The May bank holiday is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking of how you’re going to spend your long weekend. After all, once May has come and gone, there are no more bank holidays until August! So make the most of it and plan something unforgettable. Whether you want to stay in the UK or go abroad, if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are five great trips for a spring getaway:
Amsterdam is an obvious choice as a May bank holiday destination. Not only are flights easy to find, with both budget and luxury airlines making it easy to find direct flights to the Netherlands that take just one hour each way, there’s also plenty going on as the city celebrates not one but two events during the weekend. While 4th May marks Remembrance day, with ceremonies in Dam Square and war-inspired Theater na de Dam performances, May 5th marks Liberation Day, with music concerts, comedy shows, and torch relays throughout the city.
Many visitors to Amsterdam will love taking a stroll along its many rivers and visiting its markets. On a sunny day, Vondelpark is the perfect spot to picnic or to go exploring. The park is the city’s largest open area, complete with parks, children’s areas and small cafes. In the evening, head to the Bol’s museum for a cocktail making experience that will challenge your scenes. The museum tells the history of the famous Bols brand, as well as offering interactive opportunities to judge how well you can smell and taste different ingredients. All visitors are offered a Bol’s created drink at the end of the tour, where you can watch the amazing skills of the bar staff.
Whether you’re stopping for just one night, or are planning to stay for the whole weekend, it’s simple to find accommodation in Amsterdam, with low cost B&Bs interspersed with cool and truly unique hotels. Heading to Amsterdam is also a great chance to try out some delicious Dutch delicacies, such as Dutch pea soup and Gouda, washed down with some traditional creamy advocaat.
If you’re wanting to stay closer to home, head to Cardiff, or Caerdydd, the Welsh capital. Cardiff is one of the most up and coming cities in the UK, with recent developments making it an exceptional shopping location. Not only are there the big high street names along Queen Street, there’s an abundance of small and independent stores selling unusual and varied trinkets in the winding arcades. The city centre castle is a major attraction, with historic houses, scenic wall walks, and wildlife for the little ones.
For a drink with a view, head down to Cardiff Bay, just south of the centre. Once a large docks area, this section of the city has been transformed into a hub of sophisticated and social activity, with cocktail bars and dim sum restaurants overlooking the River Taff. Getting to Cardiff is simple, with good train and bus links with London and regular flights between Cardiff and Anglesey in North Wales.
Travellers and locals love heading to Tempelhof on May Day, an abandoned airport in the south of the city for barbeques, music and sunbathing. If you’ve never been to Germany’s capital before, get your bearings at the Berliner Fernsehturm, the Berlin TV Tower, which holds the record for being Germany’s tallest building, and one of the tallest in all of Europe. There are great views to be had from the observation deck, and it’s one of the best ways to become accustomed to the city.
No trip to Germany is complete without trying some authentic Bratwurst. Street vendors are good places to sample these snacks, try them plain or in true Berlin style with a spicy tomato sauce. Hotels are scattered all around the city, but many claim it’s best to stay in in Berlin-Mitte, the centre of the city, for easy access to all the main attractions and sights. Getting to Berlin is simple, with flights from across the UK.
Despite the main tourist attractions being found in the city centre, such as the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag (Parliament) Building and Unter den Linden, much of Berlin’s underground culture and artistic scene for which the city is known, can be found elsewhere. Head to Warschauer Strasse in Friedrichshain to experience the best of Berlin’s nightlife, which clubs such as Watergate open throughout the weekend, some music lovers only emerging on Sunday night after a full weekend of partying.
If the weather is nice, there is no better place than England’s premier beach destination. Jutting out into the sea, there are plenty of beautiful beachfront towns to explore in Cornwall. If you’re worried about crowds, avoid the popular St Ives and Penzance, and choose a quieter area instead, such as the small parish of Marazion overlooking the spectacular St Michael’s Mount. Roll your trousers up and cool off by wading across the causeway to the historic island.
A day of shopping followed by a West End show? High tea and celebrity spotting at the hottest nightclubs? An afternoon marvelling at Buckingham Palace? London is so diverse that it’s the perfect place for exploring during the long weekend. London is full of different festivals during May, and with everything from food fayres to dedicated beer festivals, it’s a real treat for foodies. There is loads to do for kids too, with museums holding many kid-centric events over the weekend.
As the country’s capital, London is easy to get to from almost anywhere. Take a flight from the north, a train from the south, or a coach from the west; there are loads of options for all budgets and buying a daily travel car will allow you to ride the tube all day with a single ticket. As for accommodation, London has a huge range of hotels and hostels and there are often some great deals on hotels located outside of the city centre, but the underground makes it easy to get from one zone to another in no time.