Exams are almost over and some incredibly student-friendly city breaks are just a few clicks away. Treat yourself, and finally start planning that girls’ or lads’ trip you’ve been putting off, with the help of this handy guide to cheap city breaks in Europe to go with friends. 

1. Berlin, Germany

10 cheap city breaks in Europe to go with friends
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First up is a great wallet-friendly trip to Berlin. Return flights are usually cheap on Skyscanner so there’s no time to waste. All you need is full vaccination, and Germany luckily doesn’t require any prior COVID testing.

Some great accommodations on Hostelworld are pretty affordable, meaning you won’t need to break the bank. As well, a lot of the best sightseeing attractions are free. History-lovers especially can enjoy visiting the Reichstag Building, the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate. 

Berlin is also often considered to be one of the best places for clubbing in Europe. It’s got an amazing rave scene and an abundance of cool rooftop and dive bars.

2. Milan, Italy

Milan, cheap city breaks in Europe to go with friends
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Return flights to Milan are also cheap and hostels can be £10 per night and as close to the city centre as you could want, so Milan is naturally one of our top choices for a city break this year.

Arguably the best photo op is in front of Milan’s Duomo, which you’ve probably seen all over Instagram before. Other highlights are the grand opera theatres like the Teatro Alla Scala and art galleries (definitely go and visit Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting). And that’s before even mentioning the food!

So far, Milan’s taking the lead for cheap city breaks.

3. Copenhagen, Denmark

copenhagen, cheap city breaks in Europe to go with friends
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Flights from London to Copenhagen are a complete bargain, ask anyone! Denmark can a little pricey when you’re there, but there’s plenty of things to do for free too. The average hostel costs over £21 per night, and Copenhagen is equally great for sightseeing. Castles, museums, canals and Jaegersborggade (a famous trendy street full of bars, boutiques and cafes) will surround you.

4. Madrid, Spain

madrid, cheap city breaks in Europe to go with friends
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It may not have a beach, but Madrid is a great Spanish city to celebrate summer (or any time of year). You can usually find cheap flights too!

You can soak up the sun at the Parque del Retiro, formerly the playground of the Spanish monarchy. Again, there are almost too many museums and bars to choose from. Football fans especially will love to visit the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium – home to Real Madrid.

The beach is also conveniently right on your doorstep if you spontaneously decide you need a bit of relaxation and a break from the city.

5. Budapest, Hungary

budapest, cheap city breaks in Europe to go with friends
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You’ve probably heard of the famous Szechenyi Thermal Baths and Budapest’s renowned architecture like the St Stephen’s Basilica. It’s such a great city to go around and one of the best lad’s holidays to go on

Students especially will love the classy clubs and the Hungarian ruin bars, which are essentially a range of lively cocktail bars in really cool old, crumbling houses.

6. Stockholm, Sweden

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Travelling from London to Stockholm could only cost you around £50 each, and it’ll be worth every penny. Hostels can also be pretty cheap too.

Make sure to explore Stockholm’s picturesque Old Town on a bike tour and the Royal Palace for the true Swedish experience. Die-hard ABBA fans will naturally head straight to the world-famous ABBA Museum and chances are, that’ll be the highlight of their trip.

7. Edinburgh, Scotland

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You could get a train to Edinburgh given that you don’t have to cross any water to reach it. Or, you could look at buses for a super cheap getaway or even flights!

The city is underrated as most people have their eye on Europe, but I can guarantee it’s basically real-life Hogwarts. The architecture is amazing; make sure to hike up to Arthur’s Seat (an extinct volcano overlooking the whole city) before exploring the historic Old Town and Edinburgh Castle.

If you’re a big drinker, definitely check out a classic Scotch whisky tour before heading back to your (only) £20 per night hostel.

8. Vienna, Austria

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Last, but by no means least: what better use of what’s left of your student loan than a £50 return trip to picturesque Vienna?

Vienna is home to some incredible architecture like Schonbrunn Palace and the Natural History Museum. Also, the city centre itself is definitely not to be missed.

If you love cute little cafes, it’s the destination for you. And if you’re into the theatre, you need to pre-book an opera show at the grand Wiener Staatsoper. Thank me later.

So, here’s your go-to list of 10 potential cheap European city breaks for you and your friends this summer. For more like this, check out the top 10 girls holiday destinations for this year.  We’ve also got great advice on how to do Paris on a student budget