- Thrive Study Abroad
Places To Travel From Israel For Less Than $300 During Spring Break
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
It’s Spring Semester, and with it comes Spring break! While studying abroad is a great adventure in and of itself, traveling to nearby countries brings the semester abroad experience to a whole new level.
If you’re studying in Israel for the semester, you’re in the geographic center of Europe and the Middle East. You can tap into your wanderlust without having to dig too deep into your wallet. A ticket to some of the most exciting cities in Europe and the Middle East is typically less than $300.
We put together a list of the top five cities you should explore, based on their balmy weather and manageable crowds.
Where to Travel in Europe on Spring Break
Paris, Barcelona, Budapest, and Venice are all cities in Europe that are great to travel to from Israel for Spring Break, as they offer history, architecture, and culture that have to be experienced. Each of these cities offers its own food, nightlife, art, and music to captivate and educate you at the same time. Each of these cities also has a unique Jewish angle/connection that is under the surface but also important to explore.
Reasons to Travel to Paris, France on Spring Break
Romance - Certainly the most romantic city with its outdoor cafes and bistros along the many wide boulevards such as the Champs Elysee or artists showing their work along the banks of the Seine and Ile de la Cite.
Fashion - Paris is also the fashion capital, home to such famous designers as Chanel, Dior, Hermes, and Yves Saint Laurent.
Culture - The list of famous museums and sites abounds including the Louvre, the Orsay, the George Pompidou Center, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, as well as Versailles - all places you wouldn’t want to miss.
Each neighborhood, known as an arrondissement, has its own distinctive personality where you can sample the food, nightlife, and entertainment with abandon. For some great resources on how to plan your upcoming trip to Paris, check out these links here:
Reasons to Travel to Barcelona, Spain this Spring Break
If you love anything modern, Barcelona is where to find it.
Art scene - whether it’s Contemporary, Surrealist, or Street art, all are celebrated in this City of bright colors and modernist architecture. Famous artists include Salvado Dali, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and, of course, Antoni Guadi whose Sagrada Familia has been under construction for more than 100 years (and it’s still considered modernist!)
Music scene - Two of the world’s most well known music festivals occur each Spring in Barcelona - the Sonar Festival and the Primavera Sound Festival.
Football (soccer) scene - The Camp Nou Stadium, which is the largest stadium in Europe, seating almost 100,000 people, is home to the famous soccer team, FC Barcelona. Europeans are crazy for their football (soccer) so you won’t want to miss seeing a game while you’re there.
Situated adjacent to the Mediterranean, Barcelona (much like Tel Aviv) offers the advantages of terrific cultural and nightlife vibrancy while also providing relaxed and fun beach accessibility. Check out these links when planning your trip to Barcelona.
Reasons to travel to Budapest, Hungary on Spring Break
Budapest boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Castle Hill), but many people visit for its Thermal Springs and Bathhouses.
History - Budapest is the Capital of Hungary and is bisected by the Danube River with the historic Buda on one side and the more updated Pest on the other side. It has Castles and Basilicas that housed Hungarian Kings and survived Nazi and Soviet occupation. The land and its people have many stories worth hearing.
Mind and Body experience - the thermal springs that are natural to Budapest, attract tourists to the well appointed Spa and Wellness hotels, many of which are historic landmarks.
The Danube River - cruise along the Danube River between Buda and Pest, under the Chain Bridge that connects them for a great view of the City and its distinctive architecture.
Budapest is one of the more affordable cities in Europe, offering great nightlife, interesting museums (including the largest Pinball Museum with over 150 machines), and an unmatched spa experience
For more resources while planning a trip to Budapest, check out these links.
Reasons to travel to Venice, Italy on Spring Break
Built on 100 islands, Venice is for walkers and those who love to be on the water.
Unique geography - There are no streets or cars in Venice. You walk everywhere or take a water bus or taxi. This lends a charm and quaintness, as well as quiet, to Venice that you won’t find in other major cities. Gondola rides along the Grand Canal or smaller waterways give you a completely different perspective of this floating city.
Art and Architecture - some of the Palazzos and Basilicas that line the waterways date back to the 1400s and are perfect examples of Italian Gothic and Renaissance architecture. They hold treasures such as the largest oil on canvas painting in the World. The Venetian School of painting includes Titian, Tintoretto, Bellini, and DaVinci.
Take a water taxi to nearby Murano Island for the glass blowing.
Find your film reference - many well-known movies have been filmed in Venice due to its picturesque sites, including several James Bond films, Casanova, The Tourist, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Jewish History - As you wander the alleyways in Venice, you should also make sure to find the famous Jewish quarter (Ghetto in Italian), which is home to the world’s first Ghetto https://time.com/4551523/venice-ghetto-history/ .
Venice, like all of these European cities, holds much history, including very significant Jewish history, worth exploring.
The Middle East
Reasons to Travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Spring Break
Dubai is known as “the Pearl of the Middle East.” What once was just sand dunes is now a jewel in the desert that attracts visitors from all over the World, including many Israelis since the signing of the Abraham Accords. Learn more about that here Arabichttps://www.standwithus.com/theabrahamaccords?gclid=CjwKCAiAsNKQBhAPEiwAB-I5zUP4HpZid2J3q5x3wRNZY5rybsm3JUiHSRyjYsKimDi1Z3XZ_lOmSxoCaj8QAvD_BwE
Cultural diversity - Dubai is home to a population that is 85% foreigners. It is welcoming and safe and is a business and vacation hub boasting one of the world’s busiest airports.
Candy for the eye - Dubai is home to myriad skyscrapers including the tallest building (currently) in the World, the Burj Khalifa at 829.8 meters high with 163 floors. Since it is such a new city (no building is more than 40 years old), architecture is modern and all the buildings are state of the art.
Attractions galore - Dubai is like Disney World on steroids with man-made attractions for whatever your interest: There is traditional culture (souks for gold and spice, desert safaris, dune bashing, and Arabic BBQs with belly dancing and camel riding), Man-made culture (artificial palm islands with beaches, hotels, and restaurants), and Theme parks culture (Dubai Miracle Garden, Lego, Bollywood, Motion gate, Aqua venture, IMG Adventure)
Enjoy Dubai from November to April when the heat is bearable (below 40 degrees Celsius and less humid) so you can enjoy all the outside attractions. Learn more about traveling to Dubai with these links.
So as Spring Break approaches, we encourage our Study Abroad students in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to travel to local countries in Europe and the United Arab Emirates, to explore the rich culture, nightlife and incredible history that they offer. Choosing to spend Spring Break in one of these magical cities will add to your college memories and give you that invigorating vacation you seek so you can come back to the rest of your semester refreshed and ready to jump back in.