Vegas To New York

Where do I start from?
The Casinos or the SkyScrapers!!
The Gambling City or the City that Never Sleeps!!
Las Vegas or New York!!

Everything about both the cities is completely different with each one having it’s own charm.The never ending world of casinos where time has no value with that delusion of coming closer to deep pockets!
On the other hand, New York , a concrete jungle with people constantly hustling all along the day!

At The Venetian, Las Vegas

My trip to both Vegas and New York are short two day trips. This blog would definitely help you get an idea about the places to explore, if you are a first time visitor and if you have less time on hand.

Let’s just start with travel tips for each of these cities!

Las Vegas


Temperature : Around 40-43 C (In August)
Well, It’s a desert, what else can you expect!

Accommodation : We stayed at The Venetian Resort. We chose weekdays for Vegas as the otherwise expensive luxurious accomodation seemed affordable (especially, plan it during the weekdays just before a long weekend – you would end up getting great deals)

For those of you who aren’t aware about this casino world, Vegas has numerous hotels/resorts which have casinos and clubs of their own which are open for the visitors. It’s totally up to you about how many you would like to visit and explore. I will let you know the main ones in this blog

The World of Casino


Things To Do:

Walk along The Strip – It’s the main street of Vegas where all the action happens. Sprawling with casinos, resorts, strip clubs, and a lot more, this street should be the first place you should visit to get the actual vibe of the place (preferably in the night). It looks spectacular in the night with all those brightly lit buildings.

Explore The Venetian and Caesers Palace – These are two exquisite resorts with Italian and Roman themed architecture respectively. Both of them are open for visitors to roam around, shop and gamble. Both of them host one of the biggest casinos, luxury brands outlet stores and some decent restaurants.

Watch the Bellagio Fountain Show  – It is an incredible 15 min fountain show where the fountain movement is choreographed with light and music. It usually starts at 8 pm and goes on till midnight (Do check the timings as it might vary for weekdays and weekends)

Experience Night Clubs and Strip Clubs  –  The Night Club experience is particularly different in Vegas. Few popular ones are Omnia, Marquee and XS. The strip clubs in Vegas are famous too. You can try them if you are interested

Watch the Volcano Show at Mirage – This is one more fountain show which gives the illusion of a volcanic eruption with light and fire, along with choreographed movement of it with music. It is a 5 min show which happens daily at 7 pm/8pm/9 pm.

Explore Vegas Shows – Cirque du Soleil is one of the popular shows in Vegas. I couldn’t find a show during my visit. If you do get a chance, try that. There are many other shows that one could see. (Entry Charge is slightly expensive for this show – around 100$)

Try Daiquiri – It’s a cocktail where you can mix the flavours of your choice. There are many stores on the strip which offer these. Fat Tuesday’s daiquiri is one of the popular ones.

At ‘The Strip’

Travel Tips :

Good night clubs usually has an entry charge which is almost like 100$. You can avoid that by getting on to the guest list in advance for a specific night club (Google about guest list for a club — you will find lot of links to submit your name). Only disadvantage of guest list is that you need to be there by 8/9 pm which I feel is a decent tradeoff for 100$

Plan your vacation in Vegas during weekdays when the accomodation charges are almost 1/4th the price during weekends

Be there for the fountain shows at-least 15 min before the show timing so that you have some space to view it, before the crowd steps in.

At Caesars Palace

New York

Times Square

Temperature : Around 15-20 C (In September)
It was raining heavily too on one day (So, plan for some winter and monsoon wear if you plan to visit around the same time)

Accommodation : I stayed at my cousin’s place. Accomodation in NYC is expensive enough. If you are a budget traveller like me, try couch surfing or staying at New Jersey or Brooklyn (which have decent travel access to NYC).

Streets near WTC

Places to Visit:

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Times Square

Times Square – Of course, who misses to visit the Time Square if you are visiting NYC. The huge digital banners changing all the time, the artists and the crowd is what makes Time Square the place it is! It is definitely different and entertaining to spend your evenings around here.

Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo – I personally loved the view from Dumbo which is on the other side of Hudson river giving the entire view of NYC. I found Brooklyn Bridge to be a little overhyped but the view from there is decent 🙂

Empire State Building  – Checking out the panoramic view of the city from the 84th floor of  Empire State Building should be on your list. I visited the place in the morning but it would be much more beautiful if you can visit once the sun sets. It is open till 2 am in the morning. Entry fee is around 35$ to go to the deck

Financial District – World Trade Center, Wall Street : The area around WTC is where the twin towers of NYC were! If you are interested, there is a museum about the twin towers and the tragic event.

Apart from this, the streets around WTC have great wall art, and good food options. One can just walk around to explore the place

Fifth Avenue – It’s a street for luxury shopping. If you are into it, this is the best place as it has a wide range of designs

Central Park – Don’t miss this if you have time. (I couldn’t :/ Saving it for the next time)
I happened to visit Bryant Park, which is a pretty little park that has decent cafes to hang around.

Brooklyn Bridge

Also, Statue of Liberty was last on my list as it didn’t seem interesting to me except the ride on Hudson river till the island.

Travel Tips :

Internal transport in NY is one of the best in USA. I personally used the metro to travel, with each ride costing around 2.75$. There is bus transport available too.

I would say, NY is beautiful in the night. So, if possible, explore the city in the night rather than mornings

Try veg pizza at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, cup cakes at Melissa Bakery (Being lactose intolerant has knocked me out of the option to try the pizza but do try, if you can). The cupcakes were decent enough, even though not so extraordinary

Go to a one of those famous NY broadway shows. The prices vary depending on the show. Do check the availability and plan in advance.

From 78th Floor of Empire State Building

I hardly had two days in New York.With rain ruining my plans for one complete day, there is lot that I could not explore. Saving the rest for the next time!


I hope you find it useful if you are planning to visit Vegas or New York 🙂

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

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Photos by Satwik Varala 

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A Californian Experience Through My Lens : 10 Must Visit Places In And Around San Francisco

Never knew that this deserted land had so much in store, for me to experience. Be it , the colourful hues of the California sunsets which are one of the most beautiful sunsets, or the stunning deserted landscapes with windmills and a clear blue sky, or the scenic beauty of the Pacific coastline – West Coast surprised me in many ways!!

With just a week in San Francisco, let me just take you through my experience, do’s and dont’s!


Best time to visit : September to October (I was there during the start of September)

Temperature : It usually varies between 25-30˚C. In the main city of SF, you can expect cold breeze. However, when you step out of the city, the temperature along with hot breeze during the day will give you a tough time!

Accommodation : We stayed at an airbnb close to the golden gate bridge. The rates for a decent airbnb range from INR 4-6 grand per night. You can check out our airbnb here

Internal Travel : This is probably the worst part of SF, the public transport is definitely not going to help you in any way. There is BART which is a cheaper mode of transport to reach SF. Apart from that, Muni is San Francisco public transport (Bus, Metro, Cable Cars) [Find more details here] . It’s advisable to rent a car if you know driving (Uber and Lyft are other options). We used our personal vehicle to roam around.

10 Must Visit Places In And Around San Francisco

1. Visit Tenaya Lake of Yosemite

This one tops all the places that I visited. I initially stepped into Yosemite with a perception to witness the legendary rock formations and this lake, which is certainly a 2 hr drive from the main Yosemite area is a genuine surprise. It’s beauty couldn’t be comprehended!! The serene surroundings of this lake just made me stay there till the sun set behind those huge rocks and trees. We had the place entirely to ourselves. It is of-course, not-so-explored among the tourists.

Tenaya Lake
El Capitan

We did a day trip to Yosemite from SF but I would recommend you to stay there for a day or two to spot such amazing non-touristy gems. It is around a 3 hr drive from SF.

Apart from the Tenaya Lake, do stop by those legendary rock formations of Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil falls and the Tunnel view
(I was not able to cover tunnel view as I decided to stay back at Tenaya for a while!! :/ )

2. Witness the Beauty of Lake Tahoe From The Top Most View Points
Lake Tahoe, a 4 hour drive from SF, is definitely a must-visit. The view looking down on the Emerald Bay of Southern Lake Tahoe is the best. Preferred view points are Inspiration Point, Emerald Bay Lookout. There are many other view points along the road that you can stop by, as per your convenience. Parking is a problem at these view points during peak hours.
There are few hikes which give you amazing view of Lake Tahoe. Explore them if you are interested. We did a day trip to Lake Tahoe, but again, if you want to experience this place by hiking, stay back for a day or two.

Emerald Bay LookOut
At Emerald Bay LookOut

3. Experience Lake Tahoe From Zephyr Cove Resort and explore the Tahoe City
Zephyr Cove Resort has a private beach area which even the visitors can access if you can pay a minimum charge of 10$. This beach is comparatively less crowded and gives you stunning view of the sunset.
Explore the Lake Tahoe Boulevard of Tahoe City which is a pretty place with shops and restaurants.

Zephyr Cove Resort Beach

4. Drive Along Big Sur
With just a 2 hrs drive from SF, Big Sur offers an incredible view of coastline and sea side cliffs. Do check out the weather conditions before heading to Big Sur as it is mostly misty. It was extremely misty when we reached, which got cleared by noon.

Visit the Bixby Bridge an Carmel River State Beach (Non-touristy  and less crowded beach in a pretty neighbourhood). There are definitely other spots that you could visit but the heavy mist spoiled our day 😦

Carmel Beach

5. Don’t Miss The ’17 Mile-Drive’
The 17 Mile-Drive is close to Big Sur and it is a coastal drive in a private property area. You need to pay a toll of 25$ per vehicle to get into this area. Describing the drive along 17 Mile-Drive as beautiful would be an understatement!!
It offers exhilarating views of sea-side cliffs, pebble beach, golf courses along the coast. A must-visit if you happen to visit Big Sur.
Big Sur could be done as a day trip from SF. (Not easily accessible by public transport)

View Along 17 Mile-Drive

6. Watch The Bay Area Sleep From Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
It is a place which is mostly familiar among the locals. Head to this place in the night (not accessible by public transport) to see the city that is entirely lit up. It is known for its sunset view too.

Sierra Vista

7. Head to Treasure Island to get the best view of SF Skyline in the Night
Treasure Island which is an artificial island in SF city neighbourhood is the apt spot to enjoy the SF skyline in the night. (Not easily accessible by public transport)

SF Skyline From Treasure Island

8. Explore Ghirardelli Square, Lombard Street, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf &
Taste the Famous Crab Cakes and Clam Chowder Sourdough Bowl in SF City
Pier 39 is a lively area with music, street performers, restaurants and shops. You can even get a view of the sea lions from this Pier. It’s good for an evening stroll.
Fisherman’s Wharf is famous for crab cakes and clam chowder served in sourdough bowl. Grab one of these and enjoy them, if you are into sea food.

Pier 39
Near Pier 39

Ghirardelli Square is good for an evening stroll along side the river. You can just sit and watch the sun set. You can try Ghirardelli chocolates at their cafe which are famous, however they didn’t beat Godiva for me 😛

Crab Cakes

Lombard Street renowned as the crooked street, is located in a good neighbourhood. Try to reach this place by sunset to get a good sunset view of the city.

9. Enjoy A Closer View of Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer
This is the best among the other view points of Golden Bridge. It gives a closer view of the bridge from the top of a hill. Do explore the beach view points, if you have time.
Also, if mist is a spoiler and you don’t get to see the golden gate bridge, you need not be surprised as it is the case for most of the times!! 😦

Golden Gate Bridge (Battery Spencer)

10. Head to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz
Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz experiences a gravity anomaly. There are demonstrations which are done to show you how the laws of gravity don’t hold true in that spot.
This spot is an hour drive from SF but again, not easily accessible by public transport.

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Outside the Mystery Spot
Look at me enjoying the slant position at the Mystery Spot without falling!!

If someone said shopping in US is cheap, I would just laugh out loudly now!! It’s not the case unless you earn in USD!!
Most of the clothes or accessories are expensive. The designs of affordable US brands were not appealing. I would prefer European affordable brands over US affordable brands, any time!
However, you may find cosmetics at a steal price compared to India. So, stock up on those. The Market Street in SF is a good shopping area. If you want to explore discounted options, outlet malls would be the place to go. However, I personally didn’t like the stock over there as the collection would be one to two seasons old.


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

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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


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.

Streets of Bruges
View from the top of Belfry
Belfry of Bruges
Castle of Minnewater Park
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


Streets of Bruges
Strawberries dipped in Chocolate


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)

Grand Place
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 🙂


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

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