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Vacation inspiration: Where to go in May

May is one of the best months to grab a cheap flight to destinations, including South Africa, Germany and the UK! So here's everything you need to know about where to go in May and bag the best vacation this year.

All prices included in this article are either based on average flights prices or were current at the time of publication, and are only to be used as a guide. Always check with the airline or hotel before booking. This article was updated in March 2019.

Barcelona, Spain

Why you should go in May: May is one of the cheapest months to visit Spain, according to our best time to book number crunching

Cost from UAE to Barcelona, Spain: From around *Dh1,257 per person

What to do there

The weather doesn’t get much better in Barcelona than on the sunny, warm days of May. Visiting slightly earlier in the summer means you’ll avoid the peak heat – and peak tourists. Take to the streets and marvel at the Sagrada Familia Basilica, the most famous work of architect Antoni Gaudi, or take a tour of Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona. There are also some fantastic museums (notably the Barcelona City History Museum and the Picasso Museum), parks (Parc de la Ciutadella) and restaurants. For more Barcelona inspiration, check out our guide to the Top 10 things to do in Barcelona.

Where to stay

An affordable option in Barcelona city is the four-star Capri By Fraser Barcelona, which is just a short walk from the Sagrada Familia and the city’s beaches. It’s a non-smoking hotel equipped with gym, car rental service and free WiFi. Rooms start at around Dh470 per night in May. If you’re looking for something a little more special, consider the beautiful Vincci Gala right in the heart of the city. It’s set in a protected 19th-century building but has been decorated and furnished in a modern fashion. Lots of the city’s attractions are right on your doorstep, so it’s worth the Dh918 per room per night price tag if you’re only there for a short time.

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Best places to go in May: Barcelona, Spain
Best places to go in May: Barcelona


Why you should go in May: May is the best month to get a cheap flight to Turkey

Cost from UAE to Turkey: From around *Dh701 per person

What to do there

Turkey offers every sort of vacation you could want – perfect city breaks, idyllic beach escapes, mountain hideaways, and ski trips. Whether it’s exploring the stunning Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul, taking to the snowy slopes of Uludağ, or relaxing in a hot spring in Pamukkale, there’s enough to do in Turkey every month of the year. In May, the weather in the Turkish capital Istanbul is perfect for seeing its top sights in the day and exploring the shopping heaven that is the Grand Bazaar at night (famous for its lanterns, spices, coffee, and tea). For more tips on getting the most out of your trip to Istanbul, read up on Everything you need to know about visiting Istanbul.

Where to stay

The Aprilis Gold Hotel is a very affordable option (rooms start at around Dh252 per night in May) if you want to be in the heart of the city. It’s a short stroll away from the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar, two of the best things to do in Istanbul. It’s smaller than some other options with only 23 rooms, but all have private bathrooms, electronic safes, desks, and room service. If you’re on a bigger budget, consider the rather opulent White House Hotel Istanbul where there’s no shortage of fancy wallpaper and glamorous furniture. Rooms start from Dh520 per night in May.

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Best places to go in May: Turkey
Best places to go in May: Turkey

London, United Kingdom

Why you should go in May: May is one of the cheapest months to visit the UK.

Cost from UAE to London, UK: From around *Dh1,054 per person

What to do there

By visiting the UK in May, you’ll likely avoid the tourist crush of the summer. Or if you’re planning to visit friends or family there, you can save a huge 16.3% by booking your trip for May, according to our best time to book data. The capital has a packed diary of events in May, making it an even better time to visit. There’s the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and even though tickets usually sell-out well in advance, there are lots of mini-events linked to the main festival which are free to enter. It’s also the month of the Regent’s Park Open Air Theater season, the Museums at Night event and the State Opening of Parliament, which makes for quite a spectacle.

Where to stay

For a very cheap night’s sleep, book a bed or room at the Safestay Holland Park Grade 1 listed Jacobean hotel. It has stunning landscaped gardens and is a good place to be to explore West London. There’s free WiFi, a games room and luggage storage. As well as dorms, there are also private rooms with terraces. From Dh81 for a bed in a large shared dorm, it’s a bargain. Read more about the top London hotels in our article on Best Hotels in London for Every Budget. If you’d like to splash out, consider the Hilton London Metropole which has a great location on London’s Edgware Road. It’s a large hotel with more than 1,000 rooms and is just one Underground stop from Hyde Park and Oxford Street.

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Best places to go in May: London, UK
Best places to go in May: London

Bangkok, Thailand

Why you should go in May: According to our number crunching, May is one of the cheapest months to fly to Bangkok

Cost from UAE to Bangkok: From around *Dh1,049 per person

What to do there

Its temples and markets galore in Bangkok. And what better reason to take advantage of all the cheap flights? Start your visit by exploring the incredible Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, which is one of Bangkok’s most famous temples. There’s also the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew, which is home to the famous Emerald Buddha. For the best shopping in Bangkok, New Bangkok where you’ll find the Chatuchak Weekend Market, home to a huge 15,000 stalls across more than 35 acres.

Read more: 3 days in Bangkok: Skyscanner’s destination guide

Where to stay

The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is one of the city’s oldest luxury hotels. Each room has a view of the river and is kitted out with all the mod-cons. It’s one of the pricier options, but you’ve already saved money on the flights so why not treat yourself?! If you want a cheaper Bangkok hotel, consider a room at the Modena By Fraser Bangkok which is sleek, chic and cheap. For more options, check out or article on the Best Hotels in Bangkok.

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Best places to go in May: Bangkok

South Africa

Why you should go in May: According to our number crunching, May is the cheapest month to visit South Africa

Cost from UAE to South Africa: From around *Dh1,487 per person

What to do there

Where do we start? This is a country with enough to keep even the most avid travelers busy. You could safari in the Kruger National Park, hopefully spotting the Big Five – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and buffalo, or visit the prison cell on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years locked away or ride the cable car up Table Mountain before picnicking at the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. 

Read more: The 10 best places to visit and things to do in South Africa.

Where to stay

In Johannesburg, consider the popular Reef Hotel in the city’s financial district. It’s a nice neighborhood close enough to the busiest parts of town but far away enough to ensure a quiet night’s sleep. The 120 rooms are smart, with something of an industrial vibe. The hotel also has a great roof terrace with spectacular views of the city. A room in May costs from around Dh301 per night. Villa Zest Boutique Hotel is located in Green Point, Cape Town, a safe and vibrant central area in walking distance to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Rooms cost from around Dh435 per night. They all have large private bathrooms and a distinct 70s vibe.

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Best places to go in May: South Africa
Best places to go in May: South Africa


Where to go in June


Where to go in April

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