Erasmus is not only choosing a city to live for a semester or a year. The city you choose is going to be your new home and a new place to build relationships, enjoy the culture and have fun. Because of that, we have assembled in this blog the best cities to go on Erasmus depending on 6 different categories.
1. Best Nightlife
When you think of Erasmus, the word party comes immediately to your mind. Of course, you have to study but, after that, nothing can stop you.
Seville is well known for its great terraces, bars, and vibrant nightlife. If you want to have a good time with your friends and dance all night, that’s not a problem, most of the nightclubs like Antique Teatro or Obbio close at 6 am. Are you staying for the whole year? You can’t lose the opportunity to enjoy the “Feria de Abril de Sevilla”; a complete week of traditional festivity plenty of tapas, manzanillas and rebujitos.
The same happens with Madrid, most venues open around 1 am and get busy around 3 am. This city is considered the sanctuary of big parties, and two of the most famous nightclubs are Kapital (has many floors, each featuring a different style of music) and Fabrik (hosted famous DJs like David Guetta and every week has different theme parties).
Fabrik nightclub (Madrid)
A lot of Erasmus students choose Budapest due to its incredible nightlife. The ruin bars are the preferred night experience for students and that’s because of the peculiarity of the concept. These clubs were built in the ruins of abandoned buildings, stores or houses and are a combination between flea market furniture and quality music. Some of the best ruin bars are Szimpla Kert, Instant or Fogasház.
Ruin Bar (Budapest)
2. Best location
The main purpose of doing an Erasmus is to discover the culture and the city where you would be living. There are also travel lovers whose intention is to visit the more countries the possible. For the lasts, these three cities are a good option to travel around Europe.
Strategically situated for lots of budget travels during an Erasmus experience, Vilnius It’s a good point from where to start visiting the north of Europe. Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Sweden and Finland are all nearby countries. The only problem with Vilnius is its cold winters. However, if snow doesn’t scare you; what are you waiting for to begin your adventure?
St. Michael and St. Constantine Church (Vilnius)
Prague is in a perfect location in the heart of Europe. This makes it very cheap and easy to visit other destinations, such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany or Slovenia. Only a two-hour bus ride! Its privileged central position makes also very affordable traveling by plane to anywhere else.
The Belgian city of Leuven is the best city to learn languages and to travel around the Paris-Amsterdam-Cologne triangle. Leuven is situated almost in the centre of Europe, which makes doing a tour by car and discover Germany, France, Luxembourg or Switzerland very simple.
3. Best Universities
For the diligent students, we have listed three cities with the best relation between quality universities and good student life level.
Coimbra is a student city and home to the oldest university in Portugal. The University of Coimbra was built on the grounds of a former palace and has approximately 21,000 students every year, of whom 10% are international. This will guarantee you a pleasant and charming international student atmosphere for sure.
In the north of Italy, we discover Bologna, one of the favourite destinations for Erasmus students thanks to its Mediterranean climate and a relaxing student vibe. As well, the oldest university in Europe can be found here (founded in 1088). The University of Bologna is part of what gives this old Italian student town its beautiful charm.
University of Bologna
Groningen is probably the most expensive city on the list but also one of the most affordable within The Netherlands. This town contains the largest university in Holland, with 9 faculties and more than 175 courses available to choose from! If you are curious (and not too lazy) you’ll have the opportunity to improve your knowledge in different broad range disciplines.
4. Best weather
This category is made for those who hate cold winters and love to get bathed under the sunlight. The next 3 cities have the best average temperature in Europe for the whole year. Get rid of your umbrella and enjoy the vitamin C!
Barcelona is very popular among Erasmus students because it’s one of those cities that has the perfect recipe: large beaches, perfect weather and great food. Barcelona experiences an average maximum temperature of 20.3 ºC over the course of a year and almost 70 days of 365 are clear sky days. (The same as in the UK…)
The Canary Islands are part of Spain but are geographically situated in the African continent, what means incredible weather during all seasons. The temperature here is one of the healthiest for human beings: average daily annual temperature in Las Palmas is 21.1ºC. In conclusion: a lot of sun, clean air and little wind. Why not trying it?
View of Las Teresitas Beach, Tenerife, Spain
Lisbon has always attracted students from all parts, and that is due to its marvellous people and for being one of the most comfortable cities to live in Europe. Also, the capital, is well recognized for having fantastic beaches and good weather. As a curious fact, January, the coldest month, has an average maximum temperature of 10ºC.
There are Erasmus destinations very suitable for student budgets. We know that the Erasmus grant is not enough sometimes (especially when you have to buy big amounts of alcohol for your 24/7 parties), for that reason, a good way to save money is going to cheaper cities.
The city of the Alhambra, Granada, has a very low cost of living. A tapa and a beer can cost, literally, 2.5€ and a single bedroom in the suburbs less than 300€ monthly (bills included). Keep in mind that Granada is not a big city so, sometimes is worth to rent a flat in the outskirts and have a nice 15-minutes’ walk to downtown.
Typical tapa in Granada
Another ideal city is Porto. The accommodation here is very cheap and accessible too. Of course, the farther from the centre the cheapest; sometimes it can be tricky to find a good shared flat in the downtown. In general, rent can’t be much more than 400€ a month. The living cost here, as in the rest of Portugal is very reasonable: 600€ should be enough to get by and go to nightclubs.
One more time, Prague. The living cost here is also lower than in cities neighbouring. There are several accommodation options like Uni residences that can range between 100€-300€. The most popular are called the Kolej Hostivars and Strahov. The good point about it is that you can save money on your rent and invest in new trips and experiences
Prague (Czech Republic)
6. Different experience
Our last category is dedicated to those who want to escape from the typical Erasmus destination. These places might not attract you at first sight but, its picturesque way of life will absolutely enchant you.
Belgrade is an incredibly rich mosaic of different cultures, influences, and styles with a mysterious and exotic atmosphere. Some interesting historical facts: in the main centre of the city you can find an actual cave made by Romans, there’s an ancient city underneath the city itself and the urban has had 15 different names during its existence. What’s more, Belgrade has more than 170 river clubs, which are the mark of the city’s nightlife.
Oulu is the capital of northern Finland and has about 250,000 inhabitants. The city is not particularly cheap but there are good opportunities for studying, working and research, especially in the hi-tech sector. Oulu is practically and broadly unknown, but offers a different experience to travellers who don’t mind cold and snowy winters.
Regensburg is located in the region of Bavaria (Germany) and its advantage is that isn’t as big as places like Berlin, Munich or Cologne, which gives you the chance to get lost easily in new places. This German city wasn’t damaged during the World War, which means that old buildings are still intact. The perfect place for architecture lovers.
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