Where To Go In May

Get your bags packed ready for one of our favourite months to go on holiday. May offers the best of everything: it’s finally warm enough for a quick budget break in Europe, there’s lots going on across the globe as usual, it’s got two bank holidays and a much-needed half-term if you can only travel in school holidays.

That means you can take your pick from the widest range of experiences, countries and activities. From blossom-admiring in Japan to chill out time in Greece, the world really is your oyster. Here are our top picks of places to travel in May.

Sapporo, Japan

Dubbed ‘the capital of the north’, Sapporo gets the last of sakura season in Japan. This year, its pretty pink blossoms are expected to bloom from 26 April. It lasts about a week, giving visitors a sure bet to see the natural wonder if they head at the very start of May. While there, it’s imperative to visit the Sapporo Beer Museum – as the home of Japan’s national beer, it’s what Sapporo is famous for. But there’s also great culinary offerings, with fresh fish a staple, so don’t leave without trying the sushi. For a cultural excursion, the Hill of Buddha is a beautiful field with a giant statue of Buddha peeking over the top – most of the statue is sunken within the hill, making for a unique experience.

Cannes, France

Cannes is glitzy at any time, but it reaches another level when Cannes Film Festival rolls into town. Taking place from 14 to 25 May, it sees practically all of Hollywood descend on the Cote d’Azur for major red carpet action. The film festival causes accommodation prices to sky rocket. But visitors can also stay in one of the adjoining towns, like Antibes or Nice, and travel across to witness this drippingly glamorous event. You can check out public screenings from the Official Selection at the Cannes Cinephiles booth, as well as films from the unofficial selection and the Director’s Choice. Expect to see big names in its high-end restaurants like Café Roma and La Maison du Porto – or pause the star-spotting with a beach break.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

We’ll always love Dubrovnik as a holiday destination, but it’s better in May when Croatia is less hot and crowded. Truly, the old town – famed for its 9th century cobbled stone streets and historical feel – is narrow and not designed for thousands of Game of Thrones fans to cram through its passageways every day. So an off-peak experience really does make a difference. May will bring gorgeous weather too, with a 21C average, making for a pleasant feel when exploring the city. Its popularity as a tourist destination means it’s not as budget-friendly as it used to be, but you can still get bang for your buck.

Venice, Italy

In May, the Venice Biennale will have hit its stride. Starting on 20 April and running until November, it’s one of the world’s biggest cultural exhibitions, with around half a million visitors each edition. Earmark a few days to browse all the goings-on across Venice. The multi-sensory experience will be lots to take in, especially as the pieces that each country nominates are designed to make you think and/or expand your mindset. If Venice itself is too busy or expensive to stay, it’s easy enough to get to when based at Mestre – on the mainland next to Venice – or a nearby town, like Treviso or Padua (both around 25 minutes by frequent train).

Santorini, Greece

For our money, Santorini is one of the most aesthetically pleasing areas of Europe, with its famed whitewashed buildings and royal blue waters of the Aegean Sea. The weather is lovely in May, when there’s practically no rain, and the temps are around 21C: warm, but not too hot that you’re uncomfortable, even in flowy linen beachwear. The perfect weather also means that the famous sunsets are at their finest – they don’t have the haze often seen in the toasty summer months. In all, the laidback vibe of the island can be wonderfully enjoyed in May. So grab a glass of icy white Greek wine, and drink to that.


Wherever you plan to head this year Switched On Travel Insurance goes the extra mile to protect your trips, with 24/7 medical assistance, gadgets covered automatically and no upper age limit on Single Trip policies just a few of the benefits. Find out more by visiting the Travel Insurance section of the Switched On website.