Erasmus gives every European student an incredible opportunity to study abroad in a country of their choice. But with so many options out there, where should you go?
Studying abroad for a semester or two can be the best life-changing experience you have ever had. After all, it is a unique opportunity to experience living abroad, broaden your cultural understandings, meet new people from all over Europe, or maybe even learn a new language. However, the most difficult task of every student wanting to go on Erasmus is to choose the right destination. So, if you are looking where to go on your first Erasmus study abroad, here are the best 5 cities to consider.
It is no secret that Budapest is mainly known for two main reasons among younger travelers: cheap prices and a wild nightlife scene. While low living costs and a vast number of bars and clubs sound incredibly alluring for the majority of future Erasmus students, the benefits of spending Erasmus in Budapest do not stop there.
If partying in the famous ruin bars is not your cup of tea, Budapest can offer an incredibly rich cultural experience. From world-class opera performances and music concerts to well-known thermal baths (including sparties — parties in a spa) and a long list of intriguing museums, art galleries. There is something for everyone, so you can be sure that you will not run out of things to do and explore.
The capital of the Czech Republic is yet another European destination that is famous for its low price of living and incredible nightlife scene. Prague is very popular among Erasmus students, making it one of the most in-demand destinations. But there is no surprise in that when accommodation in a dorm costs only around €100 and a glass of beer costs as cheap as €1.5.
Despite the fact that the first thing that pops into people’s heads when they think about Prague is beer, the city is a proud owner of enchanting architecture and culture. Named as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, the historic town of Prague will make you feel as if you have stepped into a fairytale. Of course, a hearty Czech cuisine deserves a memorable mention as well.
Finally, if you want to get the most out of your Erasmus experience, the location of Prague makes it a perfect base for further exploration of Central Europe. Because of its proximity to other countries such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, or Slovenia, you can easily reach them with a two- or three-hour bus ride.
If you are looking for a bit warmer destination for your Erasmus experience, Barcelona just might be a perfect option for you. It seems as if the city has it all, from world-class beaches, warm and sunny weather (even during the wintertime!) to a variety of great food and accommodation options for every budget.
In Spain, Barcelona is known for its abundant nightlife and probably could be named one of the best destinations for party lovers right after Ibiza. But while nights out are an essential part of Erasmus’ experience, getting to know the local culture and history is just as important. During the days you can immerse yourself in the city’s modernist architecture, explore the famous works of Gaudi, or spend your days tasting delicious Spanish tapas.
In recent years, the Portuguese capital has become one of the most popular places to visit in Europe among travelers. While Lisbon can get quite hectic during summer, the city is a perfect Erasmus destination for anyone wanting to experience the way of slow living. Located near the Atlantic Ocean and a short train ride away from several pristine beaches, Lisbon certainly has its charm.
Even though Lisbon has become a trendy place to visit, the cost of living is still relatively low, making it an attractive destination for any student. Only a short walk around the city center and you will quickly find a cheap yet good cocktail bar or your next favorite coffee place. Combining it with colorful architecture, famous Fado music, friendly locals, what more could you need?
If you are looking for a less popular and more unique destination for your Erasmus experience, Vilnius just might be a choice for you. Poetically called ‘the Jerusalem of the North’ by Napoleon, the Lithuanian capital is a charming European destination with rich history and even richer culture and cuisine. From quirky bars, cafes to more modern art exhibitions and a low cost of living, Vilnius offers a great university atmosphere that will make you feel more than welcome.
Also, the capital of Lithuania is strategically situated for those wanting to explore neighboring countries like Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Poland or even Sweden, Finland. A variety of travel options from low-cost airlines to bus providers makes it not only budget-friendly but easy as well if you want to spend your holidays or weekends outside Lithuania.
One thing you need to note before choosing Vilnius as your Erasmus destination is cold winters. While it can scare you a bit at first, do not worry, locals will give you the best Lithuanian winter survival tips and a list of go-to places for cheap Lithuanian beer, vodka, and other strong liqueurs that will definitely keep you warm.
Of course, there are plenty of other cities that will offer an amazing experience for Erasmus students. However, if you decide to go to a place from this list, without a doubt, we can guarantee you will have the best first Erasmus experience!
Photo: F8 studio/shutterstock
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