Archive for the “Europe” Category

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 had always felt like an extended vacation. But all that changed 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’s 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 consider […]

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 city’s historical beauty, the natural beauty of the archipelago, and the beautiful people. Throw in lots of parks, delicious 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 in Stockholm, and I’ve been there so much I feel like I know […]

The Mystical Smoo Cave of Scotland

I wish I could be everywhere but until they perfect cloning technology, there’s only one of me traveling this big world. I now plan on having regular guest writers on the website to highlight places I haven’t been yet… places we can together dream of visiting someday. This month my friend Alex Berger talks about northern Scotland and shares the story of Smoo Cave. It’s beautifully written. Enjoy! Perched atop the worn limestone cliffs at the mouth of the Geodha […]

My Love Note to The Irish

A couple 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 Irish person I didn’t like), rolling verdant green hills, leprechauns, pots of gold, lucky charms, hearty food, and ancient castles. Last month, I went […]

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 […]

What’s It Like Taking a Night Train in Europe?

Earlier this week, I talked about European train passes and whether or not they were worth the money. As part of the continuing train series, in this week’s video, I highlight my night train from Madrid to Paris, a long twelve hour ride on an old Renfe (Spanish) train. (Quick note to Renfe: upgrade your trains!) Here’s the journey: (Want more travel videos? I now update my YouTube channel each week with a new video. Subscribe here and get free […]

The Top Things to See and Do in Madrid

My first time in Madrid was a failure. I got sick and only ended up making it out for half a day before retreating back into bed, cursing a cold that kept me from experiencing one of Europe’s great cities. On my train trip through Europe last month, I entered Madrid tired from an overnight train but in wonderful health, and I set out to right a wrong. Madrid would be explored, dissected, drank, and eaten through. A couple of […]

Taking a Delicious Food Tour in Madrid

While I was in Europe earlier this month, I finally managed to visit Madrid. Years ago I went to Madrid but was deathly sick and didn’t do much while I was there. So as I spent spent a week riding the rails around Europe, I made Madrid a definite stop on my tour. Since the city is famous for food, I decided I wanted to take a food tour and numerous people pointed me to the Madrid Food Tour, which […]

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 […]