Best Places to Travel this Year

If you’re growing tired of university deadlines and are already daydreaming about your summer travels, then look closely at the following recommendations. 

Let’s start with a classic interrailing destination: Budapest. It certainly satisfies the cliché of cheap and cheerful as there are places you can grab a pint for around £1. If you go, it is highly recommended to do a bar crawl as the Ruin Bars are not to be missed and the infamous ‘Instant’ is a memorable night out. Further, a trip up Gellert Hill offers stunning views of the city, looking over the river and parliament building. While Budapest may not gratify those of you looking for a typical beach holiday, the baths are a close second, allowing for a relaxing time in the warm medicinal waters.    

There’s a reason why this next city is the subject of countless songs, it exudes vibrancy and is the heart of Catalan culture: Barcelona. A quick trip to this travellers’ haven never fails to disappoint. The Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Las Ramblas, among others, ensure that you are not searching for sights to see. If you’re looking for relaxation the beach provides a nice place to soak up the dazzling sun and cool off in the water. However, it is at night that Barcelona truly comes alive. The flurry of restaurants and bars around El Borne serve delicious tapas and the strip of clubs along the beach provide the ideal party atmosphere. Barcelona is the perfect combination of beach, culture and nightlife and serves as a hub for travellers from all around the world.

Amsterdam is another staple on the interrailing bucket list. While it is clear what this city is most famous for, the rich culture and cobbled streets along the canal make Amsterdam what it is. Cycling is central to the character of the city and you can rent bikes to ride through Vondelpark and take in the green glory of Amsterdam. You can also take a boat trip along the canal or visit the city’s pool of museums. The Anne Frank House is full all year round and for good reason. It holds unique information and images that allow you to follow the journey of the young diarist and her experiences during the war. The Stedelijk will bring out your inner child with interactive exhibitions and a ball pit, and the Van Gogh Museum is home to some of the artist’s best work.

The next destination may differ slightly from the typical ‘gap yah’ experience; however, while travelling through Malaysia there is the hidden gem of George Town in Penang. The first thing to mention would be the food. Whether it’s typical Malaysian cuisine, Italian, or even a bagel from the Mugshot bakery; you will leave happy and twice the size. Further, along the aptly named ‘Love Lane’ are an abundance of hostels, little craft shops, intimate bars and unique street art. However, these are not the only merits of this island. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is famous for its grand temples and British colonial buildings. You can also take part in Malaysian cooking courses or visit the national park to experience the wildlife and end the day relaxing on a white sand beach.

Nicaragua lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Hidden in the middle of Central America, it is not the most travelled to destination, but it has so much to offer. Whether you’re looking to hike up the crater of Volcan Concepción, bathe in the natural spring waters or party at Sunday Funday in San Juan, Nicaragua offers all this and more. Direct flights are expensive and so travelling via Costa Rica would be a better option; however, once you arrive the cost of living is minimal. This Central American paradise with its distinct surfing culture and dramatic landscape is worth the trip.

This last destination comes with an urgent stamp. With the passing of Fidel Castro and the imminent succession of his brother, Cuba is on the brink of transformation and no one knows what it will become. In Havana, Cuba’s capital, nostalgic 1950s Chevrolets line the streets, in every colour of the rainbow. Along Calle Obispo the famous salsa music drifts out of all the restaurants and bars. The clubs, such as one at Hotel Florida, bear witness to the incredible dance and you can either take part or simply watch with a mojito in hand. The cheap rum is certainly a main selling point. However, taking in the rich history in the Museo de Revolución allows you to understand how Cuba came to be the colourful country that it is today.


Yelena Zylko

Image Credit: