All of us have one destination on our travel wishlist, which we long to explore until we finally check it off, and in our case it was Europe. While everyone loves to wander to satisfy their own desires, I travel because it helps me create new memories with my loved ones. And so, making the decision of exploring the destinations to visit in Europe with friends was the best thing my spouse and I did!
Since I prefer opulence over excitement any day, and adore having a vacation that’s not only stress-free, but also deeply fulfilling, I was searching for someone to organize our Europe trip. While researching for agents online, I came across Fred and Fuzzys and their packages promptly caught my attention. It was genuinely impressive to see how they helped us get in touch with the finest travel agent, and efficiently managed our entire holiday.
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- Type of Trip: 10 Days 9 Nights trip with friends
- Expense: INR 2,46,942 for my spouse and me from Hub HolidayCom
- Inclusions: Flight fare, accommodation, city taxes on hotels, breakfast, transportation to and from the airport, sightseeing, GST, transport tax, and travel insurance.
- Exclusions: Midday meal, evening meal, assistance with Visa, and Visa fees
Here’s a concise itinerary of our 10 days journey to Europe with our friends:
- Day 1, 2 & 3 in Paris: Stay at Hotel Villa Royale Montsouris, visit Disneyland, Eiffel tower, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Church, and spend the evening on a cruise
- Day 4, 5 & 6 in Switzerland: Visit Zurich, Chocolate Factory and Glacier Museum in Lucerne, enjoy a ferry ride, take a cable car ride to Mt. Titlis, visit the Hanging Bridge; further head to Interlaken and Grindelwald, and explore its streets
- Day 7 & 8 in Italy: Explore the streets of Venice, walk on the Rialto Bridge, hop-on hop-off ferry ride for visiting various churches and other attractions; Head to Rome via train, stay at Hotel Palladium
- Day 9 in Vatican City: Leave for Vatican City, take a guided tour of the city, and explore the streets
- Day 10 in Italy: Return to Rome, visit the Colosseum, shopping, and then leave for the airport
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During the 10 days in Europe, we discovered and witnessed quite a lot, and it felt enchanting. A small tour of three countries, and their splendid beauty made it a captivating holiday, and here’s why you must visit them too.
1. Paris: Falling In Love
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Paris is rightly referred to as the city of affection, and there is no denying that our Europe trip began on a romantic note because of this place. We arrived at the Paris Airport around 6:30 in the evening and reached our hotel by 9. Even though the hotel was situated in the heart of the city, there wasn’t much left to do since most of the restaurants and shops had closed down. Luckily, we discovered one Indian eatery for dinner and called it a day after satisfying our hunger.
The following day of our trip was filled with enjoyment and distinct experiences. Although I had previously visited Disneyland Hong Kong, the Disneyland here was much superior. A full day spent here created beautiful memories at every moment and appeared absolutely ideal for the inner child in us.
The final day in Paris was quite eventful. We abandoned the hop-on hop-off bus and opted for the metro to experience a comfortable local atmosphere. The metro pass for 24 hours cost us 23 Euros for two individuals.
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From exploring the Louvre Museum to the Notre Dame Cathedral, it felt like we had witnessed the mysteries behind the beauty of Paris. However, to our astonishment, the Eiffel Tower is actually the most dazzling jewel in the crown of this city, and also one of the finest places to visit in Europe with friends. While the Mona Lisa painting in the museum left us in amazement, the night view of the tower completely mesmerized us.
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What enhanced the day even more was the evening cruise. The view of the city from the cruise was breathtaking, and all of us were captivated by it. After the cruise, we strolled along till the Lock Bridge, witnessed numerous live street performances, and relished the local cuisine as we made our way back to the hotel.
2. Switzerland: Exploring Zurich, Lucerne, Mt. Titlis, Interlaken, and Grindelwald
The morning of the fourth day of our journey, we boarded the Eurorail for Zurich, Switzerland. Once we arrived in the city, we obtained a Swiss pass that provided free access to all public transportation, museums, and other activities.
After that, we proceeded to Lucerne and arrived by 4 in the afternoon. The exploration began with a visit to the Glacier Museum, followed by a trip to the Chocolate Factory, and then a ferry ride. The lake appeared stunning and peaceful. The ride lasted for over an hour, and the historical stories narrated by the audio-guide enhanced our experience.
The following morning, we checked out of the Ibis Styles Luzern City Hotel in Lucerne, stored our belongings in the designated area, and boarded a train to Mt. Titlis. Upon reaching the base of the mountain, we took a cable car ride that offered a 360-degree view to reach the summit. The scenery of Switzerland from the peak was awe-inspiring.
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Next, we climbed up to the Suspension Bridge and enjoyed many memorable moments there. Afterward, we took a train back to Lucerne, collected our belongings, and made our way to Interlaken. Fortunately, it happened to be the Swiss National Day and the entire town was celebrating with fireworks. It was truly a captivating sight.
We spent another day in commuting to Grindelwald, where we took the cable car to reach the summit of a town called First, which is recognized for adventure activities like parasailing and zip lining. From here, we departed for Interlaken again in order to reach Zurich since there was no direct rail connectivity between Grindelwald and Zurich.
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The last day went by in exploring the city of Zurich. Overflowing with remarkable architecture, it is among the stunning places to visit in Europe with friends. We also visited the shopping streets and then the Zurich Lake before taking an overnight bus to Venice.
3. Italy: Living like the Venetians and Romans
We arrived in Venice at 8:30 in the morning, and relaxed for a while after checking into Hotel Garibaldi. Being in Italy called for a pizza and we couldn’t resist ourselves for long. After lunch, we headed to the Venice Island, where the weather was pretty hot. Instead of giving up, all of us decided to still explore the city with the help of Google Maps.
The canals, the bridges, and everything around looked straight out of a movie, and it was a delight to our eyes. If you love photography, I can guarantee that you wouldn’t be able to keep your camera away for long.
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While searching using Google to find our way to the Rialto Bridge, we encountered numerous shopping stores and eateries. To our astonishment, Venice also boasted affordable vegetarian restaurants. However, the highlight of the day was encountering the wealthiest individual in India – Mr. Mukesh Ambani in the midst of the shopping streets of Venice. Engaging with him was an otherworldly experience and an absolute pleasure.
The following day, we embarked on the 24-hour hop-on hop-off ferry ride and explored the renowned churches and various islands in Venice. After witnessing the creation of Morano glass, we returned to the station and boarded a train to Rome.
Upon arrival in Rome at approximately 11:30 in the evening, we checked into Hotel Palladium. The city appeared splendid even at night, akin to a depiction in a historical book. The Colosseum proved to be one of the most captivating sights in Rome, and I am glad we were able to behold its magnificence on a Sunday morning.
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4. Vatican City: A day immersed in history
On the 9th day of our Europe trip, we visited Vatican City. This place appeared crowded, and opting for a guided tour to gain insights about the city seemed like a superior choice. Our guide accompanied us to various attractions and narrated everything so eloquently that it felt as if we were part of a documentary.
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We also desired to explore a nearby fortress, but due to its entrance fee, we decided to forgo it and opted for a hop-on hop-off bus to return to Rome. The final day was primarily dedicated to shopping, after which we bid farewell to Europe and departed for the airport.
Overall, it was an extraordinary vacation! Although we missed out on the Gondola ride and the panoramic view from the summit of the Eiffel Tower, the rest of the experiences compensated for it. Needless to say, Paris, Switzerland, and Italy are splendid destinations to visit in Europe with friends.
Highlights Of Our European Trip
- Experiencing the grandeur of the Eiffel Tower during the night
- Exploring the Venetian canals by boat
- Spending an evening in Rome and visiting the Colosseum
- Beholding the breathtaking views from Mount Titlis
Tips For Future Travelers
- A water bottle costs approximately INR 1000 in Europe, so it is advisable to carry an empty bottle to save money. There are ample drinking water facilities available on the streets.
- Commute using public transportation like hop-on hop-off buses or the metro as it not only saves money but also offers an enriching experience of exploring the city.
- Most hotels have friendly and knowledgeable staff, so seek their advice for your trip itinerary as it can significantly enhance your overall experience.
- The Notre Dame Cathedral is a marvelous attraction to visit in Paris. It is lively and surrounded by shopping stores and eateries. Make sure to pay a visit there.
- The Eiffel Tower is a remarkable landmark, and you will surely concur once you witness it in person. Try to schedule your visit in the evening for an unparalleled view of the beautifully illuminated tower.
- The currency widely accepted in most places in Switzerland is Swiss Francs, so it is advisable to avoid carrying excessive Euros. Carrying a credit card will serve you well for all your transactions.
- Remember to pack an additional windcheater, a warm cap, and gloves.
- Ensure you do not forget to bring along a reliable camera.
Our European journey with Fred and Fuzzys was a remarkable experience, completely hassle-free and impeccably well-organized. We are delighted that we booked our trip with them and had the time of our lives!