Archive for the “Europe” Category

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 […]

And Then, I Didn’t Move to Stockholm…

Remember how I’ve been talking about moving to Sweden since the beginning of the year? Remember when I moved to Stockholm last month? Even though it was only going to be for a few months, I was very excited to relocate to Sweden. I mean it’s beautiful, it’s clean, the people are nice (and beautiful), the quality of life is great, and did I mention the people here are beautiful? Plus, I was looking forward to learning Swedish, having my […]

The Dalmatian Coast of Croatia

I didn’t really know what to expect from Croatia. Everyone I know always raves about how beautiful and amazing the country is. Croatia is always on some best travel list as the place you shouldn’t miss. So I went last week with a bit of excitement (warm weather, sun, beaches!) and trepidation (is this going to be a crowded tourist trap?). I was spending a week sailing around Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and, while it was overly bursting with people (July […]