I have always been an avid traveler and am often seen with a backpack that is larger than my own body. Exploring countries and seeking out nature, wonders of the world, people, cultures, and food has always been my passion. Every new place I visit is a unique experience, from trying the local restaurant to exploring the first market or visiting the neighborhood's food stall recommended by the hostel manager. As a solo traveler, I hold a special place in my heart for local, authentic, and budget-friendly experiences.

These days, having local experiences can mean a number of different things, but it’s important to put the focus on those that are truly contributing to the local economy and not actually harming it (nor your bank account).

Spring is the perfect season for a city break

You can set off on a weekend escapade for an exceptional experience without breaking the bank or dealing with large crowds. While summer is the peak season, spring offers a sweet spot in terms of weather, price, and availability for short trips.

In this post, I have selected three cities that I guarantee to be amazing culinary destinations for quick breaks, and which are also great in terms of pricing, with a focus on food tours. For budget-conscious travelers seeking a comprehensive experience encompassing culture, travel, and something a little more special, these eatwith experiences bring you all this, in the ultimate package.

So let's get going and taste the local markets of Athens, explore the narrow alleys of Lisbon, and stroll through the bodegas of Barcelona!

The Perfect Culinary and Travel Escape - Tour and Taste Athens

As a budget traveler's paradise, Athens offers an array of culinary delights that showcase the rich flavors of Greek cuisine. From street food to traditional tavernas, the capital city has something to satisfy every palate.

Understanding Athens–its people, culture, traditions, and food–through a central market food tour is exactly the way to go. Not only will you enjoy delicious food, but you'll also make new friends and experience Athens from a local's perspective.

While exploring Athens, you'll be captivated by ancient landmarks, delve into its fascinating history, and admire the breathtaking views of the Acropolis and charming old-town architecture. Immerse yourself in the local food culture by joining our market tour, where you can savor Greece's finest produce and learn about its culinary traditions.

Having visited Greece multiple times, I've always been amazed by the freshness and quality of the ingredients. Luckily enough, with our local hosts, Pascal, Nikos, and many more, you'll have the opportunity to sample the best of Greek cuisine, from the best Souvlaki to the addictive Spana-Kopita (spinach pie), delightful loukoumades, and flavorful dolmades. If you're vegan, our hosts also offer specialized tours to explore the best vegan spots in Athens.

By booking a gastronomic tour, you'll not only discover the city and indulge in its culinary delights, but you’ll also learn where to find the finest ingredients, make new friends, and, of course, enjoy plenty of delicious food! With all that said, plus the great weather, there’s no doubt Athens is one of the best weekend getaway destinations. Explore the options here and be sure to savor Athens on your next trip!

Barcelona Food Tours -  Bodegas, Tapas and History

Long before I moved to Barcelona, the city always had a special meaning for me. I visited it when I was younger, with my highschool friends. A few years later I came to explore its nature and surroundings, and taste the local dishes. And now, it’s my home.

Luckily enough, Barcelona has long been a must-visit destination for foodies, offering a mix of traditional Catalan cuisine and modern fusion dishes. It’s also a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, architecture lovers, party-people, outdoorsy travelers, and families. The city has got it all! With our eatwith hosts' top-rated food tours, you'll get to experience the city's famous food culture while discovering gems hidden in its narrow alleys.

The abundance of options in Barcelona can be overwhelming. "Where to eat in Barcelona?" is a frequently asked question, as it's a proper gourmet culinary destination. To avoid overwhelm and stress during your weekend break in the city, choosing a food tour with a local is the best option: you won’t overpay in a restaurant or fall into tourist traps, you'll try a variety of dishes, taste a proper sangria, and you’ll learn about local produce. 

Eatwith hosts in Barcelona will guide you down beautiful alleyways, introduce you to local spots and iconic bodegas (wine bars) for a glass of delicious local wine, take you through the best food stalls in vibrant markets (such as La Boqueria), and open your eyes (and mouths) to delicious local Spanish food. 

Aside from eating, you will see so much of the city and, trust me, it’s one to see! From Gaudi’s architecture and modern buildings, to mountain and sea views. All that while making new friends and having fun. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Get a Taste of Lisbon Food & Culture: Seafood, Sweets, and Fado

Lisbon is a city full of surprises, with an incredible food scene that reflects its history and cultural influences. Every local dish or shop has a real history behind it and, just by seeing what locals eat, you can understand how important the city’s river and coastline has been, and continues to be, to its habitants. From fresh seafood to sweet pastries, there's a lot to explore in the Portuguese capital.

When I visited the city, I was amazed by the way its local eateries showcase the culture and tradition with Fado music in every local bar, the fact there’s a traditional pastry shop in every corner, and the variety of seafood and meats there is to enjoy. Lisbon provides a perfect spring getaway before the summer, since the city is not yet over crowded, and is as vibrant and tasty as always. It’s also so rich with culture and traditions that it’s just truly inspiring.

Walking around the hills and narrow streets of the city and trying its incredible sweets (such as Pasteis de Nata to Pao de deus), I was a bit lost finding my way around and knowing the best food to try. I was curious to learn about the history and the tall buildings and lifts that take you up and down the steep city center. Doing a tour with a local host was my perfect solution. And going on a food tour provides much more than a good meaI. I saved money on getting the dishes I loved the most, eating at the best hidden spots, connecting with a local and learning their story, just having a great all-in-one.

Our eatwith hosts offer various food tours that will take you on a gastronomic journey through Lisbon's neighborhoods while introducing you to its traditions and culture. Let your host lead you to fresh seafood at the famous Mercado de Arroios or to indulge in the infamous custard tarts, and ensure an unforgettable experience.

Book your seat to enjoy Portuguese sweets, local alcohol, and music with local guides and fellow travelers. It's an experience you will never forget!

Food Tours for The Budget Traveler

Traveling on a tight budget doesn't mean you’ll miss out. You don’t need to sacrifice experiencing the local food culture or meeting locals. It also doesn't mean all expenses will be at an all time low. As an experienced traveler, I learned it is actually about choosing what will provide you with the richest experience. And with that said, doing a food tour during a weekend getaway in these cities is the best of the best.

Eatwith hosts offer food tours, with options for all. Our local hosts are passionate about their city's cuisine and love sharing their knowledge and favorite spots with travelers. By joining a tour, not only will you get to taste delicious food, but you'll also support small businesses and get an authentic experience.

Enjoy the insiders’ guidance, tips, insights, and have a great trip!