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

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.

 

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

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

Five Most Visited Places in Europe

 

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

 

1. Paris- France

 

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

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

Notredame Cathedral

 

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

Interiors of Notredame Cathedral

 

Louvre Museum

 

The entrance of Louvre Museum

 

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

 

The Arc De Triomphe

 

Arc De Triomphe

 

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

 

Cruise on the Siene

 

Cruise on Siene

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

 

Palace of Versailles

 

Palace of Versailles

 

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

 

Latin Quarter- Luxembourg Park

 

 

Latin Quarters- Luxembourg Park

 

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

 

Moulin Rouge

 

Moulin Rouge

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

 

Disneyland Paris

 

 

Disneyland Paris

 

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

2.  Rome- Italy

 

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

 

Colosseum

 

 

A view of Colosseum

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

 

Vatican City

 

 

Ceiling of Sistine Chapel- Painting by Michelangelo

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

 

Vatican Palace

 

The Pantheon

 

 

Pantheon

 

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

 

Trastevere

 

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

 

A View of Trastevere

 

Trevi Fountain

 

Trevi Fountain

 

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

 

Spanish Steps

 

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

 

The Spanish Steps

 

3. London- United Kingdom

 

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

 

 

London Eye

 

London Eye

 

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

 

Big Ben

 

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

 

 

The Big Ben

 

 

British Museum

 

The British Museum

 

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

 

Buckingham Palace

 

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

Buckingham Palace

 

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

 

4.  Athens- Greece

 

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

 

Parthenon

 

Parthenon

 

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

 

Acropolis Museum

 

Collection at Acropolis Museum

 

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

 

Poros Island

 

Poros Island

 

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

 

Plaka

 

A View of Streets of Plaka Village

 

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

 

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

 

5.  Amsterdam- Netherlands

 

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

 

 

Museum Quarter

 

Rijksmuseum

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

 

Vondle Park

 

Vondle Park

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

 

Canal Cruises

 

Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

 

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

 

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

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

–Sampurna Chakraborty

What to do in Paris: The City of Love

 

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

 

  1. Climb Eiffel Tower in Paris

  

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

 

  1. Louvre and the other museums in Paris

 

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

 

3.Notre Dame and many more in Paris

 

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

 

4.Other must see monuments in Paris

 

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

 

5.Take a walking tour in Paris

 

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

 

 

6.Walk the glorious avenue of Champs Elysees in Paris

 

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

 

7.Take a cruise on river Seine in Paris

 

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

 

8.Spend time in the Tuilerie Garden in Paris

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Bon voyage!

 

Mamta Kumar

 

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

 

 

Venice: What not to Miss

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

Stay overnight in Venice

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

 

Get up really early in Venice

 

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

Roam the narrow lanes in Venice

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

 

Watch the sunset in Venice from St. Marks Square

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

 

Sit on the steps near Grand Canal in Venice

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

 

Take the last water bus in Venice

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

 

Try a Tiramisu in Venice

 

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

 

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

 

You must go window shopping in Venice

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

 

Bon voyage!

 

Mamta Kumar

 

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

 

Austria: What to explore?

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

Major attractions and places to visit in Austria

Vienna In Austria

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

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

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

Those are listed here-

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

Melk in Austria

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

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

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

Salzburg in Austria

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

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

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

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

Eiseriesenwelt(Ice Caves),Werfen in Austria

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

Hallstatt in Austria

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

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

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

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

Innsbruck in Austria

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mamta Kumar

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

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.