A trip to Europe can feel a lot like traveling back in time. Cobblestone streets, ancient ruins and historical landmarks enchant us, while some of the world's most beautiful scenery leaves us in awe. But Europe isn't just for sightseeing. Europe is also a destination for epicureans who want to enjoy and explore our culinary history, too. Depending on where you travel in Europe, you can enjoy any number of distinctive dishes that have been prepared using ancient cooking techniques and enjoy surprising twists on conventional crowd pleasers.
[Read: 6 Food Tours Worth Traveling For.]
Heading to Europe for a foodie getaway? Check out these eight food-focused experiences and tours to discover delectable bites and thriving culinary cultures.
An Authentic Tuscan Food and Wine Experience
Where: Florence, Italy
Specialty tour operator Walks of Italy offers a unique food and wine experience for visiting epicureans. The tour starts with a casual stroll past the beautiful Ponte Vecchio. Once you reach the Oltrarno neighborhood, you'll start your journey with cheese, meat and famous Florentine bread perfect to douse in oil and vinegar. Next up is an aperitivo hour, where you can expect a leisurely a wine tasting featuring the area's famous varieties. Once happy hour is over, you'll visit a famous Florentine restaurant to dine on traditional Tuscan starters and the region's tastiest steak. Finish the meal with a scoop of gelato before returning home.
The Guinness Connoisseur Tasting Experience
No trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, which has played a huge part in the city's growth since its grand opening in 2000. The Storehouse sits on the site of the St. Jame's Gate Brewery, which has been crafting delicious Guinness beers since 1759. The Storehouse Connoisseur Tasting Experience takes you through Guinness history with a combination of delicious beers. Learn about Guinness and Ireland's rich history, while tasting the country's historic drink of choice. Pair your beer with Irish bites like Guinness beef stew. And don't forget to try some famous Guinness bread.
A Trastevere Walking Food Tour
Reputable tour operator City Wonders offers this foodie jaunt in one of Rome's most historic and beautiful neighborhoods, Trastevere. There, you'll discover quaint medieval streets and many hidden corners of the eternal city. With an expert guide, you'll explore churches, charming piazzas and flower-covered buildings before heading to your final stop, a private 17th-century villa. Your meal will include four gourmet Italian cuisine courses paired with some of the region's remarkable wines.
A Tapas Evening Tour
Where: Barcelona, Spain
Spain is known for its high-quality produce and late-night dinners, many of which include small plates. The "Tapas Evening Walking Tour of Barcelona" tour, available through Viator, will take you through many of Barcelona's famous neighborhoods including Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. While you walk around the famous city, you'll try various small plates paired with local beer, wine or cider and nosh on foods such as cured meats, cheese, breads, and appetizers. Plus, you can learn about traditional Catalan culture and wander through the vibrant Boqueria.
A Foodie Tour of Athens
Where: Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece, is known for its Mediterranean-inspired culinary specialties. On Viator's "Athens For Foodies: More Than a Creek Food Tour," you can explore many of the city's famous neighborhoods while savoring traditional Greek fare and drink pairings at authentic tavernas. Try classic dishes such as saganaki, moussaka and stuffed peppers capped off with honey-covered desserts. Your guide will also share insightful stories about the region's food as you sample diverse local dishes and learn how they're made.
A Cheese and Chocolate Themed Tour
While Switzerland is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, it's also famous for its delectable gourmet cheese and chocolate varieties, as well as other delicacies. A daylong "Switzerland Mountains, Cheese and Chocolates Tour from Zurich" trip available through Viator includes stops at local cheese factories and a cable car ride into the Swiss Alps. Try locally made cheeses and desserts from Lindt, the famous Swiss chocolate maker.
An Anthony Bourdain-Inspired Culinary Tour
Where: Zadar, Croatia
Follow the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain, who famously wined and dined at Hotel Boškinac, a historic property located on the island of Pag in Zadar, Croatia, with Viator's "Boskinac Wine Full Day Tour from Zadar." At Hotel Boškinac, the scenery and location are as captivating as the gourmet fare, with olive groves, vineyards and fragrant herbs flanking the property. Your foodie journey will include tastes of aromatic local lamb along with cheeses, olive oils and locally made breads. And the four-course meal includes prawns, vegetables, lamb, cheeses and desserts prepared with traditional Croatian cooking techniques.
A Munich History- and Beer-Themed Walking Tour
This private, full-day tour available through Viator introduces guests to the richness of Germany's food and history led by a knowledgeable guide. Guests will stroll through historic Munich and learn about its history and landmarks as they try the region's famous foods. Your group will weave into and out of the city's famous beer halls including Hofbrauhaus. As you learn about German history and taste its most noteworthy drink, you'll also have a chance to dive into a traditional Bavarian meal consisting of weisswurst (a traditional Bavarian sausage) and weissbier (a wheat beer).
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