Madrid, Spain, the Shopping Destination of Europe

Madrid, Spain, the shopping destination of Europe

Madrid, one of the busiest and the prettiest commercial hub of Europe, is also one of the foremost tourist destinations around the world. This gateway to Europe has everything, from eye-warming castles, to modern infrastructure, from museums to shopping destinations; It is an amalgam of all that is good. This capital of Spain has emerged one of the most loved shopping destinations of Europe and the world.



Madrid as a shopping destination: 

Madrid as a shopping destination

Spain is known for its elegant fashion, and being the capital leads the way in fashion. From people who talk Prada to places where one can bargain to their heart contents, Madrid is an ideal shopping destination. Stylish clothes are not the only attraction, beautifully crafted furniture, leather goods, traditional handicrafts, top quality guitars, all these are worth every penny that one spends on shopping here. For years now it has served as a delightful home to art collectors and art enthusiasts. Excited much? Here is a list of places one should go about while shopping in Madrid.

Major shopping venues: 

There are three main meccas for shoppers in Madrid.

Puerta del Sol Madrid

  • The long stretch that starts from Callao and extends till  Puerta del Sol. Gran Vía, Calle de Preciados and Puerta del Sol are the prime shopping destinations here. Luxury brands and fashion chains, such as Zara, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Bershka, etc. can be found here. The main catch is that the prices offered here for the same brands are much less in comparison to the prices offered in other parts of the world.

Eastern Salamanca district Madrid

  • The second area, the eastern Salamanca district, is more expensive and dramatically elegant. This area has the widest and the most far ranging collection of designer names. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Armani and popular local brands are a common name around this area. Calle Ortega y Gasset, Calle Serrano, etc. are famous establishments and one can go here to find the comfort of the popular brands such as Versace, Hugo Boss, Chanel, etc.

Calle Hortaleza Madrid

  • Third is a triangle that has its points at Corredera Baja, Fuencarral and Gran Vía, and is the most popular of all shopping areas in Madrid. This third member of the trinity is for a much hip crowd and youthful crowd.   Calle Fuencarral and Calle Hortaleza are especially popular and intriguing for their wide variety of both first and second hand items which can be bought at a very affordable price.

Corredera Baja Madrid

How to get to Madrid and where to stay once there:

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport

 Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, is the nearest airport to Madrid. It is just 18 kilometres away from the main city. Flights for major international destinations as well as national destinations are frequent here. Metro is the main source of connectivity with the city and is undoubtedly the cheapest and the most efficient way of travelling around.

While visit to Madrid, one can stay at Barrio Salamanca the most upscale and safe neighbourhood. Plaza Santa Ana or Huertas, is one of the most popular areas in Madrid and is brimming with hotels and rooms for rent. La Latina is another popular area for one to stay.

So, pack those bags and book your tickets and travel to Madrid, a great tourist place and a better shopping destination.

Visit Capital City of Qatar- Doha

Visit capital city of Qatar- Doha

Qatar, the country well known for its jaw dropping skyscrapers, is in news for all the right reasons: The FIFA world cup of 2022 that it is going to host. Naturally, Qatar is among travelers’ most sought after destinations of the Gulf world with its urban vacation infrastructure. Among Gulf nation’s premier and ultra modern cities, the capital of Qatar, Doha is a city in making. Set to become a modern, high tech legend equipped with grand infrastructure and fascinating recreational facilities, Doha is the place to be.  Easily accessible, Doha is well connected thanks to the new forming connectivity alliances and growing airway industry.  Read on as we count down the top things you can’t skip when travelling Doha: 

A good old fashioned Urban-Nature study at the Al Corniche

Al Corniche adds charm to Qatar’s capital with its wide seaside promenade and paradisiacal views of the Palm Tree Island. The skyscrapers are a bonus if you appreciate the grand urban landscapes.

Quick tip: Visit on Friday morning if you prefer the serenity.



Some Sightseeing Doha at the Old Clock Tower

Adjacent to the Grand Mosque, Doha’s Clock Tower gives some great views of the corniche. Situated on a hill, the place is pretty interesting for a linguistic buff.

Doha at the Old Clock Tower

Explore at Museum of the Islamic Art

Designed by the architectural legend IM Pei, Museum of the Islamic Art is located amidst beautiful lawns, ornamental trees and appears more of a adorned monument than a museum. A postmodern fortress of minimalism style, the Museum of the Islamic Art has the widest collection of Islamic art across the world. Showcasing artifacts and other items arranged from three continents, the museum indeed hosts exquisite works of art.  A cafe downstairs will keep your cravings satiated too. 

Doha Museum of the Islamic Art

Quick Tip: For other museums and collections Doha travel, call beforehand to check the opening hours.

Dinner and Corniche view aboard a Dhow Ride

Conventional but the charming Dhow Ride at the Doha bay is something that you can’t miss. If you fancy a view of the Corniche aboard a boat from the bay then Dhow Ride is a must for you. You can hire local fishing boats (close to the Al-Mourjan restaurant) if you feel spontaneous and enjoy some amazing dinner and local music and culture.

Dhow Ride at the Doha bay

Quick Tip: Get your operator to book the ride for you for cruise Doha accommodation.

A Heritage House Visit

The Heritage Museum was formerly the ethnographic museum and has now been restored as the traditional house that once was in 1935. If you fancy some local architectural designs then visiting the museum for badghir (wind tower) must be on your itinerary. The square shaped wind tower used to be a common architectural feature as it assists during hotter climates before air-conditioning ruled the market. The Museum’s opening hours are usually subject to speculation but the Badghir is worth a visit.  

Heritage Museum Doha

Souvenir Shopping at the Souq Waqif

Home to some amazing puzzling corridors, Arabic market quarter of Doha, the Souq Waqif is a place you can’t skip visiting. Well organized with distinct sections for items like spices, textiles, falcons, etc the market is a great place to get some authentic souvenirs and enjoy some Sheesha. Food at the restaurants is fairly good too.

Souq Waqif

Architectural admiration at Al Zubara Fort 

To visit the Al Zubara Fort, you will have to travel100 km west of Doha, where the town of Al Zubara lies. The place is renowned for archaeological reasons and the fort which now serves as a museum. The fort is a beautiful square-shaped structure with well designed circular towers that lie in three of the corners. The fourth corner has a rectangular tower which makes it an architectural gem too.

Al Zubara Fort

A study in the part with Heritage library

Hosting an extensive collection of more than 51,000 books in numerous languages, 600 antique maps, and several manuscripts, original photographs, the Heritage Library is a classic portal for those with a knack for culture and penchant for documented history. 

Heritage library Doha

Getting around in Doha

Getting around in the capital might prove to be a bit hectic but certain apps for hiring cabs function well and hiring limousines or Karwas is another options that travelers can resort to. Another suggestion is to keep abreast with Doha mapping and navigation services since not having any street numbers or plates for easy street identification might confuse some travelers. The local addresses contain Landmarks so guides and cab drivers will help your navigate.

Where to stay?


Doha is bounty of accommodation options that suit an extensive range of budget. Whether it is a luxury stay that you are looking for or a long term apartment rental or just a budget-friendly holiday, Doha has it all. In fact, there are some hotels that help manage visa requirements so travelers can also stay at the hotels that help navigate through the tourism visa applications.

For the quintessential Doha travel experience, enjoy a nice cup of mint tea at the famed Asherg coffee house at the Souq. Foodies would cherish some delectable Qatari cuisine at the famed Al-Tawash restaurant of the Souq that has some classic Bedouin seating setting. 

Top Weekend Getaways From London

Top weekend getaways London

What you plan for your weekends getaways London? Probably you will stay back at home and do what you missed out on week days. Possibly you may be planning to make weekend trip somewhere. But there is lot to think, where to go, what to do, what to see. For all these questions we shall furnish suggestions. Just stop worrying and pack the bag to get set and get ready to go to unexplored destinations of weekend getaways London.

England is a beautiful country and it exists outside London too, contrary to few Londoners and most foreigners may think.



Brighton

Distance- 54 Miles (86 km), By Train- 1hr 40m

Best time- Avoid high winters

Brighton is a lovely place located on the sea coast, south of London. This is a popular pleasure destination and a world apart in comparison to London. Located in east Sussex county, it’s a fun place where at seaside pier you can enjoy cool fun, sea breeze and lovely sunshine. Victorian era buildings are pleasingly eyeful of structures. Its sea beach is about 8 km long and dotted with restaurants, hotels, night club, amusement facilities and arcades etc. The city is spread over 83 sq km and its main shopping area is Churchill square where there are about 80 shops, restaurants and huge multiple cars parking facility. Enjoyment at Brighton lasts through your weekend and beyond.

York

Distance- 208 miles (334 km)

Best time- April to November

York is the main city of Yorkshire. This town has immense historical value. The milestones of history can be seen in Jorvik Viking Centre, Huge ancient cathedral, National railway museum etc.  Walled York castle is the part of ancient history, there you can walk on its huge walls and watch the river flowing by. Take boat rides and have lunch excursion on the river. York is the best example of mix of ancient, modern British, Roman and Viking history. Your weekend will be a memorable experience in York.

York

Stratford upon Avon

Distance- 22 miles (35 Km)

Best time- From March to November

Town of Warwickshire county Stratford upon Avon is a place for literature lovers. What better place for literature lovers than visit to the abode of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway’s cottage. The boating on river Avon will be pleasure. There are hotels and hostels to stay and best of time to enjoy your weekend here.

Stratford upon Avon for weekend getaways London

Oxford

Distance- 58 miles (93 km)

Best time- March to November for weekend getaways London

Oxford has the oldest university of England. To visit here you don’t have to be a student, there are plenty of locations you can visit and enjoy your weekend. There are many bookshops like famous Blackwell’s Bookshop in Norrington Room, spread over in 10000 sq ft area. Ashmolean Museum, Headington shark, Oxford Botanic Garden, covered market on high street of Oxford. For sports and fun punting is a popular boating activity in summers, navigating boat with a wooden pole down the river. The train is the comfortable way to reach Oxford from London.

Oxford

Cambridge

Distance- 50 miles (80 km)

Best time-April to November for weekend getaways London

Cambridge is an iconic university town like Oxford. There is lot to explore such as Cambridge college campus, ancient and modern buildings, walk on the streets, explore book stores and stroll in old and new markets. Also best theatres, museums and galleries are its unique places to visit. Here also punting can be done in summers on river Cam. This town is also the famous music band Pink Floyd’s town. Your weekend will be enjoyable all the way.

Cambridge

Windsor

Distance- 23 miles (37 km)

Best time- April to November for weekend getaways London

Windsor‘s history is awesome. It’s the Queen’s abode in famous royal Windsor Castle. Take a stroll in the Castle, enjoy its majestic construction and then take walk on the high streets or cross river to Eton. Eton is home to famous institutions from where many famous people got educated.

Windsor

Dover

Distance- 75 miles (120 Km)

Best time- April to November for weekend getaways London

Dover is a ferry town in Kent County and a busy seaport. France is located across the English Channel from here, hence always had strategic importance for Britain. Dover Castle is one of the finest Castles in Britain. Chalk Cliffs are famous site to see. Dover being a fort city has history of military heritage, as this has always been the entry point for the invaders in olden times. Dover’s famous war oriented military museum is worth a visit. Your weekend will be worth spending here.

Dover

Bath

Distance- 115 miles (185 Km)

Best time- April to November for weekend getaways London

In the valley of river Avon, Bath town is under Somerset County. This is a famous site of a Roman Spa with its history going back to thousands of years. The finest ruins of Roman era are the witness of British Roman history. Adorned with Georgian Classic architecture the city is beautiful to adore. There are many museums such as Museum of Bath Architecture, Victoria Art Gallery, Holburne Museum, and Museum of East Asian Art. There are two universities also, Bath Spa University and University of Bath.

Bath town

 Cornwall

Distance-283 miles (455 km)

Best time- April to November for weekend getaways London

Cornwall is a peninsula reaching to Celtic sea. It has magnificent coastline of 300 miles of dunes and cliffs. It has wild moorland and hundreds of sandy beaches. Its medieval forests and creeks with oak trees are its high points. There are beautiful harbor villages like Falmouth and Fowey. Play beach games, ride on waves and build sandcastle at Daymer Bay. For break with nature there is Cornwell town with its modern facilities. In total, a complete and fulfilling weekend for you and kids.

Cornwall

Lake District

Distance- 278 miles (447km)

Best time- April to October for weekend getaways London

The Lake District is finest in terms of the scenic beauty. In northwest of London Lake District is a popular holiday destination. For trekking enthusiasts there is Scafell Pike at 3209 ft which is the highest mountain in Britain. Besides trekking, there is a grand view Glacial Ribbon Lakes and valley of Wasdale. Market towns such as Keswick, Kendell and Ambleside traditionally have the exotic inns, outdoor equipment shops, restaurants and ethnic art galleries. This place is worth spending your weekends and beyond.

Lake District


Top Weekend Getaways Destinations From Mumbai

Top Weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

The “City that never sleeps”, Mumbai is truly the entertainment and the financial capital of our nation, which is also the largest city in India. While the hustle bustle of the main city creates havoc in a normal Mumbaikar’s life, the best way to escape from all this is via a good weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai into the laps of nature.

Thus we have come up with the top weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai that one can escape to on coming weekends and have a leisurely time:



1. Matheran- one of the weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

Distance from Mumbai- 90 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- October to May

Located at a distance of mere 90 kilometers from the city of Mumbai, Matheran is a famous hill station in the nation which comes in the Raigad district. While it is the nearest hill stations to Mumbai, in case you are looking to spend your weekend with a spectacular 360 degree view of natural beauty, this is theplace to be! Some of the main tourist spots in this hill station include the Railway Station, Olympia Race Course, One Tree Hill Point, Panorama Point, and Porcupine Point among others. A heaven during the rainy season, this place is accessible via trains, cars and buses from Mumbai with ease!

Matheran one of the weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

2. Panshet- one of the weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

Distance from Mumbai- 183 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- October to May

This one is a small village located in Pune and is about 183 kilometers away from the Mumbai city. The place is ideal for couples to spend weekends. Since the place is less crowded comparatively, tourists can have some ‘me time’ over here. Tourists can enjoy water sports, boating and sightseeing at Panshet. Reaching this place is easy via buses, trains or cars Some of the major tourist attractions includes the water park and dam.

Panshet Pune

3. Murud-Janjira

Distance from Mumbai- 150 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- Throughout the year

Located about 150 kilometers away from Mumbai, Murud-Janjira is a place with immense historical importance where one can take a peek at the old sculptures, caves, statues and other archaeological wonders. The places to see in here include the temples, historical forts, and the beaches. Murud-Janjira can be easily reached via train or car.

Murud-Janjira

4. Lavasa- one of the weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

Distance from Mumbai- 185.9 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- Throughout the year

The tremendously renowned planned city in the state of Maharashtra, this hill city enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. The growing number of tourists visits the city to enjoy supreme facilities related to entertainment, sports, nature walks, adventure activities, gaming, etc. The connectivity to this place is immense with rail, car and bus route from which one can choose. Lavasa is also best to celebrate the New Year for luxury seekers.

Lavasa

5. Khandala

Distance from Mumbai- 205 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- June- Mid- March

One of the popular hill stations in the state of Maharashtra, Khandala is situated in the Western Ghats and takes about 3 hours to reach via bike or car from the city of Mumbai. A heaven for hikers, this hill station gives plenty of travel options including the likes of train, bus and car travel. The spots to check out include Tiger’s Leap, Amrutanjan Point, Karla and Bhaja caves, Duke’s Nose and Bhushi Lake. The activities here include shopping, hopping off to nearby hill station Lonavala just 5 kilometers away, or getting actively involved into the adventure activities that this hilly terrain offers.

Khandala

6. Alibag

Distance from Mumbai- 94 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- November to July

Mainly a town located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, the main source of income of the locals there is via tourism and thus it is one of the most visited locations near Mumbai. Located pretty near to the city of Mumbai, traveling to Alibag takes only 2 hours via car or bus and can also be accessed by trains too. While this place is budget friendly and affordable destination, even the ones looking for a great weekend can accommodate this place in their budget. The main attractions there include the beaches, fort, Mandawa, Saswane, Kanakeswar forest, temples and Awas.

Alibag

7. Bhandardara

Distance from Mumbai- 165.2 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- July- February

Bhandardara is definitely the best alternative available near the city of Mumbai, if you want to spend your summers in peace in the laps of Mother Nature. While the travel options in this place includes a bus or a car travel which takes about 2 hours 46 minutes, the train journey is of 2-3 hours in an approximate. The best places to spot in here are the famous Agastya Rishi Ashram, the lovely waterfalls and the gigantic Mount Kalsubai.

Bhandardara

8. Karnala Fort- one of the weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

Distance from Mumbai- 150 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- October to April

Doted as one of the oldest forts in the nation, the Karnala Fort located very close to Mumbai is also one of the best offbeat travel destinations in the entire state. The fort built in the 12th century is one of the most important historical sites of the nation and is known to be great for hiking as well as trekking activities along with being great for shopping, bird-watching at the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, or maybe visit the Elephanta caves nearby. The best way to travel there is by car or bus which would take not more than an hour to reach!

Karnala Fort

9. Saputara- one of the weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

Distance from Mumbai- 247.7 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- Throughout the year

Located in the state of Gujarat, Satapura is the lone hill station in the region and is located at a close proximity to the city of Mumbai. The best options to travel in here is by car which takes around 4 hours whereas the other options include a bus journey or commuting by train. Some of the spots to look for while there are the Rose garden, Table Point, Echo Point, boating and the ropeway fun among many more!

Saputara

10. Bhimashankar- one of the weekend getaways destinations from Mumbai

Distance from Mumbai- 200 kilometers

Best Time to Visit- August to February

Bhimashankar is the ideal location for the religious or the spiritual kinds which is located in the village of Bhogiri. The Bhimashankar Temple is world famous due to the fact that the deity there is included in the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva according to Hindu Mythology. Bhimashankar as a place is also pretty well known and feels like heaven due to the presence of the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary which is a natural treasure in itself along with the Hanuman lake and the trekking options this place offers. The other attractions to look for apart from this temple in the village include the Datta Mandir, Ram Mandir and the Kamalaja Mata Mandir and many more, all of which are equally pious and beautiful. While the best way to reach this temple is via cars, the other options include trains and buses which usually need a break journey to reach to the destination.

Bhimashankar

With so many weekend gateway destination ideas presented before you, pack your bags and leave for the one you liked the most! Bon Voyage!


Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park was established as a tiger sanctuary in 1936 by endeavors of legendary hunter turned naturalist Jim Corbett, who used to live near this national park. Jim Corbett National Park was originally named Hailey national park, post independence it changed to Ramganga National Park then finally to Corbett National Park. In 1973 when save the tiger mission ‘Project Tiger’ started, this was the first sanctuary to come under this project. Today the tiger population in the sanctuary has highest density of tigers per sq km in the world.

Jim Corbett National Park

Location

Gateway to Corbett National park is Ramnagar which is 15 km away. Distance between Delhi to Ramnagar is 260 km.

Ramnagar is a town in District of Nainital in state of Uttrakhand. Ramnagar is well connected by road and rail. There is a direct train from Delhi to Ramnagar, nearest main line railway station is Moradabad.

Permission for entry

The day visit permits are given at the entry gates. If you plan to stay overnight or longer time the permission from CTR reception office at Ramnagar is required. The Park is divided into five zones and has five entry gates. The permit for entry is available on all five entries.

Weather

The weather is pretty extreme like north India normally has. May and June are summer’s hottest months, the heavy rains of monsoon in July and August and winters can be very cold and foggy from Oct to March. Though, October and November are very pleasant when winter is setting in. Clothing should be brought accordingly.

Jim Corbett is well known as popular winter holiday destination of India.



Topography

Spread over 1318.54 sq km Jim Corbett National Park has 520 sq km as core area and 797.72 sq km as buffer area, which contains reserve forest 496.54 sq km and 301.18 sq km area is of Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary. The flat valleys are interspersed with hilly terrains, marshy depressions, rolling grasslands, a lake and rivers flowing through the park help maintain a perfect eco-system balance. The sanctuary has network of roads through the dense forest.

Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary

Zoning of Park

Bijrani Safari zone-

Eentry gate is 1 km from Ramnagar, famous for grassy natural beauty of the zone.

Bijrani Safari zone

Jhirna Safari zone

Entry gate 16 km from Ramnagar, open round the year.

 

Jhirna Safari zone

Dhela Safari zone-

Eco tourism zone included in the tiger reserve in Nov 2014, part of buffer zone open to tourism. It is located 13 km from Ramnagar town.

Dhela Safari zone

Dhikala zone-

Entry gate is 18 km from Ramnagar, Dhikala is famous for its flora and fauna.

Dhikala zone

Durga devi zone-

Its entry gate is 36 km from Ramnagar, it has heavenly environment for bird watchers.

Durga devi zone

Where to stay

Best place to stay in Corbett national park is in the Park itself. The five zones of the Park have forest guest houses. This is to facilitate number of clients who visit to see the bounty of nature in the sanctuary. These guest houses are worth spending your time in the national park. Set in natural environment, these guest houses have all the facilities to make your trip memorable. Many alternate accommodations and luxury hotels are available around the park and Ramnagar town.


Wild life – Flora and fauna

Fauna-Corbett Park is for wild life, preserved in the dense forest of tarai bhambar area in the foot hills. The tiger population is around 160 who have a happy abode for striped predators. Other animals who are prominent with their presence are leopards, elephants, spotted deer, barking deer, hog deer, wild boar, porcupines, sloth bear, nilgai, chital and sambhar etc. Most variety of snakes and lizards also enjoy living here.

Flora and fauna Corbett National Park

Besides, aqua fauna comprises of 600 species of birds, crocodile and gharial which can also be seen here. The fishes like catfish, goonch, golden mahsheer are found in the water bodies.

Flora-For nature lovers who have interest in plants and trees, there are many trees like Sal wood, Khair, sissoo, shisham, bakli, pula, kharpat, chir pine, oak, Bel, kusum, mahua, bamboos, grasses, climbers and herbs. These are spread from valley to higher terrain.

Safaris in Jim Corbett National Park

Jeep safari- Different safaris for tourist are designed; there is one for the early morning, afternoon and other for full day. All permits are issued in the name of the visitor individually.

Elephant safari- For elephant safari visitors have to book in advance. The elephant safari is a unique experience should be availed, if you are lucky you may see tigers stretching or walking.

Activities

Fishing– Two Rivers are flowing through Corbett Park which is ideal for fishing. However, permission has to be taken for fishing which is for ‘catch and release’ only.

Adventure sports- Jim Corbett National Park has adventure sports like rock climbing, river crossing and slithering, also hot air balloon and river rafting can be done here.

In Jim Corbett National Park many camping, trekking, wild life awareness etc tour packages are also available for children, schools and colleges.