Travel Guide: Party like a Student in Western Europe
Whilst gap year haunts are often further afield than our backyard Europe and you might just skip Europe all together on your travels. Europe still has a plethora of amazing things to offer the party loving student traveller. The best thing about a trip to Europe is that you can do it in the holidays and take short breaks there without having to interrupt your day to day life drastically. So with that in mind we’ve put together a guide to traveling Europe and the best student friendly destinations to head to.
First off getting there is incredibly easy and generally cheap. Flights to almost anywhere in Europe can be snatched up for under £100. A ferry to France or Spain as a foot passenger will cost you under £50 and the Eurostar can be grabbed for £60 if you book in advance. Once you’re there Europe has fantastic transport almost everywhere so getting to and from places is easy. We’d recommend Inter railing as the best way to travel Europe though as you can get a ticket for different stretches of time and get “free” travel anywhere in Europe with it. This makes traveling great as you are not tied into any set pattern and can pick up and jump on a train anytime you want.
Ok now let’s get to the European highlights for the student traveller. Top of most party lovers list would be Amsterdam for its famous red light district and the world renowned cannabis cafes. The city is a thriving paradise for partying with tourists littering the streets until the early hours and some truly weird offerings everywhere you go. Amsterdam is great for drinking, smoking and weird shows and really what more do you need to know.
Next on our highlight list has to be Belgium and Antwerp. Antwerp might seem like an odd highlight for a European trip but with a cathedral turned club, shops with slides, fantastic beer and a ridiculously hip young culture this is a great place to stop off if even for a few nights. From here we can head to Berlin. Berlin is fantastic for many things – the beer of course being the best in the world and plentifully available in the countries fantastic beer halls. Berlin’s best highlight though is the club scene which rivals anything Ibiza can throw at you. Whether you want loud techno, happy hard core or grimy industrial metal or bass that makes your ears bleed Berlin has a club to suit. The beer is cheap, the music plays all night and the clubs are fantastically designed – enough said.
From Berlin we can head south through the country to the Alps stopping off in Freiburg in the black forest. Freiburg is a university town set in the picturesque black forest. You can spend your days hiking the forest and basking beside the river but when it comes to the evening it’s time to hit the many student bars and music venues for a lot of typically university partying. A great little town Freiburg will definitely keep you occupied for a few days before you head to get the Mont Blanc Express back into Southern France. The French Alps are of course absolutely breath taking and a stop in Val D’isere is well worth it for the view alone. Plus it has a huge populace of party goers and thrill seekers making it of course a hive of party activity.
Ok so we’ve done some heavy cities it’s time to head down to the beach at Barcelona. Whilst still a city Barcelona has a much more relaxed atmosphere than our previous entries and the beach on your doorstep makes it a popular destination. The beach is always a wash with tourists but the numerous bars scattered around the shore front are a great place to spend the evenings and the local clubs are cheap and fun. If you want something more local head to a side tavern and enjoy a drink with the generally very friendly locals.
Traveling in Europe is a great way to have some partying fun but don’t forget backpacker travel insurance to keep your valuables safe and don’t drink too much – well not too often anyway.
Mike is a travel writer covering worldwide destinations, budget travel and tips on how to find the cheapest travel insurance for your holiday.