Reims- A Day Trip From Paris

If you are on a trip to Paris, you surely haven’t seen all of France, because there’s a plethora of places for you to discover in its off beat routes, which are less crowded and you get to choose your own ways of exploring them. Among these off beat attractions, Reims- the Champagne region of France, is ideal to spend a day away from the capital, and taste one of the finest brands of Champagne made and fermented on the major Champagne houses. Witness the handpicking of the finest grapes from the vineyards and finally being converted into a sweet liquid that are kept on the dark cellars for maturation- giving them the finest taste.

 

How to reach Reims?

 

The easiest route is by opting a TGV train from GaredeL’Est metro station in Paris and directly reach Reims within 45 minutes. However, your tickets must be booked 3 months prior to your arrival.

 

What to see in Reims? 

 

Your checklist in Reims must include visiting the cathedral, the best cellars and a walk in the beautiful streets of the city.

 

Explore the holy Reims Cathedral

 

Begin your day by visiting the holy cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims built in High- Gothic style in the early 13th century with the finest carvings, sculptures, and glass decorations. This age-old church is not only antique, but also holds its traces of being burned and then renovated. Don’t forget to spot the Smiling Angel.

        

Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims.

 

Visit the popular Cellars and taste the best brands of Champagne:

 

The highlight of your trip must be visiting the Champagne houses around the city and their cellar that resemble dimly lit caves, that would give you an unforgettable experience, this however might sound eerie but surely it isn’t as you would be guided by the tour guides throughout your visit.

 

  • Vineyards and Cellar of Veuve Clicquot

 

The vineyards and cellars of Veuve Clicquot are very popular in the region and offer a tour to its caves where you could see thousands of bottled champagne undergoing a process of maturation to bring out the finest taste in them. One gets to see the process of making of champagne, hear its historic tale of its early days and finally taste the  Grande Dame Champagne and savour its taste.

             

Wine Tasting in Veuve Cliquot.

 

 

  • The Cellar of Tattinger

 

Head to your next destination- the Champagne house of Tattinger. The most fascinating truth about the cellars of Tattinger lies on the fact that they were carved out from the age-old Roman mines. As you visit the caves of Tattinger to witness the maturation of botlled champagnes, you would feel the historic aura that these cellars hold in this modern world.

                

Caves of Tattinger.

 

  • H. Mumm Cellar

 

One of the largest producers of Champagne in Northern France, G.H. Mumm is another Champagne house in Reims with an impressive building. The word “mumm” itself suggests “from the inside” and hence offers its visitors a clear view of their inside world of champagne-making.

G.H. Mumm Cellar House.

 

Wander around the picturesque streets of Reims:

 

Lastly end your day by wandering among the streets of Reims and see some of its unpopular attractions such as the Palais du Tau, the cathedral of Saint Remi, Museum of Surrender and so on.

           

A walk among the lovely streets of Reims

 

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

A Day Trip to Britanny- An Unseen Beauty of France

Britanny is one of those unpopular attractions that treasure the unseen beauty of France. Britanny is the perfect off beat spot to explore its untamed wild beauty, thick forests, dramatic coastlines, some man-made wonders and medieval, picturesque towns. It is often chosen as a side trip from Paris, and is truly worth a visit.

 

How to reach Britanny:

 

The easiest route to reach Britanny is by opting a TGV (high speed trains of France) from Paris and reach Rennes, Britanny, where the journey lasts for 1hoursand30minutes approximately. Britanny has a wonderful transportation service either of trains or planes for people to visit from all around.

 

Places to explore:

 

  • Fort du Guesclin

 

Sitting on a tidal island, Fort du Guesclin is situated on a very unique location, as during the times of high tides it would seem that the island is seated offshore. However, this fort can be reached by walking when it’s a low tide, and it is indeed a place that you would admire.

                          

Fort du Guesclin

 

  • Saint-Malo

 

Saint Malo is an old port of France holding its history in every nook and corner. Stepping into the land of Saint Malo would feel like travelling back into the 18thcentury where every house bears the traces of their time in their patched glass windows and dusty gothic buildings.

                                       

Saint Malo

  

  • Mont Saint Michel

 

One of the major attractions of Britanny is Mont Saint Michel. However, there is a small controversy related to its exact location as some regard it as standing on the land of Normandy while others declare it as a part of Britanny. Mont Saint Michel is considered one of the jewels of France as it has been an ecclesiastical center and pilgrimage since the early 700’s. The outer structure of the church is as pleasing as its high-walled interiors that dates back to centuries.

  

The holy Mont Saint Michel

 

  • Exploring the popular Castles of Britanny

 

Britanny also has a number of majestic castles around its towns that are a paradigm of French history and power, and also their excellence in artistry. Among the castles of Britanny, Josselin Castle, Castle of Suscinio, Castle of Vitre, Chateaude Pontivy, Chateaudela Bourbansais, and Castle of Fougeres are popular among tourists.

                               

Chateau de Josselin

 

  • Dinan

 

Dinan is a picturesque town in Britanny that is embraced in scenic beauty and its streets are very photogenic. With bricked paths, gothic architectures and towers, bridges, and museums, Dinan is a perfect place to escape into.

Dinan, Britanny

 

For people who love hiking, Britanny has many spots for you to have a look  such as the Pointedu Raz that would give you the breathtaking view of powerful waves striking the sandy cliffs, the elegant lighthouse, a dreamy sunset amidst the rhythm of the sea.

 

Aurevoir!

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

 

 

How to Plan a Packed Four Days in Dubai

 

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:

Burj Khalifa

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 Khalifa entrance 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).

Underwater Dining at Al Mahara

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 Khalifa tickets 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.

A Fountain Show at The Dubai Fountain

The Armani Lounge on 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:

Camel Safari Through the Desert

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!

Safari in a car

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:

Mosque

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 Emirates also 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!

 

–Kunal

Welcome to Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Are you missing something my fellow travelers?

 

“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

 

 

Tashkent Railway station

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

 

Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan. It’s known for its many museums and its mix of modern and Soviet-era architecture.

 

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.

Chorsu Bazar

 

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.

 

Hotel Uzbekistan

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: 

 

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.

 

Tashkent Metro

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.

 

Art and culture

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.

 

Hazrat Imam Complex

 

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.

 

Tashkent TV tower

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).

 

Tashkent Stadium

“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” .

 

—Kaushik Raj

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!

 

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

Dubai: A City Of Wonders

Why is it a good idea to visit Dubai?

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 Observatory Decks 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 Khalifa

 

A view from the Top of Burj Khalifa


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.

Burj Al Arab
Underwater Dining at Al Mahara

 

Jumeirah Mosque

 

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.

 

Jumeirah Mosque


Desert Safari

 

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.

 

Camel Safari Through the Desert

 

Palm Jumeirah

 

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.

 

The Palm Jumeirah


Jumeirah Beach

 

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.

 

Jumeirah beach

 

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.

 

A Fountain Show at The Dubai Fountain

 

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”.

 

Atlantis The Palm

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.

 

Al Bastakiya

 

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 DeiraAs 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.

 

Wild Wadi Park

 

Skydive Dubai

 

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.

 

Skydiving Above the Palm Jumeirah

 

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.

 

Interior of Dubai Mall


Helicopter Ride

 

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.

 

Ride Above Atlantis The Palm

Dubai calling…Pack your bags!


—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.

Five Most Visited Places in Europe

 

Europe is the dream destination for most of us, an indispensable item of everybody’s bucket list ,but when it actually comes to planning a trip to this enchanting continent ,we feel lost . So many countries,so many cities- going to one ,leaving another ….which are the absolute musts…..which should not be missed at any cost .WiseYatra comes to your aid here to help you in choosing the five must-visit places of Europe. Here goes the list:

 

1. Paris- France

 

Capital of France, Paris is one of the most popular cities  in Europe and is known as the romantic capital of the world. The extremely beautiful buildings,the boulevard ,the serene Siene and most importantly the celebrated  ,Eiffel Tower ,make it one of the most -visited cities of the world. Couples around the world visit Eiffel Tower for hitting the relationship goals and making everlasting memories. But , Paris is not  only Eiffel Tower, it has a number of other attractions :

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

Notredame Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Cathedral with amazing architectural  details  . It’s a unique example of religion ,beauty,history , architecture and known for its enticing spires ,columns,glass windows,statues and carvings . It is the most visited monument of Paris.

Interiors of Notredame Cathedral

 

Louvre Museum

 

The entrance of Louvre Museum

 

Synonymous with Paris ,the Louvre Museum is like no other on earth.This place is massive from the outside as well as from the inside and has an astounding collection of classical,neo classical and renaissance art .Visiting this place will leave you extremely impressed and also very tired because of its sheer vastness.It is home to the world famous Mona Lisa ,the Winged Victory,The Venus,The Raft of Medusa,the Dying Slave,to name a few.

 

The Arc De Triomphe

 

Arc De Triomphe

 

TheArc De Triomphe was a commissioned work of Napolean to memorialize his victory, but unfortunately he was expelled before the completion of the monument. Later completed by Louis Philipp in the year 1863. The Arc of Triumph is engraved with the names of Generals who commanded the French Army during the reign of Napolean. Now the architecture stands as a legacy of French history and Napoleanic Wars, and also has an observation deck at the top of the monument that offers a great view.

 

Cruise on the Siene

 

Cruise on Siene

Paris is termed as the “City Of Lights” and one of the best ways of exploring it is through the Cruise on the Siene. Paris is more beautiful after sunsets, the city sparkles in light, along with joy and romance. Join the evening cruise and enjoy  the uninhibited view of tree-lined boulevards and spot all the famous monuments on way .

 

Palace of Versailles

 

Palace of Versailles

 

The Palace of Versailles in Paris is the most famous castle of France , which is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This castle is an epitome of power and represents its history associated with 17th century France. Palace of Versailles has beautiful gardens, and the interior of the castle is lavishly designed. The Castle that was once a seat of power has now been converted into a museum displaying the history of France

 

Latin Quarter- Luxembourg Park

 

 

Latin Quarters- Luxembourg Park

 

Located on the left bank of Siene, Luxembourg Park is a beautiful Parisian Park where you can discover the famous Latin Quarter, and explore the beautiful French style Gardens . Luxembourg Park is not only a perfect place for grown ups, but also for children as Toy Ships are available near the river bank and children would love to sail them in the water of Siene.

 

Moulin Rouge

 

Moulin Rouge

MoulinRouge in Paris is located at the foot of MontmartreHill and  is famous for the  performances. Moulin Rogue is basically a fun place as it has many nightclubs, restaurants, perfect for having a fun night in Paris.

 

Disneyland Paris

 

 

Disneyland Paris

 

Whether you are with your kids or just your partner  , do visit the most splendid place of Paris- Disneyland ,Paris. This place is  ideal for kids but well-suited for  grown ups to spend quality time and have  an unforgettable experience. Explore this astonishing park  and don’t forget to try theworld-famousrides.

2.  Rome- Italy

 

Rome, the capital city of Italy, is an iconic city of Europeand a must visit . Rome is termed as the “Eternal City” because of its everlasting  myths, and the fact that it is the religious WorldCentre of CatholicChurch(Vatican)and lastly it holds the ruins of the great RomanEmpire, everything conspiring to make the city “eternal”. When you are in Rome, these are the places to check out:

 

Colosseum

 

 

A view of Colosseum

Colosseum ,also known as Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome ,is  one of theNewSevenWonders oftheWorld , built during the Roman Empire. It was  built by the Romans for the entertainment of public. The public entertainment included Gladiatorial games, armed men fighting each other to death, Venatio, where wild animals were slaughtered ruthlessly. The remains of the Colosseum has a lot to teach the modern world .

 

Vatican City

 

 

Ceiling of Sistine Chapel- Painting by Michelangelo

Vatican City in Rome is the smallest independent state of the world  recognised globally.It is known  for St. Peter’s Basilica Church, St. Peter’s Square and  Sistine Chapel. The interior of St. Peter’s Basilica includes the world famous sculpture of Michelangelo, The Pieta Sistine Chapel has a collection of unique art which  never fails to enthral the visitors

 

Vatican Palace

 

The Pantheon

 

 

Pantheon

 

Pantheon is a monument of Roman antiquity which was the burial place for Italian Kings and later also became the burial for famous Italians such as the famous painter Raphael.

 

Trastevere

 

Trastevere, located on the South of VaticanCity is a charming urban neighbourhood , much different from the main city, and home to famous SantaMaria church. One can explore Trastevere and take a look at the real Roman life and have mouth-watering Italian cuisines. The food here is cheap, there are also places for shopping.

 

A View of Trastevere

 

Trevi Fountain

 

Trevi Fountain

 

Another highlight of Rome is TreviFountain, the world’s largest Baroque fountain built in the 18th century. It is a popular belief herethat if you throw a coin into this  fountain you will return to Rome someday- try your luck!

 

Spanish Steps

 

Another famous site of Rome is  the SpanishSteps, 135 steps staircase leading to the TrinitiadeiMonte Church, which was built in 1735 to link with the Spanish Embassy, now in the Modern world this is a popular spot to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

 

The Spanish Steps

 

3. London- United Kingdom

 

London, the capital city of UnitedKingdom is World’s one of the most popular cities  and a must visit European destination. London is a name that resides on the mind of the people globally and has always played a special role in Hollywood movies such as ‘James Bond’. London is often called  the ‘city of dreams’.London is  home to 170 museums,  several parks, 230 theatres including  Shakespeare’sGlobeTheatre, iconic buildings, and TheLondonEye. While visiting London don’t miss  these places-

 

 

London Eye

 

London Eye

 

A giant Ferris Wheel on the South Bank of river Thames, London Eye is the most popular tourist attraction and a perfect observatory to have a view of the magical city of London. London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel and has nearly 3.5 million visitors every year.

 

Big Ben

 

Dingdong – Yes that’s the sound of the biggest Clock Tower of London, The Big Ben. Made in the year 1859, this Neo-gothic style tower is 96 metres tall and  was once the largest and most accurate clock in the world. Big Ben is the nick name of Great Bell of the clock and is situated at the North of Palace of Westminster. In 1970, the Clock Tower was declared a World  Heritage Site  by UNESCO.

 

 

The Big Ben

 

 

British Museum

 

The British Museum

 

BritishMuseum in London is among the top attractions of London. Established  in 1753, this museum has collections from all over the world such as Egyptian collections, Assyrian collections, Middle-Eastern, Asian, American and many more.  The British Museum consists of The SmirkeBuilding, PantheonGallaries, The GreatCourt with a huge collection of Global Antiquities.

 

Buckingham Palace

 

Buckingham Palace in London is the residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of United Kingdom. This palace is the legacy of British Monarch, and is the centre stage of occasions and royal hospitality. The palace may reveal its age- old tale from the outside, but the interior of the palace is exquisitely decorated and there are many things to see,  such as – the GrandStaircase,the StateRooms, ThroneRoom, finest collection of porcelain, the garden tour, flags and Clocks and so on. It is said , one can know if the Queen is inside the residence or not ,by the flag flying from the mast.

Buckingham Palace

 

Other than these historically important sites London is full of  fun places  like t MadameTussauds Museum, WarnerBros. Studios , NationalGallery, Greenwich Park, BoroughMarket and so on.

 

4.  Athens- Greece

 

We all have read GreekMythology and at some point or the other wished to visit its home ,Greece. Athens, the capital city of Greece is one such place ,stuff of childhood dreams .A home to landmarks that are existing since 5th century BC, it is  termed as  ‘Temple City’ because of the numerous Greek Ancient temples . There are plenty of surprises to unearth in Athens ,such as:

 

Parthenon

 

Parthenon

 

Parthenon in Greek meaning “Virgin Woman”, is the former temple on the hill of Acropolis, dedicated to the Greek Goddess Athena.  This ruins of the holy temple stands as a proud example of grand  Ancient Greek History and is a world famous tourist attraction. Parthenon can be seen from any direction of the city and serves as a crown to the Acropolis Hill.

 

Acropolis Museum

 

Collection at Acropolis Museum

 

The visit to the AcropolisHill is incomplete without a visit to the AcropolisMuseum which is  an Archaeological Museum exhibiting the significant discoveries from the sacred rock.

 

Poros Island

 

Poros Island

 

Less than a hour away from Athens, PorosIslandis a popular attraction with lively, beautiful streets, blooming flowers on the walls of almost every building, happy faces, hotels, restaurantsand of course ,a stunning view Saronic Gulf. Take a ferry ride and stay here to admire the beauty of this small GreekIsland.

 

Plaka

 

A View of Streets of Plaka Village

 

Plaka is  a village in the shadows of Acropolis. Plaka in Athens has beautiful streets with markets, restaurants, shops selling jewellery, clothes, ceramics, and also many sidewalk cafes. Take a walk and immerse yourself into the beautiful Greek lifestyle.

 

Some of the other places to visit in Athens include the Byzantine& Christian Museum, BenakiMuseum, Temple of Olympian Zeus,Temple of Poseidon and Kerameikos Museum. Don’t miss any of these for surely they are going to be the highlights of your Europe trip.If your schedule permits , you must visit Santorini once, to experience a slice of  paradise on earth.

 

5.  Amsterdam- Netherlands

 

Another beauteous city of Europe, Amsterdam- capital of Netherlands is all about rich architectural history, museums, water canals, food, drinking and impressive night life. Let’s get to know the must visits of this place:

 

 

Museum Quarter

 

Rijksmuseum

Visit the most popular museums in Amsterdam- Rijksmuseum , Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum serving as the cultural hub of the city, and  displaying art from the Middle Ages to the Present Day. These museums hold the collection of some world renowned works by famous painters and are  always crowded with tourists visiting from different parts of the world.

 

Vondle Park

 

Vondle Park

A few miles away from the Rijks Museum, VondlePark is an ideal place for picnics or relaxing  among the lush green gardens and beautiful flowers. Perfect place to escape the crowd and spend some time in a  serene, peaceful environment.

 

Canal Cruises

 

Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

 

What else can be better than exploring the wonderful city of Amsterdam through CanalCruises? Opt the cruise rides to admire this gorgeous city which is at its best during the evenings. Illuminated canals, dazzling city lights reflecting on the waters of the canals, happy faces, everything seems magical in this city.

 

Be it a stroll in the lively streets or visiting the architectural masterpieces  or enjoying a drink and saying cheers to life, Amsterdam provides an opportunity to the tourist which is one of a kind.

Europe has all this and much more to offer to the tourists. Come visit these stunning cities-Paris, Rome, London, Athens and Amsterdam and be transported to another realm. Europe’s beauty is captivating and would give you a lifetime experience along with memories to cherish for life.

–Sampurna Chakraborty

What to do in Paris: The City of Love

 

If you are from India and reading this, chances are that you are planning to go to Paris for the first time. Paris is rightly called, the most romantic city of the world. But you might come back disappointed from here, if you don’t really know what to do in the city or what to see. Fret not, we are here to guide you to  a wonderful trip to this lovely  place.

 

  1. Climb Eiffel Tower in Paris

  

Paris would not have been what it is today, had it not been for lofty Eiffel Tower. Forget what the sceptics are saying about this monument, climb on top of it and enjoy a beautiful landscape of the whole city. To have the best of it, you have to be smart with the timings. Go up when there is still daylight ,you can see the city from top.  Then come down and sit in the nearby park and enjoy the bewitching sight of tower lights.

 

  1. Louvre and the other museums in Paris

 

Paris has a number of museums,130 ,to be precise ,Louvre being the most glorious one of them. Not only because of the world famous lady residing there, but for many such magnificent artefacts. For the rest, take your pick as per your taste. You can consider visiting Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Armée, Grand Palace and Small Palace .

 

3.Notre Dame and many more in Paris

 

After museums ,Paris comes on top of having a number of churches too. By all means visit the most iconic, Notre Dame ,which is beautiful but don’t forget to explore others like the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur at Montmartre. This towering white -domed church will win your heart. Just sit outside and gaze at the beautiful landscape of the city it offers.

 

4.Other must see monuments in Paris

 

 This historic city has some of the most alluring monuments of the world. Do visit the imposing structures of Arc de triomphe, Luxembourg Palace and garden, City hall and Opera house but also save time for the eerie Catacombs, the ethereal Pere Lachaise Cemetery. These are some of the spots which most tourists miss, but are a must for a complete experience of Paris.

 

5.Take a walking tour in Paris

 

Your first day in the city should begin with a free walking tour starting from Fountain in the old city. They have the most interesting tales to share with the tourists, including trivia like ,why should you wave at the passing boats and why are the horses of different statues have different postures. This four hour tour familiarizes you with the city so intimately that afterwards you can easily roam around exploring it in depth  at your pace .

 

 

6.Walk the glorious avenue of Champs Elysees in Paris

 

From Louvre to Arc de triumph, this road is in a straight line through the  Tuilerie Gardens and the Place Concord. Old timers shed tears for the commercialization of this place but for the tourists it’s the most happening road to walk on. It has numerous stores like Sephora, Gap ,Virgin, Louis Vuitton and also several cafes. Have a look at all but the decision to buy should be your own as the stuff is also available in India. But just walking on the wide pathways ,lined with tall trees is a pleasure .

 

7.Take a cruise on river Seine in Paris

 

 Paris offers many magical things to do and see, a boat trip along the Seine comes quite on top of it. You will pass under the numerous bridges, have an uninhabited view of the tree-lined boulevards and spot all the enchanting monuments on way. You can see Notre Dame, Louvre, Grand Palais, Petite Palais, Musee de Orsa, Lock Bridge and the cherry on top, Eiffel Tower. Take the evening cruise which allows you to have a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower after it has been lit up.

 

8.Spend time in the Tuilerie Garden in Paris

 

 In a rush to see everything, we often miss to experience in this city. Don’t make that mistake. After visiting the Louvre or Arc de Triomphe or strolling Champs Elysees, just grab a chair in the Tuilerie Garden and enjoy the beauty. I can assure you, if after some years somebody asks you about your favourite memory of the city, these moments will be very high on your list.

 

9.Sit outside a bistro and have a crepe in Paris

 

 Relish Paris as the locals do. Take an outside table in any of the bistros and order a crepe. This wafer thin pancake ,famous in Paris ,is a must have before you plan to leave the city. Also have a Cafe au Lait with it. Soak in the atmosphere around you while waiting for the delicacy .

 

These are some of our favourites when in the city of love. Go ahead and create some of your own and love the city for those.

 

Bon voyage!

 

Mamta Kumar

 

An avid traveller who has a passion for reading and writing! She has been into writing blogs on different topics since a long time now. She enjoys watching TV with a cup of coffee when she is all by herself!

 

 

Venice: What not to Miss

Venice is a fascinating city to discover-a cluster of 118 islands, joined by canals and bridges, it never ceases to amaze visitors. But Italy has so much to offer that tourists don’t give this beautiful city its due time and often come back disappointed. We bring you here, a guide to relish this place to the fullest, wanting to be back again and again.

Stay overnight in Venice

Hordes of  tourists reach Venice by the morning train and leave by the evening. The whole day this place is jam packed with people ,leaving you feeling like sardines packed in a tin. To avoid this, stay overnight and get to know the real Venice. Stay in a hotel or an apartment overlooking the canals and enjoy its beauty to the fullest.

 

Get up really early in Venice

 

Get up at the crack of the dawn and see Venice as a local would. Watch the locals going about their business ,driving their modest to fancy boats. Before I saw this ,I could never wrap my mind around the fact that for going out ,you don’t take out your car but zoom around in your boat. It’s a fascinating experience. Have a leisurely breakfast in an open air restaurant and watch streams of excited tourists arriving and changing a quaint island to a bustling hub of humanity.

Roam the narrow lanes in Venice

Venice has numerous museums and churches. But unless you are enticed by those ,don’t spend too much time running from one to another. Roam the narrow lanes, head for quieter neighbourhoods , explore the labyrinth of alleyways and simply get lost in the ethereal beauty of the same. While you are at it, take a stroll on the Rialto Bridge and enjoy the scenic beauty.

 

Watch the sunset in Venice from St. Marks Square

St. Mark’s Square is located in the heart of Venice and a beautiful monument to visit .But it’s overcrowded in the day, robbing it of most of its charm. Go there in the evening and watch the golden glow of the sun in the sky from there.

 

Sit on the steps near Grand Canal in Venice

After sunset, take a leisurely walk and come to sit on the steps of grand canal .By this time ,tourists would have started leaving and you can watch the place changing hues and turning into this peaceful and magical island ,that Venice is.

 

Take the last water bus in Venice

If you have a fancy for the gondola ride, by all means ,go for it. But, if you want to have a sui generis, take round ticket of the water bus and go to the farthest point and come back. You will have a great view of the city lights ,reflecting in water and the peace and solitude of that hour is unmatched.

 

Try a Tiramisu in Venice

 

Much has been said about having a gelato in Venice but we suggest you to take a serving of the wonderful Italian delicacy, Tiramisu here. The literal meaning of Tiramisu is “ pick me up”.

 

This sinfully delightful coffee flavoured sweet dish is made of sponge biscuits dipped in coffee ,layered with a whipped mixture of sugar and cheese.

 

You must go window shopping in Venice

Roaming the streets ,you will come across many colourful shops selling masks ,scarves and other trinkets. Buying souvenir here will leave a big hole in your pocket but nothing stops you from just looking and having a great time doing so. You will also come across lovely designer stores. Don’t forget to take a peek. You will be surprised to know that Venice has no cars, but there is a showroom of  Ferrari here. Locate it and go click happy.

 

Bon voyage!

 

Mamta Kumar

 

An avid traveller who has a passion for reading and writing! She has been into writing blogs on different topics since a long time now. She enjoys watching TV with a cup of coffee when she is all by herself!

 

Austria: What to explore?

Austria is a tiny country about the size of Arunachal Pradesh with a population of less than ninety lakhs. But this small land holds within it a repository of some hidden gems- splendid locations that you must explore. You are going to fall in love with this charming country with its great outdoors, rich history, enticing architecture and beautiful villages.

Major attractions and places to visit in Austria

Vienna In Austria

The capital city of Austria is famous for its incredible architecture, culture and sense of style. Vienna has everything, be it museums, food ,shopping ,music or architecture.

There are numerous things to see in the city with beautiful churches, myriad museums ,inviting cafes and plenty of parks but remember that pretty much the whole of Vienna is wonderful and almost dreamy. So, choose your pick according to your taste and spend more time in appreciating the city .

Having said that ,there are a few attractions, which should not be missed at any cost.

Those are listed here-

1. Schonbrunn Palace
2. Albertina
3. Upper and Lower Belvedere
4. Haus der Musik Museum
5. Vienna State Opera
6. The Hofburg palace
7. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
8. Vienna’s Ringstrasse
9. Natural History Museum
10. Imperial Burial Vault

Melk in Austria

For a memorable day trip from Vienna, take an early morning train to Melk. It’s a quaint little town along the banks of Danube river, with which you will fall in love the moment you get down from the train. There is just one Abbey, recently restored, which falls in the category of tourist interest per se, but this town itself is worth visiting. People here are extremely friendly and polite. Once you reach the village, follow the blue stones on the streets to reach the Abbey. Explore the Abbey and Museum and spend some peaceful time in the gardens outside it. We had had a very enjoyable lunch in the village centre. I would definitely suggest you to do the same before embarking on the return journey.

If you are an adventure enthusiast ,consider making the return journey by bike upto Krem. It’s a three to four hour, gently downhill pedal from Melk to Krem. The stretch is cyclists friendly and takes you through the most scenic route the Wachau Valley. You can bike either on the north side of the river, which has more attractions but heavier traffic or the south side, which is quiet and more rural. Inexpensive ferries which also carry bikes, give you the chance to switch sides midstream.

If you would rather put your feet up and rest while enjoying the scenic view, take a boat along this route. This one hour and forty-five minute boat trip is amongst the best that you can imagine. Then you reach Krem, which is just one hour train ride away from Vienna.

Salzburg in Austria

Salzburg is famous for Mozart and The Sound of Music but the arresting natural beauty of the place gives you enough incentive to visit inspite of the two. It is situated on the Salzach river. This small city wins your heart with its old world charm, spectacular architecture, graceful domes and spires and the enchanting mountains.

Begin the tour of this city with a visit to the Mirabell gardens, drinking in the beauty of startlingly green grass with an array of colourful flowers. This is where many of the scenes of The Sound of music where shot.

Five minute walk from the gardens is Mozart Wohnhaus (Mozart’s Residence). Have a peek at it even if you decide not to go in.

A short walk of about fifteen minutes by one of the many pedestrian bridges will take you to the Old Town of Salzburg. It is a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage site, a breathtaking experience, with its timeless baroque architecture. Make sure to visit Salzburg Castle, Salzburg Dom Cathedral, Mozartplatz, Residenceplatz, St.Peter’s Monastery. After having enjoyed the colourful shops of Getreidegasse, very famous shopping lane of the city, stroll around the river enjoying the excellent view and some lovely bridges like Mozartsteg bridge or Salzburg’s very own love-lock bridge.

Eiseriesenwelt(Ice Caves),Werfen in Austria

From Salzburg, keep a day to visit the world’s largest ice caves. Forty kilometres away from Salzburg, it’s a mind-blowing attraction to visit.
It is one of the true wonders on earth. A 42 kilometre long stretch of underground world of natural ice sculptures and formations, it’s like nothing you have seen or can imagine.

Hallstatt in Austria

If you are staying at Salzburg ,take a day trip from there to Hallstatt. You can take a train, bus or drive by hired car to this piece of heaven on earth. This fairy tale destination is considered to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe. It’s home to about thousand people and is just a small stretch of land between mountains and the lake .The place is so small that you can walk the whole village in under an hour covering about one kilometre .The beauty of this place is that there is nothing to do but just drink in the extraordinary charm of the place. Walk the whole distance, exploring the old city with its mesmerising churches and the city centre. A visit to the graveyard is recommended as all the graves here come with their own flower garden and a view of the lake. Also visit the bone house ,which has an unusual collection of 600 painted skulls and even more bones.

To enjoy the scenic beauty, go for a boat ride in the Lake Hallstatt. It offers you a beautiful new perspective of the village. It’s a bewitching ride where ducks swim alongside the boat.

Take a ride on the Hallstatt funicular for aerial view of the village below. A fifteen minute uphill walk from there takes you to the Salt Mine. You may not care much for the mine but the view is worth something.

After coming down enjoy your meals in one of the open water-front restaurants. Go click happy. There are few places on earth which have such untainted natural beauty.

Innsbruck in Austria

Located in Western Austria ,Innsbruck sits in the heart of the Alps. The surrounding Nordkette mountain ranges have made it grow into the most popular ski town. But it’s not only about winter sports. It has the perfect balance between the natural mountain scenery and vibrant city life. The city is flanked by majestic snow capped mountains and enticing buildings with both renaissance and baroque architecture. The river Inn cuts through the city and has the most stunning river views in the world.

Begin the tour of Innsbruck with a walk through the old city which seems like a trip back in time. The cobblestone streets, quirky shops and effervescent atmosphere is simply amazing. Instead of cars people move on foot or ride bicycles. The city’s most popular sights are the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the Hofkirche (Court Church), and the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof).All these are all within walking distance of each other.

From the very heart of the city take the cable cars to go up the mountains and enjoy the stunning view of the sparkling snow covered mountains. Try to walk back ,which will give you ample opportunity to enjoy the scenery. You can see the zoo on way.

Spend some time near the river front. Take plenty of pictures. There is no angle of the city where you can go wrong with the clicks. Apart from its beauty, the city is extra-ordinarily clean and the residents are extremely polite and friendly. A trip to the place feels like stepping into a picture postcard.

Every bit of Austria is beautiful and worth exploring but in the limited time, above mentioned are some of the great locations to visit and create memories, you will cherish for life.

So go ahead and have a great time or as they would say in Austria ‘eine gute Zeit haben’.

 

Mamta Kumar

An avid traveller who has a passion for reading and writing!

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.