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Europe, by any standards, is an international hit. Renowned for its diverse patchwork of history, culture and staggering beauty, it’s a continent of architecture and artists, culture, quirks and cuisine. Here are five things that really hone in on the best of it.
Toad in the hole and chips with curry sauce? The United Kingdom isn't famed for culinary brilliance, but eat your way around the UK and we bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.
...Toad in the what now? Don't worry, no toads are thrown in the sauce pan for this delicious number. Sausage is cooked in a thick, golden and unbelievably delicious batter. Great on the taste-buds, not so much on your arteries. Warning, it's highly addictive.
The French eat well. They also know how to eat well without breaking the bank. There are Michelin starred restaurants in Paris which serve gourmet ‘prix fixe’ lunches for half the price of dinner. One-star establishments such as L'Agapé serve a set four-course lunch for €44pp, and even the three-star Astrance (considered one of the world’s best restaurants) dishes out a “surprise lunch menu” for €70 per head. You can afford to go ostentatious — at lunchtime at least.
When in Europe it’s easy to hop about the continent for a quick weekend here, a little getaway there. Jet off to Madrid and enjoy a weekend full of sun, sightseeing, Rioja wine and regal palaces.
Did you know the Colosseum is in Italy? Along with pizza, pasta and a leaning tower everyone calls Pisa? Of course you did. Six pages of Google will tell you as much. But what about the sunken Roman city of Baia? The Las Vegas city of Roman times, where the chariots were fast and the women even faster. And now, centuries on and submerged under water, aquatic types can don a snorkel and go diving there. Weaving between paved roads and lavish Roman villas. Pretty neat, aye?
You might want to bring your marmite along from home as breakfast isn’t a big meal for the Greeks who prefer a snack later on instead. Unless your accommodation is a resort/western environment then the breakfast might not be quite what you expect — all the better to fill up later on the day with Greek Delicacies — such as olives! Can you really go to Greece without enjoying a few olives? Or a plateful of Moussaka? We highly recommend wandering through Greece's fine markets and finding yourself a stall where they keep feta in large barrels. Then get ready to have some of the best seafood you'll ever taste, and try Ouzo at least once. Just don't try and keep up with locals!
You want some Europe holiday deals as well, right? Browse all our current European offers and inspiration.
5 things every Kiwi should experience in Europe
What is Europe actually like?
VIDEO FROM HOUSE OF TRAVEL