Lyon: A Half Day Random Tour

I booked a bus from Paris to Barcelona. The reason of which, was to enjoy the pristine landscapes of the France. I chose to book my bus tickets through Flexi bus & started my journey during the mid night from the Paris. I didn’t realized that I had a layover of roughly 6 hours in a small city called “LYON. To be frank, I was not very animated by discovering this fact. I thought It would be a waste of time. However, no other option except to stay & kill time. I reached aroun 8 in the morning. A bus dropped me at the bus station, & there were hardly any shops open. I sat there for half an hour & thought the best way to kill the time would be to explore the city.



 
Lyon:
 
I am walking down the streets, there are hardly any people in the vicinity. The narrow roads are all I can see. I crossed the underpass & started walking on the pavements. Soon I saw a small market, I have my backpack & walking all the way from bus stand is tiring. However, to save the cost of transport I decided to walk all the way. After crossing few narrow streets I am at the start of the bridge & I could see a group of buildings built on the slope. The view is amazing, I want to cross the bridge & look on the other side. However, I am too tired to walk. Thus, I decided to take a long walk back to the bus station. A cycle stand draws my attention. One can rent of the bicycle for a day in 1.5 Euro, which is very affordable. But, there is one problem, I don’t know how to handle the machine. Luckily, a guy explains everything & in few minutes & I am good to go. It was super awesome to know that one can start cycle journey from cycle stand & drop the cycle to another cycle stand.
Lyon Mark My Adventure 
Riding my bike I cross the bridge & enjoying the breath taking view of the landscapes. I cycling the length & breath of the city. The  guy at the subway, told me about the park & I decided to give a visit to that park. I enter the park & it was amazing to see a number of outdoor activities one do in France. Small kids running, cycling & playing with their parents. Some guys were having barbeque & some were just relaxing. The way people enjoy life is an eye opener to me. Residing from a place where people are constantly running & working hard to make a living. However, in this part of the world, it is entirely different. 
Lyon City 
I decide to sit in the park, soak some sunshine & review my journey till now. There is one zoo in the park which has Girraffe & looking small kids watch these are some experience. 
 
Sometimes, untouchedroads takes you to unknown locations & it is best for you. People are often afraid to take path less traveled. However, if we take that extra step; we never know what amazing things are stored for us. For me Lyon was that unknown path. Usually, I read about the place before going. In this case, I was unaware of the place. I asked a guy working at subway to tell me few places to cover. It’s amazing what one can learn while on roads.
 A Park
A half day tour of Lyon was great. The beautiful small city which can be covered on foot or cycle.

Find cheapest hotels of Lyon here.

All the photos published here are clicked through iPhone 6. The photos are not photoshopped.

“Challenge the norms, break the stereotype;

One is never sure, where the destination lies”

 

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Amsterdam On Budget

Amsterdam is known for its vibrant culture & its unbarred grass consumption & traveling here comes with some “EXPENSE“. Budget is the foremost constraints which everyone thinks before the start of the journey. So, catering to those need; I will share tips & trades to cover Amsterdam on budget. I have already shared fun Things to do in Amsterdam & Amsterdam Travel Guide.

Visa cost involved is covered under the topic “Schengen Visa For Indians“.

Schengen Visa For Indians

 

Cheapest flights to Amsterdam can be searched on either by Skyscanner or Jetradar.

Other than, the main costs like visa & flights, rest of the cost involved are birfucated in following headings.

Accommodation:

Accommodation is an important factor which needs to be catered. There are many options available from luxurious hotels to decent dormitories. The best way would be to try for COUCHSURFING; if lucky enough one can find free accommodation. However, it is tough to find hosts. There is one other option which is hostels; hostels are the cheapest accommodation option available. However, the reason hostels are cheap is that one has to share a room with other people. The number of people depends upon dormitory one choose. The best website to search for hostels are booking.com & hostel.com. In my case, I had a friend who lives in Amsterdam, thus my accommodation cost was nil.

There is a trick in booking hostels. If you will book a hostel near the central part of Amsterdam (which is the most crowded place in Amsterdam), then one needs to pay a hefty sum. The average price of dorm rooms starts from 20 Euros near central Amsterdam.

Dorm room at some distance from central region will come at a cost of 15 Euros. However, the cost of dorms also depends on peak season, if there is a peak season expect to pay more than the normal rates. Find some of the cheapest hostels in Amsterdam from here.

Cheapest Hostels In Amsterdam

Average cost of Dorms: 18-20 Euros starting

Cheapest Hostels In Amsterdam

Commutation:

The best way to roam around the city is by buying CITY CARDS. Best vendor for providing city card is “Iamsterdam“. The card is available for 3, 4 & 5 days & if allows free unlimited public transport, these cards are very helpful if one is in for lots of site seeing. Best mode of commutation is bicycles, but the only thing which can hinder is right-hand drive; if one is not used to such driving than it will prove difficult to adjust to the driving. It is easy to find bicycles on rent, expect to pay 10 Euros per day for renting a bicycle for a day.

For a single journey one need to pay approx 3 Euros for an hour of journey. However, this is pretty expensive, that is why city cards are used instead of buying tickets.

Night commutation is available in the city, thus one can rely on public transport for traveling. However, there are only limited buses are available at the night times. Thus, check timings before plannig anything late night. Also, the charges are different during the night when compared to day. Hence, don’t get surprised if bus charges you more.

The cost of card starts from 54 Euros. 

I Amsterdam City Card

Food:

Dutch food is not something to look for. But, BAKERIES definitely are, try bakery products here. Other than bakery products, fries are other must thing to have, one can choose from different dips to enjoy fries. The best way to keep the price low on food is by buying food from supermarket & cook it your self. If too lazy to do so, expect to pay 2 or 3 Euros for a burger & THIS IS THE MINIMUM YOU NEED TO PAY. My advice would be to cook food your self.

Avoid Grass:

I know most of the people are here for grass thing & I feel it is more hyped. Avoid buying grass from coffee shops. The starting price is somewhere from 10 Euros. 

Alcohol:

Drinking alcohol at bars & pubs would escalate cost. Further, there is an entry charge in pubs & bars. The best way to keep this price low is by buying alcohol from market & drink minimum at the bars & pubs. Usually cost of beer glass starts from 3 Euros.

Site seeing:

There are lots of fun things to do in Amsterdam. But, every great place has some price attached to it. Covering each & every places will shoot up the cost. If planning for lots of site seeing, I will recommend buying City cards, museum cards etc from IAmsterdam. It will keep the cost low & also help you skip lines at some of the places.

Entry charges for museum starts from 7 Euros

 

Considering all the major expenses, the minimum budget I will sugest shall be around 50 Euros per day considering one spends wisely, stays at the dormitories & cook most of their food.

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Here is the extra information of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Mark My AdventureEurope Solo TripMark My AdventureThings To Do In Amsterdam

 

Things To Do In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands. There are many activities, which one can do in Amsterdam.However, it becomes that more important to identify few activities & do them. Doing all the activities is costly as well as time-consuming. Hence, streamlining activities becomes a necessity.  I trust in doing those activities only; which I really want to try (Traveling for self, not for others 😀). So, here is my guide to THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM.

Amsterdam GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

In my previous posts, I have covered topics like Travel Guide to Amsterdam, Schengen Visa application. Continuing on my voyage of discovering Amsterdam. Here are the things to be done while traveling to Amsterdam. The recommendation is based on my personal experience.

Things To Do In Amsterdam

Canal Tours:

Some will feel this is a waste of money. However, canal trip is ultimate to see the things which are hard to find out. I did canal tour with commentary (yeah! there are 19 languages in which one can listen to the history of the place). From crooked building (Moving buildings or dancing building) to the smallest bridge (It is assumed that; If you proposes below that bridge, you will be together forever with that person). Little stories like these are hard to find in any blogs & with the canal tour, I was able to know all this. I would surely recommend canal tour to know the place in a much better way. I enjoyed the tour. Sitting on a boat & covering places was a great experience for me.

Bridge Mark My Adventure

Cycle Tours:

Amsterdam is not big radius wise & best way to cover the place is by bicycles. There are many vendors which provide rental bicycles. Hence, finding bicycles won’t be a problem. Most of the people in the city commute through cycles only. Perhaps it is the most used transport mode. I had a cycle & explored the city on my own. It was fun to take random streets & explore it. The only thing that will matter will be your strength to ride cycle. Each street is beautiful in itself. The view while crossing canals are an exclusive experience. At the start, it was difficult to adjust to right-hand drive. However, once you get used to the rules. It was fun. To my surprise, I saw signals for cycle riders as well. PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtake you at a brisk pace. Ride on your own risk :P.

PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtakes you at a brisk pace. Ride at your own risk :P.

Red Light Area:

The most famous part of the Amsterdam is its age old Red Light Area. People who want to explore their kinky side should visit this place. As the name suggests the place has everything related to above 18. A huge number of crowd visit these places during the day as well during the night time. Crowded through out the day, this place has some surprise packages like Prostitute Museum & sex museum.

Van Gogh Museum & Other Museums:

Amsterdam has lots of museum. Some of them are must visit, I personally liked Van Gogh Museum especially his most famous work of Sunflower painting. He used one paint brush to paint an entire painting. It was amazing to see the detailing he did. His life was short but his work speaks for him. Other than Van Gogh there is history museum & Rijiskmuseum are other ones. Museum Lane is a place to visit. If you are lucky enough you can see few people performing on some musical instruments.

“Mighty is the way of life, not the years in life”

Parks & Zoo:

Amsterdam has cleanest of air & sky I have ever come across. The best thing to do in summer is to do outdoor activities. If one is sports enthusiast head towards parks. The lush green parks are amazing. The soft grass & clear sky will encourage one to try some activities. I visited Vondelpark & was excited on seeing people practicing kick boxing in open ground. Few people were cycling rigorously. This is not all one can also see few people smoking up ( Very common in Amsterdam). On a clear day, parks are the best places to be in.

There is one zoo, if traveling with kids, the best way to spend some quality time. I saw lion, he was not the strongest Lion but the way he roared it is something. I read somewhere that Lions have strongest of roar & once I  heard him roar I could sense the intensity when Lions are in full flow. Amazing creature. Gorillas were the other creature who demanded my attention.

Rotterdam:

This place is not talked about much, but it is worth a visit for some quiet time if one is from Asia than Rotterdam would be dead in terms of crowd :D. The major attraction of Rotterdam is its cubicle house, Erasmus bridge & some of the unique structure. Rotterdam is a wonderful place to spend a day & enjoy its unique structures.

Parties:

In Amsterdam party becomes much more important. The young crowd starts pouring in from 11 pm (still early as per the standard). The best place to party would be Leidseplein there are many pubs & bars located in line here. Expect to pay entry fees on weekends. One thing that can upset you is its music. Most of the clubs play Dutch music. So if looking for an international English. It would be tough to find. However, if you get one don’t leave that place; crowd starts to build around 11 or 12 pm so don’t get upset to see few people. There was one unique thing I experienced which was called smashing in which people push each other for fun. 

Things to do in Amsterdam

 

Coffee Shops & Truffles:

Perhaps, 90% of people would know Amsterdam is famous for its coffee shops. Smoking up is legal here. Thus, one can smoke up anywhere he or she wishes. The liberal culture made it possible to implement this. The fragrance of grass can be sniffed every where. Walk into any coffee shop & decide for yourself. There is a proper menu to choose from (Already in love with this place ??).

Truffles are other things which are famous here. Finding a truffle shop is tough. There are various types of truffles available. Smart shops are the name given to the truffle shop.The shop owner will ask about the expertise level & will suggest accordingly. I would recommend doing as shop owner say to avoid any mishappening.

PS: When having a truffle make sure you are on empty stomach & not mix with anything else. Also, Parks & open spaces are a preferable place to eat it.

Heineken Factory:

Heineken beer factory is a nice place to know all about the beer manufacturing. If one is a true beer lover. This place is a must visit.

Amsterdam Central:

Probably the most visited area in Amsterdam is central. The place has some of the brilliant architects. Madame Tussauds is located here. One can witness lots of street performances here. Spend a good afternoon here. This place surely is the most crowded part of the city.

Shopping:

The cheapest destination for shopping would be Primark. The quality of the clothes are good & the rates are very reasonable. Even, Zara is cheaper in Amsterdam. All shopaholics there is hidden opportunity to trace.

Evenings:

The best way to spend evenings would be sitting in some cafe near canals & have few drinks with your friends. The blissful feeling of sitting near flowing water, the calmness in the air & sky & few conversations to remember are the things to do.

Other than listed activities, there are few more places you can cover like Jordan, Anne Franke House, Hauge, Haarlem etc. There is so much to see in the city.

So what are you waiting for. Pack your bags & explore this beautiful city.

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Here is extra information on Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Mark My AdventureMark My AdventureRotterdam Travel Guide

“PRICES CAN’T BE EQUIVALENT WITH THE EXPERIENCES;

EXPERIENCES ARE MORE WORTHY THAN THE COST IT BEHOLDS”

 

 

 

 

Schengen Visa For Indians

Europe is one of the coolest destinations of the world & visiting this place is dream of every person who is not from Europe. Indian citizen requires tourist visa to visit the much beautiful European countries . This post is for all those people who are willing to travel to Europe & want to know about Schengen visa. Here is the guide to Schengen Visa For Indians.

Like China, Europe also required a stamped visa before entering the place. For tourism purposed one is required to apply for tourist visa, the validity of tourist visa can be maximum of 90 days. To get stamped few steps must be followed.

List of Requirements:

Schengen visa needs to be applied for the place where one is going to spend most number of nights. In my case, it was Netherland as I planned to stay for 5 nights in Netherland.

Flight Tickets:

It is mandatory for a tourist to submit return flight tickets at the time of submission of documents. The best place to find the cheapest flight is through skyscanner.com. I have always used this website to find the cheapest flights. In my case, my inbound flight in Europe was to Amsterdam & outbound flight was from Barcelona & the cost of the flights was as good as a to & fro flight from same destination or may be marginally higher. I preferred to keep my inbound & outbound flight from different destination so that I can explore as much as I can.  Few other website for booking flights are Momondo & Jetradar.

 

Stay:

A confirmed booking in your name for each night till the time you are in EU is must. I know it is difficult to predict exact duration at a place. However, there are many sites which allow you to make a confirmed booking with minimum or no cancellation fees for the certain duration. This is best when the itinerary is not fixed.  The best way to make booking is through booking.com. I prefer booking.com than the other portals as I feel, this is the most transparent portal at the present moment. Their interface is simple & easy to eyes. I rely on booking.com for booking hostels. I mainly chose the hostels which are cheap.

Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is mandatory documents that need to be submitted during the submission of application. You can either buy travel insurance online or through some agents. Note that travel insurance shall be of 30,000 Euros which will cost around Rs 1,300 or Rs 1,400.

Bank Account:

Each country in EU has specific guidelines for the minimum amount required for a day in Europe. Usually, it varies from 20 Euros to 50 or 60 Euros per day depending on the country you are visiting. Following documents can be used for proving sufficient amount.

Bank account statement having a balance of at least 2 to 3 times the minimum amount required for the whole trip.

Credit card statement.

Letter from employer (Leave approval on a letter head duly signed by the administration).

Proof of prepaid booking of youth hostels or hotels.

Proof of prepaid transport if any, like any inter-city flights or train tickets or bus tickets. Euro rail is a good option to book trains between the cities, I used flexi bus for booking bus tickets. Flexi bus uses online payment hence it is advisable to book the flexi bus prior.

Cover Letter:

Submit a signed cover letter addressed to royal embassy of the place mentioning the reason of travel along with the dates of traveling.

Itinerary:

A tentative itinerary about travel plans. The best way to make an itinerary is by bifurcating it into three sections, morning, afternoon & evenings. Try to start with activities like breakfast some sight seeing & then again same thing with lunch & evening snacks. Please note that this is required by the consulate to figure out how are you going to spend your time in the cities. A detailed version of your itinerary can help the cause of getting visa. If there is something unrelatable it is very likely that the consultate will call you for an interview.

 

Europe GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Visa Application Form:

A duly filled visa application form. There is checklist which must be followed. Tick mark points which are valid & arrange documents in the order of mentioned in checklist.

Sample Visa Form Mark My Adventure

 

I took the copy of all the above mentioned things while submitting the documents, after submission of documents, there is a round of bio metric in which I submitted my finger prints & a photo. Once, all these steps are complete,the file is sent to respective consulate for final review & approval or disapproval of the application.

For Indians, VFS Global is single stop solution for applying Schengen Visa. Their offices are in major cities & all the documents needs to be submitted here only. I submitted my document in VFS Global Netherlands Mumbai office. All the visa related fees needs to be paid at the VFS Global office only that too in cash. Tourist visa fees is approx. Rs 6,000. Further, there are additional services like courier, sms tracking which can be availed for an extra cash.

It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to get visa. But, there is one more aspect which needs to be considered. The INTERVIEW CALL. For the first timer this is pretty usual, the person is called for an interview at the consulate to enquire about trip details. The interview is not difficult, they ask about the plan. I went to Delhi for the interview, the person asked me everything from hotel bookings to transport I will take & places I will visit. My advise would be just be calm & composed & answer everything in confidence. I felt it was just a formality to check is there any thing wrong or not with the person.

I was among the unlucky who was called for an interview. However, there are my friends who got the visa without any interview.

But, all the efforts is little compared to the happiness that we experience during the trip. The vastness of the place & mesmerizing views help to forget every effort taken to get the visa.

For more information on Schengen visa for global citizens here is the link

Schengen Visa

Here are the links to my experiences of the three places I visited during my trip.

Barcelona Travel Guide Mark My AdventureParis Mark My AdventureAmsterdam Mark My Adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bungee Jumping From The Highest Point In Spain

Bugee jumping is one of the many adventure sports. It is dangerous, thrilling, exciting & also scary. Jumping from a certain height freely is challenging to some people & I am one of them. Traveling to Spain on holidays, I wanted to try Sky diving & Bungee jumping. However, the time allowed only one of these activities & I chose Bungee Jumping in Barcelona. I booked my activity through Adrenaline Hunter, they are the aggregators of adventurous activities around the world. It is always thrilling to try something new & exciting & jumping from a height of 70 Mt was the experience I was looking for.

I took a bus from Barcelona Nord to Lloret De Mer, it was very nervous feeling while boarding the bus, the imagination is unleashed & different types of thoughts arise & dip in mind.  My food intake was limited to cornflex & milk. I am afraid of heights & jumping from even 5 Mt never came into my mind & in this case it was 70 Mt. While batteling mind battles I reached the destination. I saw a huge truss standing tall in the middle of the ground,a safety pouch near the massive tower & A FEAR TO CONQUER.

Bungee Jumping Spain

 

 

The Experience

The instructors were very help. They tried to understand my situation & tried to help me whenever they could.

I stepped into the elevator & slowly it took me to the e top. The height was a scary one for me at least for me it was. Everything seemed so small. I could see the whole view from the top. But, the only thing I was not able to do was to stare down. I tried once but it just blew my mind. I told myself not to look down again.  I tried to remain calm, kept on telling my self that things will be fine DON’T WORRY.

Me: “Isn’t it scary to jump from 70 Mts?”

Instructor: “That is why you just jump & don’t think much about the height”

It’s a showtime

Instructor said: “Keep your both feets on the edge, straighten your hands & fall. Once you in mid air expand your hands like a wing”.

My mind started churping again: “This is first time what if I didn’t complete it. Heart is pounding at a brisk rate. Will I make a jump or won’t I. It’s difficult”.

I stepped to the edge, raised my hand at chest level. I started to align my self forward. The fellow instructor pushed me a little & here I am falling freely. Everything seemed to be so fast. It all happened in the nano seconds. Just few seconds back I thought I will never make a jump & here I was swinging mid air rather falling at decent rate.

The guy pulled the rope upward & dropped it again. He did it 3 times & oh my god what an experience it was. The thudding heart & the feeling to die by falling all came into my mind in those few seconds. Everything was just so quick, falling freely & all you can think was head banging on to the ground.

The Effects:

The moment I stepped down I was donning a broad smile for my achievement. A jump from 70 Mts will be among my great achievements list this year. It was not an adventure; It was a jump to conquer fear. I know people will say it is only 70 Mts bro. But, it means alot to a person who is afraid of heights.

It was a throw up like nervous ness while stepping into that elevator. It was very easy to give up on that point of time. However, with little courage the fortune changed. I did the same & when I was on the ground I was a relived person having a sense of accomplishment.

Thanks to Adrenaline Hunter that I could make that jump. After this very scary yet fulfilling experience I would try to do it again by some day.

My video was not captured due to some technical difficulty. However, below is the actual jump done by some random guy.

The best camera for shooting a video is GoPro.(Buy it from here).

“The moments which make you skip your heartbeats, are the moments you truly lived”

 

Sekumpul Watefalls: A Prestine Place To Visit In Bali

I am in Bali for a holiday & enjoyed every bit of it till now. Looking to do something new today. I enquired about waterfalls in Bali & which one not to be missed. A name suggested to me was “Sekumpul Waterfall“.  

Sekumpul Waterfall is THE MOST FAMOUS waterfall in Bali. Ever imagined a place where water is falling cutting through the jungle. Sekumpul is that location. I am on my motorbike riding through the roads of Bali. Bali roads are equipped with the surrounding landscapes. The greenery & the unending roads makes it perfect for a bike ride.

I put the destination to Sekumpul on google maps & started my ride bit nervous because of the distance & unknown paths. I crossed city area & entered the suburbs. Riding through lush green landscapes is beautiful in itself. Clouds started to aggregrate & it started raining & I don’t have any protection.

I am drenched in rain water, still cloudy & already 3.30pm. Time is flying fast. I am also low on petrol. But, it is raining like hell difficult to see more than 50 Mts. I waited for half an hour for rain to stop. Finally decided to drive the bike. I crossed a village & filled the petrol from on a local shop (Wonderful thing, that you can rely on local vendor for petrols) & asked the owner about the way. He points toward the direction.

There is a small cut which I took & suddenly it is only me driving on unknown roads. Fogs started to take over the roads, the ride is getting beautiful but scary. No one is on the roads & still some distance to go. The jungle on the either side making it difficult to drive but also making it beautiful. After riding for about 45 mints I finally reached the village. The guy who was taking entry fees was a fan of Bollywood. I said I am from India he said he love Shah Ruk Khan & I was amused with that fact. He offered me a coffee because of my Indian origin. I had black coffee a much needed refreshment after getting drenched in rain.

I reached parking place & from here it is I am walking towards the dense jungle. The distant sound of waterfall is making me excited. There is one shop where a small boy is playing some instrument, I asked him about the way. It is still raining & I need to cross a small stream of water.It is hard to predict if the surface beneath is hard or not. I trusted my guts & went ahead. After walking for 5 mints, I reach the famous waterfall I am in the awe with the scene. A water cutting through the trees is the view to dream for standing beneath the waterfall was the best I could do to enjoy the moment.

I stayed there for 15 min.  I waved at the small boy; He said there is one more waterfall on the other side. I asked how far is it. He said 10 min.

Looking at the time I decided to visit that part as well. I started walking & there is a fast stream of water that I need to cross. Water is upto knee length & it is hard to grip & maintain balance, but slowly slowly I crossed the stream. A trail is visible. Not knowing the path I chose to walk on this. I am walking in the jungle alone. After walking for 5 min I saw two guys & finally took a sigh of relief. Once I crossed the stream & step ahead I could see one mighty waterfall. Now walking on a brisk pace I reached near the waterfall.

The moment I stepped closer to the waterfall to my surprise there were three waterfalls. Three mighty ones. From far only one was visible but there were three. It was a fantastic view three parallel waterfall & lush green background. The view will last forever in my mind.

You travel for such moments only. Out of the nowhere you see some things which are beautiful & rare. I took a natural shower & after spending half an hour at that place I started my journey back to the hostel.

After reaching the shop I sat there to catch a breath. The boy was playing an intrusment & was playing perfectly. I shot him play through my go pro. His father offered my few bananas & wished me all the best for my journey way back.

 

It is already dark while driving back but the memories of waterfall keep back flashing up in my mind.

“Make Moments To Share, Not Things To Show”

Barcelona City Card

Europe is one of the costliest places in the world. Keeping expenses down is not an easy task to perform. I am traveling to three countries & already a bit confused about how to keep cost low. I was searching for tips & hacks & found an article on city cards. Most of the major cities in Europe offers city cards. These have various benefits like free transport & free entry to museums. I have bought Barcelona City Card for Barcelona trip through Barcelona.de.

The benefits of city card are immense. From getting free local transport to free entries to certain attraction. It is best for a budget traveler. The cost involved in the same is also minimum. For 5 days, city card one needs to pay somewhere around 60 euros. Further, there are also options for 2, 3 & 4 days. So depending upon the requirement you can buy a city card.

I chose Barcelona city card through Barcelona.de as they were offering best services. The number of museums covered in their card is good enough for 4 to 5 days. Also, free transport service is an added bonus while traveling outside. They are in business from 1997 thus shows how trusted they are in this market.

Benefits of having a Barcelona city card is as follows:

Free admissions to 25 unique sites

Discounts for over further 85 museums, cultural institutions, leisure activities, shops, pubs and restaurants.

Free use of public transport, i.e. metro and urban buses, trams, trains and Montjuïc Funicular and FGC in zone 1 (total urban area).

Free train ride and free use of bus 46 from the airport into the city center and back.

Booklet with a city map, metro plan and brief descriptions of the institutions where you get discounts.

The Barcelona Card is available for 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days (72, 96 and 120 hours from the first use). For 2 days (48 hours) you can book the Barcelona Card Express.

Further, the booking process is very simple one is just need to apply online & receive the mail of the confirmation. Also, the cancellation procedure is also there so in case there is some last minute changes in the plan, one can cancel the card with no extra charge. The validity of card is for full year. Thus, it can be returned at any point of time during that whole year.

There are two modes to get the card one is by picking it up from their offices & other is through shipping. However, there is shipping charges involved. So, until & unless you are no short period or any emergency it is better to pick up the card from the authorized centers.

Barcelon.de not only offers city cards but also offers small tours for those who are interested in guided tours. There are many offerings like walking tour, barcelona pastry tours, guided tour to picasso etc. This website is extremly valuable for the people traveling to Barcelona for the first time.

I booked my city card through this website only. The complete information about the place helped me to plan my tour in a better way.

Here is the link to the website

Barcelona

 

New Zealand: A Place To Experience Finest Adventures

New Zealand is always one destination which is looked by world to provide some mind blowing experiences. It is dream destination for some. Here is the detail of write up provided by New Zealand tourism board. The below content is provided by them. I am posting this as a guest post after the confirmation from the board.

For the third time in a row, New Zealand has won the award for the Best International Destination for Adventure at the Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards 2017. It is the fifth time that the country has been presented with the prestigious award, making it a constant favorite among magazine readers. The event was held in Mumbai on 25th May and the award was received by Ms. Neha Bhola, Country Manager India on behalf of the India team.

Speaking about the award, Steven Dixon, Regional ManagerSouth and South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand, said, “To continue to receive such positive endorsements from the Lonely Planet audience confirms that Indian travellers have a strong preference for the variety of adventure experiences New Zealand offers”.

He added, “Latest international arrival figures show a total of 53,792 Indian travellers visited New Zealand for the year ending April 2017. With a 14.6% increase over the last year, India is an extremely important market for New Zealand and a key contributor to our tourism sector.”

New Zealand Best Adventure Destination

 

New Zealand is a popular choice due to the extensive range of nature-based and thrill-seeking activities throughout the country. The activities include skydiving, bungy jumping, scenic flights, hiking, canoeing, scuba diving, surfing, glacier walking and jet-boating.

Additional Information

Tourism New Zealand markets New Zealand to the world as a visitor destination. In the year ending April 2017, 3.6 million international visitors arrived in New Zealand: an increase of 9.9% on the previous year. International tourism is New Zealand’s largest earner of foreign exchange, pumping over $14.5 billion into the economy and directly employing over 188,000 people. www.tourismnewzealand.com

Visa procedure: One may forward their application to the TT office in Mumbai or Delhi, which will then be directed to Immigration New Zealand. A visitor visa for New Zealand is processed within 15 working days. www.immigration.govt.nz

Airline connections: Connecting flights to New Zealand are available on Singapore Airlines/Air New Zealand, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines with stop-overs in their respective hubs.  New Zealand’s international gateways are Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Domestic services: You can fly between all New Zealand cities and most major towns using domestic air services. Air New Zealand and Jetstar are the main providers. Their services are complemented by regional airlines, charter companies and scenic flight operators.

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Minimum Amount For Bali

Bali is a prime island of Indonesia. Traveling to this island is must for anyone who loves adventure and nature. Traveling to a place, the big question arises in everyone’s mind which is “Expenses“. Working in a corporate world, saving enough & traveling abroad to spend holidays can take a toll on a budget. If you are like me who wants to explore the world without breaking the bank then this post is for you. I traveled to Bali on a shoestring budget. Here is my take on Bali packages. The minimum amount required to spend one week at this majestic place.

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The expenses involved in a place depends broadly upon few factors like food, accommodation, site seeing & commutation. All the expenses fall into these categories. I will suggest the minimum amount as per my experience.

Accommodation:

Bali is divided majorly into three regions, South Bali, Capital area & northern part. South Bali is by far the most modernized & developed one among the three. South Kuta & Seminyak are known for luxury & parties; thus cost of staying there are very high compared to rest of the place. Capital part is more of a marketplace where it is easy to find budget accommodation, I stayed at Hostel Morotai, the reason being it offered me a place at IDR 60,000 per day. It was the cheapest with a great rating. I got rented motorbike from the hostel only. The north of Bali is way cheaper than South & central part. But, there is not enough development compared to rest of the Bali. Here is the list of staying options in Bali.

Food:

Bali has decent food outlets, it is easy to find McD, Pizza hut & fast food shops. The cost is same as it is around the world. The best way I found out to keep the cost of food low is through buying grocery from the supermarket & eating on streets. The average cost of a plate of veg noodles is IDR 18,000.  There are lots of option to eat on street. There is no dramatic change in the taste of food.

Site Seeing:

Bali has several sites & each site has something new to offer. There are entry fees which are minimal & affordable. Entries to most of the beaches are free. The places where entry fees are valid are waterfalls, temples, zoos & rice fields. Depending upon the interests decide upon the activities you wish to take. It is not absolutely necessary to visit each & every site. Choose site as per your liking.

Commutation:

An option of Uber is available in Bali. However, the prices are very high. I would suggest to rent a motorbike & roam around the place. The places are well connected & GPS works quite well here. I did the same I rented a motorbike which costs around IDR 60,000 per day excluding petrol. The price of petrol is also low & the best thing is benzol (Petrol) is available at the local stores as well. Thus, there is no scarcity of petrol while on the roads.

Thus, the cost for a day’s living in Bali will add up to IDR 4,50,000 considering the facts mentioned in above points.

Please note that the price I have mentioned is excluding activities like scuba diving & snorkeling or any other activities. There are few guided tours like Mount Bromo & Ubud whose costs are not included in my assumption. I went to Bali in 2016. Thus, there might be some fluctuation in the costs.

Minimum amount required for a week stay in Bali works out to be IDR IDR 30,00,000 to IDR 45,00,000 for general activities.

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Things To Do In Bali

Bali is the most famous island in Indonesia. It is best for a reason. This pocket size islands beholds the most beautiful landscapes & adventures on the planet earth. Traveling solo, I went to Bali for 8 days. There is so much to do & so much to see in this paradise that 8 days seemed to be too short. However, I tried to cover whatever I can. Here is my guide to things to do in Bali.

Things to do in Bali:

Bali is culturally very rich & can be witnessed or experienced at every corner. Let’s explore Bali.

Ubud:

Ubud is the main touristic attraction in Bali. Blessed with supreme architecture & culture vibes. This place is a must visit. This place will take you one step closer to Bali’s vibrant culture. Balinese dance & yoga shall be an experience to look for. A place to spend a perfect afternoon by enjoying the local flavor is an ideal way here. If looking for some change visit Monkey Temple to enjoy the chirpy noises of monkey’s.

Monkey Temple Mark My Adventure

 

Waterfalls:

I am a nature lover (I get goosebumps if I see something amazing & breathtaking). I have seen few waterfalls till date, but Sekumpul waterfall was nothing I ever came across. Imagine a jungle & water falling from a decent height it is a view to die for. The peace experienced here is unmatched. I loved the place & recommend it to everyone. Other than Sekumpul there are few more waterfalls. It is difficult to cover each & every waterfall until & unless time & money is not a constraint. However, try covering what ever is feasible.

Water Fall In Bali

 

Sekumpul Things to do in Bali

 

 

Beach Hopping:

Bali has a perfect coastline. Move around the beaches & enjoy the horizon in a new dimension. South Kuta is very much crowded but other than that all other beaches are relatively quiet & peaceful. Each beach has something new to offer.

 

Random Beach Bali

Adventure Activities:

From the outset, Bali looks like a place for honeymoon couple. However, shattering this stereotype. The place is covered majorly by forests. Jungles, waterfalls, mountain. There are activities pertaining to these which can be carried out.

Mount Bromo trekking is a must. Experience breathtaking sunrise here. Sekumpul waterfall is by far the best waterfall in Bali.

Mount Bromo

 

Surfing is an activity common here. Most of the beaches support surfing & it is easy to find surfing board on rent. Hundreds of westerners visit this place only for surfing.

Scuba diving & snorkeling: Scuba diving & snorkeling sites are among the best. Padi provides scuba diving certification course here.  The certification is easy to get. US wreck ship is a perfect diving site. It is hard to distinguish which is more beautiful; landscapes or water world. There is a high chance of swimming with huge size turtles if you are lucky enough. A shot a video of snorkeling through my GoPro hero 4 black edition.

Temples:

Temples are among other attraction in Bali. The facade is beautiful as it will ever get. Tanah lot is worth a visit, it is a delight to watch. Located on the sea shore this temple is beautiful, a background of never ending sea is picturesque as you will ever find. A perfect blend of temple & water is good for a half day trip. There are lots of Hindu temples in the vicinity.

Nusa Trilogy:

The group of three islands is located in the west of Bali. If tired of vibrant vibes of Bali. This place is a nice alternative. Nusa Pendia is the biggest among the three & also the most beautiful one. The place has some untouched points which are worth visiting. Motorbike is a favorable mode of transportation. Some of the points worth visiting in NusaPenida are Pasih uug (Crystal Bay) & broken island. Both these points are awesome & beautiful. Spend a peaceful evening here. Snorkeling & scuba diving are the prime activities here.

Crsytal Bay Mark My Adventure

Gilli Islands:

Gilli islands are a group of three small islands. The most famous one is Gilli T, it is a backpackers place & hub for parties. The only motto of this place is party party & party. Backed with young & backpackers, this place is continuously on its dancing feets. This is perfect for few days.

 

Gilli Mark My Adventure

Another island worth visiting is Gilli Air. It is calmer one among the three, perfect for a honeymoon couple. Book a place in front of sea & enjoy the view of mighty mountains right in front of you. Gilli Air is not a place to party. However, the peaceful evenings are what people relish here. Scuba diving & snorkeling are the major activities performed on this island. It is easy to cover the whole island on foot. Crystal clear blue water & white sand is hard to be ignored.

Parties:

Bali is also home to best party clubs, places like Kuta, Seminyak which are home to parties animals. Don your party shoes & thrive on the music. Bali beach parties can surprise everyone with its flavor.

Rides:

Get a rented vehicle & start the journey. The roads are well connected & blessed with best landscapes.Ride forever here & enjoy some of the best moments.

Rice Fields:

Rice fields are nearly everywhere. Cross them & enjoy. There is nothing new, however, it is worth a visit, the rice fields has kept its glory intact. The picture perfect site is hard to miss.

Rice Fields Bali

These are the list of major activities. Bali has something or other to offer. Depending upon what sort of experience you are looking for, you can bifurcate your activities in similar ways. Any number of days are appropriate here considering so many options are there to explore.

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