If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve spent the winter looking forward to a summer vacation.
Well, now it is time for you to start planning that vacation.
We’ve rounded up our top 3 places for millennials to travel this year, and we guarantee you are going to love all of them.
What makes it so great: What makes Portugal such a great place to visit is first and foremost, the people. Portuguese people are very friendly, and the best part is, you don’t have to learn the Portuguese language to go there! Nearly everyone speaks English so you can leave your dictionary back home.
What to see in Lisbon: While in Lisbon, you must take a tuk-tuk (a little motorized taxi) up to see the incredible views of the city. The rolling hills and sprawling houses, all right on the ocean, are quite a sight to see.
You also must see live Fado music. This is the country’s music and, though very sad, is beautiful.
While in Lisbon, a must-see is Sao Jorge Castle, an ancient Moorish castle that served as the ruling place in Lisbon for over 400 years.
What to eat in Lisbon: Bacalao is the country’s signature dish — codfish. It is seasoned in a variety of ways and be warned that some are much better than others.
Pasteis de nata are also a Portuguese favorite. They are custard tarts and can be found at any pastry shop across the city (and let us tell you, there are a lot of pastry shops).
A trip to Lisbon, or anywhere in Portugal, would not be complete without a taste of the country’s fine wine, Vinho Verde. Though it means “green wine,” it is only called such in reference to it being young — the wine is released about 3-6 weeks after harvest, rather than waiting longer as most other wines do.
Where to shop in Lisbon: The Lx Market at Lx Factory is a very Portuguese place to shop. With second-hand products, as well as new creations put together by local artists, Lx Market is a great place to find some trendy things for your home.
The vintage shops in Lisbon are not to be missed. They are very picky about what they choose to sell, and you can find some real gems here.
If you’re in the market for some fabulous leather gloves, we’ve got the spot: Luvaria Ulisses. This shop is dedicated entirely to hand-making leather gloves, and has been doing so since 1925.
Santa Monica, California
What makes it so great: Santa Monica’s proximity to L.A. is great, but it is a much more mellow, relaxed, and community-feeling city, as compared to its big sister. Friendly people, very clean streets and markets, and much more make Santa Monica a place you must spend at least couple of days in.
What to see in Santa Monica: One of the first things you should do here is rent yourself a beach cruiser and ride your bike around this city. A bike is a great way to see everything, and it is definitely safe to do so around here.
Once you’ve got your bike, head on down to the beach. The beaches in Santa Monica are huge and much nicer than other areas. Play some beach volleyball, try out your rollerblading skills, or just sit on a towel in the sand and soak it all in.
If you’re looking for a hot place — make sure you pay an evening visit to The Bungalow. This is an old house that has been converted into a perfectly SoCal bar, with fabulous food, drinks, and people watching that will keep you entertained for hours. Be warned, though, the lines to get in can be pretty long, so try to call ahead for a reservation.
What to eat in Santa Monica: The food in Santa Monica is absolutely fabulous. Fresh seafood is everywhere you turn. One of our favorite places is the FIG Restaurant at the Fairmont Miramar Resort & Spa. The chef there creates truly delicious food, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a celeb or two while here.
Ashland Hill is another great stop in Santa Monica. This dog-friendly place has great cocktails, as well as some fun food including a massive pretzel, and french toast sticks.
Where to shop in Santa Monica: Montana Avenue is a hot spot of shopping and cafes. With some cult favorites (including Dry Bar and Aveda), Montana Avenue also has boutiques that you won’t see anywhere else.
Abbot Kinney in neighboring Venice is one of the top places to shop in Santa Monica. With boutiques of all kinds, there is much to be seen here.
The beaches of Venice are a great place to find very unique arts and crafts. Even if you’re just window shopping, this is a place you must see.
What makes it so great: What doesn’t make Paris great? Everything about it, from the streets, to the perfectly French people, to the food, to the shopping, there is nothing bad to say about this city.
What to see in Paris: Let’s start here with the obvious: the Eiffel Tower. You cannot make a trip to Paris and not see this. We recommend visiting the tower in the evening. Not only will you have less crowds to battle with, the views of the city all lit up are a truly amazing sight, and one you’ll never forget.
Though the Louvre is of course a must-see while in Paris, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on the Musee d’Orsay. Boasting the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist pieces in the world, this museum features favorites like Manet, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Renoir, and so much more. Originally a railway station, the building itself is breathtaking (not to mention all the art within its walls).
A bit of a hike, the views are 100% worth it. Take a stroll up to Sacre Coeur in Montmarte to see some of the most gorgeous views of the city in all of Paris.
What to eat in Paris: The question here is what not to eat in Paris. The pastries here are to die for. And we honestly would die for them. From almond croissants, to just plain old baguettes, we will take everything gluten-filled here. We suggest starting every day (and afternoon, and evening) off with a pastry.
Speaking of indulging, a stop into Laduree is something you will never regret. This gorgeous luxury bakery specializes in macarons, and has every flavor, color, and variety you could ever imagine. We challenge you to try and bring some of these back home with you — we bet you’ll eat them long before then.
If you’re looking for the most rich hot chocolates and desserts you’ve ever had, we have the perfect place: Angelina. This gorgeous tea house serves up the most delicious teas and desserts and in the cutest setting. Be sure to get a cup of their famous hot chocolate and try their Mont Blanc dessert. Don’t worry — you’ll be walking a lot in Paris.
Where to shop in Paris: Whether you’re a book lover or not, a trip to the famous Shakespeare & Company bookshop is an absolute must. On the left bank of the Seine River, this shop is a tourist hot spot. Cutely arranged books will make you want to curl up with a cup of tea and dig in. Most of the books here are in English, so you can bring one home with you to enjoy.
Le Marais is a fabulous neighborhood for street fashion shopping. From new items from fresh designers to vintage stores and more, Le Marais is a great place to stroll and shop.
Though you have likely been to many of these stores in the United States, seeing all of them in one place as they are in The Champs Elysees is quite a sight. Plus, the Arc de Triomphe is at one end, so you must make it there. What better way to do that than via a shopping trip down The Champs Elysees?