If you go anywhere new, there's bound to be at least one thing about that place that sticks out to you. Throughout my European travels last summer, I gained new friends, insight and worldly perspectives. Throughout my time, I collected memories of people, places and things that resonate with me.
From the most beautiful hike in the world to the best fries, here are 10 of my favorite European proper nouns.
1. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre offers one of the best views of a coast I've ever seen. It also allowed me to get some well-needed exercise in at the end of my trip, as the area supplies an abundance of hiking trails.
2. Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France
If you ever find yourself bored in Paris (as if that is at all possible), look no further. Shakespeare and Company, a book store loaded with books of all genres as well as a unique historical context is one of the best kept secrets of Paris. Located right next to Notre Dame, the store is known for exchanging housing for work to independent artists. It's also aesthetic goals.
Love to travel? Good. Hate paying a lot of money? Even better. FlixBus is a European bus company that got me from London to Amsterdam for less than €50. And that's just one of the many trips I took with FlixBus. Although it has a bad reputation for delays and overall sketchiness, it's worth the minimal amount of cash.
4. Mannekin Pis
Mannekin Pis, Amsterdam, Netherlands
I'm not talking about the statue located in Brussels. This is a french fry shop located in Amsterdam with the best fries (and portions) I've ever had. The real seller? Vegan mayo. If you're hungry in Amsterdam (for some odd reason), make sure to add this place to your itinerary.
5. St. Christopher's Inn
St. Christopher's Inn hostel
Like FlixBus, this European travel essential is both easy on the wallet and the eyes. I stayed at two locations in Paris and one in London. Perfect for young travelers, this hostel keeps up their cleanliness and hospitality while maintaining a cool social environment. One of my main highlights of my trip were their two for one mojitos with Jimmy John's style crushed ice.
Fuxia, Paris, France
A study abroad friend suggested we try this place for dinner. Little did I know that this quaint Parisian restaurant would change how I look at Italian cuisine. If I sound crazy, maybe this will help: Balsamic vinegar in a SPRAY BOTTLE people. Oh, and free bread of course.
7. Thomas Cook Airlines
Because I paid for my trip myself, I searched high and low to assure I had the best deals. That's when I stumbled upon Thomas Cook Airlines. This British discount airline got me all the way to France and back for under $800. Prior to take off, I had never heard of the airline so, naturally, I prepared myself in case the flight crashed and burned. Lucky for me, I flew safely and comfortably and will definitely be choosing Thomas Cook in the future.
Seeing an Amorino in Europe became as common as seeing a McDonalds in America for me. I gave way too much money to this ice cream shop, but I would pay anything for dairy-free gelato in the shape of an elegant flower.
9. "À bout de souffle" (1961)
I first discovered "À bout de souffle," directed by Jean-Luc Godard, in my French cinema class while studying in Montpellier, France. It's a film with gorgeous cinematography, love and crime. But, most importantly, there's an American journalist working in Paris who falls in love with a French outlaw. Basically my dream wrapped up into one film.
This place is the perfect blend between Dick's Sporting Goods and Marshall's with price tags similar to those of your neighbor's garage sale. This place has gear for every outdoor activity or sport you can think of. I will forever treasure the large hiking backpack I purchased for €10.
These nouns basically saved my life during my travels. Please do yourself a favor and visit or use these things in your own European adventures.