We have come back home with lots and lots of memories from our Super Budget Europe Tour with Thomas Cook. Before I start writing down about the experience we had at the trip and what all places we visited in London and Europe let me thank our tour manager Beena Goasrani without whose support we could have not seen so many beautiful places around Europe. She has such strong network and people know her so well in all the countries that we felt safe every time she was around.
We booked a Super Budget Europe tour with Thomas Cook. Our trip started on 27th May from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi and then we had to change the flight for London from there. We were traveling by Etihad Airways which is one of the best Airlines in the world and we were quite happy about it. Our first destination was London where we arrived at around 18:30 PM London time after 7 hours long flight from Abu Dhabi.
1) Keep calm coz London is calling (Kick Start to Europe Tour)
The weather in London was chilled and windy, It was different from what we have here back in India and we just loved it. The feeling was different. As expected our Tour Manager Beena was there to pick us up and took us straight for dinner as we all were super hungry, She took us to an Indian restaurant where we had our dinner and then Beena explained us about what all activities we were going to do in coming days and how London and Europe is different from India. After dinner, we moved to our hotel (IBIS in Feltham). Once I got the rooms, I and my cousins freshened up and then went out for a walk in the town. We wanted to chill a bit and try some local beer so we went to a pub named The Moon on the Square which is a nice place to hang out. The pub takes the last order at 12 am so you can have fun till late night.
You will find a lot of Indians in London and surrounding areas who have settled there for many years.
Next was the London Eye, There are 32 capsules in the London eye in which around 15-20 people can take a ride per capsule. Well, as expected London looks beautiful from the top of London eye. We were able to see every corner of London city from the top of the London Eye. This place is highly recommended if you are in this beautiful city.
Note : You have to pay extra for Madame Tussauds and London Eye. (Around 50 to 60 euro)
After spending some quality time at London Eye, We boys decided to stay back and explore the city more, We did not go to the hotel with the group and stayed back, I called my friend Siddharth Pethe who is also a tour manager with Thomas Cook, He was doing some other tour during that time but told me exact places where I’ll have a good time, He is a very good friend so he knows which all places I’ll like. He suggested us to go to Oxford Street and Soho as there are lots of quality Pubs and Bars in that area. We went to Waterloo and took a train to Oxford Station. Trust me Oxford street is really crowded, you will find people all around and yes they are really helpful. We had to ask couple of locals about which way to go and they were really very helpful and guided us about the way. We were walking around Oxford street till late at night and then took the last train to Feltham, We had to change 1 tube and 2 trains to reach Feltham. It was already 1 Am by the time we reached our hotel. We slept asap as we were tired and had a wake-up call at 6 in the morning the next day.
Also View : Best Places for Shopping in London
If you are in London, Trust me water is costlier than Beer, So always remember, Save water drink Beer becomes true in London and Europe.
2) 48 Hours in Paris
After London, We traveled to Paris, The roads are beautiful and it is all green around the road. The road journey is the best part of the trip as we were able to see the whole of Europe.
Traveling to Paris from London is a task and we were lucky enough not to get caught by the immigration officers who usually stop the bus and check passports and luggage. Well, we all had proper visas and documents but the only problem is they take a long time to check all the details and we had a train to catch. If the security officers would have stopped us, we might have missed the train.
To my surprise, the bus gets inside the train and the journey is of around 30 to 45 minutes. We have never seen a bus get into a train ever. This was one experience I am going to remember for a long time.
We reached Paris at around 3 in the afternoon and started with city tour. A local guide had joined the tour so that we can get to know each and every important thing about the city.
Trust me, Paris is more than Eiffel tower, It is just the hype about the Eiffel but there are lots of things to do and places to explore in this beautiful city.
We ended the day with dinner at Indian restaurant and then checked in to the hotel. We got an IBIS hotel in Paris which had small but nice rooms. There is a restaurant out their just 50 meters from the hotel which stays open till 11:30, You can go their and chill are the long day’s journey.
The next day as usual we had a wake-up call at morning 6 and we left for the Eiffel Tower at around 8 Am in the morning after the breakfast.
This was the day as we all were super excited, We were going to the Eiffel which we have always seen in Bollywood Movies.
Before reaching Eiffel, Our tour manager Beena instructed us to be alert as there are a lot of pickpockets happening around. You will find a lot of people who sell souvenirs of Eiffel usually tend to loot the tourist and run away. We saw all of them running away very quickly when they saw police coming towards them.
We approached the big line to Eiffel, It took us 1.5 hrs in the queue to reach 2nd level of Eiffel Tower, but the wait was worth it. Paris looks beautiful from the top of Eiffel Tower. We were given 2 hours to spend at the top and I guess that was more than enough. We took some photos, videos, bought a few souvenirs from the top and had coffee.
Trust me, People just come to see the Eiffel Tower, But the view from the top is more beautiful than the tower.
I am not going to forget the view of Eiffel and the city of Paris from the top. It has been captured in my eyes and will stay with me forever.
But nothing to worry, Instead we had a great time at the cruise in the river which is right in front of the Eiffel tower. We got to explore the whole city. Trust me that was the best thing we did. The cool breeze and the cruise moving in the river, it was an amazing experience we all had. The cruise was of 1.5 hr long ride and then we cam back to the hotel, visited a mall nearby, and went off to sleep as the next day we were supposed to leave for Belgium.
Also View : Best Places for Shopping in Paris
Yes another day another country, sounds very filmy but with Thomas Cook Europe Trip you get to fulfill your dreams.
A night over in Brussels
As usual our wakeup call was at 6 am, and we were excited to head towards Belgium, Obviously we wanted to try out Belgian Waffles and buy chocolates.
Before we could have some chocolates and Waffles, We went to Mini Europe. A must visit the place where you could find all the best monuments/palaces/castles from across Europe.
Apart from shopping and chilling, only thing we saw in Brussels was Manneken Pis (naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin)
Belgian Waffles in Belgium is very tasty and natural as compared to what we get it here in India. The city has great buildings and the place where Manneken Pis is located is really very crowded but that is what life is all about. Who likes to stay alone. People around make things more lively.
We then left for dinner and then our short stay in Brussels was over as we went back to the hotel. But not an issue, as we will be coming back to this beautiful country soon.
Another Day Another Country – Germany
After Brussels we left for Germany, We saw the black forest on the way and trust me it looks beautiful, We had only heard about it and studied in our geographic classes in school, but having the pleasure to watch it with your own eyes is totally a different story.
We went to the home of Cuckoo Clocks, That is one of the best places I’ve seen for Cuckoo lovers, The clocks are just beautiful and you can’t resist yourself from buying them all. In fact if you don’t want to carry them with you on the trip after buying, no worries, You can get it delivered at home, It will reach your home safely.
After this, we left for the hotel as we had to visit the Cologne Cathedral the next day.
Cologne Cathedral is beautiful, We clicked some photos and spent some quality time around the place. Next stop was Cruise on river Rhine for an hour or so.
Like always we reached the next destination on time so we got a few minutes to explore the place, We loved the way germans were chilling on the riverside in open space restaurants. This is something we don’t see in India as all the places are too much crowded here.
The cruise arrived and the passengers on it left, We then entered and guess what, The scene was mind-blowing when the cruise was passing by, we got to see beautiful houses and castles on the hilltop, People camping along with their caravan nearby the river.
You must take Cruise ride on river Rhine once in your lifetime to see how beautiful Germany is. After this, we left for Switzerland, the dream destination for everyone.
I’m quite fond of Switzerland. I love Switzerland
Now, it was the time for the best part of the Europe tour, Switzerland it is! We first visited the Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen while on the way to Swiss from Germany. I’ve seen such beauty only in my dreams. Yes this place was classic. You can go boating in the river if you have more time or just enjoy a cup of tea and yes we can grab a vadapav also here.
After visiting the Rhine Falls, we went straight for dinner as the Indian restaurant was 1 hr away. After having chicken curry (Food has been tasty in all Indian restaurants we have been to) we checked in to the hotel, IBIS has been our stay for the trip. The hotel was clean and good to stay. We were in Winterthur city which is just 20 minutes drive away from Zurich.
After checking in to the hotel we explored the city, We wanted to have some pizza as it had been days since we had it. We went to Take24 which was 5 minutes walk from the hotel, Beer + Pizza + Cold Weather = Everything complete in life. You cannot ask for more.
The next day we going to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe. We had a great time. It was very cold, The temperature was around 0°.
We have to change 2 trains to reach Jungfraujoch. As you reach up on the top, you feel like oxygen level is going down, but don’t worry it will be just for some time and your body will get used to the weather.
At Jungfraujoch, you get to play with the snow and also visit the ice palace. The feeling is totally different and it is a must-visit. Playing in snow has been my dream since childhood which got completed in Swiss. A lot of Bollywood movies have been shot in Switzerland and Jungfraujoch is the place that attracts the big Indian crowd because of that.
We got free lunch along with a glass of champagne at the Bollywood Restaurant at the top of Jungfraujoch. It was a dreamy lunch as all you could see is a snow river from the window which looks beautiful.
After Jungfraujoch, we had our lunch and then our tour manager took us to Interlaken. The place where a famous scene from DDLJ is shot where Shahrukh Khan is seen splashing water on Kajol from a flower.
Note: Jungfraujoch was not in the Itinerary, We paid 150 Euro per person for this activity, But trust me, It is worth it any day.
After a wonderful day, we left for the hotel IBIS in Winterthur as we had to go Mount Titlis the next day which was unfortunately our last destination and final day in Switzerland.
Mt. Titlis is a great place to visit, It can in no way be compared to Jungfraujoch. It is not as beautiful as Jungfraujoch but yes if you will love the snow then you must visit here. Also, the Cliff Walk is the best attraction there. Apart from this you can have food and drinks at the top in the cold weather and play with ice.
Note: Always visit Mt Titlis before you go to Jungfraujoch. You will not like Titlis once you have been to Jungfraujoch. So plan accordingly. Mt Titlis is a must-visit, but it will be a back to back snow day, so you can even skip Mt Titlis and visit Engleberg or Interlaken instead and explore these places.
After Mt Titlis, our tour manager took us to Luzerne where we got a chance for shopping. Luzerne is a great place to be in, it has lakes and good places to chill.
After the Luzerne shopping time we left for lunch and then straight to the hotel. It was a great time, Next day we had to catch a flight back home with all the memories.
It is said Europe is best seen walking, and we got a chance to explore all the cities on Europe Tour and spent quality time everywhere.
We are sure we will be traveling with Thomas Cook on our next trip.
I would 200% suggest everyone to take up Super Budget Europe Tour with Thomas Cook. They will give you the best experience of a lifetime.
Thank You Thomas Cook again for making our Europe Tour the most memorable trip ever. We have come back with thousands of beautiful memories we can’t get over.
Note: April, May & June are peak season in Europe for tourists. You will find 100’s of Indians everywhere you go. All the places will be very crowded. If you want to see real peaceful Europe then plan your trip in Mid September or 1st Week of October. You will be able to enjoy yourself more.