We’re almost halfway through 2015 and the upcoming Bank Holiday is a great opportunity to enjoy a quick break away to recharge your batteries. Make the most of the May Bank Holiday this year, by treating yourself to a well-deserved European break. The Bank Holiday falls on Monday 4th May which means you have an extended weekend to enjoy one of these May Bank Holiday Breaks:


For those looking for something a little closer to home, Edinburgh is a bustling and vibrant city which would be a shame to go unexplored due to its close proximity. Not many cities can boast an extinct volcano lying at its heart, especially one with a castle on top. Edinburgh Castle is one of the UK’s most visited attractions and is particularly more exciting with an enthusiastic Robert the Bruce tour guide showing you around. Alternatively, treat yourself to a little retail therapy on Victoria Street which is home to Edinburgh’s finest selection of independent boutiques.

Distance from UK: 1h 5m

Where to stay: Prestonfield House

May Bank Holiday Breaks 3


A quick trip on the Eurostar and you’re in Brussels, home to fantastic architecture and the country’s most famous comic book character, Tin Tin. There are lots of museums and fine art exhibitions in the city including the Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire housing everything from Ancient Egyptian sarcophagi to Meso-American masks. You can even enjoy a quick day to the fairy tale city of Bruges, just over an hour away by car.

Distance from UK: 1h 15m

Where to stay: The Dominican

May Bank Holiday Breaks 4


Amsterdam is just a short plane or Eurostar journey away making it ideal for quick getaways from the UK. The Netherlands capital is beautiful this time of year, making strolls through the criss-crossing bridges and 165 canals a very pleasurable experience. Enjoy a picnic in Vondelpark or contemplate the saddening history of World War II at the Anne Frank Museum.

Distance from UK: 1h 20m

Where to stay: Sir Albert Hotel

May Bank Holiday Breaks 5


A popular alternative to Paris, Nice is a wonderful and picturesque French city that enjoys a healthy measure of sunshine this time of year. The beaches in Nice might be pebbly, but they’re a great place to soak up the rays and enjoy water sports and local cuisine. Suited for the more cultured traveller, there is plenty to see and do here including various museums, ancient Roman ruins and a day trip to Cannes.

Distance from UK: 1h 55m

Where to stay: Boscolo Exedra

May Bank Holiday Breaks 2


As Spring heats up, there’s arguably no better place to enjoy a warm and sunny weekend than in the Catalonian capital of Barcelona. After filling up on paella and tapas, explore the fabulous city from the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter to fabulous modernista architecture and works of Antoni Gaudí. Whether you are a football fan or not, on Saturday 2nd May, Barcelona FC take on Córdoba CF so head to the infamous Camp Nou to watch the likes of Messi and Neymar perform their magic.

Distance from UK: 2h 10m

Where to stay: W Barcelona

May Bank Holiday Breaks 6


May is an excellent month to visit the Italian capital. Visiting at this time of year means you’ll avoid the hustle and bustle of summer crowds and the soaring heat that comes with it. The city is steeped in ancient attractions from the Coliseum and the Pantheon, to St’ Peter’s Basilica and the Trevi Fountain. Around every corner in this historic city lies another picture perfect scene. A trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without sampling the delicious cuisine for which the country is famous for including delicious pizzas and fresh pastas.

Distance from UK: 2h 30m

Where to stay: Palazzo Montemartini

May Bank Holiday Breaks 7


If it’s a fun filled long weekend you’re after this May Bank Holiday, look no further than the action packed city of Reykjavik. The city offers everything from volcano tours to diving in the otherworldly waters of Silfra. The entire city is surrounded by natural wonders including lots of beautiful gardens and parks to explore. Reykjavik is known for its tremendous year round nightlife, so expect something extra special from bars and clubs this Bank Holiday Weekend.

Distance from UK: 3h

Where to stay: 101 Hotel

May Bank Holiday Breaks 1


East meets west in Istanbul, where ancient Asian influences combine with modern day flair in one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. The Blue Mosque is one of the most visited attractions, with decorative blue tiles covering the walls and make the whole building glisten. If it’s great food you’re after, you’re in the right place as Istanbul has a varied gastro scene ranging from slick fusion restaurants to traditional street-food stalls where even humble kebabs are transformed into mouth-watering delicacies.

Distance from UK: 4h 5m

Where to stay: The Istanbul Edition

May Bank Holiday Breaks

Chris Hodges

58 thoughts on “LUX Guide: May Bank Holiday City Breaks

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