Just because you’re a student, which means your budget might be a bit restricted, and your tastes a little wilder, it doesn’t mean that you cannot plan a trip to Greece to live your student life to its fullest.
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The Greek destinations that you can enjoy as a student are too many to include in one blog post. Regardless, we have compiled the best destinations in Greece, which combine everything a student would need in the summer: from nightlife, and crystal clear beaches, to alternative entertainment options.
Destinations for student vacation in the mainland
Aerial view of Monastiraki and the Acropolis - credits: Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com
Athens is a city with endless options: fascinating seminars, commercial and cultural cinema, theaters, bookstores and libraries, shops of all kinds, cafes, restaurants, and taverns. It offers international and Greek cuisine, street food, clubs and bars, museums and archeological sites, local-beloved squares, numerous concerts, and exhibition spaces.
At the same time, it has options for walks through picturesque and modern or beautifully secluded neighborhoods. And the list goes on and on. You may not be able to see it all, even if you reach an old age trying.
For coffee and drinks, the students frequent the ATH Newspaper in Sina street, Kokkino Loto in Exarchia, Urban in Zografou, Cabethon in Kerameikos. For delicious local food that doesn’t break the bank head to Ama Lachei in Exarchia, at Stoa Fix in Omonia, at FITA in Neos Kosmos, and at Mavro Provato in Pagrati. And of course, don’t forget to visit the famous canteen of Michalakopoulou street for the best chicken nugget sandwich after a wild night out.
If you’re after a relaxing drink, you will find it in the countless bars of the Greek capital. You cannot forget that Athens is known for its vibrant nightlife! If you want to go dancing there are many clubs that play local and international hits all night long.
If your budget is a bit more restricted, though, there is no need to worry. You can have a beer and in one of the busy squares of the city a square with your friends. Athens at night is, dare I say, even more beautiful than during the day!
To discover every corner of Athens, you should walk to the historic center which includes the neighborhoods of Syntagma, Plaka, Monastiraki, and Thiseio. Stroll the lively picturesque neighborhoods or head to the south of the city to admire its mesmerizing beach along Athens Riviera.
Thessaloniki - credits: Ververidis Vasilis/Shutterstock.com
Half the population of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, are students. As a result, if you’re a student, visiting Thessaloniki is the obvious choice that will guarantee you will have the time of your life.
First of all, Thessaloniki is great for students for its short distances. There is nothing more than a 20-30 minute walk away. How can you not love this city, when you can easily find what you want within a short walking distance?
What’s more, another advantage of Thessaloniki is that its cost of living is quite low. You can find rentals at low prices even if you are looking for accommodation around the center of the city.
Thessaloniki, the city famous for its laid-back attitude, will give you the opportunity to take your coffee in hand and take a walk enjoying the magnificent view of Thermaikos. If you are not keen on cooking during your Greek trip, then all you have to do is go out to eat. After all, this city is known for its high-quality food.
The options for entertainment are many and cater to all tastes. The only sure thing is that you will not know where to start. From the bars in Valaoritou and Mitropoleos to the well-known student hangouts such as Bit Pazar, Ladadika, Navarinou Square, and Kamara.
If you are bored of the center again and you want something different and quieter, all you have to do is make excursions around Thessaloniki, such as in Panorama, in Lagadas, and in Halkidiki, especially during the summer.
Sunset of Patras - credits: en.wikipedia.org
It is estimated that every year the city of Patras welcomes about 4,000-5,000 new students, making it a perfect destination for a student vacation and enriching it with fresh ideas and energy. The majority of students choose to have fun and move around the city center, flooding the streets, cafes, stairs, taverns, and reading rooms.
In summer, you should try to visit as many beaches as you can and have fun in the summer shops in Rio, in Vrachneika and on the entire seafront of almost all of Achaia. Keep in mind that the summer destinations in the Ionian islands but also in the whole region of Western Greece and the Peloponnese, are more easily accessible from Patras.
Walk the famous sidewalks in the city center, and in particular in Riga Fereou, Agios Nikolaos, Pantanassis, Trion Admirals, Gerokostopoulou, and Hephaestus, where you will find what your appetite craves. In addition, try the upper part of Patras for coffee, beer, drink, and breakfast/brunch, the narrow street of Partheni for music taverns, and Kapodistriou square for coffee or tsipouro appetizers.
What is the best Greek island for a student vacation?
Aerial view of Ios - credits: Aerial motion/Shutterstock.com
Ios is a classic and popular destination in the Cyclades for students, as it provides cheap holidays with intense nightlife, but also famous beach bars and festivals that last from afternoon to morning, with honorary DJs every summer.
Of course, do not forget to see the natural beauty of the island, such as the beaches in Magganari, Gialos, Kolitsani, Lorezaina. Also, the famous Mylopotas is a good choice with the golden beach and the many beach bars, restaurants, cafes, and pizzerias, while there you are given the opportunity for watersports such as windsurfing.
In addition, it is worth seeing sights such as Panagia Gremiotissa in Chora of Ios, with the unimaginable view of the three tiny churches behind it.
Skiathos Island of the Sporades is a very popular choice in recent years for students, because it successfully combines fascinating nightlife and beautiful beaches. Skiathos has a plethora of nightclubs and beach bars in the picturesque town of Chora.
The nightlife seems never-ending. The entertainment options are many and you will definitely experience on the island the ultimate student summer. Strange as it sounds, Skiathos has no villages so Chora is the only settlement on the island!
You should definitely check out Koukounaries, the most famous beach on the island, where if you like watersports or want to try them, it is the right place to do so. Also, almost half an hour from the port of Skiathos with the help of a boat or private boat you can go to Lalaria beach with clear blue waters, white round pebbles, and impressive white rocks. In addition, the organized beach of Vromolimnos, characteristic of the clear blue-green waters, is more than worth your time.
Amorgos - credits: Kite_rin/Shutterstock.com
Amorgos is one of the most popular alternative destinations in the Cyclades. Recommended for organized camping, especially for students, but also for families. It combines the picturesque of the Cyclades, the calm with the liveliness and the carefree. In addition, the people are very hospitable and helpful.
You should definitely see the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, a monastery with special architecture, built on a rock with a breathtaking view. It is a life experience, even if you do not go on a pilgrimage. You will also have the opportunity to try baked raki as a welcome drink, which is produced by the hospitable monks.
The beaches of the island are almost all steep and the waters are crystal clear. Mouros beach is a small but very beautiful beach in Kato Meria and near the village of Vroutsi, while right on the rock you can sit for coffee or food at the homonymous beach cafe-restaurant, enjoying the impressive view of the Aegean.
The beach of Agia Anna, below the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, is equally impressive. Famous -like the monastery- from the movie ‘Infinite Blue’, it gathers a lot of people and is considered one of the best on the island.
If Katapola in the south is the picturesque, quiet side of Amorgos, Aegiali in the North, is busy and lively! As a result, if you are a student, we suggest you stay in Aegiali. It also has excellent camping.
Another reason to love Amorgos is the fact that everywhere, always and with any excuse you are offered roasted raki, which of course you will try and love!
Astypalea - credits: Milan_Gonda/shutterstock.com
The island of Astypalea is next to Amorgos within about half an hour by boat. It is one of the most popular alternative destinations and many usually combine both islands in one visit.
Starting from the nightlife, the nightclubs are located in Chora, where the bars are excellent with relatively low prices. In them, you might also get to watch one of the live performances that are organized there from time to time.
Astypalea is surrounded by many beaches which are scattered throughout the perimeter of the island! Its natural configuration is rich, featuring large beaches, such as Livadi, Pera Gialos, Vatses, Kaminakia, Agios Ioannis, Steno, Psili Ammos, and even smaller coves such as Tzanakia and Plakes! It is worth mentioning the remote beaches on the small islands which are accessible by boats parked on the island or by private boats which flock by the dozens.
Ikaria Nas Beach - credits: NDT/Shutterstock.com
Ikaria has been the number one destination for alternative holidays for years. It is characterized by its uniqueness in terms of its relaxed way of life, its atmosphere, its luscious nature, and the locals’ unique way of entertainment.
The beaches you must visit are Nas, a beach with a sandy shore, Seychelles, a steep beach with unique waters, and Mesakti, where you can do watersports and especially surf.
You cannot visit Ikaria and not experience one of its famous festivals or ‘panigiria’. They are frequented mainly by young people and the drink and dancing are plentiful. In addition, it should be mentioned that many festivals are held in almost every village.
The most central is the festival of Lagada, but we suggest you go to more than one, since some start at noon. You can cover the distances by hitchhiking, which on this island is safe and common for many travelers.
There is little to say about Ikaria. If you do not go to live it you will hardly understand. The world, the atmosphere, the beauty of the island are simply unique. Very big island but if you do not have a car it is famous for hitchhiking, so do not worry at all!
If you visit Ikaria for several days in Ikaria you should also visit the magical little island of Fourni! It has the same unique beauty as Ikaria, and it is peaceful and quiet. It is worth staying there for at least one day.
Naousa taverns - credits: Pit_Stock/Shutterstock.com
Paros is a must-see island for many reasons but mainly for its world-renowned nightlife. Who has not heard of the famous Punda Beach or the beautiful Kolimbithres?
Piso Livadi is what we all imagine when we hear about a picturesque fishing village. It is amphitheatrically built on a green hill, with the houses reaching to the sea.
Right next to Piso Livadi, another picturesque cove with a wonderful coast, Logaras, awaits you. From there, a little further you will find Punta which is also a must!
Continuing, the Nea Chrysi Akti, also known as Tsardakia, is one of the ideal places for windsurfing throughout the Mediterranean and is awarded a blue flag. It has a remarkable tourist infrastructure, with large, modern hotels. A little further down, Chrysi Akti is the largest beach of Paros and an ideal place for water sports.
Whether you choose Naousa or Parikia, Paros offers a wide variety of entertainment options you can choose from. Don’t worry though, no matter where you go, you will have an awesome time listening to international and Greek music.
Antiparos - credits: Christophe Anagno/Shutterstock.com
If you are looking for something a bit more alternative and quiet than Paros, then take the boat from Pounta of Paros and cross across to Antiparos, which is literally 7 minutes by ferry boat.
Much more relaxed than Paros but just as unique, Antiparos will impress you with its natural beauty! There, will find a different nightlife from that of Paros, much more "alternative" but just as lively! Few bars, moreover, exceed what happens after 2:00 in the famous La Luna club of Antiparos!
In addition, Antiparos may be small but it has very beautiful beaches. In case you like camping, the camping of Antiparos will be a pleasant surprise for you as it is very well organized and clean!
Mykonos - credits: Stavrarg/Shutterstock.com
Mykonos could not be missing from our list. The island of winds that combines nightlife and beautiful beaches is a must destination worldwide, would not it be for the Greeks?
Once on the island, you must make sure to take a picture in front of the famous Windmills that have been the trademark of Mykonos since the 16th century. They are located in the south of the country and face the sea.
Of course, you should also visit the gorgeous district of Little Venice, one of the most beautiful and photographed regions of Mykonos. You can sit there to drink your coffee, eat your breakfast, or relax by the sea with a drink in hand. This beautiful setting with colorful houses will be the perfect background for your Instagram feed!
Mykonos' beaches are known for being many and having as their main features the golden sand and the turquoise waters. In Mykonos, one can come across from pristine, unspoiled beaches such as Ftelia, to organized beaches with outdoor clubs and famous DJs, such as Super Paradise.
We highly recommend you also visit the beaches of Platys Gialos, Paradise, Super Paradise, and Dragonisi. If your budget allows you to, you can also visit the beach of Psarou and sit right next to Holywood stars and local celebrities.
Potamitis Windmill, Zakynthos - credits: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com
The Ionian Islands are generally famous for their beautiful beaches, pristine waters, and incredible nature. In the case of Zakynthos, however, the island also combines an excellent nightlife that has made a name for itself all around the world! After all, if you’ve heard of Zante, you’ve also heard of Laganas and its wild nightlife scene.
Do not leave the island, without smelling the Bougraini, the most fragrant jasmine of Ionian origin. The people of Zakynthos show that they know well how to "capture" the senses and all the fragrance in a bottle.
Walk around Chora Square, which was once a meeting point of the nobles. Admire the catholic church of St. Mark and remember that once in the same place the "poplars" burned the Libro d’oro, the book of the nobles, turning a page in history.
Of course, you cannot go to Zante and not swim in the Shipwreck beach, or ‘Navagio’ as we call it in Greece. Photos of this beach have traveled to the ends of the world, advertising our country as a vacation spot ‘chosen by the gods’.
If you are tired of the flat sandy beaches, then go down to the southernmost point of the island, the Keri Caves. Experience awe in a location that can only be reached by boat.
For a busy and lively scenery look no further than the gulf of Laganas. From morning to night in Laganas, there isn’t even a moment of quiet. Experience the most cosmopolitan beach of the island, diving in the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea and feeling your adrenaline soar with the most extreme water sports.
Serifos - credits: Milan_Gonda/Shutterstock.com
Serifos is one of the most charming islands of the Aegean. It is located in the western Cyclades between Kythnos and Sifnos and is 73 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus or otherwise, 2 hours by speedboat and 5 hours by the conventional ferry.
The most beautiful beach of Serifos is probably Ganema, in the southern part which is only 15 minutes away from the center of Livadi. Psili Ammos is also a fantastic sandy beach with green waters and big waves.
Other beaches we suggest are Avlomonas, Kalo Ambeli, Vagia, and Sykamia. Serifos has 72 beaches, some of them can not leave you unsatisfied!
The bars and clubs, where life lasts until the early morning hours, are in Livadi and Livadakia, which is the cosmopolitan center of the island but also in Chora, in the square of Mylos as well as in the alleys of Pano and Kato Chora.
Please keep in mind that Serifos is famous for its awesome camping, so if your budget is restricted in terms of accommodation options, look no further!
Koufonisia - credits: travel-zone-greece.com
There is no better word to describe Koufonisia than simply ‘beautiful’. Ano Koufonisi is the one that is inhabited and Kato Koufonisi is the one that is famous for its unique beaches and everyone prefers it for free camping.
In Ano Koufonisi can go everywhere on foot. If you are bored doing something like that, then there are little boats that can take you to any bay you want. For the most distant beaches, there is also a bus so don’t worry too much about transportation.
Regardless of the many ways, you will have to make your way around the island, we would suggest you take the route from your accommodation to Pori on foot at least once during your Koufonisi trip, as the route is amazing.
Koufonisia is a rather quiet island, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its moments in regard to its nightlife. There are only a couple of entertainment options at night, however, the bar of Sorokos definitely stands out. This bar is one of the most famous in the Aegean and has written its own history. You just can't leave the island without going.
And there you have it, our top Greek destinations for students that will make your trip to our country a blast. Don’t let being a student stop you from experiencing one of the best trips of your life. Visit Greece and see for yourself the quality of life that makes travelers from all over the world fall in love with it!