Experiences: The Travel Guide To Europe In 30 Days

 
Photo: Josiah Watson

Photo: Josiah Watson

 

Experiences: The Travel Guide To Europe In 30 Days

— Written by Yasmine Adams

 

Having just returned from Europe after a month tripping around France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Dubai I thought to put together a few of my favourite spots from our visits. Below are some of the best eats, best shopping, best experiences and best sights.

Our Experiences series is a deeper look at a place, environment, event or similar where we aim to provide context and insight. Think we missed a place? Let us know in the comments below for us to add in.

 
 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Photo: London Fashion Week
 

Old Souk Markets

A street lined with handfuls of little shops selling everything from scarves to dried fruits and nuts, incense, salt lamps, gold, jewellery, herbs and spices by the kilo. These markets are stunningly serene. The smells and the atmosphere is a nice change from the bustling tourist magnet that is the Burj Khalifa and all that surrounds its glory. These markets are situated in Old Dubai with tall, wide terracotta coloured buildings that border the streets. Rugs and hand made sheets are strung above from store to store and it's a real sense of craftsmanship and it is a great way to discover the authentic Dubai.

Old Souk/Textile Souk Bur Dubai:
Bur Dubai, Near Bur Dubai Abra Station,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Photo:
Cityguide Dubai

 
 
 

Dubai Museum

A great little spot in Old Souk, it is known as Dubai’s oldest building. The fort was once a monarch base, a prison and weapons arsenal back in 1787 before being transformed into a public museum in 1971. It reveals Dubai’s rich history and heritage with genuine artefacts and pieces from the days of Old Dubai before they struck gold in oil. Entry was only 3AED($1.20 NZD)  and I spent well over an hour there discovering and immersing myself in such a rich culture and how Dubai began its ever perpetuating economic growth.

Dubai Museum:
Opposite Grand Mosque - Al Fahidi St,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Photo: Yasmine Adams

 
 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Lot 61

This place was recommended to us by a local and we were told it was the best coffee around, and we were not disappointed. The queue out the door was our first clue that we’d come to the right place. It reminded me of one of our smaller New Zealand cafe’s from somewhere out West Auckland.

With an in house roasting machine, the place smells amazing. The beans are roasted daily in store and fresh green beans are used from the current harvest season.

There’s a small area down a steep flight of stairs with seats and tables next to the roaster. It’s a great little coffee shop for catch ups and beautiful rich, smooth coffee.

Lot 61:
Kinkerstraat 112,
1053 ED Amsterdam, Netherlands

Photos: Yasmine Adams & Conscious Travel Guide

 
 
 

Kevin Bacon Bar

A super cool little spot attached to a small lodging named ‘Hotel Not Hotel.’ A quirky but cosy little bar with couches, rustic wooden tables and a small more formal dining area. Infamous for their delicious Thai food and creative cocktails. Open from the wee hours in the morning serving breakfast in which you have two options: ‘Kevin no Bacon’ or ‘Kevin yes Bacon’ both come with juice, coffee, breads, butters, yoghurt, muesli and eggs with the ‘Kevin no Bacon’ being the vegetarian option. All for only €9,50. Relaxed vibe with super friendly staff in a very serene area. Great spot for a late night cocktail catch up.

Kevin Bacon Bar:
Witte de Withstraat 38,
1057 XZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Photos: Yasmine Adams

 
 

Paris, France

 

Holiday Boileau

Situated in the quiet suburb of the 11th underneath a series of unassuming apartment blocks, this store can be a hard one to find. Nevertheless, definitely one of Paris’s best hidden gems. Gauthier Borsarello is behind these contemporary yet classic designs. The collection itself is super wearable, with colours ranging from bright yellows and greens to soft beige tones and greys. The womenswear is elegant and refined with draping silhouettes, daisy printed bikinis and bucket hats. The menswear has hints of a nautical theme, but also very structured yet relaxed street with an element of luxury. We had the privilege of spending quite some time in the store and managed to pick up a few pieces. The store also has a magazine under its belt.

READ: Experiences: The Guide To Streetwear & Designer Shopping In Tokyo

Aptly titled ‘Holiday Magazine.’ Released bi-annually, based on the old Holiday magazines that use to run in the United States between 1946 and 1977. The most recent magazine based on that of New Zealand, so of course we had to purchase it. Filled with old photos from our beautiful home country in the 60’s and 70’s. If you are visiting Paris this store is my number one must see from this list.

Holiday Boileau:
11 Rue Parent de Rosan,
75016 Paris, France

Photos: Yasmine Adams

 
 
 

Holiday Café

In addition to the Holiday Boileau store, they also have in conjoint; a quaint cafe just around the corner. A simple, elegant coffee shop also offering quality foods such as salads and a selection of cheeses. It’s a great place to visit after shopping at the Holiday store. Sit outside on the pavement and enjoy the quiet streets and admire the trees and flowers that surround. Great coffee, simple, eclectic and peaceful. What more could you ask for?

Holiday Cafe:
192 Avenue de Versailles,
75016 Paris, France

Photos: Yasmine Adams

 
 

Instagram

 
 

Café Citron

The newest cafe addition to the Galeries Lafayette conglomerate in Paris. The ever inspiring designer Jacquemus in partnership with Caviar Kaspia (a cult-loved Parisian eatery) have put together a ravishing little cafe/restaurant with terracotta, bare wood and lemons as the prominent decor throughout. It’s infamous dish is a small lemon shaped dessert treat with a slightly candied exterior making it super satisfying to crack into with a spoon. The Niçoise salad and the Salmon Bruschetta were sensational too. It was surprisingly refreshing to see that that all the hype unquestionably lived up to its name, so worth the money and the perfect aesthetic for your Instagram feed.

Café Citron:
60 Av. des Champs-Élysées,
75008 Paris, France

Photos: Yasmine Adams & Do It In Paris

 
 
 

Café de Flore

I know it’s one of those huge French clichés to visit the most iconic cafe in Paris, but while I was there I just had to try it out and see if all the hype really lived up to its name.

The place was packed, all the seats outside were full so we had to sit inside. Despite that, we were greeted at the door by a lovely elderly man wearing a full suit and bow tie and were shown to a table immediately. The decor was elegant yet comfortable, all the waiters were attentive and so experienced. The food was incredible and the hot chocolate was to die for. Such a special experience and would definitely recommend.

You feel like you’ve truly experienced Parisienne luxury dining after visiting here, the sun, the flowers on the patio the women in their Burberry trench coats and YSL handbags lain on the tables. Nothing can quite compare.

Café de Flore:
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain,
75006 Paris, France

Phots: Yasmine Adams & Wikipedia

 
 
 
 

Serpent à Plume

A cafe/vintage inspired clothing store turned to sophisticated night-club by night. Translated to feathered snake: definitely the coolest bar in all of Paris. From the outside it looks like just your regular upscale cafe/restaurant and at night the place ‘looks’ super quiet. But once you do coat check and head to the underground bar, it’s a totally different story. Glass staircase, a mini spa pool, plush couches, mood lighting and both a decent sized dance floor and secluded areas for a more intimate feel. Secret hidden doors behind the plush wall lining giving it an element of mystery.

A quiet pop/jazz ambience fills the rooms as you relax on the velvet or leather sofas- it’s the perfect way to end a busy day on the Parisienne streets. Average price for a bottle of wine: €60.

Serpent à Plume:
24 Place des Vosges,
75003 Paris, France

Photos: The Socialite Family

 
 

Bourdeaux, France

 

L’Intendant

A beautiful store in the heart of Bordeaux. A small cylindrical building with a spiralling staircase levelling 4 floors- housing some of Bordeaux’s best vintage wines. There’s something there for everyone, you can get your hands on a vintage wine from €40. A very interesting little shop, on the top level you have your older wines with one of the oldest bottles from 1912. The gift wrapping and packing is just as beautiful as the store; it’s the perfect gift to summarise Bordeaux.

L'Intendant Grands Vins de Bordeaux:
2 Allées de Tourny,
33000 Bordeaux, France

Photos: Yasmine Adams

 
 
 

Brocante

A small vintage knick knack store we happened to stumble across on our walks through the cobblestoned Bordeaux streets. Filled with great little one off pieces, vintage signs, Italian coffee jars, tea and cookie tins and stacks of vintage posters you can buy for like €20. Your one stop shop for decorating your new French apartment. Great store for all lovers of curated vintage decor.

Photos: Yasmine Adams

 
 

Barcelona, Spain

 

Barcelona Pavilion

Named “one of the most influential works of modern architecture.” The pavilion was constructed in 1928 by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich to showcase the new spirit of the Weimar Republic. The building was a demonstration of “the clarity, simplicity and honesty” of Germany at the time.

READ: Process Of Creation: Brian Chen Of (multee)project

The building’s simple material palette includes marble, onyx and travertine, balanced with modern elements such as glass and steel. This is the architects response to “less is more”, a common focus in his work. The furniture in the Pavilion includes the Barcelona chair, which has now become an icon of modernism.

The whole pavilion is open to visitors and includes a great little store, filled with architecture books and modernist inspired designs. Bustled in a busy area of Barcelona, the visit was a welcome and calming break from the surrounding tourist area.

Barcelona Pavilion (El Pabellón de Barcelona):
Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7,
08038 Barcelona, Spain

Photos: Yasmine Adams

 
 
 

La Pederera Casa Mila

Gaudi’s organic and natural way of thinking as an architect can be easily seen in Casa Mila, otherwise known as La Pedrera, an apartment block bordering one of Barcelona’s main luxury shopping areas. With neighbours like Chloe, Celine and Louboutin, it is easy to see that luxury is all around this area, especially inside these apartments. The building has this serene elegance about it, the open air patio, exposed fauna and earth toned colour palette.

READ: New Era: A Look At The Next Generation Of Fashion Designers

The queue to get in was well worth the wait, complete with a complimentary audio guide which explains the rich history and concepts for the building - as well as Gaudi’s inspiration and other famous works. A really peaceful way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Barcelona.

La Pederera Casa Mila:
Provença, 261-265,
08008 Barcelona, Spain

Photos: Yasmine Adams

 
 

Venice, Italy

 

Hotel Danieli

If you can’t spare the €20,000 it costs to stay the night in one of these lavish rooms- there’s always the bar. A wide open floor with plush sofas and carved wood panels, with a small secluded area for a little more privacy if you’re so inclined. The waiters are impeccably dressed and the service cannot be faltered. Cocktails come with a tray of snacks and coffees come with a selection of the finest tasting cookies and chocolates.

Hotel Danieli:
Riva degli Schiavoni, 4196,
30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Photos: Yasmine Adams & Marriott

 
 

Florence, Italy

 

Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

Opened in the year 1221, it is now the world's oldest pharmacy located in Florence, which once made remedies for the Black Plague, now a luxurious boutique apothecary offering everything from organic fragrances, vitamins and handmade soaps. The Acqua di S.M. Novella is one of Italy’s best selling fragrances. You can get your hands on a bottle at any WORLD store in New Zealand, and also, a large selection of what they do actually sell in the Florentine pharmacy - is available at the Passion For Paper store located in Auckland’s Parnell.

Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella:
Via della Scala, 16,
50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Photos: Yasmine Adams & Travel + Leisure

 
 
 

Margaret Howell

British created, this gorgeously curated store ticks all the boxes, from basics to well structured trousers and dress shirts it’s the most refined place to pick up some of the latest pieces for your wardrobe. Howell started by designing men's clothing and realised that women loved it to. Making the clothing they produce both feminine with a masculine edge, something I feel to be very on trend at the moment.  She mixes both Scottish and Irish heritage into the pieces, making them both unique and fashion-forward. The quality of the garments are second to none, and they atmosphere of the store is stylish and sleek. A must see if visiting the main shopping district in Florence.

Margaret Howell Florence:
Piazza Carlo Goldoni, 5R,
50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Photos: Yasmine Adams & Pentagram

 
 

Rome, Italy

Newspread_EuropeExpereiences_AllaRampa01.jpg
 

Alla Rampa

One of the best “accidental finds” on our walks through Rome. Having stumbled across this restaurant, tired and with empty stomachs we decided to venture in. A large outdoor patio area and heritage inspired decor with impeccably dressed waiters. The locally inspired menu was simple, reasonably priced and incredibly delicious, it’s a great place to bask in the sunlight out on the patio and enjoy a nice red wine and pasta without putting you out of pocket. It’s located right near the Spanish Steps - which is perfect for an after lunch stroll.

Alla Rampa:
Piazza Mignanelli,
18, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

Photo: Yasmine Adams

 
 
 

So whether you’re planning a short trip or a big OE; definitely check out a few of these places. Europe is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s a place to share a glass of wine and a wood-fired pizza out on the cobblestoned patios. A place where you wear heels when you walk the dog. A place where fashionistas can truly express themselves and a place to relax and fully soak up the culture, the history, architecture and the European air.

 

Like this article? Please leave a comment below to tell us what you think and if we missed a place you’d like to recommend let us know and we can add it in.

Author: Yasmine Adams
Photos: Supplied/Sourced

 

More From Guides:

Instagram