Europeans seem to love their food, history, art and architecture. Can you blame them? An abundance of rich stories from the past help us understand their lives today.
When you travel to Europe, what is your focal point? When traveling alone you have the luxury of planning a trip based solely on your own interests. You might prefer to travel with a friend or family member, but sometimes it’s nice not to have to accommodate the interests of others.
Are you an art museum person? A wine connoisseur? Perhaps you are intrigued by history or obsessed with hiking on unfamiliar trails. Or maybe you are the type who enjoys immersing yourself in the culture by spending time in non-touristy places.
I’m definitely a foodie. For me, exploring the local cuisine is the best way to learn about a new country. Europeans tend to take a great deal of pride in their food and ingredients are often locally sourced. Many restaurants tend to serve simple family recipes passed down through the generations.
It’s important to determine the type of trip you want before you begin to plan, though you are not locked into only one aspect of travel. You might desire a variety of experiences. Choose your travel priorities as a starting point. Once you are in your travel destination you might check out the local library which can be a good resource for local information. The books may not be in English, but the librarians may be able to communicate well enough to share some unique places off the beaten path with you.
- Europe Through the Back Door by Rick Steves. Steves tells you what you really need to know when planning a Grand Tour of Europe. In this guide, he covers the best of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. Steves also has books specific to certain countries and cities you can purchase for additional information.
- Wallpaper Guides. Covering more than 100 destinations, Wallpaper* City Guides provide travellers with a need-to-know checklist of the best each location has to offer. Each guide is thoroughly researched to reveal the unique culture of a city to readers.
- TIME OUT: This online travel resource inspires and enables people to explore and enjoy the best of the city. This resource provides high-quality content written and curated by local expert journalists focused on the best food, drinks, culture, art, music, theatre, travel and entertainment in 315 cities and 58 countries.
- COOKLY: Cookly is a website that lets you search for authentic cooking classes in cities throughout 37 different countries. Check here to view all destinations where classes are available.
- GOOGLE: Of course, we can’t forget google. Search for local culture magazines that review restaurants attractions. The problem with google is you may be overwhelmed by the amount of information you find. Sometimes using a trusted smaller vehicle to research your vacation provides better information more quickly.
Do you have resources you would like to share? Good tips on traveling solo?
originally published July 13, 2019
updated March 14, 2022