Best Places to Visit in May: Must-See Destinations

sunset view in Santorini Greece

As we welcome May, it’s time to start planning your perfect vacation. Traveling in May offers numerous benefits, such as pleasant weather, fewer tourists, and lower prices.

In this guide, we will explore the best destinations to visit in May, ensuring you have an unforgettable trip.

Top Destinations for Culture and History Lovers

Kyoto, Japan

Golden Week, a series of national holidays, takes place in May, adding to the excitement in Kyoto. During this time, the city comes alive with the Aoi Matsuri Festival, showcasing traditional costumes and rituals. Kyoto is also home to numerous temples, shrines, and gardens, providing a rich cultural experience.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is steeped in history and architectural wonders like the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. In May, explore the bustling Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s Byzantine and Ottoman past.

Rome, Italy

Rome, the Eternal City, offers iconic sites such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Vatican City, a separate entity within Rome, is a must-visit destination. Throughout May, you can also indulge in Italian art, food, and culture.

Best Beach Getaways in May

Santorini, Greece

Santorini boasts pristine beaches with breathtaking sunsets. In May, savor delicious Greek cuisine and local wines while exploring the island’s archaeological sites.


The Maldives is a paradise for beach lovers. In May, enjoy luxurious overwater bungalows, world-class diving and snorkeling, and exquisite resorts with pampering spas.

Maui, Hawaii

Experience golden sand beaches and crystal-clear waters in Maui. May is an excellent time to visit Haleakalā National Park and immerse yourself in traditional Hawaiian culture and cuisine.

Nature and Adventure Destinations

Machu Picchu, Peru

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in South America. Explore the ancient ruins and discover the majestic Sacred Valley in May.

Banff National Park, Canada

May is an ideal time for hiking, biking, and wildlife watching in Banff National Park. Don’t miss Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and the Icefields Parkway.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Experience the enchanting waterfalls, lakes, and hiking trails in Plitvice Lakes National Park. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this park offers a unique blend of flora and fauna.

Best Cities for Food and Festivals in May

Paris, France

Savor French cuisine and wine during the Taste of Paris food festival. May is also the perfect time to enjoy outdoor cafes and restaurants in the City of Lights.

Barcelona, Spain

In May, Barcelona hosts the Primavera Sound music festival, attracting music lovers worldwide. Discover Gaudí’s architecture, Catalan culture, and mouth-watering tapas bars and food markets.

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Charleston comes alive in May with the Spoleto Festival USA. Experience Lowcountry cuisine and explore historic plantations and gardens in this charming Southern city.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations


Bhutan offers a unique cultural experience with its Paro Tsechu Festival. Visit the awe-inspiring Tiger’s Nest Monastery and learn about the country’s Gross National Happiness philosophy.

Georgia ( The country)

Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, is rich in history and stunning architecture. In May, venture to Georgia’s wine country to explore ancient vineyards and taste exceptional wines. The UNESCO-listed Svaneti region offers a glimpse into traditional Georgian life.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Experience the beauty of the midnight sun and pristine landscapes in the Lofoten Islands. May is an excellent time to explore the region’s fishing villages, coastal culture, and engage in activities such as hiking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting.


In summary, May is the perfect month to discover incredible destinations around the world. From cultural hotspots like Kyoto and Rome to breathtaking natural wonders in Banff and Plitvice Lakes, there’s something for every traveler.

Beach lovers can enjoy the sunsets in Santorini or the overwater bungalows in the Maldives, while food enthusiasts can indulge in the culinary delights of Paris and Barcelona. For those seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences, Bhutan, Georgia, and the Lofoten Islands offer unique adventures.

Now that you have a list of the best places to visit in May, it’s time to embark on your journey. Explore, enjoy, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to share your experiences and recommendations in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best destination for a May beach getaway?

Santorini, Greece, offers stunning sunsets, pristine beaches, and delicious local cuisine. Other excellent beach destinations in May include the Maldives and Maui, Hawaii.

Are there any unique cultural experiences in May?

Kyoto, Japan, hosts the Aoi Matsuri Festival during Golden Week in May, offering an unforgettable cultural experience. Bhutan’s Paro Tsechu Festival is another exceptional event to witness in May.

Is May a good time to visit national parks?

Yes, May is an excellent time to visit national parks such as Banff in Canada, Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, and Haleakalā in Maui, Hawaii, as the weather is pleasant and the crowds are smaller.

What food and festival events take place in May?

Paris, France, hosts the Taste of Paris food festival, while Barcelona, Spain, celebrates the Primavera Sound music festival. These events offer unique culinary and cultural experiences.

Are there any off-the-beaten-path destinations to visit in May?

In May, consider visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations such as Bhutan, Georgia (the country), and the Lofoten Islands in Norway for unique adventures and lesser-known experiences.

Read more “Best Places to Visit” series:

About Ronaldo Stewart

Wantigo was born out of a deep passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. With a keen sense of adventure and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I’ve traveled far and wide, immersing myself in the beauty and wonder of the world.

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