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Weekend trip ideas for students studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Prague is such a fun city to visit as a student, it's cheap and has great nightlife.

11 Weekend Trips to Take While Studying Abroad in Florence

Where to go on the weekends when studying abroad in Florence. The Cinque Terre is just a train ride away and I think it deserves more than a day trip to enjoy the beaches, food and its hiking paths.

5. Cinque Terre

Loads of students studying abroad in Florence visit the Cinque Terre on a day trip, but I stayed overnight for my first two visits to the Italian Riviera and think everyone should.

The Cinque Terre, a national park, is made up of five picturesque small towns on the northwest coast of Italy. There’s a beach, lots of restaurants, but that’s really it– this isn’t a place to go for loads to do, it’s more of a “relax and take it all in” kinda weekend here. I recommend staying overnight so that you can give yourself enough time to do the hike between each town. This usually takes around five hours and your best photos from your entire semester will probably have been taken on this hike (which isn’t very strenuous). Then, the next day, take the time to have a seaside lunch with some wine, and to pick a spot on the beach at Monterosso al Mare to soak up the sun and go for a swim.

How to get there:

Hop on a train to La Spezia station, you’ll need to change trains once so check the schedule on Rail Europe for options, the journey will take you at least a couple of hours. From La Spezia, you can take a very short train ride to each of the towns in the Cinque Terre. In order to be able to hike and use some of the facilities, buy a 2-day Cinque Terre card once you get to La Spezia, and get the option with train fare included, so that you have unlimited rides on the train between the towns during your stay (just make sure you validate the card!)

Where to stay:

Bianca from Italian Fix has a great guide to Cinque Terre with recommendations on where to stay. Airbnb is also a great place to check for quaint accommodation. Don’t expect anything massive or super-modern, but instead hopefully with a decent view and close to the water!

Weekend trip ideas for students studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Prague is such a fun city to visit as a student, it's cheap and has great nightlife.

6. Prague

Prague was one of my favourite places that I visited when I studied abroad, and I visited two more times because of that. This city is great for so many reasons. First, it’s fairly cheap, considering it’s a pretty cool place. Hostels won’t run you too much, and you’ll likely be able to afford to eat out pretty often so you can try local delicacies.

It’s also got tons to do– visit the Charles Bridge, the John Lennon Wall, and more. At night, it’s a GREAT place to party. Here’s our guide on the best places to party in Prague.

Finally, the city is great to visit at any time of year. If you need someplace to visit in the winter, Prague is a great option, especially close to Christmas time, when the cute little Christmas markets will be on!

How to get there:

Flights to Prague from Milan can be pretty cheap. If you book the high-speed train in advance (1 hour 45 minutes), then take a bus to the Milan airport you’re flying out of, it’s a fairly easy journey (I’ve done it!) Check StudentUniverse and Skyscanner for options.

Bus2alps also go to Prague and get you there via overnight coach bus. Use promo code TheAbroadGuide for a 5% discount on your trip.

Where to stay:

Mosaic House – where I stayed for my second visit to Prague. This place is massive, and is nicer than a lot of the hotels I’ve stayed in! It’s eco-friendly, has a great bar and restaurant on the ground floor that often has live music, and is a good place to meet other travelers.

Czech Inn – where I stayed for my first visit to Prague, super nice and affordable. The hostel bar is also cheap, and the tram stops just outside, making it easier to get to the center of the city. There’s a restaurant up the road called Ubelinu, ask the hostel staff about it, it has delish traditional Czech food and is very reasonably priced.

Sophie’s – one of the highest-rated hostels in the city, and everyone always raves about it. If you’ve got a group of 2-4, go for one of the apartments, they work out to be fairly cheap per person and you’ll save on food if you cook in your kitchen.

Cheap and easy trip ideas while studying abroad in Florence - visit the Tuscan countryside.

7. Tuscany (the countryside)

So many students studying abroad in Florence visit Tuscany just for a day, and I think that’s such a shame. First of all, Tuscany is HUGE– it’s the region that Florence is in, as well as many other towns and cities, so you could spend EVERY weekend exploring it. There’s tons to discover and a guided day trip just won’t do that for you.

Plus, you know those incredibly picturesque photos of the rolling hills of Tuscany? Why not rent a villa with your friends and WAKE UP to that?! What an experience, and a nice change from crazy busy Florence.

Because Tuscany truly is the countryside, if you don’t want to rent a car, you’ll want to make sure you choose a place that’s within walking distance of a town so that you can easily explore and also pick up food if you’re cooking for yourselves. You’ll also want to find a place that is close-ish to a bus or train station, or that can arrange transportation for you.

How to get there:

Depending on where you want to stay, you might be able to get a train, hop on a bus, or will have to drive or get a taxi at some point of your journey. Use Rome2Rio to explore your options for certain cities.

Where to stay:

Georgette from Girl in Florence has some great resources to help you choose where to stay, depending on your travel options. This post talks about how to have a great road trip in Tuscany when you rent a car, these are some of her favourite lesser-known areas in Tuscany to explore, and this list suggests where to go in Tuscany easily by train from Florence.

Also ask your local Italian friends if they have any suggestions for places to stay in the countryside.

Where to travel to while studying abroad in Florence - Budapest is cheap, has lots to do and the nightlife is amazing. Visit Budapest on a weekend trip.

8. Budapest

This city is not only pretty cool, but it’s one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe. So cheap that you’ll be able to splash out on your hostel, Airbnb or hotel room and feel a bit like a king compare to your other accommodations, or at least that’s how I felt when I arrived here on my backpacking trip…

Make sure you stay on the Pest side (the two halves of the city, which are separated by the Danube river, are named Buda and Pest), which is where the 20-something locals live and party before they settle down and move to the Buda side with their blossoming families.

I recommend taking a bike tour to see loads of the history behind the city in a short amount of time, visit the Hungarian baths for a spa day that feels like you’re in a palace, and enjoy the cheap drinks at loads of the bars around the city.

How to get there:

WizzAir flies direct to and from Budapest from Bologna airport on Wednesdays and Sundays. You can also take a Eurolines bus direct to the city, which runs about 14 hours long. You can also travel with Bus2Alps overnight on a private coach bus, arriving Friday morning (it’s a 9 hour drive with them). Use promo code TheAbroadGuide for a 5% booking discount.

Where to stay:

Tip– if you’re not into partying, definitely avoid any hotels that are talked about as “party hostels” in the reviews or description. Budapest is a popular destination for British bachelorette and bachelor parties, so it could get crazier than you care to deal with.

Wombat’s City Hostel Budapest – Wombats is a world-famous hostel brand and their Budapest branch lives up to the name. Super cool, clean, and comfortable. If there are a few of you traveling together, you can get a taxi to here from the airport for about 23 euros (I told you– CHEAP!)

Best Choice Hostel – modern, spacious and well-located, with small dorm options and a good kitchen.

Budapest has some fab, inexpensive Airbnb options, and an apartment is a good idea if you’re traveling on your own in a group, with people that you can trust to not ruin your Airbnb rating!



Jess is the Editor-in-Chief of The Abroad Guide. After studying abroad in Belgium during her junior year of college, she caught the travel bug. Her experiences include volunteering in Nicaragua, backpacking through Europe, and a year-long adventure in Italy, and she's now settled in London.


2 thoughts on “11 Weekend Trips to Take While Studying Abroad in Florence

  1. Erin

    Ah love this! I went to Springfest with Stoke Travel when I was studying abroad in Barca! Absolutely one of my favourite weekends of my study abroad! Really wish I made it to Cinque Terre though!

    Reply

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