Vacations from France
Collected by Gretchen Wesche
I'm living for 7 months in Perpignan, France next year--a perfect base for many exciting travels, I'm sure!
Mostar 88000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thanks to reading recommendations here on Afar.com, I picked up a copy of Sarajevo Marlboro at a bookstore, just as we crossed the famous, historic bridge in Mostar, Bosnia. At the bookstore, a short film played over and over, documenting the...
The distance between Ouarzazate and Marrakech is only 200km (125 miles) but the drive on the N9 through the High Atlas Mountains can take as long as four hours. The winding road, full of switch backs and featuring such scenery as to make one's jaw...
Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
My sister and I ducked into Brussels' Bozar museum to seek refuge from the rain and noticed that the lobby was littered with scattered pieces of hanging blue film. We were intrigued as to the meaning of the unlikely art installation and were...
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...
47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
The Paris café scene has always been compelling, but the actual café (coffee) is often forgettable. That's all changing, thanks to places like Coutume, Kookaboora and Telescope, where obsessive (and often mustachioed) baristas are redefining the...
Faux de Verzy, 51380 Verzy, France
Thrill-seeking visitors can soar high in the forest canopy on zip lines and ropes courses in this adventure park near Reims. For a different kind of heart-racing experience, cross the suspended footbridge to access the Perching Bar, a modern...
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...
23 Rue Jean Larrive, 69003 Lyon, France
Best frites (aka French fries) EVER. They were hand-cut by the 87-year old owner, Madame Giraud. I wrote about her in my AFAR article about Lyon's bouchons. These frites were pure heaven paired with Madame's steak with brown butter. (Yes, I did...
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Even though Paris is one of the most visited cities in Europe, it is still possible to feel like you have the place to yourself...that is if you don't mind setting an alarm. Want beautiful tourist free photos of Paris sites like Sacre Coeur - then...
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...
I couldn’t get it out of my mind…like the time I heard that the Russian Cat Circus was performing in my city…I HAD to go and see those crazy Russian housecats perform tricks! Once I had heard that goats in Morocco climbed high up in trees, I was...
Dervişali Mahallesi, Kariye Cami Sk. No:8, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
To see a dazzling collection of glittery mosaics, go to Santa Kariye, the 5th-century Byzantine church. Also referred to as St. Savior in Chora and as the Church of the Holy Savior, the church is richly decorated with 14th-century mosaics in...
Ul. Ćirila Ivekovića 4, 23000, Zadar, Croatia, Croatia
Croatia’s cool seaside city of Zadar is known for its showstopping sunsets. Architect Nikola Bašić has created two spectacles that harness the local natural beauty. The Sea Organ is a musical instrument fashioned from pipes and holes...
Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Adorned with more than 20,000 blue handcrafted İznik tiles, stained-glass windows, and the golden brushstrokes of a 17th-century calligrapher, the Blue Mosque is the legacy of Sultan Ahmet I (1590–1617). The young sultan audaciously wished...
Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...
Dubrovnik is one of the best preserved medieval, walled cities in the world. Inside the city are delightful narrow streets, churches, synagogues, and squares. However, the best way to appreciate Dubrovnik is atop its walls. The citizens relied on...
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Located at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, a stone’s throw from the Seine and draped in the shadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France’s national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is...
72 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
The great macaron debate may forever wage on but from the first time I tucked into a small box of Pierre Hermé's dimunitive cookies, perfectly crisp on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside, I knew I'd remain loyal to his...
Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France
Flanked by three Rodin statues, the glass and stone Musee de l'Orangerie is home to paintings by the greatest modernists - Picasso, Monet, Cezanne... There are only two floors in this white-walled museum. The second floor consists of two oval...
39 Rue Descartes, 75005 Paris, France
Walking through Paris is joy but, on the last trip I did my best to walk the steps of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and others of the "Lost Generation". La Maison de Verlaine is now an upscale eatery in the Latin Quarter but just above is Paul Verlaine's...
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