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?
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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?
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