Travel Diaries | Hamburg, Germany

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I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I am a huge lover of travelling. Whether that it is a week away in an all-inclusive resort or a short European weekend break, I love hopping on a plane and exploring. So when my sister and I booked a lil’ spontaneous trip to the second biggest city in Germany, I was so excited!

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Now, I have visited Berlin (my first ever solo trip, ah the memories!), I wasn’t sure what to expect from Hamburg. I’d heard that it was a super chilled place, and that definitely rung true! We didn’t have a lot planned either, so I was excited to get exploring!

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We booked fairly last minute so we ended up staying in an Ibis near Hamburg Airport, which wasn’t ideal; if we’d booked earlier or had more of a budget, I would’ve preferred to stay more in the central part of Hamburg, but it turns out that you don’t have to stay in central Hamburg to be close to it! The airport is about 25 minutes away from central Hamburg and has direct links to buses and the underground system, so it wasn’t a bad shout at all!

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The Ibis hotel was very lovely, especially the reception. The room was decent, everything you need for a standard one evening! But the thing I really loved about it was the staff, I can’t even tell you how helpful they were!

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We headed out to central Hamburg and went straight to the Museum Dialog Im Dunkeln which is a museum for the senses. They basically have two different tours: Dialog in the Dark and Dialog in the Silence. The dark one is basically an experience as if you are blind, so it’s in total darkness and you get to go through a course of everyday activities. We really wanted to do this one but unfortunately the tickets were sold out, but instead we decided to go for the Dialog in Silence, which was a similar experience except with it being total silence as if you were deaf. It was such an incredible thing to experience, we learned how to sign and how to communicate with our hands, and the whole thing was run by a lady who was deaf herself – so incredibly eye-opening.

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After the museum, we walked around the city and ended up going out to eat at such an amazing restaurant called Die Gute Botschaft which had the most amazing food. It was a Japanese fusion restaurant that offered 3 types of meals: 3, 5 or 7 courses which were totally random and absolutely delicious. Couldn’t recommend this place enough! The service was also amazing, the waitresses were super attentive.

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The Miniatur Wunderland had been on my list ever since I knew I was visiting Hamburg. It was annoying that we got such late admission tickets, but the museum itself was so interesting, and nowhere like I’d ever been before! So much time and effort has gone into making this place, it’s definitely somewhere to visit if you are ever in the city. It is a bit annoying to get to though, it’s on the river but we found it quite a far walk from the nearest tube station, about a 20 minute walk. To be fair the weather was really nice so it was good walk but just be prepared if it’s not as nice weather!

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The next day, we made plans to visit a place that used to be an energy bunker called Vju that offered thousands of people protection in 1943 from the air raids. It was an incredible place, full of history and I’m so glad we got to visit it. We had a coffee at the top (well hot choc but same same), in their cafe called ‘room with a vju‘ which made me chuckle!

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All in all, Hamburg was a lovely city break, with not too much to see so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Plus the people are so friendly so you don’t feel nervous to go out and about by yourself.

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Have you visited Hamburg before? Did you enjoy it?

 

Travel Diaries | Tignes, France

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Whilst I was in France, I was thinking constantly about how to begin to write this post, about what I would say, how I would explain that this trip was the strangest one I’d be on in a while. I guess I should start at the beginning…

So this trip was organised by my work, which was great because it meant that everything was organised by someone else *hehe*. The flights, transfers, accommodation, two meals a day, my ski pass and ski and boots hire were all included in what I paid – so it was such a relief knowing that all I had to pay for out there was just lunchtime meals and drinks!

The flight was at 6.45am on Saturday and it was a killer, but I was kind of glad to know that it was early so that we would get there early and just be able to chill. We arrived from London Gatwick to one of the smallest airports I’ve ever visited: Alpes Isere Airport. The transfer from the airport to our chalet took what felt like forever. In reality it was probably only around 3 and a half hours, but I couldn’t sleep and it was downright painful considering the taxi had picked us up at 4am UGH.

Seeing as I had never been on a skiing holiday before, everything was totally new for me (I am planning a blog post of what first-time skiiers need to know, don’t panic!), but the chalet was so nice! The room was fairly small, but it literally had everything you needed and the balcony had gorgeous views of the mountains.

Now I have never skiied before, unless you count a half-hour session at Chel-Ski which was really fun but nothing like the actual thing. So we had two lessons booked for the first and second days. There was 18 of us in total and 7 of us were beginners.

To be honest, I was so down after each lesson.

It felt like everyone else who was a beginner was so much better than me and even though my Mum has always told me not to, I compared them to me. Honestly, it might sound so pathetic, but it was so upsetting.

H-o-w-e-v-e-r, like the bloody trooper that I am (lol), I wiped my tears off, got back on my skis and persevered. I won’t sit here and type out that it was easy. It really wasn’t. In fact, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

Mentally and physically ~exhausting~

I did end up having an amazing few days, and actually managed to ski a blue run ~eeeeeek~ by the end of the week hehe, and regardless of how I felt at the beginning of the week, I feel like I have done really well and I actually want to try and go ski every year to try and hone what skill (?) I managed to pick up over the week.

Enough of my sob story (‘Kim there are people dying’) oops – please enjoy some of my pretty pictures from the magical Alps.

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Have you ever gone skiing before? Did you enjoy it?

10 Reasons I Can’t Wait For Summer | AD

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Now for those of you who are long-time readers of The Dizzying Heights will probably be slightly confused with this title, as I am a huge fan of the winter months and the colder climate.

H-o-w-e-v-e-r, even I have to admit that on occasion that I am prone to a ~teeny~ bit of that ever so special Vitamin D. Honestly, I don’t have a split personality or anything, I promise! Basically, I associate the winter with getting shit done, and the summer with doing nothing and just relaxing. Soooo, after what does feel like the loooooongest winter ever, I cannot wait to get on a beach and eat and drink and relax and swim and just chill the eff out!

As if my own reasoning wasn’t enough, here are 10 more reasons for you to get booking your very own beach holiday this summer!

Vitamin D

Yes, as already mentioned Vitamin D is fabulous for you! Of course, too much of anything is bad for you but sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D, which helps your body gain calcium and allows your bones to grow stronger – basically all the good stuff!

Exercise

Now I know exercise isn’t the first thing you think of when someone says ~summer~ but I do think the warmth gives a great excuse to go for a swim. Swimming is one of my favourite activities, but in the winter it’s so bloody cold that I can’t motivate myself to get down to the pool. If I lived closer to a beach, I’d also love to go for a morning run on the beach, but perhaps that’s wishful thinking!

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BBQ’s

O-M-G, I bloody love a good BBQ, please show me someone who doesn’t! First off, the food is always incredible, I love burgers and hot-dogs and chicken wings and potato salads and cocktails! Secondly, there is something about being with family and friends in the gardens on a nice warm day, playing games and having fun! My family like to have an annual BBQ where we play giant Jenga and giant Connect-4 – it’s the best time of the year I tell ya!

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De-stress

Being at a beach or on a summer vay-cay, forces you to unplug from your phone, your emails, your current life. Sure, you will probably want to snap a few pictures of the beach for your Instagram, but when you realise you’re in the midst of summer, you (hopefully) won’t be glued to your phone!

Longer Days

Okay this is a super selfish one from me, because in the winter time I can’t take blog photos without good natural lighting, which means that I have to wake up early on the weekends to capture all my photos. I just can’t wait to finish work and it still be lovely and light outside!

Beer Gardens

This is one of my favourite things to do in the summer. I love having a few drinks in the sunshine and spending time with friends. Some of my local beer gardens have dogs as well, so as if I needed another reason to love them?!

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Ice-Cream

I mean, not one person is saying that you can’t eat ice-cream when it’s not summertime, but with the warmth, it does make a lot more sense! I love ice-cream, Viennetta is one of my favourites and I love ice lollies too – yum!

No Exams!

This is such a selfish one from me, and I do apologize if you have exams, but the summer makes me so grateful that I no longer have to take exams in the summer. I used to hate having to go to the library everyday when it was nice and warm outside to revise for exams, and it was so much worse when you had exams later than everyone else so you had to still study whilst everyone else was enjoying their summer. Now I get to work in the summer, so who is the real winner?! All jokes aside and as much as I love my job, I slyly miss Uni, enjoy your time there whilst you can!

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The Beach

Now I’m not the biggest fan of the beach, I like it and everything and yes I do look forward to visiting when it’s summer, but I don’t think I could go there everyday! Having said all that, there are a few things I do like about it. Apparently, you get a better night’s sleep after spending the day by the sea, which is great news! Also the colour blue of the ocean helps us to relax more, and the sand is a natural exfoliant so you can get rid of the dead skin from your feet and your hands – #winning!

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Booking a Holiday

Speaking of beaches, booking a summer holiday is definitely one of the best things about summer! I know England can get warm on occasion too (!!!), but getting away from everything and not having to worry about cooking or cleaning for a week is just heaven. For this year’s holiday, I’ve been using Holiday Gems to find a great deal. I’ve heard lots of good things about Holiday Gems but the best thing I know is that you can find the cheapest holidays from Holiday Gems.*

What are your favourite things about summer?

*THIS POST WAS KINDLY SPONSORED BY HOLIDAY GEMS BUT AS ALWAYS, ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN! READ MY DISCLAIMER HERE TO SEE HOW I WORK WITH BRANDS.

 

Travel Diaries | Edinburgh, Scotland

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When someone suggests for me to travel around the UK, my reaction is generally like ‘ummm yeah one day, but I’d rather go to Paris!’. I think I forget that the UK has some incredible cities and there are some amazing sights to behold. That’s why when my Mum asked if I’d like to go away with her and my sisters for a little pre-birthday trip, I suggested Edinburgh.

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I have always wanted to visit Edinburgh, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to visit. We only went for the weekend, and even though it didn’t seem as though there was an insane amount of things to do, it did feel like we needed longer!

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Our flights were actually good timings as well, none of us wanted to take any days off (those extra days really come in handy in December hehe), so we caught a Saturday morning flight from London at 8.30am to land in Edinburgh at 9.30am and the return flight was at 8.30pm on the Sunday evening to arrive in London at 10pm!

Getting There

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From the airport, we got on a tram directly to Princes Street and from there it was around a 3-4 minute walk to our accommodation. I love getting trams, they’re just so cool and because I very rarely get trams, it makes it extra special when I do! For an open return ticket, it cost us £8.50, which I thought was decent, I think a taxi would have been the same price but we felt like the tram was a lot easier. They also come every 3-5 minutes, so very easy to simply hop on the next one if you miss one!

Hotel

We stayed at a beautiful apartment on Hanover Street simply called Hanover 71 Suites, which was a road off of Princes Street and in an ideal location. Very close to the Royal Mile which was around a 10-15 minute walk, and there were lots of great restaurants and bars too – The Dome was just around the corner!

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It was such a lovely space, we had a ~beautiful~ bathroom (if you saw my Instagram story, you will know it was literally bathroom goals), and a big old bedroom with a sofa-bed and the comfiest bed to fit the 4 of us in. I’ve never stayed in an apartment before but it was so lovely and so cheap compared the hotels. Next time I visit though, I want to stay on the Royal Mile!

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Day One

As the flight arrived in Edinburgh pretty early, we dropped our bags off in our room and set off towards the Royal Mile. Part of the Old Town, the Royal Mile (as the name suggests) stretches a mile and a Scotch mile long, with Edinburgh Castle at one end and lots of other attractions with bars and restaurants along the way.

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The weather let me down, as it usually does in the UK. I don’t mind the cold as much as others do, in fact if you read my New York Travel Diary, then you will know that I actually prefer the cold to being too hot! But one thing I don’t enjoy, especially when trying to explore a new city, is the constant blooody drizzling. It was the most frustrating thing ever!!!

FYI: The first picture is day one and the second picture is day two!

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The first place we visited was the Real Mary King’s Close which was a tour of the 17th century streets of Edinburgh, it was so interesting and such an insight to the way people used to live with the Plague and how many people from all kinds of social standing lived in the smallest rooms! We actually went there early to get some tickets for a later tour at 5pm – it was very chilly as it’s all underground, so if you go when it’s cold, don’t forget to wrap up!

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Next, we visited Camera Obscura & World of Illusions. I know this is a gimmicky place but it was honestly so much fun! It is a quirky museum and you could literally spend all day in there, no matter how old you are! There are 6 floors full of cool illusions and parts of Edinburgh history to learn about, and your ticket also includes a 15 minute show right at the top of the building. I won’t ruin the show for you, as I found it so cool, but what I will say is that you should definitely try and visit here when it is a bright clear day!

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After Camera Obscura, we went to lunch at a beautiful restaurant called Witchery by the Castle that was literally opposite Camera Obscura. We ate in the Secret Garden and it was one of the prettiest places to eat ever! It is definitely pricey, but they have set menus which have tons of choices, and my Mum doesn’t eat meat and she didn’t really like the veggie meal that she had so they actually took it off the bill for us, which I just thought was a lovely touch!

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After doing the Mary Kings Close tour at 5pm, which lasted an hour, we were absolutely knackered (and bloody freezing!), so we decided to head back into the warmth of our apartment and just chill before dinner. We had dinner at a lovely restaurant called Mother India Cafe, which was like Indian tapas and it was well worth the money! After dinner, we went for a drink at the Dome, which is the nicest place to have an after-dinner cocktail. It reminds me of a London hotel, it’s very fancy and just generally quite a nice place to visit if you’re ever in Edinburgh.

Day Two

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The second day, the sun was shining and we woke up in a bloody great mood (except the fact that we had to check out at 10am, but that is by the by). We decided to have breakfast at a place that was quite literally next door to us, a relaxed restaurant called Grand Cru and even though we wanted to go to somewhere more blogger-esque (and by we, I mean me, obvs!). It kind of felt like a Wetherspoons or something, but hey the food was good and coffee was included and they did caramel + hazelnut lattes, so who is really going to complain?!

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I know that there have many a controversy around J.K. Rowling ~but~ I will forever and always be a Potterhead. It’s just the way it is, I’ve accepted it as should you. It was such a huge part of my childhood and even now when I’m feeling a bit down, I will read one of the books or watch the films. So when I did some digging and found that a lot of sights in Edinburgh were used as inspiration for the book, I knew I had to visit as many as I could.

But before I could start my Harry Potter mission, we had to visit Edinburgh Castle. It is a beautiful building, I mean it’s a bloody castle so how could it not be? We didn’t actually go inside, and I think next time I go, I would want to take a tour inside, but this time around I didn’t feel like we had that much time and didn’t want an hour (or more) to be spent in a castle when the sun was actually shining.

We walked the 10 minutes from Edinburgh Castle to Victoria Street, where it has been said that J.K. took inspiration from to invent Diagon Alley. Okay so there is also a street in York that she supposedly took inspo from too, so who knows? But this street is super pretty, with lots of coloured buildings, and cute shops. Even if you’re not a HP fan, I’d definitely walk past here if you find yourself in the area!

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A little bit further down from Victoria Street, there is the infamous Elephant House. This cafe claims to be the ‘birthplace of Harry Potter‘ (in the most horrific font, I might add!), because J.K. Rowling used to come to this cafe and wrote her earlier books. Apparently there are a few cafes that claim this, it feels like every cafe claims that she wrote a page of Harry Potter in it!

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A graveyard wouldn’t really be the first thing on my list of places to visit in a new city, but when I learned that there was a grave for a Thomas Riddell, I thought it was only right to have a ‘lil nosy. Now, I may a be a huge fan, but even I know that this person’s grave *probably* has very little to do with Voldemort, but even so I had to admit it was kind of cool! There is also a grave of a William McGonagall but I couldn’t find it!

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For lunch, we had booked a table at Makar’s, which is a gourmet mash bar. The food here was so good, very comforting and exactly what you need on a chilly day! For a starter, we ordered a traditional Scottish meal of haggis, neeps and tatties. Haggis is a Scottish speciality so I knew I wanted to try it, and I was actually pleasantly surprised! Neeps are turnips and the ones in the starter were a mixture of turnip and swede mashed, and tatties are just mash potatoes. For my main, I ordered a sausage and mash (kid’s portion was a £5er, get in), my sausage was ~slightly~ too salty for me, but the mash was delightful.

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After lunch, I wanted to see the handprints of J.K. Rowling, and they were just a 5 minute walk away by the City Chambers. To finish off the day, we walked past a Harry Potter shop so I took a few snaps, and played with some wands and basically pretended I was shopping for a new year at Hogwarts. A gal can dream right?!

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So that was my trip to Edinburgh! Have you ever been to Edinburgh? Did you do any of the same things?

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Travel Diaries | New York, USA

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If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter (if you don’t, where have you been?!), you will know that I recently visited the City of Dreams, the City That Never Sleeps, the Big Apple also known as the fabulous land that is New York City. I went for 5 days, which I was a bit unsure about, but I read so many blog posts and helpful articles on how to make the most out of any length of time in NYC so I wasn’t too worried after that.

This was my first time to New York, so I really wanted this trip to be about sightseeing and getting to grips with the city. Before travelling, we had booked a CityPass which cost £92 each and allowed access to 6 different tourist attractions: the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, which were all included, and then you could choose between

Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum –  of which we chose the Top of the Rock.

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises – of which we chose the Statue of Liberty.

9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – of which we chose the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Not only were the tickets to the attractions included in the pass, you also stood in a different (shorter) queue if you had this CityPass, which really makes a huge difference when you want to pack a lot into a day!

 Also anyone who has travelled to New York will know that you should try and plan things by the area that you’re in, because it goes without saying that New York is *huge* and it is much easier! You may notice that I didn’t always manage to do that, mainly because I love walking around and getting lost in cities (weirdo alert), but for the most part (probably because of a map) it did end up working out that way!

We also decided to get a weekly travel card which allowed us to travel on buses and the subway. It cost us $32 I thinkkkk, but it’s such good value for money considering a daily travelcard in London is £17!

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|| Hotel ||

Like I mentioned before, I did a fair bit of research before travelling, and every blog post  I read, told me to stay in Times Square, as it is in the Midtown and therefore in the heart of all the action. It also means it’s easier to travel uptown and downtown (being in Midtown – duh). We stayed at a hotel called Row NYC, which was a block away from Times Square and basically in the perfect location.

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I really liked the actual hotel as well, the room was basic but everything you needed, and we didn’t want to spend thousands on a hotel where we would essentially be sleeping and getting ready. The staff were so lovely too, always giving us great suggestions for non-touristy restaurants and bars.

|| Day One ||

We flew out from London Heathrow at 9am on Saturday morning to land in New York at 11am, which we were happy with so that we would have some time to explore our surroundings without feeling like we were wasting the day, and also it really helped with jet-lag, as we went to sleep quite early to wake up bright and early the next day.

We checked in to our hotel, left our luggage in the room, and immediately walked 13 blocks to Central Park. I know there are parks in London, but this was just beautiful. It was so autumnal with all the leaves and colours, and I basically just pretended that I was in Gossip Girl ha!

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Our hotel wasn’t far from a district called Hell’s Kitchen, which is where we had dinner that evening. We chose a Mexican restaurant and it was cheap, cheerful and we were so knackered that we would’ve eaten pretty much anything and enjoyed it lol!

|| Day Two ||

After getting into bed super early after dinner on the first night, we woke up refreshed and rather early (3am), went back to sleep and woke up at (6am lols), and made a plan to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum first, and then decide afterwards what we would do for the rest of the day.

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The 9/11 Memorial was incredible to say the least. It was so eye-opening and heart-breaking. I don’t think any words will do the memorial or museum justice to be honest. All I have to say is that if you ever visit New York, you have to go to here. The reduced queues made such a difference here, the CityPass queue was about 15 minutes, whereas the normal queue was around 45 minutes to an hour.

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After the museum, we decided to visit the Top of the Rock, which is the observation deck inside Rockefeller Centre. It has arguably the best views in NYC, breathtaking and beautiful views of the skyline. I really enjoyed the experience here, howeverrrr it is same kind of thing in every city you go to. I have been to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and Hong Kong’s Sky 100 Tower and it is kind of boring after a while. This trip was all about visiting the touristy sites, so I’m glad I did it but that doesn’t mean the views were worth it!

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After visiting the Top of the Rock, we came outside and took pictures with the big Christmas tree. If you’ve ever seen Home Alone or Elf, or any of the other hundreds of Christmas films set in New York, you will recognise this beautiful tree. It really is stunning. It was so busy and so difficult to get a good picture because of the crowds!

Right by the Rockefeller Centre and in the same building where the NBC Studios are, there is a rooftop bar called the Rainbow Room, where we had a cheeky little cocktail. I do love a little rooftop bar, even though I’m not the biggest fan of the views (see the paragraph above), I just think there is something quite lovely about having a little drink so high – maybe I do like those views after all!

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After having a ~few~ cocktails, we headed back to the hotel to chillll, before asking the concierge about where the best New York pizza was. I had already googled a few places, but there’s nothing better than getting a locals opinion on the best restaurants. She mentioned John’s Pizza, which was literally a block away from us, and it was honestly some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. It was suuuper busy in there, we had to wait 45 mins for a table but it helped just being two people!

|| Day Three ||

Before going to sleep the night before, I managed to book a table for breakfast at a gorgeous little cafe in SoHo that I really wanted to visit. I would definitely recommend booking a table because there can be queues around the block on busy days! I’d heard a lot about Jack’s Wife Freda and it surpassed expectations! The decor was so bloody cute, the service was unbelievable and the food was stunning. I ordered eggs benny, which was 2 poached eggs over potato latkes, smoked salmon and beet hollandaise – soooo yummy!

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This area of New York reminded me so much of Friends, all of the buildings have the fire escapes like Monica’s building in the show and it was honestly one of the loveliest neighbourhoods we visited.

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We knew we wanted to visit Brooklyn at some point during our trip and walk across the famous bridge, so after breakfast, we decided to head over towards the bridge (see what I mean about not sticking to districts lol). The bridge is actually way more fun than I thought it would be. I have walked over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and it was a much longer walk than that! I really want to cycle but bikes weren’t that accessible, or if there were, we didn’t see them! Walking over the bridge, including taking pictures took us around 50 minutes to an hour. The views of the skyline were beautiful so you will definitely want to take a few pics.

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Next time I visit New York, I really do want to spend more time in Brooklyn. I’ve heard so much about it so I definitely want to dedicate a few days towards just exploring it. We just spent a few hours in D.U.M.B.O which was cool, but I feel like Brooklyn has a lot more of offer!

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Apparently walking for an hour took it right out of us, so we ended up getting the *subway* back to Manhattan, and straight to the closest subway station to the Statue of Liberty ferry docks, which is near Battery Park.

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The Statue of Liberty is one of those monuments that you have to visit because it’s so famous and holds so much history. I also kind of forgot how big the statue is because of how small it looks when you’re in the city. I also didn’t feel the best when we were on the ferry because when we were in the queue the sun was shining down and it actually got really hot, and then when we were on the ferry because of the water etc, I was shivering.

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On our way home, we decided to re-visit Rockefeller Centre to get some better pictures with the famous tree because it had been so busy before. As you can see it was still super busy!

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We went back to the hotel for a little nap before heading out for dinner. I am a huge sushi fan so I knew I had to visit a Japanese restaurant in New York. I did some research on TripAdvisor and of course asked the concierge, and eventually decided on Haru Sushi, which was about a block away from us. Could not recommend this place enough! The service was amazing, and the food was just incredible! From what I can remember the prices were reasonable too!

We also decided to have a little nightcap in an Irish pub just passed Times Square. I realllllly wanted to go to Butter because of it’s appearances in Gossip Girl, but because it was so close to Christmas, it was always booked up for work parties.

|| Day Four ||

After hearing so much about Balthazar, I knew I had to go here. The concierge told me that it was her favourite spot in the entire city to have breakfast so I was so excited! I did book ahead so my table was ready and waiting, and apparently it does get busy so I would recommend booking ahead if you can. Balthazar is definitely more classier than Jack’s Wife Freda, which has a more chilled vibe. I felt like I was in a cafe in Paris, which I’m guessing is the vibe they’re going for.

Food was amazing, it doesn’t look like much (!!!) but I ordered the buckwheat crêpe filled with scrambled eggs, ham and gruyère – it was so good! I do feel like service wasn’t as good here as it had been in other places, but it was very busy so it may be because of that.

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After breakfast, we decided to visit one of the most famous New York landmarks: the Empire State Building. Now after visiting the Top of the Rock, I didn’t really think the views were that different, especially because with the views from the Top of the Rock had the Empire State Building in the background. The queues with the CityPass for the Empire State were unbelievable, we literally walked in and out – there was no one in the queues!

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Because our CityPasses included the two museums (American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art), I thought it only right that we should go and have a nosy. I knew that we would never be able to look at everything, especially in the AMNH, I think it would take an entire week to see everything in there!

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I especially wanted to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to sit on those infamous steps, yes I am a complete Blair wannabe! Fortunately, no-one spilled their yogurt on me ha!

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I know we have it in the UK now, but there was a Shake Shack opposite our hotel and after walking around what felt like a million miles, we decided to get takeaway burgers and milkshakes and watch Elf  in bed. Couldn’t think of a better evening spent to be honest!

|| Day Five ||

Grand Central was something I’d wanted to see ever since Dan saw Serena in Season 1, episode 1 of Gossip Girl, but it was actually so lovely to see. It was very busy and people were rushing around to catch their trains, so it was quite nice to just people-watch. They also have a large food-court on the ground floor, perfect for a few snacks! I had the banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery which was recommended to me – sooo good!

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After visiting Grand Central, we walked the few blocks to something I’ve been wanting to see my whole life: New York Public Library. Reading is one of my favourite things to do anyways and I knew this building would be my favourite. It is so stunning.

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We also walked past the beautiful Lotte Palace New York, which was the Palace Hotel in Gossip Girl, the one Bart Bass owned and where Serena and her family lived in. It was decorated so beautifully for Christmas that I couldn’t resist taking a few pics.

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Before we flew out to New York, I knew I wanted to watch a Knicks game, so we booked tickets to a game for Wednesday evening for the New York Knicks vs Memphis Grizzlies. I don’t really understand basketball but it was so easy to follow, and there were loads of famous people there which was so exciting! They were shown on the big screen (when Lucas from Stranger Things came up, I legit screamed!), and the whole atmosphere of the evening was just so exciting – anywhere I visit next in America I will have to book a game! Also I bought a giant hand like Joey from Friends and it was the best $10 I’ve ever spent.

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|| Day Six ||

Our last day came around so quickly, it was so emotional! For our last breakfast, we went to a diner simply called Times Square Diner and it was classic New York diner food, but so tasty! The staff were also really friendly, which is something I rate very highly! I was so excited to eat typical American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, and I have to say that I thought I would hate it, but it literally just works!

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After breakfast, we walked 9 blocks to Central Park for a walk to try and digest our food. There, we saw these people selling bike rides around the Park so we thought we’d take the opportunity and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine and fresh air. We had the best time doing that, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Central Park has walking lanes and bike lanes with traffic lights, and more often we found others riding bikes at similar paces, and everyone is so friendly!

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Where Blair and Chuck got married – ahhhh all the feels!

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All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to New York, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so sad to leave a city ever. I felt so at home in New York, and this is one love affair that has most definitely just begun.

Have you ever been to New York? Did you do any of the same things I did?