27/11/2019

The Best Instagram Spots in Prague, Czech Republic


Get ready for some real autumn goodness.

I visited Prague in mid-October, and before I got there, I expected a lot of autumnal landscapes - needless to say, I got exactly that, and more! Prague is a beautiful city, and a big one too, and I really enjoyed discovering the prettiest spots there.
Because my boyfriend and I did not visit that many tourist attractions, I thought I would dedicate this blogpost to the beauty of the city and where you can find the most Instagrammable areas to take your souvenir pictures! I have never done one of these posts, so yay for trying something new!
Without further ado, here are the Prague spots that I took my favourite photos in. You get head over to my Instagram @julia_ds25  to see all my Prague (and Poland) pictures!

VYSEHRAD: PEACEFUL NATURE OUTSIDE OF THE CITY
We explored Vysehrad on a quiet weekday afternoon, and it was one of my favourite moments in Prague. To get there, we took the tram to the south of the city and climbed up a hill, through paths covered in autumn leaves. Once you reach the top you are at Vysehrad: an old fortress turned park, where you will find beautiful views over the city, the gorgeous St Peter and Paul Basilica, and a wide area of greenery. If you love autumn photos, Vysehrad is your spot: there were very few people there, leafing you with a lot of freedom to play around with photography. 


GARDENS BELOW PRAGUE CASTLE: THE BEST PLACE FOR DREAMY, WHIMSICAL PICTURES
These gardens are exactly what the name suggests: gardens hidden underneath the castle. They are tucked away in a small street, but you will find them easily through Google Maps. These gardens are terraced, Italian-style garden, where you will find a variety of levels adorned with flowers and plants, as well as my favourite view over the centre of Prague. You have to pay a small fee to enter, but trust me: the price is well worth it. I don't think this place has made it into the tourist hotspot list yet, and that makes them really special. In the autumn, the leaves on the walls turn orange and make the dreamiest background for photos. I really felt like we hit a jackpot with this place. Just see for yourself...


THE OLD TOWN: THE CLASSIC PRAGUE SHOTS AND COLOURFUL BUILDINGS
The Old Town is an unmissable spot in Prague. Even though it is far more touristy than the two I mentioned above, it is also a beautiful setting for your travel photos. Getting up early means that you will have fewer people around, so if you're planning to shoot in the Old Town Square and expecting tourist-free shots, set up your alarm and get going! I really enjoyed the buildings around the square, they are all different colours and shapes, and make for fun pictures. On the other side of Charles Bridge, you can also find some old colourful streets where there are few cars and you will be able to stand on the road to take pretty pictures. My tip would be to steer away from the main streets and get lost in the smaller alleys: they may be narrower and harder to capture in photos, but worth it if you have those skills because there won't be any crowds at all.  


AROUND THE RIVER & PRAGUE'S BRIDGES
You may know that Prague is cut in half by the Vltava River. I love a good river, it can create beautiful photos with the perspective of the buildings on either side, or the reflection of the landscape in the water. The river in Prague goes a long way, so it is pretty easy to find a spot devoid of tourists where you can get beautiful pictures. My favourite view is the view of Charles Bridge from the left side of the city, as you will see in the photo below. Another great river view is when the night starts falling and the lights are turned on: this will create beautiful reflections of the lights and the buildings on the water. Go out there and walk around the river, and it will give you plenty of opportunities to shoot. 


NOT WORTH THE HYPE

Not trying to be a party-pooper here, but there are some spots that are definitely not as spectacular as they appear on Instagram. Not that places are not relevant when you can't take a good picture (hey, I'm not that superficial!) but we have been to some places that seemed like great spots, but turned out disappointing. So in a few words, here are why these spots disappointed me! 


CHARLES BRIDGE: I was expecting the coolest, prettiest bridge - I found a plain stone bridge overcrowded with street vendors and with the only difference from the other bridges being that there are some statues here and there. It is quite hard to take a good photo of the bridge while you're on it, obviously. I'd recommend getting away from the bridge and looking at it from either side of the river. Much better!
PRAGUE CASTLE + ATTRACTIONS (ST VITUS, GOLDEN LANE, ETC.): Talk about a tourist trap! I'd read quite a few not-so-great reviews about the attractions around Prague Castle (the castle itself, Golden Lane, the various museums there etc.) but we still went, curious to learn more about the History of Prague and see some of its key monuments. It turned out to be too expensive for what we saw, and packed with other tourists and poor in photo opportunities. St Vitus Cathedral, for example, is a gorgeous building which you can see peaking above the other buildings from everywhere in Prague - but once you get close to it, it is surrounded by walls and buildings, so much so that you can barely take a shot with the whole building in. The hyped Golden Lane, a medieval street full of colourful houses (including one in which the writer Franz Kafka lived) has turned into a crowded and gimmicky area, where you queue up to get into children-sized houses to get a glimpse of how the houses were decorated back in the day they were inhabited. Impossible to take a single good photo there, and not even worth it for the historical value. A double no from me!
KAMPA: Not talking about the Kafka museum here as we did not visit, but the Kampa area was a small disappointment as I had heard it had great views over the city and good photo ops. I found the area pretty bland, apart from the notable (and slightly disturbing) modernist statues. The only good thing I found there was a beautiful autumnal doorway covered in green and red leaves. Check out my recommended spots above for the most picturesque views of Prague instead!

Have you ever been to Prague? Would you want to visit there?
FOLLOW ME ON: BLOGLOVIN' ¤ INSTAGRAM
 ♥

10/11/2019

My Fashion Favourites For Autumn


Not dressing up as a pumpkin every day, don't you worry.

It's hard for me to pick a favourite season to dress, but I have to say I really like the cosy vibes and warm colours of autumns. I don't really pay much attention to trends anymore: I used to be all over magazines and fashion shows in high school, but now I'm more about trends that last over the years and that look both comfortable and pretty. I don't shop around much anymore, so I always buy items that I know I will always love and wear over and over again. So here are the 'trends' and items that I will be wearing all autumn and winter long!

Camel, brown and rusty colours
My winter coat of choice is a classic camel double-breasted number from Marks & Spencer, from a few years ago. I haven't grown tired of it yet, and don't think I ever will! I love camel and beige shades at this time of year, because I feel like they are the lighter colour options in this season - the autumn version of pastel pink for me, I guess!
Browns and beige colours also give off a vintage and retro vibe that I really like, very much inspired by British countryside style. This is why when I had to choose a blanket scarf, I went for the light brown/beige shade you can see in the picture above. But more on that later!

Black accessories
Shoes, belts, bags - I tend to stick with black accessories for all of my outfits around this time of year. It makes it much easier to style, as I tend to wear darker-coloured clothes in the autumn and winter. I even got a new pair of super comfortable trainers from Primark recently, my first pair of black trainers ever! I love white trainers (in the Adidas superstar style), but I find that black trainers will work better when I wear opaque black tights with a dress. 
I also do have two burgundy bags as burgundy is my colour of choice for autumn/winter bags - again because it's such a timeless colour and goes with everything. Can you see a theme here?

Smart coats & jackets
I am not a big coat person as I find them uncomfortable most of the time and I wish I didn't have to wear them at all, but I only have one stance when it comes to picking a style of coat: smart, usually double-breasted with fancy buttons, and fitted. I am not a fan of oversized coats as there is too much material there for me to feel comfy in them. I usually go up a size to fit jumpers underneath, which is why I keep it to fitted styles, so that they don't look too big. My favourite autum jacket is the military jacket below, which I got in Zara a couple years back - all my clothes are old, sorry! As I said I don't shop every season anymore, but hopefully this still gives you inspiration to find similar items in the shops now.

Scarves
Once the weather starts getting chilly, I get out my staple winter accessory - the scarf! I always feel like if I leave my throat uncovered in the cold, I'll get sick, so I tend to cover up my neck as soon as I feel the slightest hint of winter wind in the air. I love tartan scarves, I have a classic red tartan scarf but also a rusty orange tartan design too, and I switch them up whenever I feel like it. Recently my boyfriend got me a blanket scarf for my birthday, and I'm surprised I didn't fall for this trend before - blanket scarves are the most comfy thing! Wrap it over your transitional jacket to keep warm, and everywhere will feel like you're wrapped in a cosy blanket at home.


Jumpers & dresses
Something I didn't use to do at all until last year or so is layering up a jumper on top of my dresses. I'm a dresses addict, I wear dresses and skirts all year around, much more so than trousers. So when it gets cold, I've started to layer up cosy jumpers on top of the dresses. It keeps you much warmer than just wearing an open cardigan, which is what I used to do more.
Layering jumpers over dresses works with both loose jumpers and tighter ones, so long as you're feeling comfortable for the day. That is also a great way to wear your scratchy jumpers, if you own any (which I still hope you don't!). I have a camel jumper that I love wearing over my navy blue work dresses, and a grey, large-knit one I wear with my skater skirts for a preppy look. 

What are your favourite fashion items to wear in the autumn?
FOLLOW ME ON: BLOGLOVIN' ¤ INSTAGRAM
 ♥

31/10/2019

Exploring NYC: Manhattan & Brooklyn


Get your comfy shoes ready: we're gonna explore NYC!

This is the second post of my NYC series, and there should be a third post after that - look at me spoiling you! In this one, I take you around two of the main neighbourhoods of the city: Manhattan and Brooklyn. This is where my friends and I decided to explore - not that there isn't anything interesting in other neighbourhoods like Harlem, but that will be for another trip. There are so many things to see and do around Manhattan and Brooklyn and I only scraped the surface during my trip, but everything we did was so exciting - and I know you'll love it too!

EXPLORING MANHATTAN

Manhattan is where all the main New York attractions per se are (see my New York CityPass review here), but you could walk around the place for days, discovering new neighbourhoods and landmarks at every corner. I would advice you to divide your time in Manhattan into the different neighboorhoods and activities you would like to do. Some of my highlights in Manhattan include:
- seeing Times Square at night, with all the lights shining bright around you,
- walking around the main avenues (4th, 5th, 6th avenue) and looking around for the skyscrapers,
- visiting St Patrick's Cathedral, a beautiful, European-style church that left me speechless,
- seeing the inside of Grand Central Station, a stunning work of art and star location of Gossip Girl (once a fangirl, always a fangirl!)



TIMES SQUARE
Times Square is probably one of the most famous sights in New York, and also a love or hate place, I think. I enjoyed seeing all the advertisement boards, especially in the night - they shine so bright, it is quite impressive. However in terms of what's around, it's a lot of stuff you may have already seen before: Sephora, Levi's, the Disney Store... Groundbreaking, I know. Times Square however is the place where you can get reduced tickets for Broadway shows. We got reduced tickets for Chicago and lemme tell you, it was amazing. Whether you're a hardcore fan of musicals or not.

GRAND CENTRAL STATION


Grand Central may not be a place of interest for some, but I wanted to see it because it is featured at the very beginning of the very first episode of Gossip Girl - yes, that show again. (Sorry, not sorry.) I had to get a photo there, and pretend I was Serena Van der Woodsen for a minute or two. But the station is worth checking out anyway for its beautiful architecture: low, warm lights, ceiling adorned with star signs, and a plethora of places to grab a bite to eat. Grand Central is not too far from the New York Public Library and Bryant Park, so if you're around, why not go in? Maybe you'll end up catching a train somewhere...

ST PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL
I love churches and cathedrals, but the US really isn't where I thought I'd find something that could compete with the ones we have in Europe. St Patrick's showed me that I was wrong, and I now stand corrected! The Cathedral is located on the 5th avenue, and sandwiched between modern buildings, which kind of make it seem out of place. The outside is beautiful, but it's the inside of the cathedral that really surprised me: big, light and full of neogothic wonders. A little bit of European architecture in the Big Apple!

CENTRAL PARK 
Who could visit NYC without walking around Central Park? Not me. I love parks and green spaces - I love the parks in London, for example - and Central Park has been in so many films, I was eager to visit. Central Park is huge, and you may want to pick and choose what areas you would like to see. There are plenty of maps of Central Park online, so you can plan your time there.
My favourite thing we did there was watching a baseball game at Heckscher Ballfields, sitting in the grass with an iced coffee. The best views in my opinion are towards south Central Park, Wollman Rink and the Gapstow Bridge. Nature blends in with the tall skyscrapers in the background, and this is the traditional sight you may imagine when thinking about Central Park. The Lake and Belvedere Castle are also whimsical places to see. We did not make it to north central park, but if you do have the time, you should make sure to see a little bit of everything - and on sunny days, a picnic in the park is ought to be had!


EXPLORING BROOKLYN

Brooklyn can be reached from Manhattan by crossing on one of the city's famous (especially on Instagram) bridges. It is a borough that's been reviving a lot in recent years, and it is now known to be a hip place full of art works, hipster cafes and cool hangouts. My airbnb was actually in Brooklyn, and I do think it is the best place to stay during a trip in New York because it is easily accessible in public transport and has good connexions to lots of other places in the city.
My friends and I explored some areas of Brooklyn, though the borough is so big that you would need a few days to explore all of it.

BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Let's start by the beginning! Brooklyn Bridge is the iconic bridge that links Brooklyn and Manhattan, and walking along the bridge gives you beautiful views over the East River and the skyline of Manhattan. There are plenty of photo opportunities there, but I would recommend getting there early in the morning - the bridge is relatively narrow, and there is a cycle path running through it, which makes pedestrian access even more restrained. Beware of angry New Yorkers on their bikes: some of them cycle quite fast, and most of them will remind you they hate you because you're a tourist that is standing on their way. (Not cool.) If you make it all the way from one end of the bridge to the other: congrats! It is a looong bridge. It's ok if you give up halfway.

DUMBO +  MANHATTAN BRIDGE
DUMBO may be the most famous area of Brooklyn at the moment. It is all over Instagram, and a buzzing place with cafes, restaurants, markets - the perfect weekend friend meetup. 
My favourite thing there was the DUMBO Flea - a flea market held every Sunday right under one of the archways of the bridge. There you can find vintage clothes and homeware, old Peanuts and Charlie Brown books, old car number plates, but also independent coffee stalls, donuts and ever creepy old toys... Something for everyone, right?
Walking around DUMBO, you will spot a lot of street art on the buildings, under bridge archways, and so on - reminding you that you are in an artists' hub. Walk towards the river and you fill find the Time Out New York, a fancy food market in a stunning building with great views over Manhattan, and Main Street Park, where you can sit in the grass under Manhattan Bridge and enjoy a bagel with coffee. Living the Brooklyn dream! 
Psst, Gossip Girl fans: the Humphrey loft is located right next to Manhattan bridge, on Water Street. The spot is always crowded because it is an amazing photo opp, but it still feels strange to see the red brick building in real life.


GOSPEL AT THE BROOKLYN TABERNACLE: YES OR NO?
This point may be one of contention, but I do want to talk about it nonetheless. My friends and I went to a gospel mass at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, though I wasn't sure about it myself, all my other friends had this on their "must-do" NYC list. I had no idea what to expect, and when we left after mass, I thought through the experience a lot, and all of my thoughts are a mixed bag. I loved the singing - the choir was big and full of people from various backgrounds, and everyone both on stage and in the audience seemed so happy to be there and share this moment together. After the songs a sermon take place pastor Jim Cymbala. As a non-religious person, I still respect and appreciate all religious faiths, though I found it hard, with my own beliefs and opinions, to sit through the whole sermon. I am very grateful that we were welcomed in the church and there were no difference made between the worshippers and visitors. Now that I have had this experience though I would still advise anyone whose views don't agree with religion, that it may not be the right experience for them - even though they would want to come in for the music.

CONEY ISLAND
For those of you who enjoy funfairs, Coney Island is not to miss. It is located south of Brooklyn, on the New York coast, and the area is mostly consisted of hot-dog restaurants, novelty shops, and the infamous fun fair where you can ride old-fashion trains and rollercoasters. My friends and I went at sunset on a Friday night, and it was perfect. There were very few people when we arrived, and we enjoyed a long walk along the pier before checking out the rides. For dinner, I had to try Nathan's hot dogs, which are a famous Coney Island institution - cheap and cheerful, too! 
During the summer, there are fireworks every Friday at 9.30pm, so grab a drink and sit ready to enjoy the show, which was pretty amazing!


There are many more things to see around Brooklyn and Manhattan, but this post would never end if I mentioned them all. These are my top picks, but I highly advise you, if you're planning a trip to NYC, to look at a multitude of posts and videos to decide what you will visit there.

Would you prefer Brooklyn or Manhattan? What would be at the top of your list of things to see there?
FOLLOW ME ON: BLOGLOVIN' ¤ INSTAGRAM
 ♥

06/10/2019

It's OK To Take a Break: Why You Should Slow Down To Bloom Again


Overwhelmed? Uninspired? Switch yourself off and recharge your batteries.

Having a long-term project like a blog, content creation, or an artistic hobby, is always a big endeavour. And unfortunately, you can't always be 100%. Over the past few months I haven't been too excited about my blog and producing content here. Nothing wrong with it, too. It doesn't mean that I'm tired of blogging at all, but I have less time nowadays, and fewer ideas than I did before too. At first I found it very frustrating and took it as me not being as good with the whole blogging thing, but then, during the recent summer holidays and when I happened to not post for more than a month, I realised it is actually OK to give it a break. If you are feeling like me right now, here the little tips I gathered that made me feel better about slowing it down!

WHEN should you take a break?
There is a difference between when you should try a little harder and push yourself, and when you've just got to stop altogether and take a break. I do believe resilience is key and you should always try to improve what you would like to change, in yourself or in what you do. But then, how do you know when it's time to stop? 
Generally, if you lack inspiration for too long and you can't get your motivation back for a while, even though you've tried everything, then you should consider stopping everything and taking a step back. It doesn't mean that you will never get there, it just means that you give yourself the time to live, relax, focus on self-care, before getting back to the task. There is no shame in taking time to do something. Enjoying the journey is important, and if you don't put yourself first, you will hit the wall eventually. So look for the little signs that tell you to stop for a bit, and listen. Don't overdo it.


WHY should you take a break?
If you're stuck, pushing it again and again won't help - it may just tire you out more and you need to feel refreshed to start over with new motivation and ideas. Taking a break will put things in perspective and allow you to think about why you have been feeling that way and how you can make it better. Stressing out about not being good enough is never a good option! This is why you need a break: to relax, think things through, reflect on your own mental health and fix it. With some time and self-care, you will slowly find a path to move forward again and fuel your creativity.

HOW should you take a break?
I have tried 'half breaks' before, and it doesn't really work. Like pretending to be on a break, but ending up doing a bit of this and that, because I was feeling too guilty to completely stop and pause. Leave your project out for a bit and do something different: call a friend, watch a film, do a pamper session, instead of working on your project as you usually would. Look for support if you need it: ask friends out, do things together and maybe ask them for advice on your situation. Chances are they've been there too - we all have! - and if they know you well, they will give you relevant advice that you may not have found out on your own. Sometimes, you can't do it all on your own and that's totally ok! So own the fact that you're taking a break and slowing down a bit. I really believe things work out at the right time eventually, though it may take longer than anticipated. Listen to yourself and you will get there!

What do you do when you need a break? What's your favourite way to recharge your batteries?
FOLLOW ME ON: BLOGLOVIN' ¤ INSTAGRAM
 ♥

22/09/2019

NYC Travel Guide: New York CityPass Review + What I Visited in NYC


Start spreading the news...

I did it! I went to New York. After years (pretty much all my life, actually) of seeing the Big Apple on TV, I finally walked through the screen and travelled there with a group of friends. And I loved it! Just like I knew I would. Weirdly enough I feel like I knew what to expect from New York, and got exactly that. I have prepared a series of blog posts to share everything I have learned about NYC during this trip - with lots of pretty pictures, too! First post of the series: the tourist attractions we visited & what I thought of them.
My friends and I bought the New York CityPASS, which included the entrance to five key monuments and attractions in the city. With the pass, we visited the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, the 9/11 Museum, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island museum of immigration, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. I would say the pass is worth it if you want to check all those places off your list. I really enjoyed all the attractions, for different reasons, and did not regret seeing any of them at all.

THE PANORAMIC VIEWS: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock

For amazing views over New York like you always see on TV, head to the Empire State Building and/or the Top of the Rock. I particularly enjoyed the Empire State, because the part leading up to the lifts and the terrace is really cool. You learn about the building of the tower, about different films which have featured the iconic building, and you also meet King Kong, who is the absolute Empire State star. I thought this 'exhibition' was a really smart way to regulate traffic to the top - and give you your money's worth! Once you've seen all the inside has to offer, you find yourself outside, and the New York skyline welcomes you to the city... 



When you visit the Empire State Building, an extra visit at nighttime is included in your ticket. Even though that means visiting the same spot twice, you shouldn't miss it because there are considerably fewer people once the sun has gone down, and seeing all the sparkly lights in the night sky is also a beautiful experience.
The Top of the Rock is also worth seeing for beautiful sights over Manhattan and Central Park. We went there for the sunset, bearing in mind that you have to book ahead of time - you can't just show up and go in. The visit inside the building itself isn't as exciting and fun as that of the Empire State, but the views are equally beautiful. Sunset is obviously a very popular time for panoramas, and this proved true as we were surrounded by crowds of people at the Top of the Rock, especially where the bright orange sun was setting - people would just gather there and not move. At all. They probably stayed until it got dark. So if you're thinking about a sunset view of New York, remember that wherever you go, half the tourists of the city will be there too!


THE MUSEUMS: MET, American Museum of National History, 9/11 Museum


My friends and I visited three museums in New York, which were all included in the New York CityPass. I will start with the toughest visit, in fact the toughest visit I have ever done: the 9/11 museum. I could not visit New York without going there, even though I knew it wouldn't be easy. The museum is really well-made, it is actually a real business (I have mixed feelings about that) and I found that the exhibits were very informative. Although 9/11 was only two decades ago, it was such a key moment in our contemporary history and it is important to know about it. The museum teaches you so much about what happened, from the technical hour-by-hour recounting of the events but you also learn about the political action taken after the incidents, as well as the rescuers and of course the victims. The memorial to the victims, inside the museum, is beautiful and touching: the photos of every single known victim along with a few words from their relatives about them. To be completely honest, I do not think this visit is for everybody: I barely looked at the victim memorial as it was too tough and quickly got me very emotional. If you are easily affected by those types of events, you may not want to visit the museum at all - it is a personal decision to take, but not one to make lightly. For obvious reasons, I did not take any pictures inside the museum, though it wasn't prohibited - it was just a personal decision. I did take a picture of the memorial outside in the World Trade Center area, which is beautiful and very moving. 



Next on our list was the Metropolitan Museum of Art - the MET. Known for its famous gala where celebrities compete in dressing as extravagantly as they can, the MET is home to a variety of art collections, from an Egyptian temple to European paintings and music instruments from all over the world. As a museum lover, I knew I would enjoy the MET. But the truth is, the main thing I was excited for was its steps - as every Gossip Girl fan would be. The stairs of the MET are a star location of the show, and I totally felt like Blair Waldorf sitting there with my morning coffee, headband in my hair. (... Please don't judge.)


Fangirling aside, I would highly recommend visiting the MET for its beautiful collections. It is a vast museum and if you go in the morning, you won't feel the crowds around you, unlike you may do in the Louvre in Paris. The Egyptian section is great, and so is the European paintings section: they have an impressive amount of stunning French paintings, from Monet to Degas, but they also have a few Van Gogh, Canaletto, and a beautiful Caravaggio (I'm hunting down his paintings wherever I go.) I also loved the American Wing, where full rooms are reconstituted and show the domestic arts (aka furniture and interiors style) from the 17th to the 19th century. One last thing you shouldn't miss: the beautiful Charles Engelhart Court, especially stunning when bathed in the sunlight.



Last but not least, I visited the American Museum of National History. Yes, the one from Night at the Museum! I love the film, and was really excited to see the museum. Unfortunately, I felt like I did not recognise what I had seen in the film in the actual museum. The t-rex is there, and so is Gum Gum, but apart from that I did not see much that strictly reminded me of the film. It was a great visit nonetheless, because the museum is huge, beautiful and somewhat old-fashioned - in the best way. The windows with stuffed animals are impressive (though these may be controversial) and so is the full-size blue whale hanging over the room of the marine animals. All the rooms in the museum have something to tell, and you will not regret visiting.


THE ONE AND ONLY: STATUE OF LIBERTY AND MUSEUM OF IMMIGRATION

On your first visit to New York, it's nearly impossible to miss a visit to the Statue of Liberty. As the Statue is sort of lost in the middle of almost nowhere at the west of Manhattan, it can be easy to forget that it's actually there - or so I found. But if you're a History nerd, then you will want to see the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island Museum of Immigration. The pass to visit these places is very comprehensive, because it includes to admission to both museums as well as the ferry trips to and from each place. 

My best tip to visit the Statue of Liberty would be to go early, and to dedicate a good part of your day to the visit. The ferry journeys between the Statue and Ellis Island will already take up quite a bit of your time, and the Ellis Island is so extensive (like, huge) you would need at least two hours there - if you are keen to see most of it, that is. I personally find the history of Ellis Island fascinating, and if I had known how big the museum was, I would have taken a whole morning just to visit it.
The Statue of Liberty Museum was actually a great surprise. The audioguide teaches you everything there is to know about the statue, and I was happy to learn a bit more about the relationship between France and the United States too - because Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue, was a French artist. Woohoo!


Once you have seen the Statue from all angles and taken your fair share of selfies, it's time to take the ferry again to Ellis Island - the immigration centre where immigrants from all over the world would set foot on the American soil, and be taken through various examinations before being granted the right to live in the US. The museum is located inside the original building, and the main exhibition starts in the Registry Room, a huge hall that was of course made to impress - and where immigrants would wait, sometimes for hours, their turn for examinations.


The main exhibition takes you through all the steps an immigrant would follow at Ellis Island, from registration, to medical tests, money verifications and so on. All along the different rooms, the audioguide makes you listen to the testimonies of different people who went through Ellis Island, and narrate what they remember of the experience. The museum is very moving, and a remembrance of what the people who made America what it is today went through, before they settled in the country and got to call it home.

SO, DO I RECOMMEND THE NEW YORK CITYPASS?

If it is your first visit to New York and you want to see all of its most important cultural and historical sights, definitely. The pass makes it so easy for you to just show up to all attractions and go in - no need to wait in line to buy tickets every single time. I do not regret getting the CityPass and the entry to all these places, as buying them one by one would have been more expensive - especially with the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock, which are quite expensive in the first place. 
That said, if there are only a couple of these places that you'd like to see, then of course you should only visit those and it will be cheaper for you to pick and choose. I really think that if you're not really interested in a place, you shouldn't visit it just because it's popular or a 'must see'. You do you, and enjoy your trip to the fullest!

Have you ever visited New York? What would you love to see the most there?
FOLLOW ME ON: BLOGLOVIN' ¤ INSTAGRAM
 ♥