Don't bypass the chance to live a glorious life full of exploration! Traveling while studying abroad in Europe is one of the best perks given the continent's relative size (amazing to think you can travel to an entirely different culture, language, and people under an hour!) and enormous cultural diversity. One of our all-time favorite tips for studying abroad in Europe is to TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL!
Regardless of where you end up via your study abroad program, there are a select nine top places to visit when studying abroad in Europe. Pop in to for a day or even a weekend jaunt just to taste some of the many experiences a European city has to offer! Spoiler: You might not want to return to the US. Ever.
Our round up of the most visited European cities for students
The canals and stacked houses are just the beginning. The Dutch have created one of the most successful environments in Europe, with liberal policies, social programs, extremely low unemployment, and a healthy lifestyle. Take your visit to Amsterdam beyond the coffeeshops and Red Light District, and take in the city's living, breathing culture. If you're up for the challenge, rent a bike for the day to really live like a local!
- Must do: Visit the Van Gogh museum
- Must eat: Stroopwaffels and a rijsttafel (an Indonesian feast)
- Student budget travel tip for Amsterdam: Get the Amsterdam City Pass Plus to save money on popular attractions.
To many, Hungary is the wild wild west, or east that is! Still coming into their own after becoming a democracy, Budapest is one of the most unique cities you'll visit during your travels. Split in half by the River Danube, the city is crawling with things to do - underground caves under Buda, thermal hot spring baths in Pest, raging nightlife, and delicious, stick to your ribs cuisine, you might never leave!
- Must do: Széchenyi thermal bath
- Must eat: Goulash, baby!
- Student budget travel tip for Budapest: You'll find best of view of the city by walking (for free!) across the Chain Bridge or hiking to the summit of Gellért Hill.
The vibrant Catalan culture is enough of a reason to visit this Spanish city, not to mention the delicious food, beautiful architecture, and sunny beaches. Get your rest before heading to Barca because you'll find yourself exploring all day and then partying until the sun comes up. Make sure to take in traditional Sardana dances and a Flamenco show to get your fill of the city's people and traditions.
- Must do: Take (lots) of photos at Park Güell, full of Gaudi's sculpturse
- Must eat: All the jamon
- Student budget travel tip for Barcelona: Tapas are a student traveler's dream—get free small bites with any glass of wine.
Known as the city of spires, Prague is a must-see on most people's lists. As one of the only places that wasn't leveled during the war, the architecture in Prague can't be missed, and a stroll along the river looking at the castle will make you fall in love with the city. If you're up for the cold, visit Prague during the winter months where it's a magical Christmas village famous for the markets and hot wine.
- Must do: Meander Old Town Square, pretend you live in a fairytale
- Must eat: S-T-R-U-D-E-L
- Student budget travel tip for Prague: Unijazz has affordable coffee AND Pilsners.
If you're hoping to see the Eiffel Tower, prepare yourself because the city of Paris alone might take your breath away. Make time in your schedule to take a bike ride or boat cruise when the lights are twinkling, relax at a cafe to take in the scene, and get lost in the city's museums.
- Must do: Have a picnic in the park near the Eiffel Tower
- Must eat: Everything. Seriously.
- Student budget travel tip for Paris: There are loads of free museums and monuments in Paris—some all the time, some for a few days per month. Even the Musée d’Art Moderne, the Pompidou Centre, and the Musée d’Orsay have free days!
A favorite urban center, each of London's neighborhoods feels like another country with its own personality, cuisine, culture, and vibe. Go from borough to borough sampling the different flavors, and end your weekend catching the city's institutions such as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, or Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park.
- Must do: Try to get the palace guards to crack a smile
- Must eat: Fish & chips—bonus points if it's served in newspaper
- Student budget travel tip for London: Student clubs and pubs about town will have special prices, promotions, and deals for, well, students. Find more details here.
Wonder where this pick is? Tucked in a valley of the Swiss Alps, the village is untouched by modern life, picturesque and pristine any time of the year. Come here to the adventure sport capital of the world during the summer to hike and bike, or during the winter to ski, sled, and board on some of the most intense slopes you've ever seen. Swiss culture is alive here, it will be one of the most unique experiences you have while traveling.
- Must do: Yodel!
- Must eat: Raclette. It's warm, gooey cheese served over potatoes AKA heaven
- Student budget travel tip for Switzerland: Rent a budget bike to see even more of this quaint village and its surrounding countryside. The views are second to none!
A city destroyed by wars and conflict has emerged as a modern day trendy, hipster, student center. With more than 200,000 students, Kraków is bustling and has something for everyone. Incredibly cheap prices and deep rooted history will take you through WWII into modern day, snacking on pierogi dumplings and tasting vodka along the way.
- Must do: Enjoy a cappuccino in an artsy cafe
- Must eat: Pierogis fo' days
- Student budget travel tip for Krakow: In the flea markets, keep your eyes peeled for the items on the ground—they're usually the cheapest prices! (Go early to snag even more deals!).
Known as the hipster capital of Europe, Berlin is a modern city laced with familiar history. From Nazi time up until the fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin struggled to find itself; but now it is a melting pot of culture and nightlife. Spend the days lost in museums and history, and the nights checking out the 24 hour bar and restaurant culture to take in the scene. Don't forget to try a currywurst!
- Must do: Pose for a photo along the Berlin Wall.
- Must eat: Doner kebab. And if you don't, we're coming after you. 😂
- Student budget travel tip for Berlin: Street food will be your budget BFF—not only because it's cheap, but because it's delicious too!
What cities are we missing?
Visiting these nine fantastic student cities ranks highly on our tips for studying abroad in Europe.
Are you currently abroad and have you been traveling around Europe while studying abroad? Hit the comments & tell us the latest hot spots! We want the deets.