Spring in Europe is guaranteed to dazzle and delight your senses, whether you're looking to take off to an exclusive enclave, the newest hot spot, or a trendy metropolis for shopping and time on the beach. Here are the five best European cities to visit in May.
1. Riga, Latvia - With classical music, elegance, and historic architecture, Riga is definitely one of the best places to visit in Europe in May. Get lost on the quaint side streets on a spring morning, and make sure to visit the city's medieval center, which offers the largest collection of art nouveau buildings in the world. Visit the Baltic Sea, and take a boat tour even if the water might be cold to see the amazing scenery from the water. Take your Riga car rental to the Freedom Monument, St. Peter's Church, Nativity Cathedral, or the Riga Film Museum. You don't want to miss a tasty meal at the Skyline Bar, known as the "only cocktail lounge in the sky!"
2. Belgrade, Serbia - This city is a mix of languages, cultures, peoples, and history, the threads of which are most apparent in its architecture. Walking along Knez Mihailova, neoclassical Austro-Hungarian mansions rub shoulders with academic-style villas, while ornate Renaissance beauties pose opposite brutal Soviet-style offices. The city's many theaters, museums, monuments, and opera houses boast a deep cultural life. While the beaches and rivers attract sunbathers, partygoers let loose on the popular floating river barges that serve as nightclubs. Belgrade is definitely a city you don't want to miss!
3. Matera, Italy - As one of Italy's oldest inhabited cities, this historical center is a treasure chest of Baroque palazzi, Romanesque architecture, rock churches, and traces of nobility. Work up an appetite exploring Matera's nooks and crannies, and then head to Trattoria Lucana, a restaurant that boasts some of the best Italian around. If you love art, check out the cave museum Musma, or head over to Palazzo Gattini Spa for an utterly relaxing afternoon. It's easy to see why Matera is on our list of the best European cities to visit in May!
4. Porto, Portugal - Known for its wine and coastal water view, Porto is a beautiful destination to spend March in. Built on the hills overlooking the Douro River, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 14th-century São Francisco church is a main attraction, as are the local port wine cellars, mostly located across the river at Vila Nova de Gaia, but getting around is easy with your Porto rental car. For a bit of academic charm, check out Lello & Irmão, one of the most stunning bookstores in the world. Afterwards, dine at the Michelin-starred restaurant, The Yeatman, which also has the perfect city view.
5. Lisse, Netherlands - The best time to visit Lisse, known as the Garden of Europe, definitely in May. The town erupts in hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, and lilies during the annual Flower Parade. Only a short half-hour drive outside Amsterdam by rental car, Lisse is more than worth it and was a given for our list of the best places to visit in Europe in May. See the Keukenhof Castle, Museum de Zwarte Tulp, and choose from the many food options in town, a wide range of French, Belgian, and Greek. To finish the day, walk around and see the miles of flowers while drinking your favorite glass of wine.
Because May is one of the best months to travel, be sure to plan ahead and call to make reservations anywhere you think may be crowded. From the Baltic Sea to The Garden of Europe, we hope our list of the best European cities to visit in May inspires a wonderful trip this month.