We all love to travel, and being a student doesn’t stop that, despite being on a tighter budget. Traveling as a student can be some of the best times of your life, if you pick your locations wisely. Is it affordable? Is it welcoming to students? Does it have student discounts in place? Can you unwind but still go out to party? We’ve put together the top 10 European destinations that we believe are the best for student travel, whether you’re looking to escape somewhere for the culture, the food, the nightlife, or simply to get away, there’s a destination for you.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague scores highly in the student lifestyle, down to its arts and culture, affordability, nightlife, employment opportunities and diversity. With its cheap and cheerful beers, stunning architectural surroundings and cheap flights, Prague makes an ideal student budget getaway.
Old Town Square:
The square is encircled with restaurants, churches, and monuments with the most amazing clock above on the Old Town Hall, making it a great spot for pictures, grabbing a bite to eat and perusing through seasonal markets.
John Lennon Wall:
Since the 1980’s the John Lennon Wall has been an iconic art piece in Prague. Over the years it has become a place of self-expression on societal topics, with people graffitiing their own thoughts, making it an ever-changing landmark.
Prague’s Green Parks:
Prague is one of the greenest cities in the world, with a quarter of the city full of parks. There’s always a place to chill out, have picnics and sit until sunrise drinking beers. What’s even better is that the majority of these green spaces are located right next to some of the most iconic spots in the city, like the Castle Gardens for example or the Vrtba Terraced Gardens.
Berlin is bursting with diversity and creativity, a location celebrated for its freedom of self-expression, there is defiantly no lack of culture here. Berlin’s public transport system is super-efficient, allowing you to get around the city with ease, and comfortably too. The city is packed full of museums, history, greenery, and food galore! Berlin is rapidly gaining a reputation as a food hotspot, with vegan options, street food from across the globe and of course authentic German cuisine. One of the great things about this German city is that there’s no official closing time, unlike other cities across the country. You can party all night long.
A bar, in a pool, on a river. The city views and the unique vibes this hotspot brings make it an unmissable location whether you visit in the day or at night. Go by yourself or with a group of friends, you won’t be disappointed.
One of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, together the city has transformed this historical symbol of division into a breathtaking educational and creative space, an incredible moving experience.
A museum full of the best graffiti artists and muralists you’ve seen, this unique spot is full of modern art and culture and is ever changing. Take a different stance on art and go with an open mind and watch your creativity explode.
The city where you can do anything you wish. London’s student population is bigger than the whole population of Iceland. With 400, 000 students you’re surrounded by fellow students alike who are bound to have similar interests to you. Whatever your budget or interest, London has something to offer – concerts, musicals, plays, restaurants, markets, exhibitions, you name it, London will provide! With 5 airports, 300 train stations, 11 tube lines and 21,000 black cabs available, getting in and around the city won’t be an issue.
Borough Market, Camden Market, Nottinghill Market, the list goes on… From international foods, antiques, and vintage clothing there’s plenty to see, browse around and grab a free taster to try while you’re strolling through.
Want 360 views of London’s skyline for free? Visit the Sky Garden, situated at the top of the Fenchurch ‘Walkie Talkie’ building. Filled with large jungle plant instalments as well as bars and restaurants it makes a great afternoon. Go in the early evening to get the best sunset views.
Hot Tub Boats:
Float down London’s waterway while relaxing in your own private hot tub! You’re completely in charge of the boat’s engine so you can float down the river at your own leisure in heated 38-degree water for 90 minutes, taking in London’s skyscrapers along the way! This attraction is perfect for groups as you can split the cost.
Krakow is a tried and tested favorite destination for students. The city is pretty compact so you can make your way around on foot or jump on and off transport with no hassle at all. Krakow’s Old Town district is packed full of pubs and bars, which makes it the perfect location for a pub crawl or to visit the lively club scene. In terms of culture, there is so much history buried in Krakow. A visit to Auschwitz is an experience like no other, a very eye-opening trip that reflects a crucial point of history.
Rynek Glowny (Main Square):
The center point of the city since the 13th century, this medieval square is surrounded by some of the best bars and clubs in Krakow, your choice is endless, and it’s guaranteed you won’t have a boring night.
One of the incredible underground attractions in Krakow. Underneath the Market Square is a vampire graveyard full of artefacts through Poland’s interesting history, don’t miss out on this incredible experience!
You’ll find that this is the best place to pick up souvenirs, browse around and soak up some culture, a central hotspot for trading.
With cheap accommodation and food, a vivid nightlife and some great cultural spots, Athens is the perfect destination for students, backpackers, and young people alike. An essential to make the most out of the city is an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) to access all the discounted deals. These cards offer substantial savings on transport, entrance fees, bars, and restaurants, you’d be silly not to apply. To qualify you must prove you’re a full-time student, proof of a student card and proof of an enrolment letter from your institution.
Some of the most famous spots in the world are located in Athens, a city of Roman remains where there are bars for each and every mood, with cafés even turning into bars in the evenings!
Open Air Nightlife:
If all the bars are full there’s no stress, head outside to any of the open areas and you’ll be met by numerous young people hanging out, drinking a beer or two and music blasting, the atmosphere is unmatched.
There are endless museums in Athens, so you won’t have to travel far, and the biggest benefit is that most of them have no entrance fee!
The center of the ancient city is an incredible sight, and a reminder of the importance of history.
Barcelona has an upbeat and exciting vibe that spreads across the city, people here really value time to unwind, and the pace of life feels a lot more relaxed than anywhere else across Europe. With a strong international student life in the city, you’re guaranteed to meet people from all over the world and find tons of activities taking place. With so many hidden bars and clubs, not to mention the unique architecture, you can spend your time exploring and treat yourself to a paradise of food, with traditional Spanish and Catalan dishes.
La Sagrada Familila:
One of Gaudi’s most famous pieces, with its sheer velocity this work in progress it a sight to behold, you’d be silly not to go and visit when in the city.
Skateboard central. Sit down for a drink and watch where skateboarders from all over come to show off their skills in this cool urban environment.
Another of Guadi’s masterpieces, walk up and get the best view of all the city while admiring the spectacular location.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A common favorite among students due to its liberalness. Named as the cool capital of Europe due to its open-minded locals, incredible artwork and unique shops. Around 45% of the population is an ethnic minority so it’s fair to say you’ll be around lots of different cultures. A great benefit of Amsterdam is that pretty much everything is in walking distance, with the options of trams in and out of the city if needs be. It also sits in a great position within Europe, it’s only 3 hours to London, 5 hours to Paris and 6 hours to Berlin if you’re planning on travelling on.
Cruise the Canals:
Amsterdam is made up of over 60 miles of waterways, one of the best ways to see the city is by boat. Sale along the canals to see some of Amsterdam’s most famous landmarks.
Europe’s Highest Swing:
Get strapped onto a swing almost 100 meters above the ground! You’ll get the best view of Amsterdam. The swing is located on top of the A’DAM Tower, with 360 degrees viewing deck, so whether or not you’re brave enough to hop on the swing, it’s worth going up.
Red Light District:
A controversial place to say the least. However, this red haze neighborhood makes up for some good giggles and is full of tourists having a nosey. Although, the main thing you must remember is that while sex work and soft drugs are tolerated in Amsterdam, they’re also seriously regulated.
Budapest is a beautiful, safe, and affordable city with a growing population of international students. You can easily explore the city on foot, bike, or tram, it’s a cultural hotspot full of unique attractions including museums, fascinating relics, and amazing cuisine. Budapest is raved about for its vibrant nightlife and its incredible thermal baths. Due to Hungary’s own national currency, food is much more affordable than elsewhere in Europe, try the country’s national dish of goulash served in a bread bowl or something sweeter like their chimney cake.
Szechenyi Thermal Baths:
For a cost of $20, visit Europe’s largest thermal baths in winter or summer, the pools are always 27 degrees. Enjoy a relaxing swim in the day and maybe even a massage or join one of the pool parties later on.
St Stephens Basilica:
An amazing thing to do at sunset is climb to the top of the stairs and watch the sun go down over the beautiful city and take in the beautiful architectural surroundings.
Ruin bars are temporary venues that are tucked away in pre-war buildings, with funky furniture and unique art, these places give off a junkyard feel. Find fellow students here and bar crawl across the city.
This city has an effortless charm and beauty, with beaches, coffees and pastries on offer what more could you want? Lisbon has world-class restaurants, art, nightlife, theatres, and bars all set around the rustic cobbled streets and hilltop views. From €1 coffees and sunny parks, it makes the perfect spot to chill out and relax in the heat.
A Ride on the Number 28 Tram:
The famous quaint yellow tram that rattles through Lisbon’s cobbled stones streets is a unique experience to the city. In any other area, this tram would be part of a museum but here in Lisbon it’s a vital part of the city’s public transport system, and it only costs €3 a ride!
A collection of shops, cafes, restaurants perfect for a sunny weekend get together, enjoy some cold beers, and browse the artisan products on show.
Feira de Ladra:
An amazing paradise of bits and bobs! Every Tuesday and Saturday head down behind the main train station and wander through endless collections of keepsakes, mementoes, and souvenirs.
Bologna is home to the oldest university in the world, with a student population of nearly 100,000. This city is also home to Ragu, or as you might know it Spaghetti Bolognese, so it’s safe to say it’s a city of amazing food. Bologna offers a variety of different tastes to all sorts of students from across the world but is also the heart of Italian culture and cuisine, you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do, see or eat!
A 30-minute ride out of the city to this club/cultural venue where there’s live music, cinema showings, food spots, outdoor space, and active club nights which all the students love.
Bologna’s biggest park. A great spot to relax, take a walk or meet others in these beautiful surroundings.
A restaurant that turns into a live jazz bar, what’s there not to love? Dress up and book a table one evening for people’s favorite place in town.