When you’re living in London, Europe is right on your doorstep. Who wouldn't want to explore as much as possible? There are so many places to see, from Paris to Prague. Budget-conscious students and interns can travel just as much as anyone else if they know where to go. That’s why we have researched and found the most student-budget friendly destinations.
The 2014 European Backpacker Index is an index of tourist destinations by price. They calculated the price by using the prices of the least expensive hostel, transportation, a paid attraction, “budget” meals, and local beers to determine how “expensive” a destination is. We have picked our own list using the Backpacker Index as a starting point. Lonely Planet’s list of Best Value Destinations has also been consulted.
Other ways to keep costs down include packing light (which is lighter than you think) and talking to locals. Packing light saves you from paying baggage costs on budget airlines. Talking to locals is interesting as well as cost-efficient. A friendly local will give you tips on sights to see away from the touristy areas, and give you insight into the area’s culture. On a personal note - once my travel buddies and I got a free bus ride after a really interesting conversation with an Irish bus driver!
Krakow, Poland: According to European Backpacker Index, Europe’s best travel bargain, even if it isn’t the overall least expensive. Becoming more popular with Europeans for weekend breaks.
Lisbon, Portugal: Lisbon is Western Europe’s least expensive and second oldest capital city. These two facts are made even better by the variety of sights in and around Lisbon.
Naples, Italy: Naples has just as much to see as the more popular destinations, such as museums containing treasures from Pompeii, an underground city, and castles. Plus, this is the city where modern pizza was invented.
Santorini, Greece: Due to perceived instability, many of the tourists normally flocking to the Greek Islands will be absent this summer. That makes it the perfect time to go island hopping!
Faroe Islands: This self-governing nation is within the Kingdom of Denmark, sitting between Scotland and Iceland. Because it is largely overlooked, this hiking and bird watching paradise has surprisingly affordable hostels and homestays that are quite nice.
Budapest, Hungary: Between castles, cathedrals, and thermal spas, what’s not to like? The city is becoming increasingly popular with the backpacking crowd.
Ljubljana, Slovenia: Slovenia is beautiful as well as exciting. It has skiing, rafting, canyoning, and hiking to offer, among other things. It is also cheaper than cities in the surrounding countries of Italy, Austria, and Croatia that attract tourists.
Bruges, Belgium: Bruges has reasonable hostels and good tourist attractions. The main sights can be seen in a short time, but the atmosphere is relaxed and great to stay in for a few days.
Hamburg, Germany: With a few great budget hostel and food options, Hamburg is a great out-of-the-way German destination. The city has history and culture, as well as some beautiful green spaces.
Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava is much cheaper than Vienna but almost within walking distance. There is a lack of famous tourist attractions, but it still has old world charm in its historic town center. Add a day in Vienna to your itinerary and you have one more city on the list of places you have been!