If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, then November is not really a joyful month. Sure, in the UK we have bonfire night and our cousins across the pond have Thanksgiving but November heralds the beginning of the proper wintry weather. Nights get dark, days get cold and people begin to withdraw.
Frankly, November can be a bit depressing so it’s no wonder that so many of us are looking to escape from November – at least for a week or two. If you have a few bucks to spare before the holiday season, then a November vacation or backpacking trip can really help set you up for the long winter that lies ahead.
In this post we will examine some of the best places to visit in November. From the USA to Europe, there’s something for everyone on this list this November.
The Best Places in The USA To Visit in November
November can be a cold damp month in much of the US but do remember, it’s a big ol’ country with a lot of geographical and climatic diversity! As such there are plenty of nice places to visit in the States in November.
Texas’ hippest city, Austin is well known for its thriving music scene and each spring the city stages the magnificent SWSX industry showcase. However, November in Austin also sees a number of smaller, more intimate but equally amazing music and arts festivals taking place.
The annual Fun Fun Fun Fest kicks off in November and brings together top performers from pretty much all genres, and then the Texas Book Festival is a must-visit for readers. Also be sure to explore the city’s fantastic food scene which spans fashionable food trucks to high-end restaurants.
San Francisco, California
I can tell you from my own personal experience that November is one of the best times to visit San Francisco. While there is never a bad time to visit Frisco (known as the Tiny Turnip to locals), November offers an enticing combination of pleasant weather (I was wearing shorts in the daytime), thinner crowds than high season and slightly lower accommodation prices.
There is maybe too much stuff to do in San Fran. You can take a stroll through Golden Gate Park (I cycled the whole route), or explore the city’s many museums and galleries. There are bars hopping and gigs happening every night or you can take the San Francisco movie location tour.
Oh, and book ahead if you want the chance to visit Alcatraz Island – the infamous former prison island is a fascinating historical site.
Best Places To Holiday in November For Good Weather
As I have said multiple times by now, November rain can really get you down. As such the month is a rife time for making an escape to warmer climes. These are the best places to visit in November for good weather.
Bali, (known as the Island of the Gods in Indonesia) is a MUST SEE destination that attracts visitors throughout the year. This enchanting little paradise boasts stunning beaches, a vibrant backpacking scene, and an abundance of trendy cafes that serve mouthwatering brunches.
For those contemplating a visit to Bali, the month of November presents an exceptional opportunity. This period falls between the peak and off-peak seasons, offering a nice balance.
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Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa, is a truly captivating city that offers loads of reasons to visit. First and foremost, it boasts breathtaking natural beauty with the iconic Table Mountain providing a stunning backdrop to the entire cityscape. There are pristine beaches and rugged coastlines, lush vineyards and picturesque landscapes. And then we get onto the fine dining and hopping bar scene.
November has Cape Town’s best weather so it marks the start of the city’s peak season; therefore it’s best to book accommodation in advance. Be sure to take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for stunning views of the city, and explore the Cape Winelands for some of the world’s best wine.
The gorgeous central American paradise of Costa Rica is well known for its ecotourism opportunities and attracts a conscious crowd all year round. However, November is a great time to experience it at its best. The rainy season has just ended, the jungles are lush green and the wildlife are highly active.
There is a helluva lot to see in Costa Rica but do be sure to visit Tortuguero National Park for a chance to see November’s nesting sea turtles. You can also explore the Arenal Volcano National Park for some of the world’s best hot springs.
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Best Places in Europe To Visit in November
I will admit, November in Europe can be a tad grim. However if you don’t bring a good rain jacket and a scarf, you can enjoy some banging destinations in low season. Check out these for some of the best places to visit in Europe in November.
November is a magical time to visit the altogether magical Scottish capital city of Edinburgh. There is a lot to do in Edinburgh including a visit to the Castle, a stroll along the Royal Mail or if you want to see another side of the city hop a bus down to the port side town of Leethe.
If the rain holds off for a few hours, be sure to hike one of two of the seven hills (Arthur’s Seat being the popular one) or for some Instagram fodder stop by the remains of the old Holyrood Chapel.
November in Edinburgh is time for the famous Christmas markets and there are also a lot of gigs and performances happening in the run up to the Christmas season.
One of Europes’ true gems, the neoclassical city of Vienna is rightly known for its beautiful architecture. November is one of the best times to experience it as the days are cool but clear, the crowds are a fraction of what they are in summer, and the golden hour light makes for exquisite photographic material.
Vienna’s Christmas markets (which get going in late November) are a must-visit either to shop for gifts or to fatten up on some gluttonous food, and the Vienna State Opera has a full programme running. Do be sure to take a stroll through Stadtpark for some stunning fall foliage too.
In case you want to visit Europe but also want a bit of sunshine, then Spain may well be the place for you. Barcelona does get cool in November but daytime temperatures are still perfectly pleasant and rain is pretty rare. Best of all, by November Barcelona’s intense crowds have thinned out and while it may not be beach weather, it’s a fine month to rent a bike or simply stroll around the city.
There is a lot to see in Barca. The headline site is probably the Sagrada Familia, but history buffs may be interested in a Civil War walking tour. Oh and you can expect the world famous Baecelona FC to be playing at home at the Nou Camp Stadium at least per week throughout November.
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Best Places To Travel in November For Festivals
I do love me a good festival, and have attended many weird, wacky and wonderful ones all over the world over the years. November is actually a pretty busy month for festivals so here are a few of the best places to travel in November for festivals.
The holy city of Pushkar in Rajasthan is a firm favourite among backpackers travelling around India. The city is home to a famous holy lake surrounded by ghats, there is a temple you can hike to and you could spend days and days haggling for jewellery, textiles and incense in the city’s bazzars. I love the place.
Anyway, the annual Pushkar Camel Fair takes place in November and is a spectacular display of Rajasthani culture and traditions. Thousands of camels, horses, and cattle are brought to the town for trading, and there are also competitions, music, and dance performances – you can also catch the “best moustache” contest too if you’re lucky…
Dia de los Muertos, Mexico
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a latin Christian/Pagan festival celebrated throughout Mexico from October 31 to November 2. The festival is a colourful and semi macabre celebration of the dead. On the day of the dead families gather to remember and honour their fallen ancestors. The festival is famous for its elaborate altars, sugar skulls, and parades.
Aside from the very serious and sombre rituals and parades, the modern Day of the Dead celebrations offer a chance for a proper Mexican knees up with lashings of chile and tequila.
Loy Krathong, Thailand
There is no shortage of festivals in Thailand! Ahywaym Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated throughout Thailand in November and is a celebration of the end of the rainy season and is marked by the floating of krathongs; small boats made of banana leaves, flowers, and candles. These boats are floated down rivers and canals, and it is believed that they carry away bad luck and bring good luck for the coming year.
November is a great time to visit Thailand and represents the start of this wonderful country’s peak season.
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Best Places To Visit in November on a Budget
Sandwiched as it is between Halloween and Thanksgiving, November is for many of us one of those months when we are counting the dollars and dimes even more than usual. Still, here are the best places to go in November on a budget.
Budapest, capital of Hungary and once the heart of an entire empire, is a grand city that captivates visitors with its unique blend of history, culture and chaos. The “Paris of the East,” boats a ton of stuff to do including hitting the ramous ruin bars, hiking the banks of the Danube or maybe even visiting the famous socialist statue park.
While perhaps a tad cold, November is a great time to visit as it is off-peak season. You can explore the city’s historic sites, including Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament Building in peace. And to warm up you can dip in one of the city’s many thermal baths – an affordable way to experience Budapest’s famous spa culture.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is a thoroughly charming city on the central coast of Vietnam famed for its well-preserved Ancient Town. The ancient town is filled with historic temples, beautiful lanterns, and lined with street stalls dispensing bowls of delicious food. November is a great time to visit as the weather is dry and mild and prices are low. You can take a cooking class, go on a bike ride through the rice paddies, or simply relax on the beach.
The downside is that getting into Vietnam can be costly on account of the visa fee. Still, once you land the destination is wallet friendly.
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Best of The Rest of Where To Go in November
In case none of the awesome places to visit in November that we suggested thus far are quite doing it for you, we have more. These are the best of the rest of where to go in November.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands (where Charles Darwin worked up his Theory of Evolution) are one of the most special places on earth – the flora and fauna found here is totally unique. Getting here is not easy and visitors will need permits but it really is worth the effort.
Best of all, November is the start of the dry season in the Galapagos Islands, so its a great time to visit if you want to see the famous wildlife. Only in the Galapagos can you catch a glimpse of giant tortoises, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies. November is also the month when the famous waved albatross starts to return to the islands after spending the summer upon the open oceans.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
November is a great time to visit the wondrous Serengeti National Park in Tanzania as it is the start of the (short) dry season. This is the time when the wildebeest migration starts to move south, so you can see large herds of animals advancing across the savannah. You can also see other animals like lions, cheetahs, and elephants.
Tanzania offers some of the best untouched wilderness of earth and is perhaps the Africa that you were always dreaming of visiting.
Well that’s all we have time for today folks! But by now, you can see that November is a truly great time to travel and explore some new exciting destinations. Whether you’re looking for some winter sun, some quality time in nature or or just some budget-friendly fun – we got you.
There are plenty of November destinations to choose from so you truly are spoiled for choice. So pack your backpack and get ready for your next adventure.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!