Ahh spring break! Most of time, it elicits images of white sand beaches, pure relaxation and sun. Going to college in Europe though, your options for a spring break vacation range from still cloudy and cold places like France, The Netherlands and the UK to already sunny and warm places like Split (Croatia), The Canary Islands, Italian cities and more.
Places I’ve listed above are some of the most popular locations for Jacobs students to go on a well deserved break, and this year and in the past, students have been to Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam, Madrid, Split, Scandinavia, North Africa and of course, home. : )
Having a lot of choices is a good and a bad thing. On one hand, you can basically choose anywhere and go, and on the other, many travel considerations have to be made especially when traveling with a big group. Most people find a way around this and start planning early when taking a big group vacation. Some of the best sites by the way to find cheap flights within Europe and cheap accommodations are: Kayak.com, Ryannair.com, Skyscanner.com, Hostelworld/ Hotelworld.com, and airbnb.com. Check everything when it comes to planning your trip, with travel being relatively seamless within Europe you can guarantee with enough looking you can have a fabulous vacation for a very affordable price. Also don’t forget about buses as an alternative to train travel.
Knowing your options is key, otherwise you will end up feeling like traveling when you are in school is too expensive or inconvenient like I did in my first semester until I found out about traveling smart and on a budget.
This year for spring break I went to Amsterdam. It was not my first time in the city, but it was an entertaining and relaxing trip nonetheless. I booked train tickets on the deutschebahn.com website from Osnabrück to Amsterdam round trip for myself and my boyfriend, since the semester ticket you get at the beginning of each semester covers travel up until very close to the Dutch border.
I will always recommend Amsterdam for a weekend or long trip , as there are so many things to do and something for any kind of traveller type, not to mention that Amsterdam is approximately 3-5 hours from Bremen depending on whether you travel via individual car, train, or bus.
Where to Stay and how:
There is no shortage of youth hotels and hostels in Europe in general and Amsterdam isn’t an exception. Choose your place early though! Especially around spring break there is a nominal price difference between a not-so-great hostel where you will sleep in a huge room of 20 + beds (which is an experience! But depending on who you are traveling with / for how long this may not be the best option), and a nice hotel room. Both are okay, but one you just have to book in advance.
For example on this trip I stayed at the Student Hotel Amsterdam. Which offered great rooms and prices.
Things to do in Amsterdam ( My recommendations) :
Rijks Museum: need 3 hours
Canal Tours – need 1-1.5 hours , bonus: you will find out in a very short amount of time a lot of interesting things about what Amsterdam was like centuries ago and its more recent history as well.
Waterlooplein Flea Market – need 1 hour The random or outdated things people sell here make for a unique souvenir for yourself or gift for someone else.
Kerkstraat Shopping Street – Depends on how long you shop/ like to window shop
Rent a bike and go to Vondel Park – 2 hours, and don’t get run over from Amsterdam residents in the bike lane ! – it’s treated almost as a bike highway by riders , and you can’t be too slow or ride alongside your friends for sure
Famous Canals – there are three main canals, on which you can see some of the most beautiful and expensive houses in Amsterdam, which as a plus all come with a historical tale of who used to live there and why
Red Light District– 1 hour – 2 hours if you hang out in the nearby area with tons of souvenir shops, cafe’s, and nice walking bridges. Personally I didn’t like the area although I went in with an open mind , but its all about personal preference, make sure to be respectful of the people who work there and if you don’t like looking in the windows the Red Light district has tons of other cool places to hang out and there are even museums and restaurants in the area. So don’t write it off : )
As for more details of course check travel websites and plan your itinerary. I wanted to highlight the ease of getting places you want to go from Bremen and how planning ahead is key. If you are going to Amsterdam, great, if not, I hope I gave you some ideas for your next three college Spring Breaks!