The Old Continent, better known as Europe, is a wonderful place that has many things to offer. Its different traditions, flavors, colors, and smells, as well as its varied gastronomic and cultural scene are one of the reasons why it is the most visited continent by tourists around the world.
The ease with which you can travel from one country to another for relatively cheap prices, and the great difference between cultures encourages millions of people from all over the world to visit Europe. In this article, we share with you the best ideas to experience Europe like a local.
Gastronomic tourism is when you travel with food as the foremost attraction. Rather than visiting landmarks, you visit vineyards, food producers, food festivals, or the restaurant of a famous chef in the region. It’s the type of traveling where you stay away from scales and eat as you please.
Gastronomic tourism has become very popular and is interesting to an increasing number of people who are in search of authentic flavors and traditions. In this context, food acquires a new role, becoming the representation of a territory, a culture, and values linked to the land where the food has its origin.
The wine, beer, cheese, pastries, and overall food tours in Europe are almost infinite. This cornucopia of savory meals and beverages is due to the unique intermingling of cultures that took place in its complex history since 35 000 BCE. The cuisine is not only different from country to country but also from region to region, as each one has a specialty it is renowned for.
Thanks to all these aspects, Europe is the ideal continent for gastronomic tourism. This is also the reason for the rise of agritourism routes created to make all those travelers discover with ease new flavors and appreciate what Europe has to offer.
Here are the best tips to experience Europe like a local:
Yes, all major cities in Europe have a tourist bus that goes through all the sights in one day. However, no one can dare say that they’ve seen all that a city has to offer from the comfort of a bus and being dropped off only at a couple of landmarks.
If you want to experience the city like a local, four days is the minimum necessary for you to understand the lifestyle of the unique cities of Europe. If you plan ahead, you can take the time to visit the places that the locals usually frequent. You will see that on the third or fourth day your brain will click and you will begin to orient yourself with greater precision. You may even familiarize yourself with the language of the locals.
Staying for at least 4 days increases the chance that you find unique places, meet people, and eat delicious food. Rather than letting the brochures of tourist attractions dictate how much time you will take somewhere, invest yourself in the adventure you are living by taking the time it takes to truly appreciate the place you're visiting.
Hiring a personal chef is the best way to experience the local cuisine and discover local eats. Whether you are in Italy, Russia, or the Netherlands, there is always something new to discover! Since Miummium is an international gastronomic platform, you can find a chef anywhere who will cook traditional meals or personalize a menu for you.
MiumMium, the largest Personal Chef marketplace on the web, allows consumers to explore menus, research chefs, and book unparalleled at-home culinary experiences. The process is simple: pick a date, choose a menu and invite whoever you want. There is no shopping, no preparation, no clean-up, and no stress!
Find a chef near you
Almost all major European cities have a pass, which is basically a card that gives you free access to city transport and tickets to some of the city's museums and attractions, as well as discounts on other attractions. If you are planning on staying more than 4 days, these passes can be an easy way of saving money.
It is important to note that not all city passes across Europe have the same modality, therefore it is always judicious to observe what they offer before purchasing them. A good example is the Rome city pass, which gives access to public transport and also free entry to 2 famous museums or archeological sites... and even free entry to other not-so-known attractions of this magical city. Before buying one, decide which places you want to visit and do your calculations, since it may not always be the most affordable option.
Booking a cooking class is one of the best travel experiences in Europe! There is nothing more exciting than learning how to prepare the typical dishes of the place you are visiting, and having a local chef teach you how to do it and give you the best tips!
MiumMium offers the possibility of taking culinary classes alongside professional chefs. This means that you can learn how to bring back the flavors you encounter during your stay in Europe, whether you are an avid fan of Austrian goulash, or want to make pizza like a pizzaiolo.
With MiumMium’s online platform, you can enjoy a unique cooking class tailored to your taste and dietary restrictions. Our personal chefs customize the experience so that you can get the most out of your culinary class. Whether you want to learn the basics of Italian, French, Spanish, or Polish cuisine, our international private chefs have what it takes to take your cooking skills to the next level.
Apart from learning some useful cooking techniques, you also get to eat your delicious creations. Our cooking classes are a one-time event, similar to the personal chef experience but with a learning twist.
In most of Europe, the currency is the euro. However, in England, they use the pound sterling and in Switzerland, the Swiss franc. Some Nordic and Eastern countries also have their own currency. Knowing the currency of the country you will visit can be helpful. Although almost all establishments accept credit and debit cards. However, in some local souvenir places or bars, you can only pay in cash.
Do your calculations and see what suits you best: exchange your dollars in your hometown or at your destination city. In general, you should always pay attention to the falls and rises of the euro. It is always recommended to exchange dollars for euros when its value decreases, or else it can be expensive.
You can also get a card like Revolut, which accepts almost all currencies and allows you to withdraw cash from any ATM at the best possible exchange rate and without commissions. You should also bear in mind that there is a limit of cash to carry: each person can enter Europe with a maximum of € 10,000. If you exceed this amount, you must declare it in customs.
This is one of the most valuable travel tips for sightseeing in Europe and around the world. Bringing a universal plug adapter is very useful to charge all your electronic equipment abroad, whatever country you visit. This can save you from the inconvenience of having your technological material run out of battery.
As the name suggests, the universal adapter conforms to many existing standards of electrical outlets. However, before using one, make sure that your electronic devices can withstand the force of the power in the electric circuit of Europe. Most European countries employ higher voltage, and their electronic devices are built in consequence. It would be a shame to ruin your hair dryer, electric toothbrush, etc.
Do not rule out also carrying portable chargers and so-called power banks, which are excellent for long trips. Some are capable of fully charging the cell phone battery several times.
There is no better way to get a true feeling of what it feels like to live like a local than by staying in an Airbnb or couchsurfing. Before booking either, it is very important that you research its location and the comments of other guests on the Internet.
These types of accommodations offer you the advantage of being able to do the shopping, cook at home, meet the neighbors, and even take your pet, in some cases! In the case of couchsurfing, the person hosting you will surely want to show you the famous attractions of their city, such as bars, restaurants, museums, and places of interest.
Looking for the best things to do in Europe? All tourists love to see the most famous attractions at their travel destination. But what if certain gardens, fountains, or lesser-known historical buildings were free and on your way? There are several options for free tours in most European countries: art exhibitions, visits to monuments, parks, and even museums.
Above all, you should keep an eye on the free walking tours organized by the locals. They will show you the best tourist spots in the city, restaurants or bars, while they explain the history of each one of them. One of the best things to do in Europe is to find a podcast or other audio content that is pertinent to what you are visiting and that you can listen to when in transit. You’ll be able to visit at your own pace that way!