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Where to go on holiday in November

Our guide to where's hot in November, featuring top city break ideas, the coolest events and the best beaches for early winter sun. Plus holiday planning tips on what the weather will be like, where to stay and when to book your flights to find the best deal.

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Best city breaks in November

Explore sun-soaked cities and get some early Christmas shopping done with our pick of the best November city breaks.

Dubai

Average temperature: 31°C

One of the best places to go in November, Dubai is hot hot hot at this time of year, so keep cool in the air-conditioned bliss of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa (observation deck tickets from AED 149, open daily from 8am). At more than 828 metres high, it’s nearly 200 metres taller than its highest competitor, the Shanghai Tower. Keep your ears open in the lifts: the music was written especially for the building, with beats building to a crescendo as you near the top.

Dubai is a city of two worlds: take a traditional dhow boat across Dubai Creek to browse the traditional spice and gold souks for a different experience than the glitzy shopping malls. Check out our guide to the top ten things to do in Dubai for more ideas – which includes skiing, believe it or not.

Where to stay

Dubai Marina might be chock-full of extravagant 5-star hotels with 5-star tariffs (Atlantis The Palm, anyone?), but more affordable rooms are available too. Marco Polo Hotel offers straightforward, friendly accommodation with free beach transfers from under £50 a night*.

Best time to book flights to Dubai: 23 weeks before departure, saving 5% on average flight prices from the UK to Dubai.

Marrakech, Morocco

Average temperature: 22°C

Marrakech is a little cooler than Dubai, but it’ll still make a warmer holiday in November than anywhere north of the Med. After exploring the city’s souks, make sure to take a day trip to Essaouira (pronounced ‘essa-weera’) on the coast, which is around two and a half hours’ west of Marrakech.

This fortified fishing town is as relaxing as Marrakech is chaotic, making for a refreshing change of pace. After wandering along the city walls, make sure to stop for a well-earned ice cream at the wonderful Gelateria Dolce Freddo on the main square.

Make sure to take a look at our guide to Marrakech too, featuring everything from medieval mosques to mint tea.

Where to stay

Stretch your holiday spending budget with an affordable stay at Fashion Hotel from £51 a night – it has a huge pool on the roof and a great location for onward travel by train or bus. Alternatively, go a little more local and stay at one of Marrakech’s many riads like Riad 72 – a luxury version of the traditional Moroccan townhouse arranged around a courtyard.

Best time to book flights to Marrakech: 10 weeks before departure, saving 13% on average flight prices from the UK to Marrakech.

Istanbul, Turkey

Average temperature: 15°C

November in Istanbul is warmer than the southern UK and its mesmerising souks provide a powerful boost of the exotic to banish the winter blues. The Hagia Sophia is one of the world’s most fascinating and impressive buildings and has a long and twisting history.

It was built in 537 as a Christian church at the behest of Emperor Justinian I, a hugely popular figure who married a dancing girl called Theodora and reigned with her as his co-regent. The massive 31-metre brick-and-mortar dome was a marvel at the time of construction, although it collapsed a few times before they finally got the design right. In 1453, the Ottoman invasion saw the church converted into a mosque, with the addition of the four minarets that remain today. Currently, the building is a museum (open daily 9am to 5pm, entry TL 72).

Where to stay

Centrally-located Hotel Black Tulip is a good-value pick if you want to beat the queues at Hagia Sophia, just a few streets away. Nearby Rose Garden Suites has lovely Art Deco rooms and grounds to match, from £65 a night.

Best time to book flights to Istanbul: 5-8 weeks before departure, saving 7% on average flight prices from the UK to Istanbul.

Yangon, Myanmar

Average temperature: 32°C

In November Southeast Asia’s rainy season is tailing off, and temperatures are hot without being scorching, ensuring its popularity as a hot November destination. Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar (formerly Burma) is one of the world’s most fascinating cities. In the past few years the military regime has relaxed travel restrictions, meaning that more and more people are starting to take in the unique sights – such as the distinctive gold spire of Shwedagon Pagoda.

Take a walking tour of the frenetic streets and you’ll find decaying colonial buildings, a shrine to the last Indian Mughal Emperor, and street food to rival Bangkok in both flavour and value.

Where to stay

You’ll rarely find a warmer welcome than at Shannkalay Hostel, a simple but comfy hostel offering privates from £20 and dorm beds from just £10. Breakfast is served with a friendly smile, whenever you happen to appear in the morning.

Best time to book flights to Yangon: 20 weeks before departure, saving 5% on average flight prices from the UK to Yangon.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Daniel James from DanFlyingSolo gives us the low down on why this is the best place to go in November:

Where would you go in Cinque Terre?

The five towns which make up this rugged region of northern Italy are all worth your time to explore. Hiking between the villages or taking a train are both possible and you should be sure to visit all five: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (if you have extra time also head along the coast to the beautiful fishing village of Camogli).

Why should anyone else bother going there?

If you love colourful houses, rustic charm, the smell of Italian treats wafting out of doorways and to experience a truly slower pace of life then Cinque Terre is for you. Combining great food, nature, the ocean, and a million photography opportunities into a weekend.

What makes it such a great place to go in November in particular?

Cinque Terre gets so busy in the summer months that they are starting to limit the number of visitors. During the off-season, however, it is relatively crowd-free. Although the temperatures are not as consistent in the winter (highs of around 15°C), as long as you have some sunshine you are all set.

Where would you stay?

Vernazza is one of the central towns and the perfect place to rent a guest house/ apartment. With early morning bakeries for fresh pastries, and relaxing bars on the square around the water, the magic comes alive once the day-trippers have left.

What would you do/which attractions would you visit?

Taking a hike between any of the five villages promises breathtaking views as well as the chance to see the natural beauty of the water and greenery from a higher vantage point. These colourful houses and small streets are all the attraction you need.

Any recommendations for bars, restaurants or cafes?

After catching your sunset photos of Manarola (pictured) head to one of the quaint wine and snack bars that overlook the water. Grab a glass of local wine and watch the sun slowly set on the horizon before heading into whichever restaurant lures your senses!

Best beaches in November

Wondering where to go in November for a seaside and sunshine fix? Wonder no more…

Mauritius

Average temperature: 29°C

Things are just warming up nicely in Mauritius at this time of year. This beautiful volcanic island off the coast of East Africa is at its coolest in August, but the mercury starts to climb back up in November. The rainy season is still at least a month away, and the average sea temperature is a balmy 25 degrees. Make the most of it at Trou aux Biches, which is blessed with shallow waters that make it the perfect spot for snorkelling. There are plenty of wrecks and coral reefs to explore, too.

Check out more totally tropical winter sun destinations.

Where to stay

Mon Choisy Beach Resort is cheaper than most Trou aux Biches hotels, and has a dreamy infinity pool as well as studios with kitchenettes so you can make your own meals (rooms from £100 a night).

Best time to book flights to Mauritius: 3 weeks before departure, saving 6% on average flight prices from the UK to Mauritius.

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

Average temperature: 21°C

Gran Canaria is a perfect November holiday destination, with temperatures cooling off from the summer, and accommodation much, much cheaper than in the summer peak season.

Beach-wise, Maspalomas can’t be beaten. Huge sand dunes covering 400 hectares drift down towards the sea, where a massive sandy shore spreads out seemingly forever. 

From camel trekking to rum tasting, there’s never a dull moment when you try our top things to do in Gran Canaria.

Where to stay

Bungalows Cordial Green Golf is a good option for families, with a kids club, separate pools and fully-fitted self-catering bungalows from £140 a night. LGBT couples will find plenty of friendly accommodation options, including Playa del Ingles’ 4-star Birdcage Resort.

Best time to book flights to Gran Canaria: 1-3 or 7 weeks before departure, saving 10% on average flight prices from the UK to Gran Canaria.

Bali, Indonesia

Average temperature: 31°C

If you’re wondering where to go on holiday in November, how about the tropical island of Bali? The weather here is warm all year round, but the peak rainfall occurs between December and March, so visit in November before the heavens open.

Kuta Beach is the most famous on the island but also the most touristy – for a bit of peace and quiet, head to the north coast of the island to the fishing village of Pemuteran. With its black-sand beach, excellent snorkelling and low-key setting, it’s the perfect antidote to the brashness of Kuta.

Where to stay

For a typically laidback Balinese stay, try Sunia Loka Bungalow Bali. It’s just a short scooter ride from Pemuteran, with typical grass-roofed huts and fragrant flower gardens. Bungalows start from £30 per night.

Best time to book flights to Bali:  13 weeks before departure, saving 5% on average flight prices from the UK to Bali.

Best events in November

Schedule fun-packed holidays in November with our pick of the month’s best events.

Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos), Mexico, November 1 – 2

Average temperature: 23°C

In early November, expect to see skeletons parading through the streets across Mexico. Well, people dressed as skeletons anyway. The Day of the Dead is a public holiday in the country, and is a time to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed on – as well as to perform elaborate graveyard rituals that go on well into the night.

The best place to catch these eerie, reverent rituals is the island of Janitzio in Lake Pátzcuaro, and Xochimilco in Mexico City.

Where to stay

There are plenty of hotels near the historic core of Mexico City, such as Hotel Plaza Revolucion from £50 a night. If you’re heading for Janitzio, most hotels are in the town of Patzcuaro on the banks of the lake; opt for a friendly posada (the Mexican version of a B&B) like Posada Yolihuani.

Best time to book flights to Mexico: 23 weeks before departure, saving 19% on average flight prices from the UK to Mexico.

Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland, November 6 – 9

Average temperature: 2°C

The Iceland Airwaves music festival takes place between 6 and 9 November in Reykjavik across various venues in the city, including an old church. The line up includes oodles of Icelandic bands as well as various acts from the UK and US, such as Cautious Clay, Snapped Ankles and Just Mustard. Tickets cost from 14,900 krona, depending on when you book (right now they’re 17,900 krona). 

Where to stay

Reyjavik doesn’t have the cheapest reputation, but never fear: its lively student population ensures plenty of budget hostels and hotels. Futuristic Galaxy Pod Hostel is a decent deal at around £90 for a private pod, with smart TVs and USB sockets in each room.

Best time to book flights to Reykjavik: 23 weeks before departure, saving 15% on average flight prices from the UK to Reykjavik.

Festival of the Horned Man (Festa del Cornuto), Rocca Canterano, Italy, November 9 – 10

Average temperature: 15°C

The Festival of the Horned Man takes place on the second Saturday in November, in the town of Rocca Canterano near Rome. It’s an unusual celebration to console those who have felt the horns of the cuckold – that is, who have been betrayed in love. People wearing horns and costumes parade through the streets reciting satirical stories of loves lost and generally enjoy a good ol’ knees up. Hillary Clinton has previously been inducted as the unofficial patroness of the festival, for obvious reasons. 

Where to stay

Canterano doesn’t have many places to stay itself but you could consider basing yourself in the picturesque hill town of Tivoli, in between Rome and where the festival takes place (just over half an hour away by road). If you prefer to be closer to the city and Rome airport(s), choose somewhere central such as Hotel Foro Romano Imperatori, near the Coliseum.

Best time to book flights to Rome: 8 weeks before departure, saving 11% on average flight prices from the UK to Rome.

Arrival of Sinterklaas, Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 17

Average temperature: 9°C

Christmas comes early in Amsterdam. Well, sort of. The Dutch believe that Santa, or Sinterklaas, lives in Spain rather than the North Pole: wise choice, if you ask us. He arrives in Amsterdam by ship in mid-November, then switches to a white horse for a parade through the streets. Around 400,000 people turn out to watch, all vying for cookies and sweets thrown into the crowd by Saint Nick’s assistants, the ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Petes).

Check out our guide for more things to see and do in Amsterdam, from eyeing up a Van Gogh to becoming a cheese-tasting master.

Where to stay

Take your pick of hotels in Amsterdam’s Centraal district, from the historic to the uber-modern. Admire the cityscape from the skybar at Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre or take the vibe back a few centuries at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, which is more like staying in a mansion, with a price tag of £300+ a night to match. But hey, it’s nearly Christmas…

Best time to book flights to Amsterdam: 22 and 24 weeks before departure saving 29% on average flight prices from the UK to Amsterdam.

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Weather data provided by Weather2Travel.

*Updated July 2019. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.

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