I crashed my mom and my sister’s trip to Europe and it was great. I joined the legs from Paris to Lisbon to Seville to Madrid. Here are some things I saw, some food I found, and a bunch of selfies.
We started in Paris because that is where my sister is studying. Also, it’s Paris.
Places I ate that you should also eat at:
Note: these are all nice places because it was my sister’s week of having Mom in town to take her out to dinner so I wouldn’t hit all of these in one trip. That being said these would all be fantastic places to take the date you brought on a surprise trip to Paris.
Terroir Parisienne – Modern take on traditional French cuisine. For those of you like me who find the pound of butter in traditional Bistro food overwhelming, this is a tastier option. Experience made better by a tour of the roof garden by the chef.
Georges Pompidou – On the roof of the Pompidou museum, with views over the city and delicious food. The setting alone is worth the experience. Bonus: my dog’s name is also George.
La Bocca Della Verità – Italian. Order the burratta. You’re welcome.
Le Pre Aux Clercs – French bistro is St. Germain — very, very buttery.
Fish la Boissonnerie – Delicious and intimate. Prix fixe menu but modern and with something for everyone. I had a full vegetarian meal that was incredible (and I usually eat a lot of meat.)
Girl Bars I found:
Note: I didn’t stay long enough to confirm how the party is but I did stay long enough to confirm that there are lesbians.
Le 3W Kafé – Stands for “Women with Women” and had a small crowd around 11:30 pm on a Saturday and seemed to be picking up. Word on the street is it’s popping in the late hours of a Saturday night.
Le So What! – was very empty around 11:30 pm. Word is it doesn’t get very crowded, but it’s also open til 5am so if you’re looking to club at a girl bar into the morning, there ya go.
Places I ate that you should also eat at:
Blend – Delicious, casual, modern tapas. Bonus: there’s a gummy candy shop next door.
Bistro 100 Maneiras – Delicious more high end dining experience. Note: I went to the bistro not the restaurant, which I understand only offers a 10 course prix fixe which just seemed too overwhelming. However, if you’re into that sort of thing, I hear it’s amazing.
Park Bar – A bar aptly named due to it’s location on the roof of a parking garage, has incredible and affordable drinks and appetizers plus an amazing view. It’s part of Underdogs, a project based in Lisbon that creates a space and culture for contemporary artists. You should also check out their gallery and store.
On a weekend night, head to the center of Bairro Alto, a district in Lisbon where the narrow streets come alive and you can carry your drinks between the bars so small sometimes they are just a window.
Also, you can get NY pizza.
We day tripped to Sintra and Cascais via train.
In Sintra we hit the Pena National Palace. I recommend a trip to see this Disney-esque palace and stick around to spend a day walking the grounds. Due to rain and falling trees, a lot was closed for us but it looked amazing from above.
From there it’s a quick cab to the beach town of Cascais.
The next day we woke up early and drove to Seville, Spain.
On the way, we stopped at the Medieval town Évora in Portugal
Places I ate that you should also eat at:
conTender – My favorite meal of the trip and also one of my favorite meals I’ve ever had – the menu changes daily thanks to their local and seasonal menu.
Tried several local tapas places off the beaten path, none are worth recommending. The highlight of those meals though was the table-side entertainment.
Also, the streets are extremely narrow and hard to navigate. It takes significantly longer to drive anywhere than to walk because the mayor has intentionally made the one-way system impossible to discourage cars.
Hang out in the area below the Metropol Parasol and check out the shops and restaurants that are apart of a group called “Soho Benita” for some good shopping and fresh meals.
We went to a bathhouse called Aire (they also have a location in New York) for a massage, steam, and bath experience. You’re sent to a hot tub on the roof and it’s pretty great. I didn’t take any photos inside but here’s a selfie I grabbed of my mom and me on our way out:
On our final night we accidentally ended up in a fine dining setting with world renowned Opera singers. We’re still not sure how or why but it was amazing.
The next morning we hopped a train to Madrid.
This was a quick stop where we basically spent the night before catching a flight back to Paris so we couldn’t hit any museums or fully explore.
The only place I ate but you should also eat here:
Bar Tomate – amazing, delicious, order everything. I’m very sad this restaurant is so far from me right now.
From the top of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, a view so nice we went twice
We headed back to Paris…
Paris, France pt. 2
Where I continued to eat all the pastries.
Found some locks.
Chilled by the Seine.
Checked out the Prostitution exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay.
And drank more coffee and ate more pastries.
Until next time, Europe.
As a European I now feel strangely inclined to post pictures from my last US trip…
also what a perfect trip tattoo!
right! I was like ‘that is a fancy dappled seagull!’
So jealous. Haven’t been back to Europe since 2003 when I was teaching English there. Spain was awesome then and I’ve always wondered how much it has changed.
would love to do something like this, love the photos!
I really enjoyed this, nice mix of shots, loved the anecdotes too.
Fab photos, thank you for sharing them Molly!
This is reminding me AGAIN how much I need to go back to Paris and actually see other European countries too for once. You’ve got some great pictures here, that seagull is amazing!
How can one meet up with you and pick your brain/learn from you?
This just really makes me want to travel. Such great pictures! (also I want to try all of these restaurants because my love for food is second only to my love for travelling. My dog fits in there somewhere too though. Haven’t thought this out, haha)
But anyway, yes! It all looks amazing.
I’ve been scouring the internet for cheap flights to mainland Europe since before I even moved to Edinburgh (thinking that surely I’d be able to make the most of living in a city with a major airport?)
But so far, no dice! College always seems to get in the way of the best deals. Maybe next year!
Tip:Ferry+Trains. There should be a Newcastle/Amsterdam one I dimly seem to recall. There are definitely more! I once took one from Harwich to Rotterdam and booked it the night before in a very uncomplicated manner.Take the night ferry and get off in the morning!
And once you’re in the Netherlands, you’re a flexible few hours away from anywhere by train.
Or go to London and take the Eurostar to Paris.It takes 4 hours (!) and drops you right into the heart of the city. If you have a week off, invest an extra six hours and thirtyfive minutes and head on down to Barcelona.Again, from one city center to the next. Or take the night train to Madrid.And maybe another to Lisbon.
There’s an extra network of those (citynightline) that will get you from Paris to Madrid on thirty bucks. If you’re a dirt poor student, the night train network is your bestest friend.
All of the European countries have detailed railnetwork pages, all of them with an option for English, and all of them are ridiculously well connected, with high speed trains that will take a ridiculously short amount of time, and if you book cleverly, for no money at all.
I am so over having to travel to and from an airport, waiting for hours, making reservations a very long time in advance and murdering the environment, when roughly the same amount of time plus an hour extra or two gets me where I want to with no hassle whatsoever.
Also, I really like the traveling aspect of it.
And old trainstations.
And old churches hidden away on hills.
And the landscape changing aus the hours pass.
Interrail! You pay a set fee (when I did it a couple of years ago it was £150 for a week) and for that fee you can travel anywhere in Europe by train. You still have to pay to get out of the country, as it doesn’t work in your home country, but it’s still fairly cheap, and travelling by train means you can see so much more of the country than just the airport. It’s an awesome way to travel, I highly recommend it.
And it’s lots cheaper and more doable when you’re in your early 20s, so do it now if you can!
I’m so jealous, I wish I could take time off and go do something like this. Maybe next summer. I love all of those photos! You’re a really talented photographer.
These photos are beautiful! I studied abroad in Sevilla and it was so great! These photos just gave me a pang of longing for those narrow streets and cafes and tapas and learning new things everyday.
what a babely family! looks super fun.