There’s no better time to travel then in the peak years of youth. With minimal obligations and commitments, there is an inherent freedom associated with those early years – that time when kids slowly start to become adults, still eager to learn about the world while beginning to carry out enough responsibility to take care of themselves. In a dream world, all young adults would be afforded the opportunity to traverse the globe and experience all cultures far and wide, without having to worry about time or expense.
Yet, reality unfortunately puts restraints on the globetrotting excursions and adventure plans of young adults today. Whether it be financial limitations or time constraints or the schedule of school, lengthy and extravagant trips abroad aren’t always possible or practical. Even with these limitations, it’s important for college students today to spread their wings and experience new and different cultures through travel.
To help, we’ve put together the top five European cities all college students should visit. No matter your budget or the busyness of your schedule, you absolutely must visit these cities during your higher education career.
- Prague, Czech Republic
Ever wanted to stop reading about fairytales and the land of make-believe and actually visit one? There’s no closer replica to the picturesque landscapes of those classic storybooks than Prague, with its winding cobblestone roads and ornate architecture. Treat yourself during the day to a stroll around the popular tourist site of Old Town Square, sampling hot sweet rolls and visiting the many galleries. At night, pop on over to Lucerna, a famous nightclub that only plays American hits from the ’80s and ’90s on Friday nights, and explore the various other bars and clubs that make up the city’s booming after-hours scene.
- Barcelona, Spain
While Madrid may be the official capital of Spain, Barcelona is no doubt the youth capital. Full of passion, culture, and art, it’s one of the most popular European destinations for college students. You can check out the incredibly fascinating architecture designed by Gaudi on your way to Sagrada Familia, a major church construction project that’s over a century and a half years old. Be sure to book your plans in early March when Abroadfest is happening, which is basically a massive continental party for students across Europe.
- Rome, Italy
What list wouldn’t be complete without Italy’s famed capital city? Whether you’re five or ninety-five, everyone must put this historical landmark on their bucket list. Why is it even more important for college students to see? Having come right off the heels of having read and studied the city’s history in school will afford students more appreciation when actually seeing and experiencing it in person. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, channel your inner gladiator at the Colosseum, and enjoy a little gelato on the Spanish Steps. There’s so much to see and do in Rome that one trip likely won’t be enough.
- Paris, France
Like Rome, Paris too is a must-see for all ages. Spend a day devouring the Louvre and finally getting a glimpse of the (often less-than-impressive) Mona Lisa followed by a voyage out to the ostentatious Palace of Versailles where the royal family escaped used to escape the city (and where Kim and Kanye got married). Then climb the Eiffel Tower and watch the skyline light up in the most romantic city in the world. Whether your single or taken, you’ll fall in love with ol’ Parie.
- Munich, Germany
College and beer go together hand in hand, so what better way to pay homage to the world’s best brews than to jet off to Germany? Stop by during Oktoberfest for a citywide celebration of live music, festive dancing, and tons of drinks. It’s a one of a kind experience that’s beyond belief. While you’re there, check out the cars of your dreams at the BMW Museum and enjoy a pretzel at Marienplatz.
Just because you can’t see it all in one single trip doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of any and all opportunities to traverse the world. Whether you’re a senior at USC Online or a sophomore at Cornell University, traveling students far and wide absolutely must put a trip to Europe on their to-do list. So get off your computer, pack your bags and head off to one of these five fabulous cities while you’re still young.