There are few cities in the world that have as much energy as the city of New York. From the buzzing and busy sidewalks in Wall Street to the neon jungle that is Times Square to the green paths that make up Central Park, New York is packed with various things to do. The city has one of the world’s best museums, iconic landmarks, and overall it has earned the right to call itself one of the most inspirational and unique cities in the world. Even if you have travelled to the Big Apple multiple times, you’ll still find yourself discovering unique places in areas you have yet to explore. In our New York City guide you will find attractions, sightings, museums, shops, and restaurants worth visiting – both traditional tourist hotspots and some local hidden gems.
Penelope – 159 Lexington Avenue, Midtown
Located within the Midtown area lies a beautiful and quaint restaurant that specialises in traditional American brunch and lunch. Visitors beware – the restaurant doesn’t take reservations and waiting times can be quite long, but trust us when we say the food is worth the wait. During brunch time they offer a $20 fixed price that includes your choice of main dish and a brunch cocktail or house blend coffee, tea, or juice. We recommend you try their Nutella French Toast or, if you prefer savoury, the Farmer’s Market Omelette that comes with highly recommended home fries. Yum! If you come during lunchtime you can’t miss out on their desserts, especially their delicious red velvet cake.
Brunch: 8 AM – 11:45 AM
Lunch/Dinner: Noon – 11PM
Brunch: 8 AM – 4:45 PM
Dinner: 5PM – 11PM
Black Seed Bagels Brookfield Place – 200 Vesey St., Battery Park City
Specialising in baked goods and sandwiches, this NYC newcomer has been drawing big crowds with their hand-rolled, wood-fired bagels. This spot is perfect for a quick stop to get a bite before or after you have explored the modern and luxurious area of Battery Park City. Some of our favourites include: beet-cured gravlax, a basic tuna salad, Tobiko spread, and the egg salad. There are three other locations, but we recommend you stop by this one as you can grab a bagel and eat it on the benches on Battery Park overlooking Brooklyn and the iconic statue of liberty.
Erin McKenna’s Bakery – 248 Broome St., Lower East Side
Formerly known as BabyCakes, Erin McKenna’s Bakery has a conventional yet cute exterior that might make you believe it’s just like any other bakery. But don’t be deceived, in reality, this is the spot where founder Erin McKenna revolutionised healthy baking. When you walk in, you’ll notice the ‘50s inspired interior and find punk rock girls serving a variety of baked goods. From delicious cupcakes to cookies and pastries, you’ll be able to dig your teeth into some vegan, gluten free and sugar free sweets to your heart’s (and waistline’s) content.
American Museum of Natural History – Central Park West & 79th St., Upper West Side
Located across from Central Park is the American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869 and home to more than 30 million artefacts from land, sea, and outer space. The museum is so big you need to dedicate a full day to it in order to see all of its exhibitions. However, if you want to quickly look over the museum we recommend visiting the Rose Centre for Earth and Space to view shows with beautiful special effects, the Fossil Halls on the fourth floor for a large display of dinosaur and mammal fossils, and the Primates Hall which showcases the comparisons between apes, monkeys, and humans. If you are feeling hungry after your visit, you can head on over to Shake Shack for a burger and milkshake.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 10am-5:45pm
Senior & Student: $17
Child (2-12): $12.50
Central Park – Uptown & Bronx
Contrasting the concrete jungle is the massive, man-made and well-known Central Park. Located right in the middle of Manhattan, this park offers so many things to see throughout its acres of green space. Playgrounds, swimming pools, public concerts, running tracks, dog parks, lakes, boathouses, the Central Park zoo, and the John Lennon Memorial are spots you’ll find scattered throughout the large public area. On a nice summer day we recommend you pack a picnic and make your way to the park to relax and enjoy a momentary escape from the buzzing city.
Grand Central Terminal – 89 E. 42nd St., Midtown
The Grand Central Terminal: an iconic meeting point in movies and television. This terminal is a worthwhile stop simply because of how beautiful it is and its historical relevance. The station had opened during the time when New York City was emerging as a literary and artistic centre. One of its highlights is the iconic constellation mural above the Grand Concourse, as well the Oyster Bar that opened in 1913 and is famous for its interiors. We also recommend you sit and enjoy a drink at the Campbell Apartment: an authentic, dimly lit, old-fashioned bar (but be sure to dress up for admission). If you prefer something more casual you could grab a quick bite at the Dining Concourse, which has restaurants like Junior’s, Shake Shack, and Murray’s Cheese.
The High Line – Chelsea
This elevated public park that runs from the Meatpacking District all the way to Midtown is perhaps the best thing to happen to the city’s landscape in decades. Set on abandoned railway tracks suspended above the city streets, this park is definitely one of the more unique places to visit in New York. Stunning views of the Hudson River, an overlooking view of the Meatpacking District and art installations are what you can expect when walking on this suspended park. The High Line constantly attracts tourists regardless of the season! We recommend you follow the tracks until you reach the huge overlooking glass right above 10th Avenue. It really does give you a different perspective of the city. It’s also a perfect location to take pictures!
Chelsea Market – 75 Ninth Ave., Chelsea
Located in an old building just north of the Meatpacking District, you’ll find a labyrinth-like food court as well as specialty shops. There are many delicious restaurants where you could sit down for lunch but one of the most outstanding ones are Los Tacos No.1 for authentic Mexican, and Num Pang, an Asian-inspired sandwich joint. Even if you don’t plan on eating while at the market, it’s definitely worth a visit just to walk around the industrial-like passageways.
MoMA – 11 W. 53rd St., Midtown
Despite the queues that form around the block, visiting the MoMA is an absolute must when in the city. Whenever you visit we recommend checking out both the permanent and new exhibitions, as well as spending some time in the beautiful sculpture garden. If you are a fan of Matisse and Monet – lets be honest, who isn’t?! – the MoMa has a rich collection and variety of works by these artists among many others.
Seniors (65 and Over with ID): $18
Students (Full-time, with Current ID): $14
Children (16 and Under): Free
Members of Guests: $5 (Up to Five)
The MET (Metropolitan Museum) – 1000 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side
The Museum steps are iconic to the Upper East Side. You’ve definitely seen these steps crowded with celebrities and fashion icons during the MET Gala’s annual red carpet event. This beloved institution has been attracting millions to its grand halls since 1880. You’ll find some of the art world’s most iconic pieces, not only from ancient periods but also from modern times. One of the museum’s must-see collections is the one dedicated to Ancient Egypt. It is home to the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, which dates back to 15 BC! The museum is enormous so we recommend you take a full day to calmly walk around and explore.
Seniors (65 and Older): $17
Children Under 12 (with Adult): Free
The Guggenheim – 1071 5th Ave., Upper East Side
Often recognised for its unique exterior, the Guggenheim is a renowned art museum as well as a significant architectural icon of the 20th Century. Visitors benefit from modern and contemporary art exhibitions, lectures by artists and critics, performances and film screenings, classes for teens and adults, and daily tours of the galleries led by museum educators. This museum is definitely worth the entrance fee just to make your way through the snail-like building and admire its unique and mesmerising architecture.
Sun-Wed, Fri: 10am-5:45pm
Students and Seniors (65 Years +) w/Valid ID: $18
Children Under 12: Free
& Other Stories – 575 Broadway, Soho
If you are looking to buy jewellery and unique clothing pieces, & Other Stories is the perfect shop. It’s almost impossible to walk out of this shop empty-handed. Not only is it cheap but it also offers beautiful minimal, modern clothing that works with market trends but doesn’t completely rely on them. Much like Zara, you can mix their clothing with some of your higher-end purchases. The shop is definitely worth stopping by if you’re walking around the Meatpacking District!
Blue Tree – 1283 Madison Ave., Upper East Side
This boutique is a hidden gem on the Upper East Side. Downstairs you will find beautiful jewellery and an assortment of antique toys such as hand painted Russian dolls. Upstairs you will find racks of clothes from little known designers. With its assortment of great lesser known designers, Blue Tree really brings back uniqueness to a neighbourhood that is usually dominated by big brands and overlooks the smaller ones. So if you’re looking to purchase something you won’t see on anyone else, we recommend you pop into this shop.
Albertine – 13 Christopher St., West Village
Albertine is another boutique where the chances of leaving empty-handed are slim to none. The store is not over stocked, it’s actually quite limited. If the storeowner Kyung Lee is around she can actually guide you on how to make the most out of your purchases, for example, how to wear a simple dress in 18 different ways. The store carries designers such as Seymour, A/Line, A Detacher, Gary Graham, all of which create well-tailored pieces that will quickly become staples in your wardrobe. Make sure to stop by this boutique and admire their clothes and jewellery!
Boom Boom Room – 848 Washington St., Meatpacking District
If you are looking to party like a sophisticated New Yorker, the Boom Boom Room on the 18th floor of the Standard Hotel is the place to go. It has a spectacular view of the Hudson River and the Chelsea High Line, and the interior itself is worth a view as well. While there, you can also head over to the bar next door, Le Bain, which has a swimming pool you can sip your cocktail by. This ultra chic bar is bound to offer you a stylish night out in the city.
Angel’s Share – 8 Stuyvesant St., East Village
This stylish hideout is tucked on the second floor of a Japanese restaurant. Once you get past its hidden door you will find yourself in a cosy bar that serves delicious cocktails. The best aspect of this place is that they only allow a handful of people inside, meaning that it’s never overcrowded. However, you might have to wait a little if you want to access the secluded bar. Angel’s Share is a more relaxed, but equally chic alternative to the Boom Boom Room.
Sightseeing in New York
We understand that walking for a long time and moving around the city can get a little bit overwhelming, especially when there’s so much to see! If you’re on a tight schedule, or simply want an overview of New York, we recommend purchasing a ticket for the Hop on Hop off New York Sightseeing bus. Overall, there are 7 routes and 63 stops in the New York version of the tours. There are many options to choose from, and if you want to hop on a boat that travels through the Hudson River, they also offer this as an option! While on the bus make sure you don’t miss these iconic spots: the Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial, Times Square and Rockefeller Centre.
There you have it! Our quick guide to getting to know the city that never sleeps! New York is a beautiful and vibrant city filled with culture and many things to see and do. Make sure you enjoy its delicious food, incredible sights, and fashionable boutiques.
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