You can go to Magaluf, Malia or Ayia Napa if you’d like but, speaking from personal experience, those 1-week holidays of eating McDonalds everyday and drinking too much can only be done once. For me, the holiday destinations I have enjoyed more have been cheap city breaks on a budget, the ones that let you drink in the culture during the day and the booze during the evening. Here’s my top 5 holiday destinations that are ideal for the student lifestyle.
5) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Admittedly, Amsterdam is not guaranteed to be the very cheapest of holiday destinations, but it’s definitely doable on a budget. Whilst out there, I managed to find full meals of pizza or Chinese for just €5 and stayed in hostels that charged less than €20 a night. For culture, Amsterdam has loads of it, ranging from the Van Gogh museum all the way to the Anne Frank house museum if you’re looking for something a bit more emotionally riveting. On the lighter side of things, the city’s network of canals are very beautiful, as is the Vondelpark in the centre. I would recommend hiring bikes and exploring these areas on wheels. For nightlife, there’s a bit more culture to soak up in the red light district, and I’m sure I don’t need to explain the existence of the coffee shops out there, but they make for some very good late-night entertainment.
4) Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is another one of those holiday destinations that isn’t especially cheap, but it’s an ideal student holiday destination with its crossover between city break and lazy beach holiday. Las Ramblas, the large market street running through the centre of the main tourist part of Barcelona, is slightly more expensive so, for a budget holiday, it’s best to venture into the back streets to find food and alcohol. These back streets are also home to a variety of shops from vinyl to antiques, so there’s a good space for doing some shopping. We spent most of our time at the beach whilst we were there but there’s plenty of good museums to explore and culture to check out, especially the Gaudi gardens and his La Sagrada Familia, a remarkable piece of architecture. In nightlife, there’s plenty of clubs on the beach strip and it’s easy to get free entry from any one of the reps who want you in there.
3) Budapest, Hungary
We’ve reached the old Eastern bloc and, as a result, have also reached the part of this list where everything becomes cheap. Hungary uses its own currency of Hungarain forint, running around 300 forint to every 1USD. As a result, you can live like a king in the country’s capital city, Budapest. Budapest is a hub for alcoholic tourists of all ages, whether that be stag do’s for anxious grooms-to-be or college sports teams on tour. With plenty of clubs and bars to visit (I would personally recommend the club Instant) Budapest is a great place for a drinking holiday. On the other side of things, it’s also a beautiful city with a rich history and so a walking tour is a great way to hear about some of this. There’s also a mountain/ hill to scale in the middle of the city which is a great way to spend a day, spas to relax in after that hard climbing and local dishes of goulash to recover afterwards.
2) Prague, Czech Republic
Coming in just short of my top recommendation, Prague is another wonderfully cheap country. It’s possible to use Euros in some places in Prague but their own currency, Koruny, runs around 30CZK to 1USD, making it an ideal holiday destination. As a result, it’s another good place to eat and drink on the cheap. Prague is a very old looking city and so has plenty of great architecture to explore and admire. A specific highlight of mine was traversing up the city to the very top where there’s a restaurant serving beer that was brewed centuries before by monks in the monastery there. You can also get soup in a bowl made of bread – what more could you ask for? In terms of night life, Prague’s alcohol is astonishingly cheap and so it’s easy to get a buzz on before heading to one of the numerous bars and clubs in the city. Prague is actually home to the largest club in Europe, boasting six floors of dance music.
1) Poznan, Poznan
You’ve probably never even heard of Poznan and, frankly, nor had I until I went there. This was a holiday I booked with some friends on a whim, thinking it would be funny to pick a place at random and have to make a holiday there with whatever we were given. In the end, it was the best, cheap holiday I’ve ever been on. Despite being in the Euro zone, Poland still uses its own currency, zloty and, as a result, is very cheap. A whole night of drinking beers at a bar on the town square only ran a bill of around $20-25 total, and the same can be said when out eating where dinner per person can be as little as $10. In terms of culture, Poland has a rich military history and so there are plenty of museums dedicated to their role in the second world war. Poznan also has a croissant museum, shocking Paris and the rest of France by claiming to have world famous croissants. In terms of nightlife, Poznan does have an array of nightclubs but we found the most fun in going to the bars situated on the town square and drinking there until the small hours.