Category Archives: Travel

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Spring Breakers, This Is The Post You Need To Read

By Samantha Jacobs

It’s almost spring break, and you’re in Europe. The basics back in the States are blowing up your group messages with talks about Cancun and booze cruises to the Bahamas. Just when FOMO starts to set in, you realize that you have a whole new continent and 10 days to explore it. Now what?

You flip open your laptop and start assessing your options. It doesn’t take long to realize that the amount of possibilities before you are infinite, but your budget—yeah, not so much. What do you do, where do you start, how can you travel to every city on your list? Before you let that anxiety turn into a panic attack, slow down, breathe, and know that the whole Bus2alps team has been in your shoes before, and we’ve got you covered.

But it’s spring break, I want to do my own thing.

When you travel with Bus2alps, you get guides, not camp counselors. We’re here for you as much and as little as your heart desires. Our main priority (behind making sure that every single person on the bus arrives back just as healthy and thriving as when they left) is that you have an incredible time during one of the most monumental experiences you’ll ever have in life. So keep an open mind and explore these dope spring break trips we’ve put together for you. Or keep googling—this article will still be here when you give up.  

The Western Loop: Barcelona, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin

* Our Reverse Western Loop on 2/23 starts in Berlin and ends in Barcelona for Abroadfest!

Okay… Five different cities in five different countries in 10 days… that’s unheard of. If you’re into exploring cities and experiencing as much of Europe as possible, this is your trip.

Barcelona… You think you know what Barcelona is like and then it turns out to be much, much more than you anticipated. The architecture of Gaudi is the most stunning thing you’ll ever see in your life. The beautiful views from  Park Guell, walks along the sandy beaches and Las Ramblas will leave you feeling giddy. The food here is amazing, and the brunch will probably get more likes than you on social media. And of course—the nightlife. We’ve got you covered with Bus2alps through exclusive club admission and deals that will help you save some euros for other adventures abroad.

Overlook in Barcelona

Next, we head to Paris… I mean, it’s Paris. The Eiffel Tower lighting up every hour on the hour each night is enough to make you tear up. It’s a city where you think, “wow, I’m here. I made it.” It’s a huge city with so many things to do and see (and amazing macaroons).

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Brussels is only an afternoon pit stop, but that’s all the time you need to fill up on fries, waffles and amazing chocolate (all things Belgium are all the best kinds of things). You’ll stop by Delirium- the Guinness Book of World Records winner for the bar with the most beers on tap in the world. You’ll also have time to check out the Grand-Place, complete with its famous bell tower and gold ornamented buildings.

Next stop: Amsterdam…obsessed. You’ll get swept away first by the bustling nightlife and liberal culture, but then you walk a few blocks and suddenly you’re on a quiet canal street. There are also so many different activities to pursue while in Amsterdam. You can check out the Red Light District, stop for a canal tour, explore the history inside the Anne Frank house, dig through cool thrift shops, and find bike rentals around every corner (I’m convinced that there are more bikes than people in this city.) Oh, and the stop everyone anticipates: The Heineken Experience. Everyone falls in love with Amsterdam.

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Then, we head to Berlin—the mecca for WWII and Cold War history in Europe. Although it’s somewhat newer of a city due to destruction during WWII, its culture is still unique and constantly evolving. Standing at the Berlin wall and the holocaust memorial is humbling. Berlin is home to many museums too. Overall, Berlin is a very international city, and you’ll be able to witness this through all the many different cuisines from traditional German to Asian Wok to Mexican and beyond.

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Overall, this is a trip for people with a bucket list who love exploring cities, fashion, food, history, nightlife, and everything in between.

 

Beach bunny? Here Are The Best Spring Breaks For You

By Samantha Jacobs

It’s almost spring break, and you’re in Europe. You have a whole new continent and 10 days to explore it. Now what?

You flip open your laptop and start assessing your options. It doesn’t take long to realize that the amount of possibilities before you are infinite, but your budget—yeah, not so much. Before you let that anxiety turn into a panic attack, slow down, breathe, and know that the whole Bus2alps team has been in your shoes before, and we’ve got you covered.

But it’s spring break, I want to do my own thing.

When you travel with Bus2alps, you get guides, not camp counselors. We’re here for you as much and as little as your heart desires. Our main priority (behind making sure that every single person on the bus arrives back just as healthy and thriving as when they left) is that you have an incredible time during one of the most monumental experiences you’ll ever have in life.

So keep an open mind and explore these dope spring break trips we’ve put together for you. Or keep googling—this article will still be here when you give up.

The Southern Loop – Barcelona, Seville, Lagos, Lisbon, and Madrid

Two countries on the Iberian Peninsula in one trip… That’s unheard of. Portugal and Spain are both homes to amazing architecture, intricate tiles, vibrant color, and laid-back, sunny vibes. The food alone is enough to get anyone’s attention—amazing tapas, paella, and seafood that will change your life. The first stop is Barcelona…beaches, incredible nightlife, brunch for days. You may be ready to move here by the end of your visit. 

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Then, we hit Seville. Seville is just a stop on the way to Lagos but you’ll get to feast on a mouthwatering dinner during a Flamenco dance show.

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Next, we hit Lagos: the end of the world (literally the edge of Europe). The beaches of Lagos are so pristine that you’ll never even glance at any pictures from your friend’s spring break back home. Everything about Lagos screams spring break: kayaking, surf camp, windsurfing, wake boarding. The museums and historical sites in Lagos will pull you away from the sun because you’ll want to be able to take in the culture of this city. Oh, and once again, you’ve hit a stop with amazing nightlife. IMG_1812Then, you’ll hit Lisbon: the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the San Francisco of Europe and one of the most underrated spots that you’ll ever encounter.
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Beaches in the States will never look the same after your feet have touched the sands of Carcavelos Beach. If you’re looking for views on spring break, you’ll want to climb the towers of Lisbon as well.

Last stop: Madrid. Once again, the architecture in this city will take your breath away—the Royal Palace, Teatro Real, and the Moorish ruins are all places you’ll be able to check off your list while here. Once again, you’ve hit a nightlife city that everyone wants to experience while you’re in Europe. The famous nightclub, El Kapital, lives up to its name and will make you want to stay in Madrid for the rest of the semester rather than heading back to another week of classes.

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Each city we visit possesses a culture and identity that is incredibly unique. This trip is for those of you that want a little bit of everything—you want to experience the beachy vibes associated with spring break but also explore famous cities with monumental landmarks. You get both and much, much more with this trip.

Greece Island Hopping – Athens, Santorini, and Corfu

Quite literally a dream trip. The ferry ride to Greece is basically you and your friend’s version of a spring break cruise, but instead of heading to the Bahamas, you’re on the way to Greece (casual, right?) It’s a blast. This trip has been said to change people’s outlook on life and travel. In Athens, you’ll have the chance to experience the Acropolis… You’ve been reading about this stuff in textbooks since we were kids and now you’re there—at the birthplace of democracy and old theaters, and wow, it’s surreal. The nightlife in Athens is famous, and you and your crew will love every second of it. 

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Next stop, Santorini… white houses with incredible sunset views, ATVs, STUNNING beaches, and photo opportunities for days.

IMG_1812You’ll spend the end of your break on the island of Corfu kayaking, riding ATVs, lounging on the beaches, and going to the infamous toga party at the Pink Palace. The food is insanely good and such a perfect break from the food you never thought you’d get tired of in the city you’re currently calling home. 

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We’ve done all the work for you, now there’s only one thing left to do: choose the right one for you (I only wish “all of the above” could be an option for you). Good luck and may whatever path you choose to take lead to an unforgettable adventure.  

Craving Italy? These Spring Break Trips Are For You

By Samantha Elise Jacobs

If you’re not studying abroad in Italy, then you’d be insane to skip this country while studying abroad in Europe. During your spring break, you can soak up the highlights of this magnificent country without breaking the bank. Navigating around Italy by yourself can be challenging, but there are a couple of spring break trips that will let you explore without trying to figure out the Italian train schedule. 

Italian Getaway: Florence, Rome, and The Amalfi Coast

The first stop on the Italian getaway is Florence. No picture could ever capture the intricate details of the Duomo.

TylerDurant@tydurant9Florence, ItalyI walk past this building daily and I still notice something new every single time. If you’re going to splurge on anything new (guys, this can be you too—time for a new wallet?), then you’re going to want to hit the leather market while you’re here. It basically packs all of the things you’ve been passing by in stores lusting over and puts it all in one place—get ready to barter.

You’ll also want to hit the Piazza Michelangelo and view the beauty that Florence is famous for. If you’re in Florence, you also can’t pass up the opportunity to have a family style dinner in a true Tuscan atmosphere (wine on wine on wine). There are an endless possibility of activities and trust me, no one will know the city better than your guides (c’mon this is our home). Next, you’ll hit Rome. You can’t go to Italy without going to Rome.

THERE IS SO MUCH TO SEE IN ROME—the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain. We’ll make sure you get to take in all the sights and also have time to experience the culture and have your fill of some of the best food and wine in the world.

File_003Last, the Amalfi Coast. This is hands down my favorite place in Italy. I actually can’t find the words to accurately capture it.  You will never see something more beautiful than the views you’ll see as you’re cruising around Capri (would Giorgio Armani choose anything less to film a commercial?)

You’ll get the entire view of the Isle of Capri and find out how the Blue Grotto got its name. You know the kinds of pictures that look fake? Yeah, every single one you take here will seem like that.

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This is the place that made Limoncello famous so you’re going to want to get as much of it as you can while you’re here. Plus, my mouth waters thinking about the seafood you’ll eat here.

Experiencing a night out in Sorrento is incredible. I’m not big into bragging, but when it comes to the Amalfi Coast, no one does it better than Bus2alps—it’s our award-winning trip. We’ve partnered with the best of the best in the Amalfi Coast to give you the best quality trip that you would not be able to find anywhere else, let alone on your own.

This trip hits the best aspects of Italy—the Tuscan vibes in Florence, the historical landmarks of Rome, and the beachy, gorgeous views of The Amalfi Coast. If you’re someone that likes a little bit of everything, this trip is for you.

Best of Italy – Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, and Milan

If you’re wanting to cross even more cities off your list, Best of Italy is for you.

After exploring Rome and Florence (see Italian Getaway if you need to refresh your memory), our next stop takes you to the dreamlike city of canals: Venice. This city will make you fall in love with Italy. The second you walk into Saint Mark’s Square, you’ll be taken away by the atmosphere—every time I do there’s a musician stringing together a chilling melody and it feels like it’s my first time there all over again. You’ll get to experience a gondola ride through the city (and yes, your driver will really sing a melody to you like in the movies). You’ll also take a ferry out to Mirano and Birano (two islands off of Venice).

Venice is known for their glass bowls and Mirano is the reason why. You’ll get to watch the process of its creation with a glass bowling show and be in awe that something so beautiful can be created from what seems like virtually nothing in minutes before your eyes. In Birano, you’ll be struck by the quiet streets contrasting against a loud, vibrant array of buildings. The island actually governs the choice of house color among its residents and they definitely know what they’re doing because the buildings here are beautiful.

Bus2alps Venice Rialto

Our next stop is Verona. Made famous by Romeo and Juliet, Verona lives up to its culture. We’ll quickly make our way to Milan because we know you’ll want as much time as possible here. If you’ve kept some self-control throughout your travels (or really, even if you haven’t) you’ll let yourself take advantage of Milan’s Fashion District. You’re also going to want to visit the Santa Maria della Grazie, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, ‘The Last Supper’ and take in the pure art before you. Milan is also home to the Teatro della Scala, arguably the most famous opera house in the entire world.

Best of Italy is for those who really want to get the culture and history that makes Italy such a popular destination for people around the world of all ages.