University housing

Relive your college years and save money while traveling by staying in a cheap dorm room (from $22) when school is out of session

A dorm room at the London School of Economics

Above: A dorm room at the London School of Economics (from £27/$44 a night); Below: A dorm room at Dublin City Univeristy (from €36/$50)

A dorm room at Dublin City Univeristy
This page covers:
When dorms are open
How much dorms cost
What dorms are like
Resources:
  • In the U.K.
  • In London
  • In Ireland
  • In Spain
  • In Italy
When the students are away, the tourists will play. During the summer school break, many European universities and colleges help pad that endowment by renting out all that unused dorm space.

When are univeristy dorms available to travelers?

University dorms are (mostly) only an option during summer vacations. From sometime in late May or early June (when students head home for the summer) through the end of August and even into September (when they return), universities in London, Dublin, and other European cities open their dorms up to travelers.

In some cases, you can get even rooms during school breaks and weekends as well—and, if enrollment is down, they'll rent empty dorms out year-round.

How much do univeristy dorms for tourists cost?

Rates vary, from around $22 to $35 per person in a single with shared bathroom down the hall to $50 to $120 for a double or twin, with or without bath—but dorms can also run as little as $150 per week.

What's more, folks under 26 often pay even less (presumably because young 'uns will just blend in, so the administrators don't have to bother explaining what a bunch of old fogies are doing living on campus).

What are dorm rooms like?

The 11th centry castle that houses students -- and, in the off-season, travelers -- at Durham University in England
A dorm room at Durham University in England
The 11th centry castle that houses students—and, in the off-season, travelers—at Durham University in England (closed for refubishment in summer 2011).
Most look like, well, like dorm rooms: unfussy, unfancy, un-spacious, and full of modular furnishings that aren't treated particularly well during the school year.

Still: they are central, convenient, and astoundingly cheap.

So brush up your partying skills, dust off those dim memories of the lyrics to Louie Louie, and get ready to share the bathrooms—it's time to go back to college.

Resources to help find University dorms in Europe

University dorms for travelers in the United Kingdom

University dorms for travelers in London

University dorms for travelers in Ireland

University dorms for travelers in Spain

University dorms for travelers in Italy

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in April 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.


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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.