EuroCheapo's Essays Articles

Confronting Demons: Why Real Travel has Become More Difficult

Confronting Demons: Why Real Travel has Become More Difficult

Living on a continent with 50 nation states and territories creates enough politics, enough sport and enough by way of current affairs to keep most Europeans entertained from dawn till dusk. No surprise, then, that many Europeans develop a certain geographical myopia. Look beyond the capital cities and — particularly as you move away from » Read more

Hanging with the Locals: Our favorite urban parks in Europe

Hanging with the Locals: Our favorite urban parks in Europe

Most Cheapos know that when in doubt while traveling, it never hurts to take a cue from the locals. One of the finest ways that Europeans spend their time on weekends is with a visit to a nearby park. While each park has a different culture, no matter where you are, you’ll likely find musical » Read more

Exploring Europe’s Coastal Regions in Winter

Exploring Europe’s Coastal Regions in Winter

Christmas and the New Year holidays are largely done and dusted, and this week much of Europe has returned slowly to work. For us, it is the cue for some travels. And, for those in the know, the period from about January 10 to mid-March is one of the best times of the year for » Read more

European Travel in 2011: A year of surprises

European Travel in 2011: A year of surprises

Travel is all about surprises, about serendipitous discoveries and transcending expectations. And, yes, we’ve been surprised in 2011. We were startled to move so quickly from serene and sunny spring back to deep midwinter when in March we traveled by train from the shores of the North Italian lakes to eastern Switzerland. The little train » Read more

The Psychogeography of Europe

The Psychogeography of Europe

We had a friend from Russia staying over the weekend. “It’s so nice to be back in Europe again,” he said as we met him from the train in Berlin after his overnight journey from Kaliningrad. His comment made us ponder European geography. Kaliningrad is just 330 miles from Berlin and it is most certainly not » Read more

Google Goggles and the Future of the Guidebook

Google Goggles and the Future of the Guidebook

If an article in last week’s Financial Times is to be believed then the end is nigh. Not of all life as we know it. The FT merely predicts that the days of the guidebook are numbered, as ever more travellers switch to online sources to get key information on destinations. The newspaper noted that » Read more

Pitching for 2010 World Heritage Status

Pitching for 2010 World Heritage Status

Europe’s culture moguls will have their eyes on Brasilia over the next fortnight, as UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meets in the Brazilian capital to review applications for a new round of World Heritage Sites. Candidates for the 2010 UNESCO List The historic center of Amsterdam is in the running this year for one of the » Read more

Rural Europe: Landscapes to remember

Rural Europe: Landscapes to remember

If you have followed our posts here on EuroCheapo over the last three years, then you’ll certainly know that we are not really urban creatures. True, we have spent many happy months exploring European cities, often those that are lesser known, and we have written about many of them—Roskilde, Poznan and Trieste, for example. Europe’s » Read more

Travel Confessions: Paris without the Louvre

Travel Confessions: Paris without the Louvre

This travel lark takes quite a bit of courage. Heavens, just browsing through the new edition of the Rough Guide to Paris, we see the text kicks off with Notre Dame (and a handful of other sights stranded on the Île de la Cité in the middle of the River Seine), and then dives straight » Read more

World’s Fair Architectural Leftovers: Paris, Barcelona and more!

World’s Fair Architectural Leftovers: Paris, Barcelona and more!

It was only by a stroke of luck that the Eiffel Tower ended up in Paris. Gustave Eiffel designed the landmark tower for Barcelona. But the civic authorities had doubts about the appropriateness of such a tower for the Catalan city. Undaunted by the setback, Eiffel had better luck with Paris and, despite some opposition » Read more

European Capitals of Culture: Istanbul, Pecs, Essen, and Görlitz

European Capitals of Culture: Istanbul, Pecs, Essen, and Görlitz

It was 25 years ago this spring that Athens assumed the mantle of being Europe’s first ever “Capital of Culture,” and so kick-started a program that has developed into a mainstay of the European culture and travel calendar. Since then, cities from Bruges to Bologna, Stockholm to Sibiu, have basked in the limelight for a » Read more

2009 Retrospective: Highlights and lowlights of European travel

2009 Retrospective: Highlights and lowlights of European travel

It is almost time for us to put down our quill pens and leave the scriptorium for the last time this year. Three weeks of quiet retreat are in the offing, a chance for us to recharge our batteries and plan a few journeys for 2010. So a good moment, perhaps, to look back and » Read more

Wales and Alsace: In praise of borderlands

Wales and Alsace: In praise of borderlands

Note: The authors, on a slow train somewhere in Alsace, reflect on the enduring appeal of borderlands. Borderlands are always interesting. These are the territories that somehow defy classification. Today, as we ramble along through eastern France, we focus on two of our favorite borderlands, Wales and Alsace. The Welsh Borderlands Of course, maps depict a » Read more

Oscar Nominated Films in Europe!

Oscar Nominated Films in Europe!

This year, there are a number of Oscar-nominated films that take place in Europe. Here are some of our favorites: -In Bruges (Bruges, Belgium): We saw this film just as we were putting the finishing touches on our Cheapo guide to Bruges. Now, while we weren’t huge fans of the plot – or the script – » Read more

The most beautiful island in Europe?

The most beautiful island in Europe?

Okay Cheapos! Indulge us for two minutes. We’ve just been taking a break on an island full of surprises, a place so beguilingly beautiful that we think it’s worth a mention. There must be a thousand candidates for the accolade of “Europe’s most beautiful island.” One of our favorites is Gozo in the Med. Gozo » Read more

hidden europe: Visiting churches in Europe

hidden europe: Visiting churches in Europe

Photo courtesy of hidden europe magazine Cheapos clearly like to get under the skin of a city, probing well beyond the regular sights to get a feel for what makes a community tick. Faith is often still part of the fabric of European life, but getting a feel for it as a foreigner isn’t always easy – » Read more

hidden europe: From Cold Turkey to Father Frost

Brits are of course now labouring under a diet of cold turkey. Christmas generates its own extraordinary traditions across Europe, which differ greatly from country to country. There is no such thing as a standard-issue European Christmas. The English certainly like their turkey on the Christmas table, but elsewhere across the continent firm Christmas favourites » Read more

hidden europe: European Microstates! Sealand for Sale!

hidden europe: European Microstates! Sealand for Sale!

Europe has its fair share of those little tiddler states – you know the ones, territories like San Marino, Monaco and Liechtenstein which, if you cut a decent pace, you can walk across in a day. Vatican City is the tiniest of the bunch. You can stride from one end of this theocratic state to » Read more

hidden europe: Smoothing over History

hidden europe has been on the road this past fortnight, meandering through Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is not a country that gets a lot of attention in the travel media. Sarajevo café life, the bridge at Mostar and the Roman Catholic shrine at Medugorje are the three Bosnian “sights” that travel writers love to cover. » Read more

hidden europe: Hasta la victoria siempre!

hidden europe: Hasta la victoria siempre!

The cult of Che Guevara gets a boost this week as special events across Europe commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the revolutionary’s untimely death in Bolivia on October 9, 1967. In Derry in Ireland, a week of celebrations will include the unveiling on Saturday of a new mural of Che – complementing the long standing » Read more

hidden europe: European Day of Languages

hidden europe: European Day of Languages

Cultural assets are things to cherish. Scan the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and it will be clear that Europe bristles with treasures: from the cultural landscapes of the high valleys of Andorra to the wooden churches of northern Romania. Michelangelo paintings and Gothic cathedrals are self-evidently worth hanging onto. Yet some of Europe’s » Read more

Songs: International Communication

If you know the words to “I Will Survive,” “It’s Raining Men,” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” you will be happy to know that the lyrics to these songs are international currency. In clubs and cars across Europe, these songs remain on high rotation. Yes, these songs were originally popular decades ago, but believe » Read more

Tips for Vegetarians

Tips for Vegetarians

photograph courtesy of Kaymaria Daskarolis It does not always help to say it, because sometimes even if it is literally comprehended it is still not fully understood. Nevertheless, if you are a vegetarian traveling in a country or territory where you don’t know the language, the customs, or the ingredients in a dish being served » Read more

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