The Best Cities to Visit as a Student
Being a student gives you unprecedented leave to travel the world, through language years abroad, exchange programmes or simply the myriad special offers and cost saving deals available to students.
Here we take a look at some of the world’s most visited student cities, in hope they spark some travel planning!
“To study in Paris is to be born in Paris”, stated Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables; and The City of Lights is truly a wonderful place to study in or visit. Although it has a fearsomely expensive reputation, low cost hostels are available if you search far enough in advance.
Once arrived, the list of breathtaking attractions is near endless. The Louvre hosts one of the world’s largest collections of fine art, while a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower is so iconic as to be unmissable.
If you get tired of the sightseeing trail, try a day trip out to the fabulous Palace of Versailles, or a relaxing boat trip on the “Bateaux Mouche”, a riverboat down the Seine, you’ll get a different perspective of the city and tickets are only €10.
London plays host to one of the world’s largest student populations, with over 300,000 full time students living in Britain’s capital. London’s list of attractions is almost endless - from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace.
For a less travelled path try the Fire Monument, a tribute to death and damage of the great fire of 1666. If you can struggle up a tight spiral of 311 stairs, you’ll be treated to a wonderful, if vertiginous, view.
Alternatively, Leicester Square, down the road from landmark Waterloo Bridge, is at the heart of London’s frenetic nightlife. A truly 24 hour location, Leicester Square has become known as home to some of England’s finest casinos.
The recently opened Hippodrome occupies a refurbished music hall, with 4 gaming floors, including a Poker room, built around the former stage. It regularly hosts entertainment evenings including variety acts and burlesque shows, as an authentic casino experience it can’t be bettered.
The historic Dutch city of Amsterdam is famous for both its high and low culture. While some tourists flock to the notorious cafes or traipse through the red light district, others are drawn to the city’s beauty and wealth of culture.
Justin Bieber recently landed in hot water for making light of his visit to Anne Frank’s house, but for many it is a haunting and educational experience. Other sights not to be missed include the Van Gogh Museum, Royal Palace and Rembrandt House Museum.
Once you’ve had your fill of Amsterdam’s cobbled streets, why not throw yourself into the nightlife? Amsterdam has dozens of great clubs, but Club Trouw, located in a former printing press, is famous for its great music, industrial feel and party all night attitude.
Hong Kong was, until 1997, a territory under British control. As one of the last colonial outposts to be returned to home rule, Hong Kong retains an idiosyncratic blend of Western and local cultures. With bustling street markets rubbing shoulders with high finance, the city defies comparison and is bound to provide an exciting visit.
Victoria Peak is a local beauty spot which gives a wonderful view of the city, while boat trips out to the surrounding islands can provide a taste of a bygone era. After that you can dine in the world’s cheapest Michelin Star restaurant, where a sumptuous meal will set you back less than $10.
Happy Valley racecourse, once a thriving attraction for British expats, continues to host race days throughout the year. Long rumoured to be influenced by shadowy triads, in 2012 a sophisticated doping system was found installed underneath the starter gates.
A vibrant city where beauty, poverty, crime and wealth exist side by side; Hong Kong is a city to be experienced as much as visited. Although flights are expensive cheap accommodation can be found in the city and, if you’re able, a trip is well worth considering!
Although many students might seek out warm climates for their travels or years abroad; Montreal, Canada provides a completely new experience. Sometimes described as “two cities in one” because of the 19 miles of tunnels running underneath, Montreal’s harsh climate and French cultural influence and friendliness make it worth a visit.
Montreal in winter
Montreal is a beautiful city, but most of the fun comes in watching how the locals shrug of the extreme climate. In the thick of winter its possible to empty a kettle outside and watch its contents freeze before they touch ground!
Once the novelty wears off you're still left with a lot to see. Montreal’s Old Town dates back to the 17th century, while the Gothic Revival Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of North America’s oldest pilgrimage sites.