After a few visits to New York and having my parents recently move there, I’d say that by now, I’ve proudly become somewhat of a big apple connoisseur.
What you see in the city that never sleeps depends how slowly or quickly you want to go, your budget, and whether you’re travelling solo, with a partner or in a group. But one of the great things about NYC is that you could easily see it all in 3 days or in 10, alone or with friends, cheaply or luxuriously. So for whichever type of trip, here’s a list of must-dos I’ve compiled that you absolutely cannot miss if it’s your first trip to the concrete jungle.
- See the lights of Times Square
- Watch a Broadway Show – if you choose Hamilton, make sure to buy your ticket roughly a year in advance
- Walk all of 5th Avenue – don’t spend all your money here, otherwise you can’t do the rest of this list
- Go to the Top of the Rockefeller Centre (Top of the Rock) by the day – this way you can take a picture of the Empire State Building from up high
- Go to the top of the Empire State Building by night – a great place to propose to someone
- Observe the commuters at Grand Central Station
- Pop into St Patrick’s Cathedral
- Take a tour of the NBC Studios at 30 Rock
- Appreciate the architecture of the Flat Iron Building and Chrysler Building
- Take a picture in front of the United Nations Headquarters
- Take a picture outside of the Trump Tower
- Take a walk in the High Line
- Take a walk in Bryant Park
- For art enthusiasts, visit the Whitney Museum of American Art
- Watch a Knicks game at Maddison Square Garden
- Go shopping at the Oculus inside the new World Trade Centre
- Continue the shopping at Brookfield Place
- Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero
- Visit Battery Park and Battery Gardens
- Walk around Soho (the artist’s colony) and Tribeca
- Eat a pizza in Little Italy
- Eat some noodles in Chinatown
- Chelsea Market (Greenwhich Village)
- Walk around New York University (NYU) and Washington Square Park
- Visit Wall Street to see the Charging Bull and the New York Stock Exchange
- Meet a friend for lunch at Union Square Park
- Ride a bike in Central Park (Catch John Lennon’s ‘imagine’ memorial sign, see the animals at Central Park Zoo or smell the roses in Shakespeare Garden)
- Get cultured at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of National History, and Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts
- Spend some time at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum of modern art
- Watch a baseball match at the Yankee stadium
- Pretend you’re in Gossip Girl by walking around the very cool Upper East Side
Outside of Manhattan
- Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to spend an afternoon in Brooklyn and hang around DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) with the best views of Manhattan. Make sure to walk along the Brooklyn Promenade and visit Brooklyn Heights
- Take a daytrip to Coney Island
- Museum of The Moving Image (Astoria, Queens)
- Book a train ticket to escape the city for the day to Bannerman Castle, Tarrytown, New Haven, or Dia:Beacon.
- Take a ferry to Ellis Island, Staten Island and The Statues of Liberty (the State Island Ferry is free and runs every half hour. When boarding from downtown Manhattan, stand on the right of the ferry to get the best views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The round trip will take only an hour and costs nothing!)
And here’s some of my all time FAVOURITE….
- See Manhattan from above by taking a doors-off helicopter trip with Flynyon
- Mott St (Lower Manhattan)
- Arlo Nomad Hotel
- Washington St (Brooklyn)
- Lotte New York Palace
- Anywhere on the NYC Subway!
- Stardust Diner for breakfast (Midtown)
- Broken Coconut for coffee (Lower Manhattan)
- Eately for lunch (Lower Manhattan)
- DŌ confectionary for cookie dough dessert (Lower Manhattan)
- The Odeon for dinner (Tribeca)
- Joe’s Pizza for anytime of the day!
- Katz Deli (Lower Manhattan) for some mean pastrami….. yum!
- The Knickerbocker Hotel (this is a hotel in busy times square that you can go up to the rooftop bar called St. Cloud
- 230 Fifth (Another rooftop bar facing the Empire State Building with igloos in the winter and palm trees in the summer)
- Haven Rooftop Bar (can you tell I like rooftops?)
- Refinery Bar – Also rooftop (sorry) and beautiful view of the Empire State.
- Jimmy’s Corner (possibly the cheapest drinks you’ll have in NYC – old school bar with a boxing theme – great to please those with boyfriends!)
Disclaimer: All the comments, opinions and views expressed here represent my own.