Calling all students. Are you ready and eagerly awaiting the new and oh so fresh college semester? Late August/ early September takes on a whole new meaning when your school days become left at the front door. Suddenly, you're actually excited to buy fresh, new stationery (just me?), you're bursting with so many plans and thoughts of what to do and where to go, but what if this year, instead of coming up with a thousand excuses as to why you can't go here and see there, well, what if you actually push yourself outside of that infamous comfort zone of yours and actually do it? Here are 9 cheap trips for students to take this semester. Passports at the ready....
Ahhh the city of love. Paris may be a tad cliched, it's true, but for good reason. It has everything. Beautiful architecture, delicious food (crepe anyone?), lots of wine, fabulous style, a buzzing nightlife and too many photo opportunities to mention. Your Instagram followers will undoubtedly be consumed with envy. Avoid the center and tourist traps and head to areas on the Metro line like Bastille for bar hopping and mingling with locals.
Budget Tip: Grab a fresh baguette and a box of wine and people watch by the river. Tres chic.
Ahhh Amsterdam. The place where every student dreams of spending a cultured weekend. Sure, it may be famed for things that don't revolve around the canals and Anne Frank museum, but there's a lot more to Amsterdam than the Red Light District and smoking up. It's a beautiful city full of colour and culture. Put it on your bucket list and start polishing those clogs now!
Budget Tip: Save your taxi money and rent a bike!
When a city this exciting is merely a hop, skip and a jump away from your doorstep, you have literally no excuse for not checking it out. With more shops than you could shake a stick at and enough culture and history to sink a ship, where else could you hang out near the Queen, get a birds eye view on the London Eye and then down a few filthy pints in Camden?
Budget Tip: Get yourself an Oyster Card and save a fortune.
Ahh, Ich Liebe Berlin. Probably one of the coolest city's Europe has to offer I reckon and hey, I've been to more than two, so I know my stuff. *Ahem* Gather together the most bohemian of people, the most underground of music, the most interesting of history, nightclubs that never sleep and more graffiti than you've probably ever seen and top it all off with gallons of beer and you've got yourself an amazing trip, I reckon.
Budget Tip: Don't forget to get some street beers (they cost around €1) from the little kiosk and soak up the atmosphere of it all.
Liverpool has long since been famed for its fantastic nightlife and student-friendly ways. It's a city that could teach the rest of us a thing or two about going hard or going home and considering that it's basically our neighbour, well, you've got no reason to NOT visit. From football to The Beatles, get practising your scouser accent my friends, the time has come to head North.
Budget Tip: Have a picnic in your hostel before you head out to save on the cash, if the need so calls for it.
Berlin isn't the only German city worth visiting on this list. Totally different to Berlin, but nonetheless interesting, Frankfurt is famous for being the economical hub of Europe, but a stealth of museums, bars and things to see and do mean that if you're not a business enthusiast, you won't go unsatisfied. Try a frankfurter while you're there too, it'd be a shame not to.
Budget Tip: The United Hostel on Kaiserstraße is cheap, cheerful and perfect for students on a budget.
Brussels always brings images of wealth and luxury to mind, but there's so much to see and do in the Belgian capital outside the realm of the E.U headquarters. Belgian chocolate for one, Belgian beer for another. Student-friendly, beautifully kept and bustling with life, you can learn a lot from Brussels if the educational bone tickles your fancy and if not? Well, there is the phenomenal nightlife to keep you on your toes.
Budget Tip: Hit up the markets for lots of waffle and chocolate samples and yes, you can thank me later!
Described as the newer, cooler Barcelona, Madrid is literally so hot right now. Crammed chock a block with hip people and even hipper bars, with nightclubs staying open until 9am, there's literally nothing stopping you from not getting your night started until the wee hours of the morning. Just be sure to have some tapas or paella to fuel you right through the night, you can find tons of places where you'll get delicious, authentic Spanish food for very little.
Budget Tip: Try Petisqueira, near the Tribunal metro stop and you can stockpile on free samples.
Mention Milan and what's the first thing that springs to mind? Fashion and unbeatable style, I'll bet. But there's more to this Italian city than meets the eye. Gelato, delicious Italian food, shots of limoncello and more beautiful people than you could ever imagine, why not embrace your inner fashionista, or at least, your jealousy bug, and put Milan on your must see map.
Budget tip: And for those of us (all of us) on a budget, check out some of Milan's numerous flea markets. Fun AND cheap!
KBC bank is currently offering students something very exciting indeed. When you open and use a student current account with KBC, you'll receive either €100 OR two return flights* to any of the above destinations. See KBC.ie for more details.
*Flights from outside Dublin may incur a supplement cost. Terms and conditions apply to the KBC student current account and the student offer. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.