Thursday, March 3, 2022 | Written by Claire
One of my favorite tricks for exploring big cities in a timely manner is to hop on scooters and zoom around place to place all day. The best part is that most European cities are fully equipped with bike lanes and parking spaces scattered around the city for your convenience. Not only will you be zooming around, weaving among the traffic, responsibly of course, but you will also be feeling the wind and hearing the city’s bustling life block by block.
While being time efficient, you can also travel at your own pace without being charged. Hungry? Place your phone on the phone rack and take a ride to the nearest restaurant and pause your ride. Rates are also cheap by the hour. Some brands have activation rates for a euro that lasts you for the whole day. Others charge a few cents by the minute. From my experience, the cheapest brands are Bolts and Tiers, which are highly competitive against the traditional Birds or Limes. If you’re looking for a fun, cheap activity in the city that gets your adrenaline pumping, scooters might be your best bet!
For the nature enthusiasts, hiking is always a cheap option that you can tailor to your experiences and preferences. Many big cities in Europe are located next to mountainous regions or along the coast. For example, if you travel to Marseille in France, you can scale the Calanques for a whole day without spending a single cent. In many of the port cities, you can find rocky outcrops to bask in the sunlight or take a stroll along the beach. If you’re in Italy or Portugal, there are many lakes such as Lake Como or the Benagil Caves that you can spend your afternoon exploring. While extra activities such as mountain biking or sea kayaking may cost 10-30 euros, the views are spectacular and worth the cost.
As a student, you’re in luck. Many museums such as the Prado in Madrid are free for students on certain weekends. If they are not free, exhibition tickets are often sold at a discounted rate if you have your ISIC card on you. These museums often hold gems of modern, historical art, and they can eat up a whole day of activities if you’re interested. Not only are these museums specific to the region, they also have different exhibitions every month.
4. Bakery Hopping
For the foodies, a cheap way to try local foods is to go bakery hopping. Many small goodies cost one or two euros and are pretty filling. They also represent the local cuisine with each baked good. For example, in Faro, Portugal, we tried Portuguese egg tarts that are a euro and custard sponge cakes, which the locals were crazed about. In Italy, we also had cheap cannolis and pistachio buns for under a euro. In Como, they sold pastries by the bag, and we lived off them for only 7 euros throughout the entire day.