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Old 20th May 2019, 11:58   #691
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Hi Guys,
Any recommended places in Europe.
What should be on the next priority list. Self driving options may will get higher priority.
Try Austria. Grossglockner glacier is a marvel to see and that alpine road to it is a breathless sight. You can drive to Innsbruck, Salzburg, and then to Vienna. Austria is really really beautiful. You can easily spend 4-5 days in Salzburg (a couple of days in the city and a couple for the Grossglockner and Eagle's Nest). A couple of days in Innsbruck and a week in Vienna exploring the city. Plenty of places.
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Old 20th May 2019, 12:30   #692
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Have travelled on Schengen visas from different Schengen countries for tourism only with a structured itinerary.
Do you mean to say, you were able to get visa without booking / buying air tickets?

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Originally Posted by Renjith_Mani View Post
Hi Spike
You would not need a ticket as such. What they are looking for is a confirmed booking.
Is agent the only option, or any online booking portals provide this booking facility?
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Old 20th May 2019, 12:42   #693
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Hi guys,

I'm travelling to Italy and Switzerland next month. The Italian leg of the journey has been fully planned out.

However, I've made only hotel bookings for the Switzerland leg. I've booked 2 nights at Geneva, 2 at Interlaken and 2 at Zurich. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Also, I will be travelling with my uncle, aunt, dad and mom. Hence does it make sense to just rent a car and drive to all the locations or use public transport and trains? We will probably be carrying quite a substantial amount of luggage.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 20th May 2019, 12:56   #694
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Hi guys,
However, I've made only hotel bookings for the Switzerland leg. I've booked 2 nights at Geneva, 2 at Interlaken and 2 at Zurich. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
Also, I will be travelling with my uncle, aunt, dad and mom. Hence does it make sense to just rent a car and drive to all the locations or use public transport and trains? We will probably be carrying quite a substantial amount of luggage.
Thanks in advance.
What is your muse? Do you/ family likes city walks or nature?
Are you in love with mountains and water bodies or more like museums and historical buildings? Do you like to experience the local culture, food etc. or do you want to sight see?
A car would be better for you since you mention a lot of luggage. Keep in mind that public transportation is accurate to a minute in CH but lugging around suitcases won't be ideal.
When are you traveling-month? Is everyone open for walks/hikes?
Tell me this and I can tell you a plethora of options.
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Old 20th May 2019, 13:02   #695
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by ValarMorghulis View Post
What is your muse? Do you/ family likes city walks or nature?
Are you in love with mountains and water bodies or more like museums and historical buildings? Do you like to experience the local culture, food etc. or do you want to sight see?
A car would be better for you since you mention a lot of luggage. Keep in mind that public transportation is accurate to a minute in CH but lugging around suitcases won't be ideal.
When are you traveling-month? Is everyone open for walks/hikes?
Tell me this and I can tell you a plethora of options.
We'd prefer mountains and water bodies and nature more than museums and history as we'd be pretty overloaded with those after Italy.

We're travelling in mid June and we are open to walking.

I would prefer to drive if its not too exceedingly expensive. But I've read that parking can be expensive and a pain in the cities.

Last edited by TheInterceptor : 20th May 2019 at 13:04.
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Old 20th May 2019, 13:53   #696
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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We'd prefer mountains and water bodies and nature more than museums and history as we'd be pretty overloaded with those after Italy.

We're travelling in mid June and we are open to walking. Thanks.
Wonderful! I'll get started now.
First of all, yes parking is a pain but public commute is not cheap either. Plus how do you propose running around with that much luggage?



Geneva:
Can you re-book the Geneva stay? There isn't much around unless you'd like a tour of the CERN, which you can book online in advance (it is pretty nerdy stuff with even an hour long physics presentation by a prof. Great if you love it but comatose if you don't). You can complete Geneva in a day and unless you plan on buying some really expensive time pieces, there's not much there. Try the Macaroons! The best in CH. There is a chocolate factory tour in Veyvey which is decent and an experience. Check online and book in advance.

If you can't re-book the hotels in Geneva, try driving up to Creux de Van. It is a gorgeous rocky cirque with fantastic views. A hike of the George L'Aruse is also good with completely even terrain but it is 11km. You do get excellent views though. You can't do this on public transport.



Interlaken:
Reach Interlaken as early in the day as possible. I'd suggest spending the first day going to Mt. Titlis since it is part of the quintessential Indian trip with Kajol and SRK's cutout adoring the icy mountains (and even all relatives ask about them). The views are surreal.

The next day start as early as you can to reach Grindelwald. Park your car and admire the beautiful view of the mountains from the city. Take a cable car to "First". From here you can hike for around 50mins (easy terrain with not much difficulty-wear proper shoes at all times. Slippers won't be helpful) to reach Bachalpsee. I can spend a lifetimes here but you can decide for yourself. Do check online if the route has opened up in mid Jun. I went there late May/ early Jun and couldn't to the Bachalpsee the first time. There are some crazy sling adventure sports as well, but only for the initiated. The views at Bachalpsee are perhaps one of the best in the world. Google before you go.
You can also check out Mount Pilatus or Mount Rigi or Klewenalp nearby. All of them provide excellent views.


Zurich:

In Zurich, there is the famous Bahnhofstrasse which you can check out for shopping. Everything is super expensive though. Take a boat trip in the Zurich lake. The highest part of Zurich is Uetliberg which gives the complete view of the city. Not accessible by a car and it is a couple of hours hike. There are Rhine falls which you can give a day. Do eat the local food in Zurich. Visit Zeughauskeller, a 15th century ordinance depot converted to a restaurant. Their pork roast and Tiramisu is other worldly. Pizza at Miracle restaurant is a must try. Try chocolates at either Honold, Sprungli or Laderach.



Things to keep in mind:
1. Check the weather before you go to ANY place. Clouds spoil the views and rains exacerbate the cold.
2. No need to buy drinking water in CH. Tap water is excellent and there are ample public drinking spots.
3. Try the local food/ baked stuff including chocolates. Some of the best in the world.
4. There are many other hiking places where the touristy crowd is absent. Let me know if you'd like to go there but it is strictly for those who crazily love hiking.
5. Follow traffic rules at ALL times and never ever exceed speed limits.
6. Lebanese and Greek food is excellent in Zurich.
7. The Butcher, Holy Cow and Heidi and Tell serve one of the best burgers in Zurich.
Enjoy the trip
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Old 20th May 2019, 14:16   #697
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
We have picked up an ICICI travel card, and have some in cash.

Sorry if its too late but you should look at this card.
This is the one I have settled onto after using Thomas Cook and Standard Chartered.
This card can be used anywhere in the world. It supports conversions to all the currencies at current exchange rates, flat. No markups at all


PS: I am not related to NiYo or DCB in any way.
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Old 21st May 2019, 12:03   #698
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Hi All,
I have a Business Trip to Brussels, Belgium in the first week of June. Have 2 days as spare. My current plan is to spend 1 day in Brussels and another day thinking of Paris. Can somebody give more details on travelling between Brussels and Paris and some tips in general. This is also my first trip to Europe. Thanks in advance.
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Old 21st May 2019, 12:18   #699
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Hi All,
I have a Business Trip to Brussels, Belgium in the first week of June. Have 2 days as spare. My current plan is to spend 1 day in Brussels and another day thinking of Paris. Can somebody give more details on travelling between Brussels and Paris and some tips in general. This is also my first trip to Europe. Thanks in advance.
You could take a bus through FlixBus which can take you from Brussels to Paris in around 4-4.5hrs. It is the most cost effective way I could think of and the buses are pretty good. Sometimes not very punctual, but it would not be an issue since it will be a direct connection and there is no transfer involved. The fares can be as low as 5EUR for some connections if you book it now. The faster, much expensive option is to take the train, which will take you in less than two hours. But the fare somewhere around 50-70EUR. But then, the fare of train might remain the same or change a bit but Flixbus tickets get expensive as you approach the intended travel date. But I would recommend train only for the high speed rail experience, so apart from this, my choice would be Flixbus.
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Old 21st May 2019, 12:45   #700
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by spiler View Post
Hi All,
I have a Business Trip to Brussels, Belgium in the first week of June. Have 2 days as spare. My current plan is to spend 1 day in Brussels and another day thinking of Paris. Can somebody give more details on travelling between Brussels and Paris and some tips in general. This is also my first trip to Europe. Thanks in advance.
I think you can explore Brussels in the post-work hours of your business trip. For the 2 leisure days, you can either visit Bruges and Ghent or visit Amsterdam. A day in Paris is too less of a time.

Last edited by prateekm : 21st May 2019 at 12:46.
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Old 21st May 2019, 12:58   #701
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
You could take a bus through FlixBus which can take you from Brussels to Paris in around 4-4.5hrs. It is the most cost effective way I could think of and the buses are pretty good. Sometimes not very punctual, but it would not be an issue since it will be a direct connection and there is no transfer involved. The fares can be as low as 5EUR for some connections if you book it now. The faster, much expensive option is to take the train, which will take you in less than two hours. But the fare somewhere around 50-70EUR. But then, the fare of train might remain the same or change a bit but Flixbus tickets get expensive as you approach the intended travel date. But I would recommend train only for the high speed rail experience, so apart from this, my choice would be Flixbus.
Thank you. Will take note of that.

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Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
I think you can explore Brussels in the post-work hours of your business trip. For the 2 leisure days, you can either visit Bruges and Ghent or visit Amsterdam. A day in Paris is too less of a time.
Thank you. Also forgot to mention that these 2 leisure days are not continuous. Will do some more research on your recommendation
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Old 21st May 2019, 23:45   #702
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Spikey, hope your query was resolved. We got a Schengen visa (Swiss embassy), through VFS bangalore without any tickets. Like others have shared, we did give the itinerary.
Thanks Condor, we did the same, VISA is under process.

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Query regarding Switzerland: does one need thermals in first half of June when traveling in Switzerland ?
I would recommend you to use layers, that way you can add or remove layers according to your comfort. Heavy jackets, down jackets, are not needed but wind and water resistant should be enough.

Last month I was in Swiss, I was roaming around in my Tees, now it seems I will need a fleece with a layer of water resistant jacket. As Germans say "es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur falsche Kleidung", translated - there is no bad weather, but bad choice of clothes.

Enjoy your trip.

Spike
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Old 24th May 2019, 20:01   #703
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Which the cheap and best car rental company if I want to rent a small hatchback (4 door) for few months in Germany (including all required insurance charges)?

Last edited by Latheesh : 24th May 2019 at 20:02.
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Old 24th May 2019, 20:19   #704
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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I would recommend you to use layers, that way you can add or remove layers according to your comfort. Heavy jackets, down jackets, are not needed but wind and water resistant should be enough.

Second this suggestion. I learnt it the hard way. Initially I thought that thermals are mandatory when temperatures are low here. In addition to that, I brought a real thick jacket for the outdoors. Then I realised there is not a single solution for the cold. Since the indoors of almost all buildings are heated, the moment you enter such a building you cant continue to wear a thick jacket. And then, the thermals inside will also start feeling uncomfortable. Over the last few years, I switched to layered clothing. Even in temperatures of -10 deg C, I manage with my T Shirt + Pullover + A very thin waterproof jacket. If the temperature is consistently less than 0, I use a thermal under my pant, if not I can manage short walks and frequent outdoor-indoor situations. Now the big jacket finds no use at all, and neither are thermal vests. I manage with regular vest and a shirt, and max upto two layers of pullover or jacket.
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Old 25th May 2019, 00:19   #705
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Goodness, I used to wear more than that on my way to the office in London. And I was acclimatised to it then.

But what you say about the difficulty of dressing for the outdoors and then having to spend time in heated buildings. And also not being totally steamy underneath your waterproof layer when it pours with rain.

Europe has an impossible climate. Best avoided.
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