Writing a city guide for a place like New York is quite the feat. With a city so large and with so many different things to see, there is simply no way you can cover all the bases.
As this was both mine and Dom’s second trip to the city we decided to take things at a leisurely pace, ticking things off as we hopped between coffee shops and walks in the park. Since we were there for a good five days instead of our usual long weekend adventures we managed to see all the things we wanted and not be completely frazzled by the end of a day in the city.
Here are a few things I would highly recommend if you’re visiting NYC sometime soon.
Where to stay:
We had a little hiccup with our Airbnb on this trip, so much so that we didn’t stay for the whole trip and decided to move to a hotel. I have since heard that Airbnb is now illegal in NYC and so for the first time ever on Girlglobalising I’m not going to recommend using it for your trip.
Hotels don’t come cheap in the city so shop around as much as you can to find a good deal. We almost opted for the Hudson Hotel which looked fairly reasonable (price wise) and very nice (interiors wise). We ended up in the Nu Hotel across the river in Brooklyn which has to be one of the nicest, most stylish hotels I’ve stayed in. After the debacle with our Airbnb it definitely turned our trip around once we were settled there.
What to do:
There doesn’t really need to be a list of what to do in NYC – I’m sure everyone has things they want to tick off their bucket list and don’t need me repeating myself over here. So I will give a brief overview of the things we did that are slightly less obvious than Liberty Island and the Empire State.
The High Line – This is one of my favourite things from our trip. The old highrise train line has been converted into a walkway and garden passing right down through Manhattan and ending in the Meatpacking District. A lovely way to see the city from a different angle and an unexpected garden in the concrete jungle. And completely free of charge.
Central Park – A slightly more obvious choice, but I missed out on this on my first visit to the city, so made up for it this time. Enter in the bottom corner of the Upper East side and follow the park round to the Boating Lake for the express tour of the park. It was absolutely beautiful in the Autumn and clearly a favourite for all the couples having engagement photos taken. Also free of charge.
American Museum of Natural History – One for a rainy day. A huge museum that takes a while to get around, but have some great exhibitions, particularly the Mammals sections and the Gems and Minerals section. A bit pricey at $22 but the price is optional and you can pay less if you choose.
MOMA – The Museum of Modern Art is a popular choice again and one that we didn’t actually make it to. A top tip is to go on Friday between 4 – 8pm when entrance is completely free of charge. Make sure you don’t have a backpack though, as the queue to check it will be very long and this was our downfall on our trip.
Soho and Greenwich Village – Two places to just wander around and take in the sights and sounds of NYC. Not too far is West Village as well, perfect for a leisurely day of shopping!
Brooklyn Bridge – Heading across the water I highly recommend taking a scroll across the Brooklyn Bridge to take in the skyline of the financial district. Time it either in the early morning or at dusk as the sun is setting to make the most of the photo opportunities.
Brooklyn and Williamsburg – Explore the quieter side of NYC – as quiet as it gets anyway! Wander around the unique independent shops and maybe head to a flea market. We went to Brooklyn Flea which is hosted in an old bank and is worth it just to take in the setting.
Brooklyn Brewery – Another Brooklyn based attraction. The Brewery offer many tours to learn how the popular beer is produced, but if you head there between 12-6pm on a Saturday then it’s completely free. Be prepared to queue for a little bit though.
Sprinkles Cupcake ATM – Worth it for the Instagram opportunity, but that cake is pretty tasty too. It only takes card, but the shop just next to it will take cash.
What to eat:
It’s hard to pinpoint good places to eat in a city so big and varied as NYC. But I have a few suggestions, mainly brunch, lunch and snack places but they’re everyone’s favourites, right?
Dough Donuts – Literally the size of your face. They come in all the flavours under the sun and you may be best to share these (only if you want to though…)
Jack’s Wife Frieda – A hugely popular choice, so much so that we couldn’t get a table. But everyone must go there for a reason, so try and squeeze in if you can.
Blue Stone Coffee – Where we actually ended up after the Jack’s Wife Frieda debacle. We had massive chicken club sandwiches and coffee, so nothing bad to say here.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Found hidden away in Greenwich village, Stumptown came to the rescue when we were looking for somewhere to hide from the rain. Very nice coffee indeed.
Brooklyn Heights Cafe – In Brooklyn (duh) serving everything from burgers, to salads, to seafood and in very atmospheric surroundings. Make sure to wander down to the river front afterwards.
The Butchers Daughter – A recommendation you will have no doubt seen on Instagram. We popped in for breakfast on the first morning and had soft boiled eggs and coffee, but they also had some very nice (and healthy) looking juices.
Other places that we didn’t make it too but were noted on my list – Egg Shop, Buvette, Black Seed Bagels, By Chloe, Cafe Henrie, Meatball Shop, Union Fare.
I think this may be the lengthiest of my city guides so far! But there is just so much to see and do in NYC that it was never going to be a short post. Feel free to add any more recommendations in the comments, in case anyone is heading off there soon – and for my next trip too!