Winter may be looming but travel suits all seasons. If you’re looking to book a city break for November there’s no shortage of fantastic destinations to consider. Here are ten very different, but equally inspiring, locations to bear in mind when planning that perfect city break in November.
Dubrovnik has been one of the hottest spots of 2017 for holidaymakers and city break enthusiasts. However, don’t overlook its Croatian colleague, Zagreb. The capital city is a great location for a long weekend. Visitors will find a city centre laden with cafes, museums, galleries and often street musicians; if you don’t fancy strolling around in the nippy November climate, Zagreb has trams running.
Just outside the city is Mount Medvednica. If the weather permits, there is skiing here in the winter but it’s also an excellent location for hiking.
There’s no getting away from it – there are few cities that carry off such class and glamour as New York, at any time of the year. In November, though, the Big Apple takes on an extra level of magic, especially towards the end of the month. November 23 sees Thanksgiving Day celebrations, headlined by the famous Macy’s Parade – now in its 91st year. On the 29th, it’s the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which officially ushers in the beginning of the festive season. Squeeze in some Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue among the sightseeing; undoubtedly one of the best city breaks in November.
While a European city break in November provides wintry feels, Dubai’s climate is very different at that time of the year. With average temperatures at around 25 degrees and little rainfall, November is arguably one of the best times of the year to visit Dubai, especially as the humidity reduces so the heat isn’t too intense. For a winter beach break, Dubai is highly recommended but don’t forget that it also offers more than sun. Some of the architecture is quite staggering in its design – prime example the Burj Khalifa – and there’s a world-class shopping scene, headed up by The Dubai Mall.
A relatively short flight away from the UK at a little over two hours, a visit to Porto makes for an ideal weekend city break. If you’re suddenly hit by the travel bug and fancy a quick getaway, Porto is a great choice – you can be sitting in a cafe in the trendy Ribeira district, sipping a glass of local Douro red and watching the world go by, in no time at all. This is a quirky, funky city with some lovely areas. Ribeira runs alongside the Douro River; the seafronts and beaches of Pergola do Foz are just a tram ride away; downtown Baixa comprises striking buildings including the Clerigos Tower.
If it’s full-on winter fairytale charm you’re looking for, Bruges is a top contender for the best location. Wrap yourselves up in thick coats and scarves, and wander around the picturesque cobbled streets. Bruges’ popularity is no secret so it gets busy in the summer and at Christmas, but in November you’ll find it less crowded – making it perfect to explore its mix of grand old buildings, bars and cafes. There are three things any visitor absolutely must do when in Bruges – sample some of the city’s own-brewed beer and chocolate, and walk the 366 steps of the Belfort Tower. The view from the top is breathtaking.
Experiencing a surge in popularity in recent years, Krakow is a city rich in culture and history. The large medieval square – the biggest in Europe, in fact – dominates the city; fringed with bars and restaurants, you can pitch up here and stay put for several hours, simply soaking it all up. It also, perhaps surprisingly, has a thriving jazz scene. Make time to explore, though. Wawel Castle and Barbakan Fortress are eye-catching structures. For quiet reflection, the former concentration camp Auschwitz is only an hour or so away from the city.
In the summer months, Seville sizzles – it’s too hot for many visitors. Clearly, November sees cooler temperatures though typically you can expect it to hover around 20 degrees or just under; a far cry from an often-freezing UK. An Andalusian winter is barely a winter at all. The city is full of tapas bars, restaurants and nightspots, so if you’re looking for a lively city break, you’ll get it here. The sightseeing potential is strong, too, with the sheer size of Seville’s Cathedral simply demanding attention and the Royal Palace also a place of historical interest.
Things can get a little crazy in Munich throughout September and into early October with the annual Oktoberfest. If you want to avoid all of that and still experience this classy city, November is a great deal quieter but no less attractive. Towards the end of the month the Christmas markets are starting to appear, and the city’s beer gardens are still in full flow, ready to welcome you with a stein of foaming ale when you need some time out. There are a huge number of museums to investigate and plenty of open green spaces. The Englischer Garten is a public park larger than New York’s Central Park, and there are over 700 miles of cycle paths for those who wish to explore Munich by bike.
Italy has some headline acts when it comes to a city break – Rome, Milan, Florence. Why not try somewhere a little different? There’s nowhere more romantic than Verona, the setting for William Shakespeare’s ultimately tragic masterpiece Romeo and Juliet. Of course, tourists can pay a visit to Juliet’s ‘house’ but this city has far more going for it then remembering its most famous fictional residents. The centre of Verona is compact so it’s easy to get around it over the course of a weekend, meaning visitors can fully experience its range of excellent restaurants, designer boutique shops, Roman Theatre and graceful buildings.
All things Scandinavian seem to be pretty cool right now, and Oslo is no exception as a city break destination. In November the weather can be a little unpredictable – though it’s sure to be cold – and a visit earlier in the month is preferable, before it gets too dark for too long. Still, if you’re prepared to dress for a chilly climate, Oslo can provide a genuine taste of Norwegian winter and the chance, if your luck’s in, to see the famous Northern Lights. There’s a bustling nightlife scene in Oslo and plenty to see, including the 80-acre Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park and the Viking Ship Museum.