If Bruges wasn’t on your list of places to see…
New York City is a place you must see at least once in your life. The city that never sleeps offers endless options to visitors from all over the world. If you are looking for art, architectures, great shopping or unusual food – I can promise you, you will find that and much more. Take a walk through the streets of this concrete jungle and you will discover great spots on every corner.
Here is a complete guide so you can plan your visit to one of the most inspiring cities in the world:
What to do in NYC:
– Visit the famous High Line: The High Line is a disused elevated New York Central Railroad spur that was turned into an urban park. It runs from the Meatpacking District through Chelsea until 34th street. On those former elevated railway spurs a lush park was created and turned into an atmospheric hang out spot with inviting cafés, comfortable benches and other attractions on the way. Take a stroll and see New York and the Hudson River from above. Especially in the evening this place really lively.
– Take the Staten Island Ferry: Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry during your visit. It operates between St. Georges Terminal on Staten Island and the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. From the deck you have a great view of the entire skyline as it slowly moves away from Manhattan. Have your camera ready- on the way you go past the Statue of Liberty.
The best thing is that it is absolutely free to use and you save money that you would have spent on an expensive tour to the Statue of Liberty.
– Hang out in the many parks that New York City has to offer: It may come as a surprise but NYC is actually greener than it seems and is actually the greenest city of America. So don’t miss checking out some of the lovely, lush parks.
Central Park: This is clearly not an insiders’ tip. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the city and one of the most filmed locations in the world. However this great, big park is worth mentioning. Pick a hot dog from one of the many food stalls around the entrance and go for a stroll. My favorite spot in the park is The Pond and Hallet Nature Sanctuary close to the Grand Plaza Hotel.
Bryant Park: This one was my favorite park to hang out. The Bryant Park can be found behind the New York Public Library and lots of benches, chairs and cafés invite to stay. You can even bring your laptop and do some work- there are plugs and free wifi.
Especially in summer there are great concerts and if you are visiting the city between the end of June till the end of August on every Monday you can come to see a free movie. New Yorkers usually bring a blanket and a picnic basket and take a seat on the grass in front of the big screen.
– Watch a Broadway Show
NYC is famous for its incredible shows and no where else in the world you have such a big choice of shows to see. Whether you want to see all time classics like “The Lion King” or “Phantom of the Opera” or you want to check out the newest popular shows like “Something Rotten” – here on broadway the options are endless. I saw the Blue Man Group and had an absolute blast.
One thing is to keep in mind: As soon as you know when you want to visit NYC start to plan what show to visit and when to go, then have a look at the official site for broadway tickets to book straight away: www.broadwaycollection.com
Book ahead to ensure you see the show of choice for the best seats for the best rate available. All to often travelers are disappointed to learn the show they really wanted to see is sold out upon arrival in NYC.
– Spend an afternoon in the Whitney Museum of American Art
This museum just recently opened its doors on 99 Gansevoort Street. Not only the building itself, but also the great displays are worth checking out. The museum shows American History through art and presents the full range of twentieth- century and contemporary art with a focus on living artist.
– Enjoy a drink on one of New York’s trendy rooftop bars
A popular thing to do for locals as well as visitors is to watch the sun set over the city while enjoying a drink.
Some favorite rooftop bars to check out on your next trip: Pod39, Wythe Hotel, Skylark, La Piscine at Hotel Americano, Mondrian SoHo and the MET museum roof top bar on Fridays and Saturdays.
– Plan a beach day on Coney Island
Coney Island is easy to reach from Midtown and offers a a lovely promenade by the beach. Especially in summer it is very popular to go down there to enjoy the sun on the beach or to visit the fun fair and take a ride on the roller coasters. Many cheap food places are located here and if you visit you might want to try the corn dog.
– Explore all the different New York Neighborhoods
“New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.”
All the different neighborhoods offer a different taste of the city: a different history, different nationalities, different food and a different art scene. All that makes it interesting to go exploring different areas of New York.
Make sure to visit trendy Williamsburg for great cafés and art, Little Italy for the nice atmosphere in the evening and a great meal, see Chinatown and get a massage there, stroll through the Meatpacking District where the High Line starts and don’t miss to visit upcoming Brooklyn. Take a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to get there. It connects Brooklyn with Manhattan.
Don’t forget to have your eyes open and be curious to try lots of new things.
Still looking for more ideas on what to do in NYC? I can recommend you to check out this article telling you the 25 best things to do in New York City.
Where to eat in NYC:
– Jack’s Wife Freda: New Yorkers love going out for brunch. This lively bistro executing American-Mediterreanean cooking and classic cocktails can be found in 224 Lafayette Street and 50 Carmine Street. You can come here to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had brunch there and if you go to eat there, try the green Shashuka and the homemade fries. Yum!
– Panna 2: Just to warn you: After a visit to this restaurant every other restaurant will appear boring to you. This is a restaurant that words can’t do justice. You simply have to check it out yourself. It is a crazy Indian restaurant that offers quality Indian food at a wallet friendly price. A menu for two comes as cheap as 15$ per person and you can bring your own drinks along. It is very small and has a crazy ambiance with the entire place being decorated with christmas tree lights and chili pepper lights.
– Pepe Rosso Social: This is a solid casual Italian restaurant off the main street in Little Italy with a cozy ambiance and a good selection of tasty dishes that are all well priced. The Penne Vodka there was really, really good.
– Smorgasburg Food Festival: Want to try the ramen burger everyone is talking about or sink your teeth in a slow smoked pulled pork sandwich? Then you have to visit Smorgasburg. This outdoor food festival takes place on Saturdays in East River State Park in Williamsburg and on Sundays in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Try great food and drink creations from around 75 vendors while enjoying the vibe.
Where to stay in NYC:
– Renting an apartment: Why don’t you experience New York like a local by renting a beautifully designed mysuites apartment in a trendy New York neighborhood. Read about my stay with them here.
Getting around NYC:
– Subway: The best and fastest way to get around NYC is by Subway. If you are planning to stay longer than a day or two get the 7-Day Unlimited Metro Card. Included in the price of 31$ are unlimited rides on all subways and busses in the city.
– by citi bike: This system allows you to take bikes from docking stations around Manhattan and Brooklyn. A short-term membership will cost you 25 $ for a week and with a code that you will get you can unlock bikes from numerous docking stations and use the bike for 30 minutes and then park it somewhere else.
– by walking: You will be surprised how much you can see in New York just by walking. All the main attractions in Manhattan are within walking distance and you see much more of the city then getting to places just by subway. The outline of the city makes it also very easy to navigate.
– by uber/taxi: Especially late at night I think it is really comfortable to get home is by calling a taxi or uber. Don’t worry it is not that expensive.
Now it is your turn: What are your highlights in New York? What can you recommend?