The Europe I Have Left To See...
Collected by Natalie Taylor, AFAR Local Expert
Matavun 12, 6215 Divača, Slovenia
A tour of the massive World Heritage site Skocjan Caves affords the singular experience of peering into a glowing subterranean river that flows beneath a blanket of snow. 386/(0) 5-708-2100. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.
4220 Škofja Loka, Slovenia
Skofja Loka is home to the oldest preserved bridge in Slovenia, 12,000 people and a wonderful medieval center. Mostly, though, it's got a name you'll turn over and over in your head. SHKOfia LOka. Tempted to re-name my daughter, but that's...
Långholmsmuren 20, 117 33 Stockholm, Sweden
Linked by a bridge to Södermalm, Långholmen used to house some of Sweden’s most notorious criminals. The island’s 19th-century prison was converted into the Långholmen Hotel in 1989. Visit the museum to learn about such former residents as...
Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden
In a city known for clean lines, Stockholm’s Södermalm district (“Söder” to locals) is surprisingly nonconformist. A slum in the 18th century, the neighborhood is now home to a mix of clothing and furniture shops; Thai, Greek, and Turkish...
Geirsgata 8, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
They call it The Sea Baron, but ironically it's as cozy as you could wish for. This tiny restaurant is one of the oldest on Reykjavík's harbor, and serves the world's best lobster soup. Stay and rub elbows with fellow seafood lovers at the...
The Horse Shoe, Iceland
My husband and I just returned from a trip to Iceland for my 40th birthday. We were lucky enough to be in Iceland during a somewhat-rare solar storm that made the Northern Lights much brighter and more active than usual, and since that's what I...
Griboyedov channel embankment, 2Б, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
Late summer is the time to explore the 42 islands that make up St. Petersburg. Daylight stretches past 11 p.m., and a burgeoning arts and nightlife scene keeps locals on their toes well into the bright nights. On July 31, the party hits the port...
Piz Gloria, 3825 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
From the Lauterbrunnen Valley south of Interlaken, you can take a series of cable cars up to the peak of the Schilthorn, across from the Jungfrau massif in the Bernese Alps. Silent, effortless, costly, and worth every Swiss Franc, you float up...
Michalská 3, 811 01 Staré Mesto, Slovakia
One of the first spots I ate at in old Bratislava was this gem of an eatery hidden underground. It was very charming and the food was delicious. I recommend either the liver dumpling soup or the Slovak national dish, Halusky.
064 01 Stará Ľubovňa, Slovakia
Or maybe they were saying "pop, pop, POP!" I don't know. Language barrier. It was my first time to Slovakia, deep in the mountains due south of Krakow. And my first Slovak wedding. In my day-to-day I don't normally skip around a dance floor, sans...
Walking around the historic downtown area of Bratislava, I was pleased to come upon this little piece of clever utilitarian art. Any city planner can decide where to place a manhole cover on the street. But it takes someone with a little foresight...
811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
This spot has been occupied for thousands of years as a central point to the region, even before the Bratislava or Slovakia even existed. This castle was first built in the 10th century, and saw it's own experiences of different rulers, different...
The Mall, FRN1478, Floriana, Malta
The bus system that ran around the island of Malta operated using vintage buses from all over the world. They were individually decorated and named (all orange and yellow so as to be recognized as the local bus service). You could take them...
Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Calle Alfolí, 11, 28280 Escorial (El), Madrid, Spain
Tapas in Madrid are usually eaten before lunch, at “vermut” or “aperitivo” time. This can be done before lunch or after work. Apart from eating the Madrid tapas and drinking sangria or beer, these bars are a good place to watch football games and...
90010 Ficarazzi PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza This central square is famous for carts that serve Sicilian antipasti in front of the Oratorio di San Lorenzo, which has amazing 18th-century sculptures, perhaps the most extravagant art Sicily produced at the time. Via dell’...
Rua Belém 84-92, 1300 085 Lisboa, Portugal
If you're visiting Lisbon, chances are you'll make your way to nearby Belem to see some age of Discoveries sites like the Tower of Belem or Monastery of Jerónimos. But here's something you must do while you're in the district. Eat pastry. This is...
2750 Cascais, Portugal
Everyone always boasts about having spanish sangria in Spain. But I have to say that the best sangria I've ever had the delight of touching upon my tongue was in Portugal. The sangria was made with red wine, brandy, and the deal breaker-...
Praça do Comércio 3, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal
Martinho da Arcada is a Lisbon legend. Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I passed through it just to experience the phenomenon and look inside. The cafe was founded in 1778 as Café do Gelo (the Ice Cafe) and mostly sold beverages and ice. After...
nº 13, R. Bartolomeu de Gusmão 11, 1100-000 Lisboa, Portugal
Nutty bread layered with olive oil, jam, salt and cured pig's neck were the perfect accompaniment to rich Portuguese wine and 80 year old port. When visiting wine bars let the staff select your wines ask for the stories behind them. You'll feel...
Lavrska St, 9, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01015
The Monastery which made Kyiv the 'Rome' of Orthodox Christianity receives pilgrims from all over Europe and attracted droves of visitors yearly. It is 28 hectares of land with churches, towers and museums.
Alexanderpl. 7, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Berlin's most central hotel, the Park Inn, has some of the best views in Berlin. Rooms facing the Alexanderplatz central square provide premium viewing space for Berlin's most iconic architecture. The TV Tower (Fernsehturm) and Berlin Cathedral...
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