Finally, exams are over. Now you can enjoy some hard earned freedom and relax a bit with the fresh start of a new semester. This means that you and your friends will have plenty of time during the weekends, so why not hop on a train or a plane and start exploring? It doesn’t have to be far but, if you fancy such a trip, then the SPG team has some suggestions for you!

1. Dublin

The Irish capital is a great place to spend your weekend. The city is full of creative street art and great beer — so Dublin has something for both the soul and the body! There’s plenty to stimulate the mind, too, with some 53 museums for you to choose from. You’ll of course want to enjoy a pint of Guinness at bar like Kehoe’s as well as enjoy a bowl of hearty stew at the  Porterhouse, a small brewery pub. Dublin was founded by Vikings all the way back in 9th century and the city is also home to the oldest pub in the Ireland — the Brazen Head.

2. Paris

Paris: the city of love and youth! A passionate centre for music and the arts and as fashionable a city as you’re likely to come across, Paris will surprise you with every step you take. To discover everything might take a while, as Paris has a record number of streets — 6,100! Once you walk under Arc de Triomphe and take a group selfie in front of Eiffel Tower, you might want to explore the more unknown parts of the city, such as the local food market Marché aux Puces d’Aligre, or to hang out with your pals on Parc Monceau. According to TravelBird the Musée du Louvre is a must for those needing to feed their cultural appetite — it has 35,000 paintings in its collection. However, as we are all just students, don’t forget to check our guide on how to NOT break the bank while in Paris as it can be a bit pricey sometimes!

3. Manchester

There is a certain charm in rediscovering place you already know, especially cities that grow quickly over the years. Manchester is a home to great vinyl stores, festivals and more recently…. tea. If you are in mood for the last of these, you simply have to visit the Teacup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter. Be sure to also check out the Plaza — a monumental cinema built in the 1930s. Every weekend there is a concert at Bridgewater Hall, with performances ranging from classical compositions to popular hits — give it a go!

4. Bristol, Bath and Cardiff

Three cities in one weekend? Why not! Start with lovely Bath and follow some of the unbeaten tracks such as Walcot Village, Green Park or Margaret’s Buildings. Don’t forget to keep to the city’s spirit by visiting the classic Roman Baths — one of best preserved spa locations in the world. You can also sign in for class at the Knitting and Crochet Guild, which take place every second Saturday of the month in the Fashion Museum.

After morning knitting classes you can head to Bristol, which is only 15 minutes away by train. Fans of Banksy will soon realise that they’ve hit the artistic jackpot — in total the city has 8 places featuring his art pieces. Next to the harbour you can visit John Cabot’s 1497 replica ship with the gracious name of “Matthew”. In the evening, head to Thekla — a live music venue that is situated in a cargo ship. If you take a group of friends with you, don’t forget to look around for affordable accommodation that will take you all in. Often renting a whole apartment can be a more affordable possibility, so perhaps try to book in advance using websites like Wimdu.co.uk.

The next day head straight to the same harbour you visited the day before and hop on a train to Cardiff, a journey that takes just under an hour. If you didn’t have time for breakfast head to the Indoor Market located near St. John’s Church and afterwards rush for a historical adventure at the city’s castle. And if you’re obsessed with Doctor Who, then you might recognise some of the locations used in the series at Cardiff Bay.

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