As time moves on it is becoming essential to have some sort of degree. With so much pressure on students and young people’s backs, it is important that they are able to reward themselves and really enjoy the time they have off. Doesn’t a city break sound like a nice way to forget about some of that pressure? Well, it would be if there wasn’t that problem of student debt.
Time off and a nice holiday, even a small weekend break, can easily add to the snowballing debt of a student, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We might not be able to melt the snowball, but we can help keep it from rolling out of control with our 7 cheap student holiday getaways.

7. Belfast

The ultimate must in Belfast Titanic Quarter

The Titanic Quarter will probably always be the first place you hear about when searching for places to visit in Belfast, and rightly so. The newly built Titanic visitor centre encapsulates Belfast’s romantic shipbuilding era, taking you back in time before the troubles began, the Titanic Studios, which is also located in the quarter, has been used for many major Hollywood films including, The City of Ember and Game of Thrones! There is a great variety of things to do around here, it is fit for any age and purpose!

Explore the rest of Northern Ireland for under £20

Small in size, Northern Ireland has the advantage that visits to the countryside, cities, and beaches are literally almost a stones throw away and transport is also cheap! Make the most of your trip to Belfast and explore the surrounding nature. Buy a day return ticket from Belfast Central to Portrush on the North Coast for £12.30, Hire a surfboard at Togs for £7, and you have yourself an amazing day set out. All for under £20. Don’t feel like surfing? Then head over to the nearby Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle and/or Carrick -a-Rede Rope Bridgedunlucecastle

Discover Northern Irish cuisine

In the centre of the student area, Queens Quarter, lies a quaint, charming and cosy restaurant, Molly’s Yard. The menu is simple, yet preparation is detailed, the produce is fresh and locally sourced. This is your ideal restaurant if you want to discover the true delights of Irish cuisine, yet keep your trip as a cheap student holiday.

6. Prague

With thanks to Agness and Cez,

Visit one of the oldest medieval castles in the world

When in Prague, visiting Pražský hrad (the Prague castle) is a must. It is one of the largest and the oldest medieval castles not only in Europe, but also in the world. Dating from the 9th century, this place will truly amaze you with its history and the astonishing architecture. It’s free to visit, perfect for a cheap student holiday, but very busy, so get yourself ready for a bit of queuing.  


Spend less than a fiver for stunning views

Visit the Astronomical Clock located at the outer wall of the Old Town Hall at the Old Square Town. It is one of the most striking buildings in the city. For a price of CZK 100 (GBP 3,29), you can get to the top of the Old Town Hall and admire a breathtaking view of Prague.


Get yourself filled up for the semester at Smíchovský Radniční Sklípek

One of the most delicious and affordable places to dine out in Prague is a restaurant called Smíchovský Radniční Sklípek, located at Preslova 4 (Praha 5 – Smíchov, 150 00). It offers a great variety of local Czech dishes – from dumplings, roasted duck with sauerkraut to famous Halusky (potatoes served with cooked cabbage and fried bacon). The atmosphere here is amazing and you can meet plenty of fellow students there. Just make sure you book your table in advance on Fridays and Saturdays. praguefood-minVia. Agness and Cez 

5. Edinburgh

With thanks to Amanda Williams,

Walk along the Royal Mile

The great thing about Edinburgh is that its greatest attraction is totally free: The Royal Mile. Stretching from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood House Palace, the Royal Mile is always filled with things to see, from old architecture to buskers that frequently perform in the pedestrian-only sections.

Become a whisky expert for £14.50

Go on the “Silver Tour” at the Scotch Whisky Experience. This 50-minute tour promises to help you “become a ‘one-hour-whisky-expert,’” and allows you to admire an astounding collection of more than 3,300 bottles of Scotch Whisky. – Amanda Williams, www.dangerous-business.comscotchwhiskey-minVia. Instagram: @thelocalsabroad

Try some wholesome Scottish soup

I’m a big fan of soup (especially in Scotland’s notoriously damp weather) and recommend you check out Union of Genius near the University of Edinburgh. They do great seasonal soups with fresh ingredients. – Amanda Williams,
unionofgenius-minVia. Instagram: @unionofgenius

4. Bristol

 With thanks to Becky Pokora,

Discover Banksy’s masterpieces dotted around the city

Bristol offers all the amenities of a cosmopolitan city without exorbitant prices. Save money by visiting Banksy and other street art works on a self-guided tour using the free Bristol Map and Walks app.
banksy-minVia. Instagram: @angelo_moraca

Discover Bristol and Bath for £15

For scenery and an active adventure, hire a bike for just £15 and follow the traffic-free railway cycle path for two hours to Bath before returning by train.
britsolbath-minVia. Instagram: @lex1cannon

There is no better way to finish the day than with a pie

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, don’t miss the pies and 2-for-1 cocktails at Pieminister. It is the ideal meal for a cheap student holiday.

3. Budapest

With thanks to Frances,

Visit Heroes Square

You can’t go to Budapest without strolling down Andrassy Way to Heroes Square and the Millennial Monument; the wide street gives you a great view of the statues and columns as you approach. It’s a magnificent monument to the Hungarian heroes lost in war and includes an impressively tall tower, topped with the archangel Gabriel. A very appealing spot to take photos, it’s also the main entrance to the beautiful City Park that has a boating lake, zoo, amusement park, and in the winter, an ice rink.


Explore the whole city in a day for only  £15

One of the most cost effective ways to see the city and keep this trip as a cheap student holiday is by getting a 24-hour ticket for a Big Bus tour. The buses come with an audio guide and drops you off at all the central attractions. In this way, you can either get an overview of the city or delve right in. Tickets cost around £15 and you’ll get to see so much in a day it’s definitely worth it. Plan ahead, get a copy of the route and check the admission prices for individual attractions so you know your budget before you jump onboard.


Dine in style at the Budapest Jazz Club

Head to the infamous Budapest Jazz Club for an evening of stunning jazz, cocktails and bar food. A traditional music venue with a bar, restaurant and stage, they have performances every night and you can usually just buy a ticket before a show starts, or listen from the bar. You may even find the gig is free to attend, so if you’re really saving money, check online to see which day of your visit features a free performance. A lovely, medium sized place with a great atmosphere, it could be a highlight of anyone’s trip to the city – you won’t even need to like jazz!

2. Cardiff

With thanks to Hope Price,

Discover your inner child again

If you’re in Cardiff, the National Museum is worth a visit. Get away from the stress of exams and indulge your inner child as you learn about dinosaurs, take a walk through welsh history, or check out the variety of artwork in the galleries. And all for free!


Hang out with the local students

To refuel, head to Urban Tap House, a student-friendly bar that boasts a delicious selection of ales and ciders, as well as fantastic burgers.

urbantaphouse-minVia. Instagram: @lily_dw_i

Pretend you’re Rapunzel (or Prince Charming) in Cardiff’s many Castles!

For just £10.50 you can visit Cardiff Castle. Explore lavishly decorated rooms, the medieval keep, the roman wall, and wartime shelters. Grab a free audio guide and immerse yourself in Cardiff’s history.


Venture out of Cardiff to the nearby lying village of Tongwynlais and visit Castle Coch (Welsh for Red Castle). With its round, rapunzel style tower, mesmerising murals and stunning stain glass windows, this castle is the epitome of a fairytale castle. Built by the famous Victorian architecture William Burgess, this castle is an ideal cheap student holiday for all architect students hunting for interesting buildings but do not have the cash to venture to the likes of Barcelona.

1. Bratislava

Visit Devin Castle

Devin castle is located in a borough of Bratislava, it was used as a fort to control the trading routes of the Danube river. You can take a bus to the castle, yet we recommend hopping on the boat, so you can make the most of your trip and enjoy some the gorgeous views of Bratislava from the centre of the Danube river. Return tickets are about £6 and entrance fee to the castle is about £2, making this an extremely reasonably priced day out!


Have a 360° culture weekend under £20

If you want a weekend full of culture then Bratislava is the perfect student holiday for you! Walk around the old town and spot the four Curious Statues of Bratislava. For only a pound you can head into The International House of Art for Children in Bibiana. Don’t let the name put you off! Although designed for children in mind it suits people of all ages. It is a quirky museum supporting many contemporary artists of a variety of genres; filmmaking, illustration, sculptures, the list goes on. With an entrance fee of only £1, saying it’s a bargain is an understatement. If this is still not enough, take a £4 bus to Vienna, it’s only an hour away meaning you can spontaneously hope on the bus and spend a day exploring another city!


Enjoy beers upon beers in the cheapest city to buy a pint!

Bratislava is officially the cheapest city in Europe to buy a pint, averaging at £1.14 per pint makes Bratislava one of the best places to go for a cheap student holiday this year. Head into the old town and visit Slovakian pubs such as U Certa, Vydrica and The Bratislava Beerguzzlers’ Club. Forgetful nights are guaranteed!

Catriona Megahey

Catriona (known correctly as Ka-tri-na or mistakenly as Ka-tre-o-na, but has given up trying and adheres to both) grew up in Hannover, Germany to Northern Irish parents. Spends her time trying to be active either cycling, playing football, GAA or drums.
Catriona Megahey