When In Rome: A City Of Wonders

Have you ever witnessed something so beautiful it took your breath away? Well, it happened to me on a recent trip to Italy. I remember the exact moment when I walked into the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican and stared up at the hand painted masterpiece created by Michelangelo. In that moment I actually had to remind myself to continue to breathe.

Rome, Italy

I came to the Vatican with City Wonders Tours on a recent trip to Rome, Italy. During my time inside the Vatican walls, I learned about the incredible history of the Popes that shaped this world, and the stories of the artists that really made the Vatican a must-visit. I was not the only one who just had to get a glimpse, apparently, the Vatican gets over 30,000 visitors a day.

The tour didn’t stop there. A full day of history lessons took us deeper into Ancient Rome. From the Vatican it was straight to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world and another true masterpiece. The floors are covered in marble and the walls are decorated with priceless sculptures. Did you know that the ceiling is so high it can house the Statue of Liberty? It’s a sacred place, where only the Pope himself is allowed to pray because the burial site of Peter himself is beneath the floors.

When in Rome

I then travelled even further back in time as I stepped inside the Colosseum walls. The massive amphitheater which housed 65,000 Romans took only eight years to build. While most of the building has been lost in time, it was once a grand stadium decorated with life-size statues and marble seats. As a sports journalist, I tried picturing a time when gladiators would fight beasts for large crowds, as this is where my industry technically started.

The tour finished in the Roman Forum. I walked through what was left of the grand palace, past the homes of gods, and I even laid eyes upon what was left of the memorial to Julius Caesar. It was during this part of the tour that the guide mentioned something truly amazing, “Rome is like a lasagna.” Those were his exact words. Instead of tearing down the old, they would just build the new on top, meaning that the majority of ancient Rome is still hidden below the surface. In fact, only 6% of Rome has been excavated. With new homes and buildings on the surface, excavating the area has become a lot harder, but with archaeological advancements, there is hope that more of the past will be uncovered.

As I walked back to my hotel I couldn’t help but imagine what ruins from that ancient world lay beneath me.  Was it beautiful sculptures? Was it pieces of the ancient palaces? Was it stunning marble floors from old homes? The truth is, these questions may never be answered, the past may remain the past, but the truth is what does remain on the surface, and it will truly take your breath away.

Rome, Italy

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Beyond BBQ: We Explore Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas – known to many as the birthplace of Beyoncé and great BBQ – is a must-go for anyone looking for a quick weekend escape to a fun new place chalk full of pretty architecture, quaint eateries and that unmistakable southern charm.

Here is your city guide to Houston Texas, baby!

@oliviabrutto

Eat – The Kitchen at Dunlavy
For a gourmet brunch experience in a gorgeous atmosphere, head over to The Dunlavy. Situated in lush trees with floor to ceiling windows and dozens of crystal chandeliers, the dining space makes for a perfect mid-morning hangout. You cannot go wrong ordering the Avacado Toast or the Chinese Chicken Salad. If you’re in the mood for a delicious smoothie, we recommend the Banana & Jam.

@oliviabrutto

Indulge – Sweet Paris
With crepes to die for and the cutest decor, we just had to do a visit to Sweet Paris. The menu is extensive and any crepe you can dream up, Sweet Paris can offer. Nutella, caramel, strawberries and bananas – our mouths are watering just at the thought. Are crepes not your thing? No problem because waffles, milkshakes and Nutella hot chocolate are also up for order.

@oliviabrutto

Do – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Head over to Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to get your fill of incredible artwork. With many exhibits to marvel at, there is something for everyone to admire at the museum. Get to the museum before September 17 to enjoy Pipilotti Rist’s Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish. The twinkling lights, plush floor pillows and screens projecting thought-provoking imagery invite you to take it all in and stay awhile.

@thehoustonianhotel

Stay – The Houstonian
Lay your head down to dream at the stunning Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa. The Houstonian is a popular place to tie the knot with its lush surroundings and its luxurious pool has been the backdrop to many vacation snapshots. The renowned spa offers the utmost in pampering with treatments like Diamond Experience Rose – a body treatment using diamond dust and rose oil – and Stone Therapy massage.

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What To Pack For A Week In St. Lucia

The beauty of St. Lucia’s stunning coastlines and lush greenery is unsurpassable—between the island’s natural waterfalls, authentic culture, pristine rainforests and majestic mountains, it’s easy to be swept off your feet. But before getting lost in the breathtaking landscape, be sure to pack what you need to make the most of your time in the sun.

Sunglasses

Throw shade. Protect your eyes with a millennial pink pair of sunglasses—perfect for living life on the beach through rose-coloured glasses. Qilalla Cat Eye Sunglasses in Pink, $16, aldo.com

Clinique SPF

Burn Prevention. An oil-free water-resistant sunscreen is a must when facing the sunny skies of St. Lucia. Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Cream, $31, sephora.com

Vitamin SEA Bathing Suit

Suit Up. A cute one-piece with a pop of colour will make frolicking along the stunning shoreline that much more majestic. Saltwater Collective Vitamin Sea One-Piece in White, $94, thesaltwatercollective.com

Nordstrom Beach Cover Up

Wrap Around. When you just can’t stay away from the beach, find a stunning printed beach kimono, kaftan or sarong to cover up for a little glamour under the sun. Surf Gypsy Cover-Up Tunic, $81, Nordstrom.com

Floral Maxi Dresses

Max out. A flirty maxi dress is a must for formal nights and dinners under the stars. Linger Here Dress in Pina Colada, $79, billabong.com

Swell Water Bottles

Hydration station. Beat the heat with some H20 sans sea salt while still feeling like a tropical princess. S’well insulated water bottle in Waikiki, $35. Swellbottle.com

Straw Beach Bags

Packing pretty. Let your carry-all speak for you: you’re ready for a day of relaxation. Poolside Out of Office Tote, $219, shopbop.com

Minimalist Strappy Sanadals

Kick back. A minimalist sandal keeps your feet cool in the hot sun, without sacrificing style. Angilia Flat Sandal in Light Green, $50, aldo.com

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A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

A trip to Malaysia wouldn’t be complete without heading over to Penang, a haven of white sandy beaches, hidden street art, trendy cafés and the best street food you could ever imagine. Here is our guide to what to eat, where to sleep and what to see on the island.

A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

STREET ART SPOTTING

George Town, the capital city of Penang, is renowned for being the street art hub of Southeast Asia. Visitors could spend days wandering around Georgetown, enjoying all types of street art from cartoon steel art pieces to public paintings mixed with 3D objects such as swings and motorbikes. Keep your eyes peeled for Penang’s most iconic paintings – ‘Reaching Up’ on Cannon Street, ‘Little Children on a Bicycle’ on Armenian Street and ‘Boy on a Motorbike’ on Ah Quee Street – blink and you’ll miss it!

A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia 

Food, food & more food: Going to Malaysia without trying their street food would be like going to Canada and not having poutine! Street food is a way of life for most Malaysians and definitely a ‘must-do’ when visiting Penang. Whether a backpacker or a flashpacker, Penang’s street food offers authentic dishes and allows visitors to experience the real culture of the island – so pull up a plastic chair and enjoy. Which are the best local dishes? Assam Laksa (spicy noodle soup), Char Kway Teow (traditional Malaysian noodle and prawn dish), Wanton Mee (noodle and dumpling dish served with hot broth), Nasi Lemak (rice with a little bit of everything – egg, prawn, chicken, etc. – and is a popular breakfast dish among the locals), Char Koay Kak (imagine the flavours of carrot cake in a stir fry), Popiah (sweet and savory spring rolls) and Ice Kacang for dessert (shaved ice, topped with jelly, nuts and coconut milk). Stretchy pants are mandatory!

 A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

Hipster Cafés: 

Wheeler’s Coffee – a bicycle-themed café and pancakes delivered with a syringe full of syrup – does it get any more hipster? Located on the iconic, Love Lane, Wheeler’s Coffee offers the ultimate coffee fix with bicycles used in every way possible, from light fixtures, tables and stools to flower pots, wall decorations and even the tip jar.

A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

Another one to add to the list is China House, three heritage buildings linked together by an outdoor courtyard and best known for their endless choices of delicious cakes. Crayons are even provided for doodling right on the tables.

A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

Finally, Awesome Canteen is another top pick and well it’s…. awesome! No two pieces of furniture are the same and tall, skinny trees are growing right in the middle of the café.

A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

Let’s go to the beach, beach: Second, to Georgetown, Batu Ferringhi is one of Penang’s most popular destinations offering white sandy beaches, water activities, horseback riding and night markets. Cocktails at a beach bar while enjoying the spectacular sunset is a must – favourites include Bora Bora or Sigi’s Bar & Grill. Batu Ferringhi is easy to get to – an hour bus ride from Georgetown and costing just $0.82 per person each way. 

A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

Where to stay: 

As Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, many of the old heritage shops and houses have been restored into cool and quirky hostels and guesthouses. The Frame Guesthouse is a three-storey heritage building, originally a frame maker shop and now one of the best places to stay in the heart of Georgetown. Most of the space was left how it was found before renovations, therefore the guesthouse now offers a minimalistic, trendy space, with the heritage feel being very much still alive. Private double rooms cost from $19 per person per night. Dorm rooms cost from $9 per person per night. To switch it up, check out The Frame’s sister properties, Old Penang Guesthouse and The 80’s Guesthouse.

A Guide To Exploring Penang, Malaysia

How to get there: International flights are available from Canada’s major cities to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city. From there, Air Asia offers flights to Penang costing as little as $17 per person each way and it’s just an hour flight. Alternatively, the buses are extremely safe and comfortable, costing from $10 per person each way and taking five hours.

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5 Unexpected Things To Do In Panama

When someone mentions Panama, the first thing that pops into travellers’ minds is the 80-km waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans—the Panama Canal.

Listed as one of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ “Seven Wonders of the Modern World,” the Canal is certainly a must-see for anyone visiting the Central American nation, but there is a lot more to Panama than spectacular feats of engineering.

With an eye for adventure, we’ve rounded up the top five unexpected things to do in Panama:

5 Unexpected Things To Do In Panama

1. Have a beach day on volcanic black sand: Long stretches of Panama’s stunning Pacific coast are lined with unique black sand, darkened by volcanic ash from an eruption by Volcàn Barú thousands of years ago. Take a day trip to Playa La Barqueta near Las Olas Resort—just a short drive from David, Chiriquí, a popular ex-pat community close to the Costa Rican border—and you’ll find an endless stretch of remote, pristine beachfront with only a few locals nearby. Just be sure to pack some sandals—the black sand and scorching sun make for a fiery walk to the water.

5 Unexpected Things To Do In Panama

2. Trek through a cloud forest: You may know about rainforests (does the Amazon sound familiar?), but not many people know about cloud forests—an abundance of vegetation growing on mountain tops with constant, low-level cloud cover, and a favourite place for howler monkeys, sloths and tapirs. Take a trek through the cloud forest on Volcàn Barú, the country’s active volcano in Boquete, and you’ll find The Lost Waterfalls: Three Cascades with dramatic 300-foot cliffs, crystal clear pools and a hidden cave.

5 Unexpected Things To Do In Panama

3. Ride the waves in Santa Catalina: What was once a secret beach in a small fishing village has turned into a thriving surf community on Panama’s south west coast. Offering some of the best surfing in Central America with 15-foot waves, and one of the longest waves to crash a coast, Santa Catalina is a tropical paradise for beginners and experts alike. If you’re looking to learn or improve, join Santa Catalina Retreats for some surf lessons in the warm Pacific spray, taking relaxation to a new level with a post-surf yoga session.

5 Unexpected Things To Do In Panama

Photo: @jagerknights

4. Snorkel the coral gardens in Bocas del Toro: There aren’t many places where you can roll in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on the same day, but Panama is one of them. After a drive through the mountains (or a short flight from David and Panama City), prepare to marvel at the beauty of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, and take a catamaran cruise for the best views. Opt for Jager Knights for an unforgettable experience with Captain Maga, diving along vibrant coral reefs, swimming with jellyfish and watching bottlenose dolphins play in Dolphin Bay lagoon.

5 Unexpected Things To Do In Panama

Photo: @andresmadrigal

5. Take a trip down memory lane: Though its civil engineering and ever-growing collection of skyscrapers put Panama on the map as a destination for the modern traveller, there’s enough history in Panama City’s Casco Viejo (Old Town) to designate it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Settled in 1673, the centuries-old cobblestone streets are now filled with vibrant music, traditional food and a wealth of arts and culture. Be sure to check out the National Theatre; the remains of the Compania de Jesus Convent, which housed the first university and synagogue in the city; and take a walk on the original sea wall, with unrivalled views of the Panama City skyline.

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The 20 Most Beautiful Places In The Dominican Republic

The 20 Most Beautiful Places In The Dominican Republic

From its pristine beaches to its rich history, the Dominican Republic offers something special for everyone. Whether you’re a historian, an adventurer, or a beach bum, the Dominican is the right place for you.

Here are CNN’s 20 top-ranked destinations in the Dominican Republic.

1. La Catedral Primada de América (The First Cathedral in America): La Catedral Primada de América, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest cathedral in the Americas built between 1512 and 1540. Step inside the stunning architecture and visit the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

2. La Playa Bayahíbe (The Beach of Bayahíbe): If you’re fond of dazzling sunsets and delicious drinks, you’re in the right spot on the sands of Playa Bayahíbe.

3. El Salto del Limón (The Waterfall at Limón): Gear up for a hike or a horseback ride because Mother Nature doesn’t disappoint with this 40m tall waterfall with refreshing natural pools beneath.

4. La Playa Morón (The Morón Beach): Try to plan your visit to Playa Morón between January and March – chances are you will see a school of humpback whales.

5. El Teleférico de Puerto Plata (Puerto Plata cable car): Brave the climb up the Isabel de Torres Mountain in the renowned cable car. Enjoy scenic views of the city and get a beautiful, birds-eye-view of Puerto Plata.

6. Los Charcos de Damajagua (The Damajagua Waterfalls): Choose between a refreshing swim or an adventurous trek through these 27 magnificent waterfalls.

7. Los Haitises National Park: Explore the protected forest of Los Haitises and you will find unique birds and fauna, and many native and migratory species found nowhere else in the country. This park is a truly unique experience when travelling to the Dominican Republic.

8. El Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración (The Monument to Heroes of the Restoration): This monument stands in dedication to the Dominican soldiers who fought against Spain in the War of Independence. The structure represents a major pillar in Dominican history.

9. Las Dunas de Baní (The Dunes of Baní): Hop on a sandboard and ride the Dunes of Baní, an incredible experience – different from anything else you will find in the Caribbean.

10. Altos de Chavón (The Cliffs of Chavón): Explore the Altos de Chavón amphitheatre that will make you feel like you have stepped out of the Dominican and have arrived in a 16th-century Mediterranean city.

11. Playa Juanillo (Juanillo Beach): Escape to this beach for rest and relaxation. Located on the eastern edge of the Dominican Republic, this beach boasts pristine white sands and glistening blue waters. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, dining and windsurfing, or grab a drink and catch some zzz’s.

 12. Los Campos de Béisbol Punta Cana (The Baseball Fields of Punta Cana): U.S. professional baseball leagues currently hold more than 100 players who got their start in the Dominican Republic; so don’t miss out on catching a glimpse of these future stars.

13. Punta Cana: Dig your toes into 32km worth of white sand at this vacation hotspot. Boasting an abundance of resorts, activities, restaurants and Piña coladas, Punta Cana will not disappoint.

14. El Antiguo Puerto Plata (Historic Puerto Plata): The historic town of Puerto Plata was founded in 1502 and named after its shimmering shoreline. Made official by a personal proclamation signed by Christopher Columbus, Puerto Plata has a distinct rich history and beautiful coastline.

15. El Morro (El Morro Fort): The El Morro Fort was used to protect 16th century Puerto Plata from pirates. Today, it is a museum, overlooking the vast Atlantic Ocean, that exhibits the city’s rich history.

16. La Playa Rincón (Rincón Beach): Enjoy a day devouring fresh seafood on this 3km stretch of beach located in Las Galeras. Rinse off with a dip in the freshwater current at the western end of the beach. *Fun fact: Some historians claim this beach is where Columbus dropped anchor.

17. La Fortaleza Ozama (The Ozama Fortress): The Ozama Fortress is a sixteenth-century castle built by the Spanish. Overlooking the Ozama River, this castle is a beautiful representation of medieval architecture, and not to be missed.

18. El Palacio Nacional (The National Palace): The National Palace occupies the Executive Branch of the Dominican Republic. Located in Santo Domingo, the Palace is an incredible structure with ornate details and beautiful gardens.

19. Las Cuevas de las Maravillas (The Caves of Wonders): Step into the Caves of Wonders and surround yourself with hundreds of Taino Indian cave paintings engraved into the rocks.

20. La Basílica de Higüey (The Basilica of Higüey): The Basilica of Higüey is one of the most acclaimed cathedrals in the country because of its original architecture and unconventional stained-glass embellishments.

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A Long Weekend Escape To The Bahamas

Palm trees, warm sands, ocean breeze.

A tropical destination is calling your name. It’s about time to pack your carry on because with direct flights to Nassau only 3 hours long, why not swap a long weekend up north at the cottage for an exotic escape to The Bahamas?

With so much to see and do in the Caribbean locale, we’ve narrowed it down to the top spots you must experience on your visit!

The Bahamas

@darkwave_x

See: Government House

Government House, located in Nassau on Duke St., is the official residence of the Governor General of The Bahamas and dates back to 1801. For history buffs, it is fascinating to see a true remnant of Bahamian-British colonial architecture. For everyone else, the stately pastel pink and white home makes for quite the pretty picture.

The Bahamas

Photo: @bakertw

Eat: Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant

With an elegant dress code in effect and a must-see wine cellar, a dinner at Graycliff makes for a lovely evening out. If you’re looking for the ultimate in romance, the restaurant offers private dining experiences right in the wine cellar. For those looking for some lunch, Graycliff offers Wine Luncheon’s which are hosted by a certified Sommelier and include a five-course, gourmet meal. A delightful Afternoon Tea is also available by reservation on Monday’s through Fridays from 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM.

The Bahamas

Photo: @nassauparadiseisland

Do: Sunset Cruise

There are plenty of tour operators in Nassau offering private sunset cruises. This is the perfect way to wind down and enjoy a romantic evening onboard a luxurious charter. Pop a bottle of champagne and toast to your spontaneous but amazing decision to visit The Bahamas.

 

The Bahamas

@mthojx3

Stay: Atlantis Paradise Island

After an exciting night at Aura, head on up to your comfortable suite in the stunning Atlantis Paradise Island. Wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on a day chalk full of fun activities. Race down the Leap of Faith waterslide into the acrylic tunnel submerged in the shark-filled lagoon. Once you’re ready to wind down, lay by the pool or grab a bite at one of 21 restaurants on-site.

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Hotel Spotlight: The Crane Resort, Barbados

The luxurious gem that is The Crane Resort located on the East Coast of Barbados has long been regarded as one of the Caribbean’s most iconic and truly treasured luxury properties. With sprawling ocean views, lush gardens and the most courteous staff on the island, a stay here will encourage rest and relaxation in its highest form.

Blogger in bathing suit at the beach

Photo: @Carajourdan

Once you check into your suite, unpack your bags and let the sounds of the ocean and island birds transport you to paradise. Better yet, take a stroll and grab a seat at one of the properties award-winning restaurants.

If your stay happens to fall on a Sunday, enjoy a brunch at L’Azure for a generous serving of gospel music and a side of quintessential Caribbean delicacies.

Crane Beach Barbados

Photo: @jteixphotography

After you’ve serviced your appetite, get lost in an open air market that emphasizes the best of Caribbean culture at every turn.

With a coconut in one hand and a camera in the other, walk down the colourful streets of Barbados and immerse yourself in everything that the island has to offer. And for a few moments of sensory overload, run, not walk to Cutters of Barbados for the best flying fish and rum punch your tongue will ever taste.

Crane Beach Barados

Photo: @cranebarbados

When all is said and done, relax by the waves or make your way to the Serenity Spa for a holistic approach to wellness.

This truly unique experience evokes both elegance and adventure in one package. So trust us when we say that no trip to Barbados is complete without The Crane.

A Chic Instagram Guide To Manhattan

Spotted: You, roaming around the Upper East Side, looking utterly confused if I do say so myself. Need a little help finding the hotspots around the chicest parts of Manhattan? No problem. That’s a secret I’ll definitely tell. We know you’ll love these Instagram-worthy spots in the Big Apple.

XOXO, Siren.

The MET

Photo: @gemypham

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Start your journey at the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The gorgeous Beaux-Arts building is only the beginning of the masterpieces found within. Once you’ve snapped a picture on the iconic Met steps or by the fountains, head on inside and take in all the incredible collections the museum has to offer.

@newyorkpalace

Lotte New York Palace

Take a cab to 455 Madison Avenue, the famous Lotte New York Palace. Head into Villard for one of the best brunches you’ll ever have or book a treatment at the hotel’s world-class spa. Maybe your very own Chuck Bass is waiting for you with a dirty martini at the hotel lobby bar, Trouble’s Trust.

@hotspotsofamsterdam

Shops on Madison Ave

Once you’re nice and relaxed, take a stroll down Madison Avenue for a window shopping session or pop into Céline and finally buy that bag you’ve been dreaming of. Commemorate the moment with a photo of the picturesque street lined with luxury stores and delicate building facades.

@flexdith

NoMo Soho

Ready for dinner? NoMo SoHo has you covered. Take your photo under the leafy arc before enjoying a delicious meal. We recommend the Kale Salad and Pappardelle pasta.

@jstnrnd

Top of the Rock

Nothing says chic like Rockafeller and there is no better place to catch the sunset than at the Top of the Rock. The whole city is laid out in front of you, a concrete playground waiting for you to explore.

Central Park

Photo: @parisinfourmonths

Central Park

Lunch at the Boathouse, a stroll through the tree-lined path, feeding the ducks at The Pond in Central Park. A day in the life of Blair Waldorf and the perfect place to capture an enviable Instagram photo.

Sarabeth's New York

Photo: @yuyuchien

Sarabeth’s

You can’t spell chic without b-r-u-n-c-h. Head to Sarabeth’s Central Park South for a mouthwatering late Sunday morning meal. Indulge in the Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes or the Toasted Coconut Waffles. More of a savoury person? How does Classic Eggs Benedict or Vegetable Frittata sound?

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How To Spend 48 Hours In New York City

You’ve arrived in New York City with your luggage in hand and your hopes in store. With only 48 hours in the big city, where do you start? As the city that never sleeps, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of things to do and see.

Lucky for you, New York has something for everyone. Your 48 hours starts now!

Gansevoort Meatpacking District

Photo: @gansevoort

For the shopaholic:

Among the Big Four fashion capitals of the world, New York coined the phrase “shop till you drop.” The optimal day for the shopaholic starts in SoHo – one of the city’s most eclectic shopping regions. From designer boutiques to bargain emporiums, SoHo seems to have it all. After a morning in SoHo, make your way to Greenwich Village, stopping at Washington Square Park to refuel and recharge. The Bleeker Street shopping scene entirely plays tribute to the village’s rich musical history. On the weekends, your likely to catch local musicians and vintage street markets. Next on the shopping tour is the modish Meatpacking District. Don’t be misled by the cobblestone streets – this trendy district defines high-end shopping. Cap off a long day of shopping with a cocktail at the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC rooftop.

Wake up the next morning and do it all over. Spend the day with Tiffany, Cartier, and Prada on the famous Fifth Avenue.

Best food in NYC

Photo: @smorgasburg

For the foodie:

Whatever your taste, New York is home to hundreds of Michelin-star restaurants and authentic dives for locals and tourists alike. We recommend beginning the day with brunch on the Lower East Side. From Sadelles to Stanton Social, this progressive neighbourhood has quickly become an NYC brunch hotspot. Walk off that boozy brunch on the High-Line in Meatpacking District, taking in picturesque views of the city. Still hungry? Check out Chelsea Market for a range of delectable bites and snacks. Time for happy hour. Head over to the Standard Biergarten for a well-deserved beer and a game of ping-pong. We promise your food coma is well worth it and is sure to give you a good nights sleep.

Cross over to Brooklyn on day two for the infamous Smorgasburg food market. As the largest open-air food market in America, Smorgasburg is sure to be a foodie fan favourite.

Top of the Rock

Photo: @msharaf

For the tourist:

Spend your morning surrounded by the history of Ellis Island, accompanied by the Statue of Liberty herself. Catch the ferry back to the city and head over to the Rockefeller Center. Tour Radio City Music Hall and take the elevator up to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for exquisite views of the city skyline. More views? Spend sunset at the Empire State Building, ending off the night with a visit to Times Square. The day may be over, but the action never sleeps.

No trip to New York is complete without Central Park. Wake up the next morning and embrace your inner New Yorker. Grab a coffee and bagel to enjoy throughout your stroll down Central Park. Make sure to visit the John Lennon Memorial, if you’re lucky you may stumble across a private concert!

Best of New York City

Photo: @lizzygra

For the culture vulture:

As a cultural capital of the world, New York boasts a variety of galleries, museums, and theatres. Visit the world famous Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. Spend the afternoon at a Broadway Matinee, and cap off the night laughing at the Comedy Cellar. You never know who will show up and surprise you.

Spend day two in hipster-haven Brooklyn. Explore Williamsburg, grab a book from Mermaids and pass the afternoon reading in McCarren Park. You’re sure to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the bustling city. While in Brooklyn, make your way to Dumbo. Often overlooked, this waterfront neighbourhood boasts breathtaking views of the Manhatten skyline. Ride your bike around town and embrace the culture.