Category Archives: Recommendations

Top Three Places To Eat In Barcelona

By Abby & Walter Instagram: @picnicsnplaces

Barcelona

1) Bar Martinez If you’re looking for authentic Spanish food, Bar Martinez is your spot. The bright terrace restaurant is located at the foot of Montjuic with breathtaking views over the city, port, and sea. They are known for their paella and rice dishes, which are fabulous, but be sure to go with a big group to get the most bang for your buck. We had the Mature Aged Steak sprinkled with malden salt, served with three dipping sauces — horseradish, garlic aioli, and au jus. It was perfectly cooked and worth the steep price tag. If you want to avoid a big bill, go for happy hour and sip on the rose cava (8 euro per glass) while you enjoy the stunning views of the city.

Barcelona, where to eat, restaurants, spain

2) Caporal Two words: cava sangria. Caporal swaps red wine typically used in sangria for the Spanish version of champagne, also known as cava. This is the bubbly cousin of the traditional Spanish drink that you need in your life. Located right off Las Ramblas, the super friendly staff and cozy atmosphere makes this restaurant the perfect afternoon pick-me-up spot. If you’re hungry, get the delicious paella, the serving is quite large and inexpensive. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, order a couple of tapas. Also, if you’re not a fan of sangria, try the refreshing mojitos! Everything we tried was phenomenal, you can’t go wrong here!

Paella-Barcelona-Spain-Cava-Sangria-Tapas-Mojito

3) Ocaña We stumbled upon this beautiful, bright restaurant while strolling around the Gothic Quarter, the artistic atmosphere is what drew us in. Turns out, Ocaña pays tribute to Jose Perez Ocana, the brilliant painter, activist, and defender of Spanish freedom from the 1970s. The colorful seats and large wooden tables on the terrace look out on one of Barcelona’s most beautiful squares, Plaça Reial. Their cocktails are wonderful, but the real magic is on the dessert menu. We tried their crema catalana, the famous dessert from Catalonia, consisting of a custard base and a caramelized, crisp sugar topping. We also tried the chocolate cake with dulce de leche, served with berries and sorbet. After you eat, you can grab a beer from the guys in the street (never pay more than $1.50 for street beer in Barcelona) and sit on the fountain in the center of the square. You can sit there for hours watching live music and dancing throughout the square. A wonderful find in a fun square in Barcelona.

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About Walter & Kelly: Growing up, both of our families emphasized the importance of eating meals together around the table. We believe it is essential not only to eat good food, but to enjoy each meal. Too many meals are shoved in your mouth while driving down the freeway, or microwaved in a plastic tray and eaten in a cubicle. Eat outside, eat somewhere with a view, find restaurants with wonderful ambiance. We are part of the revolution of food, join us!

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5 Things to Do in Ibiza You Won’t Find on Your Average Travel Website

To most people, places like Ibiza are mainly known for their beaches and nightlife, so what usually ends up happening is that we revolve our itineraries around water adventures and beach activities. Ibiza is also a popular spot for the rich and famous, influencing many a holidaymaker to travel to the same places as their favourite celebrities, according to Holiday Hypermarket. But there is much more to this hotspot than the sand, sea and celebrities.

While there’s nothing wrong with spending your entire trip on the beach, Ibiza does have various attractions if you head inland. That’s not to say you can’t still enjoy the stunning beaches that Ibiza has to offer though.

From celebrity vacation pictures to reality TV stars documenting their beach party escapades, we can’t help but be intrigued by these picturesque holiday destinations. Even the games we play tend to put our focus on these idyllic beaches, with apps like Surf or Die taking you around the world to the places where the best waves are found, or to Hawaii through Aloha! Cluster Pays from gaming company Slingo, we seem to be obsessed with the overriding need to remind ourselves of beach holidays through different medias.

So save the relaxation and sunbathing for the first and last days of your trip, and try to fill in your week with as many land activities as possible. Here are a few ideas to help you compose your itinerary:

1. The Punta Arabí Hippy Market in Es Caná

Because of Ibiza’s artistic roots, there is an abundance of hippy markets all around the island, but the ones that you definitely want to check out are the bigger markets, which include the Punta Arabí that is and open every Wednesday in Es Caná. Here, you’ll find the work of artisans that include leather goods, antiques, trinkets, jewellery, island wear and even modern clothing lines.

Ibiza Hippie Market

2. The Back Streets of Ibiza Town

Getting lost on your travels isn’t always such a bad thing, especially if you’re aimlessly wandering along the streets of Ibiza Town. As Emily Oakden shares with the Huffington Post, the back streets of Santa Eulalia and San Antonio offer an alternative insight into Ibiza life, as you discover shops and other local finds that you normally wouldn’t see on the oceanfront and more commercial areas of the island.

Ibiza_town,_Dalt_Vila_-_panoramio3. Horseback Riding in Central and Northern Ibiza

Saddle up and see another side of Ibiza. Believe it or not, this beach destination does have some countryside you can visit. Escape the hustle and bustle of Ibiza Town and San Antonio for a magical horseback ride through peaceful hills and beautiful scenery.

horse

4. Escape Rooms Ibiza in Bajo

Escape rooms are all the rage right now, and if you’re up for indoor activities that will mentally challenge you, head over to Bajo and put yourself to the test in Escape Rooms Ibiza. There are plenty of rooms for you to check out, such as Wonderland, but if you really want to feel the thrills, The Zombie Apocalypse game may be a more suitable choice.

escape room

5. History at Dalt Vila

Also known as the old part of Ibiza city, Dalt Vila is a great place to soak in all the culture and heritage of the island. It’s recommended that you spend your late afternoon here to witness spectacular views of the cathedral, Ibiza Castle, city walls and Roman ruins. And when the evening comes around, you can walk around the old city streets, which look beautiful when they’re lit up at night.

commons eglesia sant pere

Ultimate Interlaken Playlist

By Caroline Schagrin

Nestled in the nook of Switzerland, Interlaken is home to beautiful snowcapped mountains juxtaposed with azure colored lakes and majestic forests. Interlaken, in all of its beauty, attracts adrenaline junkies and fondue enthusiasts alike. Whether you find yourself jumping out of a plane, shredding the Swiss Alps, or simply enjoying Swiss chocolates and relaxing, this playlist is a must! 

Take it all in, and add these 17 indie-electronic and alternative pop songs to your travel playlist.

  1. Around The World – Kings of Leon  https://open.spotify.com/track/06ClI3XK2FPR5uP8tPcFS1
     
  2. Are you with me – Lost Frequencies https://open.spotify.com/track/5kHiHWLcbsvTDtmHxBiaID
  3. Beautiful Life – Lost Frequencies ft. Sandro Cavazza  https://soundcloud.com/lo-freq-1/beautiful-life-feat-sandro-cavazza
  4. Plans – Elephante         https://soundcloud.com/iamtheelephante/elephante-plans-feat-brandyn-burnette
  5. Trndsttr (Lucian Remix) ft. M. Maggie   https://soundcloud.com/lori-rose-553841791/sets/trndstter
  6. Wasted Youth – Sody           https://soundcloud.com/sodymusic/sody-martin-luke-brown-wasted-youth
  7. Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl – Wet https://open.spotify.com/track/3JBB92odunFru2gOvI91x9
  8. Hymnals (RAC Remix) – Grizfolk        https://open.spotify.com/track/2r12KCHNv0p7JQJsGt3vYK
  9. How Hard I try – Filous  https://open.spotify.com/track/7uzudGwu8EG5deuFD7EEJm
  10. Where I Wanna Be – A R I Z O N A  https://open.spotify.com/track/47cIBPzhCAd1QxsBIFlzcJ
  11. Next Year (RAC Remix) – two door cinema club        https://open.spotify.com/track/5SL5AexE9va7cP6s0B9E4m
  12. Aloha – Mome  https://open.spotify.com/track/2UMZjhZWNxZezcZiZvyvsZ
  13. Can I – tez cadey remix https://open.spotify.com/track/7eOyT8wG96QHeyAzH4k9FB
  14. Give me sunshine – spada edit cut Santa Mardona https://open.spotify.com/track/42LOVjsuFyDYdfDXggTxy7
  15. Fast Car – Jonas Blue remix https://open.spotify.com/track/2mCF8L0brIs88eH6Kf2h9p
  16. King of Summer – Ayokay ft. Quinn XCII  https://open.spotify.com/track/4Tid4MwqgR1CfKCun3tFon
  17. Higher Love – Charming Horses, Grace Grundy  https://open.spotify.com/track/3Md4WAeVbgzTpqBPJqmAFM

Wine & Dine Your Parents with a Taste of Tuscany

By: Molly Dunn

It’s safe to say you feel like a new person after a few months of studying abroad. You’ve experienced multiple new cultures, eaten foods you’ve never even heard of and managed to direct a taxi driver in a language that isn’t your own. You’ve been away from home for a long time which means you’re starting to miss your parents. Chances are high that not only were your parents missing you too, they were also happy to have an excuse to come to Italy for a visit.

A lot of parents make plans to visit their children abroad around the Thanksgiving time, so I’m writing this as a way to help you prepare. You’re their little globetrotting travel expert now, so you’re obligated to show them a good time! Like any good child, you pull out all the stops.

If you’re in Florence, you’re planning to show off the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, Piazzale Michelangelo.. Maybe even a family picnic at the Boboli Gardens. But we all know the most important part of this trip for both your parents and you… is food and wine. You’ve got it all planned, pizza at Gusta Pizza, paninis at Pinos or All’antico Vinaio, some gelato at Gelateria dei Neri and you’re definitely taking them for the pear ravioli at La Giostra.

If you’re in Rome, you’re taking them to the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain.. Maybe even watching the sunset from the Spanish Steps. The food tour will start with pizza from Dar Poeta in Trastevere, Pane e Salame for a panini near the Trevi and then a stop by the Frigidarium for the best gelato in Rome.

So.much. food… You know what you need to wash it down? Wine.

You know the best place for wine? The Tuscan countryside.
Lucky for you, Bus2alps has you covered. Take your parents on an unforgettable “wine crawl” through Tuscany’s Chianti region on the Taste of Tuscany day trip. Visit two different wineries and enjoy a three course traditional Tuscan lunch all while bonding with your parents in a way only ample amounts of delicious food, wine and relaxation can offer up. Share some incredible views with vineyards in your backdrop, have some of world’s top rated gelato, and they’ll be happy to finish off Christmas shopping with some added generosity. Then you just convince them to ship back a couple bottles (or cases) of wine and truffle oils back to the U.S. to be waiting there when they get back.

Your time abroad has made you grow in ways that you never could have imagined, and your parents will definitely take notice. As the wine flows, your parentals will find inspiration to tell you stories you’ve never heard and stories they never thought of telling you. Like that time your Dad got food poisoning in Ireland or when your Mom backpacked through Eastern Europe for a few weeks with a man named Hans. No matter the story, you will find that your relationship with your parents is on a whole new level.

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The Best Christmas Markets in Europe

Well, you’re in Europe, you can’t just sit on your couch! So instead, experience a traditional Christmas market in one of Europe’s coolest cities. The air is crisp, lights are sparkling and there are sugary treats that look like cinnamon rolls on steroids. I assure you a European Christmas market beats that ugly sweater party at home.

  1. Vienna Christmas Markets: November 11 – December 26
    This is the mecca of all Christmas markets. Where it all started. If Santa had a vacation home from the North Pole, it would most definitely be Vienna. These markets date back to the Middle Ages and are some of the best in the world. The smell of fresh schnitzels, roasted chestnuts and that mesmerizing candied walnut smell fill the air. You can grab a glass of hot mulled wine or dabble in chocolate covered strawberries. You will feel like you’re in a fairy tale. There are Christmas trees draped in Christmas lights, horse drawn carriages, and over 200 small wooden market stalls lining the streets selling handcrafted christmas goodies. Now tell me that doesn’t beat sitting on Santa’s lap outside an Macy’s in an American mall.

    bus2alps schonnbrunn
    Being Opulent at Vienna’s Schonnbrunn Palace
  2. Prague: November 26 – January 11
    So you’re probably wondering where you can snack on sausages, enjoy a Czech beer and pet a donkey all at the same time? Right there with you. The Prague markets make you feel like you are stepping into a fairy tale. They ship a giant Christmas tree from the Krykonose Mountains in the Northern Czech region, and it radiates in the middle of Old Town Square. You can find glassware, unique jewelry, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramic, scented candles, ornaments, scarves, puppets…the list goes on!More of an eater than a shopper? I don’t blame you. Traditional Czech foods are made at the market vendors and there are samples galore! It ain’t a market without some free samples. Try a piece of ham roasted on spits, barbecued sausages and flaky pastries prepared right in front of you. Wash it all down with a famous Pilsner, Urquell, Staroprament or Budvar beer. To cap it all off, there’s an animal stable where you can play with some goats, sheep and donkeys.

    Night at the Prague Castle
    Night at the Prague Castle
  3. Budapest: November 13-January 6th 
    The smell of spiced mulled wine and chimney cakes baking will get you into the holiday spirit like nothing else can. Stock up on trinkets for everyone back home. Taste the local cuisine, check out nativity scenes and folk dances and even join in with the caroling. 532821_3491756006620_976708449_n