Birthday gift (vouchers?) ideas for my brother who will be traveling in Europe this summer


So my brother’s birthday is coming up in a couple weeks and I’ve been trying to come up with gift ideas. Since he and his spouse will be traveling in Europe for at least a couple weeks in June, I thought it’ll be a good idea to give him a gift of experience instead of tangible items. They are both experienced travelers, but this will be my brother’s first time in Europe.
As far as I know they will be visiting Ibiza, Rome/Milan, somewhere in Switzerland, maybe Greece, definitely Paris, and potentially London.
My brother loves food and cooking and has recently started a foodie vlog, so I thought maybe a gift certificate for food tour/cooking class in Rome or Paris may be a good idea. Problem is I don’t quite know the exact dates they’ll be there.

Does anyone here have experience with food tours/cooking classes in Rome and/or Paris? Can you share your experience? What other birthday gift ideas do you have?

Thanks a lot!


I don’t have any experience with food tour/cooking classes in Rome and/or Paris but you’d save yourself some tense moments if you had an open-date gift voucher. Gift certificates generally don’t have a set date, unless it’s for an event (which you mentioned). Personally, I’d send a gift certificate for a bookshoppe, maybe a gift voucher for the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore if they intend to be in Paris. I loved that bookstore, it was one of the highlights of my trip.
From their website


BritRail or EurRail Pass cannot be topped!


It pains me to say this, but they are not book people and generally don’t go to bookstores if they can help it. :cry:


Good heavens, heretics!


Hi nagnabodha,

I do have some recommendations—they might be slightly farther afield but 100% worth it. I recently did the Culinary Backstreets culinary walk in Naples (super quick, easy train ride from Rome — could even make it a day trip!). It’s outstanding, and while it’s not a cooking class, it’s a totally immersive culinary experience… you get to see behind-the-scenes in kitchens, taste the city’s best food, and spend time with people who really know the place and people. Culinary Backstreets also offers culinary walks in Athens, which I would equally recommend. These tend to be half-day activities, and well worth the money. You could definitely contact them and book as a gift for your brother. That would be my recommendation! (P.S. I work on the Atlas Obscura Trips team, and we collaborate closely with Culinary Backstreets, so I’ve gotten to see the quality of their experiences first-hand, and am continually impressed.)


That complicates things a bit … what kind of voucher in particular ? what sort of things do they like ? In terms of London there are a lot of options (Museums , theatre , art galleries , guided tours etc. ) but I can’t really say for the other countries as I have never visited them except for France/Paris ( There is probably much more you can do with a voucher there then London) and Spain ( never Ibiza though as it is my idea of hell).

1 Like

This is a great recommendation! Thank you :slight_smile:

1 Like

Le Cordon Bleu Gift certificate to buy a gift voucher for a culinary workshop in Paris

1 Like

The only time I have had my pocket picked was in Paris: I didn’t feel a thing. We Americans do not learn to steal by finesse; we much prefer to stuff a gun in someone’s face and growl, “gimme yer money.” That, we understand very well, and generally comply. Since then I have used a sling billfold for my money, cards, and passport. It hangs from your neck, and goes under your shirt between purchases. I have not lost a penny in Europe or Asia since I got it, and recommend it highly.


Too bad you don’t have dates, but maybe contact these people & ask about a pre-paid voucher. Sounds really cool.


Culinary Backstreets for sure!

1 Like