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52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris, France
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A boon to taco-starved expats when it opened five years ago, this taqueria-meets-cocktail lounge has been consistently good since day one. Tuck into tacos, tostadas and deliciously chunky guacamole in the narrow taqueria, then head past the...
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34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Situated a block from the Canal St.-Martin in the 10th arrondissement, Du Pain et des Idées is your favorite corner bakery—only better. The owner, Christophe Vasseur, was named best boulanger in Paris in 2008, and for good reason....
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41 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris, France
For many Americans, the lobster roll is symbolic of carefree summer but it's also the latest food trend to sweep the well-fed streets of Paris. When Mathieu Mercier, a former filmmaker from Switzerland, discovered the lobster roll during a trip to...
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113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
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Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nothing is a more powerful symbol of the City of Light than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris Exposition, it's one of the world's most-visited monuments, with nearly 7 million people ascending the 1,062-foot...
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Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
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53 Quai des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France
Entertain yourself for an hour or two while wandering the book stalls along the Seine in the magnificent city of Paris. I saw the long green boxes that line the walls along the Seine from the Louvre to Notre Dame Cathedral. The boxes were filled...
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75009 Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is worth a visit if only to stand under its magnificent glass dome. The family business has survived as a one-stop-shopping hub for five generations, thanks to steady innovation and an emphasis on high fashion and...
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1 Passage du Grand Cerf, 75002 Paris, France
It had been years since I last stumbled upon the Passage du Grand Cerf in the 2nd, a long and narrow gallery of creative shops. Though I wasn't the only shopper, part of me felt like I had happened upon an untouched jewel. If I share this spot...
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117 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France
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If you are a fan of design and furniture, this store is a MUST stop for you. The Conran Shop(originally a British company) in Paris is located in the former warehouse building of the Bon Marché, and has 3 levels of furniture, home decorations,...
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Sainte-Avoye, Paris, France
Just down the street from the charming Carreau du Temple, an open-air market square in the Haut Marais that recently reopened after heavy renovations, sits OFR: a bookshop-cum-gallery that houses an extensive collection of multilingual art and...
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132-140 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen, France
Marché aux Puces de St.-Ouen, aka Clignancourt, is Europe’s largest flea market and the city’s favorite place to find a bargain. Exiting the metro at Porte de Clignancourt, those in the know pass by the counterfeit...
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39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris, France
Most visitors venture to the Marais for two things: falafel and shopping. I go for the gelato. Unlike the majority of Italian ice cream shops who brandish their mountainous flavors in the windows to entice passersby, Pozzetto (Italian owned and...
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Katelijnestraat 5, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
When in Belgium, make sure to try not only the famous chocolates, but also the hot chocolate! During a tour of Bruges, we became so enchanted with the medieval city that we decided to sneak away from our tour group and explore on our own—and I'm...
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Markt 30, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
The medieval heart of the city.........
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Walplein, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Sivan Askayo visited Flanders as a guest of Visit Flanders. Did you know there are 700 kinds of beer brewed in Belgium? Neither did I, but I was happy to find out about it when I visited the family brewery, De Halve Maan, and took a guided tour....
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Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
I'll admit it, I'm a beer geek. But the words about to dance off this page won't be littered with grain, hop, malt and brewing techno-babble. My goal is boost your beer brain on the biology of Belgian beer from one of the oldest purveyors on the...
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Mariastraat 20, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Chocolate is everywhere in Belgium and especially in Bruges but it can get really expensive. If you do not want to spend a fortune but still want to try delicious treats, these chocolate covered marshmallows from Depla Chocolaterie are the perfect...
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Vismarkt 2, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
If you can ignore the fact that these creatures look a bit like they came out of the "Little Shop of Horrors" movie, then you will have the most amazing delicacy to ever pass your lips. I choose the garlic cream steaming sauce, but the lemon wine...
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Markt, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Come for the chocolate, stay for the frites; and the beer for that matter. The Belgian chefs introduced the fried potato two centuries before the French got around to them. The Flemish have their Brussels sprouts and Belgian waffles, but when I'm...
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Prinsengracht 381, 1016 HL Amsterdam, Netherlands
If artful cuisine served in sleek yet homey ambiance appeals, it would be sinful to miss Envy, a chic pearl on Prinsengracht, honored for the sixth consecutive year by Michelin. You're not likely to commit gluttony at this Italian deli-inspired...
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Nieuwe Leliestraat 4, 1015 SP Amsterdam, Netherlands
When I think of Amsterdam, I immediately think of the national liquor of the Netherlands, Genever. Genever or Jenever (for Juniper) is a grain product invented in the 1600's in the Netherlands, and it is from this product that gin evolved. You can...
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Prinsengracht 191, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Whether you call them 'pancakes', 'crepes', or 'pizzas', the delicious creations at the Pancake Bakery are sure to satisfy any hungry traveler. Directly down the street from the Anne Frank House, this restaurant is a small and consistently...
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Westerstraat 30, 1015 DB Amsterdam, Netherlands
While walking the streets of Amsterdam I stumbled on this great local cafe that has "Boca's" (aka small tapas like sandwiches). There were lots of options from sweet to savory to choose + a great beer and wine selection. It is a perfect place for...
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Prinsengracht 201, 1015 DT Amsterdam, Netherlands
If retro fashion is your bag, you'll find style options from the roaring ’20s to the hip ’60s at this chic shop on the Prinsengracht. New, vintage-inspired dresses, blouses, skirts, jackets, sweaters, boots, bags, lingerie and swimwear that...
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Warmoesstraat 129, 1012 JA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cocktail bar-restaurants typically excel at one or the other, rarely both tipple and nibble. Four month old Tales & Spirits, located in the beating heart of Amsterdam, manages to succeed on both fronts. The cocktails are both creative in name...
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Brouwersgracht 60, 1013 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
De Belhamel restaurant is located near the Central train station in a very quiet residential neighborhood. It would be hard to find a prettier location for a leisurely lunch or romantic dinner - the restaurant sits at the junction of the...
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Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
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Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's one of Amsterdam's prettiest districts, where swans glide on tree-shrouded canals and gabled mansions recall Holland's Golden Age: de Wallen, better known as the Red Light District (RLD). Since 2000, prostitutes have plied their trade here as...
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Polonceaukade 23, 1014 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its chill vibe, funky decor, warehouse-like interior and spacious terrace, Pacific Parc is a rock 'n' roll bistro with an edge. Situated in a former treatment plant at Westergasfabriek, the café-nightclub on Amsterdam's west side...
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Leidsestraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with Leidesplein (Leidse Square), a colorful if sometimes frenetic entertainment hub near Vondelpark, at Amsterdam's southern end. Accessible via trams 1, 2, 5, 7 and 10, the square is the stage for...
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Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at the Van Gogh Museum. Sunflowers, The...
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Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
From vintage shops and hipster boutiques in the Negen Straats (Nine Streets) to posh designer outlets on P.C. Hoofstraat, Amsterdam's shopping scene is nothing if not eclectic. There's something for everyone on Kalverstraat, a shopping street that...
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1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beloved by locals and popular with tourists, the Vondelpark is a 120-acre oasis of green in buzzing Amsterdam, southeast of the Leidseplein. Opened in 1865 as the Nieuwe Park, it was later renamed after 17th-century Dutch playwright Joost van den...
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Marnixstraat 164-166, 1016 TG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Don't dress up to visit this grunge bar tucked on Marnixgracht in Amsterdam's Oude West. Don't be put off by the abundant graffiti covering its gritty exterior, either. Inside, Café Soundgarden is a welcoming, unpretentious pub with a spectacular...
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Herengracht 427, 1017 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Exploring Amsterdam aboard a canal boat is an iconic way to see the sights, with myriad tours and cruises plying the 65 miles of waterways that lattice the city. From many spots you can join simple, hour-long cruises with narrators describing...
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Voorstraat 46, 3512 AP Utrecht, Netherlands
If you're looking for the best coffee in town as well as the best music then you should visit the Village. It's also the place where most of the hipsters hang around. Enjoy!
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Damrak 18, 1012 LH Amsterdam, Netherlands
In Amsterdam you see most everything. The Sex Shop is a tourist attraction that this day caught the eye of a elderly woman who read the sign, grabbed her husbands arm and lead him right in. Somehow I was able to capture the moment.
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My last day in Amsterdam had my friend and I hurriedly navigating the path from the museum district to the train station. As we power-walked through one of the entertainment districts (Leidseplein), we came across a scene that stopped us in our...
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Wolvenstraat 9, 1016 EM Amsterdam, Netherlands
"9 Streets" (De 9 Straatjes) is a charming, picturesque shopping area in the heart of Amsterdam's canal district. Located between Leidsestraat and Raadhuisstraat, this area is named after the nine side streets connecting the main 17th-century...
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Albert Cuypstraat 53, 1072 CM Amsterdam, Netherlands
On our way to the Concertgebouw, we couldn't resist entering this tempting bakery. Inside? The moistest lemon cake I've ever tasted, along with unique muffins, cakes, and other sweet delights. Savory breads and sandwiches are available as well,...
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Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Unexpected surprises abound in Amsterdam. On the city's east side, you'll find one denoted by a tall windmill: Brouwerij 't IJ (the IJ Brewery), a small brewery and pub situated in the former Funen bathhouse, next to the De Gooyer windmill. Opened...
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Jodenbreestraat 1, 1011 NG Amsterdam, Netherlands
You can find cozy Café de Sluyswacht on a bustling street in the heart of Amsterdam, steps away from the Rembrandt House. Originally constructed in 1692 as a home for the sluyswacht, the man who controlled the neighboring lock, the charming...
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Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is a city with so much to offer that it can be overwhelming when planning your visit. With the museums, restaurants, canals, and nightlife to explore it can be even harder to plan your trip on a budget. If you are going for at least a...
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IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Step inside the Eye Film Institute to discover an homage to international cinema replete with interactive displays and perched like an ivory spaceship ready for launch on the northern bank of the IJ River. The striking facility, accessible via a...
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Overtoom 160-162, 1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands
We had been to Gollem for a drink and a snack (note: the meat platter is hearty) the evening before, but when we found ourselves on Overtoom after visiting Vondelpark, with Gollem just opening for lunch, we went for it again. After all, it was our...
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Rozengracht 2, 1016 NB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The atmosphere is heavy, the decibel level very low, and the wooden decor both comforting, and inviting. People in this café are either locals reading the newspapers while sipping a cappuccino, or, like me, tourists who just visited the Anne Frank...
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Stroopwafels are ridiculously delicious and addictive. This Dutch treat consists of two thin, firm waffles sandwiching a layer of lush caramel. Apparently, the average Dutch person eats 20 stroopwafels each year. Somehow, I must have easily eaten...
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Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s State Museum reopened in 2013 after a decade of renovations, and it is oh so worth a visit! Weave your way through the museum's vast assemblage of historic art (there are over 8,000 pieces!) to check out works from Dutch masters...
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Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at Stedelijk Museum. The modern art...
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Frederiksplein 29, 1017 XL Amsterdam, Netherlands
An artisanal coffee shop (French press, filter or syphon) with excellent little sandwiches and cakes. A spacious nook in the back with armchairs and couches makes it suitable for work but I recommend snatching the spot in the front by the window...
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Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, 1017 Amsterdam, Netherlands
My favorite street in Amsterdam is the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. It’s the heart of the Amsterdam art district. It’s virtually door-to-door art and antique dealers. The street ends at the entrance to the magnificent Rijksmuseum.
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Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Once a place where convicts were hung, then a working class district for shipyard laborers, Amsterdam-Noord has evolved into a multicultural community with a creative vibe and numerous restaurants, nightclubs and cultural attractions. Officially...
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Hazenstraat, 1016 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's a single street after Amsterdam's Negen Straats (Nine Streets), but Hazenstraat, the Tiende Straatje (Tenth Street), rates a ten in serious shoppers' books. Lined with boutiques, cafés and galleries, this cobbled strip in the Bohemian-chic...
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Burg 13, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
These people claim to have a vial of Christ's blood that was given to them during or after the crusades.
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Markt, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Architectural feast!!! Look out for horse-drawn carriages!
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Het Zand 21, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Brugge has one of the busiest railway stations in Belgium.......
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Bruges, Belgium
One of my favorite things to shop for in Belgium are the tapestries. Hand or machine made, they are incredibly beautiful and when displayed in the house they give such a royal feel to the place. I have so many things but every time I go to a new...
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Simon Stevinplein 19, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Sivan Askayo visited Flanders as a guest of Visit Flanders. If there is a specific moment or event that I can pinpoint and say it was the highlight of my trip, I can easily say that sniffing cocoa powder at The Chocolate Line in Bruges was...
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Vossenplein, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
Jeu de Balles is a quintessential flea market set in the heart of the Marolles District of Brussels that runs daily through the morning. My favorite time to go is on Sunday when the square is filled with the most vendors who sell anything from...
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Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
My sister is a modern dancer in Brussels. We were strolling the streets of Brussels searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate during one of my visits when we were hit by a sudden downpour of rain. We sought refuge in the nearby Bozar Museum,...
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Rue Haute 154, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Recyclart is an collective space that partially inhabits subway station at Gare Bruxeles-Chapelle. It's a fun place to check out underground art and the group also runs a fun bar and organizes concerts.
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Brussels is considered to be the comic book capital of the world. Belgians love not only their own comic books and comic heros such as Lucky Luke, the Smurfs and the world famous TinTin, but also appreciate those from other parts of the world....