The Big Apple. The Concrete Jungle. The City that Never Sleeps. Call it as you wish, New York City is all of those things and more. Last May, we had the opportunity to visit the city which sits on the top of our bucket list for many years now. Despite the freezing cold and occasional rainfall, we fell in love with the place. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most quirky and progressive cities in the world. After months of creating our one week itinerary to the Big Apple, learning the whereabouts of the spots we want to visit, considering the weather, budget and all – here’s a short guide to NYC for first timers like us.
Where to Stay
Stay in Manhattan as it’s centrally located and in easy walking distance of the city sights. The hotel we stayed in was extremely convenient to subway, buses and NYC attractions like the Central Park and Metropolitan Museum. However, getting to the hotel from the JFK airport wasn’t easy. It’s more than an hour journey – 2 subway transfers plus a lot of walking is required.
Things to See
We spend 7 fascinating days visiting the typical tourist attractions of the city – Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, 9/11 Museum, The MET, Brooklyn Bridge, Flatiron Building, Broadway show, AMNH, Ellis Island, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Highline, Battery Park, Chelsea Market, Wall Street district, NY Public Library. Even though we’ve seen some of them a thousand times in movies and photos, nothing beats the feeling of witnessing New York’s most famous landmarks with your own eyes.
What to Eat
There is so much diversity within New York’s gastronomical scene. We literally never run out of something new and exciting to tantalize our taste buds. From the hotdog stands spread around the city, corn in a cub of Café Habana, banana pudding from Magnolia’s bakery and of course the frozen hot chocolate of Serendipity, there really is something for everyone here.
Subway is a life-saver in New York. We took only subways while roaming around the city. It was the cheapest, fast and convenient way from Manhattan to Brooklyn or to any neighbourhood here. Getting a cab is relatively expensive in this city so riding a subway is a good option.
If you’re a first timer like us, this is a basic guide for you. Choosing to visit the typical sights doesn’t mean we forget to discover new things while in the Big Apple. You should create your own musings too! Yes, the city is huge, extreme, and intimidating at times but it’s also astonishing, exciting, and generous all at once. So with our cameras on hand and a perfect travel partner we made sure every memory counts in the city that never sleeps.