for our first anniversary. Out plan is to visit a city in Europe for 3 days from Nov 10 to 13.We visited Paris earlier this month, so its off the list. Also we are looking for a city not very cold and probably couple of hours away from Birmingham. Could you please suggest some names?
Looking forward to your reply.

 

    Neetz,

    The cities that I feel strongly about for visits in November are all on the list in the article. But since you want something on the warmer side I’d focus on Barcelona, Madrid, or Lisbon. Barcelona has become incredibly crowded in the warmer months, so going in November could be a good strategy. Madrid is very different from Barcelona and still really fun and interesting. Lisbon might be the sleeper choice, as it has the best climate of the three and it’s perfect for a three-day visit. Lisbon is also the cheapest of the three, even though it’s just as nice and clean and safe. Those are my top choices and I’m happy to answer other questions if you have them. -Roger

     
Sagar says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you for the detailed itinerary with various options.
We wanted to go with your first choice and booked accordingly to fi d that UK is not covered under the Shengen visa so we had ti drop London.
The draft plan looks like:
Land in Rome 3 nights 2 days 9-11 Nov
2 nighta and 2 days in Florence 12- 13 Nov
1 day and night in.Venice 14 Nov
3 days and nights in Paris 15- 17 Nov
London cancelled 3 day and nights 18 – 20 Nov
Interlaken 21-23 Nov

I am not sure what would fit in as London is out of question.
Also let me know if this plan looks good

 
Mark Bendeich says:

Hi Roger,
Thanks for such an interesting and helpful blog.

I am not sure if you can help or not, but my wife and I were looking to go to Ljubljana and Lake Bled the first week of November (for about 3 days). Is that a good time to see autumn colours or is that earlier in the season?

Regards,
Mark

 

    Mark,

    Thank you. I haven’t been to Slovenia in November, but that seems pretty late for autumn colors. I just Googled it and someone mentions mid September to late October as the peak foliage period in the Lake Bled area, so it’s actually not too far off. Europe had a very warm summer this year and it’s possible that that will push the foliage season back a bit, although I’m no expert in that. So if you could go a little earlier it would be better, but if that’s the only time you can go it still might be nice. It will be cold then, though hopefully the scenery is still looking nice. Ljubljana is a really charming city even if the forests are mostly brown by then. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

     
Shannon Carter says:

Hi Roger,
I just found out I have to go to London for work Nov 5-8. I’m going to extend my trip to travel around. I will stay an extra 2 days in London and then i will have 8-9 additional days. I’m traveling alone and would like a mix of fun cities and one place to relax. I’ve already been to Paris, Barcelona, Nice, Florence, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and Greence. Can you please recommend some places? I’ve wanted to go to Switzerland but your article says some of it is shut down so I’m thinking I may want to wait on that unless you think differently. I’m pretty open. Thank you

 

    Shannon,

    That sounds like a great opportunity. Switzerland could still be an excellent choice. The thing is that the hiking season ends in mid October and the ski/snow season doesn’t start until mid December so some smaller hotels and restaurants close during those two months. But others stay open and the crowds are small so it can still be a nice time to visit. The weather on the peaks can be foggy any time of the year and the summer is actually the rainy season in the Alps, so the November weather isn’t necessarily bad.

    If you have 9 days free I’d recommend choosing 3 places to visit for about 3 days each. Switzerland could still be a great choice, but aside from that it’s probably better to go south because it’s not only a bit chilly in the north but the days that time of year are starting to get short as well. I think my top two choices would be Madrid and Lisbon, as both of them have decent weather that time of year. Both of them are also very different from Barcelona and very different from each other. The only train between them is a night train so taking a cheap flight is usually best. There are many other great choices within Spain that are easier to reach from Madrid by high-speed train, and I discuss many of the best choices on this article about when to go to Spain.

    All of the nearby islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca are really dead in November, except for the Canary Islands, which is mentioned in the article above. I’m happy to help more if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Nav says:

Hi Roger,

I am planning trip to europe from 15 to 24 november with my family (2 young kids). I’ll start with Paris and end trip at London. Please advise which other cities to check out in between (considering number of days, cost and weather). Would appreciate if you can best advise full itenary. Thanks!

 

    Nav,

    If you’ve got 9 or 10 days I’d definitely focus on only 3 cities so you can spend 3 days in each of them. Paris is amazing and a great place to start, and London is a great place to end. The best close city to do in between is Amsterdam, since it’s only a bit over 3 hours by high speed train from Paris and you can take the Eurostar train from there back to London (or fly if you prefer). You can get a bit more information on those on my article about the 5 great European cities to focus on first. I’m sure it’ll be a great trip. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Neta says:

Hi roger,
Im planning a European getaway between 14 to 18 of november with a 2.5 months old baby. We want to visit Amsterdam but afraid its gonna be too cold. What is your recommendation for a nice weekend in Europe?

 

    Neta,

    If you are only planning on going to Europe for a 4-day weekend I will assume that you are already pretty close to Europe. Amsterdam definitely will be fairly chilly in November and it gets dark pretty early that time of year as well. If you are looking for somewhere a bit warmer I’d have to say Barcelona or Lisbon might be your best bets. Barcelona has been very crowded in summers lately, but in November the crowds won’t be too bad and the weather is pretty mild. Lisbon should be even a bit warmer and it’s a wonderful city for a short visit like that. I hope this helps at least a bit. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Nav says:

Hi Roger, thanks for your prompt response. Please advise any alternative to Amsterdam? How about some place in Switzerland or Barcelona? (considering days, cost and weather) – Nav

 

    Nav,

    You could spend 3 or 4 days in Switzerland and I’d focus on the Interlaken area for most or all of that. That article should help you plan something you’ll enjoy. Or you could go to Barcelona, which is definitely a great city with plenty to see. The reason I mentioned Amsterdam is that it’s a top destination AND it’s easy to travel between all of those cities on trains in a few hours or less. Flying is definitely less enjoyable and more stressful than train travel, but of course it opens up more options.

    If you choose Switzerland you could fly from London to Zurich and then take trains within Switzerland, and then take the train from there to Paris. If you choose Barcelona you could fly from London to Barcelona and then take the 6-hour train ride from there to Paris. It takes about the same amount of time as flying when you factor in airport transportation and security and all of that, but the train is more enjoyable and the scenery going through France is pretty good. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Prathyusha says:

Hi Roger,

It’s our 1st Anniversary. We are planning a European getaway between 16th to 27th November. I will be travelling to Sweden on Nov 9th. It is first time visit for both of us. We are looking for places which are bit warmer so that we can explore more. Please advice which places can be covered for 12 days duration and our journey will start from Stockholm. Also, please advice, if Switzerland is good place to visit during November. Thank you!

 

    Prathyusha,

    Stockholm is a gorgeous city and you’ll enjoy it, but the days are pretty short in November because it’s so far north, and it’ll be pretty chilly. I’d recommend spending about 3 days in Stockholm and then flying somewhere in southern Europe for the remainder of the trip. Fortunately the flights within Europe are pretty affordable so you can go just about anywhere you like.

    The summer and hiking season in Switzerland ends in the middle of October and the skiing and snow season starts in mid December, so November is pretty slow in the mountains and some smaller hotels and restaurants are closed during that period. But others stay open and the crowds are small so it can be a good time to visit as long as you dress properly. Have a look at my main article on where to go in Switzerland for ideas. You can see the main highlights in the Interlaken area in 3 days or so, and 2 more days in Lucerne is enough to see the other main highlights.

    If this is your first visit to Europe I’d probably head to Italy, and you can actually take a train from Interlaken to Venice in a reasonable time along a beautiful route. November in Italy is still fairly warm and usually pretty dry so it’s a great time to be able to see the main sights without the insane crowds of summer. The standard “Big 3” trip to Italy is 3 nights in Rome, 2 or 3 nights in Florence, and 1 or 2 nights in Venice.

    Or you could go to Spain, which is even a bit warmer, but I really think Italy is more interesting for a first visit and more people there speak some English. I hope this gives you some ideas. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Prathyusha says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you for your response. We will be staying in Stockholm for a week as my husband is working there and we also have to come back to Stockholm after our trip. Can you please suggest any place for a weekend near to Stockholm. Helsinki or Copenhagen are in our list. If we come back to our European getaway, we also wish to visit Paris (Eiffel tower mostly), Brussels, Amsterdam as they are all near by. Prague was also in our list. But, it might not be possible for 11 days trip. Is it good option to travel Paris, Rome and Swiss. If yes, could you please advise full itenary. Thank you

 

    Prathyusha,

    If you have 11 days to work with (not including time spent in Stockholm) I would try to choose 3 or maybe 4 cities to visit. Paris is amazing and Amsterdam is also really worthwhile. I’m not as much of a fan of Brussels because there isn’t nearly as much to see since it’s primarily a business and government city. If you wanted to do this without flying you could go from Stockholm to Copenhagen (which is much nicer and more interesting than Helsinki) and then Amsterdam and then Paris. Prague is also fantastic, but it’s not close enough to any other of your cities to take trains, so you’d have to fly.

    Normally I encourage people to take trains instead of flights around Europe because it’s so much more of an enjoyable experience. But starting from Stockholm in mid November is not ideal for trains. The distances between cities are long and the scenery is quite dull, unfortunately. The good news is that flights are cheap and plentiful, and in many cases will actually be cheaper than the cheapest train fares to those same cities. Switzerland is arguably the most beautiful country for natural sights, mostly in and around the Alps. You can get there by train from Paris in about 6 hours. Flying from Paris to Zurich and then a train to Interlaken will take a bit more than 6 hours and you’d miss a lot of great scenery, so the train is the better option there. Obviously you’d have to fly to Rome and it’s worth it if you have the time.

    I hope this helps and I’m happy to offer more advice as you are locking in your plan. -Roger

     
Prathyusha says:

Hi Roger,

Thanks a lot for the detailed description.

But, I am still confused. Our plan is to first visit Helsinki or Copenhagen during weekend and come back to Stockholm. After couple of days, we would start our trip. I am confused on which place to visit first. I also feel that Swiss is not worth visiting as hiking and skiing are closed now. Can we include Prague in our list? If yes, can you please suggest the itinerary for Paris, Italy and Prague. If you think Prague cannot be included in our trip, pls suggest which place to visit first from Stockholm if we are going with Paris, Italy and Swiss. I would be more happy if you suggest places other than the above which you think are worth visiting during November. Thank you!

 

    Prathyusha,

    You can still enjoy really great hiking in Switzerland in November as long as you dress properly. It’s just that the main season ends in mid October and there are fewer visitors, which can actually be a good thing. It rarely snows in the popular hiking areas until December, so it’s still worth considering. And with more snow at the very tops of the mountains by then it can be really beautiful.

    Prague will be quite chilly in November, but it’s unlikely to have any snow (or even much rain) so you could visit if you dress warmly enough. I’d recommend 3 nights each in Paris or Prague or Rome. If you wanted to see more of Italy you could take a short train ride to Florence for 2 or 3 days and then another short train ride to Venice for 1 or 2 days. Venice has had worse flooding than normal this season so I’m not sure I’d go there this time of year. Except for the places where I mentioned train rides you’d need to fly between cities. You can take a train from Paris to Interlaken and then a train from Interlaken to Venice or Florence as well, but if you want to include Prague you’d need to fly in and out.

    And again, Copenhagen is a really gorgeous city and Helsinki is quite plain in comparison, so I’d choose Copenhagen if it’s one or the other. I’m happy to help more as you are making decisions. -Roger

     
Camila says:

Hi Roger! Congratulations for you website… it’s very nice! 🙂
We are couple from Brazil and we have 16 days in Italy, from 10th until 26th November. We will start from Milan and will finish in Rome. Do you have any suggestions? Which cities must see? Is Italy a good ideia in November? Or is better to go to another country?
Sorry for so many questions!!!
Thank you for all tips!!!
Camila

 

    Camila,

    I think Italy is a great choice for Europe in November. For specific itinerary suggestions have a look at my article on the best France and Italy itineraries for 2 or 3 weeks. Most of the suggestions are for Italy so you should be able to get plenty of ideas.

    I wouldn’t recommend Lake Como or the beach areas in November because those will all be very quiet and many things will be closed. But you can still visit Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast that time of year, as long as you aren’t looking for sunbathing. The Big 3 in Italy are Venice, Florence, and Rome, and you probably want to spend about 8 days in those. I think basing yourself in Sorrento for 4 days or so would also be pleasant because it allows you to do day trips to Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and the Isle of Capri. If you want to add in a bit of food tourism you could visit Bologna, which many people consider as having the best food in Italy. That should give you some ideas to start with. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Gabby says:

Thanks for your great insight and recommendations. I am scheduling a trip to Europe for 7-9 days, but first visiting a friend in eastern Europe for 2-3 days and then I have 5-6 days. I have been to Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria traveling with others, however this time I will be traveling alone. Do you have any recommendations in areas that are not too cold? What are your thoughts on cruises?

 

    Gabby,

    I think Mediterranean cruises are a great way to see many different cities in a short time. A friend of mine used to work on those cruises and she said that nearly everyone was very happy with the experience. The November weather obviously isn’t as nice as summer so I’m not sure how much fun you’ll have at the pool on the ship and that sort of thing, but since the ships arrive at around 7am each day and leave at 6pm the idea is that you’ll be exploring the cities rather than sitting by the pool anyway. And of course the Mediterranean is where you’ll find most of the warmer cities any time of year, including November.

    One challenge might be the cost of a cabin for one person though. Many cruise lines now have single cabins or very good prices for solo guests on cruises that aren’t sold out, so hopefully you can get a good deal. A few years ago a single cruiser would have to pay literally double the price to get your own cabin, and hopefully you won’t have to do that this time of year. Barcelona is one of the most popular cruise ports and it’s a great city to spend a day or two in as well. If a cruise doesn’t work out I’d probably just spend time in Spain. Barcelona and Madrid are easily worth 3 days each and they are quite different from each other. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Prathyusha says:

Hi Roger,

As of now we have finalized Swiss, Paris and Italy. Sorry for bothering you so much. Thank you so much for your suggestions 🙂

 

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