Lake Garda- The Largest Lake of Italy

The largest and the most captivating lake situated in Northern Italy, Lake Garda or locally known as Benaco is mesmerizingly beautiful with its crystal clear water encompassed by the long trails of Garda Mountains. The Garda Lake lies halfway between Brescia and Verona and is an extremely popular holiday destination of Italy, most glamorous during Summers as the scenic beauty of Garda is clearly visible. However, it is also very impressive during Winters with its snow-peaked cliffs that look majestic. The dramatic view of Lake Garda is eye soothing and is an ideal place to rejuvenate yourselves.

 

Lake Garda is often explored through its two banks- The East and the West.

 

 

Lake Garda East Bank:

 

 

The East Bank of Lake Garda lies on the Veneto region, which is mostly attractive for its Olive groves, the cable cars leading to Monte Baldo-the highest mountain around the lake and of course the romantic view of the calm deep-blue lake. Other popular attractions include the beautiful view of Punta San Vigilio outside the Garda VillageBardolino- an impressive little town, the picturesque old town of Malcesine, Lazise- a city of fortifications, towers and ancient gates, Torri Del Benaco- known for its beautiful resorts and lake view, Pescheiradel Garda– the only outlet of Lake Garda, Torbole– with an amazing view of Monte Brione that separates it from Rivadel Garda and lastly the crowded city of Brenzone.

 

         

Malcesine on the East Bank of Lake Garda

 

 

 Lake Garda West Bank:

 

 

The West Bank of Lake Garda is dominated by mountain ranges and is considered to be more fascinating for its historic towns, majestic villas, beautiful gardens along with the best views of the lake. The West Bank consists of places like Sirmione– a town renowned for its forts and dramatic view of the lake, Rivadel Garda– also called the “jewel of Lake Garda” for its romantic views and exquisite resorts, Limone Sul Garda– popular for its hiking trails, dolomites, fortresses and scenic beauty, the pretty little town of Salo, the peninsula of Isoladi Garda, the enchanting panorama of Gardone Riviera along with its pretty botanical gardens and lastly Toscolano Maderno that would take you back to ancient Roman days.

 

            

Sirmione on the East Bank of Lake Garda

 

Lake Garda has hiking opportunities for the people who crave for adventure, and is especially for people who love to feel the beauty of nature intimately. However, Lake Garda is very photogenic with a natural deep blue background encompassed with greyish-blue cliffs so don’t forget to carry your cameras and vibrant dresses to take instagram worthy shots.

 

Log on to our website for further details- www.wiseyatra.com

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

 

A Day Trip to Frascati from Rome

The mesmerizing town of Frascati sits on the Alban Hills and is one of the hill top towns that are collectively known as Castelli Romani. The name Frascati has derived from the local tradition of collecting firewood (frasche) and is popular for its ancient Roman architectures, its charming historic centre, white wines, impressive villas and the attractive scenery of the hills that embrace the town.

 

How to reach Frascati from Rome?

 

Frascati is just 35 kms away from Rome situated towards the south east of the capital and takes less than 30 mins to reach. One can take the Cotral Buses from Roma Anagnina that drops at Piazza Guglielmo Marconi just outside the historic square. One can also opt for trains that depart hourly from the Roma Termini.

 

Interesting sites to explore:

 

Explore the villas of the town that are popular among tourists, the town’s only cathedral and visit its finest vineyards for a glass of authentic White Wine- Santa Passera.

 

Villa Aldobrandini

 

The most renowned Roman architecture of the town is Villa Aldobrandini which is still owned by the Aldobrandini family (so, some of its parts are not open to the public). Within the villa lies the Roman Theatre of Waters- an overbearing baroque stage built in the gardens and the impressive Atlas Foutain. Aldobrandini not only has architectural beauty, but also gives a panoramic view of the town overlooking the Laziocity.

 

                      

Villa Aldobrandini

 

 

Villa Torlonia

 

 

Situated a few steps away from the historic center lies the communal (always open to public) villa of Torlonia that has suffered the damage of bombing. Built during the mid 16th century, this stunning villa comprises of attractive gardens with ancient statues, featuristic fountains, and the famous theatre of waters- Theatrodelle Acque.

 

                    

Villa Torlonia

 

 

Cathedral of Saint Peter

 

 

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Peter also known as the Frascati Cathedral is definitely a must visit as this church is among the most popular attractions of Frascati. Standing on the main town sqaure, this beautiful church has its own interesting history along with an artistic interior and exterior.

 

                      

Pic-3  The Frascati Cathedral

 

Vineyards of Minardi and Merumalia

 

 

The Frascati Wine also known as “the Golden Wines of the Romans” were traditionally made by the Ancient Romans. Now, in the Modern era, these finest wines are made in the wineries run by the families who are holding on to their tradition for generations. The Frascati Wines are labeled DOCG (the label for origin and finest taste) and are made with varieties of grapes such as Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia del Lazio, Grechetto, Bombinobianco and Trabbiano Grapes. Visit the two most popular wineries- Minardi and Merumalia for a one of a kind experience and have a glass of the finest Frascati Wine along with mouthwatering handmade Italian Pastas and Pizzas.

 

            

The Vineyards of Frascati

 

 

For further details log on to our website www.wiseyatra.com

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

 

 

Cinque Terre- An Off Beaten Path of Italy

Cinque Terre meaning “the five lands” is a string of five villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore) situated on the Costa Ligure of Levante. The sea-side villages on the rugged Riveria coastline has become a favourite off beat attraction among the tourists recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is often compared with the Capri Islands and Amalfi Coast of Italy. People generally choose to visit Cinque Terre for its exceptional scenic beauty, and mostly for its closeness to nature. With vibrant streets and colourful houses, beautiful rocky beaches and amazing views, Cinque Terre is an ideal destination to feel the nature intimately and refresh your minds.

 

The villages of Cinque Terre:

 

  • Monterosso al Mare

 

 

Beginning from the north, Monterosso al mare is the biggest and the oldest  of five villages in Cinque Terre that is commune to the province of LaSpezia. Not only is this vibrant town is a paradise for the lovers of sea, but also has so many impressive attractions to explore. The ViaFegina Beach being the biggest one of the region is a favourite attraction of the tourists, once you be here don’t forget to spot the gigantic statue of Neptune (theseaGod) carrying a gigantic shell which was majorly damaged during the WWII. The other interesting sites include the  Church of San Lorenzo, the Manarola Harbour, the impressive Parco Nazionale, the shrines and famous wooden stautes of Santuariodi Nostra and Signoradi Soviore, and lastly the elegant building of Church of San Giovani Battista.

 

 

Monterosso al Mare

 

 

  • Vernazza

 

 

Vernazza often called the “pearl of Cinque Terre” is regarded as the most beautiful among the five villages. Vernazza embraces its small marina by the roads that stretch offshore and the eye-catching pastel coloured houses making it more impressive. One must note that Vernazza is not as big as Montoresso and has a very small number of houses and inhabitants. Vernazza is also the only town in the region that has a natural harbour, along with mesmerizing views from the top. The major attractions of the town includes- the Church of Fratti, the Reformed Friars Minor of St. Francis, and the beautiful shrine of Reggio.

 

View of Vernazza from above

 

 

  • Corniglia

 

 

Corniglia is the smallest of five towns in Cinque Terre as the population is about 150 and can be covered from Vernazza by a walking distance. The small town sits on a panaromic cliff top, and hence is not directly adjacent to the sea. The walk from Vernazza to Corniglia is enticing as the journey would make you fall in love with this place more. Well, this little place has quite a few things to explore- the Church of St. Peter’s, Saint Mary’s Terrace, the popular Guavo Beach, and the beach near the railway station of Corniglia-Spiaggione Beach.

 

 

                       

The Beach in Corniglia

 

 

  • Manarola

 

 

Another picturesque town of Cinque Terre, Manarola is the second smallest village of the region with equally beautiful views of the sea. The village is situated 70 metres above the sea level and is also popular for its SiacchetraWine. Also visit the famous relic architectures- SanLorenzoChurch, ManarolaCemetry, andManarola’sHarbour.

 

              

The stunning view of Manarola

 

  • Riomaggiore

 

 

The last village of Cinque Terre (if visited from North), Riomaggiore is all about pastel-coloured houses, the sound of strong waves striking the cliffs, picturesque views, wines and the beach. Wander around the beautiful streets and visit the old castle- Castellodi Riomaggiore.

                          

Riomaggiore

 

  • Porto Venere the sixth town

 

 

A medieval fishing town situated at the South, Porto Venere is believed to be the hidden gem that is overshadowed by Cinque Terre. Being neighbour to the five villages, Porto Venere is often called the “sixth town”and has equally attractive scenary. Some of the tourists choose to stay in Porto Venere and cover the five villages as day tours which is also a smart choice however, it is impossible to reach here by trains so ferry is the only choice. Explore the old town and visit Portadel Borgo, the Capitolare Tower dating back to 12thcentury. Also the Doria castle situated on the cliff top overlooking the Bay of Poets, the nearby  Church of San Lorenzo and the Church of Saint Peter with an exceptional interior. The other attractions include Lord Byron’s Grotto named after the renouned English Poet- a place for swimming and diving, and the Porto Venere regional National Park.

 

                          

Porto Venere

 

 

The Beaches of Cinque Terre

 

 

The beaches of Cinque Terre are stunning and the best one is in Monterossoalmare. With crowds of happy faces enjoying the sun bath, crystal clear sea and its turquoise waves, delicious sea food in the nearby restaurants along with sweetest wines of the region, all these comprise to make Cinque Terre an ideal destination for Summer holidays.

 

 

 

 

Scenic beauty and the beach

 

 

 

Hiking

 

 

For people who love hiking, Cinque Terre has an abundant availability of hiking trails joining one village with the other. The walk from the Blue Path– the trail that connects all the five villages is tiring but surely is worth as the view around it is magical. Take the help of local guides to discover hiking opportunities and admire the view that you would never forget from the top.

 

 

The Blue Path

 

 

Where to stay in Cinque Terre?

 

 

It is best and convenient to stay in a single village of Cinque Terre and visit others as day trips. The largest number of hotels are in Montoressoalmare, as it is the biggest area of the region however, one must not expect luxury here as the hotels are as simple as the place itself. Some tourists also choose to stay in Riomaggiore when they are beginning the journey from the South, whereas others cover the five villages by staying in LaSpezia (10 mins away by train) or Porto Venere  (also known as the sixth town as it is often covered with Cinque Terre).

 

If you have more queries regarding the trip, log on to our website www.wiseyatra.com

 

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

A Trip to the Vineyards of Tuscany from Florence

Tuscany, the region in central Italy and Florence, its capital is home to breathtaking panoramas of vineyards spread across miles and miles of land along with its rustic Wineries that make authentic wines and reveal their age-old tales of the art of wine-making. Tuscany is a perfect stop for a day trip from Florence as it not only has scenic beauty but also is also is renowned for its Renaissance architectures and is home to the world-famous Italian poet Dante.  The intoxicating air of Tuscany is going to uplift your spirits and you would savour the taste of purest brands of wine with DOCG labels (the label given by the Italian Government that guarantees its origin and is of finest quality).

 

Places of interest:

 

Tuscany has some of the finest vineyards where you can witness grapes taking their leisure time ripen and then being handpicked by the crafty wine makers to finally convert them into purest form of wine. However, wine of each region varies as they use different varieties of grapes to make their finest wine such as San Gimignano uses Vernaccia grapes and Chianti uses Sangiovese grapes whereas Siena uses Brunello grapes.

 

 

  • San Gimignano

 

The medieval town of San Gimignano is renowned as the “town offine towers”, and reflects its history assosciated with the age of Renaissance. Explore the beautiful vineyards of Vernaccia grapes and taste the authentic White Wine labeled DOCG, which is only  here. The age-old Tenuta Torciano Winery is the most popular one in the region so make sure you don’t miss it. Well, don’t leave the town unless you have visited the stunning Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta and witnessed the breathtaking frescoes.

 

Panoramic view of San Gimignano

 

  • Siena

 

The town of Siena is known for its Brunellodi Montalcino Wine available in the Montalcino region made from the finest Brunello grapes that result in its authentic, rich taste.  Also this wine is the most expensive one in the region of Tuscany. Apart from visiting the vineyards, one can also visit the nearby olive orchards of Montalcino that are equally popular among tourists.

                         

Medieval town of Siena

 

 

  • Chianti

 

A perfect place to pair your red wine with delicious pasta, Chianti is a very popular region of Tuscany especially for its major wineries and renowned Sangiovese vineyards. The best wine tastings in Chianti are available in the classico area which follows the winery of  Viticcio, the vineyards of Monteriggioni and Montepulciano.

                  

Vineyard of Chianti

 

 

Log on to our website www.wiseyatra.com for more details.

 

–Sampurna Chakraborty

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

 

 

A Day Trip to Etretat- Normandy

If you are visiting France for a good number of days then there’s an opportunity for you to visit some of France’s less popular attractions that can be regarded as “hidden gems” of the country. There are a number of off-beat places you can visit from Paris that are unimaginably beautiful, and one among them is Etretat in Normandy.

Etretat is a town situated on the North coast of France, popular for its impressive rock formations and white cliffs, picturesque views, the old chapel and the dramatic views of the old town.

 

What to see in Etretat?

 

  • Watch the unique cliffs of Etretat

 

Etretat is widely famous for its white cliffs especially for the arches that have risen up from the sea. Some of its popular arches are Falaised’Etretat, Ported’Aval and Ported’Amont.

                

 

Cliffs of Etretat

 

  • The Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la Garde

 

A famous church of Etretat, the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la Garde is situated on an isolated cliff with the most stunning view around. The building of the church itself is an unique one and so is its location. One would find utmost peace and pleasure in this place that feels like a paradise for the ones seeking tranquility.

 

The Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la Garde.

               

 

  • The Monument of Nungesser and Coli

 

Just behind the church of Notre-Dame at a walking distance you will come across the modern monument of Nungesser and Coli that was built as a memorial to pay tribute to the aviators Nungesser and Coli who attempted to cross the North Atlantic Ocean but unfortunately died.

 

The Monument of Nungesser and Coli

 

  • The Castle of les Aygues

 

Built in 1866, the castle of les Aygues is embraced in natural beauty, and serves as a popular tourist attraction of Etretat. The castle is rich in history and holds a prestigious place in the modern world. The road towards the castle is very enticing as it solitary and serene.

 

The Castle of les Aygues

 

  • Etretat Beach

 

The popular beach of Etretat with a view of its white cliffs and arches, and the church of Notre-Dame-de-la Garde. With a long sandy stretch and calm sea, this place would muse you to write poetry. As this place is not too crowded, you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset with your loved ones in solitude. Grab a notepad and a pen for sure!

 

The Etretat Beach

 

  • The Old Town

 

Wander among the streets of the Old Town to reveal its history, fascinating facts, the lifestyle of the people of Etretat and their rich culture.

A walk to remember in Old Town.

 

If you have time, also visit the Protestant Temple, the Old Market and some famous museums around the town.

 

How to reach Etretat by public transports?

The easiest and the safest way to reach Etretat is to take a Train from Paris to La Havre station, and then take a bus to step into Etretat. However, it is important to note that the train tickets must be booked prior your arrival, otherwise you won’t be able to get there by train.

 

 

Sampurna Chakraborty

A Guide to Thermal Baths in Budapest

The capital city of Hungary, Budapest is a beautiful city in Europe bisected by the river Danube and connected with its Buda and Pest districts through the iconic Chain Bridge . With the most dramatic history, dreamy castles, majestic Hungarian National Parliament , historic squares with gothic architectures, Budapest also has enticing scenic beauty. Well, Budapest is not just limited to these things, it is also popular for its Baths and is often termed as the “City of Baths”. Including the historic thermal public baths, Turkish Baths and other pools and spas, Budapest has all the kinds of baths you need to relax and rejuvenate yourselves. The most amazing truth of these baths lies in the fact that  they are naturally fed by 120 hot springs around the city so there is no waste of electricity.

 

What to expect in these Baths?

 

The baths in Budapest are much different from hot Springs of India, as each of them have some different specifications. Some Baths are “male only” or “female only” or some have availability for both in different areas. Also some of these baths are  designed to relax solo while others have no bars and are available for everybody like a public pool. The baths in Budapest are found in two ways indoor and open-air like Szechenyi Baths are open-air and Rudas, Gellert Baths are indoor baths. More fun awaits for you in the Bath parties, passes for these parties are available online on the different websites so that you can grab the opportunity to have the best experience with your loved ones. However, It is important to know the specifications before you get there so as there are places where admission of children are, here’s a detailed information about the best baths around the city.

 

Historic Thermal Baths in Budapest:

 

Historic Thermal Baths were first set by Romans, and then they were re-opened at the time of Turkish invasions. These thermal baths were not only used for the purpose of relaxing and rejuvenating, and keeping them warm and hygenic, but also the public encouraged them for the medicinal uses of Hotsprings. These historic thermal baths are still found around the city of Budapest and the best ones among them are:

 

  • Szechenyi Baths

 

Considered as the largest medicinal bath in Europe, Szechenyi Baths were built in the early 20th century and consist of 18 pools, 10 steam cabins, and sections that offer several massage and therapies and so on. These baths among the richly decorated palace is a delight to visit.

 

Temperature of Pools: 20-40C.

 

Admission: Above 14 years of age.

                         

Szechenyi Baths.

 

 

  • Gellert Baths

 

 

Gellert Baths- a part of Gellert Hotel was opened in the year 1918 and is among the few Art Deco baths in the world whose interior was influenced by the French art movements. The interior of the baths were built in Art Nouveau style and is still evident to the Modern word for the last 100 years.

 

Temperature of Pool: 26 to 40⁰.

 

Admission: Above 14 years of age.

                      

Gellert Baths.

 

 

  • Veli Bej- Csaszar Baths

 

 

The Veli Bej Baths also known as Csaszar baths, are indoor Turkish baths and are among the few baths in Budapest that have no outdoor pools for the public. Veli Bej reflects its Ottoman time through its designed halls and pools and is truly a peaceful place with less crowd.

 

Temperature of Pool: 32– 34C.

 

Admission: Above 14 years of age.

                                

Veli Bej Baths.

 

 

  • Rudas Baths

 

Another famous bath of the city, Rudas baths have an impressive modern interior decoration, various spas and Turkish baths. However, the center of attraction here is the rooftoppool that provides a panaromic view of the city and the river Danube. Rudas Baths are also children- friendly and allow children’s admission in few of its pools with moderate temperatures.

 

Temperature of Pools: 16– 42C.

 

Admission: Everyone according to terms.

 

                                      

Rudas Baths

 

 

  • Kiraly Baths

 

Built in 1570, Kiraly Baths will give you the most authentic essence of Turkish bath in its indoor pools. The building of Kiraly Baths reflect their history associated with Ottoman invasion, and the domes represent their Turkish origins.

 

Temperature: 26– 40C.

 

Admission:  Everyone above 14 years of age.

 

 

                

Kiraly Baths

 

 

  • Lukacs Baths

 

Located on the Buda side of the city, Lukacs baths are situated inside the impressive 19th century building and its history dates back to the 12th century. These baths have both indoor and outdoor pools along with saunas and other spa treatments, and are very popular among tourists for its lively nights where people can drink, enjoy bath parties, pamper themselves in various massage treatments.

 

Temperature of Pools: 30– 40C.

 

Admission:  Above 14 years of age.

 

 

                             

Lukacs Baths

If you want some more of this pampering and refreshment, you can also visit the other attractive spas around the city such as, the Spa at the Four Seasons,  Danubius Health Spa Margitsziget and Thermal Beer Spa– that lets you enjoy your baths and treatments with mugs of beer! Sounds great right? Nothing is impossible in Budapest when it comes to Baths.

 

 

 

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

An avid traveller, a voracious reader and a passionate writer!

 

 

Loire Valley- The Valley of Castles

Loire Valley is a mesmerizingly beautiful destination often called the jewel of France for  its  dreamy castles, scenic beauty, peaceful ambience and photogenic sites. For people who are fascinated by fairytales, castles and its everlasting tales of Kings and Queens, Loire Valley is exactly the destination you have been searching for. As the region of Loire Valley is quite big, it is not possible to cover every spot in just a few days, hence it is suggested to spend at least 34 days to discover this dreamland.

 

How to reach Loire Valley?

 

When it comes to visiting Loire Valley, there are many options available for reaching here. One can rent a car from Paris which would take 2-3 hours drive, or take TGV (super-fast trains of France) from Montparnesse station to reach the heart of this valley. One can also fly and directly land in ToursValdeLoire airport from London or Dublin.

 

What to see in Loire Valley?

 

Explore the best castles of this region and taste the original and authentic French Cuisines in a royal style.

 

  • Chateau de Chenonceau

 

Situated near the small village of Chenonceaux, Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the best- known castle of Loire Valley and was built on  CherRiver in the early 16th century in a gothic, renaissance architectural style.  This stunning castle is a treasure trove of French history and has many fascinating gossips of Kings and Queens to tell to the Modern World. Chenonceau is also among the most visited and photographed castles in the valley and has both architectural and scenic beauty encompassing it.

                       

Chateau de Chenonceau on Cher River.

 

  • Chateau de Chambord

 

The largest and the most recognisible castle of Loire Valley, the castle of Chambord serves as an important symbol of French Renaissance and reflects its history related to the powerful king Francis. This majestic castle has an enticing structure and its interior is lavishly decorated with a touch of Renaissance. The Chateaude Chambord Park is the largest enclosed park in Europe, its well-maintained French-Style gardens are magnificent.

Chateau de Chambord.

 

  • Azay-le-Rideau

 

Built during the beginning of 16th century, Chateau Azay-le-Rideau is another popular castle of Loire Valley situated on the shore of Indre river in the Touraine region. Much smaller as compared to Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau has an impressive renaissance structure encompassed in natural beauty.

                 

Azay-le Rideau.

 

  • Villandry Castle and Gardens

 

Situated in the region of Villandry, Villandry Castle is a grand country residense of Loire Valley. The castle’s speciality lies within its exquisite French-style gardens full of vibrant flowers that are very pleasant to watch. Villandry Castle is considered to be the last Renaissance residense built on the banks of the river Loire.

Chateau Villandry and Gardens.

 

  • Chateau d’ Usse

 

Chateau d’ Usse often called the “SleepingBeauty castle” is exactly what you see in Fairytales. The castle of Usse is built on the edges of Chinon Forest and is the best spot to enjoy the panoramic view of Indre Valley.

The castle of Usse originally provided an inspiration to the writer Charles Perrault for his celebrated classic fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty

Chateau d’ Usse.

 

 

  • Chateau de Saumur

 

Chateau de Saumur is located in the French town of Saumur in the Loire Valley. The castle was once a fortress, and later was converted to a chateau, now this castle stands as a renouned castle of Loire Valley with an amazing gothic structure. Built during the 10thcentury, the castle of Saumur has lots of tales to tell to the modern world.

 

Chateau de Saumur. 

 

There are 42  Chateauxregistered under UNESCOin Loire Valley, and it isimpossible to visit all of them in a single trip. Head towards the most popular Chateaus and some off beat populars for the best experience. 

 

Wine Tasting in Loire Valley:

 

  

Wine Grapes.

Your trip to Loire Valley is incomplete without visiting the vineyards and tasting the purest wine and also hearing the tales of wine-making from the local Winemakers. Loire Valley has more than thousand world-famous vineyards for you to explore, breath the sweet scent of ripening grapes, and taste wines from the best cellars. Visit Vouvray, Henry Bourgeoi’s wine tasting, Chinon for the best wine.

 

Loire Valley is not just a perfect destination for adults but also for kids. You have been reading bed-time fairy tales for them explaining how big and majestic castles are, or they have been watching these classics in movies fantasizing themselves, imagine the happiness on their face when they see these castles in real life, precious isn’t it? Don’t think twice, just plan your next  trip to Loire Valley of France for an unforgettable experience.

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

An avid Traveller and a passionate writer.

 

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

An Unforgettable Trip to Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau are ideal getaways to escape the boredom of routine life and immerse your senses in a world comprising of vibrant and densely populated streets full of life, modern skyscrapers and a plethora of amazing places to rejuvenate your mind and soul.

The Vegas of China: Macau City

The city of Macau is often referred as “the Vegas of China” known as it is for its Casinos. It is the epicenter of gambling and lavish, luxurious night life.
Macau was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years and hence the architecture here is a blend of Portuguese and Chinese styles. The effect is reflected mostly in Buddhist Temples of the city that have many Portuguese features.

Let’s get to know the must visit places of this city:

1. Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Macau-

The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral date back to the 17th century. Among one of the most visited attractions of Macau, this ruin was once the greatest Church in the region but was burnt down in an unfortunate fire during 1835. Now all that remain are its ruins that remind us of its good old days.

Ruins of St. Paul’s Church

2. Macau Tower-

One of the highest and most important landmarks in Macau, Macau Tower is certainly worth a visit. The tower is 338 meters high and offers a breathtaking view of the city surrounded by water. One can do Bungee Jumping, Sky Walking or one can simply admire the city from its observation deck.

 

Macau Tower

3. Taipa in Macau –

Taipa is an island in Macau joined to the Coloane Island by Cotai strip. Taipa reflects its history of colonialism, and there are a lot of things one can do here such as visiting the famous Taipa Houses Museum and Museum of Taipa and Coloane History. One can gamble in a number of casinos here, or go hiking or cycling in the small hills of the picturesque Taipa village.

 

Taipa Houses Museum

4. Mount Fortress in Macau-

Historic centre of Macau and a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, Mount Fortress belongs to the 17th century and was built as a primary defense from the pirates attacking from the sea. The fort is spread for about 10,000 square meters and is amongst the oldest buildings of Macau.

 

Mount Fortress

5. A-Ma Templein Macau-

Built in the early 15th century, A- Ma Temple is the oldest temple of Macau and is dedicated to the Chinese Sea Goddess- “Mazu”.

A- Ma Temple

Cosmopolitan City of Hong Kong

The city of Hong Kong is so full of life that it is bound to captivate your heart and give you memories to cherish for life. The city is not only about its success in modern architecture but also about its scenic beauty and culture. When in Hong Kong these places are a must visit:

1. Victoria Peak in Hong Kong:

Also known as Mount Austin, this peak is the highest mountain in Hong Kong and an ideal place to admire the mesmerizing cityscape. One can experience beautiful sunsets and watch the city light up and dazzle as the sun goes down. Also don’t forget to have a Tram Ride at the peak, and visit the Peak Tower, a modern shopping complex with lots of restaurants. There is also an observatory platform to enjoy the view.

 

Panoramic view of Hong Kong from Victoria’s Peak

2. Central and Sheung Wan in Hong Kong:

One can take a stroll along the Central and Sheung Wan, a market full of Chinese Art and Crafts including clothing, accessories and street food.

3. Kowloon Walled City Park in Hong Kong:

A themed park in Hong Kong that features the preserved artifacts of the Kwoolon City which was once a Chinese garrison.

 

Kowloon Walled City Park

4. Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery in Hong Kong:

Visit the most famous monastery in Sha Tin of Hong Kong that includes ten thousand statues of Buddha in different postures.

 

Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery

5. Chi Lin Nunnery and Nin Lian Garden in Hong Kong-

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nin Lian Garden are islands of serenity among the chaos of Central depicting the rich Chinese culture, varieties of species of flora and fauna, and especially Chinese architecture.

 

Chi Lin Nunnery

6. Hong Kong Disneyland:-

When you visit Hong Kong, there’s no way you can go back without visiting the Hong Kong Disneyland, a place that is bound to give you immense joy and plentiful memories. Your must dos include

1. Rides-

From easy to scary you can have your pick from the rides on offer.

2. Cultural Shows-

Disneyland Hong Kong also arranges cultural shows, some famous festivals and laser light shows that thrill.

3. Disney Parade-

Watch the Carnival of world famous Disney Characters parade and dance.

Hong Kong Disneyland

7. Ocean’s Park in Hong Kong:

Ocean’s Park is located in the South of Hong Kong, and is a theme park that consists of Marine Mammal park, Oceanarium, Animal theme park and Amusement park. Not only does the park have a stunning interior, but is itself embraced by small hills and water bodies. When in Ocean’s Park explore the Sky Gondola that gives a panoramic view of the park, Old Hong Kong that resembles a film set, Polar Adventure to say hello to the Arctic Penguins and Seals, Ocean Theatre to watch the Dolphin shows, Roller Coasters and other rides. One must also meet the Asian animals such as Pandas and Red Raccoons and dine at the Neptune’s Restaurant beside the huge aquariums with exquisite varieties of tropical fishes.

Panoramic view of Ocean Park Hong Kong.

So why wait? Plan an unforgettable trip to Hong Kong and Macau!

 

–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

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.

Cambodia: One of the Best Countries with Rich Cultural Heritage

Cambodia is a South-East Asian nation that is famous for its Ancient Temples and the remains of the Khmer Empire, the lovely sandy beaches, authentic Buddhist architecture, scenic beauty, a variety of special Tea along with delicious Cambodian cuisines. Charmingly, people of Cambodia are polite and soft-spoken and maintain chivalry with their visitors. Major towns to attract tourists to Cambodia, which flock in large numbers are listed below-

A. Phnom Penh, Capital of Cambodia

Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia is a globally famous tourist attraction. Situated on the banks of rivers Mekong, Bassac and the Lake Tonle Sap, this city provides a mesmerizing view to its visitors along with a number of historical architecture. It is the economic, industrial and cultural center of Cambodia, what’s interesting is that this city still holds the marks of the French Colonialism in a number of buildings. Some interesting sites in Phnom Penh that you must check out are listed here.

 

 

Riverside of Phnom Penh

1. The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Royal Palace is situated in the capital city of Phnom Penh, which serves as the residence for the King Of Cambodia. With the gleaming gold roof,this is the most beautiful example of architectural wonder of Phnom Penh. However as compared to the Khmer Architectures of Cambodia, the event of building this palace is quite recent as it was built in the 1860’s. This Palace is situated at the old site of the town near the rivers Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake.

The Royal Palace
2. National Museum Of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

The National Museum of Cambodia, situated at Phnom Penh is the largest museum of Cambodia. This museum is associated with the Cultural History of Cambodia and gives interesting insight into the Khmer Empire in the 21st century. This museum has the world’s largest collection of Khmer Art and Sculptures including over fourteen thousand items preserved from the Prehistoric age, before and after the Khmer Empire. For people who love art and history this place is a treasure .

 

 

National Museum

 

3. Killing Fields of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

Cambodia is also famous or infamous, for its horrific sites of various Killing Fields which are reminders of a terrible time. The Killing Fields contain the remains of numerous skeleton of the people who were brutally executed under the dictatorship of of the Khmer Rogue. The idea that the country did this to its own people is truly sad and horrific. It is believed that Cambodians were massacred with “Palm Knife” made of Palm leaves that had edges sharp as a razor. Though these sites are horrific, these killing fields serve as tourist attraction.

A view of killing fields
4. Prison Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Prison Museum in Phnom Penh, usually visited alongside the Killing fields, is important in understanding the terrible recent history of the region, in understanding the functioning of the cruel Khmer Rouge. The museum, located in a school used as a prison during the regime, contains artefacts such as the torture devices and weapons used, along with the preservation of some rooms used as cells in that time. You might even run into some of the 4 remaining survivors of that particular prison.

Prison Museum

 

5. Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Wat Phnom is a Buddhist Temple (Pagoda) situated at the city of Phnom Penh. This Temple has its own story about a wealthy widow who found a statue of Buddha made of Bronze inside a large Koki Tree, which led to the construction of the shrine in an artificial hill. The interior of the Temple has a large statue of Buddha made of bronze in a seated posture, and is surrounded by many other statues depicting the Khmer version of Ramayana. Wat Phnom is the tallest religious structure in the city and is surrounded by a serene, peaceful environment.

 

A view of Wat Phnom

 

B. Siem Reap, The City of Angkor Wat Temple

Siem Reap is located at the North-West of Cambodia and is considered the gateway to the famous Angkor Wat Temple. This place is all about Silk farms, Rice paddy fields, Chinese-Style architectures, Old markets, Bird Sanctuary near the river Tonle Sap, nearby Fishing Villages and a number of beautifully decorated resorts that offer Cosmopolitan Drinking and Dining for its tourists. What’s more interesting, is that Siem Reap offers a number of dance shows, which include the traditional dance of Cambodia, the Apsara Dance that has been the part of Cambodia since the Khmer Empire. As Apsara means the dance of the divinities, the women dress themselves as graceful goddesses and depict the tales of Cambodian culture through their elegant moves.

The Angkor Wat Temple
1. Floating Village, Siem Reap , Cambodia

Floating Village known as Kampong Phluk in Cambodia is a must visit. The Floating Village is located on the river Tonle Sap and can be reached through a boat from Siem Reap. It is also popular as a Fishing Village . This village is a unique and unusual as the houses seem floating on water .The place includes a church,school, cottages,restaurants, wooden cages containing Crocodiles. This Floating Village is a perfect site for fishing and watching beautiful sunsets.

 

 

The Floating Village
2. Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

The Pub Street in Cambodia is a part of Siem Reap Province and is largely famous among tourists for lively nightlife scenes. This place reflects the traces of French Colonialism and has numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants, a perfect place for “party people”. So when you visit Siem Reap, make sure you check out Pub Street and enjoy the fun experience.

A View of Pub Street

 

3. Cultural Village, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Apsara Dance in Siem Reap

Cultural Village in Siem Reap is also widely famous, it is a theme park and museum that depicts the traditional, cultural and ethnic style of living of the people of Cambodia. Each village here contains wood houses, carvings and artists who present traditional dance shows such as the Apsara Dance and Peacock dance . Together these villages display the varied culture of Nineteen ethnic groups of Cambodia.

A View of Cultural Village
A dance show in the Cultural Village
4. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a globally famous tourist attraction of Cambodia. The Angkor Wat Temple is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world which was originally constructed in the 12th century as a Hindu Temple devoted to the Lord Vishnu and later on transformed into a Buddhist Temple during the 16th century. Angkor Wat is considered as the Seventh Wonder of the World, and you surely don’t want to miss this wonder that mingles the culture of Hinduism and Buddhism. The scenic and artistic beauty of Angkor Wat is surely going to mesmerize you and would make you travel back to the Khmer Empire.

The Angkor Wat Temple
5. Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Phnom Kulen is a range of mountains, and is considered as Holy Mountains in Cambodia as it preserves the remains of Khmer Empire. It is located at the Siem Reap province and is symbolic to the Hindus and Buddhists for pilgrimage.

A Hidden Architecture in Phnom Kulen

Phnom Kulen has a National Park which is a protected area, a famous waterfall named Chup Preah , and the KuLen mountain with two Waterfalls. This place offers trekking to its famous Waterfalls that have carved Lingas in them. Phnom Kulen has a fresh, peaceful and holy ambience.

A Waterfall in Phnom Kulen

 

C. Preah Vihear, Cambodia

 

88 kilometres away from Siem Reap ,Preah Vihear in Cambodia is also one of the remains of the Khmer Empire. Preah Vihear is a mountain , which was built for the purpose of serving Lord Shiva.

The Temple of Preah Vihear

It is believed that it took about 300 years to complete this temple by Khmerian Kings. This Temple is situated at the cliff of Dangrek Mountains across the border of Saket (Thailand ), and offers an eye soothing view from the top. If you are fascinated with heights, this place is a must visit.

A View from Preah Vihear

 

D. Mondulkiri, Cambodia

 

 

Trekking in Mountains

Mondulkiri is an Eastern Province of Cambodia which is popular for its dense forests, mountains, powerful waterfalls, a whole set of serene scenic beauty. Mondulkiri also has a Wildlife Sanctuary that include Elephants, and also offers trekkings in its mountains.

A Waterfall at Mondulkiri

The Bou Sra, Senmonorom and Romnea are the three Waterfalls in Mondulkiri. There is an interesting sport offered by the Maurya Hill Resort called Ziplining over the Bou Sra waterfall which gives a lifetime experience to the people bitten by the adventure bug.

 

E. Sihanoukville, Cambodia

 

Sihanoukville is a sea-side town and has the best beaches of Cambodia. These beaches are calm and peaceful, not very crowded and hence these places are the best to connect with nature. The beaches include the Victory Beach, Independence Beach, Sokha Beach, Ochheuteal Beach, Serendipity Beach and the Otres Beach, these beaches are as interesting as their names.

A View of one of the Beaches in Sihanoukville

A 3$ drive from the Otres Beach leads to an evening market named the Otres Market, which is an interesting place for the tourists. The market offers a number of Live Music shows, with an arrangement of various Food Stalls which offer delicious Wraps and other snacks including alcohol. These beaches offer Scuba Diving, Island trips, Spas, Fishing with a number of beautifully decorated resorts near the beach.

F. Kep, Cambodia

 

 

Kep is one of the newest province of Cambodia and is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches. Kep is often termed as an archipelago, as this place has a number of nearby islands, such as the Rabbit Island which is named after its shape, Egret Island, Chilli Island, Mango Island, Milestone Island, Dry Fish Island, Wild Mango Island, Sarang Island, Pura Island, Makprang Island, Angkrong Island, Horseback Riding Island and lastly the Dry Island.

Kep

All of these islands have their own speciality and interesting facts and offer beautiful sites. Apart from this, Kep has its individual beach, offers Jungle Trekking, and also has a Zoo. Kep is also famous for its Crab Market and delicious Sea food, you surely do not want to miss the Crab Curry here. Give it a try.

G. Battambang, Cambodia

 

Bamboo Trains in Battambang

Battambang is a popular tourist destination of Cambodia. This city has a number of Ancient Temples, Buddhist Shrines and the unique, Bamboo Railway, the traditional style of running a bamboo cart through the rail tracks, which is fun, and offers a beautiful tour of Battambang.

Battambang has a museum and a number of other interesting places, along with its Central Market and a variety of Cafes. Battambang is the second most popular city in Cambodia.

A Scenic Ride in Battambang

 

With this wide range of attractions, Cambodia deserves that you grab your luggage, camera, beach hats and flip flops, and reach this beautiful and diverse land and explore its rich history and culture.

 

 

 

–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.

 

 

 

BALI: UN-BALI-EVABLY SERENE  

 

There are some places you just visit and then there places that make you fall in love with them, Bali is the latter. What makes Bali stand out amongst the other destinations is that despite its small size it has something to cater to the likes of everyone and that too at extremely affordable prices! So whether you’re bewitched partners wishing for a honeymoon trip, a family looking for some quality time through a cheap vacation or going on a soul-searching solo escapade Bali is just the place you are looking for.

 

BLISSFUL BEACHES IN BALI

 

Savor in nature’s lap and escape the monotony of our mechanical lives sunbathing at various beaches of Bali. Seminyak Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Echo Beach, Balangan Beach, Padang Padang Beach are some of the famous beaches. With the idyllic movement of waves crashing down the shore and touching your feet, you’ll feel as if time has stopped and you are there in the moment, living.  You can even indulge in the most adrenaline-inducing water sports at very economical prices. In fact, what makes Bali’s beaches stand out is the sheer variety of them. Unlike the typical sleek white sand beaches, there are black sand beaches in Bali which are alluring, to say the least.

 

THE IMMENSE NATURAL BEAUTY IN BALI

 

The first thing that strikes the mind when one hears of Bali is its powdery beaches. However, Bali has so much more to offer. In fact, Bali has so much scenic beauty that it is a delight for photography enthusiasts. With its viridescent highlands, waterfalls that are an absolute feast for the eyes and mind, swathes of paddy dipped in emerald and sunrises and sunsets from the vast coastline make Bali an ideal destination for a wedding. If destination or an exotic wedding is on your dream then look no more because Bali is here for you.

 

FASCINATING CULTURAL CORNOCUPIA  IN BALI

 

There is more to Bali than what meets the eye.  The Balinese people take immense pride in their age-old customs and traditions which they embrace and practice wholeheartedly to this day. A plethora of celebrations and ceremonies take place throughout the year which can be enjoyed by tourists too. From the fun Omed-Omedan kissing festival to the day of silence (Nyepi), Bali has it all.

 

MYSTICAL TEMPLES IN BALI

 

Bali is dotted with many temples. They may be sea-facing or mounted at the top. Be that as it may, they will blow you away with their splendid architecture and soothing aesthetics.  Transcending the levels of materialistic pleasures the tranquil spiritual experiences would stay with you for a long time. Temple visits are highly recommended whilst in Bali. Some must see include Besakih Temple, Taman Ayun Temple, Pura Penataran Sasih, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu Temple, Tirta Empul and Pura Taman Sarswati Temple.

 

THE PEOPLE IN BALI

 

They say more than places and worldly pleasures it’s the people who are the most eventful and impactful part of a journey. It couldn’t be truer in the case of Balinese people. A major chunk of tourists who have been to Bali are strong advocates of the Balinese warmth. The people, especially the locals are extremely welcoming and often go out of their way to help tourists. They’ll make you feel home away from home!

 

SHOPPING HUB-BALI

 

Bali has scores of locally made handicrafts, wood carvings and native artwork that can be purchased from the various markets popping all over the island. More so, other items such as clothes, furniture, souvenirs are also available aplenty.

 

THE CUISINE IN BALI

 

The Balinese cuisine would not disappoint you with plenty a options at your disposal. Often labeled as a complex cuisine which is not a part of the mainstream discourse you would miss an experience if you don’t try out the very palatable dishes and enthrall your taste buds. The cuisine primarily uses a lot of spices, indigenous fruits and vegetables and of course tons of meat and fish making it a non- vegetarian’s happy place.  In case, you have reservations with respect to your dietary cravings then fret not Bali harbors some of the best restaurants around the globe that serve all sorts of cuisines.

 

ADVENTURE HAVEN-BALI

 

Bali has a wide array of water sports available. It has become synonymous with the surfer’s paradise tag. There many family-friendly adventure parks too. Some of the mandatory tries are white water rafting ,ATV quad biking at Ubud; canyoning at gitgit waterfall; kite surfing is available at most beaches in Bali; jet pack at Nusa Dua; cave diving at Gili Biaha;Bali Flying Fish at Tanjung Benoa.

 

SPAS AND YOGAS IN BALI

 

Bali is the ideal hotspot for yoga lovers, Zen promoters and you can get the traditional massage at numerous parlors. Famous spas of Bali are Thermes Marins & Spa On the Rocks, Riverside Spa at Maya, Royal Kirana Spa and Lemba Spa.

POCKET-FRIENDLY-BALI

 

With so much to see and experience you must be thinking that a trip to Bali would burn a hole in your pocket. Guess what? NO! It is super affordable and has services and accommodations available in every range.

 

There are innumerable reasons which make Bali truly a traveler’s delight, be it the weather, the cultured people, the majestic temples, the exotic food, the hypnotic nightlife, the stunning skies, beaches and everything that makes you feel that maybe nature is the artist with the most gorgeous colors. With one visit, I am sure you will find your own reason to fall for this place.  So pack on your bags let this island charm you into loving it for eternity. Bali calling!!

 

Anvita Goel

Currently pursuing law harbours interest in International law and aspiring to become a renowned lawyer. Fascinated by beautiful places in the world she does not miss any opportunity to travel.

 

 

 

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.

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.