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Suggestions on place to visit for short trip end of October, beginning of November

Hello, all.

So i have some time off coming up and was thinking of making a (literally) lightning fast (probably 6/7 nights, maybe but unlikely 8 ) trip to somewhere in Europe. I know November is highly unpredictable weather wise for most of Europe, there are shorter hours, and many attractions are closed. That said, I just love being in Europe and can put up with some wind rain and cold. I've been to Switzerland in October before and withstood that well. With only 6-7 nights I figure I have at most time to see ONE major city. Dodging a week full of rain only days is my biggest concern, and probably the biggest challenge.

I'm leaning toward either Portugal somewhere, Spain, Southern Germany, or Austria/Hungary. I've recently been to Greece and Italy so kind of looking for something different. I'm leaving from Los Angeles US. I'd really like to experience the Autumn/Christmas markets, but is this time period too early for most of those?

Any advice or suggestions would be very welcome! thanks in advance.

Posted by
1277 posts

Looking online Salzburg Austria seems to be the uber-city for Christmas Markets, Area Tours and Music Venues and Special Events. Most Christmas Markets don't start until sometime in November. That said; you should probably book way ahead.

Posted by
6813 posts

London. You’ll might get early AM drizzle but most often clear blue skies and sunshine. 40’s.

Been going to London in November for decades.

Go numerous photos on my Instagram of clear blue skies. Long walks in Richmond Park, along the Thames Path, along the Regents canal path.

The Lord Mayors Parade: 11/12 this year is fun and free. Christmas windows, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, ( starts on the 19th ) Santa Runs, shopping at Spitalfields for ornaments, finding boxes of Christmas cards for sale in church lobbies, choral groups, sunday roasts, all sorts of fun things to do.

Angeleno as well. LAX to LHR overnight flight on VA.

Posted by
128 posts

Could not agree more with Claudia . Love London in November for all the same reasons.

Posted by
5499 posts

Of the places you listed, southern Spain would probably have the best weather, and certainly lots to see and do in a week. Otherwise I'd suggest a big city where weather isn't as important -- London, Paris, the usual suspects. Budapest and Vienna would be good, maybe even both, open-jaw with a fast train between them.

Posted by
353 posts

Yes, too early for the Christmas markets ... several possibilities come to mind right away ... 1) Lisbon and the Algarve ... 2) Madrid and Cordoba (Granada and Seville would also work but they're a bit longer train ride from Madrid)

Posted by
5995 posts

Portugal is great, love Porto and the Douro Valley.
However, that time of the year, Seville and Cordoba Spain would be warmer.
The Greek Islands wouldn't be too bad.

Posted by
1198 posts

You won’t find Christmas markets in October/early November. They start in late November.

You may find this to be “off season” many places, which means a lot of places will be closed. We spent 2 weeks in Spain & France 11/20-12/4/19. Many places in Normandy were closed completely until mid December. Including about half of the restaurants in Bayeux. So keep that in mind when going to small villages, especially.

I would choose Granada or Salzburg.

Posted by
209 posts

We took a brief trip to Madrid and Barcelona in March for about a week, and it wasn't that cold or rainy at all. Prob close to late Oct temps. It's possible to see both cities in that time frame in our experience. It's ideal to go open jaw and fly in one locale and out the other, but we didn't do that, and it was still fine. If you want a preference, then I'd pick Barcelona over Madrid.

Posted by
10661 posts

With a short trip I’d probably narrow things down to wherever you can fly non-stop from LA. That way no stress about connecting flights getting delayed or canceled and that eating in to your short time frame. I don’t fly thru LA so am uninformed on the market.

Posted by
2281 posts

I am with Pam. There are a number of places I would enjoy for a week’s stay (and you have some good suggestions). But if it were me and I really had no particular place chosen already, I would ultimately choose based on flight ease and flight cost.

Posted by
924 posts

Southern Germany, Austria and Alps. Many hotels, lifts, huts etc. are on their last week/weeks open now, or already closed in higher elevations, before closing until ski season begins around mid-December. This is the Nebensaison/low season. You will find places open though. Next week looks to be great weather... Altweibersommer. I think I would just pick a spot (major city) and branch out for day trips, returning to home base in the evenings.

Posted by
14200 posts

1 brianpurtle123, my response on temperatures in Oct / Nov here. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/countries-to-visit-in-october-and-november

2 As for your concern of rain, just picking one city I know something about (Budapest) Nov has on average 6 days in Nov when there is rain, and the total is 1.5 inches which avgs 1/4" each of the 6 days; maybe an hour of rain each time?.

3 Since you sleep 1/3 of the day, there might be 2 days in the month when rain occurs during your day.

4 Okay, that's all pseudo science, but it illustrates you have a better chance of a good trip than not; and there are always inside things to do.

5 You are right about the markets, they generally open about 19 November this year (but check each one if that time period works for you)

6 As for short days, some cities are stunning in evening and that can give you an experience those that travel in the summer will never know.

Posted by
5904 posts

It's not everyone's interest but the famous art museum KMSKA in Antwerp reopened in September after six years of renovation. It's a lively, diverse, historic medieval city like Prague or Budapest, but easier to get to from BRU. Daytrips to Ghent, Bruges, or Brussels by unreserved local train.

Posted by
3549 posts

For me, 6 to 7 nights is a long vacation; a short trip is a long weekend! I have enjoyed traveling to Europe at the end of October/ early November. Museums, galleries, theatre, ballet, etc are quite active in the major cities. At the end of October/ early November 2018, I visited Paris and had a blast. It wasn’t mobbed with tourists and the Paris Masters was taking place so I enjoyed the men’s semi finals of Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic. Talk about experiential travel. So pick a locale you’d like to visit and go! Whether it’s Portugal, Spain, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg…. you can’t go wrong.

Posted by
471 posts

Vienna with side trips to Melk, the Wachau, and Bratislava.