Europe

All posts related to travels in Europe.

San Sebastian is famed amongst foodies as being the gastronomical capital of the world. Holding the most Michelin stars in the world, the food culture in this beautiful seaside city in unique, daring, and enticing. Although I initially came here for a few days of beach bumming and a guaranteed fancy meal, San Sebastian charmed me with much, much more. The pintxo bars are stars in their own right, and food chefs consistently push the envelope to dazzle the senses of tourists and locals alike. If there’s one city where I truly splurged both on food and accommodation, it was definitely here in San Sebastian. Read more to find out all the secrets the city has to offer.

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Seville, or Sevilla in Spanish, is the largest city in Andalusia (Southern Spain). Famous for its food, festivals, and passion, it’s truly a city not to be missed. Located on the Guadalquivir River, it’s home to a beautiful cathedral, large Alcazar, and one of Spain’s most famous bullfighting rings. I was able to spend two days here, experiencing the city both as a solo, starry-eyed tourist as well as with a seasoned Sevillana (local). Despite experiencing Sevilla during a relatively quiet time of the year, I found it to be the perfect size for exploring, exuding all the charm of a small city and all the convenience of a tourist destination. Read how I spent two days familiarizing myself with this stunning town, and bask in the charm of architecture, music, and food.

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Despite its small size and scorching heat, the white-washed walls of Córdoba and the stunning Mezquita are guaranteed to delight even the finickiest of travelers. While most people pass over this city entirely or come for a quick visit to the Mezquita, I would argue that Córdoba is much more than its iconic red and white striped building. Here is where I spent a full two days entirely alone, inspired by the stunning architecture, mouthwatering regional dishes, and the narrow pathways. Read how I spent two days sola en Córdoba, eating some of my best and worst meals, and exploring the hidden crevices of this quaint town.

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There’s something about Granada that made me want to stay here forever. It’s easily my favorite city in Spain – an affordable university town with a deep and rich history and culture. Maybe it’s the food, with its sweet piononos or free tapas with every drink. Maybe it’s the culture – the magnificent blend of Arab and Spanish influences evident in the architecture, art, and music. Or maybe it’s just the vibrant energy, pulsing through the city all day and night. Whatever it is, the three days I spent here were glorious, and I can confidently say that it is not to be missed while visiting Spain. Read to learn more about the different parts of the city and to see pictures of the impressive Alhambra.

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With only 24 hours to spend in Málaga, I hardly experienced the true extent of the city. Based on my short time there, I got the distinct impression that I was in a party city – the beautiful beaches, ample nightlife, and the multitude of shops seemed to confirm that fact. However, my walking tour and visits to cultural monuments showed me that Málaga indeed has a historical side, and I am definitely inclined to return to experience more of what this beachside town has to offer.

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With just one day to spend in Madrid, I knew I wouldn’t be able to see and do all that I wanted. I guess this just means I’ll have to return! In the meantime, I had a lovely day catching up with some of the Diverbo volunteers and even managed to squeeze in some time both at the famous Prado museum and at the Palacio Real Gardens. While many advised me to skip Madrid entirely, I definitely found it to be worth visiting. There’s a certain energy here that keeps you going into the wee hours of the night – or maybe it’s just the chocolate with churros!

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In exchange for a week’s worth of accommodation and food, I volunteered as an English speaker at Diverbo (Pueblo Ingles). The program is located in La Alberca, a small town an hour outside of Salamanca. It’s an action-packed 8 days of almost non-stop talking, but you’re guaranteed to have fun, meet interesting people, and make a ton of friends. It’s truly an unforgettable experience, and I would definitely do it again. Read more about my experience with the program and how to apply in this post.

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My time in Madrid was limited to just one full day before I went off to volunteer. I spent an action-packed day in the city, starting with a historical walking tour in the morning, an inspiring flamenco lunch show, and a lazy afternoon in Parque del Retiro. Not only did I meet some Pueblo Ingles volunteers, but I ended my evening with them as well; celebrating the festival of La Paloma into the wee hours of the night with locals in Cebada. Despite only spending 24 hours in this city, I fell in love and definitely want to return. Click and read the details on my day out in Madrid!

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Since I knew my time in Madrid was limited, I was intent on making the most of my meal times there. What better way to sample all the top foods than by going on a food tour? Madrid Food Tours took me on a mouthwatering gastronomical journey through the streets of Madrid, where I sampled authentic local eats and got a “taste” of Madrid’s fascinating history. It was truly an unforgettable experience, and if you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of Madrid’s food culture, then this is the tour for you.

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