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Europe Recommendations and Raves


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: January 6th, 2009

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2009
When I was 18 I was fortunate enough to spend a month in Germany. It was absolutely the most beautiful place I've ever been to. Here are the reasons.

The food was amazing. These little family owned restaurants have been around for a long time so they have perfected their recipes. Not only was the food delicious but for the price you paid you recieved a heaping plate full. The waitresses were very polite and made you feel very welcome. They also loved it when I tried to order in German even though it wasn't fluent.

The architecture of the house and village is really cool in smaller towns. It looks just as you would think it would in medieval times. Some cities were completely surrounded by castle wall and others were nestled in between the alps.
Most towns had a square where most of the markets were stationed. They were full of the smells from bakeries and grills. There is an excellent opportunity to people watch here as well. You see everything from groups of elderly laughing and entertaining eachother to the youth sporting leather jackets and huge green mohawks.

Speaking of the people. I don't know what it is like now but back then everyone I met was very nice and willing to help an American find their way around. I didn't realize how beautiful the women were in Germany until I showed up there.

The scenery was breathtaking as well. One of the best parts of my trip was getting lost in the Bavarian Alps. We kept driving up this highway until it eventually turned into a one way road and then ended as a driveway at someones cottage. We were quite high in elevation so the views were astonishing.

I don't know how things are now but even if the people have gotten a little less accepting of Americans I would still recommend Germany to anyone. The country has a lot of history that you can still witness today.
"We don't stop playing when we grow old, we grow old when we stop playing." Unknown


Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: December 10th, 2006

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  • Added on: January 22nd, 2009
Nice hostels I visited:
VIENNA - [url]Wombats hostel[/url]- the base - clean, safe and fun hostel, one of the best hostels chains.

PRAGUE - [url]Prague Square Hostel[/url]or [url]Old Prague Hostel[/url]- the best located hostels in Prague, very clean and social. Cheap, with good facilities,

KRAKOW - [url]Flamingo Hostel[/url]- top location, very clean, great staff.

BUDAPEST - Unity hostel or Marco Polo hostel.
Both are small hostels, but very well run and cheap.

Train and bus time tables or most europe: Idos,

Prague info and Europe hostels...

Lia 80

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Posts: 20
Joined: January 12th, 2009

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  • Added on: May 29th, 2009
as long as fod concerning.... I am specialist!!! :aagr:
in Venice, for example, a nightmare for any tourist in terms of overpriced services there are some good places where locals go!
As you probably know, the cheapest and most traditional Venetian eateries are the bacari, the city’s wine-only equivalent of the British pub and the trattorie where workers go. Then come the full-scale restaurants. In more rustic eateries menus are often recited out loud and prices are given on request only or are written on the printed menu. Here some places crowded with locals were tradition is also synonym of good quality and reasonable prices:

Osteria-Trattoria Anice stellato (Cannaregio 3272, Fondamenta della Sensa, water line stop: sant’Alvise): if you’re around in the good season, make sure you get one of the four tables outside. Good fresh seafood for this family-run trattoria, but not only!

Osteria-Trattoria Da Rioba (Cannaregio 2553, Fondamenta della Misericordia; water line stop San Marcuola): delicious traditional seafood dishes, risotti, homemade cakes and local wines. Some outside tables along the canal.

Al Bacareto (San Marco 3447, calle delle Botteghe, water line stop: San Samuele) a nice family-run trattoria close to Palazzo Grassi with some tables outside during the good season. A good choice for tasty snacks in the morning or a good risotto for lunch.

If you wish to know some other culinary secrets about Venice... please Ask me!!! I know recipies, dishes ....and most of all...local dialect!!! I can give you classes! :lol:


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: August 11th, 2009

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  • Added on: August 11th, 2009
One thing I've learned from going to Europe is that we need to at least TRY to understand the culture and the lives and language of the people we are visiting. I have been going to recently and found a place to learn about all these things.


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: September 1st, 2009

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  • Added on: September 3rd, 2009
I think that to go everywhere, the trip becomes more enjoyable if you at least read the basic facts of the place you are visiting. It doesn't mean like an exhaustive investigation but grab the wiki or an encyclopedia and there you go! :D


Lost in Place
Posts: 65
Joined: November 16th, 2008
Location: China

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  • Added on: September 19th, 2009
edit: ooops, I don't know what I was thinking, sorry.


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Armchair Traveler
Posts: 32
Joined: October 8th, 2009

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2009
The best places I stayed at in Europe were Cat's Hostel in Madrid, Flying Pig in Amsterdam, and NOT Durty Nelly's in Amsterdam.

Paddy Byrne

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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: November 7th, 2009

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  • Added on: November 9th, 2009
The Brits Do Bonfire
“Socializing in the ex-pat community”

Remember, Remember the 5th of November! The British lads in Slovenia certainly didn’t forget. In the cold night rain the host of the evening William from England, entertained guests with a traditional Bonfire night celebration. Guests enjoyed a warm fire, a glass of Slovene mulled wine, a baked potato and some acoustic guitar jamming; a perfect way to spend an evening discussing all manner of issues with people from across Europe and beyond.

The celebration of Bonfire night originates from the foiling of a gunpowder plot to destroy parliament on November the 5th 1605 by catholic conspirers. Traditionally fireworks are let off during the celebrations and a fire is lit with a “Guy” (a representation of Guy Fawkes; the leader of the plot) on top.

The Brits Celebration perhaps demonstrates the warm welcome many ex-packs can receive from their follow travelers and settlers in Slovenia. Although your reasons for living in Slovenia may primarily be to submerge yourself in the Slovene culture, often talking with people from in the same situation can be reassuring. But how do you meet fellow comrades?

Tips for making friends in the ex-pat community.
1) If you hear someone speaking your own language say hello and begin a conversation. Don’t be afraid to try to make friends; a social network is one of the many aspects of creating a true life in Slovenia. The people you met can also share there experiences and lessons with you.

2) Attend classes. Are you learning Slovene yet? If not you really aught to look into this Slovene lessons are also a fun place to met people in the same boat.

3) Take up some activities you like doing. It’s the Slovenian way to be active, so join in. Take up a sport or join a club. Take opportunities when they arise, learn to say yes to life.

Eventually I’m sure you’ll meet a whole host of strange and wonderful people. Maybe even me :D
Patrick Byrne
For information on Slovenia, visit


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Lost in Place
Posts: 55
Joined: November 16th, 2009

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  • Added on: November 20th, 2009
Why not Malta? A small island in the middle of the Mediterranean. People are friendly and Everybody talks in English.

Visit Rome

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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 24
Joined: October 18th, 2009
Location: Rome, Italy

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  • Added on: November 23rd, 2009
Based at Porto Santo Stefano, near Orbetello in Tuscany (Italy, obviously) you can board a ferry and go to Giglio island for wonderful beaches or visit the Etruscan civilization in the internal countryside, where the Greek people escaping from Troy establish their first settlements in the 10th century before Christ. Some of them stayed in Etruria (the actual Tuscany) and some other decided to explore the land to the south and create some centuries later a little town close to the Tiber river: Rome :D
Choose between a Rome private tour or a big bus


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 1
Joined: December 10th, 2009

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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 18
Joined: December 28th, 2009

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  • Added on: January 7th, 2010
I'm head over heels in love with Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden particularly) but if you're not looking to go to some of the most expensive countries in the world, Slovenia (reasonably priced) and Bosnia and Hercogovina (amazingly priced) are some of my favorite places in the world.


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 220
Joined: October 1st, 2006
Location: currently traveling

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2010
After 7 months of backpacking through Western & Eastern Europe on a budget of roughly $40 each per day, my boyfriend and I were inspired to put together an on-line resource which focuses on how to get into the right mindset when traveling with limited funds. It offers up specific recommendations and raves in the Travel Itineraries section as well. It's still a work-in-progress, but hopefully provides some helpful insight, especially for first-timers to Europe.
Europe travels
South America to SE Asia travels

Maestra LE

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Lost in Place
Posts: 82
Joined: June 25th, 2010
Location: Durham, North Carolina, USA

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  • Added on: July 2nd, 2010
If you visit Scotland and are unable to rent a car, I highly recommend taking a group tour. There are several great companies based in Edinburgh who do multi-day tours of the highlands and islands. It's an excellent way to see Scotland's fantastic scenery and to meet fellow travelers. Wild in Scotland is my personal fave - I've done two tours with them and am planning on a third later this year!


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Armchair Traveler
Posts: 41
Joined: March 2nd, 2011

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  • Added on: March 24th, 2011
I was also going to mention, being a group travel leader is a great way to get to Europe and travel for free (if you don't mind smiling and being in charge of a dozen other adults as they wander Europe). I have been a group travel leader before for a theater group (and got to travel free and didn't think it was too much of a hassle, though I'm not sure I'd do it again).

Here are a couple group travel companies that you can apply to be a group travel leader to popular destinations in Europe (must live in the states)... could be worth looking into for the right person.
Netherlands in April, Pacific Northwest in June, then on up to work at the family business, a Victoria BC hotel for tourist season... then a hop over to Montreal for the fall (hopefully)! A traveler's life for me!


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