Is Barcelona Safe To Travel

Barcelona is a perfect blend of nature & artistic touch. The city has known for its amazing architectures. But, if a person traveling solo here is it really worth it? I have traveled solo to this majestic place & in this post, I will cover; Is Barcelona Safe to travel solo?

Every place has its pros & cons & Barcelona is no different. There will always be some disturbing element. However, Barcelona can be surely be seen as a safe city to travel alone. During my trip, I saw lots of solo travelers wandering late night & having fun. There is nothing alarming in the city. The place is jam-packed with the travelers. However, still few things need to be kept in the mind.

 

Pick Pocketing:

The most common practice at every touristic place is pick pocketing. This is very prevalent on a crowded street, as people often are at ease. Make sure one is always having an attention towards his/her belongings. Better to be safe than sorry.



 

Theft:

Never leave your luggage unguarded. As anyone can pick the same & run away in the crowd. It is recommended to keep the luggage close to oneself or have an attention to the same. Thefts & snatching are rare in Barcelona. Still, it is better to be on a safer side.

Avoid shady places:

There are many shady places in the city & one should only explore these places if these are perfectly safe.  Enquire about the place before visiting the place.

Beggars:

It was disheartening to see the people begging & it was mainly by the guys of South Asian Ethnicity. A guy came to me asked for some money randomly. I was shocked with his approach. I told him to find some other guy. This case is extremely rare in Barcelona. But, La Ramblas street is bit different. One can find such people with ease. These are not threat but it bothers sometime.

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Amsterdam For Solo Travelers: Is It Safe For Solo Travel

The question of being safe always come into the mind while traveling solo. As there is no one to support in your expedition. New places have there own challenges & challenges broadens while traveling solo. This post will cover things to be kept in mind while traveling solo to Amsterdam or Is Amsterdam Safe for solo travelers.

Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands & it is one of the most visited cities in the world. The place is known for young crowd & expat culture. City’s party culture is unmatched if compared to its counterparts. Because of the nightlife, the city is operational 24 * 7. It is hard to find a silent patch while in the city.

The city favorite mode of transport is the cycles. Theft of the cycles is the most common all over the city. It is advisable to lock your cycle wherever you go. As in minutes, someone can rob you of your valuable cycle. So, take care of the same while on the streets.

 

 

Pickpocketing is not common in Amsterdam. However, there have been few incidents of the same. It is better to keep your belongings near. While boarding a bus or a tram aware of your surroundings & keep belongings at the reachable distance.

An overdose of cannabis & truffles is not advisable. As both these affect the mind directly. Losing senses are the common affairs after having these. So, the best would be to take these under some supervision. Doing it alone could create a problem.

Other than these there is hardly any problem for solo travelers. The place is super fun & mostly trouble free. If young & free visit this place. It will blow your mind with its culture.

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Europe Travel

Europe is on the list of every traveler. Reason for such vast popularity is the landscapes, culture & beauty in the place. The beauty of Europe is unmatched. Traveling to Europe for the first time is always exciting. because of unknown adventure & some lifetime of memories. This is enough reason for a person to make a travel plan to Europe. I was no different I wanted to travel to Europe while I am young. Most of the people wait until mid-age to visit because of the costly nature of the place. Accumulating funds takes time. But, for me, it was a different case I travel mostly on budget & avoiding luxury to travel freely was never a hindrance for me.

Europe is a nice blend of everything from artistic touch to modern outlook; from villages to modern cities. It has a flavor of everything. One requires at least 6 months to explore the place fully due to its vastness. While traveling, the most basic question arises is; which all cities to cover. There are many cities & choosing few of them is always tough, as no one wants to miss an opportunity to visit best cities. But, I will suggest to jot down few & travel only those.




I brainstormed few weeks before deciding on the cities I wanted to cover. It was always a tough choice to decide on few cities. As basic human psychology is to cover maximum possible places at one time only. This not only robs us of the feel of the city but also wastes quality time. It is always better to stay in a place for few days & explore the city like a locale. This not only helps us to enjoy the place but also help us to know about the place in a more better way.

Amsterdam Experience:

Europe is a bit different from South East Asia. It is hard to find warmness like South East Asia, the smile on people face. The greeting is there but that warmness is missing. People are to themselves only. During my stay in Amsterdam, I hardly saw a person who smiled at fellow traveler. People are helpful for sure but they won’t go an extra mile to help you out. It was very cold feeling out there.  Amsterdam nightlife is awesome the place gets started by 11 pm or after that. Music can be turn off feature over there. Along with the fact that one needs to pay to use the washroom in pub or bar. Insane practice. This was pretty new to me that they charge you for using it.  Cities cycling culture is tremendous nearly everyone uses a cycle to commute. This not only helps to keep you fit but also promotes pollution free environment, which has become essential in age like this. So, Amsterdam was a lovely affair for me. This was my first ever city in Europe & I have a fond memory of it.

Paris:

Paris has a different vibe compared to Amsterdam. Romance is in the air of Paris. Every place one visit; there are few love stories to be spoken. Paris has rich culture behind it; the history has many stories to share. The architect is fantastic & the main attraction Eiffel Tower is surely the best part of the city. I feel Paris can be experienced best with the soul mate. It has that kind of aura to deliver. Of all the attraction I went, I felt the view of Eiffel tower during the evening time is the best view available. The clear blue sky in the background & dim light of Eiffel taking full effect is amazing to see. When I went to Eiffel tower there were few guys playing theme music of Titanic. No matter how efficiently I will try to explain the scene. It is just impossible to describe those moments. I stayed in Paris for a day only. Still, I was able to enjoy the vibe of the place.

Barcelona:

Barcelona was the last city during my trip. The reason why I always chose beach place for the last; as it helps me to relive the moment of my trip. The moment when you are sitting on the beach watching the beautiful sunset; every good instance of the trip comes into the mind one by one. Barcelona is a treat for an eye. The architecture, the buildings, the lanes etc are unique. The place is aesthetically beautiful & one can notice the same after putting first step in Barcelona. Barcelona has a young crowd. It is warmer than the rest of Europe. Thus, attracts a huge number of crowd. So, if you are in the early twenties this can be a fun ride for sure. The place doesn’t get started till 12 am & it stays open till 6 or 7 am.  The party culture is amazing. However, Barcelona is not all about parties. It also has many attractions like Sagrada Familia, Park Guell etc. The place has breathtaking scenery & chill out environment. Barcelona will surely be in my top 3 destinations to visit TILL NOW  😛.

This was based on my experience, after my visit to Europe. I suggested my friend visit Barcelona for sure & he too liked the place. I would suggest you guys as well to travel to these places & experience the aura of the place.

“Travel often to places you love; to relive the moments you admire”

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How To Find Cheap Flight Tickets

There is so much to think about when planning for a trip. The task gets tough if one is planning for budget trip. The foremost cost that comes into the mind is of flights. It is difficult to find cheap flight tickets. But, this is not true there are few ways to search for the cheapest flight tickets. But, to do this one needs to be super active & should have pre-planned everything prior. In this post, I am going to suggest few ways to find the cheapest flight for the trip.

Thus far I have traveled to several countries. I have visited China, South East Asia & Europe the & only thing that made this possible is the flight tickets. Being a budget traveler it becomes important to chose flights which are cost effective. So, not taking any more time I would like to suggest best ways to find cheap flight tickets.



Incognito Mode:

The invisible mode in browser can be an important factor while searching for a flight. There are many incidents where ticket provider escalates the cost of the flight tickets while searching. Ticket provider tracks your IP address & they particularly know for how long you are on a page. They can even capture your cache memory or your activities & based on that they escalate cost. The best way to beat this price rise is through searching flights in incognito mode.

Pre Planning:

If one is pretty sure about the time of holiday. The best offer can be availed until 6 weeks prior to the flying. Reason for lower prices is as people are not adamant about the trip no body really books the tickets that early. Thus, there is a lot of space to book tickets based on comfort. While planning for abroad. I have experienced this each  & every time. The closer I book tickets from flying time; the costlier ticket gets. So, the best time would be to book at least 45 days before the date of the journey or even before that.

Search Engine:

Once everything is planned. The thing we get stuck with is the search engine. In this internet age, there are many players which help people like us to travel cheaply.

Sky Scanner:

Probably one of the best search engines available at the present moment. The website is easy to use & has a fantastic user interface. Along with searching flights between two cities. The search engine also helps you to find the cheapest flight anywhere in the world. There is an option of seeing when fair would be high & when you can find lower fares. While planning a trip this is very handy. However, the only drawback of using this website is price fluctuation. There were many instances where price shoots up at the time of payment. But, other than that everything is smooth on this site. Check yourself

www.skyscanner.com

Google Flights:

Google flight is a nice place to find flights to different part of the world. One needs to fill basic information. After that Google will handle everything. One can search for flights to anywhere in the world. So, if you are not decided on where to go. This can be really very helpful. Depending on the budget for flights, it is easy to find destination & loose yourself in this wonderful world.

Google flights

Jetradar:

Jetradar is another flight aggregator available to travelers to choose from. The interface is attractive & searching is really fun. However, they still need to find the perfect balance between the searches & aggregators. One can refer this website as well if looking for a broader reach.

www.Jetradar.com

Search Flight To Nearby City:

Usually, flight connectivity to less touristic destinations is very costly. The best way would be to book a flight to near by city, which has huge air traffic. That way one can get a cheap flight. The difference can be huge depending on the time of booking.

Luggage:

Budget air flights like AirAsia are good option for traveling. But, the only problem with these airlines is luggage. They only allow cabin luggage. So, if one is traveling lightly this can be a money saving option.

These methods will surely help you to find cheap flights to your dream destinations. Also, there is some blog post mentioning that last moment tickets are cheap. But, finding these are pretty hard. I tried to do it a couple of time. But, was never able to find one. I would suggest to book flight well in advance. So, that you can avail all the best offers.

Try these tips & enjoy traveling

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First Impression of Paris

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Paris capital of France is one of the most famous cities in the world. This city lone attracts 20 million tourists every year. Paris is known for its fashion, architect & museums. First timers are always in the aww with the place; especially with the aura of the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the sites which will forever be engraved in your senses.

“I am on a bus traveling to Paris. It’s already 9:30 pm & sun is about to set. It’s strange to experience the sunset as late as 10 pm. The bus stopped at the bus station & looking for the way to reach my hotel. It is getting late. I entered a metro station, a vintage feeling of the metro. After figuring out the way I took a  ticket. People are waiting for their turn to get on the train. The empty coaches are bliss especially after traveling in jam-packed trains in India. There are people kissing each other, romance is in the air. Everyone is minding their own business

I still need to cover few km before I reach my hotel room. I booked the cheapest hotel available on Booking.com. The name of the place was Hotel Paris. From metro, I am looking out of the window to get the glimpse of the city. From outside it is difficult to get the feel of the city.”





“I get down at my stop, it’s already dark; I doubt I could roam the city at this hour. But, I need to have something to eat.” Finding hotel was a difficult part as there was no sign & nobody knew exactly where is the place. I figured out the place with great difficulty & went straight ahead to my room. “In the whole day, this is the best part I talked to myself, I could see the whole city in front of my eyes. The distant view of Eiffel tower is pumping my energy level. I feel this will be exciting. I am roaming the streets in search for some food. Most of the shops are closed &  the shady environment is scary. The colored men are roaming & it is making me more scarier. There is one shop I chose to enter but it was on the verge of closing down. So, I need to move some other place. I had a sandwich at one vanilla shop. The taste was not that great however for empty stomach it was much-needed input.

The next morning I had a local guide booked from the Local Guddy. Most of the day went while exploring the museums, lock bridge & few gardens. There was one story of a priest who fell in love with the women which was considered as a sin during those times. However, they some how managed to make it work. The sculpture of them is still engraved in the doors of the city. There is a reason why Paris is considered as one of the most romantic cities in the world & story like these stamp authority on the same.

After spending most of the day traveling across the city & enjoying the architecture of the city. I sat near Eiffel tower.  “There is a huge steel structure in front of me, the mighty structure is nothing which is shown in the photos. The beauty of the structure is unmatched. I have never seen anything like this. A blue background & beautifully build structure is a calming experience. People are sitting in the park & enjoying this scenic view. The sun is about to set. I am waiting for lights to get on. I think most of the people are waiting for this only.”

After an hour

“The crowd is still building up, the sun is slowly getting vanished. The dark is capturing the moment & slowly far away lights are lighting up the tower. There are people who started clapping after tower starts to glow up. To add to the already mesmerizing evening a group of musicians started playing the music of Titanic. The view was one of its kind of experience. I am amazed how some structure can have so much to tell. I sat here for nearly 2 hours without getting tired. It was overwhelming to review my life story in front of this tower. I am still sitting there & still looking at this might figure wondering why I travel solo & then realize this is how it is ought to be. Travel to far places to enjoy the beauty of it. Leaving behind the stress of daily life & truly enjoying the moment.”

 “Follow The Path Your Heart Leads Too;

Chase The Dreams Your Eyes Look Up Too”

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Paris Travel Guide

Things To Do In Paris

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Things to do in Paris

Paris is one of the cities which truly lives upto its reputation. The aura of the city is unparallel & it can be experienced only by visiting. There is so much to see in the city that one is often confused on what to visit & what to skip. I visited Paris only for a day due to a tight schedule.However, in that one day, I covered most of the parts of the Paris. This post is all about things to do in Paris. So, CHOOSE WISELY !!

Louvre Museum:

Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum. This  attraction is among the most visited places in the city. The places is continuously flooded with the tourists & days here can be long due to large crowd.  Louvre Palace & glass pyramid is a jaw dropping experience. This certainly is one of the must visit place in the Paris. An entry fee of 9 Euros is applicable. However, entry is free for children under 18 (on showing age proof). Entry is also free at some days & for some EU members. Information of the same can be found at Louvre.fr.

Also, one can buy city cards & explore the museums & attractions at a minimum cost. Buy city cards from here Get Your Guide.

Notre Dam:

The monument is the perfect glimpse of the FRENCH GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE & is among the oldest churches of the world. The gates of the chruch has its own stories to tell, the gargoyles shall be among the most prominent feature of the church. The places is packed with the tourists. Expect long queues here. Entrance is free here, but to enter the tower one need to spend approx. 9 Euros. 




 

The best way would be to get a guide & ask them about the history & facts. Every details has something new to offer. I booked a tour through Local Guddy, which helped me to learn about the place in a much deeper way.

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Arc The Triomphe:

This famous arc of 19th century is situated at the end of the famous street Champs Elysees. The arch is fabulous for clicking few pictures. The monument is beautiful & worth visiting. There is an option on climbing to the top of the Triomphe. To reach the top expect to pay around 8 Euros.

The Basilica of Sacred Heart Of Paris:

Basilica of sacred heart of Paris was a surprise package for me. The place is commonly known as Sacré-Cœur. The place is located at the highest point of Paris. The architecture is eye catching for sure. This white structure is beautifully carved. One more thing that every one can explore is the view of full city. The panaromic view of the city is hard to get from anyother location. Whole of the city’s charm can be witnessed through this point. Entry fee to dome & cyrpt is applicable. Expect to pay 8 Euros for entries.

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Eiffel Tower:

Probably the most attracting monument of the whole world. The mighty EIFFEL TOWER. A trip to Paris is incomplete without visiting Eiffel Tower. The 984 Feet monument is standing tall in the midst of the city. The steel structure is more beautiful during the evenings, when sun is setting, transition of colors is visible & slowly slowly the tower is litting up. The experience of tower during the evening is a MUST DO ACTIVITY while in the city.

The structure has total 3 floors. Entry to the garden is free. However, one need to pay approx 7 Euros to climb upto the 2nd floor. Charges of using elevator to 2nd floor is higher compared to climbing the stairs. Further, from 2nd floor to the top; expect to pay approx 8 Euros. But, one drawback of the place is the crowd. Reaching to the top of the tower is time consuming event, due to crowds (Consider 2 to 3 hours on average.)

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The best place to watch the tower is from Palais De Chaillot. There is a clear view of the Eiffel Tower. Sit around the corner & enjoy the magic of Eiffel tower.

Other than the things I have mentioned there are lot of other activities one can do. Like photo session at Lock Bridge or getting lost in the streets of the Cite or the walk in the ost luxurious lane of Champs Elysees . There are so many stories that one certainly greed for more. I would recommend a guided tour of the city to know about the history of the place.The reason I am saying this is because of the rich history of the city. If history attracts you then a guided tour is must.

It is ought to get excited for the place which is on the world since ages & has been epicenter for the development.

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My time permitted (Europe Trip) only a day at this majestic place. However, spend atleast 3 days here & explore every part of the city.

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I use iPhone & GoPro to click my photos. I took all these photos.

Learn more about my Europe trip by clicking on the following links

Amsterdam Travel Guide

Paris Travel Guide

Barcelona Travel Guide

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

 

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.

 

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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”