A European Grand Tour
Collected by Kristin Zibell, AFAR Local Expert
Carrer de les Caputxes, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Our hotel was a few feet away from Bubó chocolate and pastry shop and we must've stopped there about 5 or 6 different times while staying in Barcelona. The desserts are outstanding and the chocolate covered salted macadamia nuts make a perfectly...
Carrer del Bruc, 162, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
On any visit to Barcelona, a trip through the city's charming Gothic Quarter shouldn't be missed. You'll find everything there from historic buildings and fun shops to entertaining street performers and delicious restaurants like this one. I love...
Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
Firuzağa Mahallesi, Bostanbaşı Cd. No:19, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The Çukurcuma neighborhood, just a short walk down the hill from Istanbul’s busy İstiklal Avenue, is an antique, vintage, and retro lover’s delight. Step onto Faik Paşa Street or Turnacıbaşı Street and you step back in time....
Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
This decadent palace, which overlooks the Bosphorus from the European side, holds great importance to Turkey. The late-19th-century sultans resided here and ruled the Ottoman Empire from here, and while the Turkish Republic's capital is in Ankara,...
Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Kemankeş Cd., 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
by Sylvia Kouvali The best restaurant in the area is run by the sweetest owners, Oral Kurt and Aylin Okutan, and is rooted in the tradition of simple food and refined service. The Ottoman and Turkish menu includes dishes likehünkar beğendi, a meat...
Sinanpaşa Mahallesi, Köyiçi Meydanı Sk., 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
One of my favorite foods in Turkey (and there are many) is a serving of fresh kaymak clotted cream, drizzled with honey, and spread on bread. You can buy it in the supermarket or find it in some breakfast spots, but everyone's favorite is Pando in...
Kuloğlu Mh. Koca Ağa Sk, Kuloğlu Mh., No:10, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
For a unique and eye opening experience have your coffee fortune read during your stay in Turkey. Not only will you learn about your future, but you'll also be on a caffeine high from the strong Turkish coffee that is served. Wander into the back...
Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Sofyalı Sk. No:18, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The Galata Tower is one of Istanbul's most striking landmarks. The nine-story stone tower offers a panoramic vista of Old Istanbul and its environs. Save Galata for the end of the day, timing it so that you reach the top just in time for sunset...
No. /B, Kocatepe Mahallesi, Taksim Fırını Sk. No:25, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
In the heart of the city’s business district of Taksim, the Marti Istanbul Hotel is a thoroughly modern example of Istanbul’s contemporary face. Designed by Zeynep Fadillioğlu, the interiors balance both classic and contemporary...
Budapest, Szentháromság tér, 1014 Hungary
Fisherman's Bastion was built in the late 1800s on Buda's Castle Hill not to provide protection, but rather as a lookout point—and this fairy-tale castle site, with its seven spired towers representing the seven tribe of Magyar (Hungarians)...
Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary
If you happen to be meandering through Budapest, and have the urge to do a little sightseeing, St. Stephen's Basilica is definitely a sight to see. The structure is named in honor of Stephen, the first king of Hungary. Apparently, his right hand...
Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 5, 1051 Hungary
It's hard to say what's more appealing about the ultraluxurious Four Seasons Gresham Palace, an imposing art nouveau hotel on the banks of the Danube. It could be the fantastic location, right on the Pest side of the city's iconic Chain Bridge, or...
Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
The Great Market Hall in Budapest should be any visitors first stop in order to get acquainted to the people, goods and grub of Hungary. The market is one of those strange places that caters to both locals and tourists alike without losing its...
Budapest, Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, 1055 Hungary
The splendor of this neo-Gothic parliament building—the third-largest parliament building in the world—is obvious from the outside, but consider these facts: This place has 691 interior rooms, 10 courtyards, 88 statues of Hungarian...
Budapest, Szabadság tér 9, 1054 Hungary
Barcelona has Gaudí, and Budapest has Ödön Lechner. One of Hungary’s most influential architects, Lechner (1845–1914) created the country’s distinctive National Style. His work blended art nouveau with folk motifs and Asian elements, such as...
Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary
An edgy crowd gathers at Szimpla Kert, a wacky ruin pub in the old Jewish Quarter. On entering, you’ll be overwhelmed by the maze of rooms, where you might find recycled computer monitors, towering piles of books, hookah pipes, or live...
Budapest, Andrássy út 22, 1061 Hungary
Budapest, Hungary is brimming with art, culture and a touch of decadence. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Hungarian State Opera House on the luxurious Andrássy Way. If you don't have the time or money to take in a concert in this...
Bäckerstraße 9, 1010 Wien, Austria
As soon as we touch down at the airport in Vienna my husbands asks when he'll have his "small Gulasch and small beer". This is his way of being part of a city that has been titled the most liveable city worldwide three years in a row. His choice...
Kärntner Ring 16, 1015 Wien, Austria
Originally built as a residence for Prince Philip of Württemberg in 1863, this grand structure was opened as the Hotel Imperial in 1873. It indeed still resembles a palace, with Greek statues, chandeliers, and high, intricately designed...
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria
The Habsburgs were, generally speaking, lovers of art and many of the works of the Kunsthistorisches Museum come from their collections. While the grandiose interior alone may be reason enough to visit, the collections here are outstanding. The...
Stephansplatz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
In the heart of Vienna sits St. Stephen's Cathedral. Built in the late 12th century, it's a grand piece of beauty borrowing both from the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. Unlike St. Vitus in Prague, St. Stephen's shimmers with light...
Perched on the banks of the Salzach River, Salzburg’s grande dame drips with old-world charm and Austrian tradition. The interiors brim with antiques, crystal chandeliers, fine art, and a traditional style that feels transportive,...
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