1 week itinerary to New York!
My fiancé and I were lucky enough to have an amazing week in New York. Neither of us had been before so we were both so excited to see and do so much.
We decided to spend quality time in New York rather then go on excursions to Washington for example so this blog is based purely on getting to know New York.
Here we go...
We went in early March which is a massive hit or miss time to go. We were extremely lucky, we started the first day freezing and by the last it was boiling hot but only 2 days later when we got back home New York had a massive blizzard. So weather wise I don't know how to advise you, all I can say that as New York is a huge city and there is always something to do in any weather.
We travelled with Norwegian air from London to JFK. I had no complaints about the airline and as we booked well in advance the fares were cheap. Once there and after going through the appallingly slow passport control process (do leave between an hour to an hour and half for this) we decided to take the air train then connect to the subway via Howard's beach. This saved us big time as rather then taking a taxi the air train only cost $10 each then we both bought a $30 week Metro card to cover the rest of our travels.
We stayed in the Double Tree Hilton in the financial district. The reason being because as we both live in London and we weren't worried about using the subway to get around, we also wanted to stay somewhere quieter rather then Times Square. It was brilliant because even though the financial district is quieter and cheaper there were the best bars there and all open until the 2am-4am.
Our first night we got back to the hotel really late and were so tired we just got a massive pizza and went to bed ready for the week ahead.
Our first day there was a Saturday so we decided to avoid any landmark icons and go visit the High line and Greenwich village area instead. The High line is worth a visit but once you've walked it that's it. However, it does lead you nicely towards Chelsea Market and that's definitely worth a stop. The market was great and filled with loads of food goodies. We then wondered to Washington square park and stopped on the way at a great cheese bar called Murray's .This place is worth a stop if you love cheese and want a snack. All this time you would have been wondering through Greenwich Village stopping at cute shops on the way. We then decided to walk to The Grand Central terminal stopping by Madison Square park and Union Square park on the way. Once you get to The Grand Central terminal ask for directions to the whisper room. It's a very fun thing to do, both of you stand in this archway diagonal from each other and stand facing the corner like a naughty child then you whisper to each other and you can hear it as clear as day.
We then poked our head into the Chrysler building with it's beautiful art deco decor but it only takes 5 mins to visit. We then made our way back to Greenwich village and were very lucky to get stand-by tickets to the Comedy Cellar 8.45pm show. We had to queue up but it was well worth the wait. The comedy was brilliant and such an intimate venue. It was one of the high lights of my trip. If you're smart do book tickets in advance so you don't have to queue then you'll literally be laughing! To top off this amazing day we found the Black Tap restaurant and had one of their signature milkshakes. They are massive and you can easily share one between two, the burgers in there were good too.
Washington square park
Murray's Cheese bar
Madison Sqaure park
Grand Central Terminal
The next day was sunny so we ventured to Brooklyn and of course started this journey by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. This bridge is something not to be missed, not only are the views from it stunning but the bridge itself is gorgeous and well worth the walk over it. We then took in more of the view by walking down the Brooklyn promenade and then took the subway to Prospect park. As it was a nice day this was a lovely thing to do but it doesn't compare to Central park. This was all thirsty work so we jumped on the subway again and made our way to the Brooklyn brewery. If you time it right they do tours but we missed them so we headed straight for the bar. We bought 5 tokens for $20 and tried a bit of everything. If you like beer then this is a great excuse for a drink! All this drinking makes you hungry so we went just next door to Mable's Smokehouse which is a pulled pork restaurant, it was delicious and great value too. We then hopped right next door again to the Whiskey bar, a lovely bar with a great vibe and chilled out playing games and drinking more. Making our way back through Brooklyn we took in how the atmosphere was different from New York and stopped in any 'dive bars' we liked the look at. One was playing country music and it was great to people watch. We then worked out the subway home, which once you get the hang of it it's all about making sure your on the right platform and waiting to see which train turns up next. They hardly ever put any timings or let you know which train is next as this is so different from the UK but once you just except that fact it's only slightly annoying.
Day 3 was the first day we did a major sight. I booked about 6 months in advance to get tickets to go into the Statue of Liberty crown. They are reasonably priced around $18-21 but they sell out months in advance so once you've booked your flight and hotel if that's something you want to do go ahead a pick a day and book your Statue of Liberty and crown tickets in advance. There's only one place to buy them online and it's very easy to pick them up. It was of course amazing to get the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and really cool to go inside and see out of the top. Be warned though the crown is actually tiny and you'll only be in there for 3 minutes. I thought it was well worth it as it's such a limited experience that not many people get to do...so book. After this we were very lucky that the weather was so beautiful so we headed to Central park. We stopped first at the Levain Bakery. Barrie fell in love with these cookies and they are truly yummy! We got these mouth watering cookies as a snack for later and went to a Shake Shack for a quick lunch. We don't have many of these in London so we thought it was worth a try and yes it does taste better in New York. To burn this off we then spend a few hours exploring Central park. It's such a huge park with loads to see, we only covered about half of it and picked the key things we wanted to see. As evening approached we headed back into central and stopped at St Patrick's Cathedral on the way. Even if you're not religious it's a nice quick stop to appreciate the architecture of a stunning cathedral in the middle of skyscrapers. We weren't done yet and wanted to tick off another big sight so we went to the Rockefeller centre. It's a beautiful view and some people say 'why go to all three sights? Top of the Rock, Empire State and One World?'. Well the fact is that each view gives you a different perspective on New York and if you've got the time why not! If you are limited for time though my personal favourite was the Empire State Building but that's just me.
Statue of Liberty - The Crown
St Patricks cathedral
We're nearly half way through our holiday so we needed a well deserved lye in, we started the day late and as the weather wasn't that great we stopped at Carlos Bakery for some treats and went to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Now, Barrie likes Military history and what other chance do you have to see a space shuttle? We enjoyed ourselves but if you're not interested in things like this you can miss this museum off your itinerary. Once we finished we found ourselves quite near the Natural History museum so we went to see the dinosaurs! It's free and it's a great museum that is fun for everyone, so if you're near it go inside. By this point we were hungry so went to the most fantastic little restaurant in Little Italy called Benito One. It was so lovely and the service was fast and the food was delicious! Be warned though they put garlic in everything so if your not a fan don't step inside! I wouldn't hesitate to go back there but don't be surprised if you have to wait for a table as it's only a little place. Once we got all garlicked up we headed back to the financial district conveniently near our hotel for a bar crawl around that area. There's loads of great bars and they are all open late, I've listed some below but just head into that area and go down Stone Street.
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
Natural History Museum
Bar crawl- Frances Tavern, Growler, Ulysses's
It was my birthday yay! So we did some of my favourite things. We started by walking down Museum Mile and popping our heads into any museum's that took our fancy so I felt very grown up and cultured (but we didn't stay long). This conveniently took us down into central and we stopped at Dylan's Candy store for a massive ice cream and to drool at all the sweets! I've always wanted a little jewellery treat from Tiffany's & Co so we stopped there, but be warned the staff aren't actually that nice and if I didn't want a souvenir so bad I would have told him were to go. I have a feeling (and this is just an observation) that a lot of the staff are like that if you're not spending big money, because when we got to the counter another customer was already complaining about the service and the way she'd been treated. So maybe consider this before going or I could have just been unlucky. However, my necklace was worth it! The next stop was the Empire State Building, this was my favourite out of all the skyscrapers but they are all very different so it's completely personal. It was really windy and the views were beautiful. My big birthday treat was to go to see a Broadway show. We stopped off at Times Square for a few pictures and made our way to the Book of Mormon. It was a great show but the tickets were not cheap. If you love theatre you'll know what you want to book for but if not it's not a crucial stop as the tickets in the West End London are much cheaper with just as good production quality. We finished this amazing day with a visit to the 230 Fifth Avenue rooftop bar. On approuch you can't see how a fabulous bar could be anywhere around these streets but once you're up the top of the building the views are spectacular and especially at night! The drinks are reasonably priced too and the little heated igloo's are lovely. This bar was so lovely just to chill out in and suprisingly wasn't too busy. A great place to relax after a busy day in new York!
The Museum mile
Dylan's candy store
Tiffany's & Co
Empire State Building
230 Fifth Avenue rooftop bar
Oh no it's nearly over, so we did some big things today. We started with Wall street as it's right by our hotel just to get a feel for it. We were going to do the Charging Bull at this point but surprisingly it was the attraction with the most people around it (probably due to the new Fearless Girl statue that has just been placed opposite it). We came back later to it but it was still busy so we took a quick snap. Our morning was spend commemorating at the 9/11 memorial and going to the One World Observatory. The One World is actually a great skyscraper to start with and it's quite an emotional experience and they run a very helpful and informative presentation there I think every hour or 30 mins which gives you insights into New York. It's almost time to go home, so we stopped for what we thought was going to be a really nice sandwich at Pisano's but not only was the sandwich really nice... it's the biggest sandwich in the world! Honestly, it's massive you can easily share one between two people. This sandwich was so big (and we got one each because we didn't know any better) it ended up feeding us on the 8 hour flight home and for breakfast the next day!
One World Observatory
So that's it our big New York adventure. I hope this helps some people out there. Enjoy your trip!