22 Best May destinations in Europe for 2022

Those looking for ideal destinations in Europe for the month of May have nearly endless choices. The May weather is warm enough to be nearly perfect in all but the most northern cities, and yet tourist crowds are still small since many people can't get away until June or later.

Even though it's “warm” in most of Europe in May, the only places warm enough for sunbathing are in the far south and the Mediterranean. Those looking for a hot-weather destination in May should be thinking about Asia or the Caribbean.

Best destinations during COVID-19

As we all know, there is a global pandemic going on still in late 2021. Many countries are still closed to outsiders, but a surprising number are still open for visitors. Now that the vaccine is here it's possible that some or most of the European countries below will allow visitors who can show proof of vaccination and a negative test, but as of January we still don't know.

>>>Best destinations during the COVID pandemic

Important May holidays for Europe in 2022

  • May 1 – International Workers' Day/Labour Day/May Day: A public holiday all over Europe
  • May 17 to 28 – Cannes Film Festival (France)
  • May 26 – Ascension Day (Germany, France, Italy, Spain etc)

Europe's best May beach destinations

Costa del Sol/Malaga, Spain

  • May avg high: 75F/24C
  • May avg low: 56F/13C
  • May avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

May is the first month of the year that southern Spain has reliable enough warm days that you can book a beach trip for sunbathing. Most people have at least heard of Spain's famous Costa del Sol, which is a group of beach towns just west of Malaga and the Malaga Airport. Each town has its own vibe and style, with Marbella being the most famous and most upscale of them.

Since the season doesn't really begin until June, hotel and apartment rental prices in this area can be very good in May. And cheap flights into Malaga are easy to find on various discount airlines all over Europe in May. If you are coming from North America it's probably cheaper to fly into Madrid or Barcelona and then book a separate flight from there to Malaga. On the other hand, if you are coming from North America it might not be worth stopping in this area at all. It's a place most people visit simply to relax and sit in the sun.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €61 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €92 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Costa del Sol
>>>Costa del Sol/Malaga prices and travel tips

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • May avg high: 75F/24C
  • May avg low: 64F/18C
  • May avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

The Canary Islands are warm pretty much all year round, and May is one of the better months because it's warm enough for sunbathing but still not so warm that it can get uncomfortable. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and the most popular island for English speaking tourists, but you could get similar weather in any of them.

Hotels and apartment rentals are good deals in Tenerife all year round. The best area that usually has the best weather in Tenerife is along the southwest corner of the island, in Los Cristianos and up the coast from there. Flights into either Tenerife airport are pretty cheap from the European continent. Often the flights into the North Airport are cheaper, and there is a public bus that connects it with the South Airport in one hour. Air+hotel package deals from major cities in Europe can be great deals as well.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €47 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €70 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Tenerife
>>>Tenerife prices and travel tips

Antalya, Turkey

  • May avg high: 79F/26C
  • May avg low: 58F/14C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

Antalya isn't technically in Europe, but nearly all the guests who come here are European and it's a fairly short flight from many large European cities. This is a historic city with interesting sights and ruins on display in the Old Town center, but most people who come here head straight to one of the larger beach hotels in either direction from the city center.

The value at hotels here is excellent, especially as the value of the Turkish Lira has struggled recently. Some areas in greater Antalya are popular with certain nationalities, so that's worth looking into if you prefer to fit in. There are beaches where Germans or Brits or Russians or Swedes dominate, particularly at all-inclusive resorts. Many Europeans are skipping all of Turkey in the current political climate, which has helped bring room rates down even more. There have been no reports of any problems for tourists in Antalya, though it never hurts to check the news before you book.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €15 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €26 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €9 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Antalya
>>>Antalya prices and travel tips

Non-beach destinations that are nice in May

Rome, Italy

  • May avg high: 72F/22C
  • May avg low: 53F/12C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

The warmest summer days in Rome can be brutal, but May is pretty much lovely from start to finish so it's the ideal time to come. Many of the famous sights here are outdoors, so being able to see them in pleasant and dry weather is a huge plus, and you get that all month long in May.

The busy tourist season in Italy starts in June, so May is really the perfect month to visit as you'll get cheaper flights, cheaper hotels, and smaller crowds even though the weather is perfect. If you have extra days you might consider taking a train down to Sorrento for a few days along the Amalfi Coast nearby, which is also wonderful this time of year. It's worth noting that Rome can be a rather hectic place to visit, so many savvy travelers prefer to stay only a few days and move on to someplace more relaxing.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €61 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €68 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Rome
>>>Rome prices and travel tips

Florence, Italy

  • May avg high: 74F/23C
  • May avg low: 52F/11C
  • May avg precip: 2.9″/7.3cm

For most people who start their first Italy visit in Rome, the wonderful Tuscan city of Florence is their next stop. You get a bit more rainfall in this area, but it's still dry most of the time here, and most of the sights here are indoors anyway.

Since Rome can feel a bit chaotic, it's nice to linger in Florence if you have extra days. You can do a day trip to Pisa or Siena from here, as well as the Cinque Terre. There are also some very nice hill towns just a short train ride away, so Florence is an ideal hub for sightseeing in the central Italy region.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €72 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €103 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Florence
>>>Florence prices and travel tips

Venice, Italy

  • May avg high: 70F/21C
  • May avg low: 54F/12C
  • May avg precip: 2.7″/6.8cm

If you are going to Rome and Florence then you should head next to Venice. The May temperatures are very pleasant, which will help you deal with the crowds here. The key to a good Venice visit is to stay for one or two nights on the main island so you can do most of your sightseeing in the early morning and evenings, before or after the day-trippers are here.

Hotels on the main island are understandably more expensive than those on the mainland, but they are worth it at least for one night to avoid the crowds. The main sights can be seen in less than a day, and it's so crowded that you really won't want to linger for more than two days, although Venice is so unforgettable that no one regrets a visit.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €97 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €177 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €36 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Venice
>>>Venice prices and travel tips

Split, Croatia

  • May avg high: 72F/22C
  • May avg low: 59F/15C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

As far as Croatian cities are concerned, Dubrovnik, is far better known, but Split is really the better choice for most visitors. Dubrovnik is a popular cruise port with a small (and stunning) walled city at its core, so it's far more crowded and expensive than Split, which is actually a bit older with more interesting sights.

Split is also the main travel hub along the Croatian coast, as the train comes here but doesn't reach Dubrovnik. There are also ferries in Split that can take you to the various nearby islands. The May weather may not be warm enough for sunbathing every day, but on some days it will be. And since the main tourist season doesn't start until June, hotel prices and apartment rentals (called ‘sobes' here) are very reasonable.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €36 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €52 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Split
>>>Split prices and travel tips

Paris, France

  • May avg high: 68F/20C
  • May avg low: 53F/12C
  • May avg precip: 2.4″/6.0cm

Paris is farther north than you might realize, so it's cooler in May than most of Europe, but it's still pretty much a perfect month to visit. This city is popular all year with tourists from all over the world, but the May crowds are lighter than the June crowds, so it's easier to hit the main sights in less time. Speaking of that, if you want to see the famous sights in a few days you should consider a Paris Pass.

Hotel prices are moderate in May, but this is also a major business capital so many of the 4-star hotels in the city center will be full for most of the month. You should be able to stay reasonably in non-business neighborhoods such as the glorious Rue Cler or the more edgy Montmartre.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €96 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €121 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €32 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Paris
>>>Paris prices and travel tips

Nice, France

  • May avg high: 68F/20C
  • May avg low: 56F/13C
  • May avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

Visitors who fly into Paris and want to see something else in France will often end up in Nice. This Mediterranean city is packed all summer with French people on their annual holidays, but that doesn't start until late June, so May is a perfect time to visit.

The city of Nice itself is a very worthwhile destination, but it's also a great stop because it's a 20-minute train ride from Cannes to the west and from Monaco to the east. Both of those cities are fascinating day trips, yet the hotels in both are quite expensive so Nice is the ideal base. The Cannes Film Festival is held in May so some people come to see the stars and that can fill up some hotels in Nice since it's so close.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €74 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €116 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €30 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Nice
>>>Nice prices and travel tips

London, England

  • May avg high: 63F/17C
  • May avg low: 48F/9C
  • May avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

London is famous for having only a few good weeks of weather each year, so the best you can hope for is to avoid the coldest and rainiest months. May is a very good month to visit because the crowds are smaller than they are in summer, and yet the weather is still warm enough and the days are long enough to do whatever you like.

Flights into London are particularly cheap for Americans these days, so it's an ideal first stop for a European vacation. You can easily take the Eurostar train from here to Paris in a bit over two hours, and then be in Amsterdam in a bit over 3 hours from there. London hotels are expensive all year round, but you should have a better chance of finding a decent deal in May compared to July or August. The London Pass can be a good choice for those who want to do a lot of sightseeing in a short time.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €66 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €128 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for London
>>>London prices and travel tips

Barcelona, Spain

  • May avg high: 72F/21C
  • May avg low: 61F/12C
  • May avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

You might expect Barcelona to be warmer in May than the temperatures listed above, but it's farther north than you might expect, even though it's on the Mediterranean. This city has become so popular with tourists that visiting in a mild-weather month is best because it's easier to deal with the crowds at Sagrada Familia and along the Rambla than in summer.

Flights into Barcelona can be cheap, especially from within Europe, but even from the US and Canada the fares are reasonable. If you are visiting Barcelona you should really also visit Madrid (see below) and get there on the high-speed train in only 3 hours. Both cities are huge and quite different from one another.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €74 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €96 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Barcelona
>>>Barcelona prices and travel tips

Madrid, Spain

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 51F/11C
  • May avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

In recent years it's Barcelona (above) that has taken most of the spotlight in Spain, but Madrid is still a gorgeous and fascinating capital city. You should absolutely plan on spending about 3 days in each of them because they are so different and both so filled with worthwhile sights.

The May weather is pleasant enough for sightseeing in the day, and the evenings are mild enough that staying out late is still comfortable if you bring a jacket or sweater. You can get to nearby Toledo on a short train ride so it's a popular day trip, and connections to Seville and Granada are also good so Madrid is an ideal hub for a full visit to Spain.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €45 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €126 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Madrid
>>>Madrid prices and travel tips

Lisbon, Portugal

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 56F/13C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

Speaking of the Iberian Peninsula, Lisbon might be the most underrated capital in Europe. The remote location makes it difficult to combine with other cities unless you fly in or take the night train from Madrid. But those who do make the trip are rewarded with a lovely and interesting city that is also an unusual bargain.

Hotels and hostels in Lisbon are known for high quality at moderate prices, and May is one of the better month for deals before summer begins. The warm but not hot weather is also ideal for sightseeing in this hilly town. This is a good city to start a Europe tour in this month, because temperatures will get warmer as you move north and east as June approaches.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €51 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €85 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €27 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Lisbon
>>>Lisbon prices and travel tips

Berlin, Germany

  • May avg high: 66F/19C
  • May avg low: 48F/9C
  • May avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

Berlin is another huge tourism success story for Europe, as it's now one of the continent's most popular cities for holidays. The May weather might look a bit chilly, but it is pleasant enough and very nice as you avoid the even larger crowds starting in June.

There are a lot of outdoor attractions in Berlin, but at least May is a fairly dry month so you should be able to spend all day outside and be comfortable. One of Berlin's many charms is that it's one of the cheapest capital cities in western Europe. Hotel deals here are still quite good, especially in the areas of the former East.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €46 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €79 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Berlin
>>>Berlin prices and travel tips

Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • May avg high: 61F/16C
  • May avg low: 46F/8C
  • May avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

Those temperatures above might not look too appealing, but Amsterdam is another city that is so crowded from June through August that it can feel unbearable at times. May is a perfect month to come for decent temperatures and moderate rainfall. This is mostly an indoor city, but of course you'll want to do a canal tour and perhaps a walking tour, so you can schedule those on the best weather days of your stay.

Flights into Amsterdam can be reasonable from all over the world. And if you are already in Europe you'll find that trains here are wonderful. The high-speed train from Paris takes only a bit over 3 hours, and Berlin is only a bit over 5 hours away. A new hotel tax that launched in 2020 has made it even more expensive than it already was, but Amsterdam is amazing enough that it doesn't sting as much as it might elsewhere.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €125 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €162 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €42 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Amsterdam
>>>Amsterdam prices and travel tips

Krakow, Poland

  • May avg high: 68F/20C
  • May avg low: 48F/9C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

We consider Krakow to be Europe's best big city travel bargain, and May is a great month to visit before the larger summer crowds descend on the place. There are a few cheaper large big cities in Europe, but none of them are this nice or interesting. Krakow has also become popular with the party crowd who fly in for weekend breaks to enjoy the cheap hotels, food, and drinks.

One of the reasons that Krakow isn't even more crowded is that the trains are still fairly slow in this part of Europe, and the closest other large cities are Prague and Budapest. For that reason you might want to fly into Krakow, but you can also consider buses because they are usually cheaper and often just as fast as trains around here.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €39 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €63 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Krakow
>>>Krakow prices and travel tips

Istanbul, Turkey

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 54F/12C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

Many of us grew up with an image of Istanbul being surrounded by desert, but it's actually on a similar latitude to Chicago, Rome, and Barcelona, so the May temperatures here are still mild. Easily one of the most fascinating and historic cities in the world, Istanbul had become somewhat expensive for a few years, but a fall in the currency here and drop in visits due to a few political protests have put it back into the bargain category.

Hotel prices in Istanbul in 2020 are now shockingly low, and restaurant prices are very reasonable as well. You'll be amazed at how far your tourism fund goes in Turkey, as every other place is even cheaper than Istanbul. Consider a visit to the stunning Cappadocia area if you've got 2 or 3 extra days.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €24 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €35 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €10 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Istanbul
>>>Istanbul prices and travel tips

Prague, Czech Republic

  • May avg high: 66F/19C
  • May avg low: 47F/8C
  • May avg precip: 3.0″/7.5cm

The May temperatures in Prague don't look great, and it does rain a bit this month. Still, the crowds in Prague have gotten so out of hand in summer that you'll be far better off visiting before the main crush begins in June. The main sightseeing corridor in Prague is now almost like Venice in that it can be exhausting during peak season, so May is more enjoyable.

While Prague hotel prices have gone up in recent years, it's still possible to get a well located hotel with good rates. And food here is still cheap as long as you avoid the most touristy places with the big English-language menus out front. If you have 2 or 3 more days in your trip you should consider a side trip to the wonderful small town of Cesky Krumlov, which is 3 hours away on a scenic bus ride or train.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €36 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €47 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Prague
>>>Prague prices and travel tips

Budapest, Hungary

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 51F/11C
  • May avg precip: 2.5″/6.3cm

If Krakow is our best big-city bargain in Europe, Budapest is probably right behind it. The May temperatures are warm enough for sightseeing and the hotel rates here this month are still very modest. As long as you stay a bit away from the river, you can get excellent bargains in both accommodation and food.

The nightlife in Budapest is also a highlight, even for those who speak no Hungarian. The famous “ruin pubs” are like nothing you've seen before, with several forms of entertainment going on at all times, along with cheap drink prices.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €45 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €64 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Budapest
>>>Budapest prices and travel tips

Athens, Greece

  • May avg high: 79F/26C
  • May avg low: 57F/14C
  • May avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

The month of May is perfect in Athens as it's plenty warm enough to enjoy the outdoor sights such as the Acropolis, but not yet so hot and crowded that it can get miserable. May is also the first month of the year that visiting the Greek Islands is worthwhile, so many people will spend 2 or 3 days in Athens and then take a ferry or flight to an island for some serious relaxation.

Greece has hundreds of islands with hotels and tourism, spread over a large area. There are a few within a short ferry ride to Athens, but the most famous ones are farther out. If this is your first visit to Greece you should consider Santorini, Mykonos, or Rhodes. They are the most popular and can be reached by ferry or air.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €49 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €60 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Athens
>>>Athens prices and travel tips

Valletta, Malta

  • May avg high: 72F/22C
  • May avg low: 59F/15C
  • May avg precip: 0.5″/1.3cm

If you aren't British or Maltese, you might not know much about this former British possession. This small group of islands is located just south of Sicily, and it has some of Europe's best year-round weather. There aren't many sandy beaches on these islands, but there is plenty of sunshine and places to enjoy it.

The value in Malta is also very good, as you can get hotels and meals even in the tourist-friendly areas such as Sliema at very appealing prices. Valletta itself is the small historic capital district with only a few hotels, so most people stay elsewhere on the coast and visit Valletta for a few hours here and there.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €82 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €87 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €22 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Valletta
>>>Valletta prices and travel tips

Interlaken, Switzerland

  • May avg high: 66F/19C
  • May avg low: 46F/8C
  • May avg precip: 4.8″/12.0cm

Many people know they want to visit somewhere in Switzerland, but they aren't sure where. That's the main reason I wrote an article called where to go in Switzerland on a short visit. If you are thinking about Switzerland I hope you read it, but the short version is that you should probably head to the Interlaken area, and also Lucerne if you have more than 3 days or so.

Interlaken is Switzerland's top outdoor sports capital, with skiing and snowboarding for almost half the year, as well as hiking and paragliding among other things for the rest of the year. May is usually too late to ski, but a perfect time for the non-snow adventure activities. The Alps views here are the best in Europe, particularly the Schilthorn cable car and observation deck, and the Jungfraujoch railway.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €78 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €156 for two people

>>>Check hotel deals for Interlaken
>>>Interlaken prices and travel tips

41 Responses to “22 Best May destinations in Europe for 2022”

Mahesh says:

Hi Roger,

I stumbled upon your website while doing research on my upcoming Euro trip in Sep 2018 and I must say its really nice of you to help people out and give them information on how to plan it best.
My wife and I are planning to do a 2-week trip this year from Canada (Sept 1-15) and have sorta finalized the below cities/countries based on my little bit of research and what I want to see/do.
Both of us are not much into indoor activities (like museums) but prefer outdoors watching nature/views/landscape and little bit of walking so would like your recommendations if there is a must-see city on the list below that we’ve missed

Could give me some pointers on if this plan is doable or if I’m trying to do a lot in 2 weeks?

1.Flight from Toronto, Canada into Prague, CR (rent a car)
2.Prague and then drive to Cesky Krumlov
3.Hallstatt, Austria (or any other city that you can recommend in Austria)
3.Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia
4 Kotor, Montenegro
5.Drive back to Dubrovnik and flight to Athens, Greece
6.Want to end the trip in Santorini (rome2rio says there is a ferry from Athens to Santorini)

Appreciate your help and guidance on this.




    I’m happy to try to help. My general recommendation is to play on staying 3 nights in just about any city you visit. If you try to go faster than that you end up spending every other day on trains or in airports, and only half your time actually sightseeing. So if you have 14 days I would recommend choosing 5 cities at most. It looks like you’ve got 9 cities on your list, which would give you an average of 1.5 days in each, and you’d be spending more than half of your time in transit.

    Another issue is that driving between cities in Europe is a big headache in most cases. All of the cities on your list are at least one thousand years old and the cities were laid out for walking or horses, so parking in or near town centers is extremely rare and expensive. Towns like Cesky Krumlov and Hallstatt are small and you could probably park for free at a hotel on the edge of town, but then you would be far from the main sights. It’s much better and FAR less stressful to take trains between all of these cities. It will probably be cheaper as well, especially as one-way international car rentals are usually expensive in Europe.

    Driving a rented car between wine regions and national parks and that sort of thing in Europe can be a good idea, but driving between cities and historic towns is expensive and complicated so I don’t recommend it.

    My top recommendation would be to fly into Prague and spend 3 nights there. Then take a train to Budapest or a bus or train to Cesky Krumlov and then a bus or train to Budapest. You might even consider going to Salzburg, which is near Hallstaat, and it’s the most interesting tourist town in the Austrian Alps area. After that I would fly to Athens and spend 2 or 3 nights there and then take the ferry to Santorini for the last 3 days. If you wanted to include Croatia it would mean either flying into Split or taking a very long train ride. There are no major highways along the coast in Croatia, so even driving takes a long time. I would just save Croatia for a future trip though. Split is very interesting, and Dubrovnik is similar to Split except it’s often crowded with cruise passengers and it’s twice as expensive and harder to reach. I’m happy to answer other questions if you have them. -Roger

Reena Jain says:

V r planning a trip to the following cities in the month of May from Dubai
Is it the right time to visit these places
Pls suggest




    I’d say May is the perfect time to visit those cities, and especially from Dubai where it will already be sizzling. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Chetan Shah says:


We are planning to visit the following in the second half of May. Please advise whether it is safe and feasible for a 11-night trip?

Berlin, Krakow, Budapest, Zagreb and Dubrovnik.We have been to Prague, Cesky Krumolov, Vienna, Salzburg earlier.

A friend of mine plans to go to Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon and Porto. He is keen to know whether in view of the Catalonia protests, Spain – particularly Barcelona is safe to visit for a family.





    Your trip looks really interesting. My normal advice is to spend 3 nights in almost any city you visit, but if you’ve recently traveled around that part of Europe and you prefer two nights per stop then that should work for you. On the other hand, I would also recommend either skipping Zagreb or spending just one night there. It’s a nice enough city, but it’s kind of a dud compared to the others on your list, and Croatia is at its best and most interesting along its coast.

    Another thing to consider would be to go to Split instead of Dubrovnik. Split is easier to reach since it has a train station (to reach Dubrovnik you have to take a bus from Split), and hotels in Split are generally much cheaper because it’s not as touristy or small as Dubrovnik. Aside from that the cities are very similar in that they are all made out of white marble, and Split is a little older. Dubrovnik has impressive city walls that are still intact, but it also gets a lot of cruise visitors so every restaurant within the city walls is very touristy and expensive.

    I haven’t heard any news from Spain that affects tourists, so I don’t think it is unsafe. The standard advice no matter where you travel is to avoid public demonstrations and protests, and as long as they do that in Spain I believe they’ll be fine. Barcelona in particular is bursting at the seams with so many tourists, and I haven’t heard of any incidents that have slowed that down. But I haven’t visited myself in almost two years, so I may not be the best judge. -Roger

Mahesh says:

Hi Roger,

Thanks for responding.

From your earlier response in January and due to some change of plans on our end…we have decided to keep the trip to Slovenia, Crotia and Greece as you had suggested. Please let me know if you think fist week of September is a good time to do the below – We have 2 weeks to do the entire itinerary

1.Fly into LjubLjana, Slovenia
2.Spend 3 days in Ljubljana and visit Lake Bled, Bled Castle, Predjama Castle, Postojna Cave.Drive to Piran and visit the city for its local attractions
3. End of the third day drive (or take a train, if there is one) to Split, Crotia
4. Spend 3 days visiting Split and Dubrovnik
—Question if Crotia is not a part of Schengen, how do we enter/exit Crotia? would you know?

5. Fly out to Athens, Greece and do the local attractions there or a day trip
6. End the trip in Santorini

Looking forward to your response. thanks again!



    Your itinerary looks great and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Since Slovenia is Schengen and Croatia isn’t, the train will stop at the border and immigration officers will come aboard and go through the carriages to check everyone’s passport and eligibility to enter. As long as you don’t need a visa (and I assume you won’t) then it usually takes only a few seconds per person. The train can be stopped for up to 30 minutes to check each person if the train is full, but some portion of that is already factored into the travel time. Sometimes there is also a drug dog that goes through the train, just so that doesn’t surprise you if it happens. Have a great trip. -Roger

Aditi says:

Hi Roger.. We are wanting to travel to Europe for 9 days in the 2nd half of may with a 1 year old. Will you be able to suggest which will be a good place to visit with a baby that is not more on the streets, more relaxing and pretty and less agenda destinations. We would not want to hop a lot of places and would prefer short journeys. Thanks!



    I’m not exactly an expert on traveling with infants, but I don’t think it would be much of an issue in most of Europe. I assume you’d travel with a stroller and almost all of Europe’s public transportation systems are stroller-friendly, and that includes trains and buses. I guess it would be best to choose places that are mostly flat because pushing a stroller up or down a hill could be a chore.

    With that in mind I’d choose 2 or 3 places and spend 3 to 4 days in each. London and Paris are mostly flat so they could be good choices. Rome and Florence are also mostly flat (though Rome does have some gentle hills) so they could be good as well. Venice is amazing, but there are a lot of stairs and bridges to get over the canals so I would save that one for later.

    Barcelona and Madrid are mostly flat as well. Amsterdam is famously flat and there are no stairs to deal with going over the canals. One excellent trip would be London for 3 nights then the Eurostar train (2.5 hours) to Paris for 3 nights and then the high-speed train (3.5 hours) to Amsterdam for 3 nights. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Ashley says:


Hello and good day to you!

I wanted to start off by saying thank you for responding to the many questions of the people above me on this forum. The information was great and very informative. The time and effort you spent on your replies is going to help many people on their travels, including myself.

I have purchased round-trip tickets to Dublin from Providence, RI in May 2019. I live in Texas, so I have another flight from San Antonio to Providence to begin my journey. I will technically get 19 nights on my trip, for the first day I will lose a day due to traveling and the differences in time zone.

Right now my itinerary is as follows:

4 nights in Dublin. In not particular order, I plan to take an exhausting one day tour out of Dublin to visit Northern Ireland. I also plan to see the Cliffs of Moher, which night also be a day trip from Dublin. I haven’t totally decided what city/cities I will based up at. And lastly, I would love to visit western Cork. But all-in-all, I will be in Ireland in general for 4 days.

I have already purchased a flight from Dublin to Amsterdam, whereas I will fly there on the morning of my 5th day of travel.

At this point is where I play tug-o-war with where I want to go next. I really want to make the best of my trip, as this is my first time to Europe in my late 20s. I am backpacking by myself and planning to use the train. The only time I might consider a flight is when I would gain back some time(E.g 2 hours on a plane vs 14 hours on a train). I do realize that 3 days should be a minimum stay for most cities.

2 nights in Amsterdam
1 night in Brussels

3 nights in Paris

(Fly from Paris to Venice. No train due to it being overnight only. Also, flying is the same price as the train for this trip and date.The only way I would take the train is if going through Switzerland would have been during the daytime. However, that’s not the case.)

2 nights in Venice

2 nights in Cinque Terre

(train from Cinque Terre/La Spezia area to one of the nearby airports (Milan,Florence, Bologna, or Pisa) and take a flight to BCN or Girona, whatever is cheapest.)

and lastly, 3 nights in Barcelona.

(Flight from Barcelona to Dublin)

Dublin, 1 night of 2nd visit.

Flight, next afternoon.

Does this sound like too much? I am looking for honest advice, like it seems you have given to many people. If so, let me know because I am open to switching things up. No matter what revisions I make to my plan, I would need to be in Dublin for my last evening before my return flights back home.

Thank you, in advance for anything you can advise me about changing to my plans. P.S. I am also not dead set on doing all of the mentioned cities. I would love to see many more places; However, I have not the time to do everything that my heart desires. I realize I will more than likely return SOONER than later 🙂 I really want to make the best out of my trip given that I cannot switch the 4 nights in Dublin and the flight to Amsterdam on the 5th day. But if you may suggest a different route, I would fully take this into consideration as I solidify my plans in the upcoming weeks.




    I enjoy trying to help people and these questions also help me figure out what to write about on this site, so I’m glad it’s helpful. And interestingly enough, after most of a decade on the road I’m actually based in Kerrville, TX at the moment, so howdy neighbor.

    I think your plan looks quite good and I don’t see any major problems, although I will make a few comments. Four days in Ireland will be a fantastic start, although if I were you I’d probably stay in Dublin only one or two of those nights, or maybe none if you are going to spend a couple nights there at the end anyway. In my opinion Dublin is an interesting city, but it’s really the scenery and small towns and castles that are the magic of Ireland, so taking long train rides back and forth to Dublin might be less enjoyable and it’ll be quite expensive. It’s true that I recommend 3 nights in each place, but as a backpacker touring Ireland in a few days I think I’d stay in Galway and Cork for at least a night each.

    Amsterdam is a personal favorite of mine (I lived there for awhile) and I’d recommend staying 3 nights there. The train from Amsterdam to Paris stops in Brussels and what I recommend is to stop there for a few hours and put your backpack in a locker and then explore the area around the Grand Place (main town square) for a few hours and then take another train to Paris. The Grand Place area is pretty amazing, but in my opinion the rest of Brussels is pretty dull, especially compared to Amsterdam.

    Flying from Paris to Venice is the best method since those trains are slow and expensive, as you have discovered. You might have a quick scan of my advice for where to stay in Italy. The quick version is that Venice is so crowded and frustrating that a one-day visit there is enough for many people, although it’s definitely worth seeing because there is nothing else like it. And if you only had a couple more days to spend in Italy I’d do them in Rome. The Cinque Terre is simply these 5 little fishing villages (3 of which are very photogenic from a few spots) and are now so overrun with tourists that many people regret visiting. May would be a good month though, and not so insanely crowded. Still, Rome is one of the world’s most incredible cities and it would be weird to skip it in favor of Cinque Terre on your first visit.

    Flying from Italy to Barcelona is the best way as well. That’s really it. I’m sure this will be an excellent trip and I’m happy to answer other questions if you have them. -Roger

Kelly says:

Good afternoon. My fiance and I are planning a trip to Europe for our honeymoon this spring. Last October we went to Sweden, Netherlands, and Switzerland. We were thinking of trying to go to either the Canary Islands this time, or to Austria/Czech/Greece. Do you have recommendations? Ideally we would stay 10-14 days, and travel in either late March of in May. Thank you!



    Congrats on the upcoming wedding. This reminds me that I should probably write at least one article about the better honeymoon destinations in Europe. But for now I’ll try to help you with this.

    Personally, I find the Canary Islands to be kind of boring. The weather is good or great all year round so they are very popular with northern European people who want to escape the cold. But aside from relaxing there isn’t much to see or do, at least compared to Europe’s great cities and scenic areas.

    Especially if you can go in May instead of March, I think your idea for Austria, Prague, and Greece could be fantastic. Vienna and Prague will still be fairly chilly in March, and the Greek islands are more or less shut down between November and early May. If you have 14 days you could spend 2 or 3 days in Vienna and 2 or 3 days in Salzburg and 3 days in Prague and then fly to Athens for 2 or 3 days and then take a ferry or flight to Santorini or Mykonos to relax in the sun a bit.

    Again, the Canary Islands are pleasant and you’d enjoy your time there, but (assuming you are in North America) you’d probably be better off just going to Cancun or Puerto Vallarta instead. If you want to explore some of Europe’s better cities I think your plan would be great, and in May you should have nice weather the whole time. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Harish Ranganathan says:

Dear Roger,

You are doing a great service here and wanted to appreciate.

We are planning to visit Switzerland in May 2019 and am looking at following plan. Let me know if I can refine this or a better suggestion. We do not prefer very cold weather so we are ok if the weather is moderate (70F-80F).

Day 1 Arrive at Zurich – Take train to Interlaken
Day 2 Visit Jungfraujoch, Local Sight Seeing
Day 3 Visit Montreaux Chillon Castle, Matterhorn in Zermatt
Day 4 Leave Interlaken and proceed to Lucerne
Day 5 Sight seeing in Lucerne
Day 6 Leave Lucerne for Bern
Day 7 Sight seeing in Bern
Day 8 Leave Bern for Geneva or Lugano

Here’s where I am in dilemma on which one is better Geneva or Lugano. Are there any suggestions?

Are there any great places I am missing in this self made itinerary?

Thanks much in advance.



    I’m glad you find this helpful. Your itinerary looks pretty good, but it’s a bit rushed in places. For 7 or 8 days in Switzerland I’d recommend spending at least 3 days in the Interlaken area and at least two days in the Lucerne area. Check out my main article on planning a trip to Switzerland for more details.

    On your current plan you’d be really only spending one day in Interlaken and you’d be on the train back and forth to Montreux and Zermatt most of the day. It’s probably better to spend one night in Zermatt so you don’t have to spend so much time on trains in a day.

    Bern is a lovely small city, but the main reason to go to Switzerland is to enjoy the natural beauty of the Alps and other areas. Bern is also small enough to see in half a day or a full day on a day trip, so you might just save it for that in case the weather in the mountains is fogged in, which happens a lot and can happen any day of the year.

    Geneva has a really nice setting on a lovely lake, but the town itself is quite plain and it’s mostly known for business. Lugano is definitely a more interesting town and it’s also on a gorgeous lake. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

christina says:

Hi Roger,
Thank you for a wonderful article and the in depth comments. I have an upcoming trip that has some unusual requirements and I would love any suggestions. I am taking my 18yr old to Italy for her make a wish in May. In the 8 days they cover we will be in Parma for cooking school and then possibly Rome (the 2nd city is up to us, so open to suggestions). I am planning on extending the trip- essentially being in Europe the entire month of May. I am looking for suggestions of cities that aren’t at a premium in May but also have accessibility- as I will be managing luggage, oxygen and a wheelchair (she can walk, just not long distances).
Although I have been to Italy and Germany several times, it has been solo and without the worry of child, hilly cobblestone streets and a wheelchair. The places I have been considering are Milan, Budapest and Vienna. I would love to take her to the Amalfi coast,Tuscany or Croatia but am concerned that it will be too hilly for her to enjoy.
My goal is simple: to create an itinerary that won’t make her feel limited. (BTW- many Americans do not realize how lucky we are to have the #ADA and so don’t realize how complicated travel can be #accessibility-wise. Finding information is incredibly difficult. It would be a GREAT, and much needed, series of articles). If you have ANY thoughts- from flattest cities, to best transportation options I would be immensely grateful. I am adding hashtags so others with this struggle can more easily access your articles.
All the best- Christina
#disbilitytravel #EuropewithaWheelchair #EuropeanAccessibilty #AccessibilityinItaly



    This is an interesting request and I’ll try me best to help. As another person who has also mostly traveled solo and not had to study accessibility options, I’m not an expert. But I have been to nearly every major destination in Europe and I think I can probably help. You are right about the Amalfi Coast in particular, as it’s almost nothing but steep hills and staircases. Tuscany is also quite hilly, although Florence itself is rather flat. And the Croatian coast is mostly hilly with cliffs alternating with beaches.

    Milan is a big and busy city that doesn’t actually have many tourist sights and it’s not very “Italian” compared to Rome, Florence, and Venice etc. Vienna is pretty much flat and that could be a great option if she appreciates culture. Really Vienna’s most distinctive traits are its palaces and opera houses and that sort of thing. As for Budapest, it’s really two cities divided by the Danube. The Buda side (west) is quite hilly and it’s where the castle is located, while the Pest side (east) is mostly flat and it’s where most of the hotels are located and lots of other sights. Budapest could work if you are really drawn to it, but I’m thinking Barcelona might be a great option.

    Barcelona is mostly flat and the streets are wide with generous sidewalks so it should be easy to get around. It also has nice beaches right in the city, and a pretty good public transport system that I think is probably accessible. The city has become very crowded in summer in the last few years, but I think in May it wouldn’t be so bad.

    For that matter, Paris is nearly flat and it’s top of my list of European cities you should visit at least once. On that note, central Rome is mostly flat, but I really don’t think the Italians are as good at accessibility in that way. I hope this helps at least a little and I’ll be happy to try again if you have any other questions. -Roger

Michelle says:

Roger, thank you for the helpful travel info. I’m planning to travel to Europe May 19-June 4 with my stepdad and 18yo daughter. We went on an AMAZING Italy adventure last August and we want to do a similar trip before my daughter leaves for college. Here’s the deal… we found a great airfare into London, so we’d like to spend a few days there and then fly to another part of Europe (2-3 cities?) for the remainder of the trip. How long do we need in London and then where do you suggest? We’ve already done Italy as well as Paris and southwestern France. Im kind of intriged by your descriptions of Krakow, Prague & Budapest or Lisbon and Spain. We’d need to return to London to fly home. We’ll be backpacking and staying in B&Bs and we’d prefer to use trains over driving. That was the best part of our Italy trip- the trains, B&Bs and backpacks. We felt so much more immersed in the places we visited as opposed to staying in hotels & driving a car. Thanks for any suggestions.



    I totally agree about how train trips around Europe are far more special and fulfilling that flying around. I’d plan on either 3 or 4 nights for London. Most likely you’ll arrive in the late morning or early afternoon, but you’ll probably be jet-lagged so you won’t get much sightseeing in that first day. London is filled with top sights so I’d spend 4 nights there if you can spare them, but three would also work.

    Keeping with the train thing, you could actually take a train from London to Amsterdam on the Eurostar these days, and Amsterdam is one of Europe’s more amazing cities. After three nights in Amsterdam you could take a train to Berlin in about 6.5 hours (about the same amount of time if you flew, but MUCH more enjoyable on the train) for 3 nights and then to Prague in 4 hours 21 minutes for three more nights before flying back to London for your flight home.

    Generally speaking I’m a big fan of spending 3 nights in almost any European city you visit. Doing the trio of Krakow, Prague, and Budapest would be amazing, but it’s a bit challenging by train because the trains in that part of Europe are still a bit slow, so it takes 6 to 8 hours to get between each of those cities. The trains are pretty cheap though and the rides are reasonably scenic, so I’d still prefer that to flying.

    The trains in Spain (which run mainly on the plain) are faster so you can get between the big cities in 2 to 3 hours in most cases. Unfortunately, the only train from Madrid to Lisbon goes at night, and I’m not a big fan of night trains, although I am a big fan of Lisbon and Portugal. You could fly instead or even take a 12-bus ride during the day or an 8-hour overnight bus ride. I’d either just stay in Spain or fly to Lisbon though. For Spain you’d definitely want to do Barcelona for 3 or 4 nights and Madrid for 3 or 4 nights. In addition to that you could do Seville, Granada, or Valencia, which are also all great and quite different from each other. You could even go to the Costa del Sol around Malaga, as it’s quite fun in summer and the beaches are great.

    As for budget, Krakow and Budapest are cheaper than the others, and Prague is still pretty reasonable. Amsterdam is pricey for hostels but not bad for food and drinks. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Kate T says:

Hi Roger!

I’m travelling with my boyfriend in May (we’re from London) and am hoping to plan a surprise trip for his birthday but am stuck between a few locations! I am torn between Malta, Madeira (Funchal) and Naples (and Capri included).
His favourite city is Barcelona – so if you have any suggestions that could perhaps mirror/be a likeness to Barcelona – or if not suggest which is best for seeing both the city and beautiful views. We have been to Mallorca together and it was not the best experience -too touristy! I am concerned about picking a place that resembles that!

Many thanks!!




    This is an interesting one. I’ve yet to make it to Madeira, although I’ve researched it a bit and I don’t think it’s much like Barcelona as far as the culture and nightlife are concerned. I’ve spent a long time on Malta and I have mixed feelings about it. There aren’t many unique attractions and there are almost no beaches at all (the popular areas have big rocks along the coast), but I do like it as a place to chill out when the weather is nice there.

    Naples itself is an unusual city, even for Italy. It’s very crowded (because of the way it’s built) and there is almost no green space at all. I think it’s an interesting place to visit, although it still has a reputation for petty crime so I’d prefer to spend nights elsewhere. My favorite city in that area is Sorrento, and that might be a good pick for you. It’s a bit over an hour from Naples on the Circumvesuvia train line, and Pompeii is in between them. It’s also a great place to start a trip to the nearby Amalfi Coast as well as ferries to Capri. In general Sorrento is very relaxed and not overrun by tourists, partly because most people seem to be on day trips most days. English is pretty widely spoken there as well, which isn’t true in most other smaller Italian cities.

    A bit more like Barcelona is Lisbon, as it’s on the coast with a great climate and lively culture and nightlife. It’s really a gorgeous city and partly because of its remote location it doesn’t get nearly as many tourists as it should. It’s also more reasonably priced than Barcelona. All of these options will be nicer than Mallorca. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Dinesh S says:


I loved your replys. I am planning for Croatia for my honeymoon in may. I am planning 15 days. Please suggest places i should definitely visit in Croatia and which neighbouring country should i visit. i am not looking at a very hectic trip. Also Croatia is not a Schengen country. How should i plan for entry.



    Croatia should make a great place for a honeymoon trip. Zagreb is nice, but maybe worth only a day or two and you’ll want to focus on the coast. With 15 days you’ll have enough time to spend at least two days in Dubrovnik, which is the main tourist hub. Dubrovnik is very nice, but it’s almost always crowded, especially on days when a cruise ship is docked, so I prefer to spend more time in Split. Actually, Split is even a bit older and the cities look very similar as the historic districts are both made of white marble and other white materials. Split is also cheaper and more of a real city while Dubrovnik is more touristy. I’d also plan on spending two days or so in Plitvice Falls National Park, which is one of Europe’s most beautiful places. There are also islands near Split and you might want to take a ferry to one of them to spend a couple days there.

    As for another country the most obvious one is Slovenia. The capital of Ljubljana is really lovely for a couple days, and you can also visit Lake Bled and the Karst hills. Slovenia is known for its scenery, and it’s also quite affordable. Another option is to visit Budapest if you want to visit a great European city. Again, Zagreb is nice, but Budapest is MUCH more impressive and three nights there could be great if you like historic cities.

    Regarding entry, if you fly in you’ll go through Immigration and Customs just as you would in a Schengen country, although of course the requirements can be different so I assume you’ve checked based on the passport you have. If you enter Croatia by train from a Schengen country (or any other country actually) the train typically stops on or near the border and border agents (and sometimes dogs) will board the train and go carriage by carriage until they’ve checked the passports for every passenger. This can take as long as an hour, but it’s factored into the train journey time so the train will usually still arrive when it was supposed to. If you enter by bus the bus will pull over near the border and agents will come on to check passports, and sometimes they just check to make sure your photo matches you and they take all the passports off the bus to check in an office for 10 or 15 minutes. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

AP says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you for the blog and you are doing really amazing work.

I am visiting Paris in May for some work and this is my second visit so would like to explore some best places on weekends other than Paris.
I have 3 weekends to spend so could you please suggest cheapest and best places to visit in Europe from Paris.
If overnight travelling is safe then am ready for it.
Some short lists are (need to final also youcan suggest some if not listed here)



    This sounds like a great opportunity. If you are looking for three great weekend trips from Paris I’d definitely put Amsterdam on that list. By train it’s a bit over 3 hours, and it’s an amazing city that is very different from Paris.

    I’d also visit Nice, which takes just under 6 hours by train. On its own it’s really a wonderful city, but it’s also a great place to stay while visiting Monaco and Cannes, which are each about 20 minutes away by train. That would make a great weekend visit, and this would be a good opportunity because reaching Nice from almost anywhere else is challenging and time consuming.

    Prague, Athens, and Venice would require flying. Each is very worthwhile, but personally I strongly prefer trains, especially on weekend trips like these. Getting out to the airport and going through security and all of that is a hassle even in Paris and a one-hour flight still takes at least 5 hours from city center to your hotel in the other city.

    Brussels is interesting, but it’s a bit boring compared to Amsterdam. Bruges and Ghent are smaller alternatives that are really lovely, though they will both strongly remind you of a small Amsterdam, so I’d just go to Amsterdam instead.

    Barcelona would make a great trip and you can get there by train from Paris in about 6.5 hours. It’s very different from Amsterdam and Nice and it’s a pretty amazing city that would be really great in May. From June though August Barcelona has become VERY crowded and so going as early as possible in May would be really ideal.

    Another option would be to explore more within France. The Loire Valley and Normandy are both close to Paris and both with lots to see and do. And of course there are the wine regions to consider as well. I hope this helps.

    By the way, those train tickets all have dynamic pricing so the sooner you buy them the cheaper they will be and the more departures you’ll be able to choose from. If you bought them on departure day they’d be VERY expensive. -Roger

AB says:


I will be in Romania for work in May and I’m looking at extending my trip for 4-5 days. Can you help me decide between Greece, Hungary and Italy. Can I fit 2 of those in? I’m more of an activity person than a sightseer.




    The tricky part about Romania is that the train service and even normal roads for bus service are still REALLY slow. It takes at least 14 hours to get to Budapest by train or bus, so it’s obviously better to fly. With that in mind you should probably just look for the places you want to visit most that can be reached on a reasonable flight from Bucharest (assuming that’s where you’ll be).

    With 4 or 5 days I’d recommend going to one or two places within the same country as each other. You could fly to Athens and stay two days there and then take a ferry to Santorini or another island for the remaining 2 or 3 days. Or you could fly to Rome and after a few days take a train to Venice or Florence for a day or two. Italy and Hungary are more about sightseeing, while on the Greek islands you’d be able to rent a Jet ski or boat or any other water sport. I’d say Greece is probably your best bet, and May is a nice time to visit because the islands have come to life, but they aren’t very crowded (or expensive) yet. Italy is already really crowded in May. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Karolina says:


I’m planning a trip with my husband and baby (1.5 yo) and we’re trying to sort out an itinerary for mid-May this year for 2 wks.

We’ve been to many places in Europe having lived there for so many years (and my husband is Swedish) and I’m wondering what are good places to travel to during mid- May with the options being between Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Croatia. I guess Croatia will be chillier and from what I’ve heard, is not that easy to travel around between places. Is there much to do in Switzerland aside from being outside in nature, hiking, skiing, etc? We enjoy trips where we can have nice nature but also the option for good food, shopping, and be able to walk around and explore.

in addition to my last question, wondering about Slovenia in addition to the other places in question in May and if 2 wks is too long to go. Weather likely not too warm yet also.

I’d appreciate the advice!



    As discussed in the article above, only the southern coast of Spain and Portugal will have warm enough weather for some sunbathing in mid May, at least on a consistent basis. Croatia get warm enough in June, but in May the temperatures in pretty much all of southern Europe are ideal for sightseeing. Croatia does have slow train service and the trains only go as far south as Split, but because of this they do have frequent and fairly efficient bus service. So getting between cities on buses is pretty cheap and easy, and relatively quick, but not as quick as fast train service in Sweden or Spain.

    Switzerland has Europe’s best scenery and it’s concentrated mostly in the Alps and specifically in the Interlaken area. Have a look at my article on where to go in Switzerland for more details. It’s a pretty amazing place, but it’s also quite expensive. Food and drinks are similar in price to Sweden and hotels are also quite expensive.

    Spain and Portugal could be great options, especially if you want to explore the cities and culture. Barcelona and Madrid are both great for 3 nights each, and Lisbon is as well. With two weeks you’d still have 5 more days to explore Seville, Granada, or the Costa del Sol, among other choices. Two weeks might be a long trip if you only stay in nature areas or if you are really looking for beach weather, but it’s not too long if you want to go to cities as well.

    Italy is a another great choice with pleasant May weather. I mention details on Rome, Florence, and Venice in the article above, and you could do those in 8 or 9 days and spend the rest of your time based in Sorrento to make trips to Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and the Isle of Capri. That would be a wonderful two weeks.

    You could spend 8 or 9 days in Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, and Plitvice Falls National Park) and the rest of the two weeks in Slovenia, which would also be a great time. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Ratnesh Kumar says:

Hie there,
It’s appreciable and wonderful job done by you,I am willing to travel in May and wish for European country in my list,but as I am first time to move ,I have no idea,So kindly guide me so that I can make my move.Thanks in advance



    The most popular countries to visit for first trips to Europe are England, France, and Italy. More specifically, many people like to visit London and Paris on the same trip, and they are easy to get between on the Eurostar train service. Another trip that is extremely popular for good reason is to tour Italy. Rome, Florence, and Venice are Italy’s “Big 3” destinations and spending 7 to 9 days in them is an excellent first experience in Europe. I hope this gives you an idea at least. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Amit says:

Hi Roger
You got an awesome site here. earlier thought it was easy to choose a 2 weeks tour of Europe, now I am spoiled for choices.
I am planning a Europe trip in May (Wife + Daughter age 12)
Flying from Mumbai to London, stay 3 days
Then 2 weeks of Europe
Options – Paris 2 days complete
Interlaken + Lucerne (Must) can stay 3 days
Italy 5 or 6
Fly back from Rome.
Can I add more as Salzburg or anything?
Or this will be relaxed tour?

Thanks for all advices given on site, sure will be troubling you more for finer points.




    I’m glad you find this useful. Three days in London should be just enough, but Paris in 2 days would be very rushed. This comes up a lot so I wrote a long explanation of why I recommend staying 3 nights in almost any city in Europe you visit. The fastest trip to Italy that I recommend is staying about 24 hours in Venice and then 2 days in Florence and 3 days in Rome.

    If you’ve got 3 weeks after London you could take the Eurostar train to Paris and stay 3 days and then take a train to Interlaken for 4 days in Switzerland and then take a train to Venice and to Florence and to Rome before flying back to London for your flight home (unless you can fly home from Rome). I think if you added Salzburg it would be too rushed. In fact, doing it the way I just described would be rushing around quite a bit, but for 17 days or so you should be able to enjoy it still. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Sudha says:

Wonderful article to read and in depth knowledge of travel is excellent.
I live in India and am planning to visit Europe in May for 3 weeks.
I have already been to Germany,France and Switzerland.
I want to just travel for 1 week and then will stay with my daughter in Belgium.
In that 1 week, which would be the best place to visit?
I prefer being in nature.

Just adding a note….which would be a better option…Italy or Spain.?
I am not a beach lover. Does Spain have locations other than beaches?

Will I be able to cover a good number of locations in Italy in one week and which ones should I definitely look into? That is, which places in Italy would you recommend for me as a tourist?




    Thank you for the kind words. I’ll try to help. I’d say the best place to “be in nature” in Europe would be to visit the Swiss Alps. It’s very expensive, but the scenery is some of the most amazing anywhere in the world. Norway is also known for its natural beauty, especially along the west coast in Bergen and north from there. But Norway is also quite expensive and it’s fairly remote. Slovenia and Croatia are great places for nature, though I’m not sure they are worthwhile compared to Italy and Spain, as you suggest.

    Spain has more than just beaches, but honestly I think Italy is a far better choice for those who’ve yet to visit either one. Italy has some of the world’s most unforgettable sights and cities, most notably Rome, Florence, and Venice. They are all rather crowded so if you really prefer to be in nature then they may not be for you. I’d suggest either spending most of your week in Switzerland (Interlaken and Lucerne mostly) or you could do 3 days in Rome, 3 days in Florence, and 1 day in Venice.

    I’m happy to help with more advice if you require it. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Toby Lopez says:

I have 22 nights planned in May and this was my plan

3/4 London, Bath? York?
5/6 Paris-French Rivera, Normandy?
3/4 Interlaken
2/3 Venice
2 Vienna
2 Prague
3/4 Berlin
3/4 Amsterdam

Vienna/Prague may be cut and the travel time from Interlaken to Venice and out of Italy for rest of trip is really cutting into my time.



    Your plan looks quite good. London will require at least 3 full days and 4 is better. You could visit Bath as a day trip (along with Stonehenge and/or Oxford) on a bus tour, or you could take a train ride and spend a day there, but it takes quite a bit of time to get back to London from there for the train to Paris. York is small enough to enjoy in a day if you got an early-morning train out of London, but again, it takes several hours to get back so you might just save those for a future tour of Britain.

    I’d save at least 3 or 4 days for Paris. You could enjoy the French Riviera in 2 or 3 days by visiting Nice (it’s very close to Monaco and Cannes by train). As for Normandy, it really depends on what you’d want to see there. If you mainly just want to enjoy the beach areas I’d go to Nice instead, but if you want to visit some historical sights you’ve got some good options, although not all of them are easily reached by public transportation.

    I normally recommend spending 24 to 48 hours in Venice. It’s quite compact, but it’s also so crowded that most people are ready to leave after seeing the main sights (which are amazing by the way).

    I think saving Vienna for another trip might be wise, unless there are things there that are really high on your list. I find it a little dull, although the famous palaces and cultural institutions are very impressive. I think you could enjoy Amsterdam in 3 days and Berlin in 3 days as well. I’m not sure what help you were looking for and I am happy to answer other questions if you have them. -Roger

Sudha says:

Thanks for your recommendation.

I have been to the swiss alps last year. Had spent a week in grindelwald and Interlaken and Lucerne. On the way to the swiss had a halt at Triberg, which was also beautiful.

So I think I will follow your suggestion of Rome, Florence and Venice.


Toby Lopez says:

Thank you, I’m more interested in outdoors, natural beauty, and food. Not really into art, museums, or architecture.

Toby Lopez says:

oops forgot to add I’ve thought of adding Munich for Bavarian Alps, maybe Rothenburg and day trip to Salzburg


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