A couple that witnessed the cultural depths and profundity of Europe’s Renaissance era. Read the engaging account of Sabyasachi’s family trip to Europe that crisscrossed the continent to savor the finest contributions made in history by mankind. Their trip cost them a total of INR 2,32,000 which included their flights, accommodation, transfers, sightseeing, and breakfast.
My wife being an art connoisseur, always wanted to travel Europe to see the finest works of art made in the world. I thought of it to be a great opportunity to visit the picturesque destinations as well.
I found TravelTriangle while searching for Europe tour packages on the internet. They provided me with an option creating a customized itinerary, which was the exact thing I was looking for. I submitted a query with TravelTriangle and got a call back from their representative.
Prabhakar (travel consultant) understood my requirements for the trip and connected me to various agents that provided multiple offers for the same itinerary. I selected the best price quoted to me by ‘Duniya Safari’ agency. We had checked all boxes for our trip and the excitement to explore and enjoy the sights and sounds of Europe began to rise drastically.
Paris: Wandering in Glimmering Lights
We boarded our flight from Kolkata in the morning and landed in Paris 6 pm. The driver was present to receive and take us to the hotel where we checked in at 9 pm. As the hotel was just a short walk away from the Eiffel Tower, we couldn’t resist the temptation to go over there immediately.Having dinner with my wife as the Eiffel Tower was glimmering, made me pinch myself. The European adventure was certainly on, and it could not get any real than this.
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We woke up the next day, had breakfast, and got ready for Paris sightseeing at 9 am. We wanted to explore all the places in Europe on our own. We used public transport in Paris and got a Paris bus pass for the day to help us visit all the places. We boarded the hop-on hop-off bus service and saw attractions like the Seine River, Louvre Museum, and Notre dame Museum.
We had a small snack while traveling during the day, so that we need not stop for lunch. We got off the bus at 2 pm outside the Louvre Museum. We visited the Museum for 4 hours where we saw the Mona Lisa. Afterwards, we returned to the hotel and had dinner. Post dinner, we left for the Lido show at 10 pm. We felt starstruck by one of the world’s most famous cabaret and burlesque shows. The colorful, and eccentric display of entertainment had the entire crowd in admiration. After the show, we took a cab back to the hotel and rested for the night.
The next morning, we got ready to visit Versailles Palace. We reached Versailles in an hour after switching a few trains. At 9 am, we entered the Versailles Palace. It was very fascinating to see the royal palace which was built in the 17th century. The chateau is renowned for it’s fabulous paintings, huge rooms, and lush green gardens. Post lunch, we took the train back to Paris at 1 pm.
Next up, we visited a wine cellar in Paris for wine tasting. In the end, we got a complimentary wine bottle from the cellar. We returned to the hotel at 7 pm and proceeded for dinner. After dinner, we went to our room and called it a night.
Suggested Read: DO NOT Leave For Europe Without Packing These 8 Things
The final day in Paris, we decided to visit the top of Eiffel Tower in the morning. The view from the top was truly incredible. After returning from Eiffel, we checked out of the hotel and proceeded to the airport. We boarded the 6 pm flight to Rome, and arrived at 10 pm. Upon our arrival, we took a taxi to our hotel in Rome.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
The next morning we woke up to a beautiful morning in Rome. Yet again, we bought a daily bus pass to explore the city on our own. We boarded the Hop-on Hop-off bus at 10am and started by visiting Piazza Barberini, Trevi Fountain, and Roman Forum. The city was packed with tourists from all around the world, a lot more than I expected.
As day turned into evening, we visited the scenic Piazza Navona on foot. We sat around the fountain looking at the sky around us turn a rustic orange which gave us an impression of a natural light show. Only a few paces from the Piazza, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant owned by a Bangladeshi. Afterwards, we returned to the hotel at 10 pm and called it a night.
The next day, we were scheduled to spend the entire day at the Vatican. Post breakfast, we arrived at the Vatican at 9 am. To begin, we visited the holy trinity of St Peters Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum. It is here at the St Peter’s Basilica my wife and I could admire the finest work in the life of Michelangelo.
The artistic work on the walls and intricate mural design was a dream come true for us. We returned from the Vatican at 4 pm back to the hotel in Rome. We didn’t do much that evening, as we had to wake up early next day for Florence.
Artistic Beauty of Florence
We checked out early from Rome at 5.30 am. The super fast train to Florence we took arrived in the city 10 am. And just like that, we entered the city of Leonardo da Vinci. After checking into the hotel, we proceeded to visit Florence Cathedral. Located at the Piazza del Duomo, it’s dome is one of the most recognizable structures in Italy. The enormity of the entire structure had my wife and I gasping.
Post lunch, we visited the Uffizi Art Gallery where we spent a few hours. For my wife, this gallery was a wonderland (and I could see it in her eyes). At 6 pm, we exited the gallery to move towards the banks of the river Arno to enjoy the sunset. Later on, we had dinner near Santa Novella and then eventually moved back to the hotel at 10 pm to rest for the night.
After a sumptuous breakfast, we got ready for a day trip to Siena and San Giovanni. The bus in which we were traveling first stopped at San Giovanni. A quaint city famous for it’s wine and medical research-centre, it surely felt like a picturesque weekend getaway in Italy.
Moving on, we visited the old city of Siena. Renowned for it’s 12th century architecture, cuisine and charming city square, Siena felt like city we reached not in a bus, but in a time capsule. We traveled back to Florence in the same bus and arrived at 8 pm. The tiredness got the better of us, as immediately after dinner we dozed off in the hotel.
Grand Canals of Venice
The next day, after breakfast, we checked out of Florence. We boarded the train and arrived in Venice at 11 am. After checking into the hotel, we wandered out in the city to explore. We met yet another Bangladeshi guy who had a very inspiring story. He had been living in Venice for 16 years. When he came to the city as an immigrant, he was a fruit vendor. Now, he was a citizen owning a restaurant of his own. It was one of those stories which inspired us both and filled our minds with positive energy.
We hired a gondola to explore the water canals of Venice. The gondola ride took to Grand Canal and also the house of Marco Polo. After the Gondola tour, we got back to the hotel and went out for dinner. While having dinner, we were lucky to witness a live orchestra playing Italian melodies.
A rainbow in Innsbruck
The next day, we checked out of Venice and headed towards Austria. After changing trains at Verona, we arrived in Innsbruck at 1 pm. We were now in the lap of Alps;- the biggest mountain range in Europe. While checking into the hotel, we saw a beautiful rainbow after a slight shower.
At Innsbruck, we visited the crystal world followed by visiting the Alps. We were extremely delighted when it started snowing on our journey to the top of the mountain, Afterwards, we came back to the city at 9 pm and rested for the remainder of the night.
Palaces in Vienna
We woke up and got ready to move to our final destination- Vienna. After checking out from Innsbruck, we traveled via train to Vienna. The train ride between Innsbruck and Vienna is the most scenic ride I had ever seen. The picturesque landscape and light snowfall made the journey into a spectacle to remember. We arrived in Vienna at noon and checked into the hotel.
It didn’t take us long to notice how Vienna is a city of palaces. The feeling of aristocracy multiplied after we decided to take a ride on the horse carts. The architecture in Vienna was elaborate as all the houses were built like palaces. In the evening, we went to a Syrian restaurant for a delicious meal for dinner. We came back to the hotel at 9 pm and called it a night.
On our penultimate day, we decided to visit the major palaces of Vienna. We started the day with a visit to Hofburg Palace followed by Schonbrunn Palace. It was a memorable experience to see such luxurious palaces which were such a central part of Austria’s history.
In the evening, we returned to the hotel and got ready for an opera show. The show was a brilliantly orchestrated performance which had a mix of pianos, singers, accordions, trumpets, chellos, and guitars. It was a live display of pure talent that left my wife and I mesmerized. At 10 pm, the show finished and we headed back to the hotel for the night.
The final day of our European adventure had arrived. The only thing left for us to do on this incredible trip was shopping. We visited the G3 shopping center in Vienna and did loads of shopping. Post lunch, we returned to the hotel and checked out. The cab came at 7 pm, to take us to the airport. We said goodbye to Europe and boarded our 11pm flight back to India.
Covering the length and breadth of Europe with my wife was the best vacation of my life. A special token of thanks to TravelTriangle and Duniya Safari for letting me customize and change the itinerary multiple times. If I were to recollect, I’d have a 100 different stories to tell. Certainly, traveling like this helped me grow as a person.
- Lido show in Paris
- St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican and Louvre Museum in Paris
- I could’ve selected a better hotel to stay in Florence.
Tips to Travelers:
- Plan your vacation with TravelTriangle. They give you complete freedom in how you want to travel.
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