New York City has held a prominent spot on everyone’s travel bucket list. It can be an overwhelming city for anyone who’s never pounded the city’s renowned sidewalks before, even for seasoned travelers. There surely is no metropolis quite like New York, this city is home to a number of world-famous landmarks, of course, but in many ways the city itself is the greatest attraction. From the skyscrapers to the small districts to finding the best burger in town, this concrete jungle will be broken into bite-size chunks.
Being the nation’s premier metropolis, New York is divided into five boroughs. Deciding where to stay might give you a headache but this can be solved by planning on your itinerary – length of stay and what you’re planning to do. Whether you want to go all touristic or you want to travel like a local, every place has its own unique advantage to offer and cater for all kinds of travels. If you want to live in the heart of the city and be closer to Times Square and Central Park, and not in a tight but minimal budget, you can check out The Jewel facing Rockefeller Center. With great location right across the street from Rockefeller Center, around the corner from 5th Avenue shopping and just a few blocks walk to Central Park, this place is within walking distance to everything. If you’re looking for something more cool and trendy, Pod 39 offers a minimalistic stay specially catered for young travelers. The best thing about this hotel is its location, right in the middle of Manhantan, you can walk to the UN, Times Squares, 5th avenue, Central Park and it’s close to a lot of different subway lines making it very easy to travel through the city.
With New York’s largest LED signs, have your pictures taken in Times Square because this overrated tourist attraction is a must see place. It’s known all over the world and you really can see the multiple culture on the streets. Crowded with people and flashing posters, a meeting point well-worth visiting because when you go back, you can keep on raving to your friends that you’ve been there!
3. Central Park
If you haven’t seen the size of Central Park, you will be shocked as to how massive the park is. Where to go would depend on your interests, I don’t have any preference and I’ve missed out on most of the good spots because I spent an extremely hot July circumnavigating the park, wandering around and stopping when I felt exhausted.
4. Burger is Life
Finding the best burger in town is a must for every burger addict like me. I’m sure there’s a lot of places that offer good burgers but for easy navigation and since this place has been recognized and approved by many for serving one of the best burgers in NYC, Burger Joint deserves its raved reputation. It doesn’t come cheap but it’s worth every penny. Located inside Le Parker Meridien New York, the location itself is so odd because it’s hidden in between a big red curtain. This place will be swamped on certain days but don’t let the long queue discourage you because this small funky joint serves a real little slice of NYC. Worth the try although I have to admit, I’ve had better burgers.
5. Pizza is Also Life
Long queue under the heat doesn’t stop people from waiting patiently to be seated. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Under The Brooklyn Bridge is worth the travel! Quite a walk from the nearest metro station but why not plan a quick stop to the famous Brooklyn Bridge before making your way to the restaurant. The service is superb, and the pizza is fantastic but if you don’t like coal baked crust or thin crust – don’t bother going. Try not to go overboard by ordering each person a large pizza (unless you’re a legit big eater) because the pizza is massive!
6. Brooklyn Bridge
Some may think it’s just a bridge – but there is something special about taking a stroll over Brooklyn bridge. Everyone should grab the rare opportunity to walk across a famous bridge and if you walk back across at night, you’ll get an awesome view of Manhattan in lights. The best view of NYC is totally free!
7. Rooftop Bar
Beautiful views in three different directions – you are treated to views of Chrysler, Empire and the East River. It’s on the 17th floor of 39 Pod hotel and offers beautiful setting. All in all awesome place to hang around during the day or night, but the place is usually packed after working hours so be sure to make an early reservation.
8. Flatiron Building
I’m sure many have seen this iconic building at least once on TV. It’s a vintage and one of a kind skyscraper, a great building that changes its outline completely on approach and it has a beautiful facade. There’s nothing you can do but to take pictures of the building and its surrounding.
9. Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market makes a terrific afternoon excursion and provides the best overview of NYC snacks. An upscale farmer’s market for everyone. The market is a long hallway with little food shops and some trinket/household shops. I wouldn’t recommend going here just for “sightseeing”, best if you plan to have lunch or small bites. Can get very busy with long queues for the rest rooms. Not as big as some people expect though.
10. The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
A must visit to teach value of life, love and respect for all. I only walked around the grounds and the reflecting pools. The pools have the names of the victims engraved into them. It was a powerful, vivid and painful reminder of what happened here on that fateful day. It’s not an attraction and shouldn’t be treated as one, this hallowed ground helps one understand better the great tragedy that the nation experienced.
11. Washington Square Park
Relaxation at its best. Although Central Park is the most popular park in NYC, it is also the most populous one. So if you’re not that into crowded area, the Washington Park Square is another alternative for you to relax and enjoy watching the squirrels. It’s not very large only a couple of square blocks but has a lot going on.
12. Trump Tower
It’s quite an impressive building I must say, but nothing more than that. Worth seeing and getting your picture by the clock to say you’ve been there, but personally I wasn’t interested in going in. I happen to pass by this building and saw a lot of news crews.
13. I almost forgot… Indian food is a MUST!
Excellent food, flavourful, fragrant and fulfilling – Indian food is the soul food. Tucked away behind scaffolding lies an extraordinary Indian restaurant that’s a major cut above the usual run-of-the-mill – Spice Symphony is worth the try. Fantastic service and choices, be sure not to skip their Chicken Tikka Masala. Not elaborate or pretentious, not expensive, but full of the flavors and culture of somewhere far off.
14. Cycle, Pedicab, Rickshaw around Central Park / Manhattan
If you have some extra cash to waste, this is one of the ways you can do that. I’m not really into this private tour idea because it’s pricey and I’d rather do it on my own but those who don’t mind paying (a lot) can enjoy being showed around by attentive guides.
15. The City That Never Sleeps
There are heaps of things to do in New York not just during the day but also at night. The city has earned its reputation as city that never sleeps for plenty of reasons; it does come alive at night. You may find yourself hard pushed to find time and energy to see and do everything you want to in New York because this city can deliver in spades, with superb restaurants, top-class shopping and nightlife of a few casual after-dinner drinks to a full-fledge chugging at the wildest club. Catch a glimpse of Times Square at night before making your way to refuel at places like The Rum House and Beer Authority for a trek around Manhattan.