I’m not sure there’s much to say about New York that hasn’t already been said – it is an amazing city! We purchased the New York Pass in advance which gave us free entry or discounts on lots of attractions including the sightseeing tour buses which saved us a lot of money. I’ve not included the Statue of Liberty or Times Square as I’m sure any tourist would already have these at the top of their list!
Hotel: we stayed at the fantastic Marriott Residence Inn Manhattan/Central Park which was in a great location only 5 minutes walk from Times Square and Central Park. We had an amazing view from our 40th floor room.
Restaurants: One of the best things about New York is the amazing food combined with HUGE portions!
- Grimaldi’s pizzeria just over the Brooklyn Bridge – the best and biggest pizza we’ve ever had! Worth queuing for an hour to get in!
- We stumbled across Alfie’s Bar not far from our hotel – a great place for a nice dinner and a few drinks
- Five Guys is AMAZING for a cheap burger and fries- we were so happy to find that they were opening stores in the UK when we came home.
Top 10 awesome ways to spend a day in New York
1. Take a trip to Bloomingdales – shopping heaven!
Ensure to speak to a member of staff when you arrive as tourists can get a free gift if you spend over $300 – I got a lovely Bloomingdales umbrella!
2. Right opposite Bloomingdales is Dylan’s Candy Bar ….
…an essential shopping destination for any chocolate or sweets you could imagine – we bought ourselves a doughnut shaped cushion 🙂
3. History buffs should check out a Harlem walking tour
We booked ours via the New York Pass and it included a visit to the Schomberg Centre for Research in Black Culture which houses the ashes of the famous poet Langston Hughes. I studied the history of the Harlem Renaissance at university so this was definitely a highlight for me and our guide was really informative – unfortunately we chose the only day of torrential rain…
4. Go to see a sports event …
… we booked tickets for a New York Red Bulls football game (as Arsenal fans we wanted to see Thierry Henry in action), which was a great evening out – but a much lower standard of football than we were used to seeing in the Premier League in the UK!
5. Go to the top of the Empire State Building in the evening….
…to enjoy the postcard perfect panorama of the city lights
6. Go to the Top of the Rock during the day….
….to get a different perspective on the skyline. The views of Central Park are unmissable from here.
7. Spend some time reflecting at the 9/11 memorial and the museum…
….we spent a few hours here – it was quite overwhelming to take in the enormity and impact of that day’s events.
8.Take an evening boat tour …
…(with discount from our New York Pass) – this took us right up to the Statue of Liberty and around Manhattan which was another great way to enjoy the views
9. Schedule some time to explore Central Park and the High Line…
…We could have spent a whole day in Central Park but unfortunately only had a couple of hours to spare, the same with the High Line – both were great places to sit and relax and watch the world go by (and rest aching feet!)
10. Go to Greenwich Village to visit the Friends apartment block…
…when we were there we were lucky enough to be able to visit the pop up Friends cafe celebrating 20 years since the series started, and we got to sit on the famous sofa, which was totally worth queuing for an hour for!