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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!!

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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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Does long term solo travel feels lonely?

Does long term solo travel feels lonely?

Most of us when we starts traveling, either within our native country or abroad, we always try to pick our travels by making return trips to places or countries which are also cheap and easy to plan accordingly.  For some it makes sense by the amount of holidays we get while working in a company/organization or studying in an institution. But what if you have the chance to actually experience travel for long term – staying for months or even years – and making travel plans in between. I know most of some famous travelers out there (storming on Facebook and Instagram) are even doing that by doing freelancing works and picking local part time jobs or simply doing regular successful blogging and trying to work about their money while traveling.

Non Stop Travel
A concept of traveling for longer duration non stop.

I tried this experience for the first time as my current job often allows me to work from home and I decide to do some weekly trips within my own country and abroad by picking up random places and switching to over to new ones in between coming back and forth to my own native city whenever my works requires. I wouldn’t deny that no doubt how smart you plan your things, you may end up spending some money along the way (which I was mentally ready for it). But trying this new random traveling for a little long while, was it really worth the experience?

I think I would say I had mixed feelings. I was meeting new people almost every evening, trying to sometimes experience life from their eyes. And the rest part I was exploring everything on my own. There was sense of extreme free feeling while explore local places, food, concerts, events etc. But then there was a part of me who felt alone or lonely sometimes, as if I am on the run and nothing stays with me ever. Most of our life are usually cyclic but when you are doing these long term traveling, the life becomes actually moving forward all the time. You meet people, make friends, make experiences, and then move onto another. There might be very few only you sometimes keep in touch while on the move but for how long? A normal life feeling usually revolves around circle of people and things you are doing everyday which may also provide you emotional security but that something you may always miss when it comes to long time travel.

However, on the other hand, its may still be question of debate! Even when it comes to meeting people, I had made some really good friends through travel (though very few) but they have been more close to me now rather than ones who stays in the same city where I live. I believe it solely depends upon on both the individuals how much keen they are to keep in touch and that can also happen when you are actually living in the same native town for so long.  Similarly experiences, I think travel is also another way of healing your inner self sometimes. It detaches you from the toxic thoughts of your life and fills your heart with some peaceful and amazing content-full experiences which in a way give great moments of happiness.

But then, why do feel lonely sometimes when we do these solo travels? If I ask this myself, then I believe its not the travel which makes us lonely, but the fear of connecting with our own self! We have made ourselves so much dependent on our day-to-day work life and dissolves ourselves mostly in  social and family cycles that surrounds us every time that we cannot imagine a life without it sometimes. And in those solo-moment with hardly no understanding of dealing with them we get stuck with feelings of emptiness inside and we sometimes starts doubting whether these travel decision were the right one to pick or not!

Traveling, short or long terms are always an amazing experience and I think key to best travel lifestyle is find a right emotional balance between traveling and your own life! It does varies for different people and we can only realize when we start experimenting such random experiences. At the end its all about feeling content-full inside your heart!What do you think, would you feel alone or lonely if you had travel for a long while or what was your experiences if you have already done such long term traveling?

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float; to gain all while you give; to roam the roads of lands remote; to travel is to live.”
- Hans Christian Anders

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Scoot Wandermust Winner – Preferred Traveler from India!

Scoot Wandermust Winner – Preferred Traveler from India!

Recently I was selected by Singapore based low-cost Airlines called by the name of ‘Scoot’, which opened up a contest in the month of June 2018 which was mainly published on their Facebook  pages all around Asia/world targeting specifically those countries or destinations where the airlines usually fly to. It was really proud moment for me to be selected on a global platform and to be the only Indian selected from my country beating thousands of application in their system!

About Contest

In order to participate in the contest, people have to post well thought entries in the form of a brief story telling or showing the airlines why they think “they have travel in the blood“.  The stories have options to be in the form of text followed by photographs or videos.

Wanderlust Adverstisement

Since it was a global competition, the key was not only on how you pitch or present your story but how genuine it is for selection Jury to decide if it synchronizes with the idea of the need of travel addiction!.

Is Travel is in Your blood?

The idea of travel is in your blood initiated by Scoot, originally arises from the research of DRD4-2/7R gene and its relationship to human travel. The research is organised by famous professor “Richard Ebstein” from National Institute of Singapore. He has been studying this gene-travel relationship from past 20 years and connects it direct roots to exploration and travel addiction.

Click on the image to check the video!

All the winners who will be selected in the contest are mainly invited to singapore to undergo this DNA test to actually discover whether this Exploration gene exist in them or not. Evenhow, if the results turn out to be positive/negative, the overall search was still purely based on stories and profile of every user or applicant who were applying for this contest.

Prizes for Winners

The prizes were distributed into 3 sections – 1 Grand Prize winner, 4 Wandermust Prize winners and 12 Participation prize winners.
Participation Winner: The participation winners were mainly given 100SGD worth voucher which they could redeem with Scoot flights.
Wandermust winners – These 4 winners consist of the main core section and were given the following prizes:

  • Roundtrip (basic) fare ticket from home country to Singapore.
  • 1 night and 2 days stay in Singapore with good rated hotel.
  • One roundtrip (Basic) fare ticket from Home country to any Scoot flying destination inclusive of taxes.
  • Complementary DNA analysis for the D4DR-2/7R gene variant.

Grand prize winner: There were 1 exchange to the grand prize winner along with wandermust prize was offering which mainly included 100,00 KrisFlyer miles in place of roundtrip ticket to any Scoot destination, which if I think is the best buy for grand winner!

My Selection and Prize

I was selected among the 4 wandermust winners in which I was sponsored a free trip to Singapore, along with a top rated hotel stay and DNA test. And I still hold one free round-trip to travel anywhere in Asia!! (Any recommendations?)

Scoot Wanderlist contest winners
Click on the image to check the video!

Among the all the travelers who got selected in this contest, only 34.62% were found out positive with DRD4-2/7R exploration gene and mine though came out to be negative.

But does it really matter whether you have a travel gene or not, whether its in your blood that implants the idea of this travel addiction!? For me travel is more of an experience, the way to explore and see the life outside the small buble we live in and explore the life as it is everywhere!

My story by Scoot

This is what scoot published about me”

” Meet Anubhav. An Indian native who travels the world on a budget and a whole lot of travel points. 

Having travelled to more than 30 countries (on extremely tight budgets), Anubhav’s no stranger to travel-hacking. He never fails to score the best deal on every flight he takes. 
At his free time, he works as a free travel advisor and is very passionate about helping others chase their travel dreams.
If you’re thinking of pursuing a full-time budget globetrotting lifestyle, look no further:https://dreamsvoyager.com/

Click on the image to check the video!

Travel is the best thing which I have found in life! There is so much to see and experience and I just feel I only might have touch the tip of the iceberg. Winning this contest gave me a good confidence and recognition as well to see the potential of how much far we all have the possibility to achieve and find our ways to travel and experience the world out there! 🙂

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Incredible Aerial views of Greenland!

Incredible Aerial views of Greenland!

Greenland, an epitome of arctic beauty, situated far northeast of North America, surrounded by Iceland, is one of those destination one dream to visit at lease once in their lifetime. This dream is still on my bucket list but not so recently, en-route to my journey to United States, I got lucky to grab some of the breathtaking views of Greenland.

This huge island, as you view from above, is practically surrounded all over with snow, but on the east and west coast, it offers spectacular views of mountains with natural pure blue water channeling their way through them and filled with icebergs or probably small or huge pieces of ice The whole range of mountains looked as if they were covered with a neat white blanket of snow.

Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view
Greenland Aerial view

Watching these views were one the best experiences of my life and made me more curious to imagine how would it look to actually experience it from ground. It is expensive to visit Greenland, but maybe someday hopefully I will have the opportunity to witness these wonderful Island in real.

Have you seen any views of Greenland? Is it also on your bucket list destinations? Feel free to share your comments.  

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Does traveling have a stereotype? How much time you spend in a place on your travels?

Does traveling have a stereotype? How much time you spend in a place on your travels?

A question I have encountered a lot of times during my travel.  Everyone travel with their own freewill, that’s true and everyone of us plans and decides what travel plan is best suited for us! Most of the travelers out there take a good decent break for months, even years, pick up one or two countries, get settle and explore the life out there. However, there are some people who only stays for a shorter time span in a city and travel to multiple countries and destinations. 

Does traveling have a stereotype that one should follow?

I recently attended a meetup in New Delhi initiated by “Wandering Earl“. I have been following Derek for sometime as he has been traveling the world since 1999 and it was really great to finally meet him in person. During the discussion, one of questions I asked him was how many countries he has traveled so far and as I remember it was 100+. However, he then explained that it doesn’t matter to him the number of places he has been to but what more valuable are the experiences and people he met along the way!

Travel Experience Concept

The second experience I would like to share -where I was recently traveling through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and stayed there for 4 days. During my stay, I attended few travel meetups and met a lot of people traveling from all parts of the world. People of all different age groups ,believe me! With so many random plans which people where sharing most of them seems to be spontaneous. Many of them have quit their jobs, taken a break for an year or months and were traveling all across Asia and once they are back they had plans to hunt for another job. While some of them only had a short break for up-to lets say a month, and they had planned their trips accordingly. But finding so many people quitting their jobs and traveling long term in a place, made me wonder, is it the only best way to experience the charisma of traveling?

Quit job to travel long concept

A lot of travelers and bloggers, are mostly living a style of nomadic traveling and that’s the deal which has been booming on internet heavily. You know stories about people quitting the jobs, selling everything, and traveling all across the world. Well it seems kind a true to me after my recent experience of meeting people who kinda following the same footsteps in certain way. Although one of the topic of discussion in Derek meetup was also about the same where we discussed there has to be strategic plan for someone who really decides to take the style of nomadic traveling as most of people tend to give up or get bored along the way.

If I talk about myself, I am still in a phase, trying to discover how can you really enjoy the essence of traveling. While doing my regular work, trying to take as much trips as I can, I kind of have to usually adopt the short span traveling routing as I am still not totally convinced of quitting my work, finding another source of income just to survive my travels. So I keep experimenting all the different “styles” of traveling which people are practicing around the world out there lately.

What I believe, which I totally agree with what Derek mentioned in the meetup, what matter mostly are the experiences. I have traveled to some amazing places in my last 4 years span, and even though I mostly stayed there for shorter time, I have collected numerous experience of my life. It really doesn’t matter to me to set a specific stereotype to travel or to just follow what other people are doing, what matters is I just want to experience anything and everything when it comes to travel. I always tell the beginners who want to taste the travel life that dont think much. Whatever you can do, do it! whether its a day, month or years off, take it and go for it.

And maybe I think that’s the easiest way to experience travel as it comes, to free your mind of any preconceived notions, and find your experiences along the way. The more dynamic it is, the more enjoyable it will always be! 🙂

What do you think? Do you follow a particular travel style? Feel free to share you comments!

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Gothenberg Sweden Travel Blog Travel Destinations Travel Diaries Vacation

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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How much traveling have you done in your life?

How much traveling have you done in your life?

This is one of the questions I always ask every second person I met in my life. There are lot of facts one can easily find on internet or in various articles about how many people understand the meaning of travel but for me it always important to know from someone whom you meet in your everyday life. So what do you think how much traveling people actually do in their life?

Well to my surprise, almost more than 90% percent of the people I met have hardly done any traveling. Why? Because either they believe they don’t have enough time for it or otherwise they simply cant afford enough money to do any traveling. Travel for them was simply a luxury or merely unwanted use of time. And when they really get time lets say once in year or two, to plan a vacation, they presume traveling to be as a black & white picture! What it means, that for them to travel, it has to be perfect scenario with best accommodations, best airlines, per-designed itineraries etc. and for that they usually pick any tour operator and opt for available group tours. I called it as a white side thinking. The black side would be opposite of it which means a totally low cost budget tour . For such people there is no grey area present for them. And they live with this mindset throughout their life.

How much traveling in life

What do you think how do these people find their happiness then? well the easiest answer would be shopping, movies, clubs, home decorations, beauty salons, spas …list can be really long or they would find their passion in boosting about high end luxury cars or their hoards of investments.

Lets talk about another 10%. These are the people who find their ways to travel from all the varying circumstances of their life. These people usually look life from that grey area where the travel part does not means to be a unique or expensive experience which only certain people can afford. But what led to these 10% help to change their outlook of seeing the life of travel?

When I started to travel couple of years back, I thought for that moment I was doing something out of the ordinary and unique. But when I went to new destinations and met new people, I realized travel is the most down-to-earth experience one can experience in their life. You will tend to see and meet people from all age groups and ethnic religion who are just traveling to experience the life on the other side. Every country or city has its own life and to experience that life in the form of buildings, nature, food, people was just life-changing in-itself. This very realization helped me changed my outlook to believe that traveling can be a part of living your life.

As far as money is concerned, its all about setting your priorities and changing the mindset. Spending less on materialistic approach and saving more for your travels, if you truly desire to travel, you will find your way out accordingly. There is no rocket science behind it. It simple willingness to pursue your travel dreams.

Our life as it says is a very small part of the whole universe  merely a stardust. The future is always unpredictable, even though you try to work hard and save more today, you can never be sure in the face of nature how long you will live or how your life will actually turn up. Our life is really short, you only have chance to live once, so the question is, do you really want to live the same old usual life which you are living now and want to pursue a life full of amazing experiences!!

So tell me how much traveling have you done in your life?

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Why Do I Travel?

Why I Travel?

I travel to experience a life,
a life full of pain and smile, which is filled with rainbow of inspiration;
I travel to live an imagination,
Imagination which dwells the dreams of my life;
I travel to meet new people,
people who helps me smile through those moments of the life;
I travel to fill my voids,
voids which I have forgotten to replenish all this time;
I travel to face my fears,
fears which never allowed  me to feel free spirit;
I travel to live adventures,
adventures which sparks the excitement in my life;
I travel to venture new places,
the beauty of which fills the passion in my life;
So why do I travel?
I travel to chase the dreams and follow my heart keeping the faith that no matter what happens along all this way, at the end, it will definitely be a hell of a ride! 🙂
…..
So tell me why do you travel?

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Hong Kong Travel Blog Travel Destinations Travel Diaries Vacation

7-Hours Layover Trip Of Hong Kong!

7-Hours Layover Trip Of Hong Kong!

As many of you may know Hong Kong Airport is on the busiest passengers airport in the world and serves major connectivity to Mainland china and rest of Asia. Due to this, most of the tourist traveling on and off to these Asian destination usually have a transit route through Hong Kong and most of common question which originates in most of our minds is whether can you reap the benefits of the small layover in Hong Kong to explore & experience this beautiful destination. Well recently I made it possible and I would like to share my experience. 

My original flying route was from New Delhi to Manila and was planned in a way that I departed Delhi late night around 12am and reached morning Hong Kong between 9:30am- 10am.

Since my next departure to Manila from Hong Kong was schedule at 5:30pm, I had around in total around 7 hours of layover.

The only twist was that I had booked the same airlines Cathay Pacific flight because of which my main luggage was directly transferred to Manila and with only one hand luggage it was perfect hold for exploring the city.

Since it was Sunday which is usually crowded tourist day I decided to pick only one main sightseeing attraction which was “Hong Kong Peak tram and Victoria peak”. Victoria peak is basically a mountain which is situated on the western part of Hong Kong Island and being also the highest point, its one of the hot tourist attraction among travelers. Being fond of traveling, the only thing I always recall about Hong Kong were the huge panoramic photographs spanning over the city and its waterfront and always made me dream about experiencing it myself one day. And finally I had the opportunity to make it real even if it was for a small time.

As soon as my flight reached Hong Kong, my main focus was on my time which I needed to utilize it efficiently. After getting freshen up at airport, I exchanged some Hong Kong dollars and headed towards immigration. Since there was a separate line for Indian visitors, I was able to clear the immigration with an half an hour or so. (Usually because of rush it even takes more time). Just soon after immigration I bought the ticket for MTR Express train which connect directly from Airport to Hong Kong Central station. Before heading to Airport station, I picked up a coffee and a cinnamon  roll from  Mc cafe to have my mini breakfast!

Subway in Hong Hong. MTR Station and Train
Subway in Hong Hong. MTR Station and Train

The MTR express train ride took about half an hour to reach Hong Kong Central Station. It was a decent comfortable ride with only handful of travelers. There was a feeling of nervousness and excitement at the same time as it was my first of solo layover experience. On the train journey I could have a mild glimpse of surrounding neighborhoods which was pretty interesting till the time it went underground. When the train finally stopped and I stepped out of the metro, to me it seems a little complicated to actually locate the exact exit as it was 3-4 storey upwards from where I was actually standing, but people there are quite friendly to ask and you can find plenty of guards on duty who can direct you the way out. On exit, I thought to walk down my way to Peak Tram rather than taking a taxi, it was little hot and humid, but it worth the fun in the end.

On the way I found saw some amazing high rise skyscrapers and shopping streets which were filled with vendors who were preparing to open their stalls but the best part was watching the Hong Kong trams passing by.. 

Hong Kong Trams
Hong Kong Trams
Hong Kong Trams
Hong Kong Trams

I was a bit lost in the beginning but the little help of google maps in my phone, I was finally able to locate the Peak tram entrance which actually surrounded by a nice symbolic water fountain.

Since it was Sunday, the entrance was pack with long entrance queue whose tail actually ended along the periphery of the water fountain. I had to wait till 45min-1 hours to buy the tickets and enter into the peak tram, but I believe this is pretty normal waiting time required among all the iconic buildings you must have seen around the world. Although the funicular tram journey to the peak top was a quick journey but the route designed was made pretty steep and I could literally feel as if my entire body weight was hanging on the top of the seat while it moved upwards which for a small instance look little scary but it was a fun experience. 

Retro tram moves to Victoria Peak. Hong Kong..
Retro tram moves to Victoria Peak. Hong Kong..
Retro tram approaches to Victoria Peak.

The top terminus of the peak which is also known as peak tower looks more like a shopping mall in-tself with full range of various tourist shops, restaurants, cafe and entertainment venues. On one side of inside this peak tower you will find the famous “Madam Tussauds” celebrity inspired theme attraction where you will find wax figures of famous celebrities. Most of the people usually visit them to have some cool snaps for their Facebook pictures! But the most eager part of this peak tower was its terrace top which is also know as Sky terrace. When you reach there, they will give you some auto-guided handset with headphones which act like an Audio guide while you enjoy the super amazing panoramic views of the grand Hong kong on the top.

Hong Kong view from Peak Tower
Hong Kong view from Peak Tower
Hong Kong view from Peak Tower

Indeed the views were breathtaking! From Hong Kong highest financial tower, to famous IM Pie building and canvasing its edge from auspicious convention Centre… It was all just mesmerizing.!! I waited there for a hour or so, listening to my audio guide while watching these amazing views I was having one of the best moments of my life. After a little while, I walk around the rear side of the terrace where I could see the beautiful view of the Hong Kong waterfront. To my surprise it was more like a jackpot for me, to have grand look of Hong kong modernistic skyscrapers skyline on one side and on the other the real beauty of the grand nature like a perfect landscape image filled with small islands and foggy skyline.

After spending a good time, I finally hopped down towards the shops and restaurants, grabbed some coffee and snacks and headed towards the peak tram for my return journey down. It was comparatively less crowded as compare to the way up. I guess a lot of people pay for one-way journey and then decide to go down by another route down the hill mostly by trekking down.

The downwards quick journey was also pretty interesting as it gives you a quick steep side look of those panoramic skyscrapers views making it a ending note of your visit there. By now I only got 2.5 hours left before my boarding starts for my flight at the airport, so  I though of picking up a Uber ride from here. There were a lot of general taxi’s available but since I have never used Uber in Hong Kong before, I wanted to give a try.  Well it turn out to be an expensive experiment as by mistake I ended up booking the highest price option for luxurious car with almost 3 times surcharge. But you know everything in life is an experience, and to my surprise what came was I could never imagine – a high class long volvo with a grand entry to pick me up at the stop. For me it was like a dream come true. I mean its not like I have never ride in a volvo car before, but to have a special ride in a destination like a Hong Kong was super cool experience. While sitting back in the car enjoying my last ride to the airport I was feeling relax and with a feeling of content-fullness of the fact that this 6-7 hours layover was one of the first and best layover experience I ever had in my life.

Next time, If you  are flying through Hong Kong and If you have at least 5 hours time gap, don’t think twice, hop out and explore the city. Believe me its the best adventure bargain you can ever get! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed reading…feel free if you wish to leave any comments!

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