top of page

Paris, the city of love, fashion, lights and great food has always been in my bucket list for quite some time. So around February last 2018, I was able to finally visit the French-Capital for the very first time. Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to visit this city, because it’s in everyone’s bucket-list as well as being one of the top-rated cities when it comes to everything; from architecture to fashion. As a photographer, those are just some of the major factors which has made me decide to include it in one of the legs of my first-ever Northern-Europe itinerary.

I arrived in Paris From Belgium on the fourteenth of February, -yeah, I know! It’s valentines day! Quite Ironic to be spending valentines day in the city of love ‘alone’. But it didn’t matter, I enjoyed my own company anyway.


When my bus approached the city, I can say that there is some serious problems with trash on the outskirts and it has given me a bad impression towards the city, initially. ‘Maybe Paris is not only the city of love, but also the city of trash’, I told myself. Well, I cannot actually judge yet as I haven’t seen and explore the whole city yet. Well, at least it’s not as dirty as my home country’s capital.

So, basically, I spent the next day exploring what the City has to offer. I visited some of their famous landmarks. The Eiffel tower, The Louvre Museum and The Arc Of Triomphe are just some of the few. Honestly speaking, I was very impressed with these structures, they are truly a work of art! Also, since they’re pretty much situated near each other, you can pretty much access them conveniently through Paris’ metro lines.


What fascinates me about Paris is that it is home to the most beautiful avenue I’ve ever seen in my entire life, the Champ De Elysses. The Champ De Elysses is an avenue stretching from the Arc of Triomphe roundabout to the Louvre museum. A walk on this avenue is a must whenever you visit Paris. Aside from the beautiful Avenue of Champ De Elysses, you can pretty much discover stunning streets wherever you go in Paris.

Arc De Triomphe

Before visiting Paris, I was told by people who has visited the city that it’s one of the most expensive cities to visit. I totally disagree to that! In fact, you can pretty much save a lot when you try to make the most out of public transportations like the metros and buses. Trust me, Paris has one of the most organized metro lines in all of the cities I’ve visited. One great saving tip, try not to eat in restaurants near touristic areas such as restaurants near the Eiffel tower. They are pretty much more expensive compare to like eating in a restaurant located at least two train stops away from these areas. If you’re staying in a hostel, try to buy some stuff to cook or some ready made stuff to eat from the supermarket, it’s pretty much economical rather than eating in restaurants or cafes. The key to not be spending so much in every city you visit is to avoid popular places.

Also, some people warned me that some residents in Paris can be quite rude. Well, for this, I have to agree. But don’t stereotype, cause there are also some residents which are very hospitable and kind. One proof to this is that I stayed with a very hospitable Parisian Host, and he is one of the most wonderful people I’ve met in my entire life. Basically, I think every country or a city has a share of rude and unfriendly people. You just need to learn to spot and avoid them as much as possible.

To summarize my Paris experience, I was disappointed with the scene which has welcomed me when I was entering the city. But after exploring deeper into the city, I’ve discovered that there are lots of really nice places to appreciate. You know what they say, we need to dig deeper to see all the great stuff. Now, it’s one of my favorite cities in the world.


Basically this experience has made me realized that we should always try to look and appreciate the beautiful things about something, somewhere or someone and not instantly judge and jump into conclusions because of what we saw initially. That basically is the same with every places we go to and people we meet in this journey called life.

“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” – Thomas Jefferson.”

Update: I’ve been to Paris for like around 5 times now, and I still feel as if it’s my first time visiting this city. The vibe, the atmosphere, and the excitement are still the same! Looking forward to my fifth visit!

Have you been to Paris? How was your experience in the city of love? Share it with us through the comment section below.

3 views0 comments

Ever since I started my international travels, Europe was one of the continents which I always wanted to visit. But as a third-world country passport holder, I needed to have a visa before I can enter Europe. The visa we need to be able to enter Europe is called the ‘Schengen Visa’- which is basically one of the hardest visas to obtain, especially if your country has a really bad reputation of overstaying in another territory. Fortunately, when I applied for a Schengen Visa, I was granted one. Hence, the moment I received my passport back with a Schengen-Visa stamped on it, I instantly planned my itinerary and came up with this. 


It was around February when I flew from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam. I always travel solo, but since It’s my first time to travel to Europe, this was one of the most nerve-racking trip I took. The flight took roughly seven hours. After landing and going through passport-control I went straight to the bus station to catch my bus to the city center. 


Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Two of the major languages of the Netherlands are Dutch and English. I stayed for a total of four days in this beautiful city. As a budget traveler, I always try to stay in cheap accommodations so basically I stayed in a youth hostel, located in Amsterdam’s Ledseplein District. 

Amsterdam is famous for tulips, picturesque canals and being the home of some of the greatest artists ever lived. Marijuana and prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, but despite this, this Dutch country ranks as one of the happiest and safest countries to live in. I guess, it makes a huge difference when people have discipline. 

There are tons of things to do in Amsterdam. For me, I just wandered around, and there, I was able to discover some hidden gems in the city. 

When you visit Amsterdam, just keep in mind that coffee shops there are unlike any other coffee shops in the world. So if you are craving for a coffee, just go to Starbucks haha. 


Brussels

Brussels is the capital of Belgium as well as being the capital of the European Union. French is one of the official languages of Belgium, hence most people speak French here. But the same with in the Netherlands, people here are so fluent in English. So you don’t have to worry about any language barriers when you intend to visit Belgium. 

I arrived in Brussels from Amsterdam through train. The train ride took around two and a half hours which is not bad. I booked my train ride through OMIO.COM (Formerly GoEuro). Top Tip: Book your train in advance to avail further discount!

The Belgian Capital of Brussels is famous for its gothic structures. My favorite place is the Grand Palace, it is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices, the city’s Town Hall, and the King’s House or Breadhouse. Definitely one of the best places to visit and photograph in this city. 

Brussels or Belgium in general is also famous for its beers, waffles and chocolates. So whenever you are in Belgium, don’t ever forget to try all of it.- trust me, I tasted the best waffle and chocolates here! 


Paris

Paris is the capital of France, it is also dubbed as the City of Love, Light and Fashion. Well, obviously, the official language is French. Unlike Amsterdam and Brussels, people here doesn’t like to speak english that much, not because they don’t know how to speak the language but they just don’t want to for some reason, and I don’t know why. 


I arrived in Paris from Brussels through Flixbus. The bus ride took around four-hours, which is endurable. The bus has several stops, so you don’t have to worry about sitting for four hours straight. Most couch also has bathrooms inside so you don’t have to worry when you feel like you need to use the bathroom along the way. 

Paris is home to some of the biggest brands in Fashion. Louis Vuitton and Chanel are just some of the few. But overall, Paris is famous for its historic landmarks; the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, The louvre, Versailles palace and many more. 

Paris is one of the easiest city to explore- thanks to its very organized train lines. When in Paris, don’t forget to try their local food, their cuisines are to die for! 


London

London is basically one of my favorite stops in this itinerary. This city is huge! But thank goodness, you can pretty much go everywhere using their subways. I arrived in London from Paris through FlixBus. The trip took almost 8-hours! Quite long but I was able to befriend my seat mate on the bus, so we killed time together talking about life. 

Arthur, my seat mate on the bus.

Please note that some Passports need a separate visa for the United Kingdom. So basically, I was holding two visas, one for Schengen and one for the UK. Make sure to see if you need one or not, just to avoid some conflict when going through passport control at the border. 


I stayed for a total of four days in this English City. But for me, I think it is ideal to spend more than four days if we intend to see all sites this city has to offer. So far, I was able to visit most of it during my stay. 

Make sure to try an authentic English breakfast- I tasted a lot of English Breakfast elsewhere, but tasting it in its origin is totally different! You can pretty much taste authenticity!

When we think about London, we think of the Tower Bridge, the Big Ben and of course The Royal Family! But there is so much more that this city can offer aside from the ones mentioned above. For that I can’t wait to visit London again and explore more of the city! 

Thanks for reading!

13 views0 comments

Brussels, Belgium was the second European Country which I visited during my first travel across Northern Europe. I arrived from Amsterdam. The train ride took approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. One of the most comfortable train journey I had from all my travels.

Top travel tip: When you book your train tickets across Europe, try to book it in advance to get cheaper rates. Unfortunately, I needed to re-book my ticket on the same day, as I had missed my confirmed train during that day due to oversleeping. Well, my excuse is that I partied too hard the night prior to my departure, and therefore the ticket cost me an instant hundred Euros! Three times more expensive, compared to the price of my original booking (completed 2 weeks prior), which was just 30 Euros. Lesson learnt! Don’t party too hard, especially if you have an early trip the next day.


As unfortunate as it was, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the rest of my adventure.

The moment I arrived in Brussels, I took a stroll and instantly felt a strong connection with the place. The photographer in me just couldn’t stop giggling! Ever had that feeling, when visiting somewhere for the first time, that you’ve been there before? That every street and old building in the city looked familiar? Not because you had seen it in photos and videos, but because you had been there or possibly even lived there? That’s how I felt! Weird, but of all the places and cities I’ve visited in my life, I felt this familiarity the strongest in Brussels. Well, maybe I was Belgian in my past life, who knows.


My favourite place in Brussels is the La Grand Place, Brussel’s main square. It’s one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices: the city's Town Hall, and the King's House or Breadhouse. I spent each morning having coffee and breakfast at one of the coffee shops in the square and just watched pedestrians pass by. The best way to start your day in Brussels.

Five minutes walk from the Grand Place, at the junction of the Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat and the pedestrian Rue de l'Étuve/Stoofstraat, you will find the ‘Mannekin Pis’. A statue of a small boy peeing, which is considered to be one of the most symbolic in Brussels. A must-see when you visit the first time.


Within the city center, the discovery of unique Belgium culture and traditions never ends. But one thing that really captivated me was the statue of Everard t'Serclaes. Legend has it that rubbing her arm will ensure one's return to Brussels. So without hesitation, I rubbed the statue’s arm vigorously. Let’s hope this ensures my return.

I spent most of my days in Brussels exploring the city, getting to know new friends and taking photos of anything that caught my attention. Funny thing is, everything in Brussels caught my attention! From It’s edifices of stunning architecture, to it’s different cobbled streets! I felt like an animal which had lived in captivity and was finally released into its natural habitat. I had never felt such joy! When time comes for me to relocate and settle, without hesitation… it has to be Brussels.


17 views0 comments
bottom of page