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

5-yoga-asanas-for-travellers

The world is a book and all those who do not travel read only one page.

 

Who doesn’t love to travel? Traveling is meant to revitalize us!

 

But along with the blissful travelling comes fatigue, unending flights, uncooperative passengers and uncomfortable seating. But then there’s always a solution! And one such solution is yoga. Here is a list of 5 yoga asanas that are a great stress and fatigue reliever!

1.Garud asana

Garudasana

 

How To Do The Garudasana

Begin by standing in the Tadasana. Move your left leg up and cross it over the right one. Try to hook your left foot behind the right calf. Bend a bit, if you must. Now bring your arms forward and bend them at the elbows. Cross the right arm over the left one and bring the palms together. Stretch your arms upwards.

 

Strengthens:Ankle, Calf

Pose Type:Balance, Hip opener, Standing

Also Known As: Eagle Pose

 

2.Bhujang asana

Bhujangasana

 

How To Do The Bhujang Asana

Lie face down on the floor. Place your palms on the floor, on either side of you, slightly lower than your shoulders. Lift your upper body off the floor by pushing your palms against the floor. Get into a cobra pose by using your back and abdominal muscles. Keep your thighs firmly on the ground as you arch your back upwards. Maintain the pose for a full 10 seconds.

Goal: Start your day on a fresh note, salute the sun and feel rejuvenated the entire day.

Strengthens: Vertebral column

Pose Type: Prone

Also Known As: Cobra Pose

 

3.Tadasana

 

Tadasana

Goal: To relax after long drives

How To Do The Tadasana

This simple asana sets the base for all other yoga poses. Stand straight, placing both your legs slightly apart. Your hands should hang freely alongside your body. Raise your arms and stretch upwards, from feet to your head. Exhale and release. Repeat.

To relax yourself after a long flight or a car ride, Tadasana is the perfect yoga pose to wake up your muscles, limbs and joints.

Strengthens: Knee, Thigh, Ankle

Pose Type: Standing

Also Known As: Mountain Pose

4.Utkatasana

 

Utkatasana

Goal: To ease your muscles and freshen your mind

How To Do The Utkatasana

In a need of some serious stretching on a road trip? Stand with your feet slightly apart, stretch your arms to the front and over your head. Bend your knees and lower yourself slightly as if you are sitting on a chair. Be comfortable.

Missing your intense gym workout but on a vacation? Compensate with this advance asana!

Strengthens: Vertebral column, Thigh, Ankle, Calf

Pose Type: Standing, Core

Also Known As: Chair pose

5. Shavasana

 

Shavasana

Goal: To rejuvenate body, mind and spirit

How To Do The Shavasana

Shavasana is perhaps one of the easiest, yet most important asanas in yoga. Lie flat on your back (make sure not to use a cushion) with your legs slightly apart. Leave your palms open, facing upward. Close your eyes, breathe deep. Relax your entire body.

Wind up your yoga session with Shavasana to develop a deep, meditative state of rest to your body.

Strengthens: Relaxes body and mind

Pose Type: Restorative

Also Known As: Corpse pose

 

Now travel and move around the globe actively! The world is waiting for you. Go and explore it. These yoga asanas are your tour guide! They won’t let you get tired.

Happy Journey😊

 

–Molisha Sachdeva

 

A prolific writer and a health buff Molisha enjoys the benefits of yoga. She likes to research more and more about yoga and spread the benefits!

 

 

Attractions in Croatia and Czech Republic

Have you been thinking about visiting some European countries? Well,  you must begin your exploration by visiting the two beautiful countries, Croatia and Czech Republic. Both have plethora of tourist attractions and scenic beauty, like one has never seen before. Give a spur to your wanderlust soul and begin exploring the unseen places with your loved ones.

 

Croatia

One of the popular Countries of Eastern Europe, Croatia has a lot to contribute to your priceless travel memories. The list of places you should check out ,when on a trip to Croatia, is listed below-

 

  • Zagreb in Croatia-

 

Capital of Croatia, Zagreb has plenty to explore including its landmarks and astounding scenic beauty. The city is divided into two sections- Upper Town and the Lower Town. Upper Town has iconic buildings like, Gornji Grad, St. Mark’s Church, the quirky museum,Museum of Broken Relationships. Whereas the Lower Town includes,Croatian National Theatre, Mimara Museum, Green Horseshoe park, Ethnographic Museum depicting the culture of Croatia, and Maksimir Park. One must also visit the age-old Austro-Hungarian style Square of Zagreb, Ban Jelacic Square located at the centre of the city which has a phenomenal number of restaurants, cafes and shops .

View of the city of Zagreb

 

 

  • Zadar in Croatia-

 

An ancient Roman City, Zadar is a wonderful coastal city with a breathtaking water front. Visit the ancient square of Zadar and explore its ancientry such as the St. Donatus Church, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Glass and  Museum of Illusions.

Stroll through the Kalelarga Street and Five Wells Square. Walk to the Promenade and experience the most magical sunsets near the Adriatic sea by visiting the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun.

Sea Organ- Zadar

 

 

  • Split in Croatia-

 

Split is a buzzing city with just the right blend of modernity with tradition.While visiting Split, one must visit its major attraction, the Roman Palace,a Diocletian’s Palace built during the 4th century.

Head towards the Old Town, watch the Gregory of Nin Statue and explore the Gallery of Art.

Visit the ancient square Peristil and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius and enjoy the panoramic view of the beautiful city from the Bell Tower.

Go for exploring the outdoor of Split by visiting the Underground Market or its restaurants and cafes in the Riva Promenade. One can visit the Marjan Hill and admire the view of the city or relax on the lovely beaches such as Bacvice and watch the beautiful sunsets.

 

View of Split

 

  • Plitvice in Croatia-

 

 Use public transport and visit the lakes of Plitvice which actually seem like a paradise.  Plitvice National Park is made up of sixteen lakes that are connected by a series of waterfalls and surrounded by picture-perfect woodlands.Just a tip ,reach really early to avoid getting stuck behind the long queue of tourists and carry a picnic lunch.Everything inside the park is quite pricey.

 

Aerial view of Plitvice Lakes

 

  • Dubrovnik in Croatia-

 

 The beauty of Dubrovnik never fails to amaze the visitor.The grand Old Town has still preserved its magnificence and medieval charm. Dubrovnik has a plethora of things to do and see.Stroll around the Old Town and explore the ageold Stradun Street. Visit the old City Walls of Dubrovnik and opt for a cable ride to the highest point, Srd Hill ,which has a breathtaking view . Also visit the Cathedral Of The Assumption Of Mary,Rector’s Palace,Dominican Monastery and Museum. A twenty minute walk from the Old Town  takes you to Lapad area .Reach and walk the Uvala Street and enjoy the restaurants,shops,live music and then relax on the beach.

 

View of Dubrovnik

 

Czech Republic

 

With breathtakingly beautiful picturesque sites, Czech Republic is sure to win your heart. Places to enjoy include the following-

 

  • Prague in Czech Republic-

 

 The capital city of Czech Republic, Prague is all about castles, bridges, scenic night life and beautiful landscapes. While exploring the city one must visit the following places, the centuries old St. Charles Bridge crossing the Vltava River, Old Town Astronomical Clock, churches such as, St. Nicholas Church and Our Lady Before Tyn, also the Kinsky Palace, Jan Hus Memorial, House at the Stone Bell.

Also visit the most popular castle, Prague Castle, believed to be one of the largest castles in the world.

 

 

Night Scene of Prague

 

  • Brno in Czech Republic-

 

 When in Brno, begin with Spilberk Castle, and then visit the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Explore the Cabbage Market,the most popular one in the city, and then head towards the Old Town Hall to explore its historic beauty. There are a number of squares in Brno, pay a visit to each one of them to get a good grip of the town.

 

 

Church at Brno

 

  • Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic-

 

 Another beautiful and popular attraction of Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov has  magical atmosphere. Begin your journey with a  visit to the Castle Tower and Castle Gardens and admire the stunning view. Afterwards, wander into the Old Town and check out the buildings and architecture that has a blend of Gothic and Renaissance style. Go for rafting in the river Vltava and get a different perspective of the city.

 

 

Cesky Krumlov

 

  • Kutna Hora in Czech Republic-

 

 Kutna Hora is an ancient Silver mining town and a popular city of the Czech Republic, also  known as the Haunting Town. This place has an eerie atmosphereand is popular for the Gothic St. Barbara’s Church, and Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel decorated with human skeletons. There’s also the Czech Museum of Silver which represents the city’s history.

 

The Bone Church in Kutna Hora

 

  • Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic-

 

With its Colonnades and thermal springs,Karlovy Vary offers carefree roaming combined with energetic treks .Have a good look at the panoramic view of the city by reaching the Diana Observation Tower .After enjoying the view, come down to Dvorak Park, take a stroll in the scenic park. Visit the historical building of Mill Colonnade and the Russian Orthodox Church with Golden domes. One can also just simply walk across the river and admire the beauty of the city and its lively city life.

 

Karlovy Vary

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

 

—Sampurna Chakraborty

Dubai: A City Of Wonders

Why is it a good idea to visit Dubai?

Dubai, a land of eminent success and a paradigm of ultramodern architecture is surely a dream destination that one should add in their bucket list. Dubai is luxurious, embraced in the beauty of the great Arabian Desert, it is a place of lively nightlife scenes with glimmering towers, making it an unforgettable experience for the one who visits here. The magnificent towers, the essence of Safari through the great sandy desert, the beautiful beaches, the delicious food along with luxurious  hotels and shopping, amusement parks, Dubai is one of its kind. The architectural elegance you get to see in Dubai has no comparisons. Here are some not to miss destinations in Dubai:

The Burj Khalifa 

 

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest skyscraper in the world comprising of 163 floors, thus making it a major tourist attraction. This man-made architectural masterpiece offers a number of Observatory Decks at various floors giving a “top of the world” experience to its tourists. Well Burj Khalifa is not only famous for its height, it is also the tallest building to have a residential place which offers suits by Armani Hotels. Have you ever wondered where the world’s highest Nightclub is? Yes, it is here in the 144th floor of Burj Khalifa offering a lifetime experience for the “party people” . And lastly a “cherry on top”, this tallest building also has the world’s highest restaurant in it named Atmosphere, which offers luxurious food along with a mesmerizing view of the great sandy Desert and the wonders of Dubai. So, when you visit Dubai, The Burj Khalifa will surely catch your eyes and you cannot resist from visiting it.

 

Burj Khalifa

 

A view from the Top of Burj Khalifa


Burj Al Arab 

 

The Burj Al Arab is a luxurious hotel which stands alone on an artificial island and is structurally connected to the Jumeirah Beach. The architecture of this hotel is unique, as it stands in the form of a ship’s sail, and offers a view which the eyes never forget. The Burj Al Arab is the third tallest hotel in the world and is connected to the mainland through a private bridge. The Al Muntaha is a restaurant in Al Arab which is 660ft high situated above the Pursian Gulf offering a mesmerizing view of Dubai. And Al Mahara is widely famous for its underwater dining offering a view which is unimaginably beautiful. This Five-star hotel is managed by the Jumeirah Group and is sometimes stated as “the only seven-star hotel” in the world. Hence this hotel gives its guests the best luxurious experience.

Burj Al Arab
Underwater Dining at Al Mahara

 

Jumeirah Mosque

 

Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Dubai, which also offers a tour for the non-muslims. Jumeirah Mosque is famous for its artistic beauty and the peaceful ambience that encompasses this place.

 

Jumeirah Mosque


Desert Safari

 

When you are in Dubai, Safari comes first in the “to do” list. Dubai offers an exquisite experience of Safari to its tourists, which includes Camel Rides through the great Arabian desert, where the camels are beautifully decorated, it also offers Dune Bashing, and lastly a delicious mouth-watering Arabian Dinner accompanied by the essence of Belly Dancing.

 

Camel Safari Through the Desert

 

Palm Jumeirah

 

The Palm-shaped Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago  situated on the Persian Gulf. The Palm Jumeirah is known for its posh hotels and residential towers along with globally famous restaurants. At the Broadwalk, there are a number of food trucks that offer snacks specially “Shawarma” the famous Middle-Eastern food. Apart from these, Palm Jumeirah has many Beach Spas and Nightclubs offering live Dj evenings. This place is surely a “fun place” to visit and relax yourselves, but the most amazing fact about Palm Jumeirah is that they are clearly visible from the space.

 

The Palm Jumeirah


Jumeirah Beach

 

Jumeirah Beach is named after the Jumeirah district of Dubai, and is situated at the coast of Persian Gulf. This white sandy beach is the most popular beach of Dubai attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world. This beach not only provides a relaxing ambience, but also the tourists get to see the majestic Burj Al Arab.

 

Jumeirah beach

 

The Dubai Fountain

 

The Dubai Fountain is famous worldwide for its marvellous choreographed fountain system, which is also the largest choreographed fountain system in the world. The shows occur at evenings on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake where the fountains are made to sparkle through thousands of light beams and the jets change their formation according to  the music played.

 

A Fountain Show at The Dubai Fountain

 

Atlantis The Palm

 

Atlantis The Palm is a luxurious hotel resort located at the apex of Palm Jumeirah, which is famous worldwide for providing  Underwater Dining and a personalized aquarium with underwater halls and tunnels called The Lost Chambers Aquarium. This resort is “luxury at its peak”.

 

Atlantis The Palm

Dubai Miracle Gardens

 

Dubai Miracle Gardens is like the “Eden of Dubai”. It is the largest Natural Flower Garden in the world and contains an exquisite varieties of flowers. A flower garden like this in a land of desert is a miracle, with its extravagant decoration, this place surely feels like heaven.

 

Al Bastakiya

 

Build during the 1890’s, Al Bastakiya serves as the heritage of UAE. It is a museum that contains a number of art gallaries and also cafes and restaurants. These museum gallaries display pure Arabic artistry and is bound to make you fall in love with them.

 

Dubai Gold Souk

 

“Souk” is an Arabic term for street market or bazaar, it was believed that the Iranians and the Indians set up gold shop at first at the district of DeiraAs you know Dubai is also worldly famous for its gold trades, so when you are in Dubai you must never miss to visit its Gold Markets. It is also believed that this market sells gold cheaper in price than its neighbouring places, so if you know a little bit of bargaining, you might get lucky to get unbelievable discounts.


Wild Wadi Park

 

Wild Wadi Park is a famous water park in Dubai. This water park is situated next to Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and is popular for its fun rides. The Jumeirah Sceriah is the tallest and fastest free-falling water slide (outside of N and S America). This is the perfect “fun place” for families, and it also has a separate kids play area with over 100 water rides and games.

 

Wild Wadi Park

 

Skydive Dubai

 

One of the major attractions in Dubai is the Skydive. The Skydiving enables you to admire Dubai from the top and you can “fly as free as a bird” and take away a breathtaking experience with you. Dubai offers Skydiving at its two famous places, the Palm Jumeirah or over the Arabian Desert, the experience that you will get would be mixed up with fear and joy, but you need not to worry as the instructors would guide you and take care of your safety., So go and have some real fun.

 

Skydiving Above the Palm Jumeirah

 

The Dubai Mall

 

The Dubai Mall is the second largest mall in the world. Well its Dubai and it can’t be just a simple one, this mall contains an Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and also has a huge gaming area, a famous cafe with artistic excellence, and a genuine fossil of a Dinosaur (Diplodocus). It also has an indoor themed park and a haunted house named Hysteria which gives its visitors a spine-chilling experience.

 

Interior of Dubai Mall


Helicopter Ride

 

One of the most splendid experiences of Dubai includes its Helicopter rides. The rides enable you to admire the beauty of Dubai and enjoy the views of the Burj Khalifa, Al Arab, The Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis The Palm, The World (the globe made through artificial islands and is visible even from the space), and gives you a lifetime experience.

 

Ride Above Atlantis The Palm

Dubai calling…Pack your bags!


—Sampurna Chakraborty

A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing, traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels.

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

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  ]

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!

Singapore: Melting Pot of Asia

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

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

Sentosa Island, Singapore

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

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

 Universal Studios ,Singapore

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

Universal Studio Sentosa                     

Gardens By the Bay, Singapore

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

Merlion Park-Singapore

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

A view from the Merlion Park

5. Singapore Botanical Garden

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

Botanical Garden

Singapore Zoo

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

A white Tiger in the Zoo

7.Night Safari Singapore

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

A view from the Night Safari                     

River Safari– Singapore

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

River Safari                                       

Jurong Bird Park- Singapore

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

Flamingos at the Jurong Bird Park

Experience the varied culture in Singapore

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

Amalgamation of Culture

 Must- have walks Roads

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

Orchard Road

 

Esplanade –Theatres on the Bay

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

Singapore Flyer

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

Singapore Flyer

 

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

—Sampurna Chakraborty

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

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.

Nine Best Destinations to visit in Asia

“To Travel Is To Live”

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

 

1) BRUNEI

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

 

2) SRI LANKA

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

 

3) FUJAIRAH

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

 

4) COCOS KEELING ISLANDS

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

 

6) KERALA, INDIA

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

 

 7) BHUTAN

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

 

8) MACAU

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

 

9) JORDAN

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

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

Bon Voyage!

BY

KAVYA SANTHOSH

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