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Last Updated : Aug 29, 2018 01:01 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Bala Parthasarathy of MoneyTap talks about his European sojourn

Besides bringing a unique revolution in the field of finance, Parthasarathy takes pride in being an avid traveller. In an interview with Moneycontrol, Parthasarathy shares interesting insights on his favourite travel destination.

Suchayan Mandal @suchayanm

Salaried professionals often find it difficult to garner those extra bucks for an international trip, a wedding ceremony or even to settle rent advances. MoneyTap, India's first instant credit line platform, will now come to the rescue of such people on the lookout for ready money. A brainchild of Bala Parthasarathy, and other cofounders, MoneyTap offer loans between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5 lakh via an app. Consumers can register on the app and choose from among multiple repayment options and duration ranging from two to 36 months. And the rate of interest? It’s as low as 1.25 percent per month according to terms and conditions.

Besides bringing a unique revolution in the field of finance, Parthasarathy takes pride in being an avid traveller. In an interview with Moneycontrol, Parthasarathy shares interesting insights on his favourite travel destination.

Preferred destination

Czech Republic

“One of my favourite places is the lovely country of Czech Republic in Europe. When we Indians think Europe, the first trip is always Switzerland, Paris or London. No doubt they justify their fame but these aren’t meant for travellers on a budget. A city like Prague, the capital of Czech, offers the splendour of Paris on a limited budget,” he said.

Preferred Flight

The cheapest way of getting there is watching for a discount on Qatar or Emirates to fly to Munich and take a train from there. The fastest way is to take Lufthansa, which flies from almost every major Indian city to Frankfurt. And then take a very comfortable high-speed train to Prague.

Note: you need to go to Bahn.de to book the train tickets and book early if you want dirt cheap prices

Planning the itinerary

Prague is a perennial favourite. It’s still cheap compared to the rest of Europe and magnificent all-round the year. Spend at least 2 or 3 days there. Beyond Prague, there are a number of small towns like Telc or Cesky Krumlov for a small town feel and Budweiss (yes, Budweiser name originates here) or Plzen (yes, Pilsen beer is from here) if you want to taste some of the best European Beers.

You can easily cover Vienna (Austria) or Budapest (Hungary) by train if you want to notch more countries in your belt.

Stay options

Too many to list but Airbnb is not a bad option for some of these places if you want to see how locals live. But I always stay at the city centre, even if it’s a small place for my budget. Biggest pleasure of Europe is to walk around city centres.  Staying far away and saving money makes you miss the whole point.

Activities

Besides the obvious walking around lovely bridges, clock towers, castles and churches that are a part of all these cities, food, music and pubs (if you drink) are must-dos. But do just plan a few hours of chilling, walking mindlessly without a map and observing people. Note that I’m not putting any museums on the list. Though a big fan of museums in general, there are no must-visits in these places. I’d rather use my time to check out the magnificent architecture.

Shopping

While not known as a general shopping destination, Czech Republic does offer European handmade wooden toys, puppets, and lace that are quite prized in the rest of Europe at throwaway prices. And there’s always the Aldi (Walmart equivalent) for dirt cheap general shopping if you have time.

Estimated Expense

This widely varies. If you’re young and single, you can stay in Youth Hostels or budget hotels, eat decent meals and grab good beer all under Rs 4,000 per day. If you rent a car, you can add another Rs 1000 per day - much easier to get around, fun and easy to drive and easy to rent on an Indian driver’s license + credit card. If you rent a car, be sure to get the insurance package and check every square centimetre of the car for damages, before you rent.
First Published on Aug 23, 2018 05:11 pm
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