It’s often said that the time you’re a student is the best of your life, and while that is indeed true for most of us, exam season and winter deadlines aren’t exactly fun times. To focus your mind and to have something to work towards, a winter city break is the perfect solution.
There are a number of affordable destinations around Europe that will give students a trip to remember without breaking the bank. Downloading the Owners Direct app will give you access to thousands of cheap holiday rentals. Definitely worth a look if you don’t want to break the bank.
Vilnius, Lithuania, the 2009 European Capital of Culture is an amazing city and amazingly cheap, with hostels available for €8 a night. Temperatures are generally around the -5C mark during winter time, so with a sprinkling of snow, the medieval Old Town, baroque architecture, castles and Gothic churches transform into a real life winter wonderland.
The Winter Safari on snowmobile takes with through the nearby forest, across the fields blanketed in snow and across the frozen lakes, an adrenaline fuelled way to see the city that students will love. The young locals of Vilnuis fit the typical student stereotype when it comes to drinking and are often in all-night party mode, what more could you want?
Copenhagen has something for everyone showcases winter as if the city were from a fairy-tale. The famous Little Mermaid statue is one of the most photographed sights of Denmark and a must see from the Danish capital.
The bars and cafes boast intimate and relaxed atmospheres perfect to escape the chill, wind down and have a nice mug of glogg, otherwise known as mulled wine.
Tivoli amusement park is also imperative when in Copenhagen, it fits the thrill-seeking criteria of a lot of students but also becomes a reminiscent of the North Pole during the winter months, with the park engrossed in mesmerising illuminations, with an exclusive light show.
Add to that Christmas candy, a fairy-tale garden and a real life Santa Claus and your inner big kid is sure to be released.
Bucharest is described as the Paris of the East, and what’s more is, it’s virtually undiscovered and much cheaper than the real Paris, with hostels available from €3 a night during the winter.
Romanians are very religious and visiting some of the capital’s many churches during Christmas time can be a touching experience with those from all generations lighting candles in memory of loved ones. Cismigiu park hosts an ice-skating rink, with the nearby village museum inhabited by cats who can snuggle up to whilst learning some Romanian history.
Like many other city breaks in Europe, Bucharest is a hotspot for cosy cafes and bookshops, so if you can’t afford to escape your studies, at least you can catch up with them in many of the cool bookshops, with the likes of Carturesti housing a café in its basement and for chocoholics, the old town boasts some delicious chocolate specialist cafes, great for a festive treat or two.
The are several fantastic locations across Europe for Christmas markets but Berlin is one of the best, the German capital as a unique festive feeling and with hostels available from just €6.50, what’s stopping you?
The city is scattered with wonderful Christmas markets throughout the winter, each with traditional German cuisine that’s sure to warm you up in the cold, unique products perfect for last minute gifts, illuminations and easy ice rinks if you fancy a go at skating.
And after a day exploring the festive ‘Weihnachtszauber’ you can rejuvenate in one of the city’s many bohemian cafes, or head to a bar and order a well-deserved stein. For history students or fanatics, Berlin of course, has many tales to tell.
With a host of galleries and museums, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall, there is plenty to do and see. And don’t forget the famous Berlin zoo which is even worth a visit during the cold winter months.