Archive for the “Europe” Category

22 Ways to Save Money in Paris

Uncorking a bottle of French wine on a sunny day, spreading Brie on a baguette, gazing out on the Paris skyline in front of the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre – to me, that is the perfect day. Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world thanks to its cobblestone streets lit up at night under the glow of street lights, historic architecture, incredible music, savory delicious food, and smartly-dressed locals. Paris is a city I just melt into. But […]

Prague: Back to Where it Began

My life as a backpacker began in Prague. I arrived there two months into my trip. But those two months were spent staying with friends and driving across the US. It wasn’t spent in hostels or meeting travelers. Up until that time, my trip always felt like an extended vacation. But all that would change in Prague. Prague was the first place I stayed in a hostel and had to make friends with strangers in dorms, navigate on my own […]

My Current Favorite Hostels in Europe

The last time I wrote about great hostels in Europe was in 2011, and since then, I’ve stayed in many, many new hostels. Some were wonderful, others I couldn’t leave quick enough. Hosteling is very popular and established in Europe and there is a growing “luxury” hostel trend that incorporates more amenities (and higher prices) for travelers. Since hostels come and go and quality can change rapidly, I thought my 2011 post needed an update. Here are what I currently […]

10 Ways to Visit Stockholm on a Budget

One of my favorite places in the world is Stockholm (I even attempted to live there last year). I love the historical beauty of the city, the natural beauty of the archipelago, and the beautiful people. Throw in lots of parks, good cafes, and bars and you have the recipe for one of the greatest destinations in the world. Over the years, I’ve developed a good network of friends there and I’ve been there so much I feel like I […]

My Love Note to The Irish

A couple of years ago, I had a twenty-four hour layover in Dublin. I crammed in as much sightseeing as I could and, though I got to see the sights, I never got to know the city. I vowed to come back. The Emerald Isle has always held a certain allure: Guinness, friendly locals (never met an Irishman (or woman) I didn’t like), rolling verdant green hills, leprechauns, pots of gold, lucky charms, hearty food, and ancient castles. Last month, […]

How to Spend Four Days in Madrid

When I visited Madrid in 2009, I only saw my hostel’s bed due to a bad cold I got in Barcelona. I left what was supposed to be one of the best cities in the world sad, sick, and upset I only ever saw the city on my way to the pharmacy. Returning in May while on my Eurail trip, I vowed not to leave the city without experiencing its supposed sensory-overloading sights, sounds, and eats. Taking the time to […]

Lisbon: Even Better the Second Time

There are some places you never leave. You may not be there physically, but a piece of you stays behind forever to be with the place that stole so much of your heart. It lives there, reliving those initial memories and waiting for new ones to be made. Last year, I visited Lisbon for the first time and though the visit was short, thoughts of it never left me. I fell madly in love and the city claimed a hold […]

How to Spend 5 Days in Barcelona

My first visit to Barcelona was in 2006. I fell in love with the city – the street performers, food (oh! the food!), laid back lifestyle, history, people, and plethora of activities. Three years later, I returned again. Then a few months ago, I went back with a friend to show her how amazing the place was. And every time I come back, Barcelona surprises and inspires me anew. Barcelona is like Paris, New York, or Tokyo – there is […]

My 29 Favorite Restaurants in Europe

I don’t write about food often. I always have these grand desires to do so but I never feel like I’m in a city long enough to make an expert judgement on the “best places to eat in city x.” It’s only when I spend extended time in a place — like I have in New York City and Bangkok — that I feel comfortable recommending a list of restaurants. But over the years, I’ve done a lot of European […]

That Time I Went to Portugal and Fell Madly in Love With It

They say you just know when you are in love. That this feeling of certainty comes over you as if you two were always destined for each other. While I’ve never been in love, it’s a feeling I’ve experienced before. I remember the moment I walked out of the metro onto Paris’s Champs-Élysées. I knew right there I loved Paris. I could feel it in my bones. I loved Paris and every day I’ve spent there since has only made […]