When it comes to traveling abroad, one of the best and most popular ways to get to know a new region’s roots and character is by trying its food.
By sharing a meal with locals, tourists can gain crucial insights into the places they are visiting, and connect with others who share the experience.
This is why it pays to conduct a detailed investigation into the best places to eat in each city that you’re planning to visit. Having a food tour planned in advance can make all the difference to your vacation.
Key aspects of European communities are often reflected and revealed in the ways in which residents prepare and share their meals. But where to begin?
Flexibility and budget permitting, there are certain cities which definitely call for a food tour, should you decide to visit – in particular, from countries such as France, Spain, Italy and Germany.
The capitals of each of these countries are tourist centers par excellence and are fully equipped for food-related activities. Getting to know Rome or Paris by food tours is a great way to immerse yourself in the way of life of these famous European cities.
Tips for booking a food tour in Europe
First of all, a well-organized itinerary is a must, to define your schedule of activities in every city you visit. This will let you determine how long you have to sign up for a food tour in Rome, for example.
A food tour can last from one to four hours depending on the activities involved, which can range from wine tasting to multi-course menus.
A reliable tip is to purchase a package tour from a trustworthy tourism agency. These packages offer a wide range of food tours in different cities around Europe.
You can book the package from online platforms and you will get all the information you need: schedules and prices of train tickets to go to different cities, addresses of restaurants, among other fundamental factors to take into account.
A food tour may mark the first step in planning your vacation itinerary, and guaranteeing a successful and one-of-a-kind adventure.
Top 10 suggested European cities
If you plan to visit Spain, be sure to check out two destinations there which are famous for their gastronomic culture.
On the one hand, San Sebastián has a legacy of excellent pintxos and tapas. These dishes share the fresh ingredients which are a hallmark of the La Bretxa market.
La Bretxa is an historic market that originated in 1870 in Donostia, and became one of the main attractions in the area over time. In addition to being a gastronomic center, the market and city are home to a great deal of historical curiosities.
Another great option for a food tour in Spain is undoubtedly Barcelona. This beautiful city offers a mix of typical foods from different parts of the country, from tapas and maricos to gazpacho and paella.
Gastronomic tours usually take place in tourist0friendly areas such as Plaza Real, La Boquería market and La Rambla.
To this list, we should add a visit to the two main culinary centers of France, Paris and Lyon.
A gastronomic tour of Paris allows tourists to discover the city’s historic neighborhoods, monuments and amazing views.
Food tours usually start in Montmartre and end with a visit to the Sacre Cœur cathedral, taking in a wide variety of French food, from sweet treats like croissants and macaroons to savory baguettes and crêpes.
The country, and its capital city, are home to some of the most popular cheeses in the world, including Roquefort, Brie, Gruyere, Emmental, and Camembert.
Lyon is the third largest city in France, behind Paris and Marseille, and the former capital of ancient Gaul, with no shortage of historical sites that are worth a visit.
The city’s gastronomy stands out in its many restaurants of all styles, and its sprawling vineyards in which you can sample the signature wines of the region. Any Lyon food tour should include at least one visit to a so-called “bouchon”.
These popular venues serve all types of traditional dishes, from cooked sausage and potatoes to tripe marinated in white wine, breaded and fried. All kinds of food and drinks characteristic of the region are available here, blending perfectly with the city’s commerce, pedestrian streets, theaters, cinemas and many other attractions.
Having sampled the best food France has to offer, why not move on to Italy? The neighboring country has a longstanding gastronomic culture based around oils, flour and wine.
Rome and Bologna are the cities to aim for if you want to really get to know Italian food.
Here you will find all kinds of pasta – we recommend the spaghetti carbonara! – as well as the best pizzas on the planet, typical Italian antipasti heavy on the garlic and tomato, and some of the world’s most exclusive wines.
These tours are truly unmissable for food enthusiasts, but they’re not the only cities whose cuisine we recommend getting to know.
Travelers have long recommended trying the beers on offer in the German cities of Berlin and Munich, as well as Brussels’ chocolates, waffles and chips and the delicious Dutch cheeses in Amsterdam.
Endless options all in one place
Some European cities offer a comprehensive mix of different food cultures, while giving visitors access to world-renowned attractions. One such destination the city of London, England.
While this city has its own gastronomic traditions, it is also heavily influenced by Chinese and Indian cuisine.
Among the typical dishes of London are fish and chips, and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings. Meat is a mainstay of the city’s fine dining establishments.
London is also famous for its tea, which is something of a specialty. When in town, you should try a good cup of English Breakfast for a glimpse into a major British tradition.
To bring this multicultural adventure to a close, why not visit the best bars of the London nightlife, known for its artful and high-quality cocktails?
Using the insights and information above, you should be ready to plan a trip that will allow you to truly understand European culture, by tasting the finest dishes of each city that you choose to travel to.