3 08, 2016
  • DSC03021

Vucciria: Your Mother’s Nightmare, Your Jersey Shore Cousin’s Dream

What do you get when you cross hundreds of macho tank top guys, disgusting street food, broken glass, and giant speakers? Vucciria. Palermo may be all beautiful cathedrals and crystal clear waters by day, but by night it’s a whole new world out there. Crowds flock to Vucciria, a neighborhood encompassing two squares joined by a narrow street and lined with bars. On Saturday nights it’s a madhouse. Allow me to immerse you [...]

23 06, 2016
  • crowd of soccer fans

Public Urination in Europe: An Update

We’re not in Brussels anymore. We’re in Paris—and do you know what that means? A lot of really, really drunk German and Irish people, apparently. Forget your crêpes, baguettes, vins fins and all that. It’s UEFA season, baby. France is hosting the huge European soccer tournament this year, so I am not the only, or even most obvious (the hordes of men with the German flag painted on their face [...]

7 06, 2016
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Don’t Publicly Urinate in Brussels

Alright, sure. This may seem obvious. But hear me out: Brussels practically memorializes the practice of peeing wherever the night takes you. A centuries-old statue of a small boy taking a leak is one of the city’s most iconic—and underwhelming—tourist attractions. Le Mannekin Pis, as he’s known, appears on keychains, Snapchat filters, and kitschy doo-dads all over the city. As of 1987, he even has a female counterpart in Jeanneke Pis, a [...]

21 04, 2016
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Seoul Coffee Culture: Themed Cafés

I love coffee. Along with the majority of college students, it gets us going for a long day of lectures and keeps us up on those nights before the final paper or exam is due. To me, a morning without coffee is like a book without words, empty and meaningless. Upon hearing that my destination, Seoul, South Korea, was not only home to the most Starbucks stores in the world, but also [...]

16 02, 2016
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Celebrating Cologne Karneval like a local

Karneval – also known as Mardi Gras in the U.S. is celebrated around the world in different fashions through the different cultures it is celebrated by. In Europe, the biggest Karneval celebration happens in Cologne, Germany – located in the north-east just one-hour from the Netherlands and France. The city gets taken over by the people celebrating throughout the streets. I was fortunate enough to celebrate the festivities with some Kölners (locals of [...]

8 02, 2016
  • Tel Aviv-Jaffa Port

The Do’s and Don’ts of Bartering

In the Middle East, bartering in the markets is the norm. You don't technically have to do it, but avoiding it won’t help that tourist label you've been trying to downplay. Though a world without price tags sounds liberating, for many, the art of price negotiation can seem intimidating (or, for me, unapproachably daunting.) Nevertheless, I arrived at the flea market in Jaffa, the ancient port city just south of Tel Aviv, [...]

4 02, 2016
  • Thai Islands

Thai Islands: “The Beach” in 2016

Amazingly, the first time I heard of and watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Beach” was last month on Koh Lanta, a low-key island off the west coast of Thailand. Filmed on the neighboring island of Koh Phi Phi, “The Beach” is a favorite among Thailand’s backpackers. Needless to say, today’s Thailand isn’t the uncivilized wilderness depicted in the film. The tribes in huts have been replaced by clusters of hostels, bars, resorts, and souvenir [...]

2 12, 2015
  • Morocco Train

Answering Possible Questions about Morocco’s Trains

If you’re looking for information about other types of transportation, see my other post. http://www.letsgo.com/2015/09/15/public-transportation-rabat/ How do I find schedules/can I buy tickets online? You can do both of these things at the ONCF website, oncf.ma. It’s in French, but self-explanatory for an English speaker. First or second class? Traveling through the tourist offseason, second class is fine, as it doesn’t matter whether or not there’s air conditioning, and it’s generally 2/3 of the first [...]

28 11, 2015
  • Northern Ireland Good Vibrations

Ten Musical Activities To Keep You Busy in Belfast

Belfast Music Bus Tour. It only happens every two weeks, but this extensive bus tour, organized by Oh Yeah Music Centre, provides a great introduction to Belfast's storied musical history: Van Morrison, U2, and the Undertones all make appearances. Good Vibrations. Punk is central to Belfast's musical history, and this record label/record shop released some of the most important Belfast bands. Ulster Hall. There are bigger concert venues in Ulster, but only [...]

5 11, 2015
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Howth: Dublin’s Hidden Gem

For Dublin visitors who want to experience some Irish cliffs and freshly caught fish without having to sit on an hours long, slightly smelly bus to the Cliffs of Moher, the seaside village of Howth is the best of both worlds. Its scenery and rustic charm offer some peace and quiet from the bustling city, and from center city Connolly Station, it’s just a 25 minute ride on the DART.  Howth (rhymes with [...]

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