If you’re planning a trip to Europe, congrats! You’re about to have the time of your life. However you need to take care of some paperwork before you can embark on your adventure, most importantly your passport and visa.
26 countries in Europe allow you to travel with one common visa- the Schengen visa. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland
You can travel to one or more of these states with a Schengen visa obtained from the embassy of any one of these states.
In this article, I will take you through the process of obtaining a Schengen visa for your travel to Europe.
Firstly, if you’re travelling to multiple destinations, you need to decide which consulate you will be applying to. Ordinarily, it is advised that you apply to the consulate or embassy of the country in which you will be spending the most time. If this is undecided or the number of days is equal, apply to the country in which you will be landing first.
It is advisable to apply for your visa at least three weeks before your trip but no more than 3 months prior. Book an appointment with the VFS office, either online or via a phone call, sufficiently in advance (about a week before you want the appointment)
The next leg of the application process can be a little tiresome, but with the following checklist in mind, you should be good to go. Always make sure you have two sets of all the necessary documents- one file containing the originals, and another containing photocopies. Make handwritten checklists of the document list that you find at the end of this blog, and on the VFS website.
1. A valid passport – Issued within the last 10 years and with at least 3 months validity after your scheduled return. It must have at least two blank pages.
2. Two passport size photos according to the embassy specifications, taken not more than 6 months ago. The photo must be against a light (preferably white) backdrop. The photo must be 35 mm in length and 45 mm in height. Your face must be fully visible, from the bottom of the chin up to the hairline, and the size of the face should be between 32 and 36 mm.
3. A No-objection certificate (NOC) from your school or university (for students) or a leave letter from your company- clearly stating your designation and leave dates as well as the date on which you return to work.
4. Proof of financial status – Salary slips of the last three month, in order to prove that you can afford the trip. Certificate of proprietorship will suffice if you are self employed.
5. Income Tax Return (ITR) form or form 16 ((Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary) for three years. If you do not file an ITR you will need to submit an ITR of the person who is gifting the trip to you.
6. Bank statement of the last six months to prove sufficient funds. It is recommended that you have a minimum of Rs 1.5 lacs per person in your account as closing balance
7. Proof of accommodation for the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen area. If staying with friends or relatives for the whole or part of your trip, please check with VFS for documents required based on the country you are applying to – usually their passport and letter of invitation will suffice, but we strongly recommended checking with VFS before hand.
8. Flight tickets both to and from the Schengen area.
9. Travel insurance which you can buy online. The travel insurance must be valid for 30 days from your trip start date. Also, the sum insured must be a minimum of Euro 30,000.00 for hospitalization and must cover emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.
10. One copy of your passport’s data page Print the first two pages and last two pages of your passport in an A4 size paper.
11. Proof of residence – You are required to apply for your visa in the region in which you have been residing for the 6 months prior to applying for the visa. If it so happens that the region in which you are currently residing, and from which you are applying for your visa is not the same as the address mentioned in your passport, you will have to provide proof of residence in the form of an official document- such as your rent agreement or a utility bill (electricity or water or phone bill)
12. Application form – This can be downloaded from the VFS office of the respective country, and must be duly filled.
13. Cover Letter A letter addressed to the consulate to which you are applying. It must elaborate upon the following details
Purpose of visit (tourism, visiting friends or family)
Detailed itinerary, If you have a sponsor
Explain your personal relationship with your sponsor and the reason why they will be sponsoring your trip
If you cannot submit any of the required documents, write about the reasons why you cannot submit and explain alternative documents that you may have submitted
You can also mention the reasons why you will not overstay the visa period (employment, personal assets, etc.), explain your rootedness to the country
14. VFS appointment letter.
Once you have made an appointment, show up to the VFS office 15 minutes before your appointed time. Ensure you have photocopies and originals of all documents and a printout of your VFS appointment letter. Once you have cleared security, you will be issued a token number. After this, you will have to submit your documents when your token number is called. If your documents are in order, they will give you a receipt to make the payment. The payment desks are in the same area, and you have to pay around Euro 60 per application + VFS service fees ,so ensure you carry a sufficient amount. Payment can be made via cash, card or DD. Once you come completed the payment, show your paid receipt at the counter where you submitted documents. You will be issued a tracking number and taken to the biometric room where your fingerprints will be recorded.
This is the complete process at the VFS office. You can track the status of your visa application on the VFS website. Once it has been processed you can collect your passport from the same office. The post document submission process usually takes around 15 days.
For any other queries, feel free to write to us at email@example.com
We often desire to explore places around the World but stand back because of the hassle involved in the process of getting a Visa. Well, how about visiting places that provide on arrival visa for Indian citizens? Sounds good, doesn’t it? An Indian Passport is powerful enough to grant you an entry, one just needs tickets to fly.
Destinations today are more accessible to tourists than they were before and with these countries that provide Indians with a Visa on Arrival, either for a small price or for free or even over the internet for that matter, life couldn’t have gotten better. Here are the details of few countries. Just pick yours and get ready to take off!
Nepal, Home to the birthplace of Buddha and the highest mountain peak in the world, Nepal is a delightfully mysterious country that has always intrigued tourists. Its monasteries, yaks and tales of the abominable Yeti will enchant you all the more.
Visa: Owing to the Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Indian citizens do not require a visa to enter Nepal. All they need is a valid Indian passport and other bona fide photo identity issued by the Government of India. Nepal is in fact the most popular visa free country for Indians.
Getting There: Several direct and relatively short flights from major Indian cities fly to Kathmandu. Alternatively, it is possible to travel by train or bus from Delhi/Varanasi or Kolkata. The journey, however, is a lot longer.
Best Time to Visit: September to November.
Places of Interest: Nepal is nothing short of a pilgrimage especially considering the presence of the Boudhanath and Swayambhunath Stupa and the Pashupatinath Temple. The Durbar Square in Kathmandu stands gracefully despite the extensive damage inflicted upon it by the earthquake of 2015 and deserves a visit. Moreover, the Everest Mountain Flight is another essential apart from the relaxed getaways to Pokhara and Nagarkot.
Where to go:
Kathmandu:Explore the capital city of Kathmandu that is home to beautiful valleys and sites such as Durbar Square, Swambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhnath Stupa, it is actually a place where you find the union of two different religions- Hinduism and Buddhism.
Pokhara:Pokhara has an eye-soothing view, and is well known for Phewa Lake where tourists get an opportunity to boat around the lake embraced in scenic beauty. Pokhara is also the gateway to Annapurna Circuit- a popular trail of the great Himalays.
Nagarkot:Nagarkot is a well- known and beautiful valley popular among the tourists as it has the best spots to view “the top of the world”- Mt. Everest. It is a lifetime opportunity to watch the world’s most beautiful sunrise and sunsets here.
Bhutan–The Land of the Thunder Dragon is as humble as it is mighty. With a stunning landscape coupled with a rich and fascinating culture, Bhutanis the mother of all destinations offering Indians a Visa on Arrival. India’s neighbour provides a great time for those who wish to have an enchanting and inexpensive holiday experience.
Visa: Indian nationals do not need a visa to enter Bhutan. A passport or any other valid identity proof is sufficient.
Best Time to Visit: October to December.
Getting There: Indians can reach Bhutan both by land or air. There are a number of inexpensive direct flights for those who intend to reach early. If you wish to take the road, you have to go via Siliguri to the Jaigaon border and then into Phuentsholing. Permits may be needed for visiting certain places in Bhutan.
Places to visit: Bhutan’s monasteries, especially Tiger’s Nest, are worth all the time in the world. The Punakha and Thimpu Dzong along with The Buddha Dordenma are examples of the strong architectural and religious presence in the kingdom. The icing on the cake is the cuisine which is both rich and healthy.
Where to go:
Paro: Paro is a beautiful valley of Bhutan, and is a route to reach the major attractions of the country. Through Paro, one can reach the world-famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery- the most popular and unique monastery of the country, and other popular attractions such as Rinpung Dzong, Chele La Pass and Haa Valley.
Thimpu: The capital city of Bhutan, Thimpu has the largest population, and is also connected to other beautiful valleys. When in Thimpu, visit Tamchong Lakhang, Buddha Dordenma Statue, Takin Sanctuary- where you can see Bhutan’s National animal.
Punakha: Punakha valley is most famous for the Punakha Dzong situated at the junction of river Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Also there is Chimmi Lakhang- a famous temple, and the longest bridge of Bhutan known as the Suspension Bridge.
Maldives grants Visa on arrival for Indians, and is truly a heaven for beach lovers. With extremely beautiful beaches, resorts, hotels and spas, it is surely an ideal holiday destination.
Where to go:
Male:The capital city of Maldives, Male has a lively city life along with beautiful beaches and architectures to see. When in Male, roam around the city and visit Islamic Centre, National Museum, Male Friday Mosque, and the renouned Male Fish Market. One can stay in the luxurious private resorts to experience the best of Male.
Hulhumale in Maldives:
Hulhumale is all about turquoise beaches that are breathtakingly beautiful, busy streets and beautiful resorts near the beach where you can feel the sea all day long.
Maafushi in Maldives:
Maafushi is one of the biggest islands of Maldives and can be reached from Male through Villingili Ferry Terminal. Once you reach Maafushi you can visit the popular beaches such as Bikini Beach, Public Beach, Coral Beach and so on, and opt for water sports such as Snorkeling, Scuba Diving.
Mauritius doesn’t require any visa for Indian National, and hence you are free to enjoy your trip for as many days as you want. Mauritius is an utterly beautiful island nation that has numerous places for you to visit.
Where to go:
Port Louis in Mauritius:
Port Louis is the Capital of Mauritius and holds the evidence of its Colonialised History With French and English. Port Louis has popular Forts, Museums, a Central Market and the secondlargest horce racing course in the world.
West and Southwest Mauritius:
West and Southwest of Mauritius include many attractions such as- Chamarel and Chamarel Waterfall, Black River Georges National Park, Le Morne and Morne Brabant.
The North Trip includes- Pamplemousses, Grand Baie and Cap Malheureux.
South and Southeast Mauritius:
South and Southwest have must visits such as- Mahebourg, Gris Gris and Souillac.
Also one can take a Catamaran ride to the Ile Aux Cerfs islands that are indeed heavenly.
Hong Kong asks no visa for 14 days from Indian National, and hence you are free to go anywhere you want. Enjoy your trip in this joyous and vibrant land, and get lost among the metropolitan city and its planning that are highly modernized.
Where to go:
Hong Kong Island:
The central place of the island includes the metropolitan city with many tourist spots. Among the famous spots, VictoriaPeak is the most popular one as it provides a panoramic view of the city along with the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets.
Kowloon in Hong Kong:
Kowloon is an ancient city of Hong Kong reflecting its history. The Kowloon Walled City is a famous park that reflects the ruins of the civilization along with the blend of Chinese Gardens.
Other Territories in Hong Kong:
Other Territories in Hong Kong include other famous spots such as the Big Buddha, Chi Lin Nunnery, Ten Thousand Buddhas and so on.
For Indians, Jordan provides the visa on arrival. A beautiful country that is all about desserts, Camel rides, and wonders carved out of sandstones. Jordan is an ideal place for people who love History, architectures and safaris.
Where to go:
Amman in Jordan:
Amman is a beautiful city, and exploring it would be such a delight! This city is popular for its stunning views, Roman Theatre and mesmerizing sunsets to admire from the citadel.
Jerash in Jordon:
Jerash is all about temples, ruins of ancient buildings, plazas, amphitheatres and so on. It is a place holding on to its history.
Petra City in Jordan:
Petra is a world famous site recognized by UNESCO World Heritage, and is included in the Wonders of the World. Petra is one of its kind revealing the excellence of man-made carvings from huge sandstones. Petra has impressive tombs and monasteries that are bound to leave an impression.
Cambodia is a widely famous tourist destination, and has plethora of places for you to visit. Mostly famous for its age-old temples, rice and paddy fields, culture shows and authentic cuisines, Cambodia is an amazing place to visit. The Kingdom of Cambodia is a tryst with the Gods and a heart-breaking historical journey rolled into one. Despite being greatly underdeveloped, it is an alluring country with the nicest people you will ever meet.
Visa: Cambodia is one of the few countries offering visa on arrival for Indians. All you have to do is pay 20 USD as soon as you get there. Your visa will be valid for 3 months and will allow you a 30-day stay in the country. You should also have a valid passport, a recent photograph of yours, a confirmed return ticket and your bank statements.
Getting There: Cambodia has two international airports, the Siem Reap International Airport in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh International Airport in the capital. While it has no national airline carrier, regular flights from Bangkok can take you to the two cities. Moreover, most Indian metropolises have direct flights to Bangkok and you should book your tickets in advance for the best prices.
Best Time to Visit: November to May.
Places of Interest: Discover your spiritual self at the Angkor Wat and Bayon. Explore the world of Lara Croft at the Ta Prohm temple. Pay homage to the victims of perhaps the worst pogrom known to mankind at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek. Cap it all off by getting a taste of luxury at the Royal Palace.
Where to go:
Phnom Penh in Cambodia:
The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh (pronounced as NaamPen) resides beside the rivers Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap. Phnom Penh has numerous historical architectures, and also reflects its history of FrenchColonialism through its buildings.
Siem Reap in Cambodia:
Siem Reap is the gateway to the world famous and one of the oldest temple of the world- AngkorWat. Built during the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat holds a rich history of its kings and dynasties that are evident even to the modern world.
Sihanoukville in Cambodia:
Sihanoukville is easy to get through from Siem Reap. This place is all about beautiful, luxurious resorts and less crowded beaches. Its famous beaches include- Victory Beach, Otres Beach, Sokha Beach and so on.
While visiting Bolivia, the Indian Nationals are provided with Visa on Arrival. A South American country, Bolivia is a beautiful land comprising of small mountains and of course the largest navigable river of the world- Titicaca. Bolivia is a paradise for food lovers and culture aficionados. Right from its coffee to its indigenous people, its dangerous roads to its many birds and snakes, the country is a thorough roller-coaster ride.
Visa: Indian nationals with an invitation letter from Bolivia can get a Visa on Arrival that is valid for 90 days. The fee could be around 100USD. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months and a recent photograph is imperative too.
Getting There: Flights from India to the city of La Paz can have up to 3 stops right from London to Miami, Amsterdam to Sao Paulo. Tickets need to be booked a lot in advance and the journey usually is more than 24 hours.
Best Time to Visit: May to October.
Places of Interest: Bolivia is almost synonymous with the breath-taking Salar De Uyuni and rightly so. However, one must not forget that the country also has the majestic Lake Titicaca and Copacabana town. The city of La Paz with its Plaza Murillo, Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, the Witches Market and the cobbled streets of Calle Jaen is quite a draw as well.
Where to go:
Copacabana in Bolivia:
Copacabana is a well- visited tourist destination in Bolivia, and the point from where one can admire the grand basin of Titicaca. The town of Copacabana is often crowded and joyful, and has plenty of Cafes and restaurants for you to enjoy along with its chilled evenings.
La Paz in Bolivia:
La Paz is a large city encompassed by the snow-tipped mountains of Altiplano. Explore the city of La Paz that is ideal for drinking, food, beautiful sites, and so on.
Rurrenabaque in Bolivia:
Rurrenabaque is an ideal place from which you can visit the AmazonBasin and won’t have to visit Brazil for setting your Amazon Journey.
Cochabamba in Bolivia:
Is a beautiful city most popular for the Jesus Statue that is the largest in the South America. There are also many museums and other sites to pay visit to. One can simply admire the view of Cochabamba as it is embraced in small mountains.
Sucre in Bolivia:
Constitutional capital of Bolivia, Sucre is an old city brimming in history and culture. With plethora of colourful buildings and vibrant street life, one must surely wander this city to learn amazing facts that it holds.
Thailand has the facility of Visa on arrival for Indians. It is truly a beautiful country full of rich culture and beauty- both architectural and scenic. Thailand is basically a country on steroids with its glittering high-rises, golden temples, splendid beaches, a thumping nightlife and secret islands. It is an exotic paradise like no other and the number of budget options it has to offer makes it one of the most sought after destinations in the world.
Visa: Thailand grants Indian citizens a Visa on Arrival for a maximum of 15 days. The only prerequisites are a payment of approx 3200/-, a valid passport and confirmed return tickets.
Getting There: Regular direct flights connect Indian cities to Bangkok, the Thai capital. The journey is anything between 2-4 hours and tickets come cheap.
Best Time to Visit: November to April.
Places of Interest: Discover the magnificence of the Golden Buddha and the Grand Palace. Shop till you drop at Chatuchak Weekend Market and have truckloads of fun at Safari World. Dance the night away at the Walking Street in Pattaya and sip a cocktail or two on the beaches of Phuket and Koh Samui. The list of things to do in Thailand never really ends.
Where to Go
Bangkok in Thailand:
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok is all about vibrant street life and ornate shrines. The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a must visit which is truly majestic and captivating. Also visit the other famous sites such as Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun temples that are an authentic example of Buddhist artistry and architecture.
Pattaya in Thailand:
Pattaya is mostly about beaches as it is situated on the Eastern Gulf Coast. When you visit Pattaya, don’t forget to visit the Truth of Sanctuary temple as it has an unique body carved out of wood.
Phuket in Thailnad:
Phuket has mesmerizing beaches such as Bang Tao Beach along with small islands, among which Koh Phi Phi and Phang Nga are popular among tourists.
Srilanka, with its delectable cuisine, breath-taking beaches and tea plantations, is one of the most memorable trysts with nature. Its colonial past shines through its estates and ruins and its wonderfully intricate temples tell tales of the past. Sri Lanka is like a soothing balm and will keep you coming back for more.
Visa: Indians need an Electronic Travel Authorisation upon entering Sri Lanka and it is valid for 30 days. The fees must be paid in USD and you need sufficient funds and a return ticket.
Getting There: Several direct, short and inexpensive flights connect Indian cities to Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.
Best Time to Visit: December to March and May to September. Greatly depends upon regional factors.
Places of interest: Right from some cheap shopping opportunities and bountiful natural beauty to a fascinating architecture that throws light on its heritage, Sri Lanka is a gem for travellers. Explore Adam’s Peak and get in touch with your spiritual side at the Temple of the Tooth. Discover the Citadel of Sigiriya and hike up to the Ella Rock. Immerse yourself in the many museums of Colombo and cosy up with a book amidst the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya.
Where to go:
Colombo in Sri Lanka:
The capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo has plenty of places popular with tourists among which Gangaramaya Temple, Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple, National Museum and Viharamahadevi Park are must visits.
Ella in Sri Lanka:
Ella is a small village situated on the highlands of Sri Lanka, and has Tea Estates, Waterfalls, Mountains and a breathtaking view. The train ride from Kandy to Ella is among the most beautiful and scenic rides of the country.
Kandy in Sri Lanka:
Kandy is mostly popular for its sacred buddhist sites and Kandy Lake. The most popular attraction include the TempleofTooth and the Royal Palace of Kandy.
Sigiriya in Sri Lanka:
Sigiriya is famous for its centuries old Rock Fortress situated at the top of Sigiriya Cliff.
Bali has a facility of Visa on arrival for Indians that is valid for the next 30 days. Bali is all about beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, exotic spas, and old Temples depicting the Indonesian Culture.
Where to go:
Ubud in Bali:
Ubud is one of the first place one must visit while travelling to Bali. Not only it is the place of temples, paddy fields but also has luxurious resorts and spas. While visiting Ubud, don’t miss out the TegenunganWaterfall, Campuhan Ridge Walk, rafting along Ayung River, and lastly Ubud Market.
Uluwatu in Bali:
An ideal place for beach lovers, Uluwatu is all about beautiful beaches, greenery and Balinese culture. Visit the Uluwatu Beach, Nusa Dua Beach and Garuda Wisnu Kencena National Park to get the best of this place.
Seminyak in Bali:
A tourist friendly spot, Seminyak has crowded beaches where you can drink and relax, some Balinese Temples and Markets. SeminyakBeach is the major attraction of this place along with Petitenget Temple.
If you have your Indian Passport with you, Vietnam provides Visa on arrival.
Where to go:
Hanoi in Vietnam:
Hanoi is popular for Old Quarter, Ho Chin Minh’s Mausoleum, Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda.
Ha Long Bay in Vietnam:
Ha Long Bay is another popular spot among tourists and can be reached from Hanoi. Ha Long Bay has amazing view, and is ideal for spending the day on a ship and discovering various caves and islets along with some water activities.
Nha Trang in Vietnam:
Nha Trang is all about old pagodas holding the Vietnamese culture for centuries. Among many pagodas, Long Son Pagoda is one of the most popular one.
Ho Chin Minh City in Vietnam:
Ho Chin Minh City is the largest city of Vietnam and has vibrant, busy streets along with many places to visit such as- War Remnants Museum, Former Presidential Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Post Office and Ben Tanh Market which has a fame for collective Souvenirs.
Seychelles is like a beautiful poetry written on a piece of paper. With its pristine rain-forests and hidden beaches, it is a gift to mankind. An archipelago of 115 islands, it t is easily one of the most soothing destinations in Africa.
Seychelles offers a Visitors Permit On Arrival for Indians free of charge for a period of 3 months if you have adequate funds and a return ticket. If you feel like you can’t get enough of the island, you can further extend your stay for a period of 3 months upto a maximum stay of 12 months from the date of issue. You would have to pay around 5000 SCR for the same.
How to get there:
There is a non-stop 4 hour long flight from Mumbai to Mahe in Seychelles and you can get a great deal upon booking in advance. Other flights usually go via Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
Best Time to Visit: April to May and October to November.
Places of interest
Seychelles is all about the islands and beaches. Some notable names are Anse Georgette, Anse Lazio, Anse Source D’Argent, Curieuse Island, Coco Island and Petite Anse. The Valle de Mai Nature Reserve along with Morne Blanc collectively add to its charm.
Where to go:
Mahe in Seychelles:
Mahe is the largest island in Seychelles and is home to the only international airport along with stunning beaches. While staying in Mahe one must explore the capital city of Victoria, along with the popular beaches such as Beau Vallon Beach, Baie Lazare Beach and so on. One must opt for hiking at the Morne Seychellois Natioanl Park.
Praslin in Seychelles:
Praslin is another beautiful island of Seychelles and can be reached by a ferry from Mahe. The major attractions include the Vallede Mai National Park recognised by UNESCO, where you get to the the Coco demer palms– only found in Seychelles and is the world’s largest and heaviest seed. There’s also a popular white sand beach known as AnseLazio.
La Digue in Seychelles:
La Digue is another small island of Seychelles, and can be reached by a short ferry ride from Praslin. La Digue is mostly popular for realxed beaches such as the Grand Anse and many others.
So, no worries about Visas. Pack your bags and fly to your favourite destinations just with your Passports.
Dubai has a surprising amount of things to do for those looking to spend more time there. It’s a city trapped between the old and the new. A place in a conservative culture with old world customs while at the same time a Middle-Eastern Vegas where anything goes. Dubai is a fascinating, multi-cultural city that deserves a lot more than stopover.
Day 1 in Dubai:
As you step out on your first day, plan a visit to the Dubai Mall (world’s largest mall!): go to the Dubai Aquarium, explore its restaurants for lunch, do some good shopping and then walk to the Burj Khalifaentrance to see the sunset from the tallest building in the world.
Start your adventure with the Dubai Aquarium at Dubai Mall – The 10-million liter Dubai Aquarium tank, located on the Ground Level of The Dubai Mall, is the largest suspended aquariums in the world. Come face-to-face with some of the ocean’s most fascinating predators, at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. For the first time, you don’t need diving experience to get up-close at feeding time, in a brand new shark feeding encounter – which brings you closer than ever to the creatures behind the exhilarating Shark Week exhibition (ticket price on average $50 USD depending on the experience).
Have an early lunch at one of the many restaurants in the mall which will give you the required energy to shop. The best mall for completing your 10,000 step goal and enjoying the Dubai splendor in malls is Dubai Mall. For all shopping we recommend you wear your most comfortable sneakers ever- you could be there for hours!
You can buy Burj Khalifatickets either on the site or pre book them online. If you are not booking tickets in advance, it’s advisable that before you settle down for lunch/shopping at the Dubai Mall, you first head to the Burj Khalifa (enter through the Dubai Mall) and check for availability of tickets. On weekends (which are Friday and Saturday in the ME), and around sun set time, you will see larger crowds of tourists and three things may happen: all tickets are sold out/you have tickets available but nor for the time slot you would like/ticket prices are too steep, especially for the 148th floor at sunset time. So ensure you reach the venue a few hours in advance and buy tickets. The 128th floor ticket should be cheaper while that of the 148th floor will be more expensive. In any case, if you find the ticket to the 148th floor to be priced AED 500, do not buy it, it’s too expensive and not worth it! From either floors, you will get panoramic views of the city and desert. At night, the building is illuminated by a spectacular light show of fish, palm trees, and other scenes while the fountain below at Dubai Mall dances to music. You can always catch the fountain show at the Dubai Mall (frequency is every 30 minutes starting 6:30PM, the last one being 11:00PM) if you don’t feel like going that high.
The Armani Loungeon the 1st floor lets you have your favourite drinks and nibbles (dinner too) and watch the fountains. There is also a fantastic restaurant called Atmosphere on the 122nd floor but you need to book it prior- you can book for drinks or for dinner. Remember that it doesn’t come cheap. You can watch the fountains from there as well, we promise they will be a delight.
Day 2 in Dubai:
Take a desert safari– If you want to get a taste of the desert, head out on a day-long safari with Arabian Adventure. They will pick you up from your hotel as well as drop you back. You’ll be able to ride a camel, hold a falcon, explore the desert, and eat some traditional food while watching traditional Arabic dance. A day-long excursion will cost around 315 AED ($85 USD). (Note: there are other desert safaris that may be cheaper, but this is the full experience). Given the temperatures, the outdoors part is scheduled towards the evenings. During the heat of the afternoons, you spend time in the comfort of the car riding sand dunes – just remember to have had a light lunch as your stomach can churn during this exercise. It’s fun though!
Day 3 in Dubai:
Visit Kite Beach – If you’re into kite surfing or water sports, this is a great place to catch some waves. The winds pick up in the afternoon, making it a good time to hit the water or just sit back and watch others do it. If watersports isn’t your thing, just come here to catch some rays and relax. While the UAE is a Muslim country, it’s not as conservative as you might expect. Dress as you would do in Europe: shorts and bikinis are fine. There’s no need to cover your head either. Once you are done, you can go back to your hotel to change and relax. Your next destination will be the Dubai Museum.
Dubai Museum – A small museum in old Dubai with not a lot of information but some really cool displays. It teaches you the history and culture of Dubai and life in the desert. At $1 USD admission, you can’t go wrong. While you can take a metro or a cab to get there, nothing beats the charm of getting there on a ferry, although it is not the most straight forward way to get there since you will still need a metro/cab till Deira. You will cross the Dubai creek from the neighbourhood of Deira using a traditional boat called ‘Abra’. This takes you to the Bur Dubai Old Souq and Water Bus Station. Here you can explore the Souq first or explore it on your way back. To go to the museum, walk towards Al Fahidi Street where the museum is located. There are several attractions around the museum that you can also see so ensure you keep your energy going.
Watch La Perle in the evening – Dubai’s one of a kind live masterpiece. A new era of entertainment has swept over Dubai with the debut of La Perle. Created and produced by one of the world’s most renowned artistic directors, Franco Dragone, La Perle transports audiences into another world. This interactive theatre experience should not be missed. Immerse yourself in the live show that takes inspiration from Dubai’s past, present and future. (https://laperle.com/en/)
Day 4 in Dubai:
Hire a taxi and head out to Abu Dhabi. The journey takes an hour each way so is very convenient. The star attraction is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a pristine white marble mosque that will mesmerize your senses. Beneath white-marble domes, the vast Mosque features an immense Persian carpet, crystal chandeliers and a capacity for 41,000 worshipers. In case you are looking for a lunch stop-over in Abu Dhabi, pre book one of the restaurants in the Emirates Palace (entry is not allowed to guests unless they have a reservation), which is a palatial hotel with a private marina. On your way back to Dubai, spend some time at the Ferrari World (remember it closes at 8PM), a mostly indoors amusement park on Yas island – it is connected to Yas Mall so can explore the Mall as well. A Bronze Pass entitles you to unlimited all-day access to the Ferrari World. There are restaurants inside where you can have your meals.
Day 5 in Dubai:
Depending on when your return flight is in the evening, you can check out the other Malls that will help you to shop till you drop. We will recommend the Mall of the Emirates and the Ibn Battuta Mall. The latter is inspired by the Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta and is the largest themed mall in the world. The countries that Ibn Battuta explored in his lifetime have their own distinct retail court and you will not regret the experience. The Mall of the Emiratesalso has an indoor ski resort called the Ski Dubai where you can also play with Penguins.
Catch your flight in the evening with beautiful memories to share with your loved ones!
The world is a book and all those who do not travel read only one page.
Who doesn’t love to travel? Traveling is meant to revitalize us!
But along with the blissful travelling comes fatigue, unending flights, uncooperative passengers and uncomfortable seating. But then there’s always a solution! And one such solution is yoga. Here is a list of 5 yoga asanas that are a great stress and fatigue reliever!
How To Do The Garudasana
Begin by standing in the Tadasana. Move your left leg up and cross it over the right one. Try to hook your left foot behind the right calf. Bend a bit, if you must. Now bring your arms forward and bend them at the elbows. Cross the right arm over the left one and bring the palms together. Stretch your arms upwards.
Pose Type:Balance, Hip opener, Standing
Also Known As: Eagle Pose
How To Do The Bhujang Asana
Lie face down on the floor. Place your palms on the floor, on either side of you, slightly lower than your shoulders. Lift your upper body off the floor by pushing your palms against the floor. Get into a cobra pose by using your back and abdominal muscles. Keep your thighs firmly on the ground as you arch your back upwards. Maintain the pose for a full 10 seconds.
Goal: Start your day on a fresh note, salute the sun and feel rejuvenated the entire day.
Strengthens: Vertebral column
Pose Type: Prone
Also Known As: Cobra Pose
Goal: To relax after long drives
How To Do The Tadasana
This simple asana sets the base for all other yoga poses. Stand straight, placing both your legs slightly apart. Your hands should hang freely alongside your body. Raise your arms and stretch upwards, from feet to your head. Exhale and release. Repeat.
To relax yourself after a long flight or a car ride, Tadasana is the perfect yoga pose to wake up your muscles, limbs and joints.
Strengthens: Knee, Thigh, Ankle
Pose Type: Standing
Also Known As: Mountain Pose
Goal: To ease your muscles and freshen your mind
How To Do The Utkatasana
In a need of some serious stretching on a road trip? Stand with your feet slightly apart, stretch your arms to the front and over your head. Bend your knees and lower yourself slightly as if you are sitting on a chair. Be comfortable.
Missing your intense gym workout but on a vacation? Compensate with this advance asana!
Strengthens: Vertebral column, Thigh, Ankle, Calf
Pose Type: Standing, Core
Also Known As: Chair pose
Goal: To rejuvenate body, mind and spirit
How To Do The Shavasana
Shavasana is perhaps one of the easiest, yet most important asanas in yoga. Lie flat on your back (make sure not to use a cushion) with your legs slightly apart. Leave your palms open, facing upward. Close your eyes, breathe deep. Relax your entire body.
Wind up your yoga session with Shavasana to develop a deep, meditative state of rest to your body.
Strengthens: Relaxes body and mind
Pose Type: Restorative
Also Known As: Corpse pose
Now travel and move around the globe actively! The world is waiting for you. Go and explore it. These yoga asanas are your tour guide! They won’t let you get tired.
A prolific writer and a health buff Molisha enjoys the benefits of yoga. She likes to research more and more about yoga and spread the benefits!
“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God”.
“Sounds like you have traveled almost every renowned destination, yet you feel something missing”.
What’s that something?
Romance of Rome, elegance of France, charm of Spain, beauty of Belgium, anything or everything about these places is that, these places are all very crowded most of the tourism season as these are amongst the most preferred traveling destination.
We don’t even spend time on trying places where not many people have already traveled.
Have you considered a trip to Asian continent, what countries would you choose, if yes?
I’m pretty sure if not confirm, the answer would be countries like China, India, Tibet and relevant on your top priority lists. No doubt, again these countries experience a heavy foreign tourism every year.
The point I’m trying to make is try places where few of your buddies have traveled, if any. You would rule the discussion at the parties and teas as they won’t have any experience of what you are talking about.
Worry not! Your host which is me, would be guiding you through the entire journey. Follow me ….
Today! We take you to this very beautiful country Uzbekistan, I’m sure you would find what experiences I was talking about in a moment.
Welcome to Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Even though the entire Asian continent only is culturally very rich and diverse, Uzbek is one where you would get an entire different experience.
Note: We suggest you to go for around a couple of weeks of visa to comfortably cover all the cities of Uzbekistan.
The most desired cities and destinations are as shown below…
Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan. It’s known for its many museums and its mix of modern and Soviet-era architecture.
The Amir Timur Museum houses manuscripts, weapons and other relics from the Timurid dynasty. Nearby, the huge State Museum of History of Uzbekistan has centuries-old Buddhist artifacts.
The city’s skyline is distinguished by Tashkent Tower, which offers city views from its observation deck.
Chorsu Bazar in Tashkent:
The market has been going for centuries, but it was the Soviets who constructed and covered it with the blue-domed building. All the locals come to the bazaar, which means that this is also a great place to observe the ethnic and cultural blend Tashkent is famous for.
We strongly recommend you buy kurut, a Central Asian snack which consists of dried cheese balls.
Hotel Uzbekistan in Tashkent:
Best thing about traveling to ex-Soviet countries is visiting Soviet buildings. They are massive, old-fashioned and made of concrete.
In Tashkent, our favorite Soviet building would be, definitely, Hotel Uzbekistan, whose size and elegance won’t leave you any less than wow.
Tashkent metro is an artistic masterpiece amongst the Soviet republics. Built extremely deep in the ground, almost every station of the Tashkent Metro is absolutely gorgeous, all very different from each other.
From beautiful mosaics to massive, goldish-candelabras, we spent hours just going up and down the metro, while stopping at its many gorgeous stations.
Cultural Art and Sculptures in Tashkent:
The culture has formed over millenniums and has taken in traditions and customs of various nations settled on the territory of todays’ Uzbekistan.
The Great Silk Road played a great role in the development of Uzbekistan culture. Being the trade route, it ran from China to two destinations: first one was to Ferghana Valley and Kazakh steppes and second route led to Bactria, and then to Parthia, India and Middle East up to Mediterranean Sea.
Hazrat Imam Complex in Tashkent:
An official religious center in the city and, of course, one of the top Tashkent tourist attractions. Composed of mosques with turquoise domes. Hazrat Imam Complex is the main reason to visit Tashkent and the place where you will understand why this Central Asian metropolis had been such an important place.
Muyi Mubarak Library is the most important building, as it contains the world’s oldest Quran and a relic which is nothing less than a hair from Prophet Muhammad (that’s what they claim, verify yourself and let us know).
Tashkent TV tower:
TV tower, the highest building in Central Asia. You can actually visit it, but the observation deck is at only 96 meters, even though you get a pretty good panoramic view of Tashkent’s skyline.
Price for foreigners is 15USD but if you could manage to get through a local, pay the local price, which is 36,000UZS (4.30USD).
“There are several other beautiful attraction sites to visit, not a week is enough once you start getting involved and feeling the culture and lifestyle”.
Delicious regional cuisines are always add-ons to the elegance of the tourist destinations. Try out as much of delicious varieties of sweets and meals as you can.
Do share with us your personal experiences, once you get to visit the city.
We’ll visit other cities as well in our upcoming blogs.
“Stay connected and keep exploring new destinations with WiseYatra” .
He is a “Marketing professional and Lifestyle Entrepreneur”who has a passion for travelling and writing. Loves traveling to Europe. Reads travel books in his free time!
Have you been thinking about visiting some European countries? Well, you must begin your exploration by visiting the two beautiful countries, Croatia and Czech Republic. Both have plethora of tourist attractions and scenic beauty, like one has never seen before. Give a spur to your wanderlust soul and begin exploring the unseen places with your loved ones.
One of the popular Countries of Eastern Europe, Croatia has a lot to contribute to your priceless travel memories. The list of places you should check out ,when on a trip to Croatia, is listed below-
Zagreb in Croatia-
Capital of Croatia, Zagreb has plenty to explore including its landmarks and astounding scenic beauty. The city is divided into two sections- Upper Town and the Lower Town. Upper Town has iconic buildings like, Gornji Grad, St. Mark’s Church, the quirky museum,Museum of Broken Relationships. Whereas the Lower Town includes,Croatian National Theatre, Mimara Museum, Green Horseshoe park, Ethnographic Museum depicting the culture of Croatia, and Maksimir Park. One must also visit the age-old Austro-Hungarian style Square of Zagreb, Ban Jelacic Square located at the centre of the city which has a phenomenal number of restaurants, cafes and shops .
Zadar in Croatia-
An ancient Roman City, Zadar is a wonderful coastal city with a breathtaking water front. Visit the ancient square of Zadar and explore its ancientry such as the St. Donatus Church, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Glass and Museum of Illusions.
Stroll through the Kalelarga Street and Five Wells Square. Walk to the Promenade and experience the most magical sunsets near the Adriatic sea by visiting the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun.
Split in Croatia-
Split is a buzzing city with just the right blend of modernity with tradition.While visiting Split, one must visit its major attraction, the Roman Palace,a Diocletian’s Palace built during the 4th century.
Head towards the Old Town, watch the Gregory of Nin Statue and explore the Gallery of Art.
Visit the ancient square Peristil and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius and enjoy the panoramic view of the beautiful city from the Bell Tower.
Go for exploring the outdoor of Split by visiting the Underground Market or its restaurants and cafes in the Riva Promenade. One can visit the Marjan Hill and admire the view of the city or relax on the lovely beaches such as Bacvice and watch the beautiful sunsets.
Plitvice in Croatia-
Use public transport and visit the lakes of Plitvice which actually seem like a paradise. Plitvice National Park is made up of sixteen lakes that are connected by a series of waterfalls and surrounded by picture-perfect woodlands.Just a tip ,reach really early to avoid getting stuck behind the long queue of tourists and carry a picnic lunch.Everything inside the park is quite pricey.
Dubrovnik in Croatia-
The beauty of Dubrovnik never fails to amaze the visitor.The grand Old Town has still preserved its magnificence and medieval charm. Dubrovnik has a plethora of things to do and see.Stroll around the Old Town and explore the ageold Stradun Street. Visit the old City Walls of Dubrovnik and opt for a cable ride to the highest point, Srd Hill ,which has a breathtaking view . Also visit the Cathedral Of The Assumption Of Mary,Rector’s Palace,Dominican Monastery and Museum. A twenty minute walk from the Old Town takes you to Lapad area .Reach and walk the Uvala Street and enjoy the restaurants,shops,live music and then relax on the beach.
With breathtakingly beautiful picturesque sites, Czech Republic is sure to win your heart. Places to enjoy include the following-
Prague in Czech Republic-
The capital city of Czech Republic, Prague is all about castles, bridges, scenic night life and beautiful landscapes. While exploring the city one must visit the following places, the centuries old St. Charles Bridge crossing the Vltava River, Old Town Astronomical Clock, churches such as, St. Nicholas Church and Our Lady Before Tyn, also the Kinsky Palace, Jan Hus Memorial, House at the Stone Bell.
Also visit the most popular castle, Prague Castle, believed to be one of the largest castles in the world.
Brno in Czech Republic-
When in Brno, begin with Spilberk Castle, and then visit the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Explore the Cabbage Market,the most popular one in the city, and then head towards the Old Town Hall to explore its historic beauty. There are a number of squares in Brno, pay a visit to each one of them to get a good grip of the town.
Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic-
Another beautiful and popular attraction of Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov has magical atmosphere. Begin your journey with a visit to the Castle Tower and Castle Gardens and admire the stunning view. Afterwards, wander into the Old Town and check out the buildings and architecture that has a blend of Gothic and Renaissance style. Go for rafting in the river Vltava and get a different perspective of the city.
Kutna Hora in Czech Republic-
Kutna Hora is an ancient Silver mining town and a popular city of the Czech Republic, also known as the Haunting Town. This place has an eerie atmosphereand is popular for the Gothic St. Barbara’s Church, and Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel decorated with human skeletons. There’s also the Czech Museum of Silver which represents the city’s history.
Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic-
With its Colonnades and thermal springs,Karlovy Vary offers carefree roaming combined with energetic treks .Have a good look at the panoramic view of the city by reaching the Diana Observation Tower .After enjoying the view, come down to Dvorak Park, take a stroll in the scenic park. Visit the historical building of Mill Colonnade and the Russian Orthodox Church with Golden domes. One can also just simply walk across the river and admire the beauty of the city and its lively city life.
Don’t keep waiting for the right time, just make plans!
Dubai, a land of eminent success and a paradigm of ultramodern architecture is surely a dream destination that one should add in their bucket list. Dubai is luxurious, embraced in the beauty of the great Arabian Desert, it is a place of lively nightlife scenes with glimmering towers, making it an unforgettable experience for the one who visits here. The magnificent towers, the essence of Safari through the great sandy desert, the beautiful beaches, the delicious food along with luxurious hotels and shopping, amusement parks, Dubai is one of its kind. The architectural elegance you get to see in Dubai has no comparisons. Here are some not to miss destinations in Dubai:
The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest skyscraper in the world comprising of 163 floors, thus making it a major tourist attraction. This man-made architectural masterpiece offers a number of ObservatoryDecks at various floors giving a “top of the world” experience to its tourists. Well Burj Khalifa is not only famous for its height, it is also the tallest building to have a residential place which offers suits by Armani Hotels. Have you ever wondered where the world’s highest Nightclub is? Yes, it is here in the 144th floor of Burj Khalifa offering a lifetime experience for the “party people” . And lastly a “cherry on top”, this tallest building also has the world’s highest restaurant in it named Atmosphere, which offers luxurious food along with a mesmerizing view of the great sandy Desert and the wonders of Dubai. So, when you visit Dubai, The Burj Khalifa will surely catch your eyes and you cannot resist from visiting it.
Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab is a luxurious hotel which stands alone on an artificial island and is structurally connected to the Jumeirah Beach. The architecture of this hotel is unique, as it stands in the form of a ship’s sail, and offers a view which the eyes never forget. The Burj Al Arab is the third tallest hotel in the world and is connected to the mainland through a private bridge. The Al Muntaha is a restaurant in Al Arab which is 660ft high situated above the Pursian Gulf offering a mesmerizing view of Dubai. And Al Mahara is widely famous for its underwater dining offering a view which is unimaginably beautiful. This Five-star hotel is managed by the Jumeirah Group and is sometimes stated as “the only seven-star hotel” in the world. Hence this hotel gives its guests the best luxurious experience.
Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Dubai, which also offers a tour for the non-muslims. Jumeirah Mosque is famous for its artistic beauty and the peaceful ambience that encompasses this place.
When you are in Dubai, Safari comes first in the “to do” list. Dubai offers an exquisite experience of Safari to its tourists, which includes Camel Rides through the great Arabian desert, where the camels are beautifully decorated, it also offers Dune Bashing, and lastly a delicious mouth-watering Arabian Dinner accompanied by the essence of Belly Dancing.
The Palm-shaped Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago situated on the Persian Gulf. The Palm Jumeirah is known for its posh hotels and residential towers along with globally famous restaurants. At the Broadwalk, there are a number of food trucks that offer snacks specially “Shawarma” the famous Middle-Eastern food. Apart from these, Palm Jumeirah has many Beach Spas and Nightclubs offering live Dj evenings. This place is surely a “fun place” to visit and relax yourselves, but the most amazing fact about Palm Jumeirah is that they are clearly visible from the space.
Jumeirah Beach is named after the Jumeirah district of Dubai, and is situated at the coast of Persian Gulf. This white sandy beach is the most popular beach of Dubai attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world. This beach not only provides a relaxing ambience, but also the tourists get to see the majestic Burj Al Arab.
The Dubai Fountain
The Dubai Fountain is famous worldwide for its marvellous choreographed fountain system, which is also the largest choreographed fountain system in the world. The shows occur at evenings on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake where the fountains are made to sparkle through thousands of light beams and the jets change their formation according to the music played.
Atlantis The Palm
Atlantis The Palm is a luxurious hotel resort located at the apex of Palm Jumeirah, which is famous worldwide for providing Underwater Dining and a personalized aquarium with underwater halls and tunnels called The Lost Chambers Aquarium. This resort is “luxury at its peak”.
Dubai Miracle Gardens
Dubai Miracle Gardens is like the “Eden of Dubai”. It is the largest Natural Flower Garden in the world and contains an exquisite varieties of flowers. A flower garden like this in a land of desert is a miracle, with its extravagant decoration, this place surely feels like heaven.
Build during the 1890’s, Al Bastakiya serves as the heritage of UAE. It is a museum that contains a number of art gallaries and also cafes and restaurants. These museum gallaries display pure Arabic artistry and is bound to make you fall in love with them.
Dubai Gold Souk
“Souk” is an Arabic term for street market or bazaar, it was believed that the Iranians and the Indians set up gold shop at first at the district of Deira. As you know Dubai is also worldly famous for its gold trades, so when you are in Dubai you must never miss to visit its Gold Markets. It is also believed that this market sells gold cheaper in price than its neighbouring places, so if you know a little bit of bargaining, you might get lucky to get unbelievable discounts.
Wild Wadi Park
Wild Wadi Park is a famous water park in Dubai. This water park is situated next to Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and is popular for its fun rides. The Jumeirah Sceriah is the tallest and fastest free-falling water slide (outside of N and S America). This is the perfect “fun place” for families, and it also has a separate kids play area with over 100 water rides and games.
One of the major attractions in Dubai is the Skydive. The Skydiving enables you to admire Dubai from the top and you can “fly as free as a bird” and take away a breathtaking experience with you. Dubai offers Skydiving at its two famous places, the Palm Jumeirah or over the Arabian Desert, the experience that you will get would be mixed up with fear and joy, but you need not to worry as the instructors would guide you and take care of your safety., So go and have some real fun.
The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is the second largest mall in the world. Well its Dubai and it can’t be just a simple one, this mall contains an Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and also has a huge gaming area, a famous cafe with artistic excellence, and a genuine fossil of a Dinosaur (Diplodocus). It also has an indoor themed park and a haunted house named Hysteria which gives its visitors a spine-chilling experience.
One of the most splendid experiences of Dubai includes its Helicopter rides. The rides enable you to admire the beauty of Dubai and enjoy the views of the Burj Khalifa, Al Arab, The Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis The Palm, The World (the globe made through artificial islands and is visible even from the space), and gives you a lifetime experience.
Dubai calling…Pack your bags!
A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing, traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels.
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