May 18, 2012 / 2:18 PM / 7 years ago

Travel Picks: Top 10 graduate destinations

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - You’re in the final phase of revision before exams and the glorious release from academia. Soon it will be time for graduates to celebrate the successful completion of their degrees. In that spirit, online travel adviser Travel Ticker ( offers its top 10 graduate destinations. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

Tourists cycle as they drink beer and sing karaoke on a beer bike in Amsterdam June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/United Photos

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is not only home to some of the best historic and artistic attractions, but it’s also one of the most fun and young European cities on the other side of the Atlantic. This makes it a great destination for recent grads to experience a fantastic mix of culture and nightlife. Some notable attractions include the beautiful canals, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and old Heineken brewery. Also, with welcoming locals and bicycle-friendly streets, it’s easy to seamlessly fit into Amsterdam while enjoying all that it has to offer. The best time for grads to get a great deal and avoid crowds will be October through April.

2. Havana, Cuba

Great news! The island of Cuba is no-longer off-limits to Americans, which means they can finally experience the city of Havana’s thrilling nightlife, lively culture and Cuba’s sunny beaches. With a tropical climate year-round, travelers can expect great temperatures to follow them as they wander through the colorful streets, explore the beautiful colonial architecture and cathedrals, and enjoy exciting Cuban music all in sandals and shorts. But nothing says celebration like visiting one of Cuba’s famous cigar factories or treating yourself to dinner and a cabaret show at the original Tropicana Club.

3. Dublin, Ireland

Let’s be honest, the first thing many recent grads are hoping to do is to mark the occasion with a party, and nobody knows how to celebrate like the Irish. Dublin, one of Europe’s most youthful cities, is not only known for its abundance of pubs, but also for its locals who are famous for making any day a day to party. And with its beautiful green scenery, maritime climate and cool summers where the sunniest days are directly after graduation (May and June), Dublin is a great city to raise a glass to your new degree.

4. Ibiza, Spain

As one of the party capitals of the world and Spain’s most stunning island retreat, Ibiza is known for its exotic nightclubs and warm, turquoise waters. This makes it a great getaway destination for grads looking for a young, hip crowd and lots of beach time. More importantly, starting right after graduation (in May) the island has its best summer weather with beautiful, clear, sunny days - perfect for those wanting to unwind and people watch on the beach or just frolic amongst the waves. The summer months also attract some of the best DJs from all over the world, so at sunset the island transforms into a vibrant party that’s fun for all.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

For recent graduates looking for a destination providing a more laidback experience, but still with the charm of old Europe and a young crowd, Prague is the place to be. Prague, which is popular among many young backpackers, has plenty of winding historic streets to get lost on and gothic structures to explore. With its warm summers, it’s also the perfect time to enjoy the famous Vltava River lounging on a boat while passing the cities beautiful architecture and bridges. And let’s not forget the one thing that Prague might be best known for - its beer. Known as the city that “invented” beer, grads can indulge in a variety of brews on the cheap.

6. Paris, France

Those looking for a romantic vacation after graduation often look right at Paris. This city is always a favorite among graduates looking for that quintessential European experience. Filled with art, fashion, food and culture, the City of Light offers a broad range of experiences. Visitors can luxuriate in an afternoon at a Parisian café, visit the Eiffel Tower or pay their respects to Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde at Pere-Lachaise cemetery. Wine enthusiasts should also visit Willi’s Wine Bar with over 300 wines and a hip atmosphere. Even better, right after graduation the climate is mild, with warm and pleasant days.

7. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok’s tropical climate and truly exotic setting make it one of the world’s most traveled-to spots, and it’s surely on many graduates’ wish-lists. A destination that is full of surprises and adventures, it’s no surprise that it attracts so many young adults. The city ignites the senses with its striking skyscrapers, delicious street foods and bustling tuk-tuck taxis zipping through traffic. Renowned for its nightlife on Khoa San Road, Bangkok is also known for its all night Full Moon beach parties. It is also not uncommon for travelers to see Elephants parading through the streets.

8. Rome, Italy

Warm, dry summer days, amazing food and colorful locals makes Rome a fantastic post-graduation destination. Combining the old and new unlike any other destination can, this city encapsulates the history and culture of Italy, with sites like the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and the Vatican. But more importantly, graduates can celebrate with the tastes of Italy by spoiling themselves with pasta, pizza, gelato and wine. Even though there is a bustling club scene, do as the Romans do and enjoy an evening at a local piazza or café to mingle with locals over a glass of wine or a cappuccino.

9. Bali, Indonesia

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With over 17,500 islands, Indonesia is the perfect pick for graduates who’ve been cooped up in libraries for the last four years and are now ready to escape. One of the highlights of Indonesia is certainly Bali. With long days, hot weather, crystal clear waters, Bali is the perfect beach getaway. The island also offers great waves and colorful coral reefs for the more adventurous grads looking to surf, dive or snorkel. And if those outdoor activities are not entertainment enough, come midnight, the island transforms from a quiet retreat to an all night dance party.

10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

For those who don’t follow the typical graduating schedule and happen to exit university in December, Dubai is a great destination to fly off to. Dubai’s warm weather and status as a regional luxury shopping and tourism hub creates an extremely diverse set of activities that are sure to please even the most indecisive of recent grads. It’s the only place in the world where you can cool off at the Wild Wadi Waterpark and then bundle up for snow sports at the indoor Ski Dubai attraction. You could also go from a safari through the Arabian Desert right to lounging on a white sand beach with a fruity cocktail. Like to shop? Visit one of Dubai’s tax free malls or Eastern Markets for a bargain.

Editing by Paul Casciato

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