If the thought of packing away your textbooks and heading to the coast of Ibiza, Magaluf, Thailand or Cancun (delete where appropriate) fills you with dread, then it’s probably time you venture further afield and discover the new breed of student-friendly summer holiday destinations on everyone’s hitlist.
Serbia is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, cheap, tasty food and some of the most riotous parties in Europe. Being so cheap, it’s ideal for any eager student with a penchant for travelling, and capital city Belgrade offers an impressive mix of history and hedonism. Roam the bohemian quarters of Skadarlija and Drocol for extra cool points. Music lovers can enjoy the wild Danube boat parties – dancing until their feet hurt and the sun comes up. Alternatively, head out an hour away from Novi Sad and experience Exit Festival, one of the best on the European festival circuit and attracting the biggest names in pop music.
Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have become a mecca for sun seekers looking for a bargain deal. Ace beaches and weather to rival the hottest spots in southern Spain make Bulgaria a no-brainer for students looking to let their hair down. The capital Sofia offers hearty food and a lively nightlife scene guaranteed to challenge even the most energetic party animals. Plus there’s an abundance of affordable accommodation at steal prices, so you can enjoy some R&R guilt-free.
Padang Bai, Bali
It isn’t called the “Island of the Gods” for nothing. Bali is a slice of heaven on earth for anyone who considers spending all day sunbathing on the ideal holiday. Top rated sandy shores include Bias Tugal, locally known as Pantai Kecil (Little Beach), an often-secluded stretch that can only be accessed by trekking 500m down a rocky path. But it’s worth the slog because you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning views of crisp white sand, azure waters, and of course, the sweet sound of solitude.
From taking a bike tour around the city’s most prominent sights to visiting The Wall, Berlin is not short of things to see and do. Learn the history by day and explore Berlin’s energetic electro music scene by night, where clubs Watergate and Berghain offer top-notch all-nighter parties hosted by the best DJs on the circuit. Visit the artsy Kreutzberg neighbourhood, filled with hipster cafes, boutiques and bike shops for a slice of typical Berliner lifestyle. And don’t forget to head to a Photoautomaten (photo booth) to take some fun selfies to remember the trip by.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Some may snigger at it’s new found fame as one of the most popular hipster neighbourhoods in LA but testament to it’s reputation could be the fact that the area has one of the most exciting foodie scenes in the US (think farmer’s markets and cool craft beers) matched with a flourishing arts community. To top it all off, the area boasts some seriously avant garde architecture, making it a hotspot for kids ready to sample the newer side of the US of A.
La Paz, Bolivia
Ready for a complete culture shock (in a good way)? Then Bolivia is the place for you. Brave the initial altitude sickness inducing heights of La Paz, and you’ll uncover a fascinating and friendly city that proudly celebrates its rich indigenous culture. Shopaholics can pick up tons of trinkets and treasures at the Mercado de las Brujas, including traditional textiles from the local Aymara tribes. Visit the natural wonders like the Valle de la Luna where the gradual erosion of the mountains have created a bizarre work of art that’s dotted around the city, or go to El Alto to check out the phenomenal views of the Andes.
East London, UK
Heading to London? Then you’ll need to make a beeline for East End, aka young London’s hipster paradise. The holy trinity of Shoreditch, Hoxton and Dalston showcase London’s creative heart, where artists, designers, musicians and students all work and play. Shop at some of the best vintage boutiques around at Brick Lane or visit Broadway Market and Columbia Road’s flower market on the weekends.
Feature image: Feature © ViktorCap/iStock/Thinkstock
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas.