5 Day New York City Itinerary - New York December 2018

15/12/2018

Top of the Rock View Manhattan Skyline

New York City has been my #1 dream destination for as long as I can think. I am so grateful to have ended 2018 with this incredible 5-day Christmas trip to New York City including tons of sightseeing, Instagram-worthy spots, cheap eats and stunning views. Hope you enjoy <3

DAY 1 - Midtown and Upper East Side 
Times Square 
Rockefeller Center 
Grand Central Station
Empire State Building
Madison Square Park 
Flatiron Building 
Famous Original Ray's Pizza
Irving Farm Coffee 
The Palace Hotel (Gossip Girl film location) 
5th Avenue (From Rockefeller Center to Plaza Hotel at Central Park) 
Times Square at Night  

Flatiron Building New York City

DAY 2 - Lower Manhattan, Chinatown and Brooklyn 
9/11 Memorial 
Zucker‘s Bagels
Brooklyn Bridge Park 
DUMBO
Sweet Moments in Chinatown

Girl on Brooklyn Bridge in Morning Sun

DAY 3 - Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and SOHO 
Brooklyn Bridge in the morning 
The End Cafe Brooklyn 
Staten Island ferry to see Statue of Liberty 
Battery Park
Wall Street 
Eileen’s Cheesecake 
By Chloe 

Central Park Iceskating

DAY 4 - Midtown and Central Park 
Top of the Rock 
Bryant Park 
Central Park Wollman Rink Ice Skating 
The MET 
Harlem Shake 

Harlem Shake Burger Milkshake Cheese Fries

DAY 5 - Chelsea and Greenwich Village 
Citizen of Chelsea Cafe 
Doughnut Plant 
Chelsea Market 
Bleecker Street 
The Butcher’s daughter 
Magnolia Bakery 
Jr's Pizza and Brew
DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

Check out my blog post all about the best cheap eats in New York City here!

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10 Best Cheap Eats under $10 in New York City (Budget-Friendly and Instagram-Worthy)

Famous Original Ray's Pizza
Food is one of my fave aspects of travel (or actually, of life). Whenever going to a new destination I love exploring local cuisine and trying out all kinds of foods, restaurants and eating experiences. However, I am usually on a budget and I've gotten quite good at finding affordable yet Instagram-worthy and yummy places to fill my belly. Hope you enjoy <3

Famous Original Ray's Pizza 
811 Lexington Ave (Upper East Side)
Slice for around $4

There are many Pizza shops around NYC, this one was our fave. It is very likely that one slice will fill you up because they are honestly gigantic. I also tried the garlic dough balls which were yummy.

DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections
DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections 
550 LaGuardia Pl (Greenwich Village)
1 Scoop for $4

*Sugar coma warning* Get this sweet treat to share with someone because even the dessert queen (me) could not finish this scoop by myself. 


Food Trucks NYC
Food Trucks
Everywhere 
Most things are around $2-4 

Literally my fave thing in NYC. On every corner you get those cute food trucks that serve all kinds of foods - our faves were defo the big pretzels! They also have iced coffee that looked very yum, hot dogs, burgers - all the fast food stuff ;)

Doughnut Plant
220 W 23rd St (Chelsea)
Donuts for $3-4

I tried the Brooklyn blackout donut which wasn't the most amazing donut I've ever had (still good tho), however, my friend tried the Banana Peanut Butter one which was yummy. 

Harlem Shake NYC
Harlem Shake 
100 W 124th St (Harlem)
Cheese Fries for $4
Milkshake for $7 
Burger for $7

Our fave restaurant! The milkshakes are to die for (I got black & white both times we went and it was so good), the cheese fries are heavenly and the burgers are good too (although a bit too greasy for my taste). Also, we loved the retro vibes in this diner. 

Magnolia Bakery
Banana Pudding for $5 (Greenwich Village)
West 11th Street, 401 Bleecker St

Such a yummy dessert. We got a small size which was just perfect to snack on whilst strolling along Bleecker street. They also had adorable cupcakes and a blueberry bar thingy (can't remember how it was called) that looked so good!

The End Brooklyn 
522 Metropolitan Ave (Brooklyn)
Health Drink for $9

If you want to treat yourself to a health drink (idk what's in it exactly) try the Lavender one! I got the Merbabe one and it was quite disgusting haha - the lavender one my friends got were got tho. 

Q&N Food Harlem
Q&N Food
107 E 125th Street (East Harlem)
Bagel & Coffe for $3
Breakfast buffet for $8

Best food place ever. We went here almost every morning and were amazed by the food every single time. They have a huge breakfast buffet with the most delicious sweet and savory foods. You can get a big box of food for around $7, such a good deal!

Sweet Moment NYC
Sweet Moment
106 Mott St (Chinatown)
Shaved Icecream for $7

A super Instagram-worthy place. Not the cheapest, but a small portion of this ice cream is definitely enough. We tried tiramisu, matcha, and mango-cheesecake flavours. 

Eileen's Special Cheesecake
Eileen's Special Cheesecake 
17 Cleveland Pl (SOHO)
Mini Cheesecake for $5

I got the Strawberry mini cheesecake and loved it. It's a great way to try out typical NYC cheesecake without getting a huge slice and falling into food coma afterward. They also had hot cocoa which we didn't get but it smelled yummy. 

Check out my 5-day NYC itinerary here if you are interested in what other things we did besides eating (although that was a huge part of the trip as you can tell). 

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A Day Trip To Dunnottar Castle - Stonehaven, Scotland

17/10/2017

"Remember to explore."

Girls at Dunnottar Castle

Hello everybody!
Last weekend one of my best friends from the Netherlands and I decided to visit stunning Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, which is about 20 minutes drive from Aberdeen. 
Dunnottar castle is a hilltop castle ruin located on a rocky headland about 3 kilometres south of Stonehaven. Back in the 17th century Dunnottar castle was used to hide the Scottish crown jewels from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army. If you want to learn more about the historical side of Dunnottar Castle, check out their website.

Dunnottar Castle Stonehaven on a sunny day

Dunnottar Castle in an absolute must-see on your Scotland trip. Just look at the pictures - can it get more epic than that? 

North Sea Coast at Dunnottar Castle

Girls at Dunnottar Castle Stonehaven

We spent about 2 hours at the castle. The entrance fee is £7, but definitely worth it. I think that you can easily do Aberdeen, Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle in 1 day. If you have less then 1 day in the north east of Scotland - skip Aberdeen and Stonehaven and just see the castle. 

Girls Travel Laughing

 My friend and I had a wonderful time exploring the magnificent castle and admiring the impressive scenery. I hope you guys like the pictures. Kisses, Laura x

Epic coastline near Dunnottar Castle

Girls Trip Goals Travel

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Wanderlust List - 10 Places I want to visit in the next 5 Years

10/09/2017

"She has wanderlust in her eyes. You can see it from worlds away."

Girl with World Map Travel Blogger Goals

Hello friends! 
Recently I got a scratch off world map for my room to track my travel adventures. I realised that I only visited 11 countries so far (excluding Germany cause that doesn't count) which made me think about what countries, cities and places I want to visit in the next few years. In my phone notes I always keep a travel destination list just in case I have a sudden idea or someone tells me about an amazing place that I need to visit. To start checking off a few travel destinations from my bucket list I am sharing with you 10 places I want to visit in the next 5 years today. 

PS: The beautiful imagery is from my favourite place on the internet - Pinterest. The pics are not mine (although I wish, but I will hopefully soon be able to take pictures of those places myself).

Colosseum Rome Italy

1. ROME

Although I have been to Italy twice I never got to explore its historic capital Rome. In Latin class we often talked about Rome's ancient sights and its impressive role in history, which made me want to go to Rome since then. Also as a fan of Dan Brown's Illuminati I am so curious to see Vatican city and all the historical churches. On my bucket list here: take a picture with a handsome Italian on his Vespa, visit all popular sights and eat tons of pizza, ice cream and lasagna (just like in "Eat Pray Love").

Havanna Cuba

2. CUBA 

Someplace I have never been even close to is the caribbean sea, which is a dream destination for almost everybody. Beside the beautiful turquoise sea, white sand, palm trees and fresh coconuts I am really drawn to Cuba and its vibrant capital Havanna. Not gonna lie here: Dirty Dancing 2 really made me want to experience the lively, colourful and exotic Cuban culture. Things to do: take a ride with one of the old & colourful cars and dance Salsa with a local in a typical Cuban club.

Thailand market beaches elephants

3. THAILAND

Pretty new on my bucket list (ok, let's be real: every country is kind of on my bucket list) is tropical Thailand (spot the alliteration here). I want to try Thai food, go on a motorcycle trip, stroll across a colourful market and chill by the blissful beaches (alliteration number 2). Oh and how can I forget: I really want to see elephants of course.  

Vienna Austria Cityscape


4. VIENNA

A place not as far away as Cuba and Thailand is Austria and its beautiful capital Vienna. Everyone who has been there tells me how lovely and impressive the cityscape is and we all know how much I love taking photos of pretty buildings. And don't get me started on Austrian food because I am in love with Sachertorte, Kaiserschmarrn and Leberknödel. 


5. ICELAND

An undeniable must-see for all lovers of epic nature and stunning photography is the land of fire and ice: Iceland. I don't think I have to say a lot about the breathtaking nature that is shaped by bold contrasts. And what better starting point for a trip to Iceland than Aberdeen? It is quite far up north which is why the flights are not too long and also not that expensive. On my bucket list here (beside all the other mesmerising natural sights): see the Northern lights.


6. FRANCE

There are so many places that I want to visit in France: from pulsating Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Marseille to the glorious palace of Versailles, little fairytale villages in the Provence, the romantic capital Paris and Disneyland Paris of course. Strictly speaking: one trip to France will definitely not be enough. However before I go I really want to learn at least little bibs and bobs of French so that I won't be completely lost. Things to do here: eat a lot of baguette, crepe, croissants, cheese, macaroons - the list is endless. 


7. WARSAW

A less popular travel destination but definitely not less worth seeing is Poland. I chose Warsaw for this post because it is Poland's capital, however there are also many more places to see: Krakow, Danzig and the Masuria region. The great thing about Poland is that it is also really affordable - from flights to accommodation and food.


8. TUSCANY

Do you guys know the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun"? Well, if you like "Eat Pray Love" you will most definitely also enjoy this romance about a woman who, after being cheated on by her husband, starts a new life in a rural Tuscan villa. So far I have only been to the Garda lake which was already pretty amazing so I suppose that the Tuscany is just as beautiful. Same as in Rome: eat tons of Italian food and take photos of Vespas (preferably red ones).



9. PRAGUE

A city that is only 2 hours drive from where I live in Germany but I unfortunately never visited is Prague. With baroque palaces and cobbled streets Prague is said to be just as beautiful as Paris when it comes to its magnificent architecture. Me and my Instagram feed very much enjoy a trip to a pretty city like Prague (how basic was that). And same as with Poland - Prague within the Czech Republic is affordable, so perfect for students like me.


10. NEW YORK CITY

And last but (oh god) definitely not least: the city of my dreams. For years I have been wanting to go to New York City, the American dream per se. Walk across Brooklyn Bridge, admire the world-famous skyline from the Top of the Rock, vanish in the bright lights of Times Square, feel like Blair Waldorf and see the Breakfast at Tiffany's Apartment. The list of must-dos in NYC is long. One trip to New York isn't enough anyway because I want to experience NYC in summer, autumn and around Christmas time. 

What is on your travel bucket list? Kisses, Laura xx 

A Getaway to the Saxon Switzerland National Park

19/08/2017


"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Basteibrücke Elbsandsteingebirge

Hey friends! How is everyone’s summer? 😊 
In the past few weeks my parents and I did a ton of exploring of our beautiful home - the ore mountains. I shared tons of pretty footage on my YouTube channel which you should definitely check out if you want to learn about some hidden spots in Saxony & must-see places for your next Germany trip. 

Saxon Switzerland

Anyway, this week we decided to go on a rather spontaneous trip to the Saxon Switzerland. The Saxon Switzerland is a National Park close to Saxony’s capital Dresden. It is a well-loved spot for climbing, hiking, cycling and all of that fun stuff! The landscape is stunning and I honestly didn’t think that I would find such beautiful nature so close to my home. It really reminds me of the Yosemite National Park (the most amazing place I ever visited), it is just a little smaller of course 😉.  

Elbsandsteingebirge Elbe

In this post I wanted to share with you some impressions of our short holiday in the Saxon Switzerland. We only really had 2 full days and 1 half day there but we tried to fit in as much as possible, so we did a bike tour along the river Elbe (it was so nice!) and we also did a hiking trip to the Bastei, Schwedenlöcher and Amselsee. All in all we had a wonderful time and it definitely wasn’t the last time that we visited the Saxon Switzerland. But enough talking (or writing to be correct) - see the beauty yourself! 😊


Before we get started with what we did on our trip I wanted to show you our beautiful accommodation. We stayed at an old farmhouse where we could sat outside for breakfast each morning enjoying the wonderful weather and an even more wonderful view. It was seriously so nice! 

Elbradweg am Kurort Rathen

Kurort Rathen

After we arrived and unpacked we got on our bikes and headed to lovely Rathen, a fairytale village alongside the Elbe Cycle Route. We ate some yummy ice cream, enjoyed the warm temperatures & sunny weather and of course the stunning view across the river Elbe with the Sandstone Mountains in the background.

Pirna Sächsische Schweiz

Pirna Sächsische Schweiz

Pirna Sächsische Schweiz

In the evening we went to a nearby town Pirna, which welcomed us with a pretty sunset, lovely architecture and an overall charming cityscape. 

Bastei Elbsandsteingebirge

Elbe Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland

We began the next day bright and early to go on a hiking tour. The weather was awesome and our first stop was the Bastei - a popular viewpoint in the Saxon Switzerland. I think we can all agree that the view is absolutely stunning. Just a little warning: if you are afraid of heights the Basteibrücke might be a rather adventurous sight for you (but the view is definitely worth it!).

Amselgrund Schwedelöcher

Then we went (what feels like a thousands) stairs downhill (fortunately, I would have died if we had to go up those stairs 😧) to the Schwedenlöcher and the Amselgrund. I didn't take a lot of pictures down there but I linked some for you to see!

Schmilka Elbsandsteingebirge

Our third and final day was spent cycling along the Elbe - we stopped by the cute village Schmilka and cycled through Bad Schandau, Königstein, Rathen and Wehlen. The Elbe Cycle Path is honestly so nice and even if you don't like cycling that much, you will enjoy it!

I hope you like the pictures as much as I do! If you even get the chance to visit Saxony make sure you visit the Saxon Switzerland - a definite must-see spot in Germany for lovers of stunning nature and great photography ☺️! Kisses, Laura xx
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