Attractions in Croatia and Czech Republic

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.

 

Croatia

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 .

View of the city of Zagreb

 

 

  • 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.

Sea Organ- Zadar

 

 

  • 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.

 

View of Split

 

  • 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.

 

Aerial view of Plitvice Lakes

 

  • 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.

 

View of Dubrovnik

 

Czech Republic

 

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.

 

 

Night Scene of Prague

 

  • 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.

 

 

Church at Brno

 

  • 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.

 

 

Cesky Krumlov

 

  • 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.

 

The Bone Church in Kutna Hora

 

  • 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.

 

Karlovy Vary

Don’t keep waiting for the right time, just make plans!

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

Ideal International Trips For the Girl Gang  

Being an economically independent woman is an amazing thing. No bars of‘ do’s and don’ts set by someone who does not really get you. Doing things because you believe in them, not because you  have been told to do all that. When womanhood is such a positive, vibrant and beautiful feeling, why not celebrate it with your girl gang? You don’t need legit reasons to celebrate with your gang, do you? If you don’t, then we have come up with a few of our own. So, just pack your bags and fly off to amazing locations and explore!

 

  1. Craving to escape diet? Visit China:

When you have been eating healthy for months but now you crave for some spicy treats, visit China. Once you step into this incredible country you have innumerable choice of food and who says no to Chinese food anyway? Wontons, dumplings, noodles and several other edibles with authentic flavours, are the choices, you are spoilt with.

 

 

Chinese Cuisine

Well ,would you only travel for food to a different country? Of Course not, explore this joyous country by visiting Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Macau to see the best of China.

Shanghai

Explore the city of Shanghai which is rich in history and an excellent window to the Chinese culture. Begin your exploration with Yuyan Garden, the most popular and ancient garden of the city built during the Ming Dynasty.  Head towards Suzhou and visit the 1000 years old town of Tongli , having  traces of Ming and Qing Dynasty.  And finally head to Hangzhou and explore the West Lake, also the Lingyin Temple.

 

View of Shanghai at night

 

Beijing- The capital city of China-

Beijing offers the best sights. Begin your explorations  from Tiananmen Square and see some famous landmarks. Then head towards The National Museum of China which is worth a visit. Other popular attractions include The Forbidden City, Mao’s Mausoleum,Temple of Heaven and Lama’s Temple.

A trip to China is incomplete without visiting The Great Wall of China, a man made wonder. Just 75 kms away from Beijing, it’s easily  accessible  and an opportunity which should not be missed.

 

 

Temple of Heaven in Beijing

 

Hong Kong-

 

Hong Kong is an absolute joy to visit. Days here are fun-filled but nights are even   more attractive with the casinos and the wonderful city-lights. See the panoramic view of the city and watch the most beautiful sunsets along with the cityscape from Victoria Peak. Head towards the city and pay a visit to the Kowloon Walled City with the ruins of Kowloon City and also the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery which has thousand statues of Buddha in different postures. One can also visit Chi Lin Nunnery and admire its greenery and of course, the Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean’s Park.

 

 

Panoramic view of Hong Kong

 

Macau-

 

Macau is another popular attraction of China and has often been called Vegas of Asia. Admire the beauteous view of the island from the iconic Macau Tower or explore Macau’s history in the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral,  Mount Fortress  and the 15th century old temple A- Ma Temple. One can also visit Taipa to explore the history of colonialism in Macau.

 

 

Macau Tower

 

 

 

  1. Dying to try those beautiful Boho dresses ? Grab your bags and hop to Bali:

 

It isn’t the time for vacation yet but you are dying to wear those beautiful Boho dresses lying idle in your closet giving you beach vibes. Why wait for the right time? Grab your dresses, flip flops, beach hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and head to Bali to spend  time with your girl gang relaxing on the famous beach or  getting pampered in the luxurious spas. The attractions not to miss in Bali are:

 

Boho and the Beach
Ubud-

When in Bali, Ubud is a must visit. This place has some traditional age-old temples and a serene view surrounded by paddy fields and also unimaginably beautiful resorts. Explore the scenic beauty of Ubud by visiting the Tegenungan Waterfall, strolling at the Campuhan Ridge Walk, rafting  along Ayung River and finally visiting the Ubud Market.

 

Ubud

 

Uluwatu-

Uluwatu is magical and ideal for beach lovers, surrounded by sapphire waters and greenery,  it has eye soothing sites that would rejuvenate your soul. Uluwatu has some of the most beautiful beaches of the world, Uluwatu Beach, Blue Point Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, to name a few. Apart from those there is, the Uluwatu Temple and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park depicting the Balinese culture, which are worth your time.

 

Uluwantu

 

Seminyak-

 

Another tourist- friendly spot, when in Seminyak, explore the Seminyak Beach full of  happy faces, having a great time. One can also relax at the beach after sunset with drinks. Visit the Petitenget Temple, most popular in the region. For all those back home, go shopping in the Seminyak Village or Jalan Raya Seminyak Shopping Street.

 

Seminyak

 

 

 

  1. Wish to see the best pubs of the world? Visit London:

 

You and your girls are party people,  you love  dancing and laughing your hearts out with merriment, also you have  great taste when it comes to alcohol? Then, no place in the world is better  for you, than London. With innumerable world-famous  English pubs spread across the busy streets, sophisticated people, a variety of Tequilas and cocktails and also “Beer! Beer! everywhere!”,  it’s just perfect .

 

Drinking in London

Well don’t just  go drink-happy all night, go around this wonderful and the most popular city of Europe. While in London, try these things:

 

Take a ride on the London Eye to get a panoramic view of the captivating city especially at night when the city lights are  dazzling .

 

 

London Eye

Don’t miss the iconic Clock tower, Big Ben. Also enjoy the cityscape beside the clock tower, visit  the majestic Westminster Palace.

 

Big Ben

River Thames-Admire the beauty of river Thames and that absolutely delightful Tower Bridge built above the river. Also stroll among the busy streets to have a dream-like experience.

 

 

Tower Bridge

Buckingham Palace- Embellish your trip by visiting the royal Buckingham Palace that  bears the legacy of British Monarch for ages. Your trip to London is incomplete without visiting ‘the Queen’s place’.

 

Buckingham Palace

 

 

  1. Garmi lagi (Feeling Hot)? Visit Switzerland   

    (Don’t just wait for your honeymoon when you have your Girl Gang):

India has hot and humid weather for most of the  year and the wait for winters is too long for the winter lovers. When the scorching heat is driving you crazy, why not visit ‘the heaven on earth’,  cloaked in snow along with scenic landscapes. Most  women dream of honeymooning in Switzerland but when you have the perfect group why wait so long for it? Come over and say cheers to womanhood with cups of hot chocolate!

 

 

Scenic Train Rides in Switzerland

Nothing can compete with the scenic beauty of Switzerland, visit these places to witness heaven-like landscapes:

Zurich-

When in Zurich, begin your journey by visiting Fraumunster Church with famous stained glass window giving it a unique look.  Have a stroll around the Town Hall or Stadthaus and watch the colourful buildings and wonderful scenery beside the river.  Head towards the Lindenh of hill to have a panoramic view of this beautiful city. You can also visit Charles Tower, a popular observatory in the city.

 

Zurich
Geneva-

Head to the Geneva Lake surrounded by the Alpine Mountains and enjoy the view .There you would get to see the famous Jet d’ Eau, a jet amongst the lake. Also visit the Cathedral de St. Pierre, Geneva’s most popular History Museum (MAMCO) and the Chillon Castle. While strolling around the city visit the popular Palais des Nations or take a break and head to the beautiful villages Mont Blanc, Chamonix and Gruyeres.

 

Geneva
Lucerne-

Lucerne is a charming lake city that is  full of swans and ducks ,making it more beautiful. Wander in the Old Town to see the beautiful wooden bridge.Take a cruise to explore the city and enjoy the mesmerising sites. Also visit Mt. Pilatus and admire the charming landscape.

 

Lucerne

 

 

Don’t forget to have a race with your gang while Skiing.

 

 

  1. Party Mood? Celebrate with your Girl Gang in Thailand:

Festivals are miles away, but you cannot shake off  that party mood? Head to Thailand to have  the best parties of your lives. Say cheers to life! Enjoy the lively nights in Pattaya, Bangkok. Relax on the beaches or have a beach party, stay on the luxurious resorts and also have a splendid shopping time with your girl gang around the city.

 

 

Cheers to Life in Thailand

 

Bangkok-

Vibrant Streets along with ornate shrines, Bangkok has a lot to offer . Khaosan Road is an ideal place for the ‘party people’ as this place is all for lively nights with itsbars, restaurants, nightclubs, shops and food stalls. To see the other side of Bangkok,visit the sacred Buddhist temples such as Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Also, don’t miss the majestic Grand Palace.

 

Bangkok at night
Pattaya-

Party on the beautiful beaches of Pattaya,the most famous one being Jometien Beach. Visit the Walking Street that is known for its jovial nightlife, and don’t forget to see the Truth of Sanctuary, a massive temple carved out of wood, which has a unique look.

 

Beach of Pattaya
Phuket-

 

Phuket has beautiful beaches, temples and small islands that can be reached by speedboats such as Koh Phi Phi Island and Phang Nga. Watch the cultural show at the Fanta Sea and Simon Cabaret, get tanned on the Bang Tao Beach, and watch the best sunset from Windmill Viewpoint.

 

 

Koh Phi Phi Island at Phuket

 

 

  1. Feeling Romantic? Visit Paris.

Who needs a partner when you have the perfect girl gang?

Happily single but the weather is stirring up the romantic self in you? Get lost into the romantic aura of Paris with your girl gang and take lots of instagram worthy pictures.

 

Eiffel Tower-

Paris is synonymous with Eiffel Tower. Admire the beauty of this man-made architectural masterpiece and get into its two observatories to have the best view of the city. Also dine in the restaurant of Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne.

 

Eiffel Tower
Louvre Museum-

 

One of the most popular museums in the world, Louvre Museum has authentic collection of art and sculpture, and aunique entrance that resembles a pyramid ,made of glass.

 

 

Pic-24 Louvre Museum
Notre Dame Cathedral

Visit the century old Notre Dame Cathedral and admire the extra-ordinary interior.

 

Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral
Moulin Rouge-

 

Situated at the foot of Montmartre Hill, Moulin Rouge is all about ‘partying all night’, as it is totally a fun place full of nightclubs and restaurants, perfect for girls night out.

 

 

Moulin Rouge

 

 

  1. Having a hectic month, elope with your Girl Gang to the peaceful island of Sri Lanka:

When your days are hectic with loads of work  and your mind is screaming  for a break, visit the peaceful  island of Sri Lanka and rejuvenate yourselves on its serene hills.

 

Ella-

A small village on the highlands of Sri Lanka, Ella is enticing, and has tea estates, waterfalls and hills along with breathtaking views and fresh air.

 

Ella

 

Kandy-

Take a train ride from Ella to Kandy which would prove to be the most beautiful and scenic journey of your life. Kandy is popular for Kandy Lake and its sacred Buddhist sites and also the Royal Palace of Kandy and its gardens.

 

Train ride from Ella to Kandy
Sigiriya

Sigiriya is most popular for its ruins of the ancient Rock Fortress situated at the top of Sigiriya Rock. Climb the stairs to reach the top  and enjoy the panoramic view.

 

Sigiriya Rock

 

  1. In a mood for some shopping ? Visit the worlds most luxurious malls and markets in Dubai:

Dubai Shopping Mall-

Fulfil your desires of luxurious shopping in Dubai Shopping Mall, which has a collection of world famous brands. Also this mall has theme places for entertainment and of course delicious food stalls and multiple restaurants.

Dubai Shopping Mall
Burj Khalifa-

A visit to Dubai is incomplete without visiting the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa. Get into the various observation decks of the tower and get to see the mesmerising view of Dubai encompassed by the great Arabian Desert. Dine in the restaurants of Burj Khalifa or have a great party night at the highest nightclub in the world. One can also enjoy the Fountain shows held at the base of the tower.

Burj Khalifa
Jumeirah Beach-

Relax with your gang on the most popular beach of Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, and have a look at the stunning architecture of Burj-Al- Arab.

 

Pic-32 Jumeirah Beach
Palm Jumeirah-

Palm Jumeirah is an artificial Palm- shaped archipelago visible even from the space. Palm Jumeirah is an ideal place to party  with various nightclubs, or have a couple of drinks and food at its world famous restaurants and bars, or simply pamper yourself at the exotic spas.

 

Palm Jumeirah
Safari-

Get an experience of safari in the great Arabian Desert. Ride the camels ,have dinner on the sands accompanied with the traditional belly dancing,the most perfect setting to enjoy with your girl gang.

 

 

Safari

One can also have a lifetime experience of watching Dubai from above by taking a helicopter ride or skydiving.

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

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.

Travel guide to help you enjoy a hassle free trip to Venice  

WiseYatra presents you a very handy Venice travel guide detailing the aura, the economy and the social life of this charming city.

 

This manual is coming out of our experiences from the personal visit of the city to give you a better insight into the things in prior. The city is beautiful and we suggest you roam around, just to put the visitors in a comfortable, haggle free and a memorable-experience way.

 

10 Checkpoints to help you get a memorable, economic and more of avoiding the negative experiences…

 

  1. Ease of access in Venice

 

With the exception of Piazzale Roma and Tronchetto, any means of transportation is restricted in the popular city of Venice, including bicycles. Walk around as long as the feet don’t pain, just to be careful not to get lost! The labyrinth of alleys, bridges, and intersections throughout Venice makes it practically impossible to rely only on your   sense of direction alone(A detailed map or live-GPS will come out handy)

 

Never be late for a booked tour: “Time and guides do not wait!!”

 

  1. Means of Transport in Venice

 

Water buses are daily means of commutation to many people, both tourists, and locals, so try to abide by the signs: “do not block the entrance/exit and stow suitcases and travel bags in the spaces provided”.

 

Note: Ask the crew for help if any queries.

 

Try to purchase “validity tickets” beforehand if you plan to commute often during your stay, as it’s cheaper and also convenient than timely purchases. It also allows unlimited rides for the entire period of validity. Some of them include even the transfers from/to Venice Marco Polo airport.

 

Water taxis are another important means of transport, although they are more expensive than public transport (make sure you ask the driver to turn on the meter and ask for a bill after the voyage).

 

  1. Floody waters in Venice

 

High tides very often run across the city of Venice. Travellers consider it the real show (Of-course, Venice is the only city to boast so), but it creates serious difficulties for wandering around. During high water, walkways are put in place: stay on the right-hand side and continue without halting, for as the walkways are tight, it creates problems for the people behind.

 

A plunge in the water or barefoot walking is not a good idea: the water is dirty and often ‘inhabited’ by pests.

 

Reason being the same, we advise not to check the basements of the buildings you visit as the very slippery steps might lead to accidental falls in the water!

 

  1. Friendly behaviour in Venice

 

Loud volume songs or noise should be checked after 11 PM. Also, an amiable gesture is to avoid wearing costumes or roaming shirtless.

For a shirtless sunbath, let someone sail you to the beach of the Venice Lido, just a little distant by public transport.

 

  1. Expect the masses on these days in Venice

 

Being one of the major tourist attraction, the city is crowded 365 days a year, however, you’ll face far more congestion during some major event days such as the Carnival, the Biennale, the Redeemer or the Historical

Regatta.

 

Patience is highly desired for the long queues to visit the most important attractions, such as St Mark’s Square. Worry not! Visit a good website for your economical travel planner, who  takes care of everything in advance which reduces the hectic waiting greatly.

 

  1. Picnic Spots in Venice

 

The city rules don’t allow you to just stop at any corner to eat your packed lunch for the Picnic. For instance, it is forbidden to have a picnic in the St Mark’s area (St Mark’s Square, Piazzetta San Marco, Piazzetta Dei Leoncini, and the Pier) however, you can stop further on at the Royal Gardens or one of the many benches outside the areas mentioned above.

 

We advise avoiding the steps of the bridges and the banks of the channels as these areas are not very clean and there is also the risk of blocking the passage to people in transit.

 

Note: Please do not share your snack with the pigeons (these birds are carriers of diseases and contribute to the decay of buildings).

 

Venice, being a beautiful city, it would be a shame to pollute it so, find a trash box to trash your leftover and waste.

 

  1. Illegal offenses/restrictions in Venice

 

Just like the other cities, Venice is also filled with con artists and tricksters ready to tempt inexperienced tourists, offering services or counterfeit goods.

 

We advise you to keep the common senses on alert as this involves a high fee being demanded at the end of the service and your luggage withheld until you pay.

These illegal activists are mainly present near the Constitution Bridge (Calatrava Bridge) between Piazzale Roma and Venice St Lucia train station.

 

Recognized by the uniform and the trolley they use, ask only the authorized porters for assistance. Buying and selling counterfeit goods is a crime and imposes fines of up to €500. You could also jeopardize one’s health, not to mention that it affects the honest sellers.

 

Note: It’s a good practice to ask for the receipt for any purchases made to ensure genuinity.

 

  1. Gondola Rides in Venice

 

Even though the gondola stations are restricted to display a price list with the rates and the durations allowed, a constant tricking and black marketing of tickets happen at various sites.

 

 

  1. Thefts and Pick Pockets in Venice

 

Keep your cash in check especially in crowded alleys or ferries. Avoid carrying too much cash or reserving them all in the same pocket. Keep them split in different pockets and carry just the meager amount as the change in outer pockets.

 

  1. Attractions and Events in Venice

 

Before starting your trip with the planned itinerary, please check the sections entitled ‘Events’ and ‘Anecdotes and Curiosities’. The first one  details the exhibitions, the shows, and the concerts to keep you updated on what is happening in the city, the second presents fascinating insights to find a veiled Venice, including mysteries, myths, and hidden riches.

–Kaushik Raj

 

[ Credit: Inside.com  ]

Mesmerizing Switzerland in Winters

 

Beautifully nestled between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura Mountains, Switzerland encompasses a great diversity of landscapes and climates. It is like a home to snow-clad mountains and speaks the language of picturesque villages and beautiful lakes.

 

The winters in Switzerland are no less than magic. Christmas lights and cheers in the cities and the snow-clad mountains are just few of the wonderful things that welcome the tourists visiting Switzerland in winters. It is more heaven than country.

 

To make the most out of a winter holiday, Switzerland is a must visit! Here are some of the reasons why visit Switzerland:

 

  • Skiing in Switzerland

 

Winter is the time when Switzerland becomes the abode of skiing offering numerous amazing activities and courses in the sport. The experience is one of a lifetime and cannot, or rather should not be missed.
There are also a dozen of ski resorts that make the country an attractive option for a holiday. These resorts are relatively snow-covered with plenty of glacier skiing.

 

  • The Matterhorn in Switzerland

The Matterhorn is one of the mountains of the Alps and is recognized as the symbol of Switzerland and visiting it in person is extremely breathtaking. Climbing this beauty is taken up as a challenge by mountaineers. It welcomes tourists and nature-lovers as well to admire its tranquility.
The Matterhorn Glacier paradise is the highest summer ski region in Europe and is open 365 days a year.

 

  • The Waterfalls in Switzerland

In addition to being a land of fascinating lakes, villages and mountains, Switzerland also offers spectacular waterfalls, Rhine waterfalls being the biggest in Europe!

The Trümmelbach Falls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley are a series of ten glacier-fed waterfalls inside the mountain made accessible to visitors.

These are just some of the 72 spectacular waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley!

 

  • The Swiss National Museum in Switzerland

 

The Swiss National Museum in Zurich is one the city’s top tourist attractions and is one of the most important art museums of cultural history in Europe.
Captivating the eyes of amateur historians, culture lovers and architecture enthusiasts alike, its impressive architecture with dozens of towers, courts and its astonishing park on a peninsula between the rivers Sihl and Limmat has become one of the main sights of the Old City District of Zurich.
The museum contains a very rich section with gothic art, chivalry and a comprehensive collection of liturgical wooden sculptures, panel paintings and carved altars which is not worth missing!

 

  • Canton of Ticino in Switzerland

 

 

Ticino is an Italian speaking part in the southernmost canton of Switzerland also referred to as the ‘land of culture’ with plenty of things to do from both Swiss and Italian food, to music and art performances around every corner.
It’s also a great region for cycling—from the stunning mountainous scenery and sparkling lakes to the red-roofed village houses clustered along the shores.

These are a whole lot of reasons to persuade anyone to visit Switzerland in winters because it’s no less than heaven.

 

–Nikita Kabra

An aspiring writer who aims at having a life changing impact on her readers through her writing and travel experience.

 

 

 

Singapore: Melting Pot of Asia

Singapore – The word itself brings to our mind a place which is spotless, futuristic, efficient and charming. Singapore is an excellent example of town planning, ultra modern yet charming buildings, imposing malls, enviable gardens. All these combined with its ethnic flavour give the tourists an experience of a lifetime.

If you are looking for a vacation for your extended weekend, Singapore is ideal as you can see pretty much everything here in two days and then you spend a day or two soaking in the culture. The major tourist attractions of Singapore are listed below-

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa is a man-made island situated off the Southern coast of Singapore, and is connected to the mainland through Cable Cars, Pedestrian Broad Walk and Monorail. Sentosa is  a fun Island with themed amusement parks, some of its major attractions include the Tiger Sky Tower, Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World, Singapore Butterfly and Insects Kingdom and SEA Aquarium which has one of the largest collection of aquatic animals in the world.

Sentosa also has a number of sandy beaches which never fail to enthral. Siloso, Tanjong and Palawan are the three famous beaches of Singapore, with Palawan being the most popular one with families. The restaurants on the beach offer amazing culinary choices.

 Universal Studios ,Singapore

Though situated on the Sentosa Island , Universal Studios of Singapore deserves a special mention as it is perhaps the most loved attraction here. With seven themed zones it has something for everyone. The rides are extreme fun and would make you scream your heart out .

Universal Studio Sentosa                     

Gardens By the Bay, Singapore

A 101 hectres long nature park in the Central Region of Singapore adjacent to Marina Reservoir, this nature park has huge Supertree Structures that offer skywalk over the gardens, giving a vivid view of the gardens that have a varied species of beautiful flowers and plants. Walking along this place won’t cost a penny unless you choose to visit the Climate Controlled Conservatories or walk through Supertrees.

Merlion Park-Singapore

Merlion Park is  the  most visited site of Singapore.The 70 tonne concrete figure of Merlion is perhaps the most sought after photo -ops of Singapore.Other than going click happy at this picturesque location,you  can also hop on a Bumboat with family and friends over the Singapore River and explore other attractions such as the Clarke Quay, Boat Quay .

A view from the Merlion Park

5. Singapore Botanical Garden

This 150 year old garden has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This park attracts tourists and locals alike by virtue of having free entry and wonderful flora. But we would suggest you to spend some mullah and visit its Orchids Garden to admire the astounding variety of orchids grown in Singapore.

Botanical Garden

Singapore Zoo

A unique zoo by virtue of allowing animals open spaces rather than cages, Singapore Zoo  has astounding variety of animals. A paradise for kids and animal lovers ,it does not fail to impress even the casual visitor.

A white Tiger in the Zoo

7.Night Safari Singapore

The Night Safari of Singapore is the world’s first nocturnal zoo that opens after sunset and allows visits till 12 A.M. With more than 1,000 animals, this zoo gives you an experience of night hunt, watching animals closely doing their nightly rituals The tram ride is very popular in this place and enables the visitors to spectate the whole place vividly.

A view from the Night Safari                     

River Safari– Singapore

One of the newest attractions of Singapore,River Safari is  the first and only River themed Wildlife Park in Asia. The Safari begins with taking a boat to explore the place and see one of the most endangered animals of the world, or explore through the aquariums that have a varied species of sea animals. The bonus of this place are the giant Pandas who are too adorable to miss.

River Safari                                       

Jurong Bird Park- Singapore

With about 8000 birds of 600 species,Jurong Bird Park is a huge crowd puller.Right from the moment you enter this park, the chirping of the birds ,fluttering of their colourful wings mesmerise you and make you fall in love with them. Jurong Bird Park is an ideal place for family trips and an apt place for children to have fun and enhance their knowledge.

Flamingos at the Jurong Bird Park

Experience the varied culture in Singapore

While in Singapore it makes sense to go around exploring places which have given Singapore its title of  ‘Melting Pot of Asia’. Do visit Little India ,China Town and the Arab Street ,which give you a unique feeling of being in another country while being in Singapore. The night markets of Arab Street are legendary , Little India makes you nostalgic and the burst of colour and display in China Town makes you go crazy with trinkets and souvenirs.

Amalgamation of Culture

 Must- have walks Roads

Apart from visiting various attractions of Singapore ,to get its best feel you must have a walk on its famous roads and areas. One such road is Orchard Road. The famous tree-lined one way road is home to innumerable malls, hotels and restaurants. It’s a perfect place for shopping , mall-hopping and enjoying delicious food.

Orchard Road

 

Esplanade –Theatres on the Bay

After Orchard Road Esplanade ,with its Concert Hall and Theatres ,is worth a visit.

Singapore Flyer

Ten minutes away from Orchard Road ,on Marina Bay is the Singapore Flyer ,the Giant Wheel ,which will give you a panoramic view of Singapore River, Marina Bay, Merlion Park, Sentosa Island,  the Airport and also the surrounding islands of its neighbours Indonesia and Malaysia.It has air conditioned Capsules that not only provide a breathtaking view, but also offer customized Sky Dining. Enjoy an evening here with your partner ,with a beautiful sunset and some champagne.

Singapore Flyer

 

You can experience all this and much more, knowing all the time that you are in one of the safest places on this earth. So, go ahead and have the time of your life in this Lion City of Asia.

—Sampurna Chakraborty

A Student of Literature who has a passion for Traveling and spreading happiness through her Words. During trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companion. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to photograph the simplest things of life. She wishes to travel the World someday and write Novels. 

How to have a safe trip abroad

Going Abroad is a long cherished dream for most of us and believe me, the actual event is no less. But to have a trip which will always give you a smile, you need to follow some safety rules. After taking into accounts of many travellers,

 

WiseYatra brings you the safety tips, which are given here:

 

  1. Have the right bags

Most of the places in the world have pick pockets and petty thieves. For female travellers its always advisable to have a cross-shoulder bag, which can’t be snatched. Male travellers should keep a money belt to protect credit cards, cash and passports. These bags are tucked safely into the waistband, making it very hard for anyone to go for it.

 

Have the right bags

 

2. Keep your valuables in a day bag

When in a city, keep the valuables you don’t need, in the hotel locker. But things like DSLR, mobiles(which can be expensive), have to be carried. For such items, carry a day bag. Try to avoid displaying it all the time. The day bag must have compartments for everything. This will not only keep them safe from thieves ,but also from things accidentally dropping and falling.

3.Always be alert and aware

Keep an eye on your luggage at all times. Things get stolen in hostels and hotels too. Carry your own locks and use them whenever you need to. When you are out for sightseeing, be aware of your surroundings. Stay away from sudden crowding or commotion. These are often distractions caused by pickpockets.

4.Be wary of over-friendly people

Although people in most of the places are friendly but they tend to be aloof till approached. If somebody is extra nosy or friendly, be alert. It might not end on a happy note. Don’t trust people too easily. Never accept offers from people on road for stay or transit, always make these arrangements beforehand and from reliable sources. Similarly, don’t exchange money without proper authorization.

5.Careful use of ATMs

Avoid using ATM machines in tourist areas and off-hours. Try and use an ATM inside a bank. ATM scams are not as rare as we like to imagine.

6.Blend in

Instead of screaming to be a tourist, you should try to blend in as a local. Wear what the locals wear. Even your luggage should be neutral colours, like black, grey, navy. Don’t talk too loudly and attract attention. Other than annoying locals, it also ends in profiling you. Try to learn a few magic words like thank you ,excuse me ,sorry etc in the local language.

7.Take help of a knowledgeable guide

Although ,with the advent of internet, it’s possible to plan your trip yourself ,a little help from somebody who has the expertise and experience ,does not hurt. While planning your trip ,take help of a reliable travel expert .They can not only guide you to have a safe trip but also make the process easier.

8.Be ready to spend for safety

Although budgeting is good but always keep a margin for spending extra when the other options is feeling unsafe. If you are uncomfortable in an area ,instead of walking spend money on taxi. If your hostel or apartment feels unsafe ,be ready to spend more and move to a hotel.

The idea behind writing this blog is not to make you paranoid or deter you from going for a trip but just to make you aware and prevent anything untoward from happening.

So, go ahead and enjoy your trip!

–Mamta Kumar

An Educationist and an avid traveller who loves to watch TV during her free time.

Maldives: A piece of Heaven on Earth

We always  want to  plan vacations with our loved ones to an amazing destination. If you ask me there is nothing better than Maldives? The best honeymoon trips can be planned to Maldives.  If you love water sports and adventure Maldives is the place. If you want to spend time in solitude and relax, again Maldives comes to your rescue.

In a nutshell, whether you are a couple, foodie, travel blogger or just want to chill with your family Maldives is the Place. Maldives is  loved by all tourists. Exploring places and random things to do at Maldives is making people crazy about Maldives. Some of the best places you must see when visiting Maldives are:

Places to visit in Maldives

There are so many places for families and couples to visit in Maldives. Couples in specific love Maldives as there are so many romantic beaches around.

  1. Como Cocoa Island in Maldives

We have always heard “Love Is In The Air”. But, in Maldives it should be “Love Is In The Beaches”. Romantic honeymoon trips at Como Cocoa Island are sure to be fun! Sprawling beautiful resorts are also there in Como Cocoa Island, Maldives. One can experience the best time of their lives by staying at one of these beautiful resorts and enjoying the  view. The  couples can have the best time of their lives at this beautiful place in Maldives.

  1. Rangali Island in Maldives

Family trips always need family environment. Rangali Island is perfect destination/island for those who are travelling with family to Maldives. The Hilton Hotel Group owns this island. The best part about this island is that it has so many activities which you can enjoy with family in Maldives.  Activities like island hopping, fishing, snorkeling and dolphin sighting are the best things you can do in Rangali Island in Maldives. Family trips become fantastic when you visit places like these are in Maldives.

 

Rangali Island
  1. Grand Friday Mosque in Maldives

If you are done visiting islands and want to explore places to get the best photographs then, Grand Friday Mosque is the one. The attractive mosque and its minimalism is something that will take your heart away. This mosque in Maldives which is made of white marble is the world’s biggest mosque. The white marble has a touch of gold to it. The dome of the mosque is gold and it looks stunning.

Grand Mosque
  1. Dive Club in Male Island in Maldives

People who want to explore new places and new adventure in their life then this place is a must visit in Maldives.  This one is specifically for adventure Lovers. The recreational activities that everyone can enjoy are provided in this Club. Scuba diving and riding an underwater scooter here in Maldives can be more exciting than travelling the entire world. The guidance is provided by professionals and they help people to enjoy without any fear.

Dive Club
  1. Thai Work Restaurant, Male, Maldives

Food lovers cannot resist themselves from trying the best food in Maldives. Food creates  excitement. Get the best Thai Cuisine in Maldives at this beautiful restaurant. The Thai Work Restaurant is located in Hithaffivinivaa Magu. The delicious food makes people literally lick their fingers. Food bloggers especially love to get the amazing photographs here because the food is so nice. The serving, plating and hospitality of this restaurant will definitely blow your minds.

  1. Maldivian Wildlife in Maldives

Some who love animals and birds is definitely not going to miss this place. Maldivian Wildlife is a place where one can see gorgeous and amazing species that live beneath water. The dolphins and unicorn fishes can make your day. Different species of birds are so attractive. You cannot afford to miss this place while visiting  Maldives.

  1. National Museum in Maldives

Does museum word sounds boring to you? Well, if it does just change your mind and leave for National Museum in Maldives which is located in Male. A museum where people can find the history of Maldives Islands by observing momentous and historic artefacts. This museum is a three-storied museum which has highlights of historic kings. Museums may sound a little less interesting but this one is definitely the opposite.

  1. Artificial Beach in Maldives

Beach may have artificial water. People usually have this myth when they listen the name of the place “Artificial beach”. But, this is one of the most popular beaches in Maldives. People and especially tourist from all across the globe plan their vacations at this beach specifically. Since, the beach is located in Male. Male does not have an innate beach. So, people created this one. Something which seems real but is artificial hence called “Artificial Beach”.

Artificial Beach
  1. Majeedhee Magu in Maldives

A shopaholic and someone who loves fashion like I do can never miss this place. Shopping in streets and finding the best clothes under budget is the best thing a girl can do to herself. To explore, visit Majeedhee mage where one can find so many shops selling amazing stuff at reasonable prices. Amazing fashion trends which are running currently are available at this place. The place is not limited to fashion. Gadgets and so many stuffs are available here.

  1. Whale Submarine in Maldives

Honeymoon trips can also be  adventurous if couples visit this place. Be it a family vacation or your anniversary trip or just a surprise, Whale Submarine is going to give you a real life experience. An underwater tour is planned which takes you to the place. You get to observe amazing water species.

Whale Submarine

Maldives is an amazing place to visit and explore things. The underwater life, amazing restaurants with delicious foods, islands for couples and families, they all make Maldives a unique destination!! It’s Maldives only Maldives…

 

Lata Lalwani
A passionate writer who loves to explore unique destinations. Travelling is her love and she believes that one must travel to live life fully!!

Europe on a Budget: A Guide to Eleven Cheap Destinations

Thinking of visiting Europe?The first thing that pops into mind is budget.Right? However, you are just one step away from your dream,because all your worries about budget are going to be assuaged with the information shared by WiseYatra,here. You can visit Eleven destinations in Europe that would fit  into your shoe string budget.

 

1.Seville,Spain

Capital of the region of Andalusia, Seville is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and a popular tourist attraction. Seville is all about vibrant streets, joyous people with an exotic accent and of course the magnificent moorish architecture.

  • Among the ‘must visits’ ,the World Heritage Site Plaza de Espana ,Seville comes first. Built in 1929 for Ibero-American exposition, this square stands out as an extremely impressive place with a famous park, Maria Luisa. It is a wonderful place to admire the Spanish Architecture and a perfect place for photo shoots.
  • The other famous site of Seville is Real Alzacar de Sevilla.It is The location of The Water Gardens of Dorne of Game of Thrones fame.The opulence and beauty of this place attracts visitors from all over the globe. There is also Cathedral de Sevilla and Giralda Tower just near Alzacar which are the other famous destinations of Seville. Giralda Tower, a  forty storey tower, is the oldest architecture of Seville and an observatory to admire the view of the city.
  • Espacio Metropol ,Parasol ,Seville, is a modern addition to the city and a wonderful symbol of modern architecture. The structure stands as a canopy above the Encarnacion Market  giving a stunning and photogenic view.
  • Casa de Pilatos- A place to admire the excellence of Renaissance architecture blended with Spanish architecture in the palace of Casa de Pilatos.

 

2.Porto, Portugal

Visit the coastal city of Porto in Portugal and immerse yourself  into the beauty of its beaches, stately bridges and the authentic taste of wine. Porto is a blend of history, traditions maintained along withmodern culture and has old Portuguese towns and architecture that  leave an indelible impression on  tourists.

  • Ribeira– Porto’s oldest neighbourhood beside River Douro is a lovely place and famous for Ribeira Square which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Ribeira is popular for its narrow winding streets with picturesque  traditional houses, restaurants, cafes and the buzz of happiness. After strolling the streets, visit the Ponte Luis I (Dom Luis) Bridge above the River Douro and admire the stunning view.
  • Vila Nove de Gaia– Located on the Southern side of river Douro, connected with Ribeira through the Ponte Luis I bridge, Vila Nova de Gaia is a hub of the port wine industry that includes cellars offering wine tours and tasting which are inexpensive yet immensely enjoyable.This place is also known for sandy beaches,most famous being , Praia da Madalena.
  • Clerigos Tower– Visit the Clerigos Church and Tower located at the highest point of the city and get to see a panoramic view.
  • Porto Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace– Situated in the oldest district of Porto, the Cathedral was erected during the 12th century serving as the religious centre of Porto, blending  history with modernity.
  • Stock Exchange Palace– Pertaining to the Commercial Association of Porto , visit the Stock Exchange Palace or Palacio da Bolsa  that has a Neoclassical architecture and has historical importance.
  • Aliados- Visit this Avenue and enjoy the imposing architecture where the whole of Porto assembles to enjoy any event.

 

A Panoramic View of Porto

 

3.Sofia- Bulgaria

The largest and the capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia, is one of the famous cities of Europe and has a lot of surprising things to discover along with its mesmerising scenic beauty.

  • Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski– A Bulgarian Orthodox  cathedral church built in the neo- Byzantine style, was actually erected in 20th century on the  memories of thousands of soldiers that died in the Russo- Turkish War(1877-78). This Eastern cathedral is one of the largest in the world and its speciality lies in the dome that is gold plated and dazzles in the sun.
  • Saint Sofia Church– The oldest cathedral church in Sofia built during the mid 4th century, is situated near the Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski.
  • The National Theatre or Ivan Vazov– Named after the literary patriach Ivan Vazov, it is the largest and the most influential theatre in Bulgaria. The National Theatre also includes City Garden which is the most popular site for  tourists to relax, stroll and have photo shoots.
  • Central Bath (Sofia History Museum)– Built in early 19th century, this was once a public bath until 1986. At present this building serves as a history museum and is called the Sofia History Museum.
  • Vitosha Mountain- Go for hiking in the outskirts of Sofia, and visit the Vitosha Nature Park and fall in love with the mesmerising scenic view of mountains and colourful fields.

 

Scenic View of Sophia, Bulgaria

 

4.Prague- Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities of Europe and is all about castles, bridges, scenic nights and a lot of beauty. Explore the vibrant streets and the old  town and admire the colourful buildings that are indeed eye- catching.

  • Charles Bridge– Among the most visited sights comes the Charles Bridge acrossVltava river. Constructed during 14th- 15th century, this bridge is the second oldest in Czech Republic, which offers a scenic view of the city to the visitors.
  • Old Town Square– A 14th century old town hall in Prague is one of the famous attractions as you can see the crowds of visitors here,at any point of Old Town Square is incredibly charming and is considered one of the most beautiful squares of Europe. Have a look at the historical, Astronomical Clock and the age-old churches of Our Lady Before Tyn and St. Nicholas Church. Also visit the Kinsky Palace, House at the Stone Bell and Jan Hus Memorial.
  • Prague Castle– Visit the Prague castle which is one of the largest castles in the world and know about the tale of the Czech Kings and their history. Explore the palace, museums, gardens that would take you back to the 9th century.
  • Also visit the Golden Lane, Vysehrad or take a day trip to Kutna Hora to experience fear in the haunting town.

 

 

5.Budapest- Hungary

Budapest, capital of Hungary is another beautiful city of Europe bisected by the River Danube. Budapest is often referred as ‘little Paris of Middle Europe’ and is not only  popular for its monuments but also its history and culture that are probably 1000 years old.

  • Hungarian Parliament– Situated across the river Danube, Hungarian Parliament is the most important body of Budapest, and a famous attraction for its captivating beauty. The building looks stunning especially at night when it lights up with the city and its reflection can be seen on the calm water of Danube. One can walk along the edge of Danube river and spot the shoes on the Danube Monument associated with the painful history of the Jews.
  • Chain Bridge– It is one of the famous landmarks of Budapest.Walk along the Chain bridge built on Danube river that connects Buda and Pest .
  • Matthia’s Church– The 14th century old church situated at the top of Buda Castle Hill,  is one of the finest  in the city along with a unique interior and beautious view.
  • Buda Castle– Visit the Buda Castle and soak in the history of the country.It is the home to Hungarian National Gallery. The architecture is enticing and itself reveals its age old history. Buda Castle has been serving as the iconic landmark of the city since the 13th century.
  • Cruise on the Danube River- Another amazing way to admire this stunning city is through a cruise ride on the Danube River.
  • Central Market Hall– A five minutes walk from the city centre would lead you to the indoor market, Central Hall Market located on the Pest side of the city. Visit this to buy some Hungarian souvenirs, some art and crafts and of course,to try out the different food stalls.
  • Cave Church– Visit the unique church inside the cave of Gellert Hill which is an interesting place to pay a visit. When in Gellert don’t miss the opportunity of having a relaxing thermal bath in the Gellert Baths, and do watch the sun set from The Citadel.

 

6.Krakow- Poland

Poland’s  most traveller- friendly city, Krakow is beautiful in its own way. The city is clean, scenic and there is a lot  to do here.

  • Krakow Old Town (Rynek Glowny)- Begin your tourwith  the Main Square of Krakow, the oldest square that dates back to the 13th century. This square is considered  one of the largest  in the Medieval Europe and has pastel- coloured houses, shops, hotels, cafes and other important buildings such as Church of  Virgin Mary, Polish Art Gallery, the Cloth Hall and Town Hall Tower. One can opt for horse carriages and explore every nook and corner of the square.
  • Kazimierz– This was historically the place for Jews and  you can still feel theirimprints  in this district of Kazimierz. Head to the Galicia Jewish Museum that is most popular in Europe and get to know the Jewish history and culture. The famous Hollywood blockbuster, Schindler’s List(1993), was shot here.
  • Wawel Castle– Visit the most popular landmark of Krakow, Wawel Castle which is a symbol rich Polish culture and history. This Castle belonged to the Polish King Casimir III the Great and at present,is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO(1978).
  • Auschwitz Birkenau– Auschwitz Birkenau is a former Nazi Camp and a painful reminder  of Nazi-Jew conflict and the great Holocaust.
  • Also visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wieliczka Salt Mine and explore an unusual

 

7.Bratislava- Slovakia

The capital city of Slovakia, Bratislava is all about vineyards, hills, forests, castles, pastel coloured houses, well-planned age old town, fancy restaurants and cafes and of course ,its beautiful people. There is a plethora of captivating landscapes and landmarks  here:

  • Old Town– The old town includes the Main Square of Bratislava and has many things to see, such as -museums.Among many Bratislava City Museum is the most popular one. There are also beautiful churches, St. Ladlslav being the oldest and the most beautiful one.While exploring the square you’ll come across a famous monument, Man at Work and Primate’s Palace.
  • Blue Church– Located on the edged of the Old Town, the Blue Church- St. Elizabeth has a blue décor, unique enough to pay a visit.
  • Bratislava Castle– Situated on the hill above the Old Town and the Danube River, Bratislava Castle is a famous tourist attraction and the highlight of the city. Built during the 9th century, this castle has many stories to reveal.
  • Most SNP (Slovak National Uprising)- Most SNP or the UFO Bridge is a valuable asset of Bratislava. The bridge is named after its saucer-like architecture and stands above the river Danube, giving a panoramic view of the charming city.
View of Bratislava Castle

 

8.Sicily, Italy

Sicily is an Italian Island that has a lot to offer, be it historical or natural. Sicily is mainly known for the Greek and Roman architectural ruins, beaches, age-old towns and the world famous active volcano Mount Etna.

  • Palermo– Capital city of the Italian island of Sicily, Palermo is a home to Palmero Cathedral houses, Royal Tombs, Royal Palaces, busy markets and crowded streets. Noted for its rich history and culture dating back to the 12th century, this city is captivating.
  • Etna and Catania– Mount Etna is Europe’s tallest active volcano and one of the most active ones on Earth. Mount Etna is most beautiful during winters, as it cloaks under the snow. On its foot lies the famous city, Catania which is the second largest city of Sicily and has the busiest port. The city includes historical sites such as Piazza del Duomo, Catania Cathedral, Fontana dell’Elefante.
  • Taormina– A top hill town, Taormina is located at the foot of Mount Etna, at the east coast of Sicily. Taormina has vibrant streets, houses with colourful flowers on the balconies, ancient ruins such as the Ancient theatre of Taormina, pertaining to the history of Greek Colonialism, Corvaja Palace, the Isola Bella, a tiny island and nature reserve.
  • Syracruse– It is a delightful city that has Greek and Roman ruins to explore.
  • Cefalu– A heaven for the beach lovers especially during the summer. Relax on the beach and explore the historical sites of the city.

 

9.Zagreb- Croatia

Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia situated along the river Sava. There’s a plenty things to do in the city.There is architecture that reflects the Austro-Hungarian culture of the city, some gothic style buildings revealing its ancientry, lush gardens, restaurants, cafes, scenic river banks and friendly ,easy going people to interact with.

  • Upper Town–   Wandering  around the Upper Town of Zagreb one comes  across iconic buildings such as Gornji Grad,  Mark’s Church, Museum of Broken Relationships.
  • Lower Town– In the Lower town, explore the Croatian National Theatre, Mimara Museum, the restful park of Green Horseshoe, Ethnographic Museum, Botanical gardens and Maksimir Park.
  • Ban Jelacic Square– Ban Jelacic Square is located at the centre of the city of Zagreb.The square is built in an Austo-Hungarian style and has phenomenal numbers of cafes, restaurants, places for shopping and so on. The statue of Count Jelacic is also eye-catching.
  • Plitvice-Use public transport 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.

 

 

10.Kiev- Ukraine

Capital of Ukraine, Kiev is all about religious architecture, historical monuments, and museums that reveal ‘the tale of the city’.

  • Khreshchatyk Street– A street full of life depicting the Ukranian culture, perfect for food and shopping.
  • Churches– Have a look at the city’s popular churches with gold-plated domes as their speciality, such as St. Sophia’s Cathedral, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral.
  • Monasteries– The city has a number of monasteries among which the most famous is Kyevo Pecherska Lavra, St. Michael’s Golden Domed Monastery.
  • Museums– There’s a plethora of museums in Kiev among which  the National Museum of Ukranian History revealing the history of the country, National Art Museum holding the unique collection of Ukranian Art ,are worth visiting.

 

 

11.Istanbul- Turkey

Among the most popular cities of Europe comes Istanbul which not only has architectural beauty but also scenic. Here’s a list of  must visits:

  • Hagia Sophia Museum– An iconic landmark of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia is a world famous tourist attraction. Its ancientry is related to the practise of various religions, but now in the modern day this serves as an excellent window to the Turkish History.
  • Grand Bazaar- The most famous and one of the largest bazaars in the world, the Grand Bazaar is ideal for shopping for antique porcelain pieces, carpets , Turkish artefacts and weapons (especially swords).
  • Topkapi Palace– With a mesmerising view, Topkapi Palace is among the ‘must see’ in Istanbul. This palace reflects its rich history of Ottoman Empire and serves as a wonderful museum.
  • Galata Tower- Situated on the highest point of the city, Galata Tower not only tells its age-old tale, but also is a wonderful observatory to admire the city of Istanbul and its beautiful sunsets.
  • Also visit the other famous sites such as The Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, Basilica Cistern, Chora Church and Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
Hagia Sophia

So let go of your budget -related worries and visit these eleven incredibly beautiful destinations of Europe without a strain on your pocket.

Cheap trip to Europe-a few tips

Travelling to Europe is a dream for most of us. The exotic locales, the wonderful history, the abundant natural beauty, all call out to us. But the supposed drain in our bank balance deters us sometimes. Don’t worry. We bring with us, a few hacks for you to have a great trip to the remarkable destination. Just follow these simple tips and enjoy the trip of your lifetime, within limited resources .

 

1.Plan much in advance-

One of the simplest way to have a  trip which does not cost you exorbitantly, is to plan much in advance.You will get air tickets at a much lower rate ,hotels will mostly have vacancy for you to choose a cheaper option.You will get more time to hunt for days when there are offers on eurail passes and other attractions like museums,amusement parks etc.

 

2.Go off -season-

The months of June,July,August seem like the ideal months to go to Europe ,escaping the excruciating heat of Indian cities.But these can be the worst month for the same.Apart from the problems of long queues at all attractions and maddening crowds there is also the consideration of spiralling rates of everything.Though ,it may not be always possible but try and plan your trips during less popular months.

 

3.Choose your place of stay wisely-

 The maximum drain on your pocket when going out is on accommodation, so choosing your place of stay wisely will help you in controlling that .Explore all options, even couch surfing and house minding. You can practically live for free. If ,it’s a family trip, try staying in home-stays and apartments ,where you save on other costs like food and laundry .Check out the deals in hotels too, you might just hit the jackpot.

 

  1. Eat smart-

After lodging ,the major spend -category happens to be ,food. But, it’s not very difficult to  eat a wholesome meal at a reasonable expense.

First of all, raid the supermarket. Buy whatever you think you can eat without cooking and carry it with you the whole day and have a picnic whenever you are hungry. This way you avoid restaurant food which can cost a bomb in Europe.

Secondly, use the facility if you have a kitchen in your apartment or hostel. Cook a basic but wholesome meal ,like sandwiches, bread-omlette, rolls and have in breakfast before leaving for the day. Similarly you can cook a good filling dinner  at night .You can also carry a few packets of ready-to-eat meals from India and have them when you come back late at night to your place of stay.

 

5.Explore maximum and spend minimum-

A little thought into your trip planning will help you in saving a lot of mullah.

First thing to be done after landing up in a new city ,is to go to the tourist information centre. You will get valuable information regarding various attractions and also save time and money by not wandering aimlessly.

Wherever you go, find out about the free walking-tours and make it a point to attend the same .They take you to most of the points of attraction and give you a fair idea of the city. You can decide after that which attractions you want to spend more time on.

Museum  entry fees can be quite high in Europe but most of them have a day in a month ,when entry is free. If possible, plan your itinerary accordingly.

local transport can be expensive .Try and  stay close to the city-centre and walk to the attractions. You will save a lot .If you must take some transport, avoid cabs, go for bus or metro.

 

 

6.Use free wi-fi-

Although staying connected seems like the most important thing to the millennium generation but when on a trip to Europe,curb that sentiment.It’s okay to invest in a basic plan for an international sim for emergencies but for the rest just  make use of the free wi-fi available almost everywhere in this post-modern continent.With the sim also,be very careful because even the incoming calls have different charge rules in different countries.

 

  1. Consider your cash options-

ATM withdrawals can be costly and you may get charged extra at every withdrawal.Go for a credit card which ,in most of the cases, more reasonable.

 

8.Travel light-

Apart from the fact that you will have to carry your luggage a lot of times, travelling light makes sense for monetary reasons also. Low cost carriers give you fares which are dirt cheap but they also charge a hefty premium for extra luggage. Whatever you save on fare ,you will have paid in double if your baggage exceeds their limit.

If you follow these simple tips ,you can have a great trip to this wonderland without spending a fortune. So, go ahead and enjoy.

 

Mamta Kumar

Budget Friendly Foreign Trips For Indians

When you  plan an international trip, budget arises as the biggest issue. You have a dream to travel the foreign locales with your loved ones, but  the tight budget  holds you back. But now you don’t need to worry.

When you  plan an international trip, budget arises as the biggest issue. You have a dream to travel the foreign locales with your loved ones, but  the tight budget  holds you back. But now you don’t need to worry. There are  many international destinations to visit, in pocket friendly budgets. Here is the list of the countries that are ideal for a shoe-string budget:

  • Sri Lanka:

Located on the South of continent India, Sri Lanka is an Island Nation famous for its beaches, Buddhist Temples, hills, mixed colonial architecture, sea food and lovely people. For people who love  relaxing on a beach and also  exploring scenic beauty of hills, Sri Lanka is an ideal place to visit.

Must Visits:-

  • Colombo-Visit the Capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo and explore the National Museum, Gangaramaya Temple, Viharamahadevi Park, Cinnamon Gardens and Dehiwala Zoo and also the public beaches where you can enjoy ,delicious sea food.
  • Ella-Ella is an enticing small village on the highlands of Sri Lanka .It offersbreathtaking views of tea estates, waterfalls, mountains and lets you breathe in the wonderful fresh air it has. A Train ride from Kandy to Ella is the most enchanting scenic journey, you will ever experience.
  • Kandy Kandy in Sri Lanka is a city famous for sacred Buddhist s While on a trip to this city visit the Kandy Lake and the  most popular Temple of Tooth. Also pay a visit to the Royal Palace of Kandy, Royal Botanical Gardens and Udawattakele Forest Reserve.  .
  • Sigiriya– Sigiriya in Sri Lanka is an ancient fortress overlooking exuberant forests. It is famous for its ancient Rock Fortress which is situated at the top of Sigiriya Cliff.
  • Dambulla Cave Temple – This 2000 years old temple is situated 148km East of Colombo and it is the best preserved cave temple of Sri Lanka.
  • Galle– Famous for the age-old Galle Fort built by the Portuguese during 16th century, located on the shore of the most popular Galle Beach, this Fort also has a Lighthouse at its Southern tip.
  • Mirrisa- Relax and swim on the beach of Mirrisa.
  • Yala National Park– Experience the wildlife in Sri Lanka and get a chance to see elephants, deer, crocodiles, leopards, monkeys and colourful birds.
  • Polonnaruwa- Enjoy a trip to an ancient city in the middle of dense vegetation that has the ruins of old temples.

Number of Days in Sri Lanka: Ideal for 7-10 days trip.

 

Train Ride from Kandy to Ella

 Bhutan

A Buddhist Kingdom,  Bhutan is located on the Eastern Edge of the Himalayas having dramatic landscapes which seems almost surreal in its beauty. Bhutan has steep mountains, beautiful valleys, Buddhist Monasteries, pagodas, along with a lot of mesmerizing locations.

Must Visits:

  • Paro in Bhutan– On arriving at the International Airport of Paro, the journey of Bhutan begins. Visit the Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger’s Nest which is the most iconic and world famous site of Bhutan. A 3-4 hours trek ,through the mountainous path ,takes you to this monastery . Also visit Rinpung Dzong (pronounced as Zong), Kyichu Lakhang,one of the oldest shrines of the kingdom,drive through Chele La Pass leading to the most beautiful Haa Valley.
  • Thimphu in Bhutan-It is the capital city of Bhutan and an unusual mix of modern and traditional.Sightseeing in Thimphu Valley includes the National Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, The National Library, Textile And Folk Heritage Museum, Handicrafts Emporium and lastly Institute of Zorig Chusum.
  • Punakha in Bhutan-Punakha Valley is mesmerisingly beautiful, and is mostly famous for Punakha Dzong situated at the junction of the two rivers ,Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. Also visit the Punakha Suspension Bridge, along with the nearby sites,Chimi Lakhang , Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.

Number Of Days:- Ideal for 5-7 days trip.

Tiger’s  Nest  Monastery              
  • Nepal

Nepal, a country lying along the Southern slopes Of Himalayas, is landlocked between India and the vast empty lands of Tibet. Nepal has beautiful landscapes, being  closest to Himalayas and is ideal for

‘take a break’ trip, as the mesmerizing sites of valleys, mountains, temples and monasteries are going to rejuvenate you. Places to see include the following-

  • Kathmandu in Nepal –Explore the capital of Nepal, and visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhnath Stupa, one can go for sightseeing along the beautiful valley of Kathmandu and do some shopping in Thamel.
  • Pokhara in Nepal-Pokhara is a city among the Phewa Lake and mountains, a beautiful place for boating and enjoying the scenic beauty. Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit,popular trail of Himalayas. Visit the Tal Brahi Temple, International Mountain Museum,showcasing the history of mountaineering and the people of Himalayas.
  • Nagarkot in Nepal- Located at the rim of Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot has the best spots to view the ‘top of the world’, Mt. Everest.This place is ideal for watching the best sunrise and sunset views of the world.

Number of Days: One can plan a trip for 5-7 days.

Phewa Lake
  • Thailand

A Southeast Asian country, Thailand is a popular international destination that fits in a pocket friendly budget. It is mostly popular for beaches, Royal Palaces, ruins of ancient temples of Buddha, crowded cities and authentic Thai Food. Pay a visit to:

  • Bangkok in Thailand-The capital city of Thailand- Bangkok, has captivating street lifeand ornate shrines. Visit the majestic Grand Palace and its sacred Buddhist Temple Wat Phra Kaew, along with nearby Wat Pho and Wat Arun Temple. Explore the Khaosan Road that has abundant shops, hotels, restaurants and lively night life.
  • Pattaya in Thailand-A city of Thailand located on the Eastern Gulf coast, Pattaya is popular for beautiful beaches among which Pattaya and Jomtien Beach are the most popular . Visit the Truth of Sanctuary ,a massive temple carved out of wood.Enjoy the wonderful nightlife and do some shopping on the Walking Street.
  • Nong Nooch Village in Thailand -Explore the Thai Culture and breathtakingly beautiful landscaped gardens. Also, this place organises Thai cultural One can visit Nong Nooch From Bangkok or Pattaya through road routes.

Number of Days: 5-7 days.

  1. Maldives

A South-Asian Sovereign state, Maldives lies Southwest of Sri Lanka and India in the Indian Ocean. Maldives is popular worldwide for its white sandy beaches that are indeed paradise. Coral Reefs, lagoons, scuba diving &snorkelling, luxury hotels,resorts and spas, all comprise together to make Maldives an ideal international destination. The must visits are:

  • Hulhumale in Maldives-An Island in Maldives that marks the beginning of the journey, can be reached by road through public or private transport. Hulhumale is an ideal place to relax at the beach where the water is turquoise in colour,hence more beautiful than usual.
  • Male in Maldives-Take a boat from Hulhumale Island and reach the capital city of Maldives,Male. Explore the city life of Maldives and pay a visit to the Male Friday Mosque, Islamic Centre, National Museum, Male Fish Market, stay in a private resort and enjoy the private beaches.
  • Maafushi in Maldives-From Villingili Ferry Terminal,Male, begin your journey to the biggest island of Maldives, Maafushi. Explore the most popular beaches, Bikini Beach, Public Beach, Water Sport Beach and Coral Beach. Do scuba diving, snorkelling and get a chance to see the school of dolphins.
  • Fihalhohi in Maldives-Located on the South of Male, this island has overwater bungalows giving you a once in a lifetime experience. Fihalhohi is luxurious, with exquisitely decorated bungalows, exotic spas and restaurants.

Number of Days: 5-7 days.

Maldives

So, what are you waiting for? Let go of your worries and come visit these beautiful international destinations that won’t cause a drain in your pockets.

 

 

 

Nine Best Destinations to visit in Asia

“To Travel Is To Live”

When Gayle Foreman proclaimed “Travelling is not something we are good at; it’s something we do, like breathing”, he captured the essence of a life well lived. There’s a whole world out there to explore and take in, sights both known and unknown. Read on to find a list of 9 wonderful places you can visit in Asia.

 

1) BRUNEI

This scenic country offers you travel at its best form. Its capital Bander Seri Begawan shines with its magnificent mosques that is the exact contrast to the stilt house water village and flourishing mangrove forests nearby. The main attractions are Brunei City center which is small, compact and can be easily explored on foot and has the city’s traditional and modern architectural styles embedded in it. Also to see is the Brunei Museums which showcases the nation’s history and culture and don’t miss the Ulu Temburong National Park. This small yet wealthy nation has got it all!

 

2) SRI LANKA

This small country boasts of a rather unique culture and tradition. It comprises of scenic spots such as Kandy which is home to Buddhist relic, Galle- a coastal city home to the Galle Fort, a lighthouse, and a marine-time museum. There are also national parks to visit such as Minneriya National Park, Udawalawe for safaris and Peradeniya for beautiful gardens. For the shopoholics in us, Pettah is a must visit -with it large variety of markets for clothes, souvenirs and so on. Sri Lanka is famous for the Ceylon tea production. Make sure to visit Royal botanical garden to witness the fascinating tea production process. Trust me after seeing that you will be a tea lover if you weren’t before!

 

3) FUJAIRAH

This small emirate in UAE houses the most scenic beauties of United Arab Emirates. Located near the mountains and flowing rivers it’s a must-see place to visit and enjoy. Starting with the imperial Fujairah Fort and Al Badiyah Mosque showcases this emirate’s culture and tradition. Next up is the Madhab Spring Park which is a perfect spot for kids to play and enjoy. There are shopping malls which provide modern choices for tourists but for a traditional outlet, you have to visit the Fujairah Heritage village for some of its relic collection. Finally, nobody misses the sandy beach and corniche which are the serene spots. If you want a relaxing environment without any loud arrangements, Fujairah is the place to go!

 

4) COCOS KEELING ISLANDS

A paradise for nature lovers located in the middle of Indian Ocean, some 2750 km northwest of Perth, these islands are usually enroute for boats from Mauritius. If you want a break from your tech, then this is the holiday for you. It also has activities such as the Lagoon swim, mid-year Cocos Ball, Music and wine festivals and also dishes out concert events. Snorkeling is the favorite activity around this region. It’s great for all ages and offers shallow and protected conditions. The islands offer numerous snorkeling spots that cater to all experience levels. Whether this is your first time snorkeling or you have already snorkeled the waters of the world, there are plenty of options around that will delight you; the most famous of snorkeling sites is ‘the Rip’ located at the southern tip of Direction Island.

 

6) KERALA, INDIA

Deemed to be ‘God’s own country’, Kerala offers backwaters and food delicacies aplenty. From the backwaters in Alleppey to the hilly Munnar, to the coastal town in Kovalam to the paragliding, hiking experiences in Vagamon, Kerala offers a lot more than you can see and have. The buzzing cities of Ernakulum and Trivandrum offer shopping spree for tourists and the tasty tapioca and fish curry is hard to resist.

 

 7) BHUTAN

This happy and serene country offers an extraordinary diversity and tourist attractions such as Thimpu, Paro, and Punakha which has amazing markets and parallely also showcases mountains, waterfalls, and temples. It also houses Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary which is a protected area. Also, how can we ever forget the mouthwatering Ema datshi which will make your senses go high!

 

8) MACAU

Nicknamed as the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’ this place houses giant casinos, malls and have amazing landscapes such as  Senado Square, Taipa, and Venetian Macau. Its beautiful architecture and scenic spots will bring the fun element of holidays to the forefront. The cuisines are in variety to cater to the growing need of the tourists. It also has the iconic St Paul church which is also a religious museum.

 

9) JORDAN

This country houses ancient ruins and rather an antique history of their culture and tradition. The main attraction is the Dead Sea which is the salt lake which has the lowest point on the dry sea and has the famously hypersaline water and mineral-rich mud which is used a lot in cosmetics. Also, Jordan offers deserts and oases around the region with which we can go on safaris and rides. Camping is also an option which can be utilized when you are here.

Traveling is all about enjoying the pleasures of life which can’t be provided by staying in one place. These places offer you complete enjoyment at its best. Traveling tends to magnify human emotions to such an extent that it overwhelms you and makes you widen your perspective of life. So happy traveling to these wonderful places!

Bon Voyage!

BY

KAVYA SANTHOSH

A student who is passionate about reading and travelling, has a passion to pen down her travel experience. She plans to see as many countries as she can!