We went for a 10 day trip to Europe. From the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean to Tulip Gardens of Amsterdam To the natural beauty of Italian Alps there are a lot to say about this trip. As usual I would like to share my travel experience With everyone so that it will be useful for others making a similar trip. The following review and information is based on various Travel web sites, Books and personal experience of visiting the following places. This is our Third Trip to Europe and I would say Europe travel is fun filled, Different and expensive as well. As I mentioned in my other reviews the best way to travel is to accumulate miles as it would cut Almost 35 % of your trip cost right away without any calculations. Put all your expense in a Miles credit card rather than a Cash Back credit card as Miles credit card motivates you to make a trip. The key to miles credit card is apply when there is an offer provided you qualify for the credit card. Accumulating miles is much easier than you think. Also try to stick on to a Miles Partner when you make your India trip. For a family traveling to India every other year you are taking about 80,000 Miles. When you travel in Air India, Ethihad or any such airline compared to American or British your miles are wasted for no reason. This time our trip was to SPAIN, NETHERLANDS and ITALY.
Why SPAIN !!! When you talk about Europe travel everyone talks about Switzerland, Venice, London or Paris. SPAIN is not a Spot light when compared to other big cities in Europe. I just wanted to do something different this time. I got inspired to Go to SPAIN after the movie “Zindagi Na Milega Do Bhara”. That is the only reason I wanted to go there. I would say that SPAIN is THE BEST place to go in EUROPE. We landed in BARCELONA. Of all the things we hear about SPAIN, about its economy and how weak it is one will be very surprised how well good and rich Barcelona is. It is a huge city just on the shores of Mediterranean Sea. The City has so much to offer from Great architecture, Old buildings to ultra modern architecture and the best of all the beaches. If you think MIAMI is the beach capitol of the world I would say go to Barcelona and see the beaches. I would rate MIAMI as 2 / 5 And Barcelona beach to be 5/5. Crystal clear water with tons of tourist and activity.
Suggested Days for a trip: Minimum of 2 Days
Barcelona is filled with Anthony Gaudi’s architecture. One such creative master piece is Sagra Di Familia build by Gaudi In 18th Century. It’s a master piece that is being built even today for 150 Years. They are expecting it to be completed some time In this century. You will be surprise to see what has gone to build the Basilica. In Barcelona there are so many things to see. If you are a first time visitor to Europe then I would recommend that you take a Bus tour within the city that will take you to all The attractions. The cost is 30 EURO for a person. They have various museums. I am not a Museum person. But if you enjoy them its the Place to be. The second big attraction that we went is PARK GUIL. This is an amazing place to visit filled with Gaudi’s work. One can view the beach from this park. You have to do this in the evening. Another major attraction in Barcelona is LA RAMLAS. A Street filled with Tourist, restaurants and shops. You can easily spend 6 Hours in this street by just walking looking around, Eating TAPAS. This street is one of a major street and a place where the entire tourist hang around. I would say the biggest attraction In Barcelona are the beaches. Barcelona has high end shopping as well. This city easily tops the top city to visit in Europe Compared to commercial cities like London, Paris.
TRAVEL TIP : I would recommend this city to anyone. When you book a hotel be proactive. The hotels are very expensive in this city. Also make sure that you go there in a time frame when there is no Local Foot Ball match. Everyone who is living in Barcelona is a big Fan of the local foot ball team (FC Barcelona) and when they play the city will become stand still. Nothing happens during that time Frame. No Taxi and the hotel price peak up. Other than that Food and Taxi are very reasonable compared to the other European countries. Food is extremely good if you like Street food and Tapas. There are a lot of vegetarian options as well. If you dine it and stick On to TAPAS you will only spend 35 to 40 Euros for a family of four which will include couple of drinks.
COSTA BRAVA, SPAIN:
Suggested Days for a trip: Minimum of 1 Night Stay
If you are looking for something different other than the city life COSTA BRAVA is the place you have to be. It’s a region north Of Barcelona filled with amazing beaches, 15th century towns and amazing shopping for all. I have been reading about Costa Brava region for almost 6 months. I have seen pictures on Internet and people praising this place like anything. If you compare COSTA BRAVA with various Beach destinations Like Cancun, Miami I would say this place is so far the best I have been. I would strongly recommend any one making a trip to SPAIN to stay there for at least one night. You can hop from one Coast to another coast by Private boat which is not expensive at all. Most of the boats have Glass bottoms for viewing. It’s just an amazing feeling to be there. The peak months are MAY – SEPTEMBER. April is a good month to go as well. I will definitely make one more visit to this place in future. There are no words to explain how beautiful this place is. I will post some pictures and you can see it for yourself.
From Barcelona you can take a bus to Tosa Del Mar. It costs 14 Euro per person. Don’t take private tour and spend 100 Euros. Bus is very well connected from Barcelona. Once you reach one of the shores you can hop on a boat to go to other costs. The website To find the timings is sarfa.com. I think I need to visit the place again to do justice to those beautiful shores of Costa Brava Region. Food is amazing and the she shore restaurants are out of the world. You can find lots of Desi stores out there selling Souvenirs and t-shirts. Food is great too. The best part of this region is the restaurants by the sea side. It’s very colorful and Attractive and not all that expensive compared to other beach towns. I would strongly recommend any one and it is a Must see like Venice. Travel between Barcelona and Costa Brava region is one of the best you can experience. When you travel in SARFA bus it Takes you from the city by the coast. You have to see the beach side house out there. It’s really a beautiful and an experience you have to have in your life.
Spain is definitely a place to visit for various reasons. It’s a different place and food is great. There is a lot of sight seeing Place. Lot of people think that Spain is all about Bull Fight and Tomatino festival. It’s not the case. I am sure if you go for those You will have a great time. Other than that Spain is a beautiful country to visit. Great food and I was surprised to see how many Tourists are there and Statistics say that Barcelona is the Second most visited city in Europe next to Paris. I have read that South Spain Is even beautiful compared to Costa Brava. Easily SPAIN tops the best county to visit in terms of things to do and the cost if you take care of the hotel bookings well in advance. You need ample time to visit this country. There are lots of tourist spots we didn’t cover in this trip. You can find more information in Rick Steve’s Spain book.