Travelling the world is a part of the student dream but unfortunately for us, penny pinching is part of our reality. The common perception is that travel is expensive and will require dropping some serious dolla bills, but this isn’t necessarily true. Last summer I had the problem of trying to find a holiday destination that was hot, had great night life, had enough to keep me entertained for a whole week and wasn’t going to break the bank. After weeks of debating what our best option was we landed on gold… Budapest. The Hungarian city is listed in travel guides from all around the world as one of the cheapest city break destinations in Europe. After some research into what there was to see and do we decided that it was our ‘Must Visit’ destination and here’s why…
Flights in the height of summer can be found from as little €68.99 each way, cheap and cheerful for a trip that you’ll never forget!
Accommodation in the city centre is easy to come by and won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Do some digging when it comes to finding somewhere to stay, it will be worth it. This goes for every trip, do some extra work and you’ll be surprised at what you can find. We found a two storey private apartment for the exact same price as 3 beds in a grubby hostel and the best part? When broken down it turns out we only paid €10pp each night, €70 for a full week in private accommodation at the foot of Buda Castle and directly beside the Széchenyi Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest, 10 minutes walk to everything! It can be a pain to wade through website after website of accommodation but you won’t regret it.
Budapest is the Hungarian Capital, a city divided into two halves by the Danube River. On the ‘Buda’ side of the Danube lies Buda Castle, a large and beautiful palace dating back to the 13th Century. The castle sits in the mountains of Budapest, accessible by Funicular or by foot. Boasting spectacular views of the entire city, Buda Castle is a must-see attraction when visiting Budapest. And best of all, it’s free!
Free attractions in the city include Heroes Square, Margrit Island (where the annual Sziget festival is held) and the Great Market Hall, where a host of traditional Hungarian delicacies are on offer for those brave enough to taste!
Budapest is famous for its Roman Thermal Spas and Baths, ideal for a day of relaxation in thermal pools at about 38 degrees. On Saturday nights the Széchenyi Baths transform into the ultimate pool party with DJs hosting parties into the early hours. The Spa Parties are unmissable for students visiting the city so make sure that you book in advance as they tend to sell out. I’ll never forget the Sparty and I would tell EVERYONE visiting Budapest to make a point of going!
Budapest is known as being one of the cheapest cities in Europe for alcohol. On average, you can expect to pay around €4 for cocktails, €1.50-€2 for vodka and around €1 for a pint… where else would you get it?!
The night life in the city doesn’t disappoint. Whether you decide to take a pub crawl (they’re deadly, would recommend) or explore for yourself, there are tonnes of bars to choose from. Make sure to visit one of the city’s famous ‘Ruin Bars’ for a unique experience and an unforgettable night
The average daily temperature from June-August is generally anywhere between 21-26 degrees, just what you want for that ‘heat hitting your face stepping off the plane’ effect
Budapest is accessible as part of rail routes so if you’ve already planned to interrail this summer, never fear! There is still time to add to your list.