Travel: Top international destinations this summer : The Tribune India

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Travel: Top international destinations this summer

Travel: Top international destinations this summer

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore



Singapore

At 6.8 lakh of the overall 63 lakh visitor arrivals to Singapore in 2022, Indian tourists were the second-largest source market after Indonesia. Looking at the immense potential the country holds, this year, too, the Singapore Tourism Board and its industry partners have launched a series of limited-time promotions, besides holding roadshows and selling the country as a wedding and engagement destination. Since most European countries remain inaccessible due to lack of visa appointment dates, Singapore, with its attractions like Gardens by the Bay, Botanical Gardens and Singapore Zoo, has emerged as the preferred family travel destination this season, says Kuldip Sondhi of Sondhi Travels, Jalandhar. Reserve a day for the many excursions that Sentosa beach offers.

Exchange rate: 1 SGD (Singapore Dollar) = Rs 61

Best time to visit Throughout the year, though June and July remain hectic


Switzerland

Zurich

From appointing Indian sports icon Neeraj Chopra as its Friendship Ambassador to teaming up with tennis legend Roger Federer and stand-up comedian Trevor Noah for an advertisement promoting a train tour, Switzerland Tourism is leaving no stone unturned to attract tourists, particularly Indians. Not that Switzerland is unfamiliar territory, considering that many of Yash Chopra’s hit films were shot in these picturesque landscapes. The visa appointment availability remains an irritant and the falling rupee, resulting in rising costs, has been a dampener. But there’s nothing stopping Indians from flocking to the touristy destinations of Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken and Mt Titlis, besides a train ride to Jungfrau, top of Europe.

Exchange rate: 1 Euro = Rs 89

Best time to visit June to August


Indonesia

Seminyak beach, Bali

Among the most searched tourist destinations on our travel website Kayak is Denpasar, the bustling capital of Bali, says Tarun Tahiliani, India country manager of the website. Its stunning coastlines, local markets, cultural sites, temples, lively festivities and local hospitality make the Indonesian island with moderate temperature, alluring for visitors. A more than nine-hour flight is not a deterrent to this affordable getaway from India, besides visa-on-arrival facility for Indians. Go on a cycling tour along the rice fields in Ubud, indulge yourself in marine sports activity at the white sand beaches of Kuta, have lunch on the edge of the cliff in Kintamani, take a bath in the hot natural springs of Batur, or watch the traditional Uluwatu Kecak fire dance performance at sunset.

Exchange rate: Rs 1 = 181.3 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah)

Best time to visit April to October


Thailand

Phuket

In 2022, the second largest number of tourists to Thailand after Malaysia was from India. From the earlier expected 14 lakh Indian tourists this year, Thailand has revised its target to 20 lakh. Direct flights to Bangkok from even Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities, besides visa-on-arrival facility and affordable accommodation, have added to the popularity of the archipelago. Besides Bangkok, the islands of Phuket and Krabi are among the most popular spots, says travel website easemytrip.com. The country is also offering pet-friendly accommodation on its many beaches. So, if you are planning a holiday abroad, you can take along your favourite family member!

Exchange rate: 1 THB (Thai Baht)= Rs 2.39

Best time to visit November till April


UAE

Burj Khalifa

The first quarter report of 2023 issued by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism recently revealed that at 6.1 lakh, the highest number of international tourists to Dubai came from India. Dubai remains the hottest-selling destination throughout the year, even in the sizzling June, says Gagan Sachdeva of IV Holidays. Though the temperature hovers between 35ºC and 40ºC, there’s no stopping tourists from visiting Dubai, which has the world’s tallest man-made structure of Burj Khalifa, at 2,716.5 feet. Everything worth exploring — be it the Ski Dubai Snow Park, Dive Atlantis, Dubai Mall’s Underwater Zoo, or more — is indoors. No wonder, tourists find the off-season discounts on flights, hotels and shopping difficult to resist, even during peak summer.

Exchange rate: 1 AED (Emirati Dirham) = Rs 22.48

Best time to visit November to April


United Kingdom

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge, London

The announcement made by the British High Commission in December that travellers from India will get tourist visas within a fortnight saw Indians making a beeline for a UK visit this summer. According to visitbritain.com, the official website of British tourism, 33 per cent of Indian tourists are making a repeat visit within 10 years. London, Edinburgh, Bath, Glasgow, the Cotswolds region, the Lake District, Giant’s Causeway, Stonehenge, Loch Ness, besides the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge, remain high on the bucket list of those travelling to the UK.

Exchange rate: £1 (Great Britain Pound) = Rs 102

Best time to visit June to August


Vietnam

Golden Bridge, Da Nang

Since March last year when it opened its borders to international travellers, Vietnam has emerged as one of the most sought-after holiday destinations for Indian tourists, especially due to a convenient visa policy and many direct flights with a travel time of nearly 5 hours. Divided into three regions — North, Central and South — the country offers multiple terrains that can be covered in a week. The glitzy malls, skyscrapers of the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City present the modern face of Vietnam, while the capital city of Hanoi offers an authentic view of Vietnamese life and culture with its old quarters and narrow lanes. In between the two lies Da Nang on the east coast, popularly known as the tourist capital of South-Central Vietnam.

Exchange rate: Rs 1 = 284.43 VND (Vietnamese Dong)

Best time to visit All-year round


Turkey

Cappadocia

Its vibrant culture, easy visa facility, widespread connectivity and a vast history of Byzantine and Ottoman empires have made Turkey, now officially known as Turkiye, the new-favoured holiday destination for Indian tourists. Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya are the most popular tourist spots. An increasing familiarity with Turkish foods like doner kebabs, shawarma, falafel, baklava, etc, popularised by Indian restaurants, have fuelled the popularity of this Mediterranean region. In 2022, the country received 2.3 lakh Indian tourists. Indian passport holders with a visa or residence permit from Schengen, the US, UK and Ireland are eligible for Turkish e-visa, which can be obtained online in a few minutes.

Exchange rate: 1 TRY (Turkish lira) = Rs 4.13

Best time to visit April-May, September-November


Norway

Bergen

One of the world’s most underrated travel destinations would perhaps be Norway. People of this Nordic country are rated among the happiest on earth. Breath-taking fjords, jaw-dropping cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and lakes make this Scandinavian country a natural splendour. From hiking in picturesque mountains, a fishing expedition in the colourful town of Lofoten to shopping in capital city Oslo, besides Unesco heritage buildings of Bergen, this Land of the Midnight Sun will keep you on your toes. Restaurants of the country pride themselves in providing enticing breakfast platters. Do not miss the train ride on the Flam Railway route.

Exchange rate: 1 Euro = Rs 89

Best time to visit June to August


Kazakhstan

 Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty

Almaty in Kazakhstan, which has the feel of a European country but costs much less, is catching the fancy of holidaymakers, says Neeraj Malhotra of Ganpati Travels, Delhi. A flight of barely 3.15 hours from Delhi and a currency weaker than ours, besides visa-free travel for 14 days are adding to its USP. Centuries of close contact with Russia is evident in its Soviet-era architecture. There’s lots to do in this ethnically and culturally diverse city, which is Kazakhstan’s largest and most developed. From Russian baths to traditional Kazakh delicacies to its gleaming malls and wild night clubs, the city has lots to offer.

Exchange rate: Rs 1= 5.4 KZT (Kazakhstani Tenge)

Best time to visit June to September

Compiled by Seema Sachdeva, designed by Mandeep Dhir. Photos: Istock


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