Whilst trying the local cuisine and exploring local independent restaurants and cafes abroad is an exciting aspect of travelling, sometimes after a long sleepless night train, you crave something cheap, quick, and familiar.
To avoid trawling the streets arguing about where to go, on our trip we, therefore, visited Mcdonald’s more than we probably should have.
Strikingly whilst we expected to find the same menu price range and general atmosphere as Maccies in the UK, abroad the interior and menus seemed much fancier than at home. Below I rate the standout McDonald’s across Europe that I visited on my interrailing trip.
1. Istanbul, Turkey – 5/5
The staff at the Maccies we visited in Taximo Square were very friendly and seemed happy to chat with tourists. Here the walls were lined with cheesy motivational quotes, reminding you to reach for the stars which made the visit rather iconic.
Crucially, the Istanbul Maccies did the cheapest coffee, with an iced coffee available for around 8p. However, as with many places in Istanbul, there were some weird price fluctuations. Three of us bought the exact same coffee, yet all three coffees were a couple of pence different in price.
2. Bucharest, Romania – 4/5
Upon entering Maccies at the Bucharest train station, I was surprised by the ditsy interior design. The restaurant walls were lined with Balamorey-style pastel houses and the room had lots of plants.
More importantly, they had a £1 burger and chips deal and let us sit in for hours charging our phones and using the WiFi whilst we waited for our train.
3. Belgrade, Serbia – 3/5
McDonald’s in Belgrade seemed a lot fancier and classier than in the UK. The restaurant we visited had a separate McCafé area which served some delicious-looking cakes and coffees.
They even served coffees in mugs and glasses here rather than in disposable cups.
4. Budapest – 2/5
Though Budapest boasts some quality affordable restaurants and cafes in scenic locations around the city, the Mcdonald’s here was frustratingly pricey in comparison.
Minus points for not including coffee or milkshakes in the meal deals, though the Sea Sebastian, a shrimp and beef burger seemed interesting.
5. Munich – 1/5
After the disappointing realisation that most supermarkets around Munich close at 8 pm, we trotted to Maccies in search of a cheap dinner.
Prices in Munich, however, were by far the most expensive on our trip so far and the food and atmosphere were no better.