As you may have seen from my Instagram last weekend I was in New York – the city that never sleeps. True, but you don’t have to miss your 8 hours in order to see the whole city in a long weekend because I am going to show you how to see everything and still give you time to relax and enjoy yourself.
The key is to have a plan, not a minute by minute plan but some kind of rough outline of things that you might want to see. If you don’t know what the best way to plan a weekend away is, no need to fret. I will be posting a separate blog post on what the best way to prepare for a trip away is. In the mean time if you don’t have a plan or simply don’t know what you should try to see in New York read on because I will give you a break down on what I did.
- Grand Central Station – You won’t be there long but it is a must see, the marble floor’s and high ceilings are magnificent. Good picture opportunity on the balcony.
- Times Square – just a short walk from GCS, this isn’t to be rushed. The day I was there the weather was beautiful so I just sat in the centre people watching.
- Magnolia Bakery – Only a few blocks away from TS, the Banana Pudding is a must try. I will add I don’t like bananas, honestly, I hate them. But a friend told me about the banana pudding and said I wouldn’t regret it. Ooooooooh my it was amazing. So good I went back later on that day for more.
- High Line – Although it is a bit far away from TS & MB, after my Banana Pudding I headed to The High Line. The High Line is an old train track that has been turned into a pedestrianised walkway that runs along the west side of the Manhattan, it makes you forget you are in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
- Times Square at night – I thought it was impressive during the day. I was wrong. You have to see TS both during the day and the night.
- Dinner – So, I will admit. Despite every warning I was given not to eat around the TS area I did it. And regret it. My Dad told me there is no point in me getting a 45 min cab across NYC to go and find places I found on my Instagram explore page. So we went somewhere near TS that had 4.6/5 stars on Google. It was Japanese and we queued for an hour (presumed this was a good sign). It was called ‘Sake Bar Hagi’ and it was a waste of a meal in New York. (Should have known when I saw the picture menu)
- 5th Avenue – There is so much to see in such a small area around 5th avenue. The Rockefeller Centre, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trump Tower. Ending in Central Park. The Bottom of the Rockefeller Centre (where the ice rink is in winter) is an amazing location to go and have a drink on a sunny afternoon.
- Central Park – There are a few bike rental shops around the park but we just walked. There are is the ‘main’ lake with the row boats and the restaurant and there is a smaller one just near it. We sat at both for a while, they were both gorgeous. Beside the small lake there was a little coffee shop with surprisingly reasonable and tasty sandwiches, cakes and giant cookies.
- Dylan’s Candy Bar – For people like me with a serious sweet tooth you will be in heaven. For people who don’t love sweets, you may want to cover your mouth and nose. It isn’s necessarily any better than any other sweet shop, just it is one of those things people do when in New York so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and see what all the hype is about. No real hype, just sugar.
- Urban Space – We found this little food market just beside our hotel, it was really trendy with close to 20 food vendors (something for everyone in the audience) and a communal seating area. Lunch or Dinner is sorted, now your only problem will be trying to choose and getting a seat. Honestly can’t recommend this place enough, I went back to this place a few times on my stay and absolutely loved it every single time.
- Refinery Hotel – Close to the Empire State Building there is a Hotel with a roof-top bar. It isn’t very high so you won’t be getting amazing views of the city, but it is a very trendy and cool place to go and have a drink or some food. When I was there 75% of it was covered over due to winter so don’t count it out if it is a bad night. I only had a drink there but be aware you will have to fight for a place at the bar on a Saturday night.
- Hundred Acres – We went for dinner in Soho, unfortunately, it was raining but I would have loved to have a walk around down there. We went for dinner in a restaurant called Hundred Acres. All of the dishes seemed normal but when they were brought out they had a Lebanese twist. Which was surprising but tasty.
- 9/11 Memorial – In the morning we got a taxi to the memorial, pictures don’t do it any justice it was vastly overwhelming. The museum is a MUST. If you bring a US student card you get a discount to get in. This museum can’t be rushed. Leave around 2 hours to get through it all. It is pretty full on but hugely insightful.
- One World Observatory @ One World Trade Centre – Right next door there is an observatory on the 100th floor of the One World Trade Centre. You have to pay to get in but, the views were spectacular you can see the whole city especially on a good day.
- Pizza by the slice – Go and get yourself a slice of Joe’s Pizza. At only $2.95 per slice you won’t be breaking the bank but won’t be compromising on taste. The thin and crispy base is what dreams are made of. It can be found at numerous locations around the city.
- Broadway – You have to go to a show if you are in New York. You can get discounted tickets at the big red booth in Times Square ‘TKTS’. I know during the summer you have to queue for them but when I was there it was a lot quieter so we were able to walk straight up an hour before the show and buy them (At busier times I would recommend going to get your tickets early when the booth opens to avoid dissappointment). There were tickets available between $35 USD and $90 USD. We went to ‘School of Rock’ it was amazing, I would highly recommend it. Warning: drinks are really expensive in the theater.
- Ellen’s Stardust Diner – We went here for a drink before the show, it is great fun watching the waiters and waitresses hop up onto the tables in song. Having said that, I have heard the food is terrible. So if possible try and go and sit at the bar for a drink (it is small so not ideal for a party bigger than 2/3).
- Angelo’s Pizza Broadway – If you are looking for some quick yet delicious dinner before your show instead of just a drink, check out my post on New York – Angelo’s Pizza Broadway.
- Brooklyn Bridge – Get yourself down towards the Brooklyn Bridge, it is a gorgeous walk across to Brooklyn on a sunny day but I imagine it wouldn’t be as pleasant in the wind and rain. It is a great photo opportunity and Brooklyn gives you a stunning view of the Manhattan sky line. When you get off the bridge walk back towards the water. There are lovely benches where you can sit in the sun and enjoy your Shake Shack Milkshake.
- East River Ferry – To save yourself the walk back across the bridge get a $4 water taxi ride on the ‘East River Ferry’ back across to the bottom of Wall Street.
- Wall Street – Walk your way up Wall Street past all of the tall buildings and artisan coffee shops. You will come to the stunning New York Stock Exchange.
- Soho – Walking through Soho is different to other parts of the city, it is a less built up and trendy area filled with unique little shops. Can lead onto Union Square.
- Union Square – Always something going on here, it was one of the busiest places I was in in New York. Chess fan? There seemed to be some kind of tournament going on, if that’s what you are into. There appeared to be a ‘Whole Foods’ around this area as we saw loads of people with takeaway boxes eating in the sun.
I really hope that this has been able to give you guys a good idea about how to get everything done in one weekend in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Enjoy it, it is one of the best cities I have ever been to! If you are unsure about where to stay check out my recent article New York Accommodation – Pod 51, and if you want to know about some more places to get some sweet treats have a look at New York’s Sweet Treats.
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The Girl on the Go xx