If the thought of packing away your textbooks and heading to Cancun seems just so cliche, then it’s probably time to venture elsewhere and discover one of these up-and-coming student-friendly summer vacation destinations.
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 traveling, and the capital city of 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, attracting the biggest names in pop music.
Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have become a mecca for sun seekers looking for a bargain deal. Awesome beaches and warm weather 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 accommodations at great 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 the ideal vacation. 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 1,640 feet 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 Berlin Wall, this German city isn’t short on 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 the typical Berliner lifestyle. And don’t forget to head to a photoautomaten (photo booth) to take some fun pics.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, United States
Some may snicker at its new found fame as one of the most popular hipster neighborhoods in L.A. but a testament to Silver Lake’s reputation could be the fact the area has one of the most exciting foodie scenes in the U.S. (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 hot spot for kids ready to sample a new side of the U-S-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 natural wonders like the Valle de la Luna where the gradual erosion of the mountains has 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, United Kingdom
Heading to London? Then you’ll need to make a beeline for East End, a.k.a. 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.
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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.