The summer holidays have already started! While we all have different interests, hobbies and responsibilities, one thing that we can all share is our love for travelling. Everyone enjoys discovering new places, whether you are travelling to a new Dutch city you haven’t visited yet or you take a 10 hour flight to an exotic country. Exploring new places can be exciting and inspiring, we therefore hope to make you travel with this article, whether you’re working hard on your resits or you’re working hard on your tan.
1. Ibiza, Spain.
Go for dinner at Locals Only. This restaurant can be found in the middle of Ibiza Centre and offers amazingly tasty local foods for very decent prices. A big plus: the restaurant is not yet very popular by the real tourists, but mostly by locals, who are often willing to give you some tips on which other places to visit on the island. Address: Plaza del Parque 5
Take the ferry to ‘Formentera’ and tour the beautiful island in a Dutch manner: by bike! The boat trip is already very beautiful and by biking around Formentera, you get the chance to discover some hidden beaches. At some of these beaches, you can sometimes even spot some dolphins swimming by. Day trips to Formentera are very popular, but most tourists visit the same beaches and beach clubs. Therefore, do not follow the crowd and go on an adventure yourself, it will most likely lead you to some beautiful spots.
Have a beach day at one of the beaches owned by the municipality. You can get a sunbed here for around 8 euros, which is much cheaper than those at the famous beach clubs (and thus much more attractive when you are on a student budget). Keep in mind that this also means that there is no service of food and drinks to your sunbed, so take some snacks with you for during the day.
Picture of Formentera
2. São Paulo, Brazil.
Try going to a ‘feira’ and grabbing a ‘pastel’. Depending on the neighborhood they happen on different days of the weeks, Sunday is always a good bet.
Go to Parque Ibirapuera, and walk through the Japanese gardens, visit one of the many museums in the park, and grab some fresh coconut water. It is a nice escape from the busy city.
Although the metro works great, and it is the best way to explore the city, it only operates through a very small part of the city. I would recommend downloading Uber instead.
Go to one of the many shopping malls around the city. I recommend ‘Shopping Iguatemi’ (if you are closer to ‘Avenida Paulista’), or ‘Cidade Jardim’ (if you are closer to ’Morumbi’).
When it comes to food, you can eat a ’pão de queijo’ [stretchy cheesebread]. I also recommend ‘Baccio de Latte’ which is the best ice cream in the city.
3. Boston, the US.
Walk the freedom trail in the direction of Bunker Hill and take the Inner Harbor ferry back to the city centre. The ferry goes from Charlestown Navy Yard (close to the USS Constitution) to Long Wharf South in the centre. It only costs $3.50 and the view is great. Address: 114 16th Street, Charlestown
Take a day trip to Provincetown or Martha’s Vineyard at Cape Cod. It’s totally different from the US cities and much more authentically American. The Cape is known for its importance in American history, and you can still find many historical places here. Not that much of a history fan? There are also great beaches and cute towns here, so no need to be bored. The round trip by boat is usually between 80 and 100 dollars, which is quite expensive, but definitely worth the experience. Address: there are many companies offering boat trips to Cape Cod. One of them is Boston Harbor Cruises (found at Long Wharf)
Go to the food court at Quincy Market to get a traditional New England Clam Chowder. It’s a kind of soup made of mussels, which are completely fresh. It is for sure something you have to taste when in this city. Address: 1 Fanueil Hall Square
Another boat-related tip: go whale watching! Go on a whale watching trip with one of the cruise companies at Long Wharf. You get a nice day at sea, and quite a high chance of spotting some whales, which is really cool.
Pictures of the Inner Harbor Ferry and the city of Provincetown
4. Brussels, Belgium.
The first stop to any trip to Brussels would be the ‘Poelaertplein’ which offers a stunning panorama of the entire city. On this same square you can find the ‘Palais de Justice ’, one of the largest and most impressive buildings in Europe. It is currently the biggest courthouse in the world and it used to be the largest building in the world upon construction in 1883 (3000 houses were demolished for its construction). I would definitely recommend visiting it. The cherry on top is that the entrance is free! Address: Place Poelaert 1, 1000 Bruxelles. Next to the ‘Palais de Justice ’ you can find the tram/metro stop ‘Louise’ on which the famous song ‘Formidable’ by the Belgian singer Stromae was shot. If you want to do some shopping I would highly recommend the ‘Louise’ Avenue and the ‘Chaussee d’Ixelles’ which are interconnected by the ‘Toison d’or ’ Avenue.
Another spot you should defintely visit is the ‘Mont des Arts ’ [Arts hill]. You can sit on the stairs, eat a Belgian waffle and look at the amazing city view this square offers. On this same square you can also find the Musical instrument museum which is a breathtaking Art Nouveau building made out of steel. It is definitely worth visiting it since the inside is even more impressive and since you can take a look at one of the biggest collection of musical instruments in the world. The entry is 10 euros. If you are not interested in music, you can still enjoy the beauty of the museum’s architecture and the panorama of the city by going to the museum’s rooftop where you can have lunch or simply drink some coffee and enjoy the sunny day. Address: Mont des Arts, 1000 Bruxelles
If, on the other hand, you visit Brussels on one of its many rainy days or if you simply want to relax and watch a movie, I would highly recommend the room ‘Grand Eldorado’ in the movie theater ‘UGC Debrouckere’ which is probably the most amazing movie theater room you will ever see. It is a massive room with art deco decoration and sculptures of colonial inspiration all over the walls as well as a balcony. They usually use this room to screen the biggest blockbuster of the moment so you can easily go at the desk and ask which movie is currently screening there. Address: Place De Brouckère 38, 1000 Bruxelles
When it comes to food here are some of the best places to eat in Brussels:
For lunch/dinner, you can go to ‘Au bon bol ’where they serve traditional Chinese hand-made noodles that can be eaten either sautéed or in soups. What makes this restaurant unique is that you can watch the chef kneading and making your noodles out of scratch before your eyes. If you prefer to have more intimacy or if you are with a bigger group of friends, you can easily go upstairs where they have more tables. Even though this restaurant may seem discreet from the outside, it is most of times full since it is very affordable. Address: Rue Paul Devaux 9, 1000 Bruxelles
Another nice place to have dinner/lunch is the pizzeria ‘Nona’ which is, in my opinion, the best pizzeria you can find in Brussels. They offer proper freshly made, wood fired Neapolitan pizzas made out of organic ingredients from Belgian farmers. They offer 8 types of pizzas and the cheapest pizza costs 7 euros. The only disadvantage about this place is that you will probably have to wait in line if you chose to have lunch during the peak hours. Address: Rue Sainte-Catherine 17-19, 1000 Bruxelles
On the same street you can find one of my favorite bakeries : ‘Charli ’ which is a very modern-looking bakery offering freshly baked pastries, croissants and breads. My personal favorites are the croissants and the ‘brioches’ [buns]. It’s easily recognizable from the outside because there is usually a queue on the street. Address: Rue Sainte-Catherine 34, 1000 Bruxelles
Another nice place to have lunch is ’Manhattn’s Burgers ’where they offer some of the best burgers in Brussels. Address: Rue Henri Maus 39, 1000 Bruxelles
Finally, I would recommend trying the Belgian dessert ‘merveilleux’, meaning ‘amazing’ in French (the name is not lying) which is made out meringues. The bakery ’Aux Merveilleux de Fred’, situated very closely to the Grande Place is famous for offering one of the best ‘merveilleux ’ in Belgium. Address: Rue du Marché Aux Herbes 7, 1000 Bruxelles
In general, when visiting Brussels, I would recommend checking the events that are happening the day of your visit. Brussels is a vibrant city with a lot of music festivals, food festivals and other seasonal or once-in-the-year events. I would definitely recommend checking out the website: https://www.wattedoen.be/
before visiting Brussels since it gives a nice overview of the current events happening in Brussels (or Belgium in general).
The view from ‘Poelaertplein’and the courthouse
The view from 'Mont des Arts'