Travel Tuesday: Europe

Where in the world has Media Works been?

This week, we are taking you on quite the flight to Europe! We will show you how to discover Europe through the life of a Media Works’er. In this post, you’ll find out more about some of our favorite cities from across the pond. You’ll also see some gorgeous views, ancient architecture and delicious food!

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam may be known for its coffee shops but one thing many people don’t know about the city is that it is surrounded by canals introducing tourists to the most stunning views. Going on a canal tour is a must do as they not only expose visitors to a relaxing and peaceful experience but they are also educational as the conductor shares vast amounts of interesting facts about the city. In terms of food it can be considered sinful to leave Amsterdam without at least trying croquettes, the Dutch do them the best. In restaurants bitterballs are basically the same in a better appetizer form. One place in which all tourists must visit is the Albert Cup Market. You can find amazing cheese, funny (and delicious) chocolates, shoes, clothes, souvenirs, and freshly made stroop waffles, which is our favorite Dutch food. When it comes to transportation throughout the city we recommend that you rent a bike! It is cheaper, easier, and more fun than the public transportation.

Barcelona, Spain

This is one of our favorite cities in Europe, hands down. Barcelona is known for its amazing architecture, which can be attributed to Gaudi, so make sure to visit Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.

One thing Barcelona is not renowned for is the food , but if you make it there you must eat at Cerveceria Catalana and Fonda Gaig, and be sure to walk through St Josep Boqueria.  A great way to see this beautiful city is on a segway tour!

Segwaying around Barcelona

Venice, Italy

Some say that you should go to Venice because it may be under water in the future. We say, go to Venice because it’s simply beautiful! Venice is a city to visit without an itinerary. Take time to get lost in the winding walkways and waterways.

Things To See in Venice:

  • St. Mark’s Square: The square consists of Doges Place, the Basilica, the clock tower, as well as the statue Constantinople stole back from Napoleon.

  • Rialto Bridge: You may have to fight through the crowd, but it’s a great place for a photo op!

 Places to Eat in Venice:

  • Rosticceria Gislon: A local favorite, this restaurant offers a wide range of extremely fresh seafood, pasta, and typical Venetian meals. (We suggest their Grilled Sepia – Cuttlefish served with a polenta cake.)

  • Bistrot de Venise: A Michelin Star winner over the past three years and a staff to cater to your every need.

Rome, Italy

The capital of Italy, home to the Roman Empire and #11 most visited country in the World. The rich history and culture of Rome makes this city a great vacation destination!

Things to See in Rome:

  • The Colosseum: The pictures don’t do it justice, but the Colosseum is a magnificent structure where Gladiators battled. Take guided tours of one of the wonders of the world, and be sure to head on over to the Ancient Ruins afterwards to see some historic artifacts.

Places to Eat in Rome:

  • Bonci Pizza: Recommendation courtesy of Anthony Bourdain – This pizzeria is located behind the Vatican, and serves some delicious and unique slices with creative toppings, like butternut squash, duck, black cherries, or simply a classic caprese.
  • La Scala: Located in the Trastevere neighborhood, this Italian Trattoria serves simple homemade pasta with delicious sauces- Be sure to take a stroll through the Trastevere streets and grab some gelato!

Florence, Italy

Located just 144 miles away from the Capital of Italy, Florence is the main city of the Tuscan Region. With shops galore and restaurants that serve traditional Tuscan cuisine, this quaint city offers many things to do and see.

Things To See in Florence:

  • Statue of David: Created in 1504 by Michelangelo, this statue is still one of the most well-known statues ever created.

  • The Duomo: The Cathedral Church in Florence, the largest dome in the world, built with brick and mortar.
  • Tuscan Wineries: Take a tour of Tuscany and visit a local Winery. This is a truly rewarding experience for any traveler, not just those who love wine!

(The above photo was taken by Monica, and not Photoshopped)

Places To Eat in Florence:

  • Ponte Vecchio Bridge: Grab a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and some good cheese and head over to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, where you can sit and “people watch.”
  • Antico Noe – Although this hole in the wall is difficult to find, it’s worth using the ancient map to find it. You will have to be patient to eat the best Panini of your life, but the trek and wait are well worth it!
  • Make sure to stop in one of the many Gelaterias for a delicious frozen treat.

Paris, France

Paris in May sounds like a dream! One of the most highly anticipated stops in Paris is at The Louvre. Although a few of us were somewhat underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa, which is located on a huge wall on the first floor of the Denon Wing, and she’s tiny!

     

Another wonderful thing to do while in Paris is wake up early on a Sunday morning and check out the Farmer’s markets. They are everywhere, and manage to involve all the senses – taste, touch, sight, sound & smell!!

The Eiffel Tower lived up to its billing, although it’s somewhat disappointing that you can’t see the view of the Eiffel Tower from the Eiffel Tower! Make a reservation at Georges, on the Centre Pompidou and enjoy a delicious meal, in an even better ambiance, with the most spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower!

                         

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The monuments, architecture and views make Prague a can’t-miss city when visiting Europe!

When in Prague, do as the Czechs do:

  • Walk across the Charles Bridge
  • Visit Old Town Square – Go to the top of the clocktower for gorgeous views of the ancient city

  • Paddleboat on the Vlatava river
  • Visit the John Lennon wall

  • Eat at U dvou velbloudu – located in the center of Prague where you can find delicious Czech cuisine with a homey feel.
  • Enjoy a beer (or a few) at the Beer Factory

Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne is the second-largest city on Lake Geneva, and is known as the Olympic Capital. With breath taking views of the lake and France across the way, this is a must-see city. Transportation is great here, as the city is mostly car-free and has a great metro and bus system to get you anywhere. Check out the Musee Olympique (Olympic Museum) that is set in a beautiful park right on Lake Geneva. Be sure to also visit Musee de l’Art Brut (“Outsider Art”) which features exhibitions from prisoners and asylum patients, and other one-off individuals.

   

Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland sites on Lake Lucerne and surrounded by mountains. The center of the city is connected by the Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe built in the 13th century.

 

Use the bridge to get from one side of the city to the other. You may even catch people tying their surfboards to the bridge, and “surfing.” Also check out Chateau Gutsch. Climb up the 296 steps, where you certainly deserve a drink at the top, and check out the gorgeous views of the city and the mountains.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is a great city to explore. It is not “tourist-y”, so you get the chance to blend in with the locals. First, visit the neighborhood of Belem which sits on the water, and go to Pasteis de Belem and eat some of the best pastries you’ve ever had. For dinner, head to Camponesa de Santa Catarina. This small restaurant is a little hard to find, but is worth it. Try anything on the menu, and if the owner is there he will become your new best friend. The beaches around Lisbon are great – hop on the train and stop at any of the beaches. Be warned though, the water is freezing!

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