Europe has long been considered as a dream destination for many travel enthusiasts. Its medieval cities, verdant meadows and diverse culture has always acted as a magnet for travelers. But it is also known to be prohibitively expensive especially for people from countries whose currency exchange rate is abysmal as compared to the Euro.So when I was selected as an exchange student to study a term of 3 months at Toulouse Business School, France the first thing I wanted to do was to devise a plan to experience Europe on a budget as I was a student and was not earning since a year. I checked my curriculum and found out that I had 15 days to travel during the hectic term. The idea that I had in my mind was to experience Europe rather than just marking places off my bucket-list. I spoke to a lot of people, did a lot of research and came to a conclusion that one needed to spend at-least 2 days in a particular city to get the real feel of it. I had heard from my friends that the EuRail is the cheapest option to travel in Europe, but I found out that the statement is true only if you have more than a month to travel, For a shorter time and for a solo traveler (EuRail gives couple discounts) the most inexpensive option to travel is by bus, and EuroLines buses were the best and most convenient for me.Planning:
Decidedly gritty and blatantly irreverent, Berlin is almost notorious for its reputation as the coolest city in the world. Berlin doesn't glitter with glamour like Paris or bustle with energy like London. Unlike other European capitals, Berlin is unpolished and understated and yet, an absolute delight.Getting around in BerlinCycling is one of the best ways to get around Berlin. The faultlessly maintained cycle lanes are easy to navigate, often segregated from pedestrians and are used by more than half a million Berliners everyday.The public transportation infrastructure includes the U-Bahn (underground trains), S-Bahn (hybrid underground and street level), trams and buses.
Well to start off about the solo trip.. Flying from india at 1 at mid night and reaching Moscow in transit wasn't too exciting except the smart air host who gave me dinner in btw the midnight! I had a transit halt in Moscow for three hours.. which somehow passed by in the excitement. Landing in Berlin was in itself an adventure.. landing on a new continent , all alone.. first time.. well.. the excitement was at its peak...Making a dramatic exit from the Berlin airport with all the tourist pamphlets.. I was ready to conquer the world!I was lucky enough to find someone known on the first day itself.. as I had just a day to be in Berlin. She came to pick me up at the airport , and we made our journey to the city, via s ban, bus, u ban ..walk.. and what not..we went to a local restaurant. If you are a vegetarian.. it would be a bit difficult but still managable.We made our journey to Berlin wall, main cannal to the city,city centre. I was lucky enough to find a college senior of mine in the same city, for whom we waited in Alexander Pia's and made our way to Berlin dome together.I dint have much time to explore Berlin as I had my bus to osnabruck where another adventure awaited me.. but in all a great day in BerlinTravel cost - 7.6 euro (one day card)Food- 3-4 euro( one meal)Visiting monuments- 7 euro min. ( Each ticket)
On our way to Leipzig, we had 5 hours to our next connection and we decide to explore the city. Owing to efficient public transportation and centrally located airports, 3~4 hours are enough to explore the highlights-1. Bellevue Palace2. Straße des 17 Juni3. Brandenburger Tor4. ReichstagsgebäudeStoring the Luggage
We travelled to Berlin with one of the local tourist company.It was 2 days trip over a weekend.
We travelled in 10 seater car and it was a road trip.Its 7 hrs drive.
We stayed in Holiday inn which was little outside the downtown.
Below are the sites we visited:
As it was guided tour our tour guide took us to every place and explained everything about the Berlin history.
Berlin has lot of history it would be really good if we have some good guide along with us.
Berlin was the capital of Nazi Germany and was air-raided 363 times during World War I. The Americans dropped 23,000 tons of bombs, and the British 45, 517 tons. Bombings continued relentlessly. By May 1945, nearly 14 percent of Berliners had fled the city.
Flew into Berlin Schöenefeld Airport from London Stansted. As students, public transport was obviously the way. Walking to the nearby subway station, there was a huge queue to buy tickets. There is no counter just three self service machines which only one would give change back. so finding exact change was horrific with one stall refusing to give us change.
After much confusion, we bought a ticket and headed into the City to our hotel.
Berlin, the capital city of Germany is one of the top three congress cities in the world and home to the famous Internationales Congress Centrum, one of the largest conference centers in the world. It has some of the best historic sights like the Berlin Wall, the Checkpoint Charli and the Reichstag building. The city also has a wonderful zoo, the oldest known zoo in Germany with over 1,500 species of animals and birds. Other notable tourist spots include the Pergamon Museum, the Gemaeldegalerie and the Gemaeldegalerie.
Germany's second largest city has a sophisticated demeanour, behind which lurks mischief and abandon. Hamburg is considerably smaller than Berlin, more tight-night and connected, and yet thoroughly eclectic when it comes to art and music.Getting around in HamburgThe U-Bahn is the best way to explore most of Hamburg's sights. A lot of walking will inevitably be involved. A single day pass for unlimited use of all public transport costs €6.20 a day for adults, €2.30 for children aged 6 to 14. Bike rentals are available, but not as accessible or widely advertised as in BerlinRead More
Germany's second largest city has a sophisticated demeanour, behind which lurks mischief and abandon. Hamburg is considerably smaller than Berlin, more tight-night and connected, and yet thoroughly eclectic when it comes to art and music.Getting around in HamburgThe U-Bahn is the best way to explore most of Hamburg's sights. A lot of walking will inevitably be involved. A single day pass for unlimited use of all public transport costs €6.20 a day for adults, €2.30 for children aged 6 to 14. Bike rentals are available, but not as accessible or widely advertised as in Berlin
A final walking tour of the city of Copenhagen to get a feel of the city, culture and the amazing people. Denmark has several hidden treasures and is highly underrated as a tourist destination. It is definitely a place to go for a relaxed short vacation.Read More
A final walking tour of the city of Copenhagen to get a feel of the city, culture and the amazing people. Denmark has several hidden treasures and is highly underrated as a tourist destination. It is definitely a place to go for a relaxed short vacation.
Book the Scandinavia cruise that starts in Copenhagen—visit the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, see the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, admire the architecture in St Petersburg, and take in the modern design in Stockholm. To keep the whole family engaged, the cruise ship Regal Princess has restaurants and bars, dance and cooking classes, musical productions, pools, and signature programmes for kids such as Movies Under the Stars and Discovery at Sea.Departure: Copenhagen.Stopping at: Oslo, Berlin, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm.When: Eleven-day Scandinavia cruise from April 30, 2017.Cost: US$909 upwards per person.CELEBRITY CRUISES
Some people told me going to Nordic countries in winters is a bad idea but no one ever said it's going to be so much fun. Bang in the middle of freezing January I decided to visit Scandinavia.Watch this video to know about things to do in Copenhagen - One of the happiest places on earth. ?ci=OlTUDBo4NIY
The first thing that comes to your mind, as you land in Copenhagen, is , 'Damn! Its beautiful'. Okay, maybe not exactly after landing. But as soon as you enter the city after a short train journey. A word about the Danish trains - they are awesome! Unlike anywhere i have experienced. Anyways, by the time you get over your infatuation on trains (unless you are Sheldon Cooper), you will experience the beauty i am talking about. It is one modern European capital where skyscrapers are not eyesore, standing tall beside historical Cathedrals and Town Centers. Danes have done an extremely good job to maintain the architectural uniformity, where you can build structures with the architecture resembling the surrounding. At some parts of the city like, you may have a feel of landing back in times... A few centuries behind. But that doesn't mean, it's an old city. Just that the modern shopping district and business centers do not mingle with the old town and palace grounds. The architectural changes are gradual.
The itinerary for each city varies depending on a travellers personal preference - whether they want to spend the day on a beach or in an art gallery, shopping in the designer district or the flea markets. A quick getaway in this capital city would entail seeing these tourist attractions in my opinion and the best way to see them is to cycle around Copenhagen. Copenhagen is called the city of cyclists and rightly so - they have separate routes for people cycling on all their roads and even in the freezing cold one can see cyclists all over the city. If you aren't too keen on that then you can take a hop on/hop off bus tour like we did and they cover all these spots.The Famous Tivoli Gardens - We were in the city for New Years so the Tivoli Gardens was a major attraction. It was elaborately lit up and had the best fireworks display at 11 pm on the 31st December. The entrance is $16.5 (Rs. 1100) on weekdays and $17 (Rs. 1200) on weekends. Everything that you do inside has to be paid for separately.The Tivoli Gardens have been around for almost 150 years. It has everything that one needs for a day out from eateries to cafes to theatres and of course rides. This is what gave inspiration for the world famous Disney World all over the world.
To put the subject “commuters” into perspective, there are apprx. 1 million people passing through Clapham Common, one of London’s busy public transportation hubs, on a daily basis. But this is just one of many hubs. In Copenhagen the busiest train station in Denmark in terms of passengers, Nørreport, will see apprx. 250.000 people passing through daily. Including cyclists and pedestrians!In other words: London is, in terms of traffic, in its own league! Also culturally I don’t think that there are many places like it. In London you find, quite naturally, a lot of people from the previous crown colonies around the world, such as India, Pakistan, Jamaica and several countries in Africa and the Far East region. And then there are all the other countries around the world. They all have their fair share of “London inhabitants”. This is a multicultural society in the purest sense of the word, and unlike anything I have ever seen. It is pretty cool, in my opinion!London is a leading metropolis within music, theatre, art and gastronomy. Not surprisingly the city also take the second place on the list of the most expensive cities in the world. Surpassed by Moscow. I have lived almost my entire life in Copenhagen, Denmark and I really did not think that it would be possible to find any place more expensive than that. But London is literally more expensive in almost any way you can think of. So you can just forget all about that shopping trip around Christmas, if you are trying to save money!Hence we are happy to be able to stay with Alexandra’s family in Clapham in the southern part of the city. This saves us a great amount of money that we would otherwise use for overpriced, mediocre hotels. The main reason, however, is to visit the family and be together. Furthermore it is a great “base” for our trips around the country.Alexandra’s sister has lived here for 20 years and since I met Alexandra I have been visiting on a regular basis. So both Alexandra and I can with a certain right claim that we know the city well. The inner city that is. Because if you start exploring the various areas (boroughs) of London you will find a lot of smaller “cities in the city” that all deserve a closer look. The very central part of London is in fact not really that big. It is divided into “City of London” and “City of Westminster”. The City of London, with only 7375 inhabitants, was pronounced the smallest city in England in 2011. Today, by far the largest area of London lies outside the original city limits. It contains boroughs like Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith, Camden and Islington. Officially there are 32 boroughs. Many places in “Greater London” you find main streets, with shops, pedestrian areas and inner city atmosphere. Small markets, parks and of course pubs. Many of which are several hundred years old. Thus they were originally located outside London.