Following my last post about my trip to New York I am now going to write about my favourite places to go/things to do there! Of course the city is so huge that even after visiting twice there are still many more things to see and do but here’s just a few suggestions. Before I begin I just want to say that the Subway is so useful, make sure you use it to get around instead of a taxi as the traffic is just horrendous. However, unlike the London Underground there are hardly any maps in the Subway Stations. Also so many stores and fast food places have WiFi so don’t ever worry about getting lost. I spent a lot of time pretending I was buying something from Starbucks for their free WiFi. And in no particular order…
- American Museum of Natural History
They have a suggested amount you can pay for a ticket at the door but you can literally pay however much you like to get into the museum and you can see absolutely everything apart from the exhibitions which cost extra. Don’t get lured into these, for example there’s one called ‘Dinosaurs Among Us’ and my boyfriend and I assumed that this was the only part of the museum that was about dinosaurs. Thankfully after talking to a staff member its only a small section and there is basically a floor dedicated to dinosaurs in the general museum.
- Rockefeller Centre Tour and Top of the Rock
Even though this may be the biggest expense of the trip I would definitely recommend going to the Rockefeller viewing decks over the Empire State Building. Just because you can get an amazing view of Manhattan including the Empire State. The tour was so interesting and probably one of my favourite parts of the trip even though I’m not usually an art fan, it’s definitely worth doing that. In the winter, outside the Rockefeller Centre there is an ice rink, shops, stunning Christmas lights and a huge Christmas Tree.
- Ice Skating in Central Park
If you’re going to NYC in Winter the ice rink in Central Park is definitely worth a visit. Try to get there early as it can get very busy. Monday-Thursday an adult ticket is only $12 if you have your own skates and an extra $9 if you don’t. There is also locker hire for $11 including a $6 refundable deposit. More information can be found here.
Talking a walk around the park is also something you must do. It’s beautiful even in the winter so take time out of the ‘city that never sleeps’ and relax in the park.
- New York Water Taxi
This is definitely a must thing to do in NYC personally. You can buy an all-day access pass where you can hop on and off around lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. It takes you very close to the Statue of Liberty where you can get perfect photos of it and also the Manhattan Skyline (the featured photo for this post and my last one were taken on the Water Taxi). More information is available here.
- Financial district
We only spent an hour in this part of Manhattan viewing the Twin Tower Memorial, New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street and Trinity Church. You used to have to buy a ticket to enter the Twin Tower Memorial but it is now just a part of the street which is lovely as people can walk past and pay their respects whenever.
- Grand Central Station
This is definitely worth a visit, its beautiful inside and also been featured in many movies! When we went last December there was an indoor market (not sure if this is there all year round) but there are so many shops and places to eat anyway!
- The New York Public Library
For all you book lovers (and movie lovers) out there this is definitely worth a short visit. Located on fifth avenue its easily accessible and is free to enter, very beautiful on the inside. Movies such as ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984) and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ (2004) were filmed here. We never got round to seeing the Bryant Park Winter Village (sorry to my boyfriend) but I’ve heard great things. This is situated behind the New York Public Library with an ice rink in the winter.
- Times Square
You can’t go to NYC and not go to Times Square. Try to take a walk around in the evening as you will be mesmerised by all the screens that surround you. There are many stores around this area such as Sephora, H&M, a Disney Store (If you’re a fan of Disney then you need to see this place), Forever 21 and much more! It is very busy but you shouldn’t expect anything less.
Ah yes, shopping! You have to head to Macy’s. It’s a huge department store and has everything you could imagine from restaurants to a bridal store. It’s going to take you more than one day if you want to get around the entire place. It apparently was also the world’s first building to have a modern day escalator which you can still use to this day. Now if you’re from Britain, the exchange rate is awful right now but that still doesn’t mean you can’t bag some amazing deals. Going in December meant that so many stores had sales happening, my Boyfriend managed to buy a $200 coat for only $50 from Macy’s. Take a walk down 5th avenue too as there are so many stores along there. Muji on 5th has bean bags you can sit on downstairs and free wifi which is fabulous when you’ve been walking around all day.
Although Manhattan is probably where you will spend most of your trip don’t forget about Brooklyn. Unfortunately we only spent one day there but Brooklyn Heights is beautiful and the view of the Manhattan skyline from there is amazing. We missed the opportunity to see the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens but it is free at certain times so check online before you go! Definitely take a walk along Brooklyn bridge on the way back, if you go in the evening the view is breathtaking.