I’m Too Young To Keep Lying on a Beach

Ibiza-type holidays never crossed my mind when planning my first holiday abroad with my 3 best friends in mid 2018. The party lifestyle hadn’t appealed to us, at the time of booking I’d been “clubbing” once and hated it. We decided on a city break because we all burn very easy and had quickly realised a beach holiday would mainly be spent under the shade panicking about burning. 

Why City Breaks are a Good Alternative to Beach Holidays 

  • Do it whilst you’re young 
    • A common phrase my parents come out with when I put off doing anything they think will be good for me. Unfortunately, in this case, they’re right. You’re going to get older, you’re going to start working, maybe start a family, this makes travelling all the more difficult. See the world while you’re young and have the energy for all that walking. 
  • You’re less likely to hate your friends by the end of it
    • City breaks normally last a weekend or about 4 days, you’re constantly busy doing things and seeing new places. You don’t have time to argue with your friends, and annoying habits that they have are less likely to grind your gears after 4 days but they probably will after a week. 
  • When you’re busy your holiday feels longer
    • Yes it can be tiring, but you’re having so much fun that you barely notice it. 
  • Planning your days mean you get much more excited 
    • I’m a planner. On our first holiday I was delegated the job of finding an itinerary. 8 pages of information later my friends regretted that decision. Finding out more about the place we were going was so interesting and made me panic so much less about being on our first holiday without parents. 

A few weeks later we settled on going to Prague in September 2018 after my friend found that beer was, on average, under a pound for a pint. But we had so many ideas and when were booking our first holiday, before we’d left Prague we’d decided on our holiday for this year (Budapest for anyone lucky enough not to have been bombarded by my Insta or Snapchat). Check out these city breaks that won’t break the bank.

Prague 

I’m starting with this because I’ve been there and would recommend it to everyone. The city of spires is beautiful and transport is so cheap its not worth walking. Where we stayed was a central apartment for the four of us for £50 a night which we didn’t think was too bad. 

Budapest

We went here a few months ago and loved it! Maybe not as picturesque as Prague but still stunning, especially the Parliament Building. Daily costs are so low. We were shocked when we were presented with a bill for lunch for just under 7000 HUF but after using our converter app we realised we’d just had 4 drinks and pizza for 4 people for around £17 right outside a major tourist destination. Also, just go for the baths, thankfully (well in my opinion, not here to judge what you’re into) they’re not full of old naked people, so it’s pretty relaxing and not stressful. 

Bucharest

Romania’s Capital has been seen as a hidden gem of Eastern Europe and still doesn’t attract massive tourist crowds, much to my surprise. This is good for your sleep and good for your wallet, as it means you don’t have to get up too early to beat the crowds and prices are set at the pay rate of locals not at what tourists are willing to spend. I haven’t been here yet but it’s definitely on my list!

Kiev

Kiev (or Kyiv) has an amazing and powerful history so history buffs need this on their bucket list. From my research sights include many churches and pieces of Soviet History. Architecture and Art is everywhere in this city. Described as cute, quirky, edgy and alternative, Kiev has something for everyone. 

Sofia

Sofia is the oldest capital city in Europe apparently and for fans of the Wizard of Oz it is also known as the City of Yellow Brick Roads. There are mountains so close to the city that you can see them from the National Palace of Culture and create a stunning backdrop to the city. Locals swear by the water from the mineral fountains for its healing properties. 

Krakow

Whilst most people travelling to Krakow will visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp, there is so much more to Krakow including over 50 museums and art galleries. You can tell that it is cheap to visit due to the influx of stag parties at the weekend, similar to Prague if you want it to be a bit quieter, I recommend going in the week, flights are normally cheaper too. Its not all museums and sightseeing though, there is a very active nightlife in Krakow including cheap student bars!

Riga

Riga is a pretty small city with most of the major sights in walking distance. The intimacy of this small city only adds to its charm. For medicine students, or even just those into the weird and wacky, try the Museum for the History of Medicine. If you’re there for a long enough time, maybe consider a day trip across the border to Lithuania’s capital Vilnius. 

Concourse is Keele University’s independent student-run publication and has a long history of promoting student journalism. Having been established in 1964, Concourse has become an important part of the university and has been read by generations of Keelites.

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