What are the best places to visit in Europe in November?
November’s the start of the cooler season in Europe, and while the barometer drops, there’s plenty of sunny weather in the south, it’s an excellent off-peak time to explore the major cities and festivals are abundant throughout the continent.
Europe’s abundance of destinations mean that there’s something to suit every taste and style throughout the continent – head to the Northern regions for snow and cosy vibes and Southern Europe for warm temperatures and almost deserted beaches!
Why visit Europe in November?
November’s on the cusp of the winter months, and while you won’t find heat anywhere, the South does have warm weather.
It might not be beach holiday, sunbathing and swimming in the Med weather, but the mild temperatures are conducive enough for picnicking on the beach and hiking!
In fact, much of Europe can be far too warm in the peak summer months, and November’s usually the sweet spot before it starts cooling off from December to February.
However, head north, and winter’s already in full swing.
Iceland’s a popular destination in the winter, thanks to its northern lights and snow, and November’s generally the start of the big freeze here.
European destinations like London and Bologna have events in November, too. Plus, it’s well worth visiting during the off-peak season – when the cities are much quieter than the summer months!
Best places to visit in Europe in November
The best places to visit in Europe in November are scattered across the continent. Whether you want pleasant weather and sandy beaches in the south or the dark skies of the north, there are tonnes of places in early winter here!
Let’s delve into the best places in November in Europe!
1. Madeira, Portugal
This Portuguese archipelago is well-known for its lush landscapes and subtropical climate; it sits in the Atlantic Ocean, further south than most of Mainland Europe, which keeps the climate fairly mild!
In fact, while temperatures can dip, they are usually warm enough for outdoor activities, averaging between 17-22°C (63-72°F).
Visit Funchal, the capital, and explore its historic sites, such as the Sé Cathedral and the CR7 Museum.
November’s an ideal time for hiking enthusiasts to explore Madeira’s famous levadas, or irrigation channels, as the cooler weather makes for a more comfortable trek.
While rain is more likely in November, the showers generally pass quickly – and they also contribute to the island’s vibrant greenery!
Outdoor activities aren’t limited to hiking; on the coastline you can go SCUBA diving, with visibility often exceeding 30 meters. The sea’s still relatively warm in November!
2. Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza: it’s not all about partying, and it’s also the perfect destination for a November trip!
November’s an excellent month to see what else Ibiza has to offer.
The hordes of tourists have receded, providing a quieter, more authentic atmosphere so you can delve into the island’s cultural and natural landscapes.
Daytime temperatures in November range from 16-20°C (61-68°F). Evening temperatures can be cooler, so bring layers!
The quieter streets of Ibiza Town are dreamy in November.
Visit the historic Dalt Vila, the fortified old town, and discover its cobblestone streets and majestic cathedral without the summer crowds.
Cafés and local eateries welcome you without requiring advance reservations, offering a chance to try traditional Ibicenco cuisine like “bullit de peix,” a local fish stew.
November is the ideal month for active travellers – the island’s hiking and biking trails are less crowded.
Routes like the one from San José to Cala d’Hort mean stunning views of the rocky coastline and the mysterious island of Es Vedrà off the coast.
Water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding are still available, although the sea can be a bit chilly!
Local markets, such as Las Dalias, continue to operate, albeit on a smaller scale.
These venues sell locally made goods, including crafts, clothing, and food items.
3. Basel, Switzerland
Visiting Basel, Switzerland, in November is dreamy.
With temperatures ranging from 2-9°C (36-48°F), it’s a chilly month (although not as freezing as the snowiest places in Switzerland) but the city’s indoor attractions and seasonal events have plenty on offer!
One of the highlights of November is the Autumn Fair, or “Herbstmesse,” a tradition that dates back to the 15th century.
The event is one of the largest fairs in Europe and encompasses amusement rides, market stalls, and traditional Swiss foods. It’s a buzzing time to be in the city!
At the end of November, the Christmas markets spring to life.
They’re among some of the best in Europe, with gluwein being sold from traditional stalls and plenty of opportunities to purchase the perfect Christmas presents!
In November, Basel’s renowned art scene truly comes to life indoors.
The city’s home to over 40 museums, with the Basel Art Museum standing out for its extensive collection of works by Picasso.
Basel’s culinary scene is rich in November (and throughout winter), serving everything from traditional Swiss dishes like fondue and rösti to global cuisines.
November’s also a great time for wine enthusiasts, as local vineyards release new vintages that you can sample at various wine bars around the city.
4. London, UK
In November, London blends history, culture, and festivity against a backdrop of shorter days and crisp autumnal air!
It’s cooler and darker: with temperatures ranging from 8-12°C (46-54°F), you’ll want to dress warmly, but it’s cosy!
One of the defining events of London in November is Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night.
Celebrated on 5th November, this tradition commemorates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, and it’s marked by spectacular firework displays and bonfires across the city.
Locations like Battersea Park, Alexandra Palace, and Victoria Park are popular spots for these events.
They often sell out, so consider booking your tickets early!
Celebrations are family-friendly and feature fairground rides, food stalls, and live entertainment.
In winter, the crowds at landmarks like the British Museum, Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace thin out considerably.
You’ll delve into London’s rich history and art scene at a more relaxed pace!
If you’re dining, you’ll find less crowded eateries and a chance to explore London’s international food scene in neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Little Venice, and Brick Lane.
At the start of the month, enjoy the city’s parks – like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park – and check out the autumn leaves.
And at the end of the month, Christmas arrives!
Iconic holiday lights start to appear in Covent Garden and Oxford Street and London’s festive markets and Winter Wonderland’s in full swing.
It’s a fantastic place to visit if you want to enjoy an early Christmas break – the crowds are thinner in November, too!
5. Tirana, Albania
With its skyline plastered with painted apartment buildings and street art and a glut of green spaces, Tirana is a perennially colourful city in the Balkans where you can cast away November’s gloom.
November is shoulder season in Tirana, so you will find there are far fewer tourists in the city compared to the summer peak months when people pass through on their way to the Albanian Riviera.
Albania marks two important holidays during this month, Independence Day (November 28) and Liberation Day (November 29), which both bring decorations and festivities to the streets.
The biggest event in November is White Night, which also falls on November 29. The entire city of Tirana spills out onto the streets for this cultural bonanza, and all galleries and museums in the city – including BUNK’ART, the famous museum set in a nuclear bunker – are free to visit.
With average highs of 17°C and plenty of winter sunshine, November is also a great month for outdoor activities such as hiking around Dajti Mountain, accessible from the city centre by cable car.
Overnight, the mercury sinks as low as 6°C, perfect for cosying up with a glass of local wine at one of Tirana’s funky bars such as Komiteti Kafe Muzeum.
By Emily from Wander-Lush
6. Piedmont, Italy
If you’re a foodie looking for a unique November adventure in Europe, plan a visit to the beautiful and under-visited region of Piedmont (Piemonte) in northern Italy.
Long known as the world’s premier producer of Barolo wine, it is also famous for making chocolate in the capital city of Turin.
But one particular delicacy that grows prolifically here is the white truffle, a relatively rare and therefore expensive natural food that is celebrated every November at the prestigious International Alba White Truffle Fair.
Located an hour south of Turin by car, the city of Alba is worth visiting to attend the truffle festival and dine at local restaurants that serve it. Fall is the height of the harvest season in Piedmont and the Fair is a real highlight, especially for foodies.
You’ll learn the difference between black and the rare white truffles. When you see how truffle hunters work with trained “truffle dogs” to search and unearth these knotty morsels, you’ll understand why they are so expensive!
Throughout the multi-day festival, there are cooking classes, wine tastings, and vendors serving local cheeses, cured meats, chocolate, and of course local wine.
Even if you’re not a truffle lover or haven’t tried them before, the Alba Truffle Festival is the place for your taste buds to get acquainted with this wonderfully unique flavour.
By Lori from Travlinmad
7. Paris, France
There’s something special about Paris in November.
When the summer heat fades away, so do the tourist crowds.
Before the French capital gets busy again before the Christmas market and holiday rush, November is the ideal shoulder season to enjoy it in tranquillity.
November is considered late autumn/ onset of winter, but it isn’t too chilly yet, with temperatures ranging between 6℃ and 11℃.
The crisp air calls for a trench coat and scarves, but you should still be able to take long walks by the Seine!
In fact, it’s the best time to appreciate and take on a French chic style!
As the cool autumn breeze blows, sip a cup of French hot chocolate at a cute terrace cafe.
Visit Carette in Trocadéro for its legendary chocolat chaud and macarons while relishing in a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Paris is stunning year-round – but nature blesses the city with a breathtaking display of colours in November when the ginko trees transform the streets of Paris with a vibrant golden hue.
Visit the Jardin des Plants to experience this phenomenal sight!
Although November is a calm month before the holiday chaos, it is always best to research the best place to stay in Paris and book in advance.
By Chloe from Chloe’s Travelogue
8. Bologna, Italy
There are two really good reasons to visit Bologna in November.
First, the colder weather is far less of a downside in Bologna than elsewhere.
Most of the streets have porticoes – covered walkways that date from the middle ages. This means that if there’s some rain, it won’t bother you too much!
Plus, cooler temperatures actually make one of the city’s most famous activities more comfortable.
The Portico of San Luca, Bologna is the world’s longest portico, a covered stretch of pavement, at 4km long.
This handsome portico stretches from Bologna city centre up into the hills outside Bologna, ending at the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca.
There’s a religious procession from the church down to the city once a year.
But every day, locals and tourists do the walk in reverse, from the city up the hill.
And it’s not much fun on a hot day because half the route is unrelenting uphill steps. Doing this walk on a cooler day is much more sensible!
The second reason to visit Bologna in November relates to its foodie heritage.
Bologna lies at the heart of Emilia-Romagna, the Italian region from which we get Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano and Aceto Balsamico di Modena.
And in November, there’s a foodie festival in the Bolognese area: Tartufesta.
During this festival to celebrate the local white truffle that is found in the Bolognese hills, there are several events in the nearby towns, from October into November.
It’s similar to the festival in Piedmont; you could visit both on one trip!
I personally don’t have a taste for truffles, but I found the local foodie heritage and customs in Bologna fascinating.
And I really loved the food tour by Delicious Bologna – it’s really informative and involves tasting lots of local food and wine.
By Martha from MayCauseWanderlust.com
November’s the perfect time of year to explore the historic region of Burgundy, located in eastern France.
This is when the area of Beaujolais, which sits between Burgundy to the north and Rhône to the south, hosts the renowned Beaujolais Nouveau Festival.
It’s held on the third Thursday of November annually, to celebrate the first wine of the season.
The tradition originated in the 19th century when local vintners would compete to produce the first wine after harvest.
The rules surrounding the festival are strictly adhered to. All grapes must be harvested by hand, and the wine produced from the Gamay grape variety.
The Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be uncorked till precisely 12:01 a.m!
At that point, it’s released onto the market amid a flurry of celebrations and calls of “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!”.
It’s a lot of fun and normally accompanied by fireworks, good food, and of course, plenty of Beaujolais Nouveau!
In addition to the festival, Burgundy is famous for its historical sites, such as the cobbled streets of Dijon, where you can visit the Palace of the Dukes and the adjacent Musée des Beaux-Arts, one of the oldest museums in France.
And don’t forget a tour of the region’s vineyards to see how the wine is made, and to do a little tasting of your own.
By Kylie from Life in Rural France
10. Cadiz, Spain
A trip to Cadiz in Andalusia, Spain during November is ideal for winter sunshine and blue waters!
With daytime temperatures hovering between 15°C and 19°C, it’s one of the best Andalusian cities to explore!
November’s lower visitor numbers give you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and delve into the city’s rich history.
If avoiding crowds appeals, there’s an abundance of tranquil beaches and coastline stretching beyond the city limits, just waiting for your footsteps!
While in Cadiz, don’t miss out on the Old Town.
Here, you’ll find an array of plazas, historic structures, and civic landmarks like the Cathedral and City Hall.
For a change of scenery, you can head to the Malecon district to experience the bay-front castle, San Sebastian. Alternatively, a local train can whisk you off to various beaches around the city.
November also brings a line-up of local events. Look out for Dia de San Clemente festivities in honor of the patron saint of sailors and All Saints Day celebrations at the start of the month.
Your visit wouldn’t be complete without sampling the local street food, exploring the numerous public markets and plazas, and letting yourself get lost in the labyrinthine alleys of the Old Town.
By Noel from Visit Spain and Mediterranean.com
11. Budapest, Hungary
Hungary’s capital, Budapest, is one of those cities that can be visited year-round.
However, if you want to enjoy mild weather and a city that’s not overcrowded with tourists, make your way here in November.
At the start of the month, the autumn foliage is at its best.
The parks are glistening with shades of yellow, copper, and green as the leaves are quietly putting on their best display.
While the city offers a lot of things to do and places to visit, most of the attractions are condensed along the banks of the Danube.
During a weekend in Budapest you can visit Buda Castle with its imposing Matthias Church and beautiful Fishermen Bastion.
Or, hike Gellert Hill to Citadella and enjoy some gorgeous views of Pest (Buda and Pest are the two sides of the city!).
In Pest, visit the imposing Parliament Building and the Great Market Hall.
Hop on Metro line 1 and get off at Heroes Square or stroll down Andrassy Avenue.
At the end of the avenue, you’ll find the huge Heroes Square with statues and further down, the gorgeous Vajdahunyad Castle and its grounds (which, by the way, are superb in late autumn).
Staying longer? Plan for a couple of day trips.
Szentendre is easily reachable by HEV and can be visited in half a day. Enjoy this colorful village and stop for a nice cake at the Marzipan Museum.
And if you love wine, be sure to visit Eger, located about an hour by train from Budapest.
By Cris from LooknWalk
12. Ronda, Spain
Ronda in southern Spain is a wonderful November destination.
While the mornings and evenings are crisp, it’s gorgeous in the sun.
Fall colours are at their best in mid-November before the rain starts – plus, the walk down to the viewpoint of the New Bridge is beautiful at this time of the year!
Gardens between the New Bridge and the Old Bridge are glorious in November.
Don’t miss the attractions in the Old Town like the Arab Baths and old castle walls!
This is also where to stay in Ronda if you want to be in the middle of the medieval town. However, cross the bridge and look for a place to stay there if you prefer having the hippest bars and restaurants at your doorstep.
You find most of them along the pedestrian street. Mid-November is also the best time of the year to chase fall colors in Bosque de Cobre (Copper Forest) which is in Valle del Genal.
There are several hikes you can do through the orange blanket of chestnut trees covering the valley and it is one of the best places to see fall colors in southern Spain.
By Linn from Amused by Andalucia
13. Lagos, Portugal
Located in the Algarve region of Portugal, Lagos is an excellent location for beautiful beaches and mild weather outside of summer.
A wonderful town for winter sun – with some of the best weather in mainland Europe in November – Lagos is optimum for hiking, surfing and even relaxing on the beach.
Walk on the boardwalks to see the famous Ponta Piedade or even hike all the way on the cliffs to the town of Luz!
Temperatures creep up to 22°C (72°F) in November; which is summer conditions elsewhere in Europe!
Several boat tours from Lagos still depart from the marina in November.
But, as it’s the off-season in the Algarve, there will be fewer tourists compared to the summer months!
This means that accommodation is significantly less expensive in this popular holiday location.
Several cultural events and markets take place in the Algarve in November, such as the famous centuries-old autumn fair ‘Feira de São Martinho’ dating back to 1662 in nearby Portimão.
Lagos has excellent golf courses, too.
November’s a fantastic time to take out the golf clubs as it’s still warm enough for golf, and the courses aren’t as busy as in the summer!
By Campbell from The Algarve Family
14. Zermatt, Switzerland
For an early season of snowflakes, snowboarding, skiing and making snow angels, one of the best places you can visit is Zermatt.
Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps and the Valais canton of Switzerland, Zermatt in November is beautiful place to be.
November is usually the opening month of the winter season, once the area gets a good snowfall. Which makes it great for not being so touristic. Not all will be open, but its just as special as any other season.
Top wintery things you must do while visiting Zermatt include dining at a cosy local restaurant (with gluhwein!), taking the stunning red Gornergrat train to 3,135 meter elevation, and of course taking the Matterhorn Glacier Express from the village to the very top peak of the Kleine Matterhorn (including skiing from here!).
On a clear day, the views are truly stunning at the top. You can even consider visiting the additional ski mountain station at the Testa Grigia.
For the local ski and chairlifts, you can book your tickets in advance via the Zermatt Tourism website, else to buy a ticket on the day of arrival at the entrance area in Zermatt.
Though it’s advised to buy in advance and enjoy a wonderful wintery time in this picturesque location.
By Zoe from Together In Switzerland
15. Fuerteventura, Spain
Looking for a winter break in a bathing suit? Look no more, Fuerteventura awaits you!
This Canary Island boasts incredible beaches and a stable climate throughout the year.
It’s perfect for enjoying the sea even during winter months!
In November, Fuerteventura’s beaches are perfect for relaxing, with temperatures reaching up to 22ºC (72ºF).
From the famous golden landscape of Corralejo (the biggest dunes of the archipelago!) to the beautiful Cotillo beaches in the north of the island to the breathtaking 12-kilometre Cofete Beach in the south, there are almost 200 beaches waiting to be explored!
In the centre of the island, you’ll find beautiful towns like Betancuria, which is one of the oldest towns on the Canary Islands and Fuerteventura’s former capital.
Plus, Fuerteventura’s easy to reach in November: take one of many flights from mainland Spain or several European cities.
You might even be able to nap a bargain with low-cost companies like RyanAir and Easyjet.
Fancy seeing another Canary Island? I have guides for Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria in winter too.
By Inês from Random Trip
16. Oslo, Norway
Looking for Christmas vibes before the start of the peak season? Head to Oslo in Norway!
Starting in mid-November, Oslo sets up its annual Christmas Market along the main street, Karl Johan Street.
Here, you’ll find tons of wooden stalls selling traditional food, warm drinks, and hand-crafted souvenirs!
During November, the city’s average high is 4°C (40°F) and an average low is 0°C(32°F) – comparatively warmer than the following months!
So, if you want to visit Norway in winter but don’t want too chilly weather, November in Oslo’s perfect.
Aside from wandering the Christmas market, there are plenty of other things to do.
Aa popular attraction is the Munch Museum which showcases hundreds of pieces by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.
The iconic The Scream painting is on display there!
Another fun activity is to walk around and sample the local street food!
Don’t miss the Norwegian waffle – usually thinner than other waffles and often served with Norwegian “brown cheese”.
So if you’re keen on exploring the Scandinavian region and visiting one of the first Christmas markets that opens in Europe, consider visiting Oslo in November!
By Kristin from Global Travel Escapades
FAQs about visiting Europe in November
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about spending December in Europe!
Is November a good time to visit Europe?
Absolutely, November’s ideal for a different, less crowded trip to Europe!
While it’s the onset of winter, attractions like museums and historical sites are less congested.
Additionally, several cities are gearing up for the holiday season!
Which part of Europe is best to visit in November?
If you seek a holiday atmosphere minus the December crowds, head to Central European cities like Vienna and Prague.
Want to avoid cold temperatures?
Southern regions like Andalusia in Spain or the Greek Islands have milder climates!
Is it too cold to visit Europe in November?
The cold depends on the region.
Northern countries like Sweden or Norway have colder temperatures, often dipping below freezing.
Central Europe varies but generally hovers around 5-10°C (41-50°F).
Southern Europe enjoys milder temperatures – it’s more manageable if you’re not so fond of the cold!
Where in Europe is warmest in November?
The warmest destinations in Europe during November are the Canary Islands, where temperatures average around 20-24°C (68-75°F).
You’ll also find milder weather in parts of southern Spain, Italy, and Greece.
Which country is best to visit in November?
The “best” country to visit in November depends on what you’re looking for!
For winter festivals and holiday markets, Central European countries like Austria or Czech Republic are excellent.
For outdoor activities in milder weather, how about Spain or Portugal?
If you’re looking for early snowsports, glaciers and Northern Lights, head north, to Norway or Iceland!
Are you ready to explore Europe in November?
From rich food festivals to earth season skiing for winter sunshine, exploring Europe in November is an excellent idea!
Whatever your trip style, you’ll find plenty to love on this continent at the start of the winter season.