Living in the UK, we are lucky enough to be able to get anywhere in Europe within a few hours and without breaking the bank; but most of us don’t make the most of it. We’re full of excuses, like having no time or money; but when most of these cities are only an hour’s flight away and are full of cheap hostels and eateries, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself.
These are our top European destinations to visit this spring for a bit of stress relief and a dose of culture.
Dublin could have been built for city breaks. You can see all of the city’s highlights in two days and still have plenty of time left over to linger over a few pints of Guinness in one of the classic Irish pubs in Temple Bar. Go whilst you’re still a student to take advantage of discount at the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery. Because, it’s so close you can find incredibly cheap flights if you’re flexible on dates. If you’ve got a Monday or Friday with no lectures, try leaving on a Thursday night and coming back on a Monday to get the best deals, as Friday and Sunday evenings are generally pricier.
Flights to the Spanish capital are extremely cheap out of peak season (summer, Easter etc). Get lost in Madrid for a few days, seeking out the cheapest spots to gorge on hot chocolate and Churros or tapas. The world famous Prado museum is free for students aged 18-25, so you don’t have to feel guilty when you’re completely arted-out after an hour. The Parque del Retiro, just next to the Prado, is heavenly on sunny, spring days, and costs nothing at all.
Flights to Madrid’s cousin in Catalonia are always a bit pricier than those to the capital; but it’s generally a bit warmer in the spring and has that all-important beach. Check out this article on the hidden gems of Barcelona for those on a budget.
The classic city break destination, Paris never disappoints. Keep your eye on eurostar tickets for cheap deals, but flights to Paris are generally fairly reasonable too. Paris in the springtime has an extra charm to it and if you’re lucky with the weather you needn’t spend anything at all, as you can occupy your days just strolling around this beautiful city.
Amsterdam is a byword for one thing; but did you know that it’s also famous for its flowers? Come spring, Amsterdam is bursting with flower markets, an incredible sight even for people with little to no interest in plants (of the floral variety that is). Flights to Amsterdam are always fairly cheap, but you can also catch a Megabus, keeping the costs of a weekend in the Dutch city even lower.
Picture-perfect Bruges will wow even the pickiest of city-breakers, with its beautiful old houses and squares rising out of dreamy canals. In the spring, the daffodils give this already stunning city an extra charm. There’s so much to see just wandering Bruges’ streets that you can easily spend very little on a trip to this Dutch city.
Known for it’s incredibly cheap beer, Budapest is at it’s best in the spring. In the summer, the Hungarian capital is overcrowded and overheated; so go in the spring before the hordes arrive and enjoy wandering the picturesque streets without being jostled.
Berlin is one of those must-visit destinations that should be on every student’s list, not just for it’s fascinating history and architecture; but, also, it’s world famous nightlife. Berlin is another place that gets overrun by tourists in the summer, so go in the spring to take advantage of low season prices and shorter queues.
This Czech city combines the beautiful architecture of its well preserved old town with a vibrant cultural scene and buzzing nightlife. Spend a couple of happy days getting lost in Prague’s backstreets, taking advantage of the cheap food and sampling the world-famous beer.
Why fly anywhere? Our own capital is only an hour away on the train and once spring rolls around there is nothing prettier than London’s parks carpeted in daffodils. Most Brits have never done the proper London tourist trail, so make the most of your student discount and discover the history of our world-famous capital. One hidden gem is the Museum of London (free) which tells the story of London from the prehistoric period up until the modern day.