If you enjoy a getaway in the sun without the summer crowds, May is the perfect time to travel. But what are the best places to travel to in May? Many celebrations and festivities take over the streets of Europe in mid-spring. And even though weather conditions are often excellent in many parts of the northern hemisphere, hotel rates can be much more affordable just before the frantic school holidays begin. If you want to travel below the equator, you won’t be disappointed Down Under in May, when you can enjoy a spot of serenity in usually packed hotspots like Sydney and Perth.

To help you decide where to go for your spring break, we’ve detailed 18 of the best places to travel in May below, including details on prices, average temperatures, and nearby airports.

1. Barcelona, Spain

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Average temperature: 59 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: EUR 70–150 (USD 75–160) per person

Main airport: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport

A dynamic beachside city known for its architectural marvels by legends including Gaudi, Barcelona is best seen on foot. Visit during May, and you can beat the near-unbearable humidity and heat that are just around the corner, not to mention the hordes of tourists that take over during the summer holidays.

You can make the most of May’s unique offerings by attending events and festivals such as Primavera Sound and the nearby Girona Flowers Festival. And the month’s clear skies give you the chance to see iconic Barcelonian landmarks like the Sagrada Familia in their best light.

2. Cappadocia, Turkey

best places to travel in may

Average temperature: 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 25 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: TRY 150–300 (USD 5–50) per person

Main airport: Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport

A truly otherworldly destination, Cappadocia in Central Turkey is home to UNESCO-listed historic sites, ancient cave dwellings, and centuries-old underground cities hidden beneath incredible mountainous landscapes. This stunning destination is one of the best places to visit in May.

In May, you can expect comfortable daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s (up to 25 Celsius). Coupled with very little rainfall, this climate makes mid-Spring the perfect time to discover Cappadocia by hot air balloon. You can also take in views of the whimsical ‘Fairy Chimney’ rock formations while exploring in an off-road vehicle.

3. Lake District, England

best places to travel in May

Average temperature: 45 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 15 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: GBP 70–200 (USD 90–250) per person

Main airport: Manchester Airport

England’s most mountainous and lake-filled region is a lush green paradise during May, which experiences the least rainfall of any month on average. Even though there are two long weekends in May, it’s less busy than June, July, and August, making it ideal for those who like to enjoy nature without the crowds.

While countryside vistas are the main draw of the Lake District, the region also boasts a myriad of gorgeous chocolate-box villages. Fans of Beatrix Potter will find an array of magical attractions in Bowness-on-Windermere, Grasmere, and Hawkshead.

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4. Anguilla

best places to travel in may

Average temperature: 79 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 31 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: USD 400–800 or more per person

Main airport: Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport

If a palm-shaded sandy strip lapped by turquoise waters in the tropics is your idea of heaven, Anguilla is hard to beat. 33 beaches make this eastern Caribbean Island a mecca for sunseekers, and May brings comfortable daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s (26–31 Celsius), with ocean temperatures to match.

Visit early in May to beat the wet conditions of the impending rainy season, and you’ll be rewarded with enviable weather and affordable hotel rates without the crowds – ideal for exploring Anguilla’s delightful fishing villages and stunning offshore cays. 

5. Granada, Spain

Best places to travel in May

Average temperature: 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 24 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: EUR 60–100 (USD 65–108) per person

Main airport: Federico García Lorca Granada Airport

With temperatures typically resting in the mid-50s to 70s (13–24 Celsius), vibrant blooms, and a calendar of cultural festivals, Granada is one of Spain’s most exciting cities to visit in May. Festivals that bring the streets to life with music and flamenco dancing include the Día de la Cruz and the Feria del Corpus Christi, which dates back to the 15th century. If you’re more interested in natural displays of color, head over to the Generalife Gardens to see blooming flowers such as wisteria, iris, and a vast array of bedding plants.

Don’t forget to check out architectural gems such as the Alhambra, the Renaissance Catholic Cathedral, and the Monastery of Saint Jerome during your stay in Granada. The cozy climate creates the ideal conditions for full-day city walking tours. 

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6. Cusco, Peru

best places to go in may

Average temperature: 39 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 20 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: PEN 200–575 (USD 50–150) per person

Main airport: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport

While May lies within Peru’s winter season, moderate temperatures that hover around the high 60s (under 20 Celsius) on a hot day make exploring the capital city of Cusco a pleasure. May is also one of Cusco’s driest months, creating ideal conditions to explore historic landmarks like La Catedral and the Plaza de Armas before crowds of tourists take over. You might also want to take advantage of the climate to visit the UNESCO-listed Machu Picchu, located around 50 miles from Cusco. If you’re feeling daring, you might consider taking on the four-day hike along the Inca Trail. 

7. Athens, Greece

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Average temperature: 61 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 26 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: EUR 50–200 (USD 55–215) per person

Main airport: Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos

Another place that is perfect to travel to in May is the capital of Greece. Visit Athens in May, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s ancient Greek ruins all to yourself. Exploring the Temple of Poseidon and the Acropolis is even more enthralling when you don’t need to battle with hordes of tourists or the unbearable summer heat. Historic relics aside, Athens is home to a plethora of trendy bars and taverns that are lively with locals in May. And complementing the city’s storied beauty is its incredible art scene – you can soak up some of the local art and culture at attractions such as the Museum of Cycladic Art and the National Gallery (Alexandros Soutsos Museum). 

8. Bali, Indonesia

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 Average temperature: 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 32 degrees Celsius)

 Trip cost range per day: IDR 470,000–2,341,717 (USD 30–150) per person

Main airport: Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport

A trip to the beautiful Indonesian Island of Bali is a welcome treat just about any time of year, but it’s a particularly appealing place to travel to in May when the rainy season has subsided and left lush landscapes in its wake. The usually packed beaches along the southern coast and cultural hotspots like Ubud are much quieter in May than in the summer months that follow. Most hotels are relatively quiet too, making it easy to snag a bargain.

While you’re here, we recommend soaking up the sunset from Jimbaran Beach. Right next to the beach is the magnificent Jimbaran Puri, a luxury resort modeled on a Balinese village, complete with temple-dotted gardens and teak-furnished cottages. 

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9. Hokkaido, Japan

where to travel in may

Average temperature: 45 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 18 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: JPY 10,000–30,000 (USD 65–195) per person

Main airport: New Chitose Airport

Head to Japan’s northernmost island for one last chance to see the nation’s famous cherry blossoms in bloom. While, April is the best time to see cherry blossoms in Japan, in Hokkaido, the sakura blooms a month later than in the rest of the country, bringing beautiful shades of pink, yellow, white, and green to the island’s towns, cities, and parks. Head to Matsumae Park to admire over 10,000 trees belonging to around 250 varieties of cherry blossom. Towards the end of May, you can see pink moss (shibazakura) blanket countryside settings such as Higashimokoto Park. 

10. Singapore

Average temperature: 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 31 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: SGD 100 – 250 (USD 75–185) per person

Main airport: Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore is one of the best places to travel to in May. No matter when you visit Singapore, you can expect average daytime temperatures high in the 80s (25–31 Celsius). But visit in May, and you can make the most of the sunshine at events such as the Singapore HeritageFest, the Singapore International Festival of Arts, and the Singapore Cocktail Festival – a great place to let your hair down. In between festivals, you can explore some of the city-state’s permanent outdoor attractions without having to jostle with crowds. Don’t miss the futuristic Gardens by the Bay, the thrilling Universal Studios Singapore, and the idyllic Changi Beach. 

11. Paris, France

paris - best places to travel in april

Average temperature: 50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 20 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: EUR 70–250 (USD 75–270) per person

Main airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport 

Colorful spring blossoms make May one of the prettiest times of year in the French Capital, still weeks before the summer crowds arrive. On the third Saturday of every May in Paris is La Nuit des Musée, during which you can explore many of the city’s most famous museums for free (many stay open late to mark the occasion). To indulge in the romantic side of Paris, attend one of the free theater tours or concerts during the Tous à l’Opéra. You can watch even more free cultural performances at the Jazz Festival in Saint Germain des Prés.

12. Memphis, Tennessee

best places to travel in May

Average temperature: 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 28 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: USD 100–250 per person

Main airport: Memphis International Airport

Memphis is a pilgrimage for fans of soul, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll, and its appeal only increases in May, when a variety of festivals take place as part of the Memphis in May celebrations. Every year, the city holds events, performances, and screenings that pay tribute to a different country, with 2024’s festivities giving an international salute to France. While the legendary Beale Street Music Festival is on pause this year, the Great American River Run, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and a packed calendar of festivities will go ahead as usual. 

13. Wales

where to go in May

Average temperature: 46 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit (8 to 17 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: GBP 60–150 (USD 75–190) per person

Main airport: Cardiff Airport

Just like the rest of the UK, Wales is no stranger to gloomy weather. But May is consistently one of the country’s driest months, making it the perfect time to cross a few outdoor must-dos off your bucket list, such as hiking to the summit of Snowdon and immersing yourself in Cardiff’s nightlife. May is also the best month to explore the folly tourist village of Portmeirion and hike the Wales Coastal Path.

 14. West Coast, Australia

Best cities to go in May

Average temperature: 54 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 22 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: AUD 150–400 (USD 100–260) per person

Main airport: Perth Airport

Daytime temperatures along the West Coast of Australia tend to be in the 60s and 70s (under 25 Celsius), but it’s not just the cozy climate that makes this one of the best places to visit in May. It’s the opportune time to spot whale sharks – the world’s largest fish – at the Whaleshark Festival in Exmouth and in the Ningaloo Marine Park. You can also dive alongside stingrays, sea lions, dolphins, fairy penguins, and more.

30 minutes from Perth by Ferry is Rottnest Island, home to super cute quokka families. Perth itself makes for a fantastic city break during May when you can make the most of the still-warm ocean waters without the crowds.

15. Azores (Portugal)

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Average temperature: 59 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: EUR 70–200 (USD 75–215) per person

Main airport: Ponta Delgada Airport

If you’re an adventure seeker, you might want to try out a few extreme sports in the Azores during May. Thanks to the relatively low chance of rain and warming sea temperatures, popular activities on these Portuguese islands in the Atlantic include paragliding, diving in waterfalls, hiking through geoparks, and snorkeling alongside dolphins. With the huge swells of winter over, ocean waves in May are ideal for beginner surfers. While you’re here, you can attend the Azores’ biggest festival of the year – Feasts of Santo Cristo dos Milagres.

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16. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Average temperature: 40 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 18 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: USD 50–150 per person

Main airport: Cedar City Regional Airport

As the snow has all but completely disappeared, May is one of the best months to visit the Bryce Canyon National Park. Not only have all the popular trails reopened, but daytime temperatures that often lie in the high 60s (around 18 Celsius) make them a pleasure to hike or cycle.

While May does see visitor numbers begin to surge, it’s still quiet enough that you won’t need to jostle for the best views of the Bryce Amphitheater (a unique landscape of otherworldly rock formations known as hoodoos) from Bryce Point. 

17. Sydney, Australia

best places to travel in May

Average temperature: 54 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 21 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: AUD 100–250 (USD 65–165) per person

Main airport: Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport

Even though winter is just around the corner “Down Under”, Sydney still sees plenty of sunshine and average daytime temperatures of around 60 Fahrenheit (16 Celsius) in May. With the high season crowds long gone, May is the best time for coastal walks and beach combing. If you’re up for the challenge, you can follow the 80-kilometer trail from Manly to Bondi. Starting from the 24th of May and lasting well into June is Vivid Sydney, a free exhibition of cutting-edge music events, 3D projections on iconic landmarks, outdoor lighting installations, and much more. 

18. Los Angeles, California

Is LA a good destination in May?

Average temperature: 55 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 25 degrees Celsius)

Trip cost range per day: USD 100–250 per person

Main airport: Los Angeles International Airport

In May, the iconic attractions of Los Angeles are much quieter than they’ll be in the upcoming frantic summer months. Plus, a stay late in the spring shoulder season means you can beat the scorching heat as well as the crowds.

You can join in the city’s celebrations that honor the USA’s Sea Services by visiting during LA Fleet Week, which coincides with the Memorial Day Weekend and will take place from the 22nd to the 27th of May in 2024. This free event’s roster includes active duty shop tours, military demonstrations, and aircraft flyovers, plus festivities such as street parties, cook-offs, and live entertainment. 

Make the Most of a Holiday in May before the Summer Crowds

With so many destinations in the northern hemisphere looking at their best mid-Spring, there’s no better time to visit some of the world’s most inspiring cities than May. And while temperatures can be mild in some places south of the equator, the southern hemisphere’s autumn season is an ideal time to visit the likes of Sydney and Peru, when crowds are thin, and the winter cold has yet to make its mark. Finding the perfect place to travel in May is difficult, but choose any destination in this guide, and your May break will be unforgettable.

Next up, head to our post on the best travel destinations in March!

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