New York City

I’ve been to New York City so many times. I tried counting over the holidays and it’s around the 10ish mark. However, I’ve visited through the ages – my first trip was when I was about 9, then through my teens, then as a student, then as a young adult, and now…whatever 27 comes under.

NYC never disappoints. As with Paris, I love the roams and always have a good time. The city’s comparable to London in my opinion – always busy, lots of people, and at times quite hectic. But you’re never bored, and there are always quirky venues and areas to explore. 

Behind the scenes: 

  • If you’ve never been to NYC before, I recommend making some kind of itinerary/checklist to ensure you do everything. There are so many touristy places (Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Centre, Central Park, Ground Zero, Empire State building etc), but also non-touristy places (Astoria, Brooklyn, Greenwich Village, Chelsea Market, The High Line, Dumbo), that you really have to narrow it down to your personal interests and how much you want to see each day. 
  • I’d recommend skating at Bryant Park if you want that experience. While Rockefeller is the most famous ice rink, I found it much smaller than what I remembered, and slightly overpriced (with that said, if you really want the Rockefeller centre experience, just do it – I don’t regret going). Bryant Park is right near Time Square and the rink is surrounded by food stalls which made for a nice atmosphere of both skaters and spectators. 
  • We didn’t use this website this time, but a few years ago I found The Skint quite useful. It’s a list of upcoming things to do around New York City that are affordable (free or cheap). I also found myself trying new things like comedy shows where comedians were testing new work. It’s a great website to find alternative things to do.
  • Rolfs NYC is a very festive bar, with Christmas decorations everywhere. I personally love it, but beware – it’s extremely busy and you will be shoulder-to-shoulder with people. We waited outside for about 15 minutes, which wasn’t bad.

Final thoughts:

  • I’d definitely recommend NYC for a city break. There’s lots to do in a range of budgets. You can enjoy beautiful hotel bars/rooftops or cheap happy hours. There are also lots of speakeasies that are mysteriously hidden so that’s worth checking out. I visited Angel Share from this list and it was really fun.
  • The subway is 24 hours so you can roam all night long! (literally)

PS – The Staten Island Ferry is a free ferry that gives you a view of the Statue of Liberty and NYC skyline. The trick is to take the lower deck entrance (almost nobody lines up here because they want the view), walk through the ferry and take the stairs to the upper deck. A quick way to avoid the long line up at the upper deck.

Central Park

Central Park

Dumbo, Brooklyn

Rolfs NYC

Rolfs NYC

 

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