The Coolest Coffee Shops in Europe

Europe has become synonymous with great little quaint cafes, coffee bars, and tea rooms. We’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest coffee shops and cafes in Europe to help inspire you as you plan your next European holiday.

There is something about coffee that brings people together. The warm inviting aromas entice you in, encourage you to sit, and welcome you to experience your surroundings rather than just see them through your camera lens. One of the best parts about traveling is trying local cafes and restaurants and immersing yourself in the culture. A coffee house provides the unique atmosphere for patrons to sit in solitude and people watch one minute, but then mix and mingle and connect with other patrons the next minute.

If you’re looking for that quintessential coffee house café experience, then Europe has got to be on the top of your list to visit. Europe has become synonymous with great little quaint cafes, coffee bars, and tea rooms. We’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest coffee shops and cafes in Europe to help inspire you as you plan your next European holiday, because at the end of the day you can never have too much coffee.

The Antico Caffe Greco | Rome, Italy

As the oldest café and coffee house in Rome, this place has quite the history. Since opening its doors in 1760 the café has served coffee and food to some historical and famous figures over the years. This is your chance to sit in the same spot as some of the most famous artists, thinkers, philosophers, politicians, and composers of history and today.

Or Espresso | Brussels, Belgium

This industrial-looking coffee shop roasts their own coffee and are even distributors. They even have their own school teaching up-and-coming baristas the art of all things coffee, pretty cool.

Tim Wendelboe | Oslo, Norway

Tim Wendelboe brings fresh, creative and energetic ideas to coffee and his café. He continues to offer unique and interesting combinations and has spurred on the coffee craze in Oslo specifically.

Café Central | Vienna, Austria

It’s not often you can have a cup of delicious coffee in a rare 19th century historical building but you can at Café Central. This famous and beautiful coffee house opened in 1876 and has been enticing people in ever since.

New York Café | Budapest, Hungary

Nicknamed ‘The Most Beautiful Café in the World’, the New York Café is one of the most elaborate and exquisite coffee house and tea rooms around. Very popular with long lines, this café serves Austro-Hungarian cuisine and sweet treats all day. You’ll feel like you stepped back into the 1800s when you step through these doors.

The next time you’re on a European holiday make sure to take the time to sit and experience the café lifestyle that Europe has perfected. Try to learn how to order your favorite coffee drink in the native language (trust us, they’ll appreciate the effort of you trying even if it’s not perfect), people watch, don’t be afraid to make conversation with others around you, ask for recommendations for a great coffee or dinner spot, and open your heart and mind to your surroundings. You may be surprised, you could go in for a coffee but leave with an experience to remember.

Should Finland Be Your Next Destination?

Finland is a land filled with exotic people, breathtaking scenery, and some of the most interesting social customs on earth. Let’s talk about why Finland could be the best destination for your next European trip.

If we are all being completely honest, it’s rather unlikely that Finland is very high on your list of worldwide dream destinations. However, that might be a big mistake, if you know the charm and character that this little gem in the Nordics carries, it’s country that should definitely be on your bucket-list. Finland is a land filled with exotic people, breathtaking scenery, and some of the most interesting social customs on earth. Let’s talk about why Finland could be the best destination for your next European trip.

Nature

Finland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in all of Europe. But don’t let that deter you! The country is filled with endless beauty when it comes to nature, and sights to see. Outside of the bustling cities, the country of Finland has nearly 200,000 lakes, and Finns love to hike around them, swim in them, and experience them in their daily lives.

In addition to the gorgeous lakes, up north in the Finnish Lapland is one of the most clear places in the world to view the famous northern lights. Some hotels even have glassed igloos to sleep underneath the vibrant green skylight, now how would want to miss something like that? In contrast, the Finnish summers turn the country into ‘the land of the midnight sun’, with endless daylight.

For those who love being in tune with the earth and natural beauty, Finland is one of the best places on earth for it.

The Culture

The Finns have a rather bad reputation for being quite reserved and quiet people. However, once you spend a few days in Helsinki (the capital city) you will quickly learn that reputation only extends to the first few minutes. Once Finns realize that you are someone interested in them or their culture, they quickly become some of the most fun and welcoming people you are likely to meet on your European travels.

One thing that Finland is known for, is their sauna culture. The sauna was actually invented in Finland, and it is a rather important piece of their social interaction. In fact, there are almost as many saunas as there are people in Finland. The Finns love to crack open some beers, grill sausages, and spend their days swimming in the many lakes around them and going in and out of the sauna. It is one of the most exotic, and exciting cultural experiences that you are likely to experience anywhere in Europe. Not to mention, they even do it in the dead of winter, followed by swimming in the frozen waters!

Food

Finland is known for more than a few cultural staples in their diet. The Finns have lived in their land for thousands of years, and have had time to perfect their own recipes and iconic dishes that can only be found in Finland; such as the Karelian pie, and the infamous ‘mustamakkara’ which means ‘black sausag’e–usually eaten with berry jam. Finnish food is guaranteed to be unlike anything you have ever tried before.

Final Thoughts

For those who love to take a step into a more exotic adventure, the great white north could be the perfect destination. Finland is filled with natural experiences, deep history and culture, and charming people who love to meet travelers. Perhaps Finland might be the ‘hidden gem’ destination you have been looking for.

Spain’s Mysterious Underwater Temple

Spain’s Mysterious Underwater Temple: In 2019, Spain was hit with record droughts, which it has never seen in recent years. It was these conditions that caused the waters of the Tagus coastline to recede, and reveal a shocking sight – an ancient temple monument, the Spanish Stonehenge.

Spain has a long and storied history of interesting culture, conflicts, and ancient mysteries. That is why it should come as no surprise that when weather patterns change, even more exciting things can be found in the waters.

If you weren’t in Europe during the summer of 2019, you likely didn’t realize how exceptionally hot the entire region was for those months. The whole of central and southern Europe was experiencing record high temperatures, and the country of Spain, was no exception. In that year, Spain was hit with record breaking droughts, that it has never seen in recent years. It was these conditions that caused the waters of the Tagus coastline to recede, and reveal a shocking sight – an ancient temple monument, the Spanish Stonehenge.

This temple that was revealed, dating to be between 4,000-7,000 years old, emerged for the first time in decades among the Valdecañas reservoir. The sight itself was previously excavated by a German researcher by the name of Hugo Obermaier in 1920; however, nothing was made of the discovery and the site was submerged completely underwater in 1963 during a construction project. The site was lost to the minds of the global community, until it’s recent re-emergence.

The site has come to be known as the ‘Spanish Stonehenge’, due to its construction of large granite megalithic structures organized in a 26m round circle. The resemblance to the famous English megalithic structure is rather uncanny. The tips of the structure were known to peak above the waters over the years when water levels in the reservoir were low, but it wasn’t until this historic summer of 2019 that they fully emerged.

Experts believe that the structure was previously used as a temple, or even a ritual burial ground. It is unclear, why people in the region would have needed the structure for at that time; but the fact remains that the massive 2m tall stones are something to behold.

Unfortunately, there have been concerns about how to preserve this unique monument. Granite is a very porous stone, and being submerged for the better part of 60 years has not been kind to the monument. Currently there are movements being launched to preserve and protect the monument from tourists and others who might damage it and all it’s natural wonders.

Many cultures have tales of ancient underwater temples and cities, the Spanish Stonehenge brings something mythic to the area in this regard. It gives an amazing look into older civilizations , and all who laid eyes on it have noted the sense of wonder and amazement it evokes. It truly is a wonder of the ancient world, brought forth for us to see again from the depths of the reservoir it sleeps in.