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My European Highlights

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Calle Cuchilleros, 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Eat dinner like a conquistador at Restaurante Sobrino de Botin. The combination of its central location off Plaza Mayor and its claim to be the "Oldest Restaurant in the World" makes it charming and fun for family and friends. Make sure to put in...
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Paseo de la Castellana, 40, 28046 Madrid, Spain
On this road, next to a permanent sculpture exhibition under an over pass (ugly modern art in my opinion), you can find a few really nice bars and restaurants. The Spanish nachos were delightfully spicy and the beer was even better!
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Passeig de Gràcia, 132, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
For some reason locals who recommend Casa Fuster will immediately mention the fact that Woody Allen stayed there... Apparently he has good taste! We stopped in because they had pulled up a screen to watch the football match- a regular occurrence...
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Calle de las Infantas, 15, 28004 Madrid, Spain
My local friend took me to El Tigre at the tail end of a night bar hopping in Madrid. Apparently when you order a beer they also give you a huge serving of tapas! We got there late and they were extra generous. It wasnt incredibly tasty but it was...
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Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Don't miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It's the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Palos de la Frontera, Madrid, Spain
This station is unlike any I've ever seen—there is a market among the trees, a pond of turtles, benches to unwind and a cute restaurant on the other side overlooking the scene. It's the perfect place for a family to explore for free. If you find...
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Neckar, Germany
Tübingen is a town straight out of a Grimm's fairy tale. I loved it here because set against a backdrop of rich history student life makes this a busting modern town. I really enjoyed strolling along the Neckar river watching boats punt along and...
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Even now I'm craving their guilt-free collection of tapas-style breakfast miniatures. You can expect to find little croissants stuffed with jamon, light pastries topped with berries, and fresh squeezed orange juice. It's simple, inexpensive, and...
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Toledo, Spain
The historic hilltop area of Toledo was as touristy as you can get but full of beautiful details. Every trace of local life I found seemed to revolve around tourism but hey, I was a tourist so I can't exactly complain. In any case the day trip out...
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Perdika, Greece
I have a habit of pressing flowers practically everywhere I go. As I pull books from the shelves in my room and turn their pages, I undoubtedly will find blossoms here and there. The wonderful thing is, I instantly remember the plant they came...
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Tauentzienstraße 21-24, 10789 Berlin, Germany
Kauhaus de Westens (Department Store of the West) is Europe’s second-largest department store, boasting a food hall rivaling Harrod’s. The 6th and 7th floors are entirely devoted to gourmet, and advertisements tout the place as having two football...
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37 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris, France
$$$$
The historic Androuet fromagerie has been sourcing and maturing exceptional cheeses since 1909. Their shop on rue Mouffetard is staffed by friendly English-speakers who will be happy to explain and vacuum-seal your selections, including the...
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Paris, France
Serendipitous light on a September afternoon--a rainbow arcing over the Eiffel Tower and ending at the gold dome of L'Église des Invalides in central Paris. (Under that dome, emperor worship continues--Napoléon I lies buried in a crypt in the...
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Potsdamer Platz 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany
With only my nose peeking from my scarf, the smell of toasted almonds, melting sugar, and mulled wine warmed all my senses. Christmas in Berlin made me feel 5 years old all over again and I had the revelation, “This is what Christmas carols are...
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Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
We finally found it! Officine Del Gelato Milano; a modern, absolutely delicious gelato parlor. They had us coming back (three times in one day) until we had tried every flavor—including every kind of gelato popsicle. It was a guilt-free treat and...