That European Honeymoon you had been craving for…this Winter!!
On Day 1 of our trip, we boarded our flight from Indira Gandhi Airport to Paris. I personally chose Turkish airlines since being a part of Star Alliance, I could accumulate some Miles on my Air India Frequent Flyer number.
On reaching Paris, we took the Bus from Airport (Ligne 2) to Paris Eiffel Tower. It costs 18 Euros per person if you take it directly from the airport while its a few euros cheaper if you book it online in advance.
We Checked In to our Hotel in Paris which was a 3 Star accommodation at a walking distance from the iconic Eiffel Tower. After Checking-In, we spent the day at leisure. I would suggest to opt for a Hotel closer to Eiffel Tower since most of the main attractions in the city are close to it. The Hotel that I booked costed around Rs 20,000 for 3 nights inclusive of buffet breakfast for 2 adults however there are compulsory local taxes to be paid per person per night. To be honest, hotels in Paris are expensive and would thus suggest to book couple of months (or even more if possible) in advance.
The next day, after a wonderful French breakfast, we made a short walk from our Hotel to the Champ De Mars – the large public greenspace. It has the Eiffel Tower on one side while the Ecole Militaire on the other. Get your trademark picture clicked for social media uploads in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower in bright sunlight during the day.
Once done, we boarded the train from the closest train station to Notre Dame cathedral. It is considered to be the finest example of French Gothic architecture and is extremely popular among the tourists.
Grab some food on your way. There is a Subway restaurant close to Notre Dame for the salad or sandwich lovers. By noon, we boarded the train to visit the Louvres Museum. This is the worlds largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. In fact, it is among the world’s top most visited art museums. The Louvre Pyramid is pictured in several Bollywood as well as Hollywood movies. Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” oil painting is the Louvre’s most popular attraction.
In the evening, we enjoyed an hour’s cruise on the River Seine to rediscover the full splendour of the river banks and monuments of Paris. As a couple or with friends, this gives you an opportunity to discover Paris as you’ve never seen it… Gliding under one bridge to another with a view of the finest monuments, enjoying an hour’s relaxation in the heart of bustling Paris. The journey begins at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. There is also an option of Dinner on the cruise to satisfy your taste buds.
After the Seine River cruise, our final sightseeing stop for the day was the iconic Eiffel Tower where we experienced an unforgettable climb by taking the “Tour Eiffel”. You can climb up-to the 2nd Floor or go right to The Summit. Words cannot describe much about this icon which is why it is best to to be visited. Every night, every hour on the hour, the tower is covered in golden lights and sparkles for five whole minutes while the Eiffel Tower’s beam lights up the city. The best place to see the light show is from Place du Trocadero.
Eventually after a tiring but a splendid day, we went back to our Hotel to relax.
The next day, after having the lavish French buffet breakfast, we got set for another day of sightseeing. First and foremost we visited the Palais Garnier which is the Opera House in Paris and a building of exception opulence. It is an absolute masterpiece showcasing the 20th century French architecture.
After visiting the beautiful Palais Garnier, it was time to visit one of the most famous streets in the world – Champs Elysees. It is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops, for the annual Bastille Day military parade, and as the finish of the Tour de France cycle race. It has the giant wheel swing “Roue De Paris” at one end while the Arc de Triomphe monument at the Western End. It also has other historic sites like the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.
After another terrific day in the “Romance Capital of the World”, we went back to the hotel.
Next morning, after a heavy breakfast, it was time to bid adieu to the beautiful city of Paris. We reached the airport by the Bus Shuttle. Alternatively, you can take a cab from the Hotel. It would approximately cost 50 Euros. We boarded our flight from Charles de Gaulle Airport to our next destination Venice – The City of Love.
On arriving in Venice, we booked a water taxi (Alilaguna – 14 Euros per person one way and 27 Euros for round trip) from the airport itself. The water taxi would take you to the Venice City Center. We got down at the famous Rialto Bridge.
Our Hotel (Hotel Al Codega) was a small walk from the “Rialto Bridge”. It is a 4 Star Hotel and includes breakfast as well as Wi-Fi. On booking in advance, this Hotel is available at a good price though you should keep in mind that just like Paris, there are local city taxes to be paid per person per night in Venice too. The local taxes depend on the star rating of the hotel – the higher you go, the more the tax to be paid. After checking in, we spent the rest of the day at leisure.
After finishing your rich breakfast, we got ready for another day full of amazement. In the morning, we opted for the Classic Venice Gondola Ride at 11:00 AM from Campo San Moisé in front of the Hotel Bauer. The duration of ride was 25 minutes. Alternatively, if you can manage to get up early you can opt for a Gondola ride at an earlier time too (around 09:30 AM onwards).
Walk around the St. Marks square visiting the famous Basilica and the Dodges Palace.
In the afternoon, we took a Venetian Islands Tour – Murano, Burano and Torcello. This is approximately a 4 hr tour with 30 minutes at each island. The tour departs from Saint Mark’s Square, the yellow box in front of the Prisons’ Palace between the Doge’s Palace and Hotel Danieli (close to Ponte dellaPaglia).
After an amazing day in the City of Love, we came back to our hotel to relax.
The next morning, after a wonderful breakfast, we checked out from the Hotel.
We had already purchased the return ticket for our water taxi on hte day of arrival in Venice. From the “Rialto Bridge”, we took the Alilaguna water taxi to reach the Venice – Marco Polo Airport. From there, we boarded our flight to the last destination on our trip which is also my favourite one – Prague, the Jewel of the East. Our flight was a Brussels Airlines flight which was departing from Venice Marco Polo Airport to the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague with a layover in Brusells for about 2.5 Hours. I am specifically mentioning the Brussels Airport for all the shopaholics since I found the Brussels Airport to be the cheapest (amongst the cities visited so far) in terms of shopping for perfumes, bags, and other items that could please your better half.
Prague is one of the cheaper cities in Europe and thus the private cabs are not as expensive as some of the other Western European nations. We managed to reach our Hotel from the Airport in a private Mercedes in about 20 Euros by booking it in advance online. The chauffeur stood at the airport with a cardboard having my name on it which gave me a sense of luxury in the usually very expensive European nations. I had booked a 5 Star Hotel with an approximate cost of Rs 8000 for 2 nights inclusive of breakfast.
Next morning after a superb buffet breakfast, we took a complete sightseeing tour of Prague. We visited the historic streets of Prague’s old town, the characteristic Jewish quarters and the magnificent river banks. Also, during the day you could hop onto multiple modes of transport i.e. cruise, tram ride, walking rather than sticking to one mode of transport.
A specific mention is needed for few iconic things i.e. Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge & Prague Castle. The Astronomical clock has an astronomical dial with a zodiacal ring and 4 animated figures. The 4 figures are set in motion on the hour.
After making a short walk from the Astronomical clock, we reached the historic Charles Bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. It connects the Prague Castle with the old town and was named after King Charles IV. The bridge contains replicas of the original 30 statues – most of whom depict various saints.
In the late afternoon after a lunch at a local restaurant, we visited the Prague Castle. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. It is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague and also acts as an office for the President of Czech Republic.
The neighbourhood around the castle contains churches, gardens, palaces and halls.
On the final morning of our trip, we bid adieu to the beautiful city of Prague and returned home with some amazing memories for lifetime.
This is my first experience in writing a travel blog and I am not a regular writer as such. However, if you have any queries related to these destinations or this trip, please reach out to me and I will be happy to help you.