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5 Best European Vacation Destinations for Foodies

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5 Best European Vacation Destinations for Foodies

Did you know that 95% of travelers worldwide are food travelers? Eight of 10 travelers research food and drink before heading to their vacation destinations. And seven of 10 people select vacation destinations based on the food and beverages in these hotspots.

What are your options if you’re a foodie who wants to vacation somewhere in Europe? The good news is that there is no shortage of places where a foodie will feel very welcome.

Continue reading to learn about five of the best European places to visit if you want to try some of the best culinary masterpieces on the continent.

1. Venice, Italy

Italy is a country rich in history and culture. It’s also a great place to visit if you’re looking for culinary dishes that tantalize your tastebuds. One city that should be on your list of considerations if you want to go to Italy is Venice. You’ll find that seafood dominates the menus of many restaurants. And that’s no surprise in an area where the roads are made of water.

If you love seafood, try the polenta e schie. It’s made from seasoned shrimp — fried or boiled — served on a bed of polenta. That’s just one of the mouth-watering options you’ll find in the city.

2. Nice, France

If you touch down in Nice, France, you’ll want to try out the popular salade niçoise. It’s made from anchovies, tuna, tomatoes, eggs, olives, and other ingredients. You’ll also want to try the pissaladière. It’s the pizza that’s not a pizza. To the untrained eye, a pissaladière looks like a pizza. It’s a tart topped with anchovies, onions, and olives.

Also, try the raviolis niçois. If you loved ravioli growing up as a kid, try this elevated concoction. It’s ravioli filled with braised beef, cheese, and chard. Yum!

3. Vienna, Austria

Do you want to visit Vienna, Austria? You must try the Wiener Schnitzel if you ever do. You can’t be a foodie visiting the city and not tuck into this famous dish. While Wiener Schnitzel was traditionally made using veal, you can also get it with turkey, chicken, or pork meat. It’s served with sides like potato salad and redcurrant jelly. Try some goulash made using different kinds of meat. You’ll find this stew on the menus of many restaurants in the city.

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark is another city you should consider. If you travel to the city, try the Smørrebrød, a class open-face sandwich. It’s made from a slice of rye bread topped with meat, fish, vegetables, and sauce. You’ll find it in high-end restaurants in the city. You can also find falafel and shawarma on many restaurants’ menus. Flæskesteg, traditionally served during the Christmas season, is another must-try menu item. It’s roasted pork seasoned with spices, cloves, and bay leaves. The locals usually serve the popular dish with potatoes.

5. Bruges, Belgium

Waterzooi is a dish you need to dry if you visit  Bruges, Belgium. It’s a creamy stew that will hit the spot. It’s made using eggs, fish, and butter. While that might not sound like an appetizing combination of ingredients, your tastebuds will thank you. Do you like seafood? You’ve got to try some mussels and fries. You’ll have options in terms of the sauce it’s served with. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the chocolate that Belgium is world-famous for.

Lots of Options for Foodies

These are just a few recommendations if you’re a foodie who wants to visit Europe but doesn’t know where to go. You’ll find all sorts of food to make your tastebuds dance for joy.

However, when you come to Europe for the food, you’ll also experience the culture and history. And you’ll also get to see some differences between how things are in the U.S. versus how they are in Europe. Case in point: if you’re staying at a hotel, you’ll find that the bathrooms might look a little different compared to what you’re used to in North America. For instance, you’ll find that bidets are fairly common throughout Europe.

A bidet is either a standalone unit that replaces a toilet or is attached to a toilet. It’s designed to clean you up after you use the bathroom — so there’s no need to use toilet paper. After you do your business in the bathroom, you activate a faucet, and a stream of water will do what you’d usually do with toilet paper.

After spending the day or afternoon out doing what foodies do, you’ll spend lots of quality time in your hotel. You may need to rest after all the eating and sightseeing. You may even find that you really enjoy using the bidet — perhaps enough to get one for your own bathroom.

So, come to Europe for the food. But remember to enjoy all the other experiences, including things you may have never experienced before. That’s what traveling the world is all about.

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Destinations

Most Extravagant Rest Stops and Gas Stations Across The Globe

These are the best rest stops and gas stations from around the world that will make your stop a paradise instead of just a necessity.

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When you’re on the road one major source of entertainment is every gas station or rest stop where you decide to take a break. Some rest stops are a lot of fun while others just don’t live up to the excitement you have in your head. Usually, people have very low expectations for rest stops, as they should, they’re just there so you can hit the can, buy a Snapple and hop back on the road.

But some rest stops offer a magical wonderland that you could spend hours in. When you find a good rest stop it’s like you’ve hit gold. Suddenly your long boring road trip seems all worth it, and you haven’t even reached your destination yet.

These are the best rest stops and gas stations from around the world that will make your stop a paradise instead of just a necessity.

POPS, ARCADIA, OKLAHOMA

Pops is pretty easy to see thanks to the 66-foot-tall soda bottle that is in front of the station. At night the bottle even lights up which makes it even easier to see and probably attracts billions of moths. It makes sense that the bottle is 66 feet high considering it is on Route 66. No matter what you’re looking for, you will enjoy your stop at Pops in Arcadia. We recommend hitting the restaurant that has over 700 types of sodas and seltzers. Now that’s refreshing!

ALZU PETROPORT, NEAR MIDDELBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

How about a rest stop with rhinos, ostriches, and buffalos? Does that sound like something you’d be interested in? Well then head to Alzu Petroport which is adjacent to a wildlife preserve. This means after you hit the restrooms and gas up the ride, you can stare in awe of the many animals you can see directly from the rest stop. Now that sounds like a good place to take a break and eat lunch.

TRAIL’S TRAVEL CENTER, ALBERT LEA, MINNESOTA

This seems like a regular gas station from the front, but when you walk in you quickly notice that this place holds laundry, church services, and even a movie theater. So if you’re getting tired of driving, pop in here and catch a flick, or get married. Either activity is totally possible at Trail’s Travel Center. There is also a huge selection of whiskey, the biggest in all of Minnesota right here so if you’re a fan of the brown liquor then Trail’s is for you.

GAZOLINE PETROL, CUNEO, ITALY

Usually, when you take a picture of a rest area it’s because of something horrifying you found inside a toilet bowl. But at the Gazoline Petrol, you will take picture after picture of the building itself because the architecture is simply stunning.

ORIVAL GAS STATION, ORIVAL, BELGIUM

This is considered one of the world’s most beautiful gas station and it is easy to see why. There are beautifully landscaped parks as well as expertly curated art galleries. Usually, the only art you see at rest stops lies on mud flaps but not at Orival Gas Station. You won’t want to just stop at Orival, you’ll want to stay there and never ever leave.

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The Best Vacation Spots For Coffee Snobs (Like Me!)

If people describe you as a coffee fanatic then these are some destinations you simply have to see so you can spend your vacation in pure caffeinated bliss.

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Ah, that glorious brown liquid that helps us arise in the morning and keeps us chugging along through the workday. Where would we be without that delicious wake-up fuel we chug down in the A.M.?

Coffee is great and a necessary tool many of us use. But to some people, this special drink is more than just a simple beverage they sip on to rise and shine in the morning. To some people, coffee is their entire universe. They know what part of the world the best beans are from, how to roast them just right and the perfect method of preparation to keep the pH balance just right.

To these people coffee isn’t a drink, it’s a way of life.

If that sounds like you, if people describe you as a coffee fanatic then these are some destinations you simply have to see so you can spend your vacation in pure caffeinated bliss.

ETHIOPIA

So you’re a coffee head, then why not go to where it was invented? Experience some history with this beloved drink by spending time in its birthplace and sipping on a cup or two. Ethiopia is home to arabica coffee which is one of the more popular varieties, but you knew that.

What you may not know is that coffee was introduced to Europe and Arab countries in the 17th century by traders where it quickly took over as one of the favorite drinks around the world. You can learn this and a whole lot more while being nice and alert in beautiful Ethiopia.

VIENNA COFFEE HOUSES

There’s no question, Austria’s capital loves their coffee and their cafes. Vienna is filled with cafes. So filled there’s absolutely no room for cream. They all have a great history to them as well as great coffee. These cafes are great places to sit and people watch as you sip a beverage or two. Plus, Vienna offers plenty of amazing things to do all around town that will be easy for you to do once you spend a few hours at one of these cafes.

WORLD LATTE ART COMPETITION

Don’t you love it when your barista hands over your latte and it has a beautiful picture poured into the foam? Well, now you can figure out just how good your local barista really is when you compare them to the master baristas in the World Latte Art Championship.

But even if latte art isn’t your thing, if you’re more of an americano person then you can still find other great coffee competitions. There is the World Barista Championship, the World Coffee Roasting Championship and even the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, all of which are hosted in various locations around the world.

THE ORIGINAL STARBUCKS

Head to the Pacific Northwest and check out the first Starbucks ever located in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. This is a popular tourist attraction and there is usually a line coming out the door. You can listen to the musicians that play out front and do some amazing shopping around Pike Place as well.

Seattle is known for its coffee so if you don’t feel like waiting or don’t like Starbucks you will certainly find an amazing cafe nearby that will satisfy all your caffeine related needs.

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Vacation Destinations For People Who Hate People

If crowds aren’t your thing and you love your alone time, then check out these perfect vacation destinations for introverts!

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OK, that title is a little harsh. But I’m just talking about introverts here! I know that doesn’t mean you hate people, but it does mean you’re not crazy about big crowds and you love your alone time. So if you consider yourself an introvert and are looking for a perfectly peaceful and quiet vacation, these are the spots for you.

DAINTREE RAINFOREST, AUSTRALIA

Not all introverts love the outdoors… but many do. And if you’re one that does, then the Daintree Rainforest in Australia may be the most perfect place in the world for you. The plant and animal life is bountiful and incredible. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled into the land time forgot. But there are still plenty of paved and well-maintained pathways for quite travelers like yourself.

There are also some amazing trails off the paved paths, but you’ll have to join a group for those. It’s not the worst though, as the groups are usually small and it’s likely no one will be bothering you too much as they’ll all be mesmerized by the nature around them.

NEW YORK CITY

Hear me out! I know, I know. New York seems like the last place most introverts want to be. But many introverts do still enjoy and crave the hustle and bustle of a big city. And, once the crowds are that big, there is a certain comfort to the way you can kind of disappear in the middle of it all. And that’s the charm of New York for many introverts. Not to mention, if you want to get away from it all, you can always get lost for an entire day in the beauty of Central Park.

There’s also other great introvert-friendly options like multiple art museums, plenty of great food, and the bright lights of Broadway, which can surprisingly be very enjoyable by yourself!

SEDONA, ARIZONA

Sedona is ideal for introverts as it’s practically entirely surrounded by a desert! But it’s not your classic sand-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see kind of desert. There’s still plenty of beautifully pink mountains that provide a lovely 360 view. Sedona is also a sneaky-good spot for introverts as it’s a town that’s huge on wellness. So there are all kinds of great massage and alternative healing operations, not to mention plenty of yoga studios and juice shops.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, there are regular hot air balloon rides available! You can only fit 3 or 4 people in those things anyway so it’s not like you’ll be surrounded by tourists. And the views are simply breathtaking.

BANFF NATIONAL PARK, CANADA

Canada is quietly one of the most beautiful countries in the world and what’s better than a national park! Banff National Park is arguably the best Canada has to offer. With gorgeous views in every direction and plenty of great vacation rentals disconnected from the modern world, this is the perfect place to get away and do some proper reflecting. It’s also a great place to go in on a house with a small group. Just stock up on all the food and drink you’ll need for the week and check out from reality!

HOLBOX ISLAND, MEXICO

Mexico, in general, can be a beautiful place to get away from it all. But, as an introvert, the classic destinations like Cancun or Tulum are not for you. Thankfully, the small fishing village of Holbox Island is perfect for you. It’s remote enough that it will never be crowded or busy, and the beaches are practically custom made for reading a good book in a hammock all day long.

And if you ever get to the point where you could use a little socializing, just head to the nearest bar and strike up a conversation. The locals are famously very friendly!

JAPAN

Japan has mastered the art of privacy and peacefulness in small spaces while surrounded by massive crowds. So it can be a perfect place for introverts. Similar to New York City, it can provide the hustle and bustle of a major city, but still allows plenty of opportunities to shut it all out and just be with yourself. And the history in Japan is truly incredible. From museums to temples to gardens that have been there for thousands of years, Japan has it all. And don’t you dare leave without checking out Mt. Fuji! You’ll thank me later. 

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