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Touring Europe with a Conscience

Many visitors come from around the world to take advantage of fine restaurants and shopping in Europe. For those looking to add a philanthropic element to their trip, there are several restaurants and shops that operate as social enterprises. Zurich's Blindekuh gives diners the opportunity to eat like the blind and enjoy their meals with their other senses in order to appreciate the challenges facing blind people. Or enjoy shopping at Merci in Paris which offers eco-friendly items often donated by creators. Our team has compiled a list of several other recommendations that are also worth a stop.

Paris

Merci

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30m
 
Address:
111, boulevard Beaumarchais,
Paris 75003
France
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat: 10 AM to 7 PM
Price: Є (0.00 USD)
Price: 15 Є (16.1 USD)

Enjoy a little retail therapy and feel good about it. This shop sells eco-friendly items like Jérôme Dreyfuss's "agricouture" bags, with all profits donated to charity. Several well known designers and merchants give up their profit margins to support a good cause. There's a cafe on the ground floor.

Zurich

blindekuh - more than a restaurant - Zurich

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2h
 
Address:
Muhlebachstrasse 148,
Zurich CH-8008
Switzerland
Opening Hours: Sat, Sun: 6 PM to 11 PM
Mon to Thu: 6:30 PM to 11 PM
Price: 90 CHF (90.3 USD)

Be prepared for a truly remarkable adventure at the blinkdehuh exhibit. During the tour, small groups of people will be led through rooms completely void of light by blind or visually impaired tour guides. The absence of light heightens the other, non-visual, senses inspiring guests to "look" at the world in a whole new way. Experience the feeling of crossing a busy street or trying to find your own mailbox. Enjoy a three-course meal in a whole new way; by smell, texture and consistency. If you've ever wondered what the visually impaired experience in their daily lives, you'll know by the end of this tour.

Basel

blindekuh - more than a restaurant - Basel

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2h
 
Address:
Dornacherstrasse 192,
Basel CH-4053
Switzerland
Opening Hours: Fri, Sat: 6 PM to 11 PM
Mon to Thu: 6:30 PM to 11 PM
Price: 72 CHF (72.3 USD) 3 course meal

Be prepared for a truly remarkable adventure at the blinkdehuh exhibit. During the tour, small groups of people will be led through rooms completely void of light by blind or visually impaired tour guides. The absence of light heightens the other, non-visual, senses inspiring guests to "look" at the world in a whole new way. Experience the feeling of crossing a busy street or trying to find your own mailbox. Enjoy a three-course meal in a whole new way; by smell, texture and consistency. If you've ever wondered what the visually impaired experience in their daily lives, you'll know by the end of this tour.

jobfactory store & restaurant

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1h
 
Address:
Bordeaux - Strasse 5,
Basel 4053
Switzerland
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 9 AM to 6:30 PM
Sat: 9:30 AM to 6 PM
Price: CHF (0.00 USD)
Price: 15 CHF (15.1 USD)

If you’re in the neighborhood, the famous jobfactory department store should certainly be on your list of things to do. The four floors are packed with fashions for men and women, what they call ‘the best guitar shop in Basel’, and a gift shop filled with the latest accessories for the season. Enjoy a meal prepared by Chef Youssef Chouffai at the jobfactory restaurant, located on the fourth floor. You’ll dine on fresh, seasonal cuisine, including vegetarian offerings, while enjoying the panoramic view across the rooftops of Basel and Muchenstein. The jobfactory is a social enterprise that helps to put Switzerland’s young people to work.

Barcelona

ONCE- Coupons/Lottery Kiosks

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1h
 
Address:
Salvadors, 24,
Barcelona 08902
United Kingdom
Price: 1.5 Є (1.61 USD) and up

If you’re fond of games of chance, be sure to purchase the ONCE coupon – a lottery, of sorts – with social benefits while in Spain. Prizes can be significant and are tax-exempt. Proceeds from the lottery go to support the National Organization of Spanish Blind (ONCE). The not-for-profit organization provides a myriad of free services needed on a day-to-day basis by the blind or visually impaired. Anything from providing free guide dogs, basic social services and home support, to the technical tools needed to help them achieve independence in their lives. In addition, it also provides employment to the blind. For instance, according to the European Research Network, in 2000 the sales of the tickets provided individuals with more than 23,000 jobs – 15,000 of which were visually impaired. You can purchase these tickets at ONCE kiosks seen on the streets in cities throughout Spain. In addition, ONCE also sells Barcelona guide books written in Braille to visually impaired visitors. It’s really a win-win situation.

INOUT Restaurant

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1h
 
Address:
Alberg. C/Major del Rectoret, 2,
Barcelona 08017
Spain
Price: 10 Є (10.7 USD) VAT included. Includes water, wine and coffee.

InOut Hostel & Restaurant employs the motto "Come in with an open heart and go out with a smile you cannot erase." The employees, who all have special needs, make this hostel both exceptional and inspirational. Their staff is made up of 46 individuals – 45 of which have disabilities. They offer meals in a quiet setting with six small plate menus to choose from on the weekends, and a seasonal 3-course menu that changes daily during the week.

Located on 5 beautiful hectares in the heart of Collserola park in Barcelona, the InOut Hostel & Restaurant is situated just 500 meters from the subway. By subway, InOut Hostel is a short 15 to 20 minute ride to Plaza Cataluna in Barcelona. Reusing equipment and furniture sourced from 5-star hotels, InOut is a socially and environmentally conscious destination.

Amsterdam

Fifteen Amsterdam

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2h
 
Address:
Jollemanhof 9 1019 GW,
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Opening Hours: Sun: 5:30 PM to 1 AM
Mon to Sat: 5:30 PM to 1 AM, 12 PM to 3 PM
5:30 PM to 1 AM
Price: 15 Є (16.1 USD) - 30 Є (32.2 USD)

While you may dine at Fifteen Amsterdam to enjoy their intimate atmosphere and an Italian oriented menu, you’ll also be contributing to a worthy cause. Fifteen Amsterdam is based on a similar concept as Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen London – introducing, in cooperation with the Kookdroom Foundation, 15 to 20 disadvantaged young people to the kitchen of a fine restaurant as chef apprentices. Kookdroom is funded, in large part, by the restaurant. The giving doesn’t stop there, however. The chefs at Fifteen collaborate with the University of Amsterdam to provide cooking lessons for some lucky children in primary school. Fifteen also has a location in London and Cornwall.

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