When you study abroad, you open yourself up to experiencing a ton of new cultures. There are so many easily accessible and inexpensive places within reach of wherever your home base happens to be, but how do you decide with cities should be the highest on your list? This guide will help you determine which cities can’t be missed, and which you can save for a later date.
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is so much more than coffee shops (if you know, you know). This beautiful walking city is home to the Van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank house, two must-sees if you are already taking the trip. If you’re up for it, take a walk down the red light district to really immerse yourself in the Amsterdam way of life.
2. Paris, France
Paris is the city of love, and you will without a doubt fall in love with it. There’s a well-known opinion that Parisian are rude, but I did not find that to be the case. Don’t be afraid to try new things such as escargots. And of course, don’t forget to make your way up the Arc de Triomphe at night to see a beautiful view of the lighting of the Effiel Tower.
3. Krakow, Poland
Although a significantly somber visit, I think everyone needs to visit a concentration camp once in their life. There is a very large and famous one in Krakow; Auschwitz. Not only is it a great city to learn about history, but there are also the “polish alps” that offer amazing views.
4. Munich, Germany
A lot of people say Berlin is the city to visit in Germany, but I much prefer Munich. If you happen to be abroad in the fall, make sure you take your trip during Octoberfest. Munich also has a small scale beer festival in the Spring for the second semester abroad students. Even if you don’t go to Octoberfest, it’s worth walking around the dirndl shops in the city center of Munich.
5. Dublin, Ireland
The people in Ireland are some of the nicest you will ever meet, and the pubs in this city are second to none. Take a trip to the Guinness Brewery and learn how beer is made. If you have a spare day, there should be a bus to the Cliffs of Moher you can take from Dublin. Make sure you dress warmly for your visit to this Irish city because it can definitely get pretty chilly.
6. Rome, Italy
Rome is filled with the history of Catholicism and the beautiful works of famous Renaissance artists. Pre-book a trip to the Vatican so you can beat the lines, or just visit St. Peter’s Basilica. If you’re low on time, you can skip the museum part. There’s also the Colleseum, the ruins, and the Trevi Fountain. If you don’t follow anything else on this list, make sure you stop in Rome.
7. London, United Kingdom
If you’re looking for an Instagrammable city to visit, then London is calling your name. Visit the top floor of the Tate Museum for a fantastic balcony view of the city. The underground is easy to navigate and can take you from Shakespeare’s Globe all the way to Buckingham Palace. There is no shortage of things to see in London, and it’s definitely suggested to eat fish and chips for every meal.
8. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is best known for its thermal baths, and that alone is worth the trip to this beautiful city. It’s also pretty Instagrammable, so check out blogs or verified Instagrams for the best places to snap a photo.
9. Oslo, Norway
I won’t lie, it is COLD in Norway. You will have to bundle up, but this is one of the few European cities you can see the Northern Lights. You will have to get lucky though, as it’s much more common to see them in more northern cities. The best part about Oslo is the serenity and peace you experience thanks to plenty of green space.
10. Florence, Italy
Florence is last on this list because it is the most important. Not only is it beautiful and classic Italian, but it is also the main hub for study abroad students. You can meet people from all over the United States from hundreds of different schools. Bring proper shoes because there’s a lot of walking in this city. Climb up over 400 steps to the top of the Duomo for a view of the city, and hike Piazzale Michelangelo for an aerial view of the Duomo.