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discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night
Known for its top-tier educational system and plethora of heavy metal bands, Finland may not strike you as an ideal place for a vacation. Yet from the best places to see the Northern Lights to the many famous saunas, Finland is an ideal travel destination. And where better to start than with its capital, Helsinki?

All in all, there are so many places to see in Helsinki that we couldn't possibly cover them all. The ideal time to visit is in the Summer, when the temperatures are more moderate and the greater Helsinki area is more beautiful. If you travel to Finland in the winter, the Laplands are a great place to go.

Whilst travelling around the city, both the metro and bus tours are wonderful options. The metro is elegantly designed, with easy to navigate stations. The subway only runs east-west, but is well integrated with other transit systems. Fare zones are announced (also in English) through the PA systems in the very clean cars. To be able to keep track of it all, the HSL app makes things easy. As an added bonus, the trains even run on time.

However, should you get lost, many of the people around you will speak English, and you should have no fears for your safety: Helsinki is one of the safest cities in the world.

Finland is home to many music festivals in the Summer. They embrace many styles of music, from heavy metal to indie.

Best Things to Do in Helsinki

So, what to do in Helsinki and where are you supposed to go?

1. Central park


The Helsinki Central Park is more akin to a forest than an actual park. It encloses about 10 square kilometers with animals such as elk, muskrat, and arctic fox living inside. The Helsingin keskuspuisto also includes a large swath of environmental diversity. Nature is not the sole purpose of the park. Humans can wander its nature trails, gaze at the old fortifications from World War I, or take part in a number of recreational activities, from horseback riding to table tennis.

2. Sibelius monument


This monument to one of Finland's greatest composers is located in the Sibelius Park. Sibelius-monumentti consists of 600 steel pipes and a metal bust of the composer’s face. If you visit, you should go in the early morning or late evening, to avoid the other tourists who frequent those times. Plus you should go give one of his pieces a listen.

3. Uspenski Cathedral


One of the Helsinki sights you are bound to adore is its churches. Visit the Orthodox and Lutheran cathedral and the huge Senate Square, surrounded by a modern but quiet atmosphere, characteristic of the Nordic countries.

The Orthodox Cathedral in Helsinki represents one of the best places to visit in Finland. Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral is a gorgeous building that is quite close to the harbor. So, after your visit, you should proceed to it. This church is the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe. Icons, crosses, and altars all either depict a scene from the Orthodox religion or have a place in its traditions.

4. Helsinki cathedral


Another church to visit is the Neoclassical Lutheran Cathedral. This humongous landmark on the hill behind the harbor is definitely worth the visit. In front of it, you will see the Senate Square, which is one of the most beautiful town squares in Europe.

With its brilliant white facade, Helsingin tuomiokirkko, Suurkirkko stands out above its surroundings, as it once was a landmark for those arriving by sea. The twelve apostles accent the rooftop, looking out upon the city. Entrance is free, and the inside is very simple, echoing a restrained style of decoration, which separates it from other European Catholic Churches. If you are so inclined, the crypt is a wonderful exploration.

Island-hopping in Helsinki!

The Helsinki area is filled with over 300 islands, and hopping from one to another is a popular tourist attraction.

5. Suomenlinna


To continue your Finland visit, we suggest that you head on to Suomenlinna Fortress. The Swedes built this Fortress in 1847 in order to deter Russians from attacking. Unfortunately for them, the Russians were hard to deter. They later conquered the fort along with the rest of Finland. But this doesn't take away from the beauty of the fortress and its historical significance.

In fact, UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. This should at least give you an idea of why you should consider this one of the best places to visit in Finland.

This fortress, known also by its Swedish name Sveaborg, was built across eight islands by the Swedes in 1748. Today it is one of the most popular places to visit and picnic. But this set of islands is much more than an idyllic spot - they house a community of 900 people, 350 of whom work year-round.

Thus visits can be more than just sightseeing adventures, even though there is a lot to see, from the numerous museums to the last remaining Finnish Submarine, the Vesikko. The Nordic Arts Centre was established on the islands, and the summer theatre performances regularly draw full houses.

Getting to and around the islands is simple, as the ferry system is connected to the rest of the Helsinki Region Transport Authority. As such, the HSL app connects to the ferry services as well.

Kaunissaari island is out there, as the ferry ride takes about an hour. But the trip is very much worth it, as this island combines stunning beaches, rich fishing grounds, and great views of Helsinki. If you are between 18 and 65 you will have to get a permit, but that can be done online.

6. Pihlajasaari


This island once housed a summer villa, but now is open to all. It houses a restaurant, very colorful changing booths, and a solid quantity of sheep and goats for maintaining the grounds. It is also an enjoyable camping ground.

7. Lonna


In just 10 minutes by boat you are in Lonna, a perfect place for lunch.

8. Vallisaari


Continue on to Vallisaari, perfect for nice walks. Experience a city without chaos, but with lush, green and beautiful nature.

Food

Soma restaurant is a small, cosy affair, offering an interesting specialty: the sushi burrito. It can be served “to go” in boxes. It can be expensive.

On the third Saturdays of February, May, August, and November, anyone is allowed to open a restaurant in Helsinki. Restaurant Day (Ravintolapäivä) tradition has spread to other countries, but the Finnish beginnings have led to hundreds of pop-up restaurants being set up on these days. It invites new and out-of-the-ordinary ideas to the food scene in Helsinki.

9. Fazer Experience Visitor Centre


A Finnish Brand, this chain of cafes serves its own brand of coffee, along with oven-fresh bread, pastries and chocolates. There are thirteen locations around Helsinki, making it easy to find.

10. Market Square


Helsinki, the coastal city with a pleasant atmosphere is considered one of the best cities to live. Stroll through its streets and reach the market in the port, to mingle with the local inhabitants.

Well, to get the true feel of the people of Helsinki, we suggest that you head on to the Helsinki harbor. There, you will see Finish people going about their daily business and enjoying their wonderful country.

Just remember to bring an open mind. You can taste local cuisine from food vendors that cook the freshest possible fish and visit Kauppatori, the outdoor market square that is open year-round.

Text BY: Jakob Schreiber
  • 0
  • Friday, July 31, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Budapest is one of the countries with numerous fun spots that you should visit at least once in a lifetime. Hungary's capital is an excellent site with fantastic architecture, flavorsome food, good music, stunning art, and fascinating hospitality. Budapest is also known for its communist and Jewish heritage, not to mention its distinctive folk culture.

This is one city with a vast number of fun places to visit, and you can never be bored in Budapest. The atmosphere here is electric, and the views from around the Danube are absolutely stunning. Go to Budapest if you enjoy the alternative side of life, you’re on a budget, you’re interested in the rise and fall of the Soviet Union.

Looking for the perfect combination of culture and luxury, Budapest, the Hungarian capital, is the hottest spot for new couples. This place is lovingly called 'Little Paris in Central Europe'. There is no shortage of magical spots, world-class restaurants and shopping places in Budapest. The city has a rich history of thousands of years.

As soon as you reach Budapest and check in your hotel, go straight for a free walking tour around the city covering the following places - Vorosmarty square, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Castle Hill and Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, St. Stephens Basilica and finally see the Hungarian Parliament lit up at night. The fascinating places of Budapest are Chocolate Museum, Budapest Evening Sightseeing Cruise, Chain Bridge, Margaret Island, and Lake Balaton.

The best thing is how safe the area is, especially for tourists. The city holds one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe. There are around 200 museums, thermal baths, vibrant street art, alternative legendary nightlife, delicious food and lot more places.

Most importantly, there are famous ruin bars build on old buildings which became the most visited and attractive point for visitors to enjoy its cheap drinks and maze rooms. Most of the Historic destinations and the city center of Budapest lies in a walkable distance. As traffic is restricted on Castle Hill, walking is the best way to visit places in the city and so pedestrian paths are made in the Pest.

Like other cities, Budapest also has an amazing public transportation system, where most of the streets are lined up with cables, streetcars (trams), trolleybuses and efficient subway system.

Best Things to Do in Budapest

It can be hard to decide what to do and where to go, but these are the top-rated fun places that you should not miss visiting when in Budapest.

1. Margaret Island


Margaret Island is a place you should stop by if you love islands or have never been to one. You can get to the bridge by boat and have a pleasant experience - the ride is totally free! Alternatively, if you fear water, you can go by train or bus. That will cost you a small amount, but you will get to the island within no time.

Why Margret Island? This island has fun activities you can visit. If you are a swimmer, there is the Olympic swimming pool, go running, and zoo for animal lovers. Other fun activities are climbing the water tower, observing the island's landmarks, checking out the musical fountain, and wandering the Japanese Garden.

2. Shoes on the Danube Bank


Budapest offers spectacular views of the Danube River and good opportunities for lovers of opera, museums and spas.

Hungary’s Parliament Building lies on the banks of the river Danube. So visit the Danube Promenade next. Shoes on the Danube are an important memorial on the promenade. The significance of the 60 pairs of iron shoes is to reminisce the dark times of Hungarian history. It is a tribute to hundreds of those who lost their lives during World War II due to the Arrow Cross Rule.

3. Heroes' Square


Next set foot in Heroes’s Square. It is a popular landmark and the largest square in Budapest. The art in Hungary is impressive, and Heroes Square, in Andrassy Avenue, is proof of this. This is an ever-busy place, and it's advisable to book a spot in advance. This square is said to be the largest in Hungary, and it is symbolic as well.

The sculptures in Heroes Square pay tribute to the superiors of the Hungarian tribes who established Hungary. This site is lovely, especially at night.

4. Fisherman’s Bastion


The Fisherman’s Bastion is a startling and beautiful pillar that is found in the Buda castle. If you are a lover of fairy tales or have kids who love Disney stories, the Heroes square is a replica of the magical castles depicted in these stories.

The castle was built in the 18th century, and it is always open for visits at any time and day. The entrance fee is also very affordable. This is an excellent location to take charming and likable photos.

5. Gellért Thermal Bath


Budapest is a spa mecca of all varieties baths from healing waters, Turkish bath, water and natural sources. Budapest is famous for its various indoor and outdoor pools and is also the city of spas.

Gellert baths is the best thermal spa baths worldwide. What makes it unique is that Gellert baths is a naturally existing hot spring bath. This is a good relaxation point that helps to relieve stress. Aside from its stunning hot water, the place also has incredible landscapes and architecture. Visit Gellert baths for cosset massage therapies and spa treatments at cost-friendly prices.

6. Szimpla Kert


Having come out from behind the iron curtain 30 years ago, Hungary has quickly gone about carving its own post-soviet path. Nowhere is this better encapsulated than in Budapest, and in particular in the city’s Jewish Quarter. The area’s ruin bars, where drinks are served in repurposed factories, offices, garages and homes, offer an amazing experience, and street art is found everywhere.

Jewish Quarter is ideal for a number of fun activities. This place has a fascinating and colorful history which you can learn when you get there. The Jewish Quarter has excellent restaurants like Dobrumba with amazing delicacies. This Quarter is bright-colored and beautiful, especially at night. You can buy fashionable clothes and other stuff at relatively low prices.

Finally, end your day have fun at one of the Ruin Bars. They are super cool. Visit this place called Szimpla. One of the characteristics of Budapest is its crowd of ruin bars. They have become a symbol of the Hungarian capital and a full-fledged tourist attraction, as well as being the cornerstone of the nightlife in the city. The name is due to the poor state of the buildings in which these bars are located.

The building is not officially in ruins (since it would be totally illegal to set up any kind of business here). It's just old, disheveled, with chipped walls, retro furniture and screaming for reform. But that is the essence of all this. Many times the whole building works as a bar. In other cases it is only a part, but in general there are usually many rooms and nooks or hiding places with tables and chairs reused, old and different from each other.

There are furniture and vintage and retro objects, and decorative objects that range from bicycles, computer cathode monitors, bathtubs and even Trabants. The first Ruin Bar was the Szimpla, the most famous of all Budapest, so famous that most of its visitors are tourists, in fact many just go to take the photo and take a tour of the bar without consuming anything.

The tourist boom has pushed up prices a lot and the usual clientele has almost disappeared and marched to the new Ruin Bars that have sprung up in the capital like mushrooms after the rain, and which are cheaper and less saturated. In spite of everything, Szimpla Kert in the Jewish Quarter in Erzsébetváros is a must on a trip to Budapest, and it is still advisable to have a beer, a shot of Palinka (the typical Hungarian brandy), or a cappuccino.

With an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, Szimpla Kert is a pub and a tourist attraction. It is loved for the cheap priced drinks and its peaceful environs. This famous ruin bar in Budapest became popular because it was established in a deserted place.

Szimpla Kert is definitely for everyone, and the place is harmonious, and the people there are amiable. Szimpla Kert is crowded mostly at night with lovely people- it's an excellent place to meet and make new friends. This bar offers drinks, tasty street food, baked products, and other mouth-watering delicacies. This amazing place also randomly offers free weekly concerts to people.

7. House of Terror


Next, go sightseeing to the State Opera and the House of Terror. Nothing is terrifying yet exciting at the same time as horror. The House of Terror in Budapest is a museum that explores horrifying historical memories. This museum is located at Andrassy út 60, and it commemorates all the evil and suffering that took place in Hungary during the 2nd world war.

The House of Terror is a place for people to learn the harsh reality of war and brutality. This place is not for the weak-hearted because the museum exhibits frightening happenings that are not so pleasing to the eye. All in all, the museum is legendary, and it opens from Tuesday to Sunday.

8. Szechenyi Thermal Bath


Have lunch and to ease yourself, take a dip in the waters of Szechenyi Thermal Bath. Well known Széchenyi Thermal Bath holds Europe's largest thermal baths. Experience the Sparty, spa and party in one.

9. Hungarian State Opera


This opera house is located in Andrássy út, Budapest. The architectural design of this opera house is just out of this world. All people who love opera should visit the place. Even those who don't should visit this opera house because it might change your mind about opera music.

The first activity in the Hungarian State Opera House is a guided tour in various languages throughout the fantastic building after the tour comes a short period of opera concert, which is optional.

10. Central Market Hall


This is yet another excellent tourist attraction site in Budapest. Budapest has different markets like Central Market (Great Market Hall), Szimpla Kert Sunday Farmer’s Market, Hunyadi Square Market, Belvárosi Piac (Hold Utca Food Market), Fromage.

There are also delicious food at restaurants. Langosh is the place to explore and taste the best traditional Hungarian food. This is a best-rated hotel and the best option for a tourist because of its exclusive hospitality. Why should you go to Langosh? Good cheese and bread, the best you will ever taste. If you ever feel hungry in Budapest, drop by Langosh, and you won't regret it.

The traditional food of Budapest is Goulash and Stropachka (a Hungarian version of spaetzle). Langos is the popular street food of Budapest with ingredients such as fried dough, shredded cheese, and sour cream. The weirdest thing is Jewish cuisine is readily available in the city but not in Jewish quarters.

Budapest is generally expensive in terms of food as compared to many other places in Europe but there are many restaurants which are comparatively cheaper than other restaurants. The restaurants that offer low-cost food for the one with less food budget in Budapest are Bors GastroBár, Buddies Burger, Pizzica, Retro Büfé, Lángos Papa, TöLTő, Budapest Bagel, Street Food Karavan.

The Ecseri Flea Market, also known as Ecseri Bolhapiac, is a place to buy reasonably priced unique antiques and goods that will help you remember your trip to Budapest. This market has a variety of exciting vintage merchandise like jewelry, toys, furniture, paintings, and other things from the previous centuries. If You are a lover of history and culture, you should visit the Ecseri Flea market and purchase a unique piece of worldly goods.

11. Gellert Hill


Wake up in the wee hours of the morning and hike up the Gellert Hill. It is a long walk with a considerable number of stairs, through the view makes it worthwhile. Next visit Matthias Church and finally take a stroll around the Central Market Hall. Since Budapest is home to a large Jewish community, make sure to visit Dohany Street Synagogue. End your day exploring cafes and fashion places at Vaci Street.

12. Buda Hills


As part of the honeymoon celebration, newlyweds can go for a walk in the garden of St. Park with their hands on the water. Buda Hills can be chosen if you want to spend some time alone. There are opportunities to control stress and enjoy the charming nature of motorcycle rental. It might be nice to go to the Stalagmite Cave there.

There is bus transportation available also in Buda Hills. There are some night buses run which are marked with alphabet ‘E’ on it.

Budapest is indeed a fun place with a variety of exciting activities. These are just but some fantastic places in Budapest because there are hundreds of interesting sites in Hungary. Budapest is ideal for enjoyment since it accommodates all kinds of interests and people.
  • 0
  • Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Home to the iconic Beatles and two tremendously successful football clubs, Liverpool is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in UK after London. From museums to art galleries and some of the world's most renowned cathedrals, Liverpool has plenty to offer to its residents and tourists.

Whether you're looking to know some of the coolest Liverpool destinations for your weekend family trip or want to visit this legendary city from some other state or a country, you've come to the right place. Make sure you get in touch with the best immigration lawyers in Liverpool if you're looking to visit this magnificent city from any other country. Your immigration lawyer will guide you about the best travel visa categories.

best things to do in Liverpool

Here we've put together a list of best places to visit in Liverpool so that you don't have to struggle once you enter this historic and culturally-rich city:

1. Albert Dock


The rich and vibrant center of the city's ancient waterfront, Albert Dock is a must-visit destination to play, eat, and have some quality time with your family. This place was designed by Jesse Hartley and Philip Hardwick, and it was the first structure in Britain that was erected from cast iron, brick, and stone instead of wood.

It is a massive five-story complex of buildings adjoining the popular Harbor Basin. These beautiful Victorian-style buildings are constructed around the arcaded passageway. The beautifully restored warehouses include luxury apartments, cozy cafes, museums, and state-of-the-art designer boutiques.

In addition to that, there are many tourist attractions, including the Beatles Story Museum, International Slavery Museum, and the Border Force National Museum.

2. Croxteth Hall


Croxteth Hall is situated in West Derby and is famous worldwide because of its mesmerizing Georgian architecture. Stroll around the luxurious hall, luscious botanical gardens, and a beautiful working farm. Get insights into the lifestyle of the elite Edwardian family and its servers. Admire the classical Tudor architecture, premium furnishings, and tastefully maintained gardens.

Croxteth Hall is open daily. Also, you have to pay separate charges for the hall, gardens, and farmland. Don't forget to explore the country park that is home to a vast range of wildlife. There's an adventure playground for kids that will keep them busy and happy for a long time. Croxteth Hall also hosts many events throughout the year. Especially, you can join orienteering and horse riding lessons if you visit this place during the summer.

3. Metropolitan Cathedral


Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is another prominent tourist attraction that welcomes thousands of visitors every year. This church sits atop of the city and offers a peaceful place to worship and pause for the visitors. Because of this cathedral's beautiful architecture, the Metropolitan Cathedral is loved and admired by people from all faiths.

If you admire heritage and history, then this church is a must-visit place for you. While Metropolitan Cathedral was closed due to Covid-19, it was reopened on 1st July 2020 for private prayers.

4. Tate Gallery


Tate is a famous institution in Liverpool that is home to Britain's national collection of modern and contemporary art. This institution was established by Henry Tate in 1897. There are four art galleries, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives. The first three galleries are free to enter while you'll have to purchase tickets to get access to the fourth one.

Whether you want to discover an extensive artwork of famous artists or want to build your own portfolio, Tate can be your safest bid. Also, there are many fun-filled learning opportunities for kids and adults that help you grow as a budding artist.

5. Merseyside Maritime Museum


The Merseyside Maritime Museum is part of the National Museums Liverpool and is home to different exhibits covering the life of immigrants who left Britain between 1830 and 1930 through Mersey for North America. This museum features a memorable collection of different artifacts, vessels, and model ships. Here, you'll also discover exhibitions relating to the tragic history of Titanic and Lusitania.

Other highlights include U-boat Story, which showcases life on the ship during wartime. Also, there's a Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches Museum, where you get an insightful glimpse of the Royal Navy in WWII.

6. St. George’s Hall


St George's Hall attracts thousands of art and music lovers across the globe every year. This place is decorated with Corinthian columns and eye-catching sculptures. The beautifully adorned Great Hall is used for a variety of purposes. Organizations hire this place for concerts, award ceremonies, weddings, and other special events and get-togethers.

There is the expansive St. Johns Gardens to the back of the building that houses statues of famous Liverpudlians.

7. Birkenhead Park


Birkenhead is located on the west edge of the Mersey. This park is linked to Liverpool via tunnels and a dedicated Mersey Ferry service. Birkenhead is the first funded public park in Britain. It was designed by Joseph Paxton and opened for the public in 1847.

This park has three entrances, and each one of them boasts a unique architecture. The first amongst them features Gothic architecture. The second entrance features Italianate architecture, while the third entrance is all about Norman architecture.

Birkenhead is a family-friendly place. There are many lakes, playgrounds, cafes, and restaurants. Don't miss out on Birkenhead if you have a family with you, and you want to spend a calm and fun-filled day with eye-catching surroundings and cafes.

8. National Waterways Museum


Are you looking to spend an awesome day near Chester? Then you should head to the National Waterways Museum. This place offers a vast range of activities for both adults and kids. The museum showcases different indoor displays, Victorian-era architecture, and a canal with its numerous locks.

This place was designed by Thomas Telford, who was a famous civil engineer of his times. The buildings look stunningly beautiful with breathtaking surroundings. If you love history and admire maritime things, then this place is a must-visit spot for you.

9. Museum of Liverpool


The Museum of Liverpool accentuates the city's timeless history and culture. Here you can find exclusive displays relating to port and its people. The Museum of Liverpool is home to ancient artwork, costumes, and artifacts. This place displays a perfect fusion of Liverpool's social and urban history. There are old testimonies and pictures that breathe life to the available archaeological material.

This museum also houses a Lion steam engine, erected in 1838. If time allows, pay a quick visit to the World Museum that is home to some other amazing things and artworks.

10. Pier Head


The Pier Head in Liverpool includes an amazing trio of Three Graces. This trio includes three buildings: the Port of Liverpool Building, the Royal Liver Building, and the Cunard Building. Here you'll also find the Titanic Memorial celebrating the 'Heroes in the Engine Room', the famous Queen Victoria Monument, and an ancient Georgian Town Hall.

Liverpool is home to outclass destinations, museums, cathedrals, lakes, and gardens. It's a perfect tourist spot where you can find restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, and different kid-friendly activities.

Hopefully, travel restrictions will be lifted soon. Liverpool is an ideal place where you can spend your upcoming holidays. So, don't wait any further. Apply for the visa, pack your bags, and take a flight to Liverpool.

Happy Travelling!
  • 0
  • Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Being at the city center of such a historical country like Germany is a total dream come true especially for those fascinated with World War II stories! Berlin, the country's capital and its largest city, is one of Europe's most beautiful gems when it comes to cultural trips in Germany. Museums, war sites, churches, towers, and even city squares can be found in every corner, not to mention stands after delectable German street food in Berlin to tease you.

The significance of attractions like this helps break the barrier of fear, knowing they carry a despicable history. Memories of Nazi Germany isn't something we should forget. We must learn about the horrors of the past to compel us to make better decisions.

Then again, Berlin is more than that. Sure, it played a vital role during those years, but there are other reasons why it deserves a visit from travelers from around the globe. Its people have worked so hard to paint a new picture for their beloved city as an ideal tourism paradise in Europe.

If you could only use one word to describe Berlin, it’d be unique. You have its distinctive recent history – the last city to fall during World War II, the subsequent division down the middle by the Berlin Wall, then the breaking down of that wall to mark the end of the Soviet Union.

But since the unification of East and West Berlin, this city has become one of the most interesting, alternative and open in all of Europe – people are free to be as different as they want to be, which makes for an inimitable holiday experience. Go to Berlin if you enjoy the alternative side of life, you are interested in 20th century history, you like to party party.

Berlin is beautiful and vibrant. It is hard to imagine today's Berlin if you look at how Berlin looked in 1945. Berlin is constantly ranked better for its quality of living compared to other European capitals like London and Paris. It is also much safer. Berlin has an amazing transportation system that helps you get to any part of the city hassle-free.

A dramatic turn of events shaped Berlin for many years especially the Berlin wall which was erected to make the escape of East Berliners from Soviet-regulated East German State difficult. Today the fragments of the wall are nothing more than concrete but still the sight and history is enough to attract visitors by thousands every day.

Berlin, without a doubt for something it is known as the world capital of techno. The city is a destination that satisfies the appetite of any traveler but its playful offer is an incentive of great weight. Apart from electronic music venues, if you know where to look, you will find booths of any style and secret parties where you can enter if you go hand in hand with a local. There are websites to help you.

best things to do in Berlin

And that's what we're here to highlight the best attractions in Berlin and the activities you can do when you're in the city.

1. Visit the wonders of the Ancient World in Pergamon Museum


The Pergamonmuseum is among other famous museums in the world that has a vast collection of impressive works of art from ancient times. But what it is most known for is the Pergamon Altar, a tableau of Zeus and Pergamon built on a white stone. It's where they got the name for the museum.

The real treat here is that the museum's architecture is an art itself as it was intricately designed so much that it would grab your attention. Besides, it's an instant trip to the distant past. These walls, gates, and pillars erected 2000 years ago, making the museum even more special.

Walking right through the Pergamon Museum is like walking into the wonders of the Ancient World. Being close to treasures that represent our rich history is a delight. Exploring the ancient parts of Iran, Asia Minor, Egypt, and parts of Caucasus.

Be sure to explore all rooms around the museum to give you that ancient world feels.

best things to do in Berlin

2. Learn about the country's history in Gendarmenmarkt


One of Berlin's famous landmarks is the Gendarmenmarkt, which is a public square sandwiched in the middle of three famous buildings— the Konzerthaus, the French Cathedral, and the German Cathedral. It used to be a marching ground for soldiers, but now, it has become a public park for locals and tourists who want to get together with friends or listen to classical music at the Konzerthaus.

The Christmas Markets in Germany is also popular among visitors during the holidays where you can eat and be merry!

And since you're already in the city center, might as well spend some time learning about the country's history by joining a walking tour along with the site where Hitler planned what we consider now to be one of the darkest times of our age.

Everything that you need to know about the Nazi Dictatorship, you can learn here. Just be prepared to take it all in as the events of the gloomy past were sickening and painful to hear, let alone see the sites where it happened.

3. Get a glimpse of the world behind the Iron Curtain in Brandenburg Gate


Brandenburg Gate is one of the most famous Berlin landmarks. This neoclassical structure is a symbol of division between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. It's the longest-standing historical gate in Germany. A trip to Berlin without a photo on this historical site is like you didn't go to the city.

Brandenburg Gate was then a symbol of division. Ever since the Germans ceased what could be the most atrocious battles in the history of the world, it has become a sign of peace and unity among its people, making it a more significant part of Berlin.

To be able to stand in front of the gate is an achievement in itself, especially if you know full well the terrible events that came with it. It's a joy to be witnessing the freedom of a once chained country.

They converted an old indoor airplane hanger. It can accommodate up to 6,000 people. It’s located just south of Berlin, in Brandenburg. It provides the option of tropical weather to the ordinarily freezing region of Europe. As someone who basically lives in the tropics, they may not realize that they are also missing the worst part of that adventure: bugs.

It’s very much designed like a giant theme park too with lots of special buildings and walkways. They also have an indoor nightclub that looks pretty sweet.

Brandenburg surrounds this vibrant Berlin metropolis with vegetation and nature. It is the Tuscany of the north, with the Uckermark district and is a little Venice of rivers and canals that go through the Spree Forest and a Prussian Arcadia with Potsdam, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

4. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church - Memorial of war and destruction


The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is a striking reminder of the horrors of the past. It still carries with it the memory of the war through its broken spire and tower. Despite it being irreparable, it remains to be standing even after all these years. The hallowed halls of the church can shield you from the city's noise, giving you enough time to take a moment for yourself to be quiet and be more aware of the voice inside you.

Once you step in, you might forget that you are still in the middle of a busy city. Because it was damaged heavily during World War II, it made it more fascinating and 100x more beautiful, given that it survived the worst injuries of the past.

5. Witness spectacular views from Berliner Fernsehturm


Of course, what's a trip to Berlin without getting a panoramic view of the city? The Television Tower offers a 360-degree view of the whole of Berlin. Impressive skyline and blinding lights from towering heights—to view the city from a different perspective is an excellent way to end this trip.

Staying in the middle of the city with easy access to different attractions and restaurants is one thing. But to see the entirety of Berlin means a different level of high— something that makes you appreciate the amount of strength every German had to endure to be where they are right now.

Besides, the Television Tower is the third tallest freestanding structure in Europe. That alone is enough reason for you to visit it.

6. Enjoy the tranquility in Spandau


The Berlin Spandau station offers connection to the metro and commuter network of Berlin. But who needs cars in Spandau? The old town and the citadel are within walking distance. In addition, you can get to any part of Spandau with the many buses that stop at both Spandau stops, at the train station and at the town hall.

The old town of Spandau is one of the highlights of this neighborhood. Here you can see different architectural styles that are characteristic of different times. Enjoy the tranquility in Reformationsplatz with the St. Nikolai Church, which invites you to enter with its many banks and a small dream park. A few steps further on, you will find the Gothic House, one of the most important medieval monuments in Berlin.

Go from Gothic to Renaissance. In Spandau you can do it in just a couple of minutes. The Citadel, with the Juliusturm tower, is the district's reference point. Completely surrounded by water, it completes the picturesque landscape created by the Havel. Explore the terrain and escape from routine. See medieval fairs in the modern metropolis.

In the Havel plain, Spandau also has rural paradises created by water, meadows, forest and countryside, very close to the urban area and the historic area.

7. Holocaust Memorial Museum


The non uniform blocks symbolizing graves through which the museum is entered offer a subtle context to the space. The blocks grow in size as you pass through them making the overwhelming sense of claustrophobia grow as you reach the entrance. The museum is experienced through an audio-guide using microphones that narrates the incidents of the Holocaust, personalizing stories from the victims of Auschwitz.

The use of lighting is done excellently to simulate depression, hope, pain and joy in the spaces. Visitors are left teary eyed and full of emotions as they leave the space with deep sympathies and connection with the victims of Holocaust.

8. Enjoy the tranquility in Sanssouci Palace


A big surprise is also the palace and Sanssouci park in Potsdam. The Sanssouci palace was the summer residence of Frederick II the Great, King of Prussia. The Sanssouci Palace is known as the Prussian Versailles, although it is much prettier than Versailles. The New Palace, houses an art gallery, a Chinese house, the house of the Dragon that houses a cafeteria cum restaurant, the Charlottenhof Palace and the Orangerie.
  • 0
  • Thursday, July 16, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Colombia is an amazing country! It’s diversity, warmhearted people, vibrant life and amazing landscapes make it one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. The country’s capital, Bogotá is a huge modern city with more than eight million people, and whether it can be overwhelming and sprawling at the beginning, it has a wonderful cultural and social life surrounded by mountains.

Bogotá is located on a plateau at the foot of the Eastern Cordillera, a branch of the colossal Andes, and is the heart of Colombia. In the postcards of Bogota there is a pleasant visual contrast.

Bogota boasts of its centennial history through extraordinary examples of the resplendent viceregal architecture, such as the Teatro Colón, with its proud neoclassical style, Bolívar Square, surrounded by important buildings such as the Palace of Justice, the National Capitol, where the congress is, and the Cathedral of Bogotá, among others.

Among other things, it has the airport with the highest air traffic, the tallest skyscraper in Colombia, the oldest universities in Colombia and the largest concentration of museums in Colombia, as well as the esteemed emeralds, the legendary El Dorado myth, the literary work of García Márquez and the unique artistic expressions of Fernando Botero.

Here you can listen to the songs of the typical vallenato and the well-known cumbia, which is proudly Colombian. You can also eat the rich Sancocho and the Ajiaco, or drink a little brandy and of course, the vaunted Colombian coffee, which are just some of the succulent delicacies offered by traditional Colombian cuisine.

best things to do in Bogota, Colombia

In Bogotá, you’ll never get bored, and here I’ll tell you why! Within all you can do in this wonderful city, here are some of the best things to do in Bogota:

1. Walking down La Candelaria


La Candelaria is one of the most important and old neighbourhoods in the city; it’s basically the main historic place encompassing the president’s house, museums, cafes, stores, and well known restaurants. There’s much to see in La Candelaria and you’ll never get bored walking down it’s colorful and historic streets. It also has the highest concentration of hostels in the city, so it’s always a good option for accommodation.

2. Hiking Monserrate


Monserrate is one of the most iconic tourist landmarks and so, not to be missed when coming to Bogotá! It lies about 3152 meters above sea level and it’s the perfect and most beautiful spot to have a full sight of the immensity of the city. It also has a church and some restaurants and souvenirs shops to enjoy even more your visit.

Located in the eastern hills, close to La Candelaria, Monserrate’s top of the mountain is only reachable by hiking or by the famous cable car or funicular railway for an easier and faster ride.

3. Immerse yourself in Gold Museum


As you might have heard before, Colombia is the land of El Dorado legend and so, some of its precolonial cultures were very fond of gold. This museum, located close to La Candelaria, is home to more than 30000 goldsmith pieces and 2500 years of culture, history and artisanal metalsmith. The Gold Museum was founded more than 80 years ago and it’s still one of the most important tourist spots in the city.

To spend a good couple of hours there admiring all the pieces of gold and how they relate to our history is always a must when coming to Bogotá.

4. Visit Bolívar Square


No city’s sightseeing is completed without a visit to its main square or plaza. In Bogota’s case, the Plaza de Bolívar (Bolívar Square) is the capital’s most important landmark as it hosts the presidential house, the main cathedral, the palace of justice and the mayor's office. So, there’s no surprise when saying that the most important political and democratic events in the country take place in this square.

It’s a must see in Bogotá and a great spot for some really cool pictures.

5. Enjoy the nightlife in Usaquén


Within all the things to do in Bogota, if you are fond of spending some good, fun and crazy time do not miss the city’s nightlife. There are hundreds of amazing bars and clubs to dance like there’s no tomorrow scattered all over the city; some of the most famous one are Zona Rosa, Chapinero and Usaquén. From reggaeton to salsa, techno, and even indie, in Bogotá there are clubs of all kinds of tastes.

Actually, the city is home to one of the biggest LGBT clubs in South America called Theatron and the worldwide famous restaurant and club Andrés Carne de Res.

6. Try some good food and coffee in Paloquemao


Besides music, warm people and beautiful landscapes, Colombian food is also a huge important part of the culture. As the capital, Bogotá is no exception to this and over the past years it has exponentially increased its gastronomic culture offering tons of delicious food and drink options that make up the most amazing local experiences!

In La Candelaria you will find tons of coffee shops and restaurants worth a try. Visit La Puerta Falsa for some of the best typical food and Café Qundió or La Romana for an amazing cup of coffee!

A very important thing when you are exploring Bogotá, is to know a bit of Spanish. In Bogotá, more than anywhere else in the country, you’ll find people that talk English, but it’s rather a good idea to know some basics before or during your stay here. Learning some Spanish will definitely help you to interact with locals better and make your way throughout the country.

One of the best Spanish online courses is Whee Institute’s; their classes are highly reviewed, tailored to your needs and interests, and taught by amazing teachers that make innovative and fun classes. Huge plus: although they have online classes for worldwide students, they are actually based in Bogotá, so they know the game!

There are a lot of things to do in Bogota and discovering and exploring them is a remarkable experience! The fact that the city has been growing over the past decades means that now, more than ever, it enjoys a wide variety of interesting things, places, flavors, people and once in a lifetime experiences. We hope this article is useful whenever you have the chance to be her!

Now you are more prepared to arrive in Bogotá. Of course, discovering and exploring when you are actually here has no comparison, but we do hope we have given you some useful recommendations and that you are eager to come and enjoy this amazing, cosmopolitan city!
  • 0
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Portland in Oregon has lots of great things to see and do. So here are just a few examples of the many magnetic attractions that this city in USA on offer, while some are free, some are you gotta pay for. Grab a Willamette Week newspaper to find out where to catch fun free shows, many of them outdoors during the temperate Northwest summers. Oregon has so many things to offer the traveler and one of the most attractive state is the Northwest!

For the most part, Portland is Oregon's capital and has the West Hills which has the vast majority of residents that call the city home. If you are visiting this city, don't be afraid to stay in one of the most sought after hotels in the city that is also centrally located.

Portland is the capital and the largest city in Oregon. Kick back Pacific Northwest style in Oregon's biggest city. Straddling the Willamette River, Portland is arguably one of the healthiest American cities, with bike lanes crisscrossing friendly neighborhoods, and buses and a light-rail system helping to preserve the refreshingly clean air.

Nearby you will find Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast and the wine region. It is also considered one of the greenest cities in the United States. Portland gives off a creative and youthful energy, with its many slow food restaurants, food trucks, craft breweries, the predilection of the bike over the car and the sustainable development in all its facets, which makes the city ​​be especially nice.

Maybe the atmosphere, a bit too hipster, can be unbearable, but in any case, the quality of life there is very good. In the morning, visit Stumptown or any of the new coffee shops that are all over the city for coffee. For lunch, we recommend visiting Alder Street's Food Cart Pods, where a huge number of food carts meet in one place.

And, thanks to the city's food trucks (also called pods), you can fill up on gourmet-quality fare for less than $10. Finally, in the morning or in the evening, go to the famous Voodoo Donut (and order maple with bacon) or Blue Star Donuts (and order basil with bourbon and blueberry). So, if you are planning to book a cheap flight to Portland, then visit the Qatar Airways booking site to save money and spend it on a tour of Portland.

Best Things To Do In Portland, Oregon

Let's see the list of best things to do in Portland:

1. International Rose Test Garden


Entrance is free to the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, which has the honour of being crowned the continuously operated public garden within the US. Oh, well, if you want to see it, just head for Washington Park, when the roses are at their absolute best between May and September.

2. Oregon Zoo


All great places have a great zoo, and the Oregon Zoo at Portland certainly is excellent! You can see the entire wildlife world in one afternoon at the Oregon Zoo, and you won't even need your passport. There are more than 2,000 different animals from all over the world, including an Asian elephant breeding program.

The Oregon Zoo in Portland is renowned for its conservation efforts, so why not visit it. It's ideal for adults, and it's perfect for kids too.

3. OMSI


Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is one of the leading science museums in the United States, offering five fantastic halls of intellectual, hands-on fun. Don't worry if the ground starts shaking, as experiencing an earthquake is just one of the many attractions in the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Take a tour of a real submarine, explore the Universe in the safety of a planetarium, the OMSI, bringing science to life in Portland. If you want to take a look around inside the sub, you'll just have to make your way to the OMSI in Portland yourself.

4. Portland Art Museum


The artistic and cultural institutions of Portland are highly respected. If you're more of an art geek than a science geek, then make your way to the Portland Art Museum, where you'll gaze in awe at the fantastic and exciting art experiences. This is the oldest museum in the North West. Just head to downtown Portland. You'll not be able to miss it.

There's a sculpture court outdoors, and the interior is just waiting to take you on a historical, artistic journey across the world. There's some brilliant Native American art, modern art, and traditional art. The Portland Art Museum is just full of art! Now that's what I call art, masterpieces of design!

5. Portland Saturday Market


Get to know the culinary scene of Portland by visiting the Saturday Market, which is set up in Chinatown every weekend and where you can find art, gastronomy, crafts and lots of street culture. On weekends, you can sample local, seasonal delights in farmer's markets. And craftspeople have been selling their handmade, affordable wares at the riverside Saturday Market (which is also open on Sunday).

As many days you can spare for your trip to Portland in Oregon, make sure that you have an available Saturday to visit the unique sights, sounds and atmosphere of the Portland Saturday market. It's the largest weekly open-air art and craft market in the nation, packed with unique creations mostly displayed by the individual creators. It's open every Saturday (and Sunday incidentally).

Why not visit it and treat yourself to something unique and beautiful from the Portland market. Go on, treat yourself. It is a "cultural cornucopia".

6. Pittock Mansion


It is the best place to visit for spectacular views and a glimpse into the past of Portland as it dramatically transformed from a sleepy small town into a city bustling with activity. The Pittock Mansion is packed with treasures, and this architectural masterpiece soaring around 1000 feet over the Portland skyline is well worth a visit. Hey, if you thought that looked impressive, try visiting the Pittock Mansion in Portland, in real life.

7. Lan Su Chinese Garden


You'd be forgiven for thinking that you'd been miraculously transported way back in time, and across to the other side of the world. When you step into the beautiful world that is the Lan Su Chinese Garden, this authentically designed and built Ming Dynasty garden. There is a lovely teahouse and a whole host of events which takes place here every year, including (of course) a two-week Chinese New Year celebration and various summer concerts.

It's a great place to visit, whatever be the time of year. No wonder the Lan Su Chinese Garden is considered by many to be the best and most authentic Chinese garden outside China.

Other Things To Do In Portland

As if you haven't already convinced that Portland, Oregon is a great place to visit just packed with exciting things to see and do, there's plenty more stuff to entertain you and fill your time. Among the weirdest stuff to do in Portland, you can attend a presentation at the Oregon Symphony or the Portland Opera. Watch the dancers dance across the stage at the Oregon Ballet Theater.

Watch the Portland Trail Blazers play at the Rose Garden Arena. They are onetime NBA champs and have an unbelievable fan base (it all adds to the atmosphere and the excitement you know). There's also the Portland Timbers who play Major League Soccer, NASCAR at the Portland International Raceway and the Portland WinterHawks hockey team.

Golf, hiking, cycling, running, fishing, water sports and winter sports are fantastic winter sporting adventures only an hour's drive from Portland city.

Take the beer tours and the wine tours and a tour of the 89 breweries or their pubs, where they offer good promotions to eat at happy hour, which often takes place twice a day in the bars of Portland. The American pub has high ceilings, bright lights, booze bottles on display, and numerous affectations like brass taps and strip lighting and in some cases even real brick and wood.

You’d be lucky to find one that doesn’t have a screen somewhere, too. American pubs are either too big or too small, and they’re always too crowded either way.

American pubs are hotspots. Instagrammers are going to show up there. Tourists. Influencers. Pregaming idiots who wouldn’t appreciate a good beer if they drowned in it. Out-of-towners. Posers.

I hope you find the article helpful to plan a trip to Portland. I'm sure you'll agree that there are lots to see and do in Portland. If at anytime you want to cancel your flight tickets, then visit the Qatar Airways cancellation site to see its policy about flight reservation and cancellation.
  • 0
  • Monday, July 13, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Castles are magical! Each one evokes some sort of illustration from a storybook. Let's face it, we may not have liked the inequity of castle living but they sure are fun to visit! In fact, some travelers have no problem building an entire trip around a castle visit. It is a highlight worth any journal entry, that's for sure!

So, what makes one of these stars on the map a family friendly castle? The criteria are simple enough. A good start is that castles that have experiences and don't just look like a bunch of rocks do not make the list! However, dynamic, story-filled, treasure hunting, catapult throwing, falconry flying castles are in!

most beautiful castles in the world

A few family friendly castles give travelers just a little more, here’s why. Read on to see how these best castles in the world can be well worth your time!

1. Hohensalzburg Fortress, Austria


Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, Austria is an incredible study in medieval society. It is the biggest preserved medieval castle in Europe. And it chronicles everything from the first Prince Bishops to Hitler’s occupation. Salzburg itself is charming and filled with the sounds of music but it offers so much more in the very heart of Europe.

Don’t miss: music with Mozart! While you may spend the days do-re-me-ing try spending an evening with the master. A graduate level experience!

2. Castel San Angelo, Rome


Castel SanAngelo sits opposite the mighty Vatican in the heart of Rome. It’s prominent place is no mistake. For centuries, the castel has been key through all kinds of tugs of war throughout Rome’s contentious history. Families can roam through dungeons and state rooms, look at priceless artwork and endless city views. Use this journey to connect the religion next door to the city that surrounds it.

Don’t miss: take the tour of the secret passage to the Vatican and watch how the DaVinci code comes to life!

3. Osaka Castle, Japan


Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan is situated just far enough away from Tokyo that families can get a rather authentic look at the Samurai way of life. So, like most castles, strap on a pair of good shoes and get ready for that hike to the top! Learn about how samurais kept a sharp hold on local prefectures and explore the unique architecture Japan has to offer.

Don’t miss: feeding the MONSTER koi fish at the foot of the castle grounds. These cool fish are trained to take treats just like a friendly pup!

4. The Grand Palace, Thailand


Thailand is an amazing experience that allows families a chance to learn and explore a different global perspective. Learning how others respond to their culture is an enlightening process. Take in the architecture, the cultural vibes and enjoy the moment! A journey to a place like this may take a lot of prep work to understand but go and enjoy the grounds and the Emerald Buddha then go enjoy some Thai noodles!

Don’t miss: the elephant platforms that explain how royalty used the gentle giants as transportation.

5. Malbork Castle, Poland


Europe’s largest brick castle and is an impressive piece of architecture (Mom’s get those cameras ready) but it offers so much more! The armory museum is amazing as is the beautiful St. Mary’s. So what does Malbork offer? A truly amazing look at European history over several hundred years from Teutonic Knights to Hitler’s occupation, Malbork has had first hand experience with it all.

Don’t miss: the truly outstanding renaissance weekends and demonstrations throughout the year.

6. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland


Head up north to Edinburgh Castle in beautiful Scotland! You won’t be disappointed! Edinburgh is the heart of Scotland and has plenty to share. Stroll up the Royal Mile and take in the sights and sounds. You’re sure to pass a bagpiper or two! Check out the fortifications and start your climb up to the top where you’ll find the national war memorial and the Scottish Crown Jewels, among other things. You’ll be channeling your inner William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in no time.

Don’t miss: the annual military tattoo in August. You won’t be disappointed by this amazing spectacle of all things Scottish!

7. Blarney Castle, Ireland


Blarney Castle in the south west of Ireland is a great stop with the kids- as long as you are not afraid of heights! Climb up to the top learning about each space from dungeons to lookouts. Then, figure out why in the world the Blarney came to be known as the gift of gab. Once at the top, take the plunge to kiss the stone and experience the trust in paddy and mike who guide you through the dip! Oh my! Don’t look down!

Don’t miss: the poison gardens on the property. Explore how certain plants were not so medicinal when used by medieval ne’er do wells!

8. Ashford Castle, Ireland


Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland is a very swanky hotel with amazing amenities and vistas on the very site where John Wayne’s “The Quiet Man”. So why does Ashford appeal to families? Well, this former Guinness estate hold a secret deep in its woods. Ireland’s National School of Falconry provides one of the most unique experiences to participants as guides take you through the breathtaking experience of Falconry. Seriously.

Don’t miss: tea at the thatched cottage to practice those all important manners!

9. Mont Saint Michel, France


While not an official castle per se, Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France offers an amazing experience for families. It literally looks like a real life Disney castle. Consider it custom made to run off a ton of energy!

Don’t miss: the guided walk around the island at low tide.
  • 0
  • Friday, July 10, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
India - a name that incites a feeling of color, vibrancy, culture, heritage and a history that dates back to the beginning of civilization. Ever since the development of settled living in places like Dholavira and Lothal in Gujarat, this incredible state of India has attracted not only tourists and explorers from all over the world.

Its majestic holy temples have also been attracting thinkers, philosophers, saints, sages and gods themselves. There is no dearth of places to explore ranging from national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and camping grounds to temples, holy shrines and step wells. Gujarat makes for a wonderful holiday with your family and loved ones.

It is a fact that travelling to Gujarat would be worthwhile.

Best Places To Visit In Gujarat

Here are the best places to visit in Gujarat all year long:

1. Rann of Kutch


From the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi to the Great Terrain of Kutch - experience this magical land of Western India. The district of Kutch is often known as the Far East of India. A unique destination in India, Kutch is the largest natural salt desert in the world situated in the state of Gujarat in India.

Expansive, endless white unobstructed salt desert panning to as far as the eyes can see. Rann of Kutch definitely tops the list of must visit places in Gujarat as your visit here remains incomplete without a trip here. Ranked for being one of the largest salt deserts in the world, this type of landscape is a rare occurrence and walking here or going on a jeep safari tour of Kutch is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Every year for a couple of months in winter the entire white desert sets the stage for the ethnic Gujarati fair of Rann Utsav. The month of February is the best time to visit this unique landscape, as the popular Rann Utsav takes place around this time of the year.

The Rann Utsav is a time of the year when this gorgeous stretch of salt and marshes turns into a sight for sore eyes. Similarly, pockets of Gujarat bloom with festivity as Makar Sankranti brings the spirit of colours, brightness, and of course - Kite Flying! It is ideal for camping in the wild under a tent or entering a white horizon that offers some of the best sunsets in India.

An arid and nomadic place whose main attraction is known as Rann of Kutch, a clayey and salty desert located between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the Indus River. A curious scenario that during the monsoon season is flooded to form different marshes that attract species of flamingos (inhabitants of the Great Rann of Kutch) and even donkeys (the Wild Ass Sanctuary of the Little Rann of Kutch).

Also known as black hill and towering at a height of around 1,516 feet above sea level, Kalo Dungar is the highest point in Kutch. Extremely easy to reach this place is a favourable option for families travelling with kids. Once you reach the top of the hill you will get the whole panoramic view of the glimmering white Rann of Kutch surrounding you.

If you carry a binocular along you will even be able to see the India Pakistan border from the top due to its incredible proximity. For people with a religious incline you have the option of visiting the 400 year old Dattatreya Temple located here.

2. Junagadh


One of the most important tourist attractions in Junagarh is the Junagarh Fort. Lal Garh Palace is a masterpiece of architecture in red sandstone. The palace has an impressive collection of paintings in good condition and hunting trophies. Bougainvillea flowers and dancing peacocks make a visual extravaganza.

To see these havelis the suggested route is Gogagate, Daddhon Ka Chowk, Rangari Chowk, Assanion Ka Chowk, Mohta Chowk, Binnanion Ka Chowk Dagger Chowk, BK School and Jassuar Gate .

Located 2 km east of Junagarh and 3 km from the foot of Girnar Hill. There is ashok shilalekh, an edict of the Emperor Ashoka here. Stroll through the Bazaars in Junagadh. Some of the items that could possibly be collected as souvenirs are tapestries, Bandhni saris, cloth toys, embroidered clothes and silk saris. Bargain to get the best offer.

Somnath Jyotirlinga is one of the holiest Jyotirlingas in the world. The architecture of the Shiva temple is considered to be a masterpiece that is replete with defined and fine engravings and carvings. Standing majestically on the banks of the Arabian sea this temple shares a wall with the open seas.

It is the best when visited during sunset when you can see the sun dip below the horizon and then later on go for a sound and light show that takes place every day after sunset.

3. Gir National Park


Famous for being the only habitat favourable for the survival of the Asiatic lions, Gir is undoubtedly one of the largest national parks in Gujarat. The landscape of this incredible national park comprises of isolated hills, plateaus, shrubby and rugged ridges and valleys. The park is of deciduous forested regions and is lined all over with jungle trails and hikes where you can observe various plants, animals and birds anywhere you look.

It is especially a thrilling and fun experience for kids and photography enthusiasts. Avoid making plans during the monsoon season as most likely the park remains shut.

4. Patan


Gujarat is replete with numerous iconic and heritage landmarks and the collection of step wells here is truly mind boggling. Apart from being a source of water for the villagers a step well was also utilized as a social interaction place where people used to go there, talk to each other and socialize while collecting water. One of the latest addition to UNESCO heritage sites is Rani ka Vav.

Rani Ki Vav is an architectural masterpiece consisting of numerous fine works of craftsmanship along with 800 sculptures spread across 7 galleries. An architectural jewel erected in honor of King Bhima I by his own widow in the eleventh century which consists of 7 levels where some 500 sculptures of motifs that will suppose a delight for lovers of history.

Discovered by accident the place is a magnificent jewel in the collection of tourist destinations in Gujarat. Despite being abandoned and being invaded by the waters of the nearby river years later, Rani Ki Vav was rescued from oblivion in the 80s.

A city situated inside the walls and the former capital of the state during medieval represents the Indian history and culture in olden times. Following the current of the Sabarmati River, you can enter the largest step well of India in the town of Patan.

5. Champaner


The distance from Golden Chowkadi to Pavagadh Foot Hill is around 42 Km. After Asoj village (23 Km from Golden Chowkadi), there is Narmada canal. Similarly, one can also reach to Pavagadh temple and Champaner, driving thorough Halol Town. There is a famous Shiva Temple on the road. The temple is on a small hill.

After crossing Champaner Gate, on the left, you can see the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park – World Heritage Site. One of the many UNESCO world heritage sites in Gujarat, this archaeological park is a deserted city and had once existed as a thriving city. The entire complex rests majestically on the foothills of Pavagadh hills which is dotted with various types of temples, mosques, forts and palaces all of them dating back to the 16th century.

There are two options are available to reach the Maha Kali Mata Temple on Hill. One is park your car, and get in the Jeep (available on rent) or drive your car to Machi. There are turns on the road which will excite you. It is a beautiful road and gives breathtaking view of surrounding areas.

After reaching Machi, one can ride on rope way. After getting down from rope way, The Maha Kali Mata Temple is very near. Attractions at Pavagadh, are Maha Kali Mata Temple and Champaner. The Maha Kali Mata Temple at top of hill is very famous and one of the Shaktipeeth. Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple on daily, and more on full moon and almost all Sunday.

The Girmal Falls is the largest waterfall in Gujarat. The waterfall originates from a small Gira river flowing through the plains and joins the Ambika River, making its way through the Satpura hills in Gujarat's Saputara. The Sunset Point located in Saputara is also known as Gandhi Shikhar. The views of the tribal villages extending from the sunset point of Saputara to the mountains and plains of the Sahyadri ranges provide a very pleasant feeling.

Some must visit sights here include Jama Masjid, Lila Gumbaj Ki Masjid, Lakulisa Temple, Helical step well etc. this is one of the oldest standing complex in the state which makes a day here well spent with the family.

6. Ahmedabad


Harappan civilization is the first signs of civilization in the world by early humans and none other than Lothal in Gujarat is a site for this development. This whole complex is in the form of an extensively dug up land consisting of the remains of civilization that once had thrived there. Through these excavations some light was shed into the level of development and the lifestyle early settlers used to have.

Consisting of the remains of walls, dried up waterways, washrooms, common houses etc. it is an eye opening experience especially if you are history buff.

7. Dwarka


Truly one of its kind, especially in India, make sure to take a trip to this ultimate and unique Marine National Park dedicated entirely to the conservation and preservation of marine life. As the high tides recede back into the sea for some time, you will be able to witness the magical world that lies under water.

Observe various types of unique fishes like sea urchins, starfish etc. along with sponges and various life giving corals. You can walk around the shallow water region and travel there by boats which will be an unexpectedly fun and refreshing experience for you especially if you are holidaying with kids.

8. Dhordo


Gujarat is famous for its incredibly colorful and unique culture that resides in the ethnic parts of the State. Villages like Dhordo and Hodko are few of the villages that you must visit if you wish to get to know more about the Gujarati culture in a close manner. There are even traditional accommodations available for you to stay among the original locals of Gujarat.

Make sure to shop for authentic and traditionally made items that you can find here as the people here depend on the sale of these handmade products for their livelihood. What’s better than travelling and doing your bit!

9. Mandvi


Being a coastal state, Gujarat is blessed with an incredible glimmering coastal line which allows for refreshing and relaxing beaches to develop. Out of all this, Mandvi beach is the most popular one and a great decision to explore after a day of sightseeing in Gujarat. You can try out some awesome and fun filled water sports or just sit by the river and relax yourself.

Feel the waves rhythmically come and go, or check out the serene sunset moment in this perfect place to go with your family, friends and loved ones.

10. Modhera


In India, there are staggered wells such as the famous Chand Baori, Rani Ki Vav or, especially, the Sun Temple located 2 kilometers from the Modhera town. Built in the 11th century by the Solanki dynasty in honor of Surya, the sun god, the Modhera Sun Temple is characterized by an indoor pool surrounded by various staircases and a temple that attracts hundreds of pilgrims each year.

Tourists from all over the world throng the place, so you might want to book your travel early in advance to get the best accommodations. Enjoy folk dances, folktales, performances, camel races, taste some of the best local cuisine and spend your day in frolic in the vast whiteness of the sandy ocean of the desert to truly discover yourself.

11. Porbandar


Located between the Veraval and Dwarka, Porbandar beach is located towards the southwest coast of the state of Gujarat. It is best known throughout the country for its various tourist attractions. It has an old port. Porbandar is the birthplace of Mahatama Gandhi, the father of the nation. Apart from this, this place is also believed to be the birthplace of Sudama, who was a close and devoted friend of Krishna.

The remains of old docks and ports along the Porbandar Creek certify that the city was once a center for marine activities.

12. Anand


When referring to the village, the picture of dusty roads, bullock or horse carriages, raw-paved houses and far-sighted fields comes to mind, but there should be a village where there are paved and clean roads instead of raw, on them What if expensive cars like running Mercedes or BMW and restaurants like McDonalds are also seen at the village square.

Yes, Dharmaj village in Anand district of Gujarat is one such place, where you will see this prosperity scattered all over the place. The people of the village lead a life of both urban and rural surroundings. People of Dharmaj are settled all over the world. Dharmaj village is also called the village of NRI, where every person from every home does business abroad.

Here in almost every family, one brother lives in the village and cultivates, while the other brother goes abroad and earns money. It is said that in every country you will definitely find a person of religion. This will probably be the first village in the country whose coffee tablebook has been published expressing its history, present and geography.
  • 0
  • Friday, July 10, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Lausanne should peak your interest simply for being the fourth largest city in Switzerland. That Switzerland has four cities is surprising enough, but to then learn that Lausanne is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe should make it a top priority for travelers. Taking a road trip through the Swiss Alps to Lausanne, the fourth largest city in Switzerland, is a dream come true.

While road trips are more about the outdoors, Lausanne is more about the town. Yes, the surroundings are beautiful too, but with about 420,000 residents this town has a lot to offer as a road trip destination. It is part of the French-speaking part of Switzerland, with a view of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps.

This small town is full of French romance and atmosphere and one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. You can also take the Chocolate Train to a cheese factory in Gruyere and the Cailler chocolate factory. It is rich in history with medieval streets lined with shops, stunning architecture and a great assortment of fine museums and art venues.

There really is something here for everyone. Combined with the beauty of the surrounding mountains and lake it is truly a must visit road trip destination. Lausanne is a city full of history, from the Romans to the Protestant Reformation to the Olympics. The city is filled with churches and museums, and one of the towers of the old city fortifications still stands.

Don’t worry about getting around the city, for the public transport is extensive. There are 25 bus lines, 2 metro lines, and 8 regional lines, so getting around the city should be no problem for travelers. Tickets can be bought for the length or the time of trips.

The city sits on the south side of the Swiss Plateau and overlooks the Alps and Lake Geneva. Being built on a southward slope, the layout of the streets can lead visitors to miss the streets they search by meters. If it is the way you get to Lausanne, or perhaps leave it, the train station is a beautiful building. It connects the city to many others in Switzerland, Italy, and France through express trains.

best things to do in Lausanne

Here are a few of the best things to do in Lausanne.

1. Lake Geneva


Locals hate the English Name, preferring the French “Lac Léman”, because the lake is for everyone, not just those from Geneva. Whether you want to see its beauty from restaurants and bars, beaches, the walking path, or a boat, which can be eco-friendly. The views in the background are a stunning addition to the lake.

2. Lausanne Cathedral


Built in the Gothic Style, this cathedral is a must-see. It features a rose window and a gigantic pipe organ. In comparison to other European Cathedrals it is small, but the climb to the top of the bell tower is very much worth it. You can pay a small fee to climb up the stairs of the bell tower, past the great bells, to an observation area where you can look out over the city, the sea, and to the Alps.

3. Sauvabelin Tower


Sitting in the Sauvabelin Forest, this 35 foot tall tower has panoramic views of Lausanne, encompassing the Alps, the Jura, and the Plateau. Built of Douglas Wood from the surrounding forest, it also serves as a picture of sustainable development. The architecture is stunning, with a very open construction. It is outside of the city, but there is a bus line that leads to it.

4. Tour de l’Ale


This tower is a little tricky to find, being hidden off of a side street, so you might have to ask for some directions (don’t worry, they probably speak English). It’s an astounding remnant of the old city wall. You can get a tour of the inside of the tower.

5. Casino de Montbenon


Built in 1908, this Casino now holds the Swiss Film Archive. It houses 2 multi-purpose stages that can function as concert halls and movie theaters. The casino hosts the Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival, JazzOnze+, and the film festival Cinémas d'Afrique (which displays films, documentaries, cartoons, and other cinematic works from or concerning African Countries).

6. Olympic Museum


The city is also called the Capitale Olympique, meaning Olympic Capital, for its hosting of the International Olympic Committee since 1915, and Olympic Museum. The Olympic Museum is the largest museum in the world to record the history of the Olympic Movement and the most complete collection of Olympic materials in the world.

A museum devoted to the Olympic movement that features over 10,000 Olympic artifacts sits to the south of the city center. It houses exhibitions on all of the Olympic games, from the Ancient Greek Olympics to the Paralympics and Youth Olympics, and how culture, technology, and sociology influence the Olympics.

Outside the museum is the Olympic park, where works of art related to the theme of sports stand, such as Les Footballeurs by Niki de Saint Phalle.

7. Capitole Cinema


Being both the oldest and largest Cinema in Switzerland, this cinema is still active. It runs movies in French and English, and will run silent movies with piano and orchestra, and digitised older movies. The Screen and theater room itself are beautifully designed from the golden age of Cinema.

8. Café Saint Pierre


At some point as you’re going through the city, hunger will strike you. It sports craft beers, lunchtime specials, and a weekend brunch. It also has vegan and vegetarian options.

9. Salle Métropole


Designed in 1929, this historical building houses various events, like performances by the Orchestra, pop music performances, and dances. The stage has been remodeled in later years, to improve visibility and acoustics for the 1,200 seats.

10. Terrasses viticoles de Lavaux


Lausanne has one of the great sights of the world: the Lavaux vineyards. You can take a train through them.

Text BY: Jakob Schreiber
  • 0
  • Thursday, July 02, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
If Bahrain isn’t on your bucket list – you need to add it right away. This amazing country in the Middle East is so much more than you would expect. Bahrain is a true gem when it comes to traveling. It offers so many various cultural and natural sights and a true traveler should never miss it. Let’s explore and see why you should visit Bahrain in 2020 for one of the best life experiences.

The diversity that comes with traveling is one of the strongest points when it comes to Bahrain’s potential. For that reason, Bahrain is one of the best countries to visit from the UAE, or wherever you’re traveling from. Bahrain is a middle east country and mostly every Saudi citizen love to enjoy the vacation in Bahrain as it has a more open environment (women need not wear their Abayas as well).

Bahrain is an Asian island state composed of 33 islands on the east coast of the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is known worldwide in recent years for events such as Formula 1. One of the most important places of interest in Bahrain is the Bahrain Financial Harbor. One of the tourist places that you can not miss on your trip to the Kingdom of Bahrain is the great mosque or Al-Fatih Mosque.

best things to do in Bahrain

Let’s go through all the amazing things you can do and visit – the reasons why you should travel to Bahrain this year.

1. Enjoy the sun in Al Dar Island


One of the best ways to spend a sunny day in Bahrain is to get a boat and visit Al Dar Islands. You do it from the Sitra Fisherman's Port, by renting a boat or getting a speedboat ride. This will cost you around 5-8 BHD for the round trip, depending on the day of the week. It’s free to enter Al Dar Island, and it takes around 15 minutes to get there.

Things you can do after you arrive include renting a chalet or beach hut, doing amazing water sports, enjoying incredible water and beach nature, and having a meal at the restaurant. We recommend swimming in the lagoon and collecting pearls; if you’re lucky enough, you’ll see dolphins, as these waters are their natural habitat.

2. Sunny Beaches in Diyar Al Muharraq


Apart from visiting the islands, you can also enjoy the sun at one of the great beaches all around Bahrain. Here are some top choices among private and public beaches, that you can explore while visiting Bahrain:

Marassi Al Bahrain is located in Diyar Al Muharraq and is a resort-type beach. It’s perfect if you’re visiting with friends since it’s famous for DJ parties and fairs, as well as water sports competitions.

The Ritz Carlton Beach – for a more luxurious experience, this pristine beach includes a lagoon, a private marina, many watersports options – and most importantly, it’s members-only.

Jarada Beach- this public beach is located in Manama, and it’s famous for pristine sand and clear waters. You can reach it by a speed boat ride and have some peaceful beach time.

3. Beaches in Zallaq


Jazaer Beach – one of the most popular options, this beach is located in Zallaq. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, where you can go snorkeling, practice sailing, and have a barbeque with your friends or family. Also, it’s close to the Lost Paradise of Dilmun, so you can consider renting a room right here.

4. Explore culture and history in Bahrain National Museum


Apart from amazing natural sights, you can also visit the Bahrain National Museum and explore its history. The museum is located in Manama, adjacent to the National Theatre of Bahrain. The whole complex is huge and includes an amazing collection of artifacts, some even 5000 years old. The place is worth seeing, so make sure you take your time to appreciate the country’s rich history.

Also, remember that the working hours are 8 am-6 pm, from Wednesday to Monday.

5. Visit The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park


Bahrain can offer some great water fun at two locations. Wahoo! is located at Bahrain City Centre and offers water attraction of different ‘thrill levels’ – relaxed, moderate, and intense! You can grab your swimsuit and enjoy hours of slides, wave pool, temperature-controlled surroundings, and have the best day in Bahrain.

The other option is the Lost Paradise of Dilmun, a bigger water park located in a desert landscape that’s surely a world-class place. An interesting part of its design is that every nook of the park is inspired by a period of Dilmun history. What a way to enjoy water activities while getting to know Bahrain’s ancient history!

6. Bahrain Fort


One of the places to visit in Bahrain that surprises all tourists is the Qalat al Bahrain also known as Fort (Qa'lat) of Bahrain, a place that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the ancient capital Dilmun. The one known as the most resistant and solitary tree in the world is located in Bahrain. It is a 400-year-old acacia tree located in the middle of the desert, to which the locals named The Tree of Life.

It is believed that this old acacia is one of the trees of Paradise and the proof that the Garden of Eden was in Bahrain.

7. Go Shopping in Manama Souq


If you’re ready for some amazing shopping experience, you simply can’t miss Manama. This city belongs to one of the best places to go shopping in 2020, and there are many reasons why that’s true. Firstly, you need to experience Gold Souq. This street market includes numerous gold vendors who offer gold jewelry and other pieces of the purest quality – 22 to 24-carat gold.

These products are an amazing souvenir, but also a fashion detail you can use for years. Apart from gold products, Manama offers many local businesses that provide a unique shopping experience. You can forget about mainstream shopping malls and enjoy browsing small shops with friendly owners, negotiate the prices, and experience the local culture.

If you visit Bahrain and fall in love with its natural beauty, we understand if you decide to move here. This venture can be stress-free and quick, and you can even have your belongings transported from the States by professional movers that guarantee their safety. This way, you will be more relaxed and ready to explore your new home and its wonders.

Conclusion

The list of reasons why you should visit Bahrain in 2020 can go on and on, but there’s no better way to get to know this country than visiting and exploring it on your own. The best way is to research these spots online, and then make a list of the places you will visit, according to your time and interests. We are sure that Bahrain is a destination you won’t regret visiting, and the place that will ensure some amazing memories.
  • 0
  • Thursday, July 02, 2020
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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