Photo: Jpmurray/Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Jpmurray/Wikimedia Commons

Trip Planners | Short cuts

If you're too rushed or lazy to make your own itinerary, follow our writers' footsteps

Giverny, France

•Getting there

Fly to Paris—one-way fare €422 (around 30,000) from Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi; it can be cheaper in off-peak months such as February or March (check the Skyscanner website for flights). Vernon is 75km from Paris—take a train from the Saint-Lazare station in Paris. The journey time is 45 minutes (return fare, €15). Take a bus or taxi to Giverny (€15). Monet’s house and garden is open from March-November, Monday-Sunday, 9.30am-6pm. You can rent a cycle or walk around Giverny. Buses and taxis are also available.

•Places to stay

Remi Jouan/Wikimedia Commons
Remi Jouan/Wikimedia Commons

•Places to eat

La Capucine Giverny (80 Rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny; €10 for a meal), L’ancien hôtel Baudy (81 Rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny; €20 for a meal).

Buenos Aires, Argentina

•Getting there

Many international airlines, including Air France, Emirates, British Airways and Qatar Airways, connect Indian cities to Buenos Aires. One-way fare starts at 66,410.

•Places to stay

Hotels in every budget range are available in San Telmo. Try Onze Boutique Hotel ( tariffs start at $130, or around 7,035) and Hotel Concorde ( double-occupancy tariffs start at $50).

•Things to do

Spend a Sunday in San Telmo. Visit Eva Perón’s cemetery at Recoleta. Catch a Fuerza Bruta show—book in advance. Stop by the Teatro Colón. Catch a tango show at El Viejo Almacén. Stop by at El Ateneo, perhaps the most beautiful bookshop in the world, which is converted from an old theatre in downtown Buenos Aires.

•Places to eat

If you love offbeat cafés, pop into the Confitería Las Violetas, a well-preserved old-school Parisian style café (Avenida Rivadavia; tel: 54-11-49587387; www.lasvioletas.com). For home-made pasta, there is a 100-year-old Italian restaurant, Pierino (Lavalle 3499; tel: 54-11-48645715). The ice cream in Buenos Aires is probably the best outside of Italy, with brands like Persicco, Un‘ Altra Volta and Freddo having several outlets in the city.

Ravenna, Italy

•Getting there

Ravenna is one of the major cities in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It is served by frequent trains from Bologna, which is about 80km away. Bologna is also the nearest airport, and is connected by international airlines from major Indian cities (one-way fare starts at around 32,000).

•Places to stay

L’Hotel Diana is a comfortable hotel set within a refurbished 18th century house ($110 for double occupancy a night). Santa Maria Foris is located at a stone’s throw from the Basilica of San Vitale ($193 for double occupancy per night).

•Things to do

Ravenna has eight Unesco World Heritage sites and any visit to the city is incomplete without a visit to its churches and mosaics. The city is also home to Dante’s mausoleum. Lord Byron stayed in Ravenna during his courtship of the countess Teresa Guicciolo and wrote parts of ‘Don Juan’ in the city. The site of his lodgings is commemorated by a plaque.

•Places to eat

Ravenna has many small ‘pizzerias’ and ‘trattorias’ that serve excellent and inexpensive fare. Sundays are a particularly bad day to find a place to eat as most of the town tends to be shut.

Lower Manhattan, New York, USA

•Getting there

One-way fare to New York City’s JFK airport from major Indian cities starts at 30,000. Lower Manhattan is well connected by subway from all parts of New York. Take the 4 or 5 trains to Bowling Green, 1 train to South Ferry, or R train to Whitehall Street.

•Places to stay

•Things to do

Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Walk along the banks of the Hudson. Visit the National Museum of The American Indian. Walk along Broadway.

•Places to eat

Some of the food carts along the streets serve Mexican food and kebabs, among other things. Eat New York style hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas. A meal can cost under $10. Try steaks at Delmonico’s (three-course meals cost around $70); and sandwiches, wraps and burgers at Roxy Coffee Shop (1-212-3494705; a full meal can cost under $15).

Hyderabad, India

•Getting there

Hyderabad is well connected by air, rail and road to all the major cities in India. One-way air fare starts at around 2,500 from Bangalore and Chennai, and 3,500 from Delhi.

•Places to stay

Apart from the Taj Falaknuma Palace at Engine Bowli, which offers a luxurious hotel experience (tel: 040-66298585; www.tajhotels.com; starting at 18,000 a night, single occupancy), there aren’t many stay options in the old city. In neighbouring Nampally, a mid-range option is Quality Inn Residency, PG Road (tel: 040-30616161; approx. 3,800 a night, double occupancy). The easiest way to get to Chatta Bazar from Nampally is by autorickshaw (approx. 50 from Nampally station).

•Things to do

The old city is full of palaces, mosques and heritage buildings, including Charminar, Hyderabad’s most famous monument. Other places nearby are the Purani Haveli, the Chowmahalla Palace, Salar Jung Museum, Mecca Masjid and Jama Masjid. Walk through the narrow streets around Charminar to discover a vibrant marketplace. Shop for pearls and antiques at Pathergatti, and lac bangles and traditional ‘attar’ (perfume) at Laad Bazaar.

•Places to eat

Head to Hotel Shadab for Hyderabadi biryani, kebabs and ‘haleem’. Sip on Irani ‘chai’ and nibble Osmania biscuits at Madina hotel or at one of the Irani cafés around Mecca Masjid.

Québec, Canada

•Getting there

The closest airport to Québec City is the Jean Lesage International Airport, which is served by a number of international airlines like Delta and Air Canada. From the airport, a fixed-price cab is the most convenient way into town. Early June to late September is high season in Québec though August and September, when the maple trees are blazing with crimson leaves, would be a wonderful time to visit. One-way air fare starts at around 31,000 from major Indian cities.

•Places to stay

Auberge Place d’Armes, a family-run B&B housed in a carefully restored 19th century building, is at the heart of Upper Town (starting at approx. 12,000 per night; tel: 1-418-694-9485).

•Things to do

Old Québec is easily seen on foot and the best way to cover the main attractions is to join a walking tour. Walk around the streets, see the quaint buildings, eat/drink at cafés. Tours Voir Québec specializes in English-language ones. It is also easy to walk on your own with a guidebook.

Brighton, England

•Getting there

The easiest way to get to Brighton is by train from London, which is well connected by air from major Indian cities. Trains take around an hour from the London Victoria and London Bridge stations. You can also catch a train to Brighton from the Gatwick Airport railway station; one-way train fare is £8 (around 670).

•Places to stay

There are plenty of hotels if you choose to stay in Brighton. Unless you have a penchant for seaside debauchery, Brighton is best experienced as a day trip from London.

•Things to do

You could stroll down to the sea and the Palace Pier. Then linger on Brighton’s famous beach. There is the Royal Pavilion that takes around 2 hours to see at a leisurely pace. Brighton also has the world’s oldest functioning aquarium.

•Places to eat

Brighton is blessed with everything from dreadful Indian to cheap and cheerful seafood to critically acclaimed swish dining rooms. Terre à Terre (www.terreaterre.co.uk) is one of the UK’s finest vegetarian restaurants.

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