Leaving University behind for a few months so you can enjoy the summer break could be described as perfection. You know, if British weather didn’t hate all of the UK and was notoriously bad all season long
There may have been some stretches in April or May while you were likely trapped in lecture halls. Nervously checking multiple weather apps to see if the barbeque you arranged later would be okay, only to step outside to that dreaded sound of drizzle. June and July? Meh. Worry not; we’ve found the nine coolest, sunniest and cheapest holidays in Europe for students suffering from information overload or vitamin D deficiency, who need a break and a bit of relaxation, all that offer have cheap flights flying out from the UK and all that having accommodation starting at a very reasonable price. On average, if you grab a cheap flight and book 3 nights somewhere simple, yet cosy and central, you can find an amazing weekend away for less than £100.
So whether you’re dying for a bit of culture, or just need to sit by a pool with a pint and a toastie, we’ve got you covered in our nine recommendations below.
Stuck for summer holiday ideas? Why not try Stockholm?
Ah, Sweden, famous for Abba, IKEA, and massages, etc. – all things that are pretty remarkable when you think about it. Stockholm may not seem like the obvious choice for a summer break. However, its visitors cannot help but be bowled over by its design, shopping and the chilled atmosphere that oozes out of shop fronts and bar entrances in this elegant capital. Known for its museums, it’s very easy to kill a few days wandering around the various institutions, highlights include the Vasa Museum, with an intact 17th-century ship, and, of course, you need to take a chance on the ABBA Museum. If you get bored or need a break from all the elegance and culture, then pop to Gröna Lund Amusement Park on Djurgården Island and spend the day on an excellent array of roller coasters with other thrill seekers.
KAYAK Tip: Did you know you can sometimes see the Aurora Borealis (that’s Northern Lights to those who didn’t pay attention in Latin) from Stockholm? Check before you go, or use the Aurora Forecasting service to see if you’ll strike it lucky while you’re there.
European holidays just wouldn’t be the same without Ibiza
You may have to preface to your parents before you tell them you’re going to Ibiza, that it’s actually been over ten years since the mid-90’s and that Ibiza isn’t just clubs, electronic music, whistles, glowsticks and obscenely cheap drinks.
I mean, Ibiza is still pretty similar, (sans whistles and glowsticks, thank goodness) but your mum doesn’t need to know that. Since its heydey, the island has evolved its reputation from ‘all partying, all the time’ to ‘partying quite a lot, but it’s all a bit more chilled now.’ In the club capitals of Ibiza Town and Sant Antoni, the partying season starts in June and continues into the wee hours of October. Alas, culturally Ibiza isn’t given enough credit for its wonders. Just put on some sensible shoes and explore the narrow, cobbled streets of Dalt Vila ‘Upper Town’, for some excellent views and Gothic-Catalan architecture. Take a photo for your mum to prove you didn’t just get hammered the whole time.
KAYAK Tip: If you’re travelling with someone special, or you meet someone special while you’re there, take them to La Olivia restaurant located within the historic walls of the Dalt Villa for some classic Mediterranean fare. (Also, feel free to go on your lonesome, the food’s that good, you may forget to converse anyway.)
Art + Canals + Romance + Pasta = Venice, what more could you want?
Venice is sinking, literally, around 1-2mm per year. This historic city suffers from an abundance of exquisite works of art as well as suffering from its forefather’s lack of sea-based-engineering know how. The point is, whilst Italy is turning the tide (sorry) on the subsidence of it’s ‘Floating City’ – it’s probably better to visit sooner rather than later. Sometimes described as a ‘living museum’, walking through the labyrinthine streets, past shop fronts dedicated to Venetian masks and arriving at the grandeur of St Mark’s Basilica, you have to agree that visiting Venice is like stepping back in time. Make sure you book a gondolier tour through the Grand Canal to experience the full splendour that Venice has to offer.
KAYAK Tip: During the high season of May-August Venice can become amazingly busy. If you fancy a break then jump on a bus to Chioggia, a beautiful town also blessed with arched bridges and narrow canals, but without the crowds.
Simply choose your budget and Explore will show you all the places you can go; there is a whole world out there of amazing deals and undiscovered destinations. Explore will also show you when there are great deals on top destinations. Not been to Warsaw yet? Lisbon? Rome? Let Explore tell you how cheap you can get your flights.
Bowie and Iggy Pop approved: your 2017 holiday destination is Berlin
Berlin is a complex city with a myriad of things on offer to entice the prospective adventurer. It could be described as the ultimate party centrum by one person, and the premiere historical and culture destination by another. Berlin accepts all comers; you only have to wander around Kreuzberg and Neukölln to experience the clash of cultures from street to street to see the varied and multicultural heart of the city. The only rule is – treat the city and its people how you want to be treated. Respect and love go a long way here. If techno is your thing, then head to Schlesische Strasse by the Spree for your pick of places pumping an eclectic mix of electronica for the masses. If you’re thirsty for some cultural ambience rather than actual ambient, then check out the spectacular Reichstag Building in central Berlin, you can book a free tour here (free meaning with a tip, £5 or more is totally worth it).
KAYAK Tip: Don’t go to Berlin without visiting Tempelhofer Feld, an enormous park that was previously airport strip, excellent for bike rides, roller skating and a great place to see a lot of cute dogs.
Nice to see you, to see you Nice
Located on the French Riviera, and on the coast of the warm Mediterranean Sea, and at the foot of the Alps, you can see how Nice lives up to an English speaker’s pronunciation of its name. Sun seekers have been drawn to Nice for its climate for centuries. With an average high of 24-27°C from June-August, best enjoyed on the beach front Baie des Anges or ‘”Bay of the Angels’, you can see why. An entire day can be spent wandering around the Old Town where bustling, packed streets are offering everything from local art souvenirs to olive oil; continue to the Cours Saleya to visit the flower market that’s held every day. So if you’ve found this year’s studying stress particularly bad, then treat yourself to a luxurious and relaxing Nice experience, you won’t find anything else like it.
KAYAK Tip: Nice is a foodie’s delight, obviously for a French coastal town the seafood and French cuisine is out of this world. But you’ll also find great Japanese, Chinese and Italian eateries for a bit of variety.
Amsterdam: the quintessential student holiday
Amsterdam is one of the few cities where the much-hyped popular tourist attractions are worth visiting. Giggling as you walk around the red light district’s sex shops is essential, as is giggling for different reasons in a coffee shop is equally essential, nearly getting killed by one of the hundreds of bikes riding on the pavement is also a rite-of-passage for a new visitor. After you’ve ticked off the ‘I’ve been to Amsterdam, and I need to Instagram something sexy’ list you can start doing some actual exploring before retiring to a coffee shop for ‘coffee’. The Stedelijk Museum is really worth seeing, even if you don’t venture inside the entire exterior is shaped like a bath and is worth the tram fare alone.
KAYAK Tip: Visit one of Amsterdam’s oldest houses in the centre of the city, turn down a side street to discover the Begijnhof, one of the city’s oldest courtyards. Still lived in today, The Wooden House was built in 1548 and is an excellent hidden gem.
Looking for the perfect hotel in the shopping, sightseeing or party district?Use KAYAK Heat Maps to search for what you want, and we’ll display all the hotels close by on a city map. Simply click on ‘Map View’ in the upper left corner on the hotel search page. Now just click which filter you are most interested in, like ‘Nightlife’, and the party zones and corresponding hotels are highlighted.
Sun, sea and cocktails; Palma de Mallorca is a student summer delight
Venture into any area of Palma, and you’re likely to find rich Mediterranean history steeped in the cobbled city streets and colourful public squares. Coupled with an endless array of galleries, medieval churches, restaurants and vibrant bars offering relaxation in liquid form, almost anywhere becomes the perfect place to unwind and truly melt into the atmosphere of the city. Soak in the impressive Palma Cathedral, designed in classic Catalan Gothic style, before popping down to the Blue Flag Can Pere Antoni beach, located just five minutes away. Surrounded by bars and restaurants selling various local rustic fare, if the beach starts getting too crowded then walk just 10 minutes further to the lesser known Portixol beach for a bit of peace and quiet.
KAYAK Tip: If you get tired of relaxing then visit the Es Baluard, a contemporary art gallery that’s free on a Friday. Go on, using your brain for 20 minutes won’t kill your relaxation buzz, trust me.
Students rejoice! Sofia is THE big city break on a budget
A city break can rack up the costs before you know it. Drinks, food, souvenirs and transport can all add up to a much less cheap holiday than expected. Sofia, Bulgaria, is the perfect place for those tightening their purse strings as food and drink are notoriously cheap. Sofia is home to a lot of Bulgaria’s premier clubs, restaurants and galleries giving the city a youthful and vibrant feel no matter where you explore. In the city centre sits the impressive Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built in the Neo-Byzantine style which is a rare view for those who’ve only holidayed in Western Europe. For the adventure-seekers amongst you, it’s difficult to ignore the towering mountain of Vitosha above the city. You can reach the mountain easily by walking, bus, car or taxi from the centre. From there you can go hiking, skiing, cave exploring or just enjoy the incredible views.
KAYAK Tip: Try your luck at chess with some of the players in the City Garden, amateur players typically play in front of the National Theatre.
Think outside the box, try Belfast for your summer holiday in 2017
There are a couple of things that are great about travelling close to home. No jet lag, no long plane journeys, no stress about ordering the wrong thing while attempting to speak another language. Add to that the huge amount of awesome things to do in Belfast, Ireland’s often overlooked up and coming city, and you’ll be proper happy out. Once you land, fulfil every stereotype and visit the Crown Liquor Saloon for a pint or a glass, it’s not every day you can visit a Victorian gin palace that’s owned and maintained by the National Trust. After a beer, or a few, swing by the Belfast Botanic Gardens, built in 1839 its vast array of flora and fauna is housed in a huge cast-iron-birdcage-like dome. To finish off the day take a trip round the Titanic Belfast to experience how the Titanic was built and shipped from Belfast’s historic dock. Now, put your hands on me, Jack.
KAYAK Tip: Belfast is another hidden foodie gem, you can find every exotic cuisine imaginable in its cobbled alleys. Great Victoria Street is the main thoroughfare but try and explore lesser known areas for delicious hidden gems.
Note: These rates are based on search queries made on KAYAK.co.uk on August 11th, 2017. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.