Setting off to New York?
Regardless if this is your first-ever trip to New York or if you’ve visited the city in the past and haven’t had the chance to explore all the super things to do in town, you better start taking notes right now. A 7-day trip to New York will give you the chance to experience almost everything the city has to offer, given the fact that it is impossible to discover everything at once. The following guide is based on my visit in the city as I experienced it during the 7 amazing days in the Big Apple.
It was a really – really – busy week for which you must be prepared if you are to visit New York: it will require lots of walking around, switching trains, being out-and-about, covering every inch of the town from one corner to another, making great memories that will keep you anticipating your next visit to see a lot more.
In-depth posts of the city’s finest attractions will follow with this guide being a detailed map of my activities while I was there. I captured it all on Instagram too – photos and live videos were up on my account daily, so make sure to click here and follow me for more live updates in the future.
Most of the following attractions are included in the City Pass you can purchase at the sales spots of many attractions. By getting a City Pass you will be able to get a discount and save money, as well as time, with the “skip the line” option. I highly suggest you getting one – it will be well worth it. The Museum of Modern Art or MoMa, is sadly not included in the admissions of the City Pass though.
Rockefeller Center – Top of The Rock – MoMa – Times Square
The view from above shall make a perfect start to your trip. Visit the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center* to experience it the best way possible. The view from the 70th floor is astonishing: the Central Park, the Empire State Building, Lower Manhattan, the Hudson River and everything you’re planning to visit over the course of the next few days will be laying ahead of you. Plus if the weather’s good enough the entire Manhattan will shine under the morning sun – a view that will leave you in awe!
*this is a City Pass sales spot*
Take a deep breath and begin a magical journey!
If you happen to visit Manhattan during Christmas, the Rockefeller Center should be the single most festive building in the city (along with Saks Fifth Avenue) with its holiday decorations and the famous ice-skating arena you might have seen everywhere but I assure you, it’s even more impressing in person!
MoMa – the Museum of Modern Art – the Mecca of Modern Art houses a collection of modern works of art from artists like Van Gogh and Picasso. It is an once-in-a-lifetime experience for any art lover. Even if you are not familiar with modern art, you’ll be impressed by the exhibition. Admission isn’t included in the City Pass – you’ll have to issue a ticket as soon as you get there.
Manhattan’s trademark, the Times Square, is a place you’ll visit many times during your trip. On your first night there have a taste of the big city lights – something like a Welcome to New York City! Walk around a bit and definitely book your seat to watch one of the famous Broadway plays – even better, book it in advance before your trip so you don’t miss the chance.
Top of the Rock
Central Park – MET – Museum of Natural History
Central Park is beautiful all year round – whether that is in spring with nature blooming or covered in snow during Christmas. By combining it with your visit at the MET and the Museum of National History, you will have the chance to walk it from one end to another, since the two museums are located on two opposite sides of the Park.
A visit at the Metropolitan Museum / MET will require you dedicating some time to explore it – a greater amount of time than the Museum of National History, so I’d suggest you starting from here. It’s going to be a long visit, so make sure to leave your coat or jacket at the cloakroom by the entrance where tips are permitted by the way. Over 5000 years of art are presented through the over 2 million art work – better invest some time researching it before visiting. That way, you’ll find what you’re interested into beforehand and head directly there without losing valuable time.
The Museum of National History is the biggest of its kind in the world and one of the most impressing attractions in town. Four blocks, 45 permanent exhibition hall and over 30 million specimens from the sea, earth and space – can you imagine a better way to end your day?
Μουσείο Φυσικής Ιστορίας
9/11 Memorial – Soho – Noho – East Village – Little Italy – Chinatown
The 9/11 Memorial is easily accesible via the subway and a complete tour, including a visit athe museum won’t take longer than 2 to 3 hours overall. Schedule a morning visit so that you can continue with the rest of your day from ther. Ground Zero and the museum are located where the original World Trade Center site used to be. Visitors can descend to a lower level where the building’s foundation used to be.
Continue your day by taking the subway to visit Soho, NoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown. Lots and lots of hours you’ll spend wandering around these neighborhoods since they make the perfect scenery for amazing photos and offer great food and shopping options. NYC’s Chinatown completely amazed me since I do have a thing with all the Chinatowns of America (though I have to note that is slightly smaller than the one in San Francisco). Traditional Beijing duck is served here in most of the many authentic, traditional Chinese restaurants.
Midtown Manhattan – High Line – Chelsea Market – West Village
The High Line is a linear urban park on the west side of the city built on a disused railroad. It is a wonderful, well-preserved route that leads directly to one of my favorite spots in town – the Chelsea Market.
The Chelsea Market complex includes facilities from the retail market – vintage lovers love it for shopping – a television production facility, the Youtube office space, as well as, the city’s best food hall. Some of the yummiest soups, fresh lobster, pastries, organic snacks and fine wine are served here. Can you think of a better way to end your visit there?
Continue your day with endless strolls around West Village with a Magnolia Bakery cupcake in your hand and – for all the Sex & the City lovers out there – a visit at Carrie Bradshaw’s neighborhood in the show. The West Village has plenty great restaurants and cozy jazz bars that’ll be perfect for a night-out in the city.
Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island – Grand Central Station
After visiting the Statue, hop on the next ferry to Ellis Island, the gateway to the United States for every immigrant arriving to New York City. Audio Tour is available and will help you discover the island in a more explanatory way. Ellis Island, apart from its historic significance is great for visiting in order to admire the famous Manhattan Skyline view – I promise you’ll love it!
The Grand Central Terminal makes the biggest and busiest train station in the world but it’s not just that; it’s one of the most impressing public places you’ll ever visit. The majestic building once was the Grand Central Depot before being renovated and transformed into the now-known Grand Central Terminal. I would recommedn you to visit it by night. The lights will captivate your eyes and the magical atmosphere will make you instantly fall in love!
Public Library – Bryant Park – Brooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn Heights – Empire State Building
The subway station by Bryant Park will lead you directly to Brooklyn Bridge. Walk the bridge to Brooklyn, capture the amazing view from up there and follow the route to Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Grab a coffee-to-go since you’ll be spending some time there: the view from Brooklyn Heihts is absolutely a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Brooklyn is also known for its pretty neighborhoods – walk them all and let their cute buildings steal your heart.
Schedule a visit to the Empire State Building to end your day. With admission being included in your City Pass, you’ll save time from waiting in the really long line and you’ll watch the city from above once more. Some would insist that a visit at the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building is more than enough. I’d say that each visit serves a different purpose: visi one by day and one by night – the city looks so much different depending on the time of day – yet still magical.
Brooklyn Heights / City View
Empire State Building
YOU MADE IT! LET’S GO SHOPPING!
Fifth Avenue is the ULTIMATE fashion destination – you should make it your first stop. All of the above mentioned neighborhoods offer shopping opportunities. Keep your eyes – and wallet – open!
AND WHERE SHALL WE EAT?
Travelling with tasting the destination’s finest isn’t travelling. That is why, below I’m suggesting a few places I visited and had the most exquisite brunches and dinners. Keep in mind that most of the city’s restaurants don’t accept reservations for two people. Plan your time schedule accordingly, knowing that during rush hour – after 18.30 – the waiting could reach almost two hours.
The following are some of my favorite restaurants, even though there are endless options for food and drinks in NYC. You can find great restaurants everywhere around town, so pick the ones fitting best with your schedule and the places you visit each day.
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