The 17 best places to visit in November

Not many consider travelling in November, which is why it is the ideal month to get away. Here, we reveal the best destinations for cultural events, wildlife encounters and more...

10 mins

As it gets colder and darker in the northern hemisphere, we all dream of jetting off somewhere exotic, or just different. Despite this, November is considered a low season for travel across many parts of the world, which is why it's the perfect time to get away.

Whether you're seeking out candlelit celebrations, high altitude capers or anywhere south of the equator, we've got you covered with our list of the world's best destinations to visit in the penultimate month of the year. 

If you want to see the full list, keep scrolling. If you know your travel style, click to your chosen section using one of these handy links:

The best places for culture and heritage...

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand

A krathong (Shutterstock)

A krathong (Shutterstock)

Celebrated across Thailand (but particularly stunning in Chiang Mai), Loi Krathong is one of Thailand’s most beautiful celebrations. Pronounced loy kra-tong, Loi translates to ‘float’ while a krathong is a kind of basket woven from banana leaves, traditionally decorated with flowers, incense and candles. 

On the full moon in November, krathongs are floated on rivers and canals as offerings to Pra Mae Khongkha, a Goddess in Southeast Asian Buddhist mythology closely associated with water. The offerings represent a request for forgiveness for using the region’s rivers and deltas. Historically, Thailand is an agricultural society and has relied heavily on its waterways. 

If you float a krathong this November, make sure that it is made from banana leaf or, as is increasingly common, bread, rather than polystyrene. Thai authorities have pulled tens of thousands of non-biodegradable krathongs from the water in recent years. There’s no point in apologising for using rivers by polluting them.

2. Riga, Latvia

The torchlit procession on Proclamation Day, Riga, Latvia (Shutterstock)

The torchlit procession on Proclamation Day, Riga, Latvia (Shutterstock)

Head to this Baltic beauty for another illuminated celebration. November 18th marks Latvia’s Independence Day. Observed as Proclamation Day, the 18th is a national holiday in Latvia, celebrated with concerts, exhibitions, a military parade and a torchlit march through the streets. 

The Riga parade is a touching display of solidarity and brings Latvians together across the country. The night ends with fireworks and gatherings in public squares. If you’re willing to brave the cold, November is a great time to visit Riga as there is plenty to do. 

3. Varanasi, India

The Dev Deepawali Celebrations in Varanasi, India (Shutterstock)

The Dev Deepawali Celebrations in Varanasi, India (Shutterstock)

Fifteen days after Diwali, on the full moon of Kartika, residents of Varanasi celebrate Dev Deepawali, the ‘Diwali of the Gods’. During this festival, millions of diyas (oil lamps) are placed on the steps of the ghats and floated on the Ganges to honour the river and its Gods. 

It’s said that on this night, the Gods descend to Earth and bathe in the Ganges. The banks of the rivers glow like embers and the bustling city takes on an otherworldly atmosphere. 

4. Michoacan, Mexico

The Dia De Muertos, Mexico City, Mexico (Shutterstock)

The Dia De Muertos, Mexico City, Mexico (Shutterstock)

No doubt you’ve heard of Day of the Dead, but if you’re yet to experience it in all its macabre glory, head down to Michoacan to join in the festivities. The Day of the Dead (Dia De Muertos) is a UNESCO-honoured Mexican holiday in which people honour the dead by building altars, dressing up and visiting graves. The iconography of the festival has gained international recognition, known for its elaborate costumes and painted sugar skulls. 

Dia De Muertos is a celebration and it is treated exactly as that. Death is viewed positively in Mexico as a natural part of the lifecycle. On this night, the dead are said to return to life to celebrate with loved ones. 

While Mexico’s major urban centres see massive parades and festivities, it’s best to celebrate Dia De Muertos in the south of the country as it has longer roots down there. Scholars speculate that the festival is an amalgam of an Aztec celebration with All Saints’ Day. It was not observed in the north of the country until the 20th century, and so has a richer history in southern regions like Michoacan. Coincide the festival (November 2nd) with a trip to the beautiful coloniall city of Morelia. 

5. Germany

Cologne Christmas Market (Shutterstock)

Cologne Christmas Market (Shutterstock)

Home to the world-famous Christmas markets, Germany's festive celebrations usually kick off from mid-November. We can't promise it will be quiet, but there will certainly be less crowds the further away from Christmas you visit. 

Cologne has one of the most beautiful backdrops for its largest market, Weihnachtsmarkt Am Kölner Dom. Its wooden pavilions are set up in the town square beneath the illuminated cathedral, which is free to enter during its opening hours. If you'd like to climb up to the top of its tower, you'll need to pay a small fee.

Head to Dresden for what is considered the oldest Christmas market in Germany, Dresden Striezelmarkt. Its traditional handcrafted nutcrackers are one of the most popular stall items to purchase. 

And of course, the German capital also puts on some of the most exciting Christmas markets in the country. Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt has stalls with crafted wooden gifts, and is also a popular space for entertainers, from fire-eaters to jugglers. To warm up post-market, there's countless cosy pubs and bars to roll into and pick up a mulled wine. 

The best places for watching wildlife...

6. Valdes Peninsula, Argentina

Fur Seals on the Valdes Peninsula, Argentina (Shutterstock)

Fur Seals on the Valdes Peninsula, Argentina (Shutterstock)

When it comes to marine life, Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula in November is the Piccadilly Circus of the southern seas. This region is home to a variety of birds, penguins, sea lions, seals, whales, orcas and dolphins. While some species may gather in greater numbers in other months, November gives you the best chance of seeing them all. Don’t you just love it when things come together? 

The peninsula boasts 250 miles of UNESCO-protected coastline bustling with marine life. You'll find lagoons full of lounging fur seals, bays with orcas close enough to photograph and rookeries invaded by penguin colonies. It’s spring in Patagonia and while it won’t be too warm, it’s a lovely time of year to visit southern Argentina. 

7. Chobe, Botswana

A leopard in Chobe National Park, Botswana during the green season (Shutterstock)

A leopard in Chobe National Park, Botswana during the green season (Shutterstock)

November is green season in Chobe. Yes, that can mean a little rain, but that’s a blessing, not a curse. While Chobe is famous for its elephant population and herds of buffalo watering on the riverfront during the dry season, avoiding the green season would be a mistake. 

As well as lower fares, the green season offers an excellent chance to see large groups of zebra as they start to migrate. It’s also birthing season, so be prepared to see a lot of impala lambs and as a result, their predators. 

November in Chobe is the best time, however, for birds. Migratory birds arrive in Chobe in enormous numbers at this time of year. In addition, water-birds including herons and gulls can be found nesting on the riverbanks. 

Read next Secret African safaris without the crowds

8. Tikal, Guatemala

A spider monkey in Tikal, Guatemala (Shutterstock)

A spider monkey in Tikal, Guatemala (Shutterstock)

In November, cool winds sweep over Guatemala’s highlands, blowing away the clouds from the rainy season. That’s why the locals fly kites in central Guatemala on All Saints’ Day.  

You can’t totally discount the possibility of rain, but then a third of the country is rainforest, so what do you expect? The temperature is very reasonable in November, with cool nights in the highlands so no rolling around in stifling heat. Most importantly, the winter rush has not begun. Because of its temperate climate and close proximity to North America, Guatemala can receive a lot of visitors during the winter break. 

Head to the incredible Mayan ruin of Tikal in the north of the country. This ancient citadel was once inhabited by Mesoamerica’s most advanced civilisation, but now, as the forest encroaches, it’s home to the humble spider monkey. The ruins at Tikal are a fantastic place to see this cheeky primate, although, a heads up – they’ve been known to defecate on visitors.

Read next: Trip Planner: Exploring the ancient Mayan World 

9. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Albatross nesting in South Georgia (Shutterstock)

Albatross nesting in South Georgia (Shutterstock)

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a series of overseas UK territories in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. They’re incredibly remote and only accessible by boat; the nearest airport is on the Falkland Islands. Known as the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’ the islands offer the highest concentration of Antarctic wildlife in the world. The islands house large king penguin populations, fur seals, whales, dolphins and are an occasional home to the wandering albatross. 

Visit in November because you can – cruises to the island resume in October after the harsh winter. The voyage takes between 2 and 3 days and as a result, South Georgia is one of the least visited places on the planet. Fewer than 10,000 people visit every year. 

The best places for good weather...

10. Florida, USA

Stuart in Martin County (Shutterstock)

Stuart in Martin County (Shutterstock)

During the summer Florida is abuzz with tourists. But there's plenty of other lesser-known regions of the Sunshine State to visit, and in November, it's still warm enough for sunbathers. 

Martin County is one of Florida's secret spots, home to gorgeous white sand beaches, unique historic sites, and the northern hemisphere's most biodiverse lagoon ecosystem, the St. Lucie Inlet. 

For observing the best of Florida's wildlife, head to the Everglades National Park, either as a day trip from Miami or to stay longer. The weather at this time of year is ideal for exploring the park's wondrous mangroves and wetlands, either on foot or by kayak. You'll also likely spot a manatee, as they start migrating to the Everglades warm waters during November. 

11. Mainland Greece

The Acropolis and the Parthenon, Athens, Greece (Shutterstock)

The Acropolis and the Parthenon, Athens, Greece (Shutterstock)

For a mild European city break in November, Athens is an excellent bet. With an average daytime temperature of 15°C, November is a perfect month for strolling around the city without the blaze of a scorching sun, taking in the Acropolis and the Parthenon without the crowds, and hopping in and out of Athens' various museums, galleries, bars and restaurants. 

Be sure to visit the National Archaeological Museum, home to some of the most important findings from the prehistorical era, and considered one of the best museums in the world. 

Alternatively, a trip to Greece's second city of Thessaloniki opens up another portal into Greek culture. It might be slightly cooler here (a coat will be required), but history buffs can enjoy a range of indoor activities. The archaeological museum is one of the largest museums in Greece with an impressive collection of ancient artefacts, while the Museum of Byzantine Culture takes visitors back to the Byzantine period. 

12. Uruguay

Punta del Diablo, Uruguay (Shutterstock)

Punta del Diablo, Uruguay (Shutterstock)

For something a little different this November, catch a wave in Uruguay. Chances are, you'll get them pretty much to yourself. doesn’t receive as much attention as its neighbours, despite having the highest GDP on the continent, beautiful colonial towns and stunning national parks. It’s even lesser known for its surf. 

Montevideo, the cosmopolitan capital, is home to a Spanish citadel as well as Art Deco architecture. While it’s a fantastic city to visit, few travellers explore more of the country. Uruguay’s south coast is dotted with coastal towns offering great access to brilliant surfing beaches. 

Corumba, La Paloma and Punto Del Diablo are two small towns known for excellent surf. Head there in November for mild weather and perfect swells. 

As always, check up-to-date weather and safety information with local authorities before surfing. Weather can be unpredictable in this part of the world. 

13. Andalusia, Spain

A Taperia in Seville, Spain (Shutterstock)

A Taperia in Seville, Spain (Shutterstock)

Andalucia is famous for its mild winters, although potentially a little rain. Only a two hour flight from the UK, Seville makes for a perfect winter break. Leave your wooly coat at home and stroll along the Guadilquivir, sip wine in a rooftop bar and dive into one of the city’s many taperias. Try carrilladas, a traditional Spanish dish – pork cheeks braised in wine. A truly comforting dish in colder weather.

But Seville is not the only gem in Andalusia. Córdoba is home to not one, but three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Mosque of Cordoba, the Medina Azahara, and the Historic Centre. The latter is where you can find traditional tapas bars that serve salmorejo – made from tomato, bread, oil and garlic. 

Alternatively, you can head to the coast for MálagaBeyond its reputation for good night life, the city has gained the attention of art lovers, with two museums dedicated to Málaga-born artists Pablo Picasso, a contemporary art centre, and the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, a gallery displaying work from her personal collection. 

The best places for longer term trips...

14. Bhutan

One of Bhutan's many monasteries (Shutterstock)

One of Bhutan's many monasteries (Shutterstock)

One of the most mysterious and hard to reach countries in the world, Bhutan should be on every travellers list. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, this spiritual, sub-alpine nation is a real life Shangri-La. Bhutan spans large subtropical plains in the south to mountainous Himalayan regions in the north and is home to the world’s highest unclimbed mountain, Gangkhar Puensum, at 7,500 metres. 

Similarly, the rest of the country has been relatively unspoiled by industrialisation, globalisation and westernisation. It is the planet’s only carbon deficit country, meaning that it absorbs more carbon than it produces. This is partly due to a rich tree planting tradition that the Bhutanese observe, keeping the country green and luscious. Trekkers can explore its natural delights and exquisite monasteries along the Trans Bhutan Trail.

Keep in mind, Bhutan has not simply missed Westernisation, but actively avoided it. As such, visiting the country is not easy. Bhutan has only one small airport, and only a handful of pilots are qualified to fly in and out of it. There are no intercontinental flights to or from Bhutan, so you must find a connecting flight within Asia. Then there’s the fee. From September 2022, Bhutan has increased their SDP to $200 per day. This once including an all-inclusive package, now, visitors will have to pay for food, accommodation and transport on top of the cost, making Bhutan an expensive country to travel in.

November is an excellent time to visit as the rainy season has just ended. A lack of precipitation is particularly important in Bhutan’s regions as clear skies make for incredible views.

Read next: Spectacular festivals in Bhutan

15. Kerala, India

Kerala's backwaters, India (Shutterstock)

Kerala's backwaters, India (Shutterstock)

Head to India’s tropical Malabar coast this autumn. November is an excellent time to explore Kerala’s palm edged beaches and mangrove lined backwaters. Monsoon season has just ended, giving way to relatively dry conditions, reduced humidity and an average temperature of 28°C.

November also marks the very start of Kerala’s high season and, while things can get very busy around Christmas, visiting in November should allow you to avoid the worst of the crowds. 

Hide from other visitors in a wayanad (treehouse) or leave them on the shore as you drift through the backwaters on a shikara (houseboat).

16. Oman

The Wadi Ghul Canyon (Shutterstock)

The Wadi Ghul Canyon (Shutterstock)

There’s no getting around it, Oman is hot – hence the old joke ‘Oh man it’s hot.’ So best to visit in a cooler month like November. Expect highs of 31°C and nighttime lows of 21°C. For a longer trip, November is a good choice as the weather will remain cool throughout the country.

Visit Muscat’s old town, explore Ramlet Jadilah, the highest sand dune in the world, and marvel at Wadi Ghul, the Omani Grand Canyon. 

The canyon is located at the highest point in the Hajar mountain range and is more than one kilometre deep is some places. There is a ridgetop hiking path leading to the abandoned village of As Sab. 

17. New Zealand

Taranaki Volcano, New Zealand (Shutterstock)

Taranaki Volcano, New Zealand (Shutterstock)

Spring is an excellent time to visit New Zealand. While things are getting cold in the northern hemisphere, head down under where everything is in bloom. The climate is lovely in November, with an average temperature of around 18°C.  

Naturalists should visit Pukekura Park in the Taranaki region, famed for its rhododendrons (as well as classic cone volcano, reminiscent of Mount Fuji). More adventurous travellers can take advantage of the melting mountain snow which makes for perfect white water rafting conditions.

Of course, the country attracts keen hikers from around the world. Make sure to book onto one of the country's Great Walks before you go. The famous Milford Track usually sells out early, but there are plenty of lesser-known alternatives, such as the Rakiura Track and Heaphy Track, both rooted within Māori culture.

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