#1 10-10-2017 8:02 AM

Suni
Couch Potato
Posts: 14

Iceland and Europe in November

I am going to some of Europe's countries and Iceland in November.  I am curious about what I can do.  I plan to do ice climbing, see the aurora (hopefully) and try whale and shark in Iceland.   Changing of the guards in Oslo, Norway, castle of Ludwig in Munich, Germany.  I have no idea for Sweden.  Basically, I don't know...  I love trying new things, from food to activities.  I also love nature and people.  I have $500 to spend in each place for food, tours, transportation.  I am not trying to get someone to plan my trip but I would love to get some dos and don'ts that you guys tried/enjoyed.

 

#2 10-10-2017 6:08 PM

sarahelaine
Sarah Elaine
Manchester, England
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Globetrotter
Posts: 5944

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

By mid November the Christmas markets should have started in Munich- nowhere does Christmas better than Germany. And it’s a beautiful city. I don’t know for sure if the Victualsmarkt (which I love but can’t spell) will be on in winter but if it is it’s a great place to eat and drink. And there are some fantastic art museums there, and great architecture. If you like cars BMW Welt is meant to be worth a look. Neuswanstein castle is one of the few places I would book tickets for- they’re strict on making you take the tour and it would be pretty cold hanging about if you couldn’t get on one when you first arrive. Perfectly doable by public transport though.

I don’t know Sweden at all, but you’ve picked some very expensive countries. If you have time and fancy a side trip. Gdańsk on the Polish Baltic is lovely. Medieval ship crane and harbour front, interesting history (including the lighthouse where World War Two started) and great food and beer, and very affordable.

 

#3 10-10-2017 7:42 PM

Lotus28
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Explorer
Posts: 1958

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

When I visited Iceland in early October 2015, I got to see northern lights twice in 5days :-)
Solar flare seems to be very active this year so I hope you can see that too.

For Iceland, I'd definitely recommend you to get out of Reykjavik. It's a lovely city and I liked it but true highlight of Iceland was nature. If you're used to winter driving, renting a cheap car for a few days are the cheapest way to get around. If not, you will need to pick some places you want to visit and allocate your budget depending on your priority.
Golden circle (Thingvellir, Gullfoss, Geysir) is the most popular sites but I personally loved Sneafellsness peninsula. You can book tours after you arrive Reykjavik.

Food in Iceland was expensive. Just burger and drink can easily cost $20. Hotdogs are the cheap option and it costed about $4-5/p. Buying grocery from supermarket called BONUS is the cheapest way to eat. We wanted to save budget but still wanted to eat well so we were cooking lamb steak almost everyday.

For northern lights, Aurora forecast was just a reference. We saw the greatest one when aurora forecast says solar activity was low for the day. Just try your bet when weather is clear enough.
You can't see the northern lights when the sky is too bright but it doesn't have to be completely dark. When I saw it, it was in front of gas station and there was some light pollution, but still could see it well.

 

#4 10-10-2017 10:13 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Wanderer
Posts: 349

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

sarahelaine wrote:

By mid November the Christmas markets should have started in Munich- nowhere does Christmas better than Germany. And it’s a beautiful city. I don’t know for sure if the Victualsmarkt (which I love but can’t spell) will be on in winter but if it is it’s a great place to eat and drink. And there are some fantastic art museums there, and great architecture. If you like cars BMW Welt is meant to be worth a look. Neuswanstein castle is one of the few places I would book tickets for- they’re strict on making you take the tour and it would be pretty cold hanging about if you couldn’t get on one when you first arrive. Perfectly doable by public transport though.

The Viktualien Markt in Munich is open every day except sundays and holidays (it's a regular market), but the beer garden (open air, self service) there might be a bit cold (but sometimes there are warm days in November, and certainly not as cold is Iceland)http://www.muenchen.de/sehenswuerdigkei … 20340.html
Christmasmarkets in Munich, Marienplatz from 27.11., Munich, Sendling from 1.12.,
http://www.muenchen.de/veranstaltungen/ … markt.html
The english version of this web page has only limited information, use Google translate.
More early: Munich, Pink Christmas (Gay) from 17.11. on Stephansplatz. The Green Market Berlin (vegan) from 16.11., Santa Pauli Hamburg from 23.11.
http://www.pink-christmas.de/
http://greenmarketberlin.com/
http://www.hamburg.de/weihnachtsmarkt/8 … chtsmarkt/
Stockholm,  Stortorget and  Copenhagen, Tivoli from 18.11., Vienna and London Hydepark from 17.11.,Strassbourg and Salzburg, Residenzeplatz from 24.11.

Last edited by ulis (10-10-2017 11:06 PM)

 

#5 10-11-2017 9:15 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Nomad
Posts: 812

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

The change of the guard is a true spectacle of music and action. At 1:30 pm tourists gather for the exchange of the guard the whole ceremony takes 40 minutes and always takes place regardless of the weather. I really like the Vigeland Sculpture, is very interesting park. We also took the tram to the hillsides ski school about 15 minutes from the center, in the mountains.

Munich is a beautiful city and so much things to do. November most of European countries start the Christmas markets. There are several Christmas markets in Munich and surroundings. The most famous is the Christkindlmarkt am Marienplatz.

In Iceland we have a car, one of the eaisest way around and we mostly self catering. I recommend you to try the Blue Lagoon in Grindavík.

Last edited by shavy (10-11-2017 9:16 AM)

 

#6 10-12-2017 12:46 PM

Suni
Couch Potato
Posts: 14

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

Thanks for the ideas!  I won't have a car so I am going to have to use the tours.  In Iceland, there seems to be a tour for ice climbing.  Sounds fun!  I wanted to go to the Christmas market but I am going to be gone from Munich by then sad  Thanks for where I can by food too, guys!

I was also thinking of using public bus to go to Stockholm from Oslo.  Is that possible?  Should I take the train instead?

 

#7 10-12-2017 2:04 PM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Nomad
Posts: 812

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

If you don't mind long journey of more than 5 hours you can easily take the train or bus. Flying is quickest

https://www.swebus.se/SwebusExpress_com/
http://www.acprail.com/train-tickets/scandinavian-rail

 

#8 10-12-2017 11:56 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Wanderer
Posts: 349

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

Public bus to go to Stockholm from Oslo, overnight 7.45 hours by Flixbus from € 10, by train daytime 5 hours from € 20 by plane from € 50, all with early booking, these train and air tickets you cannot change, the bus ticket you can change.
https://www.flixbus.co.uk/bus-routes#/map

 

#9 10-13-2017 10:03 AM

Suni
Couch Potato
Posts: 14

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

thanks.  I want a view rather then being suck on a plane and since plane seems to be more expensive, I can scratch that happily  smile

 

#10 10-14-2017 6:56 AM

Holeydel
Manchester, England
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Re: Iceland and Europe in November

You might want to look a  bit more into tours for Iceland as $500 for your trip won't get you much. If take a way fish and chips costs $20 then you can begin to imagine what ice climbing, aurora and whale watching are gonna set you back. Personally I tell people to stay away from Iceland cos what you get for your money isn't anything you can't get in other places in Europe at a considerably cheaper cost.

 

#11 10-15-2017 4:13 PM

pammy_robertson
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Re: Iceland and Europe in November

I did the ice climbing/glacier hike in Iceland last Nov. It was around $150 not cheap but a great experience. We also saw the northern lights at that time of year. Go to the hot tubs at hofn. Jokulsarlon is a must! Hire a car and get out of Reykjavik. We went to the supermarket and bought food for packed lunches in the car. The majority of my budget went on diesel sad I think we had around £100 a day budget. Not including the glacier hike. Expensive but by far my favourite country so far.

 

#12 Yesterday 6:59 AM

Suni
Couch Potato
Posts: 14

Re: Iceland and Europe in November

I have been looking more closely at the cost and yeah, the tours are expensive.  I am cutting down on Norway and London to make some cash for this place.  WOW expensive! 
I am not confident enough to drive there so I have to do tours sad  Ice climbing was way out of my budget without a car so I went for horse back.  Northern lights, I don't plan to take a tour for.  The tours can't guarantee the Aurora sighting since it depends on mother nature. 

Anyone stay in a hostel here in winter?  How is it?  Good amount of heat?  I don't have to bring my own warm blanket, do I?

 

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