It’s probably on everyones bucket list to visit New York at some stage and after my experience, I can definitely say: it’s totally worth it, go for it! The city has so many more things to offer than people know about, it is a city full of popular as well as hidden gems!
Where we stayed: Brooklyn via http://www.airbnb.com
How long to stay in NY: around 5 days
Price level: it depends. Food / groceries are rather more expensive
– Rockefeller Center/ Top of the Rocks
– Empire State Building
– Central Park
– Brooklyn Bridge
– Times Square
– Little Italy
– High Line
Rockefeller Center/ Top of the Rocks
I would consider this as one of my absolute favourite things to see in New York as I’ve always wanted to see the city from above. Top of the Rock offers great 360° views over the whole city and although the queue was massive, up there it wasn’t croweded at all and you could easily take pictures everywhere! I was quite disappointed thouh that I wasn’t allowed to bring up my tripod to the top as I carried it around all day… (and it wasn’t even a big one). But on the Empire State Building you weren’t allowed either.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building might be more famous and has got a fancy name but I personally didn’t like it as much as I liked the Rockefeller Center. We went there in the afternoon to see the sunset and the city at night as we’ve seen it during the day already, but when wegot up there, it was SOOOO crowded, you can’t even imagine… There were people everywhere and you couldn’t even reach to the front to take a picture. Maybe we went there the wrong time (around 5pm) but it was still quite busy after we waited for a while. The view of course was amazing! We absolutely loved that! But there is just more space on top of the Rockefeller Center than on the Empire State Building. You should probably go there anyway, just to be able to experience day and night from both buildings.
Who doesn’t wanna stroll around Central Park one day… It was sooo beautiful to walk around all the beautiful little walkways and alleys, you could get completely lost in there as it’s 10 times bigger than you can imagine. It’s just so different from the busy city that it seems like a short break to go there for a picnic or just to relax from a big day exploring everything else. One thing you shouldn’t miss: the little lake we found from where you had an amazing view at the skyscrapers behind the park („The Pond“):
It was amazing to set foot on the bridge in the morning when the sun was just about to rise and before it was starting to get busy. We had a great time there and went back twice, the feeling of walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan was just incredible (especially for me who’s never been there before). Don’t just go there to see the Bridge itself, walk from one end to the other, it’s definitely worth it!
Before we went there everyone said Times Square to be the thing that makes you feel tiny in big apple – and it definitely did! We came out of the subway and couldn’t believe our eyes, people everywhere!!! But it didn’t even matter because the feeling of being one of those thousands of people was just beyond words. We walked around there forever because there were just so many impressions and and things to see which is why we came back every day. We also had dinner very close to Times Square, the restaurant was called Bucca di Beppo, they serve delicious Italian food! (http://www.bucadibeppo.com/restaurants/ny/times-square/)
This little part of NY was recommended to us by several people and I have to say: you can spend a looot of time exploring Little Italy. There are so many cute side streets, shops, cafés and restaurants, it doesn’t even seem to be part of New York but more like some small European town… If you liked Little Italy you could also go to SoHo as there are many cute little alleyways, beautiful graffiti walls and possibilities for having a coffee as well!
The High Line (or High Line Park) is a 2.5km park through New York that was built on an elevated section of a disused railroad. High Line has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway and park on which you can walk through the city on a higher level with lots of possibilities to relax on one of their numerous benches and seating areas- grab your food and take a break up, it’s pretty cool! Gansevoort Market is an amazing and very beautiful food court nearby any they have a huge variety of food: from Korean, Vietnamese, Italian, sea food, but also burgers, donuts and other delicious specialities.
Other beautiful sights of NYC
– Statue of Liberty
– Dumbo Park
– One World Observatory
– 5th Avenue
How we got around?!
We bought a 72 hours Hop on Hop off bus ticket for the first three days so we could get an overview of the city. We did it with „Gray line“ but I don’t really think there’s a big difference. The good thing about Gray Line was that they offered five different tours (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens and a night tour which was absolutely amazing!!) so you could get to know all parts of the city. In addition to that our ticket was some kind of combo of the bus and sights tickets (we could choose up to 5 different sights or lunch / dinner options in several restaurants for free). If you’ve never been I’d recommend to do that because walking around everywhere will simply be too much and you’ll save a lot of money by having those 5 sights included in your ticket. Have fun and enjoy your time in New York, you’ll love it!!