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Lost in the Streets of Florence, Italy

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del FioreThe Saint Maria Cathedral, Duomo, and Basilica. - Piazzale MichaelangeloThe best view of Florence, Italy. - Ponte Vecchio -

Quick Spain Recap

Pamplona, SpainThe beautiful city where I spent the majority of my time on my trip. - La Universidad de NavarraSixty in-class hours later... [Special thanks to my awesome professor, Antoni; my TA (and bestie Espanola), Irene; and my classmates from the University of Michigan for helping me improve my Spanish!!] - San Juan de GaztelugatxeThis was a stunning Game of Thrones filming site. We also went into the city of Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim Museum. It was such a unique experience! - San SebastianThe breathtaking beach of San Sebastian- would be a dream to have a vacation home here - La Plaza de TorosPamplona is a city known throughout the world for el Encierro (the Running of the Bulls) and la Corrida (bull fighting). Even though the bull fighting is a little gruesome, it was so cool to visit the site where it all happens. Thanks Hemingway for putting this city on the map!! - Olite, SpainI had the opportunity to explore this unique castle in Olite. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery in the countryside of Spain. - Bayonne, FranceI took a short side trip to Bayonne, France with my friends Christina, Eric, and Irene. It is a quaint little city in France with old beauty and lots of Basque culture. - Biarritz, FranceAn incredible beach on the southern coast of France with gorgeous views and great food (crepes!!!). - El Camino del SantiagoThe last activity I participated in during my study abroad was El Camino del Santiago. It is the pilgrimage of St. James, which runs throughout all of Spain. We only hiked to the Puenta la Reina; however, it was a total of seventeen miles. A very peaceful way to end my last day in Pamplona. -

Manchester United

Hilton Manchester Deansgate HotelI highly recommend this hotel. The staff was friendly and helpful, the rooms were clean and comfortable. They also have a nice gym, indoor pool and hot tub. But what I loved the most about this hotel is the location. We were able to explore the whole city by foot! And the tram station to the stadium was a 2 min walk away. You also must check out Cloud 23, the trendy cocktail and champagne sky bar on the 23rd floor. You will get an amazing view of the city! (View in photo is from our hotel room not Cloud 23**) - Alberts SchlossI LOVED THIS PLACE! Naturally my favorite bar in Manchester ended up being the German beer hall. Definitely your traditional German food and Pilsner beer but the atmosphere was fantastic! We went on a Saturday around dinner time and the place was packed. We didn't even have a place to sit but they had amazing live band and everyone was dancing and singing along. - BrewDogIf your looking for really good craft beer this is your place! We passed by while exploring and decided to pop in for a drink. The Bartenders were very helpful and picked out a great selection based off of our taste. - The TraffordIf you are a football fan you have to find a way to get tickets to a Manchester United Game at Old Trafford Stadium. If not and you want to see what true European football fan culture all about I highly suggest you go check out the buzz around the stadium and pubs that are walking distance. The Trafford and The Bishop Blaize were two of the best! They are only open on match days and the rowdy fan chants will be stuck in your head for the rest of your trip. - PhoI feel like anytime we wanted to eat we just walked into a random restaurant that looked appealing and lucky for us it always worked out. This place had delicious Pho and it was adorable inside. - Federal Cafe BarSmall, busy and trendy cafe with good lattes. - The National Football MuseumPop in to check out the worlds biggest football museum! It’s free and they have bunch of cool memorabilia! - Home Sweet HomeDelicious and lively! A trendy restaurant where we had a fantastic breakfast. It had a very Williamsburg Brooklyn vibe. - CurryDo not leave without getting some Indian food! There has to be a restaurant on every street. -

4 Days in Greece

Relaxing at the Beach We spent the majority of our time at the beach and pool at our resort. We explored the city for dinners and drinks and celebrated my friend Amanda's 21st birthday. -

4 Days in Italy

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter at the VaticanWe stayed in the area around Vatican City while we were in Rome. We were able to pass by it while not many people were there and see the Basilica Square, which is one of the most renowned works of renaissance architecture around the world. It is said that St. Peter himself is buried within the Basilica. While walking to the sistine chapel, we happened to run into one of the Pope's Liturgy. We were able to stand right in front of Pope Francis while he came by on his popemobile,not more than an arm's length away and a baby was given to him just over our heads. We were also able to hear him give him homily to the crowd and though we could not understand it (it was in Italian) the crowd's reaction was amazing to see. - ColosseumThe colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built and in its day it was the location of many roman events, Gladiator flights, mock sea battles, animal hunts, battle reenactments and roman plays. It demise came from years of the people repurposing its materials and earthquakes. While we were in the area of the colosseum and the Roman Forum, we happened upon a beautiful little church surrounded by beautiful gardens. - Roman ForumThe forum is the site of the ruins of several important ancient buildings. Many market places, electoral events, religious ceremonies at temples were held in this spaces, and is still be exovated today. Histories dating back to its beginning in the 7th century BC has been found in the valley so far. Many of the earliest and important structures of early rome can be found and seen in some form at the Forums. Overlooking the Forum's ruins is a boulevard teaming with life, surrounded by the past lives of Rome. - Trevi FountainTrevi fountain is used by many as a wishing well, 1 coin to wish to come back to Rome, 2 for love and 3 for a divorce. The fountain was made to be a source of clean water for the roman people around the square straight from the aqueduct. It was done in the baroque style of architecture in 1762 and is one of the most famous fountains in the world. We all were able to make our wishes, 1 coin and a wish to come back to Roma one day. - PantheonOne of our first stops while in rome, the Pantheon was once a Roman temple and it is now a catholic church dedicated to Virgin Mary and the Martyrs. It was built in 125 AD and still has its original architecture in tact. After 2,000 years, the Pantheon's dome is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome to still be standing. The inside has many statues dedicated to Mary and the Martyrs. - Spanish StepsThe Spanish Steps are a beautiful set of steps made in order to connect the Spanish Embassy to the Trinità dei Monti catholic church atop the steps. At the base is a beautiful clean water fountain, following the steps through the beautiful white and pink flowers to the top will give you a gorgeous view of the city below. The church, which was finished in renaissance style in 1585 and has beautiful high ceilings with many small chapels dedicated to various biblical saints, donned with their portraits. - VeniceVenice was a lot calmer than Rome but nonetheless beautiful. We stayed very close to the Grand Canal in the are of Castello. We were able to take a short ride in a gondola and had an amazing view of the city at the top of a department store. We were also to go and see the inside of Saint Mark's Basilica which is the cities cathedral and is located in Piazza San Marco, across from Doge's Palace. It was built in 1085 and is styled in brilliantly, dripping in gold with Byzantine and gothic influences. It is said that the relics of Saint Mark's body are there in the church. -

2 Days in Prague

Charles Bridge Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava River and is the bridge that first connect 'Old Town' and Prague Castle. It was finished in the 15th century and is it noted for The Old Town Bridge Tower that heads the bridge and is considered on of the most striking examples of Gothic architecture. Crossing from Old Town leads you right to the base of hill that the Prague Castle sit upon. - Prague CastlePrague Castle sits atop a hill that allows for a fantastic view of the city below. It houses the Royal Jewels and is the largest ancient castle in the world today. The current President of Prague lives in the castle today. - Lennon Wall The Lennon wall was a symbol of freedom for young Czechs in the 1980s, though he never actually visited Prague. The wall is seen as a memorial to the ideals that John Lennon professed and against restraints put on by "the man". Today the original portrait of Lennon is lost under the graffiti and today people continue to paint new art on the "Peace Wall". - Old Town Square The Square is the center of Prague. It is surrounded by colorful buildings, one of the signatures of Prague, painted by the people after the fall of communism. Shops cover every inch of the streets and every inch is covered with the histories of Prague, seen in the many statues of martyrs, the huge ancient churches and its proximity to the old jewish ghetto. - SS. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral The church is the site of a WWII memorial. It housed a number of Czech and Slovak patriots who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking German Nazi officer in charge of the Holocaust, in Operation Anthropoid. They took cover in the basement of the church, unable to escape for days before committing suicide in order to avoid capture. The people have set up the memorial in honour of the men and their sacrifice. Not too far away from the church is where we first saw the Stolpersteine blocks in the street. Many of the gold stones engraved with the names and dates of Jewish victims of the Holocaust placed in their last place of residency before they were met with Nazi violence. They are made of a type of metal which the most it is stepped upon, the brighter it will become. -

2 Days in Budapest

Szechenyi Thermal Baths Budapest is situated on top of natural wells that give the baths their minerals and heat. The thermal baths we went to is one of the oldest institution of its kind in Europe. The spa has multiple baths both inside and out with many different helpful benefits. We spent most of our time in the pools outside. The bath house itself is location on the Pest side of Budapest and inside of one of the cities largest parks. - Buda Castle The Castle is located on the top of a large hill along with many other historical and beautiful attractions. After a short walk across the Chain Bridge on the Buda side of the city of Budapest, we worked our way around the hill, seeing Fisherman's bastion, Matthias Church, Alexander Palace, Trinity Square, and passing most of the many museums that are also located on the hill. At the very top of the hill, the entire city is stretched out in front of you, the beautiful view only separated by the Danube River. - Vinatage GardensThis little restaurant was surrounded by cherry blossom trees. Along with the beautiful food, the white wood and chandelier-ridden eatery had amazing and unique food. -

~Time is an Illusion~

The Acropolis of ThessalonikiStanding as a fortress from the Byzantine and Ottoman era, the Acropolis of Thessaloniki is not to be missed. Alongside the overwhelming views of the region there is an opportunity to admire the castle-like structure, which has towers dating back to the years of Roman rule. Regardless of its past as prison, today it calls to tourists and is recognized as a UNESCO sight. I know everyone rushes to Athens, but Acropolis' are plentiful around all of Greece, and the one in Thessaloniki is worth-while if you're a true culture geek like myself. - BelgradeAfter my core course's trip to Kosovo, I thought it only appropriate I pay a visit to Serbia and get a feel for the environment there. First, for an American, I don't necessarily suggest not visiting, but just have your whits about you and don't expect the friendliest treatment. All things considered, I was able to pay a visit to the largest Eastern Orthodox church in the Balkans, which is magnificent even with all the renovation being done. Additionally, I had a beautiful view of the region from Belgrade fortress, which is praised as a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance, and even found myself smack in the middle of a Renaissance fair. For 16 hours I told myself I would never go back to Serbia, but when situated 125 meters high I began to question just how true that was. - East Side GalleryBerlin, Germany has my heart and I would've NEVER expected it. I had no interest in visiting the area, in fact I ended up in the area after taking the wrong bus from Poland. However, the minute I stepped foot into the streets I knew it was going to devastating to leave. There is so much to see it is impossible to do in one day, week, or even month (I suspect). Every corner tells a story, as the city holds so much history and culture. I don't even like art and I found myself looking like an idiot stopping in the middle of walkways just to stare at underappreciated masterpieces. I also stayed at an amazing hostel, which besides costing only 11 dollars for the night had a pool, laundromat, bar, restaurant, and bbq area/garden outside. Typing this is making me sad; if you have time in Europe and want to be stimulated this is definitely the place. (And unfortunately I have no real photos to do this glory justice, so just go see it yourself!!!!) - BarcelonaI'm throwing in Spain because I went only 3 days after my "long-trip" and I generally just want to. On this adventure I visited another student studying abroad (and my fave roomie at Scranton ;). Barcelona was so warm and medieval-ish. The weekend was extremely relaxing. We visited the famous sight La Sagrada Familia, yet tourists be wary, the outside is extravagant but the entire building is under construction. Friday and Saturday nights there is a colorful water show that is simple and memorizing. I took so many photos, and I'm pretty sure they're all more or less the same, but I was in awe so whatcha gonna do. Finally, I spent a relaxing Sunday exploring the region where the Parliamentary building is located. I stumbled upon what I'm going to deem Espana's trevi fountain, and having been to Italy i'm gonna go and say I found this one much more appealing (oops). As is the case in most European cities, Barcelona was large with cultural sights, but small enough that I got a good feel of the area. -

3 Days in Amsterdam

Hotel de HallenGreat boutique hotel, pretty centrally located, but far enough away from the very touristy parta of the city. Close to food hallen, the Jordan district, and has great bars and restaurants close by. - Food Hallen - food hallAwesome food hall where you can get all different types of food - from countries all over the world. Great bar in the middle. Come for lunch or dinner! This picture doesn't do it justice. - Moeders RestaurantMoeders means Mothers in dutch. Traditional dutch cooking. Try the "Hotch Potch" which is essentially a sampler! Delicious food. - Cannibale Royale RestaurantAwesome, modern restaurant. Very meat heavy. The Burger is HUGE and delicious! Make a reservation - it gets packed. - Explore the Jordaan DistrictThis is an awesome neighborhood - great cafe's, shops - vintage and modern, all around beautiful canals. In this area you'll find the Anne Frank House, the tulip museum, the cheese musuem and the houseboat museum. - Floating Flower MarketWalk through the floating flower market as your exploring the city center - Canal CruiseIf it is a nice day, opt for an open air boat cruise around the canals. Great way to see more of the city and enjoy time outside. These boats have drinks onboard, and the guides are great. - Bulldog Coffee ShopOne of the most famous coffee shops. Enjoy some specials goods, and a fresh mint tea ;) - Dampkring Coffee Shopawesome vibes and decor in this coffee shop - Heineken ExperienceThe old Heineken Factory. Very cool museum/"experience." Learn the history of Heineken, and then get a taste a LOT of Heinekens! Fun museum and tour. - The Breakfast Club for BrunchGreat little cafe for brunch! - The Pulitzer Hotel for CocktailsUpscale and posh hotel with a great cocktail bar. Warning - cocktails ARE expensive, but great! - Restaurant Walen for LunchCute cafe on a nice street and canal to enjoy lunch. The tomato soup was delicious! - Red Light District / De WaldenTake a stroll through at night just to experience it! - Koffiehuis De Hoek for a Locals BreakfastI called this Amsterdam's version of an American Diner. Great locals spot for breakfast - quaint! - Quick Breakfast at BerryCute little cafe with a great breakfast menu and juices! -

Third Month Studying Abroad in Galway, Ireland

Fun Times in GalwayMuch to everyone's surprise a huge snowstorm hit the country of Ireland at the beginning of the month. Most of the country was put on a Red Alert, grocery stores were closed, and Universitys (including my University, NUIG) cancelled classes for a couple of days. My roommates and I decided to the make the most of the snowstorm by making a huge snowman in front of our apartment! Later in the month, my Italian roommate Cristina and her friends decided to teach us how to make authentic Italian pizza! After experiencing how good it tastes, I will never look at any type of pizza the same again! - Cliffs of Moher Day TripDuring the month of March I also went on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher! On the way there I explored an ancient cave, stopped in a little Irish cafe for lunch, and took some amazing pictures on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher. The views from the Cliffs were absolutely amazing-- making this hands down one of my favorite days in Ireland. - Dublin for St. Patrick's DayOn March 17th, I traveled to Dublin with my roommate to experience a true Irish St. Patrick's Day. We went to the world famous parade, checked out the Temple Bar area, and went to St. Patrick's Cathedral! - Spring Break Trip to ItalyFor Spring Break a couple of my friends and I visited Naples, Capri, Pompeii, and Rome in Italy! We got to see the bright blue waters of Capri, ancient ruins in Pompeii, and the famous catacombs in Naples! In Rome we visited the iconic Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, and even got to visit Vatican City during Holy Week! I should also mention that throughout the course of the trip we consumed way more pizza, pasta, and gelato than is considered humanely possible! - Naples, Italy - Pompeii, Italy - Capri, Italy -

2 Days in Paris

Disney Land ParisDisney Land Paris did not disappoint! We got there mid morning and spent the rest of the day riding rides and having so much fun. It wasn't too crowded even though we went on a Saturday so we were able to ride most of the rides without waiting too long! - The Eiffel TowerWe decided to go and stop at the Eiffel to see it in the day time and all lit up! It was beautiful. I got a little bit of stage freight and decided not to go all the way up, maybe next time! We rode the carousel across the street from the tower and right by the river. It was a great way to end out short trip. -

4 Days in Barcelona

Sant Pere Santa Caterina i la RibertaThis is the Plaza where the Arc de Triomf is held. It is not too far away from Park De La Ciutadella, which is absolutely gorgeous. The Arc was built in 1888 was/ is an important symbol for the Catalan people and the entire city of Barcelona itself. - Placa de CatalunyaThis area is prime location in Barcelona! This is where our cute little Air B&B was located and where many of the main attractions are located. The area is filled with shops, history and beauty at every turn! The beach and the Arc were just a short walk away! - La Sagrada FamiliaThe Basilica of La Segrada Familia or the Holy Family is unfinished and yet beautiful. We were in awe the entire tour and marveled at the beauty around us. Antoni Gaudi, the architect and visionary behind the Catholic Church also left his mark on the entire city. He changed the face of Barcelona into what it is today, and the city continue to supports his vision. The Basilica is expected to be done in 2026, 100 years after the death of Gaudi. -

Two Months, Too Fast

The Heart of the BalkansIn a 5-day trip with my core course, I went to Europe's newest, and most underrated, country. Kosovo; this place truly has my heart. The small region in former Yugoslavia houses a number of UNESCO world heritage sights that made me want to cry tears of joy, the most excited people who LOVE Americans, and extremely affordable clothes, food, and souvenirs. However, hiking Šar MT (on the border of Macedonia) was the most irreplaceable part of the journey. - Camden Market (Stables Market)London. After all the hype I've heard about the place, honestly it wasn't as magnificent as portrayed. However, Camden Market is worth discussing as it was far beyond expectation. Despite the overwhelming number of food stalls, with delights from every region around the world, the vintage clothing shops and small vendors selling everything from in-scents to Banksy paintings could entice even the most reluctant shoppers. As soon as I walked in I had regretted finding it so late in my trip, and I'd travel back to the U.K. (with an empty suitcase I might add) just to explore the area again. Be warned, the market quickly gains popularity as the weather warms up. - Tivoli GardensIt wouldn't be a summary of my second month abroad without relating back to Copenhagen. Obviously I could write endlessly about my new home, so I'll spare everyone and just comment on Tivoli. Located in the center of the city, the well-known park is open only for a select period during the winter. The amusement park makes you forget just how cold it is to be walking around Denmark in February, given the region's transformation into a "snowy wonderland." Inside, there are smaller shops selling everything from hot chocolate to wool scarfs, and a collection of restaurants you won't want to avoid. It's definitely worth a visit, especially for anyone into ice-skating or kid-oriented rides. -

Second Month Studying Abroad in Galway, Ireland

Exploring GalwayThis month, I joined a variety of activities on campus such as Film Society, Global Lounge, and the International Students Society. I also saw a production of the play "The Producers," visited the Galway City Museum, and walked along the docks on one of the rare days it was sunny in Galway! - Weekend in LondonDuring the first week of February, my friends and I decided to take a weekend trip to London, UK! We visited the Tower of London and British Museum, took a ride to the top of the London Eye, and (for any Harry Potter fans out there) got to see Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station! - Long Weekend to Brussels and AmsterdamTo finish off the month of February, a couple other girls and I visited Brussels, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands for a long weekend. In Brussels, we saw the spectacular Chinese New Year Light Show, ate too many Belgian waffles and fries, and even traveled to the top of the Atomium! - Long Weekend to Brussels and AmsterdamIn Amsterdam, we took a cruise along the beautiful canals, ventured through a tulip market, sampled some famous Amsterdam cheese, and explored the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum! -

My Study Abroad Experience in Rome and Weekend Travels

2018 Venice CarnivalThe Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. One of the highlights of the trip and carnival itself, was seeing the Venetian masks that is a centuries-old tradition of Venice, Italy. The masks are typically worn during the Carnival, but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer's identity and social status. - PompeiiPompeii provides an outstanding information on the art, customs, trades and everyday life of the past. The city has re-emerged from the darkness of centuries precisely as it would have been when it was unexpectedly buried in the thick layer of ash and lava which poured down from the devastating eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Pompeii remains one of my favorite ruin sites that I have ever seen. The way that the homes and ancient roadways are preserved after being uncovered will blow you away. If any of you ever get the chance to visit, I promise you will not be disappointed. - Weekend trip to Lisbon!I love traveling and learning about different cultures. This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Lisbon, Portugal and it was an incredible trip. I stayed with one my close friends family members and was able to explore this beautiful city from a locals perspective. I can honestly say that I love food just as much as traveling and the food in Lisbon was phenomenal!!! I ate a traditional dish called Bacalhau, is the Portuguese word for cod. This was one of my favorite destinations so far and I can't wait to visit again!! - Quick trip to Milan!I was able to recently visit Milan, the Italian capital of fashion! This beautiful city has so much to offer, from history to shopping to gorgeous architecture, and even better you can catch its top highlights in a single day. Our first day there we visited the beautiful Piazza del Duomo and got to feed pigeons!!! (it kind of freaked me out because they all came flying at me at once but it was definitely an experience to remember). Afterwards we visited the shopping district located on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. In the pictures I posted below, you can really see how luxurious this shopping center really is. Later on that day I also had the BEST gelato that I have ever had (check out the picture below). Milan is a beautiful city filled with the kindest people and I'm thankful for the time I got to spend there. -

7 days backpacking Europe with my mom

Le Panier D'OrThe most wonderful restaurant in Brugge! All of the servers will treat you like family and the food is to die for! Only the best memories at this restaurant. -

Hygge: Discovering Denmark

NyhavnAs a consequence of being a tourist, Nyhavn was inevitably my first (and second) stop the weekend I arrived in Copenhagen. The old sailor village, built in the late 17th century, consists of a number of colorful buildings housing cafes, restaurants, and small shops. Although a bit pricey even for this city, its charm relates to the fact that the view is somewhat out of a fairy-tale; which makes sense considering Hans Christian Anderson actually lived there. Today, you're likely to find an abundance of travelers lounging around the harbor. I recommend visiting once the temperature warms up in order to take advantage of the popular canal tours. - Kastellet: The CitadelAt the center of Copenhagen stands the oldest, best preserved star fortress in Northern Europe. Kastellet, which contains part of the Danish military and the headquarters of the National Guard, is credited for its role in the defense of Denmark. Additionally, a number of historical sights are located within the pentagram, so it serves as a beautiful public park. (Views of the church literally took my breath away) - Royal Danish Navy Joint Operation's CenterDespite my study abroad being focused in Copenhagen, the program I am with (DIS) values itself on various opportunities to partake in faculty-led study tours. Students are expected to pick a core course, in addition to a major, and participate in hands-on activities. This past week, which was deemed core course week, I was lucky enough to travel to Aarhus in the Northern area of the country with my humanitarian law class, and get a lecture by one of only seven commanders who run the Danish Navy. Honestly, this has been my greatest experience in Denmark thus far. We were taken to a base located within the woods and behind barbed-wire fences. My teacher, who happens to be heavily involved with the military himself, organized a presentation in which we learned about maritime operations within Danish waterways and got insight on laws pertaining to sovereignty. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and although we technically weren't authorized to take pictures I managed to get one of the "instructor." My class also visited Aarhus University, which is the largest school in Denmark, where we were given an amazing talk on the laws of armed conflict by a Lieutenant Colonel who doubles as a professor. Finally, we visited the modern art museum which proves fairly popular among locals and visitors, and I have attached a photo of the class (in the famous rainbow room) so you can see my beautiful face. -

First Month Studying Abroad in Galway, Ireland

ConnemaraI visited the beautiful scenery of Connemara- including Leenane and Kylemore Abbey! I learned about the traditional Irish landscapes as well as the history behind many of them! - National University of Ireland, GalwayI started taking classes at the National University of Ireland, Galway! I am taking a variety of classes to learn more about the Irish culture such as the "Development of the Medieval Castles" and "Myths, Religion, and Folklore!" - Eyre Square and Shop StreetBeing so close to the downtown area, I constantly walk from school or my apartment to explore the live music, coffee shops, and restaurants Galway has to offer! -

Ireland Family Trip

Local LunchI failed at finding a quality restaurant in town worth raving about but almost anywhere will serve a dish similar to this. Meat and potatoes is the go-to bar food but you can definitely find nicer dining options with a quick walk in town. - Castle's & CourtyardsThere are many beautiful castles, churches and historic buildings in the Temple bar area of Dublin. I highly recommend writing down a few necessary stops while in Dublin. Two of my favorite's are the St. Patricks Cathedral and The Christ Church Cathedral. Unfortunately my phone died so i couldn't get any great photo's of the Cathedrals, but I attached two I saw online that represent the Church's well. The Christ Cathedral has a medieval tour guide trip underneath the church where you can explore a cool cave. - Guiness FactoryI only had enough time to stop at the Guiness Factory or the Jameson Factory. The local Irishmen told me the Guiness Tour is the better bang for your buck. The tour includes multiple floors or information on how the beer is brewed, how the beer became so popular and of course, a fresh tasting at the top with a great view of Dublin City. I also added a picture of my mom next to the barrel's the beer's shipped in. - Night LifeThere are A LOT of bar's to explore while in Dublin. I heard to go to a few non-touristy bar's but unfortunately I visited during Halloween weekend which, Irish folk take very seriously so I dressed up in costume with everyone else and went bar hopping around town. Every bar will have Guiness and Jameson and every bar will tell you there the first bar in Dublin. I would find out when the local Soccer "Futbol" or Rugby game's are being played and go to the bar's with the most local's in it. Temple Bar is great because you can walk everywhere and if your not feeling one bar, you can walk into the one next door and have a great time. - Trinity CollegTrinity College is known for being one of the most beautiful campuses in the world so we had to walk through campus and pretend like we were students. Walking through the courtyard and into the classrooms was very cool with a lot of great artictecture to admire. Stop in the Pavilion Bar on campus to grab a beer during your walk-through. -

21 Days Studying Abroad in Berlin, Germany

Day Trip to Potsdam, GermanyPotsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser until 1918. Its planning embodied ideas of the Age of Enlightenment: through a careful balance of architecture and landscape, Potsdam was intended as "a picturesque, pastoral dream" which would remind its residents of their relationship with nature and reason. -

21 Days Studying Abroad in Berlin, Germany

Day Excursion to Hamburg, Germany -

21 Days Studying Abroad in Berlin, Germany

Visit to Berlin OlympiastadionThe Olympic Stadium is Berlin's largest sports stadium. It was built for the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, it now hosts major sports and entertainment events. Berlin's Olympiastadion and Glockenturm (Olympic Stadium and Bell Tower) was built for the 1936 Olympic Games when the 2400m horse-racing track in the Grunewald district, by Otto March 1909, was demolished in 1934 to make room for a new National Stadium designed by March's sons Werner and Walter March and supervised by Hitler's Imperial Interior Ministry. - Dinner at Russian Tea RoomThe tearoom was built as a Tajikistan pavilion at one of the Leipzig trade fairs in the 1970s. After the trade fair ended, the pavilion was donated by the Soviet Republic of Tajikistan to their East German hosts. The pavilion then moved to the first floor of Berlin's Palais am Festungsgraben. The tearoom's lush interior is decorated entirely in a classical Persian style, with carved wooden pillars and thick Persian carpets. Tea and food are served on low wooden tables which are typical of central Asia. Guests sit on the floor, stretched out on comfortable cushions, and visitors are required to take their shoes off before stepping onto the carpet. -

Journey through the Scottish Highlands

The Piper BarIf you don't have enough time in Scotland but you still want to try as many traditional dishes as possible, give the Piper Bar a visit. The location is great since it's right next to George Square. We ordered 9 Scottish tapas to share and tried a little bit of everything. The winner for me was the Scotch pie with beans and the Haggis Pakora. - The Butchershop Bar & GrillAfter walking around the city we were already starving. We stumbled upon this place on our way to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The guys were big carnivores so the Butchershop sounded like heaven to them. The place looks super clean and organized with a perfect service. It almost felt like you're in a Michelin starred restaurant. Our waiter brought different cuts of meat so my friends had the chance to choose their steak. I ordered a vegetarian artichokes risotto and it really was one of the best I've had. - Kelvingrove Art Gallery and MuseumWith its incredible architecture, this museum hosts a variety of art exhibitions, taxidermy, and historical artifacts. If you only have one day in Glasgow, Kelvingrove is a must see! - University of Glasgow A really stunning building, We were so glad to have stumbled upon the cloisters. It is worth wandering the whole campus to check out the view, the architecture, and the history. - Botanical Garden Magnificant glass house that houses the national collection of tree ferns. Plants from tropical rainforests grow in the palm house. You can wander around for free there. - Tinderbox Cafe Trendy cafe with delicious cakes and snacks. - Highlands and Loch Ness tour After a pretty good night of partying at Ashton Lane, we managed to wake up and get on the bus that was taking us to Loch Ness. We chose Timberbush Tours as they had a pretty good itinerary at a reasonable price. The road to Inverness was incredibly beautiful, we stopped to have lunch at Ben Nevis and continued our journey to Loch Ness. Loch Ness, 24 miles long and over 700 feet deep, is most famous for its sightings of the Loch Ness monster. We took a 'Loch Ness by Jacobite' cruise and explored the ruins of Urquhart Castle. -

Biking through Muckross in Killarney

Muckross AbbeyWhile in Killarney National Park, I got to walk through Muckross Abbey. Muckross Abbey is both a modern Irish Graveyard, as well as an old Irish Monastery. This site dates back to the very beginning of Christianity forming in Ireland. The pictures shown here portray a glimpse of the ruins of a Franciscan frairy, as well as graveyard that is still in use to this date! - Torc WaterfallWhile on the Killarney National Park tour, the students and I came across the Torc Waterfall. This amazing waterfall is 70-80 feet high, offering amazing opportunities for tourists to get beautiful pictures of the waterfall, and the area surrounding this spot. Bike riding up to the waterfall also provided me with a spectacular view of Killarney National Park. Even though it took climbing up 100 steps to get to see this view, it was most definitely worth it. -

10 Days in Dingle

The Town of DingleThe town of Dingle had so many fantastic restaurants, shops, and activities to keep me very occupied while staying there. While there, I ate some of the best food I've ever had in my life, got some amazing pictures, and met some very friendly people. I never once found myself to be bored while study abroad here. There was always something to do in Dingle, whether it was checking out a new restaurant/ café, making St. Brigit's crosses/ taking a pottery class, or even souvenir shopping. - Dingle PeninsulaThe Dingle Peninsula was definitely a site to see. This beautiful peninsula contained remnants of what were once castles, as well as a holy well. While exploring this holy well, students were given the opportunity to drink the water that was flowing from this well. While being very skeptical to drink it at first, this water was the most pure, clean-tasting water I have ever had in my life. - Slea HeadDuring my time in Dingle, I made two visits to Slea Head - and I still feel as though it wasn't enough to capture it's beauty. Climbing up to the top of Slea Head may have been extremely cold and windy, but it was all worth it for the amazing view. While visiting Slea Head, I was able to see one of the cliffs where a segment of the new, Star Wars, movie was filmed. This cliff was an old monastic site known as, Ceann Sibéal. Visiting this site was so fascinating and I hope I get the chance to come back and see it again! -

New Year's in Copenhagen

Tivoli GardensTivoli Gardens– the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world, opened in 1843. Beautiful park with lots of rides and games and plenty of food stands and a few restaurants. A must see! Buy tickets in advanced as there probably will be a line. - The Little MermaidThe Little Mermaid- bronze statue created in 1913. That’s really all it is, a statue, but the area around it is nice and you can walk from here to the Nyhavn district on foot by the water (about a 20 minute walk). - Nyhavn, CopenhagenNyhavn Waterfront District. This is where those beautiful color houses are! Plenty of restaurants and cafes along by the water as well. - Changing of the Guards at Amalienborg PalaceChanging of the Guards at Amalienborg Palace- this takes place daily at noon and it is actually quite a show. Also near Nyhavn. - Malmo, SwedenVisit another country while you are in Copenhagen by taking a 20 minute train from the Copenhagen Central Station. Honestly, not much there to see except a beautiful church (St. Peter's) but you can check off another country on your list and go shopping at Zara & H&M. (Don’t forget your passport). - Louisiana Museum of Modern ArtLouisiana Museum of Modern Art– I’m a sucker for museums but Modern Art isn’t my favorite. However (!) this museum was probably the best modern art museum I have ever been to! It is a pretty size and the exhibits were very creative. It also has a permanent Yayoi Kusama exhibit (ahh!). Fyi, it is outside of Copenhagen, about a 45 minute train ride and then a 10 minute walk. Also, the grounds of the museum are very beautiful. - Mad and Kaffe Breakfast/ BrunchMad and Kaffe– very cute breakfast/brunch place but they don’t take reservations and on a weekday in Winter there were people waiting outside when we finished our meal at around 10:45 am. Go early! - Carlsberg BreweryCarlsburg Brewery- 2 stops away from the Central Station. You can do a tour or just go for a drink or 2. - Other Places to EatMother– very yummy pizza restaurant. Very cozy inside and the menu is quite simple. The pizza tasted similar to that of Eataly’s in my opinion. Magasasa Dim Sum & Cocktails– right around the corner from Mother’s. Good dim sum but even better wonton soup (large portions of the soup). Gasoline Grill- a no frills small burger place. I don’t eat burgers and I rarely eat meat but wow! This burger was amazing. They make it right in front of you with organic meat. (note- do not have ketchup but have other sauces). Musling Bistro– spent New Year’s Eve here for dinner. Food was good but portions were a little small, very cozy atmosphere though. They were basically the only restaurant not to make us choose a pre-fixed menu on New Year’s so very thankful for that! John’s Hot Dog Deli- Hot Dog Cart that is said to be one of the best. It was good, I agree! Worth trying. Other recommendations I received but didn’t get to go to: Cafe Norden, Pluto, Fiskebar Copenhagen, Olive Kitchen & Bar - Other factsAirport Info: The airport is very easily accessible by train. It is about a 15 minute train ride to/from the Copenhagen Central Station. Hotel: We stayed at the Copenhagen Island Hotel where the staff was super nice and the views were amazing (right on the water). We had some room issues and had to move rooms but the hotel was more than accommodating. It is located one train stop from the Central Station (at Dybbolsbro Station) with a mall and movie theater literally next door. I would stay there again. Payment: Used a credit card the whole time. Note: Amex is accepted at most but not all locations. -

Cope is Dope

A Weekend in CopenhagenCOPENHAGEN Things To Do · We did a three hour free walking tour, nice way to see city and get bearings of your surroundings · Christiana - area where weed is legal, walk through here it is very cool and feels SO different from other parts of the city · Tivoli- MUST GO, the amusement park in the center of the city- Walt Disney visited here and loved it so much it inspired him to create Disney Land ○ Roller coasters were fun ○ There's a cute ride similar to It's a Small World in Disney and tells a story with Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales ○ Walk all through it, each area is so different but so so cool · Nyhavn Street- this is the famous street with the colored houses, cool to walk down- many shops, restaurants, etc. ○ Walk down here to get to Christiana · Stroget Street- "Fifth Ave" of Copenhagen, so many stores fun to walk down- not all stores are high end, cute smaller ones too Places to Eat BRUNCH - breakfast in Copenhagen is interesting in that it is a lot of small different things, very good and nice variation · Kalaset- I think it’s a vegetarian place, very cute and yummy- has authentic environment ○ MANY options on menu, got some Mediterranean egg type plate which was YUM · Flottenheimer- Offers one brunch option but very good, traditional cope brunch ○ Plate comes with mini pancake, yogurt, avocado, eggs and more (if you want picture, text me lol) · Mad & Kaffe- Another typical Copenhagen type breakfast, you choose things from menu you want to order and how many as well- small plates LUNCH · Paper Island- similar to Smorgesbourg but inside, SUCH a cool environment- DEF go here they are knocking it down next year ○ Walk down Nyhavn and across bridge to get here ○ Mojitios on right when you first walk in were good and cool flavors ○ Falafel stand was amazing- think it was called Falafull? · Glass Market- inside market with a ton of fresh food options, anything you can think of- has outside tables too which is cute DINNER · Cocks and Cows- Many locations throughout city, classic burger and pub style food but REALLY good, fries were yum too · Sticks and Sushi- also many locations, but BEST MEAL EVER ○ We went to the one at the top of the Tivoli Hotel, had cool view of city ○ Order a bunch of things to share that’s what we did ○ Tuna tar tar, cauliflower in truffle sauce was MUST, we got the chicken sticks too and a few sushi rolls- all so fresh and delicious ○ Drinks here were good too! · Waffelbageren- ice cream place on Nyhavn street, on a corner and MUST GO ○ Cones are handmade and amazing- had this one day for lunch -

A Semester in Prague Done Right

Living in Prague GuideFOOD (most places take card but I will point out which ones are cash only- from what I remember) Try to make dinner reservations as OFTEN as possible, they block off hours for each table so it’s likely that if you walk in, they will tell you they have no room even if there are a million empty tables – many of these places you can do reservations online to avoid language barrier annoyances BREAKFAST/BRUNCH • Bakeshop o Very well known, especially amongst abroad kids o Serve eggs until 3pm (one of only places that serves breakfast food this late) o MUST get eggs inside of croissant at some point § Iced coffee is great here as well o Everything here is amazing, if you don’t want breakfast their side salads are great as well o Main location near Old Town, next to James Dean § Alternate and smaller location on other side of bridge also in Prague 1- have sandwiches, quiches, etc. but no omelets, smaller selection • Pasta Caffe o 2 locations, serve breakfast until around 10:30? (double check on that) o One located right next to Spanish Synagogue in Prague 1 and the other in new town and Wenceslas Square • Herbivore o Located in Prague 2 o Amazing acai bowls and buffet of different options which changes daily • Café Savoy o UNREAL o Everything here is great, people rave about the French toast o I was always a fan of the omelets with a side of fruit (ask for this it is so fresh) o People also raved about the side of potato mash (basically mash potatoes, also must ask for it) • Globe Café o American bookstore that has café in the back o Great breakfast spot and some people I know liked to study here o Located in New Town • Bohemia Bagel o Located near the Charles Bridge o Bagels here are fine, omelets were fine too- just another option • Radost FX o Brunch served only on Saturday and Sunday o Where Rhianna “Please Don’t Stop the Music” music video was filmed o Turns into a bar at night- typical Thursday night going out spot § Girls get in for free before midnight o Really cool environment, bagel platters and eggs are YUM o CASH ONLY LUNCH (most of the above places apply, may have different or same menus) • DEL-MART o FAVORITE salad bar place, fresh and so good – also a mini grocery store o Small size is HUGE o 2 locations – one in Prague 1 next to the Marriott and one in Prague 5 at the Andel stop (the salad bar is located upstairs here) o Also have sandwich/burger bar and pretty sure they have omelet bar as well in the morning (never tried this though) o Super super cheap (i.e. my salad with protein was $4.87) • Green Factory o Another make your own salad place, reminds me of Chop’t § I didn’t like it as much as Del-Mart but definitely edible o Two locations as well – one near new town and Wenceslas Square and the other also in Prague 1 somewhere • James Dean o I never made it here but my roommates RAVE about the chicken sandwich o Located right near Old Town Square- near Bakeshop and Food Story • Cacao o Right near Palladium mall and Marriott/Hilton o Great Acai bowls but also the Greek salad was bomb o Have a lot of different smoothie choices as well if you’re into that • Café Café o Went here once, pretty good o Located in between Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (legit on the walk from one to the other) DINNER (brace yourself, you’ve got a lot of options here- will break it up by genre) Italian • Carmelita o One of my favorite, if not my favorite, restaurants o Known for the balsamic chicken which is bomb – everything is o Salmon is also amazing and so many different pizza/pasta options o Located on edge of Prague 5 and Prague 1 § In same area as other highly recommended restaurants (Across from Cantina, next to Noi) • Pasta Fresca o All different homemade pastas and sauces o Located right in Old Town Square • Pepenero o Right near the Intercontinental Hotel o When we were abroad Paul Rudd was filming a movie, and was always spotted here • Pizza Coliseum o A chain, you will see all over o Went a few times in the beginning and truly pretty good • Marina o Restaurant right on the water (boat) o Very pretty views, I didn’t love the food but some people will disagree with me Greek (there really isn’t much) • Taverna Olympus o One of only Greek restaurants we found o Located in Prague 3, up a very large hill • Mall stands o I lived next to the Novy Smichov mall (Andel Stop) which I found a good greek place in the malls food court if you’re really dying for it Mexican • Las Adelitas o MY ALL TIME FAVE o Located right in Old Town Square o On Wednesdays, have ladies happy hour on Margeritas o The Fajitas here are amazing- the cheese is melted on top of it and it is one of my favorite restaurants in Prague • Cantina o Located on Prague 5 and Prague 1 border o Similar to Las Adelitas o Nachos are really good- legit drunk food nachos (simply chips with melted cheese) o CASH ONLY • Agave o A little more upscale than the other two § Not as authentic, my roommates were not a fan but I thought it was fine o Started by an American from California so has a very west coast feel o Located in Prague 1 across from Yami Sushi House Japanese/Sushi • Yami SUSHI HOUSE o Amazing sushi o Salad and salad dressing are amazing as well • Yami SUSHI BISTRO o Same owners as other Yami o Located on Dlouha in side mall o Have option to create and customize your own roll • Hanabi o Located near Palladium mall and Marriott/Hilton o Same owners as Yami, I have never been- my roommates went once when they couldn’t get a reservation at Yami • Noi o Located on border of Prague 5 and Prague 1 o Really good- anything on the menu o Restaurant itself is very dark and they give you flashlights to read the menu Thai • Lemon o Never been but it’s the other thai place people like o Located in New Town near Wenceslas Square Dessert/Ice Cream/Gelato • Frogurt o Fro-yo located in Novy Smichov mall o Got me through the semester lol • Crème de la Creme o Best ice cream/gelato- my favorite o Located in Old Town Square o They have chocolate dip – must ask for it, have both dark and white and its delicious! o Some flavors are vegan • Angelato o My roommate SWORE by this o Two locations: one near Noi/Cantina/Carmelita and other between Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square o Gelato- flavors change weekly/monthly § Try the random ones like avocado, they will surprise you! o CASH ONLY Leaf Misc. • Duplex o A little bit of a nicer place – turns into a club at night which is really fun o Drinks are good here o Chicken with wasabi mashed potatoes are also unreal o Located in Wenceslas Square (walkable to Lucerna) § Good for Fridays when you need to buy tickets at 9pm at Lucerna • Oblaca o Restaurant at the top of the TV Tower (Zvikov Tower) located in Prague 3 o VERY cool views o Took my parents here and went with my roommates as a last night meal- on the nicer side as well • Kitchen The Address o Located in Wenceslas Square (walkable to Lucerna) § Good for Fridays when you need to buy tickets at 9pm at Lucerna o Ramen restaurant with trendy vibes, food is fine – I got the chicken wings which were good • Maitrea o Vegetarian restaurant located in Prague 1 o Interesting food, not really sure what I ate but it was good o Indie vibes inside the restaurant • Hotel U Prince o SICK view and good drinks o Food is fine, go for drinks and snacks (when making reservation say early lunch or late dinner, they won’t let you reserve a table just for drinks) • Bed Bar o Popular spot/thing to do when people visit o Cool concept but I personally found it skeevy (drinking while sitting on a weird/gross bed), but worth a one-time visit GROCERIES/NECESSITIES • Tesco o Has pretty much anything and everything you need o Located all over Prague o Got my toiletries, sheets, towels, school supplies and groceries here o Not much English around the store so have your Google translate ready • Marks and Spencer’s o British grocery store – aka labels are in English! § Smaller than Tesco § Also a clothing store (lol weird combo, I know) o We would get produce, hummus, fruit, etc. here § Looked better and fresher o Have pre-made meals/salads/sandwiches as well o A little more expensive than tesco but still cheap • Del Mart o Similar to Marks and Spencer’s o Smaller scale grocery store with the salad/sandwich bar mentioned above ^ • Sephora o Just like in the US, also some have Benefit Brow Bar in them where I got my eyebrows done once § I know the ones in Palladium Mall and Novy Smichov Mall have the Brow Bar • The Candy Store o Store that sells American brands of snacks/drinks § Goldfish, cereals, candy, snapple, etc. o Two locations: One in Prague 5 and the other in New Town/Wenceslas Square area-ish § The one in New Town is bigger with more variety TRANSPORTATION • Trams o The BEST, an above ground trolley car essentially § They are numbered o We lived right near a tram stop and took them everywhere!!!!!! o If you put your ending location in apple maps and use transit it will tell you which trams to take o I suggest taking a picture of the time schedule at your regular tram stop – I figured this out later on but it was great because I knew when to leave my apt to catch the trams • Metro o Similar to subway, underground § Indicated by letter – A, B and C o Can look up using apple maps as well • Uber o ONLY use this, do not use cabs – they tend to overcharge you o So cheap, we would use them going out at night and split between 4 people – sometimes it would come out to be less than a dollar! o A lot of them don’t speak great English so always look for license plate, easiest way to find car we found o Unfortunately, Prague doesn’t have Uber XL which is def a huge bummer THINGS TO DO Museums • Apple Museum (Old Town) • Chocolate Museum (Old Town) • Beer Museum o 2 different locations • Toy Museum (Old Town) • Warhol/Dahlí Exhibits (Old Town) • National Gallery of Prague • Kampa Museum • Franz Kafka Museum Activities/Sites to See • Old Town Square o Heart and center with so many shops, museums, restaurants, etc. • Astronomical Clock Tower o Climb for awesome 360 view at the top • Lennon Wall o There are different stores nearby (one on Ujezd called Zebra Atelier- I think) that sell spray paint, really fun to paint your own item on the wall when you visit o Lock bridge located to the right of the wall (when looking at it) – near John Lennon Pub • Paddle Boats o Many locations along the Charles River where you can rent for 30 min – 1hr o Very relaxing with GREAT views on the river • Prague Castle o Made up of MANY buildings o Beautiful at night with awesome lighting • Charles Bridge o Always very crowded but walk across to Lennon Wall • Petrin Lookout Tower o Located at the top of Petrin Hill o A HIKE but another cool view of the whole city • Jewish Quarter • Wenceslas Square o Known as “New Town” o Feels very different from everywhere else in Prague – more modern with many commercial stores • Big Car Tour o You can pick these up anywhere in old town o Drive around city for 30-1 hr fun to do in group • Segway tour o Not huge in Prague, place near Lennon Wall to rent Nightlife • Bars o Harley’s o Bombay o Duplex o The Pub § Has tap in the middle of table to serve yourself • Clubs o Retro o Lucerna § Fridays they play only songs from 90s time period which is SO much fun § Get ticket in advance for Fridays – window opens at 9pm o Roxy o Duplex o Radost -

Five colorful villages (Cinque Terre)

Affittacamere La Loggia dé BanchiDuring our trip we stayed in this bed & breakfast in La Spezia. It's a great (and cheap) city to stay if youre planning to vist Cinque Terre. The train station is a 15 minute walk from this bed & breakfast and by train it only takes 5 tot 7 minutes to reach the first of the 5 villages :) - La PiaSuper informal and popular pizzeria with locals. The farinata (a local speciality: savory garbanzo bean crepe-like appetizer or side) is pretty epic, too. It's different from your typical Italian pizzeria experience but it's delicious in its own right! - Circolo Aics OrigamiVegan restaurant with a great characteristic atmosphere. There are also many table games with which you can play and spend the evening. Loved their hummus! - DistroThe best place in La Spezia to have a drink. Awesome atmosphere, amazing Aperol Spritz, great location and wonderful service! - Loggia dei BanchiCute little place in a small corner. Very cosy with little lanterns. Great Aperol Spritz. - Nessun DormaYou can get the best views of Manarola (the second of the Cinque Terre) from Nessun Dorma, a little bar with the best location of any establishment in Manarola: it sits right out on Punta Bonfiglio! - Vineria Santa MartaAt this cute little bar we had a small wine tasting for only €10 per person. For this price you'll get 3 wines (1 dry white wine, 1 dry but fruity white wine and 1 very sweet dessert wine) and some local specialities). - Ananasso BarPerfect location with beautiful views for a drink and a snack in Vernazza. They have umbrellas to get out of the sun and you can watch the fishermen launch and bring in their boats. - A' CanevaThis was the first place we came to in Corniglia after walking from Manarola and absolutely loved it! They have cute little seats on the steps outside and the best pesto lasagne I've ever had. Friendly and helpful service. -

2018 Study Abroad in London

Exploration of WestminsterThe Palace of Westminster, also called the Houses of Parliament, is the meeting place of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It is located along the River Thames which is also home to the London Eye, just across Westminster Bridge. A notable part of the Palace is Big Ben, probably the most famous clock tower in the world and a staple of London. Neighboring is Westminster Abbey and just across St. James' Park is Buckingham Palace. - Museums with Friends We've been to many different museums all over London with my Art and Society class, I choose the location to be the Tate Britain because we've been back there many times to see different exhibits and the Tate Modern is very close by and run by the same organization. We've also been to the National Galley, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, a special photography gallery and a private-turn-public impressionism gallery with still more to come. For another class I went to Twinning's, a famous Tea distributor. The store in itself was like a museum for tea. -

Visiting Vienna!

Cafe ErichCute cafe that has a delicious menu full of varieties for breakfast lunch and dinner. I had breakfast and got a delicious eggs Benedict dish with a small acai bowl on the side. I would eat here again if I had the chance! - Figlmüller WollzeileAlso known as "The Home of the Schnitzel", this place is small yet cozy and offers 13 selective classic Viennese to choose from! - PraterdomeIf you like dancing, this is the place to be! There are four dance floors on two levels with different style music and the best vibes... they also have great drink deals! - Nasch MarktThis market has multiple different restaurants and food/shop kiosks to choose from. Brunch is a great time to go to this market, the options are endless. The vibes of this market are more so 16th century times, giving a really unique feel while exploring. - Schönbrunn PalaceI loved seeing the palace solely because of how amazing the architecture and beauty of the building is. An added plus was the fact that I went in December so the Christmas markets were all set up directly in the center of the palace outside. Not only did we have great views but we also enjoyed shopping and eating. - Mumok MuseumBeing a fan of art museums, this one was a very interesting one due to the fact that they brought a relation to history and nature. There are at least 5 floors of unique art that shows a theme of different points of history from views of nature. It was extremely intriguing and would highly recommend if you are a museum junkie! -

Short weekend in London town!

Borough MarketFood-wise, one of my favorite markets. They LOVED giving out free samples, so I got full just on samples of the most delicious and authentic bites. It reminded me of a Farmers Market but even better! - Camden MarketBeing a lover for vintage and obnoxious fashion, these shops had me obsessed with the London style. My friend and I spent hours in here just trying on the clothing or listening to their funky jams while admiring the English vintage clothing. - Barge HouseThis charming small restaurant right on the canal was not only appealing to the eye but the food was out of this world. It is a lot of bread so prepare yourself, but they serve breakfast dishes in sour dough bowls... if you are gluten free or have any dietary restrictions they can work around it too! - Q-bic HotelThis hotel had the most funky, environmentally friendly, furniture and decor. Super affordable and very spacious rooms available, would definitely stay there again! -

4 days in Amsterdam

Jordaan District in AmsterdamThis area of the city is best known for its picturesque, narrow streets and unique shops. The best way to explore is by foot! - The GrasshopperThis is a fun bar to grab a few drinks and hang out. It's right on the corner of the Red Light District. - Cannibale RoyaleGreat food and drinks! Unique menu. - Moeders RestaurantMoeders: Dutch translation of Mothers. This restaurant is known for authentic, dutch cuisine that is supposed to replicate a Dutch mother's cooking! The walls are lined with photos of Mothers. - Van Gogh MuseumThis museum has the largest selection of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings in the world. - MacBike RentalDo like the locals and ride around on bicycles! There are bike lanes with their own traffic lights. -

Iceland in Winter - An Extra Long Weekend

Day 1 - Explore Downtown ReykjavikAfter landing head into Reykjavik. Explore the highlights of this amazing little city. Make sure to go to the top of Hallgrimskirkja Church for the ultimate view and admire the architecture of Harpa Concert Hall down by the water. Stay along the water to visit the Sun Voyager Sculpture, and walk the streets of Reykjavik with it's cute, colourful houses and amazing street art. If looking for a lunch stop then head to Hlemmur Food Hall for a great selection of pop up style food stalls by some of Reykjavik's best restaurants. It's new and everyone is loving it. If in the later afternoon and early evening then take advantage of the happy hour pricing in all the downtown pubs. Often between 3-7pm. Then head to some of our favourite places for dinner. Our favourites include Messinn for local dishes and seafood, Public House Gastro Pub for amazing share dishes and drinks, Borðið is always amazing, as is Mat Bar. If its a weekend and you want to kick on then head to Pablo Discobar for amazing cocktails and dancing, Skulli or Kaldi Bar for Craft Beers or Hurra for who often have DJ's or live music. Some of our recommended hotels to stay at in downtown Reykjavik are Skuggi Hotel, Sand Hotel, Eyja Guldsmeden and Icelandair Marina. If you have even more time in Reykjavik then we always recommend some of our favourite museums or exhibitions, - the National Musem, Culture House, Marshall House (Free) and Perlan. - Day 2 & 3 - Join a 2 Day South Coast Tour for Glacier Hiking and Incredible Scenery.Join Hidden Iceland's two day tour which heads all the way to the absolutely amazing Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Amazing icebergs float around this incredible lagoon and wash up on the black sand of the nearby beach. On the way out to this unmissable feature you will stop at numerous powerful waterfalls, black sand beaches, lava fields and stunning gorges. On this tour you will also get to hike up to the ice fall on one of the amazing glaciers coming off the Vatnajokull Icecap. You'll explore the glacier and see incredible blue ice, crevasses and towers of ice. You'll stay in the new and comfortable Lilja Guesthouse which has incredible views over the mountains and glaciers in the area. In winter you'll also get to hunt for the northern lights dancing across the dark skies. Accomodation and breakfast is included in the tour price. Their fun and friendly guides will ensure you learn all about the history and wonderful natural features you are seeing over these two days. If you cant join the two day tour, then Hidden Iceland offers a one day south coast tour that includes a glacier hike. This doesn't make it our far enough to the glacier lagoon though. It goes as far as the black sand beach, visits waterfalls and of course the glacier. - Day 4 - Deluxe Golden Circle Tour : Platinum CircleTheres one last area you must explore whilst in Iceland, the Golden Circle. Some of Iceland's most popular sights, all within a day trip from Reykjavik. Joining the Platinum Circle tour by Hidden Iceland is the best way explore this area. You will get to the most famous sights of Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir, but you will also get to swim in the natural hot pool at the Secret Lagoon and have lunch inside the greenhouse of Fridheimar Tomato Farm. Experiences that definitely shouldn't be missed. This full winters day of exploring geysers, waterfalls and incredible scenery is topped off with swimming in a geothermal pool and trying out delicious local produce for lunch. You will be back in Reykjavik in time for dinner and to try out some of our other favourite restaurants from Day 1. Have another go at hunting the northern lights or hit the bars in Reykjavik. So many options! Check the Hidden Iceland website for blogs and tips for viewing the northern lights. - Day 5 - Leave Iceland :(Last day in Iceland :( Hopefully you are lucky enough to have an afternoon flight. That way you can make one last stop before heading out to Keflavik. You can relax before your flight by visiting the Blue Lagoon! It is only ten minutes from Keflavik airport and the perfect way to finish your Iceland adventure. The drive out to Keflavik is also your last chance to stare out over the otherworldly Icelandic landscapes, with lava fields, volcanoes and mountains dotting the landscape. -

Long Weekend in Reykjavík ????????

Stay @ Ion City HotelModern hotel on Laugavegur Street - which was super close to everything. Convenient location and modern rooms made it the perfect spot for our long weekend. They also have the Ion Adventure Hotel which is an hour from Reykjavík which I wish we stayed in for at least 1 night - the pictures of it look amazing! - Northern Lights TourWe booked the Northern Lights tour through Happy World Tours. The tour was on the expensive side (just under $500 USD), but was well worth it! The tour guide picked us up from our hotel at 9PM in a 4x4 Jeep that we shared with 5 other people. I recommend using a smaller tour company rather then the big bus ones since the Jeeps are able to go places that the buses cannot. Despite cloudy conditions early on, we managed to see the Aurora Borelis by midnight just as they were serving hot chocolate & Icelandic donuts! The guides were really nice and made sure we had a great time. Dress VERY warm - it happened to be 10 degrees the night that we went, but it usually feels even colder because of the high winds. - Day Trip - Golden CircleWe rented a car (only $40 for the day) and did Geysir & Gullfoss on our own. I’m happy we did this by ourselves so we could be on our own schedule, stop and go as we please and spend as little or as much time as we wanted to at each place. We drove from Reykjavík to Geysir and stopped 3x on the way to see some of the Icelandic horses & amazing sunrise views. I would recommend timing the trip out so that you can see sunrise/sunset or both! After Geysir, we drove to Gullfoss - both spots were amazing! Incredible views; definitely dress warm so that you can enjoy it. After the sights, we drove to an amazing restaurant that was in a Tomato Greenhouse. - Friðheimar - Tomato Greenhouse Lunch!Tomato everything! A local tour guide reccomended this place to us for lunch or dinner following the Golden Circle. It's on the way back to Reykjavík from the Golden Circle so its an easy pit stop while you make your way back into the city. The restaurant is inside of the tomato greenhouse which is surrounded by fresh tomatoes and basil. The tomato soup and fresh pasta were amazing. They also make fresh bead in house - this was definitely one of our best meals in Iceland, go hungry! - Day @ The Blue LagoonDay trip to the Blue Lagoon! We took the bus here from downtown Reykjavík, however, if I could do it again, I would have planned to hit the Blue Lagoon pre or post flight since its only 10 mins from Keflavík Airport. We purchased the premium tickets which was worth the extra $! Tickets came with robes, towels, slippers, Silica & Mud masks, drinks while in the lagoon & reservations to Lava Restaurant for lunch. We came for sunrise which was beautiful, spent 3 hours in the baths with facials and ended our day at Lava for a seafood lunch! The Blue Lagoon is a must do while in Iceland! PS - girls, use a lot of conditioner before going in! - Dinner + Drinks @ ApotekWe had dinner here on a Friday night; I’d recommend making a reservation as it gets quite busy. Foodie spot with great cocktails and good vibes. We tried some Icelandic favorites here: Minke Whale & Puffin... Overall, this was one of my favorite dinners while in Reykjavík. - Noodles @ Ramen MomoWe went here for a casual and quick dinner one night after walking around Reykjavík. Hot ginger tea and noodles warmed us up! The restaurant is small, so try and come early so you don’t have to wait. - CarusoItalian restaurant in a great location. The food was okay; however, if you're in the mood for pastas and pizzas, this is your place. - Beers @ Micro BarFun spot to grab a drink at pre or post dinner - they serve flights of local beers. - Bread Bowls @ SvartaI highly recommend this spot for lunch! They only offer 2 soups (I believe they have 1 meat and 1 vegetarian option) in a huge bread bowl. Perfect spot to warm up and grab a quick bite. - Dinner @ Mat BarTapas/small plate style restaurant - good for trying everything and sharing. - Breakfast @ PrikiðWe stopped here for a quick breakfast on our first day. It’s nothing special, typical diner type breakfast. - Joe & The JuiceStart your morning off with a juice and some avo toast here! PS- they have Joe & The Juice's all over Iceland! - Vegetarian Lunch @ GlóQuick and yummy lunch vegetarian spot right near our hotel. - Dessert + Coffee SpotSuper casual dessert spot - located in the middle of everything. We hit up this place 3x for some crepes or hot chocolates after dinner. - Visit HallgrimskirkjaSwing by this Church at some point while wandering the streets of Reykjavík - it's one of the tallest buildings in the city so you can't miss it. If you climb to the top, you will have incredible views of the entire city. -

A see-it-all Weekend trip in Copenhagen!

Paper IslandOne of my favorite stops in Copenhagen, it is a big building with a bunch of food and drink kiosks that have different cultured food, classic danish dishes, seating with a firepit, mini bars set up. It is so fun, social and cozy. - Donkey RepublicThis is a recommended app to rent a bike and join in on the danish culture of riding your bike to get anywhere and everywhere! The location on the map is just one of several... you can pick up/drop off the bike anywhere. - Baest RestaurantIf you like pizza, GO HERE! It's known to be one of the best pizzas in the WORLD. This is an organic and natural restaurant with amazing organic wine that is worth the price. - Strogert ShoppingThis is about a mile long road with so many good shops, whether you want the european pop-up shops or classic american apparel stores they have it all! - NyhavnA classic must-see in Copenhagen. Get some good photos in front of all the colorful buildings around the canal. They have restaurants on boats and also along the buildings that you can sit outside and enjoy the view. - La FontaineThis was by far my favorite part of my weekend trip to Copenhagen. A super intimate and cozy Scandinavian jazz club hosting nightly jam sessions. Music was amazing and so were the vibes! -

3 Days Eating, Drinking, and Walking through Copenhagen

Hotel Skt. AnnaeThis was a charming hotel located right next to Nyhavn (the rows of cute, iconic houses. The lobby was really nice with a big communal area. The rooms were small but as they usually are in Europe. This was a perfect location for us as it was close to the palace, Nyhavn, running paths, and the garden. - The Little MermaidMy favorite way to see a city is to run it. You end up wandering, getting lost, and discovering. I ran from our hotel up the canal to see The Little Mermaid. She's small, yet mighty, and a great sight to see! - Atelier SeptemberThe breakfast at this quaint spot was insanely good and very traditional Scandinavian breakfast. I had some super seedy bread, a cappuccino, an egg, and sliced cheese. The croissants looked insanely good, too. - RubyRuby is one of the best cocktail bars I have ever been to. It felt like a dark, sexy, library. The ambiance and bartenders were also fantastic. Expensive drinks but worth it! - Coffee CollectiveThe best coffee in Copenhagen. Period. - TorvehallerneThis market is AWESOME. You can get little trinkets and pick from a bunch of different food vendors. We got a bomb sausage, coffee, and a cookie...it was hard to choose though! - NaturbutikI'm a sucker for all natural, organic stores so this had my heart in a second. I needed a probiotic...expensive but good in a pinch! - Pate PateSUCH an amazing meal in Copenhagen. We had amazing wine, in a cozy ambience, and a lot of great shared plates. - Mikkeller BeerThis little brewery was so fun. They make all the beer and they now have locations all over the world! - NorreboroThis is a cute neighborhood in Copenhagen with cute antique shops and restaurants. Worth going for an afternoon to explore. - Sites to SeeBotanic Garden Royal Copenhagen for China Rent bikes Canal Tour Opera House Food Hall on Paper Island - Cafe ErmannoNot the best meal we had, but it did the trick. Lots of cured meats, croissants, eggs, bread and cheese. YUM! - ZelesteThe ambience, the food, the service. OMG. By far the best meal we had while in Copenhagen. It was perfection. -

First Anniversary in London & Stockholm

St. Ermin's Hotel - Autograph CollectionFantastic, centrally-located hotel near the top sites in London. This hotel is walking distance to Westminster Abbey, Parliament/Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. There is a great bar in the lobby that is perfect for a craft cocktail before dinner at one of the great restaurants nearby. - London EyeGreat views of London, but definitely try to go at sunset for a really beautiful view. Don't waste time on the crazy line - get the fast pass ticket ahead of time! - Tour of ParliamentLondon is full of history, and Parliament, located in the Palace of Westminster, is one of the oldest buildings. You can book a tour ahead of time and get a glimpse into hundreds of years of British rule and quirky government traditions. The tour is definitely worth it! - The Quilon - Best Indian FoodOur anniversary fell on a Sunday, and it was a little difficult finding a restaurant for our special dinner. Or so I thought. This place has a well-deserved Michelin star. Try the wine-pairing menu - it was awesome. And try not to fill up on these little puffs at the beginning (it will be difficult). - Changing of the Guard at Buckingham PalaceDaily ceremony at 11am - get there early! This has all of the pomp and circumstance one would expect of a royal ceremony, and with a lot of fun uniforms and music thrown in. Try standing in the middle of the circle as it is elevated and you can get a better view! - Afternoon Tea at Claridge'sAfternoon tea is a must, and there are tons of great spots. Claridge's is one of the best, and they made our anniversary extra special. We opted for the champagne option, and let the staff pick our tea for us since we knew nothing about it. The warm scones and the Claridge's jam are the absolute best - don't miss out! - Lunch at the Hairy Pig DeliThis super tiny and unassuming restaurant was some of the best food I've had, and is farm to table at it's best and truest. Try the "hot dog," locally made sausage. You can't go wrong with anything here (and they're a great follow on Instagram!) They also have a restaurant I'll be trying next time. - Vasa MuseumIt's an old old wooden ship - but cool regardless. -

3 Days in Budapest

St. George ResidenceWe stayed here during our time in Budapest, & could not recommend it more! It's right in the heart of the castle district, near shops, restaurants, & many of the sights you'll want to see while you're there. All of the rooms are suites, each uniquely decorated, & our rooms were absolutely massive... for very reasonable prices. - Matthias ChurchThis is a beautiful church on top of the hill in the Castle District, directly behind the Fisherman's Bastion. We went inside & the interior was just as amazing as the exterior! - Fisherman's BastionTake in the beautiful view of Pest from the Castle District (Buda) in the many lookout towers of the Fisherman's Bastion! Matthias Church sits directly behind it, so you can kill 2 birds with one stone here. - Labyrinth (Underground Catacombs)I don't have any photos from this (because it's very dark down there and was almost impossible to take a photo of!) but the Labyrinth that sits under the Castle District on the Buda side of the city is a must do! It was weird, creepy, & full of history... it turns out that Dracula was kept down there as a prisoner, as well! - Pest-Buda BistroWe had a lovely dinner here on our first night in Budapest! It's a rustic, cozy setting, with great food & friendly staff. Make sure you try the cucumber salad & the desserts! - Walk across the Chain BridgeOn our second day in Budapest, we walked the Chain Bridge from the Buda to the Pest side of the city... the unobstructed view of the Parliament Buidling along the river was stunning! - Elizabeth SquareThis is a little square on the Pest side of the city, which was great for people watching! A few restaurants & hotels line the square, where you can sit outside & grab a drink & pastry, but there are also food vendors (stands) set up in the square, along with vendors selling souvenirs & other goods. - Dohany Street SynagogueThis synagogue is the largest in Europe, located on the Pest side of Budapest. It was bombed during WWII, and played a role in the Nazi occupation of Budapest. There is a cemetery on-site, as well, and a beautiful memorial (a weeping willow tree) to those lost during the Holocaust is located within the cemetery. - Great Market HallA huge market on the Pest side of the city with everything from fresh foods (fruits, veggies, cheeses, meats, etc) to souvenirs, clothing, & take away restaurants on 2 floors. - Heroes' SquareOne of the main squares of the city centered (Pest) around statues of the Seven Chieftains & Magyars, & the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, among others! - Széchenyi BathsVisiting a bath house is a MUST in Budapest! The Széchenyi Baths is the largest medicinal bath in Europe & couldn't be more beautiful! - Dunacorso RestaurantWe had our last meal in Budapest at Dunacorso (Pest) and it was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. First, the food was amazing, & the service was excellent. We spent about 3 or 4 hours here, sitting in their outdoor terrace, right near the water, savoring every bite of our meal & every sip of our wine (which was flowing). There was live music (violin, chello, etc) and the band came up to each table to play just for them. When we told them we were from New York, they went right into "New York, New York" and we sang along -so. much. fun. -

Venice, Italy

Getting ThereI traveled from Florence to Venice via train. It was super fast, inexpensive and comfortable. The area around the station is perfect for souvenirs! - Visiting the Jewish GhettoWe walked around the former Jewish Ghetto. It was a very sentimental experience, and we got to taste some authentic Kosher Italian food. The shops lining the main square have stunning glass pieces. I purchased a dreidel. Keep your eyes peeled on the narrow streets for tiny art shops with gorgeous work. - Cruising on the CanalWe chose to walk, but I highly suggest taking a gondola ride. The canals are so beautiful and it's a great way to see all of Venice! - Photo OpWe stopped on the iconic (and biggest) bridge for a photo. Love this area for touristy shops and great restaurants on the water. - Lunch with a ViewThis was the BEST pizza I had in Italy. Highly recommend this restaurant. This street is full of awesome places to eat! - Doge's Palace TourWe toured the famous Doge's palace. Highly recommend - it was beautiful and interesting! - Treats on the GoOn our way home, we stopped for a famous meringue cookie! -

Sicily, Italy

The House of Giuseppe ImpastatoWe started our trip in Cinisi to visit the home of Giuseppe Impastato, a famous anti-mafia activist. This was a really important experience, because we spoke to his family about their experiences and got to see the actual place where history was made. After, we walked around the neighborhood and got pastries at the coffee shop across the street. - One Hundred StepsWe walked the "100 Steps." Peppino Impastato was assassinated by the mafia boss that lived down the street from him. We retraced the route, which symbolizes those that have died fighting the mafia. - Palermo CathedralWe toured the Cathedral of Palermo. There's a line that runs through the cathedral that separates the two hemispheres of the Earth! - Meeting with AddiopizzoWe met with an activist from an anti-mafia organization to learn about how the people still struggle with the mafia today. - Godfather MomentNo spoilers, but there's an epic scene at the end of the Godfather Trilogy that took place on these Opera steps! - Gelato StopPalermo is known for this special treat: gelato in a brioche bun drizzled with chocolate! - Working in the VineyardsOld farmland that was controlled by the mafia was siezed and redistributed to an organization that raises money towards anti-mafia initiatives. It was a really special experience to work in the vineyards for the cause. - Portella della Ginestra MemorialWe visited the site of a horrible May Day Massacre and spoke to survivors. - Pastry TimeSicily is famous for desserts. We had fantastic cannolis!! -

Lisbon, Portugal- in three days

Secret Roof top barThis hidden roof top bar is one of the best views of Castel de St. George. From amazing drinks, to a modern atmosphere this is the place to go to watch the sunset in Lisbon. - Castel de St. JorgeNot only is this a gorgeous Castle in Lisbon, but it also gives you an amazing view of the city. You can see the classic rooftops. An added plus is there are peacocks roaming the grounds. - Sintra- Day tripAfter a gorgeous ride from Lisbon to Sintra along the coast, you come across this gorgeous town. With its own Castle. The castle has many druid ruins, including locations of lunar ceremonies. With under ground tunnels and picturesque architecture this is a great day trip. -

Three Days in Madrid

Sandeman's Walking TourSandeman's is amazing!! They give such well-informed walking tours that take you throughout the city and gives you a lot of information about the history of Madrid. http://www.neweuropetours.eu/madrid/en/home - Reina Sofia MuseumThe Reina Sofia is an art museum in Madrid. It's most famous painting is Guernica by Pablo Picasso. - Mercado San MiguelSuch a fun food market! You can try lots of Spain's traditional dishes and desserts here. - Royal Palace of MadridGORGEOUS palace! Its the palace of the Spanish monarchy, and it's absolutely stunning. It is also basically a replica of Versailles in France! - Cooking ClassWe had so much fun learning how to cook from a Spanish chef! We made traditional paella, sangria, and Spanish omelet's -- but the best part was eating it all! - Puerto de SolSuch a beautiful plaza filled with restaurants, music, and shops! - Temple of DebodGo at sunset, gorgeous view. - Crystal PalaceAmazing building in the middle of Retiro Park. - Parque El RetiroThere is so much to do here, visit the Crystal Palace, rent a paddle boat, or visit the art museum within the park! -

The Foodie's Guide to London

HookThis is the best place to go for a classic Fish and Chips! - Borough MarketBorough Market has an amazing variety of food ranging from burgers, desserts, pasta, as well as fresh produce. It's a one-stop shop for a taste of everything! It is also right on the South Bank of London, near the Shard, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. - The Mac FactoryThe best mac and cheese in London! You can find their booth in Camden Market. - The London Cocktail ClubThe best and most creative cocktail bar in London. They have all kinds of drinks ranging from the Bacon & Egg Martini, the Breaking Bad inspired Heisenberg and the Harry Potter inspired Butter Beer. They also have drinks that serve 2-28 people as well as more traditional cocktails. No matter what you get, it's a fun night! - The Cereal Killer CafeThe Cereal Killer Cafe is a London classic! It has lots of fun cereal and milk mixes as well as their crazy stacked milkshakes! - Homeslice PizzaThe best place to go in London for pizza. They have a wood fire oven and lots of fun toppings. My personal favorite is the mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seed & chili pizza. - SketchSketch takes a modern spin on London's traditional High Tea. The atmosphere is so cool and the food and tea are delicious. - The Breakfast ClubOne of the best hole in the wall breakfast spots in London. Prepare to wait in line though, but the food is well worth it! - Harrod's Food MarketHarrod's is the most upscale, craziest department stores in the world! Their food market sells everything from fresh produce, to tea, to luxury chocolates. If you can name it, you can buy it at Harrod's. They also have a wine cellar, a champagne bar, an ice cream parlor, and 20+ restaurants. -

3 days exploring Ireland

Blarney CastleThis is a definite must. There's so much to see here- The Blarney House, Inspiration Garden, Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills, and of course you must KISS THE BLARNEY STONE!! - Day trip to Galwaysuch a cute town to walk around. Lots of good restaurants, shops and scenery. Make sure to stop in Claddagh Jewelers (home of the authentic claddagh ring) - St. Patricks Cathedral - Temple BarSo much fun! They had great Irish music and many songs to singalong. -

3 Days in Paros

Akrotiri HotelAkrotiri was one of the best value hotels we found in Greece. The rates were very reasonable and the rooms were clean, very nice and came with an amazing view. The hotel included homemade breakfast and boasted one of the best staffs around. When we arrived the owner sat down with us, mapped out the entire island, rented us ATV's and gave us ideas what to do on the island. - Distrato CafeWe stumbled across this restaurant while walking around the town Parikia. We loved the fact that the restaurant was set in the street and shaded under a gigantic tree. We had a couple sandwiches and were introduced to cafe freddos. - Parikia TownParikia town was about 5 minutes from our hotel and had everything from shopping to eating. The shopping alone in Parikia was best we found in Greece. All the clothing was way more affordable and unique than in other parts of Greece. - AtelierAtelier was an authentic sandal company in which we picked each item that was then hand made onto the sandals. We bought 5 pairs for gifts for people back home and everyone still compliments the sandals. This is a must visit. The sandals to make were around 35 euros. - Regaki Live Music Boat TripsRegaki Live Music Boat Tours was the highlight of Paros by far. It was a day boat trip around Paros with stops along the way to go swimming and snorkeling. The food they prepared on the boat was amazing, fresh Greek salads, souvlaki and drinks! We highly recommend this trip in Paros. - Livadia BeachLivadia Beach happened to be one of our favorite beaches in Paros. There are many beaches to choose from however this one stood out to us. Many Paros beaches tend to be windy, this beach is tucked in between two hills and the wind is deflected which leaves this beach calm. The beach chairs were seven euros a piece, this was so cheap for Greece, in islands like Mykonos we paid more than 80 euros. They also had a floating activity park, I am basically a little kid so i loved that. - SiparosSiparos was a restaurant I had researched well before our trip. I made reservations ahead of time and I knew it would be amazing. The restaurant had fresh seafood and the perfect sunset. It was a far ride from Parikia on an ATV but well worth it. It was closer to the town Naoussa. - Ragoussis BakeryWe stopped here for lunch one day. We had no clue what it was but there were tons of people around eating. It was a delicious bakery and we each got sandwiches. This bakery was in Naoussa. - Naoussa TownNaoussa Town is more well know for the night life and the restaurants. For the top restaurants reservations are a must, we learned the hard way. Every restaurant and bar are geared towards night life and do yourself a favor and go out here at least one night. There arent taxis at all so plan ahead if staying in Parikia. - AgostaAgosta is just an example of the many bars that sit on the ocean. It is a surreal experience and you must visit them either at night or during the day. - Meat BarMeat Bar, hilarious name, delicious food. We found this restaurant walking around Naoussa. Nothing fancy but the best souvlaki we had in Greece. - ATV TravelWe travelled all around Paros on an ATV. It was great because it was cheap, and the island is about 2 hours around. However, at night driving far distances it becomes taxing. Other modes of transport include mopeds and few cars. -

Vienna in a Weekend

Hofburg Palace: Sisi Museum & Imperial TreasuryBeautiful palace with a whole museum inside dedicated to the life of Empress Elisabeth. Also has the Imperial Treasury, which is the home of jewels from the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I as well as the Imperial Crown, Orb, and Sceptre. - Vienna State OperaAbsolutely must visit! You can go on a tour which takes you through the theatres, backstage, as well as explaining the history behind events at the Opera House. - Belvedere PalaceBeautiful castle with an art gallery within, home of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. The gardens are gorgeous as well. - Segway TourThree hour segway tour throughout the city of Vienna. We learned a lot about the city and saw a lot of it in a short time period. Also had a segway tutorial before we went on tour. https://www.getyourguide.com/vienna-l7/vienna-city-segway-tour-t223/ - St. Stephen's CathedralAmazing cathedral, unlike any others I have seen! The tile work on the outside roofing is gorgeous and the interior is just as beautiful. - NaschmarktFun marketplace to get, shop, and hang out! - Hotel SacherHome of the original Sacher-Torte, a delicious chocolate cake! - Statue of MozartA beautiful memorial to Mozart, with a floral music note in front. -


Boat TourFirst, we took a boat cruise around Amsterdam. It was a really relaxing and easy way to get to know the city. - Ice BarThe ice bar was so fun! A definitely must. - Van Gogh MuseumNormally I'm not a huge museum fan, but the Van Gogh museum was really cool. I saw his art, but also learned a lot about his personal life. My favorite part was the portrait room, which showed all of his famous portraits in order. The gift shop has really cool souvenirs! - The Pancake BakeryYou can't come to Amsterdam without eating here! This iconic pancake house has the best food. Try the hot chocolate and anything with Nutella! - The Amsterdam SignYou can't do Amsterdam without seeing the famous sign. It's right next to the Van Gogh museum, so definitely do these back to back. - The Heineken ExperienceThis was the highlight of my trip! The Heineken Experience starts with a history of the brand, a tour of the old factory and a lesson on how the beer is made, then a really cool interactive experience. Don't miss the final stops- the Heineken Experience bar and gift shop for all things beer! -

St. Patricks Day weekend in Dublin, Ireland

Dinner at Fade Street SocialWe went for a late tapas dinner at Fade Street Social - The Gastro Bar when we arrived in Dublin Thursday night. The menu was filled with delicious, creative, and flavorful tapas and a great wine selection. It was a slightly more expensive meal than the typical abroad meal, but the food and the atmosphere made it all worth it! Added bonus was the exposed brick walls. - St. Patrick's day festivities in Temple BarFriday morning we woke up, decked ourselves out in as much green as possible, and bar hopped in the Temple Bar area, visiting all the famous Dublin pubs, drinking Guinness Beer, and enjoying the live music and energy of the city! - Day trip to Cliffs of MoherSaturday we woke up early to go on a day trip to visit the Cliffs of Moher. We used a tour company that organized a day trip to visit this "8th Wonder of the World", just 3 hours away from Dublin. After visiting the cliffs, we went to the nearby town of Galway, a small but authentic town with fun shops and restaurants. After this we headed back to Dublin and were dropped off right where our day started. - Dinner at Pitt Bros BBQDelicious BBQ dinner at a restaurant with great vibes and great food. This restaurant is in the heart of the city and was very easy to get to. - Wandering around DublinBefore we flew out of Dublin, we spent Sunday wandering around the city shopping, eating, and enjoying live street performances. We also walked around St. Stephen's Green, a beautiful park right in the city. - Airbnb (5 min walk from Temple Bar)If your planning on going to Dublin for St. Patricks Day, stay as close to the Temple Bar area as possible. The area gets very crowded because it is blocked off from cars for the parade, and will be very hard to get to by taxi or Uber. -

Nightlife in Florence

Rooftop at the WestinHead to the Westin rooftop bar for cocktails as the sun goes down for amazing views of the city and a gorgeous sunset. There's lots of rooftop bars and cute little restaurants within walking distance if there isn't a table available. I recommend calling in advance! - Lion's FountainThis is Florence's version of a college bar. Buy a bracelet for cheap drinks and free shots. Definitely don't miss the flaming lemon drop shot! Also don't miss a chance to sign the wall or hang up your college shirt. There's also a late night food spot in the back. - Shot CafeThis is the place to go for pregames. Shot Cafe has more shots than I even knew existed. They have great deals on drinks. This is a great place for groups because they have pitchers of mixed drinks to share! Definitely the best place to start the night! - Michael CollinsThis was the place to go for study abroad students. The upstairs of the bar is more chill and great for just hanging out. Head downstairs with your pitcher (the vodka lemonade is my personal favorite) for the real party. Live music Tuesday's are the best! - SpaceSpace is the #1 nightclub for Americans in Florence. Going in VIP is the way to go- skip the line and head to the VIP area for bottle service and more room to dance. If you don't go in as VIP you'll be given a punch card to keep track of your purchases for the night. Don't lose this unless you want to pay a crazy price! - Bonus: The Secret BakeryAt the end of your night, sniff out the secret bakery for the BEST late night eats in Florence. Their croissants are legendary. -

A Romantic Paris Getaway

Saint ChapelleBeautiful cathedral - Day Trip to Champagne ReigonBooked through Viator, https://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Champagne-Region-Day-Trip-from-Paris-including-Two-Champagne-Tastings/d479-2050RC , full day trip to 3 different wine cellars and got tastings at each. Lunch is not included. Had a great time - Arc de TrimuphSo gorgeous, can climb to the top! - Eiffel TowerGo to the top, can see all of Paris! Go back at night too to see it light up, so romantic and so pretty! - The LourveLeave lots of time for this -- can get lost for hours there's so much to see! - Love Lock BridgeThe original one got taken down, but this seems to be the 2.0. We put our lock on this bridge. - Norte Dame & Kilometer ZeroBeautiful Cathedral that can climb to the top of. Also make sure to go to Kilometer Zero while you're there. It is considered to be the literal center of the city. It is a small gold plate on the ground so you have to look for it, but its right in front! - PantheonVery cool, right in the middle of the Latin Quarter of Paris. It's also the burial place of many famous people including Voltaire and Marie Curie. - Palace of VersaillesTook a half day trip to see the palace, it is gorgeous! Make sure to see the gardens. - Musée d'OrsayBeautiful art museum full of impressionist paintings. LOVED it. -

Prague, Czech Republic

Old Town Square HotelGreat location- in the middle of everything, in walking distance to most places. We had a great view from our window and was able to see everything going on. - Terezin Concentration CampThis was such an important part of my trip. We all learned about the Holocaust in history, but it was interesting to actually see. I will definitely remember this experience for the rest of my life. - Old Town SquareThis square is where we spent most of our trip. So cool to walk around, eat, explore, and shop. - John Lennon Wall - Fish pedicureThis fish pedicure allowed little fish to eat the dead skin off your feet. It tickled a little but so cool! - Astronomical Clock -


The BEST BrunchThis brunch hotspot is a MUST. From amazing presentation to yummy vegan eats, Brunch & Cake by the Sea is simply amazing. It's in a great area right by the Marina to explore after you eat. - Tuk Tuk Through the StreetsThis was SUCH a fun and easy way to get around and see everything! Sure, this is as touristy as tourism gets, but the bikers knew which sites to hit and had recommendation of sightseeing places we'd never have thought of! - Ruins of Las RamblasA few years back, a building development stumbled upon the ruins of ancient Rome. This was a very quick and interesting sightseeing stop. If you're interested, there's a free museum with additional artifacts and history of Barcelona on site. - Relaxing in the ParkThis gorgeous park, designed by Gaudí, is the perfect place to relax. The fountain is absolutely stunning. Walk or bike to the Arc de Triomf, just a few blocks away. - Sand Castle ViewingBarcelona Beach is famous for its nightlife, but also boasts some amazing sand sculptures. A walk along the beach is fun for friends and family alike! - Happy PillsHonestly, the hype is worth it. Barcelona is also known for Happy Pills, AKA the best candy store EVER. Fill up your custom jar with as much candy as possible, and then smile until the stomach ache kicks in. - Public Part of GüellWe didn't realize that we needed tickets in advance for Parc Güell, so we signed up for a slot the following day and explored the public (free) sections. The main attraction here was an easy hike to an INCREDIBLE view of the entire city. - Take Me to ChurchThe center of Barcelona's religious culture, La Segrada Familia is a piece of history in the making. This unbelievably stunning church is unforgettable! The line wasn't too long, but if possible buy tickets in advance! - Bring on the PastaI WISH i had a picture to do this place justice. Amazing, like SERIOUSLY AMAZING, food that might actually change the way you look at pasta. - The Barcelona Party ExperienceOpium is unforgettable--no matter how much tequila you enjoy! Make sure to dress nicely, sloppy attire won't cut it at the door. This is THE club of Barcelona--a can't miss! - Parc GüellIncredible architecture defines Gaudí's most famous work. This is stunning park that's perfect for photos. You can really wander here for hours. Don't miss the balcony that overlooks the city! - Mercat de la BoqueriaFresh veggies, authentic food and a famous macaroon ice cream sandwich, visit this market to try it all! - One last beach sunsetWe had to hit the beach one last time before we left. After grabbing a bite and one last round of mojitos, we took a nice stroll along the boardwalk to watch the sunset. -


Chocolaterie de Monacoso much chocolate! very good, I loved it -

A day trip to Bath, England!

Bath AbbeyThis church has breathtaking architecture inside and out! Whether you are spiritual, religious or not I recommend sitting in on a service! I was surprised at how beautiful this was, while they are performing their mass you are able to just admire the sculptures, stained glass, the community and music! - The StableMy friend and I made sure to get the best meal the locals suggested in Bath. The Stable has an endless list of delicious organic pizza, vegan pizza, dessert-style pizza and "the best cider in Bath!" We tried it all, I highly recommend this place while sitting outside where you are able to view the city and its awesome vibes! - Fudge Kitchen ShopWe were drawn by their free samples and enthusiasm to come inside! I was looking for a sweet bite after my delicious pizza, we tried a little piece and knew we had to go in and check out what this place was about. They make the fudge right in front of you which was so awesome to see how it is made and also to know what goes into it. Highly recommend the dark chocolate sea salt (dairy free vegan)! -

The Best of Durham, UK

Dinner and Drinks at Fabio'sGreat little spot for dinner and drinks. - Durham CastleBeautiful castle right in the center of town. This is where some of the Harry Potter movies were filmed! - Durham Cathedral - The Swan for English Beers - Indian Meal at the CapitalReally great Indian food. - Dinner at ZenMore expensive, nicer dinner option in town. Great asian fusion. - Drinks at Jimmy Allen'sNice bar on the river! -

A Wee Tour Through Scotland

Edinburgh CastleEdinburgh castle is where the Kings and Queens of Scotland used to live. If you enjoy medieval history and battles/the army this is the place for you. Royalty has not used this castle in quite some time (it is now used by the Scottish Army) because it sits on a hill and is too drafty and cold (there is a new palace in town) but it does offer the most spectacular view of all of Edinburgh! - The Royal MileWhile in Edinburgh you must take a stroll up and down the royal mile. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops to pop into. At the top of the mile you will find Edinburgh Castle and at the bottom you will find the Palace of Holyroodhouse. - Palace of HolyroodhouseYou can find the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the end of the Royal Mile. This palace is the newer of the 2 in town and it is where the Queen stays while she visits. One of the royal weddings took place here not too long ago. There are beautiful gardens in the back that are worth a stroll. - St AndrewsIf you are a golf enthusiast St Andrews is a place you must go! After all, it is where the game of golf started! To play you need to make a t-time well in advance or enter the lottery. If you are not a golf enthusiast it is still a gorgeous sea town to visit. There are beaches to stroll on, shops to visit or have lunch in one of the club houses. The town of St Andrews is also the home of St Andrews University, where Will and Kate met - you can even stop by the cafe in town where they had their first coffee date! We hired a driver to take us up to St Andrews for the day. The drive was not too bad and I am glad we did not rent a car, the roads are full of twists and turns. - Highlands Day Tour We took a day tour up to the highlands (countryside and mountains) with a tour company. We stopped at a few towns along the way, took a boat ride on Loch Ness and saw where the battle of Glen Coe took place (image above). The landscape is beautiful but this was a very very long day and a lot of driving - not sure if I would do it again. - Horseback Riding in North BerwickRiding at Seacliff Stables in North Berwick was one of my favorite activities we did - you really got to take in the beauty of the countryside and beaches. This was only a short train ride away from Edinburgh. We got to ride through little villages, into farms, along the beach (even in the water). We saw famous Bass Rock and the ruins of an old castle. - Rosslyn Chapel‘When I decided to write The Da Vinci Code, I knew that its finale would have to take place at the most mysterious and magical chapel on earth — Rosslyn.’ Dan Brown Yes, Dan Brown is correct, Rosslyn Chapel is truly magical. Not only is is beautiful, but there is a feeling you get when you visit. Only a 20 minute taxi ride outside of Edinburgh it is worth a visit, especially if you have read or watched the Da Vinci Code. Keep an eye out for the spooky cat ;) - Arthur's SeatTake a hike up Arthur's Seat - a volcanic mountain that overlooks the city of Edinburgh. When we went in the spring the hillside was covered in all these burnt yellow flowers - it was beautiful! -

The best beaches in Crete which you shouldn't miss.

Stay in Akrotiri hotelI would like to show you our awesome room with the view on Chania. Took us around 10 minutes to get to the city by car. The hotel is called Akrotiri and has wonderful 9.0 rating on booking.com. - Visit Elafonisi beachElafonisi is located 76 km west of Chania in the southwestern point of Crete and 5 km south of Chrysoskalitisa Monastery. Turquoise waters, rose-tinted sand and shallow warm waters, in one word: paradise.Elafonisi beach totally reminded me of the Caribbean because of its white sand and turquoise water. - Visit Balos Bay beachThe famous lagoon of Balos is located approximately 56 km northwest of Chania and 17 km northwest of Kissamos. The lagoon of Balos has white sand and beautiful blue and turquoise waters. The sea is very shallow, calm and warm. In many places, the sand has a lovely pinkish color. -

Four days in Paris!

The LouvreThe most famous museum in Paris. Even if you don't want to go inside, at least snap a pic in front of it's iconic glass pyramid! - Notre DameAnother iconic sight in Paris. Definitely a must-see. Free to go inside! - Montmartre: The West Village of ParisEasily my favorite neighborhood in the city. We stayed here in an AirBnB and will definitely stay again when we return. North Paris, west-village type feel with cobble stone streets, tons of small cafes, bakeries, markets, etc. Take metro to Blanche/Pigalle/Abbesses and walk up to Sacre Coeur. Paris has an annual contest for the best baguette in the city, and the winning bakery supplies the royal palace with baguettes for the whole year. The winners of 2007, 2010, and 2011 are all in this neighborhood. Two of them on Rue des Abbesses (one of the main streets in Montmartre) within 10 feet of each other. Get one in the morning when they’re fresh, the steam comes out when you break it open...heavenly - Sacre CoeurBasilica at the top of Montmartre, awesome view of the entire city - Place du TertreCool little square near Sacre Coeur with a bunch of artists and a market. A little bit touristy but cool to see while you’re there - Eiffel TowerObligatory picnic and wine on Champs de Mars (park under the Eiffel Tower) is an absolute must. If you come at night, the Eiffel Tower has a light show on the hour from 8 pm to 1 am I think, plus there are guys selling bottles of wine/champagne if you don’t bring your own. Some of the best meals we had in Paris consisted of a baguette, cheese, and wine, usually while walking around or sitting in a park. Keep that in mind (weather permitting) - Drinks in le MaraisWe got drinks at several places in the Marais, very trendy and lively neighborhood (tons of shopping during the day too) - Macarons at LadureeIs it touristy? Yes. Should you still go? Yes. There are several around the city. - The best crepes at Breizh CaféBest crepes in Paris, by numerous sources. They have savory entrée crepes and sweet dessert crepes. Plus they serve local hard cider out of bowls. - Romantic dinner at Le PantrucheSmall, authentic French bistro. We had a great, romantic dinner here our first night in Paris. The Grand Marnier souffle was amazing! - Deyrolle - A fun excursion you might not see in guidebooksAn old taxidermy shop in the 6th arrondissement that’s pretty famous. One of the weirdest but coolest stores I’ve ever been in. They have a massive collection of exotic animals on the top floor - One for the book lovers!The original Shakespeare and Co bookstore is right by Notre Dame. Was a hangout spot for some big writers in the 20s like Joyce and Hemingway (Hemingway’s bed is actually still in the store…I laid on it…is that weird?). Cool place to stop in if you’re nearby - Ice cream at Berthillon!Amazing local ice cream - Getting in touch with nature in the Jardin du TuileriesGreat place for a stroll on a nice day -

Weekend in Dundee & St.Andrews, Scotland!

Dundee LawIf you're looking to get the most spectacular 360 degree view of Dundee, this is the place to go! This spot serves as a popular tourist destination due to the World War memorial that sits atop the hill. In order to get to this location it is about a 30 minute uphill walk ( or 8 minute drive), but the journey gives you a glimpse of the historical old Dundee Jute mills, and passes through charming cottages and parks. I'd recommend wearing comfortable shoes and a light jacket because it can get windy up there, but the view is well worth it! - St. Andrews CastleEntry into St.Andrews Castle is only around £6, and offers a museum tour of medieval Scotland and allows you to explore the ruins of Scotland's oldest church. This location also offers the most amazing view of the North Sea. The castle is also located directly next to the famous St.Andrew's University where Prince William and Kate Middleton met! - The West HouseThis is by far my favorite restaurant in Dundee. It serves amazing dishes from pizza and pasta, to soups and paninis. You cant go wrong with anything you get from here, and their dishes are very well priced. They also have a great cocktail selection! - St.Andrews Brewing CompanyThis pub is conveniently located in the center of St. Andrews and has an amazing drink and food selection. Scotland is known for their fresh seafood and the salmon here is among the best I've ever had! They also have a large selection of freshly brewed in house beers as well as craft beers on tap at all times that are delicious & fresh, and will suit any beer lover! - Duke's CornerDuke's Corner is one of my favorite places to relax and grab a pint with friends. They have a HUGE selection of delicious craft beers, and from Thursday-Saturday night there is typically a live band playing. This is a great place where students, and Dundonians go to unwind and is a perfect spot to chat and 'banter' with the locals! - UndergroundThis is one of Dundee's most popular nightclubs, and it is open 7 days a week so you can drink and dance the night away whenever you want! This club has a variety of different themes throughout the week with local DJ's performing. You can also always expect great drinking specials on whatever night you go! - Broughty FerryBroughty Ferry is just a short bus ride from Dundee City Centre, and it is a charming little town by the sea! One of the most popular attractions is the Broughty Castle which has cheap tours throughout the week. There are also a bunch of little boutiques scattered throughout the town and Broughty Ferry is the perfect place to grap some fresh fish n' chips at any one of there chip shops in town. - The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. AndrewsSt.Andrews Golf Course is a spectacular spot for those who love golf and a special sight even for those who don't. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St.Andrews is considered "the home of Golf" and is one of the oldest and largest golf links in Europe. While it is a bit expensive to play a round, it is still fun to sit nearby and watch over the beautiful courses. -

Amalfi Coast

Da AdolfoThis was one of my favorite lunch spots. You can only get to this restaurant by boat or an off the beaten path (bit of a hike)! We shared a few small plates which include: mussels marinara, mozzarella di bufala baked on lemon leaves and prosciutto with figs. Everything was incredible! So fresh & so authentic. We also enjoyed a pitcher of white sangria which was the perfect amount of sweet (aka not so much), light and refreshing! Not to mention, Da Adolfo is a small beach club as well, so the view is amazing. It's very hard to get a reservation. I advise you have your hotel call for you. - Bagni d'Arienzo Beach ClubI absolutely loved this tiny beach club. It feels pretty exclusive, and is somewhere you can truly kick back and relax. - Villa Cimbrone GardensWe went to Ravello for a day trip, and it was absolutely beautiful. Ravello is known for their old english gardens, music festivals, art, and spectacular yet much different views than the rest of the coast because you are high up in the mountains! - Vivaro Wine BarWe found this little gem on our first night after a long, long day of traveling. It was within 2 minutes walking distance from our hotel in Praiano and let me tell you it was one of our best meals we had. It's a true one man show. The owner of the restaurant is also the chef, waiter, busboy and so forth. There is no menu, you tell him if you want fish or meat and he prepares a 3 course meal for you. We had a phenomenal experience here and wayyy too much wine! ;) - One Fire BeachThis was absolutely my favorite beach club! Not only because it was a short (but feels like long due to allllll the steps) 12 minute walk from our hotel, but it was so lively and the views were absolutely stunning. You can see Positano from afar, and it was always perfect for sunset. They played great upbeat music. I was also very pleased with the service. -

A Weekend Away in London

Horse GuardsIf you have 5 minutes take a stroll by the Horse Guards. They are a 5 minute walk away from most major attractions and are worth it (so cute!). These horse guards are true "guards" for the queen and are what parade her around when there is a royal ceremony. There is also a museum inside that allows you to get a glimpse of the stables. Right up my alley since I love horses. - Club Quarters Hotel, Tralfalgar Square We stayed at the Club Quarters Hotel in Tralfalgar Square. We loved this hotel because of its perfect location! We were able to walk to most attractions and if we couldn't walk there was public transportation right nearby. There were also a few local restaurants to go to right around the corner so food was no issue. I also highly recommend getting the London Pass! We were able to cut a few lines and avoid paying for public transport and entry fees to museums and attractions. - Westminster AbbeyTaking a tour of Westminster Abbey was so beautiful and brought history to life! Keep in mind, the line gets very long (you can see it behind us) so give yourself plenty of time. - Big BenTake a stroll by Big Ben and Parliament to enjoy the views. It is right near all the other attractions so you can't miss it! Did you know that Big Ben is really the bell that is inside the tower and the tower you see is called the Elizabeth Tower? - London EyeThe London Eye is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in London so its worth a look even if you don't take a ride. The line to get tickets and get on the eye is very long so I recommend getting there first thing in the morning. - Churchill War RomsIf you are a war or history buff the Churchill War Rooms is the place for you (my boyfriend enjoyed it more than I did). This is where Winston Churchill had his bunker during the war and lead the country from underground (if you don't like small space or you are claustrophobic this might not be the place for you). - Saint James ParkWe visited in the spring and the flowers in Saint James park were so beautiful! It is a great place to take a stroll or sit down to relax for a bit. If you walk through the park you will also end at Buckingham Palace. - Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace is the perfect place to end after a stroll through Saint James Park. The palace is only open for tours during the summer months when the Queen resides at her summer residence (isn't she lucky?). - Brunch at Fortnum and MasonWe had Easter brunch at Fortnum and Mason. It is the perfect place to enjoy some iconic British dining and tea. Make sure you enjoy a little shopping after as well. - High Tea at the OrangeryHaving tea at the Orangery right outside Kensington Palace was one of my favorite things to do in London! Both the tea and food were delicious! You look out over the palace and the gardens - what a perfect view! This does require reservations in advance so book accordingly. - Kensington PalaceAfter tea we took a self guided tour through Kensington Palace. The gardens behind the palace are well worth a stroll as well. While we were there they also had just opened a fashion exhibit on Princess Diana featuring many of her outfits. This is not a permanent exhibit so check to see if its open during your visit. Kensington Palace is also where Kate and the children live while in London so keep an eye out for the Princess! - British PubPop into any British pub and taste some local fish and chips and grab a pint :) the beer isn't as warm as they say - Boat Cruise up the Thames River/Tower BridgeDeparting from the London Eye, we took a boat cruise up the Thames River. This was a great way to see some of the sights (the globe theater) and architecture (London Bridge) of the city. It was also a very quick means of transportation to get from one end of London to the other. We ended our cruise at the Tower of London right before Tower Bridge (what you see in the picture - no, that is not London Bridge like you might think). - Tower of LondonAfter our boat tour we ended at the Tower of London. There is so much to learn and see here that you could easily spend the entire day. I highly recommend one of the tours lead by a beefeater. While you are at the tower of London you can see things such as the crown jewels and the place where King Henry VIII killed his wives, one of them being the famous Anne Boleyn. Keep an eye out for the Ravens, they are always squawking in the background and have a creepy back story. -

Eating Your Way Through Florence

Gusta PizzaThis place has really good wood-fired stone oven PIZZA! Don't be surprised as there is usually a line (made up of locals, students and a lot of tourists). You can't go wrong with the Margherita or Pesto pies. - AnitaI had many meals at Anita - fresh pastas and amazing sauce! - La GiostraDefinitely make a reservation! Known for their "bistecca" - I had the Balsamic steak which was amazing, highly recommend trying as much of the menu as you can! If you can't get a dinner res, their lunch menu is still great. - Caffè La TerrazzaSuper cute cafe on the top floor of the famous La Rinascente. Great way to end an evening of shopping! I enjoyed some hot coco on the roof overlooking Piazza della Repubblica. -

A weekend in Durham

Durham CathedralOne of the must see spots in Durham. The Cathedral has so much history and is beautiful...not only that but parts of Harry Potter were filmed there! You also can't beat spending the afternoon on Palace Green in front of the Cathedral with friends and some drinks. - The Swan & Three CygnetsNo better place to enjoy a pint and conversation around Durham! - Durham Castle ToursA must stop for anyone visiting the area, if you are lucky head to the Castle College bar for a fun pint. -

Summer Vacation in London

The Savoy HotelThis was an beautiful and comfortable hotel I stayed at a few nights with my parents. The food was delicious and staff was so friendly. They have a little coffee shop as well, with the best scones I had throughout my entire trip! - Meringue GirlsI took a cooking class at this bakery, and it was so much fun!! This small bakery is famous for their meringues (they've made them for fashion week for Chanel) and they offer classes to learn how to create these cute and delicious desserts. The women were so friendly, the baking process was relatively simple, and the results were delicious and so cute! I will definitely make these again in the future. - The Experimental Cocktail ClubLondon is known for its cool bars and clubs, but this was definitely my favorite. The theme of this bar is similar to an old speakeasy. It's super secretive and it doesn't have a sign outside of it. After going behind a black door marked with a red X in the middle of London Chinatown, you enter a dimly lit, sleek atmosphere with beautiful cocktails being served all around. The drinks are amazing, and the vibe of the bar makes it an amazing experience. - Fortnum & MasonThis is definitely a well-known location in London. They're famous for their scones and chocolate cake and afternoon tea. This is definitely a great place to go if your looking for an authentic London activity. -

Tourist Day in Florence, Italy

Lunch at Gusta PizzaMy favorite pizza in Florence! Not only is the crust AMAZING and 100% homemade, but everything comes in the shape of a heart! I <3 Pizza! - Gucci MuseumYou can't miss the Piazza della Signoria when you're in Florence. Not only is it home to some of the most iconic sculptures in the city, but it also is the site of the city hall. Next to the government building is the fabulous Gucci Museum. You only need about an hour here, but it's definitely worth it! - Visiting the DuomoThe most iconic site in all of Florence is of course the Duomo! I love the square around the Duomo for its touristy shops. - Climbing the DomeFor the best view of the city, you can't miss climbing to the top of the Duomo. I HIGHLY recommend wearing athletic shoes and buying tickets in advance! - I Scream, You Scream...We rewarded ourselves after burning off lunch at the Duomo with a trip to the Magnum store. Pick from a wide assortment of toppings to make your custom ice cream bar. - Photo Opp at the Ponte VecchioOK so here's a pro tip: for the best photos with the Ponte Vecchio, go to one of the bridges NEXT to it! They're much less crowded and you'll get the bridge in the pic! - Sunset at Piazza della RepubblicaMy favorite piazza in the city is the Piazza della Reppublica because of the gorgeous carousel that lights up at night. There's also a rooftop bar here that's perfect for people watching! -

Karamia meets Italy ????????

Exploring Levanto's Beautiful BeachesThe view was stunning and had the best sunset - Bike ride around Levanto - Exploring -

Hike Through Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque TerreBeautiful place in Italy, enjoyed a day of hiking along the coast. - Ristorante MikyAfter a day of hiking, we were starving! Chef Miky De Fina is known for serving some of the best fresh seafood from the area. Bacon wrapped Octopus... UNREAL! -

Thanksgiving in Prague !

Prague CastleThis beautiful castle used to be an old Royal Palace. Considering the fact that Prague was barely touched during World War II, almost all of its original structures remained the same from many years ago. There is even gold in the architecture around the castle and statues! - Cafe LouvreThis is one of Prague's oldest cafes, so the style and feel while dining is super authentic and old-fashioned. The food was delicious and so was their desserts! Cafe Louvre was on the more expensive so avoid if you are looking for more affordable places. - Charles BridgeThis bridge was absolutely breathtaking, not only because of the architectural design but the view of Prague and the castle over the river. While walking across this bridge I had a warm cup of red wine and saw some locals playing instruments, painting, and selling their craftwork. It was one of my favorite parts! - Karolvy LaznyThis was a club that had 5 floors, each floor being a different type of music... rap, dance, oldies, etc. It was a blast and super fun, each floor has something unique and its you dance till you drop! - U KureluFeeling a little nostalgic during thanksgiving day watching my family together, I enjoyed a nice american-style thanksgiving dinner at a cute restaurant in Prague city with my best friend! Safe to say it felt like home, and tasted just as good! - Karlsplatz (Stachus)Small city center where they have an ice rink and a rooftop bar overlooking the rink. You could either cozy up under warm lamps having a drink watching everyone on the rink or join in on the skating for a little while! I did both and it was a nice thing to do after dinner. - Prague Christmas MarketsSince I left Prague at the beginning of December I thankfully saw at least one day of the Christmas markets. They are gorgeous and super engaging. These markets sell things from jewelry to crepes, instruments, food&drinks etc. My friend and I spent all night here until they turned off the lights, we enjoyed live music, a huge lit up Christmas tree and more... A must-see! -

Day Trip to Milan, Italy

Duomo di MilanoThe Duomo is truly the heart of the city. PRO TIP- buy your tickets in advance to avoid waiting on multiple lines. My friend and I checked out the inside of the church first before climbing to the top. The views were so beautiful! - Fashion HeavenThe Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is an iconic shopping venue located in the same square as the Duomo. We walked through and window shopped at Louis Vuitton, Gucci and more. - Drinks & SnacksWe took an uber to the other side of Milan for drinks and a snack and found the Mag Cafe. This place was very artsy Brooklyn meet Italian glam. I loved how the menus were hidden in books and the drinks were very good! -

Quick Weekend in Amsterdam

Dinner at the Pancake BakeryWe got in a little late and were craving some comfort food, so we headed to the famous Pancake Bakery. This gem's has a fantastic reputation, but nothing did it justice. Hands down the BEST pancake I've ever had. Plus, their hot chocolates are a dream. - The Tulip MuseumUnfortunately, the Anne Frank Museum was sold out so I headed across the street to the Tulip Museum. It was very cute and fascinating. The gift shop is also adorable. - The Heineken FactoryHow could you visit Amsterdam without a trip to the Heineken Factory? We started Day 2 off here and it was such a great experience...like Hershey Park for adults! The tour began with a history lesson through the original factory, then a lesson on how the beer is made, and finally a beer tasting! - Drinks and Lunch on roof of the Heineken FactoryAfter our tour, we headed to the roof for complimentary beer. Heineken has an unbelievably beautiful bar that offers a really great view of the city. There's also a food stand with awesome sandwiches. My group ended up relaxing here for a few hours. - Pictures at the SignYou can't miss this when you visit Amsterdam! The iconic sign is a necessary photo opp. It was much more crowded than I expected, so I recommend going either early or late in the day! - Van Gogh MuseumI'm a big museum person, and I really have to say that the Van Gogh Museum blew me away. It's organized in chronological order and features interactive elements that truly give you a connection with the artist. My favorite part was the first floor, which displays all of his self portraits in order. -

Four days in Reykjavik

Lunch at Ramen MomoWarm up with the most delicious ramen at Ramen Momo! A small but special place (with vegetarian options!) - Bike tour of ReykjavikFun way to tour the city and learn a little bit about the history and culture! - Grab a HotdogThe most famous restaurant in Iceland…is a hotdog stand. No joke, people in Iceland are obsessed with hotdogs for some reason, but they are really good. This is the best/most famous one and there are a few of them around the city (and open late for drunk food!) - Whale WatchingWear your warmest clothes and spend the morning whale watching off the coast of Reykjavik! We booked all planned stuff through Reykjavik Excursions, they were great and super easy - Visit to Hallgrímskirkja - Vegetarian LunchBefore or after your visit to Hallgrímskirkja, stop by Glo for some delicious vegetarian food! - Grab beers at Laundromat CaféLaid back, hipster bar. Good for chilling with a beer before dinner. Yes, people can do laundry here too - Order a flight at Micro BarBeer flights and local craft beers. Very chill, no frills - Dinner at Tapas BarinnTapas Barinn serves Icelandic tapas and is a great way to try a wide range of Icelandic dishes (we did it for our first dinner in Iceland). - Dinner at 3 Frakkar3 Frakkar was my favorite meal of all, really great traditional Icelandic cuisine. We made reservations in advance, which I’d recommend since it's popular! - Before-dinner drinks at Snaps BistroWe went here for a drink before dinner at 3 Frakkar, but I’ve heard it is an awesome spot for dinner too - Blue LagoonHands down my favorite thing on the trip and a MUST SEE. Bright blue hot springs in/surrounded by black volcanic rock. It’s really one of the coolest places I’ve ever been, the pools have bars you can swim up to and everything. You get a wristband when you arrive that locks/unlocks your locker and you use to pay for anything while you’re there - Golden Circle: GeysirThis is part of the "Golden Circle." You can book this on a tour bus or rent a car and drive it yourself. We rented a car and I definitely recommend doing it this way. You can go at your own pace (slower or faster) and makes the drive more fun and independent. The terrain, open fields, etc outside the city are gorgeous. It basically feels like you’re in the North in Game of Thrones (not sure if you watch and get that reference). If you pack a lunch and some snacks, there are a million cool views to stop and take it all in. - Golden Circle: PingvellirAnother stop on the Golden Circle -- It's a national park, so make sure you're dressed warm and wearing hiking boots/sneakers - Golden Circle:You'll be at the top of a huge waterfall at this stop on the Golden Circle -


MontserratMonetary on a cliff outside Barcelona- easily accessible by train - Hotel EuroparkAmazing boutique hotel between multiple tourist sights but in a nice quiet street - SpoonikIncredible tasting menu dining experience- book in advance!! - Bar MutAmazing meat and seafood tapas - Segrada familia - VianaAmazing tapas- get a blackberry mojito! - Soccer matchGet cheap bleacher seats to a match! - Parc Guell - Central marketBig food market off la ramble! - W hotel barHotel bar on the beach with a great rooftop - Chök chocolate shopAmazing chocolates and donuts- great for gifts for people back home! -

Honeymoon in Italy

Vatican Scavi TourEveryone needs to visit Vatican City once! Since I had already been, we did a tour of the excavations under St. Peter's Basilica. Only 250 visitors are allowed each day so book in advance! - Romantic Hotel in PositanoHotel Poseidon was amazing! It has great views of Positano and the ocean. You could relax all day by the pool or walk down to the beach - Private boat tour with Blue StarProbably our favorite day of the entire honeymoon. Prices were pretty reasonable considering we had a boat and captain all to ourselves for 8 hours. We originally wanted to go to Capri but the wind conditions meant the Blue Grotto was closed, so the captain suggested cruising along the Amalfi coast would be more enjoyable. He took us all along the Amalfi Coast and into grottos, stopped wherever we wanted to go swimming and snorkeling, docked in Amalfi for lunch. Snacks and beer/prosecco included on the boat. - Dinner at Ristorante MaxOff of the main walkway to the beach near the shops. We ate outside in the garden, was really nice setting and food was great. - Dinner at Tre SorelleThis was our first meal in Positano, right off the beach so it has beautiful views. One of the best meals we had in Italy. Great view since it looks out onto the beach and also prime for people watching. Unreal lobster spaghetti. - Dinner at La TagliataThis is located above Positano in Montepertuso, high up so the views are incredible. No menu, they serve you a multicourse dinner of whatever they’re making that night, wine included. So much food! Honestly I think the food was better at the other restaurants we tried, but the view here was pretty special. They provide roundtrip transportation (apparently most restaurants that aren’t in the main part of town do), just have your hotel call them to arrange. - Visit to the Colosseum - Visit to Galleria dell'Accademia di FirenzeDon't skip seeing Michaelangelo's David while in Florence! - Ponte VecchioCross over the Ponte Vecchio to pass by the jewelry shops -- but also cross the river one bridge over so you can get great photos of this Florentine landmark! - Trevi FountainToss a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain so you're guaranteed to return Rome one day! -

Chic Girls' Weekend in Paris

Home For the WeekendWe were looking for something cheap, clean and close to the major tourist sites. This hotel had an excellent 24/7 concierge that helped us out a lot and it was walking distance to Notre Dame. - Garden GalsOn our first day, we decided to take a drive to Versailles. Some people think it’s out of the way, but it was only about ½ an hour in an Uber, and really cheap! PRO TIP- get your tickets Online in advance! We were a bit put-off by the ridiculously long line to get into the actual palace, so we started in the gardens. They were were absolutely breathtaking…SO many good photo opportunities! - MTV Cribs: French EditionAfter a stroll through the grounds, we decided to suck it up and wait for the palace tour. The line went surprisingly fast (only about 30 minutes) and was SO worth it! The Hall of Mirrors was a highlight of the tour. We decided to go for the audio guides, which were really interesting! - Let Them Eat CakeAfter a long day of wandering a palace, these two princesses needed some fuel! Versailles is home to one of the few locations of the iconic Angelina Cafe. The pastries were to die for, and I still dream about their sparkling Rosé. - Stairway to HeavenAfter Versailles, we were itching to finally get a good look at the city! Our original plan was to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but we were advised by our hotel to climb the Arc de Triomphe instead for a better view. After a quick wait on a line, we ventured up a verrrrrrry long staircase to catch the sunset. PRO TIP- students get a discount! - Shopped Til We DroppedOur next stop was the legendary Champs Elysées…and it did NOT disappoint. Surprisingly, there were shops for every price point. Of course, we had to do a little luxury browsing! - Macaroons...Where Else?We couldn’t visit Paris without eating our fair share of macaroons! Where else would we go but the legendary Laudurée? I’d been to the one in NYC, but this one takes the cake! The bar in the back offers a great scene and awesome cocktails! - Dinner for Two with a ViewAfter our crazy busy day, we wanted a chic French dinner. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that view! The food and service were amazing and not too expensive! When booking a reservation, be sure to request an outside table. - Day 2 at the LouvreDay 2 was a day at the Louvre Museum! After the typical tourist photo opp, we headed inside to see some truly amazing and beautiful art. You can’t miss the Mona Lisa! - Lunch at the MarlyWe fed our brains so it was time to feed our body. We headed to Le Café Marly and had the BEST crab and avocado tar tar. This spot was a little pricey, but great atmosphere and food! - Picture Perfect Crepes on the LawnWe finally made it to the Eiffel Tower! After grabbing a crepe from a cart, we kicked back and relaxed next to the iconic monument. - Looking for a Glimpse of the HunchbackWe started Day 3 with a trip to Notre Dame. The line was too long to go up to the top of the towers, so we looked around inside for a few minutes and took some pictures outside. -

Hola, Barcalona!

Las RamblasLas Ramblas is a definite "to do" while in Barcelona. - La BoqueriaAwesome food market to visit while checking out Las Ramblas. Great spot to try some of the local street food or have a glass of wine! I always love food markets when traveling! - Mercat de Santa CaterinaAmazing food market (less crowded and more "gourmet" then La Boqueria). Enjoy some jamón ibérico and local eats. - ApoloFun music venue/nightlife in Barcelona. -

Weekend in the Swiss Alps

Balmers HostelMy first hostel experience was hosted by Balmers Hostel, and it set the bar high. Very nice staff, clean rooms and semi private bathrooms. The best part of staying here was the nightclub in the basement. Interlaken is a small town, and the Balmers Club was the spot for traveling students. Plus, residents of the hostel were hooked up with free admission and drink deals. - Photo Op on Lake BrienzThe first thing we did was go for a nice walk along Lake Brienz, which led us to a breathtaking photo op. This was the most beautiful view I'd ever seen! - Exploring ZurichThe capital of Switzerland was a quick bus trip away, and SO worth every minute! I loved exploring the designer boutiques, the chocolate shops and seeing the oldest clocktower in Europe! - Chocolate WastedOne of the most famous chocolatiers, Teuscher doesn't disappoint when it comes to Swiss Chocolate. How cute are the mini chocolate animals? The champagne truffles are a must have! - Night SleddingThis was the BEST experience I had in Switzerland! After a (slightly terrifying) drive up to the mountain, we took a gondola to the top. Then we sled down! This was an experience unlike any other, I loved it! -

Girls Weekend in London!

The Barge HouseThis spot was amazing! They are known for their bread bowl brunch. The bowls are huge and are served on a cutting board to make it easy. Overall a great waterfront spot in the Hackney neighborhood of London. We had to wait about an hour (which I heard wasn't bad!) I recommend going early or be prepared to wait. - Shoreditch HouseWent for dinner and drinks at the Shoreditch House in London's "Brooklyn" neighborhood with a few girlfriends. Amazing restaurant with fresh pastas and locally sourced meats. Highly recommend going early to hang on a day bed pre-dinner for a yummy cocktail! PS - this is a members only social club but non-members can stay in hotel and use the facilities/restaurants. - Borough MarketAwesome food market in London that has a variety of cuisines and food choices. Fun afternoon activity for lunch. -