With one May Bank Holiday behind us, it’s time to start planning the next. Here’s where we think you should be heading to make the most of the three day weekend…

Words Helen Brown

With one May bank holiday behind us, it’s time to start planning the next. You can pack a lot into three days so the extra-long weekend is the perfect excuse for a European getaway. Here’s where we think you should be heading to make the bank holiday a mini-break…

Florence

Florence has long been celebrated as one of Italy’s most beautiful cities. With its breath-taking cathedral and winding cobbled lanes, it’s easy to see why. For art lovers it has no comparison. It offers a wealth of galleries to be explored, as well as some fabulously decorated chapels.

Flights from £254

Lisbon

Known as the sunshine capital, Lisbon is perfect for a weekend getaway. From its wide, tree-lined Avenida de Liberdade to the brightly painted Insta-friendly houses in Baixa and Alfama, Portugal’s largest city has an infinite list of reasons to visit. It’s budget friendly, a foodie’s favourite and has a wealth of culture to be soaked up during a long weekend. It also has a beach for those looking for seaside serenity. 

Flights from £259

Prague

For the best beer in Europe – perhaps even the world – Prague is where you need to be this May Bank Holiday. But it’s not just exquisite ale and a relaxed drinking culture that draws the crowds. Prague has a maze of cobbled lanes perfect for aimless wandering and a Bohemian art scene.

Flights from £157

Antwerp

Sip artisan coffee, gaze at awe-inspiring architecture and discover the cobbled lanes of Antwerp. It’s the land of chocolate, has historic charm in abundance and boasts some of the coolest shopping in Europe.

Flights from £196

Paris

For first-time and frequent visitors, Paris has a timeless charm. It has instantly recognisable architectural, exquisite cuisine, endless boutiques and priceless artistic treasures. Surely one of the chicest ways to spend the bank holiday weekend, oui?

Flights from £99

Brussels

Belgium’s capital is both historic and hip. Art nouveau facades blend with original 1960’s architecture, as well as a medieval core. It has one of the best cafe-bar scenes in Europe, top museums and a late seventeenth-century centre. The restaurant set is superb and the nightlife energetic.

Flights from £118

Budapest

As long as you steer clear of the touristy riverside venues, Budapest is a travel bargain. It’s also an explorer’s dream. Witness the bullet holes and shrapnel pockmarks on buildings from WWII, discover castles and cathedrals and take a soak in one of the city’s many hot springs. Hostels, in particular, are great value, but you have to get a bit out of the centre to find inexpensive hotels.

Flights from £179

 Rome

With its mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Rome is a romantic city. Eating out in this hot-blooded capital is a truly pleasurable experience. For an authentic experience, head to a boisterous pizzeria or convivial neighbourhood trattoria.

Flights from £218

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