Our student bloggers travel across continents and through time zones to seek out and share invaluable travel experiences with our readers. Follow our fearless wayfarers and check out the best of Let’s Go’s blogger army below.
If you’re anything like me, your packing process usually goes something like this: 20 minutes spent running around, throwing a bunch of unnecessary items in your bag, and, of course, leaving a bunch of necessary items to be bought later.
This no frills, Portuguese version of an American diner, has three locations all within walking distance of each other in the city center, building the second and third location to keep up with demand. Offering a beer menu longer than the platter options, one need not even ask for a menu when ordering.
A tidbit from my host mom, which I roughly translated from her rapidly flowing Spanish opinions: “If the restaurant does not serve complimentary tapas with your drinks, you might as well eat at McDonalds.”
I spend a lot of time in museums. They’re exciting and inspiring and always make the top of my to-do list when I visit someplace new. And while you might first think of finding paintings and sculptures inside a museum, that’s of course not always strictly the case. In fact, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that many of my favorites are those that are less traditional. Below are four I believe should make it onto your to-visit list!
For the past two weeks, Madrid has seen nothing more than a constant state of torrential rain. In the ensuing dreary days, I’ve been compelled to avoid the city’s famous terraces and gardens and instead explore what Madrid has to offer between four walls and a roof. Here’s what I have deduced.
Last May, I backpacked around Spain with my best friend, Sofia. It was an amazing trip filled with art, history, and adventure. What I miss most, however, is Spain’s food. Here’s a list of the six foods I crave most frequently.
Northern Spain, famous for the cliffs and coastlines frequently featured on Game of Thrones, is a linguistically diverse and culturally distinct region frequently fragmented by ideology and local character. Yet the region unites around one staple: bacalao, or cod.
I shut my eyes and willed myself to fall asleep. The wind outside howled and shook the tent fiercely. For a second, I imagined a pack of wolves circling our campsite, even though I don’t think wolves live in Tanzania. And if they did, they certainly couldn’t make it this far up the mountain.
Being forced under the water by a middle-aged Greek man in pursuit of a sacred crucifix was not how I had originally envisioned myself starting off the new year. In retrospect, I should have known what I was getting into when I spontaneously hailed a taxi destined for Istanbul’s historic Fener district to witness the Blessing of the Waters. The event is one of the city’s oldest traditions and is a reminder that a large Greek community once inhabited Istanbul.
One of the biggest perks about staying in hostels is that you meet people from all around the world. In Bordeaux, I met a whole cast of characters. The interesting about this hostel—Hostel 20—was that it hired backpackers from across the globe and offered them lodging in exchange for a few hours of work a week consisting of checking guests in and out, cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, making sure guests didn’t get rowdy at night (which doesn’t work too well, to be honest) and taking turns making the nightly hostel supper.
Many guidebooks like to advertise all the off-the-beaten-path-secret-locals-only places that they’ve quote unquote discovered. And sure, there might be a super cool part of Versailles that only gets 100k tourists instead of a million, or some “hole in the wall” restaurant just off the main square that has a menu in two languages instead of 10. Yes, those places exist. But if you’re looking for something even less known, more ancient, and sufficiently challenging, try the Via degli Abati: literally an unbeaten path.
You see them everywhere. When you walk out of your hostel. Passing by the outdoor seating area of a McDonald’s. Paired with an espresso. At the end of a long hike up Castle Hill. Overlooking the Côte d’Azur on the picturesque Promenade des Anglais.
Let’s just say that things were off to a rocky start. Don’t get me wrong—I read the guidelines for weight limits before leaving my house for the airport, but somehow, I managed to skip the part where the combined weight of my personal item and carry-on luggage had to be a maximum of 10 kilograms.
I went to Seville, Spain this semester with the hopes of learning Spanish—a familial duty I felt obligated to fulfill before I left for college, considering I was the only remaining Martín that did not know how to speak the language that our ancestors had once spoken with pride in the regions of Galicia and Castilla y León. What I stumbled upon was a new language entirely: flamenco.