New York is one of my favourite cities! I used to make a point of visiting every year. Looking at my list of things to do in New York below, I think its about time I took another trip …
1. Spend a few hours in Central Park
I just love Central Park, have brunch in the Boathouse or even a coffee depending on the time you visit. Watch a baseball match, take a canoe across the lake, check out the John Lennon memorial, ice skate in the winter; you can even go to the zoo! This park is so massive a few hours will only scratch the surface, but its a great spot to escape the madness that is New York City.
2. Visit the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
No trip to New York would be complete without a trip to the iconic Statue of Liberty. It is one of the top things to do in New York, so if you want to climb into the crown, make sure you book in advance. While you are there it would be a shame not to visit its neighbour Ellis Island. This moving museum gives incredible insight into American immigration. You can even search for your relatives in their database of over 51 million records.
3. Have lunch at Eataly
A mixture of an Italian food court and a gourmet market, the world famous Eataly is the perfect choice for a quick bite.
4. Go to the Top of the Rock
Take the interactive lift to the top of the Rockefeller centre and get unrivalled views over the city. The open air observation deck is modern and spacious and for me is a better alternative to the Empire State building.
5. Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The reflecting pools are a tribute to those who lost their lives in the terror attacks. For most of us we will remember the event personally so a visit to the memorial museum is a truly emotional experience. The whole area has been rejuvenated and the Oculus building is an architectural masterpiece.
6. Shop till you drop!
Whether you choose Macys or Bloomingdales, the discount store TK Maxx or more subtle shopping in Soho, New York is THE place to shop! If all that isn’t enough for you, take a trip to the outlets at Woodbury Common and gets lots of designer shopping at a fraction of the cost at home. For more info on shopping in New York read my blog here.
7. Take time out at the High Line
Locals think this is one of the coolest places in New York, personally I prefer Central Park but if you want to live like the locals this is the cool thing to do! This park which was once an old railroad track, is situated 30 feet above the city. Stretch out on one of the large loungers, eat a pretzel from a street vendor or have a cocktail at the luxury Standard Hotel.
8. Take in a Broadway show
From Les Mis, to Chicago, to Phantom, if its on, its on in Broadway. With over 40 theatres it is THE place to catch the best shows.
9. Eat a pastrami sandwich from a real New York deli
You have to try a piled high pastrami sandwich on rye from a local deli! It’s like coming to Dublin on your holidays and not trying Guinness!
10. Take a hop on hop off bus tour.
This is the perfect way to get your bearings, especially if it’s your first time to visit. Try to get a seat up top and get some pics of the landmarks as you pass by.
11. Walk through Times Square
This is the ‘concrete jungle where dreams are made of’. You can’t help but be blown away by the dazzling billboards and high rise blocks. Ok so maybe it’s tacky but its also a place like no other and is one of the top things to do in New York. Complete the cliche by getting a selfie with the naked cowboy and having breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner.!
12. Take a stroll through the West Village
I LOVE the West Village. You almost feel like a NewYorker when you stroll through the back streets. The combination of the brownstone buildings, quirky boutiques and the local cafes gives off a completely different vibe to mid town Manhattan. It’s the kind of place I could live in very easily!
13. Have late night supper in Balthazar
From midnight on Friday or Saturday and 11pm on Sundays, Balthazar bistro on Spring Street serves up just what you need after a night on the town.
14. Visit the Intrepid Air & Space Museum
A great place to keep the men happy! Visit the legendary Intrepid air craft carrier, step inside a submarine and see the latest space exhibition.
15. Haggle for bargains in Chinatown
This simply has to be done. Get the latest tiffany necklace or hermes bag for around $20, sure it would be rude not to!
16. Take a Movie & TV tour
See where all your favourite movies took place, while taking a tour of the city. There are lots of great photo ops too!
17. Spend an hour in the Apple Store
Check out the Genius bar, take in a workshop or simply browse the latest technology from the market leader.
18 . Visit the One World Observatory
One of New York’s newest attractions, this is also it’s tallest building. Take the lift to the 102nd floor in under 60 seconds and experience a virtual time-lapse that recreates New York’s skyline from the 1500’s to present day.
19. Take the Subway!
Ok so this many not be one of the top things to do in New York but it is one of my top tips for visitors! If you are staying uptown near Central Park and you want to go to Soho at night time, cabs can be expensive. Live like a New Yorker and take the subway! Not only will it save you a ton of money but you wont spend hours battling the city traffic.
20. Visit an art museum
A visit to the Guggenheim will not only enable you to see some of the world’s best art, but the building itself is worth the trip. Its cutting edge design has made it one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the world. With over 2 million works of art, you will need plenty of time for this one!
21. Take a trip down Wall Street
Although its another street full of high rise blocks, it does have a certain air to it. Admire the well dressed New Yorkers, check out the New York Stock Exchange and get the obligatory picture with the ‘charging bull’.
22. Have lunch al fresco
With stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Seaport is a great choice with lots of cool outdoor eateries to choose from. Check out the Abercrombie & Fitch store there too, it’s the same as 5th Avenue but without the queues! If you are spending the day the World Trade Centre, pop across to Brookfield Place for some great al fresco dining on the Hudson river. You can also see the statue of Liberty in the distance.
23. Sip a cocktail at the Plaza
Opposite Central Park, this historic landmark is one of New York’s best hotels. A timeless classic, a cocktail here will still be the thing to do twenty years from now.
24. Soak up the atmosphere in Soho
Soho’s mix of cutting edge designer shops and trendy eateries make it a must see when in New York.
25. Have a night cap in Bar 230
Have a cocktail in Manhattan’s best roof top bar and enjoy great views of the Manhattan skyline.
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I hope you liked this post on my top things to do in New York. Have I left out any of your favourites? Let me know in the comments below.