In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of….
I was going to make this a guide to seeing New York in 24 hours or less but then I thought WHO AM I KIDDING?!?! NYC is far too fabulous to only go for 24 hours, or if you really can only go for a few days it is absolutely essential you go back another time.
This city is so phenomenal and I feel like I could go back 1,000 times and never see it all. For those of you who have visited before I am sure you know what I am talking about, that buzz that comes over you as soon as you land, that hustle and bustle no matter where you look something is always happening. It really is the city that never sleeps! And for those of you that are yet to visit, I urge you to do so as soon as possible because it really is an electric city that you will not forget.
Ok so as I mentioned I could go on and on for hours and EVERYTHING because there is so much to see and do but I will TRY and narrow it down to the things I believe are the essentials…. Ahh this will be tough.
1: Top of the Rock
You know that iconic birds eye view of NYC that you see in everyones travel photos?? That view can be found by going up to the top of the Rockeffeler Center. A few tips for doing so, depending on the time of year you go the view can be unclear some days if weather is bad. Hazy, snowy, rainy etc. So you can wait until you arrive in NYC and then book once you see how the weather is, or you can pre book online before arriving. Either way I would definitely advise booking as there is time slots and only a certain amount of people are allowed up at one time. And if you do happen to book tickets for a day and then the weather is so terrible that there is little to no visibility they will happily exchange your tickets for another day.
Another tip I would give is to allow yourself plenty of time up there. Once you get up and realise how incredible the view is you will know what I mean. I would also recommend going up late afternoon and watching the sun set, you will then get day and night views and be able to get some phenomenal photos. I loved seeing the contract of both views. And my final tip, if you go in winter DRESS WARM and I mean really warm. It is sooooo cold up there the wind is insane and you just won’t enjoy yourself if you are shivering cold.
2: Brooklyn Bridge
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge…. there is nothing else to it! I would recommend doing it first thing in the morning, its gorgeous with the sun coming up and everything is fresh on a new day. The walk probably takes about 30 minutes give or take depending on how many times you stop. Take your time, enjoy the views, make some memories and enjoy it!! I seriously loved this experience, it was magical. You get awesome views of the city from a slightly different angle. Once you get to Brooklyn walk around and explore, there are some amazing restaurants and cafes and you will deserve a treat after that walk.
I’m not going to go into detail because I will be here forever, but if you are over that side of town I recommend checking out Wall Street before or after you walk the bridge, its not too far from the entry to the bridge and its super interesting. I love the old buildings and cobblestone streets.
3: Greenwich Village
Carrie Bradshaw’s front stoop ringing any bells?? Yes thats right, this area is home to many scenes from Sex & The City but I have also learnt there is so much beauty and charm that really must be seen! I ADORE this area and if I lived in NYC I imagine myself living here. With endless cute cafes, restaurants, bars, parks etc it is breathtaking.
My first recommendation would be if you are looking for brunch you must go to Bluestone Lane it is ahmazzzzzinnnnnggg! Yes I may be biased but it has an Australian flare clearly shining through. It gives off a relaxed beachy vibe with minimalistic decor and lets just talk about the food and coffee for a second…. YUMMMM! I suggest ordering the brekkie board!
Once you have had brunch there are plenty of cute shops to drop some money in and endless streets to get lost in.
If you want to check out the area at night we had great fun at The Comedy Cellar, make sure you book as it sells out fast. The shows are hilarious and you can order food and drink while inside at your table. Its a fun night out and then afterwards you can bar hop as there is plenty to choose from.
4: Central Park
I don’t think I really need to say this one because you all know. Central Park, its beautiful at any time of the year. Winter wonderland when covered in snow is pure magic but Iv’e also seen it without snow and its incredible. You can get lost wandering in here for hours. In the winter time they have a great ice skating rink and hot chocolate to warm you up. There are wonderful musicians and artists all around doing their thing, its so wonderful.
I love strolling around with a coffee, people watching and watching the cute squirrels and birds. If you and your significant other are up for some romance, why not take a horse and carriage ride through the park. Hint Hint to your partner, he or she will score some serious brownie points for this!!
5: Flatiron District
I know you have all seen the pictures of that stunning, old world flat looking building. It’s iconic and with good reason. Its a sight that must be seen, I love to sit in Maddison Square Park which is right next door, it’s so pretty in the summer time. Enjoy the tables and chairs on offer (and maybe some sneaky Shake Shack as there is one in the park) and watch the yellow cabs go by the Flatiron.
While you are in the area you have got to visit Eataly . It is a whole space bursting with Italian cuisine and goodies. Warning, do not, I repeat do not go here on an empty stomach! It is a feast for the eyes and senses, wall to wall Italian eateries. You can eat at the restaurants there or buy some fresh ingredients to take home if you have a kitchen where you are staying. Pizza, pasta, gelato, espresso, meats, cheeses the list goes onnnnnnn.
If you are into designer shopping, this is is the area for you. High end, beautiful boutiques all set on cobblestone street in beautiful old buildings. What’s not to love?!
7: Chelsea Market
If you are a foodie like me, you absolutely must visit Chelsea Market. Similar to Eataly this is wall to wall food, drinks, and delicious treats from all around the world. All different cuisines there is definitely something for everyone. Its such fun to walk through there seeing everyone buzzing about enjoying themselves and the vendors are so passionate about their food! If I had to recommend one stall it would be the Seafood Market, the lobster roll is perfecto and the fresh oysters are best enjoyed with a chilled glass of vino. Bon Appetite!
And while you are there you should definitely walk The High Line. Its a lovely walk that gives you some great views.
For anyone with a little kid inside of them somewhere you must visit Serendipity. Its outrageous and fun interior will have you grinning from ear to ear. There are knick knacks everywhere and as far as the eye can see there is something colourful to look at. Now what to order as the menu is huge. Three words…. FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE!!!! This overflowing bowl of chocolatey goodness is INSANE and will have you slurping up the goodness and wondering how you ever lived without this in your life. It is hugeeeee so best shared amongst friends unless you are prepared to be out for the rest of the day with a very full belly. Word of warning it is very very very busy here, especially around the holidays as its an institution. You can book but even bookings rarely get seated on time so be prepared to put your name down and go away and entertain yourself for a while. The wait will be worth it, trust me!
9: Times Square
I don’t really think this needs too much introduction. Times Square is touristy and busy, like really really busy and some might say tacky but I still believe you have to see it at least once. Its a bit of fun and you will see nothing else like it in your life. There are some crazy sights to see, my one tip. WALK FAST and don’t let go of your friends hand. It is very easy to lose someone here and there are big crowds especially around the holidays so just keep your eyes open and you will be fine. Go down check it out, take some pics and get out haha!
10: Grand Central Station
This beauty of a building is like stepping back in time. Its so gorgeous and I am in awe every time I visit it. You don’t need to spend long here so it won’t take up too much of your precious vacay but I do recommend stopping by for a look. There is also some restaurants inside now so if you fancy relaxing with a drink and watching it all happen then you can do that. I just find it so fascinating that after all this time this incredible piece of architecture is still being used for transport and helping people to get where they need to go.
Ok I’m going to stop there but just quickly without going into too much details some other must do/eat/see things below if you have a bit more time on your hands during your visit.
- Eat some famous NYC pizza
- East a street hotdog
- If you go over the holidays look at the Macy’s Christmas window display
- Go ice skating at Rockeffeler Center
- Stroll down Park Avenue
- Go and see a theatre show on Broadway
- Eat some delicious steak at the famous institution Peter Lugers
- Enjoy some drinks at a rooftop bar
- Visit and or eat at Buddakan (where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner)
- Take in the beauty of the New York Public Library
- Take a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty
- Go see a Yankees baseball game
- Spend the day at Coney Island
- Visit the 9/11 Memorial
- Take in a game at Madison Square Garden
So there you have it, go and enjoy all the incredible things New York City has to offer!