Best European Destinations for Student Travelers This Summer

This summer, many popular European destinations will be overcrowded and overly expensive. These increased prices may very well keep many student travelers from visiting these spots. Paris is a perfect example of this. France’s capital city will be buzzing with the Olympic Games, and there’ll be plenty of things to do in the region this summer. However, lodging options are drying up, and prices have been on the rise for years even before this event. It may be wise to skip Paris, at least for this summer. Here are a few destinations, graded by UNiDAYS, which can be perfect alternatives!

Tbilisi, Georgia

Narikala Castle in Tbilisi Georgia.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / MehmetO

Where is this exactly? Georgia, up until recently, had been one of those forgotten European destinations. The country, however, has invested heavily in promoting itself as a tourist destination. It’s still one of the most affordable places in Europe and features very decent nightlife. If you like seafood, then Georgian cuisine could be right up your alley! You can buy a beer for $2 and change – that can give you a good sense of how much you’re going to spend in the country. The current problem with reaching Georgia’s capital city is the ongoing war in Ukraine. You can fly into Germany, maybe, and try to find flights that take you down south and into Georgia. Getting there could be the most expensive part of the trip!

Lisbon, Portugal

Aerial drone view of the Augusta Street Arch from Commerce Square in Lisbon, Portugal.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Miguel Couto

Another capital city came in second on the list. An interesting element of the ranking that UNiDAYS used included a safety index. Lisbon scored around 70 in their standards. This means that Tbilisi must be amazing all around because its safety index is probably not as high! In any case, this is a great choice for travelers on a lower budget. Portugal, in general, is considerably cheaper than its neighbor Spain. Neither of the two destinations is overly expensive to begin with, especially if you skip out on the lavish 5-star hotels and restaurants to eat and stay with the locals. Lisbon has a city vibe mixed with the beach that can provide you with virtually anything you’d like to experience.

Yerevan, Armenia

A view of Cascade and giant stairway on sunny day in Yerevan, Armenia
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ruslan Harutyunov

One of the main reasons why this city is on this list is affordability. Maybe you can start to notice a pattern here! These are capital cities that feature all the amenities you could want while remaining on a budget. But money aside, Armenia is a very interesting place for new visitors. You’re going to get a mixture of the Asian and European sides of the country. Nightlife, we can say, is decent. The city is small enough to allow you to walk around almost anywhere. You still want to be careful, though, where you’re walking in some of the later hours of the night.

Prague, Czech Republic

Scenic view of the Old Town pier architecture and Charles Bridge over Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / DaLiu

This may be a controversial addition to the list, for sure. Security-wise, you could be walking into a trap here. That’s especially the case for younger students who look the part of the vulnerable tourist. Also, there are affordable spots around the city, but not everything comes cheap. You have to do a deep dive into this place before you decide to visit so you can budget your trip accordingly. What potentially allowed Prague to make the list is the fact that it can be a bit cheaper than other more popular cities. You do get all of the amenities and even the sights that you’ll have in other capitals across the continent. This city is, without a doubt, a must-visit, but it may not be for every type of student traveler.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Scenery view of Reykjavik the capital city of Iceland in late winter season.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Boyloso

There are a couple of criteria that this city fulfills that can make it a good spot for student travelers. It’s generally not as expensive as most other European capitals. Iceland, in general, is a very safe country, even for younger travelers. Also, it can provide a unique set of experiences that you may not have access to anywhere else. Even though it’s the summer, you can expect to be a bit cold out. What you want to do here as a student traveler is really embrace the local culture. Go out and eat at the places the locals frequent. You won’t have too many options to choose from, so a longer trip may not be too exciting. A short stop in Reykjavík as part of a longer Euro trip can make a lot of sense.

Other Additions to the List

Cibeles Fountain in Madrid Spain
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eszter Szadeczky-Kardoss.

Madrid and Istanbul are two of the other cities on the list that deserve an honorable mention. Both of these destinations are more popular spots with tourists in general. What makes them great for students is a similar phenomenon to what we talked about in Prague – if you plan your trip out accordingly, you can find plenty of great places to eat and drink on a low budget. Madrid has a very vibrant young population, and there’s a bar on every corner, so you’ll have plenty of places to choose from for a fun night out. That actually helps make things more affordable around the city.

Istanbul is one of the best places to get a taste of the Arab world with a European twist without spending a ton of money. You’ll have more “freedom” to go out and have a good time than you would in places like Dubai, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. These spots are not only overly expensive, but they are “dangerous” for younger travelers. What could be a simple mistake elsewhere on a night out can be very costly in these places. In Istanbul, you get to experience a different culture on a budget with more flexibility.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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