Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Travelers’ Night In — The Best of Europe!


On this week’s round of Travelers’ Night In, the interactive Twitter discussion for avid travelers and travel lovers, focused on Europe!  As always, ten questions were asked, people responded while tagging their tweets #TNI, and learned quite a bit about some new destinations!

Here are the questions for the week:

Q1. What is your favorite European country? Why?

smultronstallen Sweden, has everything from exotic islands with white beaches to ice hotel and the northern lights where the sun never goes down

ZipSetRachel Seriously in love with Italy, my first love. Art, History, beaches, & lovely people!

allaboutmexico Switzerland because I love cheese and chocolate 😀

For me, it was tough — I feel like both France and Italy are my babies.  But Italy wins out.  Gorgeous landscapes, art, wonderful people, and INCREDIBLE food.

There’s enough to see either on or off the beaten path, each region is SO distinctive, but nonetheless, everyone and everything in the country has STYLE!

Above, the area outside the Palazzo Pitti in the Oltrarno, Florence.

Q2. Would you rather see more countries, or get to know a few places?

almostfearless Less is more! I love slow travel & getting to know people… fast travel can be a slog

TravelMaestro Both! I want to see everywhere, AND go back to revisit the ones I love the most (full time job, huh?)

GoDomeno live abroady, and travel on the weekends so you can do both!

Well, I’m of the crossing-off-the-list variety, as well as the plot-out-my-travels-on-a-map variety, so I go for more countries — within reason.  There’s no point in barely stopping in each country — at least see a few different places!

Q3. Do you prefer hostels or hotels when traveling Europe? Where is your favorite?

OnAJunket Prefer hostels; its easier to meet travelers, fun environent & price to splurge on food

TravelingAnna Hotels, definitely. Love Visconti Palace in Rome and Danubius Gellert in Budapest

camorose I prefer renting an apartment if I’m there for 1 week+ or staying in a hostel- I need a kitchen!

It all depends on the kind of trip you’re taking.  As I wrote when I started this blog, I love five-star hotels, and I love hostels.  Most of all, it depends on how much you have to spend.  While some of my favorite memories in Europe took place in hostels, there’s no way I’d ever turn down a five-star hotel!

A nice option is getting a private room at a hostel — then you have an ideal combination of privacy and fun!

I’ll never forget the Funny Farm in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Q4. What is the best method you’ve found to travel around Europe?

1step2theleft In most cases, train. There are amazing journeys, as Bernina train in Switzerland or the little train in Corsica fr Bastia 2 Calvi

TravelEditor bicycle!! slower, but much more fun and a great way to see the countryside.

Myrabb Did have a “Before Sunset” moment on train in Scotland years ago…so trains do offer interesting possibilities

Budget airlines can have incredible deals.  I once flew from Milan-Bergamo to Budapest, and a few days later, from Budapest to Paris-Beauvais, for a grand total of ONE EURO CENT. (Forty-five Euros with taxes.)  Just keep in mind that you’ll be mainly flying to out-of-the-way airports, and you’ll be charged enormously for any luggage beyond small carry-ons.

Beyond that, there’s nothing like a train rolling through Europe.  I particularly love the Eurostar First Class.  Below, on the way from Naples back to Florence, my friends and I turned our private train compartment into a giant bed:

Q5. Which country has the best nightlife? Do you prefer pubs or clubs?

janellenorman Sorry again, I think Spain wins hands down.

WldTrvlBill on St. Patrick’s day found myself in Copenhagen and was delighted to find over 12 Irish Pubs. Slantie !

thecitizeNY Portugal – Lisbon. Big on nightlife. Starts about 11pm, goes on until dawn. Estoril Casino is cool too.

Prague is one of the best nightlife cities in Europe — and not only because the beer is cheaper than water!  Thank you, Czech Republic, for the epic nights.

Additionally, you would be shocked at how many Irish pubs are in Florence, of all cities!  Dozens.  And I believe I went to them all.

Q6. Which country hands-down has the best food?  Best dish?

TravelMamas Italy for pasta & gelato! France for crepes, pain au chocolat & fresh-baked baguette! Yum!

edgeofseven Spanish paella. On a beach. With a glass of wine. Yum

AlissaGraham Greece: Gyro. Feta. Baklava. Come on now, YUM!


Steaks the size of your head, ribollita and pappa al pomodoro in Florence.  Suppli, Jerusalem artichokes and zucchini flowers in Rome’s Jewish ghetto.  Pesto in Liguria, lemons in Campania, fresh seafood on any coast.  And then there’s pizza in Naples.  For the consistent quality as well as the variety, you can’t beat Italy!

Below, pastries in Assisi:

(France is a close second.  :-))

Q7. What is some advice for solo travel in Europe?

FoodTravelDiva Don’t fall in love with the 1st Italian/Spanish/French man that says hello! lol

traveldudes For women, wear your ugliest underwear. [Wait, WHAT?!?!]

monicalwilliams I’m a big fan of CouchSurfing, particularly for coffee meetups.

I’m with Monica — Couchsurfing is awesome, even if you don’t want to stay with anyone!  When I went to Buenos Aires, I found a fantastic network of portenos and expats from all over the world who are passionate about meeting new people.  We went to clubs, concerts, parties, and more.  I’d love to explore Couchsurfing in more cities.

Crazy Couchsurfers from Ecuador, the USA, Colombia, and Argentina, respectively.

Q8. Museums in Europe: which is your favorite & why?

CailinONeil I would definitely say the Louvre! but the George Pompidou Centre is pretty great too!

ValesaCultural Oh, Love the Gulbenkian in Lisbon! And Guggenheim in Bilbao.

travelling_mom Chocostory Museum. Bruges, Belgium. Chocolate!

My all-time favorite is the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.  The museum specializes in French art from 1848 to 1915, and the Impressionism collection is unparalleled.  There are so many works by Monet, Van Gogh, Manet, Degas and more.

Q9. Show us your favorite European Travel photo, and tell us where it was!

LaRee1979 one of the lakes in Croatia in the countryside! It has a very wild beauty…

budgettravelsac Ok mentioned Hungary as one of my fave countries so have to do one pic of Budapest.

mswoodenshoes My favorite girls on the French Riviera.

Here’s a nice shot of Bruges, Belgium.

Q10. Where is one place that you would rather NOT go back to?

Aireslibre Pisa

airtreks Venice , lovely, photogenic, but boring.

terhiPR Wouldn’t go back to Red Light District in Amsterdam. If you’ve been there, you know my reasoning.

I think I’d agree with Aireslibre — once you’ve taken the obligatory photo holding up the Leaning Tower, there’s no reason to stay in Pisa another minute.

Beyond Pisa, there are a few places where I never want to go again.  A ferry crossing the English channel (hours of nausea).  Venice in the summer (hot, sticky and crowded). The back of any cab in Naples (I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE).

And that’s the week!  What would you add?  What are your favorite places in Europe?

Travelers’ Night In takes place on Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 ET.  The discussion is organized by the lovely ladies at ZipSetGo.  All are welcome!  Follow the #TNI tag to see the questions and conversation!

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