Turkey, football, and family are what most of us are thankful for on Thanksgiving. On the other hand, those who can’t stand America’s infamously short vacations may use the extra time off to sneak off to Europe for a few days.
If you bring your bags to the office on Thanksgiving Eve, stay until 2 p.m., and then head straight to the airport, you can breeze right through security. Domestic flights will be especially full on the day before Thanksgiving. The airport’s international terminal is a breeze.
Get an early start on Friday in a city in Europe after waking up on the other side of the Atlantic on Thursday. If you’re itching to get out of the country for Thanksgiving.
Best Places to Visit in Europe for Thanksgiving
Here are 10 European cities that are convenient for U.S. travelers to visit.
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series, you probably recall the memorable scene in which Harry, Hermione, Ron, and the rest of the young witches and wizards at Hogwarts feast on a magical meal. The epic holiday event Hogwarts in the Snow takes place at Warner Bros. Studio from November 16th until January 26th.
Spending Thanksgiving weekend in a merry mood is a great way to start the holiday season. Visit the Harry Potter film set and get up close to elaborate movie props, take a stroll through Diagon Alley, and down as much Butterbeer as you can carry.
The city of London itself serves as a source of motivation right now. Beginning on November 21 and running through January 6, Winter Wonderland will be open in Hyde Park. There’s no cost to get in, and once you’re there, you can participate in whichever activities interest you the most.
In the month of November, Paris is absolutely stunning. Paris is still an absolute paradise for Instagrammers even as the leaves begin to fall from the trees in autumn. Go to Paris if only to see the city for the first time. Take a stroll down the famous Champs-Élysées and take in the holiday lights and street entertainment.
You can gorge on more than just the city’s impressive architecture. There are more than one hundred Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from in Paris, making it one of the world’s gastronomic capitals.
The Atlantic coast of Portugal is home to this laid-back bohemian paradise, where November averages a comfortable 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Try some of the local dishes and a variety of Portuguese cheeses while in Lisbon, and wash it all down with a glass of Port.
Explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and marvel at the unique ceramic tiles and distinctive architecture that make them works of art in their own right. Take a stroll along the water or visit the historic sites of Torre de Belém and the Monastery of Jeronimos to learn about Portugal’s colonial past and religious foundations.
Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital since the 15th century, is widely recognized as a center of learning thanks to its long history as a magnet for scholars in fields as diverse as literature, engineering, and education.
Medieval architecture and fantastic cultural festivals and events, like the EH6 Craft Beer, Food, and Music Festival (November 23–25), make it the United Kingdom’s second most popular travel destination after London.
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The famous Christmas decorations on Princes Street usually go up around the middle of November, so you’ll have plenty of time to check them out.
Barcelona is a city of many guises, and its rich cultural offerings will satisfy the artistic appetites of any traveler. Many of Barcelona’s top attractions, including La Sagrada Familia (book in advance because the line to get in can be intimidating), bear Antoni Gaud’s signature of eccentric Catalan Art Nouveau architecture.
Parc Guell, a magical wonderland appropriately inspired by nature itself, and Casa Batlló, where delightful surprises await around every twisted corridor and spiral turn, are two more of Gaud’s notable works.
We needed a real Winter Wonderland for this, and Vienna is one of the best places to do so, with its frequent snowfall, lively markets, and warm lights. Visiting the capital of Austria is like entering a fantastical realm. Wrap up warm and brace yourself for the chill. Christmas markets in Vienna begin opening their doors on November 15 in front of City Hall, November 22 at Belvedere Palace, and November 20 at Maria-Theresien-Platz.
Visit one of the world’s most recognized coffee shops to warm up. If you’re a photographer, now is the time to visit Vienna, as the city’s most Instagrammable spots will be covered in a picturesque blanket of snow.
7. Spain’s Mallorca
Book a flight to Mallorca if you want to bask in some Thanksgiving sunshine and relieve stress. It’s easy to see why this island has earned a reputation as Spain’s premier destination for a wild night out. Near its many beautiful beaches, you’ll find dozens of lively nightclubs and restaurants catering to all tastes.
Mallorca is known for its nightlife, but the island also has a rich history and many interesting attractions. Palma’s Old Town (Casco Antiguo) features the city’s famous castle and cathedral, both of which should not be missed.
8. City of Prague, Czech Republic
One of Europe’s most picturesque cities is Prague. The best way for foreigners to learn about Czech culture is in this bustling international city. It’s got a great vibe and a ton of cool things to check out. Prague is an excellent starting point for those who want to see both Western and Central Europe during their Thanksgiving holiday.
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Travelers who come to Prague for its rich history and architecture often leave more impressed by the city’s vibrant street life, unique markets, mouthwatering cuisine, and, of course, excellent beer. It’s no secret that Prague is where all the best European stag weekends go down.
9. Capital of Hungary: Budapest
Budapest is a stunning city with a fascinating fusion of Eastern and Western influences. In the slightly chillier weather of November, a trip to the city’s outdoor thermal baths is a must. Beginning in the middle of November, Budapest’s Christmas markets bring a cheery vibe to the city.
10. Ireland’s Dublin
Dublin is another option for cheap, widely available flights over the Thanksgiving holiday. Locals are as warm and welcoming as the city’s historic sites and exciting nightlife. During the Thanksgiving season, there are a number of events held in Dublin, giving tourists a wide variety of ways to spend their time.
Traditional American celebrations of Thanksgiving are expanding to include travel abroad. For many people, the week of Thanksgiving is a long holiday weekend, making it a great time to take a getaway.
Late November is typically off-season for tourism in many parts of the world. It also means cheaper flights and hotel rooms because fewer people will be traveling there. If you’re able to plan your trip around this time, you can enjoy holiday concerts, parades, and light shows.