Right now, you are probably feeling that this is the worst time ever to be a student, but things will get better and what better way to get yourself through a miserable winter lockdown than to start making plans for all the things that you’re going to do when things get back to normal. The cities of Europe offer a wonderfully diverse range of experiences, just waiting to be enjoyed, and unlike a gap year world tour they don’t require long haul flights or thousands in the bank. So, get stuck into that research and start dreaming of happier times.
If you think that Amsterdam is all cannabis coffee shops and red-light districts, then think again because this delightful city really does have something for everyone. Incredibly, this city has more bicycles than people and if the weather’s fine, there really is no better way to get around. In the narrow streets of the Jordaan district you’ll find a host of independent galleries, antique shops as well as bars and restaurants. If art is your thing then you are in for a treat because the city has three world class museums: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh and the Stedelijk. If music is your thing, then be sure to catch a concert at the Paradiso or Concertgebouw and of course no visit to the city would be complete without a cruise on the city’s canals. For cheap accommodation try the Flying Pig, which has two friendly hostels, right in the city centre.
With a great all year climate, this seaside capital has a unique character and is a fascinating city to explore. Built on seven hills, it is a city of unexpected vistas and a rich variety of outstanding architecture. One of the best ways to acquaint yourself with this capital is to hop on Tram 28 and ride it to its destination, as you bump and rumble up the steep cobble streets, you’ll pass many of the city’s famous landmarks. Enjoy traditional fado in the Alfama district or dance the night away in the bars and clubs of the Bairro Alto. You’ll find wide range of reasonably priced holiday accommodation within easy reach of the city centre.
Croatia’s northwest capital has long stood at the crossroads of eastern and western Europe. The old hilltop districts of Kaptol and Gradec are a warren of cobblestone streets and squares lit by gaslight. By contrast the lower town, laid out in the 1890s, is a gracious procession of wide avenues and grand buildings. There are bars, restaurants and nightspots a plenty and the Museum of Broken Relationships is one of the more unusual museums you are likely to visit. There are a number of good, cheap hostels in the centre but be sure and book in advance because demand is high.
Hungary’s capital, on the banks of the Danube, has acquired a reputation as something of a party city. Its ‘ruin bars’, the most famous and best of which is Szimpla Kert, are idiosyncratic bars located in crumbling, atmospheric locations. Carry on partying in the evening at the Szechenyi Spa Baths where the nightly Sparties are raves at which anything goes. There are numerous hostels in the city centre which offer very cheap deals.