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New York City – Top Things to do in NYC

WELCOME TO NEW YORK CITY TRAVEL GUIDE

There is nothing quite like being in the hustle and bustle of New York City. With a million things happening at once, there’s never a dull moment in this melting pot of global diversity. So many people are concerned with not looking like a tourist, but when in the City, I recommend just embracing the tourist and going to all the top sights at least once. There is a reason they’re considered the top sights!

Need to Know:

Currency: US Dollar

Language: English

Airports:

JFK – Queens, NY

EWR – Newark, NJ

LGA – Queens, NY

Electrical Outlets:120V supply voltage and 60Hz

Top Sights in New York City

Statue of Liberty: The most famous landmark in the United States, you have to catch a glimpse of this iconic statue while in New York City. You can buy tickets to take a ferry out to Liberty Island as well as Ellis Island. There are a variety of route and tour option with tickets averaging around $25 per person. A little local tip if you don’t want to buy a ferry ticket, is to take the Staten Island Ferry and you will get a pretty good view for free!

Times Square: Famous for the New Years ball drop and large, vibrant ad screens, I definitely recommend swinging by Times Square. The square is lined with souvenir shops, tourist attractions, street performers, and my personal favorite, M&M’s World.

The Highline: My favorite park in New York, check out this 1.45 mile elevated greenway on a reclaimed railroad. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: For all the art fans, make sure you plan a trip to the famous Met. You can buy tickets for $25 online ahead of time. You can also hang out on the picturesque steps in front of the museum and grab a bite from one of the food carts always stationed outside.

9/11 Memorial and Museum: Located at the World Trade Center in New York, this beautiful memorial honors those who were killed in the 2001 and 1993 attacks. You can buy entrance tickets for $26 per adult. 

Central Park: This incredible park has a mountain of things to do within itself, so I recommend checking out the seasonal activities and attraction on the Central Park website. My top few sights are Strawberry Fields – John Lennon Memorial, The Mall and Literary Walk, and the Belvedere Castle

Andrea Abroad Statue of Liberty
Andrea Abroad Times Square
Andrea Abroad 9/11 Memorial

Financial District: Home of Wall Street and the hub of the bustling finance world, plan your visit to see some of the iconic sights such as Federal Hall National Memorial, New York Stock Exchange, Fearless Girl, Charging Bull, and Trinity Church

Bryant Park: Another lovely New York City park, make sure you plan a stop at Bryant Park to enjoy a coffee on the lawn, grab a bite at the Bryant Park Grill and Cafe , or check out the schedule to attend one of the many activities that take place in the park. 

Empire State Building: This 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan is an icon of the New York City skyline and a must-see when visiting the city. With multiple observation decks and tour packages grab your tickets to explore the iconic Empire State Building. 

Little Island: This recently constructed island park was built in the Hudson River Park and is an extremely unique structure. Since this is a new attraction it is always busy so I recommend reserving your timed entry and even then being prepared to stand in line to enter. 

Brooklyn Bridge: When visiting this beautiful bridge, I like to start on the Brooklyn side of the East River at Brooklyn Bridge park. It is a great spot to wander around with unrivaled views of the piers, the river, and Manhattan. Take in the views of the city as you stroll towards the Brooklyn Bridge. The park will bring you right below the bridge, so you can then wander up the street to get up and cross the iconic landmark. 

Chelsea Market: Originally built as a Nabisco factory, and now owned by Google, this converted factory building is home to a shopping mall, food hall, and office complex. My favorite lunch stop in Manhattan, Chelsea Market is full of delicious food vendors of all kinds. We always get a fresh lobster roll at The Lobster Place

Andrea Abroad Little Island
Andrea Abroad Brooklyn Bridge
Andrea Abroad Chelsea Market

Top Experiences in New York City

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Broadway Show Always my top priority when I visit the City, seeing a Broadway show is an unforgettable experience. If you're into musicals, you probably already know which show you want to see, but if you're not, check out one of the classics like ``Wicked`` or ``The Lion King``. You really can't go wrong with any of these incredible performances.
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Top of the Rock This is one of those ``touristy`` activities that, in my opinion, doesn't get old. You'll ascend 70 floors up the iconic Rockefeller Center to perch above the city for spectacular 360-degree views. You start this tour by wandering through a little exhibit that explains the history of the construction of ``The Rock.`` Then you get in the elevator and head on up to the observation deck. I've been during the day and at night and both offer unique but equally impressive experiences.
3
Yankees Game Whether you're a Yankees fan or not (note I am not wearing any Yankees gear), this is a fun and authentic New York City experience. When you get hungry it doesn't matter if you're craving some classic peanuts and popcorn, or a unique culinary experience, Yankee Stadium has it all. Grab some grub and a beer, then enjoy a baseball game in one of the country's most expensive and famous stadiums. I also enjoyed taking the subway to the Bronx with all the Yankees fans headed to the game. That was an experience within itself.
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The Friends Experience If you're as much of a Friends fan as I am, this will be an awesome experience to relive your favorite TV moments. For $45 you get to wander through a Friends museum including a ton of the original props, sets, and costumes. They have assistants all over to take pictures for you and pre-set photo ops such as Central Perk, the couch in front of the fountain, and the couch stuck in the stairwell ``PIVOT!``
Andrea Abroad Broadway
Andrea Abroad Yankees Stadium
Andrea Abroad Friends Central Perk

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation – I’ve had the privilege of staying at the beautiful Hilton in the Fashion District which is conveniently located right in the city. If you’re on a tighter budget, there are plenty of cheaper hotel options, and you can even cross the river into Jersey where the prices will drop significantly.

Food – New York is widely considered the best food city in the world, so I can’t even begin to do it justice with this little blurb. I have not explored very many restaurants in NYC so I’ll refer you to some of my favorite restaurant guides. My favorite NYC food experiences are getting bagels and lox from a local deli, a hot slice of $1 pizza after a night out drinking, and finding an intimate wine bar where you can chat with friends late into the night.

Getting Around – I always fly into JFK airport, then take the Airtrain to Jamaica Station and transfer to the Long Island Rail Road going towards Manhattan. You pay for the Airtrain when you get off at Jamaica, so if you’re planning to come back, make sure you have enough money on your metro card because those kiosks always get backed up. Then I get off at Penn Station to walk to the Hilton Fashion District (where I’ve usually stayed in NYC). Once you’re in the City, taking the subway and walking are your best bets. The subway can be a little confusing, but Google Maps is pretty reliable nowadays. You can also always hail a taxi or take a lyft.

My New York City Essentials

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