It's the start of the year. Naturally you're a bit skint but that never stops you from dreaming of a weekend getaway. A trip to one of Europe's many clubbing hotspots is always an attractive prospect when the weather's bleak and you're a bit stressed.
We all begrudgingly check our bank accounts and see that the overdraft isn't getting any smaller but what if we told you there was a way you could have a holiday with your rave squad for £250. We're talking the lot; flights, accommodation, a trip to the clubs and a few cracking meals. That would be great right?
Well we've scoured far and wide to offer up some cheap alternatives to trips down your dead-out local boozer on a Friday night. If you've got £250 knocking about and want some time to let off some steam, this should point you in the right direction.
*Opens Sky Scanner*
All of the travel rates below are based on flights departing from London at the start of June, for four days and are found using SkyScanner
Flights: Roughly £65 return
Accommodation: from £20 per night in private room via Airbnb / from £40 - £80 per night for entire flat
Where to go: Now there's no shortage of clubs to hit in Berlin and recently we offered up some alternative venues to hit up if you don't fancy trying your luck at this little club called Berghain. You're generally going to be looking at between €10 - €20 on the door at places like Watergate, Sisyphos and ://about blank but the soundsystems, quality of line-up and vibes are in high supply from the off.
You can party at most of the top clubs for days without having to leave and drinks are never too pricey, even at Berghain it's only around €3.50 for a bottle of beer, most places are similar. Even if clubs aren't your vibe, the bars are vibey and also offer cheaper drinks than London and extended opening times.
Where to eat: It's become unofficial Mixmag tradition to head to Weltrestaraunt Markthalle before a trip to Berghain. If we're spending 17 hours slap bang in the middle of the dangerzone then we need to know that we're well fed and our stomachs are lined for the duration. For around €13 you can get one of the best Schnitzels in Berlin and add to that a big old beer, you've got the best rave fuel imaginable.
Burgermeister is also a great tourist hotspot for a quick munch but if meat isn't your thing then Yoyo Foodworld is a super quaint vegan fast food joint and right by a cute little park to chill in. With everything pretty much under €7, you're set for some cheap, meat-free delights
Flights: £52 return
Accommodation: From £120 per person in a 2-person room for four nights (£30 per night)
Where to go: Ok, so unlike Berlin, Amsterdam is a bit pricier when it comes to accommodation but with flights just over £50 quid, that leaves with you some cash to play with. In terms of where to go, well, the Dam has it all. We've sung its praises in terms of nightlife for years and it's one of Europe's, nay, one of the world's hottest clubbing destinations. De School, Claire, Shelter, Disco Dolly, Gashouder, Melkweg. In fact, the list is an absolute joke and tickets won't usually cost you more than €20 on the night but if you grab advanced tickets you're looking closer to €12.
When you remove yourself from the clubs, of course there's plenty of coffee shops to legally sample the world's best herbs and that's cost dependent on weight, although it's not much. Even if music and smokes aren't you're thing, an official tour around the Heineken Factory only costs €16 and it's basically beer heaven. Renting a bike during your trip is not only super fun, easy and pretty safe (the cycling lanes in A'dam are a dream to navigate), it's also much cheaper than using an uber to get everywhere.
What to eat: Hope you like chips and mayonnaise. In all fairness, there are loads of chips and mayonnaise but it's a Dutch delicacy right? Cheesy hot pockets and and fried chicken are available at absurdly cheap prices on a lot of streets but honestly, the food is very good in the Dutch capital. De School is not only one of the best clubs in the world, but it also houses one of the city's best restaurants.
The menu is always changing and evolving and three courses will set you back only €36 while the cafe during breakfast and lunch does modestly priced brunch and snack options (the eggs are incredible). If Bloody Marys are your thing, then look no further than G's If you need that boozy kick start then you need to head here as each Bloody Mary comes loaded with a variety of toppings. Some have shrimp, some have bacon, some have chicken nuggets and some have triple portions of vodka, in fact some have all of the above and it's also a prime brunch spot.
Accommodation: £70 for four nights in a two person airbnb apartment (£35 each, £8.75 per night)
Where to go: Ah Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic and by far the cheapest option on this list. It's actually absurd just how much money you can save by not only taking in the beautiful sights and culture, but by getting your crew and heading to one of the many, many bars and pubs. A beer is 23CZK, which works out at around 80p. Just let that sink in for a second. OK you can have a few more seconds. Right take five minutes. For £10 you can get around 11 pints which is not only incredible, it's also slightly worrying. Drink responsibly of course but by all means, get your money's worth.
In terms of a big night out, it's all about Ankali, tucked away just outside the centre of Prague. The unassuming hotspot caters for those who want to see cutting-edge electronic artists in a dark and brooding atmosphere and coming up they've got an Ilian Tape takeover and the likes of Job Jobse and Phase Fatale supplying the soundtrack. Tickets are only around 290CZK, so only a tenner and once you've had a few lagers, you'll be well on your way to European clubbing heaven.
Where to eat: Much like the cost of drinking, partying and pretty much everything in Prague, the cost of eating is very low and you'll get more bang for your buck than anywhere else. A traditional meal of meat and dumplings is around 80CZK, so about £4 and if you set yourself aside £20 per person, you're going to be eating pretty damn well. U Magistra Kelly is a good spot to hit, it offers classic Czech cuisine with an authentic twist for a really good price but the beauty of Prague is that if you're on a budget, you'll be able to find something decent at a fraction of the price you'd be used to paying. Basically Prague is fucking great with not much cash.
Flights: £78 return
Accommodation: From £16 per night for entire flat on Airbnb
Where to go: The Polish capital is a concrete-laced hotbed for culture and history and when it comes to going out and exploring, there's plenty to do. Of course, grabbing yourself a world famous Polish beer is a must straight off the plane and you'll be pleased to know that a pint will only cost around 8-9 zloty which comes in at a super affordable £1.50. Now we're talking.
Poznanska Street is one of the nicest strips for good bars and nightlife, in particular UL, which opened last year and offers snacks and a spot for a cracking 'night party'. Osmy Dzien Tygodnia which translates to 8 Day of the Week stays open till 1-2am on weekends and will serve you up a decent cocktail and Plan B is also a must hit bar.
In terms of getting down at the club, it's all about Smolna, the newest addition to Warsaw's evening offerings. The nightclub prides itself on booking the biggest and best artists from around the world and a no-photo policy means it's hard to get a proper idea of what's on offer unless you go there. Saying that, we streamed Seth Troxler there earlier in the year and once you've watched that, you'll probably be pretty sold on Poland's capital.
Where to eat: There are lots of amazing, affordable places to chow down before the rave in Warsaw and we've got something for everyone here. Vegan Ramen Shop is a cured meats extravaganza, we joke, it's of course a shop that sells vegan ramen and therefore an extremely apt name, it's also amazing. Raj W Niebie (translates to Paradise In Heaven) is a colourful, highly rated Hawaiian joint that serves up fresh delicacies that are also suitable for vegetarians and Charlotte is a perfect spot for lunch, with a menu that rotates daily for only 26 Zloty (£5). Bar Pacyfik is good for a spot of light food and is also very fairly priced.
Basically, Warsaw goes in.
Flights: From £98 return
Accommodation: From £19 per night for entire flat on Airbnb
Where to go: Romania, the home of minimal, rolling, groove-fuelled house and techno, a strain of music that's been taking the world by storm over the last few years. Spearheaded by the RPR crew and festivals like Sunwaves, their brand of electronic pumper has become one of the most hyped around so a trip to Romania's capital, Bucharest, seems like a fantastic idea.
Studio Martin is a popular 1000 capacity spot that's hosted DJs such as of Livio & Roby and Hernan Cattaneo but for the heads, it's all about Club Guesthouse. This year their line-ups are a who's who of bumping house talent, with the likes of Petre Inspirescu, Molly, Praslea, Rhadoo and Daniel Bell all billed to play. That enough warrants taking a look and entry usually works out around 26 Leu which is £5, with a double vodka and mixer coming in at a more-than respectable £3.50-4. Even with a lot of clubbing spots, there are loads of places to drink and hang out in the centre and it's a cheap place for a get together with the squad.
Where to eat: Traditional Romanian food consists of a blend of different cuisines but to be honest, unless you're willing to spend a bit more out of your price range, it's all about bistro burger joints and soup. To be honest the soups are cracking out in Bucharest but there are plenty of other things to eat that should excite you more. Social 1 is great for good atmosphere and modern interior design and the burgers are decent. In terms of views and an experience in Romania that you're not going to forget, head to NOR Sky Casual Restaurant. With views from the top of the building that cover the majority of the city, it's one of the more stylish places to eat, if not a little bit more pricey. It's still a bargain and we reckon Rhadoo has probably enjoyed an egg-plant salad up top.
Funster is Mixmag's Digital Editor, follow him on Twitter