Top 10 European City Breaks for this May Bank Holiday

Picture from the ground of a couples shoes, walking on a cobblestone road.

Are you thinking of taking a short trip this May Bank Holiday weekend? The tried and tested favourites are all well and good, but broaden your horizons just a tad and you’ll see a whole new side to Europe that’s waiting right on your doorstep.

AIB Travel Insurance brings you this selection of destinations thathave particularly a lot going for them in 2015 and are now more accessible than before. Check out our top tenpicks for European city breaks in 2015 below:

1.Seville, Spain

Seville brings you wonderful wine, great food, brilliant art, remarkable shopping and an infectious nightlife. If you’re looking for a short Bank Holiday destination that really ticks all the boxes and you should look no further than Seville. Fly here direct with Ryanair from Dublin.

2.Lyon, France

Considered by many to be the gastro capitol of France, Lyon has traditionally been an underrated destination for travellers from Ireland and Great Britain. With new additions in 2015 such as a picturesque riverside promenade along the Saône - the Rives de Saône, and a new anthropology museum and science centre - the Musée des Confluences, now’s the time to make your first visit to this great city. Fly to Lyon direct with Aer Lingus from Dublin.

3.Mons, Belgium

Mons is a charming town in Belgium and is one of the beneficiaries of European Capital of Culture for 2015. The town’s cobbled streets wind around a central square full of history.Having played a key role in World War 1, due to its important location atop a hill, Mons is the city where the first solider from the British Army was killed. This year, Mons hosts a cultural festival celebrating the history of the city with a full schedule of events and exhibition. For more details, click here.

4.Plzen, Czech Republic

Plzen is the second city in our list that’s being honoured as European Capital of Culture in 2015. Key sights you absolutely have to see here are the grand Renaissance-era city hall, the 13th-century St Bartholomew’s cathedraland the fantastic 19th-century Velka synagogue. Visit here for more info on the events taking place as part of Plzen being European Capital of Culture.

5.Bern, Switzerland

When it comes to capital cities, they don’t come much more relaxed or picturesque than Bern. Enjoy Switzerland at its very best and soak up the atmosphere on the cobbled streets, by glistening fountains and breath-taking views of the Bernese Alps. The city has had many notable residents including Albert Einstein, who lived here while developing his Theory of Relativity, and famous Swiss-German painter, Paul Klee. Make sure you check out the museums dedicated to both of them.

6.Catania, Sicily

Catania has unrivalled restaurants and markets, situated within a rather beguiling baroque centre, rebuilt following earthquakes and a disastrous eruption of Mount Etna in 1669. Sicily has a lovely mild climate which will be particularly appealing in May to those of us who don’t like it too hot.

7.Deauville, France

Having become fashionable in the 19th Century, Deauville is a vivacious seaside resort located in the Basse-Normandie region of France. Visit here for the amazing seafood, the picturesque beach, the casino and the scenic golf courses.Also, with an hour’s drive are many of the most attractive towns in Normandy, such as Bayeaux and Rouen.

8.Milan, Italy

Usually renowned for its shopping and fashion, 2015 will see the focus in Milan shift towards art and food. The Expo Milano 2015, which will run from May until October, celebrates food cultures from around the world and focuses on the changes in the environment currently facing the globe. There will be a particular focus on culinary traditions in Milan and without a doubt, it’s not one to be missed. From April 15th until July 19thMilan will also playhost to the largest exhibition Leonardo da Vinci’s work ever held in Italy.

9.Málaga, Spain

Famous as the birthplace of Picasso, this great getaway destination has been riding a fantastic cultural wave of renewed investment since 2003. This began with the opening of the Museo Picasso Málaga and will continue in 2015 with the opening of the Centro Pompidou de Málaga in the refreshed port area. Definitely one for the art buffs out there, make sure you have Málaga on your list when considering where to break during this May Bank Holiday. You can fly here directly with either Ryanair or Aer Lingus from Dublin.

10.Krakow, Poland

Poland’s second largest city really packs a punch. Krakow has a superb market square, castle and barbican plus a magical array of historic churches and synagogues. Fortunately, the splendid palaces in the city centre avoided being destroyed during World War 2 and can still be seen today. Some of Krakow’s highlights include The Collegium Maius, now home to Chopin’s piano and where Copernicus studied. You can fly directly here from Dublin with Ryanair.

Once you’ve selected your perfect European city getaway for this May Bank Holiday, make sure you’ve got the best cover before you travel. AIB Travel Insurance has a wide range of holiday insurance policies to suit any travellers needs. Buy online here before 30/04/2015 and receive a 30% discount, based on current telephone rates.