Cosy November city breaks in Europe
Take some time off before the bustle of Christmas and have a relaxing stay in one of our favourite cities. November is a great time to travel as the prices haven't reached the holiday highs, but you can already get into the spirit of the season.
The first thing to check out in Milan in November is the museums. As the tourist crowds are thin this is the best moment to visit the cultural sights. It might also be the only time of the year that you can see Leonardo´s Last Supper in the Santa Maria della Grazie or the Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo in Castello Sforzesco without queuing for hours.
If you are in Milan at the beginning of November, you will get to celebrate important Catholic events. All Saints’ Day is celebrated on November 1 in commemoration of all Catholic saints. The next day, November 2 is also a holiday, called All Souls’ Day.
November is a month of events too. The Jazzmi jazz festival takes place from October 12 to November 5 and the Bookcity Milano book fair from November 15 to 19. The Christmas fairs open at the end of November or the start of December, you can see the locations and dates here.
The best place to get into the Christmas spirit in Rome is the Cinecittà Christmas Village taking place from November 11 to 7 January at the movie-themed amusement park Cinecittà World. There will be events, concerts, and a snow park as well as the usual amusements and food. You can also meet Santa most days.
November is also a great time to explore cultural event - without the crowds. If you have always wanted to see opera in Italy book your tickets to the stunning Teatro Dell'Opera Di Roma. There are also plenty of great classical concerts on offer. A great option is the Opera da Camera di Roma concert series of operatic arias, performed in Chiesa Evangelica Valdese church.
Although the Christmas markets do not open until late November or early December there are still plenty of festive things to do around the city. Switzerland is known for its high-quality chocolates and what better way to get into the spirit of the holiday season than to taste your way through them? You should at least try Du Rhône Chocolatier and Läderach.
Another perfect seasonal foodie treat is fondue. The cheesy dish is a sure way to get warm in the November chills. Some of the highest-rated places to taste the dish are Buvette de Bains and Les Armures.
Also, make time to check out some of the many specialty museums in Geneva. If you are a watch lover you will love the Patek Philippe Museum, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum is a great interactive experience for your whole family.
The most magical of Munich's Christmas fairs the Weihnachtsdorf im Kaiserhof that opens on November 23 with quaint wooden stalls in Alpine style. Most of the other Christmas markets open on the 27 of November and there is a lot to choose from, from the alternative Pink Christmas to the medieval Mittelaltmarkt.
To sample some seasonal flavours, head out to the Viktualienmarkt market. You can enjoy a hot drink to warm up with, try some traditional dishes, or just eat your way through the local cheeses and meats. If your accommodation has the option for cooking, get your ingredients here too.
Berlin is without a doubt the capital of Christmas markets. There are several in every part of the city, some opening in November, some in December. The top ones include the one on Gendarmenmarkt and the Medieval Market at the RAW Compound. You can search for ones near you here.
There are other things to keep you busy too. Jazzfest Berlin November 2 to 5 is one of the main musical events of the city. It brings in some of the biggest names of the genre and offers a huge variety of concerts. If you are more into shopping, check out the huge Bazaar Berlin. This fair organized November 8 to 12 brings in more than 500 retailers from around the world selling artisanal goods, design products and fair trade items.