Our pick of great European getaways for May

Weekend getaways are not a luxury; they are an essential part of maintaining a healthy, well-balanced life. Thanks to budget airlines and high-speed rail links within Europe, it’s easy to relax on a spring weekend break somewhere refreshingly different.

Here are some superb spring weekend breaks in Europe to whet your appetite!

Seville, Spain

Seville is a top choice for a sunny May break with temperatures a good 5-10°C above the UK. Seville’s Old Town is easy to explore on foot, but if you want to use local transport, hail a horse and carriage to whisk you around the old cobbled streets.

Admire the city views from the top of the Giralda before heading over to see the tomb of globetrotter Christopher Columbus. The nearby Alcazar Palace with its splendid interiors will fill the second day, and a stroll around the park-like Plaza de España is also highly recommended.

After dark, dine adventurously on a series of tapas, sampling Andalucían seafood, cured ham, frittata and sauce-covered meatballs.

Reims, France

Skip Paris and head to its neighbour, Reims. It has a gargantuan Gothic Cathedral to rival Paris’s Notre-Dame, and there are no crowds or an entrance fee! The Old Town includes Roman remains, the Palais du Tau and the Musee des Beaux-Arts. Tours of the Taittinger Winery will show you how champagne is made and stored in 4th-century cellars.

You’ll also find that non-vintage Brut is the perfect accompaniment to the upscale dining at the city’s four Michelin-starred restaurants.

Heidelberg, Germany

Just an hour from Frankfurt, medieval Heidelberg offers hilltop castles, out-of-the-ordinary shopping and buzzing street cafes. Take the funicular up to some of the area’s glorious castles and enjoy the gentle hike back down. You may want to wander around the open-air weekend markets, as they sell everything from antiques and handicrafts to delicious local foods.

Leisurely dining in a typical German tavern or intimate restaurant is the thing to do in Heidelberg, and so is sampling the local white wine “Mannaberg”. Apparently, its name translates as “manna from heaven!”

Vienna, Austria

Few places rival Vienna for its baroque architecture, cosy coffee houses and traditional beisl (bistros) serving top-notch Viennese cuisine. Explore this glorious Hapsburg city at your own pace and don’t miss the stables where the white Lipizzaner stallions practice their high-step routines each morning at the Spanish Riding School.

Where will your next weekend break take you?

Ahmed Elmi


Ahmed has worked extensively in lifestyle editorial, writing for magazines like Esquire UK, and has also worked as a digital copywriter for numerous brands that include, L’Oreal, British Airways, and Pernod Ricard. Tweet him @ahmednelmi or send him a nice story: ahmed.elmi@theechelon.co.uk