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Le-Anne

December 12th, 2023

Travelling on a Budget: The Hidden Gems of Europe

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Le-Anne

December 12th, 2023

Travelling on a Budget: The Hidden Gems of Europe

0 comments | 1 shares

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

My first encounter with Europe was when I arrived in France as an international student. Fast forward to today, as a Study Abroad GO LSE student, I have been fortunate enough to explore the region and broaden my horizons by travelling to a number of European countries. For many of us, the study abroad program might be the first time to experience Europe, and it would be a waste to miss out on the amazing travel opportunities on offer.

Money is often a major concern for many exchange students. But travelling doesn’t always have to be an expensive endeavour! With round trip tickets going for about £50, and hostel accommodation for £10-£15 a night, here are three off-the-beat but affordable destinations that you can consider for your next adventure.

Hungary: The Quintessential Central European Experience

This is a destination that you don’t want to miss out on! To place Hungary on your travel radar for an inexpensive getaway wouldn’t be a wrong bet at all.  From the stunning Parliament building to the Fisherman’s Bastion, there is just so much to see if you are a fan of architecture and hybrid cityscapes. The picturesque sights that you get on a cruise boat on the Danube River are fascinating, and you’re in for a visual feast if you board the cruise in the evening to watch the Parliament building light up.

During the winter, you surely cannot miss the once-in-a-lifetime experience at the famous thermal baths in Budapest. As for food, the generous portions of goulash in a bread bowl and the ever-delicious chimney cake will please even the fussiest of taste buds.

Kossuth Lajos Square, Budapest, Hungary

Poland: A Historian’s Dream

If you love studying about history as much as I do, you won’t go wrong by having Poland on your travel destination list. One of the most memorable things I did in Poland was to visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camp just an hour and a half away from Krakow. There is no doubt that this experience is one that is sobering, as our guides took us through the harrowing history of the Concentration Camp.

Over in Warsaw, the city presents a smaller but equally bustling Old Town that is usually packed during the Christmas season as Christmas markets begin to spring up. The colourful Old Town of Warsaw is also filled with small reading cafes that serve up good hot chocolates in the relatively harsher winter.

Poland is also a dream destination for classical music lovers. Where else would be a better place to hear a live Chopin piano concert than in Poland itself? Tickets are usually sold at affordable prices of €15 to €20 for a typical small-scale concert held in a more intimate setting, and the quality of these concerts never disappoints.

Old Town Warsaw, Poland

Slovakia: The Home of Nature

If you are a nature lover, I have no doubt that you will enjoy a trip to Slovakia. Home to beautiful natural landscapes such as the Tatras mountain ranges and other national parks, there are many opportunities to hike during the summer and ski during the winter.

Furthermore, just like Hungary, the spa culture in Slovakia has seen the rise of thermal baths and wellness treatments in towns such as Piestany, where you can take time off to unwind and relax after an intense semester.

Among the three destinations that I’ve shared, Slovakia remains as one of the lesser known gems of Central and Eastern Europe so it is likely that you will find fewer tourists exploring the country. This may be a good option if you are looking for a less crowded destination and would like to travel at a slower pace to gain the full immersive experience of the country.

Bratislava Castle, Slovakia

If you’re stuck not knowing what to do and where to go for your next adventure, I hope that these recommendations will be of use to you in experiencing something new and unique on a manageable budget. Happy holidays in advance!

About the author

Le-Anne

Hi there! My name is Le-Anne, and I'm a third-year exchange student on the GO LSE programme. I am from Singapore, but I studied in France for the first two years of university before arriving in London this year. My academic interests are in Politics and History, and I love to do anything related with these areas of study. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, dancing, making music and video editing. I'm also an avid fan of solo travelling and hope to visit as many European countries as I can before I complete my studies at the LSE. I'm really looking forward to sharing fun and interesting content with everyone!

Posted In: Study Abroad

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