Best Events in Europe in November
It’s almost November in Europe, and that means winter is fast approaching. But don’t despair! There are still plenty of things on the go across the continent. There are festivals designed to take advantage of the cooler weather, and some cities are already gearing up for the approaching festive season. Here are the best events in November to attend if you’re in Europe.
Events in November
1. Italy — Italian Opera Season
Italy is the birthplace of opera, and each November the new season kicks off at opera houses throughout the country. You’ll find a wide range of performances in most cities. Even if you’re not a fan of the art form it’s well worth considering picking up some tickets to at least one show. The performances are spellbinding, and the venues are equally magnificent.
How to get there by train: There is a comprehensive rail network throughout Italy. This makes it easy to get to and from big cities and smaller towns and villages.
2. Rome, Italy — Rome Jazz Festival
The Rome Jazz Festival is one of the city’s most popular events in November. It features a selection of the country’s best jazz musicians. Each year, throughout November, the lineup includes some exciting newcomers and a selection of international acts.
How to get there by train: Rome is a major rail hub in Italy. You can get to the capital by train from most cities in Italy within a few hours. There are also easy long-distance trains from neighboring countries.
3. London, England — Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night)
On November 5 each year the London skies light up in celebration of Bonfire Night. This British tradition dates back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. These days it’s a jovial affair with some of the world’s most elaborate fireworks displays over the skies of the capital.
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands — Sinterklaas Parade
In spite of the cold, Amsterdam is a vibrant city during November and December. The arrival of Saint Nicholas kicks off the festive season in style. This year he arrives on a ship on November 19, and then leads a parade through the city. Children flock to the parade to witness the spectacle, and there’s a fantastic atmosphere surrounding the event.
How to get there by train: There are regular trains to Amsterdam from throughout the Netherlands. It’s also easy to reach the city from most neighboring countries.
5. Koblenz, Germany — Koblenz Weihnachtsmarkt
The German town of Koblenz hosts a fantastic Christmas festival. This year it starts on November 24 and runs until a few days before Christmas. It takes place in the Old Town and features over 100 decorated wooden stalls. These sell a range of goods, from candy to handmade toys. You’ll also find a range of traditional German food and drinks, and various performances and concerts — perfect for warming up in winter.
How to get there by train: The nearest big city to Koblenz is Cologne. The journey from Cologne to Koblenz is under an hour, and there are regular trains throughout the day.
6. Piedmont, Italy — Alba White Truffle Festival
The Alba White Truffle Fair (Tartufo Bianco d’Alba) in Piedmont, Italy is the largest exhibition of truffles. It takes place throughout the month until November 26. Farmers from the nearby hills display thousands of batches of truffles, which they make available for sale to the public. They check each truffle for quality to ensure that only the best make it into your shopping basket. There are also several wine and food stalls at the event that make the best of this famous produce.
How to get there by train: Turin is the heart of the Piedmont region. There are regular trains from Milan that take approximately one hour. It’s also easy to reach the city from neighboring France.
7. Budapest, Hungary — New Wine and Cheese Festival
The Budapest New Wine and Cheese Festival sneaks in at the end of November to offer visitors some of Hungary’s best new wines. They’re paired with traditional cheeses from across the country. The festival runs throughout the day on November 28 and 29 at Vajdahunyad Castle. A ticket includes a tasting glass and free entry to the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture.
How to get there by train: Budapest is a major rail hub in Hungary. There are regular rail connections from Budapest, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Prague, and Bratislava, as well as trains further east.
This time of the year may not be the most obvious time to visit Europe. But if you spend some time looking around, you’ll find plenty of events in November that are worth attending. And with Christmas around the corner, fewer crowds, and cheaper prices, it’s a great time to head off on a Eurail trip.