Sziget – Island of Freedom

just for youMy holidays are probably incomplete without a festival! Last year, during my Eurotrip I had a chance to visit two festivals, Sziget being one of them and it was surely one hell of an experience.

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Sziget is Europe’s largest music and cultural festival takes place on an island by the Danube river over a week. This was a spontaneous plan during my stay in Budapest and the best part was tickets being available on the spot at the festival.

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Getting to the Sziget from Budapest:

We used public transport to get to the festival using a tram and bus. We got off at Filatorigát station and walked to the festival from there. It was pretty easy to reach the festival. However, there are other modes of transport available here.

Now about the festival, along with your band you receive a ‘Sziget Passport’ which I personally thought was an amazing souvenir. You can get this passport stamped on every stage you visit, and it’s a great way to keep a track of the stages you have visited as there are over 20 stages at the festival. With only one day to visit the festival I did try to cover as many stages as possible.

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Once we were on the Island, the festival was so colourful and artsy, and luckily we headed to the main-stage right in time for the beach ball party! There were 1000’s of beachball that were being thrown up in the air together, it was such an amazing atmosphere and it was of of the highlights of the festival for me.

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Moving on the different things you can expect from Sziget, since it’s a music, cultural and arts festival. There are a lot of exciting things that are happening, my advice here is especially if you are attending the festival for a day or two download the Sziget application, browse through everything happening at the festival, short list the things you want to do. Let me warn you, there is a lot of walking as everything is spread over an island.

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My highlights from Sziget:

Attending a circus and theatre show, I managed to attend two shows and not just one.

Just chilling by the river and vibing on the music, this was the perfect place to catch the sunset and meet a lot of like-minded people.

Writing on the before I die wall – it’s a great picture and insta spot as well

Admiring all the art, culture and madness!

15 minutes of the beachball party at the main-stage 

And lastly, Wiz Khalifa stealing the show.  

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If you are traveling to Budapest during Sziget, it’s a festival you must visit even if it’s for a day and there is no planning required for this, since the festival is SO big, tickets are usually available on the spot without having to a pay a premium price which I think is amazing!! Hope you’ll have a chance to visit this festival and make your Eurotrip even more eventful.

 

 

 

 

 

25th Birthday at Tomorrowland 2017

I am probably writing about this wee bit late, but well it’s better late than never! My halfway to 50 was definitely done right, and my Tomorrowland experience is probably one of the best experiences of my life!

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First, what most people would want to know is how did I manage to get passes when they get sold out in less than 10 minutes online. Well, I didn’t get lucky with getting the tickets officially so I had to use the medium of the secondary market by paying that extra amount. So, I got my tickets for Tomorrowland on this site called Viagogo, it is ticket reselling platform. Apparently, it is officially partnered with Tomorrowland for tickets resale, however I don’t know how true that piece of information is.

Now a little advice on how to purchase your tickets of Viagogo, if you are 100% sure about going to the festival and didn’t manage to get tickets officially, don’t be in a haste and buy them off viagogo immediately as the prices are almost double at that moment and it’s the probably not the best time to buy your tickets. Wait it out, just a month or 3 weeks before the festival is the best time to make your purchase. Closer to the festival the prices on viagogo drop drastically and if you are lucky, you could get your ticket at face value as well.

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Unfortunately, since I bought my ticket from a reseller, I didn’t receive the cool box in which everyone who get’s their tickets officially receives it, I was pretty bummed about that. But the festival made it up for it.

Now to the most exciting part, I attended Tomorrowland on the 1st weekend which was from 21st to 23rd July. Three days were absolutely magical, the production of this festival was unreal, all the details for every stage was done so well.

 

Starting day one, we arrived to the festival around 3 pm the first day was nice and sunny so we were extremely blessed with the weather on day one. As soon as we reached we had to exchange our viagogo tickets for our bands and there we were inside ‘Amicorum Spectaculum’ the theme for Tomorrowland 2017.

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Tomorrowland’s ‘Amicorum Spectaculum’ means gathering of friends in Latin, the main stage was a mega size tent with a carousel, led it lights, theatre acts and unbelievable amount of energy. The main stage production was one of my favourites, but I would suggest exploring all the stages over three days. There were 16 stages at the festival each one having a different element to it, apart from the main stage, you would see most of the remaining stages every year.

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The other stages at Tomorrowland were Garden of Madness, Rose Garden, Organ of Harmony, Freedom Stage, The Arch, The Rave Cave, The Cage, The Tulip, House of Mask, The Leaf, The Core, The Harbour House, incase I am missing any of the stages is probably because I can’t remember the name now!

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Now to the best part of the festival, firstly bring in my birthday with the fire works blowing off at the main stage and attending the best EDM festival, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. But it doesn’t end there, next day of the festival just got better! 

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It’s no surprise that I lost my friends at the festival, as we all wanted to go explore different stages and well this is when I was passing by The Harbour House, a stage that had live theatre acts and some deep house music going on, the stage being relatively less crowded than all other bigger stages, I was right in front of the stage, called out to one of the performers and told him it was my birthday, next thing I knew he announced it to everyone in the crowd that it was my birthday, getting me drinks and I had everyone in the crowd coming up to me wishing, dancing with me, it was a one of my favourite moments of Tomorrowland. Having my birthday being called out amongst the thousands of people present there, it was definitely amazing!!!

 

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And that’s my Tomorrowland birthday experience, I’m sure it’s going to be pretty hard to top this birthday!

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Berlin Party Guide

Berlin is known to be the ultimate party and techno city in Europe, and after experiencing it all, I understand why Berlin nightlife is spoken about so much. I would like to mention that it’s not your mainstream high-end bars and club, the usual vibe you’d expect in a big city. I mean there are the fancy bars in Berlin but that’s not the real party scene. If you are into techno music, visiting Berlin should be on the top of you list.

There are certain rules that you should consider for a night out in Berlin, so here is a guide that will help you understand the Berlin party culture.

Berlin party guide

  1. Dress Down:
    People in Berlin prefer dressing down than being over dressed, its all about the basics here! Jeans, tank tops, leather jackets and boots with a kohl eyes and lipstick, you’re good to go. I would assume people choose comfort to have a good night rather than being dressed up and in stilettos which kind of stops you from having fun after a point. And honestly, I was quite happy with the dressing down culture, cause it saved me a lot of time of getting ready and I could instead go to get a few more drinks!
  2. Enter in smaller groups:
    This is a rather important thing to remember, whether it’s a club or a bar to split yourself in smaller groups. If the bouncer notices a big noisy group it’s very likely that you will be turned down at the door. Hence, to avoid the disappointment it’s better to enter in smaller groups.
  3. Carry Cash:
    This might come across as a strange tip, that why am I asking you’ll to carry cash! This tip is for people like me who always avoid carrying cash or would have minimum cash and prefer swiping. Well, in Berlin at most bars and clubs you have to pay cash only to enter and to buy you drinks. To save yourself the embarrassment it’s advisable to carry sufficient cash for your night out.
  4. Enter Early or Enter Late:
    What I mean by this is, you skip the bar hopping and consider entering the club by 12 am or late would be post 3am, Berlin is known for it’s party scene till wee hours so 3 am wouldn’t be too late. I suggest this for 2 reasons, to avoid waiting it hour long queues to get in the club and when its relatively less crowded the chances of being shunned at the door are less! So maybe take a quick nap, hit the bar and enter the club by 3-4 am and party till dawn or maybe next afternoon if you’ve got that in you!
  5. Pick Blacks or Greys:
    During my night outs in Berlin, I noticed people wouldn’t be dressed in too much colour. It was always darker colours that you’d see people wearing. 80% of the crowd would be in all black! You won’t see people dressed up in bright colours at all. There is no harm in dressing up in a bright pink or green top but it would just lower your chances of getting in and just to blend in the grungy vibe in Berlin pick a darker colour.
  6. Do not take pictures:
    So in most clubs in you will see a sign that says “photo prohibited” and while entering the club they will put a sticker on your phone camera. So well, you cannot take pictures inside the club however tempted you are to snap it or Insta story it, you just can’t here. If you are caught capturing something, you are going to be asked to leave! So save that embarrassment and just enjoy the moment.
    Well, these are about all the tips I have for you to party in Berlin. But above all, I would just like to tell you to be more open minded as partying in Berlin is tad bit different and more underground but definitely an experience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Top 5 Breakfast Places in London

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Well, we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But you know what’s more important for me, a big Sunday breakfast to cure my weekend hangover and get me prepared for my Monday.

Disclaimer, these top 5 breakfast places are my personal favourites and where I would go eat whilst living in London after a night out, obviously cause who eats breakfast during the week? Not me, weekday morning struggles were too hard for me to make myself some breakfast. Hence, it’s all right to treat myself once in a while. You get what I mean, right?

So, now let’s see my top 5 breakfast places in London.

 

  1. Breakfast Club:
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    This one’s on top of my list when it comes to getting a hearty breakfast, inspired by the 80’s classics, it totally lives up to that and you’d feel like you’re in one of those cosy, American diners where a lot of stories have been told. The interiors have fairy lights, pictures of customers and just amazing vibes breakfast and brunch vibes. And the most fascinating or rather exciting part is there is a secret door at the Liverpool Street Breakfast Club, this secret door is basically a refrigerator, which leads you to a bar section and you could just convert your breakfast into a champagne brunch. It’s really cool and if you’re in London you should definitely check out Breakfast Club. It surely wouldn’t be a disappointment.
    What to order: Egg Florentine, Pancakes and Classic Burgers
    Location: Breakfast Club is at 9 locations across Central London
    Timings: 7:30am – 11pm
    Price: £30 – 40 for two
  2. Dishoom:
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    Dishoom is inspired by Bombay’s Irani cafes from the 1960’s and founded by Zoroastrian expats. Dishoom was my go to place whenever I missed home food. There were detailed interiors, having that old Bombay charm to it. Dishoom isn’t only great for breakfast, but their Indian street food, lunches and dinners. The only downside is, no matter what day of the week it is, it is very likely there will be an hour-long queue. But we all know, those good things are worth the wait, right? No need to worry, while waiting to get a table you’ll get constant refills of hot chai for free! So if you’re missing Indian food on your holiday in London or craving it, I highly recommend Dishoom.
    What to order: Kejriwal, Bombay omelette, Naan rolls and chocolate chai
    Location: Dishoom is at 4 locations across Central London
    Timings: 8am – 11pm
    Price: £30 for two
  3. My Old Dutch:
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    My Old Dutch is what I call ‘pancake paradise’, opened over 50 years ago serving authentic Dutch pancakes in enormous portions here. My Old Dutch is my number one pancake place in London, they have a mind-boggling menu of sweet and savoury pancakes. I can assure you to be confused about what to order off the extensive menu. Cheeky tip there, go with a group of friends make them order everything you would want to try and order for the best, dilemma solved. Also, they have “Madness Monday’s” where all the pancakes on the menu are priced at 5 pounds. It’s a great bargain and a perfect Monday motivator. Forget your diet while going here and just dig in the perfect Dutch goodness.
    What to order: Everything, sorry it’s too hard for me to pick favourites here! But you could order one sweet and one savoury to balance the flavours.
    Location: My Old Dutch is at 3 locations across Central London
    Timings: 11am – 11pm
    Price: £25 – 30 for two
  4. Cereal Killer Café:
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    Now the name gives it all away, this place takes their cereal very seriously. To begin with, let’s talk about their creative interiors, it’s probably one of the reasons why I used to keep going back here. Cereal Killer’s colourful, quirky and artistic décor is done using cereal boxes, milk bottles and artwork made out of cereal itself, I bet you’d take a lot of Instagram-worthy pictures here. Now, this isn’t your average cereal bar, they offer 100 types of cereal, 30 flavours of milk and 20 toppings besides, they internationally ship their cereal so if you’re a big cereal fanatic you can have it shipped at your doorstep. Check this one of a kind cereal café and reminisce your childhood.
    What to order: chocopottomus, unicorn poop or be creative and make your own.
    Location: Cereal Killer Café is at 2 locations in London – Bricklane & Camden
    Timings: Bricklane – 8am – 8pm, Camden – 9:30am – 7pm
    Price: £15 for two
  5. The Ivy Chelsea Garden:
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    The Ivy is a posh, sophisticated Richard Caring’s Ivy franchise that serves European continental food, lot’s of truffles (duh, it’s a fancy place) and smashing brunches. This isn’t the kind of place you’d want to go in your jumper and smudged mascara from the previous night! Here, you want to put on a cute dress and on and go for a special occasion. It’s a lovely place to go to on a sunny summer afternoon as they have an outdoor garden and rooftop space. The interiors are very eye catching and elegant having a Persian feel, and a lot of plants, greenery and garden elements around you. They’ve got a tantalising menu to fit for everyone. I would suggest giving this place a shot for your birthday or any occasion per say. A tip, always try and get a table outside.
    What to order: Truffled eggs, Avacado and tomato toasts, mushrooms on toast and a glass of rosé, please!
    Location: 197, King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5ED
    Timings: 8am – 11pm
    Price: £50 – 60 for two
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There you have it, all my favourite breakfast/ brunch places in London that will cure your hangovers and cravings. And forget about the calories you will be consuming just enjoy your meal and then you have the entire day to burn them off! Also, always remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so let’s try and not skip it.

If you want to know about my favourite rooftop bars in London, you’ll find them here.

 

Tips To Travel Being Broke

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One of the biggest barriers to travelling is being broke and, there is a way around this. Money shouldn’t be stopping you from taking off for an adventure. Rather than fantasising of that dream holiday, make it happen just with a few compromises. Here, I am going to give tips on travelling whilst being broke. So stop scrolling through all the destinations you want to go to on your Instagram and make it happen this way.

Take a bus, instead of flights and trains:

Buses are a long ride, but it’s a lot cheaper than taking a flight or a train. Hitting the road is the most cost effective way to get away. The example here, taking a flight or a train to Paris from London would cost anything between £60 to £200 whereas taking a bus which would be an overnight journey would cost you as little as £20. Besides, being cheap overnight bus rides will save one night’s stay cost. So, bus it out, folks!

Couchsurf:

Couchsurfing as the name says it, is literally crashing on someone’s couch for a couple of nights. This is pretty simple, you sign up with Couchsurf, put in your enquiry and find someone that would be willing to accommodate you for a couple of nights. What you could do in return is probably cook a meal for your host or get them a bottle of wine. This would be a sweet gesture for them offering a place to stay.

Exchange of skills for accommodation:

There are a lot of sites like WorldPackers that are tied – up with hostels around the world where you could stay for free in exchange for your skills. So if you’re good at digital marketing, photography or even attending guests at the reception you could apply to hostels and they’d offer a free stay, laundry and even meals at certain places just for your skills and services in return. Working at one of these hostels is a great way to make new friends, meet travellers and on days and evening off explore cities.

Walk or cycle:

I have managed to cover travel and stay in a super budgeted way, but you’d probably wonder what to do on your vacation being broke? You obviously can’t pay for expensive museum visits, guided tours and taxis. The best ways you can explore the city is by taking a walk around, cycling and immerse yourself in the local culture. You’d be surprised how many things you could do and explore for free or minimal cost, it could be something as simple as a picnic in the park or exploring the local markets or spend a day playing volleyball on the beach. What’s so great about not spending money and yet travelling, you will end up doing the less touristy things and see a different aspect of the city.

Cook your meals:

Okay then, you are broke and managing holiday, unfortunately, you can’t be out dining and sipping on some fine wine. So what do you do now? COOK, yes I mean if you’ve found yourself a cheap Airbnb or Couchsurfing, you have the facility to make your own meals. How about visiting some farmers markets, getting yourself fresh ingredients at a bargain and just be experimental with the cuisine and cook yourself a great meal and probably pick up a bottle of cheap wine from the supermarket and celebrate your little getaway.

So, if you think you’re not a digital nomad or don’t have big bucks saved for a holiday and that’s stopping you from taking a vacation. I suggest, just follow your heart and these tips, I am pretty sure if not your dream holiday you’d definitely be able to take a long weekend off. Just save a small sum of money and just travel, life is too short to let anything stop you from travelling.

 

20 Holidays to take in your 20’s

20 holidays in your 20'sYour twenties are all about exploration, finding yourself and maybe getting lost again. There is no better way to make the most of it other than traveling. These are the years, where we can take the plunge and just book a ticket to an adventure. Prior this age, we are too young to go crazy and after this we will be old and responsible. I have made a list of 20 destinations I want to visit, while I am in my 20’s, these places will literally cover everything I have been wanting to do, from partying to adventures to teaching.

Here, are my top 20 trips to take in your 20’s:

Full Moon Party in Thailand

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The Full Moon party takes place once every month throughout the year, and new years is the best time to attend it. Here, everyone’s going crazy on the cheap buckets of alcohol, covering their bodies in neon paint and fireworks everywhere! It’s a holiday not to miss in your twenties.

Trekking to the Himalayas

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Once you get older, your knees are going to get weak, you’ll be out of breath and stamina to do this trek, trekking up to the Himalayas is once in a lifetime experience, traveling through the highest motor-able road in the world and camping at the Everest base camp, things like this will never be forgotten.

Teach English Abroad

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As students, graduates we can put our language skill to some use, teaching English in a non-English speaking country could add a lot of value to you and someone else’s life, and you get perks for this as being well paid to sponsor more travels. If you look up on the TELF website, there are a list on countries you could teach English in.

Summers in Europe

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European summers are the best, this one trip you have to take with your best of friends or do a study abroad in Europe to spend enough time here. The variety of holiday destination is vast, you could chill on the beaches in Spain or indulge in wine and cheese in Italy or go for the hot tub parties in Budapest or have a summer love affair in Paris or get high in Amsterdam. Basically there’s a lot you could do in Europe, just spend a month here with your friends and make the best memories.

Tomorrowland in Belgium

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Tomrrowland, is one of the most talked about and popular EDM festival. As you get in your 20’s the few things you want to do is rage at these massive music festivals and enjoy the vibes there, and Tomorrowland should be top on your list and can’t be missed.

Backpack across South East Asia

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While we are in our twenties, one thing I suggest is being open-minded and learn about various cultures around the world. One of the best trips to get a different cultural exposure, this will surely be an enriching experience. The countries backpackers visit in South East Asia are Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. So, get those backpacks out and book this trip!

Roadtrip to Iceland

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This road trip would probably one of the most scenic road trips in your life, rent an RV and driving across Iceland’s Ring Road, surrounded with volcanoes, rainbows and northern lights. This is once in a lifetime, and is surely on my bucket list to do in my 20’s.

Hike up to Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu is the world’s most famous and popular Inca archeological ruin, and now voted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The best way to discover the city is through the Inca trek and trails, it’s surely not an easy way to get up here. This trek would be exploring mountains, flora and fauna, sacred valley of Machu Picchu and the culture of course. Your twenties are the best time to explore this city and hike up.

Burning Man in Nevada

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Burning Man isn’t an average festival, it’s a weeklong cultural festival in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. This includes camping in the desert, self-expression art from all over the world, music and a lot of cultural influences are found here. Well, this weeklong festival isn’t easy as camping in the desert is difficult and requires you to be well prepped for this exceptional week.

Experience the great barrier reef in Australia

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The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest living space on Earth, with over 1500 different types of species found on a 3000km long marine stretch, this and unbelievable sight. This is the up close experience with the underwater world, undoubtedly Australia is the best place for this experience.

Scuba diving lessons in Indonesia

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Do you love the ocean? The best thing you could do is take Scuba Diving lessons and maybe even become and instructor. Gili Islands in Indonesia is one of the best places to learn scuba diving, a week-long of training to become a pro yourself, and maybe a month-long training to become and instructor. Can you leave a desk job to become an instructor later in life? In the real world it seems unlikely, so go take this leap while you can.

Party in Ibiza

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Yes, our twenties are meant to party are asses off! We will be working hard in the future, so what better place to let hair down other than Ibiza, one of the best party islands having the most chilled vibes and that’s all you need. The beach, music and a little bit booze to let lose.

Volunteer in Africa

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So, I am a big believer of giving back to the world. I mean, for the ones reading this and the ones who’ve had chances to experience even half this list, are really fortunate. Sometimes, we could give back by volunteering in countries like Africa, it could be teaching students, working in a Safari, helping in the fields and experiences like these will make us realise how bless we actually are, so make sure you get a chance to do something like this before responsibilities take over.

Spring break partying in Mexico

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I bet most students have this ticked off their bucket lists, spring breaks are where you’ll are going to prep for summers but in style, Cancun is where most students go party till sunrise and just begin their twenties. Spring break party holidays are the best way to start your twenties travels.

Get wasted on a Yacht at Yacht Week

Yacht Week

Yacht week is a weeklong of sailing, island hoping, diving and partying. You and your group of friends get your own yacht for a week, and this experience is filled with being drunk in the middle of the ocean to waking up on a new island. This could definitely be a perfect bachelor party!

Attend the world’s biggest carnival in Rio

Rio Carnival

This is the biggest carnival in the world, in Rio Brazil it’s even known as the Carnival city. This 5 days long party has over 2 million visitors per day and performances, parades performed poor neighbourhood that make this carnival a world-class event. Before you’re too old to move those hips to samba, attend this street party and be awestruck by Brazilian performances and the samba parade.

Learn Spanish in Spain

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Well, in our twenties we are quick learners and the best thing we can learn is a new language, to how about spending a summer in Spain, learning Spanish and immersing your self into a different culture. And this will open so many doors for you in the future in terms of being able to connect with people from different countries, jobs abroad and so much more. Give this a shot in your early twenties!

Get lost in India

India

They say you need a lifetime to experience India, and I wouldn’t disagree as India has got such a vast culture and so much authenticity. This is one trip that should be on your list in your twenties, exploring different cities, food and seeing the most stunning places. Maybe one trip wouldn’t be enough to explore this large country but starting in your twenties will always have you going back to India for a new adventure every time.

Underground clubbing in Berlin

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For all those who love deep house and underground music, this one trip you must not miss out on, Berlin is known for having the best clubbing experience in Europe. It’s not mainstream, they are dark underground clubs that make sure you party till 8 am, also it’s got clubs with the strictest door policy in the world. And let’s be honest, as we get older our partying capacity reduces, partying till dawn is something your older self wouldn’t want to do.

Take an Adventurous leap in New Zealand

Queenstown bungee jump

Your young and pretty damn courageous, this trip will give you that adrenaline rush. New Zealand is known for having the best adventurous exposure, having the ultimate bungee jump, to sky dives and ocean walks. These are just to name a few activities here, but there’s a lot more! Seriously, I don’t even need to explain why you should be doing this trip in your twenties, go take this adventurous journey.

Your twenties are probably going to be the best years of your life and these are a few experiences you shouldn’t miss out on, take these holidays abroad the experiences and make some unforgettable memories in these years.

Postcards From Venice

Venice is such a picturesque city, literally whatever image you capture which may or may not be with a professional camera, I can guarantee you, it’ll look amazing just by adjusting your brightness settings, the captured image can be printed into a postcard.
I am going to share few of my postcard photography images of Venice which is visited this ‘city of love’.

I’m going to let the pictures talk for themselves about this beautiful city.

Getting closer to the Grand Canal

All the boats parked by one of the canal

Silhouettes after the late sunset

Symmetrically parked boats at the end of the day

 

Clear skies at San Marco

Grand Canal by night

Capturing the Venetian sunset

A burst of color and sunset reflection

Display of beautiful Venetian masks

The happy tourist – BigCityGirl

 

London Rooftops

It’s summer solstice, and time to unleash the summer wardrobe and what better way to do it than a sundown or a rooftop brunch. I have always been a bar person, and rooftops are always on top of my list. While London has to offer a variety of rooftops in the city with a mesmerizing view, while visiting London, make sure you visit at least few of these and get a better view of the city while sipping on your rosé. Here are all the rooftops I went to while living in London and are my absolute favorite.

Madison

Madison Summer Sundowns

 

 

Madison has a separate viewing area for tourists to capture a glimpse of the St. Paul’s Cathedral, and an indoor bar serving signature cocktails, my favorite being the Porn Star Martini here. During summer, there are Möet & Chandon brunches organized here, with a lot of cocktail experimentation. It’s perfect for a champagne brunch kind of afternoon.
Location: Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF
Nearest Tube Station: St Paul’s
Prices: £9–£12 for signature cocktails
Timings: Mon – Sat: 10 am – Midnight, Sun: 10am – 9pm

Radio Rooftop Bar

Radio Rooftop Bar is a swanky bar on the 10th floor of the ME hotel, this modern rooftop bar gives you a 360 of the city from the Big Ben, London Eye, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s to the Shard. It has stylish interiors, and poppin’ EDM beats start playing as the sun goes down. Downside would be long queues on busy nights and the bouncers may refuse entries. It’s better to get a reservation with a minimum spend of 50 pounds to skip the long wait. Must haves would be Spanish Tapas along with wine or try the Bellini popsicle. They even offer brunches and high tea. Dress to impress at this lavish bar, as being in casual would be a problem to entry. Besides, there are boozy brunches and sundowner happening through summer, which cannot be missed.
Location: 336 – 337 Strand, London, WC2R 1HA
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Garden
Prices:£13 for signature cocktails
Timings: Mon – Wed: 10am – 1am, Thurs – Sat: 10am – 3am, Sun: 10am- 12am

 

Sushi Samba

 

Sushi Samba a fusion of Brazilian, Japanese and Peruvian Sushi, on the 38th & 39th floor of Heron Towers, it takes under 30 seconds through the glass elevators to see the Gherkin at eye level. The glass wall gives you a very close view to London’s skyscrapers. The interiors are pretty eye-catching, with an orange tree light up outdoor post sunset. This is one of my favorite rooftops as it gives such a close up, panoramic view of London’s skyline. This would be a perfect place for a birthday or any celebration.
Location: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street
Prices: Culinary Cocktails –£14, Signature Cocktails –£13
Timings: Mon – Sun: 11:30 am – 1:30 am

 

Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle is located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, looking over the financial district of London. This is a 24 hours open bar, serving traditional English and European cuisine. This would be an after party delight to indulge in their ‘Late Night Menuof champagne cocktails and cheeky mid-night treats with a stunning view. I would also recommend sticking around till sunrise and enjoy breakfast with probably one the best sight.
Location: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street
Prices: Mid-night Champagne cocktails at £15
Timings: 24 hours

 

Oblix

 

Oblix is located on the 32nd floor of the Shard, this fancy spot at the Shard is obtained by restaurateurs Rainer Becker for bring a New York style high-end dining luxury. Oblix would be a perfect date place, as tables are available only for dining, which would overlook the Thames and give a sparkling view of Tower Bridge. They have a variety of Steaks and Vintage Wine to choose from, this would be an ideal date setting with a stunning view, sometimes have live jazz performances and there would be a cover of £5 on weekends.
Location: The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge
Prices: £100 -£120 for a meal for 2
Timings: Mon – Sun: 12 Noon – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm

 

Aqua Shard

Aqua is located on the 31st floor of Shard, having high glass windows and a table setting around it, allowing you to stick your face to the glass to get an iconic view of London. They have Signature English cocktails, high tea and brunch all year round. It’s advisable to make reservations in advance as it gets booked pretty quick, and you should also keep up with special events happening here during summer. Something I found interesting is, the bathrooms here have long glass windows, having a panoramic view while doing your business.
Location: The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge
Prices: Signature Cocktails for £16 – £20
Timings: Sun – Thurs: 12pm – 1am, Fri – Sat: 12pm – 2am

 

Sky Garden Bar & Restaurant

Sky Garden is a concept of landscape garden, with open decks and a terrace, this is London’s highest public garden and an amazing social place spread across three floors on the 35,th 36th and 37th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street also known as the “Walkie Talkie Building.” There are free tours, which allow you to explore the gardens and enjoy a 360 view of the city from the South Bank, London Eye, and Gherkin to the Wembley Stadium. Booking for this must be done 3 days in advance. In this big landscape there are two restaurants and a bar. What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than sipping on Mimosa on a rooftop garden with a city view like this, imagine the sun going down while you’re sitting in the garden on the 37th floor. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Location: Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF
Nearest Tube Station: Monument
Prices: Sky Pod Bar Cocktails £12 – £16
Timings: Mon – Sun: 7am – 1am

 

Kensington Roof Gardens

 

Kensington roof Gardens is a little Alice in Wonderland, spread across one and half acres, comprises of three different kind of gardens where you can pop in for a glass of champagne or a free tour on advance booking, it has the Babylon Restaurant by the garden and a members on nightclub alongside an open air terrace. Fancy an afternoon high tea or a brunch in the Spanish or English Garden, to a late night partying. This place has it all, for you. Also, you should look out for events happening through summer.
Location: 99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
Nearest Tube Station: High Street Kensington
Prices: Signature cocktails from £12
Timings: Gardens & Restaurants: Mon – Sun: 8am – 11pm, Night Club: Fri – Sat: 10 pm – 3 am

 

Queen Of Hoxton

 

Queen of Hoxton is funky bar and club in the heart of Shoreditch, it’s got three levels and a barbecue rooftop. There are drag queens, live performances, photo booths, games installation in the club, with dimed lights and artistic interiors, this place gives the chilled, fun vibes with young kids getting drunk and dancing to the beats. Throughout summer, they have movies being showcased on the rooftops and events happening, which requires prior booking. On weekends it’s usually very busy due to which there is a £5 cover charge.
Location: 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street/ Shoreditch High Street (overground)
Prices: Cocktails have a standard price of £8
Timings: Sun – Wed: 12pm – 12am, Thurs – Sat: 12pm – 2am

 

Big Chill House

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Pop – up barbecue & drinks at Big Chill Terrace

 

Big Chill is a large bar and event place with a roof terrace, they open up a bar during summer on the terrace, its perfect for barbecue and sangrias. This is literally a house, with a large drawing room, ping-pong table, private rooms and photo booths. It’s an easy going atmosphere, with art work around the house and a perfect pre-drinking place for the summer as you can get cocktails by glass or a big pitcher. Sounds like a perfect way to get the late summer evening started.
Location: 257 – 259 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NL
Nearest Tube Station: Kings Cross
Prices: Cocktails starting from £8.5
Timings: Sun – Wed: 11am – 12am, Thurs: 11am – 2am, Fri – Sat: 11am – 3am

So, here are all my favorite rooftop bars in London for all, fancy high – end bars, Gardens tours to fun, chilled out bars and night clubs. I would suggest at least visit a few, and enjoy the serene view of London, it’s definitely worth that expensive cocktail!

25 European Music Festivals This Summer

It’s that time of the year, I mean its SUMMER! Finally, something to look forward to, while I was planning my trip this summer, and the one thing I was pretty sure about is adding a music fest to my itinerary but I wasn’t sure which one was it going to be, as Europe has so many festivals happening every summer.

Europe has one of the best electronic dance music cultures, and I am not surprised as 70% of the top 100 DJs in the world are European, this list would include Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Hardwell, Tiësto, Calvin Harris and many more. If you feel you’re missing out on big festivals like Tomorrowland and Glastonbury, don’t worry there are SO many other festivals on that scale that you could attend this summer.

  1. Sonar - barcelonaSónar
    Date: June 16th – 18th 2016
    Place: Barcelona, Spain
    Headliners: Richie Hawtin, James Blake, Fatboy Slim, James Rhode, Underground Resistance, A-Trak and many more
    Sónar was established in 1994, and is positioned very differently in the electronic dance by uniting established artists as well as emerging artists. Sónar has now travelled to 50 different parts of the world like Cape Town, Seoul, Frankfurt, New York, London, Boston and the list goes on. This festival will definitely have some new artists that you would discover.
  2. Glastonbury
    glastonbury-england
    Date: June 22nd – 26th 2016
    Place: Somerset, England
    Headliners: Coldplay, Muse, Adele, Ellie Goulding, Foals, Disclosure, Skepta and about 100 more artists performing over 5 days at Glastonbury.
    The festival goes back in the 70’s being started in 1971, it is a contemporary art festival, and a hippie culture is usually found at this gigantic 5 days party! Unfortunately this year all tickets are completely sold out, but hey! There is always next year right.
  3. Awakenings Festival
    awakenings - netherlands

    Date: June 25th – 26th 2016
    Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Headliners: Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer, Dave Clarke, Maya Jane Coles
    Awakenings is known as the Techo Festival and one of the important electronic event in Europe. This is one of the world’s largest outdoor techno festivals in the world. This would be a perfect fest to attend for any sunshine and techno lover!
  4. Hideout
    Hideout - coratia

    Date: June 26th – 30th 2016
    Place: Island of Pag, Croatia
    Headliners: Skepta, Jamie XX, Andy C, Jamie Jones, Adam Beyer, Gorgon City and over 100 artists and underground DJs lined up over 5 days of complete madness.
    Hideout started in 2011, and the festival has been expanding year by year and 2016 is suppose to be the biggest with the festival, boat parties, after parties on the beach till wee in the morning. Plus, this festival is fairly affordable with tickets at 135 pounds and stay at 20 pounds a night. This surely sounds like a deal!
  5. Fusion Festival
    Fusion+Festival - germany.gif
    Date: June 29th to July 3rd 2016
    Place: Lärz, Germany
    Headliners: To Be Announced
    The Fusion Festival is an underground electronic festival in an abandoned military base in the northeast of Germany, the festival does not release it’s line up in advance, which would leave you quite curious. This festival is now being known as the “Burning Man of Europe”. If you’re an electro underground fan, discovering this mystery would be interesting.
  6. Sensation Angles & Demons
    IMG_2990

    Date: July 2nd 2016
    Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Headliners: Yellow Claw, Robin Schulz, Nicky Romero, Sam Feldt, David Guetta, Mr. White, Rob, Don Diablo
    Sensation is an indoor electronic dance festival originated in Netherlands and now traveling around the globe, the uniqueness of sensation is that it takes place in indoor Arenas and has some mind blowing live acts. My sensation experience last year was insane! Read about it more here.
    I would 100% recommend going for this festival.
  7. Balaton Sound
    balaton 2
    Date: July 6th – 10th 2016
    Place: Budapest, Hungary
    Headliners: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Martin Garrix, Armin Van Buuren, Chris Brown, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Robin Schulz, W&W, Nervo, Tyga, The Chainsmokers, Lost Frequencies, Steve Aoki, Alan Walker
    This year is going to be the 1oth edition of Balaton Sound held in Zamárdi. It is going to a banging summer beach party with this amazing line up and boat parties by the Lake Balaton. Isn’t the line up tempting enough to be at this fest?
  8. Electric Love
    Electriclove - austria

    Date: July 7th – 9th 2016
    Place: Salzburg, Austria
    Headliners: Yellow Claw, DVVBS, Hardwell, Jack Ü, Don Diablo, Nero, Kshmr, Darkraver, Angerfist, Coone
    Electric Love as the name says it is all about electric music and love, located in the mesmerizing Salzkammergut Lake District surrounded by the beautiful nature of Salzburg. If you want a picturesque and a nature covered location with electro beats, this would be the festival for you.
  9. Exit Magic
    Exit serbia 2.jpg
    Date: July 7th – 10th 2016
    Place: Novi Sad, Serbia
    Headliners: Wiz Khalifa, David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Richie Hawtin, Bastille, The Prodigy, Ellie Goulding, Robin Schulz and many more.
    Exit has won the award of the ‘Best Major European Festival’. Exit started as a student movement fighting for peace and democracy in Serbia and has grown into one of biggest festivals in the world. For Exit being on such a big scale it costs as little as 107 Pounds and is held in one of the best locations in the world. I would surely not miss this if I were traveling around Serbia.
  1. Dour Festival
    Dour - belgium
    Date: July 13th – 17th 2016
    Place: Dour, Belgium
    Headliners: The Prodigy, Rudimental, Wiz Khalifa, Underworld, Pixies
    The Dour festival is the biggest and one of the most touristic destination for the French speaking part of Belgium. It is a 27 years old fest, getting bigger year by year having 9 stages, thousands of music lovers and a cozy camping site.
  2. Ultra Europe
    Ultra - Europe

    Date: July 15th – 17th 2016
    Place: Split, Croatia
    Headliners: Above & Beyond, Adam Beyer, Afrojack, Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, David Guetta, DeadMau5, Hardwell, Martin Garrix
    Ultra is a heavyweight EDM festival, having insane yacht parties, after parties and the festival comprises of 4 state-of-art stages with over 150 acts over 3 days, this festival has a maximum euphoric energy till sunrise. If you’re an EDM fanatic this is where you should be this summer!
  1. Melt Festival
    Melt - Germany

    Date: July 15th – 17th 2016
    Place: Ferropolis, Germany
    Headliners: Illes Noise, Oliver Koletzki, Acid Arab, Forest, Isolation Berlin
    Melt is a festival inviting new comers in the industry to perform and the big artists as well, and there are no boundaries in the genre, you would find EDM, hip-hop and indie. If you are into discovering new artists, this would be an apt festival for you.
  2. Secret Garden Party
    Secret Garden Party - England

    Date: July 21st – 24th 2016
    Place: Abbots Ripton, England
    Headliners: Caribou, Air, Primal Scream, Lissie, Milky Chnace, Izzy Bizu
    This is a crazy creative party, spread over 220 acres of garden bordered by a lake and a river. These gardeners take their party seriously theming this years party as ‘The Gardeners Guide To The Galaxy’, it doesn’t only have so many artists performing over 15 stages but its filled with a lot of fun activities like water dance floors, mud fights, astronaut training, laser wars and a lot more.
  3. Tomorrowland
    Tomorrowland - Belgium
    Date: July 22nd – 24th 2016
    Place: Boom, Belgium
    Headliners: Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Adam Beyer, Alan Walker, David Guetta, DVBBS, R3hab, Tiësto, Axwell, Afrojack, Nicky Romero, Robin Schulz, Lost Frequencies, The Chainsmokers, Dada Life, Steve Angello, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, W&W, Yves V and many more.
    Tomorrowland the worlds’biggest EDM festival that is larger than life having people travelling from around the world for this three days fantasy, all the best artists from around the world come for this festival and make it a 3 days wonderland. I know tickets are SOLD OUT, but there is always next year! This year’s theme is ‘The Elixir Of Life’ with the best acts with all the world-renowned artists, it’s a once in a life time experience.
  4. Untold Festival
    Untold Festival - Romania.jpg
    Date: August 4th – 7th 2016
    Place: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Headliners: Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Tiësto, W&W, Nervo, Lost Frequencies and many more
    Untold is a festival in the city center in Romania, this is one of the newest EDM fest making it on the charts of one of ‘Best Major Festival in Europe’ with gaging an award in 2015. Untold is representing big EDM and House DJs and is creating a busting line up for this summer.
  5. Eastern Electric
    Eastern Electric
    Date: August 6th 2016
    Place: London, England
    Headliners: Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers, Richy Ahmed, Eats Everything
    Eastern Electric is an English electronic festival lined up with a lot of budding local artists, it’s a 25 minutes train journey from London to Hatfield House. It’s a day full of dancing to electro beats across 9 stages, hoping around raving tents, VIP island paradise and to top it off high-quality food vendor. If you’re visiting London, this fun day could be added to your itinerary.
  6. Barrakud
    Barrakud Festival - Pag
    Date: August 8th – 15th 2016
    Place: Island of Pag, Croatia
    Headliners: Paul Kalkbrenner
    Barrakud is a perfect combination of music, partying and traveling. This festival takes place over 5 locations, and also includes a lot of boat and pool parties to commute to these various locations. This is a non-stop party on Zrce Beach for eight days straight.
  7. Sziget Festival
    Sziget - Budapest
    Date: August 10th – 17th 2016
    Place: Budapest, Hungary
    Headliners: Rihanna, Muse, Sia, The Chemical Brothers, Hardwell, David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Travi$ Scott, Afrojack, DVBBS, Yves V, ZEDD
    From 1993 to now Sziget has grown into Europes largest music festival, with 60 stages, 400,000 visitors per day, thousands of international artists from various genres. Sziget has a lot to offer besides music, its got theatre, films, classical movies, fine arts, and performances all across one week. I would rate this as one of the best festivals where there is literally something for everyone. If you’re traveling in Eastern Europe make sure you attend this mega festival even if it’s for a day.
  8. Sonne Monde Sterne (SMS)
    SMS - Germany
    Date: August 12th to 14th 2016
    Place: Saalburg Beach, Germany
    Headliners: David Guetta, Paul Kalkbrenner, Rudimental, Robin Schulz, Dada Life, Knife Party, Nina Kraviz, Tiga, Sven Väth, Die Antwoord
    SMS is an open air EDM festival, this festival is all about Rave-Beach-Party-Repeat for 3 days non stop. This year the passes are already sold out sadly. But like always, there is next year!
  9. Pukkelpop
    Pukkelpop - Belgium
    Date: August 17th – 20th 2016
    Place: Hasselt, Belgium:
    Headliners: Bloc Party, Big Sean, The Chemical Brothers, DJ Snake, Izzy
    Bizu, Nina Kraviz, Rihanna, Lukas Graham, Twenty One Pilots, Greenday
    Pukkelpop began in 1985 by the ‘Young Humanist’. The line up here is selected with an alternative fringe, there will around 200 be current sensations, living legends and upcoming alternative artists performing across 8 stages over a span of 4 days. This would be a mix of all levels of artists that makes this festival so unique.
  10. Creamfields
    Creamfields - UK
    Date: August 25th – 28th 2016
    Place: Cheshire, England
    Headliners: Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Knife Party, Nervo, Kshmr, Sam Feldt, Avicii, Martin Garrix, Above & Beyond, Alan Walker, Nick Romero, Tiësto, Hardwell, Calvin Harris, Robin Schulz, Adam Beyer and many more.
    Creamfields is held on the bank holiday weekend, one of the biggest dance music festivals in UK and winning awards for being ‘UK’s Best Dance Music Festival’. Having live acts by all superstar line-up, Creamfields has been traveling across the globe in the past years, but still this one is the best! No better way to spend a long four days weekend.
  11. Mysteryland
    mysteryland - netherlands
    Date: August 27th – 28th 2016
    Place: Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands
    Headliners: Afrojck, Martin Garrix, Diplo, Lost Frequencies, Don Diablo, Kshmr, Sam Feldt, Robin Schulz, DVBBS, Dubfire, Alesso
    This is the longest running and the largest electronic music festival in the world and Netherlands, Mysteryland is known for being sustainable and creative with there set up and achieving its uniqueness amongst all the other fests, this to me is pretty dam impressive!
  12. Outlook Festival
    outlook 3
    Date: August 31st – September 4th 2016
    Place: Pula, Croatia
    Headliners: Andy C, Stormzy, Kano, Mala, Goldie MBE, Slum Village
    The European Summer coming to an end, Outlook takes place at a unique location with a breath taking view and a big party. Outlook has a lot of heavy reggae, dub step and drums n bass, besides this there are green garden areas that provide styling experience to the attendees, I would love that!
  13. Bestival
    bestival - england

    Date: September 8th – 11th 2016
    Place: Isle of Wight, England
    Headliners: The Cure, Major Lazer, Diplo, Years & Years, Skepta, Richie Hawtin, Bastille, Fatboy Slim, Katy B, Hot Chip and more
    Bestival is an award winning 4 days boutique festival set at Robin Hill. The founders of the festival have a creative vision which makes this festival special, they camping site is divided into sections like Cosmic Commune, The Bollywood Tent, Fancy dress emasse, Spaceport. If you’re into camping at festivals, maybe you should give this one a shot!
  14. Lollapaooza
    Lolla - Berlin

    Date: September 10th – 11th 2016
    Place: Berlin, Germany
    Headliners: Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Major Lazer, Paul Kalkbrenner, Lost Frequencies, The Chain Smokers, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, ZEDD, Alan Walker, Years & Years, G-Easy and more.
    This will be Lolla’s first European edition and what you can expect is a lor of dance, hip-hop, rock and even country. This is going to be an artsy affair as Lollapaooza is known to be artistic and colorful, representing a giant lollipop! This would surely be a surreal experience and the best way to bid summer goodbye by welcoming a new fest in Europe.These are most of the amazing festivals in Europe this summer from indoor and outdoor festivals to beach parties. This should help you’ll have a raving and a banging summer if you’re traveling around Europe also add a new experience.
    Please comment below and let me know if you have been to any of the festivals above or are planning to go, I would love to know about your experiences and plans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital city of Netherlands, there are few amazing and surprising facts about Amsterdam that I discovered while visiting this city.

So, I found myself getting lost and losing my way around the canals since they’re all identical. This made me very curious and I wanted to just get to know about how many canals existed in Amsterdam, things just kept getting interesting and I discovered a lot more than the number of canals.

Image-1 (1)

Get to know Amsterdam better with these not so basic facts:

– There are 165 canals which are more canals than Venice, quite surprising isn’t it? That’s a good enough reason why I was losing my way around the canals.

– If you have been to Amsterdam, I’m sure you must’ve come across endless people cycling around the city. Amsterdam’s bike path is almost 400km with more bikes in the city than people. Woaah, reason why everyone’s fit maybe!

881,000 bikes > 811,100 people

– Something I was quite impressed with was that most people in Amsterdam knew English! Man, that’s something you can’t find it European cities. So, I discovered that English was the 2nd most spoken language that means most people will be able to talk in English, if not they’ll definitely understand what you’re saying.

– Amsterdam is known for its museums, but can you guess how many of them are there? Let me surprise you’ll, there are 75 museums in Amsterdam! You can just imagine what this city has to offer.

– We all know about the popular red light district, in most countries a district like this would be considered ‘shady’ or ‘unsafe’. Ironically the red light district is one of the safest parts of the city. It’s a something you shouldn’t miss out on seeing,

– People believe that the London stock exchange is the oldest, well that’s not entirely correct. The world’s oldest stock exchange is in Amsterdam established in 1602.

– I discovered this fact while talking to a local about the health services provided in the city. In Amsterdam anyone could avail free STD treatment, I am not quite surprised to be honest.

– While I was on the canal cruise I noticed the houses in Amsterdam are weirdly narrow, I was quite intrigued by this and asked someone on the cruise if they knew the reason behind this, turns out that people would be taxed based on the width of their frontier.

I discovered these little strange things while moving around the city by myself, interacting with locals and of course questioning a lot people! I’m glad to take back these unknown facts. I wouldn’t deny that people in Amsterdam are extremely friendly, fun and full of information

*comment below for any other cities fun facts you’d like to know*