Tag: New York

Travel Swellness: New York Citypass


As a longtime fan of Citypass (I’ve used it a couple of times in Chicago, and once in Toronto), I was happy to receive the New York edition from Citypass for this August. which I spent in Brooklyn with Billie Jean.

If you’re unfamiliar with Citypass, here’s how it works: For each city (Citypass is available in 14 cities), they’ve rounded up a group of the top sights to see. If you were to add up all of the admission prices for these attractions and compare it to the cost of the Citypass, there’s a significant savings. So the pass makes a lot of sense if your travel plans include seeing many of the sights included in the pass for your city. The New York Citypass costs $183.99, which is a savings of 44 percent on the six sights and attractions included.

The New York Citypass includes:

  1. Empire State Building
  2. American Museum of Natural History
  3. Metropolitan Museum of Art
  4. Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR the Guggenheim Museum
  5. Ferry access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  6. 9/11 Memorial Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

How I used the New York Citypass:


The Empire State Building. I actually am not sure if I have ever been up the Empire State Building… possibly once when I was a kid. Since that was a long time ago, I was keen on visiting this iconic building once again. I lucked out with beautiful weather the afternoon I visited, and it wasn’t too crowded. The displays they have along the way as you make your way to the observation deck are fun, too: the pics of celebs who’ve visited, the King Kong photo opp, the example of the old elevator (what beautiful art deco details!).


The Met. I’ve been very interested in revisiting the Met as I haven’t been in several years. And I was even more stoked to visit because the Met Camp exhibit was still on while I was there. This was such an incredible exhibit (I loved how the over the top outfits were displayed), but it was overwhelmingly crowded, so much so we didn’t spend as much time as we would have liked at it. Also, a bit of a fail: I didn’t realize my ticket to the Met included also visiting the Cloisters. I visited the Cloisters a few days later and paid the $25 admission. In any case, you should definitely make the effort to take the subway uptown to the Cloisters. It’s been on my wish list for several years, but I never have enough time in New York to carve out the time to go there, but I finally did and it feels like a wonderful castle perched the top of a hill in a quiet park. You won’t believe you’re still in Manhattan when you’re there!


Top of the Rock. So  you have to choose between the Guggenheim and Top of the Rock on the Citypass. The Guggenheim was what I chose initially to visit, as I was last at the Guggenheim more than five years ago. But I’ve also never been to Top of the Rock, and I knew the views from Top of the Rock are great (as my friend Jenn pointed out, the view from Top of the Rock is better in that you get to view the pretty Empire State Building from it). So I had decided I’d just use the Citypass on the Guggenheim, and pay to go to Top of the Rock. Then I did some recon and I saw that the Guggenheim is pay what you wish on Saturdays from 5-8 p.m., whereas the Top of the Rock costs $38. So up to the Top of the Rock I went, and it was fantastic. It was a windy, cloudy day, unfortunately but we still enjoyed our visit; the view looking uptown with Central Park stretching out before you is breathtaking. As for my plans to go to the Guggenheim on a Sunday, they never panned out, as I think I got too lazy to head there from Brooklyn on Saturday evenings.


Circle Line Cruises. I chose the Circle Line Cruises over the Statue of Liberty (since the cruise would bring me by the statue anyhow) and I’m so happy because the night of the cruise there was an incredible sunset with the sky unbelievably vivid pinks and oranges and purples. It was phenomenal to be out on the water at sunset. I highly recommend this but be prepared to stand if you want to be outside (there are limited seats on the upper deck).

What I didn’t get to use the Citypass for:

I’d decided to put the American Museum of Natural History as low priority on my itinerary. I had planned to visit since I have never been, but then a friend pointed out it’d be very crowded with kids. I think I have romanticized notions of this museum from movies filmed in NYC, and in my head I hadn’t pictured it chaotic and filled with little ones. I would like to go visit on another trip to NYC, though.

I did plan to go to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, but somehow my time in New York flew by quickly and the one day I was in the area, I had timed my day poorly and ran out of time.

Why pick up a Citypass for your next trip?

Citypass offers great value if you’re able to fit in many or all of the sights, or if you’re a first time visitor to a city and love seeing all of the main sights when you’re traveling. Another benefit of having it? Citypass holders typically have quicker access to the sights (that said, I found that the signage is often unclear, so a few times I did end up waiting in the same line as everyone else).

Citypass is also offered in other cities I enjoy (such as Philly, Boston and San Fran) and others I haven’t had a chance to explore ever such as Denver and Orlando, so I’ll have to make sure to pick up a pass the next time I’m in these cities!

What are some of the ways you find savings when you travel?


Leave a Comment November 26, 2019

Travel Swellness: The Standard, High Line

New York City skyline from The Standard

Hello! I’m so sorry for seeming to have abandoned this blog for a few weeks! I’ve been traveling a helluva lot (and have a few more trips coming up) so between the travel (which is primarily for work) and, you know, writing work, and fitting in some fun — was just in New York so you know some shopping,good eats (yes, including Magnolia Bakery cupcakes!) and seeing friends was essential, this makes for one very tired, tired me…

But the good news is I have so much to post about and some exciting giveaways, coming up so stay tuned!

A favourite new hotel of mine, by the way, in New York? The Standard — phenomenal views (that photo above is taken from my room at sunset), funky modern rooms (as long as you’re good with a glass shower putting you on display to anyone in your suite!) and it’s in the Meatpacking District above the very cool High Line. (It’s also, so I’ve been told, where two scenes of Shame were filmed — if you saw the film, then you know which scenes I’m referring to).

The Standard

2 Comments October 10, 2013

Brooklyn’s finest

A few month’s ago, you may recall that I hit up NYC with a girlfriend and we had one very straightforward agenda: Eat. Shop. Repeat.

One of the trip’s highlights–besides scoring a gorge Foley & Corinna purse, on sale no less–was spending our entire Saturday in Brooklyn. Here, Health & Swellness’s roundup of Brooklyn’s bestest uncovered during our 12-hour tour:

(1) We started with a delicious brunch at The General Greene in Fort Greene (have the mac n’ cheese!) and then walked over to the Brooklyn Flea. Amongst the vendors selling quirky knick knacks and vintage clothes was jewelry line Elma Blint. The gold pieces she had at the Flea have a clean, unfussy aesthetic that is so hard to find at an affordable price point (take my word for it, I’m always on the lookout). This ring (sans diamond) at the Flea was $125. Am kicking myself for not having picked it up; alas, I let my Amex take a break this time around (remember that Foley & Corinna handbag purchase I’d already made?).

(2) Nearly every little stylish boutique we entered in Brooklyn smelled oh-so-dreamy, which we soon discovered was thanks to these stunning and deliciously fragrant soaps from Brooklyn’s Saipua. Almost too pretty to rip into and actually use.

(3) My belly was full from cheesy/carby deliciousness from brunch at The General Greene, so I didn’t get a chance to try any of the gourmet food offerings at the Flea, but I did indulge in an delectable soda from Brooklyn Soda Works. These  handmade, artisanal carbonated juices are what happens when a visual artist and chemist couple with an interest in food come together and make bevvies. My pick: raspberry and pink peppercorn–the pepper has a spicier kick than you might expected, and it quickly becomes addictive.

(4) We trekked over to Greenpoint to check out Fred Flare. I thought I’d found the bacon-product mothership: a whole section devoted to bacon products–wallets, pancake mix, you name it. There I also discovered Gold Teeth Brooklyn, a line of jewelry and stationary from two Brooklynites who are inspired by “the wacky, mostly inanimate objects” they’re surrounded by. It was their bacon card that caught my eye that day, but their tooth pendant makes me smile for some strange reason.

(4) In the afternoon, we made our way over to Williamsburg, where I was hoping to pick up a jar of Bacon Marmalade (alas, we didn’t make it to the shop in time). Sigh. But I cheered up quickly: To tide us over until our late dinner at Grimaldi’s, we popped into Blackbird, a restaurant that caught our eye thanks to its comfortable vibe and rustic, cozy decor.

I expected typical pub fare…and ended up having the BEST BURGER, EVAH. A deliciously spiced mediterranean burger served with beet tzatziki and roasted red pepper on a brioche bun. We couldn’t help but mmmmmm over every single juicy bite. I’m salivating just thinking about it. And wouldja believe it only cost $9.50?

Do you have fave spots in Brooklyn? Do share.

2 Comments November 19, 2010

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