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Europe Destination Suggestions for November?

Europe Destination Suggestions for November?

Aug 9th, 2011, 05:19 PM
  #1  
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Europe Destination Suggestions for November?

Hello everyone! I've been searching a few threads that pose a similar question, and of course the answers vary widely according to the details the original poster provides. So here is our situation:

My husband and I are looking at European vacation destinations for a week-long (7 to 8 days, depending) vacation we have planned in November. We're building it around the American Thanksgiving holiday as to maximize the little vacation time we have.

We're very much looking forward to the opportunity to visit in what seems to be the "off" season. Neither of us are much for long lines in sweltering weather. Also, while we certainly find warm weather pleasant, we're not really worried about rain/cooler temperatures. We both grew up in Northern Indiana and are used to freezing our tails off, so actually some of the average temperatures seem quite nice for November!

Of course, going in the off season presents the problem of certain places being much quieter as shops or hotels close up for maintenance. I thought many places in Southern Italy looked just gorgeous, but it seems that I would have to plan very strategically in order to make sure some places were open.

We've considered Paris, London, various cities in Italy, and even parts of Spain. I think we'd like to just stick to one or two places and really get the "feel" for a place instead of just losing a bunch of our precious seven days to travel time (unless it was exploring in a car, which we enjoy!)

I suppose to sum this all up, I'd appreciate some input on where a young couple on their first real vacation in Europe should go in November. We're just looking to explore, see a few obvious tourist spots, eat good food, and have fun!

Goodness, this message got very long, very fast. My apologies, and kudos if you made it to the end!
LNWC is offline  
Aug 9th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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My husband and I were in London the first week in Nov and found it to be quite enjoyable. Weather was cool but very pleasant. I had a light raincoat, my husband wore a leather jacket or wool sport coat which was adequate. Holiday lights on Oxford St and Regent St are lit beginning around Nov 1, so if you're into that, it was very festive. Will be cooler at end of Nov but should still be manageable.
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Aug 9th, 2011, 05:57 PM
  #3  
yk
 
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For a first trip, I think Paris would be wonderful.

I love London and I usually go during off season for cheaper airfares. However, I've been to London many times in November and it's always dreary there: gray, damp and cold. And daylight hours are very short - it gets dark by 4-4:30pm. [Having said all that, I'm heading back to London this coming November.]

2 years ago I went to Barcelona in November for a week. We had GREAT weather, cool but not cold, crowds were managable. Plenty of sunshine and daylight hours are quite a bit longer than London.
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Aug 9th, 2011, 06:01 PM
  #4  
 
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Lots of talk about weather, but no mention of your interests. Museums? Art? Shopping? Food?

If driving, consider how many hours of daylight you'll have in late November and especially how early it will be dark.
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Aug 9th, 2011, 06:25 PM
  #5  
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gh21,

Holiday lights - I'll bet that's cheery! That's one of the things we initially overlooked when we started thinking about traveling in late November - many places will probably start decorating!

yk,

Paris is definitely high on the list as I think it seems to be an all around good first trip. I'll have to do more reasearch on Barcelona.

Jean,

Good point! I suppose I started to feel long winded and left out some obvious things.

We both enjoy museums - I enjoy the art-focused museums much more than my husband, however.

We share a love of food/cooking and make a point of trying to eat local whenever we travel.

Photography is a bit of a side hobby of mine so I would certainly appreciate a scenic view (especially in the countryside), though I'm not sure if we would get much of that anywhere in November?

We appreciate having maybe one planned thing to do a day, but we certainly don't like having a whole itinerary planned. As my husband puts it, it's no fun running around all day worrying if we're going to make it on time to something. So I suppose you could say we really enjoy having plenty of time to just wander and soak up the local culture.
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Aug 9th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Well, I am going to Paris over Thanksgiving, so that's my vote! Holiday lights should be up, I think the Christmas markets will also be up and open.

We loved Paris at Christmas last year and while November won't be the best weather it's still Paris...chocolat and vin chaud when we are cold!
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Aug 10th, 2011, 01:33 AM
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You're right about Southern Italy at that time. The Amalfi Coast is virtually closed so avoid smaller resorts and towns that do open seasonally.

If it's your first trip. then go to Barcelona. It's got everything you'd want for a relatively short break, with good hotels and restaurants across the price range and great sightseeing with virtually no queues at that time.
Lifeman is offline  
Aug 10th, 2011, 02:01 AM
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Go to amalfiweb.com Sorrento Hotels have great value

then cool and warm www.hoteldelfino.com from $60/nt

off season Otel.com one of my favs...

Fly into Rome tade the FrecciaRosa on down seat61.com

Italia...

Honorable mention to Athens Intecontinental from $80

betterbidding.com and greecetravel.com islands Oia

hotels like ikies.com my fav...

North to cold rainy for me Spain is nice around

Ronda in Andalucia but more crowded where most Brits

go in search of a good meal and some sunshine...
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Aug 10th, 2011, 02:05 AM
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Oops forgot Lagos in Portugal warm great seafood vibe

pensaomarazul.com great for budget sstay there.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 02:17 AM
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Madrid is one good option. In fact, you could do what I did last January and spend 5 days there, then take the train to Granada to see the Alhambra. Or, take the quick train ride to Valencia and wind up the week in that delightful and non-touristed city.

In my opinion, Spain is the most exciting food country in Europe right now. People are warm and welcoming, there is a multitude of sights, and you can find good deals on hotels in November.


Here is my report from January in Madrid and Granada:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...k-in-spain.cfm


Here is a report on 4 days I spent in Valencia in February, 2011; I combined Valencia with Barcelona, taking the train between the two:


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...e-blossoms.cfm
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Aug 10th, 2011, 02:49 AM
  #11  
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qwovadis,

Betterbidding.com is very interesting site. I'm going to have to spend some quality time figuring out how to utilize it, it's a bit confusing with so much info!

Lifeman and ekscrunchy,

Thank you for the Spain recommendations! I don't know how we can possibly decide now. Loads more research to do!
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Aug 10th, 2011, 04:48 AM
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A nice combo could be London and Paris: land in London, get over jet lag, no language issues, lots to see. Hop on Eurostar, go to Paris, finish there, then go home. Or an Amsterdam/Paris combo.

I've been to Paris in November. Weather can vary widely, but there will always be a cafe or museum to hide out in if needed.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 05:16 AM
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Michel_Paris,

We actually hadn't considered Amsterdam - not because we don't want to go - we honestly hadn't thought about it. I'm curious as to why it would be a good combination with Paris? I kind of feel like Paris is a great, but obvious, choice for a first trip to Europe, so I'd really love to hear your thoughts (if you have the time) on why Amsterdam is worth considering.

I think we'd really enjoy Paris, but I think we are very much considering staying there only half the trip, and venturing out somewhere else for the other half. All of these Spain recommondations are very intriguing as well!
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Aug 10th, 2011, 05:31 AM
  #14  
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I should probably add we're still very interested in seeing parts of Italy - but it seems that is mostly met with understandable worries about the weather. Has anyone gone and enjoyed it in November?
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Aug 10th, 2011, 05:42 AM
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I've visited Amsterdam a couple of times. It is a small city and easily manageable. Very good museums (including Anne Frank's house), scenic, canals, nice people and good food. We found that 3 days was enough to cover the city well.

On other occasion we also ventured out to see tulip auctions, as well as small seaside town.

A very good airport as well, air hub with lots of flights, with rail link to center of city.

Because there is a high speed train between AMS and PAR, it is
an easy commute from one to the other.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 07:09 AM
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Thank you for the info!
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Aug 10th, 2011, 07:27 AM
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LNWC,

We were in Paris last year for Thanksgiving week, and had a wonderful time.

It was chilly, but we had no trouble staying warm in jackets.

We have been in Rome in November on two different occasions, and both ttimes the weather was very nice and warmer than we expected.

This year we're spending Thanksgiving in southern Italy and we hope our weather luck holds!

Byrd



Byrd
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Aug 10th, 2011, 07:30 AM
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Remember Paris and London and Amsterdam are all farther north than northern Indiana. The days will be very short in late November. I think gh21 was lucky in the weather for her November visit to London. But there's plenty to do indoors in all those places.

Since you're contemplating 2 stops on your trip, do an open jaws flight, into one city out of another. And probably fly between your 2 destinations. Not London-Paris or Amsterdam-Paris. For those take the train.

Nobody has suggested Rome. That too is a good choice in the winter -- since you're interested in Italy.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 07:57 AM
  #19  
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Byrd,

So great to hear from someone that was there at the same time! Where are you planning to go in Southern Italy, out of curiosity?

Mimar,

I agree that there's plenty to do indoors in both London and Paris, I don't think we'd mind the shorter days especially since it gives us a good reason to take our time with dinner! For Rome - would you suggest flying between Paris and Rome? it looks like it can be done very reasonably.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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Cheap flights, but you need to be aware of luggage restictions as well as the arrival and departure airports (could add to cost of getting to hotel if not main airport).
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