Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world — it’s like you stepped inside a fairytale. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and that shows the historic component of the city more than anything else. It's a city that still has trams running in the middle of cobbled pathways and small cafes lined up on the sidewalks welcoming you to try their ice creams and other baked goods. And the beer in Prague is one of the best that you'll taste in the world. Germany may have Octoberfest but it's Prague that boasts of the best beer in Europe. Here's a city where you don't even have to speak, just place a beer mat on your table and beer is served. Prague is a city as beautiful as Paris, with a history as rich as Rome.Cheapest Month To Fly: October 2017 from MumbaiMust See: Kafka Museum, Prague Castle, Jewish Museum, St. George's Basilica and Kampa Park.Must Eat: Potato Pancakes, Pork Knuckle, Steak Tartare and Eggs; Svickova na Smetane (beef in gravy) and Kolaches.Must Do: Walk along the Charles Bridge; See the hour pass by in the Prague Astronomical Clock; See a show at the Prague National Theatre; Climb the steps to see the Prague Castle and enjoy the city view from there; Try a local beer; Dance in front of the Dancing House; Get a photo in front of the Lennon Wall.Approximate Cost for a day: Attractions – Rs. 400; Food – Rs. 1100; Inter-city travel via public transport – Rs. 250; Accommodation – Average cost for 1 night – Rs. 2000 on double occupancy.
Day 5In no mood to leave Budapest, we hopped on to the 6 hour long train to Prague witnessing some of the most picturesque landscapes, straight out of my painting book.Sun-kissed in Budapest, wearing summery shorts.Cut to reaching Prague in the evening. It's almost like it was going to snow. We were in for the coldest two days of our lives.Honestly, most of our time in Prague was spent figuring out the maze like roads, all leading to Old Town Square. The rest of the time was spent shivering, and walking on the Charles Bridge, with musicians playing the best of street music.What not to miss in Prague - Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Frida Kahlo's Museum and the infamous Pub Crawl.Trust me, it will be the best night of your night that you will never remember.
5. For us the heart touching encounter with the Church of our Lady Victorious, which is the seat of 'Infant Jesus' was the brief meeting with the Reverend Archbishop Father Dominik Duka who was personally meeting all the people, irrespective of the religious affiliations, present at the Church for the Holy Thursday prayer.When he came to meet us, he was more than amused to know we are from India. He told us that he spent two years in Kerala and excitedly recited the few Malayalam words that he had picked up. He told us that he loved India for being a melting pot of various religions, castes, creeds and beliefs. While we were in disagreement on India's reputation as the melting pot of various beliefs, the Reverend Father quickly retorted, 'Even the people who crucified Christ didn't love Him less, they just didn't love themselves much. Once we start respecting and loving ourselves truly, we will not be disillusioned by the blindfold of wrong. So don't doubt the Power of India and it's soul. It will outshine the rest. God bless you'.When we exited the Church, we were three ladies with the brightest eyes and the widest smiles.
4. Prague is symbolised with the Lennon Wall and Lennon Wall symbolises with 'Free World'. Wherever we went, there was atleast one good Samaritan with a Free Hug Board. I was one of the takers of the Free Hug. It was just hug and a smile. The warmth of that Good Samaritan is still with me. I asked him, 'Why are you doing this?'. He smiled and said, 'If not this, then what? Just with a hug, you will remember me. I am a celebrity just by doing what needs to be done'.
3. Prague or Praha, our next destination was the epicenter of a number of civil liberty movements both in the first and the second world War. A nation with its own currency (which is just 3 times of INR ; victory dance) was expected to be quite a contrast from the Elite Vienna.But then....We were at the tube station at Prague waiting for the elevator because with the luggage that we had, it was quite a task to take the escalator and impossible to take the stairs. It's then that an elderly woman, who also was taking for the elevator, smiled at us. She asked 'Africa'. We were shocked, and quickly replied, 'No India'. Sibling and I looked at each other, 'Ghar jaake dahi lagayenge to get rid of this tan. Fucking hell'. She started communicating with us in Czech. Our first encounter with language barrier. She didn't know English, we didn't know Czech.But she was hell beant to talk. She told us in broken English that she is from Bulgaria and works as a cleaning lady at the Prague Airport. She asked us 'Where To?'. We showed the map and spotted the location. She tried to make us understand and we said 'Okay' in a matter of fact manner because we knew very well knew the route. But I guess it was our confident 'okay' which made her feel that we didn't understand. At the platform she herself went to people around to see if someone spoke English and could guide us on the route. The lady had a walking stick but that didn't deter her from going to people around, seeking help. She got us a translator who enthusiastically told us the route. We were amazed at the local hospitality. When the tube came she got on the tube with us and spotted at the digital navigation to tell us the station we have to get down. Throughout the journey she spoke about India, Indian food, especially Indian Movies, 'Anand' being her favourite.When our station came she bid us goodbye and waved the warmest flying kiss ever.
We landed in Prague on 21st March expecting a better climate than we encountered in Manchester. Although there were no British rains to deal with, the weather was pretty cold for Europe in March. On the bright side, the apartment we had booked on Airbnb turned out to be better than we expected. A lush yet inexpensive apartment five-ten minutes away from all the major landmarks in the city, at least those that we intended to cover.
Prague 3 days
Sir Toby's hostel is unarguably the pick of the lot. The rooms are rustic, clean and have a high ceiling. The bar is a great place to socialise with fellow travellers. Tea lovers will love this place for the on-the-house offering.
Hotel U dvou zlatých klíčů
19 | PRAGUE + ViennaLet’s be honest, Prague may very well be the prettiest of all European cities. In the Old Town, an enchanting maze of pedestrian alleys through historic baroque buildings unfolds on to the river and famous Charles Bridge. Across the way Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral stand proudly. Taking the train south, Vienna, in it’s proud Habsburg history, continues the beautiful scene. The sprawling pedestrian-only city center is filled with elegant plazas and classical music. Great year-round for history, culture, music and photography lovers. Consider a visit in December to experience Europe’s favorite Christmas markets.
PALAIS ART HOTEL, PRAGUEA residential building from the mid-1800s was transformed in a striking Belle Époque style in the later part of the century, which ushered in the new Renaissance in hospitality. The Palais Art Hotel, near the elite Wenceslas Square, has a historical ornamental stucco with magnificent wall paintings complimenting its Italian atmosphere; a place where you’d find the rich and elite of the city networking in the evenings. Book the historical Belle Epoque Suite (US$856 upwards per night), a masterpiece offering, with an original fresco by Ludek Marold on its ceiling and lavish furnishing. lepalaishotel.eu
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.
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