Recent Travels around Europe: Must Sees, Must Eats and Must Saves
A review of my three most recent trips around Europe! Enjoy :)
1. Venice, Italy
St. Mark’s Basilica
The Rialto Bridge
Pasta & Pizza - I wanted pasta, Hayden wanted pizza. Two Italian must haves. If you’re traveling with a partner I recommend agreeing on two dishes and splitting them so you both get to try them without each paying for two separate meals.
Gelato - If you’re in Italy, you got to have gelato! There were so many different places to get authentic gelalto, so I don't think one was better than the other. Just get gelato everyday and try new flavors ;)
Cappuccinos - If you like coffee, you need to have a cappuccino while in Italy. Just a heads up - if you’re dairy free, it was really hard to find any places that had a dairy free milk option - I didn’t find any! But on vacation, I didn’t stress and just enjoyed my delicious frothy coffee.
Staying Outside of Venice - staying in Venice can get pricey. Not to mention, it’s very loud and crowded. We stayed just outside of Venice, in Mestre. Mestre is on the mainland and is only a 10 minute bus ride to the island of Venice. We stayed in a gorgeous bed and breakfast for a great price. I’ll link it here if anyone’s interested.
Gondola Rides - I wanted to take a gondola ride, but they were 80 euros! No thanks! I’m sure they would be cool but I just couldn’t justify spending almost $100 on a gondola ride when we could take the water taxis for almost free! We bought a 48 hour bus pass when we arrived and it allowed us unlimited bus rides to/from the island and water taxi rides on the island. We got the experience of riding on the water, for way cheaper. Also, the gondolas go down quiet canals, which you can see walking through the tiny streets.
Food on the Island - A lot of the restaurants in Venice are aimed towards tourists, so they can be really pricey! What we did was eat breakfast at our AirBnB, had lunch and maybe a snack on the island, and got takeout for dinner in Mestre. Another thing to do is get a slice of pizza to go or a sandwich instead of a full, sit down meal. This saved us some money by only eating one main meal on the island each day. Also be ware that many places will charge you for bread and water, unlike in the Unites States!
2. Brussels, Belgium
The Grand Palace
The New Palace
The Charles Buls Statue
Waffles - I cannot put into words just how amazing the waffles were. We tried many different vendors and they were all equally delicious. I should mention though, there are two types of belgian waffles. The Liege waffle and the Brussels waffle. I recommend the Liege, its more sweet and crispy, where as I thought the Brussels waffle was more “dough-y.”
Beer - Belgium is also known for it’s beer! We ended up going to a place called Delirium several times. It’s in the Guiness Book of World records for having over 2,000 beers on tap to choose from!
Save on Food - we knew we wanted our fair share of waffles and beer, so we decided to save money on our meals. We ended up eating a fast food place called Quick, where you could get anything from a burger to a quinoa chicken salad for about 5-7 euros! Most nicer restaurants were 17-25 euros for a full entree.
Souiverneirs - If you want one, limit it to one small thing! Otherwise, just get some good chocolate to enjoy on the way home :)
3. Dublin, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher -Although not in Dublin, The Cliffs of Moher are worth the drive. We signed up for a day long tour which took us on a 5 hour bus ride up the country side of Ireland. It was about $40 for the tickets and the views were worth every penny.
Temple Bar Area
Honestly, I didn't get to try many Irish classics because our trip was during Lent, but I did enjoy Fish and Chips several times
Offbeat Donut Co. - right in the center of Dublin, this place is inside of a gelato shop (also delicious) and serves up fun and creative donuts.
Workman’s - a roof top style bar with a great burger stand. I didn’t eat the burgers, but they looked and smelled AMAZING. A great place to get a beer and burger with good vibes. Plus they have milkshakes that looked great!
Transportation - We wasted so much money on taxi’s! Uber is not available there, so we used the similar app of My Taxi. If I were you, I’d be prepared and research how to use the bus system before you go. If you don’t have a Contactless Card, you’ll need to have exact change!
Drinks - Beer is always cheaper than cocktails. Usually a beer is only 5 euros and a cocktail could be 9-13 euros!