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Nara: Day Trip from Osaka or Kyoto

Nara: Day Trip from Osaka or Kyoto, Japan

One of the best things we did during our stay in Osaka was to go on a day trip to Nara.

Nara is home to temples, shrines and beautiful gardens, but its main claim to fame are the resident deer who roam the streets, bow for treats, and amuse visitors.This destination is hardly a well-kept secret and you are guaranteed to find crowds around the main sights, but don’t let that deter you from visiting. I’m sharing our 1-day Nara travel itinerary featuring historic temples, secret gardens, and delicious street food!

1-Day Nara Travel Itinerary

How to get to Nara?
 
Nara is a straightforward excursion from metropolis and metropolis with multiple train choices to induce you there.

From Osaka, you can take the Kintetsu Nara Line Or if you have a JR Pass, you can take the JR Kanjo-Yamatoji Lines departing from JR Osaka Station and arriving at JR Nara Station. We went with the first option since we travelled without a JR Pass.

From Kyoto, you can take the Kintetsu Nara Line. Or if you’re a JR Pass holder, you can take the JR Nara Line departing from JR Kyoto Station and arriving at JR Nara Station – just make sure you get on the express!

Things to do in Nara

Nara Park
 

Let’s start with Nara Park since this is where many of the city’s attractions are located and where you’re most likely to do your sightseeing.

Within this public park, you’ll find temples, shrines, museums, and walking trails. The park also happens to be home to  deer who roam freely.

Know that admission to the park is free, though you’ll have to pay for a few select attractions within the park grounds.

Nara Park
Todai-ji
 

The main attraction in Nara Park is Todai-ji Temple, which was once the world’s largest wooden building, this temple also happens to house the largest bronze statue of a Buddha!

Most of the Northern part of Nara Park is covered by Todaiji’s grounds which includes attractions such as Todaji Musuem, Nigatsudo Hall, Hokkedo Hall, Kaidano Hall, Shosoin Storehouse, former site of Lecture Hall and site of fomer east pagoda.

Todai-ji temple, Nara, Japan
Todai-ji temple, Nara, Japan
Feeding The Deers of Nara
 

Now let’s cite the most draw to Nara: the deer! Nara’s deer hold a very special status in the city.

Local traditional knowledge has it that Takemikazuchi, the god of thunder, once appeared on Mount Wakakusa (just up the hill from Nara Park) riding a white deer, and thus the deer inhabiting the surrounding forest were deemed sacred messengers of the gods and today they are seen as a national treasure.

The quickest way to befriend the deer is with treats, and thankfully there are lots of licensed vendors selling crackers specifically made for the deer. These are called ‘shika senbei’ and you can get them for ¥150.

Be warned that the deer can sniff out those crackers whether you stuff them in your pockets or hide them in your bag, so once you have them in hand, prepare for a herd of deer to approach. The deer are pretty good about bowing

Shika Senbei_DreamsVoyager_Copyright
Shika Senbei For Feeding Deers
Deer Search in Nara
Deer Search in Nara
Shika Senbei 1_DreamsVoyager_Copyright-min
Feeding Dears In Nara

Not To Miss

Seasonal Soft-Serve Ice cream
 

Another sweet treat that we have a tendency to enjoyed in Japan was soft-serve frozen dessert.

They had some seasonal flavours to choose from like sakura and white peach, as well as the classics like matcha, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.

I wasn’t too sure about the sakura ice cream (what do cherry blossoms taste like, anyway?), but it was surprisingly sweet with a light floral aroma. Definitely worth trying!

Icecream in Nara
Eating Ice-cream in Nara

We tried to see as much as we could in a day, but Nara Park is massive and we barely scratched the surface.

If we’d had more time and we’d known how much there was to see. This destination would make the perfect weekend escape or romantic getaway.

If you do decide to stay overnight, Nara has a mix of hostels and hotels – the place is worth experiencing at least once during your travels in Japan!

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What Kind of Traveler Are You??

What Kind of Traveler Are You??

There are many kinds of travelers out there, each one looking for something different in the quest of happiness. Some visit nice museums, some travel to get some peace of mind at a quiet destination and others travel to get to know a city inside out.

What Kind of Traveler are You?

During long flight journeys I found quite few purloined moments to seek the explanations why we have a tendency to travel and considered all the various types of travelers out there.

According to my own reserach 🙂 and our extensive travel to 40+ countries, it gave us a deep insight meaning to why we travel, and what others seek while traveling.

Why do we Travel?

  • Do we visit to expand our minds or our Photo Albums?
  • Do we visit to witness different culture and individuals?
  • Do we visit nice museums and stand before illustrious items of art to grab pictures to make our friends jealous and flood our FB and Insta Handle ?
  • Do we travel to remote places, have exciting adventures and get out of our comfort zone
  • Do we travel for soul seeking or rejuvenation?
  • Or do we travel to just tick things off or “Bucket List”?

What do you Mean by : “The Traveller”

A traveller I think, enjoys a certain amount of freedom, and spends time moving around place to place slowly, seeking out the hidden, less well-known treasures, avoiding the tourist traps and possibly doing things harder. As a traveller you spend more time in slow motion, resting up and absorbing the vibe of a place.

You pay time chatting with different travelers and locals continuously asking questions; sorting out the simplest means of going to your next destination and asking places to stay, and in every way you are keen to find out how places resonate.

You’ll chat to people over a sunset beer in a quiet courtyard and sleep in a place where the view is sweet. Some friendships will last, others will be fleeting and you’ll remember those people as being put in your life at that time for a particular reason.

“While many of us might answer differently, I can say that at some time or another all of these reasons have rung true for me.

What quite somebody are you and the way does one match into the below?”

Urban traveller

You love everything concerning town life: design, culture and arts,  restaurants and bars, shopping..You enjoy roaming the streets, exploring one district after the other, observing locals and tourists alike and just immersing yourself in the city’s dynamic rhythm.

The Photographers

These are the type of travelers who travel around the year and taking panoramic and mind blogging pictures around them. They travel to capture the natural beauty and Instagram them to create beautiful stories.

Relaxation and Nature Lover traveller

Whether it’s on the beach, at the pool or in a lush park, you love to unwind and take yourself away from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Sleeping in, sipping cocktails, reading a good book and unrushed dinners are your idea of a perfect getaway.

Translucent lakes, impressive mountains, enchanting forests or quiet beaches: this is what you look for in your perfect destination.You like to pay your days taking nature walks, exploring the countryside or just relaxing in the great outdoors.

Food traveller

Local cuisine plays a big part in the decision-making process when you’re planning a getaway.

Of course, the destination matters, however what you’re extremely trying forward to is  breakfast, tasty lunch or dinner with native ingredients.

The Backpackers and Adventure Travellers

Backpackers are the kind of travelers who love to explore different destinations and prefer independent travelling with low budget. However, adventure travelers are those who love going on trips and vacations to natural environments or remote locations with the particular purpose of active physical activities and exploring new experiences.

You opt for destinations off the crushed path and trending cities.

Rather than to a country’s preferred destination, you like to explore a city that is often overlooked and feel amazed that a place so special hasn’t been discovered yet by the crowds.

Family traveller

The location wherever you vacation doesn’t matter the maximum amount as having the entire family along in one place. Whether it’s outside fun – assume parks, playgrounds and theme parks – or family-friendly activities within, your vacation focuses on what you’re feeling is that the most vital thing: your family.

The Soul Searchers

These are travelers whose prime objective is to travel around to find themselves and to ponder the deepest philosophies of life. The soul searchers typically travel alone in search of their soul and usually schedule spots where they can spend time staring over the cliffs or taking long strolls or lonely walking through the woods.

The Typical Tourist 🙂 (Easy to find, Now-days Buzzing on Every Travel Group Forums)

As a tourist you stay in lovely hotels and you tick things off but don’t really experience the essence of a place – it’s a ‘Touch and Go’ experience of the most basic kind. A whisper of reality and then you retreat to your luxury hotel.

You get to the tourist attraction, walk around, take the photo and tick it off. You might talk about the destination at a dinner party afterwards in the way of … “Oh yes, we’ve been to Venice. It was amazing. I loved it! “

The food you eat will be good, because well, you’re only there for a short while so you can afford to splurge for a couple of days before you hit back to home. 😀

And there you have it!

Some folks may match singularly into one class, some folks may see version of themselves in many classes.

So have you guessed yet? Did you find out where you fall? Or are you someone who is totally out-of-the-box? Let us know in the comments section! We would love to hear from you! 🙂 😛 😀

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Nara Day trip

Nara Is one of the best places visit in Japan from Kyoto/Osaka. Experience the magical deer ciy of Japan!

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2-days In Amsterdam…A Complete Travel Guide

2-days In Amsterdam...A Complete Travel Guide

Amsterdam is a city of Nightlife, with 2 days in hands in Amsterdam, you have enough time to explore all the city’s best attractions and soak up the fabulous atmosphere! In this post we share our to-do things which are not to be missed in Amsterdam and it helps you to plan your perfect Amsterdam 2-day itinerary.After you visit the main museums, you get to stroll the canals and parks, take your pick from trendy restaurants, and simply enjoy this European experience.

About Our Amsterdam Experiences

We have been to Amsterdam thrice, in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Our first visit to Amsterdam was perfect. It was late April, the skies were sunny, the tulips were blooming, and strolling along the canals was magical. it has a special place in our hearts.

Amsterdam was even better the second time around. This time, it was early April, it was more crowded and a little chillier, but we loved every minute we spent in Amsterdam. On our second visit, we skipped the museums and spent most of our time wandering the canals, trying new restaurants, and just enjoying Amsterdam.

On this Amsterdam itinerary, I combined the best of our experiences so you can have the perfect two days in Amsterdam and thoughts about where to stay also.

We hope you fall in love with Amsterdam like we did!

Two days in Amsterdam: Where to stay?

1. Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre

A 4 star Luxury Hotel which has amazing river view rooms and just 10 min walk to the city center It offers spacious rooms with free wi-fi, a minibar, satellite TV and tea and coffee making facilities.

2. Pillows Anna van den Vondel Amsterdam

Located next to the Vondelpark, the hotel has rooms some with a private terrace or French balcony.The hotels is conveniently located close to the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.

3. Hotel The Exchange

Situated next to Dam sq. this edifice offers from one star to five star rooms each unambiguously adorned by students of the style college and Dutch designers.

4. Art’otel Amsterdam

Located in the heart of the city close to the Central station, this boutique hotel offers modern rooms that feature art work by Atelier Van Lieshout.

Amsterdam Day-1

1. Van Gogh Museum

To see the world’s largest assortment of Gogh artworks and one among the foremost in style museums within the world, a visit to the current attraction may be a should.It is filled with 200 of his paintings, 500 of his drawings and 700 of his letters. It provides history of Van Gogh’s legacy and inspirations, as well as showcasing exhibitions from his colleagues like Gauguin, Malevich and Vallotton. Make sure you book your tickets online to benefit from priority access.

Van Gogh museum
Van Gogh museum

2. Rijksmuseum

It is in vicinity of Van Gogh Museum and is also one of the most famous museums in the world, attracting people from all over the globe. Its grand and prized collection includes a wide variety of masterpieces from greats such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans as well as artefacts and sculptures of cultural significance .Don’t forget to relax in the Rijksmuseum’s newly renovated gardens.

Rijksmuseum
Rijksmuseum

3. Vondelpark

Existing now for almost 150 years, Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam and the most famous park in the Netherlands. It is constantly filled with locals and tourists alike exercising, enjoying the sun or dog-walking. You can take a walk after a visit to the museums as it is close by, or explore it the Dutch way – through a bike tour.

Vondelpark, Amsterdam

4. Canal Boat Tour

Perhaps the foremost marked characteristic of national capital is its one hundred sixty five canals.Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, it was originally intended to encourage trade and transport and today provides a way for travelers to take in the city’s sights and attractions in an unforgettable way. You can take a canal cruise from one in all the numerous tours that treat the canal, and they usually take one hour.

Don’t forget that platforms like Airbnb provide a spread of boathouses to rent so you’ll really go on the canal, too!

Some great Canal Cruises:
• If the weather is nice the best option is the 75-Minute Open Boat Canal Cruise
• Another great option is the 1.5-Hour Evening Canal Cruise
• The classic day canal cruise
• For a special occasion you can try the 4-Course Live Cooking Dinner Canal Cruise

Amsterdam Canal Cruise
Amsterdam Canal Cruise

5. Red Light District

Situated in one in all the oldest and most lovely components of the town, the infamous Red Light District, also known as Rosse Buurt to the locals, is a network of  sex shops, peep shows, low homes and museums.

The main Red light-weight District is within the Walletjes space, and whereas it’s going to look dodgy on the skin, it is well-protected with police and private bodyguards patrolling it.

Visit this district from eleven pm forwards, either in a group or in a guided tour, to get the full experience of swarming crowds and blaring neon lights reflecting in the canals.

Taking photos of the women within the windows isn’t allowed.

Red Light District, Amsterdam
Red Light District, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Day-2

1. Anne Frank House

Dedicated to period writer Anne Frank, this visit is for those wish to realize a desirable insight into the life and times of Anne Frank throughout warfare II where she and her family hid during a canal house for over 2 years.

It was opened in 1960 and, along with being able to see the Secret Annex, people can learn more about persecution and discrimination of Jews during the war through a showcasing of exhibitions. Film images, historical documents, photographs and Anne Frank’s diary are all on display and help paint a moving picture of what it was like for her and her family during the war. After the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House is the third most visited museum in the Netherlands.

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

2. Jordaan Neighborhood

Arguably the most famous neighborhood in Amsterdam is Jordaan. Once a poor district for the working class, years of gentrification means it is now home to a host of young artists, students and entrepreneurs as well as galleries, restaurants and boutiques.

Its charming narrows streets and tiny canals, walking through this neighborhood is extremely enjoyable

It was conjointly once home to many important figures in history like far-famed Dutch author Joost van den Vondel, painter and photographer Breitner and artist Rembrandt van Rijn.

The best way to experience Jordaan is through a food tour.

Not solely you may see the neighborhood and learn its history however you may even have the possibility to have some mouthwatering food.

Jordaan district, Amsterdam
Jordaan district, Amsterdam

3. Dam Square (National Monument)

Situated within the middle of Dam sq. is that the memorial, Netherland’s most important World War II memorial.

It stands at 22-meters high and each year on the fourth of could, a national Remembrance of the Dead is held at this monument where people gather to pay respects to fallen soldiers.

There is a Latin inscription on the pillar that interprets in English to: “Here, where the heart of the fatherland is, may this monument, which citizens carry in their heart, view God’s stars.” It was designed by Dutch architect J.J.P.

Dam Square, Amsterdam
Dam Square, Amsterdam

4. Royal Palace of Amsterdam

One of three palaces in the Netherlands, the Royal Palace was originally built as a city hall and became the palace of King Louis Napoleon, and later on of the Dutch Royal House.

The State placed the Royal Palace at the disposal of the King and nowadays it’s currently used for royal events like prize-givings, the King’s New Year reception and the welcoming of foreign heads of state.

You can take a  tour throughout the palace’s rooms or take a free audio tour.

Royal Palace of Amsterdam

5. Kalverstraat

A bustling shopping attraction in Amsterdam, Kalverstraat is a 750-meter road that lures crowds of people to make it the city’s most commercial street.Major brands will have at least one store here, and you’ll additionally notice boutiques, malls, shoe outlets and memento stores.

Near the end of the street is Kalvertoren Building, a historic building turned modern mall occupying three levels. At the very end of Kalverstraat, if you walk through theMunttoren (Mint Tower), you will arrive at Amsterdam’s vibrant Flower market where you will find all kinds of tulips, bulbs and flowers.

Kalverstraat, Amsterdam

Amsterdam could be a thriving cultural hub, home to important world-famous museums, historical sites and a lively nightlife district.There is a lot of to visualize and do for locals and tourists alike, and although it ticks all the advantages of a big city, it still maintains a quiet and relaxed vibe partly due to good transport and its extensive canals taking the weight off road traffic.

A visit to Europe isn’t complete if you don’t end over minimum of 2 days in this lovely little capital. 😛

I traveled around Amsterdam using the GVB day passes that enable you to travel free round the town from 1-7 days with costs beginning at 7.50 €.

The card can be used in trams, buses, and metros.

Have you been to Amsterdam? 🙂 

If you need any kind of visa assistance or package feel free to reach us on: dreamsvoyager12@gmail.com 

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Budapest Travel Guide

Budapest Travel Guide

Budapest is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and is ideal for those who want to relax at high-class spas, enjoy the Hungarian cuisine, shop and live luxuriously without having to spend a fortune.

Budapest is a city that is very close to my heart, partly because I have family, friends and a part of my life span as I was residing there in Hungary. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Hungary’s largest city when we got a chance to live there for a longer while for work.

In this travel guide, I share my best advice during my entire stay at Budapest.

What You’ll Find In This Budapest Travel Guide:

  • How Much Budget To Visit Budapest.
  • How Long To Visit Budapest.
  • The Good And Not-So-Good Things About Budapest.
  • Budapest’s Must-See Sights and Attractions.
  • Budapest Nightlife.
  • Public Transportation.
  • And More…

How Much To Budget For Visiting Budapest

  • Budapest is a very economically fair destination for budget traveler
  • We recommend budgeting €17-40/day if you’re on a backpacker’s budget — you can easily spend more and you might be able to spend less, but this is a good range for planning purposes.

How Long To Visit Budapest: 3-5 Days

Want to hit the highlights? We recommend a minimum of three days. Don’t want to feel rushed? Try to stretch your travel plans: four or five days. Although I had plenty of good times in Budapest and neighbourhood ,nearby cities and specially my favourite lake Balaton for every weekend as I was living there for couple of months.

The Good And Not-So-Good Things About Budapest:

The Good

  • Castle Hill and Architecture. You’ll love walking the streets while you’re admiring Budapest’s Art Noveau and other style buildings.
  • Danube River. The banks of the Danube are amazing, so it’s a joy to take a stroll along the Danube (especially at night when everything is lit up).
  • The Thermal Baths. Budapest is world famous for their thermal baths and they’ve been attracting visitors since the Roman times. They’re still a popular buy for both tourists and locals alike.
  • Nightlife. Budapest Loves parties. It’s a party city- especially for the unique Ruin Bars

The Not-So-Good

  • The Language Ain’t Easy. Hungarian is a tough language and while the alphabet looks similar to English, the letters are pronounced much differently
  • Crooked Taxi Drivers.  Always use certified taxis and insist they use the meter.
  • Scams and Pickpockets. There are a couple of common scams popular in Budapest. And of course, there are the usual pickpockets that you have to take care of.

Budapest’s Must-See Sights And Attractions

1. Danube Promenade

The banks of the Danube river are amazing and gives you a serene walk, so you should spend some time visiting the Danube Promenade. It’s also a great place to see many of Budapest’s best sights. Don’t miss the opportunity to Sail the Danube.

Danube Promenade, Budapest
Danube Promenade, Budapest
Danube Promenade, Budapest
Danube Promenade, Budapest

2. Castle Hill

Rested above the city, Castle Hill is a must-visit neighborhood of Budapest. Some of the buildings date back to 14th and 15th centuries. Set aside a day to discover its winding cobble stone streets. The area also hosts many of Budapest’s top attractions like Trinity Square, Matthias Church (Mátyás templom), Fishermen’s Bastion (Halászbástya), and Buda Castle.

Castle Hill, Budapest
Castle Hill, Budapest
Castle Hill, Budapest

3. Buda Castle Hill Funicular

This funicular, which first opened in 1870, is the second oldest funicular of it type in the world. A system of weights and counterweights is used to help to raise the carriages up and down the hill.The funicular is the swift and rapid way to get to the top of Castle Hill, and is exceedingly popular because of its panoramic views out across the Danube.

Buda Castle Hill Funicular
Buda Castle Hill Funicular
Buda Castle Hill Funicular
Buda Castle Hill Funicular

4. Great Market Hall

This massive indoor market is a huge hub for fruits, vegetables, prepared foods, and random souvenirs. The prices are a lot higher than what you’d find over on the Buda side of the city. However, it’s a nice place to go for rush bites and to look at the architecture of the hall.

Market Hall, Outside View, Budapest
Market Hall, Outside View, Budapest
Market Hall, Interior View, Budapest
Market Hall, Interior View, Budapest

5. House of Terror

The House of Terror is a museum which reflects Budapest’s time under Nazi and communist rule — specially it focuses of the secret police of both parties. It’s housed in the secret police’s former headquarters. It’s a very interesting museum and it’s one of the cities most visited attractions. 

House of Terror Musuem, Budapest
House of Terror Musuem, Budapest
House of Terror Musuem, Budapest
House of Terror Musuem, Budapest

6. Hungarian Parliament

This iconic building is the largest building in Hungary and it’s the third largest parliament in the world. It’s a treat to admire from the outside but you can also admire the inside by taking one of the daily tours (in English) for around €12.42.

Budapest Parliament
Hungarian Parliament, Budapest
Hungarian Parliament, Budapest
Hungarian Parliament, Budapest

7. Margaret Park

A famous city Park, away from the busiest Budapest downtown, is a very peaceful green hideaway where people of Budapest go to escape the city. In this huge spread park, you’ll will find a small zoo, medieval runs, swimming pools, playgrounds, a water park, a rose garden, two musical fountains, open air theatre, cinema and some great clubs.

Margaret Park, Budapest
Margaret Park, Budapest
Rose Garden on Margaret Island
Rose Garden on Margaret Island

8. Heroes’ Square

The largest square in Hungary. It also designates the mark of the entrance of City Park so you’re sure to come across this monument.

Heroes’ Square, Budapest
Heroes’ Square, Budapest
Heroes’ Square, Budapest

9. Saint Stephen’s Basilica (St. István’s Basilica)

Saint Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest and it also contains St. Stephen’s mummified right hand. The more impressive thing about this church: are the views from the top of the church as it also offers the highest 360-degree views of the city.

St Stephens Basilica in Budapest Hungary
St Stephens Basilica in Budapest Hungary
View from St Stephens Basilica, Budapest Hungary
View from St Stephens Basilica, Budapest Hungary

10. Ecseri Flea Market

This is one of the biggest flea markets in Central Europe and it sells just about everything you can imagine. It’s a best place to pick up a unique souvenir for way back home. It is about 40 minutes outside the city but it is easily accessible via public transportation.

Ecseri Flea Market, Budapest
Ecseri Flea Market, Budapest
Ecseri Flea Market, Budapest
Ecseri Flea Market, Budapest

11. Shoes On The Danube

I was touched with a very moving memorial while walking along the Danube promenade. The shoes on the Danube banks tell the war story of the many jews who, during 1944-1945, were forced to strip naked on the banks of the Danube and face the river. A firing squad then shot the prisoners in the back so that they fell into the river to be washed away.

The shoes are a tribute to all those who lost their lives, but also a sad reminder of a very dark time.

Shoes On The Danube, Budapest
Shoes On The Danube, Budapest
Shoes On The Danube, Budapest
Shoes On The Danube, Budapest

12. Thermal Baths

Budapest is known for its natural thermal pool baths — in fact, even the Romans enjoyed the city’s thermal baths. Some say the thermal springs which fill these baths have healing powers. They are relaxing for sure — which is why you’ll find people of all ages enjoying these warm waters.

Budapest has a handful of different thermal bathhouses — some are barebones and others are quite opulent. Most all have multiple small pools, each with different temperature water (some can be quite hot so be careful).

The two most famous thermal baths in budapest are SZÉCHENYI SPA are GELLÉRT SPA. 

Széchenyi, is probably the most popular and it’s a beautiful neo-baroque bath complex that consists of 11 medicinal pools and eight swimming pools. It’s also one of the largest spas in Europe. A ticket (including a cabin or locker) will cost around €13-€17.

Gellért is another popular option. Built in 1918, this opulent thermal bath complex features four thermal-medicinal pools, six other indoor pools, and two outdoor pools. Expect to pay around €17 for entrance and a cabin or locker rental.

Szechenyi Bath of Budapest, Hungary
Szechenyi Bath of Budapest, Hungary
Aerial view of Gellert thermal spa historical building from Gellert Hill, Budapest
Aerial view of Gellert thermal spa building from Gellert Hill, Budapest

Budapest Nightlife and Drinking

Budapest has that great combination of being a large youthful city that also has plenty of cheap alcohol-one of its famous and to be tried is Palinka and lots of large, cheap buildings — which is why this is one of the best cities to enjoy nightlife

Budapest is most famous for its Ruin Pubs. which are exactly what they sound like — pubs built in abandoned/ruined buildings. after WWII many of buildings in the neighborhood were destroyed. Years later people moved into (i.e. squatted) these buildings and turned them into secret underground pubs and bars. Many of these bars still exist and they each have their own vibe. The three main ruin pubs are Szimpla Kert, Instant and Fogas Ház

The Gozsdu Courtyard, once the core of Budapest's Jewish quarter, today is popular place with restaurants, pubs and bars.
The Gozsdu Courtyard, once the core of Budapest's Jewish quarter, today is popular place with restaurants, pubs and bars.
Bar interior in Budapest
Bar interior in Budapest

Traveling Around Budapest

Budapest has a good network of transportation via trams, buses, and subways. They’re all affordable but be sure you always validate your ticket because they do check tickets often (you don’t want to get fined —which is €27-€53).

Download the Smart City Public Transportation app for your smartphone as it gives you offline maps/routes for all the public trans in Budapest.

Single Ticket: 350 HUF (€1.15)

Book of 10 Single Tickets: 3,000 HUF (€10)

Unlimited Day Pass: 1,650 HUF (€5.45)

Train Ticket Between Airport and City: 400 HUF (€1.33)

Budapest Tram
Budapest Tram
Budapest Modern Tram
Budapest Modern Tram
Budapest Subway Platform
Budapest Subway Platform
Budapest Bus
Budapest Bus

And More ….!!! 🙂

So, would you visit Budapest? It’s cheap and hip, let’s go, let’s go!

Did we miss something? Do you have any further Questions or Do you need any help with Eastern Europe Package ? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.We have many ongoing package for same!!

Are you going to Prague or Vienna? Don’t forget to check our website for travel Packages or we can curate them for you..!! 🙂

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Travel Diary : Santorini – A beautiful Greek Journey!

Travel Diary: Santorini – A beautiful Greek Journey!

Most of us know that Greece is famous for its picturesque architecture and beautiful Islands spreading all over mostly in central and southern part of Aegean Sea. In fact some of the island are not even habitable yet. But out of those cluster of islands, towards the south east part of the mainland Greece, exist a small beautiful Island named “Santorini” which was basically formed by the remnant of volcanic eruption happened long time ago.    

Santorini Location on Map
Santorini Location on Map

From past couple of years, Santorini has become of the most popular tourist destination all over the world. Being an Architect, living in India, I was always curious about the beauty of this very cycladic architecture consisting of beautiful white colored villages outspreaded over vast high cliffs facing towards the magnificent sea and used to think how amazing would it feel to actually be there to experience such an amazing beauty with your own eyes. It was like a dream in-itself. A dream which finally became alive!

But lets start with how it actually begin. I finally planned a trip to Greece clubbing Athens and Santorini together. Although there were two ways of reaching santorini by Athens – ( flight and ferries), but I figured  traveling by flight would be the fast and cheapest way. So I gave it a shot and even thought it was hardly an hour flight but it was well worth the experience. From take off till landing, the vast aerial views of Cycladic Islands was just mesmerizing. My heart was full of excitement and my mind was still getting acclimatized of believing this very possibility of visiting my dream destination in real.

Santorini Aerial view
Santorini Aerial view
Aerial View of Santorini, Greece
Aerial View of Santorini, Greece

After final touching down, I checked out from the  small airport where my hotel drop was already waiting. There are plenty of hotels and accommodations one can easily find in Santorini ranging from expensive to cheaper ones. The one near to “Oia” being most expensive, and towards the central town “Fira” the prices fall to reasonable ones.  Since all the bus connectivity starts and end from Fira, I booked a hotel to its close proximity. It was a small boutique hotel called “The Dahlia & Jasmine Collection by Angel Studios run by two amazing women “Katja and Deni”. They were always welcoming and extended such great hospitality which made my stay even more memorable.

Dhalia and Jasmine Angel Studio

My trip for this beautiful Island was only planned for next 2 days, so in order to make the best use of it, I had picked up 3 main destinations : ‘Fira, Oia and Kamari’. On my first day  after having a fresh healthy breakfast at my hotel, I started my journey from main bus station of Fira, the capital town which is situated on the western side of the semi-curricular island of Santorini on caldera cliffs opposite volcano. The whole town itself radiates such lively and energetic vibes along with spectacular white blanket of cave shape apartments, hotels, infinity pools covered along the entire caldera cliffs overlooking the sea which are just breathtaking! On the inside are dense network of interconnecting narrow streets which are mostly packed with shops and authentic Greek restaurants.

Santorini Fira street
Fira, Santorini streets
Streets In Fira, Santorini
Streets In Fira, Santorini

Towards further north of Fira, it amalgamate into two additional villages. The first one is known as ‘Ferostefani’ which is like 15 minutes walk from Fira and second one is known as ‘Imerovigli’  which is another 15 minutes walk from Ferostefani and is also the highest edge of the caldera cliffs. The trail path from these actually runs through the inside of these villages which provides plenty opportunities of taking perfect photographs of lovely hotels and restaurants with typical Greek architecture.

View of Santorini near Fira
View of Santorini towards caldera cliffs)
View of Santorini near Fira
View of Santorini (towards caldera cliffs)

After crossing Imerovigli village, the trails extends further 2-3 more cliffs. At this point, most of the tourist or visitors skip this part and take a direct transport to Oia. But I was lucky to be among the few to complete the entire journey.  Wherever I climbed, wherever I stopped, I could only see the beautiful sea around ending everywhere with an amazing foggy sealine.

Santorini (overlooking sea)
Santorini (overlooking sea)
Santorini Dome Sea View
Santorini Dome Sea View

Charting through these amazing breathtaking views, I finally made it to the end of the trails which finishes at Oia, a town whose beauty is just un-matchable. There is always something to see at every corner. Sleeky twisted path tends to break at every intervals by beautiful blue dome churches and you crossed these interconnected streets with shops and restaurants always offering something which is just not resistible!

View of Oia, Santorini
View of Oia, Santorini
View of Oia Town, Santorini
View of Oia Town, Santorini

Shortly after exploring the entire Oia town, I had an amazing authentic Greek meal and waited there to see the famous sunset which Oia is famous for. People from all over the world comes to see and experience this spectacular event. And as true as it is, the grand beauty of the sunset I saw just couldn’t be expressed in words. It was a like perfect picture portrait one would actually dreams in their entire life.

Oia Sunset, Santorini
Oia Sunset, Santorini
Oia Sunset at Santorini
Oia Sunset at Santorini

Finally I took the bus from Oia station and went to back to my hotel to have a peaceful sleep dreaming all the beautiful moments I have collected in this journey so far. From next morning,  I was ready to leave for my next trip to Kamari which is kind of coastal village towards the north-eastern part of Santorini. I took a direct bus from Fira and reach there around late morning. The street architecture was little different from what I saw in Fira and Oia, the streets being comparatively broader spread all around by various shops and restaurants.

Kamari, Santorini
Kamari, Santorini
Kamari street, Santorini
Kamari street, Santorini

Traversing through the shops I finally stumbled onto the breathtaking Kamari beach. The view was just spectacular. The color of the water was perfect blue as if someone has actually painted the entire canvas just now. The sand was black colored and filled with small numerous amount of pebble stones. The beach encompasses all around with paved public walkway which is surrounded by chain of amazing Greek restaurants spread in a way that on one side of the promenade overlooking sea you will find open chair sitting where you can relax and enjoy the grand beauty of nature. After spending most of the day exploring the town, I finally sat down at the beach to relax in the lap of mother nature.

Kamari Beach in Santorini
Kamari Beach in Santorini
Sea View from Kamari Beach
Sea View from Kamari Beach

Later when the sun had settled down, I went around to explore the colorful street architecture lighten up all over the periphery of amazing beach. The air was cool and the ambience was just amazing. After stumbling through few options, I finally picked up a restaurant to have nice dinner meal. Sitting in a Greek restaurant at night while having a tasty Greek food looking on one side at a street lightened and sparkling in night sky with people strolling around and on the other side enjoying the fresh breeze of sea while having my perfect dinner, I was just loving it!

Soon the time eventually arrived when my trip was coming to an end where I have to head back to hotel and catch an early morning flight back to Athens.

Kamari Sea view
Airplane Flying along the Kamari Sea

Somewhere inside my heart was so attached to the beauty and peace of this amazing Island that I was not able to let go the idea of leaving it now. But I guess that’s what traveling is all about, you travel, you collect those very moments which makes up to living your life and move ahead further in search for another place or venture for new destinations. But I guess, from all the adventures I accomplished in this little journey, I can easily say that ‘Santorini’ is no doubt that one destination that you should visit at least once in your lifetime!! In the end, I would like to leave you behind with a nice quote by famous historian:

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living”

If you want to have one of like adventure ..We provide assistance in making curated packages and furthermore always Happy to help..Looking forward to connect with other Travelers.. 🙂

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Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

If you have been following the chronicles of my travel diary series , I would like to share my experience where I had spend two days exploring the astounding Gothenburg city on my own.

Set in the Swedish west coast, Gothenburg is the second largest city of Sweden. Most people would dream to visit Stockholm as their first preference when traveling to Sweden, but in order to seek something unconventional, I determined to hit Gothenburg this time and to my gratification it was no doubt a gorgeous experience. 

Scenic aerial view of the Old Town with Oscar Fredrik Church in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Scenic aerial view of the Old Town in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.

Sustaining its roots into Noe-classical architecture, beautifully designed around picturesque canals, the moment I stepped down, I was already fallen in love with the city. It was the month of March, still in the span of frigid winters, I was all set and ready to unravel this ultimate trip. My flight landed on Göteborg Landvetter Airport, I approached further to find my way towards my accommodation into this shivery night. There were two things I had kept notes for in order to make use of trouble-free transportation.

  1. Purchase a return ticket for “Flygbussarna” bus which connects promptly to city from Airport. I directly went to Information center to get the ticket which included my valid return journey as well.
  2. Day tickets which in my case I had purchased 3-day ticket. It includes unlimited travel on buses, trams, ferries and trains. I purchased it directly from the “Pressbyran” (convenience store) which you can easily locate at the airport.

The ride on the airport bus was calm and comfortable. Since  I had reserve an Airbnb accommodation, I had to change and catch tram after two stops at “Goteborg Korsvagen”. Infused with peculiar excitement in my heart, the first glimpse of the city was itself magical. Standing next to my tram stop among the group of people, the cold breeze rushing into my face, enwreathe by glittering mix of modern cum classical architecture, it was something pristine to experience. The tram finally took me to my accommodation which was a small walk from the nearby stop.

My Airbnb home, where I was sharing a studio room, was located in a serene and tranquil neighborhood of ‘Skår’ surrounded by some beautiful and delightful private cottage houses. Residing in such a place like dream in-itself.

Skår District
Skår District
Skår District
Skår District

Drizzle of breezing rain rushing across as I walk along these streets next morning to my way towards the tram stop, fancying in that moment, how a life in real would actually felt to live here. Since my childhood I was always fascinated towards the architecture and nature of the Scandinavian life, the essence of which is enriching yet calm in its own way.  As I walk further, I was thrilled with exquisite nature reserved within the vicinity of the neighborhood that I even decided take a small walk amidst them before finally making it to my tram stop.

A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”

After boarding the tram, my next stop was “Brunnsparken” which is considered to be the prominent central square in Gothenburg. It also acts like a central junction where all the tram stops merges together and therefore also recognize as a famous meeting point for people.

I decided to take a quick nimble around the central square. The sight somehow reminded of places like Amsterdam and Germany. The elegant architecture all around, filled with the blend of alluring art and history, with lovely fountains and chirping sounds of birds, bold statues boasting Swedish history and cris-crossed by tram lines on the other side, a graceful canal with clean and clear water flowing away, apprached by steps in the front,  where I sat down to enjoy this spectacular view.

Brunnsparken
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg

The plan afterwards was to head towards the famous Archipelago Islands, It was a direct ride from this central square only and it directly takes you to the ferry terminal. The short trip to the archipelagos was breathtaking. To know more about my short trip experience of Gothenburg Southern Archipelago islands, click here to check it out.

 On return, I reached back at the same place of “Brunnsparken” and It was already evening by then. My body was feeling a bit tired, freezing in the chilly winter, my heart was still striking the beats of excitement, I began to explore further this amazing city by night.

Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden

I kept walking and exploring the silent peaceful night, charting my ways amidst the calm and soothing nature and beautiful surroundings.

A night time view of Gothenburg
A night time view of Gothenburg
Gothenburg Haga at night
Gothenburg Haga at night

It was finally time to catch some dinner as I was feeling hungry and a bit physically exhausted by then, so I strolled all the way to the famous ‘Haga’ area where I discovered a delightful vegan restaurant known as ‘ Solrosen’.  Haga is one of happening district of Gothenburg, which is particularly known for its magnificent wooden houses, and where also you could unearth some offbeat restaurants serving delicious food. The best things I loved about this restaurant was their free/buffet salad bar where you can have all types of various salads to satisfy your hunger pans.

Solrosen gothenburg
Solrosen, gothenburg

After enjoying my gracious food, it was time to head back to my apartment. My first day exploring this charming city had been just amazing and incredible. On the way back, I was already thinking about how I was planning to spend the second day of my trip, to visit the beautiful botanical gardens, to explore those pleasant central parks of ‘Slottsskogen” filled with auspicious greenery and peaceful nature, to discover the famous ‘Haga” district and its spectacular architecture, and much more where my heart could follow and explore its own way.

Traveling for me is not only venture to new places but to explore and connect with the surroundings. To observe the nurturing the new life, the way the people live and more importantly the nature, the very source which has given the definition to our lives.

If you would like to know more about my journeys around the world, feel free to subcrise and follow and look out for my new upcoming post! And if you have comments, questions and any experience of your own travel you would like to share, feel free to send below. I would love to read them! 🙂

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Travel Volunteering – is there anything wrong with it?

Travel Volunteering - is there anything wrong with it?

Thousands of people go abroad to volunteer each year. Volunteer traveling is one of the biggest growth markets now. Even a lot of young people are send abroad hoping to experience something out of volunteering. And some of the people who are reading this post may have decided once or even may have pursued a volunteering program in their life. But, has anyone ask this question whether is there anything really going wrong with volunteer traveling? Whether the initiative we take when we travel to the other parts of the developing world hoping to trying to make a difference or make world a better place, is that really happening in the longer run?

Travel Volunteering

But first, let me be honest and put it straight, I  have personally not done any Volunteering travel yet, but being brought up in a country like India, I know a bit about how life actually works in a developing country and that is the reason I have decided to share my thoughts about it!

Well from the moment my passion of travel begin, I have been reading about volunteering travel quite a while and I thought lot of people travel every year to explore such opportunities so why not I try to do it myself. It make sense right? So, I started to google out all the volunteering options in India and began to read about them. I was having this conception that to volunteer is to give something to society, maybe you are expert in something that you will be involved in such similar activities or maybe anything random where you could help! Well partly it was true but what I didn’t knew was for even doing that you will have to pay something in the end. These Volunteering agencies were like another set of travel agents who were making package tours for people to come and help the poor in need. When I tried to send inquiries to them to offer help, I never got any response! Wondering why? Well how would they be able to sell a travel package tour to someone living locally!? That was the first time it made me think that is it really one face of travel volunteering!

Lets keep this travel part one side and understand what do the people get to offer when they travel for volunteering.  Most of the time I have noticed is that they are offered to teach orphanage children related to anything, language, music, dancing etc. or even they are connected to some public schools in remote villages. When these young people get involve with these vulnerable children trying to teach them, they believe they are going through some therapeutic self conscious healing in their life. But little do they know what could be the reality happening in the shadows. What it does that it gives rise to “Orphanage tourism”. Where there is money there is business and doesn’t matter what shape or form it comes, it will happen! That’s the cruel truth of developing countries. These volunteering agencies ties up with mere orphanages and invite travelers in lust of earning money. These orphanages then ties up with extreme poor living families to send their children to their orphanages or even abducts them in order showcase them to these regular hoards of travelers. And these vulnerable innocent children who are sometimes separated from their living parents just play along unknowingly. Well this is another part which makes me think sometimes is that what our young generation signed up for in the name of volunteer traveling?

I currently live in New Delhi and everyday when I am driving and crossing a red light,  small children beggars approaches me requesting to give some money to eat something. Sometimes I saw some ladies carrying small babies in their arms and begging for any money they could get. What do you think a normal light heart-ed person would do at that moment? you would want to donate some money to help those poor people right? or maybe that what people traveling from another corner of the world would think of doing at that moment! It make sense right? But if they knew the reality behind all this, they will do the exactly opposite. Those little babies which are carried in the arms of the ladies are drugged everyday so that they could remain calm in their hands all the time. Those vulnerable children are abducted and forced to beg everyday. They are fixed a daily cost which they have to earn from begging and give to the person who runs this entire begging nexus. So donating even a single penny would end up promoting this begging industry in itself. The only thing I give to these children when they approach me is some food which I am carrying with me sometimes which can be fruits, candies etc. anything I could get hold of! why? because they eat those things at the very moment and they don’t have to give it back to their superiors.

So what we need to do to make volunteering possible? We really need to learn first before we can offer to help others. The reason why I have not participated yet in any volunteering exercise is because I am still on the learning phases, trying to find the right path rather than causing more harm than doing any good. And that’s what all the parents need to teach their kids this lesson before sending them abroad to participate in volunteering programs.  And that also applies to the young generation like us who wants to do something in life!

I recently visited an NGO named “Goonj” who seems to be doing a great job here in India. Though I still don’t 100% vouch for them, but after visiting their service center, I was really amazed by the work they are doing within the community.

Recycling service area at Goonj
Recycling service area at Goonj
A photograph depicting ways of community interaction at Goonj
A photograph depicting ways of community interaction at Goonj

What it does is it recycles all the rejected clothes and household they get from people in donation and covert them into useful products to distribute it to the poor or in need. And by rejected means anything you think you want to dump in your home, literally anything! They have very thoughtfully made each and every section of how they utilize anything that comes to them in donations and properly segregate and recycles everything in a thought-provoking manner even the Sanitary napkins! Wikipedia says, it collects and delivers 1,000 tons of material every year through a network of 500 volunteers and 250 partners. And there way of donation/distribution is not simple as it sounds, they do that in the form of community interaction and self learning process where the communities has to work together in the benefits of their growth!

For me it was a learning process to understand how volunteering can be really done in life. How much thoughts and efforts and perseverance we have to put in to actually make that happen and it is not just a flip of coin. And that is what I believe people from the traveling community needs to do. They need to first learn and understand the complexities involve in the phases of volunteering and then implement them later in the most efficient ways possible!

So tell me what do you think? Have you done any volunteering in life? What was your experience? Or what is your thoughts on volunteer traveling? Please feel free to share any comments or even any stories you have come across on travel volunteering! 🙂