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The Great Summer Escape

Alcina Munene Persson -

Diana Cristina Culincu -

Chiara Cuccui -

The summer time brings forth the urge to either take a breather and simply laze around as you bask under the sunlight, preferably with a light breeze and cool drink or to explore a new sight, where everything is a novelty to you, the people, the food and history. In this travel guide, we aim to provide spots that can fulfill either ambitions, all while considering each student’s (current) kryptonite: money!

Pelion, Greece

If you’re yearning for a gorgeous peninsula surrounded by blue-green beaches and particularly enjoy outdoor activities and traditional villages, then Pelio might be the destination for you this summer.

Places to visit: the various beaches (e.g Mylopotamos beach), the steam powered train Moutzouris, Tsagarada village

Things to try: Hiking (there are a number of hiking trails available that allow you to take in the scenery of the surrounding sea and mountains), the local spirits and wines as well as their most known local dish, traditional pies named “pites”.

Cheap accommodation: Archontiko Kantartzi in Tsagarada

How to get there: Interrail to Athens, train to Volos and then via bus or car. Otherwise you can take a flight* to Volos and take the train or car to Pelion.

Puglia, Italy

Looking for beautiful coastal sights and delicious cuisine? Look no further, Plugia has both for you along its streets decorated with the characteristic whitewashed and hut shaped houses.

Places to visit: The multitude of beaches (e.g. Polignano a Mare Beach), World Heritage Sites: Alberobello and Matera, the baroque city Lecca which offers beautiful architectural sights

Things to try: Various festivals (e.g. Cavalcata di Sant'Oronzo), the local cuisine which is characterized by seafood and pasta dishes and known for specialities such as burrata cheese and orecchiette pasta.

Cheap accommodation: B&B La Muraglia

How to get there: Interrail to Italy and then make use of regional buses or trains. Air travel* is also an alternative.

Brussels, Belgium

Feeling in the mood for delicious chocolate, trying the world’s largest variety of beer and visiting the European parliament? Then the Belgian capital, Brussels, is the optimal spot.

Places to visit: Delirium Bar with a Guiness World Record for the largest amount of beers available to taste (2004 different beers), The EU Parliament, The Royal Palace of Brussels, The Peeing statues (Manneken Pis, Jeanneke Pis and Zinneke Pis), The Old Town, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (5th biggest church in the world, known for its unique art deco style), The Atomium

Things to try: Belgian Waffles (Both kinds! The Liege waffle and the Brussels waffle), the “Mitraillette” sandwich with fries, a common student dish.

Cheap accommodation: Jacques Brel Youth Hostel

How to get there: Interrail or air travel*

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne as a whole is a protected site listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. That reason alone can point you to the rich history present on the medieval walls of the city. If you wish to skip the blazing sun and the crowded beaches, then this city might be up your alley.

Places to visit: The Medieval Fortified City, Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, the World Heritage Site Canal du Midi, Pont Vieux, the less medieval and more modern part of the city: La Bastide Saint-Louis, Porte Narbonnaise which is one of the main gates to the medieval city

Things to try: Visit the local market Les Halles de Carcassonnes, traditional French dishes such as cassoulet and local wines.

Cheap accommodation: Hotel Astoria

How to get there: Interrail to France, trains to Carcassonne are available from most regional cities (e.g. Toulouse, Marseille, Paris, Lille, Montpellier). Air travel* is also an alternative.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a city known for its history and its connections to well known figures, such as Franz Kafka. It’s the perfect city if you wish to explore gothic and baroque architecture, all while visiting a lively city which offers plenty of options in terms of nightlife.

Places to visit: The Lennon Wall, World Heritage Sites: the Old Town Square (more specifically the astronomical clock tower), Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, the multitude of breweries and pubs scattered throughout the city where you can taste a variety of beer at very affordable prices!

Things to try: A river cruise through Vltava River that runs through Prague, the vast Czech cuisine which includes dishes such as dumplings, goulash and schnitzel.

Cheap accommodation: Bunker Factory Prague

How to get there: Interrail or air travel*

Faro, Portugal

Looking to visit southern Europe as well as a coastal destination? Then Faro might just be the optimal spot for you. Here you can explore beautiful beaches and old architecture mostly present at their churches and museums.

Places to visit: Praia de Faro, the Old Town, Ria Formosa Natural Park, Cathedral de Faro, Bishop’s Palace

Things to try: Bike around the city, visit local markets, a day trip to visit nearby towns, the local cuisine which is primarily seafood dishes, the Silves Medieval Festival in August.

Cheap accommodation: Residencial Avenida

How to get there: Interrail or air travel*

If you want to stick closer to home, what about a trip around the Baltic Sea? Bonus? Cheap prices, great food and multiple transportation methods, to fit every preference and budget.

Gdańsk, Poland

What about a visit to Geralt of Rivia’s birth country, to eat pierogi and drink kvass (seriously, you need to try kvass, there’s nothing like it!)? A stunning coastal city in Poland, Gdańsk is a treasure trove dressed in amber of beauty, culture, and history, marked by centuries of maritime trade and battles.

Places to visit: Mariacka Street, The Crane, Neptune's Fountain, Black Pearl Ship (you can even go on a pirate cruise!), Swinging Footbridge to Marina, Footbridge to Ołowianka - the bascule bridge, AmberSky ferris wheel, Museum of Gdańsk - Main Town Hall, Basilica of St. Mary.

If you have an extra day, don’t miss out on a day trip to Malbork Castle, a World Heritage site, and the largest castle in the world measured by land area. A stunning Medieval fortress, Malbork was the home of the teutonic knights in the 13th and 14th centuries. Our advice: buy the train tickets online, and load up on water and snacks before boarding, as the train station can be busy and it is hard to find shops close by.

Cheap accommodation: Grand Hostel, right by the river, in the heart of the old city.

How to get there: air travel*

Tallinn, Estonia

From charming neighborhoods and off-the-beaten-path museums to quirky cafes and unique shopping destinations, Tallinn has something for every type of traveler looking to explore beyond the usual tourist hotspots. With its narrow cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, colorful buildings, and stunning sea views, Tallinn is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking for a special and memorable experience. Don’t miss out on viewing the streets from above from the countless viewing platforms and towers spread all throughout the city and have a cup of coffee at Café Maiasmokk, the oldest operational café in Estonia.

Places to visit: Toompea Hill, Tallinn Town Hall, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and Toompea Castle, the old Town Hall Pharmacy, Kadriorg Park and Kadriorg Art Museum, Kalaranna Promenade, Lennusadam.

Cheap accommodation: Fat Margaret's Hostel

How to get there: Tallink ferry, overnight bus from Riga, air travel*

Riga, Latvia

Riga, the capital city of Latvia, is a hidden gem in the heart of the Baltic States. With its stunning mix of gothic, baroque, art nouveau and modernist architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture, Riga is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to join the boat trips along the Daugava river or the old town, and try the Latvian cold beet soup at Lido!

Places to visit: The Swedish Gate, House of the Blackheads, the Cat House, The National Library of Latvia, St. Peter's Church, the Dome Square

Cheap accommodation: Blue Bird capsule hostel, right in the Dome Square, in the old city

How to get there: Tallink ferry, airtravel*

*Before you book your tickets and pack your bags:
A lot of the countries mentioned can be reached through ways other than air travel. In fact, an environmentally friendly way students could spend traveling throughout the summertime is through interrailing. Over the years, the Interrail has grown in popularity, allowing students and casual travelers to visit multiple cities with a single pass. You’re free to travel through Europe and visit 33 countries. The interrail pass can be purchased for 4 days and up to 3 months. It’s a wonderful alternative if you wish to quickly pass through multiple cities and can allow you to visit neighboring countries in the same day! If you are to choose night time travel then you can even save up some extra coins by combining accommodation and travel in one.

Publicerad: 2023-06-14

Ansvarig utgivare: Benjamin Javitz
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