Concierge Recommends: Europe Uncovered
Let us show you Europe as you've never seen it before. The ultimate insiders, our team of concierges have curated these custom experiences just for you.
The New Forest National Park
Native ponies graze freely in Hampshire's New Forest National Park, an area steeped in history and ideal for walking, cycling, horseback riding and observing wildlife.
In Portugal's Douro Valley, a region wine lovers know for its rocky schist soils and staggering views, port wines reign. But the same grapes used for them—such as Tinta Roriz, sometimes called Aragonez and known as Tempranillo in Spain, and Touriga Nacional, considered Portugal’s noblest grape—are now being turned into elegant non-fortified wines.
A Portuguese Wine Guide
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
The City of Light earns its name during the holiday season. Districts throughout Paris decorate with glittering lights, but the most enchanting of all is the 8th arrondissement. Hundreds of thousands of people travel to see the stunning lights that cover the 200 trees along the Avenue des Champs Élysées, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.
Where Is the World’s Best Holiday Lights Show?
The London Eye
As Big Ben tolls, signaling the beginning of a New Year, the U.K.’s largest annual fireworks display takes place at the London Eye.
Красная площадь / Red Square
Fireworks blaze in Moscow’s Red Square, where iconic sites like the Kremlin provide a dramatic New Year's Eve backdrop.
Add this to your list of events worth travelling for in 2014: the Musée d’Orsay will host a not-to-be-missed exhibit of 30 van Gogh paintings, along with drawings and letters, from mid-March to early-July.
Events to Travel for in 2014
Lago Del Predil
Four Seasons Hotel
Chocolate lovers simply can't miss @Four Seasons Hotel Milano's Chocolate Room, which opens each year under a different theme. Renamed the "Chic"olate Room in September 2013 for its current fashion theme, the room currently features over 120 kilograms of chocolate-as-art.
Dohány utcai zsinagóga
Budapest's Jewish Quarter in the 7th District is a stunning place to stroll. Start your tour with the painstakingly restored Great Synagogue on Dohány Street.
Somerset House Ice Skating Rink
There’s a reason that Somerset House is London's favourite ice rink year after year. Situated on the Thames, this Neoclassical building offers a truly magical skating experience - especially at night.
Lavaux Vignoble en Terrasses | Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
In addition to rolling hills and scenic outlooks in Lavaux, the 30-kilometre (19-mile) stretch of Swiss wine country is also speckled with quaint villages to explore.
A Swiss Wine Tour
What better place to ice-skate than in the snow-covered Swiss Alps? Natural and artificial rinks can be found at the centre of Zermatt, an Alpine village near the base of the Matterhorn, which is one of the highest peaks in Europe.
In the town where bistecca alla fiorentina was born—a thick steak on the bone grilled over charcoal— Florence's Il Latini has reigned since 1965 as the standard-bearer.
Four Seasons Hotel George V
Temple Bar / Barra an Teampaill
Looking for a lively scene in Dublin? Grab a pint or catch a live musical performance in Temple Bar, Dublin’s popular cultural quarter.
This Week in Travel: The Best of Dublin
Romania’s Transfagarasan Road is a high-altitude thrill ride. Literary (and vampire) fans will also enjoy passing by Poenari Castle, the former residence of the infamous prince Vlad III, who served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.
One of the world's best road trips is unarguably Italy's Amalfi Coast. With soaring bluffs and charming hillside villages, the Amalfi Coast provides a challenging drive peppered with unforgettable cultural experiences.
A favourite haunt of FSFlorence Chef Concierge Paul Lydka, Caffé Gilli is one of Florence's oldest cafés. Dating back to the 1700s, Gilli is known for its cornetti (Italian croissants) and good coffee.
A trip to Dublin's Gravity Bar at the famous Guinness Storehouse is an absolute must for beer lovers. With unobstructed 360-degree city views and a fresh pint of Guinness in hand, you'll truly be on top of the world.
Amaranto Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
You haven't had 'proper' high tea until you've had it in the garden at @Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane.
Hotel Restaurant London | Four Seasons London at Park Lane
Yerebatan Sarnıcı | Basilica Cistern
A sunken palace, Istanbul's Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred to lie beneath its city - visiting is a mystifying and magical experience.
Kapalıçarşı | Grand Bazaar
Collections of colourful treasures set Istanbul's Grand Bazaar aglow - get lost amid the stalls for an afternoon.
Book Café - Lotz-terem
Károly Lotz painted the breathtaking ceiling of Budapest's Lotz Coffee House in 1910 in a bold Renaissance style.
In Budapest’s seventh district, 'ruin pubs' like Szimpla Ker filled with vintage furniture and curiosities have transformed the area into the trendiest spot in town.
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Become a truffle hunter for the day at @Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. This gastronomic experience begins in the fields and continues with a gourmet dinner with a truffle menu designed by Executive Chef Vito Mollica.
Şirvanşahlar sarayı / Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Shirvanshahs' Palace, built in the XV century, is an Azerbaijanian architectural gem. Situated on top of the hills of Icheri Sheher, this Baku fortress begs to be explored.
U Modré Kachničky
For the best traditional Czech cuisine, head to Prague's U Modré Kachničky (Little Blue Duck). This romantic restaurant offers a variety of local dishes prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their specialty? Duck, of course.
Cork & CO
Portugal has long been the world’s biggest producer of cork, and at Lisbon's Cork and Co you can purchase a variety of products, from hexagonal place mats to unique umbrellas, all made from the material.
Budavári Palota | Buda Castle
Ready for a ride? Take a funicular up to Budapest's Buda Castle - the whole family will have fun.
Magyar Állami Operaház
The Hungarian State Opera House is all yours with this "once-in-a-lifetime" dinner experience available through @Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. Enjoy a private gourmet meal in the middle of the grand stage, with world-class performers to entertain you while you eat.
Four Seasons Hotel George V
Paris Luxury Hotels | Best Hotel in Paris | Four Seasons George V
Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém
When in Lisbon, try the region's signature custard tarts, Pasteis de Nata. We dare you to stop at one.
Just a short drive from Baku's centre, the breathtaking Gobustan National Park boasts more than 6,000 rock engravings dating back between 5,000 to 40,000 years.
Four Seasons Hotel
Simple and succulent, @Four Seasons Hotel Milano's Capelli d angelo al tartufo bianco is the perfect example of how Italian pasta was meant to be enjoyed.
At dusk on a day like this, Dublin's O'Connell Street Bridge and Quays make the perfect place for a peaceful stroll.
Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi Ballet is among the world's oldest ballet companies. Catch a captivating performance at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre - you won't forget it.
Государственный Эрмитаж / Hermitage Museum
In St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, it’s easy to drift into a dreamscape, to be overtaken by this mysterious palace of a bygone era, once home to Catherine the Great, Alexander I and Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II.
St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, Reinvented
Newman Street Tavern
London's Newman Street Tavern serves a refreshing mix of British classics and modern, seasonal dishes - don't skip the oysters.
Get lost for a day in Tuscany's Monteriggioni. A medieval walled town located on a natural hillock, it's a perfectly preserved place for a peaceful wander.
Florence Day Trips | Wine Country | Pisa | Four Seasons Firenze
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
All of the ingredients used to create @Four Seasons Hotel Firenze's decadent Tiramisù Cocktail are produced less than 100 kilometres from the hotel. Try it. Trust us.
Torre de Belém
When in Lisbon, make time to explore the Tower of Bélem - a UNESCO World Heritage site and vestige of Portugal's 15th-century maritime dominion.
Lisbon Attractions & Activities | Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
Four Seasons Hotel George V
From its grandiose setting to tremendously thoughtful dishes like Eric Briffard's Strawberry Shortcake (pictured here) a trip to two-Michelin-star Le Cinq is an artistic experience, through and through.
Largo do Chiado
Visit Lisbon's Fábrica Sant’Anna’s Chiado boutique to admire beautiful tilework, or head to the brand’s factory in the nearby Belém district to see artisans in action.
Храм Спаса-на-Крови / Church of the Savior-on-Blood
Look up! The dramatic domes of St. Petersburg's Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood gleam against the city skyline.
Four Seasons Hotel George V
What are @Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris Sommelier Thierry Hamon's must-try Champagne recommendations? Click through for this top picks from Paris.
Vásárcsarnok | Central Market
Insider tip: If you buy one thing at Budapest’s Great Market Hall, make it a packet of smoked paprika.
This Week in Travel: Top 5 European Markets
Du Pain et Des Idées
For some of Paris' best baking, head to always-delicious Du Pain et des Idées and choose from old-fashioned specialties or new spins on classic favourites.
Ayasofya | Hagia Sophia
Since its construction in the sixth century, Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia has had a major influence on global architecture – and when the sunlight spills in, it’s easy to see why.
Vintage Cocktail Club
Thirsty in Dublin? Stop into the Vintage Cocktail Club in the Temple Bar district for a pre-dinner drink. The modern-day speakeasy is noted for its Moscow Mule, a classic ginger beer and vodka concoction.
A Weekend in Dublin
Portobello Road Market
Sherbet-coloured buildings line London's famous Portobello Road in the Notting Hill district. The bustling market is renowned for antiques, fashion, food and other treasured finds.
London Attractions & Activities | Four Seasons London Park Lane
Alba, Italy’s famous white truffle—or “Alba Madonna”—is one of the world’s rarest and most expensive. On Saturdays and Sundays from mid-October to mid-November, the finest chefs and culinary insiders flock to the small town for the Alba International White Truffle Fair.
Musée international de la parfumerie
In Grasse, France, the heart of the world’s perfume country, perfumery is an art form that involves the power of scent and the alchemy of memory.
This Week in Travel: A Trip to France’s Perfume Country
Insider tip: The Vatican’s Simonetti staircase is open to the Greek Cross room each morning. If you’re visiting early enough, you can descend the spiral staircase and walk straight through to the Sistine Chapel to see it almost empty.
This Week in Travel: Tips From the World’s Best Museums
Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő és Uszoda
Budapest can arguably be called the city of spas, and the outdoor medicinal Szechenyi Bath and Spa is the city's ultimate wellness experience.
Sweets lovers around the world flock to Pierre Hermé in Paris for its famed macarons. Flavours range from traditional (chocolate and salted caramel) to exotic (jasmine and grapefruit).
Istanbul's Topkapi Palace once housed the Ottoman Sultans and functioned as its own city. Take a stroll through the opulent grounds and look for parrots flitting among the tree branches overhead.
Istanbul at Sultanahmet: Within Walking Distance
Yanar Dağ | The Flaming Hill
Yanar Dag or "Fire Mountain" is one of Baku's can't-miss natural wonders - a natural gas fire that blazes continuously on a hillside on the Caspian Sea.
Sitting atop a skyscraper on the edge of Milan, Unico Restaurant is Michelin-starred chef Fabio Baldassere's love note to high-end cuisine. Book the table inside the kitchen and watch the chefs chop, glaze and braise with finesse.
4 Must-Try Restaurants in Milan, Italy
If you want a once-in-a-lifetime operatic experience, look no further than Germany's annual Bayreuth Festival. But be warned: Tickets to this coveted event celebrating the works of Richard Wagner (and only Wagner) are notoriously hard to come by.
Where Is the World’s Best Opera House?
Place des Grottes
While exploring Geneva's Quartier des Grottes neighbourhood, look at the buildings at 23 to 29 Rue Louis Favre. Constructed between 1982 and 1984 by three unconventional architects, the Gaudi-style cartoon-esque structures are hard to overlook.
Hotel des Bergues Geneva: Within Walking Distance
Saint Stephen's Green
St Stephen’s Green is an idyllic natural retreat in the heart of Dublin, set amid stately Georgian neighbourhoods. Perfect for passing a lazy afternoon.
For some of Budapest's most authentic Hungarian fare, reserve a table at Hungarikum Bisztró. The recipes at this cosy restaurant have been passed down for generations.
Karlův most | Charles Bridge
Take a sunset stroll along Prague's Charles Bridge and admire the centuries-old statues. Royalty once took this same path to and from Prague Castle, which punctuates the skyline nearby.
Love Gucci? Don't miss Florence's Gucci Museo, an homage to the brand’s Florentine beginnings where visitors can tour a permanent collection fashioned from pieces created throughout Gucci’s 92-year history.
Parisian lève-tôts (early birds) line up for pain au chocolat from retro 1963 bakery Jean Millet—claimed by many to be Paris’ best.