Traveling in Tuscany in a sunny day

10 Best Places to Travel in May 2024

May is a magical month for travelers. As spring begins to fade into summer, it offers the last sweet taste of the shoulder season with its myriad perks: lower prices, pleasant weather, and fewer crowds than you’ll face during the peak summer months.

This makes May an ideal time to explore national parks still flush with spring blooms, lounge on less crowded beaches in the Caribbean, or immerse yourself in cultural festivals celebrating everything from food and wine to music and flowers.

Whether you’re looking to soak up some sun, get lost in nature, or indulge in local festivities, here are the ten best places to travel in May 2024.

1. Kyoto, Japan

Experience the tail end of cherry blossom season and the beginning of azalea blooms in Kyoto. This ancient city is a tapestry of tranquil temples, gardens, and traditional tea houses.


May is also the time for the Aoi Matsuri, one of Kyoto’s three major festivals, featuring elaborate parades dressed in the style of the Heian period.

Alternative in the U.S.: Washington, D.C. If traveling abroad isn’t an option, consider Washington, D.C., where the National Cherry Blossom Festival usually winds down in early April, but the lovely blooms often linger into early May. The city’s numerous parks and monuments are beautiful under the canopy of pink and white blossoms, offering a similar spectacle of spring’s beauty, coupled with rich historical and cultural activities.

2. Seville, Spain

Seville comes alive in May with two of its most vibrant festivals: the Feria de Abril and the Seville Fair.

Seville Spain Plaza de Espana

The city is vibrant with flamenco dancers, colorful casetas, and the scent of orange blossoms.

The weather is sunny yet mild, perfect for exploring the Gothic grandeur of the Seville Cathedral or the intricate alcoves of the Alcázar.

3. San Francisco, USA

May in San Francisco is marked by long, sunlit days and a bustling arts scene. The Bay to Breakers race mid-month adds a festive flair with its costumed participants and city-wide celebrations.

San Francisco

Explore the city’s iconic sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, or stroll through the blooming beauty of the Golden Gate Park.

4. Cape Town, South Africa

As autumn colors the landscapes of the Southern Hemisphere, Cape Town’s climate is cool and inviting.

Visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to see indigenous plants in bloom or take a cable car up Table Mountain for stunning views of the city and sea.

5. Montreal, Canada

Montreal bursts into bloom in May with the Botanical Gardens showcasing tulips and other spring flowers.

Montreal Biosphere aerial view from a DJI drone

The city begins to buzz with outdoor cafes, street performers, and markets. Don’t miss the Montreal Museums Day towards the end of the month for free access to over 30 museums.

6. Istanbul, Turkey

May is one of the best times to visit Istanbul, as the city enjoys mild weather and the streets are less crowded.

Explore historic sites like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, wander through the Grand Bazaar, or cruise the Bosphorus for a different view of the city’s skyline.

Moreover, if you visit in the first week of the month, you can enjoy the Tulip Festival at the city’s parks.

7. Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany in May is a dream, with its rolling hills and vineyards bathed in spring light. This is a fantastic time for food and wine lovers to explore the region’s culinary delights, including fresh truffles and Chianti wines.

Man and Woman are holding wine glasses in Tuscany in a rooftop with the city view

Visit Florence for its art and history, or seek out the more secluded hill towns for a quieter retreat.

8. Brisbane, Australia

In Australia, May is the last month before winter comes. As southern Australia cools down, Brisbane remains delightfully warm, making it a prime destination in May.

The city enjoys a vibrant atmosphere with mild temperatures ideal for exploring the bustling South Bank, strolling through the City Botanic Gardens, or taking day trips to nearby Moreton Island.

A man enjoys sunny day by lying down near the river with the Brisbane city view

Brisbane’s position in the subtropical zone ensures that evenings remain pleasant, perfect for enjoying outdoor dining along the Brisbane River or exploring the lively nightlife.

This city serves as a gateway to some of Queensland’s most scenic drives and is a great starting point for adventures to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

9. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is delightful in May, with its mild weather and sunny skies.

Taylor Swift bejeweled concert

The streets are dotted with festivals, including the IndieLisboa International Film Festival, ARCOlisboa. On May 24–25, 2024, Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” will be held at Estadio da Luz.

10. Bali, Indonesia

May in Bali sees the end of the rainy season, ushering in clear skies and lush landscapes.

It’s a wonderful time to enjoy the island’s beaches, explore its temples like Tanah Lot, and dive into the cultural heart of Ubud.

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