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| Europ | July 14, 2017

Required days :      

2 days – Paris city
3 days – Paris city ( if you decide to see the city leisurely)
1 day – Versailles

You can go by Eurolines. If you plan sufficiently early, then may be by flight also.

Better keep Ikarus as the last option as he leaves there in the afternoon and half day will be wasted.
To travel inside Paris, have a Metro map of Paris, also a zone map. It is more than enough. It is impossible to manage without these.

Costs involved :

 Bus Ticket – 57€ to 92€, depending on the time you book the ticket.
Arch de Triomphe – 5€ ( age <= 26), 8€ ( age > 26 )
Opera House – 7€
Eiffel Tower – 11€, discount for group of 20.
Boat Ride – 9€ – 12€, depending on the type of boat you take.
Versailles Palace – 4.5€ (C) + 8€ (B2) + 7€ (Palace Garden) + 5€
— 1Day pass 20€. Entry to all places in museum.
Notre Dame – 7.5€ (to go up the tower) + 3€(Cathedral treasury)
Louvre museum – 8.5€
3 Zone (1, 2, 3) 1 day pass(Paris Visite) – 8€
4 Zone (1, 2, 3, 4) 1 day pass (Paris Visite) – 9€
Actually there is museum pass available for 30€ for 3 days. All museums will be
free on buying this. But be careful; don’t decide to buy this until you decide to
visit many museums in Paris. This is not valid for Opera House.

Accommodation :

Reserve any hotel or hostel in city center so that transportation will be easy. Even if you book it a little away from center, then also its not such a big problem as the metro connectivity is too good.

Detail Itinerary :

 Grand Arch de La Defense:

This is an arch (actually a rectangle built in memory of some soldiers). I was amazed to know that itis an office building n people work inside that. In the night it is good to see it by the light. Also the sky scrapers around it.

To reach here you have to get down at the La Defense stop.

Arch de Triomphe:

This looks somewhat similar to India Gate. This was constructed by Napolean as a sign of victory and as a tribute to those who diedin war. 12 roads meet at this point and it is an amazing view. To have this marvelous view, we have to climb up the tower by paying the entrance fee. To reach here you have to get down at the Champs Elysees Clemenceau stop.

Champs Elysees:

One of the 12 roads joining at the Arch de Triomphe is the Champs Elysees. You can have a walk down this street and it is beautiful (especially during the night). There are many museums in this street – Renault, Peuguot, Daimler Chrysler and Toyota. All are free entrance.

Opera House:

Well you don’t get a chance to see the opera because the tickets are always sold out and may be costly too. But you can have a glimpse of the opera house. It is nothing short of any royal palace-nice decorations, grand chandeliers that too with artistic work of French. If you remember the one you had seen in Dil Chahta Hai. It is like that itself, but not as big as that.

You have to get down at the Opera stop. The building will be named as ‘Musique Academy’.

Eiffel Tower:

1 of the 7 wonders. Well it’s altogether a different experience to be on top of it. You can get the view of the entire (most of the ) city Paris from the top of it. Go to top of Eiffel tower at the twilight hour, so that you can see the city by light and by night. There are 4 pillars – East, West, North & South. There are ticket counters at each of the pillars. They give tickets to go the 1st floor, 2nd floor & to the top floor. If many people are there on the top, they stop issuing tickets for some time. So be careful while purchasing the tickets and make sure you take it to the top floor. You can climb till 1st or 2nd floor, but have to take a lift compulsorily from there, or you can also take the elevator directly from the ground floor.

You can get down at the Bir Hakeim stop or Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel stop.

Boat Ride:

The best way to see Paris by lights. Just beside the Eiffel tower there are many counters for boat rides. You can get a ticket in any 1 of them. It will be for 1 hour & the River Seine. Take the boat ride in the night, when the city if full in lights. It is awesome experience. Don’t afford to miss this.

Moulin Rouge:

This is a famous famous club. If you are really interested you  can go inside this by paying 100 euros entrance fee!!! You can have a walk down this street from Blanche till Pigalle. This is called Amsterdam of Paris. It will be in full color after night 8.

You have to get down at the Blanche stop.

Sacre Coeur:

This is one the famous churches in Paris. It is famous because of its architecture. You have to get down at the Anvers stop for this. From there you can climb up the small hill. Even there is a cable car to go up there. Notra Dame: This is another famous church. This is the place where Napolean  crowned himself as the king. You can also go up the church tower. But I don’t think it is really worth after you have been on top of Eiffel Tower.

You have to get down at the St. Michel or St. Michel Notra Dame stop.

Louvre Muséum:

Well this one of the things not to be missed in Paris. Previously it was a palace. Now it is converted to a museum. It has 2 wings. Each wing is 700m (almost 3/4th of a km) and each wing has 4 floors, so totally (1.5 * 4 ) 6 km. If we have to see everything in the museum, then we have to walk for 16km inside the palace!!!!! That’s humanly impossible in 3 days also. So only look at at the important places in the museum – Mona Lisa, Coronation of Napolean, Napolean Apartments, Greek idols, Italian paintings (hall with endless number of paintings) in order of their preference. There is also audio guide available and if you take it there is a description for each painting – God help the person who listens to the description of all these paintings!!!!! Do not spend more than 4 hours here or else you will get bored and tired and you will not to go anywhere the whole day. Everyday some or the other room of this museum will be closed for maintenance. It is a holiday on Tuesdays.

You have to get down at the Palais Royal Musee de Louvre stop.


There is Napolean Fort kind of thing here. After looking at everything in Paris, this appears nothing great. But you can go here if you are left with time. It closes at 6.15 in the evening. You can also see the French Parliament. But I do not know whether they will let you in.

You have to get down at the Invalides stop.


Huuuuuuuuuuuge is the smallest word I can use to describe this. There are different sections here A,B,C,M & royal gardens. We have to buy a ticket for each of it. If you buy a 1 day pass you can visit all places in the palace. Well everything is royal and grand here. Even the smallest of the things is decorated, artistic n work done with lot of patience There are lot of paintings of royal persons n their families. If you are interested in paintings it’s a 2nd heaven for you. The roofs are entirely painted, the corners every inch is decorated with art. There will be a show in the Palace gardens from 3.30 to 5.00. Mondays the palace is closed. On first Sunday of every month there is no discount and no group tickets available.

However we bought tickets only for B (same as A) & C. We had a look at kings chamber, kings private apartment, queens chamber, durbar hall There was  still lot more to explore but this itself took around 6 hrs for us…..

To reach here you have to take RER C (named VICK or VERO) from Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel and get down at the Chateau de Versailles (Rive Gauche) stop.

Tip: Nobody knows English in Paris. So know some basic words like

Jour = Day

Sortie = Exit

Autres = Other

Suggested time to visit :

End of Summer, when it gets dark by around 8pm in the evening, but not in winter.

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| Travel Destinations | July 14, 2017

Italy Tour:

Required Days:

Rome –          1 or 1½ day
Florence –    ½ day
Pisa –          ½ day
Milan –         1 day

How to go there:

The route which we took was from Stuttgart – Milan by flight

Milan –          Rome by train (overnight journey)
Rome –          Florence by train
Florence –     Pisa by Train
Pisa –           Stuttgart by flight

Cost involved:

Flights are cheaper if booked earlier (1-2 months in advance)

Malpensa – Milan:                    5€/person
Milan24 Hours Pass:               4€/person
Milan – Rome Train:                25€/person
Vatican Dome:                          7€/ person or 5€/person
Sistine Chappel Entrance:      12€/person. Discounts are available for students.
Colosseum Entrance –             12€/person
Rome – Florence Train: –        15€/person (in Regionale) or 24€/person (in IC Plus)
Florence – Pisa Train –            5€/person
Pisa Tower Entrance –            15€/person

Hotel reservation:

Recommended hotels:

Anakin Stargate Hotel
Via Palestro 88,
00185 Rome
Very Near to Roma Termini (Main Station), 10 minutes walk from there.

Hotel Veneto
Via Santa Reparata ,33
Walk able from Florence SMN station, 15 minutes walk from there.

Villa Wanda
Hotel Pensione


Milan: It is called the ‘Fashion Capital of the World’. The entire world famous designer brands hail from here viz. Armani, Gucci, etc. If you reach Milan by air, then you will be landing in Malpensa airport. From there you will have to take a Malpensa shuttle to Milan. It costs 5€/person. The journey from Malpense to Milan is about 1 hour. You can take a 24Hour Pass to go around Milan. It costs 3€/person. Then take a Metro (Red Line) to Duomo. (Duomo means Cathedral in Italian). It is awesome and also the square it is located in. Just beside Duomo there is closed street called Vittorio Emanuelle II which leads us to another square where stands our great Leonardo Da Vinci. This street is famous for shopping.

Also in Milan is situated the famous “The Last Supper” Painting. It is on the walls of an old school. But we have to take prior appointment to visit that, also the entrance fee is 14€/person. And they allow us to go inside only in batches of 6 people. You can find more information about this on the internet.

Also there is FTV Lounge in Milan. If you can’t afford to go inside, at least you can go and see it from the outside. But I have no details about it.


Rome: We took the ‘Regionale’ train from Milan to Roma Tiburtina. There are even other trains – IC PLUS, ES*. But they are costly also reach Rome in midnight. So it is better to sleep in train than on platform. From Roma Tiburtina we have to go to Roma Termini. This is main station of Rome. You can take a 24Hour ticket from Tiburtina itself and reach Rome Termini by Metro. It costs 4€ / person. With this ticket you can take travel in all the public transport in Rome. The first public transport in Rome starts at 5.30a.m.

In Rome Termini, you can find the tourist info on platform 23 (not completely sure though). There you collect a map of Rome and start your day.


Vatican City: Start your day from the Vatican. The metro details can also be found in the Tourist map. There will be long queue in the Vatican, as long as 2 hours long. So make sure you reach there by at least 8.00 in the morning. First visit the St. Peter’s Basilica. Achtung!! There is dress code; short dresses are not allowed. There are 3 things to look out in the Basilica:

  1. Vatican Dome – It costs 7€/person. You can go up the dome of Vatican and get an aerial view of the city. Half the way you can go by elevator, but will have to climb up the final 300 odd steps. Also there is ticket for 5€. This cuts out the elevator option. You will have to climb up all the way.
  2. Tomb of Previous Popes – Here you can find tombs of previous popes not all though.
  3. Basilica – This is the cathedral. Here you can find St. Peters tomb. It is surrounded by 99 candles, always illuminated.

Then make you way towards the Sistine Chappel, only if you are interested. You can see lots of Michelangelo’s work on the walls and on the roof. This is the place where the pope is elected. Also in that room the can find the famous painting – The Judgment Day. This will be the end of Vatican and this is what Vatican has to offer.

Then step out to explore the historical Rome. You can proceed in the following order:

Start form the
St. Castel
Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps
Vittorio Emanuaelle II
Old Rome

Florence: There are lot of churches and fountains in Florence. But one thing not be missed in Florence is the Duomo. It is a marvelous structure, entirely made up of White and Green Marble. There is also a street market in Florence on the way to Duomo. This is a shopping paradise for the ladies. But all shops close at 7.00pm in Florence. Apart from these, there is a palace, synagogue and castle. Visiting these places is left to the tourists’ discretion.

Pisa: The only place worth visiting in Pisa is the Pisa tower. Beside it you can also find a Duomo and some other Dome. Good enough to glance from the outside. From the Pisa station, you can walk to Pisa tower – a walk of around 2kms. You can think about this option, if you have time, as you get a better feel of the city. The entrance fee to Pisa Tower is 15€/person and they let in only 15 persons at a time. Also for entrance we will have to buy the tickets at least 1.5 hours in advance. So check this out and plan according to your journey. It takes 40 minutes to go up the tower and come down.

NOTE: Please make sure that you are in the airport at least 1.5 hours before the flights departure time. Or else you will have to miss the flight like we did and go to Tirrenia to spend 1 more day.

Tirrenia: This is a city by the side of the beach. It is relatively cleaner when compared to other Italian cities/towns and it much reminded me of Goa especially Panajim. There will be not much people in the beach but the beaches are clean and good, so you can spend a lot of time over here.

TIPS: Some helpful Italian words:

Entrata –        Entrnace
Uscita –          Exit
Bigilietti –      Tickets
Ore –              Hour/Time
Piazza –         Square
Via –               Road
San –              Saint
Chow –           Hi/Bye
Dirretto –       Direction / Straight
Grazie –         Thank You

Best time of visit:

Anytime during April – September. But in peak summer (June, July, August) it will be very hot – around 35-40 C.

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Bodensee/ Mainau Island

| Travel Destinations | May 17, 2017

Bodensee/ Insel Mainau

Required days :


Category :

Lake, Island, nature, short trip, weekend trip, zoo

How to go there :

Option – 1.
start from Stuttgart Central Station.
Take regional bhan train from Stuttgart Hauptbanhof & get down to Freidrichschafen Bahnhof.

when you come outside the Bahnhof you can see the lake Bodensee. Walk to the end of the lake, till you see some ships.
There is a DB station, where you can get tickets for Insel Mainau.

Option – 2.
start from Stuttgart Central Station.
Take regional bhan train from Stuttgart Hauptbanhof & get down to Konstanz.
Take 13/4 bus from Konstanz & get down to Mainau, Konstanz or you can choose boat option from Konstanz.

Suggestion : you will save your time with option number – 1 & you can enjoy the long journey of cruise, boat through the beautiful lake of Bodensee.

Costs involved :

Option – 1

BW ticket
Boat from Freidrichschafen to Island mainau is 27 euro per person & 23 euro per person for group traveler.
Entry pass for island mainau is 19 euro per person.

Option – 2
Combi ticket for Island mainau with shipping is 61 euro perperson
you can travel with regional Bhan trains from any city of baden-württemberg , at number of times & valid for one day.

Island mainau entry pass, Cruise, ship boat charges are included in combi Island mainau ticket.

Choose the combi Island mainau ticket ( more cheaper , easy access to all transportation)

Install the DB navigator App to know the regional trains schedule in Germany.

Accommodation :

Not required, because it’s one day trip.

Detail Itinerary :

Information :

The 45 hectar Mainau Island is located in the south-west of Germany & close to Switzerland and Austria.
The over 150 year old arboretum with giant sequoias. Around a million tulips, rhododendrons, scented roses, perennials and colorful dahlias bloom in the park and gardens.
Not only nature and garden lovers and relaxation seekers come to the island but also many families. Children can play at inspiring adventure playgrounds.

Activities :

The journey from Freidrichschafen to Mainau is around 1.5 hrs through the beautiful lake of Bodensee.
Totally around 5 hours of time is needed to see the island. So start as early as possible in the morning and return from the island as late as possible.
Try to get the 10.10 Am cruise to Mainau in the morning. However the last return trip is at 18.00 Pm.
Enjoy the beautiful butterfly, orchid garden, rose garden, view tower  & many more in the island.

Sugetion :
Take map of Island mainau from any DH station while purchasing the ticket
Plan properly so that you don’t have to run around in hurry in the end.

Suggested time to visit :

Make sure that you go there during spring time so that you can see all the flowers (especially Tulips).

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Max – Eyth – See

| Travel Destinations | May 17, 2017


Required days :


Category :

Lake, nature, Romantic evening, sunbath place, short trip, weekend trip

How to go there :

Start from Stuttgart Central Station.
Take U14 ‘U’ bhan train from Stuttgart Hauptbanhof & get down to Max – Eyth – See

You will see big lake on left hand side, around 300 meter walk.
Parking is available on right hand side of ‘U’ bhan train`station.

Costs involved :

Transportation Cost –
By Train : 6 – 8 € per person ( return journey).
With Ticket plus pass : Not required, because this place comes under the Stuttgart city.
By taxi : 24 – 45 € ( Approx.)

If you are coming from other country/city then SW/BW ticket would be best option.

Activity cost –
Family boat – 10 to 20 euro per hour , per family.
“Haus am See” pass – 5 to 10 euro but not sure, you will get the all detail at information counter.

Install the VVS App to know the VVS trains schedule in Stuttgart.
Install the DB navigator App to know the regional trains schedule in Germany.

Accommodation :

Not required, because it’s one day trip.

Detail Itinerary :

Information :

The lake is about 17 hectares large and has an excellent fish stock.
As a recreational area of Stuttgart, the Max-Eyth-See has a high number of visitors, especially on the weekends.

Activities :

You can plan for barbecue (BBQ) with your family & friends .this the best place for enjoy drink, meal, nature & weather.
Also you can celebrate the birthday, functions & party bring in open place with beautiful weather.
In summer most of the crowed came there to enjoy the sunbath.
Complete area covered with lawn, beautiful garden.

Boat on rent is available on hours basis, there are different types of rental available i.e. electronic boat, speedy boats, manual boating etc. For family electronic boat is best & cost is 10- 20 euro per family ( max 5 people)

See life :
The classroom at the lake also offers young and old an optimal opportunity to study animal life on the lake. Because the fish in the lake are usually not visible, the association has installed information boards in the form of a fish teaching path around the “Haus am See”.
They show fishes living in the lake and their living habits.

Suggestion :

Don’t miss boat ride.
If you are planning to visit with family (kinder/ child)must visit the “Haus am See”. They show fishes living in the lake and their living habits.

Suggested time to visit :

In Spring, Summer season & Any sunny Day.

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A Schloss Solitude

| Travel Destinations | April 11, 2017

A Schloss Solitude

Required days :

½ DAY (5 TO 7 Hrs Trip)

Category :

Castel, nature, sunbath place, short trip, weekend trip

How to go there :

We started from Stuttgart Central Station.
Take S2 or S6 ‘S’ bhan train from Stuttgart hauptbanhof & get down to Feuersee.

Take 92 bus from Feuersee & get down to Schloss solitude stop.

Costs involved :

Suggestions : Take Tag ticket (one day Ticket pass ), so you can visit the other places in Stuttgart in reaming ½ day.

By Train : 4 – 8 € per person.
With Ticket plus pass : Not required, because solitude comes under the Stuttgart city.
By taxi : 24 – 45 € ( Approx.)

If you are coming from other country/city then BW/SW ticket would be best option.

Accommodation :

Not required, because it’s one day trip.

Detail Itinerary :

Information :
Solitude means loneliness.
Solitude is a small castle. Since 1990 its used for academic purpose.
small part is shared for museum & wedding functions.

Activities :
You can bring lunch & enjoy the meal with beautiful weather.
In summer most of the crowed came there to enjoy the sunbath.

Other :
Mostly on Saturday weddings functions are there, so enjoy the European wedding functions.

Complete area covered with lawn, beautiful garden & horse farm.

Suggestion :

Have lunch there & take long walk to the complete garden.
This best place for photosation.

Suggested time to visit :

In Summer season & Any sunny afternoon or evening.

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