Travel Tips To Explore Bali

There is a lot of research that goes into planning a trip by yourself. Starting from transportation from airport, internal travel, shortlisting the places to visit,  making an itinerary, currency exchange, accommodation and the list goes on…

Let me try to make it a little simple for those planning to visit Bali.

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Hondara Golf Club 

Accommodation:

Bali has in-numerous affordable options to stay, which are luxurious enough for the amount that you pay. I personally prefer airbnb’s over hotels and those that are really close to the main centre. It’s important that you stay close to the centre as there is no internal transport within the city unless you rent a bike/car.

I got many questions about my stay in Ubud, which was a beautiful double storey house with all facilities and a wonderful host. I would highly recommend this place if you don’t want to travel much or if you don’t have a bike/car.

Ubud Airbnb Link : https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/10709554

We stayed at Gili Twarangan for 2 nights and then headed to Ubud to stay for 5 nights.

Since Bali offers good hotels at a cheaper price compared to India, I wanted to pamper myself (for my 25th birthday 😛 ) by booking a luxurious resort on the beach side in Gili Twarangan. It is perfect for a lazy and relaxed holiday with all luxurious comforts and amazing service.

However, there are much cheaper options available in Gili T, which are really good. (Based on your preference)

Gili Twarangan Hotel :  Pearl of Twarangan (Booked a Pearl Pool Villa)

Internal Travel

Bali doesn’t have any public transport system. You can either rent a bike (which costs you around IDR 50,000- 60,000 per day). There are shops on every street in the main centre to rent a bike) – Ensure you have license!!

Second option would be to take a cab for a day. There would be many cab drivers asking for a ride, right on the streets. However, not everyone charges reasonably. Usually, the price would be around IDR 250,000 – 300,000 for a ride from airport to Ubud. You can find a lot of cab drivers right outside the airport.

But, if you are planning to visit places which are like 1-2 hrs away from your accommodation, they would charge around IDR 500,000 – 700,000 for 10 hrs. We have hired a driver who used to charge IDR 500,000 per day for 10 hrs. He was very helpful in guiding us with local timings, arranging for tickets to the islands. You can DM me on Instagram for his details.

In case of Gili islands, cycles and horse carriages are the only available commute options. Once you get down at Gili Twarangan, there are many cycles parked for rent on the main road, get one from them (they usually have better cycles and are comparatively less priced than hotel cycles). Rent for 1 day is around IDR 50,000. It’s better to rent a cycle.

Minimum price for 1 km ride on horse carriage would be around IDR 100,000 in Gili T.

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Wanagiri Hills

Currency Exchange and Sim Cards

There is at-least one currency exchange store at the corner of every street in the main centres. Indian rupee can’t be converted to Indonesian rupee and we usually don’t get IDR in India. It’s always suggested to carry US dollars/ Australian dollars/ Malysian Ringgit to convert into IDR at a local store (Do take a receipt). Conversion rates are usually the same across all the stores unless you are selecting a store which is in a remote location.

Most of the transactions in Bali, be it, shopping or food, happen in cash. So, carry enough cash!! Also, don’t convert too much cash at a time, as it would be waste if you end up not using it by the end of the trip. Since, there are a lot of shops to do currency exchange, do it multiple times, once you get a hang of how much money you would be spending per day.

Telkomsel network has better connectivity in Bali, even on Islands. Simcard is priced at around IDR 200,000 – 250,000 for 7 GB data (valid for a month) along with local calls and SMS.

Shopping

As mentioned in my last blog,  Ubud Local Market and Tegalalang Street are good options to shop.
Bali, has insane collection of home decor items at comparatively lower prices than India. I wouldn’t say it is too cheap but it is cheaper than India.
I found Ubud Local Market to be expensive with less creative designs than Tegalalang Street (Not many people know about Tegalalang Street)
In case of Ubud local Market, you need to bargain a lot (ask for 1/4 th the price that they demand).

Check out these:

  • Straw bags which range between IDR 100,000 – IDR 250,000 depending on the designs
  • Other straw utility items for kitchen
  • Paintings on Canvas papers
  • Wall Hangings
  • Door Hangings
  • Quotation Boards

 

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Home Decor (Ubud Local Market)

Food

This is something that I found a little expensive!!
A normal meal for three of us costed around IDR 300,000 if we visited a good restaurant, which I found to be more expensive than Indian restaurants.
Try their traditional dishes like Nasi Goreng, yoghurt smoothies

9 Day Itinerary

We planned it in such a way that we don’t strain ourselves too much and visit the places without any hurry.
Day 1 – Land in Bali Airport and head to Padang Bai to catch a boat to Gili (Plan your flight in such a way that you reach Bali by 10-11 am as Gili boats function only till 3 pm)

If you have a flight which lands in Bali around evening, then you can stay in Kuta(close to airport)  for that night and head to Gili next morning. We stayed in Ubud for one night, but it was too far from airport and it would just be tiring to travel all again to Padang Bai next day.

Day 2 & Day 3 – Stay in Gili Twarangan, experience the beautiful sunset, go for scuba diving, explore the night markets, go on day trips to Gili Meno/Gili Air and enjoy the party vibe

Day 4 – Head to Ubud, relax and explore the local market and visit Saraswati Temple

Day 5 – Visit Danu Bratan (for sunrise – leave at 4 am from Ubud)), Hondara Golf Club, coffee tasting at a plantation, Wanagiri Hills and return to hotel by 3 pm. Watch Balinese dance in Ubud Palace (in the evening)

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Coffee Tasting

Day 6 – Head to Nusa Penida for a Day trip and visit Kelingkling beach, Broken Bridge, Angel’s BillaBong, and Crystal Bay Beach. Head back to Ubud in the evening

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Nusa Penida

Day 7 Go to Tegenungan waterfall, Mount Batur view point, visit orange fields on way, head to Tegalalang rice terraces and explore Tegalalang street for local handicraft goods

Day 8 – Visit Lempuyang Temple (for sunrise- leave at 4 am from Ubud), Jemaluk View Point

Day 9 – Start early to visit Uluwatu temple and head to Airport later.

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Swing at Wanagiri Hills

 

Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

Follow me here for more updates on travel and fashion styling

Photos by Durga Pulijala

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Previous post : Top 15 Things To Do In Bali In A Week

Top 15 Things To Do In Bali In A Week

The land of volcanos, forests, beaches, and adventures has finally made it on my compass. Be it, the spell-bounding pictures that one gets to witness about this place on social media, or the extent to which people praise about Bali, those made me inquisitive enough to mark it next on my journey.

Well, to start with, there are certain incredible places in Bali which make you wonder about how much beauty nature encapsulates within itself and then, there are few more renowned places which are definitely not worth the hype. This blog has my suggestions about the places to visit and places you can skip based on my experience in Bali.

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To start with, we didn’t try to squeeze in too many places in a week as we were looking for a relaxed holiday. We have stayed for 2 days in Gili Twarangan while the rest 5 days in Ubud.

Ubud is in Central Bali and is bound to offer you an authentic Bali atmosphere with the architecture involving their mythological characters, which take you back in time. It is a good place to stay, if you are not into the partying mode of Kuta/Semniyak. We made day trips to Eastern Bali, Nusa Penida island, and Northern Bali.

Gili Island, on the other hand, is a group of 3 islands located at around an hour distance from Bali. They are known for their white sand beaches, diving, partying and beautiful sunsets. Gili Twarangan, which is the most popular and largest among the 3 islands is known for its party vibe and of course, the sunset points. We stayed there for 2 days, just cycling around all the time (No motor vehicles in the island, grab your cycles or take a walk around or may be take a horse carriage), watching beautiful sunsets, and enjoying Balinese spa. If you are looking for calmer islands, try Gili Meno and Gili Air.

Let me dive into the list now.

1. Visit Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida

If there is one place in Bali that makes me to think visit Bali again, it would be Nusa Penida island. Unlike the crowded and commercialised islands of Gili, these islands are much more calmer with stunning landscapes.

You can reach Nusa Penida by taking a boat ride from Sanur beach harbour. There are many stalls, right on Sanur Beach which sell tickets (should not cost you one more than IDR 500,000 for two-way journey per person). We have done a 1-day trip to Nusa Penida but if you have enough time, I would recommend to skip Gili and stay in Nusa.

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Kelingking Beach

Kelingking is one of the most beautiful marvel of nature with its water showcasing shades of blue and the cliffs standing out, in the huge expanse of the ocean. Even though, it is touristy, it is worth visiting. Wear comfortable shoes as it involves hiking. Ensure you have at-least 2 hrs to visit this place so that you can go to the beach.

Nusa Penida has a very rough terrain with steep hilly and broken roads. It’s highly advisable to take a four-wheeler within Nusa Penida to ride around. The island is huge enough to not be able to cover by walking. Each place is atleast 1/2 hours from the main centre.

2. Dive/Snorkel in Crystal Bay Beach, Nusa Penida

This beach is known for snorkelling and diving. Nusa Penida, particularly has amazing diving spots. In case you are planning a day trip, ensure you carry an extra pair of clothes to snorkel or dive.

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Crystal Bay Beach

Tall coconut trees, wild sea and the changing shades of sea is enough to soothe you, even though you are not into diving or snorkelling.

3. Hike to the Broken Bridge, Nusa Penida

It is a natural bridge formed by rocks with turquoise shades of water flowing underneath. One of the spectacular spots to not miss and it is usually slightly crowded with tourists. Plan it early in the day so that it is less crowded. It is a very short hike of not more than 30 min.

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Broken Bridge

4. Head to Jemeluk View Point in Eastern Bali

This view point is going to sweep you off your feet with the view of the majestic Mount Agung and the Jemeluk Beach stretching right below, and the tall green coconut trees surrounding the beach, and last but not the least, watching all these while the dusk sets in. It gives a much better view of Agung compared to the view from Lempuyang temple.

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Jemeluk View Point

It is going to be a long ride of approximately 3 hrs from Ubud. However, it’s definitely worth it. I happen to visit this in early morning but if you have time to visit it during sunset, it would be the most calm and romantic place.

5. Watch Sunrise at Ulu Danu Bratan in Northern Bali

Ulu Danu Bratan is a temple in Bali, that is right on the shore of the huge lake Bratan which is surrounded by huge mountains of Bedugul in the background.
Hold on, before you judge that this is a temple, Indonesians have scouted the best locations in entire Bali to build temples which overlook that scenery. So, even if you are an atheist, I would recommend you to visit this place. The drive to this place is incredible with beautiful panoramas of lush green trees and mountains.

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Ulu Danu Bratan

This place is at its best if you reach there by 6 (2 hrs journey from Ubud). The mountains would be partially covered by clouds, with the rays of rising sun touching the waters of Lake Bratan.

6. Visit Uluwatu Temple in Southern Bali

It is located on top of the highest cliff which is standing tall on the shores of Uluwatu beach. The view is spell-bounding and it is usually less crowded if you reach before 9 am in the morning. However, this spot is known for its sunset. So, if you can plan a visit during sunset, it would be great 🙂

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Uluwatu Temple (right at the top of the cliff)

Beware of monkeys in this temple.

7. Watch the Sun Set on the beaches of Gili Twarangan

Gili T is usually noisy and crowded on the main streets of the island. However, the sunset beaches of Gili are much more calmer with slow music and a chilled-out vibe.

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Sunset on Gili T.

You can even walk to the night markets of Gili, which start from 9 pm. They sell some unique handmade products.

8. Visit the renowned “Gateway to Heaven” in Lempuyang

The famous “Gateway to Heaven” is in Lempuyang temple which overlooks the Mt.Agung (biggest active volcanic mountain in Bali). Try to reach there by 6 am in the morning to catch the spectacular view with clouds partially covering Mt.Agung and the sun rising above the horizon.

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Lempuyang Temple

It is a 2 hr drive from Ubud (Start by 4 am in the morning from Ubud to catch sunrise). The ride to the temple is spectacular in the early morning. Also, the 4 wheelers are not allowed beyond a certain point near the temple due to extremely steep roads. There would be bike taxis that you can take if you don’t prefer to walk (They charged around IDR 100,000 for one-way but you can bargain for lesser price)

9. Dive in the waters of Gili

More than the underwater world which is not as good as Andaman, the diving experience with Dive Central Gili is amazing. They take you through the basics and teach you useful techniques in diving. Ask for Rose if you are in there, she is amazing at teaching the art of diving for beginners

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Diving at Bounty Wreck, Gili 
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Spotted a turtle during our dive (Turtles are famous in Gili Waters)

10. Trek to Mount Batur

This is a famous trek to Mt.Batur (one of the volcanic mountains)  which many recommend. It is usually a night trek where you reach the peak during sunrise. Bali Bliss Tours organises this trek for around IDR 48,000 per person (which includes Rice terraces trekking as well after the Batur trek)

If you couldn’t make it to trek, then you can head to this restaurant called “Batur Sari Resto” which gives a closer panoramic view of Mt.Batur. It is definitely worth the visit.

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That’s Mt.Batur in the background

The ride to Mt.Batur is around 1.5 hrs from Ubud. Again, the journey is incredible with greenery all around.

11. Visit Sarawasti Temple in Ubud

This temple takes you back in time with its architecture and the lotus ponds. It is right in the centre of Ubud and usually gets crowded after 8 am. Try to reach there before 8 am to get a good view of the temple and to sit and relax around.

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Saraswati Temple, Ubud

12. Explore the Tegalalang Street and Local Markets of Ubud

If you are into interior decor and handmade straw bags, Ubud has it all. Even though many people recommend local markets of Ubud, I found Tegalalang street sporting more variety in terms of shopping and it is reasonably priced compared to Ubud local markets. We came to know about the Tegalalang street after shopping in Ubud local markets, so we couldn’t shop much there. But, if you are thinking of shopping, head to Tegalalang Street.

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Handmade Straw Bags 

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But, be sure to bargain for 1/4th the price that they demand in Ubud Local Markets and around half the price that they demand in Tegalalang Street.

13. Visit the swings on Wanagiri Hills

You must have seen the Bali swing pictures with amazing background, and many other major iconic picturesque nests. On the way back from Danu Bratan, there would be many swings on Wanagiri Hills, you can just stop by one of those and click the pictures.

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Overlooking the Wanagiri Hills

The actual Bali Swing which is just a swing on the edge of little valley and few other spots to click pictures, is way too overhyped and way too expensive (charging around IDR 1,100,000). It would be a sheer waste of money unless you want to spend so much for pictures which you can anyways get on Wanagiri Hills.

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Bali Swing

14. Get a Balinese Spa and Taste the Indonesian cuisine

Balinese spas are renowned and relaxing. Kaveri Spa in Ubud is one good spa recommendation. Not all the spas are good, look up for the reviews before you go ahead.

Indonesians have a lot of healthy options for food. The smoothies, acai bowls are famous for breakfasts and Nasi Goreng, famous Indonesian dish is something that you can try.

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Acai Bowl from “Acai Queen”

If you are into beer, you can try their local beer “Bintang” which is one of the best beers in terms of taste.

If you are not into having noodles/ fried rice everyday, I suggest you carry some ready-to-eat food or they have good vegetables and wide range of options for fruits.

15. Visit Tegenungan waterfall

This is a renowned  waterfall with good view and I would recommend you to visit this place before 8 am as it gets crowded after that.

Inspite of it being famous, I didn’t find it so beautiful as it is currently in a very bad state with litter all around. There are other good waterfalls which you could visit – Padang Bulia, Timbumana waterfalls which are much cleaner.

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Tegenungan Waterfall

Tips:

  • If you are wondering why I haven’t recommended rice terraces, I didn’t find them interesting or beautiful in any way. It is just a different way of growing rice. Being an Indian, paddy fields are a common sight which could be one of the reasons that it didn’t intrigue me
  • The interesting part about temples in Bali is that tourists are allowed to see the temple, only from outside. They are not allowed to enter inside to watch the idols. In case of any temple ceremonies, temples are completely closed for tourists. So, in case you are planning to visit the temples, check the temple ceremonies schedule
  • Temples in Bali permit fully covered clothes for both men and women. Ensure you avoid short clothes while visiting temples or else, they do offer Sarong ( a piece of cloth to tie around the waist) which you can rent for minimum price

Few more tips about Bali travel, and shopping tips would come up in my next blog. Until then, stay connected on my Instagram for more updates 🙂

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Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

Follow me here for more updates on travel and fashion styling

Photos by Durga Pulijala

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Previous post : Travel Guide To Paris and Barcelona

White skorts, white top, blue top, black maxi : Zara | Saree : R city| Footwear : Lefties| Straw Bag : Bali thrift store|  Backpack : Shein|Accessories(Jewellery) : Thrift stores | Blue maxi : Global Desi| Floral Skirt : HnM

Travel Guide To Paris and Barcelona

An Artist Has No Better Home Than Paris In Europe

This would be an enough hint to guess about my next destination after Belgium. It’s Paris!!

Well, I heard a lot of mixed reviews about Paris before heading there, some were of the opinion that it is too overhyped while some said that the city is truly a ‘city of love’ !!
I also met a few people who stayed at Paris for few months and they absolutely loved the city and they usually say that, the vibe couldn’t be matched with any other city in Europe!!

With the kind of expectations that I had about Paris, this city didn’t disappoint me with the kind of art it embodies but the Parisians really turned out to be averse to welcoming or helping tourists. This is something which I have not noticed in any other European city so far, except Paris. It is a tad bit disappointing in that aspect.

The last and final destination of this trip after Paris was Barcelona and this turned out to be my second visit to Barca!! So, I am not going to get into detailed travel tips about it. You can check out my old post about Barcelona!! (Well, I visited Barca again because we had a company off-site in Barca for 4 days !!  )

Let’s dive in to the trip details now 😀

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Paris

Duration of Visit : 2 nights and 2 days

Temperature : 8-10 C  (Visited in Mid-October. Warm clothes are recommended as the place is windy)

Accommodation : We stayed at a cute little studio apartment (airbnb) in Paris. It was a good stay and the place is not more than 3-5km from all the major touristy spots.

The way we explored Paris was more touristy than the actual local experience. We eventually found that 2 days is not enough to explore this place. I am definitely going again to explore it properly. If you are planning to visit Paris, plan for at-least 4 days so that you can leisurely explore the place.

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Eiffel Tower

Main Places to Visit:

Eiffel Tower – Of course, one can’t miss this beauty. Though, initially I expected that Eiffel tower would be uninteresting, I absolutely loved it when I saw it!! The magnanimous structure standing out in the city is a true visual retreat. Entrance fee is almost half for anyone below 25 yrs. Don’t forget to mention it at counter, if it applies for you.

Arc de Triomphe – The view of Paris from the top of Arc de Triomphe is magnificent!! I personally loved the view from here rather than the view from the top of Eiffel tower!! It is free entry for anyone below 26 yrs.

Louvre Museum –  This is one of the the top most recommended places of Paris but we ended up visiting on Tuesday which is an official holiday for Louvre. So, plan your schedule accordingly. We missed it this time!!

Notre-Dame De Paris – It is a beautiful architectural masterpiece which is bound to mesmerise you!! It is all about the glass painted interiors , stunning exteriors, and the French gothic architecture.

Montmartre or Sacré-Cœur – One of my friends recommended this place for the stunning view of the city. We visited this place in the night and it did have a good view of the city. I would recommend to visit this place in daylight as the surrounding areas are usually unsafe in terms of robbery.

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View from Arc De Triomphe
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Eiffel Tower In The Night
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Notre-Dame De Paris
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Louvre Musuem

Things To Do :

Visit Eiffel tower in the daylight and also, once the sun sets!! Especially, don’t miss the flickering lights show of Eiffel Tower which happens every hour after the sun sets till 11 pm.

Walk along Champs-Élysées where you get to see all the high street brands. One should experience that atmosphere if you are into fashion. Also, Paris has a lot to offer in terms of street fashion!! So much to learn- I wish I could stay in the city just to learn about Fashion

Don’t forget to taste those yummy french crepes 

Not to forget, the famous macarons and the french wine
(I personally didn’t like macarons though!! )

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Travel Tips for Paris :

If you are below 25 years, you would be getting discount in entry fee at almost all historical locations

Paris is comparatively expensive than most other cities in Europe. So, plan accordingly

Shopoholics, ensure that you have at-least a day to explore the shopping streets. Do note that they close by 7-8 pm

Don’t stay far off the city as travelling is a bit expensive. We have tried “Chauffeur Prive” app in Paris which offered 5 euros discount on each of first six rides. You can try that!!

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Bridges and Canals of Paris

Barcelona

I am including only the new places that I visited and found interesting this time. Do check out my previous post for more detailed Barcelona travel tips.

Duration of Visit : 2 nights and 2 days

Temperature : 20-25 C  (Visited towards the end of October. Might require a jacket during the night)

Accommodation : Le Meridian, La Rambla.
It is located right in La Ramblas, the famous street of Barcelona. All major locations are not more than 1 or 2 km from the hotel. However, this 5 start hotel didn’t provide service that matches up to the 5 star standards.

Newly Explored Places:

La Boqueria – It is the biggest market in Barcelona which has shops selling all different kinds of fruits, vegetables, sea food, chocolates and what not!! If you are a foodie or a grocery-shopping enthusiast like me, you should not miss this place. You will discover many new food items.

Streets of Gothic Quarters – The ancient vibe of gothic quarters in its narrow lanes and the small little squares is something one can’t miss. And, if you are looking for some vintage shopping, this is where you need to go. Carrer del Duc,Carrer de Retrizol, and  Carrer de Bisbe are some streets which I loved.

Camp Nou – We watched a FCB Vs Inter Milan match at this Stadium. The vibe and energy in the stadium is commendable. A Life time experience!!
Even though, you are not a football enthusiast, I would recommend you to watch a match if possible or visit the stadium.

Montserrat Monastery in Barcelona – It is famous for a monastery located on the top of one of the hills of Montserrat mountain range. However, I found the journey and the view from the top much more beautiful. It is a 40 min train from Barcelona city. You could do a day trip. The mountain range looks incredible when you are going to the monastery.

Torres Vineyard – We went on a vineyard tour which was interesting to a certain extent in terms of understanding about the wine making process and also, the wine tasting session. Ping me on Instagram if you want to know more details about it.

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Different type of Mushrooms at La Boqueria
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At Camp Nou
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Montserrat
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Torres Vineyard
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La Boqueria

Shopping Tips in Barcelona :

Zara and Mango are cheaper than India as these companies have main manufacturing units in Spain and Portugal. Visit Zara store in Plaça de Catalunya for good collection.

Sephora near La Ramblas is a very huge store and has massive discounts on few items which are way too expensive in India. So, girls, visit it if you like makeup and skincare

Visit Hema or Flying Tiger for cute knick knacks and some good gifts at affordable price

You can visit Pulls and Bear for good t-shirts. They have good collection. I found urban outfitters way too expensive.

Do visit Bershka, their shoe collection is usually good and the casual clothes too.

HnM is much cheaper in India than Europe. So, don’t waste money over there unless you like something very much

The streets in Gothic quarters have some amazing vintage stores which sell unique stuff but they are way too expensive

You can get good post cards, souvenir boards and magnets on La Ramblas.

Also, pickpocketing is very common in Barcelona. Be extremely careful.

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Plaza De Colon, Barcelona
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Zara Outlet
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Common Sight of Dressed Up Artists at La Ramblas 

That’s it for this trip!! 

Hope you enjoy my content and hope it would be useful if you happen to visit these places!!

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Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

Follow me here for more updates on travel and fashion styling

Photos by Naincy Suman

Facebook : Slay the Style

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Previous post : Travel Tales of Belgium

Red Sneakers, white flared trousers : Zara |White Blazer : Forever21| Boots : Zara | Ref Crop top : Lefties|  Backpack : Shein|Accessories(Jewellery) : Thrift stores | Saree : Handloom Store 

 

Travel Tales of Belgium

While most of my trips are usually restricted to exploring places rather than food, this Belgium trip was more about food than places. Who would not want to taste those extremely soft waffles topped with some heavenly whipped cream and strawberries, or who wouldn’t want to relish the widely renowned Belgian chocolates and fries, and not to forget the wide variety of Belgian beers that are available!!

By the way, this is in continuation to my previous blog on Amsterdam which was my first destination in the backpacking trip. From Netherlands, we headed to Bruges followed by Brussels in Belgium.

Let me just jump into the details now 🙂

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Bruges, Belgium

Bruges

Also known as ‘Venice of North’, this little town on the countryside of Belgium is widely known for its medieval homes, cobble-stoned streets with horse carriages roaming around and small canals lined with colorful dutch houses and filled with in-numerous white swans. The moment you see those streets and houses, I can guarantee you that it will just take you back in time. It feels like a fairy tale!!

( A must-visit place if you are planning to visit any nearby major cities. If you are visiting Brussels, then it’s just a 2 hr travel to reach this place and most of the tourists visit this place for a day tour)

Duration of Visit : 2 nights and 2 days

Temperature : 10-15 C  (Visited in Mid-October. Warm clothes recommended as the place is windy)

Accommodation : We stayed at an airbnb in Hertsberge, Bruges which is 14 km away from the Bruges city centre. We choose this place as it had the best reviews and undoubtedly, our host was extremely cordial and the airbnb was too good. The only drawback is the location which is quite far off from the city and the lack of good internal public transport in the city makes it difficult unless you have a personal vehicle.

Main Places to Visit:

Belfry – It is the clocktower in the main market square of Bruges where you can take the stairs to go to the top of the tower. It gives a panoramic view of the entire city, sunset is usually good. Charges per person are around 10 euros but if you are below 25, there is a discount.

Markt – The main market square of Bruges where you get to see the horse carriages and the colourful medieval buildings along with the city hall.

Walplein Square – This is my most favourite spot in Bruges. It truly takes you back to 1900’s. It is a quaint little square with horse carriages and a canal filled with swans all the time. One can just sit back and relax.

Minnewater park – The castle in the minnewater park which is just by the lake is a visual retreat to anyone.

Begijnhuisje (Ten Wijngaerde) is a preserved beguinage (UNESCO World Heritage Site). I personally didn’t find it interesting. If you want to visit this place, visit before 5 pm and it is near Walplein.
We visited Church of Old Lady as well but didn’t find anything very special about it. It was similar to many other churches.

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Markt
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Streets of Bruges
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View from the top of Belfry
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Belfry of Bruges
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Castle of Minnewater Park
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Canal at Walplein

Things To Do :

Canal Boat Tour – Though it was not as good as Amsterdam, Bruges canal tour is interesting in terms of the very tiny canals that it has, and the beautiful houses. Costs around 8-10 Euro per person and is not more than 30 min. We choose Canal Boat Tours , the experience with them was just average (Guide was speaking Dutch, so it was difficult to understand)

Walk on the streets near Walplein –  Noordstraat and Mariastraat are some good streets. Best way to explore Bruges is by walking around and since it is a small town, it is not so tiring to cover it by walking.

Try waffles at Chez Albert .The plain waffle is just too delicious.

Try Belgian fries at Chez Vincent

Try strawberries dipped in chocolate

If you are into berries, this place has really good berries

Belgium is famous for Lace as well. However, I found it expensive than India.

The only travel tip that I would suggest for Bruges is that, walking in the city is the best way to explore it.

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Belgian Fries With Tender Chicken
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Walplein

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Streets of Bruges
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Strawberries dipped in Chocolate

Brussels

Brussels has a busy city vibe with people hustling around. I didn’t find it interesting as a place, as I am inclined towards nature-centric or less-crowded places. However, one has to visit this place atleast for the chocolates, waffles, beers and fries.

Duration of Visit : 2 nights and 2 days

Temperature : 10-15 C  (Visited in Mid-October. Warm clothes recommended as the place is windy)

Accommodation : We stayed at an airbnb right next to Manneken pis, which is just a 2 min walk to the Grand Place of Brussels (Main City Centre). It was a comfortable stay and it was very close to all the main locations of the city.

There are a lots of trains and buses running from Bruges to Brussels and vice versa (Also, you can get a train ticket at half the price if you are below 26). The journey is ~2 hrs.

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Streets of Brussels

Main Places to Visit:

Grand Place – It is a square in the centre of the city which is surrounded by age-old buildings with spell-bound architecture. Do visit this place in the night once all the buildings are well-lit and the vibe couldn’t be missed in the night!!

Place Poelaert – It is a place suggested by my friend and which is not so popular but has an amazing view of the city. Visit during sunset for the best experience.

Sablon – This is a peaceful and less crowded locality in Brussels with good restaurants around. Walk to explore this place.

Mont De Arts – It is a good place away from the hustle and bustle of Grand place with a view of the highest tower of Grand Place buildings. The view is good and if you want to chill and relax for some time, it’s a good place

We also visited Royal Palace of Brussels which was a good masterpiece of architecture. However, we couldn’t cover the European Parliament area (Do visit if you have time) and Atomium ( We didn’t find it interesting)

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Grand Place
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Grand Place

Things To Do :

Visit Delirium Cafe which serves almost 2000 types of brewed beers (If you are into beer, this should be on your list)

Taste desserts at  Aux Merveilleux de FredExpect long queues and these desserts are slightly on the sweeter side. If you are into dark chocolates and don’t like too much sugar, it is not a place for you. But, it also serves amazing chocolate buns and croissants

Taste waffles at Waffle factory. Slightly expensive but I loved the whipped cream over there 😛 ( But I loved Bruges waffles more)

Taste fries at Fritland. They are really good and the sauce is something special which adds to the taste

Go to Rue Neuve  for shopping. It almost has all the brands covered. Ensure you don’t plan it on Sunday as shops are usually closed on Sunday. Also, on weekdays, the stores get closed by 7 pm. Plan accordingly.

For more general Europe travel tips, visit my previous blog post.

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I hope you find it useful if you are planning to visit Brussels or Bruges 🙂

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Photos by Naincy Suman

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Red Sneakers, black halter top, glitter pants : Zara |White offshoulder top : Shein| Boots : Zara | White fitting top: HnM |  Backpack : Shein|Accessories(Jewellery) : Thrift stores