Five cities of summer: top places you should visit

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With 7 different continents and a variety of places to go, which would be the best one to visit? We’re usually blinded by the clichés such as “Paris, the City of Love”, though it’s rather expensive to visit Paris, and there are so many places that we overlook when planning our trips. Some of these usually overlooked cities to visit are the ones around the Baltic Sea. In my opinion, I think there are so many places to visit here and Vilnius, Lithuania is at the top of my list.

What to do? There are the Three Crosses which are a must see. Vilnius is divided into the Old City and the New City, and if you walk up to Geidiminas Tower, you’ll be able to see the whole city and see for yourself the divide between the old and new town. While in Vilnius, you have to try the šaltibarščiai, which is a cold beetroot soup, eaten with eggs and boiled potatoes. There are many cafes and once you’ve tried Lithuanian food, you can never go back! The best form of staying here would be to book a hotel, if I’m honest. Everything is cheap in Lithuania and the only problem would be in conversing in Lithuanian, as not everyone speaks in English, but try to speak their language and they will love you.

Next place to visit is Penang, Malaysia. With the numerous beaches and the authentic Malaysian food that you are able to get for under a fiver, it’s no wonder why there are so many holiday-goers swarming the place. Malaysia is rich in its cultural diversity and this means food too, so, whatever you’re craving, there is always something for everyone. There is a vegetarian Indian shop called Woodlands in Little India and it’s my favourite place to go. While you’re around there, don’t forget to get some sea coconut – it’s not a coconut, but you could do with one with the country being extremely hot, and it’s also at a price of less than a quid. Why not, right? Once again, hotels are cheap, with many boutique hotels or hostels with a variety of backpackers’ inn available.

Bolivia, South America may just be your next travel destination. If you travel to the capital, La Paz, there are still many Spanish colonial buildings left to see. With clusters of museums around which you can visit for just 30p, it’s amazingly breath-taking and with beds for only a pound, the only thing you’d be splurging on is the flight ticket – otherwise, everything else is easy. Food has a very Spanish influence, for example the common dish Salteñas, a puff stuffed with meat and potatoes, like an empanada. Whilst you’re here, note that shops usually close from 12 to 3pm as people go back for lunch and reopens afterwards.

If you’re looking for a bit of sun, then, a good place to be at would be either Mykonos or Santorini, Greece. Food and stay are relatively cheap, you could get the most delicious food however at Pirofani, you get the best value for money dishes you could ever ask for. Makis Place in Mykonos is a good place if you’d like to stay somewhere that you can trust is clean and has nice scenery. However, if you search online, you could find better deals and decide for yourself where you’d like to go. At Santorini, it’s worth taking a boat across to the nearby volcanic island and hiking up the volcano – less strenuous than you’d think, and a very rewarding climb!

Lastly, Norway would be my pick because of the fjords. If you’re looking to see these, a good place to visit would be Geiraingerfjord and Trollstigen, both of which having many youth hostels. Unfortunately, if you want to have Norwegian food, then you’ll probably have to visit a friend’s place – otherwise, honestly, pack your own food, as food is quite pricey in Norway. If you were planning to stay in Oslo, then, CityBox would be a good place to stay and it’s a fantastic location because it’s central although the downside of it is that it’s located in the red light district. But safety wise, personally, I did not feel threatened. The scenery in Norway is beautiful generally, and it’s easy to get out of the city to see the fjords (take a fjord cruise), and just appreciate the relaxed atmosphere that the country has generally.

There you have it: my five picks of cities that you could visit in the summer. One thing to remember is to have fun and to take care of yourself, pack sunscreen lotions and be safe. There’s an amazing world out there with plenty of options for students, so choose wisely and you’ll be fine. Remember not to discount long haul locations either, as the flights are more expensive, but living costs are so much cheaper! Time to have a summer to remember.

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