Some Weird And Wonderful Oktoberfest Traditions

Far from being a tourist-focused beer-a-thon, Oktoberfest is deeply traditional event, an almost sacred occasion to the local Bavarians and Muncheners, who eagerly await September and October each year so they can get together with their friends and family and celebrate their culture. And while they are very welcoming of outsiders, you should be aware of the traditional going ons, so that you don’t offend your beer-loving hosts.

The festival is opened by the mayor of Munich

At midday on the first Saturday of Oktoberfest the mayor will hammer the tap into a beer keg (with as few blows as possible), letting the beer flow and proclaiming O’zapf is! He’ll hand the first beer to the Bavarian premier, a 12-gun salute will go off to inform the other beer tents that Oktoberfest has begun, and away we go! But not before…

The traditional getting drunk the night before the festival starts

This is a tradition less held by Bavarians than it is by Stoke Travel. The night before Oktoberfest begins our campsite is swelling with beer lovers from all over the world. They are excited to be there, to get to know each other, and so it’s inevitable that there’s a bit of a party – all fuelled by our open and unlimited beer and sangria bar. This inevitably leads to…

The traditional hangover while waiting for the first Oktoberfest beer

You have to get up early on the morning of the opening ceremony and make your way to the beer hall of your choice before the opening time of 9am. Then you can wait in line, so that you can get a table, at which you will have to wait until the keg is tapped by the mayor – so you won’t be having your first beer until after midday. There are some miserable faces in the crowd during this wait, which without exception improve as those first beers start going down.

If you don’t look Germans in the eyes when you prost you’re guaranteed bad sex

Cheersing is serious business, and a great way to ingratiate yourself with your new-found drinking buddies. But if you don’t make eye contact with everybody in the cheers, then you’re in store for some subpar nookie in the future. That said, some might say, at least you’re guaranteed any sex at all! 

The traditional buying of more beers than you need

Oktoberfest beers come by the litre, and you better believe that they are stronger than your average beer. Generally speaking, by the end of the first beer you’re properly tipsy and talking to everybody, by the bottom of the second your drunk and dancing on tables. You’ll go missing once you’ve finished your third beer, and at the end of the fourth you don’t know your name or who you are, but somehow you’ll make your way back to camp to drink from the open bar. It’s a miracle.

The traditional outfits of lederhosen and dirndls

The traditional Bavarian drinking suits are the lederhosen for men – and an increasing number of women, 2020 yeah – and dirndls for women (men don’t think about it, they won’t let you into the beer halls). The humble lederhosen is a leather peddle-pusher style long shorts (or are they short longs?), matched with a plaid shirt and long socks. You’ll look like an uncomfortable medieval lumberjack. For the ladies the dirndl is a low-cut dress that looks like every medieval lumberjack’s milkmaid fantasy. The dirndl is exceptional at amplifying and enhancing the wearer’s breasticles. You kind of have to wear the outfit when attending Oktoberfest, because it’s tradition and you’ll feel pretty left out if you don’t. 

The hairier the hat the wealthier the wearer

Another traditional piece of garment to be worn at Oktoberfest is the old Bavarian forest hat. While we can just pick up a smart number from one of the clothing stores around the fairgrounds – or even inside from a kiosk, or from hat sellers who walk around the beer halls – the real deals are family heirlooms that cost in the 1000s of euros, and which are adorned with giant plumes. The bigger the plume, the wealthier the family, so they say. You know how the saying goes, Big plume, big… (wallet).

The traditional riding of the rides when you have no business riding rides

There is a huge fairground surrounding Oktoberfest, which is where you’ll find the Stokies after far too many beers. The rides range from merry-go-rounds and ferris wheels and kiddy attractions, to fun houses, and full on, adrenaline and vomit inducing, hardcore rides. Also, if you go on Tuesdays the rides are half price. Happy days! 

The traditional snorting of the Oktoberfest cocaine

Ok, let’s just say right now that drugs are super, duper extra illegal in Germany and that the German police and Oktoberfest security guards are really good at detecting people under the influence of anything other than beer and/or Jagermeister, and will pee test you then and there and issue pretty hefty fines/ban you from Germany/arrest your high ass. So you may be wondering why the beer halls are full of people, young and old, snorting lines of white powder off the tables, off the back of their hands, off each other’s titties… Well, they’re snorting Oktoberfest cocaine, or Wiesn Koks or Wiesn Pulver, a harmless mix of glucose and menthol, that neither gets you high, nor is it illegal, and as such you can live out all of your German Scarface fantasies without fear of falling afoul of the law.  

Oompah music and chicken dances

So each beer hall has a bandstand as its centrepiece, and the guys up there absolutely pump out the tunes – but always the same tunes on repeat. There’s the ubiquitous German cheersing song, Ein Prosit, the 80s German classic, 99 Luftballons, DJ Otzi’s hit, Hey Baby, and John Denver’s Country Roads, among other songs played on repeat. 

Marching bands and massive horses

So you might be in the beer halls, and you’re drinking and you’re dancing and you’re having a merry old time, and then you decide to walk outside, to leave or to hit up another beer hall, and you’ll come across dozens of Clydesdale horses pulling huge  and elaborately decorated carts and there will be poop everywhere and you will probably get stuck because they’re taking up so much space, and you’ll think, “What is this?” and the answer will be that it’s just another Oktoberfest tradition. We once saw a drunk person eat a poop that had literally just fallen from a giant horse’s bum, so maybe that can become a tradition too. 

There’s a crossbow tent

We’ve never been in there, but there is one where people drink beer and shoot crossbows. Safety! There’s also a tent where they roast oxes. There are also plenty of tents devoted to swilling beer and general merriment. Choose your own adventure, we guess. 


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Is Studying Abroad In Europe Expensive?

One of the greatest deterrents when deciding to start studying abroad in Europe is that it can seem expensive. Costs can be a major factor in deciding which program to attend. Keep in mind the cost of the study abroad program greatly varies based on the type of program that you choose. There are also factors like the study abroad city you’ve chosen, the country you’re in, the type of program and the length of time you spend abroad.

We won’t lie to you, some financial investment is required when it comes to studying abroad. There are flights to book, food to try and cities to explore. Studying abroad can seem like an expense you can’t afford so the biggest expenses to consider when studying abroad are airfare, tuition, housing fees, and food. 

The good news is if you’re smart about it you probably won’t end up spending more than a semester back home. Unless of course you find yourself at the club until 5 a.m. and end up missing your flight to Rome the next day.  

So how much should I budget for studying abroad?

Usually once you, or your parents, write that tuition check your program or college will deal with all the tuition and housing expenses while you’re abroad so you don’t have to worry about that. 

The first thing to figure out is how much you want to spend on traveling while abroad. In Europe it’s easy to travel to different countries on the weekend so you’ll probably find yourself planning three out of four weekends of each month to go somewhere new, if not every weekend. Thankfully, travel between European countries isn’t typically expensive (especially when using sites like Student Universe or Skyscanner, or the beautiful Study Abroad schedule of Stoke Travel). 


Keep in mind transportation costs both in your host city and the cities you travel to. Once you arrive in a new city a lot of airports are at least half an hour to an hour outside of the city center. Trains, shuttles or buses from the airport to the city center can be a better travel option for the bank account. Taxies aren’t typically the cheapest way to get around so be prepared to make public transportation your new best friend.  

When you’re not in your host city you’ll need somewhere to rest your head. If you don’t have a friend’s place you can crash at the cheapest options for your budget will always be hostels. In most major cities You’ll have your pick of hundreds of hostels that range in size, quality, character and price (with hostel beds varying from €5 to €50 per night, depending on which city/country and quality of the establishment). Hostelworld is a good tool to use when trying to find a good fit since hostels can be a hit or miss.  

Airbnb is an option to consider if you’re traveling in a group and can split the price but be careful. The cheaper ones are usually farther from the city center so then you end up having to spend more time and money to get where you want to be.

Food ends up being one of the biggest expenses when traveling. It’s tempting to eat out for every meal especially when you’re in a new city or to order McDonald’s every time you’re hungover. It doesn’t help that there is so much delicious food to try. 

Then there are the gifts you want to buy for family and friends, late-night gelato cravings, and there’s always someone’s birthday to celebrate with bottle service and sparklers. 

By the end of your time abroad, depending on how much you traveled, you can easily rack up a bill of anywhere between $5,000-10,000. 

So what are some ways to save money when studying abroad? 

Save money on flights by booking two one-way trips instead of a single round-trip. This is not always true, but it’s sometimes the case that two one-way flights are cheaper than a single round-trip flight. Consider flying a discount airline for cheap flights to Europe. This can be a good option If you don’t have much luggage. 

Another way to save money on your flights is to try flying into a different airport and then catch a bus or train to where you want to go. It’s usually a lot cheaper to fly into big metropolitan cities like London, Paris or Rome. 

Be smart about taking money out from an ATM. You’ll have to usually pay a fee to get cash so take lots of cash out at once. Be careful about using your debit or credit card as you may get hit with conversion fees. 

Become a Stoke Travel Ambassador and travel for FREE. No really, If you want VIP upgrades on your trips, free travel to Oktoberfest and the best hookup while you’re studying abroad. Sign up for the Stoke Travel ambassador.

So is European study abroad worth the cost?

The important takeaway is that the study abroad cost is worth it. Every penny. You don’t know the next time you’ll be spending 3 months in Europe so take full advantage of it. The experiences you’ll have will stay with you long after you leave and who knows it could change your whole life. 


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A Stoke Travel History Of Oktoberfest

Take a historical meander through Oktoberfest Munich’s boozy and not-so-boozy origins

We know that you probably wouldn’t come to Stoke Travel for a history lesson, but you know what! You’re going to get one anyway, because we’ve been coming to Oktoberfest for long enough now to think that we know a thing or two about the festival. So pour yourself a litre of beer and sit tight, because this is a very Stoke Travel history of Oktoberfest


On the 12th of October 1819 was when it all began. The crown prince Ludwig married Princess Theresa. They got married at Oktoberfest, which once you’ve been there you’ll realise that it’s not a very royal thing to do. Imagine getting married surrounded by literally 1000s of strangers who have peed their pants. Well, fortunately for the royal couple there wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest like we know if for many years to come. At the end of the royal wedding, held on the Theresienwiese grounds where Oktoberfest continues to be held today, there was a horse race. 


They held another horserace, and in doing so started the yearly tradition that led to Oktoberfest. This was also the year when an agricultural fair was added to the proceedings. Apparently it still happens every four years at the modern Oktoberfest, but we can guarantee you that either a) no Stoke Travel staff member or guest has ever seen it, or b) they’ve seen it, but were so sozzled that they couldn’t tell if they were still in a beerhall or not. 


Napoleon picks a fight with Bavaria! Loses! But in the process causes Oktoberfest to be cancelled before it even really becomes Oktoberfest. He’s a real son of a gun, that Napoleon. 


They introduce carnival rides to the Oktoberfest. These days the rides are wild, full on amusement park quality rides (and they’re half price on a Tuesday). One can only imagine what the rides were like in 1816. 


Food is introduced to Oktoberfest, hurray, and with it BEER is introduced as well, changing the Oktoberfest forever and 8,000,000% for the better. What were they doing before that? Were people attending weddings, horse races, carnivals and agricultural fairs SOBER? The mind boggles.


The Munich council takes over Oktoberfest and moves it to September, for the warmer and longer days. They consider renaming it Septemberfest, but it just doesn’t stick.


The years between 1818 and 1850 are blurry, due to the aforementioned introduction of beer to the festivities. Nothing much really happened. But in 1850 they got their shit together and built the statue of Bavaria, which is still there today. Go and have a chat to her if you’re particularly hammered. 


No Oktoberfest again, this time not because Napoleon is being a pest, but because of cholera epidemic, which is so much more pesty than having Napoleon and his midget army trying to conquer the city. 


Oktoberfest cancelled again, this time due to the Austro-Prussian war. We don’t know much about this war, except that it involved Prussia, which is probably the best place name that doesn’t exist anymore. In this war the Bavarians, so Munich, were on the side of the Austrians. They lost. No Oktoberfest for you! 


Cancelled again, due to the Franco-Prussian war. Those bloody Prussians just couldn’t take it easy. You’ll be happy to know that this time around the Bavarians fought alongside the Prussians and they won, defeating Napoleon the Third. The Prussians, and so the Bavarians, were led by the amazingly named Otto Von Bismark. Following this victory Germany was unified into an empire. You little ripper!


Cancelled again! If it’s not Napoleon it’s bloody cholera. This time it’s cholera. 


Electricity is introduced, marking the first year where poorly prepared travellers roamed the beer halls looking for a power outlet. Also, ugly guys had a hard time picking up at night time after this year (they always had a hard time during the day).


They introduce bratwurst for the first time. This is some shocking information, because we always just thought bratwurst existed forever and was eaten always in Germany. Well, since 1881 it was introduced to the Oktoberfest and joined pretzels and pork knuckles on the list of Oktoberfest food you have to eat


They start serving beer in glass. Immediately afterwards enthusiastic prost-ers begin smashing glasses with their good cheer. 


No Napoleon this time, not even any cholera, but Oktoberfest is cancelled due to World War 1. Nothing funny about that. 


They get back into it, but call it Autumn Festival, which is probably more straightforward than calling it Oktoberfest, considering that it’s mostly in September. 


Cancelled again, this time for two years due to hyperinflation. These days most hyperinflation comes about in the Stoke staff’s faces after living the Oktoberfest beer and hearty food lifestyle for a month straight. 


The Bavarian flag is replaced with a new flag, a flag very popular amongst some Germans at the time, a red flag with a white circle and a little right-angles design in the middle of it. You know the flag, and for a while it flew over Oktoberfest until…


No Oktoberfest due to World War 2, during which the people who loved that flag the most are defeated and the blue and white Bavarian flag can fly once again. 


The last horse race, giving drunk gamblers more opportunity to spend their money on beers and delicious beer-accompanying foods. Also this is the first year that dirndls and lederhosen are recognised as the official costume of Oktoberfest, pleasing revellers due to everyone looking way hotter in them.


Just after 10pm on September 29 a bomb exploded at the entranceway, killing 13 people and injuring 200 more. The attack was attributed to a right-wing terrorist dickhead who died at the scene. There is now a memorial at the entry to the festival, and that’s all we’ll say about that. 


Stoke Travel sets up its first ever Oktoberfest camp. We have about 13 guests and one of the staff members catches pneumonia and has to escape from hospital. You know what they say, from little things big things grow. 


We now have space for 8000 beer lovers, and are by far Munich’s biggest accommodation provider. We throw crazy parties with love music and DJs and go through about 30,000L of beer at our all-inclusive bar every year. We’re not as good at Oktoberfest, but we’re pretty close and definitely much crazier. Come and check us out sometime. 

 What more do you need to know? Let’s do this and make some history of our own. Book your Oktoberfest now.


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Best Bars In Central Barcelona (Born and Gothic Areas)

Barcelona’s bar scene is renowned for its cheap drinks, funky music and sexy occupants. But between the gems there are lots of lemons – particularly in the more touristy centre part of town. Here’s a shortlist of our favourite bars – for when you feel like tasting something other than wine – in the central Barcelona barrios of Born and Gothic, those ancient winding lanes that you’ll get lost in repeatedly during your time in the city.

Best Bars In Born

Born is the trendy part of town – far enough away from La Rambla to be less full of rip-offs and touts, but close enough to the action to be favoured by expats, tourists in the know, and locals who don’t mind an international vibe. Because of its cooler status, you might find prices to be a bit more expensive – think European city prices as opposed to what you might be used to elsewhere in Spain.

Cafe del Born (€€): Located on Passeig del Born, this small bar is easily overlooked by tourists due to its dark and old appearance. Don’t let this fool you! This place pops and also offers their famous espresso martinis for 4 euros between 5-8pm each night. If ya can’t get a seat downstairs, climb yourselves up the windy staircase to the upstairs lounge. You won’t be sorry, it’s the best place to pregame in town.

El Paradiso (€€€€): One of Barcelona’s ‘secret’ bars, this one is a must for your Instagram! You enter the establishment through a fridge (yah a fridge) and their cocktails are served in funky glasses, vases, tiki mugs (you get the picture). This place should be saved for a special occasion however, we wouldn’t recommend drinking here all night as the average cocktail will set you back close to 20 euros BUT they are the most aesthetically pleasing drinks in town!

Collage (€€): A little hidden away in El Born you’ll find Collage, a cool and cosy bar filled with eclectic art, vintage furniture and a seasonally changing cocktail list that might not make any sense, but that will not leave even the snobbiest cocktail aficionados disappointed. Staffed by a team that often win local cocktail competitions, this bar is the place to try something unexpected – or to learn about the cocktail making craft with one of the boozy classes we host with their staff

Club Haus (€€): New kids on the block, Club Haus is a great place to mingle, drink & then disco your night away. They have a nicely priced (great) wine list, banging snacks (get the tacos), ping pong tables, pool tables, wicket art installations and a DJ and dance floor downstairs.

Bar Sauvage (€€): What can we say… this place effing rocks – it’s kind of impossible to have a bad night here. Cover charge is generally 5 bucks on the weekend, but far out it’s worth it. Great selection of drinks (your bill can add up here so best you arrive with a coating of sauce) and they always have a DJ spinning old school hip hop, r&b classic, disco tunes downstairs. They pop until the early am also so you can literally dance the night away.

Carabella (€): Just out of Born, between the barrio and Barceloneta, you’ll find this Stokie favourite. Carabela has to have one of the best undisputed terraces in town as it has sunshine nearly ALL DAY LONG. They serve their drinks in fishbowl sized cups, everything is well priced and they have an exquisite taste in music. NOTE: they also have some of the tastiest mexican food in town (get the tacos, notice a theme here?) for you to munch on while you slam down your daiquiris.

Best Bars In Barcelona’s Gothic Area

Tasca el Corral (€): Another hit with the Stokies over the years, Tasca el Corral (Leche Bar as we have come to call it) is a traditional Vermouth bar here in Barcelona. Cheap drinks (like super cheap), lots of space for you to fit all your mates (which can be challenging in Barcelona), their famous flaming chorizo on offer and lets not forget the star of this bar – Leche de Pantera aka Panther Milk. Don’t ask us what’s in it cause we can’t answer that, all we know is that this stuff gets you loose. Like really loose.

Subrosa (€): This tiny little pocket bar is located just off Plaza Reial & is a pregame hotspot for people with minimal pennies. Their happy hour runs until 11pm (yep we know) and the drinks average at about 4.5€. It’s only a short stumble over to Jamboree (one of our favourite clubs in town) for a boogie once you’ve polished off all the cocktails also. We recommend this.

The Bollocks (€): Cool rock music, cheap beers and unlimited popcorn? What more can we say!?

Oviso (€): A Barcelona classic. They are located in Plaza George Orwell (or as we refer to it, Plaza Tripi) and have terrace seating along with plenty of indoor seats for you and all your pals (we love it as we can cram all of the friends in here). They do cheap mixed drinks and huge tasty jugs of sangria if you swing that way. The burgers are also muy tasty if you fancy a munch while you are there!

Penny Banger (€€): A late night favourite amongst many of us, Penny Banger has a great list of cocktails on offer for a pretty average price. They have super comfortable lounge seating and play epic music. One of our favourite places to sink the cockies.

Manchester Bar (€€): Don’t let the name scare you off, English pub this is not. They have a huge selection of beers and ciders on tap all for a super reasonable price and play hip Indie music for you to bop along to all night.

Marula (€€): Probably one of the best places for you to end your night if you are done bar hopping in the Gothic quarter. They have DJ’s every night of the week with special live acts playing every now and then (pretty rare in Barcelona as live music licenses are few and far between). Cover is generally around 10€ per person but ya get a drink coupon in place which is not so bad in our opinion.

Of course, all of these bars are best served with a big dose of Barcelona Boat Party, sailing at various day and evening times all summer long (and part of spring and fall/autumn too). And if you want your bar hopping to be more of an experience, why not try our Barcelona Wine Tasting, or our Cocktail Classes


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5 Ways to Survive Self-isolation with Stoke Travel

Swear at your flatmates

Relationships with your live in friends can be testing at the best of times. Occasionally you’ll want to rip their throats out – and that’s okay. But rather than keeping all that pent up rage to yourself until you go full David Bain and kill all your (adopted) family, it’s important to swear at one another. If Doris hasn’t washed her dishes for a week, or Kevin’s left his cum rag on the kitchen bench, let them know your displeasure. Discourse is the key to harmonious living.

Have phone sex with strangers

If you think people aren’t having sex during this pandemic, you’re lying to yourself.  The human race did not find itself at a population of 7.8 billion by being prudent Patricias. Having sex with strangers is always a tricky one, but, let’s be honest here, the thrill of virtually shagging someone you’ll never talk to again gets us all randier than a twelve year old boy who’s just found his dad’s collection of ‘adult magazines’. You think this is a far flung experiment, but in reality the logistics are very simple: call your ex-boyfriend; find your ex-boyfriends ex-girlfriend; text your ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriends new boyfriend; tweet his cousin; DM his mum’s brother; fuck ‘em on the phone. It’s almost exactly the same as six degree’s of Kevin Bacon, you just happen to have your genitals out.


Sometimes we feel somewhat redundant, with the Stoke family living at a surf house, and not actually being able to surf. But we’re lucky in that we have an actual, legit, fully blown yoga instructor here. While yoga can be a great way to stimulate your body and separate from the usual monotony of quarantine life, it’s also very useful from a mental perspective. 15 minutes of yoga in the morning is a great way to clear the mind and put you in a good headspace. Even better if you have beer in your hand.

Wash yourself

If you find yourself in the frankly privileged position where you have access to running hot water, you should be taking advantage of this. Even though you might be sat alone in your bed with no one else to smell your stingy funk, it’s important to shower, at least once a day. Maybe even twice. To save water have two half length showers; one in the morning and one in the evening. Get yourself looking fresh for them #selfies.


The travel industry may be in a state of disarray right now, but this shouldn’t be seen as a hindrance to travel. If anything it should be seen as an opportunity. Airlines, hotels, travel companies (like ourselves) are in a state of limbo, as the whole world has been told to cease any form of international movement that’s not deemed essential. This is a chance to pounce. Airlines are slashing flight prices, inducing people to book for journeys way off in the future – and you should be capitalising on this. €30 to Marrakesh? Yep. €45 to Bangkok? You betcha. Covid-19 will not last forever, and the forward thinkers are making the most of this now. Get on Skyscanner and figure out where you’d rather be.

Speaking of which, anyone ever heard of Oktoberfest?

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Coronavirus & La Tomatina

Plan your 2020 La Tomatina tour with a risk-free €1 deposit. Throw tomatoes in coronavirus’ face! 

Obviously at this time we’re unable to say whether La Tomatina 2020 will go ahead, or whether the coronavirus will cause it to be cancelled. What we do know is that as of time of writing, the whole of Spain is going through the worst of this pandemic, and that the country has been almost completely locked down – if La Tomatina was scheduled to take place in the coming days, or weeks, that it definitely would be cancelled. Too many people jammed into too small a space – it’s an epidemiologist’s worst nightmare. 

But we’re optimistically confident that by the last week of August, when La Tomatina is held every year in the village of Buñol, just outside of Valencia, the coronavirus should have cleared and La Tomatina will be on. That’s what we believe, optimistically. 

But that doesn’t give you confidence, nor should it. That is why Stoke Travel is offering symbolic €1 reservations until we have some clarity as to what the situation will be. That means that you can start not only daydreaming about your post-lockdown travels, but start booking them too, and without any risk. We want you to spend some of your time in isolation planning for a time when social distancing is a thing of the distant past. 

If you have to fly in to Spain to enjoy La Tomatina, most airlines are now offering you complete flexibility on any travel booked during this period, so you could book your stay and your flight without any real concerns about losing money if plans change.

And while we have no idea on how the coronavirus will handle exposure to high-velocity tomatoes, we can assure you that not only is hurling tomatoes at strangers deeply therapeutic, but that the party that comes with it is second to none and heaven knows that we’re going to be needing a party by August, and there are no parties finer than Spanish fiestas! 

So come on, let’s look forward to the good times around the corner and start planning some risk-free post-coronavirus travel. La Tomatina is just what we need. 

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Top Seven European Cities For A Weekend Getaway 

Balling on a budget? Here are a few places that make a perfect weekend trip for study abroaders

There’s nothing quite like studying abroad in Europe. Calling a new city home for four months, meeting new people, and experiencing a new culture, in a way you only can by living it. But as much as you’re going to love your new home, one of the best parts of studying abroad is getting out of there! It’s so easy to travel: flights between cities are so cheap, and everything is only a short train ride away. 

Europe has so many iconic cities to see, and your time studying abroad is precious, so we’ve done our best to narrow it down to 7 cities that you absolutely have to visit. 


Prague, Czech Republic 


Prague is a living, breathing fairytale. It also happens to be one of the cheapest European cities to visit. I mean you can get a beer there for 50 cents. The city spreads itself with enough castles, towers, and steeples to give it the nickname “the city of a hundred spires” 

The Czech capital is steeped in history and the art & culture scene here is as vibrant now as ever. Take a walk across the river on the Charles bridge, to see the John Lennon Wall, which has been covered in graffiti, Beatles lyrics and murals since the ’80s. 

Per capita, the Czech’s come in first in the list of annual beer consumption, so it’d be a downright travesty if you didn’t treat yourself to a pint or two whilst in the Czech capital. If you want one of the best views of the city, head across the river to Letna Park and grab a drink at one of their many beer gardens.

It’s no secret that Prague has some of the best nightlife in Europe. With over 600 bars and clubs, you could find yourself anywhere from a Hemingway bar to a multi story underground mega club pulsing with EDM. 

With ruins and houseboats converted into clubs, where you can dance until the sun is up, and cobblestone streets to stumble your way home on, a weekend in Prague will be one you’ll be talking about long after you leave.


Lisbon, Portugal 


There’s never a bad time to visit Lisbon. While it’s always lively and busy, the rhythm of life is somehow – slower. The best way to explore Lisbon is to walk—sure it might be a little hilly here and there, but the intricate tile work and amazing street art that will surprise you at every turn (and if you get exhausted simply stop for a cerveja). Whenever you see a sign saying miradouro follow it and you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous Insta’ worthy views. If you’re looking for a sunset spot Miradouro da Nossa is a great place to sit with a bottle of wine (we go for vinho verde in the whites and anything from Alentejo, or Douro).

Make sure to visit the Alfama district—a maze of steep cobblestones streets—and you’ll find tiny restaurants and terraces that serve some the best seafood you’ll ever have. Yellow cable cars run through the heart of the district and are the only form of public transport able to navigate the tight turns and steep inclines of Alfama.

Just 45 minutes outside of the city you’ll find Sintra, a UNESCO world heritage site made up of Moorish castles, monasteries and old fortresses. The sights in Sintra will keep you busy for a whole day with ancient palaces and castles hidden amongst exotic gardens and greenery. 

If you’re looking for a night out head to Rua Cor de Rosa, the pink street. It’s not just an Instagramable street, it’s home to some of the best bars in Lisbon too. 

copenhagen, Denmark

The best way to describe Copenhagen is with the danish word hygge—which roughly translates to a cozy feeling. Think dim lighting, lots of candles and sharing a drink with friends.

The most photographed spot in Copenhagen is Nyhavn, the iconic harbor lined with colorful buildings. The best way to enjoy this sight is to grab a few beers and people watch. Copenhagen is also home to the little mermaid statue which may be the most overrated attraction that you’ll probably end up going to see anyway. 

You can’t visit Copenhagen without a trip to the small hippy commune of Christiana which is most famous for it’s ‘Green Light’ district named for the open cannabis trade that has taken place for 50 something years. Besides a steady supply of the devil’s lettuce, Christiana is home to cafes, street food, bars, restaurants and a ton of fantastic street art. 

Budapest, Hungary 

Budapest is one of the most underrated cities in Europe and should be on every list of spots to check out. While the Szechenyi Thermal Baths may be somewhat iconic, Budapest is a place that has so much more to offer than a spa day. 

One thing that makes Budapest so dynamic is its mix of Western and Eastern Europe, thanks to its years under communist rule. After World War II many of Budapest’s buildings were destroyed. Years later these buildings were converted into the famous ruin bars we know today. Inside these techno hotspots you’ll find the walls covered with communist memorabilia and a vibrant array of artwork. 

You can’t leave Budapest without tasting the country’s most popular street food: langos! We’re talking deep-fried dough that’s topped with sour cream, cheese, butter and whatever else the vendor decides to treat you with.

Before your weekend comes to an end make sure to grab some snacks and wine to watch the sunset on the banks of the Danube River which gives you the perfect view of the iconic parliament building.

Dublin, Ireland 

Thanks to its large student population, lovable accents, and steady supply of Guinness, Dublin is usually a top destination for study abroaders in Europe. Dublin’s pub scene has a reputation to uphold, with the oldest pub dating back to 1198. The plethora of Dublin bars range from lively and rowdy to traditional and intimate. 

Whilst out you’ll inevitably end up in Temple Bar. Not just the name of a  bar but a whole neighborhood made up of cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs. Ireland has a long history of folk music, so keep your ears out for a pub playing traditional Irish folk music because there’s nothing more fun than dancing terribly with drunk Irishmen. 

The best way to combat your hangover is with a classic Irish coffee. If spending the entire day getting drunk and learning about 250 years of brewing Ireland’s favorite pint at the Guinness storehouse isn’t your thing there’s still a ton to do in Dublin. Visit St. Patrick;’s Cathedral or Trinity college, located right in the heart of the city home to the Book of Kells, an Irish national treasure.  

Pro tip: there’s a reason the Emerald Isle is so green, it constantly rains so bring a rain jacket and  make sure to brush up on your craic or you’ll be a gobshite.

Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Unless somehow you’ve been living under a rock, you know weed is legal in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is home to countless coffee shops, each of which have their own vibe—there’s always something for everyone. 

Psychedelics can also be purchased in most of these ‘coffee shops’, located in the red light district, an area notorious for its abundance of escorts. Amsterdam also has museums you’ll want to visit like, the famed Van Gogh Museum and the newly opened MOCO featuring infinity mirrors and Banksy artwork. There’s also a sex museum because, you know, Amsterdam (and its live sex show is more hilarious than erotic… we recommend).

Amsterdam isn’t quite a foodies dream but you’re missing out if you don’t at least try Stroopwafel. This tasty treat is a layer of caramel syrup sandwiched between two waffles. And if there’s anything you can find easier than a coffee shop in Amsterdam, it’s Dutch cheese. Gouda is the most famous but there are a bunch of other types of lesser-known Dutch cheeses to choose from as well.

Amsterdam is a relaxed city and not just because everyone’s high. One of the best places to witness this laid-back lifestyle first hand is at Vondelpark, the prime place to chill out, have a picnic or people watch.

Munich, Germany

Munich is full of warm people, hearty Bavarian cuisine and beer so delicious there are two month-long celebrations dedicated to it. 

Yes, Munich is home to Oktoberfest, the larger than life beer festival that takes place in the fall, where delicious lager is served in giant mugs called steins. Travelers and locals alike dance on tables fully decked out in lederhosen and dirndls until they can yell Prost! no more. 

Although Oktoberfest only happens once a year, Germans will drink steins all year long, so if you can’t make the festival in the fall, give Springfest a visit instead—it lines up perfectly with the end of spring semester. At both Springfest and Oktoberfest you’ll find the world famous Stoketoberfest campsite and pre-party/after-party. It’s a beer festival, where you stay has to be lit, and we host 1000s of travelers from all over the world during both beer fests.

The main square, Marienplatz is buzzing with shops, tourists, and the New Town Hall, which  hosts the famous Glockenspiel. Every morning at 11 a.m. sharp through figurines and bells the Glockenspiel tells the history of Munich. Munich is also home to the English Garden (one of the largest city parks in the world) with green space, beer gardens, and a permanent man-made wave on the Eisbach that’s perfect for surfing or spectating. 

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