4 budget friendly European travel destinations for students

Whatever your budget, escaping the stress of student life over the holidays doesn’t have to be a distant dream. Europe is filled with rich culture for you to discover, even if your purse strings are tighter than most.

Take a trip, worlds away from your university library and hop on a short flight from Birmingham Airport to explore one of these four European destinations.

Madrid, Spain

The Spanish capital city of Madrid blends both classic and modern Spanish life, a popular tourist destination, revel in the outstanding architecture and party the night away thanks to their lively nightlife scene. Rich in monuments and museums as well as great restaurants and retail destinations, there’s plenty to keep you busy.

With so many sites to admire and parks to explore, a great way to take them all in is to rent a bike and ride around some of the finest attractions. The BiciMAD hire scheme is widely available in the city and allows you to zoom around places including La Latina neighbourhood, the Royal Palace, San Miguel Market and Plaza de la Independencia. This is a fairly cheap way to get around the city with prices starting from 0,50 euros.

Famous for its trio of museums, known as the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza all charge for entry however they each offer free entry on certain days and at certain times so worth planning ahead your visit.

Tucking into tasty tapas is a must and inexpensive as these Spanish speciality small dishes allow you to mix and match both hot and cold dishes and perfect for if you’re looking for a light bite as well a full dinner. Bite into favourites such as patatas bravas, spanish omelette and calamari.

Getting there: Fly direct from Birmingham Airport with Iberia Express & Ryanair
Approximate flight time:
2 hours 20 minutes

Sofia, Bulgaria

The dynamic capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia is a great destination to embrace a new culture and having been named one of the cheapest cities in Europe, according to Backpacker Index, it doesn’t have to be costly. With an incredible history that dates back to 7,000 BC, the city is rich in architectural ruins to marvel at.

One of the great things about Sofia is that many of the tours are free. If you’re a foodie, you’re in luck as there is a free food tour to enjoy traditional Bulgarian cuisine hosted by a guide who will explain the history of the food. The tour starts at 2pm everyday at Park Crystal and lasts for around 2.5 hours.

If you’re wanting to take in over 35 of Sofia’s spectacular sights, there is a free sightseeing tour that runs twice per day from the Palace of Justice with highlights including the Banya Bashi Mosque, the Central Sofia Market Hall and the Mineral Water Springs.

If you want to learn more about life in the communist era, there is a communism tour which runs every weekend from 10am and includes a Trabi car ride.

Eating in Sofia on a budget is easily done by visiting the street food stalls which offer tasty kebabs, cheap pizza, amongst other popular dishes. A stroll down Vitosha Boulevard you can enjoy an inexpensive beverage while watching the world go by and feast your eyes on the Vitosha Mountain in the distance

Getting there: fly from birmingham airport with Ryanair
Approximate flight time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is a charming Croatian city which is brimming with a treasure trove of things to explore.

Wander the streets of the Old Town which is packed with ornate churches, markets, palaces, museums as well as shops, bars and restaurants.

Dining out is pricey so a few of your euros will need to be spent to savour the seaside specialties. However, there are many beautiful and interesting sites that won’t cost you a single euro including Gradac Park in which you can immerse yourself in tranquillity and enjoy nature with a stunning view over Lovrijenac, sea and the top of the Old town. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, seek out the filming locations the hit show featured throughout the series.

Don your best swimwear, take a dip in the sea and soak up the sun at Banje Beach, Dubrovnik’s pebbly beach. If you do splurge on anything on your trip, walking the ancient walls is one of the most popular activities and is sure to be an unforgettable experience with breath-taking views if the city. Take advantage of the spectacular surroundings and explore the rocky, sandy coastline.

Getting there: Fly direct from Birmingham Airport with Jet2.com & TUI
Approximate flight time
: 3 hours 0 minutes

Naples, Italy

Marvel in the surroundings of archaeological treasures in the Italian port city of Naples and devour fresh authentic Neopolitan pizza. With historic Pompeii nearby as well as two royal palaces, three castles and museums, this is an ideal destination for any culture vulture.

Take a trip out to the roman ruins of Pompeii by hopping on the Circumvesuviana train that will take you out there and back for six euros. For amazing views, head over to the Castel dell’Ovo on the little island of Megaride as entry is free or admire the viewpoint at the Villa Floridana park and take a breather amongst the greenery. No matter what time of year you visit take a step down the charismatic ‘Christmas Alley’ of Via San Gregorio Armeno famous for its endless shops dedicated to its pastori (nativity-scene figurines).

Capture your eye with contemporary art at the MADRE Museum of Contemporary Art with their installations and art pieces forever changing. If you find yourself there on a Monday, entry is free.

A real foodie haven, tasting the finest Italian flavours of pizza, pasta, seafood and gelato can be particularly inexpensive if you know where to look.

Getting there: Fly direct from Birmingham Airport with Jet2.com & TUI
Approximate flight time: 2 hours 45 minutes


Discover more of the incredible destinations Birmingham Airport fly to by visiting https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/destinations-and-more/
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