Best European Destinations in November – Part 1

Best European Destinations in November – Part 1

with 20 Comments
In November, the days turn shorter and the leaves turn amber.
Summer is long gone and winter holidays are still far away.
In November, we sit amidst falling leaves, listening to the breath of autumn combing through our hair.
In November, wanderers get wanderlust, and travellers crave for more travels before the snow starts to fall.
So where do you go – adventurer, tourist, explorer – as we approach November ?

We’ve asked our fellow travellers to share their favourite destinations in Europe for November.
Explore 8 charming places in this article, and discover more locations in Part 2 and Part 3 of this post.

MADRID, SPAIN

By Sonia from Ticking the Bucket List Travels
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The tourists are gone. The summer heat has eased. There is a nip in the air, but the sun shines bright. Days are not long, but perfect to enjoy a sunset followed by a warm soup for supper.  This is Madrid for you in November.

The city’s famous Retiro Park dons a thousand shades of green, yellow and brown, and is perfect for an afternoon picnic. The Prado Museum has locals and school children who are proud of their cultural heritage. The sunset at Templo de Debod casts hues of pinks and purples, ideal for a glass of fine Spanish wine. A plate of steamy paella tastes even better when the night breeze is cool, especially in the quadrangle of Plaza Mayor. Madrid, in fall, is all about admiring nature and chatting with the locals. It’s about long walks and picnics… and enjoying life, one breath at a time!

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

By Marta from Learning Escapes
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Amsterdam is magical in the autumn. The city is famous for its inner network of historical canals and whimsical architecture and the autumn envelops them in bright shades of yellow and red foliage. The temperatures start to drop at this time and you need to wrap up in scarves and gloves. But if you are prepared, this is a wonderful time for sightseeing or photographing the city.

November is a great time to escape the crowds. In this season, you can see Amsterdam through the eyes of a local, something often not possible during the busy tulip season and the summer months.

The autumn is a quiet time in Amsterdam in terms of number of visitors, but a very dynamic one for local festivals, exhibitions and cultural events. At this time, music and cinema festivals abound and from the end of November the city lights festival brightens up Amsterdam’s nights with light displays all over the inner canal circle.

My favourite way to enjoy the city at this time of the year is taking long strolls along the canals and taking refuge from the temperamental weather in one of the many Amsterdam’s museums and ‘brown bars’, bars with wooden interiors that are part of the Dutch tradition.

ROME, ITALY

By Katy from Untold Morsels
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Visit Rome in November when the crowds start thinning and the leaves are changing color. It’s the perfect time to explore the Eternal City.

Rome is a city to walk and wander in, and the crisp sunny days of November lend themselves to sightseeing. Take a stroll around the centro storico and enjoy the atmosphere. At this time of year you won’t have to fight your way through people to take your photo of the Trevi Fountain. And the lines at the Colosseum and Vatican are manageable.

My favourite thing about Rome at this time of year are the chestnut sellers on street corners and the seasonal produce at the market at Campo de’ Fiori. Look out for truffles that arrive in late autumn. Eating is always a big part of any visit to Rome. In November, the conditions are right for an afternoon gelato in the sunshine, followed by a hearty Italian pasta dinner with wine. Bellissimo!

LONDON, UK

By Jeanette from Traveling Honeybird
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London is a fantastic city to visit just about any time of the year. But it’s best in November, just as the leaves are turning and the weather is cooling down. Now I’ve been in London when the weather is hot, over 29 degree Celsius, the people are melting, the tube doesn’t work and it’s really not a lot of fun whatsoever.

In November, you can pleasantly walk around, through marvellous places like Hyde Park or Trafalgar Square. There’s no need to take the Tube, as the mild weather is perfect for exploring the town on foot. Being that it’s slightly off-season and the Christmas crowds haven’t swamped in as yet, you have extra space to enjoy a coffee and the Christmas decorations. It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a pub lunch and an afternoon of exploring, without freezing your toes off.

MALTA

By Ruben and Rachel from Gamin Traveler
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Malta is indeed one of the most exquisite places that we have traveled to, and it’s our favorite destination in Europe for autumn. It’s our favorite particularly for this season, because there are fewer tourists and you can enjoy its beautiful places more peacefully, without worrying about a big crowd in every place you’ll go to. Plus, we get cheaper and better prices for everything!

Despite of being a tiny country, there are a lot of things to do in Malta – from visiting the old town of Valletta where you can see impressive churches and cathedrals, to going to beaches to swim, relax, or watch the sunset. We recommend that you rent a car in Malta if possible. A road trip in this amazing country will really fulfill your travel goals as you can move around the island with more freedom, and you’ll be able to reach most of the places without so much hassle.

Our favorite part of Malta is the northern part, where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, like Mellieħa Bay and Armier Bay. Both beaches have clear, blue waters that you’ll surely love! It’s also totally worth to visit Gozo, an island just 5-10 kilometers north of Malta. You can go there by riding a ferry for just 20 minutes. Once you reached Gozo, relax in Ramla Bay and Hondoq Bay, the two most beautiful beaches on the island. Ramla Bay is known for its red sand and clear waters, while Hondoq Bay is known as a sandy, pebbly beach with clear, blue waters. You shouldn’t skip Comino Island as well, where you can swim in the Blue Lagoon’s calm, crystalline water.

Malta is truly a paradise for travelers that anyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. We totally recommend this experience to everyone!

TIRANA, ALBANIA

By Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey
Tirana, Albania © Onceinalifetimejourney

 

Tirana in Albania is one of the least visited yet most colorful cities in Europe. Since the fall of the totalitarian regime that had the country and the city in darkness and isolation for over 40 years, the city has exploded in an expression of art and street murals.

While the summer months see a few tourists, in autumn, the city is devoid of any foreigners and basically taken back by the locals. Being not too far from the sea, located 45 minutes from the Roman city of Durres, Tirana is not yet very cold and the long days of sun are a great time to explore the city’s many street installations and art on foot.

Make sure to look out for the rainbow buildings on Uilson Square and the many wall murals in the Blloku district.

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, GERMANY

By LeAnna from Well Traveled Nebraskan
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany © Well Traveled Nebraskan

Very few places in the world are as magical as a real life Cinderella Castle. Neuschwanstein Castle, in Southern Germany, is a sight to be seen in any season, with its boasting spires, towering facades and mountain foothills set as its backdrop.  A trip to the castle is a must no matter what month you are traveling in Germany.

However, the castle in the fall is simply stunning. Not only do you get the beautiful Bavarian fall colors popping out at base of the looming castle itself, but take a hike through the gorge below and be treated to the fall foliage all around you. No matter which direction you turn, you’ll be greeted with oranges, reds, yellows, and shades of greens you thought only could exist in a painting!

As you walk the castle grounds and breathe in the cool, fall air, you’ll think you are a prince or princess yourself and wonder if you’ve been transported to a fairy tale after all.

PARIS, FRANCE

By Mei and Kerstin from Travel with Mei and Kerstin
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Paris in November: what a delight! Tourists are gone, locals are at work. In the early morning have a stroll through the Champ de Mars, breathe in the autumnal air, watch the joggers jog and the city dogs play. High above you, a maid is cleaning the windows of a Hausmannien’s apartment. You hope she won’t fall out of the window, then suddenly notice the golden color of the fall foliage reflecting in the tall windows. In the reflections you also see a piece of the Eiffel Tower.

You approach the Iron Lady, its tip still plunged in the morning mist, and see no waiting line to travel up to its top. 20 minutes later, you find yourself 115 meters higher, looking down from the tower’s second platform. Not far away, you recognize the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais, standing face to face along the Champs Elysées. A bit further away, there’s the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre, where you’ll soon have a soupe à l’oignon to warm you up in this fresh autumn day.

And further on your right, you now spot the Panthéon in the Latin Quarter. You close your eyes and can almost hear the rustling leaves, golden, amber and red, crushed under your feet as you stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg towards the Odéon. And soon you’ll arrive at the Seine, where you’ll pick up a book at one of the bouquinistes, or perhaps at Shakespeare & Co. right across the Notre Dame…

So much to do, so much to see… this is Paris in November. A quiet day, full of colorful leaves and little surprises.

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Best European Destinations in November according to travellers - Part 1 © Travelwithmk.com

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Travelers - Storytellers

Travelers at heart, Mei and Kerstin have been roaming the world together since 2002. Expats for over a decade, they used to live in Bordeaux, Paris, Athens, and San Francisco. They recently returned to their motherland to get married, and decided to stay to re-explore Luxembourg in depth. While they both have a full time job, they continue to feed their wanderlust by traveling the world whenever they can.

20 Responses

  1. Melissa
    | Reply

    Definitely agree with this list…but I’d make Paris closer to winter that way you get the seasonal change and the holiday decorations 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, Paris is very beautiful around Christmas, but it’s less crowded in autumn. 😉

  2. Maggie McKneely
    | Reply

    I’ve actually never been to Europe in the Fall! I live in Virginia, and the fall colors here are beautiful, but I’d love to see one of those old European cities against the backdrop of changing leaves.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      If you love Virginia in the Fall, you’ll certainly love Europe in autumn too! 🙂

  3. Lance
    | Reply

    Autumn is my favorite season to travel anywhere. As everyone has said, the crowds are smaller and the cooler air always makes for more pleasant sightseeing. How pleasant to stroll the streets of Rome while eating some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. Now the secret is out. Fall is the time to travel.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes! Autumn is definitely the best time to travel around Europe especially if one is looking for colorful landscapes without the crowds! 😉

  4. 100cobbledroads
    | Reply

    We have been going to Europe every fall since the last 10-12 years. I think its the best season to travel anywhere. The weather is wonderful and the colors are so rich.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Glad to know that you guys have been exploring Europe in autumn! That’s a very wise decision. What’s your favorite destination so far?

  5. trimmtravels
    | Reply

    My favorite time to travel is in the fall and Europe is gorgeous at this time of year. I can absolutely vouch for Amsterdam in November. I got an awesome photo in front of the iAmsterdam sign with orange leaves in front of it and it wasn’t highly crowded either! Malta is a place I really want to go so maybe I’ll try to plan that one for next fall. And I wish I had visited Rome in November and NOT in July like I did!

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh we’d love to see your photo of the iAmstersam sign amidst fall foliage! We were in Amsterdam in December and it was so crowded that we didn’t even get to take a picture of that sign! And yes we can imagine how crowded it must have been in Rome in July! :/

  6. Bernie Jackson
    | Reply

    So many great suggestions! It’s good to see Madrid there as an autumn option; it really is so beautiful at that time of year, as is Amsterdam (although that’s normally a December trip for us). Tirana is a completely new destination for me, and I love the art that’s shown here. That’s certainly an addition to my list.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      We also love Amsterdam in December, but it’s less cold in autumn. 🙂 Discover more Fall destinations in parts 2 and 3 of this article!

  7. Lara Dunning
    | Reply

    These all sound like excellent ideas for fall travel and I enjoy traveling in the off-season as you get more of a local vibe and few crowds make it more pleasant. I’d love to go back to The Netherlands, and visit Malta.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, the shoulder seasons are definitely the best time to visit Europe. Which parts of the Netherlands did you visit last time?

  8. Candy
    | Reply

    I haven’t yet to visit Europe during Fall and there are so many great options. Malta stood out to me the most. I love the suggestion of renting a car and driving around to the beautiful beaches.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Yes, there are many great Fall destinations in Europe! And Malta is high on our bucket list too. Read our part 2 and part 3 posts for more destinations! 😉

  9. Carolina Colborn
    | Reply

    They don’t compare to New England Fall, right? We are in Paris right now and our friend who is a local says the officials have been trying to find a cure to the blight that’s striking deciduous trees that contribute to fall foliage.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh they have tree blights in Paris now? How unfortunate! We really hope they’ll find a cure real fast, because the colorful fall foliage makes Paris so stunning in October and November!

  10. Great list – I am heading to Dublin and Berlin in November. But love your list. I will keep in mind for next year.

    • Mei and Kerstin
      | Reply

      Oh awesome! We visited Berlin last May, and would love to know how it is in November!

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