Amsterdam, The Netherlands
There aren’t many things I’d voluntarily spend 17 hours on a Megabus for, but I’m a sucker for a bargain. Taking advantage of your NUS Extra card gets you an Exeter-Amsterdam return ticket for only £57, and the student-friendly city is packed with hostels for even the most frugal backpacker. Walking tours through cobbled streets and along gorgeous canals combine exploration with learning about the city’s fascinating history, or if you’re not a walker, bike-hire is abundant. The beautiful Vondelpark is perfect for a cycle and a picnic and not far from the Museumplein, where the famous ‘I amsterdam’ sign awaits. I’d recommend the Van Gogh museum; it’s the best-presented art gallery I’ve ever visited and worth spending a little extra cash. If your bank account’s telling you ‘no’, but your wanderlust’s telling you ‘yes’, Amsterdam is the perfect budget-friendly holiday destination.
Last summer I travelled around Eastern Europe for two weeks, the highlight being our stay in Krakow. Culturally and socially diverse, as well as a ordable, I would recommend this beautiful city to any young traveller looking for somewhere a little bit different, without breaking the bank. The Havana hostel provided a great bar crawl and was very sociable, being right in the centre of the city’s hub of food, drink and entertainment. The central square, comprised of a romantically lit old trade-market, is alive with bars and restaurants around the perimeter. We were also able to visit the site of Auschwitz, a very sobering experience, which everyone of our generation should witness. We tried plenty of traditional Polish cuisine, pierogi dumplings and Zywiec beer, which is both delicious and remarkably cheap. The atmosphere of the city was welcoming, and was a great way to end my trip.
Rowan Keith, Online Comment Editor
Croatia is one of the most beautiful places that I have been lucky enough to visit, and the city of Split could not be more perfect for students. As well as having the standard bar crawls and night life vital to every student holiday, there is culture, nature and history all around. The prices are perfect, with gorgeous self-catered apartments for less than £100 per person per week, street food for less than £1 a meal, and even private boat trips for less than £10 per person per day. Not only is it cheap, but there are all kinds of things to do for free. There are beautiful beaches and parks to walk through, and the relics of the old city centre to explore. In my opinion, the jewel in this amazing city’s crown is the live music every night in the square of the old city, where people from all backgrounds sit and eat dinner, and then get up to dance together with family, friends and strangers alike. If you’re looking for a summer holiday, I can’t recommend Split enough.
There is no doubt that the majority of Eastern European countries are cheaper than the rest of the continent. Budapest is a prime example of this, consistently ranking amongst the most affordable holiday destinations, not just in Europe, but worldwide. History, culture, and striking scenery – Budapest has it all. Even better, the nightlife is amazing, but won’t set you back like other European destinations. For example, you can go to Morrisons (not the supermarket, but a retro club), and pay an entry price of around £5. This entitles you to free drinks all night: proper ones, too, not ‘free drinks’ in the sense of a dodgy bar crawl where most spirits and anything half decent is off limits. The seventh district is home to an array of quirky ruined bars, housed in abandoned buildings, where the average price for a glass of wine is 91p. You’ll spend so little that you’ll even have enough money left over for a spa treatment at the thermal baths to cure that hangover.