Spring is in full bloom. For travelers, there’s no better time to be abroad than May. The flowers have blossomed, the sidewalk cafes are open again, the outdoor beer gardens are tapping the kegs. Who couldn’t love May? Consider these popular destinations when planning your personal “spring break.” They’re popular for a reason.
Kyoto, JapanKyoto Prefecture, Japan
While other cities may have cherry blossoms (see below), Kyoto has cherry blossoms. These flowering trees are everywhere in Kyoto, and bathe the city in an aroma that will melt away your stress. They start blooming in April, but last through early June. Tokyo is a worldwide hub for fashion, tech, even art, but nothing beats Kyoto’s serene atmosphere. The city has great culture and a brilliant dining scene at the ready for travelers, and can be reached by a swift bullet train (including the famous Shinkansen Nozomi) from Tokyo.
New York City, USNew York, NY, USA
Mid Spring is one of the best times to explore New York City. Cherry blossoms bloom at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the chills of early April have long faded away, and all the Mister Softee trucks have taken to the streets with their incessant song. New York is always a wonderful place to explore and find new things, but visiting in May offers travelers something even more unique—a city where New Yorkers are actually happy to live there. Spring usually washes away at least a few layers of the typical New Yorker’s crusty exterior, and you may even encounter some no-bullshit Manhattanites taking some time to smell the flowers in Central Park.
Nashville, TNNashville, TN, USA
Music City is in full effect in May. From Easter through Memorial Day, the city is just warm enough to break out the short sleeves, but not so hot that you’re sweating after half a block. The honky-tonks along Broadway are blaring live music shows all week and whisky on the rocks is just starting to perspire under the southern sun. It’s the perfect bachelor party or honeymoon getaway for those looking to let loose and party all through the week.
Paris, FranceParis, France
There’s no more romantic getaway than Paris. Period. May is unique for the City of Lights, the perfect month to see Paris in every state of wonder. Go for the first week of May and you may encounter the remnants of snow, rain, sunshine, all with the flowers in bloom. Not to mention, the newfound sunlight poured over the city in May means that walking around the cobbled streets you’ll be able to smell every aroma filling the air from local patisseries and fromageries.
Porto, PortugalPorto, Portugal
This Portuguese city is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and architectural delights. In May, the weather is perfect for those hiking though the mountain-like streets or enjoying a coffee on a street side café. The biggest draw to Porto though is the colorful buildings and architecture. Streets are dotted with buildings painted beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange, and make for the perfect Instagram post. Porto is also one of the cities offered in TAP Portugal Airlines’ stopover program, making it a great addition to any vacation plan.