From elegant architecture to aromatic cafes, from magnificent palaces to dramatic operas, the city of Vienna portrays royal connection in it's every aspect. 'Wien' as they call in German is a hometown to famous Mozart and Beethoven.Though my short stint with the city was not enough to explore the musically and artistically pleasing capital of Austria, I really wanted to make best of it to see as much as I could.In Vienna, I ditched the expensive hotel rooms and choose to stay at Airbnb home-stays. It was homely, cozy and really cheap. Located in the heart of the city here's a glance of my room.Read More
From elegant architecture to aromatic cafes, from magnificent palaces to dramatic operas, the city of Vienna portrays royal connection in it's every aspect. 'Wien' as they call in German is a hometown to famous Mozart and Beethoven.Though my short stint with the city was not enough to explore the musically and artistically pleasing capital of Austria, I really wanted to make best of it to see as much as I could.In Vienna, I ditched the expensive hotel rooms and choose to stay at Airbnb home-stays. It was homely, cozy and really cheap. Located in the heart of the city here's a glance of my room.
1. Touchdown Vienna and begins the committed platonic relationship with 'Tourist Information Desk'. Our first encounter, a redhead lady (just her hair were read, keep that urban dictionary aside, please) at the desk. While struggling to understand the streets and the sub streets and the sub sub streets, I guess the travel desk lady understood our bewilderment and said, 'It's 5.50 pm, if you can wait for anothet 10 minutes, I will drop you to your accommodation. It's opposite the street where I live'. And the first whiff of the beautiful Veinna air.But wait a minute. We didn't know that 'I will drop you' means 'I will walk you'. This city walks and walks with stride of an athlete. Not surprised by the 'thigh gap' being a commoner's commodity here. So the redhead not only helped us with carrying the luggage (3 women. Don't expect us to travel light) but helped us give an insider's overview of Vienna. We were amazed at the humility and camaraderie of this woman whose name also we didn't know. This was our introduction to the level of trust for a stranger that the Europe exhibits.2. Are you from India?- Yes!Ah! Na'A'maste!Our three days in Vienna echoed with the above. It was amusing to see how people knew about nationalities and the local pleasantries of various nations. It somehow boosts your confidence of 'being known' and automatically creates a sense of belongingness. When after 'Na'A' maste' with a few too many, I asked a gentleman that how does he have so much knowledge about different nations of the world, their demography and their local pleasantries, he said:'It's the fear of Unknown that makes us susceptible to people around. Once we read, understand others, we know that it's just the geography which aparts us. In today's time and age, it's a must to read about /to know about different cultures, practices and traditions of the various nations. It's not the treaties that maketh a better world, it's the heart'.
PRO TIPS : Austria is always cold, even in summer, so keep a jacket in handy. Also, tender exact change because you dont want to end up with a lot coins at the end of the tour. You can avail city passes for each of the place from the tourist centres. These passes cover your public transport fare and offer free admission to certain places. The card is available for 24,48 or 72 hours.VIENNA
VIENNAI started the day by visiting the Musuemquartier followed by the Naschmarkt for lunch and finally proceeded towards the famous Belvedere Palace. Palaces in Vienna shut by 5-6 in the evening so make sure, to visit them before that. The palace has its own charm with a beautiful pond and lush gardens. I pretty much had a relaxed day, however you can surely take a walk around the streets of Vienna for more exploration.
New Years Eve BratislavaNew Years Day a very hungover group of us set off on the train to Vienna, the Capital of Austria. It appeared to be a charming city steeped in history, but in our post party haze we just couldn’t do it justice. This has been added to the list for a re-visit at some point when we’re feeling a little bit fresher!The rest of the trip was spent back in Bratislava sampling traditional Slovak food such as hearty meaty soups and stews with dumplings.FebruaryFebruary was a quiet month on the travel front, except for a cheeky girls trip to London to see Eddie Izzard for a friends birthday. Other than that it was full steam ahead with the planning and preparations for our big adventure. We began to think about how we were going to get to Cambodia, and more importantly we brainstormed and made some decisions on how we were going to fund the trip and what we would do with our house. Brainstorming to Travel, and Live and Work AbroadAndy completed a 120 hours TEFL Certificate, to enable him to teach English abroad. His YouTube Channel ‘GOING NOMAD…aka pigs on bikes’ was also born (his first vlog was a review of his TEFL course), and I began to create this blog.March
My trip was coming to an end and I was headed to the last stop in my itinerary - Vienna. I took a shuttle again from CK to get to Vienna. The drive from CK to Vienna was even better than the earlier drive from Salzburg to CK. We were mostly driving through countryside roads, and I really can't describe how scenic the drive was. I don't have pictures either; but there are few things which are best left to experience.The first look of Vienna, a city, was quite underwhelming. Honestly, I saw very little of Vienna. I guess I was a bit tired physically and Vienna really paled in comparison to all the natural beauty I had seen in the past few days.The little I saw however is in the pictures below.
Vienna at Austria was the next destination country. The countries are so small and the roads are so good that by half a day one crosses countries in Europe. Austria is famous for Skiing in the winters. There are lots of Ski resorts. This is also a country where one can hire self-driven sports car such as BMW / Audi / Merc at a very good price and go on a road trips for weeks. After reading, I have added to my bucket list. At Vienna, a stroll across the wooden bridge decorated with rich colorful flowers is refreshing especially in the evenings. A photo stop at the Kings' Palace which has an all Gold balcony is a center of attraction.
It was a trip to Austria in November 2016 for four days. She took a train from Frankfurt on November 24, 2016 at 4.40 a.m., changed at Salzburg towards Vienna. As she was riding on the train from Salzburg to Vienna, she was loving the rhythm. She was loving the freedom of being between two different places. She could see the wide and open plains from the window and for that moment, she knew where she was going only to be lost in a different land. She then understood why it feels good to be lost in the right direction.Day 1 was spent exploring the streets of Vienna, different world heritage sites like the Historic Centre of Vienna and Palace & Gardens of Schonbrunn and beautifully decorated Christmas Markets. Vienna is a beautiful city but what really made her happy was watching the Penguins in the World's first zoo at the Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn. As they took baby steps and dived into the water, she smiled bright with her twinkling eyes just like the kid who loved watching Pingu on POGO channel. That moment she realized that it is the little things in life that makes one actually happy.After a day well spent collecting beautiful memories, she went back to her hostel Ruthensteiner. Now none of her previous trips excluded crazy pub crawls or wild drunken parties but this time, to her surprise, staying at the hostel and playing some Korean drinking games was so much fun. No matter how hard she tried to understand Tap Clap Talgi Talgi, she was terrible. And as per the tradition, she had to beg for the shot with both hands!
How to Reach: We took flight from Mumbai to Vienna with one stop over at Abu Dhabi (2.30 hrs) and from there we had arranged for a pick up from the airport.
Place to Stay: We stayed at Queens Apartment, located in Schönbrunner Straße . They have private furnished apartments with fully equipped kitchen and it is walking distance from the metro station. Safe and very neat & clean area to stay.
Places to Visit for Xmas Markets: Christmas Markets are a must see in vienna Rathausplatz,Stephenplatz,Schewenplataz,Danube River Side, Bermuda Triangle, Opera House, Museumplein, Schönbrunn Palace. Both trams number 1 and 2 loop Vienna's Inner
Stadt on the city's 'Ringstrasse', a collection of 8 streets and one quay. You can jump on anywhere on the ring in any direction.The round trip takes approximately 45 minutes and passes many of Vienna's most impressive buildings including the Rathaus (city hall), the Burgtheater (National Theater) and Parliament which is the seat of two federal assemblies.
Cheap Eats: Must try flavoured Mulled Wine or Gluhwein. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween. Frankfurter Würstel (vienna sausages) available in chicken, beef or pork. You can also try Bamboo Noodles or Wok Noodles and yes dont forget to drink bier when in Europe. Bermuda Triangle is the street where you will find places with different cuisines to eat and drink.
Retail Therapy: Mariahilfer Straße. Almost all major department stores can be found here selling clothes, leather goods, furniture and accessories, books and stationery. The Kärntner Strasse shopping streetand Landstraßer Hauptstraße in Vienna’s 3rd District share the capital’s second largest shopping streets.Located in Vienna’s 10th district, near the Südtiroler Platz, is the Favoritenstraße pedestrian area. Kolhmarkt located at Fifth Avenue here you will find all the luxury brand not be within the boundaries of a budget traveller.
When it comes to visiting the #DeutchLand, most of the people will suggest you visit during #OctoberFest or during #ChristmasMarket season.Unfortunately, i planned in such a hurry that my travel dates sit exactly on the calendar in between these events. I was kind of worried if this trip is not going to be as good as I was expecting :( Let's find out together how it went ;) Germany offers so many things to see and experience, especially Munich is one of the places where every individual will find his happy place. Therefore I decided to pick this place adding a new page in my travel book. Read More
When it comes to visiting the #DeutchLand, most of the people will suggest you visit during #OctoberFest or during #ChristmasMarket season.Unfortunately, i planned in such a hurry that my travel dates sit exactly on the calendar in between these events. I was kind of worried if this trip is not going to be as good as I was expecting :( Let's find out together how it went ;) Germany offers so many things to see and experience, especially Munich is one of the places where every individual will find his happy place. Therefore I decided to pick this place adding a new page in my travel book.
Home to one of the most iconic football clubs in the world – Bayern Munich. Their home stadium, Allianz Arena, complements their stature perfectly. What obviously helps is that Munich is also the venue of Oktoberfest.Famous footballers to have played here: Oliver Kahn, Manuel Neuer, Phillip Lahm, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller.Things to do apart from football: Visit the regal Nymphenburg Palace. Go beer-tasting at Englischer Garten.Average expenditure per day per head: Rs. 4,000Book the best hotels.Read more about the city.
Although the best time to visit Munich is obviously October (thanks to the Oktoberfest), the German capital never fails to amaze during other months either. There is obviously no dearth of beer anywhere; just go sit at any roadside pub and your day is made. But it's really the quintessential German vibe that engulfs and makes you ask for more.Must do while here: Visit the Englischer Garten for a taste of the variety of beers in a garden?. Watch Bayern Munich play at the Emirates Stadium.Average cost per day per head (excluding flights): Rs. 4,500Best Hotels.Read more about Munich.
BAYERISCHER HOF, MUNICHFrom Charlie Chaplin to BB King, the iconic Bayerisch Hof has been host to some remarkable celebrities since 1841. A timeless benchmark of sophistication, its Presidential Suite 032 (US$4,470 upwards per night) is our classic favourite with a private elvator and butler service. Book the Luxury Weekend Package (two nights and three days, US$1,154 upwards; available now through November) for a Moët & Chandon champagne on arrival, breakfast buffets in the roof garden, and other delightful perks. bayerischerhof.de
Hailed as the beer-capital of the world, Munich has always attracted the crowds on accounts of Bavarian brewing skills, especially during Oktoberfest when (seemingly) the entire continent, if not most of the western world comes down to participate in the annual celebration of Bavarian pride. There's much more to Munich than the city's approach to beer and word seems to be getting around.Getting around in MunichCycles are pretty mainstream, as is the case with most of Germany, although renting one is not as easy as in Berlin. The U/S-Bahn and tram network will take you pretty much anywhere. A day ticket costs €6.40, but if you are staying longer, the 3-day ticket costs €16.
Having arrived in Munich on the very first day with the lovely weather on my side it was time to soak up the city culture in me. Making my way to Marienplatz the main city square and also the heart of this Bavarian land I could already get the city vibes the German Way.
Strolling along this impressive 100-meter-long-gothic building, I was determined to spend my evening effortlessly here feasting in some of the most indigenous German houses.
And that was definitely one thing on my list to tick off and what best when you are so frenzied with your 6 months round the clock work routine. As I started to plan my itinerary all I knew was I want to be far away from pre-packaged experiences that tourists exchange money for. I wanted to consume experiences engaging with the local culture. So I booked myself on a much-deserved Euro trip to Germany!
Germany has been long known to everyone for a plethora of beer offerings running from late September to the first weekend in October. Moving away from the touristy places and beer tents I was looking for experiencing the Oktoberfest in a local away. However when I was booking myself for a spree to this Bavarian land, I was glad to have collated these must have on your list to experience some of the best beer experiences.
How to reach: We booked Euroline bus from Prague to Munich. Do not miss the countryside view on your bus journey.
Place to stay: Wombats City Hostel (centrally located)
Places to visit: Marienplatz (famous christmas market), Munich Residence, BMW Museum,Englischer Garden, Beer Halls & Beer gardens, Allianz Arena, Theresienwiese (place where Oktoberfest is held), Olympic Village, Deutsches Museum
Cheap Eats: In munich you will find proper Indian cuisine restaurants (incase you are tired of eating cold sandwiches and sausages) or kebab corners. Sausages accompanied with French fries. Must try Augustiner Keller (must try mixed sausages with mash potatos, Hofbräuhaus (the most famous beer hall).
Retail Therapy: Kaufingerstrasse (located between Karlsplatz & Marienplatz) is one of Europe's premier shopping streets, Galeria Kaufhof.
Tips:Whole of germany is shut from 24th dec 2:00 pm till 26th dec. You'll find hardly any places to shop or eat so before you to go any place please check if it is open or not. Also, many beer gardens are shut during winters as they have outdoor sitting. However, chinese garden the most famour beer garden located at Englischer garden.
My last destination within Italy was Venice, and I wanted do a brief pit stop somewhere before getting there. So bidding Florence goodbye, I headed for Bologna. Bologna is quite close to Florence and is well connected by train. It was Christmas eve and I didn't have elaborate plans, and Bologna seemed perfect.I lazily walked down the streets and walked into the cathedrals before reaching the foot of the Two Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda. It was quite surprising to learn that the Tower of Asinelli was the tallest leaning tower in Italy, much taller than the tower of Pisa (97 meters as compared to 56 meters).
The next morning, before leaving for Venice, I walked down to the University of Bologna - the oldest university of the world. Its alumni include Copernicus, Malfighi, Galvani, Marconi, Enzo Ferrari and had Dante Alighieri among others, as faculty.
Croatia’s capital is an underrated destination waiting to be explored. It is not as popular as Dubrovnik or Split, but is a quintessential metropolitan city combining elegant 19th century buildings with plenty of cultural divisions and a vibrant cafe life. It is a great place to discover charming boutiques selling unique dresses, shopping for souvenirs, and tasting local delicacies. It is also a good place to visit undulating hills and charming villages nearby.Read More
Croatia’s capital is an underrated destination waiting to be explored. It is not as popular as Dubrovnik or Split, but is a quintessential metropolitan city combining elegant 19th century buildings with plenty of cultural divisions and a vibrant cafe life. It is a great place to discover charming boutiques selling unique dresses, shopping for souvenirs, and tasting local delicacies. It is also a good place to visit undulating hills and charming villages nearby.
Explore Croatia's National Parks - Plitvice Lakes National Park (2 hrs from Zagreb), Krka National Park (near Dalmatia) and the Paklenica National Park. Still got time left, walk around the beautiful town of Dubrovnik.Best Time To Visit: Visit Croatia's underwater winery from May to June, and September to OctoberAddress: Janjina 62, 20246 Poluotok Pelješac, Croatia - HrvatskaGetting There: The nearest airport is in Dubrovnik. The Edivo Wine Bar is an hour away from Dubrovnik.Suggested Stay:Apartment Lemes
We did try to be careful, but I cannot exactly narrate how it did or must have happened. 15 minutes ago it was there, a few tram stations later it wasn’t.WHAT FOLLOWED?A trip to the police station, registering an FIR, calls to India to block the cards and of course, some panic and worries and moments to grieve over an otherwise while budgeted trip!His passport was with me, hence safe. (So no insurance money for the Gujju lad ???? )WHAT DID WE LEARN?You can be careful, but every thief has his/her day!Always scatter your money and keep while travelling! (I do that, Parichay doesn’t!)Know the contents of your wallet (including the card details)Keep quiet at the police station! ????When you are over this, there is scene 2 as well!SCENE 2- ZAGREB TO DUBROVNIK
Before leaving Treviso, I certainly fulfilled my promise to myself of going back to the places that I had visited on my first stroll through the city. Treviso fulfilled all my expectation of what Italian nightlife should be like. Crossing bridges across flowing waters and watching twilight change into evening in the city was a magnificent experience. In the evening we saw some tango dancers on the roads and despite being close to midnight the piazza was teeming with people having fun. Read More
Before leaving Treviso, I certainly fulfilled my promise to myself of going back to the places that I had visited on my first stroll through the city. Treviso fulfilled all my expectation of what Italian nightlife should be like. Crossing bridges across flowing waters and watching twilight change into evening in the city was a magnificent experience. In the evening we saw some tango dancers on the roads and despite being close to midnight the piazza was teeming with people having fun.
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stageRead More
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stage
18:00 h. Zurich – Arrival at the shores of Lake Zurich and free time to explore the monumental city centre. Visitors have a choice of Indian, Chinese, Italian and other restaurants in which to dine. Return to hotel about 22 hrs.Total distance: 180kmAlpine scenery in its purest essence.Note : please bring warm clothes and comfortable shoes to climb to the ski resort.09:00 h. Zurich – Departure.10:30 h. Eingelberg – Arrival. The trip includes a ride on the Trubsee cable car to the ski resort. We will continue ascending with the cable car to the top of Mount Titlis.15:00 h. We carry on to Lucerne.15:45 h. Lucerne – Arrival in time to explore one of the most interesting Swiss cities and see the KapellBrück, a covered bridge over the river Reuss, the Town Hall and Square with its Clock Tower and its pedestrian streets and elegant shops. Different options for lunch.18:30 h. Return to Zurich.
We all know a little bit of Verona , thanks to Shakespeare and his epic works specially Romeo and Juliet. I was shocked to know that this city in Veneto has a huge post office which receives letters addressed to Romeo or Juliet from all over the world and it even sends back replies. I saw lovers who go to the Juliet's balcony to make their love eternal. It was nice to know also that this city is a world heritage site. Verona is the place one would like to roam around for the whole day, so while walking here is what is not to be missed:-
- Arena di Verona:- this amphitheatre is one of the best preserved structures of its kind.
- visit Casa de Julieta:- this is said to be the house of Juliet, i was amazed to see so many peolpe coming from around the world to see the house if a person who never existed.
- sceneries of Lake Garda:- this largest lake in Italia is a hot holiday destination.
Verona is often buried in its Romeo & Juliet lore, however the city has much more than a classic romance to offer. Truly shaped under Roman rule, at times it can seem like a younger sister to Rome, especially with the Colosseum-esque Arena in the center of the city. Verona is a beautiful Italian city full of history and amazingly preserved. Explore the city on foot during the day, eat dinner and grab drinks in Piazza dei Signori, and view an open-air opera in the Arena di Verona at night.
This is the city of love; as Shakespeare wrote and the Veronese would like to make you believe; it’s good for sales you see. No point visiting the arena here, it is old but renovation and work makes it appear no older than your local stadium; go instead for an Opera there if you happen to coincide and that should be fun. The Piazzas are pretty (Bra, Erbe) and Juliet’s Balcony is a tick-in-a-box (tickle the boob, if you must). That done, leave! When it comes to important tourist sites Verona is like Pisa – they both have much to offer but you will only want to see the obvious landmarks and that shouldn’t take you more than half a day to get through. In both cities, the shopping is useless, unless you get off on cheap trinkets for the extended family.