So you’re in the Big Apple – where to start? 5 boroughs, so little time!
Getting Around: Uber and the legendary yellow taxis are fairly close in price. If you’re trying to save your cash for shopping, taxis aren’t recommended for long distance journeys. The subway doubles as a grand stage for many charming entertainers and is sure to be sufficient to get you from place to place. Purchase a MetroCard at a subway kiosk or vending machine (c. $7) which you can top up for your journeys. Unlike London, NY buses still take cash (yay), but they don’t give change (boo); you can use the MetroCard on the bus.
- Tip: Travelling in a group? Don’t buy more than one MetroCard; you can top up and share one card amongst you all (up to 4 people) – just pass the card back over the barrier to your mate.
- Tip: No roaming data? Download the MTA app which will allow you to access the NYC subway map and plan your routes offline.
- Must see: Grand Central Station (subway lines 4, 5, 6, 7 and S).
Culture: It’s what you came here for, right? All the things that make New York City, “New York City”. Get stuck into all the museums, galleries, theatres and sights that the concrete city has to offer!
- Art: Metropolitan Museum of Art (nearest subway: 86th Street), Museum of Modern Art (nearest subway: Fifth Avenue/53 Street)
- Science: New York Hall of Science (nearest subway: 111th Street)
- Catch a show on Broadway
- Manhattan sights: Central Park, Flat Iron Building (nearest subway: W23rd/5 Ave), Times Square (nearest subway: 42ndStreet/Port Authority Bus Terminal), Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty.
- Brooklyn sights: Brooklyn Bridge, Spike Lee’s office on South Elliot Place between Lafayette and DeKalb, Fort Greene.
Spotted: A couple of girls gossiping on the Met steps (Gossip Girl Tour, NYC May 2016).
Sports: The basketball season is October to April; get yourself to Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden to support the New York Knicks, or show up to the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn to rally behind the Brooklyn Nets. The baseball season is typically April to October; watch the world-famous Yankees play at the Yankees Stadium in the Bronx. If you’re not a fan, consider sitting in the bleachers (super high seats) they’re cheap and cheerful, plus there are big screens to capture the action! The American football season is September to February; why not go and see the NY Giants play? This wins you a trip out of the state of NY to the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Did somebody say bus trip? Hop on the bus to the Garden State from Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Music: If there are any gigs taking place, they’ll be sure to be happening at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Centre, Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, the smaller and more intimate Webster Hall or Harlem’s landmark Apollo Theatre. If in doubt, search bandsintown.com for who’s playing during your visit. If you’re in luck, you might also be around for a music festival such as The Governor’s Ball Music Festival or Afropunk (Brooklyn). Looking for a list of festivals and concerts in NYC? Look no further.
Food: Feed your soul at Sylvia’s in Harlem, then wash it all down with some drinks over the road at the Corner Social. If you want a show stopping performance served hot alongside your main, eat at the iconic Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Manhattan; your wait staff are headed for Broadway and are bursting with talent. Looking for Little Italy? Head to Mulberry Street and take your pick! Looking for China Town? Get yourself to Mott Street and explore close by! Eating locations seen on screen? How about Panna II Garden, the Indian Restaurant shown in Netflix’s Daredevil or Gossip Girl (xoxo) Blair Waldorf’s macaroon spot, Ladureé, for something sweet?
- Tip: Be prepared to tip 15-20% on top of your bill; this is also the case when ordering drinks at a bar.
Social: We’re convinced that New York City doesn’t understand the concept of “quiet night in”. For a night on the town, why not dress up and slay at 1OAK, Le Souk, or Penthouse at Dream? Webster Hall is an option for a more casual escapade, or Vig Bar for a more laid back vibe with drinks. For excitement in the day, we’ll eat our hats if you don’t find anything suitably social to attend on idontdoclubs – we swear by this site at #flightsandfeelings!
Shopping: Found yourself in New Jersey? Don’t leave without stopping off, and spending all those Benjamins, at Jersey Gardens Mall. This mall is literally so big; give yourself enough time to get round it all! There is also Woodbury Common Outlet in Central Valley (outside of the city) though you’ll need to drive to this one (an hour’s drive from the Bronx, New York City’s northernmost borough). As expected, there are plenty of shopping spots in Manhattan – start at Times Square and explore outwards from there or slide over to Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall (nearest subway: Fulton St).
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