Planning holidays during the fall and wondering where to go in November? Well, keep reading for a little inspiration! November is the perfect travel month for both sun seekers and those who prefer a fall/winter wardrobe. The great thing is that there is a destination for everyone somewhere around the world. After all, the world is your oyster, so get out there and explore every inch of it whenever you can. This week I share 11 of the best November travel destinations recommended by a few travellers in the know from around the world.
Dubai is one of my favourite places to visit - unfortunately, many months of the year it is way too hot. Unless you are an extreme sun worshipper, I would not recommend visiting between April and October.
November is a perfect time to visit - it is way cooler than October but you will still get hot weather in November and thus making it perfect for spending time at the beach. Yes, Dubai has some pretty beaches!
Dubai has some cool hotels with fabulous pools, so you can even spend hours at the pool and get a nice tan while still being active.
However, it is also one of the best November travel destinations because all restaurants are open again, all parks (some are closed until October because of the heat) reopen and you have more options.
You can stroll Dubai Downtown and Dubai Marina - in the evening the weather is very inviting and so make sure to end your days in an outdoor cafe or buy a drink and take a seat at a bench with a view (there is no shortage of them in Dubai).
Also, November is perfect for an overnight stay in a desert - December might be too chilly, October too hot and so book an overnight safari trip and stay in one of the tents. Read More…
If you’re looking for variety, visiting Iceland in November will definitely give you that. Weather in Iceland is unpredictable all year round, but it’s especially erratic during the winter. Many travellers who visit Iceland in the summer love the warm weather, but often miss one of the country’s most famous natural phenomena -- the Northern Lights.
Unfortunately, the best time of year to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, or anywhere near the Arctic Circle for that matter, is during the winter months. This is precisely why visitors should visit Iceland in November.
November is considered a blend of fall and winter in Iceland, depending on the daily weather forecast. In November, visitors often get lucky and get to experience what Iceland is like in both fall and winter, which cannot be said for any other month. It’s also the beginning of winter so the weather will be milder than other winter months.
During my 10-day road trip in the country, I saw the Northern Lights 7 out of the 10 days. The other three days I didn’t see the lights due to heavy snowfall. What also made my trip unique was the constant juxtaposition between fall and winter. I could be driving through the mountains that looked like a snowy wonderland and then through a lava field shortly after that covered in green moss and with no snow in sight. These are only a few things that make Iceland one of the best European countries to visit in November. Read More…
Related: How to spend 3 days in Iceland
Hanoi is considered one of the best November travel destinations and it was one of the best travel decisions Jason and I ever made. Since our kids, Ryan and Jessica, were both in college, travelling over the long Thanksgiving break insured they didn’t miss school. It also meant we had great weather, low prices and manageable crowds. The weather ranged from the low 60’s to the upper 70’s, so no more than a light jacket was ever needed. We experienced a little rain, but nothing that caused us to change plans.
While Hanoi is typically an affordable destination, it was especially so in November. Our lovely boutique hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter was about $50 a night which meant we were able to reserve two rooms for our family of four. But my favourite part was the small crowds. Waiting in line was rare so we could really enjoy the Museum of Ethnology and Temple of Literature.
Restaurants and coffee shops were bustling, but it was always possible to get a table. Even sites outside of town like the Bai Dinh Pagoda were almost empty. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Hanoi in November, do it! Read More…
The Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia are made up of 74 lush, idyllic tropical islands right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and is one of the best places to go in November for sun. It is the best time to visit as the weather is warm enough for swimming (daytime average of 27°c), rainfall is at its lowest, and it is outside Australian school holidays.
Hamilton Island makes for a perfect base as it is the only island with its own commercial airport, enabling you to fly directly onto the island from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Cairns. Stay in your own water-facing pavilion at the ultra luxurious and secluded Qualia resort, or, if you’re visiting Hamilton Island with kids, rent a spacious apartment with its own golf buggy for getting around this car-free island.
The Whitsundays are ideally explored from the water, and the options to do so are endless. Hire a boat and go sailing or paddle along the coastline in a kayak or stand-up-paddle board. Join a jetski, powerboat or rafting tour, or get into the water and swim, snorkel or scuba dive with thousands of brightly coloured fish.
Don’t miss the bright white sands of Whitehaven Beach, often named in the top beaches of the world, and relax to the sound of native birds on a gentle bushwalk through pristine National Park. But the vibe here is laid back luxury, so allow plenty of time to do as little as possible enjoying the pools and beaches around your resort.
Why is Sarajevo one of the best November travel destinations you should visit?
Imagine a gorgeous, Eastern European city changing from summer to beautiful fall while still maintaining a liveliness and spirit as the season winds down.
Sarajevo is drenched in culture, rich food, coffee shops, and a history that will shake you to your core. If you travel to Sarajevo, you must do The Complete Sarajevo War Tour to understand the city, country, and history fully.
The tour of the city and surrounding sites include the old ski jumps, Sniper Alley which is the main street cut off during the siege of Sarajevo in 1992. You can see the abandoned bobsled track, an old ski lodge lit on fire during the war and the Tunnel of Life, used to help people escape before and during the siege. Finally, make your way to a high point for a 360 panoramic view of the capital city.
Because Sarajevo is inland, November is the perfect month to explore this unbreakable city as the summer heat is gone. Bring your favourite fall outfit and some good walking shoes. Make sure to walk down Ferhadija, the big main street through the city, down to Baščaršija, aka Old Town Sarajevo. Heavily influenced by Turkish culture, you will feel almost as if you entered a completely different city when you change from the main street into Baščaršija.
The vivid autumn colours of oranges and browns engross the entire town. Stop for a traditional Bosnian coffee and enjoy the crisp, fall air. Do a little shopping and buy some copper work- one of Sarajevo’s specialties! If you love fall as I do, this is the perfect city to visit.
Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, is stunning at any time of the year, but visiting in November, when the autumn foliage is at its peak, is especially rewarding. At this time, vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues from maple and other tree leaves surrounding the city’s 300+ temples transform these sights into kaleidoscopes of colour.
The colours generally start showing as early as mid-October, peak in mid-November, and you can catch the last of it at the beginning of December. Pretty much anytime in November is your best bet, but if you go in the middle of the month, the crowds will also be at their thickest, nearly rivalling those of cherry blossom season and Golden Week, so going at the beginning or end of the month could be smart.
Almost all of the main temples you’d normally visit in Kyoto feature autumn foliage, but we found the colours especially inspiring at Kiyomizu Dera, Ryoan-ji, and Eikan-do. Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) and all the temples above the Bamboo Grove are also known hot spots for autumn colours.
Besides the awesome photo ops, Kyoto in November also features blue skies and lovely fall weather; you won’t overheat while temple hopping but also won’t quite need a winter jacket in the daytime (you should still bring one for night). See here for more information on planning your itinerary for Kyoto in autumn.
Italy is one of the best European countries to visit in November and Milan is particularly exceptional. Milan is a favourite city to visit in any season, but in November the city has such a fun vibe. The leaves on the trees are changing colour, and the air is crisp - it’s the perfect time to take in the major attractions without the crowds.
Explore the magnificent gothic style Duomo covered in Candoglia marble. From the rooftop, there are sweeping views of the city, at this time of year bathed in hazy autumn light. After your dose of culture hit the shops nearby and revamp your wardrobe Milan style. Even window shopping is fun in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest and most spectacular shopping mall.
Enjoy a lunch break with a view the Duomo at chic department store Rinascente Milano or grab a snack to go at Luini where they make the most incredible panzerotti - Italian style donuts stuffed with cheese and tomato sauce.
November is a great time to go museum hopping in Milan. Take a walk through Parco Sempione to Sforzesco castle. Once home to the powerful dukes of Milan, you can now see the works of Michelangelo and Da Vinci on display. Of course, no visit to Milan would be complete without seeing Da Vinci’s Last Supper masterpiece. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment, but it’s good to know that in November there are late openings on Mondays.
Lastly, if you are in Milan on the last Sunday in November, be sure to visit the fantastic antiques market in the Navigli canal area of the city. You can browse the excellent selection before settling into a long lunch by the canal. Perfetto! Read More…
In the quiet period between summer and the opening of the Christmas markets, Salzburg is absolutely beautiful. In November, the town is quiet, and the views from the fortress offer stunning images of autumn colours.
Although some places are closed during the quiet season, the funicular up to the fortress, for example, visitors can do almost everything they would usually do while visiting Salzburg. They can hike up to Fortress Hohensalzburg to take in the views, attend a classical music concert at Mirabell Palace, wander down the colourful Getreidegasse, and enjoy beers at the historic Augustinerbräu.
My husband and I prefer to travel in the off-season due to fewer crowds, incredible deals, and the romance of feeling like you have a place all to yourself. It’s often not the most beautiful time to visit a place, but we love discovering the charm of a city when it’s not in its prime because that makes it even more special as a destination to us!
We loved nothing more than enjoying classical music and indulging in the best schnitzel in Salzburg before wandering back to our accommodation along empty streets. Salzburg was a wonderful treat in November because the quietness allowed us to truly take in our surroundings. That’s not to say that Salzburg is boring in November!
November brings two holidays to Salzburg – All Saints Day, which is highly regarded in Austria, and St. Martin’s Day. At the end of November, the city gets a bit more popular with the opening of the Christmas markets, and all the joys that come along, like festivals, Christmas decorations, and mulled wine. If you are looking forward to visiting the Christmas markets, they are much quieter on the early end of the Christmas season than they are in December! Read More…
If you are visiting Thailand in November, it is essential to travel north to the sleepy town of Chiang Rai. This semi-rural town in the northern Lanna Kingdom is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Thailand and hosts a unique celebration called the Yi Peng Festival.
In November, Thailand hosts the nationwide Loy Krathong celebration. Throughout Thailand, millions of people place small baskets of flowers called krathongs on waterways and rivers. This amazing celebration includes Chiang Rai.
However, when you visit Chiang Rai, you get a double serving of Thai celebrations. Chiang Rai has an additional, and perhaps more spectacular way of celebrating Loy Krathong known as the Yi Peng Lantern Festival.
In the Yi Peng Festival, thousands of locals and tourists let off paper lanterns into the night sky. These lanterns are generally made of paper on a lightweight bamboo frame, with a small candle in the middle. As the candle burns, the paper lantern collects hot air causing it to rise, just like a little hot air balloon.
At night, people gather along the Kok River, which runs through the heart of Chiang Rai. After sunset the lanterns are lit with candles and let off into the sky, making a spectacular light show.
Other major cities in Thailand have much stricter rules on flying paper lanterns for Loy Krathong. There are strict regulations in Chiang Mai and a total ban in Bangkok as it is deemed too dangerous for the busy flight paths.
Chiang Rai is one of the best places in Thailand to experience this unique celebration and a must-visit destination on your November travel calendar. Read More…
Visiting the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi in November, not only do you slip into that perfect beach and resort weather; there is so much going on around town. Pop up markets return after the summer heat, flag day is observed, and you will see the country awash with colour and pride in preparation for National Day on December 2nd. Locals proudly decorate their rides honouring the country’s royal family in the colours of their national flag.
The main event and where all the attention lies though is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, usually held in the third week of November. Situated only minutes away from the international airport in the entertainment district of Yas Island and its centrepiece the Yas Marina Circuit. Not just the race itself but all the events that surround it from concerts to air shows make it a truly festive time of year, and it’s hard not to be caught up in all the excitement.
Around all the festivities it’s also the best time to sightsee with the weather cooling - perfect to explore the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Louvre and visit the cities numerous beaches. The most popular being the Corniche with its new entertainment zone A’l Bahar and the gorgeous Saadiyat Island facing the Arabian Gulf. Read More…
Many people visit New Zealand in December and January because it falls during the country’s prime summer months, but the best time to visit New Zealand and still get great weather without the crowds is in November. With fewer crowds also comes great savings, as tourist attractions, campsites and RV bookings are much more affordable in November than they are in December or January.
Take a tour of New Zealand’s North Island and South Island’s best attractions with little to no advanced preparation because you won’t be competing against mass amounts of tourists for the best campsites or hotels. Summer is just right around the corner in November, so the weather is perfect, not too hot and not too cold, and mostly sunny with less chance of rainfall which makes it particularly great for camping or touring the country via camper van or RV.
Make the most of visiting popular tourist destinations while you are touring New Zealand in November, like Milford Sound in the South Island or the popular Hobbiton Movie Set Tour in the North Island. From hiking some of New Zealand’s most popular trails to taking a cave tour in one of its beautiful glow worm caves, you won’t regret visiting New Zealand in November, and your pocket will thank you too! Read More…
These are only a few great November travel destinations all over the globe that I believe you’ll enjoy! Holiday shopping can wait or better yet, you can shop online while you’re laying on a beach or during your downtime in one of the fabulous cities mentioned above.
I’d love to know about your favourite places to go in November! Tell me all about it in the comments below.
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