DIY Travel

7 days, 3 cities, 2 countries

As promised, here is an overview of the 7 days that we spent in Italy and France. I put together our itinerary below  by spending 12 hours over a span of 2 days in front of the computer and voraciously reading travel blogs and tourist guides.

Itinerary – Europe 2015

June 5: Depart DXB, Arrive in Rome

Flight details: EK 099 

5June2015 3:20AM Depart DXB Terminal 3

5June2015 7:25AM Arrive Rome (FCO) Terminal 3

  • Arrive Rome: Take Leonardo Express to Rome Termini (Rome Central Train Station), costs 14euros each
  • From Roma Termini, take a white taxi to B&B Le Suite Di Via Catone, Via Catone 16 Vaticano Prati. costs 15 euros (12 euros on the meter, 1 eur for the luggage and 2 euros for the termini pick up)
  • Hotel Check in, Breakfast, Rest, settle in.
  • Sightseeing at lunch time – Vatican Museums Ticket – skip the line (38eur/person)
  • Spend entire day in Vatican: Buy Vatican Museum pass to check out entire Vatican City (38Eur)
  • St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica entrance is free.

June 6: Rome City Sightseeing

  • Check out rest of Rome: Take the Hop on Hop off city bus tour – costs 15 euros each
    • Pantheon – 10eur/person – after colosseum
    • Colosseum – 12eur/person – 2pm
    • Piazza di Spagna – free, during the day
    • Victor Emmanuel II Monument – free
    • Roman Forum – free
    • Visit a local market – buy spices

June 7: Rome to Venice

  • Check out from hotel at 5:45am and off to VENICE – go back to Rome Termini
  • 7:15am – depart from Rome Termini to Venezia S.L. – tickets booked
  • 11:00AM Arrive at Venezia S.L Train station – Go to Venice Lido – The quickest way is to catch one of the boat lines 51 or 61 every 20 minutes and to get off to Lido stop. The trip is 35 minutes long through Giudecca canal and Saint Marks Basin.
  • ACTV boat (Vaporetto) travel rates: One-way: 6€
  • Take a taxi going to the hotel: B&B 500 Via San Giovanni D’Acri 20 Venice – Lido, 30126, Italy
  • Check in at B&B 500
  • Venezia Unica is booked – access to public transportation and city tourist spots for two days.
  • Check out Venice – Lido
  • Go to a local Market
  • Eat authentic Italian. – had Spaghetti Vongole and Carbonara

June 8 – Check out rest of Venice:

  • Go to mainland Venice City Center to ride a Gondola
  • Take ACTV from Venice-Lido to Venice City Center
  • Visit the following spots for free from Venezia Unica: Jewish Museum of Venice, Churches (see list), Venice City Museums,
  • Gondola after all the city visits
  • Visit a local market to buy goods, spices, etc.
  • Go back to Venice – Lido, take ACTV ferry

June 9 – Check out from Hotel and off to Nice, France

  • Check out at 9:00am
  • Take vaporetto (water bus) from Venice – Lido to Venezia S. Lucia Station
  • Venezia Sta Lucia Station to Nice Ville – tickets booked.
    • Venezia S. Lucia Station to Milano Centrale from 11:50am to 2:25PM
    • Milano Centrale to Nice Ville at 3:10PM to 7:51PM
  • Check in at Hotel d’Ostende 3, Rue Alsace-Lorraine Nice, 06000, France

June 10 – Nice City Sightseeing

  • Breakfast then check out at 11:00AM
  • Check in at Hotel Paradis 1 Rue Paradis Nice, 06000, France
  • Check out rest of Nice
    • Avenue Jean Médecin – only .5 km away
    • Place Masséna – 0.2 km away
    • Cours Saleya – 0.6 km away
    • Castle Hill – 1 km away
    • Place Garibaldi- 1.1 km away
    • Port of Nice – 1.4 km away
    • Promenade du Paillon – 0.5 km away
  • Monaco is a 20-minute train ride from Nice Ville to Monaco-Monte Carlo
    • VAT Refund – Monaco/France
      • To benefit from a VAT (valued added tax) refund, the unitary purchase price inclusive of tax from any single store must be at least 175 €. At the time of purchase the salesman can either refund VAT immediately, either collect the tax directly and wait for the reception of the stamped “export sales invoice” from Customs to be refunded at the departure airport. In both cases, an “export sales invoice” (“Bordereau de Vente” in French) will be given to you. Look for shops with a duty free stickers in their windows

June 11 – Fly back to DXB

  • Online Check in before breakfast
  • Breakfast outside, check out nearby areas.
  • Check out at 12 Noon for Tax Refund process at Airport
  • Take a taxi to the airport – costs 35 euros
  • Reimburse tax refund at the airport, show receipts of purchases and tax refund form from merchant.
  • Baggage check in.
  • Fly back to Dubai
    • EK 078
      • 11June2015 12:55PM Nice Cote D’Azur Terminal 1
      • 12 June2015 12:10AM DXB International Terminal 3

End of Holiday…


Schengen Visa – costs 249 AED and 100 AED for agency fee; 5 AED for an SMS notification or 20 AED if you want your passport delivered via courier.

Travel Insurance – 60 AED for a 10 day-coverage from AXA Insurance Gulf

Air fare: This was a special fare from Emirates Airlines (I’m a lucky girl 🙂 ) – I got almost 60% off the regular fare, perhaps even more.

Hotel: I mainly booked Bed and Breakfast for Italy just to get a taste of Italian hospitality and I found them on

  • Rome: B&B Le Suite Di Via Catone costs 90 Euros per night and a city tax of 5 euros each person per night.
  • Venice: B&B 500 costs 90 Euros per night and a city tax of 2.50 euros each person per night.

Nice: I booked 2 hotels here since I was originally planning to take an overnight train from Venice to Nice.

  • Hotel d’Ostende: costs 72 euros per night and city tax of 1 euro each person per night.
  • Hotel Paradis: costs 100 euros per night and city tax of 1 euro each person per night.

Train: I booked online via and

Rome to Venice – costs 28 euros each

Venice to Milan – 37.50 euros each

Milan to Nice – 45 euros each

Pocket Money for food and shopping: I never wanted to run out of cash so for the 7 days, I decided to bring 1, 000 euros and end up spending 600 euros. And by 600 euros, we had gourmet meals all through out and never had a McDonald’s meal except for that coffee  on our first morning in Nice. I also spent about 80 euros in souvenirs and 60 euros for that Gondola ride in Venice.

Photos: Here’s a glimpse of the photos from the trip. I am sorting more than 1500 photos and these were randomly chosen. Panorama photos were taken using an iPhone 5s, and majority of the photos were taken using a Nikon D5200 and some using a Nikon Coolpix digital camera.


2015-06-05 17.45.38Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square), Vatican2015-06-05 18.14.10 St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican2015-06-06 13.34.27 Colosseo, Rome2015-06-06 14.51.48 Totally forgot what this place is – we were on the bus!2015-06-06 16.08.26Via Condotti, Rome
2015-06-07 11.59.56 The Grand Canal, Venice2015-06-08 08.44.56

2015-06-08 09.34.19 The local cafe close to our B&B in Lido di Venezia2015-06-08 09.36.08 Gondola Ride
2015-06-08 09.36.37

2015-06-09 21.35.51 Rue de Alsace-Lorraine, Nice2015-06-10 09.52.25

2015-06-10 11.30.56

2015-06-10 12.05.14 Avenue Jean Medecin, Nice2015-06-10 17.19.21Ponchettes Beach, Nice





DSC_0214 Piazza de Spagna (Spanish Steps), RomeDSC_0218


DSC_0440 Venice


DSC_0617 Nice Ville Train Station, Nice, FranceDSC_0618










DSC_0848 You can’t be in France without saying hello to Louis. 🙂DSCN0961Venice

xx Jacquie


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